About last night …

MaxWings

If Monday’s provincial election is as wack-doodle bizarro as your Montreal Canadiens’ most recent two wins, Quebec is going to end up governed by a coalition of Marxist-Leninists, the Flat Earth Society … and the Max Pacioretty Fan Club.
Down 3-0 after six minutes Friday night in Ottawa?
No problem.
The Canadiens score seven unanswered goals – including three by Magic Max.
A 3-0 lead over Detroit evaporates in less than eight third-period minutes Saturday night at the Bell Centre?
No problem.
The G&G guys – Brian Gionta and Alex Galchenyuk – slow the Red Wings’ flight to the postseason.
What the heck is going on here?
Aren’t the Canadiens a defensive team that can’t score goals?

I bet Michel Therrien wishes they were … at least the defence-first part. Firewagon hockey is hard on coaches’ nerves.

But man, it’s fun to watch. The lucky fans who snag Canadiens’ playoff tickets through online sales Sunday morning are probably hoping for more red trucks and sirens when the postseason begins.

A few 7-4 and 5-3 playoff games – with the Canadiens on the long end, of course – might justify playoff ticket prices, which range from $427 for Platinum seats to a mere $94 for nosebleed Greys.

Not cheap.

You want bargains? Check out what the Canadiens are paying two-thirds of their top line:

Pacioretty – who missed nine early-season games to injury and had two goals through the first quarter of the schedule – is on a contract that pays $4.5 million per season through 2018-’19.

David Desharnais, who plays Sancho Panza to Max’s Don Quixote, has three more seasons on a deal that pays him $3.5 million per.

That’s $8 million for two players who have 55 goals and 111 points between them.

Want to put the Max and DD deals in perspective? Eric Staal, who has 19 fewer goals than Pacioretty and four assists more than DD – is making $9.3 million this season. Brad Richards – 18 goals, 31 asssists – is making $9 million.

And Marian Gaborik is getting $7.5 million for his six goals and eight assists in 22 games.

The point of all these numbers?

You might carp about a contract that will pay Daniel Brière $4 million next season. But your Canadiens are a well-managed hockey team – which is what they have to be in a salary cap league.

Scott Gomez and Tomas kaberle are off the books. Now all Marc Bergevin has to do is sign P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov and make a decision on Brian Gionta, who raised his goal total to 17 with two against Detroit.

Oh, the Canadiens general manager might also want to concoct an offer that would keep Thomas Vanek in Montreal.

My great and good friend Patrick V. Hickey says it ain’t gonna happen.

The Gazette’s hockey scribe, who has a couple of master’s degrees, doesn’t use words like “ain’t” and “gonna”. Using more refined language, Hickey tells me Vanek, who will be a UFA on July 1, is bound for Minnesota, where he played college hockey and met his wife, a native Minnesotan.

But while Vanek may be outta here at season’s end, Desharnais and Pacioretty will be around for the long haul.

So will Alexei Emelin (signed through 2017-’18), who was a monster against Detroit, with EIGHT thunderous hits. After struggling through the first two-thirds of the schedule as he tried to come back from major knee surgery, Emelin has emerged as the Russian tank he was before the Milan Lucic hit that shelved him last season.

Emelin and countryman Markov, who’s also playing on a bionic knee, were the stalwarts of a defence that had its hands full against the speedy, slick-passing Wings. P.K. Subban played less than 19 minutes, and his D partner, Jarred Tinordi, had some anxious moments.

But speaking of bargains, which I did a few paragraphs ago, how about Mike Weaver?

Bergevin’s late-season acquisition is making $1.1 million – chump change in the NHL these days. Weaver has a goal and six assists in 14 games with the Canadiens. He was plus-4 against Detroit and is plus-11 since joining the CH – second only to Markov’s plus-12 among the team’s defencemen. Weaver, a righthanded shot, should continue to play after Josh Gorges returns.

Carey Price – signed through 2017-’18 at a very reasonable $6.5 million per – stopped the first 29 Detroit shots he faced and could not be faulted for the team collapse that saw the Wings storm back to tie it at 3-3. Price almost certainly will be rested for one of the mid-week back-to-back games – in Chicago on Wednesday, Islanders at the Bell Centre Thursday before the Canadiens end their regular season with a home game against the Rangers on Saturday.

By then, playoff seeding should be determined. The Canadiens have a four-point lead on Tampa Bay, which has a game in hand, and the CH hold the ROW tie-breaker, so they’re looking good.

I thought Lars Eller played a strong game centring Gionta and Rene Bourque. That’s a positive sign for the playoffs.

