About last night …

Nabokov

Your Montreal Canadiens no longer control their own destiny.
If Tampa Bay wins their last two games – at home against Columbus on Friday night, in Washington Sunday afternoon – the Lightning will have home-ice advantage for their playoff series against the Canadiens.
Opening on the road might not be a bad thing.
The Canadiens have played three of their worst games this season at the Bell Centre.
• A 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 10,
• A 5-0 loss to the Washington Capitals, and the worst of the lot:
• A 2-0 loss to the New York Islanders Thursday night.

There have been two other home games in which the Canadiens were shut out: 2-0 to the San Jose Sharks in October and 1-0 to the Rangers in November.

That’s 300 minutes of scoreless hockey endured by Montreal hockey fans.

The latest home-ice goose egg might have been the worst.

L.A. and San Jose are Western Conference titans. The Rangers, who are at the Bell Centre on Saturday, are a playoff team; and Washington, on paper, should be one.

The Islanders, on paper, are bathroom tissue. They came into Thursday night’s game 25 points behind the Canadiens. They’d outscored the Canadiens, 216-214, this season. But the Islanders had allowed 60 more goals-against.

Moreover, the visitors iced an injury-depleted lineup. The Islanders were missing seven regulars – including the great John Tavares, Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner.

Their lineup included 12 rookies – including AHL thumper Brett Gallant who, in his two NHL games, has won fights against heavyweights Matt Kassian of Ottawa and the Canadiens’ George Parros.

The Canadiens were missing Alex Galchenyuk, who won’t be back until the second round of the playoffs. Or if you think the Islanders game was an accurate measure of where the Canadiens are at, we won’t see Galchenyuk again until next season.

I’m not that pessimistic … yet.

The Canadiens were putrid against the Islanders. But they were coming off an impressive performance in Chicago, and the team has a habit of rising – or falling – to the occasion.

If the bring down the curtain on the regular season by dialling up a stinker against the Rangers, there will be cause for concern. A three-game losing streak is not the ideal wave to be riding into the playoffs.

It was evident, from the opeing faceoff, that the Canadiens did not bring their A-game to the Bell Centre. The Islanders skated and passed their way to an early 7-2 shot advantage, and the final possession stats were telling:

The Islanders had 30 shots on Carey Price and fired another 18 that missed the net. The Canadiens blocked 23. Total shot attempts: 71.

The Canadiens had only 19 shots on Evgeni Nabokov. They missed the net nine times, and the Islanders blocked 18 (10 in the third period). Total attempts: 46.

Numbers don’t tell the whole story. The young and largely anonymous Islanders were the livelier and hungrier team, outhitting the Canadiens by a whopping 24-8 margin. The Canadiens coughed the puck up 12 times to only three giveaways by the visitors.

The David Desharnais-Max Pacioretty-Thomas Vanek line had a few good shifts. And Ryan White and Michäel Bournival played with the energy you like to see from fourth liners.

But Michel Therrien has to figure out how to get some secondary offence from his second and third lines.

Tomas Plekanec began the game centring two right-wingers, Brian Gionta and Brendan Gallagher. They were ineffective.

Playing with Daniel Brière and bumped-up plugger Dale Weise, Rene Bourque showed a few signs of life. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bourque with Plekanec and Gionta against the Rangers. If Lars Eller is recovered from the flu, he could play with Brière and Gallagher.

It’s not ideal to be juggling lines in Games 81 and 82 with the playoffs looming. At least the situation on the back end is more stable, although none of the defence corps was particularly effective against the aggressive Islanders.

Depending on your opinion of Douglas Murray, the fact he will not face a disciplinary hearing for his hit on Johan Sundstrom comes as either a relief or a disappointment.

P.K. Subban still hasn’t recaptured the mojo he had going before the Olympics. But Josh Gorges is an upgrade on Francis Bouillon as P.K.’s partner.

Paired with the lumbering Murray, Mike Weaver looked like … a Florida Panther.

The Rangers game will be a big one for the Canadiens. If Tampa Bay loses Friday night, a win would secure second place in the Atlantic Division. A lightning win and the Canadiens will have to get at least a point on Saturday to stay alive for home ice in the first round.

Whatever the Lightning do, the Canadiens don’t want to go 0-for against two New York teams.

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466 Comments

  1. Timo says:

    Wonder how my man Phil is doing today.

  2. Mr_MacDougall says:

    I love the way the Habs are playing.. But… With the current state of the PP they will not go far in the playoffs… If the PP can catch fire the team could go on a ling run.. Hate to simplify things that much, but special teams usually decide a close series.

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      When Chicago won the Cup last year, they were not very good on the PP at 16.1%.

      Where Chicago and Boston excelled, was 5X5 hockey where they finished 1-2 in the playoffs.
      The Habs were dead last of the 16 teams in 5X5 hockey – hence their quick exit

  3. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    The interesting wrinkle in the PK situation is the potential of an offer sheet. After what Philadelphia did with Weber, it would not surprise me. Right now I can not see PK signing a deal less than 8 million and I can not see MB offering him one that much. The only thing that would remedy the situation is if PK has a huge playoff then MB will gladly pay up.

    • twilighthours says:

      And this is the salient point… let’s ignore the pretty scenery for a second:

      if Bergevin won’t pay Subban 8 mil per, then 1) he lets him go via offer sheet or 2) trades him.

      If 1) you’re not going to find a player of Subban’s quality with 4 first rounders. Players like Subban are few and far between, and getting them through the draft… crapshoot.

      2) if you’re trading him, you’re not getting an equivalent defenseman back (otherwise why is the other team doing the deal?)

      So in either case, you’re leaving a hole in the lineup that will take years/decades to fill.

      This is what happened with the Leafs/Phaneuf, albeit to a lesser degree.

    • 24 Cups says:

      The one team that could make an offer sheet is Colorado, especially if they let Stastny walk. They have the cap space and they can afford to give up the four first rounders, one of which would be a low end pick this summer. If I’m Sakic, I’d give it a try. It would be his final piece to the puzzle. If the Habs match, Roy can bask in the knowledge that he screwed over the Habs.

      .

  4. Mattyleg says:

    Hey there all,
    Thanks very much for the Birthday wishes yesterday, they made my heart warm.
    In a good way.

    Didn’t see the game last night, as I went to see Sugar Sammy’s show “You’re Gonna Rire”. Effing hilarious. Highly recommended to everyone. Nobody is left unscathed. Surprise gift from my lady. Good times!

    Haven’t been able to read the comments, as I’m as busy as a dog with a pair of extra plums to lick, but who are we firing/scratching today, and will we be swept, or will we win a lucky one against TB?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  5. Say Ash says:

    Can someone explain to me why no station in Canada is currently broadcasting the Masters?

  6. 24 Cups says:

    It might be easy to criticize the Maple Leafs for their contract extensions but sometimes circumstance comes into play.

    Kessel was coming off a 5.4M contract. Toronto had to re-sign him or else have a gaping hole in their line-up for years to come. Not to mention the humiliation of losing Kessel to free agency while giving up Seguin and Hamilton in the process. 8M might seem a bit much but only by about 500,000. If Kessel was a Hab you would have to sign him long term.

    Dion Phaneuf was coming off a 6.5M contract. An increase of 500,000 isn’t totally out of line in terms of an extension. Of course in this case, management might want to ask if he is really worth the money. If not, then they would have to bite the bullet and cut him loose. Doing so would have meant leaving a gaping hole in the line-up. It would also be hugely embarrassing to cut your captain who is just 28 years old. You can harp all you want about Phaneuf but it’s still a tough spot to be in. Ottawa will face the same dilemma next year with Spezza. If Phaneuf was a Hab you might have to really look long term as to what final decision you might make. If I had Gardiner and Reilly I might just let Phaneuf walk.

    There’s lots of debate about re-signing Markov. It’s certainly not the same magnitude as the two Toronto examples but circumstance will play a part in the decision just as much as Markov’s talent level. On one hand, re-signing Markov for 18M might be a bit much. Conversely, not re-signing him means you have to wait two years for Beaulieu to develop (if he does). That might mean the team has to take a step back for the foreseeable future. Why do that if you have the cap space?

    Subban is a totally different story. He’s not about all the other contracts that you might compare him to in terms of signed Dmen. Subban, just like other young NHL studs such as Stamkos and Toews, is all about the new CBA and the implications that go with it. He may not hit paydirt in the next few years but he will eventually and it will be for huge coin.

    In the new NHL, you want to pay out big contracts to guys who are in their prime years of 24-30. The real risky free agent contracts go to players who are 29-31. In many of those cases (i.e. Vanek) , you may not get very good value for the final three or four years of the deal.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      The only way you let Markov go is if you can land Giordano.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • JUST ME says:

      I grant you that for the Kessel deal a case could be made but for Phaneuf`s ? No way. Not only did the Leafs not make that good but they did not even make it in the playoffs except once when a historic downfall made the headlines. I am not blaming Phaneuf, i am blaming the management who did not recognize that they had the chance to change things and get rid of a captain that did not make any difference in what the team had been going through for too long.

      I certainly hope that if the Habs were in the same situation god forbid…the management would make the necessary moves , whoever is involved in them to make real changes. Even though our situation in no way compares to the Leaf`s one must be pro-active and make bold moves before it gets worse to get the most return out of what you can trade away . Feelings have nothing to do with business and one must not be stopped from doing what is right just for old time`s sake.Players sure do not make any favors to the teams when comes the time to negociate new deals.

