About last night …

Was that it, the last home game of the season?

You have to think so.

Your Montreal Canadiens have played their hearts out through four games against a much better hockey team.

They’ve won a period here, a period there.

But as has been the case all season, domination has not translated into goals.

Mistakes have occurred; and as happens with dismaying frequency against a superior opponent, the mistakes have ended up in the back of the Canadiens’ net – often behind luckless Carey Price, who hasn’t won a hockey game in 50 DAYS!!

Price probably will get another chance Friday night in Washington.

And anything can happen.

But let’s not delude ourselves.

This smells over.

•  •  •

Check the video of Ovechkin ice-spraying the flag kid.

Would Sid do that?


Comment of the Night, from Sisu:

This series was won years
ago.  2003 through 2006, to be exact.

this period, one club went 52-87-22-3 (.460), and for its efforts was
rewarded with Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.  The other team
went 83-61-16-4 (.567) and was rewarded with Kyle Chipchura and David

The key to NHL success: be sufficiently awful in the
most opportune years.

•  •  •

It’s one of the most hackneyed clichés in sports.

But Hal Gill, by virtue of his superb play in this almost-over series, earned the right to use it.

“You’re an inch away from a good play,” Gill said of his effort to contain Alexander Ovechkin on the sequence that became Washington’s go-ahead goal.

Ah, a game of inches. 

And during the off-season that looms, the Canadiens will have a lot of time to think about how close they came to upsetting the number-one seed in the NHL.

Washington’s always quotable coach, Bruce Boudreau, was gracious in victory while chronicling the progress of the series.

“Game one they won,” Boudreau said. “Game two they should have won. And tonight they should have won after two periods.”

Coulda, shoulda, woulda: that ought to be one of the forward lines on your Montreal Canadiens.

After 40 minutes, they had outshot Washington 33-18, including a 21-9 bombardment in the second period.

The Canadiens coulda had more goals, if it weren’t for the excellence of Semyon Varlamov.

They shoulda gone to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead, but didn’t because late-period carelessness led to Mike Knuble’s shorthanded goal with seven seconds left in the period. Given the situation – one-goal lead, building rocking, on the PP – how in the world do you give up a textbook 2-on-1?

You do it by having Roman Hamrlik pinch and miss Tom Poti’s clearing chip off the left boards, sending Boyd Gordon and Mike Knuble away. Then Josh orges couldn’t intercept the pass or cover the shooter. Goal!

Jacques Martin said Andrei Markov and MAB, his first-wave point men, were tired and had to be subbed. The second-wave Dmen were caught.

A crusher. And Hamrlik has been on for shorties in TWO straight games.

One more season of the Hammer at $5.5 million. Thanks, Bob.

But mark this down: Many teams woulda folded in the face of the heartbreak the Canadiens have endured in this series.

The Canadiens didn’t quit. They battled hard against a superior team, but after 40 dominant minutes produced an unlikely tie score, the boys didn’t have much in the tank for the third period.

How bad was the final 20 minutes?

Washington outshot the Canadiens 20-6.

Andrei Markov, the best defenceman on the team, was minus-2 for the third period.

Marc-André Bergeron, not the best defenceman, was minus-3 over the last 20 minutes.

In noting how well the Canadiens have played, Boudreau said “I’d be frustrated if I was them.”

The frustration showed late in the game, when Price drew two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, the first for firing the puck into a gaggle of Capitals celebrating the Jason Chimera goal that made it 4-2, the second for whacking Nicklas Backstrom with his stick … from the bench.

Mike Cammalleri later alluded to “immaturity” without singling Price out, but I thought the childish rage was evidence of an athlete who cared.

Price played well. He had no chance on the SH goal that turned the momentum of the game, nor on Ovechkin’s laser fired past a screening Gill.

I see Price getting the start in Washington on Friday night.

And I see him getting another one when the 2010-’11 season begins in October.

•  •  •

So maybe some good Xs-and-Os peeps in the Commentariat can explain why the Canadiens have sucked on faceoffs in this series.

Tomas Plekanec was 5-13 in Game 4. Scott Gomez was 10-14.

Hard to get anything going when you’re chasing puck possession all night.

•  •  •

Ryan O’Byrne had seven hits, blocked four shots and was the only Dman to finish with a plus.

He should play Friday night, regardless of whether Jaro Spacek is good to go.

The Canadiens have to start thinking about next season, and O’B should be part of those plans.

•  •  •

Sergei Kostitsyn was plus-2 in eight minutes of solid play.