So was Alex Galchenyuk’s goal – his first since March 6 in Phoenix. Galchenyuk also made some decent passes on the power play, which took another 0-for and hasn’t produced  in five games. That will have to be fixed for the postseason.

• A cool stat: Max Pacioretty has 11 game-winning goals. The team record is 12 – twice by Guy Lafleur, once by Yvan Cournoyer. Lafleur and Stèphane Richer also had seasons of 11 GWG.

GM Marc Bergevin on L’Antichambre

 

 

 

481 Comments

  1. AceTen says:

    Great post Boone, that’s more like it!

  2. emann_222 says:

    Well that was a bit of a barn burner last night but in reality, totally expected. Wings have been hot as of late and that second period from the Habs – when they forgot how to move a little, and carried into the third, was mildly disturbing.

    I think that one of the biggest concerns right now is the powerplay. They need to ignite that for playoff time. 0-for won’t cut it in the post season.

    I still think Subban was way low on ice time last night too … just over 18mins.

    For a full recap of last night – check out http://t.co/N9Y3yrUPCE
    at BBBR.

    Visit me at http://www.bleedbleublancrouge.com

  3. CJ says:

    Passed by the CTC this afternoon on the way back from the cottage. No truth to the rumour that Melnyk was on the side of the road picking bottles in an attempt to add a few dollars to the revenue stream. I zipped by quick so I couldn’t say for sure though….

    Speaking of only in Ottawa; despite a single (one, uno) playoff series victory in seven, soon to be eight years as team GM, Murray gets extended for four more years. Nobody cares though so long as the Leafs don’t make it. Seriously, can you even imagine?

    Sure, Bergevin has his hands full this summer, but sometimes the best deals you make are the deals you don’t. Clarkson, Phaneuf and Gleason greatly handcuff the Leafs. Now, reports indicate Bolland wants seven years at $5.5 million annually. I only hope Nonnis continues his reign of terror and gives him the cash.

    So, bringing this full circle, how does this impact the Canadiens. Well, IMO, Weaver is playing like a 36 year old looking for a contract. Based on his play, he is going to get one, if not from us (can I say that?), than someone else. Conversely, PK is playing like a guy who is already signed long term and has no sense of urgency. If PK is worth the $8-$9 million folks say he’s worth than surely he’s worth a fortune on the open market via trade. I mean we must be talking Evander Kane and Jacob Trouba right? Or Hall and Shultz? Maybe Wayne Simmonds and Couturier? Sound far fetched, so is $8-$9 million for 8 years.

    Look, I love watching PK. He has some great moves and tons of skill, but he is raw. No, not Eddie Murphy RAW, or Monday Night WWE RAW, but the unrefined of inconsistent kinda raw. I want to have him going forward, but the term and dollars need to work. For those who have commented that my suggestion of $6 to $6.5 million is unrealistic, perhaps you are right. I’m not expert and only play one Monday to Friday at the firm. Again, if he’s worth $8-$9 million, than perhaps we ought to flip him for one of my scenarios above. The team’s best interest is always first and foremost.

    In closing, perhaps we should channel a little more Eugene Melynk when deliberating with PK and less Dave Nonnis.

    Food for thought…… Enjoy your afternoon everyone! Cheers, CJ

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      On one hand I am glad Toronto overpaid (I think) for Phaneuf. On the other it gives PK a comparable that’s hard to argue. There is no way PK will get less than Phaneuf.

      It would also be interesting to see what PK could bring on the trade market. I would prefer he sign a long term reasonable (7 million?) deal but if it’s a choice between 9 million/year or a trade for a couple really good young players then it’s something you have to consider.

      • CJ says:

        Why should we be forced into a comparable because Toronto mismanaged the Phaneuf file? That was a ridiculous deal. Many people, myself included, recognized the error as soon as the details were released. Because Phaneuf was grossly overpaid shouldn’t mean that we are forced to follow suit. In fact, how fitting would it be if PK got locked up for less than Phaneuf?

        Just throwing ideas around. Cheers, CJ

        • HabFan in Edmonton says:

          It would look awesome if we locked up PK for less than Phaneuf. I would be absolutely thrilled but it ain’t going to happen. Kris Letang will be getting 7 1/4 next year. Phaneuf is overpaid but he is not the only comparable. I think PK will get between 7 and 8. He could be a free agent in a year so he has some leverage.

        • emann_222 says:

          I agree CJ. The only time that a franchise is locked down by another franchises contract is if the players are of similar ability and have the same longevity etc etc.