  7. Phil C says:

    A good comparable for Subban is Weber in 2011. Like PK, he was also two years from UFA status coming off a bridge contract with arbitration rights. The cap was going up to $64M the following year. An arbitrator awarded Weber $7.5M. Adjusted for a cap of $68M, that would put Subban in the $8M range. I really don’t think less than that will get a deal done. More than that would be really overpaying.

  8. Prop says:

    My theory…
    PK is playing hurt.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  9. Ian Cobb says:

    Hab’s decided to float the game away to avoid injuries etc. Only problem is that they stole from the paying public again.!

    And anyway, they could care less about starting the play offs on the road or not. They can play winning hockey when they want to, both home and away. They would also get a few extra days on the beach in Tampa, don’t think they have not thought about that.!
    I do not think they will put up much of a battle against the Rangers either. They are waiting for the 1st game of the play offs now!!

  10. nova scotia vees says:

    Why the heck is everyone talking about PK today? Why not talk about Ymelin who totally blew coverage on the second goal. Had that been PK, idiot coach would have sent him to the showers.
    And Maritime Ron I do think that Babcock was wrong. Hard to say the others were better when PK was never given a chance. Babcock did the same to Crosby in Vancouver. Little ice time. And look what the idiot coach did to Nathan MacKinnon at the Worlds a year ago. Nailed him to the bench. Where did they finish? 4th, 5th? MacKinnon went on to win the Memorial Cup and picked first. Just because the old boys network gives you the job, doesn’t mean you are a great Coach. And PK did not have a problem with his other Coaches. That is character assassination. Where is your proof?
    V

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      vees

      Sorry, but it was not me that mentioned PK had a coach issue.
      As for Subban it’s pretty clear.
      He’s a great O force when he keeps it simple and picks his spots.
      As for D, he continues to make mental mistakes and and his D awareness in his zone is questionable.
      Can he learn and become a 200 foot elite such as Doughty-Weber, or is their a hockey IQ issue there?
      The $8 Million dollar question.

      • Paz says:

        And the other side of the argument, if I may.

        There are a handful of players, Subban being one of them, who can literally pick and choose which team will give them 8 million, 7.5, you pick the number.

        Benching these players usually does not encourage long term deals with this group, whether they have ” hockey IQ ” issues or not.

    • mdp2011 says:

      “And PK did not have a problem with his other Coaches. That is character assassination. Where is your proof?”

      -Healthy scratch a couple of times in Hamilton under Boucher
      -Healthy scratch and multiple benchings under Martin.
      -Multiple benchings and verbal blowouts with the 2 Randys.
      -Multiple benchings under MT.

      You still think that MT is the sole problem? I love PK, but a lot of the stuff he brings it on himself with his play in the defensive zone as Shaker pointed out below.

  11. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ CJ re the Phaneuf-Subban comparison.

    While it may be a small detail, Phaneuf was moving into UFA status this summer when he signed long term last December.

    For Toronto, the choice was trade him, sign him long, or possibly lose him at UFA time.
    They decided to sign and go long…

    As for Subban, he still has 2 more years of RFA status where the Habs own his rights.

    The difference this time around is that Subban (or the team) could request Arbitration and the term could be for 1-2 years depending on who requested Arbitration.
    Whomever requests Arbitration, it is for the other Party to decide the length of 1 or 2 years.

  12. Phil C says:

    Someone please help me out here. Why is Beaulieu sent down? It can’t be for cap reasons with some many on IR. Surely it’s not to teach him a lesson, the needs of the club should come first and there would be other ways to accomplish that. If it’s a pure hockey decision, what am I missing? I love Murray for the 2nd round against the Bruins to handle Chara on the PP and to muzzle Lucic, but against Tampa, Beaulieu seems like the perfect fit along side Weaver on the third pairing.

    Signed,

    Phil C(onfused)

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      At this point it may just be a numbers game, and while Hamilton is not ‘officially’ eliminated, they still have 3 games left ending April 19th.
      He’ll get big minutes then will probably be recalled again…

    • mdp2011 says:

      I just think it is a numbers game with the Habs having 8 healthy defencemen on the roster already. Also, the coaching staff might feel more confident with Tinordi than Beaulieu at this point. And there is no way they dress 2 rookie defencemen in the playoffs.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Could be a test Phil to see how he reacts. Bulldogs are not technically out of it. This way they push him and when the dogs get taken out of the playoffs you bring him back up. He also won’t be playing the last game or at the beginning of the playoffs so why not put him where he will play

    • CJ says:

      I agree completely. He should have played last night. I would have given PK the break and let him see the game from the press box. We need to try everything to get one of our best players going (PK). Beaulieu would not have hurt us last night. For that matter, neither would have Tinordi.

      Next season I guess.

    • Phil C says:

      Do you guys like Tinordi ahead of him in the depth chart?

  13. CJ says:

    Just a quick point, if I may….

    Regarding the PK contract negotiation noted below, we can not use the Phaneuf contract as a baseline. Toronto completely mismanaged that file. That said, it should have no bearing on PK’s situation. So, Toronto overpays Phaneauf, therefore the entire market shifts? No, not in my humble opinion. It was the exception and not the rule.

    If we applied that same logic to other negotiations, would Ryan White or Dale Weise ask for David Clarkson money? Of course not. That was a terrible deal, but it should not reset the market. Yes, I recognize that both players are RFA’s, as is Subban. Keep in mind, we are still driving the bus, not PK.

    Look, I really like Subban. I really want him on the team. I am not going to attempt to qualify the reason why he has struggled so mightly this season. I have my opinions, but they are not based on anything more than an assumption. What I will say is this; If we pay PK Subban $8-$9 million a year, it will be a mistake. This is not to be confused with me saying I want to get rid of PK, but it is reinforcing the notion that we must consider the best interest of the team (big picture) going forward.

    • twilighthours says:

      We might not want to use Phaneuf’s deal, and Bergevin might not want to, but you know Subban’s camp will. Phaneuf is absolutely relevant.

      • CJ says:

        I don’t doubt that Meehan will cling to that deal with every fiber in his being. That said, Toronto’s mistake and, let’s be honest, it was a mistake, should not reset the market for PK.

        Unfortunately, the only thing that has reset the market is PK’s play. That might sting PK, but it’s the truth.

        • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

          He’s 2nd on the team in points, won The Norris last year and made the Canadian Olympic team. There’s no way he’ll settle for less than an avg. of $6.5M/season.

          • CJ says:

            I think $6.5 million is more than fair.

          • boonie says:

            Good thing you’re not his agent. See my post below. He deserves and IMHO will get more than Doughty’s $7m.

          • Steeltown Hab says:

            Guys 6.5 for Subban is not fair and is a ridiculous pipe dream.

            ———————————

            Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

        • Kooch7800 says:

          If he has a good playoff CJ (I think he will) the regular season woes will be quickly forgotten.

          • CJ says:

            That’s a fair point. I agree. I hope he does. I want to win so badly, as I know everyone else here does. We will need him to be much better though, especially if we get by the first round.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Tampa will be a hard series. It will go 6 or 7 games.

            Carey will have to be our best player and we will need some secondary scoring. I have a good feeling though

        • Paz says:

          You can keep Therrien. I’ll take my chances with Subban at 7.5 or 8 million.

          See where we’re at in 5 years.

      • Strummer says:

        Habs can also counter with Karlsson, Peitrangelo @ $6.5, Doughty and Chara @ $7.0
        Phaneuf’s deal is the most out of whack for Defensemen

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

        • CJ says:

          I agree completely. It was a major miscalculation. Again, that doesn’t mean we have to make the same mistake.

        • boonie says:

          Doughty signed @$7m in September 2011. He scored 36 points in 77 games (down from his 40 and 59 point seasons the two prior years). He had more RFA years. And, the Kings hadn’t yet won their Cup with him. Oh yeah, and the cap is higher; and projected to be even higher during the term of PK’s next deal.

          And, finally, while I think Doughty was the best player in Sochi for any team at any position. He hasn’t won a Norris.

          PK gets MUCH more.

          • CJ says:

            Boonie, who would you rather have, PK or Doughty? That Norris trophy, based on a 42 game season might be the worst thing that could have ever happened.

      • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

        agreed

    • punkster says:

      I recommend you prepare your post of outrage and disappointment well in advance…you’ll need it.

      Release the Subbang!!!

      • CJ says:

        I guess the silver lining will be that we simply can not resign Frankie, Murray, Parros and Gionta. If we offer PK and Vanek $8-$9 million each, plus Markov, White, Weise, etc. there won’t be enough money to go around. Riddle me this; If PK gets $8-$9 million a season, what is Markov going to get? We have batted around $6 million for three years. Markov has been the better player this year and is a UFA. Why would he so graciously accept $6 million, when PK is getting $9 million? What does Markov owe us? IMO, nothing. If PK’s camp are using Phaneauf as the baseline, than why wouldn’t Markov? Truth is, I think there are a number of files this offseason that are not so open and shut.

        • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

          forget Vanek

        • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

          There is no chance in hell Subban gets $9M/season

        • punkster says:

          I care about how the team performs not what the players get paid.

          PK will sign for what he and his agent agree are fair terms and MB will find ways to balance the books.

          But sign he will, and in Montreal.

          Release the Subbang!!!

          • Paz says:

            Punkster, I like your optimism. However, if I was Subban or his agent I would not be looking for a long term deal with the Habs this summer.

        • boonie says:

          Because PK has 10+ years left in the league and Markov has less. We need to buy peak earning years from PK. That’s why he gets more.

          I hope we don’t sign Markov to a three year deal. I admit he deserves the assurance of a multiyear deal. Perhaps he finds it somewhere else.

