About last night …


Has the Bell Centre seen its last hockey game of the season?
It’s possible.
It might even be probable.
Your Montreal Canadiens have lost their star goaltender and dropped the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final on home ice.
Now we know how Tampa fans felt a month ago (though it seems longer).
At least the Lightning were spared the embarrassment of being beaten by Martin St. Louis.

In his postgame press conference, Michel Therrien praised his team’s effort in Game 2. The coach had kind words for Dustin Tokarski, and Therrien sounded a hopeful note by pointing out that momentum can change quickly in a playoff series.

Indeed, if the canadiens can win at Madison Square garden Thursday night, this series could get interesting.

But can they beat the Rangers in four of the next five games?

On the TSN 690 postgame show, Mitch Melnick was not optimistic about the Canadiens’ chances of climbing out of an 0-2 hole.

“Unless Henrik Lundqvist and Ryan McDonagh collide behind the net and knock each other out of action,” my man Melnick said, “this series is over.”

But hey, it ain’t over until the fat lady si … oh, never mind that cliché.

Therrien described Henrik Lundqvist as “phenomenal” in Game 2. The Rangers goaltender made 40 saves. But until the dying minutes of the game, when the Canadiens went on a power-play and pulled Dustin Tokarski for a 6-on-4 advantage, Lundqvist didn’t face the kind of sustained pressure that was heroically withstood by Jaro Halak in 2010 and by Carey Price against the Bruins.

The Rangers goaltender did not have a parade of red jerseys invading his crease. Lundqvist faced few odd-man rushes or Canadiens firing lasers from sweet spots in the slot. The ebounds Lundqvist gave up were swept smartly out of harm’s way by the Rangers defence corps.

The possession stats indicate a dominant effort by the Canadiens: 41 SoG, plus another 17 blocked by the Rangers (Dan Girardi had five) and 22 that missed the net. Comparable numbers for the visitors were 30-8-6.

Tally it up and the Canadiens had 80 shot attempts to the Rangers’ 44. But again, until that game-ending flurry, the Canadiens – for all their possession stats – did not force the Rangers into what we usually see when a team is under pressure: Turnovers, lost battles in the corners and on the wall, futile zone-clearing attempts, sloppy play in the neutral zone.

No, the Rangers didn’t dominate on Monday night the way they had in Game 1. But from my pressbox seat, they looked like a team in control of the game – and, now, of the series.

We’ve had 120 minutes of hockey in the Conference Final.

The Canadiens have held the lead for 17 seconds – the time between the Max pacioretty goal that drove the Bell Centre into a frenzy in Game 2 and the Ryan McDonagh shot that beat Tokarski short-side to make it 1-1.

Here’s a stat that’s highly indicative of what we saw in Game 2:

In his 29:40 of ice time, P.K. Subban had nine shots on Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers blocked six of P.K.’s shots, and three missed the net.

That’s 18 shot attempts. The only player on either team who came close was Brendan Gallagher, with six SoG, plus four that were blocked and three misses.

P.K. and Gallagher played their hearts out, as did Gallagher’s linemates, Pacioretty and David Desharnais.

Rene Bourque did some good things. So did Lars Eller. Alex Galchenyuk made some nice passes.

But Thomas Vanek had no SoG after only one in Game 1. And the Canadiens are getting zero offensive spark from Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.

They’re losing the special teams war. Through two games, the Rangers power play is 4-for-10. The Canadiens are 0-for-7.

McDonagh, who was the game’s First Star, played 25:24. All six of his shot attempts were on Tokarski.

Through the first two games, McDonagh has two goals and four assists. He’s been on the ice for SEVEN of the Rangers 10 goals in the two games … and only one goal-against.

He’s the star of the series so far. And watching the anchor of a very good Rangers defence is painful for Canadiens fans who remember McDonagh was basically a throw-in in the disastrous trade that brought Scott Gomez to Montreal.

But let’s not dwell on the painful past.

What about the near future – specifically Game 3 on Thursday night?

Alain Vigneault has his team playing smart, disciplined and hard-working hockey. The Rangers have a great goaltender, a stud defenceman, excellent team speed and some forwards who can score.

But the 2014 New York Rangers are not the 1976 Montreal Canadiens.

They are not an invincible juggernaut, laying waste to lesser mortals who stand between them and the inevitability of winning the Cup.

Can the Canadiens beat Lundqvist four times in the next five games?

I share Melnick’s skepticism.

But having come this far and proven so many doubters wrong, your Canadiens will fight ferociously to avoid the ignominy of being swept out of the playoffs.









  1. Captain aHab says:

    Did I dream this or did Galchenyuk play a couple of his last shifts last night as a C? Might have been line changes but he was in the O-Zone with what looked like 2 wingers to me.

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

  2. kalevine says:

    to paraphrase Etcheverry92’s comments game 7 against the Bruins, in reverse, Habs didn’t get a power play (other than one nullified by Vanek early on) until they were down by 2 goals. By then, the way Henrik was playing, they were in too big a hole. The fact that the Galchenyuk penalty was an illusion made it hard to kill and sealed the game. Although one could argue that every goal was a back breaker, the first because it happened so quick it gave Habs no chance to really play with the lead, the second because it was so late in the period and was very stoppable.

  3. Cam_1 says:

    Did anyone see that Vanek play going in on semi breakaway and he made a pass basically to no one messing up a great scoring opportunity …it went from great scoring chance to nothing. I really thought he would shoot or try to to make a move….but he threw away a great scoring chance….Is it me…or is Vanek not giving it his all ? and certainly playing with no passion ?

    • kalevine says:

      I felt like he had run out of space and actually made a good play to put it in front of an open net. If his teammate hadn’t been hooked by 2 guys he would have scored. Should have been a penalty shot

      • Kooch7800 says:

        that is how I saw it as well

        • Cam_1 says:

          It that doesn’t bold well…Galchenyuk got called on a phantom call…and we should have got a penalty shot there…two big game changers….we definitely could have won that game.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Habs were in it all the way but didn’t capitalize. The refs were bad but so was our PP when we did get some chances.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Linesman were worse, 3 separate 3 on 2 rushes were thwarted by phantom offside calls against the Habs… And at least one 3/2 rush by the Rangers… I rewound them all… All playoffs offsides has been brutal.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  4. habs-fan-84 says:

    I wish Therrien would go back to the DD, Vanek and Pacioretty line.

  5. habsfan0 says:

    Habs in 6.

  6. Paz says:

    Someone please tell me what is up with Plekanec?

    And one other thing before I forget. About a month ago I mentioned that Vanek is a scorer, and as a scorer, he needs to SHOOT THE FREAKIN PUCK!!!

    Last night he had a glorious scoring opportunity, was just about to shoot, and he no looked a pass to Galchenyuk, who was covered not by one but by TWO Rangers.

    Come on, man!! That’s just ridiculous.

    • HabsPooch says:

      Nothing…it’s just his usual self of choking in the playoffs…

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Ronn, I don’t want to defend Vanek but he’s not alone in the disappointment category. See my response to Paz below. Bergevin is learning an awful lot about this team. Sometimes you learn a lot more in defeat then in winning.

          Ok, Ok, I’m trying to find something positive here. It’s tough living here in the NY market with its bandwagon Yankee now Ranger fans. I’m sick of hearing people talk about St Louis (the band-wagoners pronounce it like the US City) and McDougal (Yep, I heard that one this morning). Been a Ranger fan all of 15 minutes! Now I know how Mavid and CJ must feel in Ottawa. Sigh.

          Edit: I see you got to the point on your edit. 🙂

        • frontenac1 says:

          Them”s the numbers Ronn. But it seems when he’s bad, he’s not just invisible,(which I could live with) but he seems to Cost us, big time. Keep The Faith! The Momentum will shift. Saludos!

    • alfieturcotte says:

      Pleks not showing up in the playoffs, that rarely ever happens……I like his 2 way play in the season but sadly, he seems to tone down his game in the post season. I am hoping MB explores trades for Pleks, Gorges, and lets Gionta, Markov, and Vanek walk.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Ed! Could we be witnessing the turning over of the team from the Pleks, Gionta’s and Markov’s to the PK’s, Eller, Gallagher and Galchenyuk? Pleks play has been uninspired but he’s not alone in the veteran disappointment department, eh?

