About last night …

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What has changed?
A week ago, your Montreal Canadiens were 14th in the Eastern Conference.
They had dropped their first four home games of the season – including a nationally-televised loss to Toronto.
Florida was coming to the Bell Centre for what many thought was a game the team had to win to save Jacques Martin’s job.

The Canadiens lost to the Panthers – the first time in their 102-year history the team had dropped five consecutive home games to begin a season.

The drumbeats of discontent intensified. And the Canadiens’s next three games were against Philadelphia and Boston.

In retrospect, you could discern that something clicked in that loss to Florida. The Canadiens fired 41 shots at an unheralded goaltender named Jacob Markstrom, who stopped 40 of them.

Despite their woeful record – 1-5-2 after the loss to Florida – the Canadiens weren’t playing like a team that had quit on their coach.

Peter Budaj, in his first start of the season, was sharp against the Panthers. Erik Cole scored his first goal of the season – on a power play. A viable fourth line was formed after general manager Pierre Gauthier traded Brock Trotter for veteran centre Petteri Nokelainen (18-11 on faceoffs since he got here) and called up Mike Blunden, a big guy who can skate, from Hamilton.

But still, danger loomed in the form of the Flyers and Bruins.

Martin remained an unloved figure – particularly on the English side of the Montreal radio dial, where Mitch Melnick and Tony Marinaro were relentless in demanding the coach be sacked to solve the Canadiens’ problems.

But they used used the wrong word:

“The” coach kept his job, but “a” coach walked the plank.

Less than two hours before the Canadiens took to the ice to face mighty Philadelphia on Wednesday, Gauthier walked into the players’ dressing room to tell them he had fired assistant coach Perry Pearn.

To this day, no one knows precisely why. But the Canadiens stopped scratching their heads long enough to lay a 5-1 thumping on the visitors, then edging Boston 2-1 in a TD Garden thriller 24 hours later.

Suddenly, Martin’s job security improved dramatically. Even a split of the two games against Boston, combined with the two points from beating Philly, would have made for a coach-saving week.

Did anyone – up to and including Martin – expect the Canadiens to beat the Stanley Cup champions twice and take all six points against Philly and Boston?

OK we have to factor in that the Bruins are sucking these days. They can’t score, they take dumb penalties (what’s new?) and Claude Julien – who was fired by a first-place team in New Jersey – is beginning to feel the heat of of a 3-7 start that has Boston last in the East and 29th in the league.

But the Bruins have talent. They are big, and losing makes them even more ornery than usual.

They spent two games targeting P.K. Subban. Shawn Thornton kept up a ceaseless search for dance partners until Travis Moen obliged. Milan Lucic was a guided missile against the Canadiens undersized defencemen.

But Martin, who was more sombre after the Canadiens’ third win in a row than he had been during the losing streak, pointed out that they’re a small team with some size: Blunden, Moen, Cole (who is showing why the Canadiens signed him),  Max Pacioretty and Andrei Kostitsyn are not small forwards.

Brian Gionta plays big. And Lars Eller – for me, the revelation of the season to date – is showing signs of becoming the missing link: the big centre sought so desperately when Bob Gainey chased Mats Sundin all over the globe.

The industrious play of the big wingers is opening up ice for David Desharnais, who centres Cole and Pacioretty on the power-play’s Two and a Half Men first wave.

I don’t think forwards have been the Canadiens’ problem.

While the team has bulked up on the wings, the defence is still undersized. Hal Gill uses his reach effectively but plays small in terms of hitting. Raphael Diaz and Yannick Weber are skilled but undersized. Josh Gorges plays big because of the size of his heart.

The defenceman who was supposed to supply some thump is sitting in the pressbox. And Alexei Emelin will stay there while the team is winning. My Russian spies tell me Emelin is not happy. He is seventh Dman on the depth chart and will slip to eighth – and to Hamilton, if he agrees to go – if/when Andrei Markov returns.

The big story on D is the return of Jaro Spacek.

Injured during his second shift against Winnipeg when Evander Kane belted him against the boards, Spatcho missed four games; and the Canadiens lost them all.

He returned in that Florida game the Canadiens should have won, and Spacek has been a shot-blocking machine in the three wins since:

Five blocked shots against Philadelphia, six in Boston, seven against the Bruins on Saturday night.

If the trend continues, Spatcho will block eight shots when the Canadiens return to action Friday in Ottawa.

And maybe he’ll have to. The team will be rusty (they don’t practice until Tuesday morning), and the Senators are one of the surprising Eastern Conference teams – Northeast-leading Leafs? WTF?? – the Canadiens are chasing as they climb back into the race.

Are happy days here again?

As evidenced by Martin’s funereal demeanour, irrational exuberance may be premature.

But there are positive indicators.

And five days without games won’t be filled with ranting from the torch-and-pitchfork crowd.

630 Comments

  1. jrshabs1 says:

    The anit-Hab nonsense coming out out of T.O is at an alltime high. I live in leaf nation so I watch and read about it everyday. It’s all Burke, he’s the King, and the King hates the Habs success over his years as the leafs GM. The T.O. media hangs on his everyword. Screw ‘em, screw ‘em all.

    Go Habs Go!!

  2. HabinBurlington says:

    Well lots of time till next game, Suggested Topics of Discussions:
    1)Why don’t we send Emelin to Hamilton to get used to North American Ice Size?
    2)Gomez Trade Scenarios, keep in mind Gomez has $7,357,143 caphit
    3)Who is DePearned™ next?
    4)What should the next Montreal Goal Song Be?
    5)Who makes the best Poutine in Montreal
    6)What are PG and JM Dressing up as for Halloween?

    Edit: Disclaimer, some questions may be sarcastic

    • HUDSONHAB says:

      I’ll take on #2. Gomez cannot be traded IMO.
      (A) When he plays well enough to draw interest we are inclined to keep him.
      (B) $7,357,143 caphit
      (C) Who would want him? Seriously? Anyone?

      ….Hab4life….

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Realistically the only teams that will take Gomez are teams needing help to get to the Capfloor. Currently all teams have achieved that, therefore he is here for the year.

        Your Point A is the only way he is tradeable prior to offseason,otherwise not until the Winnipegs, Florida, Nashville’s of the league need to find cap mgmt help.

  3. zak says:

    PG traded Lapierre for players that never played on the team,
    traded OB to keep Picard who is no longer with the team
    traded SK for two guys that never playe4d with the team
    traded away draft picks for players he decided not to keep

    Hire the best regardless of language

  4. PureGuava says:

    I don’t see how they could let Gomer near this team right now

    • Arune Singh says:

      But as someone said below, it also doesnt seem fair to penalize the guy for being injured.

      The question is– how much rope does he have? At what point does the team decide he isn’t essential?

      I really did hope he’d work out on the team and would have a rebound season. He seems like a good guy and this just may not be the team for him– or it may be he really id a 3rd/4th line center who won’t ever get to play at that level because Sather happened to overpay him.


      Thank You Saku. Thank you Halak. Thank you to all who wear the CH.

      • PureGuava says:

        He’s not being penalized for being injured! He’s being penalized for playing bad hockey and making a fortune to do so. I like the guy as well, but can’t think of a reason to keep him with this team.

        PS – cool Iron Fist Avatar.

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I am hoping that this is “outside the box 2.

      • habs_flan says:

        I wonder if dealing with Gomez will be part of “thinking outside the box” and at the same time related to the Pearn firing. Pearn was the assistant coach in New York while Gomez was still there. Perhaps he was against demoting Gomez and/or placing him on waivers.

  5. durocher says:

    The D in the lineup will not change while we’re on this winning streak, but Emelin is too good to be in the pressbox and, as Boone noted, he adds much-needed size to a small D. Frankly, I’d rather trade Weber or Diaz to get a forward with size (e.g., Clarkson), than keep Emelin. Sadly, I doubt it will happen.

    Gomez will likely be inserted back into the lineup on Friday, which means Blunden will be the odd man out. Gomez’s days in Montreal have to be numbered, based on his marginal contribution to the Habs’ offense while he’s been healthy, his cap hit, and the strong play of Pleks, DD, and Eller. I am hoping PG can pull off a Samsonov type of deal, where we trade for a couple guys whose buyout would be much less than Gomez.

  6. HabFab says:

    Does anyone have a link to the NHL team average sizes?

    Found one for average age. Detroit is the oldest, we are 14th while Toronto and Nashville are the youngest.

  7. Ian Cobb says:

    After being Depearned last week, have our Hab’s Risen from the Cript?

    Here is where our Hab’s place this week in the 30 team league!
    I will post these 3 most important stats every Sunday again this year folks.

    Goals Against-30. We are in 21st place. Last week 24th place with 26 GA.

    Total Points—10. We are in 23rd place. Last week 29th place with 4 points.

    Goals For—–29. We are in 12th place. Last week 21st place with 18 GF.

    We are making lots of mistakes out there, but everyone seems to be on the same page, better engaged on the bench and ice. Seems like more communication as well.

  8. RetroMikey says:

    Yup, we won! Hooray I say, plan the parade here on this site.
    I’m reading many posts and the fans are excited!
    We won against teams which are playing bad now and you have to take advantage of it and get those W’s early.
    Gotta give credit to Martin….he knows we are still small and will have to trade to get bigger upfront and on the D as well. If Weber is so called hot now, let’s make a deal PG and JM and perhaps throw Cammy or Pleks in the package to get a bigger skilled CMan we need and a veteran capable DMan who does his job quietly.
    And where are all the Martin bashers on this site this morning?
    When we win, they praise Martin, when we lose, it’s fire the coach!
    Still feel we can get better via trades.
    PG has to gamble and stop being conservative as Gainey was in the past.
    So as I have said, there will be good games and bad games with this club for the season.
    We have the smallest team in the league and it’s going to show as the season progresses.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • dallyd31 says:

      I actually don’t think our team…especially our forwards are all that small. As CBC pointed out last night, 6 of our forwards are over 6′ and over 200lbs.
      Moen, Cole, Eller, AK47 Max Pac are all big strong guys and talented. Cole has been a bull the last few games.
      We may not be the biggest or toughest, but I doubt we are the smallest.

