About last night …

Bolts beaten

What a difference a year makes.
If your Montreal Canadiens do not win another playoff game this spring, they will still have (mostly) exorcised the demons that plagued fans through last summer.
The last game of the 2012-’13 season was played at the Bell Centre on the second Thursday in May.
With Peter Budaj in nets and Robert Mayer as his backup, the Ottawa Senators beat the Canadiens 6-1.
To the dismay and multi-month misery of their passionate fans, the Canadiens made an ignominious five-game exit from a quarter-final series in which they were outscored, outhustled and, most embarrassingly, outmuscled.
Fast-forward 11 months and two weeks.
In sweeping Tampa Bay, the Canadiens won their first playoff series since 2010.
They will play the Detroit-Boston winner in an eastern Conference semifinal, and they’ll enter the next series with momentum.

Game Four exemplified what the Canadiens were able to accomplish all through their series against the Lightning.

• They got goals from each of their four lines.

• Outside of a brief letdown in the early part of the third period, the Canadiens got airtight defence and rock-solid goaltending from Carey Price.

• Unlike the Lightning, the Canadiens didn’t take bad penalties.

• 11 skaters made the scoresheet.

• Steven Stamkos was held to two shots on goal.

• Rene Bourque continued his postseason renaissance with seven shots on goal, plus three that Tampa Bay blocked and three that missed the net. Bourque, who was a healthy scratch for nine games this season – including five in March – had three goals and 22 SoG against the Lightning. His line, with Lars Eller and Brian Gionta, was the Canadiens’ best in the series.

• The goal by Max Pacioretty at 19:17 of the third period marked the first time in team history that a Canadien has won a playoff series in the last minute of regulation.

• Through four games, including an OT, Tampa Bay held the lead for three minutes, 34 seconds.

• Ginette Reno is 2-0.

We interrupt this recap for a tweet from the Prime Minister of Canada: Congratulations to the @CanadiensMTL for their sweep. Happy to see a Canadian team make it to the second round! #GoHabsGo

For the record, Stephen Harper, who grew up in Toronto, is a Leafs fan.

But the PM recognizes a reality that seems to have escaped the knobs at Hockey Night in Canada:

In the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Montreal Canadiens are Canada’s team.

And they’re doing the country proud, with outstanding contributions from all the native sons on the roster:

• Carey Price and Josh Gorges, the B.C. Boys:

• P.K. Subban, the Torontonian who dogged his minor-hockey teammate, Steven Stamkos, all through the series; and his fellow Ontarian Mike Weaver and Brandon Prust

• Brendan Gallagher, possibly the smallest Albertan with the biggest heart to ever play in the NHL … and probably the biggest set of clanking brass ones

• Rene Bourque, the pride of Alberta’s métis community in Lac La Biche

• Dale Weise, a late season acquisition who plays the kind of hard-hitting they teach on all those cold winter nights in Manitoba

• And, of course, the homeboys: David Desharnais, Daniel Brière, Francis Bouillon and Michäel Bournival, the hard-working kid who drew the penalty that led to Max Pacioretty’s power-play winner. 

Pacioretty is not Canadian. Neither are Brian Gionta, Thomas Plekanec, Alexei Emelin and Andrei Markov, Thomas Vanek or the great Dane, Lars Eller.

They all contributed to move a Canadian team into Round 2 of the playoffs.

There were no passengers on the Canadiens’ bus against Tampa Bay. And the contributions were so evenly balanced among 18 skaters that Michel Therrien will face a tough decision if Alex Galchenyuk and Travis Moen are ready for the next round.

Maybe not so tough in Moen’s case. The Canadiens’ fourth line – Brière, Weise and Bournival – was outstanding against Tampa Bay.

And whom would you sit for Galchenyuk?

Rene Bourque? I don’t think so.

Same depth story on the back end. While some pundits lobby for Jarred Tinordi and suggest Douglas Murray would be needed if the next opponent is Boston, the much-maligned Francis Bouillon and Mike Weaver were each plus-5 – high on the team – against Tampa Bay.

I can’t see Therrien tinkering with a lineup that was, top to bottom, outstanding against Tampa Bay.

If it’s the Red Wings in Round 2, the Canadiens will face kind of  speed and skill they saw from the Lightning – with more playoff experience and a better – if less quotable – head coach.

If it’s the Bruins …

Well, it’s gotta be the Bruins, eh? Just to maintain tradition.

Ron MacLean gets it caught in his zipper big-time. What a schmuck!

• Shout-out to Bob, my dog’s best friend:

bob (3)

 

 

488 Comments

  1. Habcrazzd says:

    I was more scared of Ben Bishop then Steven Stamkos. Was great to see Bourque and Eller step up when they did.

  2. habsr4ever says:

    To me you play Galchenyuk as goals will be at a premium. He is our future. Let him develop and the only way to develop him is to play him. To me Prust was our worst forward in the series. He made too many turnovers. He is obviously still playing injured. To me he would be the guy to sit out instead of Galchenyuk. But pretty sure it will be Weise who sits in the press box just because. Moen = healthy scratch. Only way I play him after a concussion is if we get TWO injuries. No sense in taking a chance even though they say he is “healthy” and been medically cleared. I love his grit and penalty killing role – but save the melon til next season or round. Vanek to me was aweful last night. He was lazy all night long all over the place. He is a Bruin killer so he’ll pick it up next round as will Pacman and DD. It will come down to our PP in the next round. Let’s click at 20% and we should be on to round 3. I still don’t trust Bouillon on the backend. I would rather play Tinordi.

  3. habsr4evr says:

    Like Habs chances against BBBruins if we don’t engage in scrums and get the odd PP goal

  4. Sportfan says:

    Every time RDS and TSN does a top 10 anthem I always see a certain someone at the Expos vs. Pirates game I love it
    http://www.rds.ca/vid%C3%A9os/top-10-hymne-national-3.965818

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

  5. nellis13 says:

    French refs shouldn’t work habs games…no wait, regional refs shouldn’t ref regional games, no wait refs from a certain country shouldn’t ref games for teams from that country (we’ve all watch the Olympics and know officials have a pension for nationalism), but wait each NHL team is made up of players from several different countries so we need officials from non corresponding countries. How about spouses, extended family…
    The answer is simple, the NHL needs to train a team of Tongan refs to insure no one can ever have the perception that the officiating is biased.

    • Sportfan says:

      I find some of the francophone refs are even harsher towards the habs on most nights. Ron and Don thought they were being so smart by saying this bs about the french refs and now they are in hot water and rightfully so, they tried to start a pathetic debate or issue and it back fired and I’m happy it did. I’m tired of media figures making stories about of nothing.

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

  6. Sportfan says:

    Anyone know where I can actually find hit stats?

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

  7. Sportfan says:

    So where does Chucky, go in the lineup when he is ready?

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

    • Chris says:

      Prust’s spot.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      He’ll have to wait until Rask stones the Habs.
      If so, it will be Bournival.

      Sheriff Prust will not come out of the lineup unless he is hurt or can’t perform his duties when called upon.
      The duties include keeping the Bruins honest and Prust is also 3rd man for the PK.

      You don’t want Eller and Max to always have to be the 2nd unit PK after Plex-Gionta

  8. Loop_Garoo says:

    I guess the principle reason I don’t have a problem with Mclean’s comments is that I do not expect the same level of principled, unbiased reporting in sports as I do the news. I am as fanatical about the habs as anyone, but no matter how much importance we place on it, its a game, and the rivalries and controversy are part of the fun. Mclean did not insult Quebec, or French people, or the Habs, or the NHL, or hockey, or anything, he just said if there was a controversial call, it might be extra controversial with a french ref.

