About last night …

PKHagelin

Let’s be the knowledgeable and classy Montreal hockey fans that we like to think we are by giving credit where credit is due:
The New York Rangers deserved to win the Eastern Conference Final.
They did so by playing textbook defence in Game 6, choking the last gaps of life out of a Canadiens team that was running on empty.

But what a run it was!
Your Canadiens lost the first and last games of their 2013-’14 season.
In between, they played better hockey than most of us expected.

On Oct. 1, when the Bell Centre siren sounded to end a 4-3 loss to Toronto, did anyone think the Canadiens would be ending their season by losing 1-0 at Madison Square Garden on May 29?

This team overachieved for the better part of eight months. They displayed character and resilience, capturing the hearts of a city that needs some distraction while we wait for the Champlain Bridge to collapse.

“I’m proud of this team,” Michel Therrien said – and fans should share the coach’s pride in a group of players that never quit.

“We made big progress,” Therrien added. “We battled hard in the regular season. We battled hard in the playoffs.”

“What’s not to like about the Montreal Canadiens?” TSN hockey analyst asked 690 listeners a few hours before the puck dropped Thursday. There wasn’t much to like in Game 6, but Ferraro’s was an accurate assessment of a team that is blessed with a core of very talented young players.

In Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, both of whom shone against the Rangers, Ferraro said the Canadiens had “two-thirds of a line that will be great for 10 years.”

Remember the last time the Canadiens reached a conference final?

It was 2010. After upsetting Washington and Pittsburgh, the Canadiens returned to earth with a thud, losing to Philadelphia in five games. Then they traded away their playoff hero; and many Canadiens fans – maybe most – thought the team had made a grievous error in choosing Carey Price over Jaro Halak.

Difficult personnel decisions await in the wake of this most recent conference final loss. But his track record suggests Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin will make wise moves to ensure the team continues to improve.

Priority number one is getting P.K. Subban’s signature on a new contract. Considering the degree to which the Rangers focused on trying to stop him, P.K. played well in the series. Pending the development of Nathan Beaulieu, which isn’t going to happen overnight, Subban is the team’s best puck-moving defenceman and power-play quarterback.

P.K. is also the darling of the Bell Centre and – with his pal Carey Price – the most popular athlete in a city where flamboyance does not go unappreciated … among fans, if not coaches.

Signing P.K. long-term is a no-brainer. But Bergevin faces a more difficult decision on Andrei Markov.

The veteran looked slow and worn-down against the speedy, aggressive Rangers. I wouldn’t sign him for more than two years, but Markov may want more.

Tough call. And it’s complicated by the Canadiens having three defencemen who should be ready regular NHL duty next season: Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn.

I’d like to see the Canadiens keep Mike Weaver. But we’ve seen the last of Douglas Murray and Francis Bouillon.

Up front, say goodbye to Thomas Vanek and, probably, Brian Gionta. George Parros is certainly history. Probably Ryan White, as well.

Bergevin will have to re-sign Lars Eller, who saved his best hockey for the playoffs. Dale Weise should be back. He was sorely missed in Game 6. Brandon Prust could not deliver what Weise had been contributing in terms of speed and winning puck battles.

As has been the case in recent years, the Tomas Plekanec of the playoffs did not match the player we saw during the regular season. Pleks does so much, in all three zones, during the regular season that I suspect he runs of out gas in the playoffs.

Was that the real Rene Bourque we’ve been watching for the last six weeks? Fans can only hope.

And was that the real Dustin Tokarski? If so, Bergevin has a pleasant problem, because Peter Budaj is under contract for another season and Zach Fucale is in the pipeline.

Tokarski as trade bait?

It’s going to be an interesting summer. And fans can enjoy the off-season because your Montreal Canadiens are a good team with a management group that’s going to make them better.

Given the general manager’s commitment to calm, careful team development, the brilliant Josie Gold has imagined Marc Bergevin as the Buddha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And on that note of serenity, I’d like to thank the HIO community for reading my ravings and providing so much stimulating feedback through a long and very enjoyable season.

Love you guys.

See ya in the autumn.

510 Comments

  1. Habfan17 says:

    Some quick thoughts! Trying to find trades that work for both teams and are realistic.

    Pleks, White and Gorges for McGinn, Bordeleau. and a 3rd round pick. Colorado gets experience and a very solid 3rd line center behind MacKinnon and Duschesne, they can resign and move O’Reilly back to left wing. Montreal gets fills a couple of needs on the left side. Bergevin signs Statsny as a UFA, now have Statsny, Eller and Galchenyuk on the top 3 lines.

