About last night …

Habs3HIO

My cautionary notes after Game 2 enraged many members of the Commentariat.
I had cited some recent postseasons in which the Canadiens had lost playoff series after winning the first two games on the road: quarter-finals against Boston in 2011, Carolina in 2006 and the Rangers in 1996.
Let’s not not count our chickens, I urged, until they’d hatched.
To which several HIO readers responded: Go cluck yourself.

I won’t make that mistake.

Tonight’s history lesson is much more positive.

The last time the Canadiens took a 3-0 lead in a playoff series was the Division final against Buffalo in 1993.

They went on to sweep the Sabres and then beat the Islanders in five games before facing the L.A. Kings in the Stanley Cup final.

And we all know what happened in that series.

So shall we pick out spots on the parade route?

Not just yet. Your Canadiens have to win 13 more playoff games to match the heroics of ’93.

But we couldn’t have wanted – and, let’s be honest, few expected – a better start: Three wins against a Tampa Bay team that somehow managed to pip the Canadiens for second place in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division.

The 3-2 squeaker Sunday night certainly wasn’t as one-sided as the Canadiens’ emphatic 4-1 win in Game 2. But many of the elements that have been constants through the series were much in evidence Sunday night: solid goaltending, team defence, balanced scoring, discipline and composure.

Oh, and that guy wearing jersey number 17.

Who is he? And what has he done with Rene Bourque?

Desperately needing a win in the series, Tampa Bay skated out into Bell Centre pandemonium and fell behind 11 seconds into the game. Sprung in alone by a P.K. Subban pass, Bourque scored his third goal of the series, a Twitter wag suggested, “before Ginette Reno had made it off the ice.”

Bourque had eight shots on goal. He has 15 in the series, along with eight hits. His dashes down left wing electrified the Bell Centre crowd. Along with linemates Lars Eller and Brian Gionta, Bourque is making something positive happen on every shift.

The Canadiens played a superb first period and could have been up by three or four were it not for some big stops by Anders Lindback. They lost the lead in the second period when Ondrej Palat scored all of 25 seconds into a Tampa Bay power play. And the Canadiens caught a break when Ryan Callahan’s goal was disallowed.

P.K. Subban made a spectacular play deep in the Lightning zone – Palat, trying to cover him, got flummoxed so thoroughly his stick got caught in the back of the net – and fed Brendan Gallagher to make it 2-1. Then in the third period, Tomas Plekanec scored what proved to be the winner.

In his postgame remarks, Michel Therrien heaped praise on Subban, who played 28 minutes. The play setting up Gallagher’s goal was vintage P.K. and brought the fans to their feet, but Therrien pointed out it was also a smart lay in which Subban protected the puck, did not try to force it through three pairs of skates and found Gallagher for a high-quality chance that the winger buried.

Great hockey.

Smart, coach-pleasing hockey.

And has been the case through three games, we saw good plays from all four lines and every member of the defence corps.

The Canadiens didn’t run Tampa Bay out of the rink. The Lightning are a fast, energetic team; and their pressure for an equalizer during the game’s final minutes had the fans in a frenzy.

The guys on TSN 690′s postgame show talked about the degree to which the Bell Centre crowd is the Canadiens’ seventh man. The Lightning dressed a dozen players who are making their postseason debuts this spring. But if the noisy arena intimidated the kids in white jerseys, they didn’t show it.

Nor does the crowd influence the men in striped shirts. The disallowed goal was a tough call, and Steven Stamkos was whistled offside on a play when he probably wasn’t. But on balance, the zebras did a decent job.

Of course, the refs are not being unduly tested. The Canadiens and Lightning both stress skill and speed. There’s plenty of hitting – Ryan Callahan and Radko Gudas each had six of Tampa Bay’s 40; Max Pacioretty four of the Canadiens’ 22 – but neither lineup includes a take-no-prisoners type like Milan Lucic or some of the big thumpers in the Western Conference.

Is it premature to wonder how the Canadiens will fare against a more physical opponent in the next round?

• The pre-game videos blew everyone away:

http://mweb.cbssports.com/nhl/eye-on-hockey/24534363/video-watch-canadiens-stirring-pregame-ceremony-with-3d-display

This is funny. 

376 Comments

  1. 24 Cups says:

    An example of total class in a league where so many display so little.

    http://i.imgur.com/GywxbUf.jpg

    24.2 Cups

  2. JF says:

    Before Game two of this series, I said I thought the Lightning would play a more defensive, tight-checking game. I was wrong. They played pretty much the same way as in Game one, better and with fewer mistakes, but it was still nowhere near good enough. Before last night’s game, I said I thought the Habs would have to withstand an absolute assault by the Bolts for the first few minutes. Wrong again. It was the Habs who came out guns blazing, with Rene Bourque corralling a brilliant P.K. Subban flip pass, getting the jump on the Tampa players, and wiring the puck past a frozen Anders Lindback. If we’d capitalized on even half our other chances in the first period, the game would have been pretty well over right there.

    What impresses me most about this playoff edition of the Habs is their focus and intensity and the solid contribution of all four lines. Not just in terms of scoring goals but also in terms of defensive play, forechecking, and aggression. The coaching staff have the team extremely well prepared.

    Before the playoffs began, we all thought secondary scoring would be an issue and that the team would have to be carried by its top line. The top line has been good, although Pacioretty has failed to cash in on a number of great chances, and Vanek and Desharnais were a little less visible than usual last night. But if any line is carrying the team it is the third, with solid, aggressive play from all three players and five goals so far, three of them belonging to Rene Bourque. Rene Bourque, who has apparently died and been resurrected as the power forward his size, speed, and skill have always made us hope he would be. Bourque seems very clearly to be a playoff performer, and, if Marc Bergevin was thinking of trading him over the summer, he might have some re-thinking to do. However exasperating Bourque is during the regular season, this kind of playoff performance seems worth what we’re paying him.

    But Eller and Gionta have also been excellent. The dazed, hesitant Eller who blundered through most of the season as though sleep-walking is nowhere to be seen. This Eller – focused, alert, and wide-awake – is reading the play well, winning battles, and making the right decisions.

    The Lightning can complain all they want about the officiating and the disallowed goal, but the plain truth of the matter is that the Habs have out-played, out-worked, and out-scored them for most of nine periods – ten, counting the OT period. After the disallowed goal, they had more than a period to respond. And, as others have pointed out, if some of the bad or dubious calls favoured us, there were just as many that favoured them.

    • krob1000 says:

      It seems to me Bourque starts every season and even the playoffs this way. Like he is alwyas looking for a fresh start to return to his former self. He started out each of the last two seasons playing very well but was not rewarded…last year nad this year in th playoffs he came out flying as well. I think if he ever manages to put some goals up early on in a reg season you may see him come around and be more consistent. Eller strikes me as similar. Some guys are able to play the same way all of the time…others get a little down and perhaps try to hard and start pressing….great to see both of those guys as well as PK playing with some confidence again.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Jane – I think it’s time to retire Bourque’s number!

      There was lots of debate on the disallowed Tampa goal but all hell would have erupted on HI/O if the call was against Montreal. The Habs are catching all the breaks in this series which hasn’t happened for quite awhile.

      24.2 Cups

    • Cal says:

      The team ain’t half bad, eh? So far, so good. Tuesday should see a more desperate Lightning striking out anywhere and everywhere at once. Should make for another interesting game.
      The BLG line has owned Tampa.

  3. jimmy shaker says:

    Bourque must love Easter…..something about a Ressurection! Sure Cooper is pissed because of the missed off side on Stamkos. I’m sure there have been some close calls on the habs this series not going in their favour. It happens, just like he said in his interview. And the disallowed goal: I was 50-50 with the call. It was the right call, but how far does that rule allowed to play out? One second? Two seconds? Lot’s of pundits saying the habs got lucky on that one. My answer to that is, probably. To fix that problem, the ref needs to call the play dead right away when the goalie is interfered with and have a face off come outside the blue line. That would’ve eliminated all the grey area involved with the play. IN the end, the boys are playing great, and patch isn’t even scoring, so I’m very happy! What is going on in LA with the kings and quick?

    Shaker out!

  4. krob1000 says:

    It is really unfortunate Stamkos wasn;t availalbe for the Olympics…he is incredible in all three zones. I never really appreciated his game away from the puck until now. He is amazing….he has a Datsyuk wotk ethic with more speed. Datsyuk play a little more creatively but Stamkos is incredible. For a guy to get as many goals as he does and break up so many opposing rushes as he does is very impressive. You get teh feeling sometimes with Stamkos ont he ice that it is just a matter of time and I can;t help but wonder what he could have done with guys in his league at the Olympics.

  5. coutNY says:

    Is it premature to wonder how the Canadiens will fare against a more physical opponent in the next round?