      • ProHabs says:

        It is not our forward that are the problem. It is our defence that is very small and soft. Weber, Diaz, Spacek and Gorges are small. Gill is big but plays very very small. Subban is the only one that plays a little tough.
        In the past we always had a Ludwig, Odelein, Quintel, Souray that could take care of the back end. We are very small and soft on D.

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Your posts to me

      ———————————————————————-
      Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

      • RetroMikey says:

        The song remains the same with this team…year after year.

        I don’t know what people think. I don’t care! -Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin

        “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

        • ZepFan2 says:

          Meh, I can play that game.

          You never give this team a whole lotta love. Most of your posts make me feel dazed and confused.

          PS. Robert Plant may be in Zeppelin, but I can’t stand the man! Bonham was the heart and soul of Zeppelin.

          I hate it when people slag us off. – John “Henry” Bonham

          ———————————————————————-
          Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

    • Shane1313 says:

      Do we really? Smallest team in the league?
      You wanna prove that? We maybe lose 1 inch to the Bruins and 5 pounds maybe.

      Gill 6’7
      Blunden 6’4
      Moen 6’2
      Eller 6’1
      Pac 6’2
      Emelin 6’2(even in the press box)
      AK 6’0 but a solid 215?
      Cole 6’2

      Smart kid.

    • DEANDALLEY says:

      You just stick to watching the Bulldogs Mikey!

      “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”

  9. EricInStL says:

    So they won against teams that are playing bad. Great. They should beat those teams.

    Now they have to beat the teams that ARE playing good, say the Senators.

    Also they must continue to look at what works are right now this team is playing great without Gomez. This should make management realize that the big decision is not with Martin but with Gomez. He must be sent down in order for the team to move forward. We all make mistakes, and the way to move forward is to admit it and correct it.

    Gomez was a mistake. They must correct it. Now…

  10. Clay says:

    There are 2 ways to look at this:
    1) We just beat the defending cup champs back to back – yay!
    2) We just beat the worst team in the East back to back – meh.

    I prefer the former ;)

    __________________________
    Anyway, I’ve never been captain in 16 years in the NHL. But that didn’t stop me being a leader in my own way.
    Guy Lafleur

  11. twocents says:

    Okay, how about this? Gomez, Gionta and Diaz back to NJ for Elias and Zubrus?

  12. zak says:

    what did we get for Lapierre??

    Hire the best regardless of language

  13. HabFab says:

    Habs STATS Ranking end of October

    Winning % – 26th
    Goals For – 12th
    Goals Against – 19th
    5 on 5 – 7th
    PP – 22nd
    PK – 18th
    Shots For – 7th
    Shots Against – 3rd
    FO winning % – 21st
    Hits – 22nd
    Blocked shots – 2nd
    Missed shots – 11th
    Give away – 3rd
    Take away – 25th
    PIM per game – 16th

  14. Montreal1993 says:

    Well i got some bad news this morning, my grandfather, life long habs fan has passed away this morning after 86 years, gives me some comfort to know he saw montreal beat boston back to back before he left, and he was blessed to see the greatest sports franchise in all of sports win a large majority of their stanley cups.

    Rip grandpa

  15. Propwash says:

    HTR is about to start. Hosts are Ted Bird, Joey Elias, and Abe Hefter. In my humble opinion, they do great recaps on the week.
    http://habstalkradio.com/radio_chat.html

    _____________________
    Dooooooooooooooomed!™

  16. deuce6 says:

    I expect Gomez to be inserted into the line up for his regular shift when he comes back. I partially agree with it because I believe you shouldn’t lose your job because of injury…..Give the guy a shot at redeeming himself…It can only be a positive thing for us because if he feels threatened by the younger guys, I would hope to god he has the urgency to get going and maybe live up to that contract a wee bit…

    If not, bury him in the minors or do something with him because we can’t have a 7M+ cap hit not producing while there are younger guys there waiting for him to move aside….

    ——————

    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

      That’s the kind of talk that kept Doug Flutie out of the Music City Miracle game. I will forever and ever LOATHE anyone named Wade Phillips or Rob Johnson.

      Healthy scratch until he asks to leave and they can use the old PR spin move on him.

      ____________________________________________________
      They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Oh, there is a bad memory Laurence Town.

        I think my interest in football died when Flutie went out of the game. I agree with you 100%.

        If Brian Gionta was half of Doug Flutie as CH captain he would be something.

    • gauver says:

      I don’t agree. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The team is playing much better without Gomez and it doesn’t owe him anything; he is being very well paid!

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      There´s no way Eller or Desharnais should switch to the wing again, just to make space for the worst shooter and most overpaid player in the NHL. JM wants Gomez back in the lineup when he´s fit? Fine, play him with Nokelainen and Darche on the fourth line.

  17. Arune Singh says:

    I’ll be the millionth person to ask– how do I update my avatar?


    Thank You Saku. Thank you Halak. Thank you to all who wear the CH.

  18. V says:

    I see Pouliot was too sick to make the trip to Montreal.

    I wonder what it would have taken to keep Pacioretty out of a game in a situation like that? Amputation of both legs might have slowed him, but he would still be out there on a sled pushing himself into the corners trying to make a play.

    Pouliot not so much. I wonder what his team mates think?

    • D Mex says:

      I wonder what it is that Boston thought he would bring to their table after getting to observe him so much while he was here …

      ALWAYS Habs -
      D Mex

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Pouliot has a lot of skill. He had it on the Wild and for us. For some reason he can’t apply it consistently, whether it’s confidence, application, or he’s a head case…. who the f knows? Players like like are always frustrating … and tempting. And sometimes the right coach can get them going.

  19. montreal ace says:

    The question I have concerning Gomez, is when does Molson look at him as an attractive tax write off, if he does not play better. I am not talking trade here as I think he is becoming an actual business loss. I know I am talking about a tax payer bailout, but the cbc does give free advertising to Toronto.

  20. Arune Singh says:

    Whoops. Didnt mean to post that first one.

    For my own sake, what are the standard forward lines right now? I keep blanking.

    Just wanted to chime in that this team has become a revelation for me. I love Markov, White and a bunch of our IR guys…but I also love this team so much that I don’t want anyone to sit.

    I also wonder what this all does to Gomez’s psychology– the team is doing better without him. Does that inspire him? Does he feel like he has no place? Or does this kind of stuff roll off a pro athlete?

    If Cammy can get hot, that fourth line can keep pushing and our continues to develop, I think we have a real contender. Imagine what we’d look like with a healthy Markov on the back end and the PP? And “playoff Cammy” in the regular season?


    Thank You Saku. Thank you Halak. Thank you to all who wear the CH.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Sneak into JM’s office. Find the box of note-pads… you can go through them, but you won’t find standard forward lines. I only had time to look at one pad:

      Depanneur:

      Cheese curds
      Joe Louis
      Diet pepsi
      Count Chocula (one box)
      Milk
      Yoplait for PG….

      … buy more pads and #2 pencils.

      That was it. Not so much hockey stuff.

      And by the way, re your “Thanks Saku and Halak” – my son and I were able to meet Saku briefly last year. We thanked him for what he did in Montreal and he seemed at peace. He is playing with his great friend Teemu, doesn’t have to carry the team on his back and is greatly appreciated by his team mates and Ducks fans. He can enjoy the game.

      Yesterday my son’s coach praised him in the dressing room – after a game in which he scored 2 goals – for being the best “back checker” on the team. And that is 100% us watching Saku video and him learning to emulate his play at both ends of the ice.

      • Arune Singh says:

        That’s awesome– congrats to your son, AKA Future Habs Captain!

        I think Saku is one of the few celebrities I really want to meet…but I also have no idea what I’d say to him. I could tell him how he inspired me through my own health issues but Im sure he hears that all the time.

        I grew up with Roy, Carbo and those Habs– but with Saku it was the first time I felt like I had “my” player and someone I’d seen grow from the first time he wore the jersey.


        Thank You Saku. Thank you Halak. Thank you to all who wear the CH.

    • Nine1one says:

      Pacioretty Plekanec Gionta
      Cole Desharnais cammalleri
      AK Eller Moen
      Darche Nokelainen Blunden

  21. Arune Singh says:


    Thank You Saku. Thank you Halak. Thank you to all who wear the CH.

  22. Danno says:

    The Two and a Half Men line.

    That just might stick Mike. Nice one.
    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  23. GoGioGo says:

    This is supreme irony. We were all asking for Martin’s head a week ago. But now, what’s the over/under on how many losses the Broons are from having fans, media and their uncle asking to fire Julien?

  24. Ian Cobb says:

    Our 5th annual 2011 Hab’s Fan Summit is fast approaching, Nov. 18, 19, 20.

    Everyone is welcome to any of our events, just identify yourself as a HIO member. But for the Raffle and pregame dinner, you must let me know well in advance for reservations.

    Friday night at Hurley’s pub on big screen Hamilton Bull Dogs playing at the Bell Center.

    We are staying at the Novotel hotel, discount rates at 866-861-6112

    We will all meet and greet at Hurley’s pub Friday eve. Some of us will be having supper there, and name tags will be given out as we watch the Bull Dogs on the big screen playing at the Bell Center..
    Everyone is welcome to join us. Ware you team colors! and enjoy the evening.

