About last night … with audio


Reader’s Digest version tonight, peeps.
Having returned from Scotiabank Place through a snowstorm only to discover the hotel bar is closed – Kanata: What a swinging town! – your old war correspondent is muy pissed off.

AUDIO: Randy Cunneyworth | Carey Price | P.K. Subban | Mike Cammalleri | Lars Eller

It was an excellent win – biggest of the season to date.

Had the Canadiens been riding a six-game losing streak – longest since the 2006-’07 season – down to Florida, there would a funereal atmosphere of darkness enveloping the team in the sunshine state.

(We interrupt this ALN to report that the mini-bar in my room is an empty fridge, useful only as a place of storage for the kind of goober who travels with a six-pack. And me without my hip flask!)

Stuff I liked:

• Giving up an early goal and not folding.

• Lars Eller playing like his hair was on fire and providing a perfect complement to his two big wingers. I am convinced this kid is going to be a terrific player.

• Mike Cammalleri busting his hump – a three-zone commitment we’ve rarely (OK, never) seen this season.

• To paraphrase Bruce Springsteen introducing Clarence Clemons, do we even have to say his name? Do we have to say his name? Ladies and gentlemen, the great Carey Price.

• Alexei Emelin played 20 minutes, had four hits and provided push-back lest Chris Neil and Zenon Konopka goon the Senators back into the game. Credit Travis Moen on that score, too. He did a lot of nose-to-nose woofin’ with the Senators’ heavyweights.

• Tomas Plekanec skated miles, made clever plays with the puck and went 12-9 on faceoffs.

As it was, your Montreal Canadiens laid a pretty good whuppin’ on a Northeast Division rival who looked suspciously like the Ottawa Senators we all thought they’d be, back in September.

• Raphael Diaz (plus-3) and Louis Leblanc, who joined DD and Cammalleri on a 67 per cent French Connection line, had their first multipoint games of the season.

• Mathieu Darche played 12 minutes and had two assists. All the fourth-line guys were good.

• Josh Gorges played a team-high 25:22, blocked three shots, covered for P.K. and was just … well, he was just Josh Gorges.

• Erik Cole popped his 14th, hustled on every shift and made a sub-par Ottawa D very nervous.

• I didn’t notice Tomas Kaberle’s 13 even-strength minutes. This is a good thing.

Finally, how about some props for the kindly old coach, a profoundly decent man who is universally liked and respected around the league?

Randy Cunneyworth made two of his best young players healthy scratches against Winnipeg, and they responded with brilliant games in Winnipeg.

Even better, the Canadiens played an outstanding, in-your-face third period, outshooting the Senators 7-6, forcing them into three brain-dead penalties and bagging a sixth goal for the first time this season.

The Canadiens are still 12th, four points out of a playoff spot.

Thursday’s game in Tampa Bay is huge because they’re a mere two points ahead of the Lightning, who hold games in hand.

In short, your Habs are not nearly out of the woods.

But the wolves have beaten a temporary retreat … possibly in search of a bar that’s open.


  1. dgdsgd says:

    http://yep。it/qpmsmn Look !!!,how the nice film pictures !!!

  2. SlovakHab says:

    Hmmm.. A dominating win – so that’s how fans of Boston must feel like, in the last 2-3 seasons.

  3. Marc10 says:

    I think it speaks volumes that my man DD is given under performing Cams instead of his twin towers and still gets it done.

    It’s only one game but I bet he gets Cams back on gear. And Eller will finally get some wingers with pop…

  4. ajk025 says:

    General Question: It seemed like Pacioretty did not play the last 10 minutes of the game (including 4 mins of PP time). Was this a move by Cunneyworth because he played a bad game? I didnt catch the whole game which is why I am asking. I love number 67 and hope we do everything to keep his confidence up.

  5. redgorf says:

    RC, finaly put some players where they belong, maybe some production will start. I agree some goals were lucky but lots of them are it just happen to the CH witch they did’nt get before.RC get them going and the centre yu’ll hear Cunny Cunny Cunny…..

  6. HABitat4humanity says:

    keys to winning more games:

    1) work on shooting accuracy. PK has a bomb of a shot. but it has so little accuracy. How about using those targets used in the skills competition in practice.