    Good thing that it does not matter if they win the battle of physicality, cause they probably would lose if that were the only thing that won games… its not the habs strenght. Its certainly not what will beat a Boston. Never seen a someone checked into the boards for a goal. Not saying they don’t need to play physical but I don’t think keeping a tally or worry about going out of our way for a big hit. Scoring goals and causing turnovers with smart play, is what gives this team a chance to win. Never going to win the goon battle. Even if were to win a few in that style, over time it will take its toll on the smaller guys.

    I think there is a better chance teams will lose when they talented players get caught up in the hype of physicality. Needs to be a balance.

    • frontenac1 says:

      We can beat the Bruins. We did 3 times this season. Parros,Murray and Whitey were important in those games. Bring it on! Saludos!

      • Loop_Garoo says:

        Don’t think Parros will get anywhere near a playoff game. I have generally supported Therrien, with some reservations, but if I see Parros play in the playoffs, I will revert to “MT is a moron” status.

  6. portle44 says:

    “Oh, and that guy wearing jersey number 17.

    Who is he? And what has he done with Rene Bourque?”

    His name is Joe Boyd.He is a middle aged shoe salesman with a girl friend named Lola and he made a deal with a bad person.

  7. Habfan17 says:

    To those who posted saying that the Patches, DD, Vanek line needs to get going. I believe they are doing a solid all round job and deserve credit for their play without the puck. Especially DD last night! I do think they will start scoring when they simplify things a bit, They need to shoot more and stop looking for that extra pass. They seem to be trying to be a bit too fancy, mostly Vanek!

    Habfan17

  8. Strummer says:

    Issues with referees are universal in pro sport.
    Just heard Jeff Blair on Sporsnet Fan590 saying the ref’s at the Raptors game on Saturday in the 4th quarter were “embarassing”.
    He says underdog teams don’t get the benefit of calls in the NBA

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

  9. Prop says:

    Rewatched the opening ceremony, man that was some killer special effects projected on the ice.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  10. Maritime Ronn says:

    Tampa Coach Cooper is doing what any good coach would do in this situation – he is making sure all the negative stuff comes to him instead of his players.

    The whining about the officials and calls distracts the media from asking the tough questions about performance.

    1) Lindback: .888 SP/ 3.49 GAA.
    Sure, he’s made some nice saves as all goalies do, yet he hasn’t made any key save at a critical time as has Price.

    2) Defence: There’s nowhere to hide in the playoffs and things eventually get exposed. Their 6 man Unit is not very good or mobile.

    3) 5X5 Play/Team Defence:
    Not very good.
    In the 3 games played, Tampa has scored 5 even strength goals, while the Habs have scored 11… for a Net Minus -6.

    Add it all up and it’s easy to see why Tampa is down 3-0.

  11. CranbrookEd says:

    Perhaps some have needed to take their morning after pill . . .

    Max is likely “squeezing” his stick a little too much at this point . . . he will come around.

    Would like to see PK try the JC Tremblay flip shot from centre ice . . . surprised that he has not already given it a try. This would be a nice addition to his repertoire. (Apologies to those who have no memory of JC and his two/three bounce flip from center ice . . . )

    It is always too early to start projecting into the next series, until the current series is actually over.

    Last night, as occurs in every game, every time that a game of hockey is played, the Refs and Linesmen make mistakes . . . now if they made a mistake as often as passes are missed (both sending and receiving) then it would truly be unbearable to watch.

    CranbrookEd
    Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . .

  12. likehoy says:

    Josh Gorges on for 2 goals last night, leads both teams with plus 4 over the series.. one of those goals was def a PP goal last night

  13. Habfan17 says:

    After watching that smug Chara with that immature, stupid grin on his face, I want Detroit to take the Bruins out, then see what kind of stupid look Chara will have on that mug of his!

    Habfan17

  14. krob1000 says:

    For all of the whining re the refs….trust me I am not a fan of the reffingt in the NHL..but c’mon, That was interference…Price never recovered. I can understand the frustration as I think sometimes the call is not made….but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right call.

    Also…if we are going to get into complaining about the refs and the impact re goals…how about Desharnais getting what could have been a 5 for Stamkos with a direct shot to the back and him going in head first….then he goes and gets a chance. Next shift Briere with a quarter of the cross check gets called and they score 10 seconds in?
    Also I see a couple of people are mentioning the goal the HAbs never got when I never saw the Lightning gain possession of the puck….they didn’t show it over again but it never appeared they had control.

    Also on the Hedman call earlier Habs got a 6th attacker out and the puck was clearly in HAbs possession was going to the high slot against a tired TB unit and they blew the whistle? I thought they were somehow giving Habs a penalty with how they blew it down…this too could have been a great chance.

    There were msitakes but if TB thinks they were reffed against with some sort of bias they need to step back and look at things from the HAbs perspective…..it was just as questionalbe on the other side too…we just weren’t complaining because we were winning….but of the Habs had lost we would have had more to compain about….ours were just as important and quite frankly were more right than their complaint.

    The Price skate blade episode….yeah they got a case there….

    • likehoy says:

      There was also a rookie referee last night.. cracking under the pressure of the playoffs and the Bell Centre I suppose

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      The redding was brutal both ways… They lost control and kept trying to make it up..

      1) the play on Gio should have been a 5 minute major, cross check to the face, then a forearm to the back of the head smashing his face I to the ice bloodying his nose.

      2) very cheap call on Briere, leading to lightning goal

      3) after the goal very weak call on a hook on Patch (trying to even things up)

      4) Callaghan plasters Gallagher from behind breaking his nose, no call.

      5) DD gets cross checked by Stammer from behind into the boards… Leads to 3 on 2 for the Bolts.

      6) Boullion gets hit very late.

      7) disallow a goal on TB (which was the proper call) seemed awful,given the mistakes earlier.

      They were better in the 3rd… But that was a disastrous 1st and 2nd period by the refs.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • mdp2011 says:

      Seriously, who cares whether it was a good goal or not. For one thing, even if the goal counted there is no guarantee that the goal would’ve won the game for Tampa. The Habs have shown all series (and most of the season) that they can bounce back quick from a goal against. Also, people complaining about the offside call on Stamkos, but who says that he would’ve scored? It sucks to be Tampa this morning, but I as a Habs fan, I don’t care, 3-0 baby!!!!!

  15. Cardiac says:

    My two cents:

    The goal should have stood, but what are you gonna do? Habs have been screwed how many times in the past, we were due for a break. Plus, unlike Zibanejad’s kicked in goal last year, the Lightning had AMPLE time to get back into the game and didn’t. Their D sucks, they have no secondary scoring and their goaltending… well…

    The bad thing is we are all talking about PK’s superb playing, the disallowed goal, etc. and no one seems to be talking about the Stamkos injury and whether the Lightning training staff should have put him back in the game.

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    - Jerry Maguire

    • krob1000 says:

      PRice from the time the inital drive to the net was made until the goal was scored…never once was able to establish nirmal goaltending posture…how is that a good goal? The only argument I see is that it is sometimes missed and overlooked…that part I will agree with…but he never recovered, fromt he initial drive, to trying to get acorss to his left and tripping on Killorn…then making a desperate attempt to scramble back. That was the right call….if Price had tripped and then recovered and squared to teh puck and been beat…no worries good goal…but he never established himself again….and it was due tot eh fact that Killorn was in the crease and in his way. HE was held in there, but he shouldn’t have been in there in the first place.

  16. Habitforming says:

    I missed the entire third period last night driving home from a family gathering. My DVR decided to miss the game as well for some reason.

    I heard the Habs had a goal disallowed as well that would have made it 4-1, does anyone know where I can find a video of that play? My youtube search came up dry.

  17. dhenry1234 says:

    I’m really not a fan of complaining about the refs. For a long time I would lose my mind when a bad call was made. Recently I’ve realized that calls like this happen all of the time. It’s a part of the game. You can sit there pissing and moaning about a bad call or a non-call but that isn’t going to do anything. Stanley cups have been decided by bad calls. It’s a part of the game and has been for my entire life. Tampa needs to quit crying and deal with it.

  18. GoldenSeal says:

    Does any other D do the flip pass better than the Subban. Seems to me he tried it a half dozen times yesterday with at least three ending up in breakaways.

    • krob1000 says:

      IT is a great counter to Tampa’s all in agressive forecheck. Tampa really wants to rpessure the d and to hold the blueline…they try to stifle and suffocate time and space one zone at a time as a unit. That flip pass is ideal against a team as aggressive as them. IT will expose guys like HEdman, Carle,etc who are constantly trying to jump into the play…..it is a tough play to make consistently though…PK just happens to be uber talented. I know that sounds weird as anyone can flip the puck…but to be able to do it under duress and not flub one out of every 3 or 4 is tougher than one would think…ice conditions, pressure, etc all make it trickier than it seems while skating backwards or moving laterally.

