About last night …

PriceNoMask
Bell Centre fans won’t see the Philadelphia Flyers again this season unless the teams meet in the playoffs.
Which could happen, I guess.
Winnipeg lost Thursday night, which means the Canadiens are still in 10th place and two points out of sixth.

So a postseason series against Philadelphia is a possibility.

Probability?

Maybe not so much.

The first-place team in the Eastern Conference came to the Bell Centre without the NHL’s leading scorer, Claude Giroux.

Chris Pronger, the heart, soul and titanium cojones of the Flyers’ defence, won’t play again until next autumn … if then.

Philadelphia started its second-string goaltender, Sergei “I’m not as good or as eccentric as Bryzgalov” Bobrovsky.

While bearing little resemblance to the Broad Street Bullies of yesteryear – the Flyers were outhit 21-17 and there was nothing close to a fight – the visitors took nine minor penalties and gifted the Canadiens with TWO 5-on-3 opportunities.

Lacking two stars, outshot 31-25,  playing shorthanded for almost 13 minutes, Philadelphia still won a game they never trailed. It was their seventh W in a row – their longest streak since 2002 and timely because the red-hot Flyers co-star with the not-as-hot Rangers (they lost Thursday night) in that great 24/7 documentary series.

HBO cameras were at the Bell Centre. And the American crew had to be impressed by the full-throated roar of 21,273 fans when Louis Leblanc scored the first goal of his NHL career.

It was a good night for “p’tits gars de chez nous”, as we say in Quebec. David Desharnais had a goal and an assist while continuing to merit serious consideration as the team’s Number 1 centre.

There is no doubt that DD is centring the top line. He continues to make sweet plays for his gros-gars-d’ailleurs linemates, Erik Cole, who got his team-leading 12th goal and was deprived of another by the refs, and Max Pacioretty.

Unlike Philadelphia, which, even without Giroux, can throw out three lines capable of exerting pressure and scoring goals, the Canadiens have only the Two and a Half Men playing consistently aggressive hockey in the offensive zone.

Which makes you scratch your head a bit about power-play ToI: 6:19 for Desharnais vs. 6:45 for Tomas Plekanec.

At least Jacques Martin has come around to the notion of Cole as an important part of his PP unit. The veteran power forward played almost eight minutes with the man advantage, right up there with Tomas Kaberle’s 8:11 and P.K. Subban’s 8:47.

The Canadiens had 14 shots on goal during their numerous PPs. That’s almost half their game total, and probably should have yielded more than the one goal that Cole scored.

The addition of Kaberle and the return of Chris Campoli have bolstered the Canadiens point presence on the PP. And Kaberle’s passes are finding P.K. Subban for full-wind-up blasts that found their way to Bobrovsky on a few occasions.

But the Plekanec wave of the power-play is not productive, mainly because Mike Cammalleri – who led both teams with seven SoG – is in a slump: three goals in 21 games … and that – along with the poor season Brian Gionta was having before he got hurt – is just killing a team that doesn’t score much.

In his postgame remarks, Jacques Martin alluded to three Philadelphia goals scored off  ”mistakes by young players”.

The coach didn’t name names, but Alexei Yemelin was on for the first Philadelphia goal, Desharnais for the second and P.K. Subban for the winner – Andrej Meszaros’s long shot from the blue line on which Carey Price was less than stellar.

DD gets some deserved slack, as does the goaltender who is this team’s MVP. For me, Subban gets a pass, as well … although he’s getting some heat from the punditocracy.

Subban is a 22-year-old kid playing monster minutes in all situations: his 24:09 average is a team high. He and Josh Gorges play against the top forwards in the league; and while his more experienced and defensive-minded partner is plus-12, P.K. is a respectable plus-3 on the season and was even against the Flyers.

So to paraphrase Pink Floyd: Hey preachers, leave that kid alone!

Subban is part of this team’s future. So is Emelin, even though he’s struggling and would have been in the pressbox again if Raphael Diaz weren’t too ill to play.

Lars Eller is another promising youngster … although it’s difficult to display that promise on a line with Mathieu Darche and Petteri Nokelainen.

Despite eliciting a sustained ovation from fans who have spent entirely too much time sitting on their hands while their heroes put them to sleep this season, LL played all of 4:21 on eight shifts.

The Flyers’ rookie first-round draft choice, Sean Couturier, played almost 16 minutes filling in for Giroux between Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr.

High-scoring Philadelphia rookie Matt Read played 17:26, and homeboy defenceman Marc-André Bourdon played 10:48.

Jakub Voracek is the forward the Flyers got in the deal that sent Jeff Carter to Columbus. The 22-year-old Czech – like Plekanec, Jagr and Kaberle, he’s a native of Kladno – has joined the nucleus of young studs who have propelled the Flyers to the top of  the Conference.

The Canadiens aren’t a threat to that lofty perch this season.

But with Nathan Beaulieu, Brendan Gallagher and Michäel Bournival – plus Jarred Tinordi and Daniel Pribyl – at the World Juniors, help is on the way.

It just might take a while.

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  7. Marc10 says:

    I think JM blaming the kids was an intentional jab at his veterans… It so obviously wasn’t the kids that gave the game away… and this was a subtle way of saying: “Look who cops it when you don’t show up…” I would imagine that comment didn’t go unnoticed kn ghe room as it was so transparently wrong.

