About last night …

It was déjà vu all over again.

Last April 22 at Madison Square Garden, the Canadiens outshot the Rangers 28-23, including an 11-6 advantage in the first period.

Beaten early by Alexei Emelin, of all people, Henrik Lundqvist shut the Canadiens out the rest of the way in a 3-1 win that ended the visiting team’s season.

On the evidence of Sunday night’s game, not much has changed … other than the departure of Emelin.

The Canadiens outshot the home team 12-8 in the first period en route to a 34-25 advantage on the game.

But Lundqvist stopped everything – except for two disallowed goals in the first period.

And the Canadiens’ popgun offence generated nothing in the way of sustained pressure.

Through three games – including an overtime in Buffalo – the Canadiens have scored three goals.

Two have been shorthanded, the other at even-strength.

The Canadiens power play is 0-for-9 on the season. And  indicative of the minimal pressure generated in the Rangers zone, the Canadiens had only one man-advantage. Sunday night.

It was, of course, futile.

OK, it’s way too early to panic.

But despite a lineup that included seven players  who weren’t dressed for last spring’s elimination game, this team is looking dismayingly like the one the Rangers eliminated.

And maybe … just maybe … worse.

Again, it’s way too early to panic.

Chicago visits the Bell Centre on Tuesday. A strong performance against the Hawks, and happy days are here again … at least for one night.

“We did a lot of good things,” Claude Julien said during his postgame scrum, telecast during L’Antichambre. “We created chances but we have to find a way to finish around the net better than we’ve done since the beginning of the season.

“The chances are there,” Julien added. “It’s the finish that’s missing.”

Julien said his team was better than they had been in Washington Saturday night.

But that’s damning the Canadiens with faint praise.

The game in D.C. was a no-show fiasco – an early version of last season’s 10-0 debacle in Columbus.

The Canadiens came to play at MSG. And if the two early goals had counted … well, we’ll never know.

What we do know is the team that began their season 9-1 a year ago is 1-2 … and lucky to score a Shootout win over the only non-playoff team they’ve faced.

The Tomas Plekanec line has played well through three games.

Jonathan Drouin’s line has looked good on most of its shifts.

But the Phillip Danault-Andrew Shaw-Alex Galchenyuk line is a mess.

And the fourth line, shaken up with the addition of Torrey Mitchell Sunday night, is … a fourth line.

As for the D corps …

The general manager thinks it’s better than last year’s.

On the evidence of three games, Marc Bergevin is seriously delusional.

Happy Thanksgiving.

•  •  •

Comment on the Liveblog by Bim:

Boy. Alex Galchenyuk looks worse every game out. Don’t know what his problem is but he was a floater again tonite. Forget trading him for anything more than a bag of hockey sticks the way he’s playing. In fact that’s probably the big reason why they haven’t unloaded him yet for Matt Duschene. If you were Colorado would you? Maybe…after drinking a case of beer of course. Its going to be a long season in Montreal. Next up Chicago. Beat the drums, pass the torches around and mail the 2 points on Tuesday. They’re awful.

 And by FireBergie:

Not a good team, downward trend. Time to go Bergie…..you’ve rid us of all talent we had on the back end, emptied the cupboard, perpetuated a piss poor farm system and a sub par talent evaluation department, so great 6 year plan. I guess people keep buying this $13 Molson Ex and the coach and GM have French last names so it’s all good. Pathetic.

 

286 Comments

  1. whocares says:

    I didn’t actually watch the game, but from what I’ve read here, that is not the effort I want to see. If they are going to hang in games like that and make things close, the delusion of adequacy is just going to tack on another wasted year. As fans we need results and I don’t mean losing by a goal or two, I mean getting blown out of the building as soon and as often as possible. I thought the 2nd game was terrific, we need results like that or we will be stuck looking at that horse’s arse of a coach all year. Maybe for years to come.

    How long was he unemployed before Bergevin went running up to his feet with a ridiculous contract anyway? A couple of days? “Oh look, there’s another french coach, ante up Geoff.” 5 million a year with all the holes on this team I almost had a stroke when i saw that.I want this guy to go down in flames. I would have a hard time looking in the mirror if I were him anyway, but I want him to see failure. Go play with your cup ring somewhere else, you’re no Hab. Or maybe you are but not the ones I remember. Markov gets shown the door with the same lack of class as when they let Saku go. Guys who gave their everything. And you hire a guy who humiliated you.

    So Julien makes 5 mil and the team has maybe 4 guys who belong on the top two lines of a good NHL team. And they are 7.5M below the cap. What are they saving that for? They fill the building, that’s the fans money. Don’t tell me it’s for flexibility, please. You keep a couple mil tops for that if you are making money. If you cant make a deal at the deadline with a couple million bucks you shouldn’t be a GM. And the worst kick in the teeth is they raised ticket prices.

    They’re making a fool out of their fans but stupid is as stupid does to rob a quote from that saccharine movie.

    • leafs stink says:

      Well said!!! your right its best if they keep getting blown out thats the only way to stop this crap hockey, beleave it or not but we turned into the old leafs with this crap management!!

  2. leafs stink says:

    Wow, watching the Leafs here in Toronto, look out there gonna kick the crap out of the Habs and the rest of the division for the next 10 years!!!!!

    You hab fans that keep saying its to early in the season to make predictions, that we are going to make the playoffs like its a lock, guess what you fans dont know shit about how to build a winner!!!!!
    Watching other teams in the league and then wathching the habs gives me stomach pains.

    What MB has put together in the last 3 years compared to other managers in the league is house-league!!

    The way the leafs break out and control the puck entering the zone is like the old flying frenchman of the 70’s. They drive for the net, dig in the corners, forecheck, hit hard, make sweet passes and hold onto the puck. I hate the leafs and i cant beleave im saying this!!!
    The habs are opposit, slow motion with flick shots on net from the boards. No vision!!!
    Stop going to the games show empty seats dont buy molson beer im telling youy right now mark my words im sick of watching this crap for the last 3 years!!!!! habs r in trouble hate to say it

  3. gmur says:

    Well, the first three games illustrate why we couldn’t match up with good teams (including the Rangers) last season.

