About last night …

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Shall we start with the positives?
Sure.
Why not?
The Canadiens are 1-2-1 against teams that missed the playoffs last season.
Gotta look for the silver lining.

• Max Pacioretty, celebrating a goal in Allen McInnis‘s Gazette photo, had eight shots on goal. He played on a physical, exciting forward line with  Andrei Kostitsyn (two shots, four hits) and the wizardly David Desharnais, whose 18:34 ToI at even-strength was high among Canadiens’ centres.

• Erik Cole played his best game as a Canadien. Cole had six hits (high on both teams) and made several clever plays along the boards and behind the Colorado net. He combined with Tomas Plekanec (four SoG) to form another forward line that brought the fans out of their seats several times last night.

• Brian Gionta had a goal, two assists and five S0G playing on what was the Canadiens’ third line.

• 10 players made the scoresheet.

• The Canadiens had 43 SoG  and they weren’t all from the perimeter. That’s after 36 shots against Calgary, 32 against Toronto. The Canadiens have outshot their opponents in three of four games.

• The Canadiens scored five goals twice in a week. They reached or exceeded that total seven times all of last season – and only once over the last 27 games of the season.

The team seems to have three lines that can score. And the fire power will increase exponentially when Michael Cammalleri returns. Cammalleri would have had a hat trick last night with the chances Travis Moen was getting on the Scott Gomez line.

As for preventing goals …

Ah, do we really have to discuss that?

It’s Sunday. Can’t we just crack a cold one and watch football.

I guess not, eh?

As we waited outside the Canadiens room after the game last night, I had a chat with Ron Reusch, who has seen a lot of Canadiens hockey games.

“Did you think going into the season that Hal Gill and P.K. Subban would be the team’s worst defencemen?” the wise old owl asked.

My reply was “Did you think we’d be looking forward to the return of Jaroslav Spacek?”

Here’s today’s challenge: Think of a metaphor to describe how inept the Canadiens’ D has been.

I’ll get you started with a personal favourite: softer than a ballet slipper full of wet cow flop.

Alexei Emelin – who was, along with Raphael Diaz, the least awful of the Dmen – had four hits last night.  Diaz had one, as did P.K. Subban.

Gorges, Gill and Yannick Weber combined for ZERO hits.

Because the Canadiens D is undersized – Gill plays like he’s 5’10″ – and lack sand, opponents throw the puck around and glide into good scoring positions without fear of paying any physical price in the Canadiens’ zone.

Emelin will hit. But we can’t expect Diaz and Weber to morph into Ed Van Impe and Scott Stevens.

Carey Price was not good last night. Except for the Winnipeg game, he hasn’t been good this season … and the Paul Stastny breakaway goal, off that egregious turnover by P.K., was a harbinger of what we saw in the Shootout.

Remember that Price quote about how happy he was to spoil the Jets’ party?

Karma has been biting The Franchise in the ass through the two games since.

But Price is playing behind what’s looking like one of the worst Ds in the league. And this week’s schedule includes Buffalo and Pittsburgh.

The absence of Andrei Markov is a killer, of course. So was the preseason injury to Chris Campoli.

I hate to say I told you so …

Wait, that’s BS. I LOVE to say I told you so.

But you don’t have to be Scotty Bowman or Tony Marinaro to realize Roman Hamrlik would look awfully good eating up minutes on the Canadiens’ blueline right now.

Washington gave Hamrlik a two-year contract at $3.5 million per – $2 million less than he made here for carrying the D through Markov’s absences.

Calgary got four goals on 21 shots, Colorado five on 30.

Again, Price has not been stellar. But playing against the Canadiens’ vanilla defence, opponents are getting a whole lot of good looks at the net. And forwards at this level bury their chances.

Buffalo, at Pittsburgh, Toronto.

And it doesn’t get easier: Philadelphia at home and at Boston back-to-back, then Bruins at the Bell Centre to round out the month.

And if the Canadiens enter November in the nether regions of the Eastern Conference and needing a win streak to rejoin the leaders …

Hey, it’s Sunday.

Are you ready for some football?

How about a pick-me-up from Yoshi:

347 Comments

  1. adamkennelly says:

    time for the Habs brass to make a big boy decision….Gomez needs to be sent down…its over…none of us are blind- he is completely ineffective…tries the same things over and over again with zero results…pray that someone grabs him on re-entry or call it a day…

    • NightRyder says:

      I’d like to call out the Montreal media a little bit.

      How is it possible that every single press conference doesn’t include a non-stop series of “how the hell do you play this pud when he has four goals in 66 games?” questions at Martin?

      How is it not possible that we don’t see a series of “this pud hasn’t scored in 36 games and makes $7.4M a year” columns?

      See if Phoenix will give us Kyle Turris and one of their shitty contracts in return.

      • ProHabs says:

        I know. Even in Boone’s live blogs during the game, almost all the time you see the “Gomez is having a good game” at some point. Really???? When was the last time he had a good game. The media likes their access to the dressing room, their free hot-dogs and the free Molsons so they wouldn’t say or write anything to compromise that.

      • Everlasting1 says:

        I would pay serious money to any reporter in posing that question (‘pud’ included) to JM. Kovalev was benched for less.

        ——————————————————————-
        When the Hebrew scouts investigate the Promised Land of Canaan and return to discourage the other Hebrews from entering it..”We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” [Numbers 13:33]

        “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

        • NightRyder says:

          I don’t think criticizing Gomez would compromise Boone’s access to hot dogs. I think it has more to do with Gomez often looking pretty out there but accomplishing squat.

          “Ooh, that was a nice rush (that ended up with nothing).”
          “Ooh, Gomez sure has that puck on a string (as he carries it harmlessly into the corner).”
          “Wow, look at him float that saucer pass through three sets of legs (and result in a big zippo).”
          “Ooh, Gomez sure is chirping at (random big guy who he would never fight). What a leader”

          The guy is a $7.4M passenger. I’d rather struggle through an entire season of mistakes from Desharnais or Eller or Louis LeBlanc or any other warm body to see if we have anything there for the future.

  2. ProHabs says:

    Is the Derrick Brassard deal to the Habs going to happen today. It would be nice to see him in a Habs jersey and take the place of Gomez. Gomez provides no offence at all. Unless he really changes his game and turns into a Guy Carbonneau defensive wizard, he is useless to the team. Get rid of him.

  3. SmartDog says:

    LOL – from NightRyder below… sad but true!

    In his last 66 outings, (Gomez) has FOUR goals, the same amount 18-year-old Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has in his first THREE games in the NHL. Noted sniper Hal Gill has two goals since Gomez last tallied. Carey Price is more of a threat to score a goal. Gilles Lupien’s left nut could probably rattle one in if given Gomez’s ice time.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • HardHabits says:

      I’ll have you know that Gomez is a +0, not a -0, has 1 point (a second assist no doubt) in the 4 games he’s played (which translates to 20 points over the course of a season) and is 50.7% in the face-off circle.

      I mean c’mon. That’s new and improved. For Gomez at any rate.

      Can you say buried in the minors next season? I can.

      • ooder says:

        why next season?

        ——————
        The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

        • HardHabits says:

          Habs need to still try and shop him at the deadline and if all else fails, over the summer. Maybe some team wants to give up a 10th round draft pick in 2024 or something.

          • ooder says:

            lol shop him…good luck with that… i can only imagine the reaction on this site if this guy gets ressigned by the habs when his contract expires lol

            ——————
            The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

          • PeriodPain says:

            Noone will take him. gonna have to eat that contract

    • NightRyder says:

      Wonder how much ice time JM would give Lupien’s left nut?

  4. slychard says:

    RDS mentioned Woywitka was put on waivers to save cap $ and how we could use him now. I mentioned Mara few days ago for his grit and size. Pathetic. We are dreaming of shoaring up our defense by scraping left overs at the bottom of the barrel.

  5. Neutral says:

    Here’s the lines I’d like to see when Cammalleri comes back;

    1. Cammalleri Plekanec Gionta

    2. Eller Gomez Cole

    3. Pacioretty Desharnais Kostitsyn (keep these guys together what ever line there on)

    4. Moen Darche Endqvist/ Palushaj

    Gionta has to get away from Gomez, maybe Cole can smarten him up, he’s the new guy on the block.

    • SPATS says:

      This is more realistic (& a few weeks or more away for Whitey)
      Pleks, Cammy, Eller
      Gomer, Gio, Cole
      AK, MaxPac, DD
      Moen, Darche, White

      OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

  6. rhino514 says:

    Who sits when Mrkov comes back?

    Of the three candidates, Diaz is playing the best.
    Emelin is the biggest guy on a small defence. Not playing great, but not playing terrible, either.
    Spacek probably the weakest of the three right now but probably the most reliable in pressure situations, as a veterean.
    I love Weber´s shot but with Markov, Subban, and Diaz you have three offensive defensemen, and Diaz seems to be slightly better defensively and a better outlet passer than Weber.