      But seriously, could we be expected to advance without the games best goaltender? That was the ONE injury we had no chance to recover from.

    • kalevine says:

      he seems to have what it takes to go to the next level in the playoffs, but he rarely does, and has yet to turn in a truly sparkling post season. His main contributions have been in a shutdown role, but he has had as many failures there.

  7. 5wings says:

    If Vanek isnt injured he is the biggest plug I have seen in a HABS jersey..We have to find a way to beat Lunquist..still need more traffic in front deflections, screens,, if he cant see it he wont stop it..
    A lot of the vets on the HABS have been no shows in the series..same guys on the ice for many goals..
    The youth have carried the team..time for the vets to show up,, I mean the forwards..

    GO HABS GO!!

    • arcosenate says:

      LOL, if he isn’t hurt he’s not done much to earn another massive contract, not that some moronic GM won’t show him the money but…wow, what a crap playoff performance.

      If he’s not hurt MT should at least put him on the PP where he doesn’t have to fight as hard for space.

      Why are the Habs not running McDonough every chance they get?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I have been really dissapointed with Pleks. He has looked awful. He has an extremely high hockey IQ and some of the brain dead plays he makes are so frustrating. I thought he was terrible last night. I would like to see chucky back with Eller in place of Gio.

      Eller centering Bourque and chucky could be a really solid line

    • Cal says:

      Vanek isn’t the problem. He’s scored 5 goals in these playoffs and is the 3rd highest scoring forward on the Habs with 8 points. DD’s 5 points with an ATOI of 18:47 compared to Vaneks ATOI of 15:57 is the problem. Pleks with 7 points while his ATOI is 20:19 is problematic as well. (Of course, Pleks is killing penalties, too, cutting down on his ability to produce.)
      The biggest problem is a lack of a top notch goalie who would have kept both games close.

  8. Forum Dog says:

    Folks – I think we all recognize that the Habs are going to be extremely hard pressed – or have to press extremely hard – to get back in this series. Losing your best player at the most important position is the most major of setbacks. But as Boone noted, much of the team played pretty well last night, and if they can get the next win in NY, they are right back in this thing.

    As he is prone to do, I kind of feel like Therrien over-thought things by throwing Tokarski in there. I mean, I get why he chose to do it, but I think Budaj deserved first crack at it, even if Tokarski has more upside and is part of your future. Be interesting to see if Tokarski is back in on Thursday.

    That said, with Price gone for the series it really doesn’t matter who is nets. They need everyone to play Gallagher-style hockey from here on out if they want to keep this thing going. It is not unreasonable to think some of them may not want to keep on, but over the next couple of games (or hopefully more), we will see who has the character you need to win a cup, and who is ready for a change of scenery. Fortunately, I think a lot of the guys with long-term futures in MTL have it.

    It’s been a roller-coaster of a year, but we haven’t been bored. Props to the team for getting this far, and here’s hoping that they can find the juice to push it a little bit further. They have the skaters to push NY even without Price, but they need to rattle Lundqvist and that is no mean feat.

    GO HABS!

  9. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

    I’m confident in Tokarski going forward. Last night was his first game action in a month, and he’ll have a couple of days of practice to get in his head-space for Thursday night. As we saw earlier this season, he has the talent to win.

    X X X X X X X X 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  10. Paz says:

    Not too many posting today. That’s fine.
    Let’s assume that Price was actually in the net last night. Let’s also assume that Price would not have stopped the Rangers 3 goals, just for this post. So that game was out there to be won. It was a game we had the lead. It was a game we scored first. It was a very close game.
    We lost because our specialty teams suck!
    Key power play, nothing. Key penalty kill, Rangers score their 3rd goal.
    Sure Lundquist played well. That is to expected in this series.
    So our ‘best case” scenario actually played out. We kept it close. And we had every opportunity to win a close game.

    But you know how close games are decided in hockey, more often than not??

    Specialty teams. And our sucked.

    And if Price was not injured, everyone would be talking about how this series has been won and lost on specialty team play.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I agree with you Paz. The habs still need to make adjustments and the PP and PK is sucking.

      MT has his work cut out for him. AV is a good coach.

      • Paz says:

        A team can still win with a crap power play. Boston won the Cup that way.

        But once your PK is in the craps, you are done like dinner.

        That is a bad, bad, sign when we can’t kill penalties.

  11. habsfan0 says:

    Boone suggests we don’t dwell on the painful past.
    He’s right.
    So I won’t bring up the fact that 34 years ago today was the first Quebec referendum;about the same time that the Habs had their four year Stanley Cup reign come to an end as well.

  12. adamkennelly says:

    something else I noticed – our 4th line cannot match theirs – part of the problem is having Briere playing center (put White in) and an injured Prust.

    I’d make some line-up changes for next game.

    Vanek can have a seat – put White in to Center 4th line – take out Prust and put Bournival in.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Briere can’t keep up with the speed of this series. I would agree with those changes.

      The problem with Vanek is he can suck for 90% of the game and then score a big goal out of nowhere. He has been that way his entire career.

      We are really short on offense currently

    • HabsPooch says:

      Unfortunately you can’t bench Vanek. Even with him not performing, he still draws the attention of the other team’s top defensive pairing which opens up more scoring chances for Montreal’s other lines. It’s just that nobody is scoring!
      Vanek brings an element on offence that any fill-in can’t match.

  13. PrimeTime says:

    The Zoo is active today. Opinions all over the map! What would you people be doing instead if Habs won??

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

  14. L Elle says:

    It may or may not be over. I choose to believe it’s not. I believe Toker has more in him than seen last night.

    The high felt after beating Boston is turning into a nightmare. I would not be upset if we lost fair and square. Maybe I’m suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, but it just seems every time our team seems unbeatable, some Dbag ahole decides to injure a key player.

    When Price was deliberately hit, the score was only 2 against. The 3rd and 4th goals were scored because Price just couldn’t extend his leg. 2 games lost because our best player is out.

    I don’t see Rangers as unbeatable. I think our Habs are the better team but don’t have the all world goaltending that was taken away from us. But, having said that, Toker can steal games too. I love Budaj but he just doesn’t do pressure, or else he’d be a starter somewhere.

    One win at a time, as long as the boys don’t give up. And unless Vanek has an overnight heart transplant, please don’t throw huge bucks at him.

    • New says:

      Budaj IMHO is paid to sit and be ready. He has proven capable of half that role last year and this. Tokarski on the other hand is paid to play and develop. He has done that and in all likelihood stopped more rubber on the other ice sheet in the last month than Budaj has seen.

      Lundqvist was shakier I thought but wow, did the Rangers ever take away the lanes and cover the Habs. The Habs scored a fluky first goal, the Rangers replied with a fluky goal. Then it was mainly all Rangers until someone whiffed a puck at an officials head. After that it became zero tolerance for Habs whining as well.

      I totally agree with you. The Canadiens can show up and easily take this series. That will give CBC something to talk about and anoint Tokarski as the new Bernie Parent. One thing with CBC you can count on: the crew can get you excellent shots of what happened even when the broadcast guys talk about a whole different game. I think that comes from hiring Rangers (Healy) and Bruins (Cherry) to be impartial 🙂

      Sometimes young men just pack it in. The Habs did that a few years ago against Philly. Some try too hard, some try and not look bad, some just quit. The only thing that changes that is leadership, someone with respect who refuses to accept defeat. Years ago Lafleur was injured and the press and Canadiens thought the next month was doomed. Bowman said he’d put his well aged Captain, Yvan Cournoyer, up on that wing slot. Now everyone was sure the team was doomed. Cournoyer potted five goals the first game and everyone relaxed, and believed.

      I don’t see a Cournoyer on todays Habs. But who knows.

  15. Kooch7800 says:

    Lundqvist is putting on a clinic in goal tending. I still think we would have lost with Price in net last night as we need to start scoring. Can’t blame Toker for the loss.

    He had 1 goal he would want back but the other two were not on him.
    The officiating was awful and the habs are not getting the benefit of any calls but in saying that the PP has been a momentum killer.

    Habs will have to dig down deep to win the next one or they will be done in 4 games.