    – Slow defence (now slow and less-savvy with Markov’s loss)
    – Not nearly enough offense (If you average 1.something goals per game – which Montreal did in the playoffs last year – you lose)
    – Price lets in one bad goal = loss
    – Galchenyuk may not be the first or second line forward management thinks he is.

    There are no surprises on this team so far. Until the team undergoes a true rebuild from the bottom up, we are moving sideays at best, but the preseason and the first three games make it seem an awful lot like we moved backwards.

    Maybe Schlemko can turn this thing around.

    A scintillating save beats a booming blast.

  4. 100HABS says:

    Watching the game last night, I had a thought: is it possible last year that Markov made Petry look better than he actually is?

  5. RightNyder says:

    OK, one more before I head off for turkey sandwiches and the first of my three naps today:

    POPS makes some good points below. I’d like to cherry-pick one for my own nefarious purposes.

    “A core of Price, Drouin, Weber, and Pacioretty is a good start.”

    Perhaps. But I’d strongly suggest that a core of Price, Subban, Pacioretty, younger Plekanec and younger Markov; plus basically unsullied Gallagher, Eller and Beaulieu; pre-Pedan Tinordi and the No. 3 pick in the draft was a better start.

    We enter year six of the dapper turd-tossing blind squirrel’s hamster wheel spin, and where are we?

    10 guys 30+, in a league where youth and speed rule the roost. Eleventeen-million scoreless puds on D in a league where puck movement from the back is now de rigueur.

    All the hates-to-lose dep guys in the world won’t help you win 16 when it counts if you don’t have the talent at the top end. A couple of nifty dumpster dives in Danault and Byron can’t erase the fact a very solid core is essentially aging out. Can’t erase the fact that our best forward and second-best D off an already not-good-enough squad were allowed to walk for nothing. Can’t erase the fact that a mini-blowup in 2016 could have set us up quickly for a reload.

    Maybe it’s just me. But if, entering year six, your ‘good start’ isn’t nearly as good as the one you inherited, you’re not moving forward.

    Bring back Patty.

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      I’ll take either Roy or Brisebois.

      It’s not so much who’s better that’s the important part. The important part, as always, is time’s running out. MB’s screwed it up going on six years. Hurry.

    • POPS says:

      We agree to disagree. For me, the addition of Drouin makes this core exponentially better in comparison to the core that included Plekanec and Eller. On the defensive side we really have to wait to see Jerabek before we make the call on Beaulieu, but at the very least they did not let Beaulieu completely diminish as a asset before dealing him. Galchenyuk has let the franchise down, but the franchise has also made a major mistake with him as a prime asset. They must put him in a position to succeed and then deal him immediately. The pre-season, and the early regular season should be used to accomplish Galchenyuk’s move. I also believe that Danault is better than Eller.

      • RightNyder says:

        Danault and Eller are just sidepieces.

        (Five years younger) Price, Subban and Pacioretty easily beats the much more expensive Price, Weber and Pacioretty of today.

        Markov and Plekanec were younger and excellent, not gone and diminished, respectively.

        Drouin was acquired at the cost of replacing Radulov with our top prospect. I’m strongly suggesting that, for the next couple of years anyway, that Radulov/Sergachev makes the team better.

        And they absolutely diminished Beaulieu as an asset by calling him out publicly and then flogging him for pennies on the dollar.

        Entering year six, the team may have more dep puds, but it’s not positioned nearly as well as it was when MB started.

        Bring back Patty.

  6. RightNyder says:

    I wonder if Bill Dauterive is happy with the current makeup of this team.

    I have to believe the pudnacity added last year – King, Ott, DNP – was at the behest of the new coach, who loves him some thuggery.

    Obviously, bringing in thumpers who can’t play failed miserably, but the Billdozer is left with one pillowy soff club. He can’t like that.

  7. RightNyder says:

    Now that greedy McPhee has worked himself into a corner and farked up the Shipachyov/Shipachev/Russiancentredude situation, send him a sixth-rounder and give Galchenyuk a new playmate.

    • Butterface says:

      I would like him too, but chances are low. They signed him first before everyone. The price was reasonable. My jaw hit the floor that MB had not nabbed him if that was all he wanted.

      ***********************
      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
      ***********************

      • Strummer says:

        Wasn’t all he wanted.

        He also wanted to play in Sin City.

        UFAs are loathe to pick Montreal as a destination these days.

        -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

        • RightNyder says:

          Agreed.

          But now that he’s not a UFA and is currently stuck in the AHL because McPhee is a greedy toad, Montreal can’t be so bad.

          • Strummer says:

            Yes he should have obtain the NMC.
            Anyway Howard Johnson’s are better in America and the team buses crash less than KHL charter planes

            -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

  8. Jackintheshwa says:

    “The way our game is structured and the way P.K. plays … we’re headed in a different direction” At least we now have character, leadership and a hate to lose attitude.

  9. B says:

    Jarret Tyszka had a pair of assists in a 4-3 win over Kamloops last night. He has 6 points in his last 4 games and is averaging a point per game after 6 games, more than double his .46 ppg of last season. It’s very early, but let’s hope the 6’3″ 200 lb 18 year old Dman keeps it going this season.

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • 25soonenough says:

      I don’t like his plus/minus but I thought when we drafted him that he was a bit of a steal.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • Strummer says:

        +/- is a worthless stat

        -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

        • 25soonenough says:

          worthless? I’m not sure about that. It’s one of the largest determining stats in choosing the Norris winner year after year. I’ll agree it’s quite meaningless when you look at a young prospect but as a stat itself I’d hardly call it worthless.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • Strummer says:

            At times in their careers Ovechkin and Eric Staal led the NHL in worst +/-.

