About last night …

VanekChi

Your Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks played two superb regular-season games, both of which featured end-to-end hockey played at breakneck speed.
Both games went to overtime.
The Canadiens won 2-1 on Andrei Markov’s OT goal at the Bell Centre Jan. 11.
Patrick Sharp secured a come-from-behind 3-2 win for Chicago when he beat Peter Budaj with the ugliest goal of the game Wednesday night at the United Center.
And now – after 122:11 of superb, eye-pleasing hockey – these teams won’t meet again – unless they’re Stanley Cup finalists.
Which could happen.
But probably won’t.

Here’s a suggestion: If neither the Canadiens nor Blackhawks make it to the finals, they should hook up in a separate series for the benefit of fans who enjoy entertaining hockey.

Make it best-of-five for the Jean Beliveau Trophy.

OK, that’s not going to happen. More’s the pity.

What will happen next week is the opener of a series between the Canadiens and Tampa Bay. And unlike Chicago, the Lightning play an aggressive forechecking style that likely will put the kibosh on the kind of wide-open play we saw in the Canadiens’ last road game of the regular season.

Montreal homeboy Corey Crawford faced 68 shots in his two starts against the Canadiens. He stopped 64 of them, 28 on Wednesday night, when Crawford’s brilliance was the only thing preventing a Canadiens win in regulation.

That third-period glove stop on Max Pacioretty? Ridiculous … and Crawford made a few more great stops.

The Chicago goaltender looks ready for what will be a postseason war of attrition in the rock ‘em/sock ‘em Western Conference.

Unless Carey Price is injured – I’ll pause while everyone touches the nearest piece of lumber – that was Peter Budaj’s last start of 2013-’14. And while he was weak on the winning goal, Budaj made several good stops during regulation and came within 48 seconds of securing another huge road win to go along with his 28-save gem on March 24 in Boston.

Budaj was helped by a defensive effort that saw the Canadiens block 24 shots – five by trade-deadline gem Mike Weaver. Even without their top pairing of Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin, the blueline corps put in a solid effort against a team that’s leading the NHL in scoring.

I think Weaver is a lock to start the playoffs, along with Markov-Emelin and the pairing of P.K. Subban and Josh Gorges, reunited at the United Centre and looking good. Gorges’ return to action was highlighted by six hits – high on both teams.

Who will be the sixth defenceman when the playoffs begin?

An intriguing question. On Twitter and L’Antichambre, François Gagnon predicted it would be Douglas Murray. Michel Therrien, if he runs true to form, will want experience on the back end. Jarred Tinordi and Francis Bouillon will be the extras.

I thought Nathan Beaulieu played a solid game in Chicago: 16:29, a couple of blocked shots, plus-1. And what a set of wheels on the kid!

But unless an injury to Markov or P.K. – again, let’s pause for wood-touching, spitting … whatever your mojo – creates a need for a puck-mover, Beaulieu will finish his season in Hamilton.

Speaking of injuries, Therrien could be facing some more line juggling. Good thing he’s used to it.

Alex Galchenyuk played two shifts in Chicago. Marian Hossa fell on Galchenyuk’s knee, and the kid left the United Center on crutches.

Galchenyuk lost almost a full season of junior hockey to surgery on his left knee. Reports are it’s his right this time, but crutches are bad news.

David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and Thomas Vanek had another great game against the Hawks. Max had six shots on goal, in pursuit of his 40th, and Vanek had four, while adding some dazzling passes that enhanced the revelatory realization that he’s an excellent playmaker.

If Therrien keeps Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher together, maybe Brandon Prust will be ready to join that line for the playoffs. Or Rene Bourque, who was really good in Chicago. Therrien is too conservative to try it, but Michäel Bournival would bring some speed and energy to the Pleks line.

Lars Eller, who missed the game with the flu, could play on a third line with Brian Gionta and either Bourque, Prust or Daniel Brière. Or Brière, a proven playoff performer, could centre Gionta and Bourque/Prust.

That would leave a fourth line to be chosen among Dale Weise, Ryan White, Travis Moen, Eller and Bournival.

The Canadiens have a couple more games to experiment: the mighty Islanders at the Bell Centre Thursday night, followed by the Rangers to close out the regular season on Saturday.

I wish both games were against Chicago.

• Detroit makes the playoffs for the 23rd straight season. That is something.

