About last night …

Mission

Your Montreal Canadiens are in the playoffs.
But unless their Tuesday night performance in Tampa Bay was an aberration, we may see a repeat of last spring’s first-round fiasco.
Riding a five-game winning streak into the home rink of a very good hockey team, perhaps the Canadiens were due for a letdown.
What we saw, however – particularly in the third period – was a collapse.

Michel Therrien began his post-game media scrum by accentuating the positive.

Results elsewhere guaranteed postseason hockey for the Habs. Therrien said the Canadiens’ objective of making the playoffs had been attained.

Therrien had the right to be satisfied. Many pundits and fans thought the Canadiens would struggle all season and go down to the wire to ensure a playoff berth. I didn’t think they’d make the cut.

But with five games to play, we know there will be mid-to-late April hockey in Montreal.

Will the Canadiens still be playing in May?

Not if the 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay was an indicator.

The score flattered the Canadiens. If Carey Price hadn’t played what may have been his best game of the season, the Lightning would have won 6-1.

“We played back on our heels,” Therrien said. The coach cited “too many turnovers”, adding “you can’t take eight penalties and expect to win.”

“It hurts your tempo and disrupts time on ice,” Therrien said.

ToI was particularly discombobulated in the case of P.K. Subban. Last season’s Norris Trophy winner played a season-low 17:48.

That less ice time than Douglas Murray. But P.K. will get a chance to catch up during the suspension Murray is going to get for that absurd elbow on Mike Kostka.

P.K. averages 24:52 per game this season. In Tampa Bay, he had less even-strength ice time than any other defenceman dressed for the game.

If there’s a logical reason for this, I’m afraid it eludes me.

But the Canadiens didn’t lose because of P.K.’s low ice time.

The loss was a team effort. And the list of players who had an off night would include every player in a white jersey – with the exceptions of Carey Price, Mike Weaver, Ryan White and Michäel Bournival.

Similarly, Tampa Bay’s win was a team effort. The Lightning are a fast, tenacious and well-coached team. They pressured the Canadiens into ill-conceived plays, bad decisions and lazy penalties.

With his team leading 1-0, Lars Eller was called for holding in the Tampa Bay zone. With the game tied 1-1 in the third period, Eller took another O-zone penalty, this time for a trip.

Paroled from fourth-line duty, Eller had more penalties than shots on goal. He is playing his way out of Montreal.

With another year on his contract, Daniel Brière will be staying put. The veteran who is supposed to elevate his game at this time of the long season played played a shade over eight minutes against Tampa Bay and had the grand total of one shot, which was blocked.

Brendan Gallagher was opportunistic in tipping his 19th goal of the season past Ben Bishop. Alex Galchenyuk kept the puck alive in the Lightning crease and drew an assist on the goal, as did Weaver.

That’s your highlight reel.

Bishop was untroubled for the rest of the game – including the four shorthanded situations during which the Canadiens managed two shots. This while Price was standing on his head to keep the score respectable.

In his chalk talk on L’Antichambre, Gaston Therrien showed an example of Tampa Bay’s relentless forecheck. The only Canadiens’ defencemen capable of handling that kind of pressure, TV Therrien said, are Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban.

And P.J. Stock, not my favourite panelist on the show, made a good point when he said that with five games left to play, Therrien is STILL juggling his lines.

As a reward for how well they played in the second half of March – starting with that crazy comeback against Ottawa – the Canadiens are staying in sunny Florida until Thursday. Then they fly to Ottawa for a Friday night game against the loosey-goosey/nothing-to-play-for Senators.

On Saturday, the Canadiens are home to the playoff-hungry/everything-to-play-for Red Wings.

In addition to figuring out his third and fourth lines, Therrien will have to cope with the likely loss of Murray, whose physical presence on the back end would be an asset in Ottawa.

There’s time for tinkering before the playoffs.

 

 

 

469 Comments

  1. jimmy shaker says:

    5 games left. Don’t really care about home ice. I almost like starting on the road and stealing a game or two. But if they do get home ice, like John Cooper said, home ice is key when you have a game 7. Either way, I don’t have a preference.
    Murray will probably get a game or 3.
    First period was good, last 40 minutes was a bust.
    No intensity or O-zone time.
    Should’ve used whitey and bernie more.
    I love how MT shits on Briere all the time giving this guy 8 minutes.
    I have to tell you guys seeing Price’s last two interviews vs the florida teams, I’m seeing this guy really step up and mature and become a leader. His focus and just his moxy in these interviews are very telling, and his play on the ice is matching up right along as well. This is a very good thing for us everyone, a very good thing. With the bodies coming back soon, I’m very optimistic moving forward in this years dance!

    Shaker out!

  2. jmac21 says:

    Finally someone that thinks COY is the reason for Eller and Chucky playing poorly THANK YOU what about Rene?? He sits 5 comes back puts up points plays okay, his reward??? 4 th line COY doesn’t like him and he doesn’t like Danny Boy either BUT saved DD this season lol that line was the worse one on the ice last night BUT KEPT USING THEM ….COY

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    This Habs team will only go as far as Eller takes them……

    Edit: Oops, sorry carries them

    • Paz says:

      Unreal. 2 penalties by a guy playing 4th line and you would think he had cost us a Cup.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Eller wasn’t the reason we lost the game, but his penalty behind the opposition goal was stupid and it was the kind of thing that White was doing earlier in the year and people were going nuts over.

        That penalty killed our momentum at that point in the game.

        If you can’t call him out for that, then there’s no point discussing anything about the team.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I believe MT was the one going nuts on him, most posters have liked what Whitey brings to the team and hoped the coach would give him a longer leash/rope to play with.

          • Mattyleg says:

            For sure, but his bad penalties got him in trouble in the past with the coach.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Glad you caught the gist of my post Ed.

      • Phil C says:

        Eller is top 30 in the league in minor penalties with 28, 2nd in the league in tripping penalties, -10 with only 2 points since 1 March, not one game in the positive +/- despite a team record of 8-6. I know he is one of your favorites, but you have blinders on about his play. It’s not good right now. He’s not scoring or defending. He would have been a minus 4 in that important Ottawa game if not for an unlikely comeback.

  4. habs001 says:

    Tampa vs Habs…may come down to who wins pk/pp battle and which team gets the o/t goals as there is a good chance of multiple o/t games….Also both goalies cannot give up too many bad goals…

  5. habsguru says:

    my fear is that last night was a preview of the officiating for the playoffs. Clearly a hook on Bourque, no call. lots of clutching, grabbing and a pile of interference. doesn’t excuse the loss, but didn’t help either.

    anybody else notice how FAST Bournival was last night???

