About last night …

BourqueRask

At least it wasn’t Michael F. Ryder.
The last time the Bruins won Game 4 in Overtime at the Bell Centre to send a deadlocked series back to Boston, the hero was a former Canadien.
On April 21, 2011, Ryder beat Carey Price 1:59 into OT to give the hated visitors a 5-4 win.
Playing on home ice with a chance to take a 3-1 stranglehold in that quarterfinal series, the Canadiens blew leads of 1-0, 3-1 and – with a it over six minutes left in regulation – 4-3.
Thursday night’s Game 4 was a lot tighter.
Like soccer tight.

Bot teams were aware that Game 4 was pivotal.

Had the Bruins lost, they would have faced the daunting prospect of having to beat Carey Price three times to win the series.

Now they have to do it twice … and will have two games, if necessary, at TD Garden to do it.

Just to complete the history lesson, Boston won Game 5 of that 2011 series. Nathan Horton’s OT goal was the 51st shot Price faced in a 2-1 loss. Then after the Canadiens stayed alive with a 2-1 win at the Bell Centre in Game 6, Horton got another OT winner as game 7 ended 4-3.

Boston went on to win the Stanley Cup.

The Canadiens went on to finish last in the Eastern Conference in the 2011-’12 season.

Overtime hero Nathan Horton ended up in Columbus.

Matt Fraser, who tipped the puck past Price after a crazy bounce off the end glass, may end up back in the AHL next season. But how ironic was it that the OT hero who restored the Bruins’ home-ice advantage in this terrific series was recalled from a city called Providence.

The Rhode Island city takes its name from a word meaning divine guidance or care. Maybe Smith had the help of unseen powers while scoring the only goal of an excellent game.

God may or may not have been in the Bell Centre. But Gary Bettman was there, and the NHL commish watched a game that did credit to the league.

The Canadiens and Bruins stuck to hockey, as they have for most of the series. There were three minor penalties. The Canadiens took two of them and killed them both off, extending Boston’s playoff futility. The Bruins haven’t scored a power-play goal against the Canadiens in the postseason since 2009.

The winning goal could have been prettier. Had the Canadiens cashed regulation-time opportunities, however, Fraser would never have had the chance to poke that puck laying loose under Mike Weaver.

Tuukka Rask looked jittery early in the game. But the Boston goaltender settled down to deny Brian Gionta on a breakaway and snakebit Max Pacioretty on a shot from the faceoff circle. The Boston goaltender made 14 saves in the third period but faced no shots in the overtime.

While Price and Rask both excelled, neither goaltender had to make acrobatic saves or foil a lot of gilt-edged scoring chances. The Canadiens and Bruins played tight team D from the opening puck drop to the the siren that ended regulation time. There were few wide-open looks, fewer odd-man rushes.

Many second-guessers on Twitter and sports radio were lamenting the on-ice presence of Weaver and their favourite whipping boy, Douglas Murray, in Overtime.

But the Canadiens began OT with P.K. Subban and Josh Gorges. Weaver and Murray came on when Claude Julien deployed his third line. And the other Canadiens watching Fraser score were Lars Eller, Brian Gionta and Rene Bourque, who have been Therrien’s best line in the series.

Murray had six hits, to match Zdeno Chara, and blocked four shots in his 13:56 of ice time. On the TSN 690 postgame show, Conor McKenna called the big Swede the worst player in the NHL. Has the sportscaster forgotten Yannick Weber already?

I think Murray’s physical presence keeps the Bruins honest. I’d keep him in the lineup for Game 5, but Michel Therrien may fear the match-ups Claude Julien can concoct with last change in Boston.

I didn’t think any Canadien – or any Bruin, for that matter – played poorly in Game 4. 

The Canadiens’ big guns have fallen silent. Max Pacioretty had one shot on goal. Thomas Vanek none.

Michäel Bournival continues to impress and had four SoG. I love the kid and he’s going to be a good player, but you have to think the Canadiens would be more dangerous if Alex Galchenyuk were playing left wing with Vanek and Tomas Plekanec.

Pacioretty is way overdue for a goal. And I wish he’d be more physical, especially against Boston. But the guy scored 39 times during the regular season, and maybe all Max needs is a greasy one to get going on one of his hot streaks.

I’ll go way out on a limb here and predict Pacioretty outscores Boston’s OT hero in this series.

For one long night, however, Matt F. Fraser was Michael F. Ryder.

 

 

 

 

 

389 Comments

  1. Storman says:

    Two side notes i take away from last night ,,besides all the Murray chatter,, is more why Therrien does not ride PK like the Bobby Orr horse he is, should be closer to 30 minutes a game than 20 minutes a game,

    The other bad thing is Rask found his Vezina form, and more importantly he may have found his mojo which leads to that ability to find that area that all athletes strive for,”The Zone”,, need a quick goal on him in game 5 to break that mojo.

  2. Luke says:

    I hope there is a special place in Hell for the people who stir their coffee with the sugar spoon and then put it back in the sugar.

  3. Psycho29 says:

    Ouch! That one hurt!
    The boys will have a tough time in Beantown, but I have faith! (gulp!)

    I was trying to think what that OT goal reminded me of last night….The Dale Hunter OT goal in 1982:

    http://bit.ly/1oy43yv

    That one left a bad taste in my mouth also! But I think Hunter had a crappy Corsi that night also! ;-)

  4. Cal says:

    France beats Canada at World tourney: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=451668
    It is to leaf, um, laugh.