        • krob1000 says:

          I prefer the depth model…I see Parros as gone, Bouillon gone…I think the contrac they should move from the back end is gorges. I think one of Bourque/ Prust/Moen should go as well to make room. The Choice to me comes down to Briere/Gorges…to make room….I think Gorges is the right choice…and I know I will be in the minority but Briere only has one more year and his expiring contract will mean money for other contracts the followng year. It also opens the door for Tinordi and Beaulieu to start to earn some serious time at a discount…Weaver IMO is a much cheaper replacement and is comparable.

        • boonie says:

          That’s why you don’t sign Briere to a $4m deal.

    • mrhabby says:

      how do you figure the LEAFS mismanaged the dion file.

    • boonie says:

      That’s solid thinking. Unfortunately, agents counter that with…

      “Phaneuf has a legit contract from an NHL team, that’s now market. The cap is going up. These deals are only going to get more expensive. For the next few months, PK is the reigning Norris trophy guy. He’s elite among NHL defenseman (pick whatever stats you like), he’s a home a grown talent. The fans and the media LOVE him.” To which he would add, “So, either pay up now, or, we’ll take a short term deal and leave as a UFA as soon as possible. When the cap will be higher and PK will get even more.”

      Bergy offers, “Hey PK might get hurt on a short term deal or his production might tail off. It’s better to take the guaranteed dollars now.”

      Ultimately, PK gets a 7-year deal. The cap hit will be in the $7m to $8m range with the actual dollars escalating over the term.

      • CJ says:

        PK is not a home grown talent.

        That said, your point is valid. At the end of the day, decisions will need to be made. With a hard cap projected to fall short of the original $71.1 million projection (articles have suggested it could be lower to $68 million), difficult decisions are pending. If we give PK $8 million or more, it will come at the expense of something (someone) else.

        Again, I consider Phaneuf to be the exception and not the rule. Do agents pick and choose? Will Clarkson’s deal have the same impact and influence?

        • boonie says:

          The cap forces teams to make hard decisions. It levels the playing field. To me, the middle-aged core of this team is Price, Patches, and PK. Gallagher, Chucky, Tinordi and Beaulieu are the beginning of the next wave.

          If management thinks this group can be among the NHL’s best in the next 2-5 years, than you lock up PK at whatever it takes and shed the balance of the older deadwood.

          The likes of Gionta, Moen, Bourque, have to be replaced by younger, cheaper 9-12 guys. That purge may include players like Gorges and Markov at next year’s deadline or even Plecs if he fetches the assets that round out the core.

          Quibbing over $1m in the cap number for a core piece is detrimental. A GM can save 25% of that number in the daily AHL/NHL call up send down machines and not signing guys like Briere during the UFA feeding frenzy.

    • Phil C says:

      The recently signed TV deal complicates the Subban file. With both sides looking for a long term deal, projections about future salary caps will come into play.

  14. AllHailTheFlower says:

    Wow. Boone really channeled his inner Timo with that ALN.

  15. boing007 says:

    George Parros has problems keeping his balance. I wonder where he got that from? Too many concussions, I reckon.

    Richard R

    • frontenac1 says:

      He always had balance problems. Check his fight tapes. His success was mainly attributed to his huge reach, change up ability and good technicals. Age has caught up to him.

  16. Say Ash says:

    Shaker, your Link Gaetz reference led me to find this great quote:

    On draft day in 1988, Gaetz was picked in the second round by the Minnesota North Stars. He’d been in a bar fight the night before and showed up with two black eyes. “In the first round we drafted Mike Modano to protect the franchise,” says Lou Nanne, then the general manager of the Stars. “In the second round we drafted Link to protect Mike. In the third we should’ve drafted a lawyer to protect Link.”

  17. boing007 says:

    4. MT should watch the game tape. We lost to a bunch of young bucks that were hungry. It isn’t a bad thing to have some young guys in the line-up and let them play. Beaulieau and Tinordi should have been playing since the return from the Olympic break and should be have been ready for the playoffs. Vets are good but vets also get complacent.

    Agree.

    Richard R

  18. habs-fan-84 says:

    Home Ice “advantage”:

    ’05-’06: In the second round Habs had a 2-0 series lead over the eventual Stanley Cup winners (Carolina), before going back to the Bell Centre and losing the next 4 straight

    ’09-’10: Habs win two game 7s on the road against Washington and Pittsburgh

    ’10-’11: Habs have a 2-0 series lead over the eventual Stanley Cup winners (Boston), before dropping the next 2 at the Bell Centre

    Home ice “advantage” is overrated (at least if we’re referring to the the modern day Montreal Canadiens).

  19. jimmy shaker says:

    So what is the problem with PK:

    He’s in great shape…..(works like a beast in the offseason)
    very strong, can hit and take a hit
    great vision
    above average skater
    great shot (very accurate)
    good offensive instinct
    great point man on the PP
    young
    great attitude/work ethic/teammate
    character
    great off the ice, never hear a problem about him
    passionate
    loves the city/fans and habs organization

    PK negatives:

    Try’s to do too much sometimes
    K.I.S.S. Keep it simple subban…..not always
    runs around in the d-zone,
    blows coverage and slides around a lot in the d-zone when out of position

    So the positives far out way the negatives in my opinion, so why is he struggling. He’s basically getting big minutes, maybe his confidence is low because the minutes sometimes aren’t big last minute of period or games or pk minutes, I don’t know. So maybe just maybe the coach IS the problem here. I don’t know what else could be going on.

    Shaker out!

    • Timo says:

      “So what is the problem with PK:”

      the coach and the organization he plays for.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        But can you ax your coach over one player? Yes, is the answer….but realistically no is the right answer. So where do we go now?

        Shaker out!

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        So the Team Canada Olympic Management Group were all wrong also?
        Executive Director: Steve Yzerman (Tampa Bay Lightning Doug Armstrong (St. Louis Blues), Peter Chiarelli (Boston Bruins), Ken Holland (Detroit Red Wings) and coaching staff of Head Coach: Mike Babcock (Detroit Red Wings) Associate Coaches: Ken Hitchcock (St. Louis Blues), Claude Julien (Boston Bruins), Lindy Ruff (Dallas Stars)

        • twilighthours says:

          Misleading, no? Babcock went on record as wanting 3 LH D in the lineup. So PK had to beat out one of the 3 RH D or the remaining guy. That management chose but 4 players over Subban isn’t nearly as bad as you’re implying.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            That was just Team Canada…

          • twilighthours says:

            I don’t follow. And I’ll be more clear, too: Subban would have started for any other nation. Only on the deepest team in history was he the odd man out.

        • Azriel says:

          Hummm… common sense will get you nowhere very fast bro.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Just maybe penalty kill minutes are earned by solid 5X5 D zone play and D zone awareness.

      Some of the best minds in hockey at the Olympics chose NOT to trust Subban…so it’s not only Coach MT.

      • twilighthours says:

        Patches started getting PK minutes to start this year even with a history of bad 5on5 play. And it’s helped turn him into a much better all-around player.

        Therrien’s inequity.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Max has played some PK time this year (76 minutes) and ranks 7th for Habs forwards in PK time this year.
          The D position is also very different with responsibilities vs, the PK forward

          • twilighthours says:

            But with fewer players (6 D vs 12 F) from which to draw. One of our weakest defensive forwards is groomed to be a good penalty killer while our allegedly-weakest defensive D is not. Go figure.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        So the answer to subban’s issues are for him to clean up his d-zone shortcomings, battle more for positioning, be stronger on the puck and man, don’t slide all over the ice in desperation. I guess that makes sense. If your not scoring you better be playing solid d-fence. Maybe a stronger commitment to detail in the d zone would do the trick for PK.

        Shaker out!

    • mdp2011 says:

      Pk has had issues with every single coach since he turned pro. From Guy Boucher in Hamilton, to Jacques Martin, the 2 Randys and now MT. Despite all those good qualities you listed, I think maybe PK is just one of the those players who gives coaches fits.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I think you hit the nail on the head. He hasn’t just had issues with MT it has been almost every coach he has had.

        • jimmy shaker says:

          What was the problem exactly with all these coach’s? I’m not even exactly sure what his and MT’s problem is?

          Shaker out!

          • Kooch7800 says:

            who knows as we are not part of the dressing room. PK is an elite talent but it can’t be a coincidence that there has been so many coaches having issues with him.

            PK is highly competitive and doesn’t lack confidence but considering this is his 4th pro season and I wouldn’t think you would see as many of the same mistakes he made back in his first seson where he tries to do too much or blows his coverage.

            Defense isn’t an easy position there is no doubt but I think they are hard on him to try and get through to him cause it hasn’t been working

            I expect him to have a great playoff and I am sure he will. I am also sure that no matter how long he will be in the NHL he will be one of those players who is always singled out. He is a lightening rod

      • twilighthours says:

        And yet this is the first year he’s gotten worse.

    • RH says:

      Nothing is wrong with PK Subban! Nothing is wrong with the coach and organization! Subban needs to develop his defensive game and, he WILL and IS going through growing pains. The coach IS trying to get Subban to develop his defensive game and is doing a fine job. PERIOD! It takes time people. Geez! Aren’t we all glad #31 didn’t get run out of town like a lot of people wanted? It’s amazing how quickly people forget.

      • mdp2011 says:

        I don’t think anyone is trying to run PK out of town. I think people are just pointing out that PK isn’t perfect and has flaws in his game that he needs to work on. Also, that all the blame pointed to MT for PK’s lackluster play lately is a unfair.

    • RH says:

      I might also add that I’m sure we’re all happy that #51 wasn’t run out of town when he was struggling as well. He seems to be doing a fine job now.