  9. Black Horse says:

    Carey Price is a BUM if he never got 4 shutouts!

    In 1993 Roy allowed 16 goals in the first round & 12 in the second round sweep! & you bitch @ Price

    ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

    • Chris says:

      Not one person is “bitching” at Price. He played as well as he needed to play, that is all that has been said.

      Do people who are upset at my comment think that Price was playing at his usual high standard? All that some of us are saying is “Isn’t it nice that the Habs SWEPT a series and they didn’t need Carey Price to be playing at his usual superlative level?”.

      It’t not a knock on Price, for crying out loud. I’m over the moon that the team played so well that they didn’t need him, and I have every confidence that he still has more to give if he is needed to stand a bit taller than he had to in Tampa Bay.

      Goaltending is just so bloody tedious, because so many take anything critical and blow it out of the water. Is Jonathan Quick a bad goalie because of what’s happened this spring? No. Goalies establish their level over the long haul, such as an 82 game season or a career.

      In that regard, Carey Price has established himself as one of the top-5 goalies in the NHL. He didn’t have to demonstrate it in this series because Tampa Bay’s offence was so effectively disrupted by Therrien’s game-plan and a strong compete level from the forwards and defencemen.

      Price was there when he needed to be, and the Habs won 4 straight games. When the competition gets tougher, I am very happy in the knowledge that I know that Price can play even better than he did in this past round.

  10. Chris says:

    Montreal averaged 34.5 shots per game, while only conceding 26.0 shots against per game. Keep that kind of shot disparity up and you’ll go very deep into the playoffs.

    It will be a much tougher challenge against the Bruins, but it can be done. Montreal needs to be smart and not engage the Bruins in their nonsense. The Bruins have always struggled against the Habs because the style they espouse is usually effectively countered with speed.

    Montreal will need to continue to get strong performances from all four lines to take out the Bruins, who are one of the deeper and more balanced teams in the league.

    • The Jackal says:

      Yeah, really happy with how we have played.
      Gotta keep up that discipline, poise, and intensity and we can beat any team, provided we are healthy.

      Good point about not getting suckered into playing the B’s game. That’s what happened to the Wings after a good game 1. Their young guys are too inexperienced to just play and ignore the Bruin’s BS, and Babs is having a hard time reigning them in. I really hope they beat the B’s, not because I don’t want to play them, but because I hate the Bruins and want them to lose. :D

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Nilan said nothing changed since he played for the Habs, especially when playing Boston on the road… The Habs start to pressure and the Bruins try to hit their way out of trouble, feed off their fans that cheer big hits, and it spirals into an undiciplened loss!

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Chris says:

        Don Cherry said as much after the Bruins lost Game 1, noting that the Red Wings were a bad match-up for the Bruins because they historically couldn’t be roped into the Bruins style of game. The Bruins have long championed a physical style, and they play to their fans too much.

        The Bruins actually have a ridiculously talented team, and they would probably be better off if they reined in some of their aggression as the game gets away from them sometime as they get running around looking for hits.

        When the Bruins are at their best, they are composed and take only the hits that present themselves. They lock the other team down defensively, and they get scoring from four lines.

        When the Bruins are at their worst, they run around and get agitated by every little thing. Their attention to detail falters, and they become an average team that can still beat you if you let them suck you down to their level. It is an easy thing to do, as passions run high in hockey, but the Bruins really struggle with composure in their opponents.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Guaranteed the Bruins won’t mind taking a few early penalties for intimidation purposes.

        In this playoff so far, their PK is perfect and their GAA against a pretty good team is 0.67.
        Rask has given only 2 goals in 3 games.

        The key for the Habs is to find the courage to hit, yet not get involved in the after play junk.
        Tough assignment

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Shots is a very small indicator and does not track quality opportunities.

      Apart from that, it comes down to goaltending and being able to not only make the right save at the right time, but to be able to maintain a high level of concentration and be at around .930SP + as the games move on.

      Carey has been fortunate, as rarely do Game SPs of .840 and .870 win playoff hockey games after the 1st round.

      The last 3 Cup winning goalies have been superb in the playoffs and have won several and the majority Big OT game.

      The trends are easy to see:

      Crawford: .932 SP 1.84 GAA
      Quick: .946 SP. 1.41G AA
      Thomas: .940 SP 1.98 GAA

  11. The Jackal says:

    Habs were great this series.
    Tampa was also good and the sweep obscures how close they played us, at least for stretches – they certainly made every game, except game 2, interesting and close.
    Great to see that kind of skilled, skating hockey rather than the crap goonfest that they call “playoff” hockey in certain circles.

    We definitely caught a few break, but what winning team does not? We were the better team for the majority of the time, shut down TB, got better goaltending, and got scoring from all lines. We dodged a couple of bullets in terms of some calls, but nothing really controversial – definitely nothing close to the Sens’ soccer goal last year. On the flip side, the refs let TB off with a lot and from what I saw, Bourque should have had a goal on that delayed penalty last game since no TB player touched the puck – so it’s not like TB didn’t catch any breaks in terms of calls as well.

    Really good to see the Habs win it after blowing a lead in the third too, it shows killer instinct and calmness. We didn’t panic in game 1 and we didn’t panic today. The rest is well-deserved and will help out a lot in terms of getting lots of practice time as well as some time convalesce.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Chris says:

      You can’t say that Bourque should have had a goal because the Tampa players reacted to the whistle. We can’t know if Bourque scores if the whistle hadn’t gone. The goalie certainly wasn’t going to stretch himself out when the play is dead.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      The games were close, close enough to be exciting, and Tampa really did play well, but it never really felt like the habs were in any danger. They played confidently, minimized mistakes, and scored when Tampa made mistakes, which is the exact recipe for playoff success.

  12. boing007 says:

    The Habs are like Rodney Dangerfield, they can’t get no respect!

    Richard R

  13. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Before the playoffs started, I would have joked that the number on the dog’s jersey must be 17…

  14. punkster says:

    Kudos to the entire team including the coaching staff. A well deserved victory.

    Next series no matter who we play:

    I don’t imagine MT will alter the line up no matter who we face next. Just too much good mojo going on right now on the ice. If things need fixing he has lots of depth to draw on.

    I would imagine Murray will be his first choice as a fill in on D due to his experience (72 career playoff games…second only to Gionta on the team with 99 I think). Then Chucky if there’s an opening up front. I doubt we’ll see any of the youngsters like Tinordi, Beaulieu, etc. unless the roof caves in.

    A few side notes:

    Max knows what all good scorers know…you don’t have to score all the time, just once is enough if it’s done at the right time.

    Ron MacLean stooped to Cherryesque depths last night…the sooner he’s gone the better.

    For the love of all that’s good and holy…figure out the PP…it will be the difference in the coming weeks.

    Release the Subbang!!!

  15. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Some commentators and colour guys make you feel like you’d like to buy them a beer and talk the game with them.

    NFL eg: Phil Simms

    NHL eg? Friedman (most of the others, not)

  16. CH Marshall says:

    Wow. I’m still amazed by Ron’s dumb comments. And he’s sorry now, “didn’t mean to go there” ? You went there buddy. PJ Stock is an idiot, but at least he had the good sense to wave off the discussion and change the topic. Kudos to Friedeman for calling out Ron. How can anyone still take HNIC seriously?

  17. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Bah! Too much to do, can’t read everything.

    For those of you who have similarly, by necessity, developed the skill of the silent ecstatic explosion (incl fist-pumps, dances, rude gestures, etc), I need hardly tell you that there was lots of that going on in front of a laptop in a small Irish village in the small hours!