    Saturday morning, breakfast is at Chez Cora’s at 8:30am. You can order a la cart and everyone gets 15% discount off your bill.

    After breakfast we walk over to the Bell Center for the Hall of Fame Tour at 10:30am and the Bell Center Tour is at 11:30am. You need to purchase a $5:50 ticket for the Bell Center tour.

    After the tours there will be a professional presentation and press conference put on by former concussed hockey players. Kerry Goulet, Keith Primeau and other players who are Involved in educating the effects of concussion, depression and neurology rehabilitation.
    (location is the Novotel hotel, just up the street)

    At 3pm the Children’s Foundation charity raffle at the Baton Rouge rest. bring one item to donate each if possible, so everyone gets a gift to go home with. We have raised over $6000 to date.
    Then our pre game dinner. With guests.

    After that we walk across the street to the Ranger and Hab game.

    After the game the 2nd floor of Hurley’s pub is reserved for us again, to celibrate the win. Anyone may join us, just identify yourself as a HIO member.

    Please be generous with your charity raffle gifts and your purchase of raffle tickets. It is a way for the HIO community to give back to less fortunate kids. Our group HIO fans have raised over $6000 to date for the kids.

    Enjoy talking hockey and meeting your wonderful HIO community at this years Summit.

    See ya there.

    Ian Cobb
    HIO Fan Summit Organizer (613-968-9807) if you need anything.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Bless you for organizing the event, Ian. As someone who sometimes has to coordinate such things, it is a diaper-load of work. And the smoother it goes, the hard it was to put together.

      Have a great time, many of us will be there in spirit if not corporeally.

    • Psycho29 says:

      Great job as always Ian!
      So we will be two people and hook up with you guys Saturday morning at the Bell Centre for the tour; and then on to Baton Rouge for the supper/raffle…..
      Can’t wait!

  25. HabFab says:

    “The” coach kept his job, but “a” coach walked the plank.

    This IMO say’s it best. Gauthier was fast approaching the point that he was going to have to let Martin go. This was the next worst thing he could do to him.
    Never have been a Martin fan, as I don’t believe he has evolved well into the present game nor does he adjust well or quickly in game situations (same problem, different time period).
    However, besides Gauthiers friendship with him, there is still the issue of replacement. None of the unemployed coaches excite me and at this point in the season, none of the employed coaches will get releases from their respective clubs.

    • V says:

      I don’t understand this notion that JM does not adjust well or quickly in game situations. I keep hearing it, but I don’t understand what it’s based on.

      Always sounds a bit like the ‘JM ruins young players’ which – if you look at Pacioretty, Deharnais, Webber, Gorges, Kostisyn, Subban, White, Eller and Plekanec – is not true. It looks like he made them all better players.

      • HabFab says:

        1 -Observation
        2 -Thought I had an original idea here, where does this “JM does not adjust well” club meet?
        3 -As for the ‘JM ruins young players” club, not a member. Not that I’m sure they don’t have some valid concerns, JM doesn’t appear by any accounts to be a good communicator to either young or veteran players.

  26. JohnBellyful says:

    Cop 1 [looking up from newspaper]: Hey, chief, didja see this, Zdeno Chara was in town last night.
    Chief: Chara?
    Cop 2: The guy we’re investigating for an on-ice assault of a Montreal Canadien player.
    Chief: He was in town last night and nobody told us? Great. That’s what I miss, not being the police chief in Bonne-Espérance anymore. There, everybody knew what was going on.
    Have we questioned this Character yet?
    Cop 3: I don’t think so. He’s a pretty slippery dude.
    Chief: Well, dammit, where are we with this investigation?
    Cop 4: We’ve established he was in the building when the what-we’re-calling ‘a hockey play’ occurred, resulting in a severe neck injury to the Canadiens’ player, what’s-his-name … uh ….Max Patches! There was contact made between the two players and there was a stanchion involved.
    Chief [incredulously]: He assaulted him with a stanchion?
    Cop 5: That’s what we’re trying to establish.
    Chief: Well, what about fingerprints?
    Cop 6 [sheepishly]: They replaced the stanchion.
    Chief [yelling]: They tampered with the crime scene!!!
    Cop 7 [meekly]: Yeah.
    Chief [screaming]: Tell me this investigation hasn’t gone off the rails!!! What about eyewitness accounts?
    Cop 8: We’ve interviewed 15,000 so far, with another 6,000 to talk to.
    Chief: Surely you’ve got enough circumstantial evidence to lay a charge?
    Cop 9: Chief, this is Quebec. It just got around to calling an inquiry into corruption in the construction industry, even though everyone knows it has existed for years.
    Chief: You’re right. We’ve got to make this case ironclad before we take it to the Crown attorney. What’s next?
    Cop 10: We got a guy working undercover for us, to catch Chara saying something that confirms his guilt. It’s only a matter of time before he hoists himself with his own petard.
    Chief: Good work! What’s his name?
    Cop 11: Benoit Pouliot.
    Chief: [groan]

    – “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” –

  27. Psycho29 says:

    From the hockey experts at NESN this morning:

    “Some of the calls that went against the Bruins were undoubtedly questionable, but that’s always going to be the case with the current state of the NHL’s officiating.”

    “Subban drew Andrew Ference into a roughing penalty when Ference took a pop at Subban to free himself from the blueliner after the whistle and Subban snapped his head back dramatically to further sell the call.”

    “The Bruins hit the post three times and the Montreal goalposts seemed to make more saves than Carey Price on Saturday night. NESN Nation’s Dan Duquette is awarding those goalposts our “Any Given Saturday” player of the game award for their role in thwarting the Bruins, and he’s hoping that next time the bounces will go the Bruins way.”

    • Propwash says:

      NESN and hockey experts is an oxymoron.
      The Bruins lost because they couldn’t keep up with the Habs’ speed and skill guys.

      _____________________
      Dooooooooooooooomed!™

    • M.Neil says:

      About goalposts, one thought is, the shot was that close to missing the net completely.

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        Do post hits count as shots on goal?

        ____________________________________________________
        They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

          • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

            Exactly, a hit post is the same as a whiff or a wild shot in the netting as far as the hockey gods are concerned.

            If the puck became lodged in a snow pile on the goal line I could see legit belief that Carey got lucky, but all a hit post proves is that enough of the net was covered to keep the puck out.

            ____________________________________________________
            They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

  28. HabFanSince72 says:

    I wonder why it is “classless” (*) for the GM to fire an assistant coach? Who decides that it is? The GM is his direct superior (not the coach) so it is his responsibility. In fact to let someone else do it would be the easy way out. Besides why is it any of the CBC’s business? They have no idea what kind of job Pearn was doing nor what caused Gauthier to let him go.

    I have never gotten the respect Eliotte Friedman gets here. All I see is a po-faced sanctimonious cliché machine. I guess he shines compared to his HNIC companions.

    (*) “classless” is such a mafioso expression. Notice how it’s never “classless” to send an enforcer out on the ice to right a wrong.

    • tbovs says:

      that got my ire up when i heard that…nor did they say why its classless then they escalted from some coaches to everyone in the league…brutal…that is by far the worst hockey telecast ever in the history of tv channels…PJ stock is horrible and elliot Friedman has been wrong so much it cheapens his journalism.

    • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

      Was I just young and impressionable, or was the hot stove more legit a few years ago when they still had Duhatchek et al? Even that dummy Strachan had more credibility than Boston Rob or whatever his name is and the new fancy suit in the middle. I feel bad for Friedman, he’d make a damn fine columnist about the mooseheads, rainmen and huskies in the Halifax Herald.

      ____________________________________________________
      They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

  29. Ian Cobb says:

    After being Pearned, have our Hab’s Risen from the Cript?

    Here is where we place this week in the 30 team league!

    Goals Against-30. We are in 21st place. Last week 24th place with 26 GA.
    Total Points—10. We are in 23rd place. Last week 29th place with 4 points.
    Goals For—–29. We are in 12th place. Last week 21st place with 18 GF.

    We are making lots of mistakes out there, but everyone seems to be on the same page, better engaged on the bench and ice. Seems like more communication as well.

    • habsfan0 says:

      While the Habs did have a notoriously poor start as far as their won/loss record was concerned,it is interesting to note that they were in ALL their games,never having been blown out. Perhaps a different voice behind the bench in Ladouceur was the only small tweak that was needed to get this team over the hump. We shall see.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        I think Kirk Muller who has been behind the bench for the past 5 years, carried Pearn. When he was on his own, he did not have the same engagement and communication skill set. There seemed to be a lot of confusion on the bench and ice.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Ian, I like to think of it as being depearned.

  30. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Eller is really developing quickly. It’s not just what he’s doing, it’s how what he is doing is evolving. He made one bonehead play last night on the goal, but he strikes me as a player who learned from it.
    Desharnais is fun to watch – yes, he’s small, but he buzzes around playing much bigger than his size. Plus, he looks confident and professional – he’s a smart player.
    I also like the movement on the bench. The coaching staff is quite animated (although JM still looks like a Boer war monument) and the assistants are talking to the players rather than taking notes on them. There’s teaching going on again.
    It bodes better – now we see if they are streaky or if they can get into a consistent groove. If Martin can play to this team’s many strengths and deal with its many weaknesses enough to get it into a groove, then he’s a better coach than we’ve given him credit for and we can all go up the mountain with knives and forks to hunt crows.

    • JF says:

      Nice post, good imagery. I like “JM still looks like a Boer war monument.”