No disrespect to Mathieu Darche, who’s a warrior with a great work ethic, but talent-wise, there”s just no cpmparison.

•  •  •

With all due respect to the Canadiens, a team that gives them 21 shots in 20 minutes might not be the most serious Stanley Cup aspirant emerging from the first round.

The Caps’ D might be charitably described as ordinary. Their forwards are not the most diligent backcheckers in the league.

But they are something to watch from the blueline in.

We’re used to the Ovie Show, but Nicklas Backstrom – plus-4 on the night – has been lights-out in this series.

And Alexander Semin is showing signs of emerging from his torpor.



  1. J. Ambrose says:

    Chris: gotta say, my own thoughts parallel much of yours, almost exactly. The only exception would be Metro, whom I believe will stick around. We need one more young-ish, quick defenseman, and he won’t be easy to find. And I see Hammer getting traded, either alone or in tandem with one of the goalies and perhaps with a Kostitsyn or two. And, yeah, we’ll likely see White and Patches up here. Definitely for training camp to see how they do. But the challenge is going to be to find a forward or two with size. Or, if Pleks bolts, that long-coveted big center.

    As for Martin, I personally never liked that signing, so I’m guiltless there. He turned out exactly as I expected. A fresh approach is needed with a coach who understands the changes in the game.

  2. Chuck says:

    You call the guy a bust, then want him traded for someone that can help the team.



    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  3. Chris says:

    Goal: The Habs COULD keep both guys if they really wanted. But I don’t think they really want to, nor do I think the two goalies want to both be re-signed. Both guys want to be #1’s and both have shown that, at least in the regular season, they are capable of carrying the team for a while. I don’t really care which one they keep…I seem them as pretty interchangeable. Brodeur and Luongo have wet the bed as much as Halak in the playoffs (and Brodeur for the third straight year, at that). At some point, fans start to realize that the team stinks, not the goalies.

    Defense: As Bugs said, Subban is pretty much a lock. But I think Habs fans will be in for a surprise when they see how many brain-cramps HE can have in the defensive zone. Carle is intriguing, Weber is just too small on a defence corps that is already full of small, non-physical defencemen that struggle in their own zone.

    I guess if I’m the GM, I buy out Hamrlik, move Spacek back to his natural left side and promote Subban to play on the third-pairing with Gill.  Go with Markov-O’Byrne, Spacek-Gorges and Gill-Subban.  And believe me, I don’t like that defence corps any more than you should.

    Forwards: Ugh. This is the depressing part of the team. Gomez is emphatically not a #1 center anymore, and is WAY overpaid to be a #2 center. Plekanec brings the same skillset as Gomez, is younger and probably cheaper…but the Habs can not unload Gomez, so they very well might have to unload Plekanec. How Gauthier solves the problem of featuring two smallish centers that aren’t great on faceoffs will go a long way to determining whether this team can compete moving into next season.

    As for the rest, Gionta and Cammalleri are not as similar as people make them out. Gionta is a leader, he is an excellent forechecker and is our most responsible forward defensively. Cammalleri brings little in those departments. That they can both score is great, but you COULD keep both guys.

    I think both Kostitsyn’s are gone via trades, maybe packaged with a goalie.  They just don’t fit with what Martin is trying to do as a coach, and I can’t see him keeping them if he gets promoted to GM.  Darche and Metropolit are almost certainly out of here.  White and Pacioretty will probably join the big club.  Trotter could get a long look, but the farm is pretty devoid of talent that could make an impact as top-6 forwards in the NHL.

    The UFA market is terrible this summer, particularly for top-6 forwards that might contribute some size (Frolov is the best bet, but he is as inconsistent as AK46!).  No Knubles to be had.  So the Habs are going to really have to look at trades.  And few things in this life scare me more than the Habs’ professional scouting department getting asked for their input.

    Coaching: I liked Martin’s hiring in the off season (mea culpa!), but now I would love to see him out of here. I thought he could stabilize the team’s transition game and instill a forechecking system that actually applies pressure. Wrong on both counts. Unfortunately, he’s not going anywhere, and Boucher can’t do much with this poorly constructed team either. Guy Boucher is the latest in a long line of coaches and players doing well in the AHL that get identified as white knights.

  4. ManApart says:

    Price will never become a top goalie in this league. He’s had many, many chances to shine and has failed everytime, including last night. Look at his record. You can’t do that bad even if you tried. So think about that, before you call him thre future. I’m sick of him and all those who are in love with an average golaie at best. Hope he’s traded for something that can help this team.