  20. Prop says:

    It was a mail in game. Within the first five minutes, you could tell they just weren’t into it.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  21. frontenac1 says:

    Looks like this is Parros”s swan song amigos. He knows it too. Kudos to him to let the Kid have a go with him last night, much the same way McGratton did earlier this season. Gallant now has an excellent portfolio for his spot next season. There is a changing of the guard occuring in the Enforcement circles in the NHL and the older guys are doing their part to bring the kids in. There is a fraternity and pride amongst them amigos. Saludos!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Great post my friend. I hope the Habs find a good replacement for Parros this summer.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I cringed as it was happening, glad that I’m not alone, the RDS boys said as much too. An enforcer who is fragile and can’t fight is of no use to anyone in the NHL, I hope George makes the right call for himself and his family and retires.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Amen UCE. Parros can retire with dignity. He always had a problem with balance, which he compensated for with his huge reach, change ups and technicals. But his lack of balance is increasing outweighing those positives. He knows it too. Saw him once in a broadcasting role and I hope he lands there. Very articulate, insightful and humorous. An honourable man. I wish him the best.

      • Phil C says:

        He probably won’t make the right choice, but I don’t think it will matter because he’s done as a player. I’m pretty sure he has zero chance at being signed.

    • Prop says:

      Parros is kind of like the guy from Goon, Ross “The Boss” Rhea.

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • mrhabby says:

      Gallant is nothing more than a goon on the uprise , a piece of crap actually. Islanders need a lot more than some goon trying to make a name for himself.

      • CJ says:

        He is certainly not a piece of crap. He is a young man trying to break into the league. He is not a skilled player, but he brings something to the lineup. Laugh at the Isles all we want, and yes, their management team is well below average, but the players are competing. I watched them twice this week and twice last week and they were full value every single night.

        • mrhabby says:

          a goon as far as I am concerned. what did he play 4-5 minutes total.
          it does not matter ..isles have so much on there plate its going to take quite a few seasons to right that ship.

        • frontenac1 says:

          You and I both know of many kids learning the Trade in the minors CJ. There will be a new wave arriving soon. I hope the Habs are ahead of the curve and not playing catch up with the Veteran enforcers which has plagued us in recent years. We always used to have “young guys on the farm” to call up that knew the personnel and system.

          • CJ says:

            I agree completely. I believe we have taken a step in that direction by signing or drafting Thrower, Nevins, Crisp, Fournier, Big Mac. These guys have the ability to play the game, in addition to add a physical element. We need to continue by adding other pieces so that we have depth and toughness. Nobody will give us the magic answer. We need to draft/sign and develop these players ourselves.

          • frontenac1 says:

            I agree and much prefer that route to what the Flames are doing. McGratton, Westgarth and now Gillies? Those Lads you mentioned are still a year or two off. I wouldn’t mind a younger enforcer pick up next year as a stop gap.

    • CJ says:

      Agreed on every point Front. IMO, we need to go with youth. I hate to say this, but we need a guy who isn’t damaged goods. I hate to speak of players in such an exact manner, but this is the business of hockey. We need someone who can help for 1-3 years until we have a chance to promote from within.

    • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

      ridiculous

  22. 24AW says:

    we’ll see if they are a real playoff team Saturday?????????

  23. Un Canadien errant says:

    Sean McIndoe hands out his regular season awards.

    http://grantland.com/features/nhl-regular-season-awards-2014/

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  24. Maritime Ronn says:

    For those really concerned about ’1st round only’ Home Ice advantage, 5 of the 8 teams that started on the road last year won their series.

    Only # 1 Conference seeds and heavily favoured Pittsburgh and Chicago, along with a fluke Game 7 Bruins win started their series on home ice.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      It could actually be beneficial to start on the road. It can be a real circus at the Centre Bell, in a negative way. The gasping, moaning and gowning that goes on when players make mistakes seems to send the team into a tailspin on occasion. Maybe it’s just me? In years past though it’s just so tense in Montreal.

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Home ice only comes into play for a game 7…..is it nice to have sure…..but take it in 6 and no worries right? Would I like it? Yes. Is it a make or break? No. Just like your stats there suggest Ron.

      Shaker out!

  25. JUST ME says:

    Again today the poll question would need another option. Did you think the Canadiens would make the playoffs before the season started ? A yes or no answer does not cover everything and i am not sure that really 85 % of us thought the team would be in the playoffs not if we were to read the comments back then. I think a lot of maybe would be chosen instead of a yes…

    I think that a lot of players have been in playoffs mode since the team is officially in and that they are on a cruise control rythm ,not doing too much, trying not to get injured and so on…That probably explains why Bourque seems to be revived !

    • knob says:

      Carey Price is half the battle. Without him, MT would be looking for another job.

    • punkster says:

      Where do you think the Canadiens will finish in the Eastern Conference standings?

      Third or fourth (35%, 1,614 Votes)
      Fifth or sixth (29%, 1,343 Votes)
      Seventh or eighth (17%, 771 Votes)
      First or second (12%, 543 Votes)
      Ninth or worse (out of playoffs) (7%, 350 Votes)
      Total Voters: 4,621

      Start Date: September 26, 2013 @ 1:08 pm
      End Date: No Expiry

      Release the Subbang!!!

      • Timo says:

        I will ask this again… why were most people expecting Habs to finish worse than in the previous season? Is it because they are programmed to accept that Habs are mediocre and subconsciously admitting that last season achievement was a fluke? Are those the same people who tell me to shut up because Habs are 2nd in the division, 3rd in the conference, 9th in the NHL and won 10 of the last 13?

  26. habs-fan-84 says:

    Meh, games like last night are going to happen. Haven’t the Blues lost 2 in a row?

    Clearly the boys were looking ahead to next week. Not a big deal.

    Frankly, home ice hasn’t been much of a benefit to the Habs over the last decade anyway (so I’m not worried either way).

    • Timo says:

      It’s not so much that. It’s the fact that Habs can’t score worth sh!t on powerplay, that defensively they routinely allow over 50 shots to be fired on their net (shot blocking as part of the strategy is the stupidest thing since Mario Tremblay), don’t have secondary scoring, and no set lines beyond first line.

      On top of that all Habs bright lights like Subban, Galchenyuk, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Emelin have taken a step back this year.

  27. frontenac1 says:

    Reports: Quintal to take over The Wheel of Discipline.

  28. jimmy shaker says:

    Well let’s go with this for saturday….
    Gally/pleks/bourque
    Briere/eller/gio
    bernie/white/weezy

    and come next thursday insert prust for bernie, bernie slots in with pleks and gally and bourque to the presser.

    Murray will start the series and frankie will come in depending on how murray does.

    It’s all good people….

    Shaker out!

  29. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    So much for character.
    :lol: :razz: :lol: :razz: :lol:

  30. Timo says:

    To me it looked like Subban is no longer with the Habs in spirit. He looks disinterested and who could blame him. Therrien and Bergevin have managed to suck the life out of the most exciting defenseman in the league in order to save a few bucks. More Mike Weaver and Francis Bouillon in the future.

    Subban will be gone this summer.

    • knob says:

      I’m not quite sure why our management treats our young guys like they are third-rate players.

      • Timo says:

        May I suggest that Habs’ don’t have a good management and coaching team? Unless, of course, people are going to start bragging about finishing second in the conference and perhaps lobby to Molson to start hanging “2nd in the Eastern Conference” banners.

        • knob says:

          I’m not quite sure where I stand with MB. He has made some great moves and he has made some questionable moves. No GM is perfect. I think that he/MT is gambling with PK way too much and I think that the Habs are going to get burned for it.

          • Timo says:

            Habs won’t get burned. Habs fans will get burned. Many more years of mediocrity to come.

          • mrhabby says:

            almost laughable…

            gee…Vanek , Weise , Weaver for no more then a 2 rounder.

            never traded away any of the young blue chip talent.

            Lots of up and comers in the system.

            Has an excellent mgmnt team in place.

          • knob says:

            Mr Habby:

            I do believe that he HAS made some pretty good moves. Some questionable moves as well. I’m in no rush to see MB ousted, yet. He isn’t perfect though.

        • Luke says:

          You’re absolutely right, Timo. Forget the team concept, this is the PK show.

          Maybe McPhee can give Marc some pointers on how to successfully build a team around an exciting talent. It’s worked wonders in Washington.

          • Timo says:

            No no no. Habs don’t need an exciting talent. Francis Bouillon and Mike Weaver types will provide plenty excitement. And given that most people are beyond excited that Habs made the playoffs and… wait for it… most likely will finish 2nd in the conference (pause for effect)… I don’t think we can take any more excitement than that. Who needs Subban anyway. He is a camera hog and a showboat. Let him go somewhere else, perhaps LA (Hollywood) and provide excitement there.

          • knob says:

            PK is a great player that can create opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, at times he is sloppy in his own end and at times he would get caught up the ice. Let’s be honest though, PK is a stud that has been neutered and that is of zero benefit to the team. I can’t believe that people rip on this guy cause of his passion and eagerness to help his team win.

    • Cal says:

      Sorry, Timo, but that’s a giant crock of shit you just spouted. The funny thing is people think you’re serious.

      • Timo says:

        Of course, I did. Got forbid we say anything bad about coach and GM.

        • Cal says:

          It’s about results. Thus far, we have nothing to bitch about. After Cunneyworth, did you think the Habs would make the playoffs comfortably 2 seasons in a row?

          • Timo says:

            I don’t care about making playoffs… I want the cup. Making playoffs is nothing to brag about, but Habs have been so bad for so long that people have been programmed to think that making playoffs is some sort of achievement. Playoffs… sheesh, Columbus made playoffs.