          It was pretty clear right after the Leafs signed Phaneuf that it was a grand mistake. I think that if Bergevin can rope Therrien in a bit and they stop acting like babysitters with Subban, he will sign here for nothing more than $7M. I truly believe he want to be here in Montreal.

          just my 2c

          Visit me at http://www.bleedbleublancrouge.com

    • laGrandeTerreur says:

      I for one agree. PK is NOT Shea Weber. If he can’t be had for 7 or less, let’s see what we can get for him.

      Yes, I said “we”.

      • CJ says:

        No he’s not. Folks need to keep in mind that there is currently no defenceman in the league, NONE, with a cap hit equal to or greater than $8 million dollars.

        Let’s let someone else reset the ceiling and break the bank.

      • HabFan in Edmonton says:

        No question the Habs have to manage the cap properly and if the right deal can be made then they need to look at that option. I would suspect Bergevin has made some inquiries already.

  4. laGrandeTerreur says:

    This is not an attempt to slag Eller. I am disappointed in his play, but was probably over-optimistic to begin with. That said, is it not just reality that a decision has to be made regarding his future on the team? Our situation at center may not be as sizable as we would like, but it is a pretty good good one.

    In short, Desharnais may never be going anywhere as long as Pacioretty is on this roster. I heard last night on HNIC that they live next door to each other in Montréal! (If they’re in love with each other, I am very happy for them, I just hope it doesn’t cause future friction on the team when Max’s wife finds out.)
    Next is Galchenyuk, IF they intend on moving him to the middle, he will be there for several years to come. Granted, there is some debate as to whether center is really his *natural* position.
    Next we have Brière. He plays best at center, though this notion will be confirmed or deemed expired starting next Thursday. In any case, I think it’s kinda far-fetched to expect Bergevin to buy out his first major free agent signing after one year… a year in which he has not been as bad as many would say.
    Lastly, and for good reason, Tomas Plekanec. HE WILL NOT, SHOULD NOT, CAN NOT BE TRADED. Stop suggesting it, friends! I will never allow it. Seriously, though, this man is top value on the dollar, a veritable jack-of-all-trades, reliable, healthy, dedicated to the franchise, and a leader by example. You can not collect what you will lose in any imaginary Plekanec trade.

    So there’s two (Plekanec and Desharnais) of the center positions already committed to for probably at least three years. Then, if Galchenyuk is re-assigned, that spot is gone for the foreseeable future. The Brière situation, frankly is irrelevant. In any case, I don’t see how Eller has a future with this team unless either he or Galchenyuk are committed to winger status, and the conventional wisdom says Eller is not well-suited for that position, and his puck distribution is not exactly at the level it needs to be for a top-2 center (assuming Plekanec becomes third).

    So what do might they do? Any benefit in trading him? What can be returned? Is there any interesting packages that could be assembled? What teams might want him?

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      It’s a problem. Eller still has a lot going for him. However, if he can’t transition effectively to wing, maybe he should be traded for a winger. Because I think he will bring more to the team in future than we have seen this year, I would be sad to see him go , but it begins to appear that MB will only make viable trades. So …

      • laGrandeTerreur says:

        I think this would entail a trade. I wonder if a team on the verge of a rebuild like Vancouver might be interested.

        My fantasy move would be Eller packaged with Gorges and some other treats for Kevin Bieksa. Gives us additional size to go with Tinordi, and more offense than Gorges provides, for only a bit more cash. Eller can learn from guys like Sedin and Kesler (if he isn’t traded), Gorges goes closer to home.

        In my imagination, it’s just roses and chocolates for everyone.

        • HabFan in Edmonton says:

          I have always liked Kevin Bieksa, character guy, good puck skills, plays with a lot of grit. It would take a lot to pry him out of Vancouver.

        • likehoy says:

          dunno about that Bieksa guy.. he ain’t getting any younger. maybe try our hand in adding Burrows and Bieksa.. but Burrows might just been Bourque 2.0

          anyways, I was saying we should have traded Eller at the trade deadline, but maybe at the draft this year we could put him in a blockbuster.

          • HabFan in Edmonton says:

            I think you trade a guy when his market value is high, not the case for Eller right now. Maybe he will have a big playoff.

          • likehoy says:

            Eller’s value might not be going up any time soon.. with the aforementioned 4 other good centreman next season, when will Eller get a chance to improve his value?

          • HabFan in Edmonton says:

            It might not be going up any time soon but you never know, injuries happen, maybe he will get a chance on the wing. I hope they don’t give up on him as he is still young and has great wheels and good size. Maybe I am just being stubborn but I remember when they gave up on John Leclair too early, terrible trade.