    Or, Montreal signs Statsny, Gaborik and Raymond, let’s Gionta, Markov, Parros, Boullion, Murray and forget about trying to resign vanek. Trade Pleks, LeBlanc and Gorges to Colorado for Bordeleau McGinn, and a 2nd round pick.

    Trade DD for a pick or picks. New lines;

    Patches, Statsny, Gaborik
    Raymond, Eller Bourque
    McGinn, Galchenyuk, Gallagher
    Bordeleau, Bournival, Weise.

    Emelin, Subban
    Tinordi, Weaver
    Beaulieu, Pateryn
    Drewiskie, Nygren

    I know, too many changes, but you have to admit, it sure looks good!
    Habfan17

  2. NoTinFoilCups says:

    An Eller like player for Tokarski wouldn’t hurt this team at all. Hopefully Bergevin can make it happen.

  3. Peter Young says:

    Deleted because posted in wrong place.

  4. Peter Young says:

    I don’t comment as much as most of the other regulars, but I read every word Mike Boone posts, and I add my note of appreciation for his work. The HIO website took a big dive in quality when Mike retired, and it’s still not back to what it was, but thankfully Mike stayed around as HIO game blogger and About Last Night analyst, which made the transition bearable.

    It’s been a great season to be a Canadiens fan, and Mike has made it even better. So many thanks for another year’s work, Mike, have a good summer off and we’ll see you when the new season rolls round.

  5. HabfaninCalifornia says:

    Dear Mr. Boone,

    I’m a devoted, regular reader of your ABL column and Liveblog but an infrequent poster.

    I just wanted thank you for all the great work you do covering this team on HIO. It’s an absolute delight to follow the Habs through the lens you provide your readers, and it dulls the pain of having to be a fan from afar. Have a great summer.

  6. HabsLifer says:

    Big kudos to the Tokar. He was just as good stopping the puck as Pricey, The difference? He does not play the puck as well as Price. Price can headman the puck across the blueline. Tokar didn’t. Hope the goalie coach can work with him in the off-season. He will be a number 1 one day he can be a little more aggressive outside the crease. And that my Hab friends, is my last post for the year. Hope we get further next year!

    ———————————
    Claude Provost Rocked!

  7. Strummer says:

    I’m interested to see the extent of the injuries on this team now that all can be revealed.

    I would also recommend not losing the first 2 games of series when you open on home ice. That’s a tough hole to dig out of.
    Losing Price and that 1PM start for game 1 seems to have sealed their fate.

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

  8. VintageFan says:

    If we are being honest, the play of the series was Kreider’s skate first slide into Carey. Just sayin”

  9. goalie29 says:

    all this series did was make me angrier at bob gainey and scott gomez

    Wink! – Patrick Roy

  10. Mike Boone says:

    I may have posted this before, but it bears repeating:
    Muchos gracias to the Commenters who posted kind words about my work on HIO.
    A cynical old retired journo is very touched.
    OK, enough sentimentality.
    Let’s trade Timo!

    Mike Boone
    Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  11. C-Sword says:

    People need to chill out with Tokarski, he has no trade value yet. Plus, he’s another small goalie, GMs saw what happened with Halak.

    • Fansincebirth says:

      After watching him during the playoffs, I salute him for his performance but there are kinks in his armor.

      I don’t think the wrap around attempts were an accident, I think someone on the Rangers picked something up. To me, he was late getting over a few times and by luck was able to make the save, have the puck stopped by someone else or the shooter missed. I don’t think he’s quite used to the speed at this level yet…..yet :)

      A work in progress but he has all the moves and calmness like Price does.