  19. JUST ME says:

    Whatever people think about a play a call or a decision is irrelevant to the fact that in the playoffs you have to rise above those usual situations and above the refs in a way. Tampa is unable to do so and does not have the depth Montreal has. That simple and that fatal.
    Can i cheer now ?

    • AndyF says:

      Well, some years I felt that there were “tipping point” moments, where key fluke injuries or bad calls had a huge impact on the outcome. Losing to Boston in OT of the 7th game had a couple of those tipping point moments.

      People like to attribute inevitable outcomes to teams that win, even if there are lots of tipping points involved in the outcome.

      Tampa’s fans are living what we Habs fans have seen a few times in the last 20 years: the loser side of tipping point moments.

  20. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Habs doing what they were supposed to do: beat a team they were clearly better than (with Bishop out). Best scenario now is the sweep combined with the Bruins going 7 games. Can’t believe people do not want to play Boston. If the Habs can’t beat Boston, they’re not worthy to go on.

  21. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Lindback kept them in the game. Could have been 6-2. Hey, did I see a goal by Bork disallowed? It was a delayed penalty on the Bolts and I must have missed them getting the puck before he scored.?

  22. Strummer says:

    The Vanek line is troubling with its lack of finish so far.
    So many chances.
    The power play is also becoming a worry.
    ____________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

    • krob1000 says:

      Chances….as long as those are there everything will be fine. Wold love to see them operate from the other side for a while with Briere. They are now putting him put there…but on the wrong side. Same thing when Markov drops down to teh wall…he is also not on his ideal side to be on the wall. It does make the down low pass angle better but makes the pass back to the point riskier and same goes for anything else cross ice. Nice to see them trying to mix things up though….it looked better …most of the lost possessions were Habs mistakes and fumbles or bad passes not that their pp was being owned by the pk. Depending on how you look at things that is either good or bad…I think the new options will at least be cause for concern for the opposition but still really with they would ruin everything through BRiere (on the side with Markvo where he can be a there to walk). Ptches can be the slot guy and Vanek the down low guy. I also wouldn’t mind seeing only one of PK and Markov on each unit…..PK seems to defer to Marky too much and Markov it seems wishes PK would shoot more….

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      They’ll be fine.
      They are getting their chances and working hard.
      All Max needs is 1 goal to get it going.
      The line is a combined Plus + 5, so they are not hurting the team

    • Mark C says:

      What’s troubling? Scorers are streaky, they generated a lot of chances and look ready to have a 2 or 3 goal game.

      I see being up 3-0 with little scoring from the top line as a good thing.

    • likehoy says:

      they’re a bit too Razzle Dazzle out there.. but I can’t complain cause you need that to keep TB thinking.

      If they started dumping and chasing and grinding, we’d lose the fear factor of the top line being able to pull something out of a hat.

    • stevieray says:

      Relax partner..we,re up 3-0…. I thought the PP is playing well …just snakebit..
      Speaking of snake bit..poor pacioritty..I,d rather see him let lose the next series since the team is scoring well and winning without him. He,s playing hard though ..it’ll come , he pretty streaky

  23. likehoy says:

    Not a lot of talk about David Desharnais not letting Hedman push him around and winning the majority of battles against the tall Swede.

    • krob1000 says:

      He had two spectacular sequences against him individually…but I found it was a common theme for most of the Habs. They are winning a ton of puck battles along the walls against much bigger guys and guys like Bourque, Eller, Weise, Patches even are being very hard on the forechecka nd are finishing their checks. IF the rest of the tema maintainst here season level of play and the guys like Eller, Bouruqe, Subban, BRiere, etc continue to elevate their play then this team is in pretty good shape. I feel for Moen and Chucky…not sure how they get back into the lineup the way guys are playing.

      • likehoy says:

        Bournival probably sits for Galchenyuk, and rotates with Prust… but it also depends what happens in the future.

        If this series pushes to game 7, Galchenyuk could be a good game 7 game breaker.

        next series VS Boston, we’d likely see Moen come in, and Galchenyuk riding the pine.

        Against Detroit would be the opposite, lots of decisions to make

  24. GoldenSeal says:

    Anybody have any idea what is happening to the Kings. Certainly not the same team that played the Habs in the regular season. Wonder if Suter would prefer Subban on his team instead of Doughty right about now.

    Oh and by the way, hey Stevie Y, how do you like the Subban now?!

  25. RetroMikey says:

    For once, I felt like I was in heaven with the likes of the Rocket, Plante, Morenz, Joliat, etc.. to name a few.

    It was great seeing the team play hard and win the third game.

    I saw floaters in the regilar season who busted their cojones once the playoffs started (we know who they are).

    This is what playoff hockey is all about, 100% effort from everyone.

    Two teams with similar styles and we have the edge.

    I’ll take it one game at a time, but I hate us to face the Bruins in the second round with their goon style but nothing can be done about this. We will have to be prepared and show them and Bettman what hockey should be played like, speed and skiil .

    Way to go boys and Therrien!

    Game 4, sweep, sweep sweep! Get the rest for the next round! Take advantage of the sweep!

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

  26. Lafleurguy says:

    Gotta get this in before Butterface chimes in:
    In this series, Bjork has more finish than an Anaheim third line, or a Helsinki cheerleading squad.

  27. krob1000 says:

    I missed this yesterday…..that is not a taxi squad…that is a bus squad. Witht he other guys they may need to charter two planes.

    Notes: The Canadiens called up a taxi squad from AHL Hamilton, including goalies Dustin Tokarski and Devan Dubnyk, defencemen Nathan Beaulieu, Davis Drewiske and Greg Pateryn and forwards Sven Andrighetto, Mike Blundin, Gabriel Dumont, Louis Leblanc and Christian Thomas. . . Bourque’s goal was not a team record for fastest to start a game. Bo Gainey scored seven seconds into a playoff game in 1977.

  28. mdp2011 says:

    After the first 3 games, my observation on the Tampa Bay Lighting are as follows:

    1- They really miss Martin St.Louis, they’re not the same team without him even though Ryan Callahan is a good player.

    2-After Hedman, their D is slow and awful. Ben Bishop covered up a lot of their mistakes this season.

    3-They don’t have nearly as much depth as the Habs do.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      Also, seem to be suffering from a lack of playoff experience/leadership. They are playing the same style/effort as the regular season and in the playoffs you need to kick it up a notch. The lever of effort you need for the playoffs is not sustainable for the whole regular season, but in the playoffs, you have to bring it all every game.

  29. Strummer says:

    Speaking of Rene Bourque.
    The Habs were robbed of a goal on a delayed penalty call with 13:55 left in the 3rd period.
    The call was for an infraction on Bourque and he scored into the empty net after the whistle, which should not have been blown as the Bolts never had control after the ref’s arm went up.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good point Strummer and I notice none of the highlight packages or talking heads are mentioning it, in fact I didn’t notice Cooper mention it either.

      • Stuck_in_To. says:

        Misread the first post but finally got it … seems to me that gaff occurs frequently in the NHL and no one seems to complain. Curious.

        • Loop_Garoo says:

          That rule seems to be very open to interpretation, sometimes called when a player brushes the puck, sometimes not until its on their stick and under full control.

  30. Tomi says:

    Is Michael Therrien still the coach of this team??
    Did Frankie Boullion play 60 minutes last night?
    If MAB was on this team the series would have ended after 3 games.

    I really hate when this team is doing well, I can’t come on here and spew (what I think is) funny stuff.
    Remember early in the season when I’d rip Desharnais all the time? Ahhh, good times!
    Maybe a massage will fix what ails me. I’ll just pretend my nubile young masseuse is Andi Petrillo.

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    What is happening in California to the L.A. Kings? I realize they didn’t have the record this season that San Jose did, but they seemed like a team built for playoffs? I fully expected them to either beat San Jose or have it be extremely close.

    Is Jonathan Quick less than advertised?

    • Cal says:

      Hard to believe Quick is sporting a .915 save percentage. The team in front of him is just too banged up to compete. Mike Richards has been invisible thus far. Still, they should be too good a team to be swept.

      Have a great time in Myrtle Beach!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Wonder if Mike Richards had his wakeup call, helped win the Cup and is now back to the lifestyle which caused Philly to trade him away. Thanks Cal!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Before giving up the 7 goals, Quick made about 5-7 A or A+ saves.

      I know the hit stat is subjective, but that series is outright mean with big physical players.

      Last night the teams combined for 93 Hits.
      In Game 1, the hit number was 121 (no typo)

    • frontenac1 says:

      Sharks might be shaking off that playoff monkey. They outshot the Kings 44-26 last night. Marleau and Thornton are scoring this time too. Raffi Torres is on fire also.