            Matt Duchene had almost the worst last year.
            These are elite players.
            If you are on a crap team your +/_ will suck.
            It has nothing to do with your individual ability.

            I don’t buy Norris argument.
            You have data on that?

            -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

          • 25soonenough says:

            Who is the last Norris winner with a big minus? That’s my data on that.
            The plus/minus for forwards is far less significant in my mind but if a defenceman has 50 points and is -40 then he is on the ice for many more goals against than goals for. It’s not a worthless stat, it’s a stat that can be viewed or skewed a bunch of ways but it is not worthless.

            here’s actual data.
            https://www.hockey-reference.com/awards/norris.html

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • Strummer says:

            You said ” It’s one of the largest determining stats in choosing the Norris winner year after year. ‘

            There is nothing this link you provided that supports that statement.
            All it shows is the +/- of the individual winners.
            It doesn’t show how their +/- ranked with the rest of the defensmen that season.

            The top +/- defensemen in 2017 finished 5th ,13th ,21st, 10th in Norris voting.

            the 5th place +/- finisher Jake Gardiner of Toronto got NO Norris votes.
            -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

  10. topher5468 says:

    In reading some of the trade scenarios , and I’m all for what ever makes this team better, I root for the sweater, but seriously, what has Galchenyuk ever done to make anyone think he can be a consistent goal scorer in this league, I’d say trade him , but then, when we do, he’ll find his game, I’ve been following this team for over 40 years, and I will continue to do so, win or lose good or at present, awful, but its more fun and less stressful when they’re good, haha

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

    • B says:

      Galchenyuk’s points per game over the last 4 seasons:
      13/14 .48 ppg
      14/15 .57 ppg
      15/16 .68 ppg
      16/17 .72 ppg

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • habcertain says:

        Geez, I see a trend.

      • topher5468 says:

        I’m not quite sure where you’re going with that. Yes, He may get some points, but he’s mostly invisible. he’s surely not a difference maker, and rarely comes through in the clutch. How many goals did he have last year in the playoffs. a big fat ZERO
        “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

        • Strummer says:

          He may get SOME points?
          Isn’t that why he’s there?
          Invisible?

          So running into everything that moves while accomplishing nothing is favourable?

          Guess who else had no goals in the playoffs last year?
          Everyone except 5 guys and they weren’t all on the 4th line as was Galchenyuk

          -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

  11. marvin20 says:

    japh10409
    I noticed the same thing regarding the Habs getting pushed around. This team is hard to assess due to their slow start. One thing is for sure they lack in team toughness right now. But the refs also let alot go. It sends an inconsistent message to teams. This team has enough problems right now ……I try to be optimistic but the reality is Markov and radulov leaving left some huge holes. Now they are getting punked and intimidated on the ice.

    They have something to prove in their home opener. If some of these guys want to keep their job’s

  12. nazzy says:

    Maybe, just maybe,the Habs should bring in the best available hockey person to run the team regardless of the language spoken.

  13. japh10409 says:

    Maybe I missed it, but was there any real backlash on McDonagh for blasting Byron into the boards from a vulnerable post-shot position? So far I have seen much more character from the opposition when the Habs do anything remotely offensive, and it’s depressing to think that the only guy who will consistently rise to the occasion has a recent history of concussions (Shaw). Gallagher gets abused on every shift. Severely missing the huge hits from Emelin and Pateryn right now. Ott, Martinsen, King, at least they ruffled feathers and made people think twice. So much talk last year of being a harder team to play against, major regression this year.

  14. Ian Cobb says:

    Simple.! Just not enough talent left in the organization.!
    Half the team is no better than AHL talent. Even the Leafs have rebuilt in 3yrs and are now competitive. Bergevin has little time, does he not know that we have a SUMMIT coming up in Ottawa on the 30th.? Should we all wear bags.?

    • Mavid says:

      I have no intention on wearing a bag..ever..

      º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

      Weed Wacker – and Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

    • Reg Dunlop says:

      That whole, just not enough talent in the organization begins and ends with the lack of talent at the GM position as I see it…

      “Boy, every piece of garbage that comes into the market and you gotta buy it!”

  15. theox_8 says:

    Locking up Radulov if at all possible and keeping Sergachev seems like a better scenario considering the lack of depth on the back end . However no guarantees Rads would have ever accepted an offer from MB . Still love the Drouin trade , but I really don’t think he is a centreman .

  16. Cal says:

    And upon this day of the Great Repast
    HIO can cast an eye askance
    From first to last
    And the Cup too far in the distance.

    Happy Thanksgiving, HIO!
    Be glad that all we have to bitch about is a hockey team.

  17. habsguy says:

    am I the only person in the world who saw #24’s stick put the puck in the net on the first disallowed goal……

  18. Gerry Pigeon says:

    My thanks to BC the Cats and 25soonenough for mentioning my Trade Carey idea as something that makes sense, as opposed to the usual accusations of heresy or insanity…lol. While I know I’m not the only one to think this is (was?) a good idea, I do think I was one of, if not the first, and definitely the most vocal.

    Now though, I’d have to agree that Carey’s been priced out of the trade market, we’re stuck with him until the end. In a way, it might end up working out for the best. With Carey showing he’s a world class goalie night after night, but that without a decent team in front of him, it’s still not enough, maybe the fan base will finally get the fact that a team has to have GOALS to win.

    Our offence of small forwards with marginal talent just isn’t enough. Trying to eke out 2-1 victories night after night is exhausting for not just Carey, but the whole team. An 82 game season is already too long and no fun, but adding the stress of trying to win this way night after night just takes the spirit right out of our boys.

    The night we lost to the Caps, Carey let in 4 by the end of the first and was yanked. Meanwhile, the Leafs allowed a 5-1 lead to evaporate, but just went out and potted three more in the third to win. I vividly recall Dryden saying he felt irrelevant in a 6-5 win over the hapless Colorado Rockies, cause every time he gave up a bad goal that night, the Habs would just turn on the jets and score to take the lead again.

    GOALS. Please.