    And can Campoli unseat any of the top six when he comes back? As it stands now I would say no. Why did they sign him? Just to push themselves up against the cap? I think that Diaz and Yemelin are good enough to take a risk on in the early stages and we wouldn´t be seeing one of them play, (nor either one once spacek is back, probably) if he hadn´t been injured. It´s not as if they grade C prospects, and Campoli is that good.

    Get used to the firepower we saw last night. There are 3 good lines. Heck, Darche is stuck on the fourth line! If Markov comes back at even 70% of his former self, and no major injuries take place, this is one heck of a team.

    • SmartDog says:

      This is a problem we can only hope for. I’d say Diaz and Emelin take turns in the press box. Both have strengths we can use, but are adapting.

      Darche belongs on the 4th line (at best). One thing I’ve noticed about him is though he does some things well, he doesn’t have the focus or patience around the net. He panics, his passes aren’t great, he skates over the puck. Maybe he’s been watching Gomez too closely.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Glad you were able to find a way to take your daily shot at Gomez, loved the subtlety.

        • HardHabits says:

          You mean SD’s hourly shot. I was going to say minutely but didn’t want to confuse people thinking I was talking about the Habs forwards.

        • SmartDog says:

          Nothing subtle about my hatred of dead weight on the team.
          Pleks had a bad year. Spoke about it ONCE – came back and has been a solid player since with 100% effort every shift.

          Gomez had a bad… well, let’s just talk about last year. Apologized several times and kept saying he’d be better (but wasn’t), and then did a BIG apology at the end of the year. And what have we seen? No difference. As the post above says, Hal Gill has scored twice since Gomez potted his last goal. He shoots more (but can’t score), he floats the same, hides behind the net.

          You guys that believe Gomez belongs on this team are in fantasyland. On top of being a huge waste of money and a 2nd rate player, the guy has no integrity.

          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Why are we worring about next year.

      Mr. Biter

  7. SmartDog says:

    I’ve been getting CRAP for being NEGATIVE lately.

    Alright, here’s something POSITIVE:

    1. After what happened last year, nothing makes me much happier than to see Patches do his scoring celebration again. And though it wasn’t fancy, it was a very good goal. Not many guys have the patience and focus he showed. He stood his ground on the first shot, waited for the rebound, and put it through the one hole there was. Awesome goal!

    2. Those were GOOD forward lines. And everyone here seems to agree! How freakin’ rare is that? You know what this means? JM is gonna break ‘em up as fast as you can say ‘defensive system’.

    3. I agree with the poster who suggested Price’s focus may be elsewhere and that could the main problem. Not getting overly dramatic on this one, but before Tigergate, Tiger stumbled seriously for about a year. When? Just after he got married. Players personal lives nedd to be stable, and worked out in a way that is not too connected with their playing lives, but supportive. Players who have conflicts, too much involvement, or a dramatic change in situation… it shows. It’s all about focus.

    Ultimately, sure I’m worried about our D (and Subban needs to take a stroll along the Lachine canal with Bob), but I’m glad to see the boys scoring, and as much as it sucked to lose, we got a point, and there were some real positives up front.

    SD

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Sal says:

      Well said. JM messing with lines that are going good to address lines that are not, is for me THE most annoying trait he has as a coach. There are others, but, that tops the list. You know he’s going to mess with the lines, and make the situation worse. Frustrating!!

      Sal from the Hammer

  8. SPATS says:

    At the beginning of the cbc telecast last night, they showed players arriving at the Bell center in their suits. The only one who wasn’t alone… Carey Price. And, gotta add, his gal pal is a distraction to any living breathing hetero man. Totally understandable that he’s not getting enough rest. He’ll bounce back soon enuff

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

  9. Mikey_39 says:

    I think the habs should start solidifying their line up and make less changes to the lines so the boys can find chemistry between them. As of right now I can think of 3 duos that should stick together because they definitely have chemistry

    1)Plecky and Cammy…No doubt here, they play well together, they’ve been partners since Cammalleri came to montreal and it should stay that way.

    2)Desharnais and Pacioretty…Together they were on fire last year in the AHL and it earned both of them a spot on the Habs roster. After being re-united last night, it’s so obvious that they definitely should be paired together for at least a couple of weeks to see if the chemistry will last.

    3)Eller and Kostitsyn….They showed they work well together last season. JM should pair them up and see if it’ll work out

    As for Cole, Gionta and Gomez, it’s just a matter of trying them on different lines to see which line they compliment best. I won’t give my ideal lines because my ideal lines have Gomez sitting a couple out which won’t happen

  10. Shane1313 says:

    Love the vid Boone thanks!

  11. JM should keep these line together for awhile. Just have to wait and see what line combinations are going to be next. I did not see the game last night. Playing cards and a few socialables. I would like to see these lines remain same until Cammy comes back.

    1st Line – Eller – Plekanec – Cole
    2nd Line – Pacioretty – Deharnais – A. Kostitsyn
    3rd Line – Moen/Cammalleri – Gomez – Gionta
    4th Line – Darche – Engqvist – Palushaj/Moen

    What about a 3rd line of Cammalleri – Gomez – Gionta. That should light a fire under these 3 to start scoring in bunches. I think having two big wingers on the top two lines will create more scoring chances and make the other teams trying to adjust to Habs 3rd line which will be a threat everytime they are on the ice. it is worth a try for a few games to see how they will do and maybe this is what the doctor ordered.

    I think JM can roll 3 lines and use the 4th line for 6 to 10 minutes a game. I think this is a great opportunity for the 3rd line to match up to any 3rd line on a given night. What do you all think? Personally I think it would be harder for other teams to match up against a line up line that?

    Go Habs Go!!!! Go Habs Go!!!

  12. Tony McLean says:

    Carey Price serves up more pies than Farmboy.
    ———————————-
    What does it say on Bob Gainey’s office door?
    “Larry Robinson not welcome.”

  13. Propwash says:

    So, Ted Bird, Abe Hefter and others did a great live broadcast online with chat. They do the show every Sunday and to me, it would be cool to see Boone join in on the odd occasion for commentary. I suggest everyone check it out next week. Lots of fun interacting with those guys.
    http://habstalkradio.com/ted-bird-and-abe-hefter/

  14. Hobie Hansen says:

    I like how they experimented with Eller on the wing last night.

    Unless Gomez retires or gets traded or gets sent down, Eller can’t play center.

    Desharnais is just too small to play on the wing and plays much better at center. And you can’t really have Desharnais or Eller as your 4th line center.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Initially I was frustrated with Eller being moved to Wing from center, but on the right line and given enough time he could/can do well on wing. You are correct that DD needs to be at center.

      Agree with you Hobie.

    • savethepuck says:

      I was timid about him being on the wing to start the season too because that didn’t work out too well for him last year when they tried it. But then I thought, they did that early in the year last year and he only looked less comfortable on the wing than he did at center. His game greatly improved last spring and I think he looks great on the wing now too. As for DD, I really liked the chemistry he had with MaxP and even AK. Everyone was complaining yesterday that Moen was in the top 6, but I think our top 6 last night was Plex, Cole. Eller- DD,MaxP, AK

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Almost all small forwards in the NHL play on the wing. The issue with playing DD at C is what we saw last night, Habs had to commit both AK and Pacioretty, two of their three of their scoring-capable big-body wingers to insulate him, that left Cole for the top lines and everyone’s favourite Top-6 solution, Moen!

      Eller is far more likely to be with this team in a year than DD and they need to develop him at his natural position which is as a centre.

      - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

    • Timo says:

      What about get injured? Why isn’t Gomer ever injured?

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    I don’t think the league tests for HGH, perhaps we get Diaz, Weber, Gorges and Campoli on some kind of Drago (Rocky4) type program. Just a thought.

  16. Anti JM says:

    A few things of note….

    Paccioretty and Desharnais are a good pair. I say let them play and don’t pull them apart.

    Emelin is starting to adjust. you can see it. I like his game.

    PK needs to simplfy his game and trust his linemates a little more. less is more. Eventually, it will benefit him more when he realizes how to “pace” his game…

    Webber also needs to just play D. He also seems to be “getting” it. .

  17. HardHabits says:

    The good news is PK Subban and Carey Price’s salary expectations will be a lot lower if they continue to play like they have been and negotiations should favour the Habs big time.

    You see people. It’s all part of the plan. Get the two biggest signings under your belt long term when your two biggest studs are crapping the bed. Make sure the environment is ripe for both of them to try and carry the team on their shoulders thus ensuring failure.

    Price could be had for Voukon money and PK for what Gorges is getting the way they’re playing.

  18. theflower says:

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  19. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Price will find his mojo, Subban will start looking at his team and not the crowd, and the show will be better. It’s the fun of having a lot of young players. They’ll settle down.
    It’s not a given they’ll be especially solid this year, even with Markov. The team needs a big, smart, crunching stay at home d-man who can skate. Gill is looking like a coach out there, both of the bus and bench varieties. Gorges is rusty, and hasn’t found his game yet. They’ll be back.