  32. Yup, the result last night helped me sleep too! ‘course I was concerned when the team had a break-down in the second half of the second period leading-up to the disallowed goal. TB turned it on for sure.

    I was giddy as the Habs played some excellent hockey in the first 30 minutes a carry-over from almost 60 minutes of perfection in game two. Perhaps TB’s coaches comments about Montreal’s recent inability to close out opposition after leading series 2-0.

    One glaring problem though… the power play. Yes, Boston won without it, but we need to keep that secondary scoring up and if anyone gets injured like that weeble (wobbles but he doesn’t fall down) Gally, what a trooper!, then we’ll be in trouble. Against the school-yard bully-booins, bodies will be flying and we’ll have to keep our composure while digging under their skin with poison oak preferably.

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  33. Maritime Ronn says:

    Here’s noticing some talk about ‘conspiracy theories’ pertaining to favorable treatment of the Bruins by ‘disciplinarian’ Colin Campbell.

    More often than not, these accusations are hard to prove….unless some damning evidence pops up in unsuspecting places.

    That was the case when a huge number of emails by Campbell were submitted as evidence in a complaint brought before the Ontario Labour Relations Board by former NHL official Dean Warren, who disputed his termination from the NHL.

    The content of some of the mails are almost unbelievable for any serious Pro Sport.
    You can come to your own conclusions….and then ask WHY this evidence of alleged NHL H.O. misconduct was swept under the rug…or WHY no major mainstream media had the courage to follow it.

    https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Have-Savard-emails-exposed-NHL-s-Colin-Campbell-?urn=nhl-285531

    • GoldenSeal says:

      Wow. I had not seen this stuff before. How is Campbell still working for the league. What a joke…I guess it is our fault for still watching, heh.

    • Very good article Ron, but unfortunately, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The officiating (think Chris Lee) is abominable for a professional league. There were missed and poor calls on both sides last night, but that happens in every game and every team. There are clear favorites, such as the Booins and the only way these dictators respond is through pain in the pocket-book and unless some attorneys go at the attorneys who run the NHL (Beetman and Daly – I spelled his name wrong because he makes me want to vomit), then we’ll all just eat it like we did the last two strikes or move on to another sport. MLS anyone?

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

      • AndyF says:

        How is he still working for the League? Because private companies don’t generally have a very good notion of internal justice, and internal justice apparently has zero impact on revenues for the owners.

  34. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I can only echo everyone else. Who is that guy wearing number 17? As far as the refereeing goes and bad calls? They come around and go around. Bad call on the disallowed goal? Sure but an equally bad call on Briere to give Tampa the PP that they scored on. I hope they can end it Tuesday. Bring on the Bruins! Go Habs!

    Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  35. HabinBurlington says:

    Ahhhhhh just the win I needed to see before heading down to Myrtle Beach today to enjoy all that is right at this beautiful time of year. Would love nothing more than knowing I only have to find the game on TV once next week, then know that the Habs are waiting for the Bruins/Wings to wear each other out.

    I don’t mean this like I am overconfident, but rather only what I am hoping for. I truly hope the team can play a bit better game in the next one and hopefully end this series. We may have seen the best of Tampa last night, but one has to expect they can find one more gear given their playoff lives are on the line.

    The call was apparantly technically correct on the disallowed goal, we still may have gotten a break but we have had our share of breaks against us in seasons past. Our team has earned this break by playing good disciplined hockey.

    Hard to argue with the buttons MT is pushing as they are indeed working. Now we just need Max to get off the schneid and we are set. He just isn’t getting any puckluck right now. I am sure he will be fine.

    CHeers everyone!

  36. GoldenSeal says:

    Conspiracy theories…I guess I kind of understand where that is coming from, but i think the reality is that the NHL is the poorest officiated of all the major leagues in sports. The refs are a far cry from what they were 20 years ago. There will always be second guessing in any sport where judgement calls are made, the problem is that the rule book changes depending on who the ref is.

    As far as conspiracy goes, I’d like Bettman explain how a rightly pissed off coach pulling a Michael Jackson crotch move gets a 25K fine and repeat offender Lucic spearing to the crotch for the 3rd time only gets a 5K fine. That certainly puts the NHL in strictly bush league category.

    • Lafrich says:

      Well said.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good post.

      If it wasn’t Lucic, bigger sanction? What if it was Rick Nash? (not a thug, but no primrose either).

      Or Simmonds?

      Emery?

      The NHL regards Lucic as a prime asset, not just to the Bruins but to the business.

      imo

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Goal number one is sell tickets.

      Stewardship of the game is not a concern.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The fact that the league has decided to have Bill Daley provide final say on discipline with his absolute hockey background is evidence to me that the on ice product is indeed less important.

        I understand why Lawyers are hired for aspects of running the league, but when it comes to hockey aspects of the game, there are plenty of hockey people around who could/should be handling this.

      • GoldenSeal says:

        Selling tickets by allowing one player to spear another player in the crotch with impunity is likely one of the reasons hockey will eventually be relegated to second place in the hearts of the younger generations growing up in this country. I ‘m pretty sure kicking a soccer player in the berries would warrant an immediate suspension in any soccer league anywhere in the world. So sad how much influence neanderthals like Cherry have had on this beautiful game.

  37. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    Just then the Lord himself appeared in a blinding flash of light,
    And shouted at the Devil, “Go Habs Go!” .

    ☸ ☯ ☆ ◊ ☆ ☯ ☸

  38. Lafleurguy says:

    Max had warning track power last night but an out is an out…..oh,oh (gotta put on my cup quickly…..)

  39. GoldenSeal says:

    Gotta say that Bourque has surprised me. I’d like to understand where this play has come from all of the sudden. I guess he is the quintessential playoff performer. It seems to me he also played well against Ottawa in the first round last year. So I guess the trick is to bench him for 82 games only to bring him out for the playoffs…

  40. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    I get a chuckle out of fans that lean the on conspiracy theories for “controversial calls” during a game like a handy crutch to prop up their global paranoia.

    Over time, some calls will go for you and some against … The Sens incredibly talented number 93 with the “foot” of Maradonna” last year … ah yes, pure skill, eh Ech?

    So when Healey and the CBC chest beat about last night’s call … meh …

    A look the other way from head office when Milan “the Missing Link” Lucic spears players … now that I can believe :-)

    Oh and I really liked Subban’s comments post game when he said that Therrien is the worse coach he ever played for, called him a racist, and said he will never sign another contract in Montreal …

    wait, were those the voices in my head again?

    “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • chesterfiled says:

      I saw that too! He did finnish with
      … But you know what? Therry and I only shotgun hitched last year, we are going to make this marriage work! Especially for the expecting little baby Stanley

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good morning, 2mins.

      Don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with you, and I’m not sure I even do now! But just so you know, include me in those you chuckle at, because I have great difficulty suppressing thoughts of conspiracy theories. No proof, of course, but for example I will never believe the Bruins won their Cup without help from head office.

      The NHL does not see itself as a sports organisation, but rather an entertainment enterprise. Therefore, it feels at liberty to steer things as it sees fit, in a way similar to what you see in “Idol” or “X-Factor” type “competitions”. Such organisations, including the NHL, know that entertainment = ratings = advertising = profit etc. IMO, there’s no way the NHL suits are above interfering when it suits them.

      So I was one who was uncomfortable with last night’s non-goal. I think we still would have won had it counted, but I couldn’t ignore a suspicion that the league – via the officials – was trying to “help”.

      Even though jlgib1019 has brought both his non-hockey personal issues and some dubious observation here this morning, I would agree with his suggestion that the NHL would prefer Bruins/Wings vs Habs than vs Tampa. The league is not, imho, beyond helping bring that about.

      Just a slightly different view from yours. (Plus now I’m not a whining, glue-sniffing meathead, right buddy buddy jlgib?!)

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        I agree completely that the NHL views itself as an entertainment organization rather than stewards of the game. I doubt this extends to interfering in specific games or series (which would itself be counterproductive since it would eventually come to light).

        However, if you can decide not to call a penalty depending on the score the time left, the importance of the game etc … then you’ve abdicated your responsibility to the sport. It’s a slippery slope from there.

        —–
        Moving. Forward.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Flying out the door, Dipsy.
          Respectfully propose that stuff coming to light being of concern to the NHL is an unsafe assumption.
          Resume later.
          Cheers

      • boing007 says:

        The whistle should have been blown as soon as the TB player slid into the back of the net, knocking over CP. A faceoff should have followed.

        Richard R

      • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

        Just So Mike, I do agree with your points, and in my short glib posting, didn’t convey that despite the on-ice “equality” i.e. bad calls by the on-ice and/or “Toronto” reviewers do not have a team bias, the standard of the game truly favours the nasty, the brutish and the not short.