    • RightNyder says:

      Perhaps Carey will be like John Elway.
      Forever dragging a sorry crew into the playoffs, making everyone in the organization think the team was better than it was.
      As he got older, they finally got him the help required to win as a team.

      Bring back Patty.

      • 25soonenough says:

        I’m reluctant to change my signature line for fear of slighting Larry in some way, but,

        Bring Back Sainte Patrick….is one I may consider.

        I would love to see that ill-tempered, hotblooded, borderline lunatic running our team, and, I mean that as a compliment.

        The team needs a madman behind the wheel to steer us first off a cliff then back to greatness after a few years of crawling out of said ditch.

    • BC (Because of the Cats) says:

      I don’t see how Price for eight years at 10.5$ million per year can possibly work out for the best. It simply means we’ll probably win enough 2-1 or 3-2 games to make the playoffs, where our anaemic offence will promptly dry up and we’ll manage to make the goaltender at the other end look better than Price. My reaction when the deal was announced was that it condemned the team to another decade of futility. I still feel that way.

      As for the current season, it looks at the moment to have the potential to be as bad as the 2011-2012 season, which ended with everyone being fired and the Marc Bergevin era being ushered in. This one could go the same way, in which case we’d at least get a high draft pick. However, the next GM would be hampered right from the get go by Price’s contract, making a complete rebuild all but impossible.

      You say the fan base might finally realize a team needs goals to win. I think fans are fully aware of this fact; it’s the GM and coach who don’t seem to be. They still think preventing goals is more important than scoring them — an idea that the Leafs-Rangers game on Saturday tends to undermine.

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        Hi Jane,

        You make valid points, as usual 🙂 I should have been more detailed explaining why I said signing Carey might be for the best.

        I agree that it’s our management that doesn’t seem to think goals are that important, that MB is trying to build a Cup contender from the net out. I also agree with other posters today that say it’s up to the fan base to pressure management/ownership into making changes. It only took Leafs fans 50 years, hopefully Habs fans are a little swifter…lol. Finally, I agree with the poster (can’t remember who today) that said Carey almost single-handedly guarantees competitiveness, a good shot at the playoffs, and profitability, and that this is what any business strives for first and foremost.

        So in my mind, I guess I’m trying to take lemons and make lemonade. I hope fans see Carey play as well as he can night after night, but also see a team lose heart, and continue to lose more close games than win them. I hope fans see our team’s offence drop from it’s customary middle of the pack level, to the bottom tier, and this makes fans realize we need not only a wholesale change in the management team, but that the new team has to emphasize OFFENCE in their rebuild plan.

        I think you’re right that fans realize goals are necessary. But fans need to FEEL it. They need to get to the point of utter frustration, to truly exert pressure on the ownership/management that simply wants to ice Carey and a popgun offence, and ride them to another fat pay cheque this year.

        There was further discussion today about whether or not the team’s constructed this way by design, or by accident. I posted a few days ago that I don’t blame Carey, but rather MB for not strengthening the team down the middle, thus resulting in Carey having all the leverage come contract time, and MB’s lack of choice but to open the vault to him. But you and I and a few others agree, he had a choice. He could have traded Carey. Yet, I believe it was Vito today who posted the ultimate truth, that there’s no way they trade Carey, as he guarantees the best shot at competitiveness and profitability.

        Fans need to SEE and FEEL this is the wrong way to build this team. They need to demand changes. And Carey’s many 2-1 losses this year will help.

        • BC (Because of the Cats) says:

          I guess the only effective way for fans to demand changes would be to stop filling the seats at the Bell Centre. Once the current plan stops being profitable, Habs management/ownership will change it.

          • Gerry Pigeon says:

            I agree, but can’t see the faithful electing to boycott attending games without some incentive. Unfortunately, the only incentive I see is losing, and especially the frustration of losing by not scoring.

            Upon re-reading your reply, I think you’re exactly right, but just three steps ahead of the rest of us. We need the majority of fans to see what we see, for the pressure to ramp up to a level that would actually result in real changes.

            Finally, I wonder if all hope isn’t lost. On the next thread, there’s talk that Price got most of his money as a lump sum, so actually wouldn’t require much actual paid salary per year. While his huge cap hit would remain the same, at least there’s a chance some team might want him, if they thought he could be the missing piece and fit him under their cap. The bait being he’s really not that expensive in actual salary paid.

            Price to Oil for Draisatl still possible? 🙂

      • Phil C says:

        A good goaltender and a good offense are not mutually exclusive. The extra cap expenditure on goaltending shouldn’t be crippling.

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          Agree, they aren’t mutually exclusive.

          But MB doesn’t show any evidence he emphasizes offence and defence are equally important, let alone that offence is MORE important.

          Agree also that even Price’s contract isn’t crippling, although I believe it’s at least a hindrance. Not only from the cap space issue (less for GOALS), but more from the standpoint that a few posters have taken to issue here, that Price’s contract and stardom places the focus of management and CJ on building a team to protect their core strength (Price) first. The most hilarious part of it is MB thinks that surrounding Price with immobile D’men like Alzner and Benn is the answer. He and CJ think if they teach the forwards to be defensively responsible like Pleks, they will shut down the other team, and win more games.

          You win games by scoring more than the other team. Yes, making it hard for the opposition to score helps. You know what helps more? 🙂

          This management team and coach is selling that defence is the way to championships. Actually, it’s the way to continued profitability (see Dead Wings for years…), and then inevitable demise.

          Offence. Please.

  19. nazzy says:

    Can we be honest? What were the expectations of this team, considering, no true #1 center, undersized forwards and 8 mill in cap space left on the table? I’d like to think MB has a blockbuster trade up his sleave to solve the many holes on his team. In reality, I don’t think he does, at best, maybe MB forces a trade, to plug a hole.
    And…why would MB choose Hemsky over Jagr?

  20. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Sam Adams Rebel IPA. Damn good beer! Makes winning better, losing easier. We’re gonna be paying too much for goaltending. Would rather be losing 6-5 than 2-1. Just sayin’
    oh, and definitely needs to be drank from a glass!