  6. Jimmy9Toes says:

    So we lost last night, so what. It was one of 82 games. I remember the day of the Bruins game, almost everyone on here was like, great Budaj is playing, give the Bruins the 2 points. Why is Weaver playing, give the Bruins 2 points, and guess what, we won the game. So what if we were outplayed and took too many penalties. I only got to watch the first period and the officiating was brutal. Oh well, if Boone and a bunch of folks think we will play the same way in every game in the first round, then go and jump on the Leafs bandwagon, they won last night so there might not be much room to jump on. We will be fine in the playoffs. We will get our whole 4th line back and Gorges as well. Bourque and Eller will be watching from the press box, unless we have injuries.

  7. jmac21 says:

    Spell checking this site has everything :)

  8. Mattyleg says:

    Morning Tout Le Monde!

    We’re in the playoffs; huzzah.

    Last night’s game was a frustrating one, but it gives us a very accurate picture of what the playoffs are going to be like.

    Last night was a textbook Game 1 of Round 1. Home team pumped, visiting team absorbing the pressure and scoring on the break. Only issue I have is the stupid penalties we took, especially Eller, whose totally boneheaded penalty behind the opposition net killed the momentum we’d been building.

    The refs were bad; this is true. A lot of very chintzy calls, but at least our PK is strong, and over a 4-7 game series, I’d like to think that those calls would balance themselves out.

    Eller wasn’t the reason we lost; as MT said, there were too many turnovers, and PK was his annoying worst, trying to do too much with the puck on too many occasions, rather than just making the simple play.

    I’m not worried about TB, they will give us a good series, and if we lose against them, so be it. They’re a good team, and this new playoff setup is effing stupid to have one of us knocked out in the first round.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  9. jmac21 says:

    Isn’t it funny you never read a story from ANYONE that say ” the habs are a well coached team” lol
    We always play good teams that are “well coached” BUT when guys like PK walk away because this Coach doesn’t have a clue, some won’t know why? As Tampa’s rookie what it’s like to play big minutes ?? Gally and Chucky would love to play for a guy like Cooper, even PK …. Maybe PK could even kill pims
    WORSE COACH EVER!!!

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    He whom shall not be named had to leave the Rangers game after being hit by Burrows. No word if shoulder or head injury.

    http://kuklaskorner.com/hockey/comments/rangers-lose-ryan-mcdonagh-to-hit-by-vancouvers-alex-burrows

  11. habs001 says:

    Lets assume every player for the Habs is available in the playoffs..If the starting lineup is filled out not by their numbers but by their ages and you showed the lineup to top hockey people i believe they would all say that based on the age of each player this team has to be a major cup contender otherwise the management of this team has really missed the boat…

  12. The Juice says:

    Boone didn’t think Habs would make playoffs? Wow…

  13. Max says:

    The habs need to be in Bishop’s kitchen a bit more and put that biscuit in the basket.He’s a mammoth goat and covers most of the net by just crouching there.Get in that kitchen,turn up the heat and get him off his game a bit.If they don’t,this prospective series will be painfully short.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good point. All except Gally have been avoiding kitchens all year. Never too late to start and, as you suggest, it could be our only shot at solving Bishop.

      What about sending in Murray on the PP second wave a la Chara?

  14. Cal says:

    Need a good laugh? Bellyful’s site is definitely worth the visit, especially with these true 9-1-1 calls: http://johnbellyful.weebly.com/

  15. Luke says:

    I think Kostka put himself in a dangerous position by carrying the puck across the blueline, TOWARDS Murray and then making a move to protect the puck and try to get away from him.

    Kostka has to know he is in a vulnerable position crossing the blueline and skating at the defender. It’s basic hockey. Protect yourself. He actually chooses to skate at Murray and at the last second, decides to switch his direction and Douglas is left finishing a hit started before Kostka changed his position.

    Brutal play by Kostka. ..

    • twilighthours says:

      For sure. I coach my kids to skate away from checks. Sometimes the end up skating to the zamboni door and taking the puck to the dressing rooms, but I say “ok! you’ve got to protect yourself at all times!”

    • habsguru says:

      sounds kinda like “player 61″ syndrome.

      penalty: YES
      suspension: 1 game
      guilt: NO, i don’t think Murray was intending to destroy him, more so, it was likey that he was starting his whale like stride for a line change… OK i’m reaching on this one.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I agree, Luke.

      As Don Cherry has said a million times:

      “You’re gonna… skating… these kids… going over the blue-line, you gotta take the hit!! Be a good Canadian Boy and stand up, take the hit, don’t be one of these -they’re gonna hate me for saying this, gonna write it on their bogs or whatever they’re called, these guys, with their cheese fondues and their Oreos, or whatever they call their money over there- don’t be one of these EUROPEANS, ‘ooh, I’m afraid to be hit’, ‘oooh, I’m gonna duck down behind my desk’, ‘ooh’…

      C’MON. Those guys make me puke.

      Big Dougie Murray, good Canadian boy, lines him up, and boom.
      Everyone’s crying.
      BAH.”

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • ArmyFan says:

      I’m probably one of the most critical guys you’ll ever meet – of referees, other teams, other coaches, etc, etc. But Murray owns this one, 100%. He’s not a dirty guy, but he got beat by a faster player and had a split second lapse of judgement in trying to do anything to stop or slow Kostka down. I’m sure he instantly regretted it and probably feels pretty crappy about it. Nobody likes to be ‘that guy’.

      • habsguru says:

        agreed 100%

        should there not have been an instigator penalty for Tampa, especially after revenging the hit with the wrong guy???

        Weaver was pissed.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Yeah, I think I agree also. Reckless rather than malicious. And I agree with Jim elsewhere, that plays like that should not go unpunished.

  16. Hobie Hansen says:

    Tough loss last night but not the end of the world. The Habs will hit the gas peddle once the playoffs start. That game could have went either way.

    I realize that TB won the season series but let’s be serious, the playoffs are a completely different beast. Montreal won the season series against Boston too. :-).

    I was worried we would be the victim of a cheap shot last night. Murray has no previous history and 17mins in penalties this year so he shouldn’t get too many games.

    On a good note, Price had a couple spectacular sequences of saves and I’m glad it was Murray delivering a devastating hit to a Tampa player instead of one of our guys going down. Not to sound insensitive, I hope Kostka is OK, but it’s usually a Habs player going down with an injury right before the playoffs.