    If the vets who aren’t showing up don’t man up soon, I expect PG to ship one of them to cleanse the room. No way he’ll dump the coach.

  8. vegas says:

    the man is a mystery to me. I have no problem with him giving Cammalleri and Pleks time on the 5-3 powerplay. Actually Pleks did score. He is trying to get them out of a slump. But why he left the kid on the bench for the rest of the game when he scores his forst goal in the NHL mid way in the second. 1 goal and a +1, and ok kid you played your 4 minutes thats it for you tonight you can pack it up. Get him a second floor job pushing pencils and give Carlysle the team for the rest of the season. In the off season we could see whats best. Gauthier out McGuire in but at coach I’m not sure. Someone like Laviolette would be nice

  9. Exit716 says:

    Don’t worry, Gauthier and Gainey will trade the youth for another retread overpaid vet.

    • habsfn4 says:

      The Coaching, the GM, yes they have an impact on the team. Over the years, we haven’t had a GM who could draft, get the free agents, we needed, a real teams needed. The Habs were great in the ole days because they won through the draft and brought along their own players. Even though they used to get the 2 best Quebecois, before anyone else could. The past few years we’ve gotten better in the draft, but, the free agents ugh…..no help until Cole. Bust this group up, get more draft choices and rebuild and take a few losing seasons to get there. Then we have a longer run, into the playoffs and perhaps the Cup

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        The two best Québécois thing is a myth. Any team was allowed to sign any player in any region at any age. Players were signed when they were 14 or 15 routinely, Bobby Orr was signed when he was twelve. When the draft was instituted, Montreal was allowed the privilege of reserving the two best players from the dregs of the unsigned players. This rule was quickly rescinded, and the draft as we know it now began.

        See the link below for a full explanation.

        http://liam.ca/ed20040319.html

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

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  10. rogieshan says:

    It matters little we have help (Gallagher, Beaulieu, etc.) on the way so long as Martin is the coach. The man’s modus operandi is to break young players with power games and rely on the veterans to enforce his system. He tried it with Spezza in Ottawa and he’s done it here. If Courturier had been drafted by this team, he’d still be playing juniors.

  11. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    JM’s “blame the kids” rallying cry is really starting to piss me off. Those kids are playing extremely well considering the roles they’re being given. It’s time for the vets to step up.

    I hate to say, because I love him, but I’d sit Cammalleri. He seems like the type of player that would respond properly to that — it would embarrass him in the right way. He and Pleks have to be better. Have to be.

  12. Tony says:

    What to say about our Habs?

    There are too many things going on right now with injuries, players not performing, and so on. Which to me explains the reason why they are a .500 team (by point only … but that is another topic altogether).

    But there is something about last night that I am having a hard time with (ok, not only last night but mostly last night).

    The coach lost us the game, plain and simple. For the most part, we have a hard-working team. His decisions were very questionable (unless PG tells him to play such and such). Cammallari at this point and time does not belong on the power play, especially on a 5 on 3. Darche having more 5 on 5 playing time then the likes of Pacioretty, Cole, Plekanec, Kostitsyn and so on is mind-bogging.

    Leblanc playing 4:21 and Emelin playing 12:37 is not how we develop young players … and oh yeah our coach’s excuse was “our young players made too many mistakes” or something to that effect. Don’t you have to play them first before blaming our young players? This team is mostly comprised of veterans, they get all the key moment ice time.

    His bench management is becoming more and more questionable. His line compositions are left to be desired. The way he handles our young core is appalling. The NHL is changing; young players are now an important part of any team. When he mentions that he preaches puck possession we should ask for which team because it’s clearly not ours. And yes this was all last night.

    I was not in favour of firing the coach as there are no better alternatives out there (that can speak or is French…. unfortunately it seems to be a criteria to this team). But at this point I think it’s time. This coach is lacking something, much like Pat Quinn with Toronto and Edmonton, the game has passed him by. Time to say good-bye Jacques.

    Have a great day!

    • nellis13 says:

      didn’t think blaming it on the young players was very cool. that’s not the way to build confidence and lets face it, it’s just not true. LL got a goal, emelin’s pass to DD was bad luck and half DD’s fault. otherwise he had a good game. let’s talk about the PP. 1 goal in 8, that’s 12.5%.

  13. WindsorHab-10 says:

    People ripping the Kaberle deal puzzle the hell out of me. What the hell do you want? He’s only played 3 games & got you 4 pts, the pp looks better with him and lets not forget it’s a new team for him as he learns the so called system & teammates. So cut him some slack and I for one think that it was an excellent trade that will pay dividends for this team.

    “Hate the Ole song like a sickness”

    • LL-not the hockey player says:

      I agree with that. When Kaberle has to pass to Cammy, nothing happens. When it’s any member of “2 and a half men”, something does happen.
      Probably the reason he “sucked” in Carolina. A PP quarterback needs some runners. Carolina has none performing.