        The league may claim that the refs don’t put away the whistles, but the simple fact is that the already loathsome finish your check non-called interference play gains 3 more strides, the “how’s that rib protector cross-check’? can be done 3 times before a call, and you can spear anyone with impunity during a game.

        It will be a survival test and that’s the way the league wants it …

        “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • Lafleurguy says:

      2min, good points and thanks for the Godly-or-Not Maradona reference. How about the Handywork-of-ThierryHenry Irish Habs fan(s)?

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      I feel the same way. In a previous life I had the opportunity to work with the NHL ref’s on several occasions for their training camps etc. Saw lots of communication, video, email, faxes between the league and the officials, and there simply is no conspiracy out there. It is a hard game to officiate, and these guys take it seriously. I must say, when I was doing this, the officials were a great bunch of guys. Terry Gregson, Bill McCreary, and especially Kerry Fraser, who was a polarizing referee, but a very good person, a very nice guy, and always a pleasure to talk too.

  41. habsfan0 says:

    Habs are up 3-0 despite the fact their leading scorer,Patches,hasn’t scored in 6 games. He’s due.
    Things are looking up.

  42. Ian Cobb says:

    Never in doubt! that we were going to the more dangerous 2nd round! But then what?
    Will we be allowed to maintain our speed against the Bruin’s ? Or will there be grease spots on the boards, where we tried to speed through their zone?
    We do not have anyone that can stand up to Lucic Thorton & Chara. Parros and Moan are only one tap on the head away from being carried off! Will our speed game, and Price, be enough to carry the day against them?
    The Neanderthals do not have the intelligence or finesse to play within the rules. They are a disgusting, ball spearing group of scumbags! Go Detroit Go.!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Ian, I think this team can beat Boston. We have more depth currently than we have had in awhile and Price is ready. I am actually more scared of Detroit than Boston. The Rangers and Phillips will also be tough opponents. The habs should be well rested if they can close out in the next couple games.

    • GoldenSeal says:

      Habs always have a psyche premium on the Bruins. It seems that the Bruins have some kind of complex when they play the Habs. Anyway on paper the Bruins are the better team but look for a long series between the two if it happens. Habs are going to need the rest so lets hope they sweep tomorrow.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Ian

      Habs can beat the Bruins but it will take a big amount of courage and getting them off their game.

      How to drive the Bruins nuts?
      Hit them as Emelin did to LooCheech, then expect the garbage and take advantage of the power plays.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Chara is also put off his game by being hit.
        Rask nervous against Habs.
        Some of their newer players would need to be studied carefully–very strong looking.

  43. GoldenSeal says:

    Gotta feel bad for Briere. He was tagged with a penalty he did not deserve and the coach practically benches him for the rest of the game. At least our mentally challenged coach has figured out who the best D-man on the team is. it took him 82 games and one playoff game to figure the PK is not only the best offensive D-Man in the league but also one of the best shut down Dman. All this noise about PK being a liability was crap.

    • Cal says:

      Please show me one example of when MT said PK was being a liability. MT always spoke about taking chances at the right time. Last night’s Gallagher goal after that “it’s my game” display by PK spoke to that philosophy. It was time to take the lead. PK made sure the Habs did.

    • Mike Boone says:

      A team most considered on the bubble for playoff contention gets 100 points over 82 games and then grabs a 3-0 series lead.
      And the coach if “mentally-challenged”.
      Pot, say hello to kettle.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • GoldenSeal says:

        I’m sure most people will argue this point but I still believe that the weakest link in this team is the coach whose nonsensical coaching decisions if he makes them, will not stand for long in the playoffs. However he seems to at least have figured out the PK think which is a plus. And at least he seems to have stopped juggling his lines (at least for 3 games).

        • Psycho29 says:

          I don’t think “most people will argue this point” , only a choice few who are always trying to find something to complain about.

          I could care less if Therrien was fired tomorrow, but his record in a season and a half speaks for itself. 75-42-13 (163pts)

        • shlamiel says:

          As long as the Hot Dog plays a responsible game he will play the minutes otherwise it will be 18 minutes or less.

    • BriPro says:

      This is why coming on here to read some non-sensical comments, to me, has become a waste of time.
      I don’t know which team you’ve been watching this year or where you get to offer the “astute” comment of Cal sniffing glue, but if you truly knew anything about coaching, you would be cheering the team’s success and being mum about MT’s efforts over 82 games in finding the right balance.
      Hurry along now, you have a high school exam to study for.

      • GoldenSeal says:

        Sorry, my mistake. It must have been you sniffing the glue. My apologies Cal.

        • gmur says:

          Figures that someone with a now-defunct team name would hold views that are defunct as well.

          Juggling lines during the season is not a mistake, as many would argue here. In doing so, you get players used to playing with various line mates which is useful in the case of injury, resetting the lineup after a loss, etc… like Tampa did last night. New players, new lines, etc. When another coach does it, I guess it’s smart…

          Plus, as coach, you assess what line combinations work and which don’t. Kind of like what Babcock does all the time.

  44. Lafleurguy says:

    @Cal: the torcher didn’t torture us. That was an awesome opening. Kid got to skate on Bell ice in a Habs uniform. Nazim Kadri and hundreds of NHLers are red with envy.

    • Cal says:

      IT was short and sweet and primed the crowd a little more. Nothing wrong with that unless you hate the team, which some this morning still do. Why they come to a Habs site still baffles when they are clearly “any team but the Habs” kind of fans.

  45. Maritime Ronn says:

    Excellent game by the Habs, and taking advantage of ‘breaks’ is what it’s all about.

    Here’s noticing that some are calling for a return of either Tinordi or Murray because of some supposed rough stuff, and the answer to that is NO…or at least, not yet for several reasons.

    During the season, the Habs had a hodge-podge 3rd pairing with 5 different guys rotating in and out.

    The result was a lack of trust – some caused by mobility issues or simple inexperience.

    This lack of trust forced Coach MT to give the 3rd pairing almost exclusive O zone starts, forcing the Top 4 to have many more D zone starts which cramped any of their offensive talents.

    The advance stat of ‘quality of competition’ now shows the trusted pairing of Bouillon/Weaver making many more Dzone starts.
    This allows the Subban/Markov duos more neutral zone/OZone starts and a better chance in getting the offense going…which may be part of the reason for the hugely improved 5X5 play in this series vs. the regular season.

    Could that also be one of the reasons for the noticeable improvement of Subban, who now has 4 points in 3 games and is +3?

    Lastly, Weaver’s tough minutes 1st Unit PK time has allowed Markov to move down to the less intense 2nd Unit PK.
    Giving Markov less tough minutes could prove beneficial as the playoff games start to pile up.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Ronn! One would think that Murray would get the call before Tinordi, no?

    • Marc10 says:

      I thought the Habs were the better team in all three games. I wouldn’t change a thing. Price is dialed in. The forwards are scoring and PK Subban in playoff beast mode is starting to emerge. You don’t change a winning recipe.

      Same effort and team work and it’s over in 4. Keep plugging away (and most definitely do not change this line up). Should we make it to the next round and the opponents are wearing black and piss yellow, then you’re more than welcome to insert Mr Murray or make slight adjustments to who you play on the fourth line. Until then… stay the course.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I agree Marc. The team is playing some great hockey. Having to pay attention to Bourque, Max and Vanek creates some serious match up problems for the Bolts.

        Got to give them credit though, there is no quit in them. The last minute was a bit unnerving, eh?

  46. DipsyDoodler says:

    In fairness to j_glib and Timo, they’re at least persistent. They’re not letting a 3 -0 start stop them from taking full advantage of their right to express themselves.

    A lot of the other gobshites are just staying away.

    But you’d have to either not have watched the game or be an a**hole to say Max floated last night.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  47. Old Bald Bird says:

    Sorry, but a team that loses to the Islanders is just not ready for the playoffs.

  48. HabFab says:

    Hockey Night in Canada’s Scott Oake’s son appearing on Britain Got Talent. The kid does have talent and over a million views in 2 days;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO_KyTtJg10

  49. Cal says:

    I gotta say nice job on the opening light and image show. The tech these days to get Hab fans pumped has finally caught up with the imagination of the creators. Real nice touch to highlight all those banners, one at a time.
    I’m a sucker for when the kid with the torch “lights” the ice.
    Oh, and the game, especially Subban’s set up of Gallagher, was spectacular. The low lights were all about Tampa trying to play like the Gooins. Not with The Ghosts in the House!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Cal. I always enjoy the opening show. It’s funny, when I was in Tampa earlier this year they have a pretty neat opening as well and they use a youngster in their’s as well.

      I kind of have a soft spot for lasers. Impressive what they can do with them, eh?