  5. Strummer says:

    Leafs have 3 assistant coaching vacancies.
    If Kirk Muller ( totally hypothetical no reports) gets hired will we think less of him?

    ____________________________________________________
    “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

  6. Danno says:

    What it could have been had we won…

    It is what it is. Nobody said this was going to be easy.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  7. Ferg says:

    Bournival has 4 SOG and Vanek has none? How does that happen? Another guy with all the talent and none of the desire.

    I can support a guy who is not the most talented, but gives a full effort when the games are tough, but I have no patience for floaters like Vanek. These games are what shows a player’s true character and I haven’t seen much from Thomas Vanish. Lived through a couple of Kostitsyns, don’t need another one.

    Enjoy Minnesota

    • Storman says:

      I love Bourney,, but two of his shot on goals, should have been feeds, one to a wide open Vanek,, and another to a wide open net waiting for a wide open Pleky and sure fire goal, Bourney has to still gain that confidence and vision and ability to slow the game down when necessary, he does play full out at all times,, but the feed when he did not notice Pleky for a sure fire goal , left Pleky very frustrated , happened in the first period.. anyways just saying many ways to evaluate stats like shots, and hits etc.. love Bourney but he has tons of room to improve his O zone decisions.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Most of Bourni’s SOG came from Vanek passes as I recall.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

  8. Strummer says:

    France beats Team Canada.

    You know the winning team is not that good, and they were only signed because they are “French”

    ____________________________________________________
    “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

    • Habs_Norway says:

      Crazy with that line-up. The Flying Frenchmen…
      Russia with a 5-0 win over the Swiss.
      And i have a feeling Norway will loose against Italy tomorrow.
      I heard on TSN on my way to work today that Jim Corsi is in the staff for team Italy. Funny, because i thought “Corsi” was just some made up word for the statistics he “invented”.

      ______________________________________
      Say no to visors and sign Emelin for 10 years

      • Strummer says:

        tell me Habs_Norway- why has Norway not become a hockey power like your neighbours Sweden and Finland?
        Always wondered.

        ____________________________________________________
        “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

        • Habs_Norway says:

          Not to sound like a hater, but the truth is hard..
          Back in the days after the war, Sweden, Finland and Norway worked out schoolprograms.
          The norwegian socialists that doenst like “violence” chose RIVERDANCE and “corner-soccer” (soccer indoor where the goal is a bench….) for the children.
          In Sweden they chose hockey and soccer.
          Boys are not to be boys, here in norway. Im sorry to say, but the swedes and finns are ten times tougher than norwegian kids.
          I bet, in 5 years, its illegal to get injured in norway. Thats how crazy things are here.
          I went to see the mayor of my town to ask about the making of more ice-rinks in the winter..
          We have 3 nice ponds which would be perfect for hockey. But no. Not in norway. The ice can break. The kids could drown..
          “but why doesnt this happen in Canada? Finland? Sweden? Russia?” i asked..
          I dont want to say what the answer was, you wont belive me.

          Its the politicians fault , they made the choice for what the kids would do in gymclass.
          In my years at school (kids school, elementary, highschool) we only played hockey 2 times. FOUR HOURS in 10 years.
          Its embarrasing.

          (whats even worse is that we also suck in riverdance! :P lol)
          ______________________________________
          Say no to visors and sign Emelin for 10 years

  9. Un Canadien errant says:

    In dissecting an overtime 1-0 loss to the Bruins that evened the series a two wins apiece, Canadiens fans would do well to keep a sense of proportion, although it will be very difficult. In the post-mortem, fingers will be pointed, and a lot of them will be trained on Douglas Murray.

    The big Swede is a bit of a polarizing figure, and not in the sense of a Claude Lemieux or a Mike Ribeiro. In fact, most Canadiens fans harbour no ill-will toward the big lug, he’s a pretty sympathetic figure. In his long turn as a San Jose Shark, I don’t remember him being ‘hated’ by other teams’ fans, notably the Canucks’, just sometimes derided for his lack of mobility, and admired for his great size and strength and ability to throw thunderous bodychecks.

    Where the two camps form in his case is more with his ability as a hockey player, whether his defensive ability, his toughness, comes at too great a cost for him to hold much or any value to a team. Some fans love his contribution, the way opponents need to skate with their heads up and not get too fancy when he’s in the lineup, while others say having him on the ice is like voluntarily surrendering a powerplay opportunity to the opponents, so limited is his ability to make a good pass or get to loose pucks to clear the zone.

    I do notice how the Canadiens often have to scramble in their own zone when he’s on the ice, so I understand and don’t dismiss those arguing the ‘con’ side, but something I also notice is how much better behaved other teams like the Bruins and the Flyers, the Leafs and the Senators are when Douglas Murray is in the roster, how much less crap Carey Price has to put up with when the whistle goes and Douglas is standing in front of him. I don’t think it’s subjective, that it’s confirmation bias. When he’s staring down Douglas Murray, giant pain Wayne Simmonds will avert his gaze and skate to the faceoff circle at the whistle.