  17. PrimeTime says:

    So what’s the point in playing the 1st round?? TB won last night so isn’t it a forgone conclusion they will the series? Do any fans or bloggers honestly believe last nights game was a preview of the playoffs?? I guess people can believe whatever they want to….too bad their enjoyment will only be met if Habs lose. Then they can sit back and watch others succeed just like they do in their own lives, and complain how life is unfair! Reminds me of the question “who is dumber? The person who didnt learn to read, or the person who did but doesn’t? ”
    ********************************************************
    “Fans are entitled to express their opinion, but most of the comments on talk radio and on The Gazette’s Hockey Inside/Out website ranged from the mildly uninformed to the outrageously stupid” – Pat Hickey.

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

    • Mattyleg says:

      I believe it’s a preview of the playoffs, but not necessarily the result.
      It was ‘playoff-style’ hockey, between two teams who are going to face each other in the playoffs in a few weeks.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  18. Mondou6 says:

    The tripping call on Emelin was a particularly insane sequence. The Bolts player took a full two-handed baseball swing-style slash to knock the stick out of Emelin’s hands. No call. Emelin is knocked down, tries to recover his stick. The TB player skates over his glove and falls: 2 minutes for tripping.

    To make it even more ridiculous, the Habs were penalized shortly thereafter for a one handed tap slash. Crazy inconsistency.

    Regarding Murray, there was no intent there. It looked like Murray was surprised to see Kostka skating straight at him with his head looking down. Murray was like, I’ve got to flatten this guy. Then at the last second Kostka dodged, and instead of whiffing, Murray stuck his shoulder out, and ended up connecting elbow to head.

    Not saying he doesn’t deserve a suspension, but it was more of random play than deliberate intent to injure.

    Put it this way…If that had been a Bruin hitting a Hab, all we would be hearing was how it was the Hab player’s fault for skating into a Bruin with his head down.

  19. Sportfan says:

    Plek and Markov are the last Habs to have played in 2004 against the Lightning in the playoffs.

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

  20. Phil C says:

    As I’ve said before, the Tampa match up is tough for the Habs because both teams play a similar style. Last night was very similar to the 3 previous games in that the game was very tight, so a few bounces either way makes the difference. Last night it was a short-handed goal that was the difference. I think the playoff series against Tampa will result in very tight games, the Habs may need to replicate the overtime performance of 1993.

    Getting Prust, Weise, and Gorges back will be a bit of a lift.

    On a separate note, Lars Eller looks completely lost without the puck. Seeing that you play without the puck most of the time in hockey, this is a big problem.

    • Mattyleg says:

      He only looks marginally less lost with the puck, which is also a problem.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Phil C says:

        Yes it is. It’s shocking how he lost his game this year after a bit of an upswing last year. Add in a few bad penalties and I’m not sure he makes the playoff roster if everyone is healthy.

      • Luke says:

        I’m starting to think he is really a Right handed player, but the Eller’s only had Left handed sticks when he was growing up. So that’s what he learned to play with…

        • frontenac1 says:

          Hola amigos! That kind of work by Price will take us deep this year. Wow,Spectacular! Crankshaft will have a wee rest before the playoffs. Lars! Wakey Wakey! Was Chucky getting physical last night? I’m liking Weaver.

    • Ron in Ottawa says:

      see that Eller has become the favorite whipping boy for HIO bloggers. I don’t agree. I think this kid has a ton of potential and he was headed towards that potential last year when he got nailed in the Ottawa series. But then he came back and started this year on the same tear until MT started screwing up the lines. Even now when he put the kid line back together after the Ottawa game, he started juggling the lines immediately when all three top lines weren’t scoring. I could say that Chucky isn’t doing much either but I think he and Eller are the victims of very bad coaching. I think the team is winning big games like Ottawa and Boston in spite of MT.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree somewhat with your statement of favourite whipping boy. Given our top two lines produced little last night, given the first penalty call on Eller was rather phantom like, yet Eller’s name gets bandied about.

        Who knew this third line player was supposed to lead the team to the promised land.

        • Phil C says:

          Eller has taken 28 minor penalties this year which puts him in the top thirty in the league. 2nd in the league in tripping penalties which is usually being careless with your stick (It’s not like he is hauling down guys on a breakway or some other “good” penalty). Only Gallagher and Subban have more on the Habs. Most of Gallagher’s penalties have been goalie interference and roughing, or in other words, from playing hard which is a decent trade off.

          At some point you have to call Eller’s play for what it is despite the potential.

      • Phil C says:

        Galchenyuk you can be patient with because he is just 20 and has been injured. I also think he has been playing pretty good all things considered.

        Eller is entering the prime of his career, yet is playing some of his worst hockey. For every poster who whips him, there seems to be those who support him no matter what, even if this means a more deserving player is sitting. I will not be impressed if Bournival is in the pressbox again when Prust and Weise are healthy. By supporting Eller you are essentially not supporting Bournival, or another deserving player. Potential doesn’t pay the bills.

        23 points in 75 games is not great, but what’s really concerning is a -10 since the 1st of March, with only 2 points. Not even one game with a positive plus/minus despite the team being 8-6 in that time. There needs to be some personal responsibility for that, you can’t blame the coach for everything.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I like Eller and haven’t given up on him yet, but I completely agree with your point, Phil. In the playoffs you have to optimise, so let’s not wait for Eller to return to his previously positive trajectory — let’s play Bournival, or whoever else is in form.

          I would hope that the Eller project isn’t over. Don’t we know how much he can potentially contribute based on flashes? Is it not a matter of tapping into something so that he turn those flashes into longer stretches?

          • Phil C says:

            I wouldn’t give up on him either. He has many of the skills required to succeed. But he needs some serious guidance to improve his play away from the puck. Not sure he’s getting it right now. Maybe a change of scenery is what he needs if the return is decent.

      • Cal says:

        Eller with Chucky and Gally started fast, but quickly faded. Then, the line juggling began.
        Eller this season has been his own worst enemy, taking stupid offensive zone penalties time after time.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I agree, Cal. However, that call behind the net last night: ????

          Did someone stick a sign on his back? “Hey, Ref, your mother wears army boots and I sure hope you don’t pay me back for saying that by giving me an O-zone penalty and getting me into coach’s doghouse.”

          (Sorry, a bit long compared to “Kick me”)

  21. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    It’s all part of the master plan.
    Yes, yes.

  22. PrimeTime says:

    A 3-1 loss that included an empty netter and the negative idiots come out of hiding?? Lol. You can only laugh at the posters who never have anything to say when the team is winning but the first loss and cue the “I told you so. Hey look at me! I need attention”. What a bunch of losers. I’m not sure if they are just trolling or really have some anti-social issues – perhaps it’s all the same?? Habs are in when many “guaranteed” they would not make the playoffs so I guess they need to make their points when they can. But they can be satisfied to know the Habs won’t likely win the Cup this year……along with 29 other teams! Note: I exempt Boone and Timo from this statement as it is their HIO purpose, win or lose, to appeal to their followers.