    • Natrous says:

      No one should be upset with what Kaberle has done since he arrived in Montreal, and tbh, I don’t think anyone is as you imply. What people should be upset about is the cap implications of picking up another soft, ‘puck moving’ defenceman. If you look at the roster, the only players who *should* be around next year that don’t fit that mold are Gorges (not soft, moves the puck OK) and Emelin (definitely not soft).

      If Kaberle’s cap hit ends up costing us the ability to re-sign a UFA or RFA that represents the future, that’s what people will be upset about. Wait until July 1 before you render your decision on the deal.

  14. Strummer says:

    Q: Who led the Habs in Giveaways last night?

    A: C. Price with 4

    ______________________________________________________

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      What’s your point?

      “Hate the Ole song like a sickness”

      • Strummer says:

        He shot the puck up to a Flyer that started the squence that led to the winning goal. That’s not the only time recently he’s served up a juicy one one to the opponant.

        In the Vancouver game he mis-played the puck behind the net that led to the tying goal (that Campoli was soft on in the crease)

        He’s being wreckless and it’s costing us points.
        ______________________________________________________

        • dallyd31 says:

          Huh ? Really ? He has stolen probably half of the points we have this season. Without him we would have 10-12 less points than we have
          What a ridiculous, head scratching statement.

          Price is NOT costing us points. He’s gaining us points

          • Strummer says:

            No question he has stolen games with his puck stopping abilty.

            This is not to dimish those aspects of ability.

            When he coughs up the puck leading to tying and winning goals he costs us points.

            ______________________________________________________

        • Natrous says:

          Maybe the team needs to work harder on the backcheck so that Price doesn’t feel the need to fire passes up the ice to players at the red line?

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      I see what your saying…. JM should bench Price.

      If Price is not in goal, the turnovers don’t happen and the habs will win.

      I agree he needs simplify his puck handling… not eliminate it… just simplify. His puck skills are an asset when he keeps it simple

      • Strummer says:

        ” I see what your saying…. ”
        That’s not what I said. You’re trying to put words in my mouth.

        My point is exactly what you said:

        “I agree he needs simplify his puck handling… not eliminate it… just simplify. His puck skills are an asset when he keeps it simple”

        ______________________________________________________

        • bleedhabs81 says:

          Yes, I did put words in your mouth.

          Sorry.

          However, if you wanted to make your point about him keeping it simple, maybe you should state that instead of claiming he is wreckless and costing us points. This sort of approach appears as more of an attack on Price than it does actual and useful insight.

          Any sort of attack on Price is absolutely unjustified. Especially saying “he is costing us points”. The kid is the reason we are not in the basement. He gets us more points than he costs us…

          Next time, I would suggest you just simplify your post. :)

          (all said with friendly smile, I assure you)

    • Number31 says:

      When your D doesn’t have their stick on the ice and lets the puck go right past them, sure it’s a giveaway.

  15. RetroMikey says:

    Good teams find ways to win as Philly did last night with Pronger and Giroux out and Ilya B., their starting goalie sitting out last night.
    Bunch of rookies playing for Philly and they still beat our “experienced” overpaid players in Cammy and Pleks to mane a few.
    I’ve said all along, we are an average team at best and aren;t going far this year and years to come.

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

    • joeybarrie says:

      Where are the accolades when this team does find a way to win?
      Agreed that Philly had Giroux and Pronger out, but we still had a lot of our keys guys out… Obviously Market, our captain as well. Plus we were missing Moen, Gomez and more.
      We had a goal disallowed that I feel should have counted. And yes, Cammi is in a slump. To add to that the Flyers are the hottest they have been in a long time.
      We kept up with them and didn’t lose 5-1 like the Caps, who have yet another obviously incredible coach that we let walk away….
      We are heavily relying on the young guys to win these games for us and as long as we do mistakes will lead to loses. But at some point this season our team will most likely be full and we will have played some games all together and we will not have to rely on 2-3 particular players to be the only keys to winning.
      But to say we aren’t going far for years to come reminds we of what people said about the trade for Moore, the trade for Kaberle, Gill, DD being too small, Metro, Price, and many many many more….
      And to say we won’t do anything this season is also naive. Until we get a whole team out and play more than half the season we can’t say anything.
      But then again we tend to say a lot of things and we tend to be wrong a lot….

      There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  16. HardHabits says:

    The Habs used to represent passion. They used to represent creativity. The fight of the little French man versus the big English boss. Emancipation of a Nation via it’s sports heroes.

    Now the Habs represent subordination. The shut up and do as you’re told arrogance that comes with the it’s-my-way-or-the-highway point of view.

    But that former identity was forged by the players, and was in many ways personified by the Rocket. The latter identity has been one of my major peeves with Habs management. A view that was compounded during the Corey years. Funny how when the Rocket retired he was basically cast out by the Canadiens organization like a disowned son. Only after years, no decades was he brought back into the fold, and mostly as a marketing ploy.

    As for creativity, I can’t imagine the Habs ever pulling the type of trade that saw Philadelphia flip Carter and Richards. That is one of the reasons I was so impressed with that move. Very un-Canadiens-like.

    The Kaberle move might look good short term but even the boost he gives looks temporal and not significant enough to mean a play-off berth. Which probably means another desperate move or two more to make the play-offs. It’s the same pattern over and over again.