    The difference to last season’s roster, when we had the likes of Tomas Kaberle, Raphaël Diaz and Yannick Weber on our third pairing, is striking. Facewashes, scrums, Carey getting his glove hand slashed, getting jostled, they all happened when our overmatched slicksters were getting ragdolled by Chris Neils and Marcus Folignos or other such types impervious to a sense of fair play, and apparently invisible to NHL referees once they blew their whistle.

    Veteran observers and fans of the Canadiens will remember a time when a Douglas Murray would have been superfluous to a team that had Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe and Larry Robinson as its central pillars on the blueline, with adjuncts like Brian Engblom, Rod Langway, Bill Nyrop, Pierre Bouchard and Gilles Lupien. Or a team with Larry Robinson, Chris Chelios, Petr Svoboda, Rick Green, Craig Ludwig, Mike Lalor and Donald Dufresne. Especially when you have Rick Chartraw, Bob Gainey, Yvon Lambert and Mario Tremblay in your forwards, or Mike McPhee, Shayne Corson, Chris Nilan, Claude Lemieux, Mike Keane and Brian Skrudland. These guys will act as dampeners, as brakes on opponent excesses.

    With defence corps like that, the toughness, the mean quotient, is built into the machine, it’s integral to it. It doesn’t have to be bolted on as an accessory. It’s in the mix, like the fiber in carrot cake, it comes in every bite. The recent defence squads of the Canadiens have been more like sponge cake, you’d have to have an apple next to it on the plate to get your roughage.

    The ideal modern defenceman comes in the form of a Shea Weber or a Kevin Bieksa, a player who can play big minutes in any situation. He can defend, he can provide offence, he can play 5-on-5, shorthanded, on the powerplay, he can rattle your cage, he can answer the bell, he can break out of your zone with a good pass, can connect on occasional stretch passes to spring a forward on a breakaway, he can do it all.

    Obviously, there aren’t enough of those guys to go around, certainly not six of them for every NHL team, so they have to ice the best roster they can, with matching and complementing skill sets, and that’s how guys like Brian Campbell or Anton Volchenkov become very valuable even though there are holes in their skill sets, they tend to do a few things very well and their shortcomings get palliated in various ways.

    In football terms, we see this phenomenon with the advent of the situational pass rusher, the Fred Dean, the Sean Phillips or Aldon Smith or Antwan Barnes, a player who won’t be much use shedding blockers or tackling runners, but on third downs when a pass attempt is almost guaranteed, can pin his ears back and give linemen fits trying to keep them off their quarterbacks. In baseball, we see players like the situational lefty reliever, or the left-handed bat who can make contact, and can come in as a pinch-hitter or designated hitter to go up against a rightie.

    This player is not a generalist, but a specialist who is handy for a manager to have among his twenty-five man or fifty-three man roster. He’ll be put in in certain situations, against specific opponents, to get a job done. His teammates can pick up his slack.

    Douglas is such a situational player, a guy who adds salt to the batter, kick drum to the groove. He brings the noise. Until players like Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn are ready to roll, until and unless prospects like Darren Dietz, Dalton Thrower and Josiah Didier who have a lot of toughness in their skillset pan out, a player like Douglas Murray complements our defence corps, increases its ruggedness profile. Injected at the right time, against the proper opponents, like a sack specialist or a Del Unser, Douglas provides crucial toughness for his team, and pushback against teams that are likely to use intimidation to cheat their way to a win.

    And I’ll repeat that Douglas shouldn’t be judged against P.K. Subban’s or Andrei Markov’s numbers. At worst, you’ll look at his performance compared to your next-best defenceman, to a Francis Bouillon or a Jarred Tinordi. You’ll look at it as an opportunity cost versus playing the other #6-7 defencemen on your roster, or those that were available in free agency the previous off-season.

    Optimally, you compare him against the likes of a Brooks Orpik or a Shane O’Brien, similar defencemen who are counted on by their teams to add snarl to the lineup, and whose defensive lapses and adventures when handling the puck are forgiven when they play hard, given the current climate in the NHL, and the lax refereeing standards, and the tolerance to extra-curricular activity, to ‘finishing your checks’, to ‘crashing the crease’.

    Kind of like you’ll forgive your new turbo-hot girlfriend if she dings up the front quarterpanel on your pickup, she makes up for it in other ways.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  10. habstrinifan says:

    Despite every deliberation not to, coaches agonize MORE over the strength/ability of the opponent than visualize any extraordinary heroics from their own players.

    And in executing a game plan, they either succumb to that worry and dress/play players accordingly or make a leap of faith and dare to coach for the grand execution by their star players.

    You decide which choice MT made in game #4. You can dress it up which ever way you want. He coached according to one of those choices. No foul there! But it is now proper that he accepts accountability or credit.

  11. B says:

    Reimer and Team Canada lose to Huet and Team France 3-2 in a shoot out.

    http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/387/IHM387A02_74_3_0.pdf

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Saw that. Same old song and dance for Canada at the Worlds, a jetlagged disjointed team, made up of disparate parts, dispirited players bounced from the playoffs, playing for pride, but wondering if they should have stayed at home to heal up all the nicks and sprains from a long season.

      Mix in James Reimer in nets, and having to cheer for Nazem Kadri, and this will be a tough team to love.