  12. Xkhann says:

    Great Season boys!! So Proud of ma team! Here are some of my thought;
    -Gionta – it’s been nice knowing ya, and I’d hate to see ya go, but go have fun in the sun with Gomer.
    -In terms of our next captain? ugh..well, I know everyone says Gorges, and I love the guy, but I would hate seeing our Capitano get plastered everytime he goes into the boards. He plays with his heart on his sleeve, and I”d love to see him as our future captain. Anyone think Max would be good, cuz he’d be one of my picks. PK?
    -So, I wouldn’t sign either Vanek or Gio, so that leaves a top 6 position available for a LW and RW. Hey, you know who I also loved and am sure would want to be back: Cammalleri. There’s our LW. For a RW I’d take a shot at Nicolai Kulemin. He could be a steal for around 3 – 3.5 mill. Big, fast, good hands – needs a change of scenery from T., considering he once hit 30 goals. Not the leadership we need, but definitely makes it tougher to play againt us. And he’s 29.
    -Brooks Orpik. Hated the guy, but gritty. We might need another steady veteran Dman, and I think there’s gonna be some major changes in Pittsburgh, and I don’t see him being there. He’d be the kind of example I’d want Tinordi to learn from.
    -Bring back PK, Markov, Eller, Weise. I’d love for Weaver to return, but something tells me he’s looking elsewhere. Leblanc – man oh man, we should’ve picked Kreider..oh well, it is what it is..but he’s also a RFA and something needs to be done with him. I think some guys like White, Parros, Blunden and Dubnyk should be retained for that extra depth..Parros if only for his class, White could get better, Blunden is a work in progress and Doobie just for his size (who knows, maybe some training session with Stephane Waite might turn him into something). But I think there’s lots of good veterans out there to fill in some of the holes left by a captain. A guy like Marcel Goc might be a good fit here.

    Go Habs Go!

  13. rhino514 says:

    When we lose in the playoffs it´s ALWAYS due to injuries. Sure, evry team has injures, but consider:

    2010: No Markov (nor Gorges)
    2013: No comment
    2014: No Price (nor Emelin and Weise for key game 6)
    plus I am sure Vanek was playing with one hand.

  14. sulham44 says:

    Thanks to Boone and the HIO team for another great season of coverage. You make a distant fan feel like a Bell Center neighbor. I opined after a loss to Columbus that this team was not constituted for a playoff run. Whoops. I stick to those concerns as there are still some missing pieces to complete the puzzle, but this team deserves high praise for overcoming its weaknesses and exploiting its strengths to make a fantastic and unexpected (always more enjoyable) run at the Cup. Character is one thing they are not lacking. And beating the Bruins was so satisfying that I’ll be grinning all summer long. A few things I can’t wait to see next season:
    1) Alex Galchenyuk – kid proved he is a gamer with a ton of talent.
    2) Young defense corps move up (may cost us some games, but their time is here).
    3) MaxPac crack 40 goals.
    4) Lucic’s head explode trying to do math on the scoreboard.

    We beat the Bruins!

    • rhino514 says:

      The Big Junior Three on D is indeed the key to next year. One of them has to become a solid defensive Dman, and up to now none of the three have proven they can handle NHL speed defensively.
      Markov will be half a step slower next year, and he was already a liability out there during these playoffs.
      Beaulieu is the most talented, but the least defensive, which is not exactly what we are lacking.
      I could see things going wrong on D if Markov slows down some more and Emelin does not get back on the progression curve he was on prior to his big injury.
      Otherwise it´s a real solid team with a great goaltender (and a good young backup goalie who looks like he could be a decent starting goalie…trade bait?)
      To me, 2014 is the year Price became great. I wasn´t sold on him a couple of seasons ago.

  15. S_Dot says:

    Never do I post, but I just wanted to thank Boone and everyone here at HIO for all the hard work, late night ALNs, discussions and sense of community this place creates. Ever since this site began way back when (when it was still Habs Insideout!) it’s been a haven for me to get my hockey/habs fix — especially being out here in LA — and getting a sense of the pulse of Montreal, etc. In victory or defeat, I don’t think there’s anything I enjoy more than reading Boone’s take on the previous nights game.

    Would have loved to be able to see the guys out here in LA for the Cup but what a fun run it has been this year and I’ll reiterate what seems to be the sense around here — the future is bright. You can’t teach experience and MB will trim the fat and we’ll come back stronger. Let’s not forget we are only two years removed from finishing LAST in the Eastern Conference. But with the quick culture change and us being back to our winning ways, I’m excited to see what lies ahead in the offseason.

  16. HammerHab says:

    If it comes out that Vanek had a significant injury (I suspect his lower shooting hand/arm) do you make an attempt to resign him?

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

    • CJ says:

      Did said injury also impact his skating and ability to compete? Not trying to be pointy stick, but unless there were a myriad of injuries to multiple parts of the body, it simply falls back on Vanek and his inability to compete and raise his game.

      • rhino514 says:

        Did you see him skate the length of the ice last night to catch up to Zuccarelo, the fastest Ranger after Kreider?
        Yes, you try your best to re-sign him if (and it is likely) there an injury in play.
        They probably won´t be able to, but I would give it one heck of a try.