    Couldn’t read much yesterday, but would love to have joined in on the culture discussion which represented many view points but stayed civilsed. Likewise today’s discussion of Ron Maclean and the other CBC hockey people. (If you’re supposed to be neutral — and not every broadcaster adopts that philosophy, eg. NESN’s Edwards is not trying to be neutral — then failing to do so is simply unprofessional, the worst knock you can get).

    Also from yesterday I DIED laughing at all the instructions to Mattyleg about bringing his jinx to the Bell (especially JB’s Habs Win/Habs Lose scenarios — I’m serious: tears). It’s a good website where you can rip someone in fun who’s not even present to retaliate, and everyone gets it!

    I’ll be amazed if it’s not the Bruins. Some of the fears expressed here about that prospect seem to be rooted in the idea that the Habs will play the same way vs Boston as they did vs Tampa.

    Heh, heh! They won’t!

  18. L Elle says:

    What a great morning. Our Habs sweep their opponents in the 1st round. WooHoo!

    Wait a minute! Our team only won because of officials who had French-sounding last names, Bishop was injured and MSL gave Yzerman the middle finger.

    Seriously though, the guys played an awesome team game, and deserved the win.

    You can’t win 4 playoff games due to luck or officiating, especially 4 in a row. A lot of butt hurt people this morning. No problem, we’ve been there too.

    I agree with comments that Lindback was used as the goat. Maybe the Bishop from the beginning of the season may have made a difference, but he was not-so-good 2nd half of the season. Our guys were full value for the win.

    Would HIO ever be complete without some PriceCriticisms? The guy is 4-0. Too bad he didn’t get 4 shutouts, but even then, it’s not good enough for some. But, who cares, he has now “won” 2 playoff series, with more to follow.

    NB: Rask has “lost” a game so far, and I hope the Bell Centre curse follows him wherever he goes. ;)

    • Chris says:

      Price was there when he needed to be, but he was more Grant Fuhr than Patrick Roy in that series. A 0.904 save percentage is well below his usual standard, and he gave up some strange goals.

      I’m okay with him being Grant Fuhr…Fuhr won 4 Stanley Cups! But I think he’s got the potential to elevate his play, which should make Habs fans absolutely giddy.

      • L Elle says:

        If you take out the 1st game, it was .924. But, who’s counting? ;)

        In the playoffs it’s not about save %s or shots against, or some other stat, it’s all about the win.

        Yes, there were some less than pretty goals against him, but let’s go ahead and mention some brilliant and timely saves on his part as well.

        In future series, he’ll be tested a lot more, and that’s when he is at his best. Glad Quick is not our goalie though. ;)

        • Chris says:

          Don’t worry…I am sure that there will be a cadre of people who cite all of Price’s top saves and who are more than willing to ignore his other plays.

          Price was average in this series. I actually think that is a great thing for the Montreal Canadiens, because they just swept their opponent with average goaltending.

          All year long, we hear that the Habs go as far as Price can carry them, and then it comes out that it need not be that way.

          Having a goaltender carry your team is a sure-fire recipe to not winning the Stanley Cup. You can steal a round or two, as Halak did, but it will eventually catch up to you, as it did for Halak.

          I’m not a member of the Cult of the Goaltender. I think far too much attention gets paid to goaltending, and far too little to the other 10 guys on the ice.

          Truth be told, I didn’t see that much difference between Lindback and Price in this series. But there was a mountain of difference between the guys with red on their uniforms and the ones with just blue and white.

          • L Elle says:

            Chris, your post is the prototype for undervaluing a truly great goaltender, we are lucky to have.

            I can agree to much of what you say, but seriously? Lindback and Price, not much difference? They were like night and day.

            But, I am glad Price didn’t have to steal this one for the reasons you mentioned. But vs better teams, he will have to, and I am confident he will.

      • JUST ME says:

        Who cares about the stats ? How is it relevant to what he will do ? We won the 4 games, a sweep, what more do you want ?. Markov has no point in that serie. Is he finished ?
        He is not Patrick Roy nor Grant Fuhr he is Carey Price.

  19. shiram says:

    MacKinnon, Palat, John$on nominated for Calder

    • Chris says:

      Wonder which Lightning player gets 2nd? :)

      • shiram says:

        Yeah pretty much uh?
        Still pretty neat they get 2 nominees, the last team that had that was the Hawks with Toews and Kane, IIRC.
        And that team ain’t too bad now.

        • Chris says:

          I was being a bit facetious, as you can make a pretty strong argument for both Palat and John$on. Both of the Lightning forwards played tough penalty killing minutes, with John$on leading the NHL in short-handed goals and points.

          MacKinnon was a second- and third-line player for the Avalanche, while the Lightning duo were shouldering heavy minutes against the other team’s best checkers.

          I think everybody would agree that MacKinnon has the better ceiling, so he wins the award based on perception as well as recognition. This is one that is voted by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, the same group that managed to vote Ovechkin onto the NHL All-Star teams twice last season. Too many of those writers simply go by reputation and not by any kind of actual research.

          But like you say, hats off to the Lightning…that is an impressive performance for their young duo.

        • Caesar is along for the ride for 25 says:

          With Drouin coming soon….

          • Chris says:

            Keep an eye on Brett Connolly too…they have been VERY patient with his development. He has been a great player in junior and has performed relatively well in his two AHL seasons. As a power forward, he’s been given time to improve his speed and strength in the minors. He could be another break-out threat next season.

  20. smiley says:

    My young colleague works out at the Cambridge Club in downtown TO. P J Stock is there quite often. I am thinking of joining so I can tell P J what I think of him. But Healy is far worse. Healy is biased, cruel, annoying and actually believes what he says. A scary combination.

  21. naweed235 says:

    Good morning to all. I don’t know if this has already been mentioned but there is a picture that went viral, showing some of the Habs taking the lightning players and treating them to a poutine at La Banquise.

    I recognized Gallagher, Pyatt and Hedman on the picture.

    Good on our boys.

  22. 24AW says:

    Enjoy the 1st round win, you won’t need Brooms for the next round. myself I’m just glad we won a round. I believe it’s been 4-years finally signs of improvement is starting to show and someday we’ll win the big prize.
    The Boys will have a good rest for the 2nd round, injury healing time that is needed for a tough round or rounds ahead this is a surprise team and who knows how far they can go. I hope Gionta gets to raise the cup once more.

  23. kalevine says:

    watched some of the LA game. Those western players are huge! Is it the beef? But seriously, is there a stat regarding average height of players in each conference?

  24. billylove says:

    I got nervous as soon as the ole, ole began and sure enough. Do people realize the chant only fires up the opposition especially when done long before the outcome is certain. Hello.

  25. Chris says:

    One thing that really, really bothered me in this series: Glenn Healy was being a complete and utter jackass when it came to Anders Lindback all series long.

    On Gallagher’s goal last night, Lindback was simply a bit out of position. It happens. But Healy was just torching the guy. Funny that Gallagher’s shot was no worse (and was in fact from a slightly better angle) than the goal that Price gave up against Stamkos in Game 1. But that was a world-class shot, while Lindback was a goat.

    I have always detested Healy. But his gleeful piling on of Lindback’s mistakes was tasteless and completely overdone.

    Was Lindback great? No. But he wasn’t terrible, and he wasn’t the reason that the Lightning lost. He was guilty of giving up one not so great goal in each game. It happens. Price has been guilty of that same crime in more than one playoff series, and Healy couldn’t say enough good things about Price throughout the series, even when Price wasn’t outstanding in Game 1.

    Hockey announcers used to be objective. I don’t think you would have ever heard Dick Irvin slamming a player as frequently as Healy was the past couple of games. Healy, Pierre McGuire, Mike Milbury…these guys all seem to make their living by ripping players to shreds. It is really disappointing to see how low the sports “journalism” standard has fallen, especially when you factor in Ron MacLean’s absolutely inane comments last night.