      EDIT: Maybe they had a long train journey from Milan to contend with…

  12. Kooch7800 says:

    Canada just lost to France….seriously what the heck. Then I saw Reimer was in net and kadri is on the team then it all fell into place

  13. Strummer says:

    France wins in a shootout!
    Huet!!!!

    ____________________________________________________
    “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

  14. punkster says:

    I was there last night and have to say that was one of the better yet most frustrating games I have ever seen at the Bell. I went home and watched the replays because that goal was baffling. To lose such an excellent contest on such a fluky sequence is a shame.

    In my view Eller was undoubtedly the most effective forward, his entire line was the best on the ice, and the PK/Gorges tandem played a solid game complimenting and covering for each other well. DD played very well, however Max was blanketed and targeted incessantly, and Gally was being forced to the side boards every shift. Habs had good scoring chances and Bouque, Eller, Gionta, Bournival, Moen, Weise, DD all had golden opportunities throughout the game.

    The br00nz defense is fairly slow and susceptible to quick, controlled zone entries but surprising to me was the br00nz tendency to cough up the puck behind their own net when pressed.

    MT has some very tough decisions to make for the next game. His team is, for the most part, equal to anything the br00nz can throw at them and can force the play just effectively as the br00nz.

    So I ask you all…does MT try to alter that balance and force the br00nz to adapt or does he stick to the same line up and game plan?

    Release the Subbang!!!

    • Hobie says:

      No, no, no!

      The goal was all Murray’s fault!!!!

      I hope you enjoyed the game until Murray and his Corsi destroyed it for you!

      • punkster says:

        What?

        Release the Subbang!!!

      • Paz says:

        Hobie,

        The other two defensive pairings give us a much better chance to clear our zone on a defensive zone face off.

        That was a clear and undeniable coaching gaff.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          That is true Ed, but the game wasn’t lost because of one player. Habs played a good game, didn’t score, Bruins got a fluky bounce and won.

          Was an old school, well played playoff game between two good teams.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Bingo

          • Paz says:

            Burly, it’s these kinds of details that are the difference between winning and losing at the NHL level.
            I’m not blaming Murray. He gives everything he’s got.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Every goal scored or every goal missed can be dissected to assess blame. Yes, could PK and Gorges have played that better, probably, but do we know forsure they handle a fluky bounce better?

            I totally get your point regarding Murray, but the reality is the team has little choice at this point, it’s Murray or Bouillon and perhaps I am a complete idiot but I just dont see Murray as this scourge on hockey as so many other do. He is a 6th dman on this team…..it is what it is.

          • Paz says:

            You don’t see Murray as being significantly worse than our other 5 dmen?

            It’s like in business. No salesman is perfect, right? But you don’t send your weakest to work your most challenging customer, if you have a choice do you?

            Therrien had a choice there.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Paz,

            Boulion and Weaver got pegged in their own zone in game 2 just as much as Murray and Weaver do. The difference is Murray can make player pay a price in a series that will most likely go 6 or 7 games. You can see the toll the physical play is having on Max P and Vanek for that matter. If we don’t play their forwards hard they are going to be feeling a lot better than us in the games that really are on the wire.

            Murray was by no reason the reason we lost last night. it was a fluke goal and Price looked the wrong way. It was a 0-0 game that was lost in OT. We also didn’t score on numerous chances. It is hockey

    • Paz says:

      Punkster. Therrien needs to try and get some offence out of Desharnais, Max and Vanek. If he can press that button, we could win this series, for sure.

      But we need the 5 on 5 scoring we were getting after we acquired Vanek.

  15. 24AW says:

    To be honest, I think Boston will win the series but they won’t win the cup, it belongs to the west again this year and I would say LA has the inside edge.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      whoever wins this series will win the next round against the Pens. They are extremely beatable.

      Chi town or LA on the other hand won’t be so easy. Both Chicago or LA would be extremely tough for the Habs or Boston

  16. Mr. Biter says:

    Don’t know why people are putting the blame on Murray.
    His crunching hits in the 3rd period woke the crowd (one 10 second he flattens 2 bruins one twice for good measure) up and also began a sequence where we were sending Bruins flying every way.
    Looked like we were the tougher team all 3rd period hammering bodies (even someone took Chara out with a big hit )
    Habs should have put the game away in the 3rd period as they completely dominated the Bruins.
    Bad bounce lost us the game, but Habs play much bigger with Murray in the line-up.
    Also Mr. Biter is off to Montreal for game 6 and may have a extra ticket to sell but won’t know till Monday morning what section or the price.
    If anyone is interested post back today or I’ll post on Monday morning the section and cost.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

    • Murray has nothing to do with ZERO goals scored.

      Until they teach Price to shoot on net more then tight defensive games are will always come down to lucky bounces.

      LET’S GO CAREY, SHOOT MORE!

      Shane Oliver
      @sholi2000
      http://www.sholi2000.com
      A Little fun during the Intermission
      Brandon Predators

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Sholi I agree with you about that. Murray played a great game ,but certain posters blame everything on him. I love the guy.
        Are you in Montreal or Brandon?

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

      • Strummer says:

        Murray has more to do do with zero goals scored than you think.
        When he’s on the ice the puck is in the Habs end the whole time.
        Impossible to generate any offense.