    Vanek should sit one out…he is a waste of space and we need a some speed out there. Put Bournival back in. Prust isn’t exactly useful out there either….along with Briere.
    PK hasn’t been great in this series either.

    The team must didn’t play bad last night but they will have to really play with urgency Thursday. Loved the DD, Max and Gally line in the first period. They were dominant

  16. alfieturcotte says:

    Lines for next game:

    Galchenyuk / Eller / Gallagher
    Pacioretty / DD / Vanek
    Bourque / Pleks / Bournival
    Prust / Briere / Gionta

    Subban / Beaulieu
    Markov / Emelin
    Weaver / Gorges

    Dubnyk as goalie

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Dubnyk is brutal. Vanke should be in the press box

      • alfieturcotte says:

        He is the best of our 3 options.

        Budaj is brutal and Tokarski has all of 3 games experience. Frankly, with a bigger body, he would have stopped the first 2 last night. I do believe he is simply too small. Dubnyk was very solid last year, is a former 1st rounder, and is wait for it…….6″6. If anything, it will be a question of finding a hole to put it past him and if the Canadiens can play solid D in front of him, he gives us the best chance.

        I can’t stand the way Vanek plays but he has no business on a checking line and perhaps if they reunite him w/DD Pac, he can wake up. He is always one tip or two away from making a difference in a tight game.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Duby has lost his game in a bad way. With the bulldogs this year he had a goals against average of 3.33 goals per game and a save percentage of 0.893. That just isn’t good enough. Waite could probably help him out but it won’t be this year.

          Kid has the tools but really needs to find his game. Toker is the better option if you are not going with Budaj.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Just my armchair opinion though

          • alfieturcotte says:

            hard to argue for a short goalie w/3 games NHL experience, who likely will be nothing more than a career AHL’er. I like the tenacity, but he simply does not inspire confidence; 3 goals in 30 shots is simply only adequate at best. His puck handling skills were also not too good. He rarely played the puck cleanly behind the net, and had a hard time making passes to the defense.

            We have nothing to lose by going with Dubnyk. Until 2014, he had been a strong goalie with .914, .916, and .920 save % in ~120 NHL games. I like the size combined with a tight D by the Habs.

  17. Hobie says:

    That’s hockey folks. This is our only real chance in 20 years to make it to the finals and a NYR player takes a 2nd base slide right into our star goaltender’s leg and the series is most likely over.

    I’m pretty sure Therrien and Prust were on the right track in thinking that Kreider really took advantage of the fall and did his best to hit Price as hard as possible.

    Anyway, as I said, these opportunities don’t come around too often. Baring a miracle, we’re going to have to wait 11 months from now for another shot at the cup. A year from now we could have all kinds of injuries or finish in top spot in the conference and get knocked out by a wildcard in the 1st round. That’s why this Price injury is so frustrating, you don’t often get chances like this.

    The only good news, the Habs have a good young team with a great coach and general manager. We should be in the mix for the foreseeable future. Several decent prospect either just getting their feet wet, finishing up in Europe or about to play for the Dogs.

    It’s not over yet! big game on Thursday. Go Habs GO!

    • PureGuava says:

      Made it to ECF a few years ago with Gionta, Gomer, Cammy, & Halak, while chopping down the two Eastern powerhouses to get there. Then Michael Leighton killed us.

      “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
      – Robert Anton Wilson

      • Hobie says:

        That was luck. This Canadiens team is actually good from top to bottom. I knew we’d be killed in the 3rd round a few years ago. If healthy, we should beat the Rangers.

      • L Elle says:

        Is that how you remember it? I thought Leighton was a below average goalie.

        The fact that Halak went back to normal along with the team in front of him being outmuscled led to the end of that run. imho

        • Captain aHab says:

          That and Umberger scoring from everywhere with seeing eye goals.

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

          • JF says:

            It wasn’t Umberger that year. Umberger was the previous series against Philly (2008).

    • Cal says:

      If Habs lose game 3, I think I’d spend all of game 4 kicking Kreider’s ass and sliding into Lundqvist accidentally. If they are still in it, I’d still be making Kreider eat my stick. But, that’s just me. Tit for Tat Cal.

      • Hobie says:

        You won’t get an argument from me Cal. I’d be OK with dressing Parros next game. Have him skate up to Lundqvist and punch him in the head as hard as he could and give him a concussion. Get a 50 game suspension and retire in the summer.

      • Habs_4_ever says:

        I’m with you. Give them a taste of their own medicine.

        “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

  18. 24AW says:

    when you can’t score more goals than your opponent, it doesn’t matter who’s in Goal you’re gonna lose and that’s what happened in the first two games. Price and Budjai were in for 7-goals so how come everyone is concerned with Goaltending
    yes we all know you gotta have good goaltending to win games but it doesn’t stop there, gotta have offense also and that’s what we’ve being lacking all year and the more I think about it, if it wasn’t for Price and PK we wouldn’t have gotten by Boston.
    check PK and Prices stats against Boston and you’ll see why we beat them, just the odd goal from some other players, they also took a lot of dirty stuff and didn’t retaliate that’s not happening in this series everything mentioned is the reason why this series is gonna be a short one and don’t use price for an excuse. play as hard as the Rangers, score like the Rangers and this series will turn around.

  19. knob says:

    Any word on Emelin? I don’t think he returned to the game last night. I wonder if he suffered a concussion. I also wonder if there will be supplemental discipline against Pouliott?

    The last question was rhetorical as we all know that this league is a joke.

  20. Marc10 says:

    My biggest frustration with this series is that the guys were comfortable enough to go toe to toe with the likes of the Waterboy, the Missing Link, the Rat, and the Great Ape, but they are giving the Rangers a free pass. Are you kidding me?

    You’re the Montreal Canadiens for Pete’s sake. It’s high time you played Iike it and made them earn every foot of ice. Stop ‘respecting’ them. Trap and hurt and win ugly. Do what you need to do to win.

    Oh, and if Vanek doesn’t show up for game 3 (and I’d play him with DD and Patches just to make sure), don’t dress him for game 4. Trade his rights to Minnesota for a 5th rounder and let him keep his jersey.

  21. habs-fan-84 says:

    Disappointing loss. Unfortunately, you’re not going to win many games when you only score 1 goal. I hope Therrien hasn’t pissed off the team by snubbing Budaj in favour of Tokarski.

  22. adamkennelly says:

    what about the refs? I noticed a ton of Rags non calls and a few ticky tacks on us Habs. Compare the hooks that Bourque got called for twice in game 1 to the 17 of them you saw from the Rags last night and please explain the difference. That Galchenyuk trip? give me a f-ng break.

  23. 24 Cups says:

    So who starts in net on Thursday night?

    24.6 Cups

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Budashe…….as per me and Bertrand Raymond. Biggest game of the year. MT has to go with Budashe his veteran who had most of his big wins away from the bell centre and has shutout the rangers in the garden this year! The series is back on come the end of Thursday night or over.

      Shaker out!

    • Cal says:

      I’d go with Tokarski. Budaj’s nerves are frazzled.

  24. knob says:

    Habs played a strong game but they need to go to the next level. They need to start paying the price and driving the net; get in the King’s face, get inside position on the defence and force them to start taking more penalties.

    As a fan, I find it easy to hate the Rangers as all I have to do is watch D. Moore, McDonugh and Pouliott playing their butt off to spite their former team, the Habs. Of course there is always the irritating M. StL who gives it 140% against Montreal. And now we have public enemy #1 in Krieder. Watching our team lose to these guys is going to be as frustrating as watching them lose to the Senators.

    I have never liked MT and always believed that the success he has had relates to Carey Price. If MT can get these guys to come back and win this series then I will completely change my opinion on him.

    Go Habs!

    • Cal says:

      I am guessing AVs success must be due to Lundqvist and Sutter’s is due to Quick and Quenneville must be riding Crawford’s coat tails.
      Top goalies augment every coach’s resumé.

      • knob says:

        Fair enough. I could elaborate more on my issues with MT but why beat a dead horse. Let’s see what the old fart has up his sleeve and see if we can get a few wins here.

        • Cal says:

          Looking at his roster, MT has just about gotten the most he can. The Price injury is the killer this year.
          Too bad, too, because with all the changes I am expecting next season, I am thinking the team will skew a lot younger.