• Both Eastern Conference Wild Cards were in the Western Conference last season.

Hockey writers kick back after filing their stories

• And let’s hear it for Canada’s team.

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72 Comments

  1. punkster says:

    Great game.

    Fast skating, excellent passing, lots of shots, fine goal tending at both ends, no fights, no after whistle scrums or face washing, no cheap shots, fair officiating in that they let the players play.

    Great game.

    Release the Subbang!!!

  2. OptimystiCH says:

    What an amazing game last night. Fast paced, pure and high skilled hockey is an amazing sight and should be on everybody’s must see list. Hope Bettman and Campbell were watching.

    Repent ye doubters. Our time is near.

  3. youngwun says:

    A win tonight and a loss for Tampa who plays philly should give us home ice correct ?

  4. nova scotia vees says:

    Why are people saying PK was on for the tying goal? Gorges and Weaver were on.
    G.

  5. Butterface says:

    I saw very little of the game last night.

    The brief bit I saw was again a bad Tinordi play resulting in a Chicago scoring chance. Which happens way too frequent with Tinordi. I think he needs the AHL seasoning, but he is soooo tantalizing with his size and his ability (not his desire) to hit and fight….this is the only thing that keeps him up on the big team.

    I saw Beaulieu give a fantastic (but somewhat dangerous) tape to tape hard breakout pass.

    I look at some basic stats, but they don’t show an edge in play either way….

    Still I can’t help but think I prefer Beaulieu.

    Markov/Emelin
    Subban/Gorges
    Weaver/Murray

    Vs TB I would add Beaulieu
    Vs Bos I would add Tinordi

    Boullion still makes me cringe. Just when I think we can put him to bed, he plays an okay game. Likely MT will use him over the Tinordi and Beaulieu.

    Shame about Galchenyuk. Regardless of his perceived ineffectiveness lately he is a lot of skill I would prefer to have on the ice.

    Bishop was an elbow ? To me it looked like a shoulder.

    Tired of everyone complaining about MT and Subban. It is what it is. MB was a defenceman and if he thought MT was being overly harsh, in order to protect the teams asset and interests, MB would step in. Simple as that.

    Am I frustrated with PK’s play since January ? (I am a huge fan and I have his bleacher creature) YES !!

    Would I like to see MT handle it differently ? YES !!

    Did MT have the right two guys on the ice in Chicago in the last minute ? YES !!

    Gorges and Weaver are very effective Dmen when it comes to keeping pucks out of the net. Last night it didn’t happen. End of story. Move on.

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

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Tinordi may still be a little shell-shocked from that brutal Columbus giveaway and then benching.
      He’s still a little panicky with the puck in his D zone when there is forecheck pressure, yet NHL minutes of ‘confidence’ should hopefully solve that.

      Bouillon?
      He’s a scoring machine, and has as many goals as both White and Moen this year, and is also tied with Sergei Gonchar.
      Bouillon only has 2 less goals than Jay Bouwmeester and Slava Voynov.

      • Butterface says:

        ?? If he is still shell shocked from Columbus then he is not a professional. Tinordi will be great for the Canadiens, in the future.
        I just don’t think I want him making these mistakes in the playoffs. Lets worry about them in next year’s regular season.

        Use Tinordi when he will be useful. Against the Bruins and/or the Flyers. Use Beaulieu everywhere else.

        Boullion, yes he is right up there with all those guys…..and 2 more goals then Komisarek !!!

        This year he is 6 points up on Cournoyer.

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

  6. jeffhabfan says:

    Tough loss lets just move on to tonight and get to 100 points.GO HABS GO.

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    Pretty cool intro done for Mooseheads recent hockey game.

    http://vimeo.com/91408788

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi buri

      Going to get over there next week to see some of the Habs drafted guys.
      If Gatineau beats Halifax tomorrow night, I’ll get to see Reway next week.
      If Halifax wins, they get to play Baie Comeau with Charles Hudon (8th in playoff scoring) and Gregoire (21st in playoff scoring)

      Of course, always a treat to watch Drouin and Fucale.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Cool, would be interested if you get to see Gregoire, what your thoughts are going away from that game.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          It’s good to see how young guys play on the road in pressure situations. Character shows up on the road.
          1-2 even 3 games isn’t enough, yet if they are almost 100% healthy, it at least gives a little flavor.