  5. HardHabits says:

    I came up with this theory last season. More and more people are realizing what ails the Habs and it’s a lack of top picks. Until the Habs string together a few losing seasons and nab some gems at the entry draft we’ll be watching 1st round exits and the occasional 2nd rounder with certitude.

  6. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Moore works hard… he’s not so bad.

  7. thirdstone says:

    Your assessment of Price is ridiculous. To judge someone’s personality one must get to know the person. You need to become familiar with the reason/meaning behind what they say/how they hold themselves. Your ignorance betrays itself when you say something like “I dont trust him”. Based on what could you trust or not trust him? You dont KNOW the guy. Everyone criticizes him for this reason, but they don’t consider that maybe his aloof appearance is due to the fact that he’s just a weirdo. For example, my brother has the same way of holding himself; most people think he’s an idiot/doesn’t have feelings. They just don’t understand him. He’s like Carey, a protoge pilot who’s been obsessed since a very young age, yet most people tell me that “he doesn’t seem to be that into it.”

    What other valid criticism do you have? Bad positioning? I invite you to substantiate this. Seriously, where is his positioning off.

  8. Bugs says:

    Right. For you, Amby.

    1) I try to keep both. But I don’t hang up the phone. Either one. vanRiemsdyk, Hall, whatever, gimme some RETURN, baby.

    2) Who knows what that Carle guy’s gonna do. Starts good, gets injured. We never know. Weber…depends on him. Needs more beef. Soobie’s written in stone. Doesn’t matter who stays 4, 5, or 6, so don’t worry about it.

    3) Moving Cammy, Gio or Gomie makes us look like Mickey Mouse, so forget it. My boy Poolio has kinda…slowed down. He’s supposed to be the “big boy”. The Ks…who can tell? Remmeber that gangster in Payback? “Mr.Bronson always says “If you don’t understand something, get rid of it.'” Moen on the 4th? Sure.

    4) I’d love to see Boucher up here. But like Jack Marty, he would need players too.

    5) My first move would be to call up da Oilers and offer’em the Ks and the Priceberg for their num1 pick and Sheldon Souray. Then, I’d try to move Sheldon Souray. Depending on how that works out, I’d see where I’d be at then.

    Superfluously redundant, I remain

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward: http://habsbros.blogspot.com/

  9. J. Ambrose says:

    Ah, the post-mortem/autopsy/exhuming-of-the-body-to-look-for-signs-of-trauma, etc. I look forward to it. Til then, sharpen your scalpel.

  10. Mike Boone says:

    Very astute.

  11. Mike Boone says:

    Keeping my powder dry for Saturday.

  12. habs4cup says:

    but unfortunately, once a smurf always a smurf. did you think over a course of a year they would grow an inch?

  13. habs4cup says:

    what could they accomplish: alot of smurfism!

  14. MikeL says:

    I prefered Jaro this season, and most of last as well. But, I still think Carey is the future. I agree with your current assesment of him and I don’t like a lot of his personal makeup either. But, I don’t feel comfortable choosing Halak over him at this point. Before the playoffs started I was all for it, but Halak came crashing back down to earth in Game 2 and 3. Goalies can go on a great streak for long periods of time, then never come close to it again. In general, they tend to be the guys that came out of no where. Think Brian Boucher (both times), Tim Thomas, Cristobal Huet, Vesa Toskala, Andrew Raycroft. They all came out of no where (no pre NHL hype), had a great season or two, then collapsed. I’m almost certain that Brian Elliott, Anti Niemi, and Jonathon Quick will fall into this category eventually as well. I’m not so sure Jaro will, but he is a very small goalie who will always need to be on his A game to succeed. I can’t think of many goalies as small as Jara with much long term success.

    I’m not so sure Pleks is gone. I think he likes Montreal, and management needs him. We have no one to replace him, and the free agent market is very bare – other than Patrick Marleau, but if we sign him we may as well sign Patrick Lalime and bring back Steve Smith out of retirement. Complete playoff choker.

    I’m not a big fan of Martin either. I think he has the right ideas coming into games, but lacks the passion or communication skills to be effective in the game. He may as well just sit the team in front of a power point presentation pre game and stay in the pressbox for it.