    ********************************************************
    “Fans are entitled to express their opinion, but most of the comments on talk radio and on The Gazette’s Hockey Inside/Out website ranged from the mildly uninformed to the outrageously stupid” – Pat Hickey.

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

    • New says:

      You’ll notice too that the term “we” creeps in when the Habs win, and falls rapidly into disuse when “they” lose :-)

      To quote Oddball in the immortal movie that forged the economic philosophy of a generation of Wall Street barons:
      Oddball: “Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?”
      Moriarty: “Crap!”

  23. JF says:

    We’ll have to work a lot harder if we’re going to beat the Lightning or even score more than a goal a game, which is all we’ve managed so far this season, against Ben Bishop. The Lightning use a very aggressive forecheck, and I thought they outworked us right from the start of the game, even though we emerged from the first period with a lead.

    Special teams have to be a lot better. If we can’t pot the occasional powerplay goal, we at least can’t be giving up shorties, something that seems to be becoming a habit since the Olympic break. I guess the positive is that the Lightning didn’t score at even strength, thanks largely to Price’s brilliance. If we haven’t scored much on them this season, neither have they on us.

    But I don’t really like this matchup. Most games will be 2-1 and are as likely to be decided by a lucky bounce or a bad call as by anything else. And we tend to struggle against teams that play the way the Lightning do. I actually think we’d have a better chance against the Bruins or Penguins.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The power play indeed needs to come alive, no reason a five man unit with PK, Markov, Max, Vanek, DD/Briere shouldn’t produce. That is just too gifted a group. I think confidence again plays a factor here and hopefully soon the floodgates open.

    • BJ says:

      Any matchup is tough, each team thats made the playoffs can be a tough opponent, including our team vs any other.

    • Phil C says:

      I posted much the same just above you, so I think we see Tampa the same way.

    • rhino514 says:

      If the Habs with Vanek can´t beat the Bolts without St.Louis, we just aren´t a very good team.
      We also have more playoff experience than them and less rookies. I think we are more of a playoff team than they are.
      It´s true we can make average goalies look good, and good goalies look great, but with Vanek we will cash in on a few more chances. Price is more confident this year; you have to figure, if Bishop doesn´t decidedly outplay Price, which over a long series I don´t think he can, we´ll win.
      We´ll need some secondary scoring, though.

      • Phil C says:

        They lost St. Louis, but gained Callahan, who was buzzing last night. I’m not convinced the net difference is that great, especially factoring in getting rid of a selfish whiner.

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    On one hand it is easy to see how this team was due for a letdown game, on the other, you would think team should have been pumped as this was a statement game and a chance for home ice.

    This team is still inconsistent, but, they have clinched, they do have a pretty good seeding at the moment. Would hate to see a losing streak heading into playoffs.

    Still a bit perplexed at how much the Cube is playing after being parked for so much of the year, but I suppose I need to trust MT with his decisions.

    This team needs to win its first round, another first round loss with a decent reg. season leaves the team open for questions.

    Hoping that Weise, Prust and Gorges are getting closer to healthy. Seems this team plays better when there are healthy options available for players to be scratched.

    Assuming we see Tinordi for a few games in a row, hoping this is the break he needs.

    • Phil C says:

      My guess is that MT wants the other two pairings to gell for the playoffs, then swap Bouillon for Gorges and the pairings are not disrupted.

  25. TheMostCupsPeriod says:

    Retro Turd get back to the Leafs blog. You are a loser!!!!

  26. habs001 says:

    Purcell is a okay player but he seems to be a dominate player in most games vs the Habs..Even before yesterdays game i was thinking he has so many scoring chances in games vs the Habs..not sure why?

    • BJ says:

      Because he’s a good skater his trump card vs our smaller players is size.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Clearly, despite his very English name, Purcell must actually be quebecois. There’s no one better at sticking it to the team they grew up worshipping.

      (Thanks for the observation, 001. I don’t think I’ve seen him play against anyone else, and I had formed an opinion of him as top-class, but based entirely on how he plays against the Habs).

  27. BJ says:

    I’m not too disappointed about last night’s result. They took it to us for 2 periods and perhaps Tampa will feel a bit over confident. I don’t think it was our best effort and the days off in Florida prbably took some of the edge off the Habs game (although probably beneficial as a mini rest). Gorges should help some with shot blocking and battling the boards. Murray should be rested after a 3 game suspension. I only wish Beaulieu had stuck around as he was good at getting the puck up the ice quickly, precisely what Tampa has done to us. And finally my last comment and this was brought up over and over again here on HIO over the years; when we meet an equally good skating team we have problems with our size and some mobility on the D. I still think we can take these guys in 6 games.

    • New says:

      Should be a pretty even series. Probably a good one to watch if the announcers don’t get lazy and blame/attribute everything to the goalie.

      I totally agree with you. If you start training camp and psych everyone that the goal is to “make the playoffs” you are going to stumble once you “make the playoffs”. What exactly can you throw in there? Nothing effective. Everyone just waits on the playoffs and, when you play not to get hurt, you get hurt.

      This place is so negative you’d never think that the Habs just finished going out and “taking” a playoff spot. They went 8-2 in their last 10 to “take” a spot. Third best PK in the League but only 16th PP, 28th in even strength goals for but 8th in even strength goals against. If this team finds a way to score on the PP and even strength…

      I had the team pegged at 11 in the East. I am very happy they have done so well. If they want to enjoy the sun and fun that’s fine with me. The team will be ready come the playoffs.

  28. twilighthours says:

    This Tampa team isn’t detestable like the Fylers, Bruins, or Senators.

    But I have a good feeling that by the end of round 1, I’ll have strong disliking for Callahan, Gudas, and Malone.

  29. habs001 says:

    Making the playoffs is great…But management must have expectations that the team can do a lot of damage in the playoffs…This is not a young team .. if it gets beat in the first round you cant really say that it is a positive growing experience as in my opinion there is not enough youth on this team…

  30. rhino514 says:

    I´m surprised most are saying home ice advantage isn´t a big deal.
    Having the crowd behind the team, having choice of last changes, having the whole atmosphere that comes with being in your home barn; it´s a big deal.
    Forget about what happened last spring, that was an anomaly. The habs stand a better chance of winning with home ice than wothout it.

    • smiley says:

      Anybody remember the last time we played the Bolts in the playoffs WITHOUT home ice advantage? We were swept in 4 and the Bolts won the Cup!
      Please play Beaulieu over Tinordi/Murray.

    • habs001 says:

      Last year the Habs dominated the first two games and should have led 2-0 but a terrible 3rd in the first game where Ottawa did not win that game by great plays but won because of several players on the Habs gave the game away…also home ice should keep the penalty totals equal.