        • emann_222 says:

          You couldn’t package enough for me to move Gorges.

          Visit me at http://www.bleedbleublancrouge.com

      • The_Truth says:

        I think Eller can be a good fit on the wing (3rd line) to replace Bourque. I agree with laGrandeTerreur that it doesn’t look like center will be a good option for him with DD, Pleks, Briere and Chucky ahead of him next season and a guy like De La Rose coming.

        With less responsibility and teaching him a little, why can’t wing work for him? He can skate and has size. The most important traits for a winger. If he can learn to go to the net and position himself for shooting opportunities ala Max, he could be good for 15-20 goals a year and some tough checking assignments.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I’m not sure Eller would be happy but he would be a perfect guy to centre the 4th line. Good size, decent face-off man and a good penalty killer who could team up with Moen or Prust on the PK. A bottom five of Moen/Prust/Eller/Weise/White wouldn’t be that bad. Lots of flexibility in terms of positions played. It would also free up Bournival to challenge for a top nine spot. Briere would have to accept a wing assignment. The only real drawback would be the amount of cap space being eaten up by secondary players.

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      I was also over optimistic about Eller, big, strong and an excellent skater, got off to a great start and things went downhill quickly. I have no idea what happened to him but I am not ready to give up on him.

      I was one of those that didn’t like the Desharnais signing. As a Hab fan I am certainly pleased with his recent output but I feel like that have done absolutely everything that they can do to help him. Having wingers like Pacioretty and Vanek can make any center look good but having said that Desharnais is a good playmaker and a good fit for those guys.

      Agree that Plekanec is a terrific 2 way player, he is not going anywhere. I think Galchenyuk is a phenomenal talent but it looks like he as lost some confidence as has Eller. I can’t criticize the job Therrien has done but I am not sure some of their younger players are developing the way they should. Maybe I am off base here.

      • laGrandeTerreur says:

        I don’t think Galchenyuk looks so bad, he just gets bodied off the puck much too easily. Some bulk on his frame would go far.

        Eller on the other hand just seems incapable of passing the puck where it needs to go without contemplating it for way too long. It happens way too often. I don’t know if it’s coachable or not.

    • JUST ME says:

      Eller played a great game yesterday,made a brilliant pass on Gio`s first goal. I wanted to say it because he did have more questionnable games than good ones this season. I find that his decision making is weak, putting him in awkward positions forcing him to take penalties or to give away the puck on a promissing play. He did lose a spot and went downwards in the possible center position but i still see some potential for him but he is the only one who will improve his status. He had every chance to shine but was left behind by others that seized their chance.

      • laGrandeTerreur says:

        He has had two decent games in a row. In any case though, that doesn’t created a space at center for him. Plekanec and Desharnais are better. Galchenyuk may also be better at this point, and has more potential. Something’s gotta give.

    • punkster says:

      I have faith in this kid and always saw him as a future Plex replacement.

      I can clearly recall, as so many others will, the demands on HIO to trade Plex for a bag of pucks back when he was a 23-24-25 year old struggling to overcome that “little girl” moniker he placed on his own shoulders.

      He’ll be fine and we’ll be back here in a couple of years praising “The Trade” again.

      Release the Subbang!!!

      • laGrandeTerreur says:

        Well, calls to trade Plekanec certainly did not come from me. You say that he will be Pleks replacement, so what do they do with him for the next 2 or 3 years? 4th line?

        • punkster says:

          Yes. And with his increasing excellence in the circle for the Habs (best this year, second best last year, 3rd best the previous), his increased size (20 some pounds over last year) and the trust that Therrien continues to show in him, Larry is the perfect candidate for advancement when injuries or trades create openings in the line up.

          Release the Subbang!!!

    • twilighthours says:

      Nice to see you talking hockey and not politics, funky crab.

  5. slapshot777 says:

    Just looking at CapGeek, we have the following players open for new contracts for the upcoming 2014-15 NHL season.

    UFAs are: Markov, Parros, Boullion, Weaver, Vanek, Murray and Gionta

    RFAs are: Eller, PK, Weise and White.

    So MB decides to let the following walk: Parros, Murray and Boullion.

    We save a total of $3.9 million.

    We trade Bourque for draft picks only, we save another $ 3.3 million. That is a total savings against the cap of $ 7.2 million.

    Our starting Cap already spent for 2014-15 already totals $ 47.9 million.