    Today Philadelphia is an elite team in the NHL (does that sound like an oxymoron or what) and 9-1-0 in their past ten while the Habs are still trying to climb out of the basement at 3-3-4.

    But I hear the Habs had a better Fenwick last night and they are sure to regress to the mean. As it stands they look like they are just going to stagnate.

    • G-Man says:

      About the Rocket. The team did give him a job immediately after his retirement. However, he did not like being the official glad hander for the Habs. He wanted a real role, not a PR one. So, he left.

      If management seems arrogant to you; it’s the long shadow of 24 Cup wins. Philly made poor management decisions with Carter and Richards; the proof is the long term high end contracts Holmgren signed them for. Then just before the NTC came into effect, they were moved out so the reins of leadership would go to Pronger. Those moves were very unCanadienlike. However, with Pronger out for the season and maybe forever, his contract is an albatross for the insurance company.
      Are the Flyers better than the Habs? Their record is self-evident. Will they have any success in the playoffs with Bryzgalov? See you in April.

  17. Number31 says:

    Yea. Benching Emelin for no reason other than being set up to fail. Benching Louis for scoring a goal. I mean it’s obvious. Why would Jacques Martin want the crowd to cheer? Hits? Energy? Scoring goals? God forbid the crowd enjoys their hockey game.

    Flyers were running backdoor plays all night long. Habs are lucky they only scored once on them and lost only by one goal…

  18. CF says:

    - D not tough enough in front of price on two Philly goals.
    - Lee blew it on allowing a Philly goal, and disallowing a Habs goal on the same call. If anything, the philly player made much more contact. JM says and does nothing.
    - Price let in a very bad goal, like he did against Boychuck from the blueline last year in the playoffs.
    - Campoli is soft.
    - The coach simply needs to go. We are a .500 hockey team. Last night was a big loss, the team played hard, but his tactics are not working. It’s like in sales, the manager asks you did you get the sale? Salesman replies, no……….but ………., after awhile, there just needs to be a new voice, fresh, new ideas, a different style of communication.

  19. Stuck_in_To. says:

    If you want to wave the white flag on the season, then 4-3 to first place in the East isn’t so bad but I’m not much for that. But Boone brings up a bunch of interesting points. If playing the more offensively-gifted DD over Pleks would have resulted in a larger goal margin win for Philly, then we really need to wave the white flag. If playing a rookie forward who needs ice time to score in a defensive role is the only way to “stay in a game” then he needs to be returned to Hamilton. If playing the sophomore Subban for veteran minutes is leading to him making mistakes … well, you get the notion. But I love the idea that we can develop Emelin as a future part of the team by sitting him in the box. I don’t need the perfect team to be a fan or to win the cup this year. Sure it would be nice. I want to see a group of players effectively used to their potential with a clear road map to being better in the future. I want to see development. That is the element I find lacking in the organization this year, last year, lately.

  20. Vladdy Mondavi says:

    Last night was the first game I got to watch since we’ve acquired Kaberle. I didn’t notice him on the ice much except on the PP, which is good news.

    My initial concerns with the Kaberle/Spacek deal were Kaberle’s contract and his renowned temporary lapses in defense. But if he continues to help the PP and isn’t a detriment to the team’s defense then his contract won’t be (as big of) an issue.

    Another thought…
    I’m not quite sure why Subban is the scapegoat on the fourth goal, Price’s initial (failed) clearing attempt is how the Flyers got the puck possession in the first place… it was a whole team fail…

    _______________________________
    Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

  21. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Yes, why not blame the young players? Subban is getting much more tough minutes than he should, Desharnais had an assist and scored a great goal and Emelin is so obviously playing on the wrong side. What about Cammalleri for example? A guy that makes twice as much money as the three combined: Useless when he isn´t scoring…

    I really had to laugh about the suggestion that Emelin has to play on the right, especially when Markov is back. Does anyone really think this team should have Gill on the second and Kaberle on the third pair? The only reason Gill now gets much more even strength minutes than two weeks ago is the fact the JM trusts Kaberle even less. Emelin on the other hand looked pretty good on the left, was a +1 over a span of about 10 games, yet he has to play on the right because of these guys? Two players with 1000 NHL games each can´t play on the right, so a rookie has to and then he gets blamed? What a joke.

    Emelin has to move to the left again and if Kaberle and Gill both can´t play on the right, one of them has to sit. I think the PK could do a job without Gill, the PP without Kaberle? No, thanks.

  22. G-Man says:

    The called back goal really hurt.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I agree and the fact they didn’t call back philly’s goal for essentially the same thing is puzzling.

      In saying that not scoring on the extended power play after that was brutal.

      Cammy is really hurting the PP. They have to leave him on it cause if he doesn’t get it going this team is done

      • G-Man says:

        Yup. Snipers run hot and cold, but they still have to get ice time to get their shots. If he wasn’t shooting, I’d say it would be hard to justify. He is, and the pucks are ringing off posts. He’s a little snakebit.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Cole was in the crease, plain and simple. I think it was the right call.

      The Philly play in front of our net was a tougher decision. Regardless, Gorges wasn’t able to clear the front of the net which eventually became a factor on the play.

      What a great goal by DD. You don’t see many of those in Montreal.

      On the other hand, we couldn’t score on a 5 on 3. Ouch.