  31. howiemorenz7 says:

    Bravo, Habs, ya made it in, despite MT’s bizarre hate for PK and other coaching crap.

    Last night was no big deal, a good education on what they’re up against should they finish in the top 3 (no guarantee!). And Carey is ready for the playoffs, man he was amazing.

    As for Crankshaft, well, that was inevitable, he’s a goon, he’ll pay the price, time for some Tinordi action, and Gorges in on his way back, no big deal.

    Hovering around Toronto as much as I do, using the word ‘collapse’ is an exaggeration, however, if you want to witness a collapse of epic proportions, come down the 401. But it’s amazing how they shrug it off in Hogtown, just another lost April.

    Maroons Suck. #7 foreva.

  32. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ Jim

    hi Jim

    For the most part, the NHL refereeing has little logic and several of them have no “Feel” for the game.

    Some refs call the Rule Book all game – others 1 period Yes, one period No – while very few others understand game ‘situations’ like some of the older guys did pre 2004.

    Then come Playoff time, the regular season Rule Book is thrown in the garbage can, and it’s 1990s hockey all over again.

    They should go back to the 1 Referee system for a better flow and allow Linesmen to call Major/Match penalties, delay of game…

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Hiya Ronn. Yeah, the playoff officiating and a lot different then the regular season officiating. Good point.

      I like your suggestion on utilizing lineman to assist in Major penalties.

      CHeers.

    • BJ says:

      I never liked the two ref system, I’d prefer some missed calls on penalties with one chief in charge.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        What gets me is when a referee has an infraction right in front of him in a zone, and then the guy hovering between the blue line/red line makes the call

        • BJ says:

          Thats part of the two referee problem, each ref has a slightly different vision of the game and two refs with different visions of the game create an imbalance. Back to one would be OK by me.

        • stevieray says:

          I agree . Having been a Basketball Official for many years we use the 2 man system . The set up is similar to a L shape on the court. Each ref is responsible for opposite side lines and the a portion of each end. Within the L there is also a layout we watch . A rule of thumb for us is you ” never” and I mean ” never ” show up the other ref by making a call in their area ….It’s very unprofessional …and a good way to get your partner really ” peeved ” at you.

    • PG_doesnt_stand_for_Pierre_Gauthier says:

      Can somebody explain to me the tripping call on Emelin, he’s trying to retrieve his stick that the Bolts player slashed out of his hands…

      Markov to Subban, he scores!

  33. Prop says:

    Murray will get a phone hearing, Francois Gagnon thinks it’ll be 3 games.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  34. DipsyDoodler says:

    Call me crazy but I fell sorry for Chris Lee.

    I think he will probably lose his job. He just seems to panic and whenever he is unsure about something his arm goes up, almost automatically, like Peter Sellers in Dr Strangelove.

    The call when Gallagher fell was just incredible.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  35. Cal says:

    Habs are in, everyone. Time to show off those playoff avatars. Despite what retromonkey says.

    • RetroMikey says:

      When I view your comments Cal,
      I hope you are right.
      Maybe the team will surprise us and perhaps they threw the game.
      I hope you are right, hope the team will go all out in the playoffs than during the regular season.

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

  36. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    You know, observant Habs fans see their team for what it – it has brilliant elements, and glaring weaknesses. So as the team goes into the playoffs, we can try to be level headed about it.
    The Toronto sportsmouths on TV seem to be discovering the Habs as a default Canadian team. They’ll never pimp a Montreal team the way they do the Leafs, but odds are they will try to get hopes high, and some will hop on a bandwagon of their own making.
    It’s good corporate policy, and these TV guys are more publicists than sports journalists.
    If the Habs lose because of the weaknesses every smart Habs fan recognizes, it will be sold as an epic character collapse, just like the Leafs. If they win because of the growing strengths we recognize, they will have told us so.
    Save yourself from swearing in front of the children. Watch it in French, gang. Stay away from the lights!

  37. Habfan10912 says:

    I’m with Just Me in regards to Chris F. Lee. I watch a ton of games during the year and for the most part the officials go mostly noticed. Oh sure there is a bad call every now and then, maybe even too often for most, but the officials very seldom interfere with the flow or characteristics of the game.

    There is one huge exception to that though and its Chris F. Lee. It seems nearly every game he works his calls play a pivitol roll in not only the games outcome but as Just Me says, the “flow of the game”.

    It was reported last night that league officials were at the game to score the officiating crew. One can only hope that this crew was given a failing score and there will be no Chris F Lee come playoff time.

    And this is not about sour grapes. Last night the Habs were on the receiving end of more of the calls then the Bolts. He just interferes with the game. Besides his family, I’m guessing no one at the Tampa Bay Forum shelled out their hard earned bucks to SEE him officiate. Just a guess.

    CHeers all and have a good day.

  38. Ian Cobb says:

    With nothing to play for, this team will not play! or will they.???r

  39. Ian Cobb says:

    1st round is the best of 5–or–7.???

  40. Sportfan says:

    Poor Murray he is not a head hunter, I don’t think it was intentional at all. I say three games and then he’ll be back.
    Weaver is really starting grow on me good pickup for sure!

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Nick, the nastiness factor forces me to think its a 5 gamer. Intentional or not, stupid hit.

      • Ron says:

        No worse than hits by repeat offenders that have got less than 5 Jim. A lengthy suspension as you called for in a lower post is bs IMO. I can see 3, but lengthy Jim ? If it were a Hab that got hit it would not be looked at as vicious. Look at Gryba on Eller, he only got 2 games.

  41. Old Bald Bird says:

    I thought that insipid performance was very predictable after all of that time in the land of sun plus knowing they had clinched. It doesn’t predict anything about the playoffs IMO, and the loss might actually be a valuable learning experience and motivator. We shall see. I would not be surprised to see the lethargy continuing into the weekend, especially with more Florida time in play. This disappoints me as I will be attending one of the games.

    As for Murray, the results are bad, but unlike many others, it was not a deliberate headshot. I don’t think he could execute one with intention. :) A suspension is deserved, however: perhaps 5 games.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I agree, it does not predict anything, although I do find it troubling. Since when did it become acceptable to the players to play a stinker against a team they will face in the playoffs? There was a time when the Habs players used every game to send a message. The played hard against the weaker teams because they did not want to be embarrassed, and played hard against the good teams to prove they were better.

      This was a game to send a message, ” we will not be the team that went out against the Sens last season” They failed big time and that it as so many players, that is unacceptable.

      Habfan17

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        I couldn’t get up for this game, and the boys couldn’t either — or at least couldn’t sustain it. I don’t think this one was a message from either team. The Bolts will always play the same way, we sagged last night. I am surprised that we have played so well lately, even keeping up the tempo against weaker teams, which is something the Habs don’t always do. Last night was understandable, even though we don’t have to like it.