    • tbovs says:

      Its hard to remember but this isn’t martins first season here and he has done a great job coaching thus far. People may not like him because he is count chocula incarnate but he will forget more of the nuances of the game then most of us will ever know. Just because he is not animated…did you look at Julien last night, he looked like a little baby behind the bench screaming and jumping…..i want my coache to be profeessional and stoic…yelling gets your players even more frustrated…if the team takes on the look of your coach than i want my team to be calm, focused and not overly retarded…see bruins and bruins coach. I just think….what would have a coach like Torterlla which a lot of you goofs like…he’s a douche btw….he would have screamed, yelled, embarressed players, yelled at media, been an ahole…ya .. martin looks great next to Captain A-hole.

    • M.Neil says:

      Ellar is really playing well considering the fact that Martin played that line almost too death in the last two loosing games, and had that line matched up with Lucic, Thornton line were Ellar took a bit of a pounding. Also he covers for Kostitsyn’s lack of back checking. I think the week off should rest him up and will probably play better

    • athanor says:

      I figure that, if Boston hadn’t already had a whole bunch more penalties than Montreal, they would have got one for the slash/hook laid on Eller before that goal.

  31. V says:

    Agree with poster below on PK icing call – I did not think it was icing as Chara (I believe) could easily have touched the puck. I thought it was a missed call by the linesman.

  32. ed lopaz says:

    what has changed??

    maybe the question should read what has NOT changed??

    only a few games into the season, and there was a LONG shopping list of TERRIBLE MISTAKES that management and the coaching staff had made right from the outset.

    almost all of them have now been corrected except one:

    they must find a way to get Emelin some playing time

    here is a list of mistakes that have been addressed:

    1) signed Cole to huge salary and term, yet refused to let him play, especially on the PP even as our PP was total crap

    2) signed Weber to 2 years, 1 way deal, yet refused to believe that he could play defence at the NHL level

    3) traded for Eller as a big, talented center, yet continued to play him on the wing, where frankly, he is lost

    4) complete fail in evaluating the personnel needed to fill the 4th line duties

    5) shoving Darche out on the PP even though we have other talented and big players who could easily stand in front of the net

    6) what a piece of crap training camp that was, the current team had almost no practice time together – terrible!!

    I’m sure I have missed a few.

    All of these issues have been posted over and over on HIO, and honestly, there are posters here (not me) who openly argued for many if not all of these changes, and saw these problems as the Habs left training camp.

    Now if we can get Emelin into the lineup…..please.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • V says:

      Team is winning without him. We are lucky to have someone that good trying to break-in. In the meantime, those playing are getting the job done, so he’ll have to earn his spot.

    • Chris says:

      I agree that getting Emelin some time should be a priority, but it is hard to see who comes out. Gill strikes me as the most deserving candidate to sit…he’s not playing well, he is 36 years old and his lack of speed is a liability (or, as Cassie Campbell-Pacall would say, a reliability!).

      I don’t want to see either of Diaz or Weber come out…they are both playing well. Subban and Gorges aren’t going anywhere. So that leaves Gill or Spacek, and Spacek is playing well.

      • JF says:

        Agree with you about Gill. He’s good on the penalty kill and his long reach is useful, but he’s slow and, despite his size, not particularly physical. Emelin showed good speed when he was in and I doubt he’d be beaten on the play as much as Gill. He needs to be in the line-up, and the rest wouldn’t hurt Gill.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      +1

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Interesting fact, trade =GM have let go Garbo ,D’Agostini ,S Kos ,and Lap between the 4 players they have play 462 games score115 g..146 ass..for 261 pts we got in exchange 17 game and 1 goal

  33. jimstam says:

    Can’t wait till 2014 when CTV/TSN beat out CBC for national hockey. They just took away WC soccer from them for 2018+ & Olympics are gone too.
    Can u imagine a BBC broadcaster supporting a German team in Champions League?? 30 years of this guy is enough; there should not have been so many ‘Ruins fans in Canada were it not for his promoting them.

    • Chris says:

      I’m always wary of a monopoly of coverage.

      And I find it interesting that you hate Cherry dumping on the Habs so much, but don’t comment on CTV/TSN’s Pierre McGuire hatchet-jobs on the Habs. :)

    • V says:

      I don’t watch HNIC. Too many reasons to get into right now.

      I just grab an RDS internet feed. No CBC and I don’t speak French so I never have to listen to the BS spouted by some of the fools on either broadcast. Life remains good.

      • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

        I too stopped watching HNIC many years ago and won’t be going back. I do understand French and the coverage is better, though NOT without its quirks.

  34. twocents says:

    I agree with those praising Eller. He’s involved in meaningful way every second he is on the ice.

    The next couple of games is going to be tricky. The layoff, the possibility that growing confidence comes with less attention to detail(last night had it’s sloppy moments), Ottawa on a roll… back to back games.

    I also wonder if there won’t be more changes over this mini break.

    But, most importantly, it’s a pleasant Sunday and it’s great to have the Habs restore so many’s faith.

    • Chris says:

      Cheerleader! ;)

      My only complaint is I’d like to see more Emelin, as I liked what I saw from him in his few games, but I’m not sure how the team is going to swing that short of an injury hitting one of the established D.

      • twocents says:

        Once again, Chris, I totally agree. I thought he looked good in his games and is only likely to get better.

        Now, let me ask you this, would you trade Gionta if there was a decent deal out there? Like, if it greased the wheels of a Gomez move? As I suggested yesterday if Weber or Diaz were thrown in, it might also take care of our point above too.

        • Chris says:

          A Gionta trade would be a tough one. He’s the captain on the team, and it took a year to appoint him after Koivu’s departure. The team thought pretty hard about that decision, so I’d be a bit surprised if they would throw him in.

          I’ve never been completely sold on Gionta as a top player, but the reality is that he has now led the team in goals in back-to-back seasons. He is a Jacques Martin style of player, as he is generally conscientious about being defensively responsible.

          And the team quite simply doesn’t have as much forward depth as they do defensive depth. I quite liked Palushaj, but he’s a marginal top-9 guy right now. Giving up two top-9 forwards would be a big hole in the roster.

          On the other hand, the Habs seem to have a log-jam on defence. Whether there is any truth to it or not, there is some concern that Emelin won’t hang around if he’s not playing. Markov is probably another month or two away from returning, but when he does, the Habs will have two extra D and can only carry 1. I suspect that one of Emelin, Diaz or Weber would be going the other way if a Gomez trade were completed for any kind of useful, impact player. The other concern is that those guys make the most sense from a salary cap point of view, as well…if Gomez is dealt, there are only a handful of teams that have assets we might want who can also afford his salary ($7.5 M, $5.5 M and $4.5 M) over the next 3 seasons if he remains what he has become, a marginal offensive player. Adding any other major salaries (such as Gionta’s $5 M per season) make it almost impossible for such a trade to be made.

          • twocents says:

            I know you’re right, but I really think that icing Gionta, Cammy, and DD is holding us back some. Especially with Gomez not adding any balance to the size/physicality equation. Pleks justifies his presence tenfold.(by the way, I have relinquished all doubts about him over the last two years, losing Kovalev helped him plenty)

            How about this: Gomez and Diaz for Elias and pick up the Colin White buyout cap hit(can that kind of thing still be done?)

  35. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    On Antichambre, PK was taking flack for the flipping dump-in that resulted in the face-off which resulted in the second Boston goal. They accused him of trying to score, essentially a selfish move. I saw it as a flubbed clearing dump that could easily have been waved off as there were Bruins in the neighbourhood. How did other people see it?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I would like to see a replay of it, but my initial thought was that he indeed was looking to try and score and kind of last minute tried to turn it into a non-icing flip. I thought he could of rattled the puck at the centre ice boards instead. Unless shown otherwise, i think PK could have made that play differently. But he still played a really strong game and feel he is playing better than a couple weeks ago.

    • stevieray says:

      and he should ….it was obvious he tried to score . Steep learnin’ curve …

  36. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Emelin is not necessarily going to drop in the depth chart when Markov comes back. There would be no communication problems between these two, so trying them together would make sense. Markov could also use a physical partner. When it comes to our next two games friday and saturday: Why not play Emelin for Diaz or Gill (not going to happen but would make sense) in at least one of them? Whatever, I really hope Emelin has some patience.

    I am in love with Eller too but AK46 also deserves more credit. He has 7 points in our last 9 games, is our third leading scorer and only plays 15 minutes with next to no PP time. It´s only been 11 games but he is pretty consistent so far and also really seems to enjoy playing with Eller.

    As for Gomez: Nokelainen – Gomez – White could form a very decent fourth line.

    • Chris says:

      Good point on Kostitsyn. He’s been great this season, full value for his points. He’s been involved and he has appeared, at least to me, to start embracing a more communicative posture with his linemates, something that was always a bit of an issue with Kostitsyn. He has always been a bit of a loner on the team, possibly because his life situation is quite a bit different from the other younger guys on the team (he married quite young and has a baby girl).

      Even when he’s not getting his points, I’ve been noticing him. That is my criterion for determining whether a guy is playing well. Point totals are great, but I want to notice a guy on 50% of his shifts.

      Of course, I am also biased…I have a strong preference for Habs players that came up through the system. So I’ve never been particularly keen on Gionta, Cammalleri or Moen (who nonetheless has been so good this season that it almost makes me forget how terrible he was the two seasons before), while my dislike of Gomez is off the charts. :)

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The Eller/AK chemistry seems real good and these two need to stay together.

      • JF says:

        I noticed a big change in Kostitsyn last year. He was talking more to his team-mates on the bench and looking more involved, he was smiling more. For the first time, I really had the impression he was enjoying playing in Montreal. That’s continuing this season, and he and Eller seem to have great communication. I can never figure out why he’s always the first to be thrown under the bus – benched by JM whenever he makes a mistake, offered as trade-bait by the fans whenever the team is struggling. I think he’s one of our most valuable players.