  20. LL says:

    Love the video Boone. It did pick me up.

    Now I’m off to meet my friends, the ultimate pick-me-up. ;)

  21. habs001 says:

    The last 2 years the habs scoring has been pathetic (23rd and 25th in the league) but now it looks like we have some scoring so lets not pull back into a defensive game but develop even more offense..Right now with the make up of our d(i believe there will be some changes by the end of the year) we are not the type of team that will win many grind out games that are 1-1 or 2-2 in the third. Scoring is hard to find but adding a tough d man is easier…Seidenberg,Mcquaid,Ference and Boychuk were all added by the bruins thru trades…Right now we need Price to make saves on shots that if they go in he cannot be blamed for(the colorado goalie did that yesterday)..it is early and no doubt his .88 sv% will improve greatly..

    • Timo says:

      I would hold off on declaring we have some scoring. So far we played teams who can barely spell “defense”. I would wait until The Gelling is complete and we’ve played teams like Buffalo, Jersey, Bruins and Philly… heck, even leafs. We’ll see how the scoring stats hold up then.

  22. NightRyder says:

    Scott Gomez has ZERO goals in his last 36 games. (He is also a solid -13 in those games).

    In his last 66 outings, he has FOUR goals, the same amount 18-year-old Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has in his first THREE games in the NHL. Noted sniper Hal Gill has two goals since Gomez last tallied. Carey Price is more of a threat to score a goal. Gilles Lupien’s left nut could probably rattle one in if given Gomez’s ice time.

    Please join with me in my continued quest to have this boil on the posterior of the league’s most proud franchise lanced (or at least traded to Florida). Gomez would be terrible at $1.4M, let alone $7.4M.

    As I said yesterday, if you’re going to spit out the “intangibles” argument, I mock you openly. Let’s bring back Mike McPhee, Mike Keane and Brian Skrudland if we want leaders who can’t play a lick anymore.

    Gomez and his frilly and pointless twirls and dashes belong in Battle of the Blades, not this NHL roster.

    Thanks for listening. Talk among yourselves.

    • Timo says:

      Gomer is a problem for sure. But the bigger problem is the management that brought and keeps him here and the coach who keeps giving him a ridiculous amount of ice time. It all starts on top. Habs are rotten upstairs.

    • Sal says:

      Dude, i laffed my assoff. Well said, true, and entertaining!!

      Sal from the Hammer

    • LA Loyalist says:

      If we had Mike McPhee, Mike Keane and Brian Skrudland, throw in Craig Ludwig for fun while we are at it, even in their declining years, we wouldn’t be 1-2 and a loser point against crap teams.

      Keane or Skrudland would have bounced Gomez off a cinder-block wall in the parking lot by now and bitch-slapped him into next Tuesday.

      And that’s if they were in a good mood.

      That’s the problem with the passengers on this team. They don’t care, just cashin’ the cheque…

  23. TINMAN17 says:

    1.) How does Moen outplay Gionta and Gomez two nights in a row?
    2.) Does Price feel he has to play better than last year to compensate for our D-men?
    3.) Sorry, but is Cole gonna contribute at some point? Other than looking directly at the ref every time someone checks him. What’s the deal with his stick? He seems to drop it every other time he gets checked.
    4.) Love Gill, fellow Mass. native, but, press box time to lite a fire under his A. Anybody would look better, anybody.
    5.) Lars Eller looks fantastic.
    6.) Enquist and Palushaj seem to fit just fine and not make anyone including themselves look bad.
    7.) The season is very young, hopefully the D rounds in to form as it seems the Offense is getting it together before some tougher opponents.

    Born and Bred in Enemy Territory (Boston).

    • zaq007 says:

      1) I thought Gio played pretty well and Moen missed a few good opputunities (he did play well though!)
      2)He should
      3)Give him a few more games but yeah I know what you mean
      4)Pressbox for GIll and whose gunna take his place??
      5)Oh yeahhh
      6)I guess not looking bad is the same as not looking good?
      7)We’re missing 3 of our “starters” right now so it should!

      • TINMAN17 says:

        1) aside from the third period, Gio was outplayed by Moen, or so it looked on TV.
        4) Like I said, anybody. Bring up a kid from the A, just to show Gill more is expected from him.
        6.) I just meant they’re not calling attention to themselves with mistakes and that they look comfortable with Darche on the fourth Line.

        Born and Bred in Enemy Territory (Boston).

  24. Tony McLean
    October 16, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am

    The last year and a half, people have been comparing Jaroslav Halak to Steve Penney when they should have been comparing Carey Price!!!

    And after three games Halak is now the backup to Brain Elliot. Who then beat the SJ Sharks.

    I’ll take Price’s bad start over a little Walsh customer anytime.

    Soon as our team is back together Price will be ok. Most of us know that, but we know hockey.

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    hockey@sholi2000.com
    Ph- 204 724 8418

    • HardHabits says:

      Tony and E1 should just rent a room already.

        • Ian Cobb says:

          In answer to your post below Brian. Martin did stick with his lines last night, but my point is longer term. Will he stick and practice the same lines for Tue. Keep the same lines together for Tue. game and grow and practice some team chemistry.

          • Habfan4lfe says:

            Hopefully longer term his butt is off the bench. When will people wake and realize he sucks as a coach. He has to mix the lines up because his players can’t play his game. I think it’s more than obvious except for a blind person. And I’m not insulting blind people.

  25. Bripro says:

    So blow-hard wallpaper suit finally admitted he was wrong to throw Nilan and company “under the bus”.
    Does this mean I non longer have to worry about paying out good tax money to cover this bozo’s salary?

  26. Cam_1 says:

    Price is the least of my worries..he will get it together. The fact of the matter is we been a border line play off team the last two years. We could have just as easily not made the play offs the last two years. But Molson is blinded by play off success (which aint much) and thinks this team is headed in right direction. They are not..they are slipping. This team will be lucky to make play offs and they certainly will not make any noise in the play offs. The problem does start up top…sorry but its time PG and JM goes.

  27. savethepuck says:

    The 2 guys that are supposed to be getting the big franchise contracts next summer have to start playing better. They are supposed to be our 2 best players, and the way they are playing is showing on the score sheet. I don’t think PK has played a good game yet. I was hoping for at least the PK of last winter and spring and optimistic he may even be better with a years maturity. We are getting the PK of last fall, if not worse. He is making way too many turnovers every game. As for Price, I disagree with Boone a little, as I think he played OK against Toronto. The last 2 games, he was definitely not Carey though. Last night was much worse than Thursday. I’m not worried about him because all goaltenders go through short stints where they are not stellar, they have small bouts where they have problems with focus and confidence and there’s no apparent reason for it. He’s the guy that usually can mask our D mistakes, and the last 2 games, he’s not doing that.
    These 2 guys have to be our best players for this team to win games, and right now they are not.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • Favorite Son says:

      PK has to stop making individual plays and being selfish. He’s not above the team. PASS the puck sometimes! Starting to look like a sophomore slump…thought he didn’t know what that was.

  28. RockinRey says:

    Knew they would miss the Hammer, didn’t understand why they would not bring him back and try and unload Spacek. Can’t expect to integrate too many unproven guys like Diaz, Yemelin, and even Weber into the lineup without experiencing growing pains.

    The biggest concern now is not goin 3 and 7 to start the season because we all know how difficult it is to leap frog other teams later in the year with the 3 pointers.

  29. homerbowen says:

    We are undersized up front and on D. We lack grit, intensity and leadership. Coaching is “past due date” and upper management has no idea what’s passing them by. It looks as though this will be a very long and painful year. I have seen nothing to be excirted about.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      We are not undersized up front. Pacioretty, Cole, Kostitsyn, Eller and Moen are certainley not undersized. Gionta, Plekanec, Desharnais and Cammalleri usually make up for their lack of size with skill and speed. What we need is one big, strong stay-at-home dman. That´s it.

      You have seen nothing to be excited about? Then watch yesterday´s game. Habs were really good offensively.

      • RockinRey says:

        They need two big shut down guys! And they need some depth on the 3 , 4 lines. This team is incomplete at this point and is a bubble team . But I am always hopeful they can get it together.

        • Bob_Sacamano says:

          Depth in lines 3 and 4? Yesterday our third line was Moen Gomez Gionta. Certainly one of the better third lines in this league. Darche and White are also total fine for the fourth line as well as Palushaj when needed. We need a fourth line center (nothing fancy, someone like Blair Betts would have been alright) and one big and physical stay-at-home defenseman.

          • RockinRey says:

            The 3 and 4 lines dont match up against any elite team . Darche, Moen , palushaj, desharnais, Engqvist and eller as parts to comprise 3 and 4 lines dont strike fear into anyone. They are journeymen at best incapable at this point of being relied upon for anything significant over the long term . Anyone who believes that these guys are capable of playing key roles is dreaming… That’s all!!

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Agreed 100% there Bob!