        ____________________________________________________
        “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

        • JohnBellyful says:

          And yet, as faulty as my memory is, I can remember Murray making effective pinches, and, on those occasions when the puck was in his end, which was more often than I liked to see, his teammates sometimes being in possession of the puck with the opportunity to get it out of the zone and failing to do so.
          What’s amazing, really, is that Murray gets to kill penalties, is actually made to go on the ice when the other team has an extra player for him to chase.
          One more mark against MT — the man has a cruel streak! :)

  17. Storman says:

    I blame yesterday’s loss on Dave Stubbs, I wake up all excited game day,, log on to HIO to chat with my Habonian Nut brothers, and i get punched in the face with a tribute to Terry OReilly, please HIO writers can you hold off on anymore bad karma articles you feel the need to post on say Stan Jonathon until after we eliminate the Bruins.

    • FlyAngler says:

      Totally agree Storman. If I wasn’t on a clear liquid diet yesterday because of a medical procedure, I would have puked up my breakfast for sure. No more Bruins Puff Pieces!

      “Gardez la foi! Keep the Faith!”

      • Storman says:

        I could not believe the timing of that piece,,Its playoffs against are most hated rivalry, I hope nothing too serious FlyAngler, get well..

        • FlyAngler says:

          Thanks Storman. Just routine. I need to go easier on fries, rings and the rest of the stuff that tastes good because of acidity or fat content. Since I live down here in the shadows of Mordor- (the TD Garden) I have a very low tolerance for anything Bruin, but especially their goons past and present. O’Reilly could barely skate for God’s sake!

          “Gardez la foi! Keep the Faith!”

          • Storman says:

            I absolutely love the city of Boston,being Irish helps lol, but I have worked all over USA and Canada, Montreal and Boston two absolutely amazing cities for sure.,
            I had the luck of installing a 911 system for National Grid in Worcester when the Red Sox finally won the series in 2004, what an absolute incredible treat,, Fenway and Wrigley dream parks I have been able to hit on the road.

          • FlyAngler says:

            There is a lot to like about Boston for sure. Just not the Bruins- LOL.
            Lots of great restaurants and pubs. As a mutt of mixed extraction, French, Irish & Italian, I enjoy the culture and cuisine in both cities but find Montreal a bit richer in that regard. Loyal to the Sox, Pats and Celtics, but could never stomach the Bruins. They wear black for a reason….. Hopefully we can generate some positive juju for games 5&6!

            “Gardez la foi! Keep the Faith!”

  18. FlyAngler says:

    We have seen 8 of the 12 Referees in this series who are still working in this year’s playoffs which most likely means that we will see the other 4 in games 5&6: Eric Furlatt & Wes McCauley, Dan O’Halloran & Kelly Sutherland.

    Not sure about stats when these guys work Habs games, but I think that they are all very good.

    “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      The officiating has been very good in this series imo.

      • FlyAngler says:

        Agreed. The problem with NHL officiating is that once you get past tier one and tier two, there is a pretty steep falloff.

        “Gardez la foi! Keep the Faith!”

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        I suppose. The thing is I can’t usually see much difference between to borderline penalties that they do call and the borderline penalties that they don’t call.

        • FlyAngler says:

          I think we are seeing less borderline stuff in the playoffs, which is good. Some of that has to be because of officials exercising sound judgement about game management and recognizing what is at stake with each potential call.

          “Gardez la foi! Keep the Faith!”

  19. D Mex says:

    Couple of years ago, I posted after my atom-aged little guy took a faceoff at centre ice and scored at the Bell Centre. PA announcer and the whole shibang for an 7:30 AM kids exhibition game … talk about ” Wow ” !

    Here’s a quick story for anyone who just wants to enjoy being a Habs fan for a couple of minutes. It scratches the surface of Habs fandom, how it crosses all lines, and how wacky it can be. Still, it’s tough to imagine how it is for guys like Weise, Gallagher or even the stoic Carey Price. Unique life experience … it’s gotta be at least that.

    Enjoy folks :razz: !
    https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/2014-nhl-playoffs–montreal-loves-the-canadiens–and-the-feeling-is-mutual-153359998-nhl.html

    ALWAYS Habs -
    D Mex

  20. ont fan says:

    If the Habs win this series, their best players have to be the best. I will be surprised if we can pull this off if DD, Max and Vanek are silent for next couple of games. The rest have been heroic.

  21. montreal ace says:

    Well another big game tomorrow, and my excitement level will be starting early. No matter which way the series goes, its going to be interesting reviewing individual performances afterwards. Lots of great comments today, so Cheers everybody, and lets hope Lady Luck is on our side tomorrow.

  22. Forum Dog says:

    Hard to fault the team in any way after a 0-1 loss on a lucky bounce in OT. I thought MTL played a great all around game, especially the D-corps. Probably the best game they’ve played all playoffs. Stayed tight to the man most of the time, tied up sticks in front, and played hard along the walls.

    I thought Eller’s line was the best one going again last night. They were very, very effective on the forecheck, cycled the puck and got some chances. Larry’s pass to Gio was a beauty. A lot of people are on him for failing to go forehand, but that is easier said than done.

    Bournival had a great game. Was really flying out there and looked comfortable with the puck. Plekanec was okay, though I still find his game a bit too timid for playoff intensity. He tends to skate by the net rather than stop up. They need more net presence.

    Weise and Moen were excellent. Hard on the body almost all the time. The Bruins know they’re gonna have to take a hit when those guys are on the ice.