      Everybody likes to vilify Martin but I can only fault him in two regards. Every once in a while he has to take on a ref. If for no other reason than to get a few calls going our way. The other point concerns Leblanc. I realize he is an emergency replacement who really needs more time in Hamilton to polish his game. However, scoring his first NHL goal on home ice should have been a perfect time to take advantage of the adrenaline rush. Especially seeing that we were missing Gionta and Moen.

      Darche played better last night and is starting to look like the player who was so valuable for us last year.

      It’s going to be a really tough call in terms of who plays in net on Saturday. Price could use a rest but it’s a four pointer against a team that we must beat out for a playoff spot.

  23. stevieray says:

    ” mistakes by young players “….?? how about a sorry ass PP that had a 2 man advantage for almost 2 minutes …managed 9 shots on goal ..all for not.
    I would love to log in to HIO and see headlines that read ” JM has been relieved if his duties”. He may be a alright coach …and I don’t know who we’d replace him with ( Teddy Nolan ??) but it appears our millionare stars ??… have quit on him.
    To insult Leblanc by playing him for 50 seconds in the 3 rd period …come on man !!!
    Maybe we’re just missing Moen !!!

    • The Cat says:

      I also think its not right to take away the youth’s icetime eventhough they did nothing wrong. Ill take mistakes from youthful exhuberance over veteran sloth anytime. And please why does Gill keep getting a free pass? He may be nice and a good leader but the guy sucks!

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

  24. RGM says:

    Sometimes you just come up short against a better team. There will be some coulda, woulda, shoulda comments made, and some will refer to the moment where Chris Lee injected himself into the game so he could get on HBO 24/7 as a turning point, but the Flyers are simply put a better team than our Habs. That’s why they’re in 1st and why we’re fighting for the last playoff spot.
    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      Yep, sometimes you come up short with a team playing 2 lines of rookies with their leading scorer hurt. Yep you sometimes come up short. You should take off your rose coloured glasses.

      • RGM says:

        Rose-coloured glasses? I’m not sure I follow where you’re coming from, friend. If I had the rose-coloured glasses on I doubt I’d be saying something so flat-out simple as “the Flyers are…a better team than our Habs.”

        ———————–
        GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

    • Vladdy Mondavi says:

      Chris Lee injects himself in every game. I watched the Carolina/Edmonton game we was reffing a couple weeks ago and his calls/non calls were essentially the whole storyline of the game. As an example, he gave Eric Staal a penalty for telling him to “Wake-up”.
      We can complain that his calls go against the Habs; but truth is, Chris Lee is consistently bad in every game he refs, his interpretation of the rule book varies from moment to moment, let alone period to period, or game to game. The league needs to seriously evaluate his past performances and determine whether he should continue being employed as an NHL referee.

      _______________________________
      Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

      • RGM says:

        Wholeheartedly agree on the assessment of Lee. The NFL does it right with their officials – they are held publicly accountable for their errors. Ed Hochuli has consistently been one of their best refs for years, but a couple years ago he badly botched a call, and his status was downgraded by the League and he didn’t get to ref any playoff games that year. Remember Jim Joyce, the baseball ump that cost a kid a perfect game? Held HIMSELF publicly accountable and admitted the error. We all know that sorry doesn’t mow the lawn, but there’s a huge gap between men of character like that and the cone of silence that emanates from NHL officials.

        ———————–
        GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  25. Big Ted says:

    I wouldn’t say Emelin is struggling. He was possibly our best D man (and certainly one of our top 2-3) for the past month. What’s hurt him is having to play the right side the past two games, which coincides exactly with the drop in his performance. Not many defencemen can just switch sides of the ice, particularly guys trying to learn a new league, new D partner, and new language at the same time. Let’s cut him some slack.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Emelin on the right side is a consequence of the Kaberle trade.

      If Markov ever returns, the left flank is going to be Markov, Gill and Kaberle. End of discussion. That leaves Subban, Gorges and either a rookie or Campoli to man the other side. Diaz and Weber usually play on the right side so it let’s you know what Emelin is up against.

      Speaking of the D, here’s a question. Should we be concerned that Kaberle has no shot from the point, which means he has to pass to Subban in order to let a laser go? And if so, doesn’t this make it easier for the other team to defend against? The other repercussion related to Kaberle’s inability to shoot from the point is the need to retain Weber so that we can fulfill this role on the 2nd unit. Weber does a decent job but then wastes a spot on the 4th line that could go to Blunden, Darche or White.

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        End of discussion? A left D with Gill and Kaberle is a joke.

        • 24 Cups says:

          What I meant is end of discussion in terms of who Mr. Gauthier and coach Martin will play. I’m not saying I agree with it, just stating what the reality of the situation will probably be.

      • G-Man says:

        Kaberle had 3 shots last night. Subban had 4. Kaberle is a very good offensive Dman; he’s not great defensively.

        Weber is being wasted on the 4th line. He should be traded, along with either Diaz or Campoli. The tough part is that Emelin has to learn the right side in order to get ice time and you are right about it being worse for him when Markov returns.