    2) Finnish your checks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with the exception of Emelin, nobody punishes forwards for coming in our zone!

    3) can the D please not stand around???? The traling player usually scores on the opposing team.

    4) can the 3rd and 4th line produce????? we will never go anywhere without this.

    5) figure out how to get Cammy Gionta and Gomer to score. they all have ability but no production.

  7. joeybarrie says:

    Keys to our team winning. Big players play big games. Not just size… PK, Price, Pleks, Cammi, Cole, and Gorges. We need to win more face offs, to be honest we suck in that regard. Take advantage of errors when they happen to the other team. Lately we have been getting breaks but hitting posts.
    Happy with the win, but we need our injured players back. We need our guys to produce more. We need to play more often like this. End of the world play. And its the coaches job to get that from his players.
    hopefully the team that played last night will be what we see from now on.
    also our defense is still pretty weak.

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

  8. remi_10069 says:

    I guaranteed a habs win last night but unfortunately nobody would take my action. You an always count on the Sens to “phone one in” when another canadian team needs them to. Extra pressure for them to do the right thing with with their man Cunny needing some help.

    Still Eller played like a champ, PK got lucky with his goal but I don’t think he played all that well.

    I like the lines, Eller, Cole and Pac could do some serious damage and deharnais is a good enough play maker to keep Cammi happy.

    Weber and Camp on the bench was music to my ears. Diaz got some points but he still should not be playing in the NHL.

    Back to back wins in Florida will get the parade planning going again


  9. HabinBurlington says:

    We took advantage of poor goaltending, great been awhile since we did that. Players who are paid to finish on the scoresheet Finished, again great been awhile since we have seen that.

    Our team caught some breaks, but don’t they always say you make your own breaks? I am hopeful this is a big momemtum swing and the team can take advanatage. If we can win 2 out of 3 games at a time until some of our wounded come back we may still be able to do somthing this year.

    Campoli and Weber unfortunately need to stay where they were last night. LL and Cammy looks good, and most importantly Randy C understands how much the team needs to have a 4th line that goes out there provides a different look. Blunden isn’t going to hurt anyone and thats okay, but he is going to forecheck and hit every sweater of the opposite colour he can find. The other 3 lines get to watch some energy created catch a breather and then get back out and score. It is afterall why you dress 12 forwards not 9.

    Well done boys, keep Big Mo’ rolling through Florida.

    And for all the PK frustrations, imagine how much better he can be for this team when Brother Andrei is back taking away some of those important minutes, Yes I do believe in Santa Claus and Brother Andrei’s return.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Andrei Kostitsyn is the one properly referred to as Le Frère Andrei. The appellation derived from the Quebec religious titan André Bessette, known as le Frère André, who among other achievements was responsible for building the Oratoire St-Joseph. The francophone media started called the elder Kostitsyn le Frère Andrei in reference to the fact that his brother Sergei also played for the Canadiens.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  10. RetroMikey says:

    yawn! It’s only 1 game and everybody is excited.
    Tank I say! Tank!
    We still are a very weak team.
    Kudos for Cunneyworth getting his first W.

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

  11. RGM says:

    Last night was fun, pure and simple. First time in a good while that it’s been enjoyable to watch an entire 60-minute performance out of the Habs that we so love. The Christmas break seems to have done them some good, at least for one night, and hopefully they can generate some momentum going into 2012.

    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  12. TommyB says:

    Was that the kind of game those like me were hoping to see with a changing of the guard behind the bench? I’d like to think the coaching change was the reason, but really, time will tell if that is a new approach by the coaching staff, or if it was just a blip on the otherwise defensive radar screen.

    Lots to like about last night’s game, from start to finish. I wasn’t sure about Leblanc staying with the team but if last night was just a tease of what to expect from him, I like it and think he should stay. Seemed to give Cammalleri a kick start as well. Boone mentioned Moen and Emelin providing some push back against the Sens agitators, but he should have mentioned Hal Gill as well. There was one such scrum where Gill quickly jumped in and pushed Konopka forcefully out of the way and up against the boards. Konopka, looking up at Gill, didn’t provide any resistance. Man, would I like to see more of that from the sleeping giant known as Hal Gill. Almost reminds of Larry Robinson when he (oh so rarely, I admit) does things like that. How valuable would that be?