  8. 24 Cups says:

    I’m not unhappy with last night’s result. A point on the road against the Cup champs with our back-up in net. I’ll take it.

    Speaking of Budaj, last night was a prime example of how he plays. Makes the big stops but let’s in a softie every once in awhile. He is what he is.

    I thought that Josh Gorges was our best player last night.

    I love the way Bournival competes. This guy should not be on a 4th line. He is definitely top nine material next year. The bonus being his cap hit.

    Beaulieu is strictly about next year but I loved the way he skated last night. He’s going to make mistakes but that can be best handled over an 82 game schedule. Shoutout to MT – Training camp will be the perfect time to convert one of the LD to the right side. It shouldn’t be Beaulieu. That task should fall to one of Tinordi, Gorges or Emelin.

    It won’t be the end of the world if Galchenyuk can’t start the playoffs this year. I think Hab fans need to view this player not on what he will become in the future but rather what he is right now. And right now Galchenyuk is not playing great hockey. He’s decent but that’s about it. Briere, who was the 10th man, can now step into a top nine role just as the playoffs begin. After all, that’s why he’s here in the first place.

    I’d give Pleks and Bouillon the night off against the Islanders.

    • krob1000 says:

      I thought the same thing about Chcuky. Unfortunate but maybe a blessing in disguise…I was not seeing that line staying together in the playoffs anyway once Pleks is need in his shutdown role. BRiere may gt some more pp time and a chance to provbe himself as he has been a much better player than his early season. MT’s reluctance to go with youth was probably being compromised by his knowledge that Chucky is org’s top prospect in decasdes. This may just work out best for everyone. Now if/when Chucky comes back there will be less pressure on him. Therre is always the chance it is minor and crutches were precautionary but every time I look at the lineup and think playoffs I could not help but think Chcuky would end up one of the odd men out given his current status on PLeks line…and like I said we all know what Pleks role will be vs TB and Stamkos.

  9. rhino514 says:

    Missed the game last night and just saw the news on Chucky
    We were sooooo close to finally going into the playoffs relatively healthy for just once!!!!
    This is a heart-breaker
    When will there be any news on the Kid???
    at least it wasn´t the left knee….

  10. Walmyr says:

    Morning people…

    I’ll keep saying this: I love when our beloved Canadiens plays against Chicago and Detroit!

    I just hope Mr. Bergevin has the time and strength to take this franchise to same level of Chicago. IMO Chicago is still the best team to watch (even without Kane and Towes).

    About the game, you guys already talked about everything. We played a very good game and deserved at least 1 point.

    PS.: And I just deleted a bunch of bullshit about what I thought would be a misuse of Subban during the last (and important) minute of the game yesterday. Sorry about that

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi W

      Did you mean the last 48 seconds of the 3rd period after the Hawks goal?
      If so, Subban was on the ice (with Bouillon) for those last 48 seconds.

      If you meant the fist 43 seconds of OT, Subban was on the ice when the Hawks scored.

      You can see this from the NHL link that records each and every player’s time on Ice by period/shift.

      http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20132014/TV021190.HTM

      • Walmyr says:

        Maritime Ronn, you are absoltely right. Sorry for my mistake. Please forget about what I just wrote. Just garbage!

        I’ll delete this before someone else get confused…

        What I meant was not using Subban when Chicago put a extra forward. But forget about that.

        Again, thank you!

  11. crane says:

    Markov P.K.
    Emelin Beaulieu/ Tinordi
    Gorges Weaver

    This is how I would play them for playoffs

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      You may end up being very disappointed as not one of those even strength pairings will be played in the playoffs.

      Try this and barring injury:
      Emelin-Markov
      Subban-Gorges
      Weaver-(Tinordi-Bouillon-Murray)

      Beaulieu will probably get sent down in the next few days (Murray back) and play the last 3 games for Hamilton, and then get called back after April 19th.