  31. Strummer says:

    In a space of less than 24 hours this team went from dominating a Stanley Cup champ/contender to being dominated bya perrrenial bottom-feeder.

    Limping into the post-season is troubling.

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

    • jimmy shaker says:

      And one big win has the boys on a winning streak heading into the playoffs. They will get everything accomplished. Probably a donut for pricer, 40th for patch and 300th for danny B. Remember MT, you said you have a 4 line team….use them for the love of all things good and holy.

      Shaker out!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      St. Louis has lost their last 4 in a row in regulation.
      Boston has lost their last 2 games against Minnesota and Winnipeg
      Pitt is 5-5-0 in their last 10
      SJ is 4-4-2 in their last 10 and have lost 2 in a row

  32. DipsyDoodler says:

    One bit of good news – there is no way Meehan asks for $8M for Subban. Not with a straight face. He’s now looking at the same contract as Alex Pietrangelo ($6.5M/yr).

    Of course the bad news is that Subban is such a mess you not only wonder if he’ll ever get his mojo back, you start to think: was he that good in the first place?

    He’s like late Martin Amis in that sense.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Phaneuf?

    • knob says:

      I really believe that it is no coincidence that Subban, Eller, Tinordi, basically any player set to go from an entry level contract to a potential pay-day struggles under this management. I seriously believe that management/coaching is managing future costs with present environment/ice time. Nathan McKinnon would be playing 8 mins a game in this line-up.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        I’m interested in your use of the word “seriously” there.

        What do you mean by seriously?

        The other bit I get: the Habs are deliberately sabotaging their young players so they can lowball them in future contract negotiations.

        But what does it mean to “seriously” think that?

        That’s the part I don’t quite understand.

        —–
        Moving. Forward.

        • Timo says:

          You would be a perfect replacement for Therrien if he ever had to leave. Seriously.

        • knob says:

          I used the word “seriously” to make it clear that my comment was not a sarcastic comment.

          • Cal says:

            Not sarcastic? Just ill-informed, then.

          • knob says:

            Just the way I view it Cal. I still cheer the Habs on, and watch as many games as possible. I really believe that this team could be better with the players and options that they already have…

            I don’t like MT, regardless of the success that the team has had. My distain for MT stems from his self proclaimed “meritocracy” that is laughable at best and the way he treats the young guys, regardless of their talent level.

          • Cal says:

            C’mon. Did you really think that the Habs are so poorly coached that they made 3rd in the conference? That doesn’t make sense.
            The “meritocracy” you so despise is in place. Bourque and Brière have been bounced around more than tennis balls. Pleks has played with pretty much every forward on the roster.

            Coaches are very quick to alter things when the chemistry isn’t on display during a game. If a few feathers are ruffled, that’s too bad.

          • knob says:

            Here is an example (won’t be a good example because I don’t remember the specific opponents):

            Subban blindly fires a put behind his own net that bounces off the side of the net (maybe against Colorado) and right onto the stick of the opponent = goal. Subban sits for the rest of the third period and MT tears him a new one in the presser. Bouillon does the exact same thing and doesn’t miss a shift. I wish I could remember the opponent to strengthen my point. How is that for self proclaimed meritocracy.

            Eller continuing his great play from the previous season forms part of the EGG line, which is off to a great start to the season and is essentially dismantled to benefit the struggling DD and Max. Gallagher does go on to spark that line but to no benefit to him.

            There are a couple of examples there.

            The coach is perplexing. A lot of things he does are way too conservative. If this team makes it to the conference finals then maybe I will change my tune on this guy.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Top Dman Cap Hits for next season.
      With the exception of the complete Leafs nonsense with Phaneuf and an old Brian Campbell contract, this is what it looks like.

      So where do you slot Subban when thinking of the 3 aspects of the game that being 5X5 play/PP/PK?

      Shea Weber: $7.8M
      Ryan Suter: $7.5M (last year’s real Norris winner)
      Kris Letang: $7.2M
      Drew Doughty: $7M
      Chara: $6.9M
      Karlsson: $6.5M
      Pietrangelo: $6.5M
      Duncan Keith: $5.5M
      Ekman-Larsson: $5.5M
      Bouwmeester: $5.4M
      Keith Yandle: $5.2M

      • jimmy shaker says:

        I can’t slot him ahead of really anyone on that list at the moment. I would love him at 6.5mill/per but I think he gets 7.5mill/per…..but MB is a very good GM in my opinion and will get the right contract for PK.

        Shaker out

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Tough one, isn’t it….especially the no penalty kill time.

          • jimmy shaker says:

            I remember he did kill penalties 3 or 4 years ago so I know he can do it. But with the D they have now, gorges, weaver, murray, tinordi, marky….these guys are better in that area than PK, so I understand MT’s thoughts of not using him on the pk. I guess if you’re going to command that type of contract you have to be able to play in all facets of the game. But PK is better defensively than letang and karlsson, so I don’t know. It’s a weird weird situation.

            Shaker out!

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        I would trade PK for Weber, Suter, Keith and Doughty only on that list. I think he is equal to Pietrangelo. So I would place his salary below $7M (we can discount Keith’s cap circumventing salary) but above $5.5M.

        —–
        Moving. Forward.

  33. jeffhabfan says:

    That was a stinker for sure last night. Got to bounce back tomorrow night and win. I want Patches to get 40 goals and I want the Habs to get 100 PTS. GO HABS GO.

  34. Psycho29 says:

    Wow….Just Wow….98 points and people are still bit¢hing!

  35. krob1000 says:

    PLease, pretty please ….put Briere on the powerplay. He has 256 career pp points….he has made a career out of being a powerplay specialist and now he can’t crack what is among the leagues worst powerplays for the last couple of months?

    • knob says:

      Agreed. I don’t understand how this guy only got 6 mins of ice time in Chicago and gets no pp time. Last night it would have been nice to see Briere on the first wave and with the way Bourque was playing I think it would have been appropriate to award him with some pp time as well. Send him a positve message for once.

  36. Maritime Ronn says:

    An almost expected stink bomb.
    It’s the end of the marathon, and the guys are fed up and looking towards next week.
    It was actually a good wake up call and expect a big performance tomorrow.

    Stuff happens during a year.
    Just a few examples:

    Boston has lost twice this year to the Islanders-Buffalo-Ottawa.
    Pittsburgh was shutout 5-0 by Ottawa, and also lost 5-1 against Florida.
    Colorado was beaten by Edmonton 8-2.
    St. Louis has lost 7-1 against NJ.
    San Jose lost back to back games against Edmonton (3-0) and Calgary (4-1)

  37. Luke says:

    Why did the Islanders, with 11 AHLers, outplay the Habs?

    Because they had something to play for.

    There isn’t much motivation for the Habs at this point. They are in the playoffs and know their opponent. There is a natural tendancy in all people to relax once you have acheived a goal. The only variable is where they play, and let’s be honest… who cares? In fact, starting on the road may better suit them.

    The AHL Islanders, however, iced 11 guys who desperatly want to prove they can play in the NHL and derserve that 90% pay raise. There’s the motivation. That’s why they had the legs.

    The Habs players were basically trying not to get hurt so they don’t miss the playoffs. I’m sure we would have all liked to see better effort, but had Max broken a leg with a strong net drive (a la Stamkos) in this meaningless game would you applaud his tenacity or condem him for not saving it for a game that mattered?

    Now, that being said, I do not understand why Tinordi and Beaulieu were not in the lineup last night. For the very same reason that AHL Islanders were full of jump, so to would Tinordi and especially Beaulieu as they worked to prove they belong with the club during the playoffs.

    • As UCE said below; We’re still shocked that “Michel Therrien for showing up to work in the morning, still employed.”

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Sorry to say you’re misreading or misinterpreting my words.

        “And again, it’s not acceptable for them to be shut out, not with the stakes such as they are, against the horrid lineup they were facing. We critique Peter Budaj for a flubbed shot when he loses us the game, or Josh or P.K. when they lose their man in coverage, or Lars when he commits a giveaway. Ryan White when he takes a bad penalty at an inopportune time. Michel Therrien for showing up to work in the morning, still employed. Tonight, we can criticize our top line for failing to do their job. Their job is to score, and they shanked it.”

        Nothing in there about being shocked. I was listing a number of items that spur us to evaluate and discuss our team. Along the way, I took a gentle swipe at the one-note posters who bleat about the head coach and want him dismissed, even though he has his team on the verge of a 100-point season. While a large portion of fans and analysts had the Habs pegged for a catfight to even get in the playoffs.

        I was trying to make a funny, a ‘one of these things is not like the others’. But as the saying goes, when you have to explain your joke, it probably wasn’t funny to begin with. I apologize for being so cryptic.

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

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think we saw the group of defencemen that will play in the playoffs last night. I’d imagine Therrien was getting everyone accustomed to playing with each other again. I think?

  38. 24 Cups says:

    This is everything that is wrong about the NHL these days.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKeMcn6tVcQ

  39. knob says:

    So….
    I guess MT gave the boys the night off after the lose in Chicago as per usual.

    Some things that didn’t help (mind you I only watched the 2nd and 3rd periods):
    1. The Parros fight was not inspiring, in fact I watched the fight hoping that Big George would not be concussed. Saturday should be his last NHL game;
    2. The Murray hit was bad luck. Murray had him lined-up in anticipation but Sundstrom rerouted and for that got to do a face-plant into the end boards. Cue the power-play goal and further deflation; and
    3. Vanek and Desharnais, especially Desharnais, worked way too hard in trying to set-up Pacioretti for number 40. I don’t have a problem with the thought process but team first!
    4. MT should watch the game tape. We lost to a bunch of young bucks that were hungry. It isn’t a bad thing to have some young guys in the line-up and let them play. Beaulieau and Tinordi should have been playing since the return from the Olympic break and should be have been ready for the playoffs. Vets are good but vets also get complacent.