  17. shaw03 says:

    Last night hurt really bad, I just had some hope that a lot of these guys at the heart to want to make it to the stanley cup finals. I did not like the goal that was scored by moore i found the canadiens played lazy defence, one player behind the net no one pressures him and even touches him, he makes an easy pass and moore puts it. the 3rd period is not meant for desperation, you got to play with that will all game long. Passes were not connecting, stupid plays, horrible defence. Vanek needs to go he is absolutely useless , he annoyed me the most.

  18. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS:
    1. What do you think of Rene Bourque today?
    2. Budaj has a year left on his contract. Will he play again for us?
    3. This decision is near… if one, who do you trade: Eller, Plekanec, Desharnais? WHY?
    4. If Pateryn, Tinordi, Beaulieu all play next year, who else plays with them? Subban… and ??.
    5. If Gionta goes, who would YOU like to see as your next Captain?
    SD
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • shiram says:

      1. if his value is high after the playoffs, I’d consider moving him, the book on him is more than just the 17th playoffs game we saw this season.
      2. I think so, but many are anointing Tokarski the backup, I’m fine either way.
      3. I’d go with DD here, as Chucky could slot in and take his role, with the most ease I feel. Pleky was not great but he was not as awful as some made him to be, and we need some experience on the dot.
      4. I don’t think all 3 of those make it.
      5. 3 A for next season, or have the players vote.

    • BJ says:

      1) Same as in the beginning, I liked him as a player. Finally showing his stuff.
      2) No (unless Tokarski is in on a big trade).
      3) Plekanec (love the guy) but he would get us more than DD and Eller I don’t trade.
      4) Emelin, I think Gorges will be part of a trade.
      5) Gallagher.

    • TheCanadianDagger says:

      1. I thought he played like the player he can be, and scratch my head as to why he can’t be that guy consistently.
      2. Hard one…. Tokarski could get more in a trade, but trading for goalies gives little in return. Price – Toker I think.
      3. Plekanec. As much as I love him, he does tend to disappear. And would fetch more than DD, since it is clear he has to have Max to produce. Don’t touch Eller.
      4. Subban, Tiny, Beau, Gorges, Emelin, Pateryn, Growing Pains.
      5. I want Subban as leader. But it would likely be Gorges because no one has studied the Hockey Cliches 101 book more than Rah-rah.

    • Cal says:

      1. Playoff type player
      2. Nope
      3. Pleks- Habs need to rationalize center and give Eller his spot. May get a decent return.
      4. Subban, Gorges and Emelin. Weaver and Murray as 7 and 8
      5. PK

      http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

    • rhino514 says:

      1) Keep him. Just don´t expect too much (at least in the regular season)
      2. Tokarski really impressed me. Budaj is a good backup, but I play Toker, unless they can trade the Kid for a good asset.
      3. Eller may have saved his place on the team with these playoffs (I have always really liked him). None of the three will be traded.
      4. One of them will be the sixth D, with Weaver. Another will be the seventh D. Have no idea who and who.
      5. They don´t have an ideal candidate. Gorges by default, I guess. I thought maybe Pleks, but he´s a real quiet guy and his Emmy performance took away some of his credibility

      Just like Eller and Bourque raised their stock a ton, Gionta probably has punched his ticket out of here with his one goal in 18 games. I really expected more from him in the playoffs.

    • Coach K says:

      Nice to hear from you again SD!
      Good questions…so in response:

      1: His value will never be higher…move him now if you can. That said, if MB has some new insights into what makes him tick then keep him and see how it goes.

      2: Not likely. Package him for a draft pick or depth player (goalies don’t fetch much)

      3: Plekanec and Desharnais. They have a bumper crop of capable young centres who need ice time in their draft positions in order to properly develop and maximize their potential. Plekanec has proven himself to not be the shutdown centre in the playoffs that everyone figures he is and he fails to put up points at that time of years as well. Desharnias should go for the same reasons as Bourque – his value will never be higher. Plus they need more size at that position to win board battles and dig out pucks for Pacioretty. Let Eller or Galchenyuk take on that role keeping in mind that you still have Briere and also that Bournival is a natural centre with White in the wings.

      4: All 3 will not play at the same time – can’t have a critical mass of rookies back there. Beaulieu has clearly demonstrated that he’s worthy of a regular role. Tinordi needs to fix his foot speed but may be a suitable replacement for Murray, who can walk. Pateryn might play depending on the opponent. I see him as a younger, more mobile Gorges and hopefully a better first passer. I say let the coaches sort it out but I think you;d want a shutdown, stay-at-home type paired with PK.