    • kalevine says:

      I just spoke similar about Gallagher’s goal below, agreed. Also, when he said “we all know that Tampa would have won game 1 with Bishop in nets”, I was trying to decide if he was joking or not, and decided he wasn’t. I mean, they might have, but do we ALL know that???

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Great post, I fully agree. How dumb is Glen Healy? During Sunday’s game he was calling out kids all over Canada to not play goal like Lindback. How classless is that. He along with others seem to think that if Bishop(who the F..k is he) was healthy, Tampa would’ve probably swept us. Typical Leaf/Gooin garbage. Can’t wait for the next series (and I hope it’s the Gooins) so we can shut those fother muckers once & for all.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Dick Irvin,Ward Cornell, those guys were the real deal.

      • kalevine says:

        well, Irvin was quite a Habs homer TBH.

        Come to think of it, HNIC could use one at this point

        • Chris says:

          I don’t mind homer announcers. Irvin certainly didn’t rip players to shreds like Healy was doing. There has been a strange tendency in the media to make it almost personal. I remember being somewhat shocked when Kelly Hrudey (who I really liked as an analyst, but he isn’t nearly as good as a colour guy) just ripped Rene Bourque to shreds. It was over-the-top.

          Today, that seems par for the course. Every broadcast has a commentator or analyst who seems to revel in tearing players apart, not just analyzing the actual plays.

          I know that these are grown-ups being paid millions to play a sport, so they should handle the criticism. But I still found it really tasteless on Healy’s part.

          • B says:

            One can show support their team without having to tear down other teams or their players.

            –Go Habs Go!–

    • New says:

      I used to respect MacLean who I saw as an honest broker. Lately, since the Rogers NHL deal, I find it is like a veneer has been stripped away. He is saying some things I can’t believe. I find TSN is the same way, immature comments.

      Healey IMHO is like a lot of media types. There is a lot going on, most of which isn’t worthy of reporting or shouldn’t be reported. This stuff is distracting though. So they don’t really have a grip on what is happening and go the easy route: blame the goalie. Conversely they praise the winning goalie beyond reason. None of it bears any resemblance to what is happening. But last night, in the tunnel with Lindback there, yeah go ahead and trash talk the kid. And truthfully, I remember Healey playing; Lindback is head and shoulders better than he ever was.

      In any event the Canadiens played their hearts out this series. Everyone babbled about seven. Now they will babble about the big bad bruins (who Montreal beat 3 games to 1 this season) and the boys are supposed to pack it in and go home. Sure.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I commented the exact thing below.. If that was Messier it was a “patented 18″ blocker side bullet.”

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  26. DipsyDoodler says:

    When it comes down to it, the LA Kings are a very average team that went on a run in the 2012 playoffs (into which they barely snuck). And the last two teams they beat were Phoenix and New Jersey, hardly powerhouses.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  27. Old Bald Bird says:

    A pretty good article from Engels as he talks about MT’s “team of grinders” remark.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eric-Engels/Habs-Deserve-Credit-in-Every-Department-for-Sweepi8230/82/59607

  28. ClutchNGrab says:

    The long break will be most beneficial to Carey Price. It will givehim and Stephane Waite time to work on adjustments, that’s a great advantage if Waite is as good as advertised.

    • 24AW says:

      I disagree with all of you, the Canadiens is one of seven Canadien teams it is such they were the best of the Canadien teams and made it to the playoffs and for you MrShiflet yes the Canadiens are Montreals team because that’s been their home base since coming into the NHL, just like the leafs are Toronto’s team but their fans are from around the world so lets think fans not a city! Grow up or go play with your toys.

    • B says:

      Price was adequate (.904%) in the first round.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  29. MrShiflet says:

    Enough of this Canada’s team business. The Canadiens are Montreal’s team, and c’est tout. Let the ROC watch the Raptors, or Mr Deeds, or whatever it is they do.

    • bel33 says:

      Some of us don’t live in Montreal… and it’s our team too. Just saying.

      – I’d buy that for a dollar! -

    • smiley says:

      I live in downtown TO-have for 27 years. Born and raised in Windsor, Ont. I am the world’s BIGGEST HABS fan. Can’t eat during a game(not proud of that:). I’m actually surprised at the number of Habs fans in Montreal since we are all over the country and the world.
      :)

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Nice post!
        I’ve never not been aware of Habs fandom outside Montreal and Quebec, but your post really expresses it with passion.

        • Habanero78 says:

          What?!?!?! Never aware of fandom outside of Montreal and Quebec?

          Umm you know how there are Habs Jerseys at every away game? Those aren’t all Quebecers!

          I’ve even made the trip to the Bell Centre to see the habs. I live in Calgary…..

          • sprague cleghorn says:

            I’m tooling around Toronto with a Habs flag on my truck and enjoying every minute.

            … ‘ow could we forget that?

        • olematelot says:

          I live in NS, there’s tons of Hab fans here.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Excuse my poor syntax, but I did say “I’ve never NOT been aware”.

          I was only trying to say it was cool to hear Habs allegiance expressed so passionately outside Montreal.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      MrShiflet…you sir are an idiot

  30. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    It looks like we’re in a paws.
    Or better yet, time to paws and reflect.

  31. shiram says:

    Habs played the way they needed to win the series.
    There were some players that did play up to their standards, Prust and Price mainly, and Prust is certainly injured, and Price still managed to keep the team winning, but the next round will be tougher.
    But overall it was great series, with the Habs dictating the pace of the game.

    Tampa though was not a 100%, somewhat like the Habs last playoffs. Their D is certainly not up to par and Lindback was not good enough for the playoffs.

    So it was a great series and the Habs played very well, but expect a much tougher matchup come next round.

  32. habs-hampton says:

    My respect for Ron Mclean is no less today than yesterday. I lost ALL respect for him several years ago when he used his taxpayer paid for soapbox for a personal, one-sided attack on Alex Burrows. I’m no particular Burrows fan, but McLean had no business doing what he did.

  33. chesterfiled says:

    Boone writes with gravitas. No other sports writers like him in the country. Bodes well that Vanek, The Count, Bert and Ernie are being held to a high bar. Means the future opposition are going put their coverage eggs in the wrong basket when trying to match up lines.

  34. ClutchNGrab says:

    Sorry to write on that again, but here what I think is wrong with MacLean’s comment.

    He insinuated the league wanted to “stick it” to Cooper by putting a “French” referee in game 4, when the referees are scheduled before the start of a playoff round. Usually when a referee makes multiple mistakes in a playoff round (and that happens whether they are Canadians, Americans or Chineese), he just doesn’t make it to the next.

    Had the league make an exception to exclude a referee, not based on his own mistake, but because he has a name that sounds French and is from the same city as another one would have been outrageous.

    Not only that, but the call itself was the right one if the referee follows the rulebook. Now, instead of asking to change the rule, which would be the logical thing to do, most pundits are piling on the referee that takes the decision, pointing at how many referees would not have made the call.

    Some ex referees, like Kerry Fraser and Stephane Auger, defended Charron saying it was the right call considering the rule, but that’s not good enough. The Director of Officiating should be more vocal on calls that are deemed controversial. A bit like Shanahan did when he explained the suspensions his department was giving. That would at least give the referees a voice and would certainly increase the consistency when calling a penalty.

    If you think that doesn’t make sense, look at the NFL. I have seen Dean Blandino in more than one occasions on the NFL Network, either defending or condemning a call. Here’s an article about the process for one specific decision

    http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/_/id/10002769/dean-blandino-nfl-vice-president-officiating-supports-refs-decision

  35. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! A Sweep! Never any doubt last night. Ok,ok I was hammered but man, that was fun.
    Howdy Doody stuck his foot in his mouth? I’ve been saying all season he should be turffed and replaced by Andi Petrillo. Bring on The Bruins! Saludos!