            Except that White can play center as well so the Habs could sign a real gritty winger or a gritty center to play on the 4th line.

            Moen-White-XXX would be a solid 4th line.

  30. AK_PK_Usay says:

    bleehhhhh, what awful comments, you want a team that wins year in year out, game to game, get real.

    was last night’s game entertaining? YES, that’s it thats all, stop trying to think that habs winning will make YOUR life any different.

    its entertainment, habs don’t own anyone jack shit, you don’t like it, don’t go to the games, don’t watch the games.

    i had enough armchair GMs for several lifetimes

  31. habstrinifan says:

    I keep reminding myself what many others have justifiably pointed out to me after some of my posts. What the HECK do I know about hockey? How can I be so convinced about the inadequacies of JM as a coach?

    I have gone from simple fan fury to real belief that he IS incompetent and deliruim level anguish at the realization that he is our coach for NOW and for the foreseeable future … and that decisions about players leaving and coming will be made based on success/failure under his tutelage.

    I cannot wrap my mind around one of his moves! It seemed so OBVIOUSLY lacking in any proper evaluation of the strength of this player. Every moment I think about it I recoil in fear that this is our coach.

    The outcome was abysmal. Pleks on the point in the PP.

    I wrote a simple post when the move was made that for a forward to play the point on a PP, he must ‘figuratively’ play the game with a ‘long stick’ and Pleks doesnt. I explained the statement then. It was a desperate move lacking of any sound reasoning.

    This is what is so frightening. The team is in the hands of a coach who actually did this as a solution to PP problems.

    I used to not like JM as our coach because I mostly didnt like his coaching tactics. Now it’s worse. I honestly fear his incompetence.

  32. Chris says:

    Colorado’s defence last night:

    Erik Johnson: 6’3″, 232 lbs., 26:09 TOI, -1, 1 BS, 1 Hits
    Jan Hejda: 6’4″, 237 lbs., 25:51 TOI, -1, 4 BS, 0 Hits
    Kyle Quincey: 6’2″, 207 lbs., 24:33 TOI, +1, 2 BS, 1 Hits
    Shane O’Brien: 6’3″, 230 lbs., 18:41 TOI, E, 3 BS, 1 Hits
    Ryan Wilson: 6’1″, 207 lbs., 17:05 TOI, E, 0 BS, 3 Hits
    Ryan O’Byrne: 6’5″, 234 lbs., 13:47 TOI, -1, 2BS, 1 Hits

    The Avalanche defence corps has plenty of size and is quite mobile. And one can hardly accuse it of being bereft of experience…Wilson and O’Byrne are the two least experienced players with 137 and 197 games, respectively.

    Yet they still gave up 43 shots on net and blocked another 20 and the Habs missed the net on another 15 shots. That is 78 shot attempts by the Habs during the game. And they yielded 5 goals, a total that could have been even higher were it not for Varlamov actually playing quite well, particularly in the first half of the game. Hardly a ringing endorsement for the advantages of size and grit.

    At the other end, Montreal’s soft defence corps yielded 30 shots, blocked 24 and Colorado missed 10 shots, for a total of 64 shot attempts. They gave up 5 goals on those shots, 3 of which Carey Price himself admitted he should have stopped. Price did his defence corps no favours last night, nor did some of the forwards (Moen, Pacioretty and Gionta) who made coverage mistakes that led directly to goals.

    Size and grit CAN be useful, but it is generally overstated. Defence in hockey is a combination of limiting your mistakes and playing smart, positional hockey. Big, tough guys (think Chara, Pronger or Stevens) can play good positional hockey and shut down the other team. That they can also hit and bang is an added bonus. But you don’t have to be big or gritty to be smart, as Lidstrom and Niedermayer showed while being dominant players for two decades. They couldn’t hit or bang, but they brought more offence to the table.

    There is more than one way to skin a cat, and there is more than one way to build a defence corps.

    • Bripro says:

      It you look at my post you’ll see that I agree with you for the most part except your assault on three players I thought played very well at both ends. It was a solid effort for the most part.

      • Chris says:

        Don’t interpret my comment on Moen, Pacioretty or Gionta as an “assault”. I’m merely pointing out that they made the mistakes that directly led to three of the goals. Subban made an egregious error on a fourth.

        Hockey is a game of mistakes…last night it was those three that made costly ones (along with Diaz’s penalty and Weber’s delay of game call). It happens…I don’t blame them for the loss. All three guys scored goals at the other end, so they made up for their errors.

        You can bet that Martin and Pearn will have the tape to show the team for the next couple of days so that everybody hopefully recognizes the errors and work to eliminate them next time out.

        It’s not a sprint. The points at this time of the season are valuable, and I do regret losing a win that was there for the taking. But the development of the team is more important to me, as I suspect it is for you and many other posters this morning. I still think that the Habs will be fine. Carey Price is not going to finish the year with a save percentage of 0.885.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Maybe Colorado’s overall system isn’t allowing those big Dmen to succeed?

      Are the forwards coming back and picking up their assignments?

      Are there giveaways happening in the neutral zone that are creating more shots against.

      There could be multiple reasons there are 43 shots.

      I would take a couple of those big defensemen on the Habs any day and give them sometime to work with our system!

      Yemelin looked shaky in the pre-season and he’s slowly be settling down and looking better, just like if a big and tough defenseman would do if he came to our team.

      • Chris says:

        And that’s what I’ve been trying to point out…it is a bit unfair to label the Habs’ defencemen as being the problem when most people acknowledge that the forwards are not coming back and picking up their assignments.

        It is very hard for the defence to look good when they are outnumbered. I would of course love to have Erik Johnson or Kyle Quincey on the Habs. Jan Hejda was a guy I thought they should maybe look at, but he ended up signing for far more than the Habs could afford for such a one-dimensional player.

        But the defensive guys we DO have are doing okay. They just need some help from their goalie and forwards. Given Jacques Martin’s track record, I’m not losing much sleep…the team WILL be better defensively than they have shown thus far.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Defense is supposed to be just that “DEFENSE”

          It is their job to get between the forward with the puck and Carey Price.

          What happens in the NFL to a team with a small and timid defensive line, the quarterback gets smoked!

          Like i said below, we’ve got Markov (when healthy) and Subban to shoulder the offense from the back end so guys like Weber, Diaz and Spacek are really not needed.

          • Chris says:

            It depends on the system whether defence is as singularily defined as you imply, but that is a different discussion.

            That Habs rely heavily on a transition game, meaning they need guys who can make good passes out of their own zone and/or carry the puck up the ice.

            Weber has played quality minutes and has been solid. Every NHL team needs guys that can play like that, whether they are offensive, defensive or something in between.

            That the Habs are not giving up many shots on net (tied with Detroit for 4th least in the league) is cause for optimism. That Price is playing poorly is cause for optimism, unless you think this funk he’s in will last the whole season.

    • The Dude says:

      So Cris ,here’s where your assessment fade’s fast ….the Huge D on the Av’s “whom are made up of from other teams ” not only can play a small team but can put the brakes on a team like Boston,WE CAN’T! The Habs D is too effing small!!!!!

      • Chris says:

        Given that they haven’t played yet, I’m not sure how you can be so positive of this fact.

        People said the same thing last season about Montreal’s D. Yet that defence corps held the Bruins to 15 goals in 7 games after giving up 22 goals in 6 regular season games, a number greatly inflated by a pair of late-season routs (8-6 and 7-0).

        That same Bruins team went on to score 20 goals in 4 games against the Flyers (who had Coburn, Timonen, Carle and Timonen), 21 goals in 7 games against the Lightning and 23 goals in 7 games against the Canucks, who had posted the best defensive numbers in the NHL.

        You might end up being right. But let’s wait for the games to happen first. :)

        • The Dude says:

          What ,you haven’t seen Boston play ???Give it a rest Cris, you know better! Boston in time would grind us into pillow dust “Like they did to the Nucks!” WE’RE TO small and every-one knows it”The whole wide world knows this,thus you know it too!”

    • SensFanSpezza says:

      Excellent post. It’s the first post of yours I’ve cared about in maybe a year.

  33. Bripro says:

    Amazing how a few mental mistakes can cost you.
    I loved last night’s offensive performance.
    Not only were they effective with chasing their dump-and-runs, but they never quit.
    And the two rookie Ds were pretty solid.
    The problem was with our two prized stallions.
    PK … Tsk tsk. Like so many have posted, trying to do too much.
    You can’t be attempting to split a line without support and when you’re facing Stastny. That kid’s goo.
    And, well, let’s just say that Carey is still thinking about roping, because one solid game out of four doesn’t bode well for his GAA.
    But in all, it was an edge-of-your-seat performance.
    I’m sure they’ll win more often than not if they keep potting 4 – 5 goals.

  34. LL says:

    So am I understanding this correctly? If Hammer were in the lineup last night, Habs would’ve won?