    If the starting Cap is $ 71.1 millon as already showing on capgeek, then we have an operating budget of $23.2 million to spend.

    We have the following left to sign after some house cleaning is done.
    Vanek, PK, Markov, Weaver, Eller, White, Gionta and Weise.

    So MB would need to get creative with the contracts if he intends to keep all the players listed above.

    Markov $5 million 3 yrs
    Vanek $7 million 7 yrs
    PK $7 million 7 yrs
    Gionta $3 million 2 yrs
    White $1 million 2 yrs
    Eller $2 million 2 yrs
    Weise $1 million 2 yrs
    Weaver $1.5 million 1 yr

    total $ 27.5 million

    This puts us $4.3 million over the cap.

    I think we have to trade Briere for draft picks giving us $ 4 million back.

    Either way MB has to juggle the team budget. This will not leave us any wiggle room if we need it. This up coming season we have to make Tinordi and Beaulieu starters for the Habs. Their on the books anyway so mike as well benefit from them.

    They are showing on the books as $875,000 and $925,000 respectively.

    Anyone have any other suggestions.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

    • BJ says:

      An NSA super computer for a start with Snowden on the analysis could give us a clear picture of all the underground GM intrigue that goes on.

    • HammerHab says:

      I dont think it’s as dire as you suggest. This assumes we sign Vanek for 8mil and somehow shed Bourque. Markov just has to take a discount, no more than 5mil and same with Gio at no more than 3mil. I also have an extra forward and an extra d-man on there. I feel we need Murray back to slot in against certain teams and for injury purposes.

      Team total – 70.815
      Forwards – 38.12
      Vanek – 8
      Pacioretty – 4.5
      Desharnais – 3.5
      Plekanec – 5
      Gionta – 3
      Briere – 4
      Galchenyuk – .925
      Gallagher – .685
      Bournival – .660
      Prust – 2.5
      Moen – 1.85
      Eller – 1.5
      White – 1
      Weise – 1

      Defense – 24.795
      Markov – 5
      Subban – 7
      Emelin – 4.1
      Gorges – 3.9
      Tinordi – .870
      Beaulieu – .925
      Weaver – 1.5
      Murray – 1.5

      Goalies – 7.9
      Price- 6.5
      Budaj – 1.4

      ———————————–

      It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  6. BJ says:

    Chicago 4 St. Louis 2. Two very good, fast, big talented teams. One of which we could meet going forward. Wednesday could give us an idea where we would stand in the finals vs the Blackhawks, despite the fact that Toews and Kane are injured.

  7. Haberoooo13 says:

    HIO MASTERS POOL
    Anyone down for a little HIO bragging rights/no $$ pool?

    Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

  8. habsfor25 says:

    Having vanek signed not only is a smart move but finally gives this team a bonafide first line, something that has been lacking over the past years. He just makes Paccioretty and deharnais that much better. There’s many factors that would play a part in keeping him long term. Here’s to hoping the habs going on a deep playoff run and this city wins him over.

    Also the acquisition of weaver was fantastic. Just goes to show how smart of a gm we have. It’s not the big moves that define a gm but rather the small and smart ones

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      Agree 100% with all your comments, Vanek makes Pacioretty and Desharnais better. A legitimate #1 line. Nobody thought getting Weaver was a great move at the time myself included. That’s why Bergevin is the GM.

  9. Slackman says:

    Blues Blackhawks turning into a real nail-biter.

    “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro”

  10. Paz says:

    My shut down line is Plekanec, Gionta, Bournival

    My 3rd line is Briere at center, Gallagher on the right wing, and hopefully Prust on the left wing for defensive balance and grit support.

    My 4th line is Eller at center, and whoever is healthiest on the right and left, presumably Weisse and Moen.

    But definitely NOT Plekanec with the two G’s.

  11. JUST ME says:

    Left for a while and came back to find that the site has been invaded by weirdos ! Then i re-read Boone and saw the expression wack-doodle bizarro thus confirming that Boone is a guru attracting his followers with a key word, usually negative nellies as he is but today of a different kind.
    The kind that tells US what WE must say,do, wear, think, write,see, cheer…or not..
    And then there is the Frodoian type that needs medications or needs to give us some so we can understand what he writes about…

    Not an easy task but i suppose we all have our ways to cheer the Habs .

    • RockinRey says:

      Yes and but of course according to you we should agree with everything you write , or agree with how you cheer. Rich!

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

      • JUST ME says:

        If you are that naive then i understand why you would want us to do as you say master. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and ways like it or not ! Makes for colorful readings while giving a rather precise description of the type of respect shown towards others.
        The choice is then up to everyone of us to skip the comment and it`s content or to add to the discussion. Do not expect everyone to agree with you, just as much respect as you show them.