          • knob says:

            This offseason is a big opportunity for the Habs to really improve. I trust MB will make the right choices. For one, I hope to see Beaulieu and Tinordi in the top seven, full-time, next year.

          • Mike Boone says:

            Agreed. And between the cap and the speed of the game, it’s becoming a young player’s league.

            Mike Boone
            Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  25. frontenac1 says:

    Toker played fine. Lundqvist had the Horseshoe up the dirt chute. His luck can’t last. When it breaks it will be Floodgate time. Game three is ours. Keep the Faith amigos! Saludos!

  26. WOW here’s a player who just doesn’t get it…..
    Via Twitter–
    Larry Brooks ‏@NYP_Brooksie 25m
    Kreider tells Post: “I thought [pre-game hubbub] was hilarious. It lit a fire under my ass that I don’t think is going away any time soon.”

    Shane Oliver
    A Little fun during the Intermission
    Don’t Poke The Bear

  27. HairyHabist says:

    So many people are pinning the loss on goaltending.
    What’s Price’s record when the offense scores only 1 goal?

    • Captain aHab says:

      Yep…I don’t buy it either.

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

    • Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

      That said, you’ve got to admit that if a healthy Price we’re playing they’re probably going to overtime with a chance to score a second goal.

      X X X X X X X X 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

      • Captain aHab says:

        Why? He might have gotten the Nash shot but not the St-Louis one. Habs need to score more than 1, period.

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

        • Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

          Just by virtue of being a larger goaltender, the first goal, the one the glanced off of Tokarski’s arm and off the post, probably hits Price square in the bicep.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming Tokarski for the loss. But if we still had Price in there we’re probably going to overtime which gives the offense a chance to score a second (and winning) goal.

          X X X X X X X X 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      This year when the Habs scored exactly 1 goal when Price was in nets, the Habs won 2 games and lost 11.

      • HairyHabist says:

        Which means if Price had been healthy, they likely still would’ve lost.
        And conversely, they can win with Tokarski if they score more goals.

        It takes time to adjust. But they’re not out of it yet.

    • Cal says:

      Lack of finish from Habs Danish. Not completing his work, Bourque, and some “Why I oughta” Gionta. Plekanec and Vanek are in a panic. DD’s only got has 4 assists, you see.

    • Fansincebirth says:

      To me it looks like the boys have nothing left in the tank after the Bruins series. The Rangers are winning every race, every battle and are making us look horrible. Goaltending isn’t the issue here. It’s everyone up front and the D.

  28. Ian Cobb says:

    I thought Tokarski play a decent game between the pipes yesterday. But when two goals went in I thought to myself that Price would have saved them!

  29. Ian Cobb says:

    From 28th place two years ago to sending the Teddy Bears to the golf course this year. Just might be our hockey thrill for this year.

    This Ranger team is a very solid club, rolling 4 lines for 60 min. And of course they are also playing with our best draft pick McDonaugh since PK, thanks for the brilliant move by Gillette and Gainey to obtain Gomez.

    The rest of this series will be a fantastic opportunity for Bergevin to asses character and ability to compete for the cup next year.

    There are two or three players that have shown they just do not have the compete level to get to the top floor and will not be around here next year.

    I am not saying that we are completely done for this year, but it will be a huge hill to climb. We will surly see which boys that want to get us there. A lot of contracts to be signed or not in just a few weeks from now!

    • Captain aHab says:

      I personally don’t want to see Gionta re-signed. Aside from a couple of good games against the Bs, he has disappeared. Don’t really want to see Vanek re-signed although here’s a thought: what if the guy didn’t have to worry about getting injured before his next contract? Would he be competing a bit more? Anyways, he’ll be getting silly money.

      And although I’ve seen lots of people say that he’s been playing great (I just don’t see it), I don’t want to see Markov signed to anything more than a year, maybe 2 if the money is lower.

      And Pleks…well. I hope they clear the path next year for Galchenyuk to play center to see what we have in him. Tell Pleks he’s now a checking C and to focus on that. Maybe bring in Yannic Perreault to work with him on faceoffs (;-D).

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

      • BJ says:

        Captain you are correct in getting Yannic Perreault in there to teach the art of face-offs, he was a master at it. Faceoffs are so important I’ve wondered why it doesn’t become a practice to to try and strengthen weaknesses. The other thing I would practice is getting forwards and defensemen to practice the JC Tremblay flip the puck out without icing them. PK has got it pretty together with that but Emelin and the rest could learn to use that tool effectively.

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          The thing about YP is that I don’t know how much he studied the craft or whether he was just a natural. The reverse with TP: I don’t know if he can be improved much at this stage.

  30. WindsorHab-10 says:

    MT calling Lundqvist phenomenal is kind of laughable. I guess he was looking at shots on net. The guy is good but if you don’t create traffic in front & bother him, yes he’ll stop the puck. I still don’t see the value of having Prust in the lineup.

    • Cal says:

      For me it’s not so much Prust as Gionta. Sitting him in favour of Bournival makes more sense to me. To my eyes, Gionta has played himself off the team with his indifferent defense and wasting of any and all good scoring chances with a well placed shot to the chest of whichever goalie happens to be in the way.

  31. The Juice says:

    Habs have lost 3 series after winning the 1st 2 on the road so the 17 out of 18 stat posted by Boone is bs.


      I was about to say the same thing about his stat…I remember 2 of them – 2011 against Boston and 1996 against the Rangers.

    • Mike Boone says:

      I heard that stat cited on 690 while driving home. Should have checked it, but it was late and I was lazy. The stat has been deleted from the post. Thanks for the heads-up.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  32. BJ says:

    Again we have to go back to winning a game at a time. We win the next one and the pressure again mounts on the Rangers. The other thing I’ve noticed is how little luck and bounces we have had go our way. The Rangers have had those, we have not. Lets hope we can get a few bounces going our way as we did in the other series.

  33. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    Well………there’s this ……and that …………but ………….if we could ………..possibly …………home ice disadvantage…………..refs wtf…………goalie………….pftttttt……….not over …………Vanek holy moly…………future good……………next year …………………plex same old …………..physical not …………………h0pe fading fast………….never give up………………butt……………….price comeback……………maybe…maybe not………………………change or not…………don’t know anything………………..?????????????????

  34. Max says:

    No habs near Lundqvist.They have to make it more difficult for him.He’s seeing everything.No one is giving this team a chance now but I still have a good feeling about this series. People are already booking the Rangers in the final and that will come back to get them.

    • BJ says:

      The problem is that you need puck possession to set up screens, you just can’t have guys stand in front of the net when the team is headed the other way. The Rangers D has been very good at keeping us at the side boards and having to fight for pucks.

  35. BJ says:

    I wanted to separate this from a few comments below. I have up until now not really commented on the McDonaugh fleece job on Gainey. This was such a poor decision that it borders on pulling his #23 from the rafters (even though achieved as a player). Can you imagine (because thats all we will be able to do in this case forever, as he will not be going anywhere other than where he is) him playing with PK and replacing Markov and Kreider picked one spot after the Leblanc pick. Thats how two mistakes evaluating players can make the difference between being solid for years and now looking to fill those spots. Thats why MB organised his evaluation team the way that he has. He has made several significant moves without breaking the bank. Tokarski for Desjardins, Weaver for a 5th, Weise for Diaz and Vanek for Colberg (I’m not sold on him) and a second. Some may think that Vanek was a mistake. I see it that he brought a momentum to get us to this round. Its not over yet and hopefully he will still contribute, although he seems a bit overwhelmed by the speed of the Rangers. And if not it will be better to evaluate now, rather than signing him to a contract that the Wild may later regret (thats if they sign him as I’m sure they will evaluate if this is the player they need to go another level).

    • Strummer says:

      Your 20/20 hindsight is acute.
      “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      No team ever drafts perfectly.
      They can all claim huge misses.

      Subban was drafted 43rd meaning every team passed on him once, and 12 teams passed on him twice.
      Shea Weber was drafted 49th.
      Duncan Keith was drafted 54th.
      Jonathan Quick was drafted 72nd
      And it goes on and on…

      In 2006, the Habs drafted David Fisher in the 20th spot and the Flyers grabbed Claude Giroux at 22nd.

