About last night … with audio

AUDIO: Carey Price | Brian Gionta | Mike Cammalleri | Jacques Martin

The winning streak ends not with a bang but a whistle.
A whole series of them.
The Canadiens, playing the second game of a road back-to-back, took a mind-blowing 10 minor penalties.

Max Pacioretty went to the box for boarding less than two minutes into the game.

Shortly thereafter, a very marginal interference call on Michael Blunden accompanied yet another Too Many Men penalty against the Canadiens bench.

On the same sequence, Petteri Nokelainen – faceoff specialist and penalty-killer – was bounced out of the game with Rangers defenceman Michael Sauer. I figured that might be a good trade for the Canadiens if they could use their speed and get a decent forecheck going to pressure the five New York Dmen left in the game.

Never happened.

The Canadiens were assessed the next five penalties. The PK had a great night, conceding only that 5-on-3 goal, but the cumulative effect of spending all that time shorthanded was disruption of the forward lines and, ultimately, fatigue among the penalty-killers.

Jaro Spacek played 5:52 on the PK. The man is 37 years old, for heaven’s sake.

Hal Gill, who’s 36, killed penalties for 8:35.

Josh Gorges is still young – and that’s a good thing, because he played an exhausting 10:09 with the Canadiens shorthanded.

That five-man Rangers defence corps had it easier. Dean Morton and Tim Peel, in their wisdom, called only two minors on the home team.

Let’s not get into a whole Referees Conspiracy discussion here.

But when one team has nine power plays and the other has two, it’s not a great night for the zebras.

P.K. for a snow shower?

C’mon, man!

Meanwhile, at the ACC, the big, bad Bruins and truculent Leafs each took one minor through the first 40 minutes of a one-sided game.

The Canadiens’ parade to the box disrupted their rhythm. The banishment of Nokelainen meant Jacques Martin had to go with three lines. Blunden played three shifts, a total of 49 SECONDS in the game. Mathieu Darche played eight minutes, but half of that was on the PK.

And for all that, the Canadiens gave the Rangers a game.

They came back from 3-0 and 4-2 to make things interesting.

Lars Eller’s line – with red-hot Andrei Kostitsyn and hard-working Travis Moen – was excellent.

Max Pacioretty had seven shots and Brian Gionta finally scored a goal. Their centre, Tomas Plekanec, went 9-16 on draws, but cripes, he had to help kill all those penalties.

Erik Cole had six hits, four shots, some good scoring chances and several rushes down the wing that had an old geezer like me remembering the glory days of Eddie Shack.

Carey Price was deep in the blue paint on the Brad Richards goal that came at the end of the second period and was a dagger to the Canadiens’ heart. But Price was screened by Yannick Weber, and Richards has scored a goal or two in the league.

I noticed some in the Commentariat knocking Price, to which I have some words of avuncular advice:

STFU, you ignorant bozos.

Ah, that felt good.

And no one should feel terribly bad.

All those penalties made it a stupid game, best filed and forgotten.

To their credit, the Canadiens never quit … right up until the moment P.K. Subban followed the puck into the vacated net.

The young, fast, amazing Edmonton Oilers are at the Bell Centre Tuesday night.

Chris Lee?


  1. andykirstein says:

    Emelin has to play!
    What is your upside with Spacek?
    The only physical dman with a serious upside has spent the last 7 games in the press box.
    I said it a month ago and I’ll say it again. He’s our only true trade bait!
    Wins are just band aids to what ails us……

  2. Jdub1985 says:

    JM is a cancer – get rid of the mute already

  3. sc says:

    Oh ya, pk, u should rush with the puck more often, besides Gomez and Cole, ur the only one able to do it. And ya I said Gomez. Damn right. Not his fault he’s never been an 80+ point player ( which is wat u should be getting at his price). I doubt he asked for 7-8 million a year. Just my intuition. Ok last year was bad, but the year before, pretty much right where he’s been his whole career. just look at his stats

  4. sc says:

    Subban, I like u, but u did give him a shower, although, McDonagh should’ve been sent off for his cross check to pk’s face. Rangers got a pp, but in reality if the refs weren’t asleep, it should’ve been negated with the retaliation, just like wat is done in ever other similar circumstance.

    Either ways the Habs need to step it up and take matters into their own hands without offering the refs opportunities to blow their whistles.