    • shiram says:

      Even at 3-3 I felt sure the boys would get the lead back, they were playing so well.
      Tampa had desperation on their side and made it close, but they had lost the series before game 4, if you ask me.

  36. stephen says:

    Besides Max’s goal, what I was happiest to see on that final powerplay was the use of a Vanek one-timer from the left circle.

    When they first acquired him at the deadline, I figured that would be a logical option for the PP, but I don’t recall them using it much, if at all, down the stretch.

    Here’s to hoping they stick with it.

  37. Maritime Ronn says:

    Much too much wasted time and bandwidth on the negative National Broadcaster and its minions.

    Habs fans – the City – and the Total Organization are so much better than that…
    They know how to unite and accentuate the positive, and not to divide.

    April 22, 2014

    Les Canadiens de Montreal: The Epitome of Class.

    When Ginette Reno had finished singing the Canadian National Anthem for Game 3 at the Bell Centre, several of the very young non Quebec born Habs players turned to Daniel Briere/ Bouillon wondering who that gracious lady was that had the ability to unleash even more passion from the home crowd than what was expected.

    Because of the overwhelming, positive reaction of both the crowd and players, CH organization put a call into Mme Reno and asked her if she would be willing to sing again for Game 4.

    According to the Quebec born icon Mme Reno, she stated that the CH mentioned it was by request of…Rene Bourque – a unilingual anglophone of Metis heritage from Western Canada.

    Does it get any better than that?

    Les Canadiens de Montreal: Always The Epitome of Class.

    • stephen says:

      Hi Ronn,

      I noticed you posted this the other day and meant to ask you what your source was for the story of Bourque requesting an encore appearance by Reno.

      Was just curious if there was a related article floating around somewhere.

      Cheers!

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Réinvitée à la demande de Bourque

        À la demande de l’attaquant Rene Bourque, la chanteuse Ginette Reno a été réinvitée par le Canadien de Montréal afin d’interpréter l’hymne national canadien

        http://tvasports.ca/hockey/canadiens/reinvitee-la-demande-de-bourque-21042014

        • stephen says:

          Awesome, thanks!

          Loved her describing how she was still making her way back to the loge when Bourque scored the first goal. Hearing the roar, feeling the vibrations of the building…Good stuff!

          Thanks again!

        • shiram says:

          She’s got herself a deal now, with those wins after she sung.
          You can bet they’ll want her again for the next round, and why not, she did an incredible job singing, and I usually don’t care all that much for the anthems.

          On that note, the poor girl they have singing the American anthem, she’s not awful, but certainly not great.
          But when comparing her efforts to those of Miss Reno, well she pales in comparison.

  38. Chris says:

    My thoughts on the series:

    Max Pacioretty was finally rewarded for playing an outstanding series. I was never, ever worried about Pacioretty…he was playing lights out hockey throughout the series, generating chance after chance. And when he scored, you can see how passionate the guy is. While many here are pointing at Subban as the future captain of the Habs, I think it will be Pacioretty first (and that is after Plekanec or Gorges, who I suspect would win a vote if it went to the players). Pacioretty was a priority signing by Bergevin, and he is absolutely captaincy material. The team should really invest in some language training for Pacioretty now.

    Brandon Prust had a couple of nice plays in the game, but he has largely been an anchor on whichever line he plays on. That that line is the Plekanec line makes it even harder to justify his spot in the line-up. When Galchenyuk comes back, I think you have to think about sitting Prust. He has not been playing good hockey, and the fourth line is playing too well to break up.

    P.K. Subban has been simply outstanding in the past two games: smart decisions, heads up play and strong defence. The only possible critique I could make is that he has been a bit sloppy with the puck in his own zone, but I think part of that was bad Bell Centre ice last night…there were a few weird skips and bounces, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt on the 3 pucks that he inexplicably fanned on in his own zone.

    Andrei Markov has seen his offence dry up a bit, but he played an absolutely textbook series after Game 1, where he was not at all good. Markov was hands down the best defender in the series, making up for his lack of speed with brilliant positioning and a thorough understanding of the game. His coverage and rotations in Games 3 and 4 should be studied by young defencemen…it was beautiful to watch.

    Josh Gorges is so underrated its not funny. He’s an interesting cat…Habs fans started off complaining at how underrated he was, and then it seemed like it was en vogue to criticise him for being overrated. The former was correct. Gorges takes hits to make the smart play, and he will do anything to help his team win. He’s not the most gifted play on the ice talent-wise, but nobody on the Montreal Canadiens is willing to do more. It would be a colossal mistake to let Josh Gorges get away.

    Mike Weaver and Francis Bouillon cannot play together if the Habs face the Bruins. They were struggling a bit at getting out of their zone, and the Bruins are a much more relentless team on the forecheck. The Habs are going to need players that can get the puck out a bit quicker, or guys who can handle that forecheck.

    You have to feel good for the much-maligned quartet of Lars Eller, Rene Bourque, Brian Gionta and Daniel Brière. They had an outstanding series. Bourque, Eller, and Gionta were Montreal’s best forwards in the series, and it was by a country mile. Gionta in particular was bringing it all over the ice. Bourque and Eller were playing the kind of tough, physical hockey you need if you are going to make a run in the playoffs.

    On to Round 2 and a much, much tougher assignment in taking out the Bruins (I also don’t give the Red Wings any chance of winning that series).

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I agree with your thoughts Chris. I was really impressed with Markov’s compete level. He was showing aggression and really played strong D. I was impressed. I am also happy to see PK finding his groove.

      Hats off though to Eller, Bourque, Briere, Gionta. I think Weise needs some love as well as he played with great speed and was clutch with Briere at big spots in the series

      • Chris says:

        Weise was good, but he has never been maligned to the extent of the four that I mentioned. Most HIO people seem generally happy with Weise, especially so long as he stays in his fourth line role.

        I agree that he played really well, and I think that the fourth line would give any team fits with their speed. Briere has the offensive chops, Bournival has been improving and brings some offensive creativity and Weise brings the muscle. I would hate to see that line broken up to keep Prust in the line-up when Galchenyuk returns, because Prust is an offensive black hole.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Totally agree. Weise for Diaz was a steal and it is paying dividends. I really hope MT will just leave the lines as is for now.

          The one benefit is now the habs can study both boston and Detroit and get a game plan for next week. Really, we know they will be focusing on Boston as I think that is pretty evident that is who we will be playing. I hope Detroit takes at least another game though

    • RockinRey says:

      Interesting insights on the game. I would disagree about Patches , there are several other better candidates for captain. And as much as I like Subban I dont think he is captain material for this team.

      RE: Prust. He has not nearly been as effective as he was in his first year with the team which is a product of working through some injuries. I think you need that kind of energy with a little more skill that he brings to the lineup.

      MT has a few more options with Prust , Moen, Chucky, Weise, Briere ( I dont think they should waste a spot with Parros) as options for the fourth line and these guys are ideal candidates to play short term on the top 3 lines.

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

      • Chris says:

        I haven’t seen his energy at all this season, and I agree it is injury related. He has been largely ineffective.

        There is plenty of energy in the line-up IF (and that is a giant if) Bourque, Eller, Pacioretty, Bournival and Weise play the way they are playing. Prust and Moen are essentially equivalent players, but Moen might be a bit better. He certainly skates faster, and he is better on the penalty kill.

        I’ve never been a big fan of either guy, but Prust looks to be playing at 50-75% right now. At that level, Moen is miles better if he is ready to return.