    Anyway, on to Florida, and hopefully last night was the start of the reversal of one streak and the beginning of a more positive streak. Come on guys, string a few W’s together.

  13. Strummer says:

    Substitute Hockey for Baseball in the following quote:

    “Baseball is 90% mental — the other half is physical.”

    and Yogi Berra has figured out this team

    “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
    -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  14. Haligonian-Hab says:

    It’s not too often a PK Subban mistake turns into a goal for HIM! Hockey Gawds may be on our side now!

  15. Guy Carbonneau (28%, 713 Votes) for new coach

    28% of Hockey Inside Out Members are Drunk right now!

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com Inc.
    Custom Sports Figures
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  16. JF says:

    I’d almost forgotten what it feels like to wake up in the afterglow of a Habs victory, so rare have they been this season. It’s only one game, and our chances of making the playoffs remain slight to nonexistent, but I can still feel excited about it. And it was decisive, not one of those games where we’re on our heels in the third period, badly outshot, and owe the victory solely to Price’s heroics. Price was great, but the team in front of him played a much more aggressive third period than usual.

    The game started badly, with the Habs barely touching the puck and looking tentative. Given their terrible performances recently, they deserve some credit for not folding when they were down an early goal and it looked as though the game was going to follow an all-too-familiar pattern.

    Lars Eller had one of his best games as a Hab. Despite his inconsistency, I’ve been excited about this guy from the start; I think he could develop into the big, dominant centre we’ve been missing.

    Has Michael Cammalleri woken up? For the first time this season, I saw shades of the electrifying player we sometimes saw in his first year as a Hab.

    P.K. still needs to cut down the errors, but he was better last night, and the goal certainly helped.

    On most nights, Erik Cole is our best forward. Gauthier has made some huge blunders, but that was a good signing.

    I also like the Diaz signing. He’s been one of our best defencemen in recent games, and last night he was rewarded.

    On to Florida, where a pair of victories would really give our cause some life.

  17. HardHabits says:

    Everybody in Ottawa knows the place to go when you’re in need of a late night drink…

    across the river in Gatineau.

  18. The Cat says:

    Did Craig Anderson owe RC a favour I wonder?

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

  19. HabFab says:

    People, methinks Boone is holding out on us. Check out the TSN 1 on 1 interview with PK. At around the 1:50 mark along comes Boone followed closely by Gauthier and Gainey. So Mike, did Bo have you give the “whats whats” talk to PG or “what”?
    PG looked beat up a bit or maybe it is just that vegan look!


  20. 24 Cups says:

    About last night?

    Sometimes “What the hell?” is the best answer to the question.

    • G-Man says:

      Habs needed a game where pretty much everything went their way. The trick now is to see if they can build on it.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I am not going to get excited. I am not going to get excited. I am not going to get excited. I am not……..
        Gman it was good to see the freakin puck go in the net for a change huh? There were times in the game where I Washington waiting for the team to stop playing but it never happend. Gotta like the energy from Lars, patches and PK.

        From my family to yours here’s wishing you very blessed holiday season.

        • G-Man says:

          Thanks, HF. Those goals were definitely a sight for my sore eyes. 🙂

          • habstrinifan says:

            Loved the uge to say “now that’s hockey” after most of our goals. Great skill elements.

        • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

          I hear you brother. Made a an effort to not watch the game, but still had score update texts come through to my phone. Cheering for text messages when I’m trying to remain objective may prove to be the problem.

          Even when I want to be mad at these guys (Canadiens) I can;t bring myself t do it.

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

      • 24 Cups says:

        In terms of the East, five teams are locks to make the playoffs while two have no chance. That leaves eight teams battling it out for three post season seeds. It’s interesting that five out of the eight (Buffalo, Ottawa, Toronto, Florida and Tampa) will be in our new division next year. That’s the Habs new reality moving forward.

        It should also be one of the first discussion items in any interview process this summer. How will the Habs function in an original six format starting next October?