    Emelin needs to be playing. We need his style. Would’ve been good against the rangers seeing as how their average forward is probably around 6’2. He challenges the player early and doesn’t back peddle until the hash marks as weber did last night on Richards’ goal. We need his physical presence. It rubs off on other players. Noticed this in the pre-season

    Oh ya, 6 million for cam…. He can snipe once every 10 games, but we r the real suckers of the NHL. Gionta too.. I like u, but not for 5 million. Sry. And ya gauthier should be fired for the markov deal. What a tool. Ridiculous. Doesn’t know his ass from hos elbow. No hockey sense at all

  5. sc says:

    Officials butchered this game. Blunden hit was definitely not interference, if anything a case could be made that he clipped dubinsky’s head. Even at that not a great call.

  6. Malreg says:

    So we’re going to win the cup in 3 years with 7 rookies/sophomores on our team?

  7. Ferg says:

    PK snowed him.
    Dumb play.
    Tons of talent, but every game the inner punk comes out.

  8. habs12 says:

    Going to be interesting to follow Columbus over the next few days..

  9. adamkennelly says:

    the refs sucked – the calls on Blunden were correct but there should have been an instigator on Callahan…but my biggest problem is that Callahan clearly beat Blunden – our supposed 4th line grinder – in the fight…Rangers captain…ya…our team has sufficient toughness…embarrassing.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Many penalties usually come from being out of position, which either comes from not skating, or from not understanding your place in Coach Jacques universe. I’m not saying the refs never screw up, they do, but we have much bigger problems than that.

      My main concern is that no one in management bothered to print out and distribute a schedule to let the players know when the game was to start. Or is that the coach’s job?

      Welcome back to reality, though it is certainly nice to see Max and Kostitsyn being successful.

      And I think we are in for a tussle with Edmonton. Young, fast… wasn’t that supposed to be us?

  10. Ian Cobb says:

    Posted every Sunday, Weekly Stats on where we place with the 30 teams.

    Goals against-36. We are in 19th place. Last week, 21st, with 30.

    Total points–12. We are in 25th place. Last week, 23rd, with 10.

    Goals for—–34. We are in 17th place. Last week, 12th, with 29.

    We sure have a long way to go, in playing up to our full potential. Right now in total points, we are in with the 5 bottom feeders of the league. Loads of time to get this club back up there. The season is still very young.

  11. WindsorHab-10 says:

    The guys fought back last night, you have to tip your hat to them. Price had zero chance on all 4 goals I thought. I still say that the lack of having an enforcer on this team gets us in penalty troubles because we don’t strike fear into anyone, thus the early penalties last night. Having a coach that’s emotionless does not help either. Torts was ripping the refs despite his team having a 2 man advantage and our guy was in a daze. Our team should’ve been better prepared to play despite playing the night before. This falls on JM & he must go.

    “Hate Bruins like a sickness”

  12. HABitual Fan says:

    Question: Why do you never see an NHL official have to answer the media? A goalie has a bad night, he faces the media. A coach, although not always eager to do so, must give an account of how the game unfolded. A ref? He slips out the back door and apparently answers to no one!

    Yes I’m bias – we all are – but that was some of the worst officiating I’ve seen in 50+ years of hockey!

    “A bad day as a Habs fan is better than a good day cheering for the Leafs!”

  13. habsfan reduxit says:

    … Boone is absolutely right on about the way the Habs fought hard, against a myriad of obstacles, to stay in the game. But one thing gripers are whining about this morning is the situation with Blunden. On this one, I have to agree with the refs, and here’s why: was he guilty of an interference penalty? Not on the face of it, no. But when you take into account the fact he left the bench early to make sure he made the hit, in effect he made both penalties valid. He left early (too many men) in order to hit Dubinsky out of sequence (interference).

    “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

  14. LL says:

    A disappointing game. As soon as MaxP got that 1st penalty just minutes into the game, you knew what kind of night it was going to be.

    I can’t find fault with any of our players or coaching staff. That game was 2 points, without the bogus calls, on any other night.

    File under BS, and move on.

  15. V says:

    I wonder why JM keeps playing Diaz when – according to some posters here – Emelin is better?

  16. Ian Cobb says:

    I was never so upset over a hockey game as last night!

    After being treated to an honest effort by both teams in Ottawa Friday night, I was looking forward to a fun night of hockey from NY.

    Only two comments before I file this one under garbage.
    We were not ready to play this game right off the hop.
    And the refs were! They wanting to be the show, instead of reffing the show.