  40. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    That face just screams FAT CAT.

  41. JUST ME says:

    I hate the Islanders. From one of sports greatest dynasty to one of the worst travesty.
    How is it that everytime we meet them we get to fall in their trap and play their game when ours is better ? This remains a mystery to me. The Caramilk thing there and the KFC spices recipe are secrets not mysteries.

    I mean we are playing against a AAA team with the Tzaziki guy and the Donovan Bailey twins so it should not be too much to ask to go for 5 or 6 goals ? I just do not get it, it was soooo predictable and guess what ? I told you so a couple of days ago !

    O.K. thanks i feel better but still do not understand.

  42. Hobie Hansen says:

    Another meaningless game where the Habs were giving it about 75% and the Islanders 100%. The regular season can’t end soon enough. Too bad for the people who actually paid for tickets to that game.

    The inevitable happened, someone got injured. We all saw this coming and it sucks! Galchenyuk is a good player, not to sound like a jerk, but at least it wasn’t Vanek, Pacioretty, Plekanec, Subban or Markov. Or especially Price.

    I doubt Murray gets suspended on that hit. Sundstrom appeared to be cutting towards the net then inexplicably turned his back. Murray was expecting to hit him chest to chest.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      100% agree on the hit on Murray. I don’t think that was his fault. Sundstrom should have taken the hit. Knowing how bad the NHL is he will probably get a couple of games now that he is a repeat offender ;(

    • 24 Cups says:

      I think the only real concern right now is the PP. 0-20, no goals in 7 games. This for a team that now has Vanek as well as Subban/Markov.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        For sure ya. I think once the playoffs begin and the intensity level goes through the roof the PP could improve. As we all know, there’s usually a lot less penalties (which is awesome) in the playoffs and the Habs have an excellent PK.

        With addition of Vanek, the Habs are scoring more often 5 on 5 as well.

      • krob1000 says:

        …and meanwhile the guy I believe is the best powerplay ofrward on the team…the guy who more career pp points than Dd and Chcuky have career opints of any kind…Danny BRiere sits on the bench and waatches the pp with horror in his eyes. IRonically enough MT recognizes late in games the need to put BRiere out…he is almost always the extra a ttacker or plays the dying minutes. Does he not see that Briere would be better on the pp than DD because he is a shooting threat also? HE will also go to the net.

  43. Was too fed-up to comment at the end of the game. Embarrassing and Boone covers the other games this year. Sure, other top teams are hissing out their air at the end of a long season like St. Louis, but I hate when our Jekyll & Hyde team just blows a tire.

    UCE at 2AM in the morning covered it quite well. As usual a well thought out review. So should we worry? Yes.

    Just hoping we aren’t kicked out of the first round like last year, but yeah “Michel Therrien for showing up to work in the morning, still employed.” We need those few games to go our way and finishing with a three game losing streak, like I posited yesterday, is not the way to enter the playoffs.

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

    • Phil C says:

      I wouldn’t worry too much based on the outcome of this game. The Habs were not skating or competing, while the Islanders were all hustle. Even with that significant advantage they still only managed 2 goals.

      My only concern is that the lines were set and working reasonably well, now Therrien is back in trial-and-error mode for line making as he seems to have horrible instincts on creating offensive lines. They have less than a week to figure it out.

  44. Maritime Ronn says:

    So the Leafs are hiring another suit.
    They remind one of some federal government agency that didn’t get the memo to cut expenses, and keep putting friends in high, fat salary places.

    Then again, it’s the perennial Hope and Change Leafs fans footing the bill…and the sushi, Chardonnay swiggers in the Plats don’t seem to mind.

    The Leafs are now the most ‘suit’ top heavy franchise in the NHL and it doesn’t stop there. (Cliff Fletcher is still around…)
    Their direct hockey dept. consists of 33 bodies not counting coaching.
    Detroit gets by with 22 and the Habs with 24.

    Shanahan looked upset when briefed about the new CBA, ” What do you mean we can’t bury contracts in the AHL anymore? Are you trying to tell me I’m stuck with this overpaid long term mob?”

    • stevieray says:

      Agree partner !..Not sure what Shanahan has to offer . No experience at all which should be troublesome as there are many ” other issues ” to deal with rather than on ice performance of a team … salary cap issues , collective bargaining …either of which he is well versed in . I guess he could always ask his buddy Colin Campbell for advice .
      To be blunt I really don’t give a rat’s ass about who the hire but this guy never played for the Leafs …Surely there are some ex – Leaf players out there that would merit atleast a look …
      Seems like the Leafs were just trying to copy the Canucks announcement

      • Strummer says:

        They feel hiring Toronto natives helps like Nieuwendyk, Dryden and Shanny (or Gretzky if he would come) even though they never played for the team

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

    • Ron says:

      Quite the top heavy front office. It looks to me that they keep hiring suits to keep an eye on another suit. No trust in the crew that was running things since Leiweke took over. I would think some bodies will be sent packing come season end. Shanny will take over someones job IMO.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Rogers and Bell, who co-own MLSE, probably wanted a figurehead President – someone the fans could identify with but who wouldn’t rock the boat, a craven lickspittle who would give the impression of being in charge but who would toe the party line.

      They couldn’t have found a better lackey.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • stevieray says:

        Sundin …Clark….Gilmour …any would be a good figurehead for the Leafs…Shanahan never !..Except for Cherry …He’ll be exploding his beans on HNIC about this hire …should be hilarious !

    • Strummer says:

      I live in the GTA so I’ve been bombarded with Leaf nonsense for ever.
      MLSE has money to burn so they can fill their front office with overpriced exec’s in a P.R. move to take the fan’s minds off of paying $10.00 for a beer and $25.00 to park your car while watching 47 years of futility.
      They always go for flash over substance when making these hires. More recently it was Burke @ $3 million a year, then LA bigwig Tim Leiweke.
      Looks like it will be a tight squeeze in the MLSE corporate box next winter.
      ____________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  45. Mavid says:

    We laid a bit of a stinker..so what..and Parros did not lose that fight..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  46. VintageFan says:

    Congratulations to Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien. It took 3 years, but you have succeeded in eliminating those nasty offensive tendencies and the tiresome exuberance of PK Subban. It must be a great comfort to now have the player you always wanted,

    • Exactly what happened. PK would do much better with a new environment. A true coach that supposedly knows how to nurture rookie talent takes the best of the player and guides it, not trying to remold the talent into something that the coach thinks would fit better. Sad. If I were PK, I’d take an offer sheet and high-tail it out of Marois town… she may not be back, but the BS hasn’t been purged completely. Same for the Canadiens organization.

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

    • Kooch7800 says:

      you are so right….PK never had any defensive flaws in his game his first few years (sarcasim font)…….PK hasn’t played well this year and that is on him. The start of the year he was on fire and then he hasn’t been so hot.

      I expect him to be better in the playoffs. If he wants an 8 mill a year deal long term he is going to have to show he deserves it now.

      If the habs could get weber straight up or with a little added for Subban I would pull that trigger in a heartbeat

      • stevieray says:

        PK has looked ordinary…I think he has a major lip on from the Olympics and tried to hard when he returned . Certainly not worth the big money some are saying ..I myself tire of his act sometimes …

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I think he is a wealth of talent and skill but his confidence is his biggest asset and weakness at the same time.

          I really think he will be here long term and be a big part of the team but if they could get someone like Weber for him I would do it. Weber has offense, hits like a mack truck and is mean. That would go a long way in the east.

          In saying that I hope we keep PK and he breaks out in the playoffs. He really elevated his game last year in the post season

  47. Eric Danis says:

    Honestly it was the d the issue, there was no mobility what so ever on the transition, pk looks like he’s toying around, Markov and Emilin played mediocre hockey, George’s and weaver weren’t reading plays or cutting pass, and Douglass Murray well let’s just say I don’t think he should be on the ice anymore. Tinordi and beaulieu give a much better chance than Murray on the ice. And of course we know that won’t happen because beaulieu was sent back down last night. Therrien is playing fire right now at the end of the year with the d makes me concerned for the playoffs personally…

  48. Phil C says:

    I know this game was meaningless, but an unfortunate side effect of the Galchenyuk injury is that Plekanec and Gionta were reunited, and it does not feel so good. They have never had offensive chemistry together. As well, if you were to pull the names of wingers randomly from a hat, could you possibly come up with a worse line than Gionta-Plekanec-Gallagher? That was hard to watch…

  49. 24 Cups says:

    WordPress has been listed as one of the sites that is vulnerable to Heartbleed. Are they going to patch their system and let customers know when that has taken place? Should HI/O posters be ready to change their passwords to this site?

  50. Mr_MacDougall says:

    In response to the Shannahan addition to the Leafs, the Bruins are expected to name Phillip Bettman as special assistant to ownership.. What a battle!

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  51. Black Horse says:

    Maybe, just maybe Subban is a “one hit wonder”?

  52. scavanau says:

    Shanahan at the helm of the Leafs?

  53. 24 Cups says:

    It’s going to be a bit of a test for MT now that he knows Galchenyuk is gone for a playoff series or two. Therrien likes to shuffle his lines so that won’t be anything new. Alas, he tends to be a bit too conservative when it comes to giving ice time to younger players. He may not have much choice now that Galchenyuk and (probably) Moen won’t start the playoffs.