  26. pierre lapuck says:

    And as far as the PP goes here’s the plan: as soon as the ref’s arm goes up to indicate a penalty against the oppostion the Hab player with the puck shoots it into the stands for a Delay of Game penalty, thereby making it a 4 on 4 and thusly reducing the chances of a negative result.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Tremendous strategy. I like it. Seriously, don’t you think that the constant juggling of personal on and off the PP by Martin has a lot to do with poor results?

  27. Kmaxx says:

    This was a game the Habs could have absolutely won. Sorry to beat a dead horse but JM has got to be taken out. Just because #13 got 7 shots doesn’t make it a good decision on JM’s part to give him 20+ minutes of ice time. If I was wearing #13 I would have had at least 5-6 shots. Cammi needs to be playing 4th line ice time – if he deserves to be moved up, then fine, but not until then does he merit 20 minutes a night. He hasn’t scored in ages and the Habs can’t afford to waste opportunities like last night while they try to get him out of his slump. Martin doesn’t understand that the club is not playing for him any more. He’s blaming the rookies. Why doesn’t someone in the press just flat out ask him why he keeps calling a number that isn’t producing? What’s next? Oh I know – Gomez returns to the lineup and he gets 20 minutes alongside Cammi too. Does Martin really think that this is good enough? I know for sure that it isn’t.

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

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Cammi missing chances on the PP cost us the game + he ‘s taking Plack down with him

    • G-Man says:

      Right. A sniper on the 4th line. And you want the head coach fired? Doh!

      • likehoy says:

        sorry when you say “sniper,” who are you referring to?
        can’t be the mighty Michael Cammalleri, can it?

        6 goals in 27 games. I think Mr. Sniper status seems more in tune with Mr. Cheechoo’s status

        - If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

      • Kmaxx says:

        Sorry G-Man but Cammi hasn’t been a sniper since some time last season. That the coach hasn’t seen this says a lot more about him than anything else…

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

        • bleedhabs81 says:

          Who says the coach hasn’t seen it?

          I would have liked to see more of Leblanc, but someone else here said it best…. we need Cammy to get out of his funk (as we already are missing some of “offensive” players)

          I put “” on offensive because I lumped Gio and Gomez in there (I know, nobody thinks Gomez is offensive)

  28. The Cat says:

    Out of those players on the Canadian Junior team that belong to the habs, any of them playmaking centremen?

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

  29. JF says:

    We could have won this game if the referees had applied the same criteria to the Flyers’ 2nd period goal as they did to our disallowed goal. We could also have won it if Price had been a little sharper. That’s two games in a row in which he’s been ordinary, and I wonder if he needs a break. Peter Budaj was brought in so Price would play fewer games than last year, but at the moment Budaj is on pace to play no more than Auld did. Perhaps he should start against the Devils, giving Price a bit of rest before next week’s games and the all-important Christmas road trip. The team struggled during last year’s trip, and Price’s level of play slipped noticeably. If that happens this year, we can say goodbye to any chance of making the playoffs.

  30. filmnoir2012 says:

    Emelin wouldn’t be struggling if he was left alone to play left defense.

  31. Un Canadien errant says:

    During long stretches early in the game, the crowd seemed, from what I could tell from the comfort of my living room, as quiet as I could remember at any time recently. I could hear the players talking to each other on the ice during play, and not a peep from tonight’s ticket holders. I wonder if the nervousness of the team is starting to rub off on the crowd. Do they, like the players, dread what’s coming next, and expect the worst? There was no overconfidence, no “Olé Olé Olé” from the stands, but there was a nice moment when Louis Leblanc scored his first NHL goal and he was the recipient of a long ovation.

    David Desharnais had another strong game with a goal and an assist. On his first shift, he forechecked in the Flyer zone, bodychecked Braydon Coburn off the puck and came out of the corner with it, only to have it end up on Hal Gill’s stick, who tonight had his goal-scoring streak snapped. Regardless, this impressive play along the boards was reminiscent of his work against Joe Thornton in San Jose, and refutes the notion that he is too small and not physical enough to be effective as an NHL center. Once again tonight, he was the best of the Canadiens’ centres.

    Tonight also saw the return of Mike Blunden, who was recalled from Hamilton to replace the injured Travis Moen. He played little, racking up only 3 minutes of icetime, but he did make a penalty kill appearance. His presence was noteworthy at one point when he stood in front of Carey Price after a stoppage in play, and guided Wayne Simmonds away from the net. On this occasion and another where Mr. Simmonds was faced with Alexei Emelin, he moved along and got ready for the faceoff, as compared to earlier games this season where he acted like a big thuggish jerk against Yannick Weber or Raphaël Diaz. This once again shows that the ‘physical’ teams like the Bruins and the Flyers tend to pick their spots, they’re brave against Tom Pyatt but strategic against Georges Laraque, when all of a sudden they remember their coach’s instructions and rationalize that now would not be a good time for a penalty.

    It also shows that Mr. Blunden has a role to play on this team, and was playing it well during his first callup earlier in the season. His assist on the Louis Leblanc’s goal was not a cheapie, as was in front of the net keeping a Flyer defenceman occupied and screening the goalie. He may not be a great fighter, but his size and hard work are appreciated by his teammates I’m sure. It also shows that the Canadiens would benefit from one or two more rugged wingers to mix in with the current team. We don’t need a Chris Neil or John Kordic, but a player with Mike McPhee’s skillset would be great, if such a beast was attainable anywhere for a reasonable price.