    • Paz says:

      How about we just let people decide what works for them?

      Live and let live.

      • RockinRey says:

        Well said Paz.

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • scarboro_habitant says:

      negative nellie? stupid flanders!

  12. mount royal says:

    I am getting increasingly worried about Subban and I don`t blame MT for any part of my worry. He is consistently slow with his first pass. There is someone in the open, he makes a move, and then hesitates, and then it is too late; that split-second window has gone. My assessment is that he really prefers to carry the puck. He avoids the pass, because he wants to move it forward himself. So, he will make his patented spin and then take off with that incomparable stride that is so beautiful to watch. However, it is not working any more. I watch how Markov quarterbacks the defence , always assessing what the best play might be. Whereas with PK, I see him positioning himself to shoot and then if that doesn`t work, simply making a pass to the safe side and then re-positioning himself to make a one-timer. I acknowledge that he has excellent passing skills and vision; I just think that he has his priorities a little confused right now.

    • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

      Subban may be a highly skilled instinctual player who the coaching staff has messed with and completely confused and stiffled (with the right intentions)

      • RockinRey says:

        There is something to be said for that. But there is opportunity for growth in D game. Sometimes we all wish he did not make one too many moves.

        I am still a fan of his though.

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • RockinRey says:

      I think in some ways he is predictable. I found last week either as a function of habit or a scheme drawn out on the pp he would lead the attack and then drop it to another player in the neutral zone . I counted 4 times.

      He is going to be ok. He just needs to simplify things on offense.

      The Habs PP would benefit overall from a little more creativity. They have to take what is given to them but a back side play or half wall shooter is something they should be looking for when the opposition cheats on Markov and PK.

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

      • Paz says:

        That was a set play, the drop pass. Many teams use it. Oh my.

        • RockinRey says:

          Have not seen them use that continuously over and over . I watch a lot of habs games and they were not doing that earlier in the year. They have had a hard time getting it in the zone recently and that play is risky and too cute.

          ——————————————————————————————————
          ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
          —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

      • athanor says:

        That particular play drives me crazy.

        The two wingers, usually, will be racing up their sides looking for a pass but when it comes, it goes backwards, so they have to slam on the breaks.

        Just getting rid of that one play might do the offence a world of good, especially on the power play.

        Keep the other side off balance by charging in and not giving them time to set up their box.

    • wildwilly says:

      Yes, there were some who once thought he was good enough to win the Norris or play for team Canada. Too bad he didn’t get the proper coaching.

      What a horrible waste of talent. Shame.

  13. zephyr says:

    i posted earlier that I’m cautiously optimistic about a playoff run this yr.. I watched canadiens express & then I caught a bit of the blues/hawks game. those are 2 big, physical teams that have speed. we would have trouble with those kinds of teams with so many small fwds in our lineup. true, we’d only have to play 1 of those teams if we make it to the final but we can prob expect similar approaches from everyone we face. I think I’d make briere a healthy scratch at the least.
    watching last nite’s game again made me realize that markov’s 5, yes 5, giveaways were really ugly. markov has been doing it for some time too – incl repeatedly getting caught out of position. if subban had done a fraction of that, he’d have had his arse nailed to the bench. I also get the sense that subban is playing overly cautious. he’s like a thoroughbred who’s not being allowed to run full out. I think that’s a mistake. mt has given him too short of a leash.
    furthermore, I think markov is playing too much.
    we’re having success now but u know the refs are gonna put the whistles away in the playoffs. it’s gonna be frontier justice again & I think we’re going to need all the big bodies we can get on the ice incl tinordi & murray. I’d sit gorges. I’d play white or weise instead of briere & I’d keep bourque with eller & gio. that leaves bournival or moen. I like bournival much better. guess we’ll have to see how he handles it.
    still cautiously optimistic. teams have to worry about our scoring now.

  14. FormalWare says:

    Marc Bergevin a quelques choses intéressants a dire – et quelques chausettes Plus intéressants à porter!


    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

    • Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On says:

      I don’t think that a GM’s socks have ever garnered so much attention and praise.

      • RockinRey says:

        MB in all of his sartorial splendour!