        On the subject of benching – I was glad to see that Eller continued to play after his turnover cost us a goal. He’ll learn fast, and overall he had a very strong game. He’s looking like a potential second-line, even first-line centre.

        • Chris says:

          I’ve always wondered how devastating the Operation Axe business was on Andrei Kostitsyn personally. To have that reported widely in the press would have been difficult, especially when you factor in that he had brought over his wife and child from Belarus the previous Fall. The booze, girls and criminals rumous could have understandably caused some stress for him off-ice.

          Agree regarding Eller’s continuing to play. As much as I don’t like some of Martin’s decisions (the Emelin thing irked me), he has been pretty patient with Eller, Desharnais and Pacioretty as they learn on the job. And I think his patience with Subban has been off the charts, given how egregious some of Subban’s errors are.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I am one of those who has to see the stats you mentioned to appreciate AK’S play. He is so low-key. He looked ‘happy’ last nite though. Good point on the stats.

  37. smiler2729 says:

    F Boston.

    It’s always sweet beating those morons, what a bunch of french showers.

    As for the Habs play, Spacek back and Gorges playing better is huge… I still dislike Goats’ vision or lack thereof for the personnel that makes up his team but they’re winning.
    ___________________________________________________________
    “I wish we were WICKED AWESOME like the Broons and their chowdahhead fans and their backwards baseball caps”

    • G-Man says:

      That signature has to go. “Wicked Awesome” and “Broons” in the same sentence. Sickening. :)

      _____________________________________________________

      When in doubt, blame PP.

  38. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Soooo … how’s everyone with a female colour commentator on HNIC?

    • V says:

      Well, whoever said ‘there’s no such thing as a dumb question’ probably did not read this one.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Care to clarify that remark? It’s a real question about a huge demarcation in tradition. For the record, I was a little surprised but in the end as a father of two girls and a grandfather of four grand daughters, I’m fine with it but I was wondering how our traditionalists feel.
        Um, that alright with you, pal?

        • V says:

          It’s been over 35 years since the first woman went into a men’s locker room for an interview. Over 100 women do television commentary on all sorts of sports. I think the tradition your referring to sailed long ago. That’s why I thought the question was… surprising.

          • Chris says:

            Cassie Campbell earned her stripes as a long-time hockey player and has some nice insights into the game. Another great example was Cheryl Miller in basketball, an individual with a tremendous understanding of the game who I felt was solid as a commentator for NBA games back when I still followed that sport a bit.

            But to be fair to Thomas, they are sadly not the majority. It is hard to come up with many other examples of women working as colour or play-by-play…so many of the women that have worked in sports reporting are treated as “eye candy” by their own bosses. Many of the women in these roles still protest what they see as a glass ceiling: it is fine for them to work as sideline reporters, but somewhat difficult for women to serve as play-by-play or colour comentators. There was a nice article in the Washington Post on this topic back in 2009.

            Regarding Cassie Campbell as a colour analyst: I quite liked her, and I think she and Mark Lee (my favourite play-by-play announcer for CBC) make a great team. When Campbell was interviewing people between periods, I found her voice and demeanour utterly boring, but she was definitely making some good comments last night and didn’t feel the need to talk over the game. Her and Lee seemed to have good chemistry as a pairing, which of course means that CBC will probably break them up. ;)

          • Thomas Le Fan says:

            She was not reporting, interviewing or commenting, she was the colour”man” alongside the play by play guy. You have evidence of a woman performing that role for an entire game or do you just state the obvious “It’s been over 35 years since the first woman went into a men’s locker room for an interview. Over 100 women do television commentary on all sorts of sports” as if you’re only one paying attention? I found your initial response … um … surprising. So, I take it that you’re fine with it too. That probably would have done the trick as a friendly response.

  39. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Lars Eller. Shoot more.

    “Hate Bruins like a sickness”

  40. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I’m very pleased with the latest results. Eller looks great. If we could get Cammaleri going, this team could be dangerous. He has to work harder and stop waiting for the puck. If you’re going to play like Gretzky, you need to score more often. Apart from that … when’s Gomez coming back and what do we do with him?

    Go Habs!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If indeed we start getting healthy bodies back, I am not too worried. Just as we suffered some injuries early, I am sure more will follow. To have another center available, another gritty winger, and an all star Defenceman who may be just the ingredient needed to make a KHL all star dman an NHL regular.

      To have depth is a wonderful thing. Perhaps we are on the verge of having that.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Depth is a good thing indeed but it’s been kind of nice not hearing the Gomez Griping for a few days. If we win a few more maybe we can put away the Martin-hate too. ;)

        • G-Man says:

          Wishful thinking. According to many here, it’s Martin and Gomez that are the problem.
          The Habs can make it to first in the conference and we’ll still read about how crap Martin and/or Gomez are. They have OCD.

          _____________________________________________________

          When in doubt, blame PP.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I am actually looking forward to seeing if a fully healthy Gomez, who now appears to have depth pressure affecting his job perform. I am also of the belief that our forechecking pressure of 2 men will be much better fit for him.

          Reality is this team now has some options at center. If Gomez plays better I think he can be better than DD, but he must perform. This option wasn’t here last year as both DD and Eller were still very very raw in the NHL.

          • solomio says:

            Gomez better than DD… not now…maybe 15 years ago.

            “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

          • HabinBurlington says:

            @solomio, please note my “if” and “can”, I did not say he has or will be. It is put up or shut up time for this experiment.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Cammy got 2 pts last night

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Yes he did but, correct me if I’m wrong, we didn’t acquire him for assists. He’s doing a lot of floating, in my humble opinion.

        • habstrinifan says:

          WOW! Cammy was involved in the game… giving directions etc. He was a leader.

          • Thomas Le Fan says:

            3 goals with 2 assists and is minus 2. 1 point back of Josh Gorges. I dunno, I’m a fan of his but I haven’t like his game this year and I’d like a little more from him but I’ve been wrong before.

  41. --Habs-- says:

    Not sure what’s going to happen to Emelin but I hope they don’t waste him. He was NOT the problem in the first 7 games! I don’t think he contributed offensively but I do think he was playing conservative due to circumstance. Unfortunately I don’t think he will stick around unless Markov and Spacek convince him to stay. Lets face it. He can play first line making the same money in the KHL instead of playing 7th and 8th D with the Habs. Unfortunately I don’t think he’s that bad a D and he’s just playing a little shy.

  42. --Habs-- says:

    Scott Who? AND! After 3 wins I still think Martin is a borderline coach!

  43. PrimeTime says:

    I suppose Melnick, Mariano and many fans wiil still want JM gone sooner but will need to wait for later. I’m glad hockey people manage the team and not “personalities”. Good bounce back week but a long ways to go yet….still a young season! I like that JM is trying to implement a less defensive team system this year recognizing that lack of 5 on 5 scoring last year. It has put pressure on an unexpected young D roster but it’s a better balance. Obviously Price will has adjusted and can manage most games.

    • G-Man says:

      I don’t put any stock into what Melnick and Marinaro say. Their job is to say something controversial for higher rates of listeners and to keep their phone lines lit up. They may have a “source” with the team but they keep spewing out the same old negative tripe. It’s tiresome crap, really.

      _____________________________________________________

      When in doubt, blame PP.

    • habstrinifan says:

      To totally credit JM now, for the apparent change in style, seems contradictory to all the events of the past week or so.

      I am fine with JM staying… if he fully engages in the ‘new philosophy’.

      I think the BIGGEST credit for the recent , albeit short period of success and EXCITING hockey, is Pierre Gauthier and whoever forced him to assess the situation and make a MOVE, however indirect it seemed.

      Why many on this site have paid so little thrift to the words of a man usually known for indeterminate phrasing is odd.

      Especially when he gets up and says… and I paraphase.

      “WE were doing things the WRONG WAY! We had to change. We had to start doing things differently. I TOLD MY FRIEND he had to change too.. we all did.”

      And the day after that the dynamics behind the bench and tempo on the ice change.

      I am crediting PG.. and I hope in a month or so to be able to post here and give JM the same credit for putting aside his old ways and doubts and insecurities and being the commander of a new dynamic coaching team.

      I may be out in left field on this. I seem to be the only one attaching this gravity to PG’s pronouncements. To some it is still a hurried classless act. To many it was a grasping of straws. To others it is incidental. They explain the recent success simply as the ‘luck of the bounces’ and the players are just playing better.

      I say it was an important catalyst with far reaching and long term effect.

      One of the reasons I hope I am right is that it would be the first time in a long time that the HABS have not acted precipitously and traded a player, fired ‘THE coach’ or stood pat and pretended all was WELL.

      Rather the GM obviously sat down or waS made to sit down, analyse the situation, looked at his personnel assets and made a move which would allow EVERYONE in the organization to GROW… well maybe everyone but PP.

      For a team that has been accused of recklessness and futility in its developing methods this is a step in the right direction.

  44. Captain aHab says:

    I just find it interesting that Cole began getting more PP time and playing time after the Team 990 journalist called him out on it. I doubt JM would have taken the initiative to play him more and make himself look immediately like an idiot for not having done so earlier. So I think he may have gotten a tweet from PG reminding him to play Cole more because he’s making him look like a fool for signing him.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Hard to believe that but it sure looks that way to me too. Maybe we can get her to ask a question about Gomez next?

      • Captain aHab says:

        I would love to know what Cole did to piss off JM.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Yeah, me too. I read something somewhere that Cole may have come to camp out of shape. No sure if true but that didn’t stop JM from falling in love with Gomez last year.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Combo of Cole being a slow starter and JM not knowing that Cole was a big free agent signing Yes/No?