  50. HabFab says:

    “Let’s not not count our chickens, I urged, until they’d hatched.
    To which several HIO readers responded: Go cluck yourself.
    I won’t make that mistake…Mike Boone”

    Yeah right! You love it and you know it.

    A whole lot of clucking going on.

  51. BJ says:

    @Mike Boone. Regarding your cautions re. having won the first two only to lose the series; was fine by me, as it was something I had forgotten, so thanks for the reminder. We still have one more to go for this series and as was shown last night there are no easy ones.We caught most of the breaks and did just enough to not let Tampa back into the series and it was that close.

  52. Cal says:

    So, like, what’s gotten into MT, actually giving ice time to Eller, Bourque and Gionta? Is it all a mirage or is Rene Bourque a playoff hero that’s finally been Set Free?

    • BJ says:

      I’m really glad that Bourque seems to have found some confidence and is displaying his abilities. I thought this year he had tons of chances and always seemed to miss by inches. So finally its going his way and he’s found not one extra gear but two.

      • Cal says:

        He’s been fun to watch, that’s for sure. Maybe, he’s just one of those players that can’t do it for 82 games, but can for shorter periods, like the playoffs.

  53. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Just been reading all the good vibes here until finally getting to see a live game last night. Gotta feel good about the direction the team is taking.
    However, at times it is difficult to watch the brutish tactics that have crept back into the game. I am referring specifically to Barberio’s cross check to the head of Gionta. A deliberate intent to injure in my opinion.

    I’m reading Todd Denault’s “The Greatest Game” which chronicles the dark days of the early 70′s. I wonder if we aren’t heading in that direction once more. It is sad to see unskilled brutes hijack the game from the players who can actually play the game.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      You and I are sad.
      Bettman and co reckon the brutes attract increased revenue, and so are laughing all the way to bank.

    • BJ says:

      I watched the Boston-Detroit game as well and that was butchery at its best by Boston. The Wings sorely missed McCarthy and Probert. I prefer good hard clean hockey. Having said that there is no choice for a team like Detroit to go out and get a couple of psychos, they simply got beaten up while trying to play a skilled game.

      • Da Hema says:

        Yep. You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. If the Habs play Boston, it is good we will have Murray and Tinordi to add to the mix. The Bruins truly are animals.

        • BJ says:

          Without Murray and Tinordi vs Boston we are like Detroit was yesterday. I’d still like to add a Gadzic type player if we can find one.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Out-hit, 2-1.
            Series lead, 3-0.

            For different opponents, different strategy.

            What’s “meathead” about pointing out that the team with more possession gets hit more? Or is that viewpoint a misconception of the game of hockey?

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Nice evasion.

  54. zephyr says:

    how many times did I write this season that you don’t trade bourque or eller? eller because he’s talented, big & young. bourque because he’s big, fast & he was a stud in last yr’s playoffs too. people are so impatient if a player has a slump. it’s prob too much to expect that everyone will remember their playoff performances again next season but the habs mgmt. will.
    having 2 power fwds on the same line creates fits for the tb dmen. with max, we have 3 power fwds with elite speed. max’s line had plenty of chances too. they’ll be burying their share of them in the future. only vanek looked a bit sluggish last nite.
    pleks & Gallagher are also benefitting from having prust on their wing.
    on Gallagher’s goal I thought mt would be crapping himself inside when pk took the puck in deep. that’s what pk can do for a team & he should be allowed to. most nhl teams don’t have a dman that can match pk (never mind pk + markov).
    I wonder how much longer weaver & bouillon can take the pounding they’re getting.
    I’d prob sit briere when galchenyuk gets back.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Yes, too bad Galchenyuk isn’t good to go for Tuesday’s game which has the potential for the least pressure (relatively speaking) of these playoffs for the Habs. Briere in Games 2+3 has not managed to match his play from Game 1, so I agree that that’s a substitution starting to suggest itself.

      I was one of your Bourque nay-sayers. I was convinced that he was inhibited by what he has learnt about concussion. I still think the same about Moen (and want both Moen and Parros to retire).

      Either I was mistaken about Bourque, or else he has simply got caught up in the playoffs and is throwing caution to the wind. I hope it’s the former. I’d be afraid that a couple of big Boston hits might inhibit him again or worse.

  55. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Great summaries from Mike B and UCE.

    Some other players not directly mentioned:

    – Prust looked stronger again. Great forechecking, and making things happen when he had the puck.

    – Weaver: was he repeatedly planted on the end boards? He took it well, but boy was he getting hammered.

    – Weise: less of a factor last night?

    – Pleks is NOT having any playoff letdown!

    – Emelin: confidence growing? Good for this to happen now, preparing him gradually for more physical assignments to come.

    – Frankie: did the business. But up 3-0, is this an opportunity to rest his mature frame and gift some playoff experience to Tinordi?

    • Da Hema says:

      I proposed earlier tonight playing Tinordi next game precisely to get some additional playoff experience for him. There are two further reasons why Therrien should do so. Bouillon is, along with Weaver, taking quite a beating out there, so he could use a rest next game when there will be less pressure on the Habs to win. Moreover, Tampa Bay generally is getting a great deal more physical — some of it just good old physicality, but there is an increasing dirtiness to their play too such as Barberio’s hits on Gionta — and I think it would be in the Habs’s interest to have Tinordi’s size and willingness to hit and fight out there to reign in any Tampa Bay stupidity as they go down the crapper. Murray would be even better for that purpose, but I fear he is way too slow to play effectively against Tampa Bay.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Dunboyne Mike, sneaking around stealing other posters’ excellent ideas under the misguided belief that everyone except him is fast asleep!

        Agree about Murray — this series has the wrong pace for him, plus I want to keep him champing at the bit for a possible Bruins series.

        So I wasn’t imagining it about Weaver?

        • Da Hema says:

          Perhaps great minds think alike…or some crap like that…. ;-)

          Weaver has taken a real pounding out there. I suppose Therrien might think Bouillon and Weaver can get better rest if they dispense Tampa Bay on Tuesday. My main concern is that Tampa Bay might think to themselves “we may as well injure a few Habs on the way to the golf course.” Tinordi is a tough kid. Put him out there!

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            You will find that Gorges has a different role if and when we play a team that puts bigger bodies in front.

            Meanwhile, Gorges’ play has contributed to a 3-0 series lead.

  56. Captain aHab says:

    When the Desharnais line was blazing, they seemed to be going on instinct mostly. Then they had the “let’s get Pacioretty his 40th” stretch and they started thinking while playing. They were a second late on every play it seemed yesterday but boy did they have a ton of chances. I think you’ll see them explode in game 4.

    For the PP, I would try to put Vanek on the first wave near the front of the net. The guy can unload real quick when he gets the puck and the dmen know it so they’ll have to play tight to him and that will free up the rest of the guys. On the second wave, put Bourque in the exact same spot. The guy is hot…might as well try him there and tell him to shoot at will.

    Oh and the PP needs to move guys around more. It feels like the only guy moving is the one with the puck. In game 2, they had a few PPs where 2-3 guys were moving at the same time and that was creating problems for TB.

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

  57. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …just sitting on the couch watching the pvred re-play of the game with My Boy …He has now a part-time job on the weekends, and was not able to watch the original with Me earlier

    …watching the opening laser show, pre-game

    …His mouth open, asks Me ‘is that real Dad ?’ …I said, ‘Quent, be glad You have a Dad that loves the Montreal Canadiens. It’s My gift to You.’

    …I guess there are other cities that can do some pretty spectacular things with ceremony and hype, but no organization I know of does it with the class, style and originality as Quebecers, and above all the Montreal Canadiens

    • Habies says:

      I’m a new Dad (10 month old boy) and living in Copenhagen. I watch the games live at stupid o’clock, and then in the mornings (when we win) I watch the highlights with my son on my lap.
      He doesn’t quite get it yet, but, with posts like yours, I have just one more reason to know it’s something to look forward to.
      “A gift to your son”… what a perfect reply.
      Thanks for the leap forward,
      Matthew -

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Hey belated congrats, Habies!
        Welcome to the Stupid O’Clock Club!
        My 10-yr-old (last of 5) still insists on sitting on my lap to watch the highlights — which we are doing in the next 60 seconds.
        Enjoy!

    • Captain aHab says:

      My 14 year old has never been into hockey much but he plays a mean electric guitar. He plays some great recent stuff I didn’t know like Avenged 7 Fold but also some of my favorites like Hotel California and Stairway to Heaven as well as some AC/DC.

      And he knows that living in the Ottawa Region, he HAS to hate the Senators. I see that as a positive.

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

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        “he HAS to hate the Senators”

        You have attained fulfilment as a father.