  17. John Q Public says:

    Where’s Emelin?
    He’s good enough for the russian national team but not the habs?
    Why did they sign him and convince him to come over?
    He has to have more upside then Diaz.
    Why Weber over PK on the power play?
    Why put so many small players together on the powerplay?
    We now have bigger bodies, shouldn’t we use them properly.
    This coach was always going to be an interim dealy anyways, time for him and his BS tactics to go!

    Whats with every time a player gives a nice check there are repercussions from the other team? I thought this was physical sport?

    Just watching the NHL go down the tubes like every other sport(entertainment).

    As always it’s only about money. The quality of the product is pathetic. 2 refs and they still can’t do anything properly. As well they are always in the players way.

    PS. To Carey : If a player comes in your crease crack him a good one each and every time it happens, whether they deserve it or not! Take the penalties, cause if the league won’t protect you, you must!

  18. HabinBurlington says:

    So the original TSN claims Montreal is the best city for hockey. No not Toronto Sports Network, but the original The Sporting News.

  19. novahab says:

    Thank you Boone well said and very very true. I thought the team played as well as any team could under all the circumstances. I think the press should interview the refs after game. I think they should have to stand up and answer questions like the coaches do. lets not forget there are millions of dollars bet on sporting events such as hockey and look what happened in the NBA. Quite frankly if I was a reporter I would have to call the NHL head office and present these question. Does a game like that present a question mark of the integrity of NHL Refs . Is the NHL protecting the game ? Are these refs making any larged than expected windfalls or is there any family members making large windfalls? A spot light needs to be placed on those refs if for any reason to give the people who pay alot of money to watch a piece of mind that the game is clean.

    • V says:

      Agree with you if Canadiens had 4 times more penalties than their opponent every night. But something like this is going to happen to every team once or twice a season… it’s a dice roll and you just walk away to refocus on the next game.

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    So Don Cherry takes the High Road but Ron Maclean takes his usual slimy troll road. Whether staged or not, Maclean was a little snivelling puppy dog whose master was scorned by a professor.

    How can Maclean not watch the playback on these segments and realize he has turned himself into just a lapdog for Cherry, almost embarrassed for him, but he did this to himself. I have heard enough interviews with Maclean where he brags of how he chooses to play the role he has.

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    Full marks to the players for making a game out of it. That was a huge hole to try and dig themselves out of last night. I don’t necessarily dispute the calls made against the Habs, but some consistency for similar calls against the Rangers would have been nice.

    Hopefully team bounces back with a better start against the Oilers. Habs to seem to be taking the early minor penalities in alot of games. Some focus and discipline is needed.

    Maybe we could find a veteran centreman for the team next week to help provide that….:)

  22. V says:

    I think it’s a good trait of Martin that he does not whine and bitch about the referees.

    It’s up to the players to focus and adjust on their own behavior because that’s all they can control. Once you start blaming the referee, you effectively tell the players, ‘it’s not you, it’s the ref’. In other words, you tell the players there is nothing they can do to change the situation because it’s not under their control. Coaches don’t want that and either do players – they want to think they can change the game by changing their own behavior.

    Some nights no matter what you do, the refs call you on it. It’s going to be a very small subset of games where this happens and the best you can do is walk away after the loss and refocus on the next game.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      I disagree. I remember that one game against the Sabres. We got three PPs in a row and Lindy Ruff went crazy. The result? No more Habs PP for the rest of the game. As a player I would like my coach to stand up for the team and make a point when the team gets screwed as it was the case yesterday.

      Not that I like Tortorella but imagine him behind the Habs bench yesterday. There´s absolutely no way it would have been 9 to 2 PPs at the end of the game…

  23. homerbowen says:

    Ahhhhh quit whining about the refs and their anti-HAB bias that’s all BS. Look at the rosters of teams like Edmonton, Boston and even Toronto and then you will see why the problem is PG and JM. Repace them with up-to-date, knowledgable manager(s) and coach(s) and in a few years there may be more hope then there is today.The horizan is bleak, clean house now.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Habs get screwed by the refs and some “fans” came out, deny that and blame Gauthier and Martin instead. That always makes me laugh. Pointing out that the refs suck has nothing to do with whining btw, at least when they clearly did like last night. When I look at the roster of the Leafs I see a team that has clearly less talent and it´ll show sooner or later.

      • HardHabits says:

        Yes but hockey is a team game and the sum of Toronto’s parts exceeds the sum of Montreal’s.