        • G-Man says:

          Why do you think Cole pissed off JM? It’s Cole’s first season and he is adapting to a different way of playing regarding defensive responsibility. JM rarely puts pressure on any new player on the team. Besides, didn’t you see Cole huffing and puffing after every shift the first 5 games?

          _____________________________________________________

          When in doubt, blame PP.

  45. PK Subban was a thorn in the side all night. Subban foreced the Bruins to take liberty at him and it worked to profection.Both Randy’s are communcating very well with the players as the game goes on. Both coaches discusses what they did right or wrong on each shift. Its good to see the players adjusting to what the coaches have to say. Good Stuff!!

    What are the Habs coaching staff going to do when all players gets healthy and are ready to return to duty. Its going to be pretty hard to break this chemistry the way players are doing their assignment from coaching staff.

    Eric Cole has been the Habs best player against the Broad Street Bullies and the two games against the most hated arrival team in the Bruins. Do the Habs management send down Gomez for a period of time and especially Markov for conditioning for 3 plus games. PG and Jm will have to make decisions over the next couple of weeks when healthy players return from injury. That’s a good thing but right now is not the time to break the winning formula. Just have to wait what transpires in days to come.

    Go Habs Go!!!! Keep er goin!!!

    • Captain aHab says:

      Gomez could be sent down for a 6 month conditioning stint.

      Who on the team would complain if he was a healthy scratch? The wingers who score more playing with someone else? This is a business…..the only problem with benching him would be to lower his already abysmally low trade value even lower. If they can’t trade him, it’s a given he’ll end up in Hamilton if it eventually becomes a decision between keeping him with the big club and freeing cap space to sign guys like Price, Subban and Patches.

  46. Habfan10912 says:

    We are a much better team when our goalie plays like he has lately,huh? Watching highlights of various games last night I am thinking Mr.Discipline is gonna have a busy day. Lots of fines and suspensions are coming.

  47. JF says:

    I’ve never agonized so much over the team as I have since the beginning of this season. Over the summer I was convinced they were a good team. Eight games in the decisions taken in the off-season were looking catastrophic. Goaltending, monumental gaffes on defence, woeful special teams, inability to score – I thought we just were not competitive. Now we’re two points out of a playoff spot, we thumped Philly, we beat the champs back-to-back. The penalty kill has been perfect except for Price’s own-goal, the powerplay is clicking, Price is back on top of his game. What I like best is that the team looks a lot more aggressive out there, forechecking harder and not sitting back as much as we’re used to seeing.

    Erik Cole is a beast. I love watching him barrel past the opposition and muscle his way towards the net. And I love how he and Pacioretty create space for David Desharnais, who is a slick playmaker.

    Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre each had two goals last night. The Gomez trade is looking worse, and the Lapierre trade is another in a growing list of trades in which we lost a good player for absolutely nothing. This has to stop. And JM needs to find a way to give Emelin some ice time. He hasn’t played badly, and his size and physicality are attributes we need. The Habs have some valuable assets; don’t give them away for nothing, don’t lose them through mismanagement.

    • Chris says:

      Like Boone, I’ve perhaps been most impressed with Lars Eller up front. The statistics don’t bear it out, but he has been dangerous in pretty much every game, and you notice him when he’s on the ice. I’m still not convinced that Eller has top-line scoring ability, but he should be a very effective centre in a league where you either have to have 1 or 2 amazing centres or 3 very good centres. Montreal is going with the “3 very good centres” strategy.

      Higgins wasn’t going to get an opportunity to clean up his game in Montreal, unfortunately, so any future success he has doesn’t concern me (and this comes from somebody who counts himself as one of Higgins’ biggest fans). There was too much pressure to produce at a level beyond his skill set in Montreal.

      New York was similarly a disaster; playing in his hometown on another high-pressure team was not what he needed to resurrect his career. Florida, on the other hand, was just what the doctor ordered; low pressure, little coverage and a relaxed attitude where he could rediscover what made him so effective in the first place.

      Higgins is on a pace right now that he won’t sustain. He’s not going to finish the season with a 19.2% shooting percentage. But he’s found a role as a third-line checker and 2nd wave PP guy that suits his abilities, a role that sadly many scouts and fans recognized was his optimal place very early on but watched in horror as he and the team talked themselves into the idea that he was a top-6 scorer. I’m ecstatic for him, but he had to move on from Montreal because the fans wanted a 30-40 goal scorer, and that was something that Higgins was unlikely to ever become.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I think Eller is going to make an excellent 3rd line center and that is not a disrespectful thing. He could easily have had a hat trick last night, he missed the cross pass to an open net and Rask made an incredible glove save on his one timer. It is just this finish that he is currently missing. Having said that, his dangle/delay snap shot was a thing of beauty including the play of his wingers as they ensured not to be offside and provide a decoy for him to make that shot.

        He has yet to become that point getter, but he generally plays a very good defensive game and his offense seems to be improving weekly.

      • JF says:

        Near the end of his time with the Habs, Higgins was playing the role of a third-line defensive centre, and playing it very well. I remember a game in which he got a standing ovation for almost single-handedly killing off a penalty. It’s too bad that was not seen as his role right from the beginning.

        As for Lapierre, I think he has offensive skill that only showed through occasionally. JM tried him on a top line a few times last year, and it just didn’t work, after which he seemed to get into JM’s doghouse. He wasn’t satisfied with his ice-time and asked for a trade. In exchange we got Brett Festerling, who was traded for Drew McIntyre, who wasn’t re-signed. Both Lapierre and SK74 are young players the team developed and eventually gave away. This kind of mismanagement, along with the penchant for giving away second-rounders to plug temporary holes, has to stop.

        • Chris says:

          That standing ovation came against the Bruins in the playoffs in Game 3, I believe. He and Saku Koivu were the only two Habs forwards who showed up in that series and played hard right through to the end.

          I always found it funny that Koivu and Higgins took much of the blame for that team’s lack of heart given that they were the guys still working their tails off in the playoffs while the rest of the team mailed it in.

  48. HabinBurlington says:

    The issue I had and have with CBC WarmStove Leftover segment regarding Habs class/less move was the lack of full explanation. It is all well and good for Elliot Friedman to repeat what his “sources” have told him about their feelings on the Pearn decision. But he owes it to the audience (of whom most don’t follow the Habs therefore know virtually nothing about the move) to explain that Montreal did offer Pearn another position within the team. Also some context pertaining to the fact that while Pearn was or may have been a fall guy, it was a team making a minor move instead of firing a Head Coach and perhaps an asst. coach.

    So then instead of Elliot providing this context, Milbury starts flapping some twisted theory about how the NHL should be delving into safety and Eric (just who are you and how did you become part of Lunchtime Letdown) Francis throws another coal on the Montreal story.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I can’t stomach either intermission show so I just turn the channel. Thank god for Centre Ice.

      @jimlaplante

    • Chris says:

      I didn’t see it the same way. The story was that Pearn was fired by the GM, over the objections of the head coach of the coaching staff. Offering him another job within the organization is putting lipstick on a pig…that was a classless move by Gauthier.

      Whether there were reasons for the dismissal or not, it is pretty rare for a GM to undercut his coach like that. Unfortunately, it has started to become the norm in Montreal under the Gainey/Gauthier administration:

      1) Carbonneau wants Price to play in Hamilton for a year, Gainey overrides him.
      2) Carbonneau unhappy with Kovalev, Gainey takes Kovalev for a harbourside walk in the snow and Carbo is shut out of the loop.
      3) Gainey trades Huet in the midst of a season where the Habs are battling for 1st overall, forcing a rookie netminder on Carbonneau.
      4) Gauthier fires Pearn over the objections of his head coach.

      In all of those cases, there were clear and visible reasons for why the decision was made. But in every case, the general manager publicly kneecapped their head coach.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        So then why no uproar when Brian Burke fires two of Ron Wilsons asst. coaches this past summer and picks the replacements…. it is the double standards I have issues with Chris. Could the Habs have handled better? Perhaps, but given the increased communication we see on the bench during games it is hard not to like the move.

        As for lipstick on a pig, I am so sick of that expression, but whatever.

        • Chris says:

          HUGE difference between making changes in the summer and doing so during the season. That’s why the double standard is there.

          If Pearn was not cut out for the role, why did Gauthier wait until the first two weeks of the season? Pearn has been here for two years…it isn’t like he is an unknown quantity. Pearn was offered up solely because the team was struggling due to poor personnel decisions by Gauthier and questionable resource allocation by the head coach.

          Muller gets all of the credit these days, but Perry Pearn was heavily involved in the special teams the past two years, special teams that were very effective. Everybody is pointing to Pearn, but the reality is that it was the players and the personnel that were the problem this season. So many forget that until the arrival of Wisniewski last season, we were having these same discussions…the PP was crap. The penalty killing without Gorges was also significantly less effective, and this year we’ve lost Hamrlik from the PK and Gill is, as usual, a shadow of his heroic playoff version in the early going.

          Now Cole IS playing on the PP and Gomez and Darche aren’t. I don’t find it that surprising that when you take two offensively challenged players off the PP that it will suddenly find some life.

          What was stopping Randy Ladouceur from talking to the players on the bench before Pearn was fired? Muller did it with Pearn there, and Pearn was the senior assistant at that point too. It’s starting to reek of revisionist history that Pearn was the problem.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Chris, I don’t think Pearn specifically was the problem, to me it appears to be a JM problem. But the team didn’t want to sack their Head Coach, just as I think Burke doesn’t want to sack Wilson but wants to get a message through.

            So the question is this, Why is it okay to send a message by firing a Head Coach, but not okay to send a message by firing an assistant coach?