        (My two older guys have played on and off, too. It’s cool eh? They covered Foo Fighters “The Pretender” together in a band and it immediately became one of my favs. And I am more of a classical guy).

  58. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …in the sixties, when I was a randy student (Sir George/Concordia) lothario, I had a very cute French-Canadian girlfriend who was the number one pop singer in Quebec (and one of the top in France as well)

    …she was a close friend of Ginette Reno

    …My girl didn’t sing as well as Ginette, but she had these catchy tunes that went main-stream

    …anyhow, We used to hang-out with Ginette occasionally …when Ginette was a 100 pounds lighter :)

    …great to see Her doing the anthem tonight, …brought back a lot of good memories

    • Marc10 says:

      I too thought it was great to see Ginette again. Still has the voice. I knew we would win when I heard her sing. Great of the Habs to call on her once again. What a way to fire up the crowd.

    • Captain aHab says:

      All right some of us older timers are gonna need a name now. ;-D

      You don’t just start a story like that and not name names.

      Jenny Rock? Renée Martel? Diane Dufresne?

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

  59. Un Canadien errant says:

    I don’t want to characterize the Canadiens 3-2 win in Game 3 of the series as lucky, but let’s allow that it’s inconclusive, gracieuseté of Tampa goalie Anders Lindback. The Canadiens played well, but benefited from an early goal by René Bourque on which the Lightning goalie was not sharp.

    From there, the Canadiens essentially battled the Lightning to a draw, scoring two more goals to match Tampa’s two, and being favoured by referee decisions that in the past have tended to go against our boys. Especially when playing against the Bruins or the Leafs, or when Chris Lee or Tim Peel are in the building. In such a tight game, lucky bounces could go either way, a few posts were struck by either side.

    It remains for Tampa coach Jon Cooper to bemoan the refereeing without falling afoul of NHL discipline. Because in the NHL, you can pitchfork someone in the nuts, with malice and forethought, and do so repeatedly, with little consequence, but beware calling into question the rulemaking or refereeing. That the league doesn’t take kindly to.

    René Bourque was bitten by a Bizarro-world tsetse fly which gave him anti-sleeping sickness, or something like that. He’s energized, playing with a purpose, using his size and speed. He acts like he wants the puck and knows where he’s going with it, whereas for much of the season he hesitated and fumbled. Gaston Therrien wondered on l’Antichambre whether General Manager Marc Bergevin had made up his mind to unload him during the off-season but might now be reconsidering. It’s only three games, but they offer a glimpse of what René can be, of what has always been envisioned in his case.

    Apparently Marc Bergevin told him around the trade deadline that he wasn’t going to trade him because he didn’t want him to land somewhere else and immediately pot twenty goals. But even if he wasn’t so productive right now, I kind of think that Marc Bergevin’s hands are tied, seeing as René’s trade value was so low, it didn’t make sense to just dump him for no return, unless there were character issues, which has never been a problem for the big winger. By all accounts he’s not a problem with the coaches or his teammates, he’s well-liked.

    So as an alternative, it’s not unlikely that the Canadiens might have held on to René as a virtual penny stock, a longshot who could pay off huge. A $3.3M cap hit is not inconsiderable, and Marc Bergevin has proven to be decisive, in dealing with Scott Gomez, Tomas Kaberle and Erik Cole, for example, but he might have wanted/been forced to stand pat in this case, and hope it turns out. We can hope that René has turned a corner, his confidence has returned, any lingering effects from his concussion last season have dissipated, and he’s able to produce in a manner commensurate with his skill and potential for the remainder of his contract.

    His linemate, centre Lars Eller, may be feeding off René’s surge, he also seems more focused, driven, taking a couple of good shots with the puck today, and we didn’t see any of his puckhandling exhibitions that take the puck away from the slot to the periphery. Together with Brian Gionta, they’re forming a reliable, effective second/third line that Michel Therrien can ice in most situations.

    It’s amazing how much two players rounding into form can change a lineup. We worried about secondary scoring at the onset of the playoffs, and looked at the lineup and wondered who was going to contribute beyond the Desharnais trio. Having René Bourque and Lars Eller rolling, suddenly, is having the effect of adding two more effective forwards at the trade deadline.

    P.K. played a solid game, and was rewarded with lots of ice along with his partner Josh Gorges. He kept things simple, played hard, and turned it on at an opportune moment, when he stickhandled around the Lightning zone when playing 4-on-4, confusing their defensive coverage and setting up Brendan Gallagher’s goal. Creating a goal out of thin air, to give his team the lead, this is the P.K. Subban who is invaluable to our organization. P.K. picked up two assists, and the second star of the night for his troubles.

    So it’s Jon Cooper’s job now to try to turn the tide, to jumpstart his team to eke out at least one win, and to do so another way than the clumsy, snide remark from earlier in the day when he alluded to the Canadiens’ history recently when jumping out to a 2-0 series lead. The thing is, he didn’t have the courage to let fly, he kind of mumbled and butchered the statement, and his sly kid look didn’t wear well. And it blew up in his face anyway. He looked petulant and at a loss for word during his post-game presser.

    The Canadiens are sitting pretty, clearly bound for the second round, but I worry. As much as we repeat to each other that playoff hockey is a different beast, that the refs will let things slide, it’s been taken to a shocking extent so far.

    The Milan Lucic pitchfork to the groin. Everything that Duncan Keith has been lowlighted doing with his stick against the Blues, especially with the mindless goonery he’s demonstrated in the past, notably against the Sedin brothers as a backdrop. Brent Seabrook’s charge against David Backes, which is noteworthy only because the Blues’ captain was knocked out, not because it was particularly egregious, given the tolerance shown repeatedly by refs in similar instances of players ‘finishing their checks’. Everything that’s been happening between the Sharks and the Kings, which is more of a war of attrition than a hockey series. Brandon Dubinsky’s calculated, blatant muggings of Sidney Crosby, under the indulgent nose of the referees.

    And talking heads wring their hands and speak about this as if it’s an intractable, pervasive problem, something that’s bigger than we are, that has so many causes and so few easy solutions that we feel powerless. Which it isn’t. All that has to happen is for the league to realize that Sidney Crosby is a treasure who must be allowed to thrive, as opposed to torn down. All that has to happen is for the refs to call the penalties as they happen. You see a slash, call it. You see a double-check, don’t fret about the repercussions of a penalty during the playoffs, call the penalty. Duncan Keith threatening Vladimir Tarasenko with his stick before a faceoff? Misconduct his ass off the ice.

    Milan Lucic not getting suspended because no one from the Department of Player Safety thought to call him after his braindead spear of Alexei Emelin a couple weeks back, which make him, technically, a first-time offender? Gimme a frigging break. Use your power to discipline players, point out the fact that it’s not a ‘hockey play’ perpetrated in the heat of battle, as the hit on David Backes’ was, but rather a deliberate attempt to hurt or injure. It’s an attack on the fabric of the game itself, as intolerable as Sean Avery’s antics against Martin Brodeur a few years back.

    Show some decisiveness. Protect your game. Convince fearful mothers that their precious little boys and girls will be safe taking up the sport of hockey. The goonery will rapidly be stamped out.

    Earlier in the day, I tuned in to the Bruins-Red Wings game, hoping for good news, but found that the bad guys were already leading 2-0. As I vacillated between watching this game or enjoying the sunshine outdoors, a play developed in which Pavel Datsyuk raced to the Boston net, checked closely by Designated Rat Brad Marchand. They jostled as they came to a stop, wrestling with their sticks, and Mr. Datsyuk got the better of his adversary, dumping him to the ground. The ref blew his whistle, the play over. Brad Marchand got up, skated to Pavel Datsyuk, and, as the ref watched them, and only them from two metres away, crosschecked Mr. Datsyuk a few times, violently. And the referee kept watching. He didn’t see an infraction in this. A scrum ensued, lots of milling around, and the ref continued watching.

    No penalty was called by the apparently myopic ref. Either that or he’s getting a swimming pool put in this summer at his house by noted contractor and philanthropist Jeremy Jacobs.

    I turned off the TV and went outside.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Slackman says:

      http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/tldr.gif

      Seriously wish I could finish this but I gotta go to work lol

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

    • twilighthours says:

      Rarely, I will flick past an NFL game. I might watch for a few minutes – until someone gets carried off on a stretcher with a broken head or ripped knee. I say to myself “I will never, ever let my son play football. It’s a sport for heathens.” Granted, I did not grow up nestled in the sport’s fabric. It’s not part of my culture. But it is foreign and frightening to me.

      I imagine that parents in non-traditional hockey regions watch the NHL playoffs and think the exact same thing.