    I really like what Bournival brings tot he team. It’s time to reunite him with Pleks and Gionta. Good shutdown line with a built-in PK tandem.

    Briere is here to ramp up the team for the playoffs so he could centre a 3rd line with Bourque and Gallagher. Bourque is unpredictable but the team doesn’t have much choice right now.

    A 4th line of Prust/Eller/Weise would be solid with Prust and Eller being able to also kill penalties. White would be the overall sub if needed.

    In terms of letting youth being served, I think it might be time to go with Tinordi as the left side partner for Weaver. Of course, reality dictates that MT will go with a veteran. I can live with Murray but Bouillon just seems to be overwhelmed at this point which is leading to mistakes and turnovers.

    • Cal says:

      I’m looking forward to next week. I think the Habs were, too, when it comes to looking at last night.

      • 24 Cups says:

        The events of the week before the playoffs rarely have any impact on the post season. They are reflective of very little. Home ice would be nice but it’s certainly not a major issue.

        I like our chances against Tampa.

    • JF says:

      Steve – I agree about reuniting Bournival with Plekanec and Gionta, He’s fast, fearless, and he never stops working. That line was very effective early in the season.

  54. howiemorenz7 says:

    The NYI are 7-2-2 in their last 11 with that AHL team. Why? Team buys into a defensive system, plays clean, collapses around their goalie, and is relentless on the forecheck, just like the Wings have done with their AHL team and playoff run. Not sexy, but very effective, so yeah, we sucked, but so did 7 other teams who under-estimated them recently.

    MT’s choking of PK is something the Habs will regret, however. It is so sad to see him effectively lobotomized out there. He’s not signing with the Habs come what may, and we can all look at MB and MT’s mugs as the new Reggie and Mario when they’re left with nothing but draft picks in their sorry hands. Either Geoff is in on this (which I can’t believe) or he’s just as guilty, he needs to keep a very close eye on the negotiations or lack thereof.

    Maroons Suck. #7 foreva.

    • Cal says:

      Subban is the one hesitating out there and taking forever to pass the effing puck, not MT and/or MB. WTF is wrong with making the simple, effective play? Why must every pass be a long bomb up the middle that pretty much every team is looking for?
      PK must simplify and make quicker and better decisions.

  55. piter says:

    I’m hoping that Vaneks weak, weak defensive coverage doesn’t rub off on Patches and Desharnais, never mind on the rest of the team. I know Vaneks a floater, waiting and circling at our blue line for an outlet pass, but we cant afford to have the whole line being weak defensively. It hasn’t happened yet as Patches, and most of the time Desharnais, skates pretty hard to cover their defensive responsibilities, but Vanek? He’s only hard on the puck defensively when he’s trying to recover it after a giving it away. Has he always been weak defensively? I just hope the rest of the line doesn’t pick up any of his bad habits. Lets hope he lights the way in scoring through the playoffs. Price will be a stud during the playoffs. Go Habs Go!!

  56. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all! Busy busy weekend in our neck of the woods. Lot’s of family and friends from out of town scheduled to visit. In a very rare occurance hockey takes a back seat. :)

    Probably a good thing as that game last night showed that this team has lost interest in the regular season and are ready to move on to the playoffs. In my eyes the team gets a mulligan for last night.

    Have a great day and weekend all! Busy busy busy. CHeers.

  57. Black Horse says:

    “Michel Therrien has to figure out how to get some secondary offence from his second and third lines”

    Well, if he hasn’t figured it out in 81 games, he’s not going to!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Hi Black. Maybe its just me but I don’t think scoring is our problem this year (minus last nights fiasco). I still think the team spends way to much time chasing the puck in their own end. It’s still about defense to me. Oh well, should be interesting to see the performance in the playoff.
      CHeers.

    • 24AW says:

      start by putting Gionta back on the 3rd line. It didn’t work before with Plekanec, it’s not gonna work now. Move Bournival up with Pleks and Gallagher and he’ll get the results he’s looking for. Last night was nothing short of awful, 19 shots on net for a team that everyone is thinking is gonna have a good run in the playoffs. Believe me, don’t look pass the 1st round, anything after that will be a Bonus.

  58. CJ says:

    Good morning! Well, all is not lost. Masters week…..

    I was hoping for more, but the results are not entirely surprising. There were some interesting line up changes, which likely set the tone. I struggle sometimes with whether or not a leadership vacuum exists on this team. 82 games is a grind and back to back games are never easy, but we seem to fall flat more than we should. Does Gionta, Markov and Gorges wear some of that?

    Building on Norm’s comments below, I really think the team is toying with Beaulieu. Sure his attitude is alleged to have been less than desirable, but his game is NHL ready. He looked much better, against a quicker Blackhawks team on Wednesday night, than following a terrible performance in which all defenceman took turns playing hot potato, Beaulieu is sent down. Maybe the team is testing his resolve? Maybe the bigger picture is a return following the close of the Bulldogs season, or maybe they want to get rid of the kid. I really don’t know. What I can tell you is we did not ice our best lineup last night. Sure, that’s a very subjective statement, but we will quickly realize that Tampa is no pushover. It’s not enough to just show up. It wasn’t last night and it won’t be next week.

    I do agree with Boone, White, Weise and Bournival all came to play. Oddly, it will be one, possibly all three of these guys who sit come playoff time.

    Lastly, PK is not one of the players who will sit come playoffs.That said, last night might have been a missed opportunity. Markov, Emelin and Price got a break, staying back from Chicago. Last night I would have given PK a break. PK reminds me of the guy who stays at the driving range all day hitting balls. The technique is wrong, so all it does is further engrain bad habits or poor forum. PK could have used a break to help reset and refocus. He continues to make the same mistakes over and over. We have tried to give him more ice, less ice. What’s the last option? IMO, the game off would have been right. It would have given Tinordi and/or Beaulieu another game, with an advanced role. When PK sits on the bench for the entire 2 minutes of a 4-3 PP you need to ask yourself what’s up. Would Karlsson sit in Ottawa?

    Again, I can’t say much because the team has enjoyed a very good regular season. That said, last night a number of those surface cracks appeared. It’s not the cracks that are most concerning, but the manner in which we fail to treat the issues. Mike Therien is no Mike Holmes.

    The sun is up. Today is going to be beautiful. Last night is now just that – last night. Enjoy everyone! Cheers, CJ

  59. JF says:

    Since replacing Ben Bishop, Anders Lindback has given up two goals in two games.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Against two teams that are in the top ten of scoring.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Jane – Tampa had lost all confidence in Lindback which is one of the reasons they rode Bishop into the ground. Lindback has been terrible for most of this season.

      Time will tell how his play eventually pans out. I still think having him in net is a major drawback for Tampa as he has only ever had one solid stretch of games in his entire NHL career (2011).

      • JF says:

        Steve – I certainly hope you’re right, but I’m really worried about the series. Tampa plays a tight defensive game and excels at closing down the centre of the ice. All they really need is a big body in goal. Against a fast, offensive team like Chicago, good as they are, I’d give the Habs at least an even chance of winning because of Price. Against Tampa, even with Lindback in goal and even considering their relative inexperience, I fear frustration and disappointment.

    • Just an FYI, Bishop is fine and is resting the rest of the reg season. He’s starting game one of the playoffs.

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

      • Kooch7800 says:

        That is what I would expect as well. Tampa is also showing they can play without him in goal lately.

        This will be a really tough series for the habs first round

  60. Bugs says:

    A two-nuthin loss and Renay is the best Hab on the ice.

    Sorry, let me rephrase that:
    Renay, the best Hab on the ice and it’s a two-nuthin loss.
    Yeah, makes more sense when you say it like that.

    Left turn-missin’ L. B. Potter.

  61. DipsyDoodler says:

    Eller with Bourque and Gionta was a good line. Hope we see it again.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  62. DipsyDoodler says:

    It’s all going pear shaped for St.Louis.

    Lost to Minny yesterday and are now in 2nd place.

    To make things worse, Mike Rupp (averaging 4 goals per season in his 12 year joke of a career) knocked out TJ Oshie with a vicious blindside hit to the head.

    Rupp was just trying to earn an NHL job for next year. Showing grit. And compete.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  63. rhino514 says:

    When examples will be asked for upon a critical evaluation of the coach, this Islanders game is a good one. Forget the whole “trap” thing; the habs needed this win for home ice advantage, that is more than sufficient motivation to put forth a half decent effort against a depleted team.
    I haven´t seen team not show up for as many games as this team in quite a few years. Granted if you have a weak character team there is little a coach can do, but the habs have a good work ethic and good guys in the room. Within this context a coach should be able to get the guys to put forth a good effort in critical games.

  64. BJ says:

    One step behind all night. Guy Boucher (now coaching in Bern, Switzerland) has a very interesting take on the demands of the NHL schedule (I heard him on RDS yesterday). He said that after observing the players with the amount of games, traveling, injuries etc. that there are probably 20 too many games per season. He says its impossible for the players to be at their best and be consistent on a regular basis. As most of us have travelled some, I can easily see how demanding it must be to maintain a superior effort on a daily basis (and I’m not including having played a demanding game the night before) hitting the bed at 3:00 or 4:00 am and playing again the next night. Repeat that for almost 9 months a year if you go far enough into the playoffs. So I guess you can say that thats where our team was last night. A step behind young players that have a lot to prove to stay up with the big team. So really no big surprise. We’ll be better vs the NYR and if Tampa gets home ice advantage they will have deserved it and if we want to get into the second round, we simply have to beat them by winning one more game than they do.