    We need a better 3rd line center. Lapierre is just not good enough. I really liked Moore down the stretch, and would be pleased if he was signed for another year. It’s not like he’ll be taking anyone’s spot, as Ben Maxwell looks like a career minor leaguer to me. A big body on one of the bottom lines would help. Travis Moan has really disappointed me this season. Maybe my expectations were too high, but he doesn’t really hit very well for a “banger”. I don’t know how good he is, but a guy that always caught my eye was 6 foot 7 center Brian Boyle. A former 1st rounder that the Rangers signed to a one year deal last offseason. I’d go for him if possible.

    Our defensive prospects are the positive of the team going forward. It’s going to be really tough, though, finding ice time for both Subban and Webber. Two right handed, offensively gifted, but defensively learning defensemen on the same defense corps could be trouble. Spacek is only getting worse, and despite his impressive playoffs, I’m not a big fan of his game. I always liked Hammer, but he needs to be used better – i.e. not on the PP.


  15. Y says:

    I’ve all but resigned myself to the fact that this team will be gone come Saturday morning.

    I wonder what this team could have accomplished had they been together for an entire season.

    In a way they did exceed expectations in making the playoffs – I seem to recall every “expert” writing them off before the season began and writing obituaries after #79 went down.

    Halak is one of the main reasons this team even made it to the playoffs and it’s going to be sad to see him go this summer.


    Looking forward to October!

  16. Bob Barker says:

    I have two things to say. First, pointing fingers isn’t going to get us anywhere. 

    Second, this is absolutely Roman Hamrlik’s fault. He doesn’t get paid $5.5 million to make ridiculously stupid plays with seconds left in the period. Again a SHG ends up swinging the momentum. He should absolutely be bought out to free up cap space in the offseason.  

  17. smiler2729 says:

    Goalie: Sorry to offend the majority here but Carey Price is the goalie and Jaro Halak is a pleasant stopgap while Price gets his maturity together. Halak’s less than brave face in the pressure of trying to clinch (vs. sub-par teams!) and just plain embarrassing performance Saturday and Monday may have devalued him as trade bait but I’m sure there are GMs out there dumb enough to still believe in Huet Part Deux. Oh yeah, I sign Marty Turco to help Price find his way.

    Defence: P.K.’s time has come, Hamrlik’s has ended. I keep Gill, name Gorges captain and play O’Byrne until he becomes Chris Pronger Light. I shop Markov to see what I can fetch for Malakhov Version 2.0.

    Forwards: I re-sign Moore and Metropolit. I dump Lapierre and try to find the right mix of 3rd and 4th liners to complement Moen. Talbot, Armstrong, Malhotra types. I try to swing a blockbuster with Calgary to see if Jarome Iginla’s needing a change of scenery is indeed true (hey, they dealt Phaneuf for chump change, why not?)

    Coaching: I teach Kirk Muller french so he becomes head coach and the team takes on his persona and opponents hate to play them relentless hard-working Habs!

  18. JIMVINNY says:

    PK scores the OT winner and Hamilton goes up 3-1 in the series.

  19. SeriousFan09 says:

    Except Crosby wouldn’t do that specifically because he is Crosby. Cooke doing it solves nothing, a cheap shot bum going after a superstar who needs his ego reigned in won’t change anything either.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  20. smiler2729 says:

    Fined? The guy makes a GA-zillion dollars a year and still doesn’t have the class to buy a tooth…. naw, somebody, sometime, somewhere is gonna get that ego-monster-moron. Maybe Matt Cooke, probably Sidney Crosby. Crosby is a million times the player and man that Ovenchicken is.

  21. dicktracy says:

     *sign both if possible but trade one before the deadline…i’m guessing Halak

    * get rid of the Hammer, buy him out or pay some of his salary for a trade. Also trade either Spacek/ and or Gill

    * bring up and stick with the kids from the farm.

    * lowball Pouliot and sign SK to a large raise for 1 or 2 years. Keep AK..for a while.

    Fire PG and JM

  22. J. Ambrose says:

    p.s. Mike, don’t be shy. I think we’d all be curious to know which moves you would make. Seize the power!

  23. SeriousFan09 says:

    I don’t think you are, I don’t think anyone is, I’m just making the case for why i don’t see how trading Markov becomes a win for the team.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  24. SeriousFan09 says:

    Unless they fine him about a million dollars he won’t notice it.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  25. subdoxastic says:

    I’m not trying to pick a fight on what is obviously a less than stellar night for habs fans, but you do realize that you personally attack Price in your missive, right?

    And then ask others to accord you the respect adults give each other, and not attack you personally– like children are wont to do.

    I’ve no interest in engaging in a goalie debate (this site is rife with the rantings of both goalies’ supporters). And I don’t want to engage in any maudlin or maniacal discussion vis a vis optimism vs. pessimism for the future of the team.