      5: P.K. is the next captain hands down. Rah Rah guys are fine in the room and on TV but their limited skill set prevents them from elevating their game in the post-season and becoming someone to rally around. P.K. on the other hand, plays with a huge amount of determination, never ever takes a shift off and unlike others, elevates his game and that of those around him to a completely different level when its most needed. If that isn’t leadership then I don’t know what is. Plus, if you can’t rally behind a guy who is that passionate about winning, then you have no business being there. As for the “noise” that follows him…its mostly generated by the media to create a story and it puts him in a no-win situation. Bergevin has to step up here on his behalf and tune them like Bob Gainey once did for Brisebois.

      —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

    • NoTinFoilCups says:

      1. He sure isn’t a guy “who gets you there” but playoff performance is where it really counts as long as we have enough of the former of course.
      2. Keep Budaj, trade Toker, we have Fucale in the pipeline.
      3. Pleks, he’s too worn out by playoff time, I’m afraid he’s on the inevitable decline.
      4. They won’t all play, but I’d keep Emelin, Weaver, Markov (for 2 max), cya Gorges, Bouillon and Murray.
      5. Gallagher!

  19. AceTen says:

    Thanks for another great season Boone, keep up the good work!

  20. Commandant says:

    Repost

    This team isn’t far off. I feel a lot better about this current team than I did in 2010. Nothing to feel sad about.

    Off-season

    1) Trade Budaj for a late draft pick, Tokarski is the number 2 now.
    2) Re-Sign Markov. There is no UFA defenceman who can replace him.
    3) Move Eller permanently to Left Wing. Its time for Alex Galchenyuk to play centre. Yes Eller has been bad there in short spurts, but I think he’ll learn if put there permanently.
    4) Need to find a winger to play with Galchenyuk… If Vanek was playing hurt, it might be him, if not, or he wants to leave, sign someone like Moulson, or Gaborik, or Iginla, or other…..
    5) Let Murray and Bouillion walk…. re-sign Weaver.
    6) Let Gionta Walk…..
    7) Trade Moen (just no room for him).

    Forwards

    Pacioretty – David Desharnais – Gallagher
    Eller – Alex Galchenyuk – See #4
    Bournival – Plekanec – Bourque
    Prust – Briere – Weise
    White

    Possible to make the team: Andrighetto.

    Defence
    Gorges – Subban

    Markov – Emelin
    Beaulieu – Weaver
    Tinordi vs Pateryn (training camp battle)

    Goalie

    Price
    Tokarski

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • C-Sword says:

      For how long do we sign Markov? He’s not going to agree to a 1 year deal. We don’t need to replace him yet, yes the powerplay will take a hit during the regular season, but that’s something I can live it.

      Why move Eller to the wing? His spot is center on the 3rd line. Why not trade Plekanec to make room for Galchenyuk instead? Doesn’t Eller deserve a shot to play the shut down role? Trading Pleks could get us a decent winger in return.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Eller was the most consistent centre in the playoffs and went 8 for 8 in the face off circle in game 5. He was the second leading scorer behind Subban with 13 points and a plus 6 and you want to move him permanently to left wing where he sucked. That would be a terrible move!! Galchenyuk needs to move to centre, on that, you and I agree. Pleks needs to go. You can’t have a centre in the top 2 that only gets you 9 points in 17 games and a minus 7.

      Then later next season or next off season, after Galchenyuk has proven he is ready, trade DD! By then De La Rose or another of the centres should be ready to move up or Bournival can play there.

      Habfan17

      • Commandant says:

        Few points…. 9 points in 17 games is second line centre production.

        As for +/-, meaningless stat…. his peripheral stats are a lot better, especially when the level of competition is factored in. He shut down Kreijci and Stamkos in these playoffs… no one else on the team is capable of that. And his zone starts show how much of a defensive role he was put in.

        After Eller’s regular season, be careful not to overrate his playoffs. As for moving him to the wing, he’s never been put there for a long period of time, only short spurts. I think with Galchenyuk and a shooter on the righ, he’d adapt. Especially if the move was made permanently.

        Go Habs Go!

        http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • Coach K says:

        Don’t put Eller on the wing.
        2 playoffs in a row Eller has demonstrated that he’s the strongest centre on the team. Why do you think Ottawa targeted him and took him out? You don’t normally do that to a player who isn’t a handful…right? Eller’s hard to contain along the wall and he’s learned the defensive side of a centre’s job better than Galchenyuk at this point which is why I’d have him centre the # 1 line and have Chucky centre the # 2 line so he has fewer defensive responsibilities. They can switch roles as they grow into them. I’d shop DD now while his value is highest in order to make room.