        I’d much rather have had Lindy Ruff behind the Habs bench last night than Martin. This is hopefully Martin’s last season as head coach and Mr. Molson is already working on a new management team.

    • showey47 says:

      Odd,your last post was made on oct.25th after the florida loss. Then nothing during the 4 game winning streak. Then you show up now,weird don’t you think?

  24. nastyHABit says:

    WTF…..Are we not allowed to check the opponents players?
    ……I guess the refs are not used to seeing it

  25. Adam says:

    Wow. Apparently the Habs aren’t allowed to lose a single game all season. Lose one, and our superstar goalie is a bust, our hot young defenceman is a bust, our captain is a bust, and the head coach needs to be murdered.
    Chill out. They just won four straight. Their losing streak stands at one. I mean, I’m not a math professor or anything, but I’ve yet to hear of an NHL hockey team going undefeated.
    But what do I know. You’re all the experts. Hence your high-level positions in the game.

    • The Cat says:

      Criticizing Price is unfair, but I think its fair to criticize JM and the coaching staff for not standing up for the team last night. Once in his life, JM’s got to do it.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I agree with Adam’s post. I find so many posters ready to ‘sit Subban’, ‘rest Price for Budaj, ‘replace Diaz with Emelin, ‘ etc etc. I think the team has played well enough over the past five games or so to earn our appreciation, if not our praise.

      I dont know if the experts, Boone etc, would corroborate my opinion that the practices have been much more enegetic and purposeful. I can only go by their reporting and that of TSN990… so I am also gonna give some support to the ‘revised coaching team’.
      As a fan, I still have some ‘issues’ with some decisions. I dont think Plekanec should be onn the PP. The success, if any, has been very meagre.

      And I do think that Emelin should be cycled into the line up, not to replace someone per se, but to (a) give him playing time and (b) present a different defensive type, every now and then.

      It may be a discouraging admission, but I have decided to accept the fact that the optimism of the summer was unfounded and this team WILL not show a HUGE improvement from last year’s. So as long as they compete and the coaches strive for a more aggressive style then I am OK.

      The HABS of the past are GONE… for NOW! We are in the same category as the Ottawas and Leafs etc.

      This does not mean that the general manager should sit on his hands. There are possible changes that can be made which may bring benefits. Maybe a Camillieri move or a dramatic Gomez decision etc.

      But for now, practise hard, show up on the ice, be flexible and imaginative and dynamic in coaching, and see how it goes.

  26. Everlasting1 says:

    With PK’s antics and past nuisances to opposing players, I would have given him a double minor for that snow thingy.

    “And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain.” – Deuteronomy 2:33

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

  27. The Cat says:

    Its mind boggling what passes as competent refereeing.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  28. nova scotia vees says:

    A couple of points…Refs have been anti Montreal for years. Most of them are from southern Ont…Leaf Nation. Gutless management refuses to EVER say peep about constantly being hosed by refs. NO PASSION from behind the bench leads to no passion on the bench.
    Price still hasn’t learned to come out of the damn paint and challenge the shooter. Please watch Tim Thomas..Carey! And for any of you who criticize P.K….well, all I can say is J.M has tried to make him ordinary and is succeeding. Just like an old cowboy who has to break the fine young stallion. Idiot coach and idiot fans who don’t see the talent that is being hobbled.

    • Toe Blake says:

      Two of your points are definitely spot on. Carey has size and yet plays small, i.e. too deep in the paint. Come out and challenge these guys, be huge. On PK, hell let him run! Down by two at MSG this evening he should have been given the green light to just flat out go for it. Who cares if we lose 6-3? I’d rather try to win the damn game!

    • LL says:

      I’d like, for once, to see Price nonfans come on here after he has been spectacular, and say so.

      Your criticism might then come off as more genuine.

      Plays too deep…doesn’t challenge the shooter…on a screened shot…lol

  29. durocher says:

    The boys never gave up, and were the recipients of horrible officiating. Callahan should have been assessed an instigator penalty and ejected, and the Bluden hit was not interference.

    That said, I think our D is very small and backs up way too easily on approaching forwards. Weber has contributed offensively but is not great on D. I’d much rather have Emelin in the lineup for one of Weber or Diaz. Sadly, it looks like Emelin will be gone once Campoli and Markov return.

  30. Shane1313 says:

    Boone about sums it up nicely.
    And for all those who think JM should have “lost it” after the game..now what would that have done? Absolutely nothing.
    We’ll come back Tuesday

    • Toe Blake says:

      But that kinda sums up JM’s coaching style in spades: there is absolutely nothing remotely motivational there.