    A goal by Tomas Plekanec was waved off by the refs for goalie interference by Erik Cole, but a remarkably similar goal was scored by the Flyers later, and this one was allowed. I was left to wonder if Erik Cole had been wearing a black and diarrhea Bruin jersey, otherwise known as Ref Camo, would that goal have counted?

    Some attention was paid to the bad play committed by Alexei Emelin in his zone that led to the second Philadelphia goal. It was reminiscent of the play P.K. Subban made against the Islanders on Tuesday, but as Mr. Emelin’s apologist, I worked hard to try to find mitigating circumstances for him.

    The short pass to the forward positioned in front of the net is an option for the defencemen in Le Système™, in combination with the very safe clearing against the boards to the waiting winger. I am getting used to this play, although at first it was disconcerting to me, I had been coached all my life to never pass the puck to the middle of the ice. Done properly, it makes the zone breakout easy to achieve, as it provides the defenceman with two avenues for his pass. The boards is the preferred method, but if the opposing winger is already positioned to intercept, the defenceman can pass to his centreman, who is usually 3 or 4 metres away and ready for the pass. This proximity makes it an easy, safe pass, with very little chance of it being intercepted or mishandled. What broke down on Tuesday for P.K. and tonight for Alexei is that their pass was a little bit rushed and imprecise, and the centreman wasn’t completely ready to receive it. In both cases, the puck ended up on the opposition’s stick, and resulted in a goal.

    Again, as the founder of the Alexei Emelin Booster Club, I was quick to notice that his partner Tomas Kaberle went for a little skate, a wild goose chase after the puck, which he could have avoided by staying in his proper position, since the puck would have come to him. I think we need to resign ourselves to the fact that Mr. Kaberle will make these errors, and coaching won’t cure him of these bad habits. Mr. Emelin can still learn and improve.

    Another point of interest is P.K.’s insistence during the powerplay to try to blast the puck throught the goalie on a one-timer. This has been a hobby-horse of Michel Bergeron on l’Antichambre, it annoys him, and they paid a lot of attention to it tonight, but I have to agree that Mr. Subban needs to demonstrate adaptability and try something different, since while this approach worked late last season, it is not producing results this year. Our powerplay is predictable, when his stick is up in the air it telegraphs what we are about to do, and even if the goalie is screened he can see the stick and slide in position and let the puck hit him. P.K. needs to double-clutch, and then try a quick slapper or wrister, or try a slap-pass to a forward, or deke the cringing forechecker who is hoping to block the shot and skate around him to drive the net. Doing so will keep the opposing penalty killers honest, and make his shots more effective when he lets them go.

    Another measuring-stick game during which we come up a little bit short. The powerhouse Flyers, minus Chris Pronger, Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn, against our guys missing Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta, Travis Moen and perennials Andrei Markov and Ryan White. We’re playing at home, and will probably have to go through these Flyers for a deep run through the playoffs. We lose the game, are not outclassed, but have the sense that the Flyers had another gear or two to shift into if necessary. This season’s outlook gets less murky the further we proceed.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • citizenSanto says:

      great post UCE!
      my take:
      nepotism = no suspension
      Ref Camo = Starley Cup

      —————————————
      Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
      – Augustine of Hippo

    • Gorges_the_great says:

      Through sheer good fortune I was able to attend last week’s games against Columbus and Vancouver and well as tonight’s game and let me tell you the crowd was into it wholeheartedly tonight. Way more than the other nights. The difference was a goalie interference goal miscall.

    • malmn says:

      Wow. Awesome. This may be the smartest post I have ever read on any Canadiens board, ever. I like the way you analyze the game. Very well done.

      GO HABS GO!!!

    • VancouverHab says:

      Une belle analysis, M’sieu. Mais je pense ce que John Kordic est bienvenue sur n’importe les Canadiens dans une annee. (Excuse, s’il vous plait, mon mauvais Francais: je n’avez pas aucun chance he practiquer ici en Vancouver.)

  32. billylove says:

    The gamewinner was Price’s mistake. The whole sequence started when Price made a high risk (too cute) pass that resulted in the turnover. Carey has stolen many a point or two in his young career, but this time he cost the team. He, and PK, are still developing. They are not finished products.

    The team could use some basic passing drills in practice. There are too many mistakes made on relatively simple passes. Puck possession is not this team’s strength. Actually, it’s hard to characterize any aspect of this team’s play as a “strength.”

    • Frank2468 says:

      Billy what I don’t understand is why Price didn’t just freeze the puck in stead of trying a low percentage pass? If he freezes it, it’s a dead play. The boys could have regrouped after a bad shift. I’m not saying the that Philly wouldn’t have scored on the ensuing face off or in the next couple of shifts who knows, but at least it gives the Habs a chance to take a breather and regroup. I was scratching my head after that one and was mad as hell as well.

      • citizenSanto says:

        It’s obvious frank, JM told him to do it.
        Everyone here knows it.

        —————————————
        Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
        – Augustine of Hippo

  33. Frank2468 says:

    Boone just so you know Montreal is in 10th Jersey is in 9th.