  21. PK says:

    The Habs are going to score 2.62 goals per game, end up in the playoffs. Price and the D will get their act together, soon enough: Sclemmy and JJ in, Streit and Benn – Out.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

    • gloveside says:

      You have absolutely no evidence to believe this but, like all religions, blind faith is most important.

      You do not play hockey for good seasons. You play to win the Stanley Cup. It has to be the objective. – Guy Lafleur

  22. Reg Dunlop says:

    @Gerry Pigeon’s discussion of trading Price for a #1 centre…
    The problem as I see it now Gerry is that Price is now pretty much untradable.

    Here’s what I’d like to transpire instead…

    Package Max and one of Byron or Gallagher up in an attempt to get that coveted # 1 centre. If you want to obtain quality, you’ll have to dangle something attractive because the other GM is not taking our cast offs. Centres that you can build a line around are harder to come by than wingers so the asking price is going to be significant. However, you can find wingers easier and cheaper than centres so here’s what I propose…

    Let’s be honest, Max is probably a great guy in the room and in the community but is definitely not a leader on the ice. But he is a proven 35-40 goal scorer who does have a nice, tradeable contract that would be an easy bauble for any acquiring GM to sell to their paying public.

    Add in a proven 20-25 goal scorer like Byron (whom I suspect will never score that many again) or Gallagher (Whom I think has peaked and breaks down too early in the season to be effective in the playoffs) and maybe you can land that centre. (Personally, I’d keep Byron because he has flat out more skill/better hands and speed than Gallagher) You may need to add a sweetener by swapping a farm hand/prospect but it should be a sufficiently attractive dangle for the other GM to swallow and sell to the fan base.

    People will ask, where are the goals going to come from? Fair enough. You have enough pieces with Drouin and Galchenyuk to build a powerhouse line with your shiny new centre. Danault can play 3rd line centre and you could easily build a shutdown line around him. Plekanec can still play 2nd line centre for now with Lehkonen and either Bryron or Gallagher as his other winger (depending on who stays/moves). And you still have Hudon who can play centre or wing apparently to contribute to the scoring. Personally I’d put Hudon in the middle. First, because that’s where he’s been developed and second, just to keep his relatively small frame from continually getting pinned on the boards and worn down like we see happen with Gallagher or Byron.

    Think of it as the start of an on-the-fly rebuild.

    This make sense to anyone but me?

    “Boy, every piece of garbage that comes into the market and you gotta buy it!”

    • 25soonenough says:

      I get really tired of coming up with line combinations that the coach will never use because I am clearly not getting through to him. His cell phone keeps going to voice mail and the message is terse:

      Claude is not in. Leave your line combos after the beep.

      So, I keep trying and hoping that the team realizes that horses need to run and offense comes from offensive players.

      The best checking line we have is Byron-Danault-Shaw. A dynamic line that is perfectly balanced.

      The Plekanec line has a shackle on its ankle and can only produce as much as its center creates and its wingers finish.

      The chemistry is not clicking with Danault-Galchenyuk one bit.

      The, “is Chucky a center” debate has raged on all summer and into last season. My opinion is that whatever he is, what he is certainly not is a third line winger on a checking line with a checking center that has little offensive creativity or awareness.

      The goals need to come from the top six. The top six needs to be loaded regardless of defensive play. What the hell are we paying 15M dollars next season to the leagues supposed best goalie if our top six forwards can’t make the odd lapse in their coverage.

      Teams win 5-4, 8-6, 5-3, whatever. We try to win 2-1. A recipe for disaster in a league that is pushing for more goals, not fewer.

      Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Lehkonen
      Hudon-Drouin-Gallagher
      Byron-Danault-Shaw
      Dlr-PLEKANEC-Mitchell

      6M dollar man on the fourth line? you say. I say if he plays like a checking center with little offence then play him as one.
      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  23. DMAN says:

    I will take the losses at this time of the year. It will force the team to answer to the issues with the team. IMO the fast starts the last 2 years only hurt the team in the long run. No false hope this year…..just reality.

  24. nazzy says:

    Byron, Gallagher, Pleks, Hudon, Mete, Drouin, Mitchel = MOAR BIGGAR.
    And….#floatingcaptain is just bloody awful. Galchenyuk, wtf?

  25. POPS says:

    A few facts to shed some sanity on this whole conversation:
    1. Carey Price WILL NOT be traded. He is the core and base of this franchise.
    2. The Drouin trade was an exceptional move that will benefit the Canadiens franchise for the next decade.
    3. Although I loved P.K. Subban, and always will, bringing in Shea Weber was not a mistake. Both players bring something different to a franchise as far as skill set, but I look at Weber as a Gainey/Robinson type, and Subban as a Lafleur type. Having both would’ve been awesome, but…
    4. A core of Price, Drouin, Weber, and Pacioretty is a good start.
    5. The problem here is the very poor development program that is in place and the egocentric tactics that the organization uses to produce “a true Montreal Canadien”. Yes, I agree that you have to build a culture, but that culture needs to be focused on winning, not on the way a player plays. In other words, focus on a players strengths and use that player appropriately to win games! Assets like Galchenyuk, Beaulieu, Scherbak, and McCarron have been, and are being devalued. If the braintrust doesn’t believe that these players are living up to potential, put them in a position to succeed and move them out, fast! Galchenyuk has looked awful! Move him up on the right wing with Drouin and Pacioretty, or put him at centre (where he excelled from a point production standpoint last season) and help him produce. When he is going, deal him! Simple as that! If you have identified that this player does not fit, move him out! Don’t waste your assets!
    6. If the organization starts 2018 (January) with Price, Drouin, Weber, Pacioretty, and Tavares as the core is anyone on this site complaining?

    • 25soonenough says:

      I’ll answer your last question. No.