      It’s also way too early to know how the Bergevin drafts will work out compared to players drafted below their own choices.
      Galchenyuk was a no brainer at #3, but it will take 5 years from the draft class to know.

  36. For the first time in my life I turned off a Montreal Canadiens playoff game. After Galchenyuk took that penalty for tripping the Habs were deflated, it was like they had the same attitude I did. How can we win a game when penalties for nothing are being called.

    It’s bad enough to lose your best player (we actually rallied around that in the first) but then Louis got a PP goal on a crap call and I was just floored. I had enough and turned the channel.

    Carey Price masked a lot of problems on this team, no secret there. Thanks to Thomas Vanek for helping us get to the playoffs, but I’ll enjoy watching us play against you for the rest of your career. Spot light scorer who is weak against better teams.

    Hope for the best in NY, but Lundqvist is rock solid and we aren’t scoring.

    Shane Oliver
    A Little fun during the Intermission
    Don’t Poke The Bear

    • Captain aHab says:

      Habs got a PP right after the St Louis goal and did SFA with it. If they score, then they’re right back in it.

      Someone needs to step in next year and coach the PP. Ever since other teams started pressuring the point men, it has mainly struggled. We say this year in and year out but we need a big guy in front of the net, NOT next to the goalie trying for a deflection.

      Where did St Louis score from? Right between the circles on a quick shot. We keep cycling the puck over and over and over instead of moving guys around.

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

      • HabsPooch says:

        Agreed. Absolutely annoying to watch how they perform on the power play. It seems the Rangers scored at ease on their power play. Less complicated and efficient.

    • jrs10069 says:

      I agree. Terrible reffing again.

      It will be why I stop watching hockey.


  37. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning.

    It appears that one of the few players that didn’t get the memo about a 1-1 split in Montreal being a good thing, was Henrik Lundqvist.

    He was absolutely outstanding/brilliant, and 1 of the reasons why the series isn’t tied at 1-1.
    He now leads all goalies in playoff SP at .934, and a great GAA of 1.93 – and those numbers include a 7 game tilt against the Pens.

    Tokarski wasn’t the reason the Habs lost.
    He was unlucky on the Goal 1 deflection – perhaps would like Goal 2 back – and no one was going to stop St. Louis’s laser shot PP goal from the slot.

    It’s been said a team makes their own luck and breaks, yet here’s agreeing with Coach MT that the Habs had none last night.
    The Habs just couldn’t score that 2nd goal.
    The Habs got “Priced” last night

    I had great difficulty with the Galchenyuk penalty.
    The score was 2-1 Rangers almost mid 2nd period in a Stanley Cup Semi-final game.
    A ref cannot call a neutral zone, non-critical scoring chance tripping penalty in a situation like that… when it was obvious he had no position or sight lines to make that call as the replay clearly indicated.

    A big tip of the hat to the Habs.
    They played their collective hearts out last night and showed so much character by never giving up.

    • HabsPooch says:

      Lundqvist played very well but I wouldn’t consider his performance phenomenal like Therien said. He had a clear view on most of his saves and he got a few lucky breaks as well. Fact is, the Habs are not blocking his sight line and making it difficult for him. Besides Gallagher, the others are not got getting the job done screening him and creating havoc around the net. Too easy.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        How many point blank shots did he stop?
        How many shots from the slot?
        How many when Habs players were banging away in the crease?
        What about the saves on PK’s howitzers?
        Give the guy some credit

      • Mike Boone says:

        I’m with you. They haven’t tested Lundqvist with high-quality chances or got in his grille to distract him.

        Mike Boone
        Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  38. rhino514 says:


    Would Price have stopped the Nash shot?
    I think it was a good shot, but I think Price would have gotten a piece of it. (didn´t see the third goal)
    Just one small indicator of how important Price is.
    It´s not that the kid played badly, it´s just that we need the have the goaltender matchup be a wash for the habs to win, the way Lundqvist is playing, and that ain´t gonna happen.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      We’ll never know, but there might be another way to look at it.

      So far in the Rangers 16 games played, they have scored an average of 2.75 goals per game.

      That means on most nights, a team needs to score 3 to beat them.
      On a specific night, a team may score 2 goals and win.
      Scoring 1 goal will usually result in a loss.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      rhino514…how in hell can you make that call of Price stopping the shot by MS…it was a lazer and hit the top corner of the net and he was screened by a big forward. If he had stopped it they still would have lost 2 – 1 or would the Habs all of a sudden scored more than one goal. Look the Habs are in trouble and all the lame excuses in the world isn’t going to turn the tide for them. They played hard last night and probably given a couple breaks here and there could ahve pulled that game out of the hat. Maybe more telling is the constant missed shots by the Habs players when they had opportunities.

  39. DipsyDoodler says:

    I only caught the 1st as I had to go out later, but I thought we came out very strong. The two Rangers goal whether fluky or due to poor goaltending really deflated us. They might have gone in with Price in nets but we’d have known Price was solid.

    Anyway, this sucks. Now we know how the Blues and Avalanche fans feel. They also had key players taken out, gangland style.

    Moving. Forward.

  40. jrs10069 says:

    The mistake that was made was not going after Kreider / Henrik. Just take the risk and do it, change the whole feel of the game. Rangers dictated it, we should have changed it. My sense is that MT said “no” to Prust and others.

    Refs were shit too.


    • Captain aHab says:

      Refs may have told each team to lay off goalies – it sucks that this would happen AFTER Price got rammed. I think if the Habs had gone hard at Lundqvist, they might have gotten something like 5, maybe more.

      The takeaway lesson for next year’s playoffs is that you have to be first to do ridiculous stuff.

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

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Here’s understanding what you’re saying, yet that’s a ‘feel-good’ revenge reaction.
      The Habs are trying to win a hockey game and not have multiple penalties called against them without Price in nets.

      There will be a time and place for Kreider…and it may only be next year.
      By the way, Kreider is 6’3″-226

      • Captain aHab says:

        Sweep the leg! 🙂

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

      • jrs10069 says:

        I think that is what they need to win the hockey game. We won’t win straight hockey v Rangers without Price, we have to change the “game”.

        Problem is our “character” veterans are not like that. Normally that is a good thing until you need someone like Mike Richards to take someone’s head off.


    • Fansincebirth says:

      Not sure if you noticed the leg hook Kreider did to Toker when he skated through the crease, shortly after the ref was cranking to Gally about staying out of Lundqvist’s crease.

    • BJ says:

      I think Kreider was shitting himself most of the game, he was basically a non factor. Payback time will come next year during the regular season. I think this was also probably his last “free” pass on making plays like that.

  41. Fansincebirth says:

    Would it be blasphemous to suggest sitting Vanek’s lazy ass in the press box?

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Not blasphemous. Counterproductive.

      Moving. Forward.

      • Captain aHab says:

        I agree with that. As little as he’s done, we need goals and I can’t see anyone on the bench more likely to score than him.

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

        • Fansincebirth says:

          I’d rather see Bournival in there. At least he works his butt off.

          • Captain aHab says:

            Sure but he has 1 point. Based on last night’s effort, you could sit Prust and bring in Bournival. Some folks suggest bringing in White but he sometimes loses it mentally and I think he’d be a prime candidate for stupid penalties.

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

  42. Habsbill24 says:

    In the 100 year plus history of the Montreal Canadiens I cannot recall a Canadiens goaltender ever being injured for the playoffs. Now Carey Price has been injured two years running and I wonder if his knees will become a chronic problem? If so that speaks of spending a bit more money for a solid top level backup rather than somebody who can fill in now and then but who can never carry a team for a week or two.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Price was hit at ramming speed and his skate caught on the post…this isn’t because his knee is weak.

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

      • Habsbill24 says:

        And what was it last year or after the Olympics this year? I understand that he was crushed by Kreider but now he has been hurt two years in a row and I cannot remember the Habs ever having an injured goalie for the playoffs in the last 100 years. This is not a cristicism of Price but rather an acknowledgment that his knees are not all that durable so a high end backup is needed.