  21. 24 Cups says:

    Florida beat Toronto last night but the real news was the 20,400 people who attended the game. Now you know why Florida and Tampa are going to be in the same division as the laffs and Habs next year. Realignment will probably guarantee those two sunbelt teams another six sellouts as well as great playoff revenue. Having uneven divisions is a major blip but otherwise Bettman has done a decent job at reconfiguring the league.

    The concussion count as of this morning in the NHL is 32.

    • Ref Bettman

      Fans get angered over Bettman, but the man just got a contract extension and a raise. He’s doing something right and making the Board of Governors money.

      Business Business Business

      Sucks for fans sometimes, but as long as I get to watch the Habs in playoffs, I’m happy. It’s not 1976 and I don’t expect a Cup every odd year.

      Fans should put themselves in other teams shoes.

      Imagine never winning the Cup.

      Going ear after year not making the playoffs.

      Never experiencing the Bell atmosphere.

      We get it all, and a whole pile of drama to boot.

      Carey Carey Carey

      Shane Oliver
      http://www.Sholi2000.com Inc.
      Custom Sports Figures
      Brandon, MB,Canada
      R7B 2R7
      Ph- 204 724 8418

    • G-Man says:

      Laffs have the 3rd most goals allowed in the East. Their “suck-sess” (can’t help it- they’re the laffs) will not last. Their problems are between the pipes.

      • JF says:

        The obvious move over the summer for the Leafs would have been to sign a veteran goaltender to mentor Reimer and Gustavsson. It’s almost a given that a young goaltender will struggle in his second year, and Reimer had played only about half a season. He still needs time. Goaltending and defence could well be the Leafs’ undoing.

  22. The Game Thread was like reading a breath of fresh air. All the trolls hidden under their bridges, and rocking back and worth, with their hands up to their mouths chewing on their fingernails.

    Hope the Canadiens stay off the beaches and golf courses in Flr and stick to hockey.

    Diaz with 3 helpers, now that would be nice on a nightly basis, but I won’t hold my breath.

    The Sens were horrible last night, the Habs were better than average.

    Hope to draw Boston in the first round and bring them down to reality and in a few more weeks we’ll see the real Maple Leafs.

    Linda was at the game last night. Very Happy for her.

    2” of the white stuff last night. Lots of pushing this morning on the rink.

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com Inc.
    Custom Sports Figures
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    Ph- 204 724 8418

    • habstrinifan says:

      “The game thread was …. breath of fresh air”. Upbeat start and then you turned down the glow immediately by alluding to TROLLS. Havent seen many tolls lately just very dejected unhappy bbut passionate fans, wanting and wanting their team to come up with games like last night.

      Let’s just enjoy!

  23. WindsorHab-10 says:

    As pissed off as we get with this team when things go wrong, it sure feels great when they win. Hopefully we can build on this.

    A memo for RC: Keep Campoli & Weber healthy scratches.

  24. habsolutely416 says:

    huge win for these guys against a team they will be fighting with all year to make the playoffs. i dont care if its his first season with the team, eric cole should be given the C AT LEAST untill brian gionta returns, he looks like a real leader out there. it seems like he is always talking to guys and giving an honest effort. congrats to coach cunneyworth as well, lets hope they just needed some time together to practice so they can get things going…..

    ps: sorry to hear that mr boone, i have been to kanata before, def. dullsville. you should try and plan ahead a little better though lol. i recommend downloading the weather channel app or saving it to your favorites bar on your computer. cheers 😉

    ill be in the slot 😉

    • Aybara says:

      I dunno if that would do well for team morale to shift around the C like that. Esp. to a first year Hab as you point out.

      I agree on the cunneyworth salutations, he’s been dealt a bum hand and he just might have reshuffled and begun to draw new cards.

      We can hope!

      • habstrinifan says:

        Smart insight! Leave things re captaincy as they are now. Cole’s attitude and therefore influence will resonate with players whether he is wearing letters or not.

        You sir can have a job in my organization anytime.

    • CDH says:

      Definitely agree on Eric Cole getting the C. Maybe not this season but you never know whats going to happen to Gionta…

  25. Un Canadien errant says:

    Reposted from previous thread.


    A new beginning, with a team fresh off Christmas break, or a sieve in goal for Ottawa?

    A return to form for a spirited and proud team, or a dead cat bounce?