  42. Habs1962 says:

    We were due for one of those. Price Looks playoff ready !!
    I thought Borque played ok and he nearly scored on that in alone even though it looked like the d man got hist hands with his stick. Looked like a penalty.
    Got it out of the system and will be flying and winning in Ottawa !!

  43. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    What concerns me about a MTL-TB match-up in the playoffs is that sequoia named Bishop. Man o man, if he has a weakness, I’ll be darned if I can spot it. We’ve scored what? 3, 4 goals against him all year? I heard Boston solved him last time they played by forcing him to go east-west a lot. I didn’t see us try that too much last night. To compound matters, Stamkos was pretty much neutralized last night? Is that sustainable over a 4-7 games? I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. On the bright side, we’ve got the great equalizer, Rene Bourque. Ha ha ha…a belated April Fool’s to everyone out there in Habsland.

    ~~ You’ve been spun ~~

  44. 24AW says:

    They made the playoffs, if that’s good enough for you, than you should be happy myself I’m waiting for a Stanley Cup contender and it’s been a long wait with nothing good in sight. 1st round exits don’t cut it.

  45. Cape Breton says:

    Les Boys looked very disinterested last nite. Too much Florida sun perhaps. They’ve been in the Sunshine State since last Friday for heaven’s sake.

    As well, hopefully MT and his troops aren’t celebrating their playoff clinching too vigorously. Remember last year when once the Canadiens secured a postseason berth with 10 or so games remaining, the team’s play went deep south.

  46. 24AW says:

    MT juggles the lines hoping for a win to show the fans what a genius he is … last night no matter what he would have done, it was a loss right from the start … they didn’t come to play better than the other team for 60-minutes and anytime you do that, luck is the only thing you’re hoping for and they didn’t have that either … one man show last night “PRICE”.

  47. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Hey reTrollMikey… The Leafs high draft pick is actually 13th overall as things stand, with the Habs picking 21st. Edmonton will get their habitual 1st overall, as they always win the lottery, and they suck, of course. Let’s see how the Habs do in the post-season before we post-mortem this season. Optimistically…

    • RetroMikey says:

      I will try to remain optimistic Chester.
      By the way, love to visit Brooklyn now and then!

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

  48. Cal says:

    So, one below average game since the BIG COMEBACK and everyone’s back to shitting on the team?
    Despite the relatively poor team performance messages were sent. Price, especially, delivered his.
    Murray delivered his, after that hit from behind on Markov. Like Twisted Sister, the Habs aren’t going to take it anymore. Loved it.

    The remainder of the schedule is for securing home ice. Barring that, they must remain healthy and ready.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I think Murray was a bit clumsy on the hit, but he didn’t target the head.

      As far as the usual suspects shitting on the team – they’ve ben waiting for 5 games to have a go. Let them enjoy it.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • Cal says:

        Too true, on both points.

      • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

        I think “clumsy” is the word for it. The man has as much grace as a rhinoceros. But he did catch him in the head, and he will pay.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Interesting take Dipsy. Clumsy, accidental, or whatever, it was a stupid hit that requires a lengthy suspension.

        As a hockey fan, I shudder every time I see someone laying on the ice. One of these days someone won’t get up.

        As for the childish behavior of some fans and their ridiculous expectations (along with the trolls), one can hope that someday it forces HIO leaders to install an ignore feature.

    • JUST ME says:

      Nothing surprising. The usual negative posters that dissapear anyway after they get exposed. So many used to write here severe comments about the coach or certain players that had to be traded absolutely but have not been coming here in weeks now. Cowardly some reappear as if we did not see through their game.

      Tampa wanted it more than we did yesterday. Nothing that cannot be fixed and taken charge of by each and every player on the team.

    • Cape Breton says:

      Below average? Aside from Price and a couple more, they stunk the effin joint out!

    • RetroMikey says:

      Gosh, you are so optimistic this team is going to wonders in the playoffs?
      What kind of coffee have you been drinking these past years?
      REALITY pops.

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

  49. RetroMikey says:

    This team is so enigmatic.
    Therrien and Bergevin reward the team by staying in sunny Florida instead of shipping them back to Montreal.
    Eller is a bust. The experiment failed when keeping him on the club instead of Hamilton to develop for 2 seasons to see if he is really NHL calibre which he is not
    The team is inconsistent, weak on D and so fragile up front.
    Another 1st round loss is coming
    The team should have tanked.
    At least the Leafs will get a high draft pick.
    What do we get?
    2 playoff home dates to earn Molson a little money and make the fans happy and say “wait until next year”
    1993 and still counting.
    BIG IS BETTER!!!!

    • Habs1962 says:

      atleast you get to say these things every few games.
      no one is planning a Stanley Cup, but the record shows they are a better than average NHL team and a plan is in place for the medium to long term. Great time to be a Habs fan !

      • RetroMikey says:

        ” they are a better than average NHL team and a plan is in place for the medium to long term”

        I’ve heard this phrase many times before with teams we had in the past 21 years.

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

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Still pretending to be a Habs fan after all these years? So sad.

      • RetroMikey says:

        Still pretending this team will be like the teams of 1986 and 1993 and hoping Price wins us a Cup?
        Wake up!

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

  50. DipsyDoodler says:

    I’ve never seen what others see in Murray. He is incapable of doing anything with the puck other than giving it back to the opposition. He isn’t even that good defending.

    But that hit…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8kLHfu-GSY

    well I’m sorry but I keep seeing it as a hit to the upper torso, not the head. You’ll notice that Kostka’s head doesn’t snap back after the hit.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  51. petefleet says:

    Going into the playoffs, here’s what I’d like to see as the line up:
    Max-DD-Vanek
    Bournival-Pleks-Gionta
    Gally-Briere-Chucky
    Prust-White-Bourque

    Obviously the 4th line is up in the air but the other three would work. Looks like Tinordi checks back in and it will be another chance for him to play himself into the playoff roster.

    “Being on the PP doesn’t make you an offensive threat anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.”
    Henry Ford

    “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
    Abraham Lincoln

    ***Go Habs Go***

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Tinordi probably gets the next 2 games before Gorges is back.
      Barring injuries, Therrien will most likely go with his vets in the playoffs.
      Murray will get 3-4 games, so that will push Tinordi to # 8 when the playoffs start.

      • petefleet says:

        Agreed. I would like to see the same transition with Tinordi as we saw with PK. Bring him in for the playoffs and he never looks back. Be nice to have that big body on the blue line and get rid of at least 2 guys who have no business being there. Be nice to see Beaulieu come back and stay as well.