  12. zephyr says:

    subban looks like he’s playing with a very short leash. I think that’s a giant mistake. I’d fire mt just for screwing that up so badly. his comments about being a team of grinders was revealing too. he better win the cup this year because that’s the only thing that should save his job. ok, finals would do too.
    btw, u can’t fault the dmen on 2 of those goals esp the last one. only the hossa goal looked like poor coverage but chi did have an extra man on the ice too. the other goals & many chi chances were a result of fwds failing to clear the puck properly.
    I wish our coach could be more imaginative about getting out of our zone & that players would show some sense of urgency about it at all times. it only takes a lapse or 2 to result in a goal.
    that game also showed we have some nice depth on def.. beaulieu looked very good. wish he had a bit more muscle on him tho. if georges hits like that, then he’s a keeper. all he needed was a physical element to his game to be a very good, all-around dman. nice that we have options there.
    hope galchenyuk is ok. he’s our 2nd best playmaker already. he’s got some magic when he has the puck & creates chances. he took a hit making a clearing pass to Gallagher in the 1st period. it was a perfect cross-ice pass under pressure & he put it right on g’s tape. things like that often get overlooked. he may not be ‘lighting it up’ but only our 1st line is right now. I don’t think pleks has ever ‘lit it up’ so maybe that’s expecting too much of the kid.

  13. Sportfan says:

    If we were stupid like the Leaf fans we would be calling Hossa a cheap player for falling on Galchenyuk. I say that because to this day those boneheads call Gionta a dirty player for hurting Reimer, again Phaneuf pushed him….

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

  14. gmur says:

    Lots of talk about MT and PK.

    Sign PK… minimum 5 years. He will be tearing up the league long after Therrien gets the boot in a year or two. This has the makings of another Chelios deal… except I think Bergevin has better sense than to trade away a true stud.

    The comparison between Chelios and Subban is an interesting one. Chelios had to mature, and stop running around after everyone, in order to stay on his game. In doing so, he simplified his game, became a much more effective d-man and we know what he accomplished in his career. Losing him set the Canadiens back a decade… it was as bad as losing Roy imo.

    PK has to stop trying to do the Darcy Tucker thing… that’s not his role and he gets off his game when he starts yapping and opponents want to steamroll him… because eventually, they will make him pay.

    We have the closest thing to Roy/Chelios since we lost them. Keep Price and Subban together, work WITH Subban to help him mature and build the team around both of them.

  15. JohnBellyful says:

    The feeling is Montreal will have a hard time coping with Tampa’s hard-charging forecheck. The Canadiens should take the passive-aggressive approach.
    As I’ve argued before, when faced with such a foe, the team should let the Lightning players be the first to reach the dump-ins — this is the passive part — and then rub them out against the boards — this is the aggressive part — and let the constant physical play take its toll on the attackers.
    Of course, to be effective, this relies on the Habs covering their man elsewhere on the ice to intercept a pass should the Lightning forward manage to make one before getting slammed. Slammed, I should add, without foul, as the rulebook is interpreted in post-season action.

  16. boing007 says:

    BadEye.

    Richard R

  17. Maritime Ronn says:

    Considering everything, 1 point in Chicago has to be considered mission accomplished.

    That game had incredible speed.
    When it started, I wasn’t sure if the cameras were slow or eyes playing tricks, yet sometimes it was so fast it was hard to follow.

    Nate Beaulieu has a nice future in HIS hands (next year) if he decides to seize that moment concerning ‘all’ aspects of being a Pro – mature, and a good hard working attitude off the ice, and adding and also working hard towards the final pieces of playing a 200 foot game.

    In his Offence part of the game, you can see his smarts and comfort level/awareness…and you can’t teach speed.
    Being one of the best skaters on the ice in a Habs-Hawks game says it all.

    As for his D part of the game, he’ll have to convince the Habs org. of better awareness in the D zone along with winning puck battles when playing against bumping teams – as last night resembled Olympic hockey, and not the ‘realities’ of the NHL.

    It will be for Nate to prove he is better and has his place in the NHL regardless of the other Dmen the Habs have on hand.
    It’s rarely coaches that decide who plays….it’s usually the player that forces the coach’s hand to keep him on the ice.

    • BriPro says:

      Good morning Ron.
      That was their best game of the year last night…or darn close.
      I don’t see why posters are criticizing. Period.
      Gorges was surprisingly sharp, considering his time off.
      And Beaulieu looks to be the next coming of Bobby Orr
      ….OK, we’ll, maybe Paul Coffee.
      The ongoing criticisms of MT, for me, is a head-scratcher.
      And if it were not for my hometown boy Corey, that game was ours before the first period horn.
      I hope the playoffs are as entertaining.
      Have a great one!