    Habs definitely need more from Pacioretty, DD and Vanek, though I thought Max played a good hard game last night. If he keeps up that intensity and gets around the net a bit more, he’ll pot a couple before the series is out.

    My only complaint is that – on the winning goal – the Habs got the puck deep and Eller failed to change. He had been on the ice for a bit and, if my memory is correct, his mates had already gone to the bench. Puck goes deep and instead of racing to the bench, he watches the Bruins retrieve it and make a play up ice. By that time it’s too late, and the Habs get pinned in their zone, leading to the fluky bounce and poke in. The goal wasn’t his fault, except that if they had fresh legs they might have been able to clear the zone and avoid the point shot that set things up.

    EDIT: My bad. Went back and looked and Eller’s line had just got on the ice. Just a bad bounce I guess…..

    Back at it Saturday. I honestly feel that if they keep things steady and don’t hang their heads over last night’s game, they can take this series.

    GO HABS!

  23. DipsyDoodler says:

    Bruins got nuthin’

    They never troubled Carey last night – won it on a fluke.

    Problem is we need to score at 5 on 5 ’cause the refs aren’t calling pens anymore.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • Strummer says:

      You’re right about the Bruins.
      They aren’t even scary anymore in a physical sense.
      Chara is showing his age.
      However as you say Habs are squandering scoring opportunities.

      ____________________________________________________
      “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

  24. JUST ME says:

    Just look at the comments in this thread ,think a bit and tell me if it makes sense.

    Guilty as charged, Murray, Gionta, Max, D.D. Vanek, Briere, Markov,Subban,Gallagher only in the posts below!!!
    It this really the game you saw yesterday ? I sure did not see anything else than a great game that went on the Bruins`side as it could have come our way.

    Chill out ! (he said )

  25. habsguru says:

    i love a Habs win as much as anybody, but how do you fault a team or a player after a game like that???

    fantastic hockey that ended off a bad bounce, and not in our favour.

    Habs didn’t score any goals….. They happen to be playing against a very good bruins team that almost didn’t score any either.

    if you didn’t enjoy that game, you shouldn’t consider yourself a hockey fan

    • Storman says:

      It was a great hockey game, the urgency of every puck battle increased to highly elevated levels as every minute ticked away from the first drop of the puck,, A bad bounce off the glass, and a one second brain fart,, I think Murray will see he could have dropped Matt Fraser before letting him slip by him to get to the front of the net, This series has Game 7 Overtime written all over it..

  26. BriPro says:

    In focusing on the positive, tell me this.
    When was the last time we saw a D or anyone on our Habs throw three crushing body checks in the space of 30 seconds.
    Murray certainly had them thinking twice when they got to our blue line.
    Whipping boy or not, he’s a necessary intimidation factor.

    • Strummer says:

      When was the last time we saw a D who was on for 1 SOG for and 10 SOG against 5V5?

      ____________________________________________________
      “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

    • FlyAngler says:

      He is also a pain infliction factor. If he plays in games 5&6 (which I think he should) their will be more Bruins nursing aches and soreness and perhaps injuries which is fine with me especially if this goes 7 games. Murray helps level the playing field with regard to the “who’s getting beat up” factor and his crunching hits of shrinking Bruins into the boards were among my favorite highlights from last night’s game.

      “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

    • L Elle says:

      So agree. I know what he doesn’t bring, but what he does, is necessary against the Bruins. It was a highlight for me, considering the lack of goals.

  27. Habsbill24 says:

    While everyone on this site is on Max, DD and Vanek for underperforming why is it that our 5M dollar men get a free pass?
    If Gionta had any touch at all we are up 3-1 instead of at 2-2 and Eller, Bourque and Gionta have been -4 in our two losses. The captain has to go.

    Markov has been horrible, minus 4 for the playoffs and no offense at all. He looks worn down and no way he should be brought back next year at 5M plus for three years. Time to move on to younger bigger D with Tinordi, Beaulieu and Pateryn joing PK, Emelin, Gorges and Weaver as our D core next year.

    • Chris says:

      No Habs player has been more disruptive in the neutral zone than Andrei Markov. He’s been very solid in this series, as have all the defencemen. Markov had one brutal outing (Game 1 against Tampa Bay), but since then he’s been steady.

      Excluding Lucic’s empty net goal, Boston has averaged 2.27 goals per game, well below their season average (3.15 goals per game) and their total from the first round (2.87 goals per game). A surprising number of those goals have been downright flukey. Subban, Gorges, Markov, Emelin and especially Price deserve the lion’s share of the credit for what has been a pretty strong defensive shutdown of a good offensive team.

      I’m harder on the offensive players not scoring because that is their job. The defencemen and the goaltender are doing their job, giving their team a chance to win every game. But if you are relying on goals to win hockey games, then your forwards are definitely a problem.

  28. Marvin says:

    “Connor McKenna called the big Swede the worst player in the NHL. Has the sportscaster forgotten Yannick Weber already?”

    Weber a Swede? Better check his Swiss passport.

  29. Mr_MacDougall says:

    He’ll of a way to lose, Weaver with the own goal… (Check net cam view, it was Soderbergs goal)

    Habs could have won all 4 games, entertaining series. No pressure on the Habs. B’s are expected to win.