    Don’t get me wrong, I respected his play tremendously, and he is an asset, but a difference maker? No

    The Big Three on defense? Yes

  35. The Dude says:

    Ok,this is what I’m thinking. The point of all this is to be entertained while they build a team that reaches for the Cup and “Wins it all baby!”and this is what I see ….U-TURN to the mediocre !I don’t blame the players ,I blame Gauthier and Gainey,they put this pile together and know better! And if they don’t then EFF OFF MAN ,it’s not funny anymore to the point I’d like too take a poke at you two mother….ers, lol.Martin is the most defensive coach in Hockey…HA!!!! And it the new NHL and ok too have the smallest team in the NHL….NUTS!!!!This team needs new and proper Management and Coaching so that the Habs can salvage this season and make the move’s that are necessary to get there AND THE TIME IS NOW! Stop destroying this franchise and it’s fans Molsons!!!!!!

    • Bripro says:

      At least last night, for the most part, he set some good lines and let them play. When DD gets more ice time than Gionta, you know he’s in a different mental zone.

  36. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I knew loss of Hamrlik would come back & bite us in the ass. Way to go Gauthier. When is management going to learn that we need size & not midgets on defence? Still early but not totally impressed with work ethic.

    “Hate Bruins like a sickness”

  37. Mark C says:

    Do we really want to bring this guy back? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdpR4rQF8jA

  38. twocents says:

    I agree with Chris below, I am loving the youth movement.

  39. habs12 says:

    Gill and Subban were the two worst d men last night but for two different reasons. Subban is trying to do too much. If he played the way he did last night, last year, there is no doubt Martin would scratch him for our next game. But, alas, one year later and with all of our injuries on the back-end Subban is third most experienced d-man at the moment behind Georges and Gill. Gill on the other hand, seems to be fading at this point…

  40. Neutral says:

    Don’t get too excited, we are building a good young team like Edmonton that’s the way to go. so they make mistakes we’re gonna have many losses. that’s the way they learn bring on the young guys, downsize the overpaid vets eventually we’ll have a great team in Montreal.
    if you think we’re gonna win a cup by bringing in another teams cast offs you’re gonna be waiting a long time, one vet on each line is not a bad idea, someone the young guys can learn from.
    I like that 3rd line, two more lines like that and we’d be like the flying frenchmen of ole.

  41. Tony McLean says:

    The last year and a half, people have been comparing Jaroslav Halak to Steve Penney when they should have been comparing Carey Price!!!
    ————————–
    What does it say on Bob Gainey’s office door?
    “Larry Robinson not welcome.”

  42. Chris F says:

    I`m not sure why Boone keeps bringing up Hamrlik. He`s not the guy we need on the back end right now, what about Souray or Adam Pardy? Hiliarious how everything I stated before July 1st, and after the beatdown by Boston last year, is now getting headlines.
    Guess what? We have the softest D in the league, and it`s not even close. Opposition forwards must feel like they`re playing a house league game against a non-contact team.
    Our D will keep getting injured for one simple reason, we are too small, too weak, three D men with zero hits!!! Are you kidding me?!! Is this the vision of the Habs braintrust. This is hockey, we don`t get extra points for skating well. Price is not going to shine every game, and as good as players like DD are with the puck, he`s not going to win battles on the boards for 82 games and into the playoffs. Not against players who are 6`3″ and 220 lbs.
    Emelin looked great, I wonder why he`s not getting over matched? Could it be that he`s taller than 5`11″ and heavier than 190 lbs?
    There`s a reason why Bantam players who are 185 lbs dominate against players who are 150 lbs, and there`s a reason why most teams in the NHL have D who are big, tough, and can clear the front of the net.
    Anyway, …………the most frustrating thiing is having a GM who hasn`t shown he cares about the team getting out muscled every single game. It`s very hard to understand he`s thinking here after losing our toughest D man in the Wiz, he simply didn`t replace him. Markov is soft, and is not on schedule, I don`t care what the team is saying, Gorges is just too light, Gill wouldn`t scare my cat, Subban is far too skilled and not big enough to punish anyone over 6`2″, Weber……….c`mon, Emelin-I`m liking him alot right now, Campoli…..he`s Gorges with more offensive upside, Spacek is one body hit away from injury every game and way toooo slow. Case closed.
    Until we take care of our own end with some muscle, it`s going to be a long year. We played great offensively last night, 19 shots in the first period, wow, but our team is simply too easy to score on, especially when Price plays average or worse like last night.
    PG needs to be held accountable, and asked why does the entire league laugh at our lack of muscle on the back end. And if you think they`re not laughing, your kidding yourself.

  43. ddofan says:

    I understand that people want to win, but last night was AWESOME!
    I would rather lose every game in a shootout and be entertained like I was last night with my boys than I would like to see these BS 2-1, 3-2 wins playing boring Jacques Martin hockey.
    Yes we could do better, but to be honest, I DONT CARE!
    I split season ticket in the reds, and I’m SICK AND TIRED of being underwhelmed paying insane personal money to watch boring Defense games. You dont have to have fights, you just need goals, scoring chances, and being left on the edge of your seat.
    I was happy last night, vs Thursday when I was pissed seeing us have a virtually offenseless game with no creativity. Anyone else agree with me?

  44. Ian Cobb says:

    It is surely a much faster game in the NHL with all the rule changes now. It is a younger mans speed game now. Faster puck movement, quicker shot release with instant game transition.

    I feel that we have plenty of talent needed to do the job.

    Teams that have the most players that have honed their skill level to this much quicker game will be most successful with constant repetition and practice..

    Coaches that spend their time trying to slow and defend this new speed game, without equal attention given to time of puck control will be left behind.

    Older and slowing players must be dropped down from top lines, no matter what their salary. Hours of practice are needed at face offs, PP, high speed tape to tape passing, cycling the puck down low with meaningful plays to the net, some plays to pinching D. All done with higher speed and accuracy. A team plays exactly as they practice!

    Any team can beat any other team in this league today, when they have confidence in their teams ability and the game plan.

    With parity now one of the largest factors in the NHL, game planning, preparation, coaching and practice becomes 50% of a winning combination.

    Do we have the best people in place to carry out this responsibility? Do the players have confidence in the prepared game plan? By just switching the lines every game, a coach is telling his players that it is all on them. This is just ducking the main problem, which is before game preparation.

  45. habstrinifan says:

    Elliot Richardson, the most brilliant man(so he had to be a habs fan) in the Nixon White House….
    “There is an increasingly pervasive sense not only of failure, but of futility.”

    Carey Price, avid rodeo nut and unsaddled personality…. “Chill People”!

    Allan Anderson, diminutive tattoo canvass and spokeperson for half of HIO…”PRE-SEASON? you talking about PRE-SEASON?”

    Larry Robinson, august, experienced,distinguished,legendary habs alumni.. “Can I help?”

    Bell Centre war room… silence except for the drone of a non-bruising salad-mixer.

  46. Propwash says:

    http://habstalkradio.com/radio_chat.html

    Ted Bird and Abe Hefter live broadcast of the week in review with the Habs

  47. HabFab says:

    The Bulldogs have given a PTO to defenseman TJ Fast. He was a former 2nd round pick by the LA Kings. Has not done well in the AHL to date, but alright in the ECHL. A depth move for the farm.

  48. punkster says:

    After one loss the commentariat picks someone to blame.

    After a couple of losses the blame widens to a couple of players, a coach or two plus lack of size/grit.

    After a run of losses the blame includes all players, coaches and management…plus lack of size/grit.

    Have a read through all the comments from last night and this morning. I don’t believe anyone or anything was left off the blame list.

    Here’s a thought; we should trade the entire roster, fire all coaches and management and sell the franchise. Then we buy back all the former Habs we got rid of over the past 3 years, hire Pierre McGuire and some l’antichambre celebrities to run the team and start an HI/O members fund to purchase the franchise.

    Problem solved, everybody happy.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  49. Neutral says:

    The team did good up front last night. all three lines scored. the D looked a little shaky as well as the goaltending, all in all 43 shots, can’t say they didn’t try. even though we loss in a shoot out, good job habs. JM keep those lines together for a few games, see how things go. it’s only been 4 games the young D will improve give them time.

  50. Mark C says:

    For what it’s worth (not much given the sample size) good ol’ Hammer has been on the ice for the second most 5-on-5 goals allowed per minute, of any Cap’s D, behind only Mike Green.

    Another interesting stat, albeit just as meaningful is Weber has not been on the ice for a 5-on-5 goal allowed. Which is interesting seeing that many people don’t think he’s good because he lacks girt, rock salt, sandpaper, with the big pieces of sand; you get the idea.

  51. Mats Naslund says:

    If not for among the softest tripping calls I’ve seen at the end of the third, we would have won and we’d all be talking about how exciting it was to see the team’s youngsters step up in a comeback win. There will be more losses. We’d do well to not lose our panties every time it happens. Tough luck – especially on Colorado’s 5th goal which if it was an inch to the left or right would have been a save or post. Not a great game, but if we trade every player and fired every coach after every loss it would be pretty silly.