      • Shane1313 says:

        I get it, I do. It’s important to motivate your team and to get the guys moving and wanting to win. Sometimes I think that JM has a certain expectation and leaves it to the players to self-motivate or the leaders. It seperates him from the team. It’s different and yes Martin doesn’t stand on the bench like Tortorella, but maybe that’s a good thing. Around here, they might need a stablizing presence. But I don’t know…Sometimes I wonder what we would be like if we had a coach like Tortorella

        • Toe Blake says:

          My biggest criticism of Martin is that the team’s readiness to play seems to b a roll of the dice. It is his job to have them up for every game and to show some piss and vinegar in the first twenty minutes. God, he is like the freakin’ damp wash cloth of coaches. He’d have a hard time coaxing a turd from an incontinent dog in winter.

          • Shane1313 says:

            lol. I call that calm, but maybe there’s more to what he does beyond what we see on tv. But maybe there isn’t, i’d love to know!

      • G-Man says:

        What’s motivational about bitching and moaning? Oh, I see. Whining leads to more power plays for the Habs. Ask Carbo about that.


        When in doubt, blame PP.

    • durocher says:

      He should have lost it during the game, as Burns or Demers would have.

  31. O-ZoneVertigo says:

    The officiating was certainly bad- no doubt about it. But the Habs also did this to themselves- even if we discount the 2 questionable calls, it was still 7 obvious penalties that they took. Oh, and Ranger’s empty-netter? It should have been credited to PK as he deviated the flying puck into their own net.

  32. ProHabs says:

    It’s official. The Sophomore Jinx has hit PK squarely between the eyes.

    I like PK but I still LOL thinking about that first punch he threw at Marchant. Can you imagine the ribbing he must get from the guys in the room.

    • Shane1313 says:

      And I was hoping it wasn’t! I though PK would be a guy that would roll right threw it. But hey, it happens to the best of them. Tyler Myers last year, hell be fine in the end.

      • Toe Blake says:

        Needs to spend a hour or two a day on the ice with Chris Nilan. These things can be taught, even if it has to be by an older man rag-dolling his sorry ass for an hour a day.

  33. Toe Blake says:

    Having watched tonight’s game in the flesh, I don’t think there is a refereeing conspiracy. I just think the officiating flat out sucks. I watch a boatload of hockey at all levels and I can say without hesitation that the refereeing at the highest level of the sport is without a doubt the worst. You never, ever see NCAA D-1 officials call a crap game akin to the one that I watched at MSG this evening.

  34. JasonM says:

    Hard to win games when you’re killing off penalties for what amounted to close to an entire period of the game. Whether they are merited or not matters little in regards to the outcome nor in warning the league that this type of result is suspect.

    As long as the coaching staff and management takes it up the proverbial bum with a smile, the league will not change its attitude in the team. As long as the Montreal media twiddles their thumbs going “Diddlydoo” and more interested in covering Toronto or the fact there are fewer and fewer Quebecois in the team, nothing will change.

    One thing is for sure, discipline needs to be stronger. We’re the 3rd most penalized team in the league (behind Phily and Ottawa) with key problems such as TOO MANY MEN (league leaders… again) and a star in the making defenceman leading the team in penalty minutes and looking like he’s sadly going full throttle into the sophomore jinx.

  35. 1010 says:

    Why not get into a whole refs conspiracy thing Boone. And if we don’t go their….then what is the problem?
    This teams PP to PK ratio was either the worst or the second worst in the league last year. And this appears to be trending back that way.
    Why? Their leader is the most emotionless, controlled man in the league but for some reason this doesn’t seem to makes its way down to the players.
    The Habs have won four straight. Maybe that was too many for the powers that be.
    If not a conspiracy then what?
    Because I believe that 2 months from now these stats will look very similar to last years
    I guess we must have the most undisciplined bunch of guys in the league and they better do something about that.
    Oh, and by the way Boone, I do realize that you said you didn’t want to get into a conspiracy thing because that is exactly what you wanted.

    GO HABS…

  36. jimmy shaker says:

    Hey Boone. What’s so ignorant about saying Price was stuck in the paint for yet another goal, the goal that won the game for the gers? I’m sure he’d like to have that one back, along with Cammy and his lazy back check on the delzotto goal. It is what it is!