        I’m not saying Pacioretty is the next captain, just that he would be ahead of Subban on that chart. But I am a bit intrigued as to who you think is ahead of Pacioretty on the list. Markov has no interest in it, Gionta may not be back, and Briere has no long-term future with the team. That leaves Plekanec and Gorges as the front-runners, with one of Pacioretty or Subban as the next generation. Guys like Emelin (language barrier, inconsistency), Bourque (inconsistency), Eller (fragile confidence), Bournival (too young), Galchenyuk (too young) and Gallagher (too young) would not be in that discussion yet for a variety of reasons. Desharnais might be in the mix, but can you imagine the complaining if that happened? :)

        • RockinRey says:

          Gorges or Pleky!

          Moen better than Prust? Not so certain. Maybe at Purst being 75%. You need that grit in the lineup. He brings something Parros can’t and that is game. He is tougher than Moen….and has better hands in my opinion. Agree on the rest though.

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

    • shiram says:

      Great recap Chris.
      The team is playing with tons of swagger.

      Markov was even physical in this serie, a rare thing to see.

      My votes for Captain would be Pleks first, and Patches second.
      That would depend on what the team intends to do with Pleky long term.

    • Drive4twenty5 says:

      Totally agree with you bud. Nice to see all your players come together as a team and just play to the best of their ability. If they all play like this through out the playoffs i have no doubt that we can beat any team we face.

      “Well, he’s a thoroughbred, and maybe your wife doesn’t recognize that, but then again, I can’t bake bread all that well. We all have different skills.” …Bob Gainey “Classic”

    • CJ says:

      I purposely left Bouillion and Weaver out of the mix in my recap below as I feel that I have beaten that horse to death. That said, you are spot on Chris. These guys can not be together next series. Hopefully we can find an adjustment within the next 10 days.

      It simply doesn’t resonate on television how much of a beating that Frankie, Weaver, Emelin and Gorges take. PK and Markov seldom get hit hard, but the others get hammered all night. I don’t think that this can continue against the Bruins.

      • Chris says:

        Bouillon and Gorges have been getting hit hard their entire career. They are both very good at absorbing those hits, making sure their bodies are up against the glass when they get hit most of the time.

        Emelin should take some lessons…he often leaves a gap between he and the boards, so he just gets pasted. Weaver is even worse for this…he was getting absolutely rocked and is just asking for a concussion. The fact that both guys take a little too long to make decisions contributes to their getting hit. Markov makes his plays very quickly or uses feints to make his opponents think he is going to make the pass as he calmly pivots out of the hit.

    • FlyAngler says:

      Chris,

      Agree 1000% about Prust and Chucky. Having Chucky on the ice after he deked Rask out of his jockstrap in the shootout in the teams last meeting in Boston is a great way to get into Rask’s head, especially since his record against the Habs has not been great to begin with and Prust is just not playing that well right now.

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  39. dabouz says:

    Bouillon is American ;)

  40. habs_54321 says:

    Major Key too last nights pp goal was subban he finally has realized that trying too force a shot through 5 shin pads is a low percentage play move the puck around let the play come natural he is ALWAYS forcing it

    • Cal says:

      Yeah, like that perfect play to Gally or that terrible shot/pass to DD for the deflection. Wow, does PK suck.

      Seriously, criticizing how PK played? What game you watching?

      • habs_54321 says:

        im not criticzing pk but if you dont think he forces shots on the pp then what team are you watching

        • LizardKing12 says:

          He’s watching the Habs. I can recall maybe one shot that he forced all series. PK has been making smart plays on the PP and the PP for the most part has been moving the puck around quite well. They didn’t capitalize on enough of their opportunities but the lack of goals doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been horrendous. PK was outstanding in this series. His play was instrumental in shutting down Stamkos after game one and he constantly made the simple/smart plays that got the puck out of the zone quickly as well as effectively picked his spots to jump into the rush and contribute offensively.

          • habs_54321 says:

            dude thats my point pk has been starting too make smarter plays on the pp instead of forcing low % shots if you think montreals pp has been a success this season your delusional!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. GoldenSeal says:

    Next series will be much tougher. Tampa Bay was really not very good. Their goalie couldn’t stop a beach ball. They should have gone to Gofcksht much earlier.

  42. duffy says:

    Maybe no Ontario Refs should be assigned to Leaf games in future, do you think so Ron ?

    • GoldenSeal says:

      Won’t help the Leafs. They need their opponents to play blindfolded.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      That was a pretty stupid comment (Ron’s). He didn’t mention the habs record when Chris Lee was in. The habs didn’t win because of the ref’s they won cause they were the better team.

      The fact he would even say that speaks volumes

      • Strummer says:

        Hughson and Simpson mentioned the record with Chris Lee just before puck drop.

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

        • Kooch7800 says:

          True. It should have been mentioned in the French ref debate.

          Either way Ron was off base and his comments were not smart. I would like to see some more balanced commentary from a Canadian station

    • Drive4twenty5 says:

      Ron is butt hurt he is being replaced by a habs fan next year ;)

      “Well, he’s a thoroughbred, and maybe your wife doesn’t recognize that, but then again, I can’t bake bread all that well. We all have different skills.” …Bob Gainey “Classic”

  43. CJ says:

    Good morning folks!

    Exciting times at hand. The magic and mystic of the Bell Centre, albeit not quite the Montreal Forum, still holds sway as the epicentre of hockey. I still have a head buzz this morning, born of 21,273 screaming fans more so than the four draft Stella at ye Olde Orchard Pub before puck drop.

    My wife and I arrived downtown just before 5:00 pm. The electrical current in the air was apparent from the moment we exited at Guy st. The energy intensified as we drew closer to the Bell Centre and by the time we were inside we were fully immersed in a power generator of excitement. The noise was defeaning. Not the loudest I have heard the arena, but certainly top five.

    Lots to like about the game last night. A few things that stood out for me;

    Dale Weise and Bournival – neither ever stop skating. Weise is one of the few players on this team that can throw a body check. IMO, he was an unsung hero this series. He was an aggitator and focal point for the Bolts, who tried to take shots at him after the whistle. Anytime a fourth line player draws this kind of attention, he is doing his job and doing it well. Honestly, the move to acquire Weise for Diaz is the best trade this season. Bournival, if he can add 10lbs of muscle while keeping his speed is going to play 15+ years in this league. The kid is a winner and competes non stop.

    Galley and Bourque looked great all night, winning puck battles and extending the play by sustaining cycles. Galley is truly inspirational. I love watching him play. All the credit to Bourque, who has brought his game. I hope he can sustain this play going forward, as he will be needed against Boston (no, I don’t think Detroit has any chance).

    PK looked like the premier defenceman that we last saw against the Dallas Stars in January. Following a tough first game, PK has elevated his play and is now in a major groove. I am liking what I am seeing. He has managed to channel his energy and is looking every bit the Norris trophy winner we saw last spring.

    Lastly, I need to give DD some love. I have been concerned, not so much with DD, but with the manner in which the game is played in the post season. As the refs become less inclined to whistle an infraction, our small skilled players have a more difficult time finding space to create offense. DD continues to drive the number one line and is the leader of this elite trio. The same can be said of Gionta, who has also elevated his game.

    Playing a good game got us past Tampa Bay. We will need to be great in order to best the Bruins. On this point, the following players need to step up;

    Brandon Prust is clearly playing at 75%. His hits are essentially the equivalent to having been wrapped in bubble wrap. He is soft, slow and labors to move up and down the ice. If Moen is healthy, I would suggest that he bumps Prust. I love the guy, a true warrior, but he looks bad.

    Emelin gives me fits. He makes three good plays, then follows it up with a terrible decision. I have no clue what he is thinking half the time. At this point of the season, it should be just a natural extension of the process refined over 82 games. You can tell that this is his first post season as he is somewhat panicked. I hope Boston brings out the very best in him.