        “Being on the PP doesn’t make you an offensive threat anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.”
        Henry Ford

        “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
        Abraham Lincoln

        ***Go Habs Go***

    • RetroMikey says:

      The 4th line is Weise-White-Moen
      Speed, grit and character.

      Now if we can get the other lines to follow suit.

      BIG IS BETTER!

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

  52. Peter Young says:

    On the live game blog last night, someone commented that a TSN staffer, Jess I think, said during the match telecast that Max Pacioretty had become the fourth Montreal Canadiens player to score 35 goals in a season–an astounding error something like that anyway (since I didn’t hear it myself). It prompted me to have a look at how many Canadiens have scored 35 goals or more in a season.

    The answer, according to the Hockey Reference website’s database search program, is that Max is the latest of 26 Canadiens to have scored 35 goals in a season. Those 26 players have achieved that feat a combined total of 65 times. Maurice Richard and Steve Shutt lead the way with seven times each while Guy Lafleur did it six times, Yvan Cournoyer five times and Peter Mahovlich four times.

    Perhaps what the TSN reporter meant to refer to was the scarcity of Canadiens who have reached the seasonal 35-goals mark over the last couple of decades.

    Here’s the complete list of Canadiens players scoring 35 goals or more in a season. Hope my typing and my additions were accurate.

    Guy Lafleur, 6 times (60, 56, 56, 53, 52, 50)
    Steve Shutt, 7 times (60, 49, 47, 45, 37, 35, 35)
    Stephane Richer, 2 times (51, 50)
    Bernie Geoffrion, 2 times (50, 38)
    Pierre Larouche, 1 time (50)
    Maurice Richard, 7 times (50, 45, 43, 42, 38, 38, 37)
    Jean Beliveau, 3 times (47, 45, 37)
    Yvan Cournoyer, 5 times (47, 43, 40, 40, 37)
    Jacques Lemaire, 3 times (44, 36, 36)
    Joe Malone, 1 time (44)
    Frank Mahovlich, 2 times (43, 38)
    Mats Naslund, 1 time (42)
    Dickie Moore, 3 times (41, 36, 35)
    Brian Bellows, 1 time (40)
    Vince Damphousse, 3 times (40, 39, 36)
    Howie Morenz, 1 time (40)
    Mark Napier, 3 times (40, 40, 35)
    Pierre Turgeon, 1 time (38)
    Newsy Lalonde, 1 time (37)
    Kirk Muller, 2 times (37, 36)
    Keith Acton, 1 time (36)
    Peter Mahovlich, 4 times (36, 35, 35, 35)
    Erik Cole, 1 time (35)
    Alex Kovalev, 1 time (35)
    Pierre Mondou, 1 time (35)
    Max Pacioretty, 1 time (35 with possibly more goals still to come before this season’s end)

  53. Maritime Ronn says:

    Mr. Boone writes:
    P.K. averages 24:52 per game this season. In Tampa Bay, he had less even-strength ice time than any other defenceman dressed for the game.

    If there’s a logical reason for this, I’m afraid it eludes me.
    ————————-
    The reasons – logical or not, are all about Trust and Math

    The Trust part.
    Coach Therrien has not used Subban as any part of the Top 4 penalty killing unit this year.
    Perhaps one day, some courageous media person could ask the question “Why?”

    Then the Math part.
    This year, the Habs have averaged slighly over 8 minutes per game killing off minor penalties.
    Last night, that number skyrocketed to 17-18 minutes.
    10 more minutes of penalty kill time = 10 less minutes of Even Strength time.
    So there you have it.

    The Tampa Game Winning short-handed goal given up on the Habs PP in the 3rd period was the 8th this year. Only 5 other teams have given up more.

  54. JUST ME says:

    From the wise words of Don Henley «How bad do you want it ».

    That`s what i saw yesterday and it turned out as turnovers and penalties. The Lightning out grinded and out digged the Habs to win the battles and get the wind beneath their wings all night long.

    Chris Lee is a ______ (fill in the blank with another word than referee) …I just do not understand why everytime he works games are weird and crooked. Not that the Habs get necessarely an unfair treatment it`s just that the game flow is not the same. Just saying…

    Great game by Carey but his mates will need to rise their intensity level once the playoffs start.
    Now no need to panic, negative posters can go back to their den …
    Yayyy ! We are in !

  55. rhino514 says:

    Concerned about secondary scoring heading into the playoffs.
    I think many of us have banked on Gionta and Briere playing playing ten years younger in the playoffs. At least one of them will have to contribute offensively; even moreso as Eller cannot be counted on for the upcoming playoffs, mission has been accomplished, but we have a casualty Houston, one man lost in space.
    Teams will hone in on the Pacioretty and Vanek line.
    Prust´s health will also be a key to the series, even moreso with the questionable status of guys like Moen and Weise.

  56. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …well, They’ve been soaking up the sun almost a week come Thursday …which should soothe a lot of the knicks and knacks …soothe the soul

    …but as well risks becoming a little too relaxed, which often times takes some time to psychologically get back on the horse

    …glad I missed tonight’s game …I thought it would be what it seems it was

    …i did, though, see a couple clips of Carey’s wow saves …so, that makes Me feel better

  57. CH Marshall says:

    really either Mt is a genius or just stupid

  58. CH Marshall says:

    Are you fn kidding me that Subban had the least regular ice time? FFS CALISSE MT

  59. CH Marshall says:

    Who the f*** is Jon Co-oper and where did he Com from? I want to learn his leadership lesson calissse

  60. Dunboyne Mike says:

    1) You learn more from a loss.
    2) We made it easy for TB last night, so the Bolts looked unstoppable. We’ll be ready come Round 1 and TB will find us harder to play against.
    3) Still have to get safely through the end of the sched.
    4) Price!

  61. j2w4habs25 says:

    I dont understand why we lost tonight, our goaltender was amazing. He billed them out from losing 6-1. I wish they would actually step it up when he plays like this.

    Carey Price #31

  62. Un Canadien errant says:

    Not much to say about this game, we had it circled on the calendar for a while now, and went in kind of flat and lost 3-1, but only because Carey Price kept it respectable. It could have been much worse than a 2-1 defeat with an empty-net goal tacked on.

    We punched our ticket to the playoffs even with this loss, but it’s a drag to let Tampa Bay pull even with us with a game in hand. Obviously, it would have been much better to take that four point lead that was there for the taking.

    Thoughts:

    1) Carey is ready for the playoffs, the injury, whatever it was, that kept him out of action after the Olympics no longer a factor.

    2) I think we match up well with the Lightning generally, in that we can skate with them, and won’t get pushed around by them, an eventuality we obsess over when we play the Leafs, Sens and obviously the Bruins.