    • habsfan0 says:

      In Boone’s eyes, Price can do NO wrong. Price was also way back in the blue paint on the Ranger’s first goal. He should have stuck his paddle out to intercept the pass across his crease.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        I won’t fault him on that goal……a 5 on 3 goal is always tough to give up. He was worried about the man with the puck and thinking PK his d-man would take care of that cross crease pass. Think about it, if Price played the cross crease pass and cheated early off the near post and I forget who made the pass on the goal, snuck a shot shortside on Price and scored, everyone would be going crazy on Price on here. Anyway, I just want him to be at the top of his paint as much as possible and stop with that one leg up and one leg down shite when the puck is off to the side of the net, and, sorry, one more thing, stand up and stay off his knees for as long as possible, then he’ll be unstoppable!


      • OneTimer says:

        Yeah! Lynch Price! He totally should have used his X-ray vision to see through his own defender’s body on the screened 3rd goal. Trade him, what a bust, right guys?

        • jimmy shaker says:

          Try and use some logic here my friend…..I know that may be hard. Here is a simple question for you. Was Price stuck pretty deep in the paint on Richards screener or not? Hopefully you can answer “Yes” to that. So my take on it is, Carey gets out to the top of the paint on that shot and maybe he has a better chance of stopping it. And if it stills goes in, then full marks to richards for using weber as a screen and getting off a great shot. Can you take Price off the pedestal that you have him on?


    • Pelicans says:

      Boone, stfu, price let the habs down again. Momentum from the 5 on 3 was lost. Wake up price! Show interest. Wake up jm show interest. Wake up boooooone!

      Halak, White and Muller for life!

  37. mamacat says:




  38. SmartDog says:

    As many have said below, the reffing was REALLY bizarre. And cost the Habs the game. Blunden lays a clean hit on a puck carrier with the puck inches in front of him, the Rangers head hunt Blunden and somehow we end up with the extra penalty. Max is called for boarding when Richards totally turns his numbers at the last possible microsecond and dives into the boards and later to put the cherry on top PK is called for raising snow from his skates.

    Could Martin just THIS ONCE come out and say WTF was up with the reffing in that game. JUST ONCE. Take the fine and let that ref know that next game people will remember what a big smelly dump he laid on our doorstep. I HATE that the Habs always take the high road and never call foul even when it’s clear. That’s not being professional, that’s being self-righteous. It’s stupid to keep your mouth shut when speaking up could help prevent the next such unfair game. Sometime things ARE foul and you need to say so. Really, grow a pair Martin. Yell at someone besides your players.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  39. NLhabsfan says:

    Every time I see the ref Tim Peel he shows the Canadiens a bad night. Wonder what the stats are when he is ref? We are a better team than NY… perhaps next time we will get fairer officiating when we play them.

  40. Un Canadien errant says:

    A moral victory for the Canadiens tonight, instead of the genuine article. They lost due to their own lack of discipline, and the sharp-eyed referees made every call except the first one, which should have gone against the Rangers.

    Early in the game, Mike Blunden stepped off the Canadiens’ bench and laid a solid hit on Brandon Dubinsky, who was carrying the puck at the time. Play continued into the Canadiens’ zone, where Ryan Callaghan caught up to Mr. Blunden and started to fight with him. A scrum ensued, with other players grabbing each other, notably Hal Gill with Brandon Dubinsky, and Petteri Nokelainen with Michael Sauer. When it was all sorted out, the penalties evened out, except for the Canadiens receiving a minor for too many men on the ice, and another minor for obstruction. This was a clearly blown call by the referees. We can’t really argue the too many men penalty, but the obstruction call is questionable. If Mr. Blunden can’t throw a clean bodycheck on the puck carrier, he will have a short career in the NHL, since he won’t stick strictly on his pugilistic skills, as can be seen on YouTube and as he demonstrated again tonight.

    The fact that there was no instigator penalty called on Ryan Callaghan is a travesty. He skated from the neutral zone to deep in Canadiens territory to catch up to Mr. Blunden, dropped his gloves first, and went after him in obvious retaliation for his clean (I want to stress this) check on Mr. Dubinsky. If anything, Mr. Shanahan could use this sequence to illustrate Rule 46.11 in one of his training videos. Obviously, based on tonight’s game as well as any game the Canadiens play against the Bruins, the consequences of this infraction are so severe, namely an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting and a ten-minute misconduct, that referees are loath to call it. This non-call was pivotal in the game, since it provided the Rangers with a 5 on 3 powerplay, whereas it probably should have only been coincidental minors. The Rangers used this two-player advantage to gain the lead that they would never relinquish.