  43. BJ says:

    It wasn’t due to a lack of effort by most of the team, they played their hearts out especially 76,11,67 and 51. I thought 17, 81 gave it an excellent effort. Lundqvist was good but not great the forty shots flatter him, as most were not really that dangerous. Tokarski did OK (maybe a bit slow getting over on the Nash shot) and a bad break on the first goal deflected in by Gorges. Its not over yet.

  44. HairyHabist says:

    The difference between history and this series is, the Habs are a better team than the Rangers.

    But they have to deal with the reality of the situation. The only way Habs goaltending can be better than the Rangers’ is if the Habs offence solves Lundqvist.

    Barring that, the Habs are done. However, history has given this Habs team the opportunity to be an exception to the rule.

    But they have to believe they can win without Price. Then prove it on the ice.

  45. JF says:

    We’re almost certainly not winning this series without Price, but I’m not at all sure we’d be winning it with him. Aside from the first few minutes, in which Lundqvist had to be very sharp, the Rangers controlled the tempo of the game. They kept us mostly to the outside, preventing us from getting any flow through the neutral zone and limiting second chances. Lundqvist saw everything. And their powerplay, which sputtered in the first two rounds, has come to life, while ours has fizzled. If we could have kept up the tempo we started the game with, we might have had a chance. But starting the game on fire and not getting a lead is usually a recipe for losing.

    Dustin Tokarski certainly wasn’t the reason for our defeat; but if we are to beat the Rangers, I think he’d have to be one of the reasons for the victory, and I can’t see him outplaying Henrik Lundqvist. We’d also have to do to the Rangers what they did to us last night. Frustrate them, keep them to the outside, let them fire forty or more harmless blanks, create turnovers, and make Lundqvist’s life miserable. Unfortunately, they’re doing all of that better than we are. But until it’s over, we go on hoping and cheering.

    The playoffs will at any rate have saved us the trouble of worrying about what it would take to keep Tomas Vanek in Montreal. The Wild are welcome to him. He has five or six goals in these playoffs, but he’s absolutely invisible. Bergevin’s other late-season acquisitions have been gems, but Vanek is simply not worth what he’d be asking.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning JF. Another dead on post. This is why some team (Wild) while giving Vanek huge money and term this off season, will be first in line at the next CBA to offer him a compliance buy out. This one has BAD contract written all over it.

      I’ll add in regards to goaltending not being an issue last night, the team was extremely tentative in their own end last night. They certainly lacked the same level of confidence then if they had the best goalie in the world playing for them. It impacted their style of play IMO. Losing Price was a lot more then goals against. Price along with PK was the player we could least afford to play without.

      • JF says:

        Good morning to you, 10912 (that is, if any morning can be good after a Habs loss). I agree that Price would have changed the complexion of the game and perhaps given us an edge that we lacked last night. No team is going to be as confident playing in front of a backup as in front of a world-class goaltender. But while Price’s presence would have made us less tentative, I’m not sure this would have translated into more goals. Despite the shot totals, the Rangers pretty well stifled us. After the first few minutes – from which we absolutely had to emerge with the lead but didn’t – they played the kind of game we always have a lot of trouble with. There was just no way to get to the net.

        If we’re to have any chance at all of coming back, we have to grab a lead and then do to them what they did so effectively to us last night. Take away time and space through the neutral zone, protect the front of our net, clear rebounds, don’t give up any odd-man rushes, and stay out of the box. At the other end, crash Lundqvist’s crease, get traffic in front of him (as we did for the first few minutes), and bury our chances. It’s not impossible, but, even with Price in goal, it would be difficult.

        But I can’t fault the effort last night. The team is fighting hard; it just seems the deck is stacked against us.

    • idle says:

      Vanek is playing for his third team this season and is only a couple months into his run with the Habs. Seems pretty harsh to write him off already.

    • Cal says:

      Disagree on Vanek. Scoring goals is the name of the game and he hasn’t been costing any. 8 points in 13 games isn’t setting the world on fire, but only Eller and Gally are the only forwards ahead of him, which isn’t saying a whole lot about the rest of the scoring on this team, does it?
      Equating pluggers to Vanek is comparing low grade hamburger to filet mignon. He’ll get his money in Minny, because they will realize what they have and not try to put him with their checking center.

  46. Marc10 says:

    The only thing I like about this match up is that next year the Rangers carry Richards, St Louis, Nash and aging Lundqvist. They are not going to make the playoffs. Why wait? Let’s step up and bury them right now. This year. Right now. Fight. Fight. Fight through it. You can choose to go quietly or you can make it an alley fight. Let’s get our noses dirty and F these guys up.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Hiya Marc. I don’t come from the same school of tough hockey that many here do but I was shocked at the lack of physicality by the Habs last night. At times I thought I was watching a no contact game.

      We’ll have plenty of time to discuss future player moves but we very well could be watching the last days of Gionta, Vanek and Markov in a Hab uniform. That was a brutal performance by these 3 veterans last night.

  47. Old Bald Bird says:

    I wake up early to find a few negative posts about Boone’s negative post. What irony, but I know they wouldn’t get this.
    Actually, I find Boone more of a realist than anything. And there’s always that other site if you don’t like it here.

    The boys played hard. The breaks aren’t going their way. It’s not on Tolkarsky because they only scored one goal, but Carey would probably have made two of those stops if not all three. Watchagonnado?

  48. Cal says:

    Habs played with a lot of heart last night. Too bad Gorges was a little cursed. On the Rangers’ first one, the puck bounced in off his leg. On the second, he failed completely to take Nash, his man on the play. If he reads that play aright, that shot is blocked.
    I am still of the mind that all this has been an unexpected bonus and it’s still possible for the Habs to make this a series. Without Price, it does look hopeless, but who knows, maybe it’s Lundqvist’s turn to get nervous and become his usual sieve-like self against the Habs.


  49. HABitat4humanity says:

    Let’s get a spark from the 3rd & 4th line scoring goals. The rest will fall in place.

  50. Danno says:

    Just win on Thursday.

    Canadiens Drop Game 2


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

  51. third generation haber says:

    It’s a tough time in Hab land all of the sudden, but I feel it was a moral victory today.

    How can I be so deluded??? Actually I’ve never believed we’re a current cup-contender, but….

    What would the result have been if Price had faced the Ranger’s AHL goalie??? I’m guessing we would have taken it by far more than a 2 goal margin.

    Rangers suck the sweat off a dead man’s balls!

    j.p. murray

  52. johnnylarue says:

    A johnnylarue® late night drunken tirade (read at your own risk):

    What truly irks me about this more than anything is that this series was meant to be an incredibly tight, hotly contested bout between two very evenly-matched Original Six rivals, each boasting fast skaters, great transition games, solid defensive systems, and elite level goaltending.

    I was looking forward to seeing some GREAT HOCKEY between these two clubs.

    And all that has been erased by one utterly unrepentant little douchebag who brought it upon himself to “go hard to the net” in the literal sense and in so doing take our best player out of the equation. Granted, there was no guarantee he was going to injure Price by doing this–you can’t crash into a goalie in such a way as to deliberately stretch or tear the ligaments in his knee, to my knowledge–but it happened. And because this league endorses this sort of thing, Kreider becomes a “repeat offender” with a still spotless record.

    The rest of this series is moot. The Rangers will win, and they will have done so within the rules of the game, but they will have done so taking the lowest road possible.

    I’m sorry, it might be that we just got extremely unlucky, but nonetheless it’s also bullshit of the highest order, every bit as disillusioning to me as the Bruins’ fraudulent Stanley Cup victory in 2011.

    It’s enough to make me question why the hell I would let myself get emotionally involved with this crap in the first place…

    What’s the goddamned point though, seriously?

  53. habcertain says:

    What is P.I.T.A?

    • JUST ME says:

      Just a 4 letter word to resume what the guy actually is. Pain In The…Illustrate very well the point i was trying to make when saying the medias and Boone would rather be negative…It sells,pisses people off but at least does not leave the with no feelings !
      Thus explaining that this P.I.T.A. is still here . Since he seems to be legitimately here with the approval of some, so am i !