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi Bri

        To be honest, I couldn’t care less about the negative nellies and constant whining concerning the head coach and his staff.

        A coach is usually judged on whether his team is overachieving or underachieving based on the talent a GM gives him to work with – then, whether a team plays full out, or quits on its coach.

        Injuries also become a huge factor if a GM has not acquired NHL depth, or a team doesn’t have a pipeline.

        On that criteria, it’s hard to argue with the success to date.

  18. JohnBellyful says:

    Oh no, say it isn’t so

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    Thanks for the laughs with the hockey writers reports. Good stuff!

  20. Bob_Sacamano says:

    That was a very decent game by both teams. The loss didn´t really matter. What matters is the playoffs and to read that Murray probably will be the sixth defenceman is utterly frustrating.

    Beaulieu did well yesterday, playing his offside with Bouillon. There´s absolutely no reason to believe he couldn´t do a job with Weaver, playing his natural side. It would be nice to have a player on each pair who can move the puck. He could also help our PP.

  21. RetroMikey says:

    Lucky 7?

  22. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    No 3 is freakin funny.
    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  23. Cal says:

    Considering the rosters on both sides, last night was another excellent game. It’s too bad Weaver didn’t block that pass to Hossa in the last minute, but he isn’t perfect.
    If more games were like last night’s, I believe interest in the NHL would soar. Speed, play making, skill, great saves and solid D all add up to a great game.
    Habs have a shot at 100 points. And now, the motto for this season: Why not?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I agree Cal. Fun to watch. Morning bud!

    • Marc10 says:

      Finally sat down to watch this thing. Completely agree. His mistake aside, what a depth move Weaver has turned out to be. Same goes for Weise. His speed gives us another Bournival and he puts in the odd goal too. Might need to sign both in the summer. They’re a nice safety valve while the kids earn their stripes.

      Oh and Vanek… What a hockey player! I commend MB for going out and getting him. If he goes somewhere else it will be for a lot of money. Truck loads of it!

      I loved that game. That’s simply beautiful hockey. I would pay a lot to see that in person. If the Habs play like that in the post season, they will be a handful. Especially on home ice… GHG

      • JF says:

        I agree. It was an absolutely great game. But unfortunately, the Habs are unlikely to play like that against Tampa. Against the Lightning’s aggressive forecheck, they won’t be able to move the puck with the speed and fluidity they did last night. We’ll probably see a lot of sump-and-chase, a lot of perimeter play.

  24. Black Horse says:

    Gorges on the ice for two goals against. Yeah yeah yeah, he was out for a while

    Therrien blew the last 48 seconds of the game. White is great on face offs but not last night. Pleks should have taken that one.

    There was NO WAY that Hossa should have been in front of Budaj for the tying goal. He should have been knocked on his arse. This is a regular occurence for the Montreal “D”. Other than Murray no other “D” could move a smurf away from the net.

    I hope max doesn’t go into a slump!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Yes, Gorges was on the ice for 2 goals against, yet you neatly omit that he was on the ice for a Habs goal scored and also received an assist on the play.
      Gorges also had 6 hits – most by far for any Habs player and 3 blocked shots.

      As for any direct responsibility of those goals against?
      Perhaps you could explain.

      His playing partner was also on the ice for 2 goals against, yet somehow you just pass over that…1st Hawks goal – a lame puck battle in the corner, then slow to get back to his position after Gionta lost another puck battle at the blue line.

  25. JUST ME says:

    Overall very good effort by everyone yesterday. They definitely can compete with teams like the Hawks . Budaj was again excellent but also unfortunately unlucky.
    They are playing like a team that is ready for the playoffs and yesterday was a very good reminder to be careful not to be overconfident. I sure was and was certain when score was tied at 1 that the Habs would once again score but the Hawks had a lethal final push to wich the Habs could not resist.

    Differerent challenge tonight and difficult one also because of the scrappy style of play of the opponent. We tend to try to copy their style sometimes…Must disctate our own game.

  26. Marc10 says:

    I’m pretty fired up I have to say. I thought the boys were going to get spanked by Chicago. I like the fact we can throw about 10 guys at the bottom six. You need that kind of depth to get anywhere. We’re getting there.