    The Braying Asses on Hockey Night in Canada are perennially prophesying the end of the NHL, the end of hockey, the end of Western Civilization if the instigator rule is not repealed. If only they removed their heads from each other’s colon, they could observe that it is effectively a technicality on the books not to be enforced, like insider-trading or false-advertising statutes.

    The good side of the story, which provides the moral victory, is that the Canadiens never quit, and this game could have gone either way. They were creative and dangerous around the Rangers’ net, hit two posts, and threatened all night. Erik Cole and Mike Cammalleri pinged the posts, and seem to be getting the hang of each other. All summer we predicted they would play together, only we thought it would be with Plekanec at centre, and the two do seem to be a good combination.

    I paid attention to Jaro Spacek and Andrei Kostitsyn, since they’ve been a bit of a hobby-horse for me, and I wanted to observe their positive contributions. Andrei made it easy by scoring a nice goal, and by seeming to be hungry for the puck. Mr. Spacek also played well, and I was impressed to see him absorb a few bodychecks yet remain standing, as opposed to imploding or suffering a controlled collapse or spontaneously combusting, as he did last season and during the Winnipeg game earlier this season. I admit that he is effective, but I still advocate that Alexei Emelin should be given his icetime.

    Maybe the icetime should be subtracted from another player though, and I’m thinking of PK Subban. He has been up and down this year, sometimes getting caught being too aggressive and/or trying to do too much, but tonight was another hiccup. I was mildly impressed that he made simple plays, and on the powerplay also kept it simple and effective, choosing to make easy passes and blasting a few shots at net. Just as I was formulating this thought, he skated up to Henrik Lunddqvist and braked hard, giving him a snow shower. He earned two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, thwarting the Canadiens’ comeback attempt.

    I know PK is a work in progress, and is still young and has time to mature. I want the coaches and veteran D-men to work with him and get him to understand that he doesn’t need to be an ‘agitator’, that he has too much talent to waste his energies that way. I want him to play hard and tough, to hit opponents cleanly, and to use his creativity as a break in between the majority of the time when he makes the simple, easy, effective play. I want him to stop needling opponents and jawing at them, to stop the little hooks and slashes, followed by his head-swivel-to-the-referee-with-a-full-shrug-palms-up-plee, to stop embellishing when he gets (often) deservedly pushed or shoved or popped in the mouth. Is it too early in the season for his Jacques Martin-approved “Cure de Jouvence sur la Galerie de la Presse”™ ?

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  41. Toe Blake says:

    Just got back from MSG. There was a great showing from Habs fans tonight. On at least three occasions, their “Go Habs Go” chants had to be drowned out by the Blueshirt supporters. Lots of people sporting their jerseys, even a few of the Habblebee variety. They could have walked out of NYC with two points this evening if they had their heads screwed on. Sure, the refs were horrible, but when are these too many men penalties going to cease? Richards’ first decent goal of the season sealed their fate.

  42. Arune Singh says:

    I was at the game tonight and all the Rangers fans around me were fawning over Cole– they noticed how he was part of each big play and really buzzing around the net.

    Despite the litany of stupid penalties, I never lost faith– this year’s team (sans Gomez) has some real fight in them and could’ve cashed in on a lesser goalie.

    On a random note, I was only a few rows back from the ice and, yes, our players do look like Smurfs. But Gill is a freakin giant. His stick is taller than Gionta.

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

  43. TOEmastro says:

    Excuse me while I take out my tinfoil hat and start looking for hidden frequencies on my ham radio.

    Olé, olé, olé oleé

  44. Timo says:

    Despite refs best attempts this was still a winnable game. This is the type of game where coach publicly stands up for his team. This is a kind of game where coach loses it on the refs and goes balistic on their ass. This is a kind of game where The Captain (wish we had one) does the same. The only person who truly never quit was Cole. He continued to drive the net, he continued to fight and claw his way in. Same can’t be said about the highest paid players like Gionta and Cammilleri. Sure, Gionta scored… but did he inspire? Hardly. Cammillari just floated. Zero from him pretty much from the beginning of the year.

    Molson turned out to be a huge stinking turd. Useless owner who only cares about his checkbook (no surprise, really).

    • Exit716 says:

      Molson’s freak out about the Pacioretty incident worked. Campbell is now assigned to changing the urinal pucks in the war room with his teeth. Give credit where it’s due.