    • Mike Boone says:

      “P.I.T.A.” is an astute media critic’s devastating and oh-so-clever putdown that has me reassessing the value and meaning of my journalism career and wishing that I’d gone into something more anus-friendly, like professional cheerleading.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  54. JUST ME says:

    Man ! It can get real ugly real fast though! I feel a tad heartbroken because in a flash we are in so many ways two steps back at a time when we should not have any question marks in our game.

    It would be so easy to second guess many moves or choices made yesterday but would also be unfair to point a finger because we did like to win as a team but now need to accept to lose as such also.

    One thing that is obvious to me is that i am happy that we do not get to take decisions on the spur of the moment because the Vanek file really does not seem to be worth getting involved too seriously into. I am not convinced that his style really fits into the path the whole team is going . Not questionning his talent but maybe the fact that the Habs are not at his level as a group and his finesse seems to clash with what we see…

    The Habs did not play a bad game yesterday but it was just not up to par to get a win. One deflected puck is all it took to deflate the momentum we were building and at that point we seemed to be playing catch up hockey.

  55. habcertain says:

    Stubbs is basically reporting on the results of the game, interjected with quotes etc. Boone is trying to provoke discussion, different intentions. I’ve read many posts objecting to his positive comments also. I love watching the Habs but think some folks take this blog stuff a little too serious, does his style really bother you that much or are you just taking the anti-Boone position?

  56. Un Canadien errant says:

    The Canadiens, missing their “best player” according to Head Coach Michel Therrien, took it to the Rangers early in the game and scored the first goal, but their energy flagged and they came out on the losing end of a 3-1 decision against the Rangers.

    The coaching staff decided to go with Dustin Tokarski to replace their star goalie Carey Price, and he didn’t play badly. The first goal deflected off Josh Gorges right in front of him. The second came on a three-on-two off the stick of Rick Nash, so kind of hard to fault him on that. The third was from Martin St. Louis, on a powerplay that shouldn’t have been awarded to the Rangers, it came on a completely unintentional trip from Alex Galchenyuk, if not a dive from Carl Hagelin.

    Still, this is where Carey Price makes a difference. While Mr. Tokarski didn’t look bad on any goal, he finished with a .900 save percentage. Carey might have made one or two of his miraculous saves. He might have inspired his teammates to play with a little more confidence, more hope, more determination. The Rangers might have had a little more doubt, might have rushed their plays, like the Bruins did.

    The Canadiens started the game like lions, applying pressure, generating chances, and Henrik Lundquist looked very beatable, kicking out juicy rebounds. Brendan Gallagher and David Desharnais were giants despite their size, skating and buzzing around the Ranger zone, dishing out hits. They manufactured the first goal by Max Pacioretty with their forecheck and passing.

    Trouble is, less than a minute later, Ryan McDonagh’s wrist shot from the side boards banked in off Josh, and you could feel the air being let out of the balloon a little bit.

    The rest of the game, the Canadiens may have felt like the Bruins did the last series. They directed a lot of rubber on the opposition net, but the other team was more opportunistic, cashing in more of their chances. The goalie they were facing kept stopping pucks.

    Overall, the game was more entertaining than some of the slugging that happened in the previous series. I didn’t cringe constantly when a Canadien headed into a corner. The game was more end-to-end, more of a skating affair. Daniel Carcillo is much more digestible than Brad Marchand, and the same goes for Brian Boyle and Sean Thornton.

    I don’t want to point fingers too much, but I think tonight’s game seals the question of whether we should sign Thomas Vanek long-term. Even when he was firing on all cylinders with David and Max, I feared the numbers being thrown around, six, seven, maybe eight years, at six, seven, eight million per. For a 30 year old, that seemed very unwise. I wanted to wait for the playoffs and evaluate then.

    My evaluation is fairly complete now. Nice guy, but not worth what he will cost. A team like the Penguins or the Bruins, maybe the ‘Hawks might be able to carry him on their roster, their depth and talent might allow them to hide him in their lineup when he’s not producing. Our team isn’t there yet. And I don’t want that cap hit on our books when he hits his mid-thirties.

    One other thing I’d have liked to have seen is for the Canadiens to crash the crease a little more. René Bourque, Lars Eller, Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher on at least a couple of occasions, they could have taken the puck to the net with authority, with speed, and if the defencemen hooked or somehow contacted them, and it caused them to crash into Henrik Lundqvist, so be it. My caveman side was coming out. They started this feud. They drew first blood.

    Instead, all the Canadiens forwards seemed to be able to steer away from contact, to hit the brakes. No one was caused to tilt backward and go in skates first, like Dave Parker trying to break up a double-play at second base. Strange.

    So a semi-solid effort, the Canadiens didn’t get the bounces, the goals, the saves, the powerplay opportunities, in the right amounts to add up to a win.

    And now we head to New York, and we’ll have to see what the coaching staff have in their bag of tricks, and what our team have in their heart and their guts. We get to see if they can turn this series around, dig themselves out of this big hole.

    Or else Gary Bettman’s dream final of New York versus either Chicago or Los Angeles will be confirmed but quick.

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


  57. Marc10 says:

    People need to take a chill pill. Next game Patches, Gally and Eller score. We win 3 – 0 and hope is restored. Oh yeah and we nail that Krieder bastard right through the goal post…

  58. habcertain says:

    Boone writes about what he sees, when they play well, he praises, when not, he criticizes. He isn’t paid by the fan club, don’t get why that is hard to digest, it is what journalists do.

    • PrimeTime says:

      Lol. Maybe in this media era but it wasn’t so in previous era’s. People whine about the biased pov of HNIC. Do you really believe that was always the case because “that’s what journalists do”??? It’s all about fanning the flames and biased opinions. I’ll take Stubbs writing over Boone’s any day, thank you!!

      º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

    • JUST ME says:

      Not that simple. There is always negativity in his comments whether they win or not. When they do win he starts with the negative stuff as if it was a small thing to improve so it looks like a positive twist . Not blaming him cause this is the way o sell papers but nor letting him off the hook either for choosing to be negative first.
      Not saying he has to be a cheerleader either but in MTL you just cannot be so you choose to be negative and in the same token criticize every other citie` s reporters to be homers.

  59. habcertain says:

    3 years ago, absolutely, last year, I don’t think, we are barren up front and did not make a move on the back end with 3 legit prospects. Chucky and Eller have gone nowhere, and my god we are still treating PK like a kid. I loved the Bruin beat down but we are no closer to a legit contender, and we need to sign our only non goalie star.

    • PrimeTime says:

      @hc. Don’t move expectations up 3years…..you’ll remain disappointed. Hopefully we will then be considered a contender and Boone will no longer be the blogger.

  60. habcertain says:

    @PT, realistically we have improved at one position over last year, in nets. Yes we showed some resolve in the Bruins series but where is the measured improvements of the young’uns?

    • PrimeTime says:

      @habcertain. You really think this team is remotely the same as 3+ years ago? Improvements can be found throughout the organization. Will there be bumps on the road? Of course! If MB and Tallon can come close to their model organization, Chicago, fans will be happier more often than not…..with the exception of Boone’s flocked flock. He’ll, Lemieux wants Pit to use this version of Montreal as a model. Once again, people only see what they want to see.

      º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

  61. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …AND, WHERE’s ??? Norm and His post-game novella ???

    …I wanna sleep Ya Big Lug ! 🙁

    …dottin’ His ‘I’s, and crossin’ His ‘T”s I bet 🙁

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Sorry, I caught the first period, then went out, came back late-ish and finished off the game on my PVR. With no fast-forwarding. It took guts.

      I tried to keep my recap short so I could go to bed at a reasonable hour.

      Of course, now I’m not that sleepy anymore…

  62. habcertain says:

    @HiS, I’m assuming there will be no divulging of the issue? Just to keep us West Coasters engaged!

  63. PrimeTime says:

    “But having come this far and proven so many doubters wrong, your Canadiens will fight ferociously to avoid the ignominy of being swept out of the playoffs”. Boone, I’m surprised your not Coach of this team? Way to throw in the towel!! Oh I know, you and your p.i.t.a. Buddy Timo are “Realists”. Is that why your George Contanza approach to life gives you so much happiness? Beating the B’s was a huge accomplishment for this team. They will learn that one huge series win does not win a Cup. MB has made some smart moves and is moving this team forward – the McDonaugh/ Gomez trade is in the past. This team has heart and grit – qualities rare on the site – and they are learning on the go. It must be nice for you to have the base here of myopic posters who love to dwell on the negative that you can exploit. It’s funny that many of the NY writers tend to disagree with your assessment and that NYR are “lucky” this series is not 1-1. Lundqvist stoke it. McDonaugh has been good but where is Brad Richards?? sometimes we only see what we want to see, George!