      Having Tavares would shut everybody up for at least 2 years.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • Lapointe says:

        26soonenough….having one more player won’t cure much even if he is a high end player. The team needs more than 3 games to assess who and what they are but early indications point to they may be very offensively challenged again this season. I think the whole team is structured wrong. They definitely are not a big team and they definitely are not hard to play against. They are working head but as in past seasons they can’t score very easily. This team won’t be much better even with Tavares.

    • Mister Wrong says:

      We sound like Leafs fans with those fantasies about Tavares coming to our team.

      #FireBergevin

  26. Habs Know It All says:

    What a depressing bunch of whiners that post here. You guys don’t act or sound like you are Canadiens fans. There are ups and downs all season long for every team. My God! Enjoy the games – or turn them off – but stop your whining you bunch of babies.

    • 25soonenough says:

      I can’t speak for others but I think I’ll keep whining, but, thanks for the tip.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      If you like mediocrity, which is what we had for the last few years, then more power to you. I’ll keep whining until the right people are in charge of running this team.

      “I hate the Leafs like a sickness”

    • Butterface says:

      If I don’t whine now, when ?

      The same thing Gainy did, MB is repeating. This type of GMing does not work.

      I bought this monthly internet package. I have the right to anonymously whine !!

      ***********************
      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
      ***********************

  27. Ingy27 says:

    Am I wrong or is this team in not the win now mode?
    After trading younger players away for older players and signing a couple players 35-40 years old, I see this team is getting farther away from the ultimate goal instead of closer.
    If things keep heading south I sincerely hope we can do this “rebuild” that should have been done years ago.

    Shea it ain’t so…….

  28. zorro says:

    Way too early to panic. Their are a lot of new faces, and this will just take a little more time.

  29. Rudy says:

    I was at the Washington game (ugly). I will say it was the smallest group of Montreal fans that I’ve ever seen at a Caps game (and I’ve been going for 15 years). I think there has been a downturn in Montreal fans in other markets buying tickets.

    • durocher says:

      I was there too, and I agree. The number of Habs fans was unexpectedly low compared to prior years.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Was it a smaller number, or a more quiet contingent than usual, taken out of the game early and for good?

        • PK says:

          Well, not all is lost in Habsland:
          UCe is back under his old handle.

          Now, where are Timo and Bellyful?

          _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

          “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

          – Nostradamus, 1552

  30. Pass-moi-le-puck says:

    The disallowed Shaw goal was the right call. Kicked in, no doubt. Patches did NOT interfere on his own as he was pushed into Henrik, BUT the play was clearly offside and Vigneault would have challenged it if they had allowed the goal.
    Legitimately disallowed goals aren’t the reason for the loss. The team doesn’t have the fire power to score…it’s been their weakness for years and will be again this season.

    • JohnInTruro says:

      Well regardless, the play was offside so either way it wasn’t counting, time to move on. Both pucks that went in, not goals, didn’t count and shouldn’t have.

  31. 4m3y2j says:

    Marc Bergevin first and foremost is a salesman.He was blowing smoke when he stated that this years defense is stronger than last.Have you not noticed how aggressive he is in his press conferences, defensive.Reminds me of Trump lite.I was at the game last night.They just do not have the horses to get this done kids, the Rangers are not a great team but they got some breaks and capitalized on haps mistakes.Second half Price kept it close.I think it is going to be a very long season my friends…

    john slattery

  32. Vito says:

    I keep reading comments about Bergevin this and Molson that, further about CJ, mediocrity and trades… am I the only one that realizes that the ultimate goal for any sports franchise is to make money?!?!

    For the CH it is not necessary to win the Stanley cup in order to makes tons of money, all they require is a decent showing. If the CH sneaks into the playoffs it’s a bonus, but unless winning the cup will be the only way to be profitable no owner in Molson’s place would jeopardize a steady income by letting his team be in the bottom of the standings! As long as making the playoffs and hoping to luck into a Cup will bring sellouts and profits, nothing will change and that is fine as long as you, as a fan, understand that it is a BUSINESS first and foremost!
    The CH will not trade Price exactly for the reasons stated above, being a decent team is all that the CH organisation requires in order to “win” (= earn a profit) and with Price they pretty much guaranteed a decent team for the next 8 years! I, for one, have learned to accept it for what it is, 82 showings of a sports series that occupies my evenings 3 times a week… sometimes I am entertained and sometimes I need to change the channel, but if you are a “Stanley cup or nothing” fan, you will be disappointed for a long long time.

    Canada IS hockey!
    -Mike Weir

    • Butterface says:

      Um…. we are in a cap world… so…. we aren’t asking the GM to spend any more than they are allowed. Whether he fields a good or bad team with 75 million is based on the skills and smarts of the GM.

      Habs make money at $75 million cap hit. They would make more money if they had a winning team.

      ***********************
      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
      ***********************

      • Vito says:

        IMHO in order to be a contender for the CUP for a few years in a row you need a few top 5 draft picks in a row + skills and smarts of the GM and scouts. Without the top 5 draft picks, the same skills and smarts will make your team respectable but not perennial contenders…

        just to clarify, I am not a fan of MB and I haven’t spend a cent on the CH since the PK trade.

        Canada IS hockey!
        -Mike Weir

        • Butterface says:

          I think we agree there

          ***********************
          If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
          ***********************

          • Vito says:

            I don’t like MB, just as I don’t like Bettman, but I understand that both of them are doing their job in a manner prescribed by the owner/owners and I am quite certain that the owners are happy with the results. MB will get fired eventually but only because new meat will distract the fans from the real reasons behind the mediocrity.

            Canada IS hockey!
            -Mike Weir

        • 25soonenough says:

          That is obvious based on Pittsburgh, Chicago, Edmonton (who will likely win this season) ugggh Toronto, etc.. Draft picks make teams trades don’t. Young stud players aren’t usually traded unless they are under performing. The older puds get swapped left right and center but you don’t win cups with puds. Drafting and player development is Montreal’s biggest weakness.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • FormalWare says:

      Mean old Uncle Vito. You have trampled my innocence and snuffed out my dreams.