  52. --Habs-- says:

    You know what! If PK and Gill want to play like it pond hockey maybe Martin should start giving Emelin a lot more ice time. He’s been the only steady D since he’s laced up against the Jets and he’s the least played. Is that another Martinism! Don’t get it! The kid is showing signs he’s not the 5-6 D Martin is playing him as! Pair him with Josh and play the crap out of him. And if PK and Gill keep playing the pond hockey they’ve been playing sit them! We’re loosing on mostly their lack of veteranism *If thats a work”! Ah who cares! Seems like ever time a goal is scored Gill and PK are on the ice. Ya Emelin was on the ice on (I dont’ know what PK was thinking) on that third goal! Even Emelin was wondering what the hell he was doing! Bet he never saw that kind of nonsense in the KHL! What do you teach your D from Atom on! Don’t try to beat a player when your the last man back! Take not PK. This isn’t Juniors! Fans love you and so do I (as a hockey player). To keep that up play like it! If you want to skate through teams do it at the right time.

  53. randyman66 says:

    Yes it is time to get worried. Scoring 5 goals and losing is NOT a good sign. Losing all these faceoffs. Constantly letting Price get run and nobody doing jack about it. Always outmuscled. Least tough team in the league but among the most penalized. Wrong system for this personnel and vice versa. It’s as if PG & JM REFUSE to address their obvious shortcomings. Konopka would have been a great, cheap 4th line C (size, faceoff expert, sandpaper). But they refused. Even Steckel for a 4th rnd pick was a steal while PG slept. O’Brien on D instead of more softies. Campoli did not get hurt because of bad luck; it was due to bad management – he should have been signed a month earlier, and then would have had a full camp and been in game shape. He was rushed because sleepy management did not address the lack of experienced D early enough. This lack of being proactive is the same thing that happened last year with PG and his leaky roof analogy – by not dealing with the lack of depth in the summer when players could be had cheap, he instead had to waste a pick and prospect on a plug (Sopel) for 2 months, and then no assets left at the end. Terrible asset management. With an injured Ryan White they should have gotten a big cheap 4th liner who can play (like Winchester) to help protect the team – they did not. If they keep thinking the NHL Refs will deal with this crap, they are dreaming. Marchand punched one of the twins in the final over and over and it wasn’t even punished. You don’t need any more proof guys – wake up. Reconstruct bottom 3 forwards and bottom 2 D to play in the NHL the way it is, and will continue to be. The teams in our division will continue to use intimidation techniques against our Habs and we will continue to have the most injuries every year and wonder why oh why does our poorly constructed team of small players with no protection have such bad luck!!! It’s not bad luck, it’s bad management. PLEASE FIX IT Mr. Molson.

  54. Psycho29 says:

    Nice to see the posters who only seem to come here when the Habs lose are sleeping off the tequila this morning….

    What really pissed me off about last night wasn’t so much the players who had a bad game (Subban, Price, etc) was when the Avs’ player ran Price in the first. NOT ONE Canadiens’ player went to his defence. NOT ONE word was said to the guy…Nothing. (Besides Price skating over to him)

    On another note, 18-year old Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored all three goals for the Oilers in a 4-3 loss. He was born in 1993, about 2 months before the Habs won their Stanley Cup.
    Now I really feel old..

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I’m dying for that mentality to change with the Canadiens.

      Every game there are a few instances where either Price, Gomez or Gionta are roughed up and nobody even says boo about it.

      It’s really sad.

    • Chris says:

      I didn’t see anybody go and give Moen a hard time after he obliterated Varlamov on his goal. And Cole wasn’t given a hard time after he ran into Varlamov either.

      In Price’s case, the Avalanche were assessed a penalty. Any Hab that ran in there to defend Price would have been assigned a roughing penalty himself.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Chris, i don’t know what to tell you man?

        But if you’re fine with watching Gionta flattened in Wininpeg and having to shake off the cobwebs and get up off the ice and skate over to a player who’s a foot taller than himself only to be laughed at, all the power to you.

        If you like seeing Luke Schenn pushing Gomez back down to the ice after a whistle and Gomez getting up angry, only to realize he has zero teammates willing to step in and having to skate off the ice with his head down, all the power to you.

        And finally there was Glass from Winnipeg taunting Subban and pushing his helmet down after he was clipped by a high stick, again nobody does anything.

        Good all for one team spirit there.

        • Chris says:

          You can cherry pick moments like that in every single game, both for or against your team.

          Where we disagree is that NHL players get intimidated. Hockey is an instinctual game. This is why a guy like Eric Lindros, who should have been shy of ever getting caught in the train tracks, continued to do it until his career was ended.

          This is why a guy like Petr Svoboda, who knew he was going to get plastered into the boards every time he went into the corner with an oncoming forechecker, did it anyways.

          Ryan O’Byrne and Mike Komisarek used to rough it up after every whistle. Did you notice any tangible difference in how the game was played?

          Detroit rarely, if ever, engages in the puerile post-whistle scrums that so many here seem to want to see and have been as close to a dynasty as we’ve seen in recent years. The Toronto Maple Leafs of Shayne Corson and Darcy Tucker and Tie Domi saw a perceived slight in everything, seeking to send a message after every whistle. Did you enjoy that crap? I know I didn’t and the Leafs, despite being a very good team for a long time, won squat.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Cherry pick moments from each game, If you were to count the times Montreal was pushed around before or after the whistle, it would be 10/1 by the years end for the opposing team.

            I’m not saying there has to be a scrum after every whistle and we need players like Domi or Tucker to shoot their mouths off all night, Corson was awesome though, but lets look alive!

            And again, if you’re content with the level toughness on the current Canadiens, I’d like to know what’s in your Kool-Aid?

            I think this edition of the Canadiens is very good, believe it or not. Cole-Pacioretty-Kostitsyn-Eller-Moen are sizable enough up front to get by.

            You add two big and physical stay-at-home defensemen and maybe another rugged winger for the 3rd or 4th line and we’re golden.

            Give the other teams something to think about other than putting pucks in the net. Players coming into Montreal must breathe a sigh of relief after playing Boston, Toronto or Philadelphia. All their bumps and bruises will have a chance to heal and if they want to run around all night nobody will even say boo to them.

            That’s why i get frustrated because we’re really only a few in-expensive pieces away from being great. It’s not like we need to shop for a starting goaltender…

          • punkster says:

            Aaaaaannnndddd, there’s the Kool Aid reference. Wins the argument every time.

            Edit…your added comments negate my Kool Aid jab though I’ll admit the use of that in an argument always makes me laugh.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Punkster: Add something to the debate rather than nitpicking will ya?

          • punkster says:

            Hobie, when your comment first appeared it closed with the Kool-Aid statement and that contributes nothing constructive. Throwing out the Kool-Aid statement in any discussion is childish and I was mocking that though I am sure you were not meaning to sound childish.

            You added 4 paragraphs as I was typing, which I acknowledged in my edit, that lends something to the debate.

            Now as to me adding something to this debate…the after whistle chippy play is bush league. Teams who participate in this are bush league. I want to see my team play tough, skilled, fast and fair not bush league. On this I imagine we agree.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • Chris says:

            I prefer Gatoraid. :)

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Punkster: I’m not saying that after every whistle we should be pushing and shoving and starting crap, occasionally it would be nice, but rather sticking up for our captain or goaltender, if it is done to them.

            That element has been completely removed from the Canadiens over the past few seasons and it’s baffling.

            I’m not saying the model the Bruins used last year is completely correct, it did win them the cup though, but standing up for you teammates and changing the complexion of the game by mucking it up on occasion is a necessity!

            On most nights Montreal rolls 4 lines and rolls the dice and hopes they outscore the opposition.

            How about changing it up a little and getting in the kitchen of some of the stars from the others teams?

            How about having a couple nasty defensemen on your team that will have the stars on the opposing team paranoid to cross the blue line.

            And there’s nothing wrong with sending a guy out to fight after your team is scored on to stir up your bench and get them pumped up!

          • Chris says:

            Playing chippy hockey did not win the Bruins the Stanley Cup. This is the root of my disagreement with you and others who espouse the call for more grit.

            The Bruins assembled a very deep and skilled group of forwards.

            Their top line had a burgeoning power forward (Lucic) playing with one of the top young power forwards in the game the past few years (Horton) and a skilled play-making centre (Krejci) who was every bit as good offensively as our top scorers.

            Their second line featured one of the best two-way forwards in the NHL (Bergeron) betweeen a wily veteran scorer (Recchi) and a young winger with excellent speed and a history of performing as a junior (Marchand).

            Their third line featured one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL Kelly) between a pair of veteran offensive players who had been top-6 forwards in their recent past (Ryder and Peverley).

            Their fourth line (Thornton, Campbell, Paille) was easily the best in the NHL last year, featuring three guys who knew their roles and could also play a bit of hockey.