      • Timo says:

        Somehow I really doubt Campbell’s removal had anything to do with Molson’s reaction. Really, league has showed time and gain that they don’t give a rats rear end about what Habs think whether right or wrong. Instead of freaking out, Molson should ensure he has competent people running the team.

    • 1010 says:

      I fully expect we will turn on the TV tomorrow and will witness Martin ripping the league a new one about the penalties tonight Timo.
      Because that’s what a good leader does.

      GO HABS…

    • habsfan0 says:

      Unlike Habs’ coach/GM, I think it’s still too early to judge Molson. After all,he did make necessary changes to glass at Bell Centre.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Good post. This was indeed the type of game where a galvanizing presence on the bench (coach or player) would have added some anger to their effort which may have been the missing ingredient.

  45. JohnBellyful says:


    NEW YORK– The National Hockey League has fired all its referees and linesmen and is moving to the honours system.
    “It just wasn’t working out,” NHL president Gary Bettman said in a midnight conference call. “The games were getting bogged down by bogus penalties that were making the fans unhappy. They’re our number one priority so we had to act, and act quickly.”
    Under the new rules, there will be no rules, except for The Code. Offsides will no longer be called. Teams will alternate having one of their players drop the puck for face-offs.
    “Having players police themselves make sense because they won’t want to do anything that will embarrass the sport and make the league look bush league,” Bettman said.
    He said the NHL has sent out a memo to all the teams informing them of the change and the faith being placed in them to behave responsibly.
    “We know this will be problematic for certain teams, such as the Stanley Cup champions,” Bettman said, without naming names, “but any club that violates The Code will suffer the consequences that are spelled out in The Code.”
    Bettman said the NHL has hired Don Cherry to interpret The Code when differences of opinion arise, and Ron MacLean to interpret Cherry.
    “The last straw was when Saturday Night Live and This Hour Has 22 Minutes began including skits about the NHL every week on their shows,” Bettman said. “That drove down the league’s value among investors but increased its laughing stock. Nobody wants that.”
    A spokesman for the NHL officials association expressed disappointment in the NHL’s unilateral decision to fire its employees en masse.
    “This appears to be in violation of our collective agreement,” the spokesman said. “If it is we’re going to file a grievance.”

  46. Neutral says:

    Not hard to sum this one up – outscored in the 1st period – they were pissed off – went out and took 13 penalties – won’t beat the rangers that way. excuses don’t win games.

  47. DEANDALLEY says:

    Puck do I hate Martin! More emotion from a corpse!

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

  48. otter649 says:

    Now I know why rangers #24 O’Callahan wears a visor he keeps getting his face in the way of high sticks & punches…….

  49. twilighthours says:

    Nothing marginal about the interference call. It was not interference, so it was a bad call.

  50. C_exacte says:

    “New York roasts Montreal” – quote Ron Maclean, what a jackass!!! 100 penalties to 2 and an empty netter RON!!! damn I hate the CBC, how did your Leafs do tonight BTW???

  51. deuce6 says:

    Meh, I don’t blame Price for this one, Booney, but he didn’t look like himself tonight…He didn’t look comfortable…

    Besides, it isn’t as though the stripes didn’t have a hand in this one or anything..lol

    I wonder who Peel and Morton’s bookie is? lol


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

  52. punkster says:

    Bad when the other team embarrasses you, which didn’t happen tonight. But when the officials embarrass you it’s a whole other story. Habs played well despite that handcuffing. They’ll bounce back.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  53. deuce6 says:

    haha…You said “wood”..


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

  54. Bob_Sacamano says:

    I am getting into the whole Referees Conspiracy discussion. Sometimes they suck, sometimes they are worse. Tonight I had the same feeling I had during last year´s game at Detroit. Some might remember that. What feeling? You can figure that out for yourself.

    Habs deserved at least a point tonight despite playing the second game away from home in 27 hours and despite being outreffed. So far despite the Toronna games only loss to the Sabres which we made look like an average ECHL team (not including Miller of course) for more than 30 minutes did hurt more.

    AK has now one goal on the PP in overall what, 2, 3 or 4 minutes? Darche meanwhile…

  55. ProHabs says:

    Eric Cole reminds me of Glenn Anderson when he is cutting towards the net.

    The snow shower call on PK was a joke. Did the refs just make that rule up tonight. That never gets called.

    HIO moderators should keep their eyes on Boone.

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