      Montréal Canadiens: “Season after season under the same, low ceiling.” – D.M.

  33. Butterface says:

    Holtby 6.1 this year and for 2 more years after

    Bobrovsky 7.4 this year and for one more year after

    Murray 3.7 million this year and for 2 more years after

    Dubnyk 4.3 million this year and for three more seasons after

    Quick 5.8 million this year and then 5 more years at same.

    Talbot 4.2 million this year and next year

    Lundqvist 8.5 million this year and for three more after

    Jones 3 million this year then 5.75 for 6 years after

    Rinne 7 million this year and one more

    MB Priced Price right out of the trade market based on his Cap Hit…. Teams that might pick Price up now are teams that want to eat cap space without actually paying out money (Price had a big signing bonus). Those are likely teams that Carey has a NMC to avoid.

    MB sh!t the bed this summer and he needs to be fired before given a chance to spend the 8.4 million we have in Cap Space. He has now shown he does not have what it takes to run this team.

    The Canadiens for tax reasons and for media scrutiny are not a place where players choose first, second or even third. The franchise has to understand that before they overpay free agents.

    MB has fallen for the same trap Gainey did.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

    • whazzzup says:

      Anderson maple leafs 5 mill.

      • Butterface says:

        I was only taking the 10 best NHL goalies including Price.

        Carey is steak frites. Anderson is hard toast.

        ***********************
        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
        ***********************

    • Vito says:

      The Canadiens for tax reasons and for media scrutiny are not a place where players choose first, second or even third. The franchise has to understand that before they overpay free agents.

      Isn’t this exactly the reason why MB had to overpay to sign price? I agree that it is too much btw, but there was no other option.

      Canada IS hockey!
      -Mike Weir

      • BC (Because of the Cats) says:

        The other option was to trade him — an option favoured by Gerry Pigeon and myself, among others. But Bergevin was never going to do this. He had hitched his wagon to Price’s star from the beginning of his tenure as GM; trading Price would have constituted an admission that his plan was flawed from the start. And it’s looking as though this is in fact the case. We have the goaltending, but we can’t score and we can’t defend.

      • Butterface says:

        No other option ??

        Trade Price for picks or very good RFAs…. use Lindgren.

        If you lose, you get more picks in your rebuild.

        When you are ready to make a cup run FA will sign reasonable contracts with you. They want a Cup.

        If you don’t win sell the reasonable contracts back into the market for picks.

        If you win, decide if you want to try again or rebuild by selling those FA you signed at reasonable contracts back into the market.

        Trading Sergachev was not a mistake because MB got young talent back … but after losing Radulov and Markov and having no real talent to bring in…. realize you are shafted sell your assets (Price before signing and maybe Patches and start anew…)

        This hanging around the middle of the league is suicide year after year.

        The fans understand a rebuild …. but they don’t understand 25 years of rebuild.

        ***********************
        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
        ***********************

        • 25soonenough says:

          Many more people are starting to see the light in Gerry Pigeon’s thought process of these past few years. Trading Price is starting to make more and more sense. The trouble is, as I see it, comes down to who would we trade him to and what would we get in return. If MB is making the trade I have little faith the return will be adequate.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • Vito says:

        Sorry, I should have clarified: No other option for the CH (MB and Molson), they want to guarantee a DECENT team. They don’t want to risk it all in make or brake fashion. In their minds, if the CH is in the 10 to 20 spot year after year after year, it is a victory!

        Canada IS hockey!
        -Mike Weir

        • Butterface says:

          I don’t see that way. I think they would like to win, but they fear being bad first. They like death by slow strangulation or by 1000 cuts.

          I see them trading players or cutting players because they want a co-hesive group and no individuals or trouble makers.

          They don’t want to embarrass the franchise or the heritage which is why they have gotten rid of players who drive cars into trees, party too heavily or become bigger than the team.

          They call it character, but Molson really means “BRAND”.

          I still think you can do this and ice a team that is fun to watch.

          No goals is not fun to watch. Carey can keep the goals out all he wants but as a fan, if I only get to high five my friend for 150 goals this year you can bet I will be watching less and less until MB is shown the door.

          ***********************
          If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
          ***********************

  34. sirs81 says:

    Maybe GM has realized that in order to be good we have to get better players. And he decided to tank and rebuild… Ok Ok even I had to laugh at that one… one can hope

  35. adamkennelly says:

    worse than losing – this team is BORING….how many of the 82 games are actually entertaining?

    our D is clearly worse than last year – and by a large amount. Offense is basically the same and zero size, toughness, etc. team has no personality either…except maybe one of relying on past success or should I say ancient success.

  36. prep says:

    Berg had a plan but it’s not easy as sticking to it like when he was with the Hawks and don’t draft top 3 players …. His vision of what a team should be is stuck in 1993… He wants players that hate to lose , why not players that love to win.. it’s hard to get luck moving d s? Sergachev, Beaulieu, pk…teams don’t give up good centers?? Zibanejad,Brayden scheen,Ryan Strom ..

  37. kerrgte says:

    Geoff and Marc have tried the impossible. They have tried to put a good team together every year. The NHL punishes a management that does this.

    The NHL rewards poor performers with top draft picks. In addition, Toronto, with its very deep pockets and the cleverness of Lamoriello, has exploited a few loopholes that govern team management. I’m not sure if Mtl can do this.

    Chicago, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Edmonton, and others who were perennial cellar dwellers received stars like Crosby Toews, McDavid, Mathews, etc.

    There is no substitute for exceptional talent. No coach can teach an ordinary player to be a star. No system can overcome superior talent.

    In short, no management can overcome the league rules that are designed to achieve parity. It is a mug’s game to even try.

    Given what we see on the ice today, Montreal is now in the lower end for a few years. So, smarten up management and aim for the bottom to win the NHL’s best prize which is the top draft picks.

    • whazzzup says:

      tank talk in game 3 love it

      • Ingy27 says:

        1967

        Shea it ain’t so…….