      • Loop_Garoo says:

        It is not just in the non-traditional areas. I live in hockey-crazy Barrie, and even here, many people have decided that, because of both the injury/concusiion factor, and the idiot obsessive parents who are ruining it for so many.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          As long as the NHL — with its enthusiastic profit-driven endorsement of horrendous injuries — is the “steward” of this great game, all hockey-crazy communities will continue to contribute fewer and fewer kids.

          When the well eventually runs dry, the NHL suits will invest their money elsewhere (landmines and chem weapons, perhaps?).

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      Tampa had a pretty good season and I don’t think there is anything wrong with the fact that we outplayed them 2x and then battled them to a draw the third game, to come out with the win. The habs are out-thinking Tampa, and personally, I think this series was over the moment that their back-up goalie came in and let in the first shot he faced. Seeing the look on the Tampa player’s face as they sat on their bench said it all.

  60. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I was right about P.K. but never in a thousand years would I have predicted Rene’s inspired performance so far

    …it’s like We picked-up another Vanek in the dead of the night

    …Vanek, Patch, Eller and Bourque (knock on wood) …the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

    …We ain’t so small any more :)

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Yeah, as I mentioned above, the surge in production and effectiveness from René and Lars is like a couple more forwards acquired in trade deadline deals.

  61. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I’m still hallucinating on that pass (lob) by P.K. to Bourque for the opening goal

    …I told You P.K. will kick-ass in the playoffs

  62. Habilis says:

    I find it weird this season, with the new format. In every round, there’s really only one other series that “matters” because of the new brackets.

    In previous seasons, if we had a quick first series, we’d have to watch all 3 other East series’ to see who we play. Now we know it’s the B’s or Wings. We could finish Tuesday, and the earliest they can possibly finish is Saturday. Methinks we will get to know those teams pretty well in that case.

    Humble suggestion for HIO: Boone should consider live blogging any elimination games in that series if we do indeed finish before them. I know I’d follow along.

    • AceMagnum says:

      We will finish before them…even if we go to seven.

      I’m guessing you were born after 93. This kind of format was the norm back in the good old Adams division days. In my opinion it should still be top four teams in each division and screw the stupid wild card thing.
      …while I’m ranting…get rid of the f-king shootout and get the home teams wearing white again….

      —————————-

      THE KINGS ARE KINGS!! 2012

  63. Habcouver says:

    Habs deserved full marks for playing their game. They out-hustled the Bolts, forechecked magnificently, but most of all, I appreciated how the would consistently break out of their zone with confidence to bringing with it an offensive threat.

    MT deserves much credit because it looks like everyone has bought in to playing as a team. It’s finally come together.

    Gally stood out with his gutsy prowess for the puck.
    As well, I loved how Bournival was out there at critical times and did not look out of place.

    Keep the momentum up, Boys!

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

  64. Rad says:

    The real test for this team will come against physical teams like Boston, Philly, and/or Columbus in the East.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Know what you’re saying, but how about modifying it slightly? Take out “The real” and put “A different”? Because if Detroit prevails, they too will offer a real test, just not the physical one you’re talking about.

  65. naweed235 says:

    BTW, for those who think that Montreal did something original in the pregame, I invite you to watch this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL04INIzAWk

    I believe they hired the same guys who made it happen in Halifax

    • 25insight says:

      habs have been doing this for a while. but yes, it probably is the same team.

    • Rob says:

      For those of you who think the awesomeness of the pregame was all about the 3D light show and video clips shown on the ice, I invite you to attend a playoff game in Montreal. You might be shocked at what an original experience that is indeed.

      The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

  66. 24AW says:

    Habs should get out of the 1st round after that?????????????????
    If they meet Boston Their nightmare will begin.

  67. AceMagnum says:

    Marc Bergevin = Leonard Nimoy

    Steve Yzerman = Johnny Depp

    Discuss…

    —————————-

    THE KINGS ARE KINGS!! 2012

  68. Timo says:

    Having watched the Blues or SJ series I am even afraid to think how Habs would fair against one of these team. These games are just brutal.

    Btw, I know Boone loves it when I am the first poster on his ALN.

  69. Timo says:

    Oh, and btw, what a game by Subban. He was fantastic and that sequence he put on that led to Gallgher’s goal was something else. Unreal. Eat that, Therrien, you buffoon!

  70. lizard ranger says:

    I burnt all my good material on that other thread . Bork, wingles, other stuff too

  71. lizard ranger says:

    THIS is ALN

  72. The_Truth says:

    San Jose looking scary so far

  73. Timo says:

    Yes!

    To begin I’ll say that I thought Habs played a pretty much almost perfect road game. Credit for not getting overly excited.

    There are 2 things I didn’t like from tonight
    a) powerplay – FFS, enough with the perimeter pretty passing BS, put someone in front of the net and shoot the effing puck from everywhere.

    b) Pacioretty – looked like Pacioretty of earlier in the season. Lots of floating, not overly engaged. I understand that he is being covered but I just didn’t sense the intensity from him

    Bourque and Eller still looked great. Big boys that came to play in the playoffs… Moar is better.

    I thought Habs 4th line needed a bit of a kick in the butt… were sluggish and caused more problems to Habs than to the Lightning.

    Overall, great road game. I hope Tuesday is the last game of these series, because quite frankly, why waste energy on a team like TB.

  74. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …there are psychologists available in your region for extreme paranoia, if You are open to the help Itchy

  75. Da Hema says:

    This post is like a 1990s Oliver Stone movie: excessive paranoia through and through. How plausible is it in Gary Bettman’s NHL that he wants any Canadian team — with the exception perhaps of Toronto because of the size of its local market — to win even one game in a playoff series? In case you have been living in a vat for the last 20 years, Mr. Bettman has made it his fanatical ambition to build a hockey market in the US. The Montreal Canadiens are definitely not, and never will be, the beneficiary of Mr. Bettman’s formal and informal US “growth” policies. Your rant is in fact delusional.

  76. Captain aHab says:

    It isn’t just posters saying it, people like Kerry Fraser and Ron Maclean, 2 guys who let’s say aren’t exactly Habs fans, are saying it too.

    How’s Spezza’s golf game these days?

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

  77. Slackman says:

    Pay no attention to this cry-baby Sens fan. He spews it like he’s a fountain.

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

  78. twilighthours says:

    Hey! I love JFK! Great flick.

    As for this Sens fan, it is truly sad.

  79. Cal says:

    The opening was great. The piped in drivel at every whistle? Just that.
    Your attitude? Pure bush.

  80. DipsyDoodler says:

    Nonsense – Max was very involved last night. Physical, fast and hard working. Robbed by Lindback at least once.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  81. Habfan10912 says:

    We watched a different game.

  82. wildwilly says:

    Pacioretty played a great game last night. He seemed to make plays all over the ice. The fact he didn’t score doesn’t mean he didn’t play well.

  83. Habfan10912 says:

    Well, now you topped it! And to think they said it would never be done!

  84. Loop_Garoo says:

    He’s streaky. He often goes a few games without a goal, and there have only been 3 games so far. Also, that line is going to be a focus of other teams defense so, no that the secondary scoring has kicked in, things should open up a bit for them.

  85. Habfan10912 says:

    Thank goodness for that.

  86. Habfan10912 says:

    Exactly. Besides Bourque and PK he was the best player on the ice last night. On both sides of the ice.

  87. Habfan17 says:

    I don’t agree with jlgib1019, but I also noticed a couple of shifts where Patches started to coast and he seems to be able to score when he has no time to think, but not so much when he has time.
    Lindback did rob him once, but patches robbed himself at least twice. I think both players have raised their games, Bourgue to where it should be and Patches has added intensity and physicality, two things I wish he would display more during the regular season.
    His hustle on the back check when he lost the puck was awesome.

    Penalty shots and chances where he has time to think are not his strong suit. he needs to act on instinct when he has no time to think.

    Habfan17

  88. Loop_Garoo says:

    Wow, now you know what Ken Holland was thinking about!! You are truly amazing.

  89. Maritime Ronn says:

    That’s the point
    Those games meant nothing

  90. Cal says:

    And other teams don’t “load up” for the playoffs?

  91. Kooch7800 says:

    Dude are you high? The habs were 3/4 through the season when those acquisitions happened

  92. Maritime Ronn says:

    At the March 5th trade deadline, the Habs were 2nd in the Division and 7 points clear of a playoff spot

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?season=20132014&type=WC&date=03/05/2014

  93. Maritime Ronn says:

    Home advantage?
    If you can’t win on the road, your team is going nowhere

  94. DipsyDoodler says:

    See now your just lashing out blindly

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  95. Habfan17 says:

    Excuse me! Not sure what that has to do with what I wrote!

    Habfan17

  96. boing007 says:

    He’s still waiting for his golf clubs to thaw out.

    Richard R

  97. Mavid says:

    Honey Badger..he is badass..he don’t give a shit..hands down my favorite Hab player..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf


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