    Just wanted to point out the double standard.


  26. PattyBoy31 says:

    I believe Ovechkin should be fined for snowing the kid carrying the flag. Just sayin…

  27. smiler2729 says:

    I cannot thoughtfully reply to your articulate post-rant because if I did, I would be mentioning or “defending” some players, that as soon as their names are mentioned here, set off some weird cosmic stupid reaction where I would get called all kinds of names for not thinking along the lines of the majority.

    Oh crap, I sound like Bugs.

  28. SUMO says:

    You make a good point abt Cammalleri and Gionta, they are both essentially the same-type of player. Smallish snipers. Keep one but not both. This should free up $$ for Pleks.

    I like Pouliot and still believe in him. It would be nice if we could get another big body upfront with some hands.

    Next years D will feature either Weber or Subban but not both. They are both right-handed shots and could replace MAB’s canon.

    The goalie situation has been resloved. bye-bye Jaro. We need an experienced back-up.


  29. dicktracy says:


    So far the Habs and Caps have played for: total Periods = 12 + 2 ot

    Habs win 6 periods, tie 2 periods, lose 4 periods, ot = 1+1

    Reasons for series disparity could include a) refing b) coaching c) goaltending d) others

    Anyway ‘in my opinion’ remembering that the Habs are the `16th’ place team and are playing the 1st place team, that they are in fact this close…then they are very close to a huge breakthrough. re: Islanders N.Y. 1979-80: Oilers, Edmonton 1983-84

    Ya got some work to do but I believe.

  30. smiler2729 says:

    I’m not a Hamrlik lover like you think from these posts, I was just making a point.

  31. kempie says:

    you are baked

  32. smiler2729 says:

    I’m not defending Hammer with the two assist thing, I’m just pointing out how stats mislead.


  33. J. Ambrose says:

    Alright, now that its clear that this season is “in the books” (my apologies to the eternally optimistic out there — please skip this posting), time for us all to play couch-GM’s. Which changes would you make off-season? Here are a few starter points to get you thinking:

    • Goal: do you try to keep both young goalies and, like this year, see if one can wrestle the starter’s throne from the other, and thus invite another season of bickering on the forums and in the bars? Or do you sign an offer sheet and then trade one away? If so, which?
    • Defense: do you bring Subban, Weber, and perhaps even Carle up next year, and if so, who do you move to make room? I’m betting Hammer is the popular choice here, but remember his contract won’t be easy to unload, and he was invaluable early in the season while Marky was out. Is there still a place for MAB anymore? Who stays?
    • Forwards: clearly we need more muscle and grit up front, so who do you try to move to make room? Is there a place on the same team for two wingers so similar as Cammy and Gionta? Do you give Pouliot another shot at regaining the form he showed when he first came over? And how about the Bewlay, er, Belo Brothers? Andrei’s numbers have steadily dropped over the last two seasons? Do you want to gamble that he’ll return to his 53-point ways? And do you bet on Sergei having an attitude replacement and finally realizing his immense potential? Or do you see what you can get for them, and say adios? Or split them up and keep one? Is Moen worth keepin g around? Who stays? Who goes (if you can move them)?
    • Coaching: Jackie was clearly brought in to give stability to a team rocked by scandal, in-fighting, and wholesale changes, and he succeeded. He exudes calm (to the point of somnambulism) and is clearly an expert in x’s and o’s instruction. But he lacks in-game creativity and improvisational, thinking-on-your-feet flair, not to mention an inspirational visual passion. Is it too early to offer Boucher the big league job? Or is it time to promote Muller? Or do you give Jackie one more year with a more well-rounded club of his choosing (in consultation with Gauthier, of course).

    There you have it. You are the new GM. What are your first moves?

  34. ProHabs says:

    I don’t think management considers Sergei or OB throughbreds.

  35. usversusthem says:

    Empty net goals against are still goals against. If those players racking up empty net goal minuses had been racking up pluses instead we might be looking at a 2-2 series right now. 

  36. nova scotia vees says:

    Short-handed goal…what a killer.  Are we the dumbest team in hockey??  Who doesn’t understand the importance of getting out of the second up 2-1…Hamrlik, obviously..

    Price…not good enough.  He always breaks your heart.  Can make good saves and then goal #4…Carey can’t find puck and leaves the net wide-open.   Then throws a tandrem…. Bye, bye Carey…

    Jacques Martin….please fire him!  Pulling the goalie with 2:35 to go…OMG…with their face-off dominance all series, and the Retchkin line on…clueless….