    Still, I’d trade places with Chicago in a heartbeat. Sweet team. They’re going to be in a war our West, but out of all those teams, they’re easily my favourite. (Honorable mention to Saku’s team even though I can’t stand Corey Perry…)

  27. Timo says:

    Watched the Habs Express tonight… not a bad game. Not too heartbroken about loss of Galchenyuk… not like he was setting the world on fire.

    Too bad for Boods on the OT goal… he played heck of a game otherwise.

    Can’t wait to see Bouillon on the sidelines… Beaulieu is a mighty upgrade over that guy… love his wheels. I tend to agree with Boone, THerrien will most likely start with Murray as #6 dman and depending on how he performs will promptly insert Bouillon when Murray needs a “rest”.

    Was this Habs first loss with Weise in the lineup?

  28. Un Canadien errant says:

    Since it was the first Canadiens game in Chicago since former Blackhawk Assistant General Manager Marc Bergevin took over as GM in Montréal, Pierre Houde invited the Canadiens’ boss for an interview before the game. No great insight was revealed, but it was interesting if only to hear him reinforce some of the points he made during his recent interview on l’Antichambre (http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2014/04/marc-bergevin-interview-on-rds.html).

    Here is a link to the video of the interview:

    http://www.rds.ca/vid%C3%A9os/bergevin-de-retour-%C3%A0-chicago-3.956047

    Here is a loose translation of the interview:

    Pierre Houde began by asking how he felt upon returning to Chicago, where he lived and worked for so long.

    It’s the first time since I’ve gotten to Montréal that I’ve come to Chicago (note: meaning, coming to Chicago with the team, since he has been there on personal business regularly, his family still living there), but so far I’m not nervous at all. Maybe when the game will start, but so far I’m okay.

    Pierre asks if he feels any pride at the work he did in Chicago, with the ‘Hawks a powerhouse in the league.

    Yes, definitely, we did it with players we drafted, that we were patient with, like Bickell and Crawford. Certainly, players like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, those were easy decisions to take, but with the kids, we were patient, they spent a lot of time in the AHL, but they became frontline players. I think that’s important.

    Pierre points out that after the Stanley Cups, due to the salary cap, good players had to be let go, but they’re still successful.

    After the Cup in 2010, players like Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd had to go, replaced eventually with players like Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw, who were drafted. Saad didn’t go through the AHL, Shaw did, but it’s important to build through the draft, the best example is here in Chicago.

    Pierre congratulates him on the Canadiens’ season thus far, and asks which aspect makes him most proud.

    The teamwork. The coaches have done excellent work, we had difficult periods but the players worked through it. Like I always say, you don’t play 80 games without going through some rough patches. So we were able to get through it as a team, and now we’re stronger and have more character.

    Pierre asks if he was a little scared to find out what his team really was like, with a full season ahead instead of last season’s shortened one.

    No, afraid is not the right word, I was excited more than anything to see the team over 82 games. For sure last season with 48 games, we had an idea, but a little bit different… we were excited to see the results over a full schedule, and up to now we’re proud. But we know that in the playoffs the level rises, it’s a completely different game, and we’re eager for the first round.

    Pierre asks what is the key element in the playoffs.

    Injuries, they’re very important. You can’t hope to get far in the playoffs if you have many injuries. So you have to be lucky. We talk about goalies a lot, but a strength of a team which goes far in the playoffs is goaltending and defensive play. With Carey we’re in a good position, but we’re going to take it a game at a time, a series at a time. It seems that Tampa Bay will be our opponent, so we need to be ready because it won’t be easy.

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

    • Habcouver says:

      Thank you again, UCE.
      A great read before bedtime!

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

    • Timo says:

      Injuries. You know what can reduce risk of injuries? More puck possession and less shot blocking… perhaps a little less grinding a bit more skating and attacking?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Perhaps his comment on seasoning players in the AHL is directly aimed at Tinordi/Beaulieu/Pateryn. Of note he talks of the importance of defence and goaltending in playoffs, mentions how good Habs are with Price. Makes no such proclamation of the defence, I think he knows next season a couple of the kids may indeed be taking regular spots.

      I think we are in good hands with MB.

  29. howiemorenz7 says:

    I’m inspired by the Habs play against the league’s best teams of late, they don’t seem at all intimidated by them, nor do they appear out of place, especially since the Vanek line got it together. Too bad about Chucky, however, Larry’s gonna have to answer the bell.

    Maroons Suck. #7 foreva.