    Chucky would have been a difference maker in this series. I like Bourne, but I think Plek and Vanek could benefit from the touch Chucky has.

    Take a step back, at this moment in time the b’s might be a little better than us, but we are on the rise (almost all of our assets are improving) while the b’s are on the decline. In two years we will be dominating these punks!

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  30. BJ says:

    I’m perhaps reading this wrong but our spark plug Gallagher seems to be struggling somewhat both in the offensive and defensive zone. Anyone else?

    • Chris says:

      Truth be told, Gallagher hasn’t had an outstanding season. He has had clusters of good games, but his defensive play has been abysmal.

      He’s young, and its his second year. If this is as bad as he gets, then we’ve got a gem.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Gallagher is stirring the pot when he is out there. You are bang on though Chris about his Defensive play. He has never been strong in that category.

        None of the so called hockey experts ever mention that though.

        He is the kind of guy who will score us a clutch goal in these playoffs. All heart.

      • Storman says:

        I think he avoided the sophomore cliff dive pretty well..He is a stud and a total compete maniac which is usually infectious and highly needed on any team.

  31. L Elle says:

    The truth is, Boston is the better team, even though Habs have the 2 best players in the series, in Price and PK. Bergeron is third.

    Last night’s game would have been great, if our team had won. Personally, I just don’t like watching the hermetically sealed, suffocating, and pointless rope a dope, leaving the win, all to chance, like a shootout.

    Normally, the Bruins get by while coasting. They soon found out, with our Habs, it isn’t going to work. They got serious, and this is the result. No wonder Rask has great numbers, no one really got close enough for a great scoring chance. Our forwards just warmed him up.

    The donut-eating coach knows exactly what he’s doing.

    I can’t blame anyone for this loss, except those that are supposed to score. But, even then, the Bruin machine has been wearing down our forwards relentlessly.

    I still believe our Habs can take this. All the pressure is on the home team now. We need to be patient. Easier said than done.

    Habs in 6!

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Rope a dope?
      Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought the Habs out-shot the Bruins?
      Sure, some of the shots were out by the hashmarks but the Habs created their fair share of scoring chances as well.

      Rope a dope would be an incorrect characterization of last nights game imo.

    • habkin says:

      Both teams are wearing each other down. I see the Brooins D wilting. Speed eventually wears on players. Chara looks exhausted. Boston’s core has played a lot of hockey since 2011.

    • BriPro says:

      L, I also predicted our Habs in 6.
      So the next two games will be the most entertaining.

    • New says:

      Oh yeah, Boston is the better team. The thing is Montreal was playing better, something special was going on. I hope it still is but it didn’t feel like it from minute one last night. My memory of the team all season is of a perimeter team that just failed to convert huge speed generated opportunities. Maybe there is truth to the mystique that the Bruins just wear you down, waiting for the next goose, always thinking it is about to happen.

  32. krob1000 says:

    What a difference a little confidence makes….Subban, Eller, Bouruqe confidence levels are dramatically affecting their decision making..they are all making the right play almost every time now. Now I see Bournival panicking and rushing…he probably had more opportunities than any player on either team, 2 times he could have walked in further and teed up…..another time he changed when he would have been the trailer and walked in all alone. Not fair to him though…Vanek and Pleks are two very cerebral guys andBourny is just playing to not get scored on right now…he needs to be moved down to the 4th again IMO.

    • Chris says:

      Agreed…Bournival played well with Weise and Briere.

      I don’t love Weise being on a scoring line, and Bournival’s decision making is not good enough to be with top players like Plekanec and Vanek.

      Since Vanek likes to shoot and Desharnais won’t, I’d like to see those two re-united. Try Pacioretty with Plekanec to see you can’t get him going…the Habs will lose this series if Pacioretty does not break out of his scoring funk.

      • Storman says:

        Bounival needs more experience, hell of a player,, but he does not have the confidence yet to slow the game down,, he missed a sure fire goal, just needed to feed Pleky the puck once right to the side of Rask, in the first period,, Pleky looked frustrated to say the least when Bourney took a shot into Rask’s crest.. Bourney who I absolutely love made the same mistake later with Vanek off to the side,, has to be able to slow the game down and make that pass at this level to truly take his game to another level.

        • BriPro says:

          I’m sure the coaches will take him aside, show him a few video replays of both opportunities to at least come in close, unscathed bor a better opportunity.
          Chalk it up to rookie mistakes.
          But the kid can fly.

  33. adamkennelly says:

    Habs outplayed the Bruins for over 50% of the game last night. Loss sucked but not devastating in my opinion.

    the worst part was not enjoying a single goal celebration.

  34. sCOTT1243 says:

    Series is 2-2…..Still got a chance.

    Seeing talk about trading PAtches…they effectively shut him down as well as DD. JUst like other teams have shut down Crosby and Habs have shut down Krejci. He’ll come through for us. Maybe MT goes back to DD, Vanek and Patch line.

    Still rooting for our boys, don’t give up, we still have the best goalie and Defensemen in the world.

  35. ianism says:

    honestly, given the way the habs played today, i think they’re going to win the series. they are not giving up many good opportunities of defence and getting good scoring chances down the other end. they didn’t score today, but that’s what it takes to win playoff games.