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

  64. D Mex says:

    @ Boone :
    Or, is it Michael, or Mike, or omiT, …

    Have you got a retirement date in mind yet ?
    I’d like to mark it on the calendar and give it all the attention it’s due, especially with the code 403s not working as well as they did a while ago.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …can You imagine how few posts there would be here if Boone told You nothing but what You agree with ?

      …I have one personal issue with Boone, otherwise it’s Boone that makes HIO tick

      • PrimeTime says:

        Sometimes less is more!! Bonne is only here “in retirement” only cuz he can fan the flames with his flock of followers. Personally, I’d like to see the site move make to the original format – hopefully that will be sooner than later.

  65. habcertain says:

    I think all 3 d men (Pateryn/Tiny/Beaulieu) should be given a real shot next year to along with PK/ Markov (if only signed to a 1 or 2 year contract/ Emelin ( I would give him another crack at it) with Weaver or Gorges as the 7th guy.

  66. habcertain says:

    Yes let’s wait for the all encompassing 3rd game before we seal the coffin, the question is who are we going to toss in so we really start new and fresh next year. As we see without Price it is hard to believe we are on the dance, little to no progression at all the other positions

  67. J Haul says:

    I take offense at the opening narative here, that is shared by many unoriginal Montreal beat writers. No, we do not “know how Tampa felt”. This is a completely different situation. To me, not only is Ben Bishop not the same calibre of goalie as Carey Price, but he was junking coming into the post season. Not to mention the most glaring issue… We didn’t injure Bishop. We do not feel the same as Tampa because we were not the team that “accidentally” took him out of the series. This hurts so much more knowing that without that one play this is likely a tied series in the CONFERENCE FINALS. Bishop not starting the first round due to no cause of our own is clearly not the same… No, we do not “know how Tampa feels”, because this is so much worse. Worse timing and worse circumstances. Carey was our guy and it’s just heartbreaking to see the run end like this.

  68. habfaninottawa says:

    It was fun while it lasted. But barring a miracle, this series is done.

  69. Timo says:

    I knew these stiffs thought they won the stanley cup when the beat the bruins. Ah well… the bright future lies ahead. Michael Therrien will get an extension, there will be more David Desharnais as #1 center, more Plekanec and his fan club, more “classy” and “nice guys”… All good stuff. Here is to another 20 years.

    • D Mex says:

      You’re an effin pain in the ass.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

      • Mike Boone says:

        But he’s OUR pain in the ass.

        Mike Boone
        Hockey Inside/Out blogger

        • Frank2468 says:

          Boone what are you doing still up at 2:00am thought you would have had your warm glass of milk and be tucked away at least 3 hours ago? LOL Just playing around I really enjoyed you on the pod cast you made my day with your sodomized line about the Bruins I nearly killed myself laughing thanks.

        • JUST ME says:

          Your P.I.T.A. Boone as there are very few of us who enjoy him here but i guess everything ifs fine and dandy in negative land that way. A poll question about that would greatly help you in judging what people feel he deserves. It is not funny anymore and not convinced he ever was either.

  70. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I’m hoping for a comeback, but You have to recognise this is a very different Rangers’ team than We have been used to

    …I think they are for real, and a team that came back from a 3 to 1 deficit against Malkin, Crosby et al is no mirage

    …this, except for St. Louis (who plays like he is 25) is a young-legged team

    …Vanek is made for playing a not-so-fast Bruins team, not a hyper-speed team like the Rangers

    …Vanek will not be any more effective against the Rangers than He has these past two games

    …Prust is also the wrong choice over Bournival for the Rangers

    …Weaver was right for the Bruins, but wrong for the Rangers, …Tinordi has the reach to cut down the ice and be more effective clearing the Kreiders and the like

    …I think Budaj should have been given the start of this game and if ineffective then inserted Tokarski because of the risk to Team cohesion most importantly

    …for the third game I would start Tokarski because any damage to Team morale and/or Buddha’s morale is already fait accompli …and, Tokarski will I believe be more comfortable next game

    …therefore, Tokarski plays in New York …Vanek in the press-box …Bournival in …Andrighetto in …Tinordi in

    …out, Vanek, Prust and Weaver

    …I can see through Your monitors and reading Your lips calling Me an idiot, but that is ok 🙂

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …excuse the ‘threepeat’, but 2 quick threads and I hate re-writing 🙂

      …like a medieval knight (call Me Sir Shootsalot 🙂 ) I have been crusading for Our Montreal Canadiens to retire Toe Blake’s number 6 …and add His banner in the rafters next to Our other former Greats

      …some of You may believe Toe was only a Great Coach, and as a Player, did not quite rate such an honor …and/or, do not want yet another low-number retired and unavailable to contemporary Players

      …maybe unaware Toe Blake also was a great hockey Player, won an NHL scoring championship, the Hart Trophy and a Lady Byng, led Our Habs in scoring in 6 seasons of His Hall Of Fame playing career

      …Hector ‘Toe’ Blake was an key component with The Rocket and Elmer Lach on ‘The Punch Line’, which was the most feared scoring line of it’s day

      …most younger Fans understandably remember Toe Blake mainly as the genius Coach of the Montreal Canadiens at the cusp of Our Golden Era …the Golden Era that most of Us, whether We know it or not, were inspired to follow Our Habs as if it was ‘a religion’ unto It’s own

      …Toe Blake’s name is on 11 rings of the Stanley Cup; …8 as Our Coach, …2 as a Player for the Montreal Canadiens …and one as a Montreal Maroon

      …Toe Blake was the ‘heart and soul’ motivator Whom inspired and ‘showed the way’ to Our great Players of the time, both as a Player and Captain, …and as Our Coach

      …His Legacy is greatly taken for granted, I strongly believe, by the fact that Toe Blake’s number 6 is not represented yet in the rafters of the Bell Centre

      …the totality of Toe Blake’s legacy, as a Player and Our Coach, to the History and exceptional success of the Montreal Canadiens becoming the most famous brand in the hockey world is way past the overdue stage

      …I request all Montreal Canadiens Fans to join with Ian Cobb and I to right a wrong

      …We would like to encourage all Montreal Canadiens Fans whom agree with the objective to make Their opinions known to Geoff Molson and Montreal Canadiens executive board, that a special game night to honor Toe Blake’s number 6 with a banner in the Bell Centre is long-overdue

      …if this is something You would like to make right as I and Ian do, I provide the following mail contacts to send Your requests to ‘Retire Number 6 !!!’

      Geoff Molson: President and Owner

      Kevin Gilmore: Vice President of Operations

      Send your testimonial to:

      c/o The Montreal Canadiens

      1909, avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal
      Montreal, QC, CANADA
      H3C 5L2

      …merci beaucoup 🙂

      Michel F.Therrien ???: HIS’ new Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song; Morrissey/The Smiths ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfkvPnjb9hs

      HIS’ alternative HIO Official Theme Song: ‘MTL Stand-up !’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK0l0XEW3Dw

      HIS’ Get It Up ! pre-game musical intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=R5mMRiiCwak&NR=1
      HIO’s BC Odd Couple: UCe, the supercilious stickler; and HIS, the stubbornly relentless ‘schismatist’ 🙂
      What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

      Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

      Bring Back Boone, and send Hickey to Hamilton !!!

      …and, last, but not least:

      Mike Boone MARCH 25, 2014 AT 7:54 AM
      Finding every way to stir up sh.. is pretty much my job description.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …excuse the ‘threepeat’, but 2 quick threads and I hate re-writing 🙂

    • Timo says:

      Wait… I don’t understand. Are you suggesting Michael Therrien made wrong decisions? I hope you are not saying (or even thinking) that.

  71. shrack says:

    just missed

  72. D Mex says:

    Primero / Premier / First ?

    edit : Segundo / Deuxième / Second it is !

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  73. HabsTrueBlue says:

    We will see

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