    Whatever the correct analysis, this is a breath of fresh air for the team and its fans, and a welcome boon for Randy Cunneyworth who is caught in a difficult situation. The team has been unfortunate quite a few times this season, getting few bounces, hitting posts, and running into hot goalies on a couple of occasions, it’s about time they got lucky.

    Many changes brought in by Mr. Cunneyworth, he rolled the dice on a few hunches and came up sevens on practically all. Lars Eller and P.K. Subban both made their way back onto the lineup, and played a positive role in the win. Chris Campoli was relegated to the pressbox and had a much better game, with no defensive gaffes to his debit. The coach also shuffled his lines, since at this point he has nothing to lose and was trying to find a spark.

    David Desharnais was stripped of his hulking power forwards and thus was rendered ineffective, as many fans contended would happen. He was kept off the scoresheet. He was a measly #2 on the night. Uh, and he also happened to be on the ice for the lone powerplay goal the Good Guys scored. And his wingers Mike Cammalleri and Louis Leblanc each had a goal and an assist. The same Mike Cammalleri who hadn’t scored since December 1. Hmmm, maybe we need to revise our theory that David is only effective because ‘he has Cole and Max’.

    Lars Eller showed some finish, finally, scoring a short-handed goal that came shortly after a Senators goal and may have plugged a hole in our leaky morale. It’ll be interesting to see how long he keeps Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty, the trio is intriguing in its potential.

    Rafaël Diaz chipped in three assists, which were very welcome, and need to keep coming in his case. He can’t contribute physically like Alexei Emelin does, so he needs to bring smart passing and some offence to the table.

    Andrei Kostitsyn was, again, invisible for long stretches of the game, which is inexcusable for a veteran player of his considerable skill. He needs to go on a long productive streak so that when we unload him at the trade deadline his value will be inflated.

    Louis Leblanc, on the other hand, is chipping in some points and plays hard every night, which Aaron Palushaj and Andreas Engqvist were not able to do in their extended auditions with the Grand Club. He is doing his job, which is to make the management team think twice about sending him back to Hamilton.

    Carey Price was his usual unflappable self. I did notice during the first penalty kill that he ably cleared the zone himself all the way to the other end. On the next play, he tried again, but this time was intercepted and this led to a dangerous opportunity for the Sens. Carey needs to continue helping his defencemen by handling the puck, but can’t get lazy about it, the rest of the league can watch video of him and they’re now expecting his long clears through the middle.

    Lots of goals by the veterans who should be scoring, setups by the defencemen, solid goaltending, this team shouldn’t have many more five-game losing streaks.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  26. Eric37 says:

    And someone in that sleepy town get Boone a drink!


  27. Eric37 says:

    The 4th line has been fantastic since Cunneyworth came aboard.

    Cammalleri bought in tonight. 2 points.

    PK still looks a bit erratic.

    Price was aggressive tonight. When he’s aggressive, it’s scary!

    Leblanc has an even temperament. He’ll need that in Montreal.

    Cole is the player we’ve been missing for years. Credit Gauthier.

    Diaz’ three assists were unheralded. The kids played a great game.

    The coach scratched the right players tonight.


  28. Brown_Hab_Fan says:

    Going to repost this to see what smart habs fans think
    Honestly could you guys just leave this poor team alone and let them play. I’m very happy for Randy C, because this poor guy got thrown into the wolves by our dumbass of a GM Pierre the monkey…who should have seen this situtation happening a mile away with the francophone media and fans. But now finally after a couple days off and getting to spend some real time with the team instead of using the broken pieces of Jacque Martins system he was able assemble some lines he thought would work well and look what happened?? A WIN! Now yes a couple of them were softies and lucky bounces…but for a team that had all that going against them give them some time to learn how to unleard playing trap hockey.

    Today was the first game I’ve seen Cammi actually skate hard for the first time in weeks (GOOD SIGN)

    Keeping Darche on the 4th line and off the PP (GOOD SIGN)

    PK scoring but being PK (GOOD ENOUGH)

    And on top of that hopefully we can have a legit 4th checking line when white comes back keeping Blunden with Nokka and scratching Darche who I find incredibly useless.

    Good things are coming give it some time

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