    3) To have a chance though, we’ll need to approach the ‘three scoring lines’ identity we sought at the beginning of the season. If the Desharnais line shoots blanks like it did tonight, the other lines will have to contribute. And that’s difficult when Lars Eller, Alex Galchenyuk, René Bourque, Tomas Plekanec, among others, are slumping or flat-lining.

    4) Our number 1 line seemed to play it too cute again, with pretty, unnecessary passes to each other that went nowhere. I was happy to see David deke his way through the defence and take a good shot on net at one point though. His game is to pass first, opponents know that and expect it, so if he pulls this move a little more often he’ll catch the opposition napping.

    5) The Douglas Murray elbow on Mike Kostka will draw a big suspension. I was surprised that the TSN panel was guessing three or four games, whereas RDS was thinking the rest of the season and possibly into the playoffs. The RDS guys were judging based on the reprehensibility of the act, whereas the TSN boys went with prior history, showing other mondo elbows that only netted the assailant three or four games.

    The NHL is bush league.

    6) Thinking back to Mike Kostka’s oeuvre last season, when he doled out crosschecks to the chin of various Canadiens forwards and slashed liberally, emboldened by the presence of various goons on his team, I couldn’t help but think of the incident as guy-who-shouldn’t-be-in-the-league on guy-who-shouldn’t-be-in-the-league violence. If the NHL was about hockey and skill, and not size and toughness and restraint of trade, so to speak, neither Douglas nor Mr. Kostka would have a job.

    7) All those observers who are so much more insightful than Michel Therrien and Jean-Jacques Daigneault will get their wish, and see much more of Jarred Tinordi. I hope he does well down the stretch and solidifies his standing in the roster. The kid has way more upside than Douglas Murray, obviously, we just don’t want to burn him out by throwing him out there before he’s ready.

    The Leafs, for one team, seem to every couple of years have this miraculous rookie defenceman who shows so much promise so early in his career, and who the coaching staff puts on the first pairing and squeezes a lot out of, until he collapses onto himself and white-dwarfs his career (and hello to you, Carlo Colaiacovo).

    8) What’s with Ryan White’s hair? Big change for my boy, he looks like he’s headed out to audition for a boy band with that coiffe.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Marc10 says:

      It was very flat as efforts go. I don’t know why the team couldn’t lift emotionally and why instead they just let the fast skating Lightning beat them to most pucks.

      Not much offence either when they had a chance to sneak their way back into it. As the radio guys mentioned, TB has a big D corp. They may not be all that good, but they’re not small… and their forwards skate.

      Callaghan was impressive. He’s not worth what he’s asking, but he made an impact, that’s for sure.

      It’s going to be a good test this series. We’re going to get a lot of answers on the true value of our captain, Gorges, Murray (assuming he draws back in for the playoffs), Marky, Pleky, Vanek, etc. Price is ready though. That much we know.

  63. TDotHabfan says:

    I was at the game tonight. It was no better up close than I’m sure it looked on TV. Boring. Lazy o-zone penalties. Poor match-ups. No control of the pace or flow.

    What is striking to me though is how utterly incapable MT seems to be at making in-game adjustments. Good coaches figure out that something isn’t working and they make changes between periods or on the fly. Not so with our leader. Sad to know that apart from a Dryden-esque performance from Price we simply won’t be going deep in the playoffs.

    Wishing I could get my money back tonight…

  64. Timo says:

    Question. Why is everyone saying that Habs making a playoffs is more than what was expected. Why was everyone expecting Habs to perform worse than last season? I thought improving and making progress was the objective so technically anything less than a second round this year is a failure. I guess we’ve been well programmed in the past 20 years to expect the worst out of this club.

  65. Feraco says:

    Not a fun game to watch except for Price’s play. What a goalie. TB had the jump all night. I’m ok with a one game letdown – habs did not play their best and were the away team.

    Come beat us in Montreal Tampa Bay.

    And it was nice to see an opposing team player hurt instead of a hab for once. Not condoning it I’ve just seen enough of our players koed – like the hit from behind on Markov

  66. Garbo says:

    Who would’ve thought it was Malkin anchoring the Pens all this time. WIth Crosby out… no problem, Malkin carried the team. But with Malkin out… they are falling fast

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      That’s not quite accurate. The Penguins have been struggling since they lost Paul Martin and Kris Letang. I know, because I have a few Pens in my pools, and the points don’t accumulate as fast as they once did. And I have Marc-André Fleury in one pool, and he used to rack up the wins, but since the two defencemen have been lost the wins have dried up.

      Evgeni Malkin is another big honking piece lost (I had to cut him off one fantasy team), but he comes after the injuries to Kris Letang, Paul Martin, Pascal Dupuis, Tomas Vokoun, … At some point you start to miss these guys. It’s not fair to pin the recent losses on Sidney Crosby, or to demean him in comparison to Evgeni.

  67. Habcouver says:

    Those saves by Pricey were highlight quality.

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

  68. lizard ranger says:

    “mission accomplished!” !!!
    nice one Mr Boone

  69. Timo says:

    All of a sudden I don’t feel so about Habs playing Tampa in the playoffs. They wanted a statement game they go it. The statement Habs delivered to lightning is that if you skate, play relatively disciplined hockey and work for 60 minute, you will beat Mtl Canadiens pretty easily.

    I don’t even care about Murray’s elbow. I think it’s a blessing in disguise. Murray will sit for probably 5 games, get a good rest for the playoffs and Franky Boo will be able to play 60 minutes per game the rest of the season. Kostka was a punk when he was playing for the leafs anyway.

    Anyway, there isn’t anything good to say about tonight other than the team is not built for the playoffs. I’m selling my stanley cup parade tickets.

  70. deggy24 says:

    Habs Galchenyuk needs to play rw. He is more a modern player than the big M. In the early 80s the European influence showed us it was okay. Better shot angles and better wide moves.

  71. Habcouver says:

    The MT line juggling is frustrating for us to watch. Why is this musical chairs with players still happening and will this likely continue to do so during the playoffs?

    I believe that Scotty Bowman could do line juggling effectively but MT is no Scotty.

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

    • Timo says:

      Are you sure? Reading this board last 2 weeks I thought Scotty is not good enough to tie Therrien’s shoes.

    • Habilis says:

      The D pairs are even more concerning to me than the forward lines at this point. They’re being juggled just as much. We still don’t have a real top pair with 5 games left. I know Gorges is hurt, but still.

      My fervent hope is that Tinordi seizes this upcoming opportunity and claims a spot next to Subban. If MT gives him the chance, that is.

  72. FormalWare says:

    Dos!


    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  73. Mike D says:

    Uno!

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny


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