    Too bad boys…many of you played your hearts out, only to be undone by idiotic mistakes and stupid coaching.



  37. SUMO says:

    When the Caps strategy in Game 2 appeared to be to crash then JM should have gone to OB for Game 3. It was after a loss and a tweak in the line-up was needed. Especially when it became apparent the Caps started to pick up on MAB as the weak link. (This really should put to bed any debate on MAB as a top-4 DMAN or his return to to the Habs next year)

    Also, I like Price’s reaction tonite. He cares and wants to win. Was it immature? Yes but its that competitive fire that many have questioned abt him that this move answered.

    Next season PK Subban AND Yannick Weber are both right-handed shots and could do just fine launching one-timers. My money is on Weber. I really think the Habs mgt will be patient on PK as he is easily our best prospect in the organization, regardless of what hockeysfuture.com thinks.

  38. SeriousFan09 says:

    What’s the motivation for the other team to deal that guy for ours (of which there are maybe 10 like him in the NHL) Every guy on Markov’s grade is either older or younger and most of these teams aren’t going to trade their younger guy for the older guy without serious concessions and the older guys have shorter shelf lifes and we’d have to hope they don’t degenerate into what Hamrlik is for us now after 2 years or so.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  39. ooder says:

    i just thought of the sheer stupidity of constantly benching SK and OB

    they are young players who montreal should work with and build thier core.

    A great 2 way forward, who is fast, can take a hit and has great vision and skill.

    A 6″6 defense men who is the only one on the habs who can throw a hit and can punish the oponent physically.

    instead, JM and his agenda play career AHLers like Darche and completly one dimensional players like MAB over these two.

    Darche played for 3 freakin minutes in game 3. do you honestly think sk couldn’t have played more and better???

    Hamrlik clearly can’t keep up anymore… so scratch O’Byrne?!?!? why not play cammy or sk74 on the point.. why keep trying the same failed recipe over and over again… when have the second wave of d-men ever created a goal on the PP?

    i am so frustrated that the guys whould should be developing and gathering experience are getting the short end of the stick

    and then we wonder why we have to over pay for free agents.


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  40. sisu says:

    This series was won years ago.  2003 through 2006, to be exact.

    Over this period, one club went 52-87-22-3 (.460), and for its efforts was rewarded with Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.  The other team went 83-61-16-4 (.567) and was rewarded with Kyle Chipchura and David Fischer.

    The key to NHL success: be sufficiently awful in the most opportune years.

  41. SeriousFan09 says:

    Gionta wouldn’t have given us the go-ahead goal if not for Markov’s work on the PP. It was Hamrlik that threw this game away for us. Markov did not make a game-breaking error that switched the whole game against Montreal in this playoff series at any time, Hamrlik’s been giving the game away every time he’s been on the ice. Markov was all over the ice tonight trying to make offence happen as well.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  42. gmd says:

    For the next game, keep O’Byrne in, sit Hamrlik, and move Spacek back to his normal side. No need for MAB to play since the PP has been crap of late.  Start Price.

  43. Wops says:

    The Markov stat with the minus is bogus, 2 empty nets…. same with all the players that were on the ice.

  44. doug says:

    I didn’t like the team as designed in the off-season.  It’s been better than I thought it would be, but not good enough.  The problem is we’re stuck with it and can’t do anything with the cap.

    As for Carey, I prefer Jaro.  Carey will likely stay, but I really do not like the guy’s personality.  Laid back and boring at times and juvenile at others.  I find it hard to cheer for him, and that’s a first for me for a Habs player.  I also just don’t trust him – am always on edge when he’s playing.  Bad karma, bad luck, bad positioning, bad (young) age, or bad head. . . he’s not where we need him to be whether that is our total mismanagement and premature anointment of him or his own fault.  I think it’s more of the former.

    As for the future, say goodbye to Pleks.  He won’t sign to be the top forward on this team because he can get paid more elsewhere and without the headache.  I watch Nashville and those guys have such a fun team.  We are what we are and Pleks is quite aware of who he’ll be playing with because if he gets $5M then it’s Gionta, Gomez, Cammalleri, and him for the next four years, and the first two are just getting older.  Oh, and we have lost SKost for whatever reason so he’ll go and we’ll get less out of his brother until he leaves.  Dumb.  No sense of people management.