        —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

    • HammerHab says:

      I’m thinking trade Tokarski. His value is sky-high, he’ll never take over for Price, Budaj/Dubnyk are servicable backups until Fucale is ready. What kind of center could Plekanec & Toker bring us?

      ———————————–

      It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

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

    Rangers are still milking MSL’s mom’s death as a rallying point for the team. That doesn’t sit well with me.

  22. Chelios24 says:

    Thanks Boone for a great season. Love the job you do

    • Alvin says:

      Great signing and the kid CAN throw ‘em too.

    • BJ says:

      Good, he’ll help and be re-united with Dietz.

    • dr. schmutzdeker says:

      Great news. I was getting a little worried. Having never seen him play and just having knowledge of his play based on what I’ve read, this kid fits the mould. Character confirmed.

      After a very disappointing, injury plagued year with Saskatoon he gets some (probably somewhat disappointing) news…instead of being signed, and going to Hamilton, he is off to the Vancouver Giants. the Giants are a team predicted to be sad sacks, but, the silver lining is he will be playing for Coach Bill Hay.

      How does Thrower respond? He plays fantastic, becomes a team leader, plays his usual feisty, hard nosed game and picks the team up by the boot straps. Looks as if he’s displaying the exact character traits MB desires.

      Habs do not have to return to the days of the Goat with a defence including Chris Campoli, Tomas Kaberle, Frederic S. Denis, Diaz, Weber, Spacek etc. Nothing against these guys individually, however, collectively they couldn’t clear a crease, strike fear into the hearts of (or cause a little hesitation in) fore checkers, if their lives depended on it. Two thumbs up!

  23. Dr.Bob says:

    The doctor is in. Last night’s final score was flattering. Our boys were simply never in this one from start to finish.The team was obviously spent and had nothing more to give. It could have easily been a blowout if not for #35.

    There are 2 types of players in hockey. Those that get you there and those that get you through. The Habs are stocked with a lot guys that fall into the former category and not enough that fall into the latter. It will be MB’s job in the offseason to figure out this equation and make the necessary moves to get this team to the next level.

    Have a great summer Mr. Boone. Enjoy the time off. Cheers to all.
    The doctor is checking out.

  24. CHasman says:

    No wish list from me, I’ll leave that up to Bergevin. I look forward to some changes though. More size is still important.
    The Stanley cup final series should be interesting, but I think the Rangers are in for a world of hurt.
    Thank you Mr. Boone for another year of great comments and angst. I have to say I agreed with your opinions a high percentage of the time. Time to enjoy the summer. Goodbye all.

  25. Thurston says:

    I was bitterly disappointed last night (as were many of us, I’m sure) but now that I am slightly less cranky, I offer the following observations:

    (1) First and foremost, I can’t honestly say I thought the Canadiens would advance this far. I figured the boys would down Tampa Bay, which they did convincingly, but was thrilled when the Bruins were next. It allowed me to get my hopes up for something grander, hopes that were extinguished last night at Madison Square Garden, but at least we made the final four.

    (2) The long playoff run gave valuable playoff experience to several of our young guys, including Price, Subban, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Pacioretty and Beaulieu among others. Hopefully they learned a lot and will be able to translate this experience into something bigger and better down the road.

    (3) Trade Rene Bourque. That opinion may not be popular amongst some people given his strong playoff run but let us not forget his miserable regular season. After Game 82 had concluded, he had no value. Now, he does. Explore what you can get for him and if the right deal comes along, take it.

    (4) I do not possess mind-reading capabilities, but it simply did not look like Thomas Vanek wanted to be in Montreal. I could be totally out-to-lunch, but count me among the many who wanted to see more from him during the playoffs. Sure, he wasn’t on a top line for large portions of games, but I don’t think he deserved to be either. I’d be surprised if he re-signs with the Habs but I am still open to surprises, even with an underwhelming playoff run.

    (5) I am very curious to know what the outcome of the Rangers series would have been like if Price hadn’t been barrelled into but I don’t own a crystal ball either. That said, full marks to Tokarski and his play. I was really down on the whole series after Game 1 but Tokarski impressed me with how he stepped in and performed. I can’t see Budaj coming back and I wonder what Marc Bergevin can get in a trade for him.

    (6) I am more optimistic for the future than I have been in recent years. I recall Bergevin stated the team wasn’t ready yet and despite this impressive run, he was right. As stated earlier, I hope this experience proves to be one of the building blocks for this club going forward.