    Vanek is not worth $8 million dollars. This is the same Vanek I have watched his entire career. He puts up points, but he appears disengaged for long stretches of time. I am not sure if he is hurt, but that would certainly explain a lack of puck pursuit. Maybe he is saving himself for the next round? I don’t know. I kept watching him to see if he would do something, but aside from the last PP, he really left a negative impression. Funny, because if you didn’t follow the sport and were asked to rank the players on our team, Weise would be in the top five, while Vanek would be bottom three.

    Lastly, and here is where I am going to get blasted, but Carey Price needs to be better. I don’t know if it’s simply bad luck that follows this guy in the post season, but my goodness he looks small in the net. Strange, because on the biggest stage (Olympic), he looked tremendous. Again, not sure that I have seen another goalie let in stranger goals. In order to beat Boston he will need to have a save percentage north of .930. Again, good beats Tampa, but we will need to be great to beat Boston.

    In closing, where else in the world can you order 2 smoked meat sandwhiches and 2 coors light draft, hand over a $50 bill and get back coin and be happy? The Bell Centre is a special place. I look forward to round two and seeing how we fare against the best team in the East. The winner will be heading to the Stanley Cup….

    I am on board for the ride and hope the journey continues!

    Cheers, CJ

    • FANHABULOUS says:

      Great recap… I wish I could’ve experienced that game live, I’m sure it was an amazing atmosphere.

      ____________________________________
      “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

    • I’m living vicariously through you CJ! Agree with all your points especially Price. I posted the same thing down below after watching Raask immolate being a wall against Detroit. Can’t be lackadaisical against the Booins (also agree they will be next).

      I also think Gally will be manhandled and will need some support from guys like Murray, although Parros is useless, and Prust is like you say 75%, we may need Prust to back-stop DD’s effort too. Queen Lucy, Maaachan and the other thugs will try to hurt us, you can bet on that and we’ll have to have push back. Can Bourque fight?

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

      • Chris says:

        Sarcastically, it would be great if Rask would immolate, because the Habs would have a much better time of it with his back-up Chad John$on. (The fact that you can’t type his last name on this site still cracks me up, given what gets through.)

    • shiram says:

      Gotta agree on your player assessment CJ.
      Prust does look bad, here’s hoping 10 or so days rest gets him back near 100%, as I’m not so sure Moen would be up to the task.

      Bournival is golden, have to love his attitude. he and Gally.

      And agreed on Price, who was ok, but needs to be the elite keeper we know he can be.

    • icemachine says:

      Great comments, I know the Price one may be unpopular, but other than Game 2, I would only say he has played above average rather than outstanding.

      Hopefully having a week off allows him the time to rest and rehab the leg injury which I think is still bothering him

    • kalevine says:

      Price was great in OT game 1 and games 2 and 3, not so much in game 1 regulation and game 4. The good thing is, he was great when he had to be in this series, and that’s something we haven’t been able to say in the playoffs since his only other winning series, against the Bruins. Let’s hope he brings it again next series

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      CJ

      Regarding Vanek last night, for the first 57 minutes of the game, I thought they tied him up in the washroom, shaved George Parros’s mustache off, and put Vanek’s sweater on George.

      …and then boom – he finds some open ice on the PP, blasts away, Max picks up the rebound and game over.
      That’s Vanek!

      As for Price, your concerns are warranted.

    • CJ says:

      Thank you for the feedback. Never sure how it looks on television versus watching in person. Cheers, CJ

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      I agree with your comments on Dale Weise. I remember liking the deal at the time and of course now I love the deal. He has been a one of the best 4th liners in the league since joining us. I credit Rick Dudley for finding him. I often think the same intuition was used to grab Drewiske but due to injuries maybe we haven’t seen his best yet (or won’t ever). I think you or one of the posters here watched him play live and was very disappointed. I like young Bournival as well. These are the palyers you win with. Weise =Skrudland maybe? Bournival reminds me of Doug Risebrough…Carey will be otherworldly against Boston…book it! enjoy the ride.

      24 cups and counting….

  44. RockinRey says:

    @ Boone great ALN!

    Ron Maclean is a tool ( and not just because of what he said last night and has apparently appologized for today) .

    Props to MT. This team was a revelation in the playoffs. Very well played(coached), tenacious, preparedness, every player buying in to what kind of game he wanted them to play. Other than a game here and there, the regular season version never gave us that kind of consistent effort and we watched so many games where we would love to have the time back. I just want them to compete like they did against Tampa and leave it all out there.

    Very proud of the effort and other than that letdown in the 3rd the series ( or any of the games ) never really looked in doubt.

    I am a big fan of PK but one thing he might want to stop doing is running the pick or interference on guys who come in after a dump in. It is a penalty waiting to happen.

    Bring on the next round!!!

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

  45. jeffhabfan says:

    OLE OLE OLE OLE got to love Last night. How sweep it is. GO HABS GO.

  46. duffy says:

    Wasn’t Dave Hodge fired for some dumb comment he made on HNIC a few years ago, just saying.

    • GoldenSeal says:

      He was pissed that a game was prematurely cut off to go back to the news and he tossed a pencil up in the air in frustration. Canned for trying to do his job. Clearly the CBC has widely grown the area of stupidity that is required to get fired.

  47. Jocko says:

    So, the Prime Minister is mentioning Montreal Canada’s team. That rationale drives me crazy! This team is despised by fans of every other team, and we proud fans stick by the Habs year after year. This is our team, not “Canada’s Team”! Get off our bandwagon!

    As for MacLean, turn in your MENSA membership! Why do Canadians babble on about the French and English? It’s nonsense! Let that idiotic issue die. We are one country, irregardless of anything that does not bind us together. We are all Canadians! I am a proud Newfoundlander, and god knows we have our own culture! I have a tattoo of Newfoundland and a Canadian Flag on my body. Point being, I am proud of both, just like I am sure Quebeckers are. This trash is just getting tiring!

    Go Habs Go!!

    • mrhabby says:

      right on..agree this whole thing is getting really old and just dumb.

    • mdp2011 says:

      Great post!!

    • CalgaryHab says:

      Agree completely.
      I know I’m not cheering for another Canadian team if the Habs aren’t in the play-offs – more than likely I’m cheering against them.

    • GoldenSeal says:

      C’mon guys. Leave the hostility to the rednecks. Personally i will cheer for any other Canadian team except the Leafs. I mean everyone needs boundaries, heh.

      • Jocko says:

        Have a look at the comments at TSN. The number of excuses people are using for Montreal’s victory is maddening! That is exactly the reason why I don’t want anyone on our bandwagon. We are true fans who stick by our team, and that is that. All others are not welcome!

        I’ll admit that I rooted for Calgary in 2004, I was working at the Saddledome at that time. Probably the only time I ever rooted for another team besides Montreal. I generally do not care after the Habs are eliminated. Branding anyone a redneck is along the same lines as branding a Quebecker a separatist. Let’s get rid of the tags we seem to need to put on people.

        I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

  48. 25 cups says:

    well, this works out perfectly for me :) I’m off to Lunenburg NS tomorrow and then on to NYC on Sunday. I’ll be home (next) Thursday night which is hopefully around the time round 2 will start.

  49. Colombiahabs says:

    Love the word Eurotrash from Florida the trailer trash capital of the world

  50. GoldenSeal says:

    Sad, but I’ve always like Ron Maclean. Now I’m thinking it was the fact that he looked reasonable sitting beside the biggest buffoon in pro sports. Anyway, I’m guessing Maclean will not be around next year as Rogers will not want to shell out half a million to keep him. That means that a great deal of Maclean’s legacy was established last night…and it isn’t pretty. What a turkey. Most surprising is that this crap is coming from a ref. Wonder if he ever recused himself from playing games where he knew the coach personally or some such thing. He deserves all the crap he is getting today. Watch for Cherry to defend him though.