    I wanted to use our cap space more wisely but we didn’t.  Now I want a rebuild by selling off the parts Toronto style (but while keeping the draft picks, dumbo).  I also want Boucher to coach.  But we just signed Gauthier – he of the short-sided Moore trade (he’s been a revelation, but a rental for a second round pick shows nobody gets how far off we are), we’re paying Carbo and Martin has 3 more years on the books.  So I see no reason for optimism.  I didn’t July 15th and I don’t now.  This is unprecedented for me because the cap is new and because we mismanaged it.

    End rant.  Thoughtful replies only, please.  I don’t need vitriol and personal attacks from children. 

  45. smiler2729 says:

    If 29 other GMs are salivating over him, well then, let’s see if we can’t get somebody just as puckmoving and defensive BUT with more burning desire to win. Just an opinion, eh, one which I always get crapped on for.

  46. Propwash says:

    You sir.. deserve a beer


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  47. sidhu says:

    You mean 3 more games 🙂

  48. smiler2729 says:

    Oh man, Markov is soooo overvalued here

  49. hockeydoc says:

    rarely does a team that backs into the playoffs make it past the first round. i still wonder where we would be now if we had played the last week of the season and drawn buffalo????????????????????????

  50. Born in a Bad Year says:

    Only Sergei and O’Byrne in the positive for the series.  Better bench them.

    SK on a top line must make sense to everyone in the universe except JM.

    In one game O’Byrne outhit or tied every Hab for hits in the SERIES except Gorges, one more hit and he would have tied Gorges for the most hits on the team.  If JM had let him take a regular shift instead of MAB he would have easily had the most hits this series.  IN ONE GAME.  But no, we have had so much success with our offensive spark lineup.  The constant for this crappy run of games we have had was MAB played poorly defensively when we got behind, which of course made JM put him out more to try to score goals. 

    O’Byrne passed Spacek for shots on net and is tied with Hamerlik. In one game.

    Let no good play go unpunished.

    I wish SK and O’Byrne the best and look forward to their success on what ever teams are lucky enough to pick them up for nothing after JM is finished trying to screw them over.

  51. sidhu says:

    I like SK a lot, but he’s a guy who won’t get a fair shot in Montreal, he’s better off going elsewhere, where he’ll get minutes and score 20 or so.


  52. SeriousFan09 says:

    At this point, naming a Captain is a meaningless stunt that won’t change anything. Next training camp, Gionta will have a C on his jersey I’m sure though.

    Markov, I still don’t like putting too much pressure on what he’s done this year. Realistically, a skating defencemen who spends months recovering from a tendon injury that seriously impacts the most essential part of his game is not going to be perfect for the rest of the year. Tonight, he did all he could offensively to make things happen I think and assisted on a big goal for us. His having to spend games 1-3 propping up MAB was a waste of his talents and overworked a guy who hasn’t been 100% this season. At the end as well, it comes down to the fact that there is no free agent to replace him and he’s a giant part of our blue line and generally, he is the team MVP in any full season. I think next season, we’ll more a Markov we’re more used to seeing, rather than the flashes we’ve had this year.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  53. sidhu says:

    Guys I do not want to see in a Habs uniform next season:

    Spacek (nice guy, too expensive)

  54. Kingofswing74 says:

    yeah hes insane. i dont get it

  55. JustSomeguy says:

    This team, at least, is emphatically not rolling over and playing dead like the ’09 team.

    And, frankly, with some good, young d-men coming along, Hamrlik and MAB can both be shown the door … next  year’s team will be better. O’Byrne should be the physical presence in front of the net Hamrlik isn’t, and Subban has a far better understanding on when to dive-bomb the offensive zone, and when not to, than MAB has ever had.

    And then the Habs just have to find a way to shed Gomez’s monumentally bad contract to free up some cap space.

  56. Propwash says:

    We still have 1 more left. Stranger things have happened….


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  57. light_n_tasty says:

    Boone…kinda misleading “-2” for Markov in the third period.  Yes, he was on for both empty net goals.  That’s where he got his -2.  I’m not really sure that stat is any kind of comment on Markov’s play.

  58. MikeL says:

    Where he fits? Is that a joke?

  59. smiler2729 says:

    Good ALN, Boone.

    Tonight showed us (or rather those of us who want to look) of what next year’s Habs will be and won’t be.

    They will have a never say die attitude led by Brian Gionta (is he amazing with his baseball bat quick stick or what?) and Mike Cammalleri (all heart and SOUL),  they will have a younger defence (O’Byrne tonight proved what I thought all year, he is now where Mike Komisarek was in 2006, on the verge of mattering big time) and hopefully with a veteran presence as a partner (please sign Marty Turco!) Carey Price can start putting it all together.