            Also, wasnt Ladouceur up in the press box because JM wanted Pearn and Cunneyworth behind the bench? That was my understanding and I could very well be wrong. But assuming that was the case, how was Ladouceur to be more vocal during a game from up there?

            Chris, I don’t think it was the ideal situation, and indeed it may have some stink to it, but why when a team is trying to improve itself and it seems to be working is it to be criticized? These are big boys we are talking about, not Jr. hockey players being told they are cut from the team.

            FYI, I have never been a fan of either JM or PG, but they are currently the Head Coach and GM of the team I love, so I have to try and give them the benefit of the doubt for the betterment of the team.

            If this team starts to have more communication problems down the road, PG then has to look at making an even more difficult decision as it relates to JM, and then the team must look at PG.

            I just think the mainstream T.O. media loves to pick scabs off of the Montreal organization.

            Nice discussion by the way, Cheers.

          • Chris says:

            Didn’t notice that Ladouceur was up in the box. The point remains valid though, for why wasn’t Cunneyworth (the head coach from Hamilton who was so universally praised by the youngsters for his communication) not doing more talking on the bench? Gauthier could have rotated Ladouceur down to the bench and Pearn to the pressbox, and maybe that was offered.

            As for firing a head coach, that is the job of a GM. The head coach is their charge. The assistant coaches are generally the people that the head coach hires to round out their staff. The example you gave in Toronto was notable enough to be discussed in the news a fair bit…assistant coaches are let go all the time without it becoming a “story”. But it was a story in Toronto because Burke kneecapped his coach, and it is a story in Montreal because Gauthier undercut Martin. I think this one is particularly classless because of the timing (two weeks into a season and two hours before a game), but that is certainly a topic that could be debated.

            Returning to Friedman’s point, he was reporting on what was widely perceived as an insulting move. Nothing more. And I think there is enough evidence there to suggest that it did raise some eyebrows. The team is playing better, but it is a difficult thing to say what the cause of that is:

            1) Gomez is no longer eating up 18-20 minutes per game, and since his injury against Pittsburgh, Montreal lost an exciting, see-saw game against the Leafs (hardly a new thing), lost a game that they dominated in pretty much all aspects against the Panthers before reeling off 3 straight wins. Maybe it IS Gomez?

            2) Jaroslav Spacek came back against the Panthers. With Spacek in the line-up, the team is 4-2 and played good defensive hockey in every game. Maybe it is Spacek?

            3) Pearn was fired and the team reeled off 3 straight wins? Maybe it is Pearn?

            4) Price has pulled his head out of his rear end and has been playing well again. It’s almost certainly partly Price. :)

            I’m not against the dismissal, to be honest. Nor do I particularly care if it is perceived as classless by others around the league. But I certainly have very little doubt that there is some foundation to that particular thought.

      • New says:

        I think Friedman only repeated what the league wide sentiment was; that an assistant coach paid the price for team failures and that is seen as a cheap shot, classless.

        I think that none of us know what was done by management. We know that Pearn is gone, and we see some other minor changes. A little more ice time here, fewer too many men penalties, small role changes there. Something has changed. But all the tweaking? We don’t know.

        Last week we were all despairing that the team was going to lose their next three games after the worst start since forever. Pronger is out and the Flyers look less than ordinary without him hauling their sorry selfs to work. Julien is having his usual meltdown, blaming everyone else, disliking anything that doesn’t go his way and the Broons are struggling. The team churns out three wins, Price plays unconscious and lucky, and it is what it is.

        Is the team fixed? Naw. Are they just lucky? Naw. Have they played better together since Gomez had to leave? Yeah. Have they won more since Pearn was gone? Yeah. Was blaming one person fair? Naw.

        I think management’s job is to structure the team and staff to win. Too many injuries to joints? Find the why and fix it. Team is tired? Find the why and fix it. Team is losing? Fix it. Team wins? Find the why and keep doing it.

        In my opinion Guy Carbonneau not all that and a bag of chips either. You don’t see a lot of teams looking to hire him. If I am not mistaken he has taken the Peron route. Talk about what everyone but he is doing wrong. Cool, must be great for his ego.

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      I too was disappointed with Friedman who I expect more balance from. However, I could see the “CBC pandering” starting to creep into his 30 Thoughts piece toward the end of last year. Oh well.

      I also found Campbell to have lost a few IQ points. I don’t recall her going for so many digs and banalities in the past but maybe that’s the job of colour on the CBC.

  49. wmarcello says:

    Yes there were many fans calling for Martin’s head, but to be fair, the Habs only climbed out of their slump by playing non-Martin hockey. Who would have bet that Martin would finally start giving Cole the minutes he needed, stop putting guys like Darche and Moen in the top 6, and most importantly abandon his beloved trap for an aggressive forechecking style befitting a team with this speed, agility, and talent?

  50. habsolutely416 says:

    Martin remained an unloved figure – particularly on the English side of the Montreal radio dial, where Mitch Melnick and Tony Marinaro were relentless in demanding the coach be sacked to solve the Canadiens’ problems.

    and it was an anglophone who took the fall for him too.

    ill be in the slot ;)

  51. Captain aHab says:

    Anyone think Pittsburgh would trade Crosby if they got a decent offer for him? Not saying the Habs should or shouldn’t go after him…just asking the question.

    Unless a team threw a boatload of assets at them, I’m thinking they would wait until near the end of his current contract to renew/trade him in case he fully recovers. By then they wouldn’t get much for him if he’s still struggling but imagine trading him now and seeing him fully recover with another team? Oops.

    • geo_habsgo says:

      I think the only way that would happen was if Pittsburgh knew something about Sid that nobody else knew. I.E that he would never be the same player. And at that point I don’t think they’d wanna deal with the Eastern Conference just so that if he does return to normal they would not have to worry about him coming back to bite them. He’d be great on the Habs though, no doubt.

    • Chris says:

      Zero chance that Pittsburgh trades Crosby. He is a UFA in the summer of 2013, but I doubt he ever gets close to FA status. He’ll be back soon enough.

      I think the Penguins are more likely to deal Malkin than Crosby, particularly with Staal growing into his power forward role. Staal is far too good to be a 3rd line centre.

      Staal’s also a great example of how so many people on this site are delusional talent assessors…I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen people on this site describe Staal as a marginal hockey player, ignoring the fact that he’s a couple of months older than Pacioretty, who is one of the best young forwards in the NHL according to those same pundits. Staal already has 4 times as many goals in his NHL career, and he did it while playing most of his time on the 3rd line or on a injury-depleted roster due to the injuries to Malkin and Crosby.

  52. Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

    Was anyone else getting a little twitchy when they sat on the lead for the first nineteen minutes of the third, then were scored upon?

    Love it when they keep up the pressure or run and gun, but the “shell” is a shell of it’s former self.

    ____________________________________________________
    They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

  53. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …for Those interested …Canucks 7-Capitals 4
    …Lapierre 2 goals …Higgins 2 goals
    …and some Russki named Ovechkin 2 goals

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  54. jhab93 says:

    “Carey Price was sharp against the Panthers.”
    Wasn’t Peter Budaj in nets?

    Thats the way the cookie crumbles

  55. Marc10 says:

    Funny how The Hotstove Crew tees off on Gauthier when Lamoriello and Gainey have done stuff like this several times over…

    • ryan_45 says:

      glad you mentioned it. I love how Marinaro and Melnick have transformed to experienced NHL coaches who understand how hockey works.

      You can bet on 2 things:

      1. Had that been Brian Burke or Lou who fired an assistant coach, Pierre Mcguire would have been praising them.

      2. Hit B%t$h Melnick would have agreed.

      Mcguire goes nuts on Gauthier, but I remember when Lou fired Julien with just a few games remaining in the season and not really explaining why, Mcguire used the word “genius” to describe the move.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I am actually ecstatic that McGuire went nuts on the show about the move. It is this hypocritical spewing which should ensure Geoff Molson never considers Pierre (I know the names of towns where players were born)McGuire for any position within the organization.

  56. Habby says:

    Speaking of Markstrom, have you guys seen this vid? It’s got a Hab in it as well!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvHOy2UUfoM&feature=player_embedded

    He’s a goalie with a sense of humour and I like that. Just like Price. :)
    ___________________
    The drive for 25 is alive!

  57. Marc10 says:

    Loved Cole again tonight. Holy speed batman! He went at the Big C all night with authority.

    Moen! As this guy has come to play this year…. Reminds me of Mighty Duck Moen. Thornton jumped him and he quickly tied him up and made the Chimp look like a chump. Smart. I bet Thornton is still spewing he couldn’t serve any purpose in
    that game.

    Good ol’Bruins. Spent all game hooking and deserved to lose. Should have been a call on Peverley on the Lucic goal. Hook, hook, hook… The mark of the lazy… A perfect team for our Benny!

  58. Da Hema says:

    Can anyone recall what Clod Julien said about Benoit Pouliot before the season began? Something like, Pouliot will excel now that he has teammates who can “back him up?”

  59. Un Canadien errant says:

    Mike Boone: “…David Desharnais, who centres Cole and Pacioretty on the power-play’s Two and a Half Men first wave.”