        ——————————————————————————————————
        ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
        —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  15. RockinRey says:

    And Now for your daily fluff piece!!

    http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2014/4/6/5587300/plekanec-trolls-galchenyuk-with-a-water-bottle

    ——————————————————————————————————
    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  16. Mr. Biter says:

    MB has to open the vault for Vanek. WE don’t usually get a chance to get a player of his caliber and with DD (gosh all his detractors have disappeared) and Patches, they give the Habs a top 1st line which is as good as any in the NHL.
    Wild have 8 UFA’s including Moulsen who will be want in the 8M range so Vanek’s not a lock to go there.
    BTW if Patches gets scores one more goal he’ll 1st Hab since 93-94 to score 40 in a season.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

    • RockinRey says:

      The detractors have disappeared bc he has raised his compete level!!!!! Big time. Last night I actually saw him lean on someone and attempt to rub him out( in fairness it was not a fair fight) but there was effort. That is all we can ask for.

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Agree with you about him raising his compete level but most of his detractors never mentioned that , it was only his size. Also I believe there were early in the season posters who wanted to let Patches go (hell , blow up the entire team) and my they have disappeared or changed their tunes. However unless we win the cup they’ll be out in force when we lose a playoff series.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

        • RockinRey says:

          His size seemed to be a problem because of his unwillingness to get in and battle for pucks. I mentioned it in frustration so many times on here. I just want a guy fighting for a puck, lean on guys, digging. Earlier in the year he was not doing that.

          His precision passing and playmaking are now benefitting from some finishers.

          I am still not a big fan of his but he has stepped up his game.

          ——————————————————————————————————
          ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
          —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

        • Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On says:

          I like that he’s willing to use his size to shoulder someone off the puck. Hopefully some of that will rub off on Pacioretty, too.

          I’d like to think that Vanek’s drive as a hockey player, above all else, would have him consider Montreal as the place to be. When you balance a chance to win with what the Habs can come to the table with in terms of value and term, their case is compelling. Of course, if he’d rather live out his NHL career in relative anonymity in Minnesota because that’s where his wife is from, then he’s not the type of player that we’d want anyway.

          • RockinRey says:

            And Montreal in the Spring and feverish playoff run?! We can only hope he signs with them.

            ——————————————————————————————————
            ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
            —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • Max says:

      I agree.I’d have no issue offering him 8 for 8, but it’s not my cash or decision.He’s an important part of one of the best lines in the league and gives the team so many options. He’s hard to shut down and forces the opposition to focus on him, leaving guys like Pacioretty,relatively free reign.

  17. slapshot777 says:

    Last night and even the night before, we had posters commenting that if we 40 shots plus we won’t win many games. Granted that is true, but like I have been saying shots don’t tell the whole story. I watched both Ottawa and Detroit games and I noticed that despite the few flurries of pressure that both Ottawa and Detroit did have, both teams did a lot of dumping in a few shots at Price from just outside the blue line.

    They count as shots, but really what is the percentage that that shot is going to beat a NHL goalie. Sometimes it will take a bad bounce or something, but you can’t count that as a quality scoring chance. Yet when you look up and you see 15-4 shot total and you look down and the team with 15 shots doesn’t score and only for a powerplay or two didn’t really sustain any hard pressure.

    I am watching Chicago/St.Louis and the shots are 23-11 in favor of Chicago after two periods. It is pretty much even but are led to believe that Chicago would be that much better than St. Louis. Or St. Louis is playing crap hockey.

    The Habs won’t be giving up 40 shots plus in the playoffs on a regular basis, I am not saying it may not happen but if it do it won’t be because of the Habs being outplayed badly, because it will be dump ins on Price. The Habs have everything going right for them going into the playoffs, goaltending, scoring from all lines, good defense. All we need to do is get the PP going than look out.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

    • ffenliv says:

      To play devil’s advocate: Leaf fans said exactly the same thing about shot quality when they were winning despite giving up a mountain of shots.

      Of course a lot of posters, myself included, were saying, “ya guys, you keep believing that. It’ll catch up to you!.” And it did.

      At the end of the day, I think fans are very willing to massage numbers to get what they want from them.

      • slapshot777 says:

        I see were you are coming from, but we have a better defense and a much better goalie than the Leafs. I think as we come to the playoffs Our defense will tighten up as well.

        To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  18. Psycho29 says:

    Retweeted by Dave Stubbs

    George Kingston ‏@KingstonNHLCA ·14m
    Hal Gill nominated for NHL’s Masterton Trophy

  19. Habilis says:

    @RockinRey (Convo got buried so I’m posting here)

    I never once insinuated that having a current jersey makes someone a bigger fan. Point in fact, I don’t really believe that there are levels of fandom. Either you care how the team does or you don’t. Sure, some care more than others. But if you want this team to win, you’re a fan, period. For the record, I don’t even have a current Habs jersey among the four I do own. Koivu is the most recent, two of them are blank. But I will defend anyone’s right to wear whatever they want, jersey-wise. So long as it’s not defamatory of course.