  30. Habilis says:

    Tonight, with very little publicity, we clinched a top 4 spot in the conference. Last season, that would have meant guaranteed home ice in round 1. Now, it means nothing. I guess that’s why there was no publicity.

    Carry on.

  31. Un Canadien errant says:

    A discomfiting ‘mission accomplished’, I guess… The Canadiens eke out a point without Carey in nets, and without two of their Top 4 defencemen, Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin having been left in Montréal to rest up for the playoffs. So a 3-2 overtime loss, one point gathered, 98 in the bank, moral victory right?

    It doesn’t feel that way though. For much of the third period, the Canadiens led and seemed poised to beat last season’s Stanley Cup champs in their rink, a nice confidence boost for everyone. But I guess they’re the champs for a reason. A late equalizer by Marian Hossa from Patrick Sharp with their net empty tied up the game in the last minute. Then a flubbed shot from Patrick Sharp that shouldn’t have gone in, and the Canadiens slinked off with their loser point a bitter pill to swallow.

    Peter Budaj had done the job most of the night, and he’ll have nightmares about this overtime goal, a weak wrister into his pads that somehow deflected up and to his right, but sloooooooowly, so that he had time to spot it over his shoulder as it was going in, and to lunge at it with his stick. Upon replay, I wasn’t sure if it wasn’t going to miss the net, until he bunted it in. Peter does surprisingly good work sometimes, but then he brings us back to reality, like last spring in the playoffs, or on the West Coast trip when Carey was injured. He reminds us that this is who he is. A backup. A #2 goalie, valuable for the role he plays, but not able to assume the starring role.

    Some of the Canadiens depth, which we were getting ready to take for granted again with Dale Weise and Josh Gorges returning, will be tested, since Alex Galchenyuk hurt his right leg and left the arena on crutches. We saw Francis Bouillon and Ryan White take shots on their hand, and manage to finish the game, but it will be interesting to see if they don’t have to take time off to heal also.

    Once we’ve shaken off the loss though, the takeaway is that we can skate and compete with teams like the Hawks and the Red Wings. With the debacle of last spring fresh in my mind, I’m still leery of a series where the goons run wild and free, but against Tampa or Detroit, I don’t feel fear. Or envy.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  32. jimmy shaker says:

    Chucky on crutch’s yikes. Good thing is the club has the “dep” to compensate for him. Bishop’s agent confirming it’s an elbow injury. Not sure if that’s good or bad……moving on. Beg to differ with booner’s line choice’s if chucky is missing. I’ve got:

    Patch/DD/Vanek
    Gio/Pleks/Briere
    gally/eller/bernie
    prust/white/weezy

    Not sure what he was seeing bourque do out there. I wasn’t impressed that much. And it doesn’t look like moen is going to be ready, and don’t mind the fourth line this way anyway, SO moen and chucky injured, and parros and bourque scratched.

    Tinordi and Frankie will be the extra D, and frankie will come in for murray if MT wants to make a change in the D.

    shaker out!

  33. nova scotia vees says:

    Again I say that this team clearly does not want PK. We will rue the day that we end up losing him to…..Toronto? Therrien is an IDIOT.

  34. The Jackal says:

    On a more serious note, this talk of PK being unhappy/wanting out is very concerning. I’m sticking to the side that says this is just conjecture and wild speculation, because PK did have his best season last year and was great up until about the Olympic break this year. A player doesn’t just sour over night and call it quits.

    The most likely thing is that PK’s confidence is down and he is struggling. This is the first time in his NHL career that he has struggled in such a way and he is learning to deal with it. I don’t think there is any truth to the claims that MT/MB are putting PK down or ruining him in any way. Yes, PK can play all situations but if he doesn’t HAVE to do so then why is that a problem? Even not playing on the PK, he still averages the most minutes (up until recently), so he is obviously trusted with his responsibilities and IMO when the coaches are hard on him it is rightly so – he is our best skater and he needs to play like our best and most talented skater every game; he can’t be making the same silly mistakes that he prone to making, he needs to get rid of those bad habits pronto.

    I really hope I don’t eat crow on this because it means PK is either going bye bye or at the very least there is a big disturbance on the team in the form of a player/coach crisis – that could really shake up the chemistry and team-winning-with-character spirit we’ve been building for the last two years.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  35. The Jackal says:

    Looks like MT is still the coach

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.


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