    I always wonder where Andrei Markov fits in when his playoff performances are done.

    And also for Butch Bouchard’s sake, let’s name a CAPTAIN! Gionta, Gorges, Gill, someone!

  60. MikeL says:

    I ranted to a buddy of mine a few days ago about Roman Hamrlik constantly getting caught pinching or turning it over on the PP. It happens all the time. Pretty sure 3 different times this series which led to a goal. Why can’t Josh Gorges play that point? It’s not like Hammer is a PP force for the 45 seconds he’s out there.

    I actually think he’s slower skating back after an error than when he has the puck skating forward. I don’t think he could catch Georges Laraque.

  61. Kingofswing74 says:

    roman hamrlik is the reason we lost that game. every member of the team played 2 perfect periods, and they had the capitals by the balls. but then hamrlik, the “seasoned vet” makes a lazy stupid ridiculous play and reminded goliath how powerful he can be. the canadiens one mistake in 40 minutes came from the most overpayed useless defenseman on the team. and you cant make one mistake against the capitals. they should scratch hamrlik next game. sergei would have been scratched had it been him, and he was on fire. for 20 minutes. until JM put his fire out by playing him for 8 minutes all game. its like JM is actually an idiot.

  62. PeterD says:

    For god sake put MAB in the press box for the next game…he is nothing but a defensive liability out there…keep O’B  We need size on our back end and not MAB’s liabilities.  I don’t care if he has a shot or not, and he has done nothing on the power play…besides he won’t be with us next year so move on and take a chance with real defencemen.

  63. SeriousFan09 says:

    Who takes over for him if he goes? Nobody, that’s who. Who can we sign to replace him? No one of his quality is UFA this season and they’d want 7 million minimum likely to play here anyway. Markov is easily the best defencemen on this team and his 50, 60 point seasons as a defencemen can’t be replaced by anyone we can easily acquire.



    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  64. smiler2729 says:

    Hamrlik got 2 assists tonight… yet basically screwed the whole game up by his last second mistake SH’d in the 2nd.

    Where’s the love for Hammer? But Markov continues to get the accolades when he has consistently NOT shown up en force in the playoffs. Even Plekanec ahs elevated his playoff game from little girl to big girl this season.

    I don’t get this constant affection for Markov, yes, talented in unseen, underappreciated defensive ways BUT invisible a-la-Malakhov when NEEDED MOST.

  65. ooder says:

    i just watched the ovechkin goal (the 2nd one) and wtf was pouliot watching while semin was skating with the puck..


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  66. zozotheclown says:

    Got back from the game a little while ago, it was a good game to watch overall, just a bad ending. We dominated the play for most of the first two periods but that tying shorthanded goal with 6 sec left in the 2nd really broke our spirit, how could it not. At least we showed some fight after that, but you could tell it wasn’t the same team playing.

    One thing to note, although we dominated the shot count after 2, the game wasn’t THAT lopsided, we shot from everywhere, and most of the shots were harmless. Although both teams shot from everywhere, I think alot of our shots just lacked speed or accuracy, the caps pick corners when given the chance, we gave Varly a few too many easy ones, but still were the better team after two.

    Hammer had an awful game, that goal to me crippled our chances in the game and series, and he was the D who blew coverage, not to mention he or MAB weren’t very good on the 4th. Finding a buyer would be great in the summer, free cap room and make a spot for Subban, plus Spatch could go on his usual side, won’t eb easy to find takers at that price though.

    Speaking of Price, he was good, made good saves, but we needed spectacular. Varlamov was spectacular for much of the 2nd, we made it easy sometimes, but he also made some big glove saves. Its unfair to constantly expect that from our goaltenders, but for us to beat Wsh we need spectacular, not average. That said, not much chance on any goal, very untimely D breakdowns. I would go with Halak next game if only to thank him for getting us to the show, since I think the dance is over at this point.

    Ovy is a talented player but a HUGE asswipe for stuff like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzta6AESBEU. I really hope someone gets him for it, but it probably won’t be us. On the topic of immaturity, not a fan of the Price penalties. Its his 3rd playoffs, time to grow up, shooting the puck at celebrating players? It wasn’t even a dirty goal or anything, no reason for that, I know he’s just frustrated, but technically theres still a chance to come back at that point, technically… It’s better then flipping off fans I guess, but not by much.  

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