    Like you, I’m from here and the Habs have been a part of my life. But even if I move away someday, I will still say “we” because I will never cheer for another team and I love watching hockey. Neither of those things will change, so I’m in it for the long haul. I feel like saying “we” is appropriate in that case.

    You don’t, and that’s cool too. I’m not judging here. I’m not saying my way is right. Right, as far as being a fan of a hockey team, is whatever you want it to be. At least IMO.

    Cheers.

    • RockinRey says:

      All good Habilis. I know my convo wont update only shows last 8 posts and even when you click on older posts it shows nothing recent.

      For what its worth i never said they did not have the right. If someone is that weak kneed at the thought of wearing a Subban or Price jersey. All the power to them!!! I was passing judgement but its only an opinion.

      I was strong in language. It is a study in fanatacism. I have even given it more thought. I could never imaging myself wearing a Habs Jersey with DD, Gally, Chucky or the young guys. Beliveau or that age would bring a little elegance that can’t be quanitified. Like I said I find it weird.

      And because its my pet peeve doesn’t mean that everybody who uses it are losers. I just find it a little over the top when you step back from it.

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  20. 24 Cups says:

    Columbus plays the Islanders at home tonight and Philly is also at home to Buffalo. I’m not saying these games are gimmes but if both teams win it’s all over for Toronto.

    Of course the team that really should be in the playoffs is probably New Jersey. Their horrendous shootout record plus an overextended allegiance to Brodeur probably cost them about a half dozen wins.

    I can’t wait for the death knell to fall on the laffs as I have no intention of taking the high road when it comes to friends who are Toronto Maple Leaf fans.

  21. rhino514 says:

    Curious as to how many goals Gionta would have if he hadn´t been asked to be a forechecker for 70 games…Plek´s production in the same role if off by about 10-12 points and maybe 4 goals.
    could it be that Gio really hasn´t slowed down all that much?

    It was hard to watch the team through the first sixty games, but why leave the team without a shutdown line heading into the playoffs if you believe you need that kind of hockey for post-season success?
    Or do they plan to reunite Gio and Pleks for the playoffs? Perplexing.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Most of the contract discussion is about Vanek, Subban and Markov but it will be interesting to see what happens with Gionta.

      In terms of a shutdown line, part of the equation will relate to Briere. Will he play centre? Who will his linemates be? How will it impact Eller?

      • HabFan in Edmonton says:

        Would love to see Vanek resign, never realized before how good he is, great shooter, great vision, smart, not afraid to play the body.

        Gionta will be interesting, a character guy, captain for a reason. I just can’t see Montreal offering him near what he is making now given that age is creeping up on him. Someone else will offer more than what the Habs will be willing to offer.

      • slapshot777 says:

        What amount do we have in terms of “CAP ” for the up coming offseason if the cap rises to 70 million.

        To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

        • 24 Cups says:

          The reality is the team can’t re-sign Markov and Vanek and still keep Gionta, Briere and Bourque.

          If Briere shines in the playoffs, will MB have the guts to trade or buyout a French-Canadien player?

          • HabFan in Edmonton says:

            I don’t think they have any intention of resigning Bourque.

          • mount royal says:

            Read your Habs history. You deliver or you are gone; irrespective of other factors. Ignorant comment. Benched and/or moved out: ; Leblanc, Brisebois, Tanguay, Beauchemin, Bouillon, and dozens more.

          • 24 Cups says:

            By no means am I trying to act in an ignorant manner.

            Would MB have signed Briere to a+36, 8M contract if he was born in another province? Is it not a bit similar to only hiring French speaking coaches and GMs? I think it’s just a unique (personnel) aspect to a team that faces special circumstance.

  22. lavie says:

    We are witnessing Habs-Kovalev Version 2. Vanek will sign with Habs.

    • Habcouver says:

      Thanks Ben.
      The Vezina candidates are always interesting one to ponder. With regard to choosing based on his Value to the team, I believe Price is deserving for strong (perhaps the strongest) consideration. There are other goalies with better statistics and historically, they have won. However, if Bishop and Rask are the other competing players, I hope consideration would be given to the differences in their teams’ strengths and the supporting casts: Carey has carried this team on his back for most of the season, much as Bobrovsky did for Columbus last year – I cannot say the same holds true for Bishop and especially Rask.

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


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