      • 25soonenough says:

        How many games into The Leafs horrific seasons of the past did it take for the Fans to scream TANK. Usually one game. Montreal will never tank and that is part of the problem. Too much pride to tank so the only other option they can come up with is to skim by like a flat rock on still water, make the playoffs, lose in the playoffs and get a mediocre draft pick perpetuating the misery of long (25 years) suffering fans. Toronto has suffered longer but we are starting to feel your pain.

        –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

        • whazzzup says:

          The fans didn’t scream tank.
          We first chanted fire Wilson, then we flung jerseys, waffles, …on the ice, then the following season fire Burke.
          Then shanny was hired to disassemble Burke’s 4 years of creative destruction.
          The truth was issued to the fans it will tale a year or two to deconstruct and then we were back in the playoffs

          • 25soonenough says:

            same concept different blueprint. The fans made life difficult for management and it worked.

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • 3 points for a win says:

      Personally I would like to have the NHL change the draft lottery. Let ALL teams have a chance at any 1st round pick. Last place team get 31 billiards and 1st place team gets 1. Roll the billiards and see what comes out. Once a team is chosen, take out all their billiards and keep going till the last one is picked.

      This is fair since it prevents tanking and even top teams have a chance, albeit a slim one, to get at the 1st pick.

  38. habs-hampton says:

    I have to say that I’m very impressed with Shaw’s self control so far this year. 3 games in and he’s been penalized after a guy threw a dirty pick on him, cut on nose with no call, crosschecked in face with no call and he just takes it. I almost miss the old Shawsy who would of lost it by now.

  39. haberoo13 says:

    Bell Centre this am (is it still called that?)
    Molson: Allo Marc, tough weekend eh?
    MB: Meh…da refs, da bounces, and PK didn’t show up
    Molson: (silence and looks at his bank accounts and stocks)
    MB: (Grunts)
    Molson: Well we will work hard this morning…eh?
    MB: Grunts…yes chief
    Molson: OK…I’ll be in your office in 5 minutes
    MB: Office…you know today is my arm curls day
    Molson: oh….(sees sellouts forthcoming) OK
    Putin (listening in): Yes, even these plans are working in…

    Haberoo13
    MAAAA!!!! THE MEATLOAF!!!!!

  40. aHabberlikeyous says:

    “Glory years” still sells in this town. A good chunk of Habs fans are living in the past and are being played by the media, right into Molson’s wallet.

    Provacative thought of the day: how much dna does Homo sapiens and Bonobo Chimp have in common again? 98% so says the scientists.

    I dont even need to corroborate the data supporting that above supposed fact- just have to observe the collective human behaviour over the last 50 years around the Montreal Canadiens!

    What a case study!

    Habber out!

    • Mavid says:

      I guess you think were all stupid and you of course being the smart one has figured it all out..
      I for one make a conscious decision to support the Habs and buy the paraphernalia..Molson and the media don’t play me at all.. its my choice..just because its not yours doesn’t mean I am a dumb sheep..follower..get over yourself.
      Glory years is also known as history..some of us still like to celebrate and honor it and that is a good thing.

      º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

      Weed Wacker – and Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

      • aHabberlikeyous says:

        Hi Mavid! You are one of my favorite posters here. I apologize to you and all if it can be interpreted from my own post above that everyone is stupid.

        We are both Habs fan, and particularly of our honeybadger.

        For the record im not insinuating humans are stupid. But you are insinuating chimps are- which they are not. In fact, animals have a whole level of intelligence that are too often overlooked.

        But what im saying is not to indicate how stupid Habs Nation is, but how conditioned we are as biological organisms to overly enjoy a good thing, and resistant to change of that good thing.

        Im just pointing it out in the context of the those voicing their displeasure at the present state of the over-glorified Montreal Canandiens.

        Peace

  41. whazzzup says:

    It’s shameful that the gazette is blaming the war room for two allowable goals, they weren’t, than unearthing the real issues of Molson money rip off of fans, and bergiven being useless, and Julien a waste

    • Butterface says:

      The kicking motion goal by Shaw was not a goal, but I believe the Patches interference was a goal. Kind of sad when I see a replay and still I am not sure what will be called 50 percent of the time.

      ***********************
      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
      ***********************

    • Mavid says:

      They were a factor..you work your butt off score two goals only to have them not count..very disheartening..then the Rangers score when the puck bounces off your very own player..you would say the same thing if it was your team..

      º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

      Weed Wacker – and Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

  42. 3 points for a win says:

    It will be very difficult for the Habs to put Galchenuyk at centre especially after both Julien and Bergevin openly stated BEFORE training camp, when the team has a chance to experiment with line combinations, that Galchenuyk will not be at centre.

    I don’t know the NHL players and teams like I used to back in the 80’s and 90’s but can anyone here name me a #1 centre on any other team who has played equal or lesser games than Drouin prior to this season?

    I really hate to say this, but I feel the best thing for Galchenuyk and the Habs is for them to part ways. It is just not going to work and retending is not going to make it any better. IMHO Galchenuyk was not properly developed as a player by the Habs and rushed into the NHL far too soon.

    That is too bad since I was just getting used to how to spell Galchenuyk!

  43. ProHabs says:

    No reason to panic. The solution is simple according to Pleks.

    “We have to bear down,” said Plekanec, who has scored just 24 goals in his last 162 games.

  44. alfieturcotte says:

    Suddenly talk of trading Price – have folks forgotten that with a $10.5mm/per 8 year deal that kicks in when he is 31 and given his history of injuries etc, his value is severely diminished? The time to have traded Price was BEFORE the extension, not after. Along w/32 year old Weber at $8MM/per for the next 8 years, Habs will soon have ~$20MM of fixed costs on diminishing assets.

    Given where this team is heading, they are better off trading these guys (if they can) now before it’s too late.

    MB has no plan, no vision, no intelligence. Time for a real GM to take over and rebuild the team properly.


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