    • Ton says:

      you cant get rid of everyone……….bork is a playoff performer………he will have his moments……….to goal is to…..do enough to get in the playoffs….anything can happen afterwards……I would want Bork on my team in the spring………….its impossible to have someone perform night in night out……..(wendel clark shortened his career doing this). Same for Patch……poster says get rid of him…..are you kidding he can score from any where on the ice…….flower did not score in all of his games!!! what you do is surround these players with other good players ex. wiese…..there are more out there that this mgt team know of…….trust me!

    • BJ says:

      I agree with Ton above. No way you let Bourque go. Big, fast, strong, can score. I think he probably for the first as a Hab feels that he’s a contributor and part of the team. His cap is well within his value and what he brought to the playoffs. I expect a 20+ goal season from him playing with Eller and Weise.

  26. C-Sword says:

    Desharnais : We will never win with him as our 1st center. He works hard and has a great hockey sense, but size does matter.

    Gallagher: He doesn’t belong on the 1st line. I love the guy, but it’s so easy to knock him down and take the puck from him. It was frustrating watching him do the dirty work instead of Max Pac.

    Pacioretty: He will keep scoring a lot of goals during the regular season, but he’s no playoff performer, he’s going to be much less effective when the pressure is on. I don’t see him as the type of player who will carry the team.

    Plekanec: Another disappointing playoff run. I don’t think we should make the mistake of hanging on too long to a player, keeping him will only slow down the development of either Galchenyuk or Eller. We should trade him while he still has a decent value, what we need is a winger that can score next season.

    Gionta: He’s finished, I can’t stand watching him shoot the puck directly at the goalie’s crest anymore. Sure, he doesn’t play too bad defensively, but it shouldn’t be too hard to replace him with someone cheaper and younger.

    Galchenyuk: I liked what I saw from him. I’m hoping he can put on some weight during the off-season, because he does shy away from physical contact from time to time. He must center one of the top lines next season.

    Eller: Our most consistent center during the playoffs, he used his size to his advantage, one of the few players that could actually protect the puck. Trading him instead of Plekanec would be a huge mistake, it’s not that easy to get a hold of a big center. He does need to learn to make better decisions with the puck though.

    Bourque: I wasn’t worried about Bourque, I knew he was going to explode offensively in the playoffs, I also liked how he threw hits and skated hard to backcheck. There are players that get you to the playoffs and those who help you win them, he’s part of the latter. Very few can do both and that’s including the high paid ones. Replacing him shouldn’t be one of our main priorities.

    Weise: I was so impressed by his speed and intensity, the type of player you can easily move back and forth from the 4th to the 3rd line. Smart move by the Rangers to take him out, his absence was felt last night.

    Briere: He’s a clutch player without a doubt, but there’s no room for him with the Habs, especially on the 4th line, the 4th line is supposed to play physical while avoiding being scored on, he can’t do neither of those things.

    Prust: Don’t mind him, as long as he stays on the 4th line and gets limited ice time.

    Bournival: Love his speed and intensity, but has no shot unfortunately, he’s practically a younger version of Gionta, he definitely belongs on either the 3rd or 4th line.

    Subban: A future leader, if he’s not one already. He does try to do everything on his own at times, but it must be frustrating when most of his teammates can’t bring the same energy as he.

    Markov: Do not resign him, he caused so many turnovers, can’t skate back fast enough and try to be too fancy during the playoffs. We might not be able to replace him right away, Beaulieu is clearly not ready, but we’re not winning with Markov anyway, I’m willing to sacrifice our powerplay next season to watch Nate develop.

    Emelin: He was awful throughout the playoffs, Price bailed him out so many times against the Bruins, the only good thing he did was getting Lucic off his game, but I’m not going to bash him so more until I see him play on his natural side.

    Gorges: He costs too much for what he does, Weaver can block shots as well and is paid much less. Gorges has no shot and his ability to start any kind of rush from his own zone is very limited. Trade him if possible, he can be replaced by Weaver or another D. He’d be the 5th defenseman on a good team.

    Weaver: He got beaten a few times because of his small stature, but I liked what I saw from him overall, he isn’t afraid to block shots and go against much bigger guys.

    Bouillon: Do not resign him for obvious reasons.

    Beaulieu: He has to be a regular next season no matter what. I hope that Therrien doesn’t play games with him and Tinordi by scratching them the next game as soon as they cost a goal.

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

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Friday, May 30th, 2014

    CANADIENS SIGN DALTON THROWER TO THREE-YEAR CONTRACT
    20-year-old defenceman produced 39 points in 42 games as captain of WHL Vancouver in 2013-2014

    MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs General Manager Marc Bergevin announced today the Canadiens have signed defenceman Dalton Thrower to a three-year, entry-level contract.