  65. twilighthours says:

    First line sucked tonight. The rest weren’t much better. Oh well, win on Saturday and let the chips fall where they may

  66. Un Canadien errant says:

    I can’t help but think that Nathan Beaulieu is being tested. He’s sent back down the Hamilton again, and he’ll be watched closely. The Bulldogs are still in it mathematically, he’ll be expected to show up for every practice and every game and work hard, be positive and show leadership. This is an opportunity for him to go through the steps, to show a change in behaviour. As soon as the ‘Dogs are eliminated, he’ll be called back up as one of the Black Aces, and he can position himself for a great summer of training and a great showing in training camp that forces the team to keep him with le Grand Club.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  67. Un Canadien errant says:

    Interesting that Alex Galchenyuk has a ‘mild MCL strain’ on his right knee, since that’s the injury I suffered about three weeks ago. When he skated away after the contact with Marian Hossa, and I saw him shaking and testing his leg a little bit, and then left the game, I thought that might be what happened to him.

    I incurred my injury while snowboarding, hitting a tree at low-ish speed on the outside of my right thigh. This caused the classic cause of the MCL sprain, the inward-lateral buckling of the knee under load. After extricating myself from the tree hole I was caught in, and clambering up a steep bank to get back to flat ground, I felt a looseness in my knee, on certain movements. No pain really, just something wonky. And I knew instantly what it was, because I’d done the same injury years before when I slid off a rail and hit it with my left thigh. That one was worse, a second to third-degree strain, but at the time I’d felt the exact same looseness, with no pain, and something wonky while I slowly made my way back down to the base, riding as cautiously as I ever have.

    What worries me about Alex’s is that he was on crutches yesterday, whereas in my case, with a very mild strain, I didn’t need to dust off the crutches. I have a neoprene compression knee brace, with metal hinges on the side, and I’ve been able to walk and weight-bear from the get-go with that on. Maybe his physios are being very aggressive, not taking any chances.

    The first couple of days the knee swells up and the pain gradually builds, but it’s not intolerable, I didn’t even have to take a Tylenol with my current injury. The rehab work is very simple at first, following the RICE principle: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. So Alex will have a compression or tensor bandage on, probably the same brace I’m using, to minimize swelling. When he takes it off, it’s only to ice, ice, ice the joint, baby. He’ll have his leg propped up while he watches quality TV programming, maybe he catches up on his “Game of Thrones”.

    At first, he’ll spend a lot of time on the exercise bike, at first just going back and forth on the pedal according to his range of motion. He may only be able to go through 180 degrees on the pedals at first, then slowly increase the range, until he eventually can go all the way around on the pedal stroke, and will slowly spin, with no resistance. The goal here is to increase circulation in the joint, and preclude the formation of scar tissue.

    When the pain is mostly gone and he has almost full range of motion with no stiffness, they’ll add some light resistance to his regimen, and some balance work with his body weight, on the BOSU or balance board.

    Based on the severity of the injury, or lack thereof, and the fact that Alex is a young buck, a teenager who’s still growing and in peak physical condition, I could see him being back in two or three weeks. Or it could take longer. My first time around, for a bad second degree/mild third degree injury, with a good level of fitness and diligent rehabbing, I was back on snow within three months.

    The thing Alex will need to understand, and I’m sure the docs and physios will explain this to him, is that even when he feels 100% in the gym and on the examination table, and he gets cleared to return to the ice, he won’t be back to ‘normal’. He’ll feel twinges in his knee, some transient instability during certain movements or in certain postures. He’ll instinctively feel cautious, he’ll guard against re-injury in certain situations, and this will be almost impossible to control. It’ll take him a while (months) before the knee injury is well behind him, something he doesn’t think about anymore, and is truly ‘one hundred percent’.

    He’ll probably have to wear a brace while he plays too, it won’t have to be a honking RoboCop brace like Alexei Emelin wears to protect his ACL reconstruction, probably more of a neoprene jobbie with hinges like the one I have, that provides compression and some stability, and doesn’t impair movement too much. Don’t sweat it Alex, it’s not that bad having to wear it, it keeps your knee nice and warm, and it’ll come in handy the next time you get hurt.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • twilighthours says:

      That’s a nice description of the rehab process, for those that have never been thru it. It sounded all too familiar to me. It’s funny, there is no real support added by those neoprene braces / sleeves, but the current research suggests that the compression adds to the body’s proprioception, and hence the reduction in injury risk. I myself have several different types, and I always wear one while playing hockey and skiing. I have one of those carbon fibre jobs too, but I detest it, and so never wear it. No biggie, my latest Mri says that my 10 year old acl graft is still in great shape. It’s now the cartilage causing the problems.

      I suspect that Alex’ injury is worse than mild, if he’s on crutches. Team in probably just trying to obfuscate by saying “first round.” tough tough break.

      Every year I meet a few students who have torn knee ligaments. It makes me so sad. No kid should have to endure such an injury in the prime of their athletic life.

  68. The Jackal says:

    So has anyone else come to the dreaded realization that the Leafs’ 100th season is nigh and that we are going to be force-fed all that blue and white garbage for a whole calendar year?

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  69. Un Canadien errant says:

    What a clunker. The Canadiens, knowing they were facing a trap game, approached it, peered at it, tested it by poking and prodding it dubiously with a toe for two periods, and sprang it on themselves. The little surge of energy in the final five minutes were the proverbial dead-cat bounce.

    How the Canadiens can lose 2-0 to an already poor team ravaged by injuries, icing a lineup composed of 11 AHL’ers, can’t be explained rationally. Sure, they were playing the second game of a back-to-back, after a longish flight back overnight from Chicago. Yes, the lineup was a little jumbled after an injury to Alex Galchenyuk. Um, bad bounces?…

    It was actually a poor effort, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that, even though the team might be fatigued, it was also maybe hoping to win the game without having to try too hard. We did see blocked shots, which are usually an indicator of effort, but there wasn’t this coordinated hunger, this determination that you see from the lineup. The Habs could have won it with an early goal or two to pop the Isles’ balloon, but individually the boys were looking to someone else to get the puck in the opposition zone, to win a puck battle, to get to a loose puck in the crease.

    After the loss in Tampa Bay, I formulated the thought that the first line’s effort wasn’t acceptable. It’s one thing to rack up three or four goals when the whole team is flying, but it’s quite another to get a crucial goal when things aren’t rolling your direction. Not to set the bar too high, but when the game was tight and the elbows were flying, Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt didn’t sit back and think “Maybe this isn’t our night.” They’d actually bear down, and this may be myth-making, but they’d get the hard goal that would get the team going. As the Canadiens head into the playoffs, the top line has to produce.

    The RDS crew mentioned that Thomas Vanek and David Desharnais are trying to feed Max for his 40th goal, passing up shooting opportunities for themselves, but I think the problem is more generalized than that. The boys are still feeling each other out, and generally tend to try to make too many passes. We thought that Thomas Vanek was another pure shooter, that he’d fire everything at the net, but we learned that he’s actually pretty creative too. Max has gotten into the act as well.

    Erik Cole had a bit of a hunger to score, when he had the puck, he’d want it and take it to the net. Brendan Gallagher, when he gets the puck near the goal line, doesn’t look to pass, he makes a beeline for the net and tries to jam it in. Our top line has to have a bit of that drive, not to make the perfect pass all the time, but to take the puck to the net, create a rebound and a scoring chance for their linemates this way.

    And again, it’s not acceptable for them to be shut out, not with the stakes such as they are, against the horrid lineup they were facing. We critique Peter Budaj for a flubbed shot when he loses us the game, or Josh or P.K. when they lose their man in coverage, or Lars when he commits a giveaway. Ryan White when he takes a bad penalty at an inopportune time. Michel Therrien for showing up to work in the morning, still employed. Tonight, we can criticize our top line for failing to do their job. Their job is to score, and they shanked it.

    With the Alex Galchenyuk injury, we’ll probably see Brian Gionta move back up to the second line with Tomas Plekanec, and René Bourque and Daniel Brière fighting with each other to play left wing with them. Losing Alex is painful, but it’s not like his line with Tomas was clicking, so it’s not crushing. Brandon Prust coming back is no longer a luxury though.

    So the Canadiens had a little cushion, they’ve spent it, they may need to win on Saturday to keep home-ice advantage from Tampa, and may need help from the Lightning’s opponents as well. Stupid Leafs, even facing elimination on Tuesday, they couldn’t manage to beat the Lightning and help a brother out, now we have to do our own job.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • The Jackal says:

      Can’t keep relying on that first line to score all our goals.
      They do their job and more on most nights, other players have to step up and provide secondary scoring.
      That being said, time to file this game away and move on.
      Habs will be better on Saturday and in the playoffs, can’t start panicking over a loss even if burned our point cushion. Home ice in the playoffs has not really been a determining factor in success, it’s nice but the important thing is we are in the dance, we’ve rested players, and we have enough time to practice, fine tune, and get ready for Tampa. The remaining games are borderline distractions at this point.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  70. chesterfiled says:

    No parades are ‘planned’ in Montreal, the community lives them.
    Ch in second round over Tampa in 7

  71. bustthebusters says:

    Gorges in, Habs out. PK looking very slow, out of position, and unsure of himself for a month now. This does not bode well for the future. Maybe we can move Josh and pull another Craig Rivet deal in July.

  72. wildwilly says:

    Third!

    Losses are not fun but these are nothing games until the playoffs…

  73. vlhorowitz says:

    PLAN THE PARADE: Rene Bourque has arrived!!!!!

  74. 416erHabsFan says:

    going for two tonight!


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