    And Mr. Boone gets first prize, again, with the funniest line of the night. Unless I missed a John Bellyfull quote somewheres. Down Goes Brown gets 2nd with his crack that Mats Sundin, seated tonight at the Gardens with Tie Domi and Mike Tannenbaum on each side, still is forever saddled with horrible wingers by the Leafs.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  60. Un Canadien errant says:

    Lot of talk about Elliott Friedman calling the Montreal organization classless for firing Perry Pearn. I just watched the segment and linked it below. What Mr. Friedman does is he repeats what coaches in the league have told him, so it’s not an editorial comment by him but rather his reporting of unnamed sources. Eric Francis chimes in later and he supports Mr. Friedman’s reporting, but takes it up a notch by saying “…it’s not just coaches, everyone in the game thinks it’s a low-class move…”

    I guess there are a lot of hockey people out there who have a better finger on the pulse, they may know of some backroom events that we don’t and they want to stick up for their colleague who was fired in an unconventional manner. It’s been hard to get any insight into this, it seems that all reporters will do is criticize Mr. Gauthier for being vague, but won’t themselves tell us what happened, probably to protect their sources and their access to the Montreal organization. So Mr. Francis, Mr. Friedman, tell us what you know instead of broad, unsubstantiated hints and innuendo. The only one who has pulled back the curtains to any degree so far is Francois Gagnon.

    As far as the decision itself to let Mr. Pearn go, it now seems inspired. The results speak for themselves, obviously, but also from what we can perceive when watching games, we have a more dynamic coaching team, who is more animated behind the bench, and a dedicated defenceman coach with possibly more credibility and knowledge in that area. The special teams seem to be rounding into form. So it might be an unconventional decision that wasn’t done in the best or most delicate manner, but in hindsight it seems it was a necessary step.

    Hot Stove segment, Montreal discussion at 6:40 mark.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockeynightincanada/hotstove/video/#id=2162216125

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …although Cherry has his dufus moments Errant …the BIGGEST is Frank D’Angelo, where in the world does that low-life get the bread to buy those spots on HNIC for a schlock-product ?
      …I would take a good guess, but best be politically-correct for once

      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
      http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I have knowledge of that. He’s a low-class hood who somehow charmed his way into the Sherman family, who are one of the wealthiest in Canada and deal in pharmaceutics. He sold them on a whole bunch of ridiculous investments, Steelback being one of them. The article I linked to on him does a good job of explaining what a lowlife he is. Mafia theme, motorcycles, his pseudo-band, sexual assault of a friend’s daughter…

        ———————————
        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • HabinBurlington says:

        What a perfect sponsor for Cherry’s show. Much more fitting than Moore’s the Suit People.

    • habsolutely416 says:

      yes i thought it was suspect that the anglophone assistant coach gets fired… but, maybe there was something to it that we dont know about ….whatever friedman and francis (and others) want to say about it, the habs have rattled off 3 big wins in a row since.

      ill be in the slot ;)

    • jrshabs1 says:

      The anit-Hab nonsense coming out out of T.O is at an alltime high. I live in leaf nation so I watch and read about it everyday. It’s all Burke, he’s the King, and the King hates the Habs success over his years as the leafs GM. The T.O. media hangs on his everyword. Screw ‘em, screw ‘em all.

      Go Habs Go!!

  61. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …it has been understandably a very emotional week for Jacques …even though He does not easily show emotion
    …on the edge of being fired, and the brutal treatment to a good friend and confidant in Perry Pearn
    …now I think what Pierre Gauthier did was brilliant objectively, business-wise, and for the Team …but it was cold-hearted brilliant
    …I am sure Jacques is uneasy with the events, and it is not easy to put out of mind, even though The Fans got what They want …6 unexpected points
    …but Jacques Martin is human …just as You and I …6 points don’t amount to a hill-of-beans compared to a friend or family wronged
    …it may take a little time to deal with it …and, maybe He may tell PG where to stick it …who knows

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    • Da Hema says:

      Fair enough. But the coaching gig–professional sports in general in fact–can be cruel: win or lose your job. Martin chose this profession, so he must accept this reality.

      Let’s face it: whether Martin is a good coach remains an open question. His bench management is very problematic (e.g., all the too many men penalties), he wears out some key players by the second period (e.g., Plekanec), and gives Scott Gomez too much ice time in relation to his capabilities. That’s not good coaching.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Don’t forget he obstinately refuses to play rookie defencemen (Subban, Weber, Emelin) until his hand is forced, and then realizes after five games that the kids are good and an asset to be used. I can’t wait until he figures this out in Mr. Emelin’s case, we need the skillset he brings on the blue line.

        ———————————
        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

        • Da Hema says:

          I see your point, but it is close to espousing the mantra often advanced on this site that Martin “ruins” young players. In the case of Subban and Eller, I think Martin has done a good job playing them appropriately and sometimes (especially in the case of Eller last year) shielding them. If your central point, though, is that Martin should be using all his defencemen on a more regular rotational basis (e.g., resting Gill or Spacek), then I agree.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      People are reacting as if Mr. Pearn was slaughtered like a human sacrifice to an Aztec god. He was simply stripped of his functions and offered another position within the organization. He still will earn his paycheque, or take his severance. He was not demeaned by Mr. Gauthier, Bobby Clarke-style, on his way out.

      According to the Hot Stove guys, maybe the Canadiens didn’t rigourously follow the coach-firing kabuki, but this is far from being a situation where Mr. Pearn was “wronged”, he will be treated fairly.

      I have had jobs where a manager or director gets let go, or had some coaches let go, and it causes turmoil, but everyone gets over it and gets back to work.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • habstrinifan says:

      Excellent and this is precisely why I posted my wish that PP do the best thing for JM and stay away from any discussion of the ‘events’ for a while. Leave JM be to become comfortable with the obvious change n being asked of him.

  62. bp says:

    No not Steve Bernier, watched him in Vancouver for too long. Slug with no hands and doesn’t use his size. He was supposed to be the triplet but failed. And if you can’t score with the Sedins as linemates, I don’t think you’re going to score playing with anyone on the Habs current roster.

  63. Un Canadien errant says:

    How infuriating it is that Don Cherry gets to set the agenda. Tonight he promotes the notion that Vancouver is the most hated team in the NHL. He lambastes them for looking to the referee when they are the recipients of cheap shots and infractions. On the other hand, he celebrates Bruins goon tactics as good hockey. Shaun Thornton is a great guy in his books.

    I often wonder who’s the biggest boob on his segment, him or that crook Frank D’Angelo with his self-promotion and lowlight reel of horrible goaltending.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockeynightincanada/coachscorner/video/#id=2162202299

    http://feministtruths.blogspot.com/2010/08/truth-about-frank-dangelo.html

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  64. Habsrule1 says:

    Ya, i guess some of the people on this site were right. We should just tank. No chance to make the playoffs.

    Unbelievable.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  65. DEANDALLEY says:

    I said that Montreal would beat Philly & the Broons …

    “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”

  66. HardHabits says:

    Ahem.

    Did anyone – up to and including Martin – expect the Canadiens to take all six possible points against the Stanley Cup champions?

    It was four points against the Stanley Cup champions and two points against the other ECF finalist.

    Even with that minor oversight still a very entertaining read.

  67. Propwash says:

    The long and short of it is the Bruin’s are the Habs’s bi***es since day one.

    _____________________
    Dooooooooooooooomed!™

    • Da Hema says:

      They weren’t last year when it counted Propwash. That said, the Bruins are digging themselves into a very deep hole. The only way the Bruins will repeat as champions is if Colon Campbell returns to the NHL head office in some capacity.

  68. Da Hema says:

    While the pearning of Pearn obviously had some effect, one must note the team’s play over the past five games–which has been excellent–has all been done without Scott Gomez. Indeed, perhaps the team is playing better precisely because Gomez is not playing.

    I am praying to almighty Jesus right now that Geoff Molson is willing to absorb Gomez’s contract and send his fat ass down to Hamilton. Who knows, maybe he would choose to retire rather than get smacked around by a bunch of ambitious AHLers who would like nothing more than to make names for themselves by hammering a slug like Gomez.

    It is also very pleasant to see the Bruins falter. They are a good team, but how they won the Cup last year remains a mystery to me.

  69. C_exacte says:

    Everybody clap your hands!

  70. Number31 says:

    Looking at the bench during the game. (At least when the camera is on it). There’s actual coaching going on. Randy L suggesting for the timeout on the 5-on-3 and he’s talking to the guys (who were slipping in their puck pursuit). There’s also less falling back into a defensive shell after scoring 1 goal. Playing the way the Bulldogs played for the Randys.

    I feel bad for Emelin. Aside from 1 bad giveaway in Pittsburgh he hasn’t done so badly. The only problem is that Diaz is adapting quicker and is a part of the powerplay. Which actually isn’t a problem for the team. Hope he’s watching and paying close attention to the games though. Diaz might get caught in the contracts game though when Markov comes back. I know he’s earned it but he has the flexibility of going to Hamilton instead of losing Emelin to Russia. But hey, the team can never have enough defencemen…

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Alexei Emelin should at least be in a rotation with Raphaël Diaz and Yannick Weber. I would like Mr. Gill and Spacek to also sit out a few games here and there to keep them fresh for a playoff run, and give minutes to our defencemen of the future. I understand Mr. Martin may not want to monkey with a winning lineup, but we have to take the long view.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  71. light_n_tasty says:

    Not sure why Boone is always surprised when beat the Bruins. I think most of us just assume that we will beat the B’s and are surprised when we lose.

  72. Chorske says:

    And five days without games won’t be filled with ranting from the torch-and-pitchfork crowd.

    Oh, I’m sure there will be something for them to kvetch about. Maybe Gomez will be cleared for contact!

  73. outsider89 says:

    MTL should take a chance on Steve Bernier, a big right winger. Martin still has to go! D-fence first worked prior to the lock-out. Now they need good, old offense first! MTL has won nothing, with this d-1st mentality in hte last10 years.?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I saw him play in Vancouver, and he was their version of Benoit Pouliot, a formerly promising #1 draft pick who hasn’t developed, for whatever reason. We have better odds by buying lottery tickets than by betting on that guy.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  74. Shane1313 says:

    I still feel great, am I saying this too much?

  75. Danno says:

    Fabian:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kM_zE7KITo

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”


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