  51. Old Bald Bird says:

    McLean’s comments weren’t too bright as on this site, we tend to think that the French (sorry Matty) refs, bend over backwards trying desperately not to be homers. Note who called the late penalty (I think).

  52. icemachine says:

    Some good tweets from Friedman about last nights ref/MacLean “controversy” – The way I heard it, it was should a referee from Quebec be doing this game. My answer is yes, as long as the ref is in good standing there is no issue. It was similar situation to Canadian Refs working games involving Canada at Sochi

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC
    I would like to make a comment about the Quebec referee conversation of earlier tonight.
    I dont know exactly what is being reported right now, but all Ron was discussing what the perception of local referees officiating games…
    I was the one who used the word “French.” If I would have said “anglophone,” Ron would have said that ref should not be involved either

    • GoldenSeal says:

      Friedman is trying to help out his pal Maclean but it will not work. The cat is now out of the bag. French media is having a field day with it and rightly so. Some people are trying to introduce grey area. There really aren’t any. It was an intolerant remark plain and simple.

      • icemachine says:

        It was a question being asked by many, Ron happens to have the largest forum to bring it up. Elliotte tried to explain why it shouldn’t be an issue but it was fumbled by both and wasn’t given enough to recover in the segment.

  53. habs33 says:

    Here’s a question – would you rather face the B’s starting in Boston or face Detroit and start at home?

    The Habs, I think, benefitted from strarting on the road against Tampa and we walked away from Florida with two games in hand. We seem to play the role of Underdog’s well, no?

    GO HABS GO!

    Follow me on Twitter:djamesross

  54. WindsorHab-10 says:

    CBC must condone such jerks as the panel on HNIC because any other reputable network would have shown the likes of Maclean, Cherry, Stock & Healy the front door a long time ago. What a stupid thing to say about a referee especially from a former ref like Maclean who apparently still hasn’t figured out rule #69.

    Moving on to the panel on Sportsnet, they all gave the Habs credit for their balanced attack & sticking to the game plan except for brain-dead Nick Kypreos who only talked about Lindback’s poor goaltending & how Tampa’s fate was sealed with Bishop’s injury. I wonder what excuse Kypreos has up his sleeve when the Habs win their next round. Thanks for your support dumbass.

    A Michel Therrien trasher all year, but I have to give some love to the coaching staff for a plan well done. Much more challenging next round no matter who the opponent is but we’ll take it one game at a time. Great job Habs.

  55. Timo says:

    Is this what Boone looks like early in the morning?

    I have a question – now what? What are we going to do for the next 9 days?

  56. DipsyDoodler says:

    HabsFanInTampa doesn’t like the Ole Ole song because it’s “Eurotrash”. He uses the word Eurotrash as a synonym for European. HA HA.

    I’m curious. Does anyone outside of the sweltering asylum/nursing home that is Florida find “Eurotrash” clever?

    Also, HFiT, the Wave is Mexican – but perhaps they also fall into the Eurotrash category?

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  57. RetroMikey says:

    Good morning all!
    Back to reality for me.
    At the airport heading back to work in Toronto after spending 2 days of work related business and leisure with my wife in the most beautiful city in the world in Montreal.
    I got to shake Marc Bergevin’s hand at the game from our box as I noticed him walking to his and introduced my wife and I to him.
    Wish we could post the picture here.
    Bergy is smart, and I told him I was not optimistic heading into the playoffs.
    All he said was have faith Mikey, have faith.
    Yeah, I predicted a 7 game win by Tamp Bay, yeah I was wrong about the team and during the regular season.
    Is it the playoffs that makes the team soar to new heights?
    I really believe in the players, after watching last night’s game form the Bell Centre, I have faith in the team.
    Kudos to the team, coaches, and management!
    And to all the fans of the Habs, especially here!
    God is good and yes, you got to have faith!
    Great series sweep boyz!
    We are all proud of you!

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

  58. Colombiahabs says:

    Tampas coach is a disgrace crying about the reffing? Give me a break that was the most one sided series I have seen in a long time. My 10 year old Colombian step daughter who knows nothing about hockey could even tell that Montreal was just obviously way better than Tampa. She was even singing OLE OLE OLE! Last night on her way to bed!

  59. Butterface says:

    Here is the deal.

    Montreal dominated the series.

    Bad calls both ways. Tampa can’t use that as an excuse because as far as I am concerned early whistles and players diving at goalie pads with their stick caused more goal/no goal issues then a rule followed by the letter of the law about a guy knocking a goalie down by leaving a crease he skated into.

    Tampa having their back ups in net… big deal. Bishop would need to channel Jesus himself to be able to overcome the 4 line domination Montreal brought.

    He is good, but he ain’t no Patrick Roy.

    Stamkos’ stick breaking ? Happens all the time. Can’t tell me the series was pivotal on that stick staying together.

    Sick of these commentators trying to find excuses for why Tampa went out like a lamb.

    The simple answer is Tampa were lambs.

    The next series and I believe it to be Boston will not be a lamb ready for slaughter. It will be a 4 lined goon squad looking to pound the Canadiens into submission.

    If we get by Boston, we are for real.

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

  60. Ian Cobb says:

    SHANE!
    Great picture of the boys celebrating at center ice with their brooms instead of sticks! NICE!

  61. Colombiahabs says:

    4.5 million or whatever is obviously overpaying but you gotta love having Dany Briere centering our 4th line about now. The Habs haven’t had a decent 4th line centre since PP sniper specialist Glen Metropolit!!

    • kalevine says:

      haha yes
      hard to imagine where chucky and travis will fit when they are healthy. I fear Moen will go in for somebody and am not in favor of that, unless maybe it’s Prust, and even then, I think Prust could be great if he manages to ever heal

  62. formerly known as the hc says:

    Re ole, ole, etc…

    There seems to be some confusion over the differences between coincidence, co-relation and causality. Fans, after paying big bucks to go to a game, should be allowed to have fun.

    -The beatings will conmtinue until morale improves-

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      This is true. There is no cause and effect here. I attended the last game in Ottawa, and the song was loud and lots of fun. They even sang it on the way out of the arena. It was a blast. In the end, the game is about enjoyment.

  63. DipsyDoodler says:

    Regarding the injury-fest out West, I am of two minds.

    On the one hand, if our Habs make it to the Finals I want whoever we face to be as banged up and as weak as possible.

    But second to wanting the Habs win is a desire not to see the Bruins desecrate the famous Cup again. So if the Bruins are the Eastern Finalists I want a healthy San Jose to be the Western team.

    So complicated.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  64. boing007 says:

    Give me that Whine Whine Whine … Pass that bottle to me:

    Enjoy it while you can Report this comment!
    Yeah!Boo!
    boston ray
    11 hours ago

    A Mtl powerplay with 2mins. left? How fitting. Report this comment!
    Yeah!Boo!
    muscle
    11 hours ago

    Habs better cut another cheque for the next series! Report this comment!
    Yeah!Boo!
    hockeymatters
    11 hours ago

    They got their normal powerplay with 2 min left never fails. Report this comment!
    Yeah!Boo!
    chris9999
    11 hours ago

    Surprise, a late Habs power play for the series clincher

    Richard R

  65. habs-hampton says:

    My respect for Ron Mclean is no less today than yesterday. I lost ALL respect for him several years ago when he used his taxpayer paid for soapbox for a personal, one-sided attack on Alex Burrows. I’m no particular Burrows fan, but McLean had no business doing what he did.


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