            Behind that they had the best goalie in the NHL in 2 of the past 3 seasons in the midst of a historically good statistical season, and a perennial candidate for the Norris Trophy (Chara). Throw in a complete and utter dedication to their defensive system, and you can throw in some defencemen who might not make other teams but who fit what Julien was trying to do.

            Boston did not win because they were gritty. That just happened to be how their guys play the game. They won because they scored, and scored frequently. A team that was not particularly known for its offence suddenly scored at a rate (3.24 goals per game) that would have seen them finish first overall in that category in the regular season while maintaining the league’s best defence (2.12 goals against per game).

  55. Propwash says:

    Dooooomed.

  56. JF says:

    Another positive from last night: no one was injured. That’s two games in a row. If this keeps up, we might have a nearly healthy roster in a few weeks.

    • Chris says:

      It’s funny. I think I’m one of the only Habs fans who is enjoying this season more than the last couple of years.

      We’re finally giving the kids a chance, whether by necessity or no. Pacioretty, Subban, Eller, Desharnais, Diaz, Emelin, Weber, Subban, Price, Palushaj, White…we’re going with a lot of kids under 25. We’ll finally get an idea of what we’ve got, and they’ve largely acquitted themselves well.

      • JF says:

        Chris – I almost agree, although I find games like last night frustrating, since it was a perfectly winnable game. But the kids are getting lots of ice-time and learning, and this rough start to the season could turn out to be a good thing in the long run. The mistakes will decrease, and the team will be well served by the experience the youngsters are getting. Even if we end up missing the playoffs, the season could have positive results.

  57. zak says:

    Cary has been average at best boone and you’re blaming the D. Weber was + 2 last night with 21 mins. of play. PK and Gill have been horrible A pee wee could beat Gill in a foot race. The rest of the defence have done the job

  58. Old Bald Bird says:

    This site continues to have hiccups lo these many years later. Sometimes when I try to refresh, I’ll be told that I am forbidden to enter the site.

  59. Habfan4lfe says:

    This is the most poorly worded story I have ever read. Amazing how people can have jobs writing where hundreds if not thousands read and you have to read something that almost leaves you with the impression a grade 5 student wrote it. Ever heard of a spell checker!

  60. HabFab says:

    Problem with Price is that Cherry put the HEX on him calling him the best goaltender in the world!

    We may need the help of EL1 and his Alien buddies with their time travel machi… WTF am I saying!, he would have Halak back here and Price traded!

    Gee whiz, guess we are going to have to CHILL and RELAX!!

  61. Bash says:

    Duh…

    Goat… go get good gronk guard goalie.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  62. Chris says:

    What am I missing?

    In the Calgary game, the Habs D wasn’t so much as soft as out-numbered as forwards stood around and looked at the guys they were marking. And last night, the defence wasn’t as bad as the score line would indicate.

    On the first goal, Emelin skates back into the corner and tries to reverse the puck instead of ringing it around on his forehand. Not the best idea he had all night, but a play that defencemen make all the time. Jones was the recipient of the puck, but Gomez had him covered and the Habs were in position. Jones spun off Gomez and passed out to Kobasew, who was inexplicably left open by Gionta. That one I put on Gionta and Price, who was terrible on the shot.

    On the second goal, Travis Moen completely abandons Jones on the power play, who skates behind him and picks up a pass from Erik Johnson. Johnson was covered by Weber and wasn’t going anywhere, yet Moen abandoned his guy to come over and reach in with his stick. Can put that one firmly on Moen.

    On the third goal, Stastny picked Subban’s pocket at center ice when Subban had telegraphed a little too much what he was going to do. Even if Subban beat Stastny, he was going to plow into another Avalanche forward…he just tried to take something that wasn’t there. Subban is the goat on that one.

    On the fourth goal, Pacioretty went for a huge open-ice hit on Jones and missed. With Pacioretty out of the play, Jones was completely alone in front (Desharnais was coming back from being the deep forchecker on the play) and had the puck carom off his foot past Price. Every other Avalanche player was marked on that play, so Pacioretty gets goat status.

    On the fifth goal, Johnson kept the puck in at the blueline on the power play. Subban was out high, and got shed by Hejduk, who also skated around Hal “The Snow Angel” Gill behind the net. Moen rotated down to cover the opposite side of the net, leaving Quincey wide open. Hard to identify a goat on that one…it is a play typical of a power play, where a skilled forward (Hejduk) did some damage.

    The Habs might have some defensive short-comings due to inexperience, but the team was let down by the forwards in the defensive zone (Gionta, Moen, Pacioretty), shaky goaltending (to be charitable) by Price and Subban trying to do much.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Okay now I feel much better with that analysis. Whew thanks Chris!

    • New says:

      The Habs did what we all asked them to do, open it up. They can score when they motor and shoot fron the high percentage areas. Unfortunately so can most other teams. Price is off. Flu, breaking in new pads, no communication, tired, it doesn’t really matter. Price is better than that.

      All they really need is for the rest of them to have a little confidence in each other and play together. Sure like Gomez as a third line center. That’s his spot.

  63. Marc10 says:

    Hammer isn’t the solution. But Weber and Diaz and Gorges. That’s too small. And yep, we’re going to get smashed against a playoff caliber team unless Pricey channels his inner Vezina.

    At least Weber is good for one thing – the PP. I loved how Les Boys moved the puck around with PK and Weber at the point.

    In hindsight this game was much like the Winnipeg game – except the Avs are better than the Jets… and Price was weak.

    Markov can’t come back soon enough…

    • Chris says:

      Yet the worst defencemen on the team since the start of the season have been P.K. Subban (6’0″, 206 lbs.) and Hal Gill (6’7″, 247 lbs.).

      Meanwhile, Weber and Gorges are each at a team-best +4. Diaz is +1. Those guys have been a net positive on the ice each night.

      If Price and Subban are playing at last year’s level, the Habs are in much better shape. They’re off to rough starts, but there is still a long season in front of us.

      • Just a Habs Fan says:

        Good post Chris…Subban is a high risk player and the “starved for excitement” fans at the ACC go wild when he winds up. I noticed last year the same. He does have all that is needed to be great though. I have a feeling he will have to permanently adjust or the players will make his life one miserable experience. I once played on a team that had a (puck hog ) and we finally convinced him to be more of a team player and less of a sensational player. It will happen.

  64. HabinBurlington says:

    It’s almost tempting to even try Alex Henry on the blue line. I think our forwards are going to be okay, but the blue line is hurting. Even Markov back can’t cure all that ails us. I have a sneaky feeling we won’t have a 2nd round pick again next year.

  65. G-Man says:

    4 games into the season and last night’s line combos were fun to watch. Eller, Cole, Pac and Moen give the top 3 lines speed and physicality.
    The D is too old and too young at the same time. making for some poor puck decisions, like Emelin throwing the puck blindly up the side (where an Av was waiting) and like Subban playing dangerously while being the last man back. These things are all things that can be fixed, but the D, apart from Emelin is butter that’s been left out too long on a hot day: too soft and prone to running around.
    Price will and should be better.
    All those extra injuries, like Campoli’s, have really made every night an adventure on the blue line.

  66. Hobie Hansen says:

    Here’s today’s challenge: Think of a metaphor to describe how inept the Canadiens’ D has been.

    I’ll get you started with a personal favorite: softer than a ballet slipper full of wet cow flop.

    - Mike Boone

    I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Boone. And the thing that makes it even worse is that two big and tough defensemen that play for Colorado could and should have been ours.

    Ryan O’Byrne (6’5″ 235lbs) and Shane O’Brien (6’3″ 230lbs).

    O’Byrne was dealt to Colorado for 71st overall pick Michael Bournival and O’Brien, who had a steady playoff run with Nashville last year was available for weeks on the UFA market.

    It is still no guarantee Bournival ever makes the NHL and I’d personally rather have O’Byrne standing between Price and Lucic than gambling on some prospect. Especially now that we have the softest defense/team in the NHL.

    It was rumored that O’Brien was a party animal but I’d still take my chances on him over Diaz, Spacek, Weber and Campoli.

    When Markov is healthy we have him and Subban to take care of the offense from the back end so lets get management to wake up build the defense they’re way they’re supposed to be built! BIG AND MEAN.

    What do you think happens to the smallest and softest defensive line in football??? They get crushed.

    • Propwash says:

      O’Byrne was absolutely brutal when he played for the Habs, there is a reason why he was traded away.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree on O’Brien, O’Byrne not as much. Yes big and physical but never seemed to have puck senses. However, one starts to wonder does PG and JM really dislike anyone who plays with physicality? I’m all for lots of skill but some physicality is required. Even the Campoli pickup doesn’t answer that at all.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Why oh why do we romanticize an Ex-Hab who only looked like he belonged here when Markov was propping him up?

      - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

    • Chris says:

      This gives me a good laugh.

      Montreal’s D is softer than a ballet slipper full of wet cow flop after giving up 5 goals. Yet you think that Colorado’s is fine despite giving up the same number of goals and yielding 43 shots on net.