  36. ths says:

    I would put Tinordi in right now for Murray

    Ooh Aah Habs on the war path

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Tinordi doesn’t think the game fast enough yet. He makes bad decisions at least a couple times a game and in these types of games that can be two goals

  37. BJ says:

    Its all about the Habs being on the ropes???? I would wager that the Bruins are very concerned about playing us, our chances are as good as theirs. We’ve been in every game and will be for the next two before we move on to meet Pittsburgh.

  38. Hobie says:

    I think half this site would be happy if the Habs lost the series so they could all jump up and down and say that Therrien does suck and Murray’s Corsi stinks!!!

  39. mrhabby says:

    does this leave the door open for the bruins to take charge of the series. the habs just have to score some goals for petes sake. lots of pressure on price when Murray and Weaver on the ice. Murray can sign another 1 year deal in Sweden next year. I would keep Weaver next year. I have this gnawing feeling that habs lost momentum in this series…ffs.

    • JUST ME says:

      For now it`s the last of my worries who signs or not for next season. The Bucking Fruins do have the door open but it`s not as if it was completely closed either. Those are 2 excellent teams and it still can and probably go either way. Tomorrow is a big game but so was yesterday`s and so will be monday`s.

  40. boing007 says:

    Beaulieu with Weaver. Could work.

    Richard R

    • JUST ME says:

      A rookie at this point in the playoffs ? Forget it. Now is not the time make such a bold move . Live with the sword…

      • Donkey Hoat says:

        Boston’s rookie “scored” the only goal last night.

        • habs-fan-84 says:

          Boston’s rookie doesn’t play defense.

          • Chris says:

            See Torey Krug last season in the Rangers series. :)

            I know what people are saying, but rookies can actually bring a missing ingredient to a team. And the energy they have after having not been pounded into the boards repeatedly wouldn’t be remiss.

          • habs-fan-84 says:

            That’s fair Chris, and Krug did have an outstanding playoff last year, no question. However, you could argue he was insulated in a deeper defensive core as well.

            Your point is well taken though.

        • Luke says:

          A move dismissed by some (like ME!) as insignifgant, minor and meaningless.

          • twilighthours says:

            Someday we might even be happy for a kid scoring an OT goal in a call-up game.

            Not anytime soon, though.

          • frontenac1 says:

            Me too Luke! I said don”t lose sleep over this kid! (Fraser)

  41. Storman says:

    The problem with Briere is compete level he has zero motivation to take a hit to make a play,, yes he can score a goal if given time and space and the right situation,, problem is he not willing to sacrifice, take a hit and try and make a play to create some time and space.. Coaching staff has ZERO confidence in him,

    • FlyAngler says:

      C’mon Storman he was getting hit behind the net against Tampa when he got the puck into the slot to Weise for the game winning goal in OT. Your post grossly exaggerates and distorts the truth.

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

      • Storman says:

        Tampa Bay and Boston are completely 2 different beasts,, but,, does not matter what i or you see or want,, the coaching staff has absolutely no confidence in him,, and I am sure that opinion has been formed from how hard he practices and of course an 82 game season evaluation.

        • FlyAngler says:

          You are correct about Tampa Bay and Boston obviously. But, he set up P.K.’s game winning goal in game 1 and Weise’s in game 3 against Boston. You seem to conveniently disregard facts when they do not bolster your argument. I recognize that he has downside, but he does have upside as well, historically huge upside in the playoffs when utilized properly.

          “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • krob1000 says:

      Briere compete level is just fine. He has made a career out of going into dirty areas despite his size. The issue with him is defensively he is not the best player instinctively and is just flat out not wired that way. You combine that with his age and the fact he is a half step behind along with MOntreal’s 5 man defensive strategy and it makes him difficult to use. He needs to be with two defensive minded palyers which is why he was most effective with Pleks and Gio. Offesnsively he is sstill as smart as they come and he absolutely will compete…no player who gets his points in the tughest of situations is a player with a low compete level…if anything BRiere has proven ovver time his compete evel is what had made him succesful when the hockey gets tight…right now his body is not capapble of doing what ti used to. I wish he would get more o zone starts and pp time becuase he still has that…but compete level? not an issue…maybe at some points during the season but he has played hard in the postseason as he always does.

      • Storman says:

        Danny Briere, and or Vincent Lecavalier could become the first player to be bought out twice in there career,,enough said on loss of foot speed, compete and willingness to play a 200 foot game,, which is now required in today’s game big time,, What these guys accomplished in the past , is just that the past,, he does not have the body and or strength, and motivation to get any prime time minutes, that is a fact, not my opinion its Michel Therrien’s obvious opinion.

        • krob1000 says:

          He has 4 points in 8 playoff games, two assists on OT winning goals despite playing a 4th line and 2nd wave occcasional pp role. He is outscoring the teams no 1 center and number 1 winger…at his age and with that supposed lack of compete level. I think maybe it is not myself who is judging the past…because presently he is playing just fine.

  42. New says:

    Didn’t like seeing another close one go down the tubes but Fraser scored a goal through hard work, no quit, and no foul.

    The comeback team this series has been the Bruins. Not only in goals but games.

    Just noticed that Vanek, DD, and Max only score on the powerplay in the playoffs and Eller’s point a game tally is all at regular strength or shorthanded.

    Depth and matchups are what wins. The whole series could come down to the team that ices the puck the most loses.


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