  34. NLhabsfan says:

    Well couple of more losses in a row and this team is toast… I hate to admit it but we are in very close run in our division and unless we can pull together a winning streak of at least 3 games or more… We will be watching other teams in the playoffs.

    • Marc10 says:

      Price, DD, Cole, Max, Eller, AK and Moen are carrying this team. That’s the bottom line. Subbido, Gorges and Skillsie have been average… and Kabi has been a nice addition.

      Everyone else is under performing. It’s insane that we’re a stone’s throw away from making the show considering the Gomer and Cams ball and chain the team is hauling around.

      I can’t believe I just lumped Cams with Gomer together… but there it is! And the worst part is that Gomer’s attitude is far better than Sulky McSulkerton…

    • malmn says:

      There is no doubt that the Habs will need a 4-5 game winning streak, at some point in the season, in order to make the playoffs.

      GO HABS GO!!!

  35. JIMVINNY says:

    Mathieu Darche – 17 minutes, -2, no significant stats.

    Louis Leblanc – 4 minutes, 1 goal, +1, 1 blocked shot.

    I wonder what would happen if the ice time for these two was reversed?

    Also what in the H-E-double hockey sticks is JM doing giving 17 minutes to a fourth liner?

    • SteverenO says:

      Girl Reporter asks::
      WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE IN THE GAME ,COACH?

      Martin replies: : “Our young players made mistakes”

      How funny is that; Th egame I watched our old , washed up , and useless, incompetent coach was the one who made the most mistakes:

      Mistake ” 1:
      Coach Martin used his time out in the first period, with a two man advantage.

      This bone-head move was compounded by Martin’s insistence on playing Plekanec and Cammalleri in place of Pacioretty and Desharnais while we had the 5 on 3 advantage. (why use your most productive players when you can use your most experienced, Jacques?)

      Not having the time out when the game was winding down forced the PP time to be split and prevented us from having our most productive PP performers on the ice for the majority of the final PowerPlay.

      Mistake # 2 Power play ice time distribution:

      What did Cammalleri and Plekanec do to deserve additional power play time …….at the expense of Desharnais and
      Pacioretty?

      Mistake # 3: Short Handed ice time distribution
      ( http://www.youtube.com/user/Firethehabscoach )

      Mistake # 4: Even Strength ice time distribution
      ( http://www.youtube.com/user/Firethehabscoach )

      Mistake # 5: END GAME MANAGEMENT

      When the Flyers scored to go ahead 4 to 3 there were 12 minutes left to play; Can you possibly believe that Hal Gill played 33% of those last 12 minutes?????

      More than Kablerle, Campoli, Pacioretty and Cole..

      Inexcusable, Indefensible, and completely unacceptable!

      The HAbs score an average of one goal for every 35 minutes that Hal Gill is on the ice. Even if you believe that he is a good defensive player, and penalty killer, there is no reason to put this player on the ice when we are trailing in the third period. Its like playing short handed.!

      ( http://www.youtube.com/user/Firethehabscoach )

      Enough Already! Fire the BUM!

      Steve O.
      Qlik View – Data Discovery.
      Every team needs it- Every coach needs it.
      Every fan needs it!

      http://litcosys.ca/QV_videos.html

    • Bertuzzi says:

      At this point if you are still hoping for the Habs to win their games, then you are not a true fan. Martin must go.

  36. j2w4habs25 says:

    FIRE MARTIN ALREADY i would say!

    Carey Price #31

  37. pH-Habs says:

    Missed the game, and the express. But it seems like Martin may need a lesson on listening to the crowd once and a while.

    Some reporter claimed it was the loudest the bell center had been all season. Done in just 4:08. How much of that was after they went up 4-3?

    At this point in the season, let the fathers rest a little. Just speculation, but new babies reduce sleep, right? And yeah, they’re on the road half the time, but you really can’t make up for lost sleep. It would be fun to see the correlation between newborns and hockey stats.

    I can also picture this conversation in my head:

    Max-PAc – I’m catching up to you plecky! And I’ve played less games. Betcha I beat you in points this season. $3000.

    Plecks (last year) – You’re done. Finished.

    Plecks (this year) – Maaannn… It’s only three grand, so what the heck (I’m going to need sleep… … …)

  38. Castor says:

    My good friend Ryzla sent me this text about JM and I think its dead on
    “I actually figured jm out tonight. He doesn’t believe in magic. He has no instincts. He doesn’t get hunches. He operates 100% based on his system. No improvising skills whatsoever. Its not his system that sucks. Its his inability to adapt based on the flow or a gut feeling. The man has no instincts. And he’s emotionless so he doesn’t understand hunches. “

  39. Boomer says:

    there was 2 minutes and 40 seconds left in the game and we’re trailing by one, why wasnt carey pulled for a 6th man? and louis leblanc gets a sweet goal, the crowd goes NUTS,instead of giving the kid a bump up to the second or first line to play with some quality players and get some momentum JM decides to park his ass on the bench.
    JM = worst coach in the league, agree or disagree?

    Boom baby!

  40. HabsfanoftheHabs says:

    Just finished watching the game. Very entertaining but a tough loss. I was thinking PK was a good game until well…

    Good for Louis!


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