      Shane O’Brien got beat by one of our “smurfs”, Brian Gionta, on the tying goal in the third. Ryan O’Byrne was vicimized by another smurf, David Desharnais, when the Habs took the lead.

      Whether you are big or small, you can make mistakes on the ice. Hockey is a game of mistakes. The Habs have three supposed defensive specialists (Gill, Gorges and Emelin) on defence. You need some guys who can move the puck. Weber has played fine this season, yet seems to be the team’s lightning rod for defensive zone criticism while fan favourite, P.K. Subban, gets away with playing some of the worst defence imaginable thus far this season.

      Strange world.

  67. JF says:

    Changes to the Habs’ roster over the summer were based on a lot of assumptions:

    Markov, Gorges, and Pacioretty would return completely healthy.

    Emelin would quickly adapt to North American hockey.

    P.K. Subban would not suffer a sophomore slump.

    Eller and Desharnais would continue to develop.

    Price would be even better.

    Gomez would be a lot better.

    If those assumptions were correct, the Habs would be a good team. If even a couple of them failed to pan out, the team would struggle.

    That’s what’s happening now. The most critical assumptions concerned defence, which is where most of the problems lie right now. No one knows when (possibly even if) Markov will be back, which was presumably why the team picked up Chris Campoli – only to have him go down in the first game of the season. P.K. Subban is making the kind of mistakes he made early last season, and making them in spades. Is this the proverbial sophomore slump, or will he come round quickly and be the player we saw in the second half of last season? If not, and if Markov’s absence is prolonged, the defence will be bad. Emelin, Weber, and the surprising Raphael Diaz are actually doing quite well, but none of them have a lot of experience, and there are bound to be mistakes. The veterans need to play mistake-free hockey to compensate, and that is not happening at the moment. But Hamrlik and, yes, Spacek would look good on the blue line right now.

    As for Price, he was terrible both last night and against Calgary (although in that game the whole team was bad). We all assume, because we have to and because he’s a very talented goaltender, that he’ll get on top of his game sooner rather than later. But I wish he wouldn’t use his equipment to commemorate anything or show support for any cause. Stick to the equipment he’s used to, and use it to play the game. Remember the disastrous red pads a couple of years ago?

    Where things are looking better is up front. Gomez has been a lot better than last year, last night’s lines looked great, I loved the young guys – Eller, Pacioretty, and Desharnais – and the much-maligned Travis Moen has scored two beautiful goals in four games. Last night was a perfectly winnable game; it reminded me of a few early-season games the newly-formed Habs played two season ago, in which a strong effort was marred by spectacular defensive breakdowns. The defence improved a lot as the season went on; we have to hope that happens now.

    • HabFab says:

      This has to be the most iffy team that we have fielded in a long time;
      - if 80% + goes right we can challenge
      - if 60% + goes right we can make the play-offs
      - if 50% – goes right we could miss the play-offs

      I honestly have NO idea, where this team will go!

  68. JoeC says:

    People are delusional thinking that Hammer would help our defence, people forget how slow he is, and how burned out he gets playing the minutes he would be for the team.

  69. Miltie01 says:

    This looks like a team that is missing 1900 games of NHL experience on the blueline, and has replaced it with something like 100 games experience…………………….as a matter of fact that is what we are !!!

  70. Bob_Sacamano says:

    I personally think our team up front is physically not that bad. The smaller players overall make up for their lack of size with skill and speed. On D we absolutely need one strong, experienced D man with size though. I like both of them but as no team would take Spacek we probably would have to trade Diaz or Weber. Adding a player like Palushaj and a draft pick should give us that D man. Unfortunately I fear Gauthier and Martin don´t agree with me.

    Btw: When Spacek comes back, who is he going to replace on D?

    Btw2: The refs in this leage still suck.

  71. Old Bald Bird says:

    The good news is that if anyone can straighten up the defensive system, it should be JM. At least, I think that’s good news.

  72. Clay says:

    The Canadiens have out-shot their opponents in three of four games…
    That’s the problem right there – for the last few years, when this team won it was by scrambly play and being out-shot badly.

    __________________________
    Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

    Winston Churchill

  73. The HonestFan says:

    Your right….. No sand paper.Teams waltz in here and play patty cake all night. But that’s what JM wants ! Other then White is there any body in the system that has grit ? And can play 10 min a game

  74. j2w4habs25 says:

    maybe we need to go on the road.. i think we play much better on the road then at home… when we should be playing very good infront of the bell centre fans. They did get the team going for those two last goals – it was exciting until Aves came back so quickly omg was that suppose to happen?

    Carey Price #31

  75. HabFanSince72 says:

    I agree that the Habs D right now is one of the 4-5 worst in the league. It’s actually shocking that this is what Gauthier came up with, when you think that the Leafs got Liles for a 2nd rounder. (In fairness, Campoli was a pretty good pick up.)

    However, are we sure that a 38 year old Hamrlik would fix the problem? Yes he did the job for us before but he was completely out of gas last year.

    • Mike Boone says:

      37, and he takes good care of hmself. ToI per game in Washington: 21:24. Same as Dennis Wideman and ahead of Carlson, Alzner and Schultz.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist
      mboone@montrealgazette.com

      • theflower says:

        Boone would love to have you in my fantasy league! Wanna join?
        Hey Guys, I need some help. So I am in Ibiza, Spain and I have a fantasy league on ESPN that I would like to start with 11 other Habs fans. We will do a draft and everything. It’s for me just a great way to keep in touch with proper fans and have some hockey fun also. I was part of a fantasy league with some Toronto idiots horrible:( So I would like to do a proper draft and have one with like minded people Habs Fans! drop me an email please if you are interested. greezybro @ gmail.com I need 11 guys asap first 11 are in! Must be a Habs fan!

  76. Chris says:

    Subban is like Kovalev…people get wrapped up in the excitement that he brings to the team, but are willing to overlook the negatives.

    Subban is directly responsible for more goals against than any defencemen on the team. And he was the same last year…he is a high-risk, high-reward player. But people need to do a more detailed look at his play to see whether that risk really is a net positive. Subban has the potential to be a great player, but he’s got to get smarter.

    As for +/-, Martin wasn’t particularly concerned about which pairings he had last night. Both Subban/Gill and Weber/Gorges saw minutes against both the Stastny and Duchene lines, the two top lines on the Avalanche.

  77. Chris says:

    I think you are grasping at straws. Every goalie in the league gets banged into as much as possible. Price is no more or less beat-up than anybody else. He drew a goaltender interference call last night, but you could argue that Varlamov got hit just as hard by Cole with no penalty.

    Price is just struggling right now. He has struggled before, and he will do so again.

    Look around the league at some of the other goaltenders who are off to shaky starts. Luongo, Price, Halak, Ward, Fleury, Roloson…I’m willing to bet that most of those guys get it going and end up with their usual strong statistics.

  78. Chris says:

    jl: I share that concern, but I’m not sure that we need to worry. Weber is now paired with Gorges and was playing on the PK last night (something we don’t see from Diaz).

    If he continues to play smart hockey, Martin will reward him. As much as Martin gets blasted for being a “veteran” coach, he does give chances to kids.

    Subban, Pacioretty, Eller and Desharnais were all allowed to earn spots on the team last season. Weber can’t be sent to Hamilton, and is too good a player to sit in the press-box. He will get played, so long as he isn’t costing the team points, which he isn’t.

  79. Chris says:

    How many times was Varlamov whacked last night?

    How much contact did Kiprusoff suffer?

    In the last two games, the Habs have done just as much banging into the other team’s goalie as the opponents have done to Price. Watch throughout the season…Plekanec is a frequent “offender” in this regard. Cole loves to get in on goalies. On the Moen goal, he obliterated Varlamov while scoring last night.

    I think it is a red herring to say we have it worse than we give.

  80. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    His problem wasn’t the coach. It was us, the fans. if he made a mistake, he was ripped by the crowd. That looked to be his fear, and that was why he had to go. The pressure got him, and he will do better in a market where other sports matter much more.

  81. Bripro says:

    Are you just coming back from Wall street?

  82. Bripro says:

    A take-over WITH alcohol. My hero.

  83. HabFab says:

    Say hi to Andrei!

  84. We shall See :)

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    hockey@sholi2000.com
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  85. ooder says:

    dominic moore?!?! imagine if we had koivu as our third line center
    plekanec,
    eller
    koivu
    Enqvist / some 4th line center
    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  86. LA Loyalist says:

    You’ve got stones publishing your real address :-) if that is your real address.

  87. LA Loyalist says:

    I don’t think he’s talking about trading Cammi, I think he’s talking about Cammi wanting out if he doesn’t see the team making progress.

    Big difference, but both possible scenarios are awful to contemplate. That said, if March comes and the whole team is playing like Gomez… it may not be very pretty around here.

  88. why do you say “here”

    you arent “here”

    you are “there”


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