    In 42 regular season games with the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants in 2013-2014, Thrower recorded 39 points (12 goals, 27 assists) and 70 penalty minutes. The 20-year-old also served as Vancouver’s captain.

    In 285 career WHL regular season games with the Giants and Saskatoon Blades from 2009-2014, Thrower recorded 147 points (42 goals, 105 assists) and 414 penalty minutes. The 6’0”, 203-pound defenceman had five points (two goals, three assists) and 23 penalty minutes in 26 career WHL playoff games.

    The Squamish, British Columbia native was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round (51st overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

  28. Ton says:

    GM Tony here> This will be our D…….

    D……Emelin stays (you need him in the east!), Gorges will stay on contract……PK……Weaver will get signed for one year………Beaulie/Patteryn/Tinordi will be in & out of lineup on any given night………….Boulion could be signed for one more year at the minimum (based on relationship with MT). Markov will be let go! Murray will be released.

    • JUST ME says:

      Il like Bouillon but he is at the end of his rope. He was not hired to play every game but injuries made it so and last season and this season he was over used.

      If you are to sit a kid every game then you might as well keep them playing in Hamilton instead of wasting them. I think Tinordi and Beaulieu will get the chance to graduate for good but still have to prove themselves.
      Would sign Weaver .
      Would sign Markov depending on the price tag.
      P.K. is the man!
      If Tinordi graduate then Murray can go…
      Would be ready to consider seeing Gorges or/and Emelin go if we get an offer we can`t turn down. We have to be ready to make bold moves because we know now what we need and if the right offer comes then…

  29. AH says:

    Here I am at work.

    Lousy sleep last night, tossing and turning, thinking what might have been for the Habs this year.

    It was a great run, it was fun seeing car flags and Habs hats here in Edmonton, but I have to admit I am one of those Habs fans Scotty Bowman described: “win or tie, they’re with you all the way”, and thus to me a year without the cup is another unsuccessful year.

    Now that the boys are out I can now turn my full attention to my other obsession in life: Golf.

    With that, here is my “wish list” for next years team:

    OUT; either by trade or not signing: Plekanec, Gionta, DD, Briere, Vanek (didn’t show me enough in the playoffs to want to sign him), Gorges, Bouillion, Murray, (although I liked his “truculence” against the Gooins and the Loafs), Parros.

    IN: Weaver and Weise, a big center who can produce consistently, a big dman with a mean, nasty streak who can clear the crease and destroy jerks like Kreider when they come near Price, and last but not least a fighter who can actually play a bit, I hope MB goes after Gadzic on the Oilers.

    Before you start slogging me, remember it’s only a “wish list”, LOL!

    Cheers everyone, have a healthy, safe and great summer!

    And as always, GO HABS GO!!!

  30. bush9842 says:

    Mtl is high school for the nhl… Once u leave here is when u go to college and become who u have to become

  31. bush9842 says:

    I didn’t think they would of beat the rangers… Too much against us… Mcdougnah, Alain v, pouliot, Diaz the hand full of quebecer on the rangers , St. Louis Richards ….. Their was to much against us…

  32. ont fan says:

    What if Tokarski stays in Tampa for first series and plays for them.

  33. Loop_Garoo says:

    Great season, sad its over, but it was a memorable one.

  34. Old Bald Bird says:

    Thrower signed.

  35. TMan1969 says:

    Hello Gents,

    Great season – inched ever so close to glory only to see it snuffed out by a life sucking neutral zone death grip.

    I was very impressed by Eller and Borque..great finish, Markov made plenty of gaffes last so will that translate into no contract?? Oh well, maybe next year..

    Something got me thinking…Kreider knocks out Price, series should’ve been over but Tokar stood tall (even after a few accidental run ins)…Gm 5 Weise causing all sorts of problems for the Rangs – boom, he’s gone too…and he was playing awesome…planned perhaps, strategically dirt?? I know, all accidental, but it does seem strange…

    I suspect next year there will be a few new players in the line up and some of the familiar one’s gone to other teams (not counting Vanek b/c he was already gone).

    Boone, thanks for all your efforts here on this site you have definitely provided some colour and energy here. Thanks to everyone on this site for your insightful, funny and interesting banter. Hope everyone has a great summer!

    Terry

    “If I knew the answer to that I’d bet $10,000 on the game and retire from coaching.”
    —Montreal Canadiens coach Toe Blake after being asked if his team would win an upcoming game


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