About last night …

BourqueFight
How bad is it?
You had to stay up late to gauge precisely how bad things are for your Montreal Canadiens.

Had the Florida lost in regulation time to the Avalanche in Denver, the Panthers would have dropped to eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 51 points.

That would have left the Canadiens a mere nine points out of a playoff spot. As it eventuated, however, the surprising Panthers lost in OT. The point gave them 52, and while the Panthers have surrendered the Southeast Division lead to Washington, they are 10 points up on the floundering Canadiens.

10 points.

A double-digit gap between the Canadiens and postseason hockey.

Does anyone think it’s going to happen?

The players say they do. But of course, they would.

Elite athletes are conditioned, from major junior or U.S. college hockey onward, to never give up.

They may not play at their best every night. That level of intensity is difficult to sustain over six months and 82 hockey games.

But they are proud, and they’re trained to believe their next shift is going to be better than their last.

Maybe the Canadiens will win in Pittsburgh Friday night. And maybe that victory will be a springboard toward a super effort at the ACC on Saturday.

But let’s be realistic.

The math is not quite as daunting as lottery odds, but each loss renders the playoffs more of a longshot.

Some fans (and at least one blogger: me) were fooled by what we saw Sunday night.

But dating back to that crazy third-period comeback – when Scott Gomez was still in the visitors’ dressing room – the Rangers have been the Canadiens’ patsies at the Bell Centre.

A truer measure of where the team is at was to be seen at the beginning of last week, when the St. Louis Blues came to town and made the Canadiens look every inch what they are: a 12th place hockey team that is closer to 15th than to eighth.

In a reversal of the phenomenon we witnessed, to our great delight, during the 2010 playoffs, the Canadiens outshot Washington 31-16 and still lost. They were shut out for the fifth time this season.

Three of the goose eggs have been rung up at the Bell Centre, which is becoming an increasingly sombre and lifeless place as reality dawns on the sellout crowds who have had little to cheer this season.

Perhaps all those Stanley Cup banners and retired jersey numbers have left Montrealers with unreasonable expectations and a sense of entitlement.

The other legacy, however, is appreciation of good hockey. And the flip side of that is recognition of  crap.

Erik Cole, who had five shots and three hits against Washington, has become a fan favourite because the Bell Centre appreciates a thoroughbred who gives everything he’s got every time he laces up.

They recognize the immense potential of Max Pacioretty (six shots on goal against the Caps), P.K. Subban and Lars Eller.

They admire the playmaking ingenuity, innate hockey sense and toughness of David Desharnais, a diminutive homeboy who weaves fearlessly around the big guys.

And on what was an otherwise joyless evening, fans responded to the man-up courage of Rene Bourque, who knew the NHL’s code of honour would require him to fight a Cap.

(Is it ethnically insensitive to say I’ve never seen a bad First Nations fighter? Stan Jonathan, Gino Odjick, Chris Simon, Jordin Tootoo, Arron Asham, Sheldon Souray: all warriors.)

But because Montreal isn’t Boston, the buzz generated by Bourque’s solid decision over Matt Hendrick’s did not last very long.

And it didn’t seem to spark his teammates.

Carey Price was beaten by a good shot for the first Washington goal but looked bad on the second.  The goaltender is not putting up the kind of stats his agent can wave under the nose of Pierre Gauthier … or whoever might be in charge of negotiating Price’s next contract.

On too many nights, however, Price has to be flawless for the Canadiens to have a chance.

This team can’t score.

The power play is the league’s worst, converting a pathetic 12.3 per cent of its chances. pat Hickey tells me this is the worst the Canadiens PP has been since they started keeping power-play stats in 1967. The previous low was 14 per cent in the 2002-’03 season, when the PP clicked at 14 per cent.

The Canadiens had a man advantage for 12 minutes against Washington. The power play, which is Randy Cunneyworth’s personal coaching responsibility, displayed what we’ve seen all too often: Perimeter passing and low-percentage shots.

Watching Tomas Kaberle man the left point is a painful reminder of what Andrei Markov’s injuries have cost this team.

The right-point shooters –  P.K., Yannick Weber – make you yearn for the glory days of Mark Streit, Sheldon Souray, Marc-André Bergeron and James Wisniewski.

But enough about the past.

Like the players, who think they’re still in the playoff hunt, we have to believe in a better future.

Because the present kinda sucks.

115 Comments

  1. hey guys just checked david fischer is starting to heat up in the coast!
    maybe Gauthier is not so bad after all….
    deliver us from evil
    http://www.firegauthier.com

    • RetroMikey says:

      Is there sites as well for firegainey.com, firetimmins.com, and fireboivin jr.com?
      After all, Gauthier is picking up the mess that Bobby left and still works closely along with Gauthier and Timmins is way overrated.

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

  2. I would like to see a poll here on the home team fans booing Montreal – Agree or disagree? Personally, I feel it is demoralizing and has a negative effect on performance. I am sure some of you will disagree, and say that by paying the tickets prices we do; we have the right to Boo. Thoughts?

  3. BramptonHab says:

    Sorry but I missed the game last night as I was in attendance at a Habs oldtimers game here in Brampton last night. The proceeds of the game went to the William Osler Health Centre. It was fun and entertaining to see what these veteran players can still do…albeit they’re much much slower than they used to be. They made the other team (Dr’s, nursing staff etc…) look REAL bad but it was all in fun. Got to meet the players after the game and Ron Wicks. It’s a day I won’t forget.

  4. HabsFan1111 says:

    I realized something this morning … I look forward to this column more than the game itself. Like (hopefully) the players, I will not give up on this team either, never will.

    Great read as always Boone!

  5. javaman says:

    I don’t know if the playoffs are out of reach, but 2 things we can be sure of:

    1. Randy Cunneyworth won’t be back next year

    2. He won’t be part of the ex-coaches panel on l’Antichambre.

  6. JBIRD88 says:

    Obviously you didn’t watch the game!!! Pk was probably our best d-man…he plays a ton of minutes for a such a young player. but i do agree with you on Plec…guy cant hit the net! Gomez has also looked ok (if thats what a 7 million player looks like!)

    HALAK WHO????? LARS!!!!!

  7. ihabto says:

    Would you be happy winning knowing that you cheated? Would you be happy with a cup in 5 years knowing that your team deliberately lost games to “win” the draft?

    I know many (most) of you do not mean deliberately lose when you say tank but it gives me a sick feeling every time it is suggested. If you mean rid the team of players who will not be useful in said cup run 5 years from now then can you use a different term such as rebuild. Even that makes me sick though.

  8. mtl1990 says:

    everyone is complaining about how bad the Habs are, but there is a silver lining here. Where the Habs sit now they could possibly get a lottery pick. Looking at the draft list so far and talking to friends in Ottawa it looks like it could be Cody Ceci which a bad pick being a two way defender like PK or Morgan Ellis

    le_CH_1909

  9. DorvalTony says:

    Halak moved past JS Giguere into 7th place in the league and is poised to pass Tim Thomas next, moving into 6th. How’s Scarey Price doing?

    ——————————————————————
    ”First of all, you have to have continuity if you are to have success,” Pollock told the New York Times. ”I think it gets the manager and the players to become more attached to each other.” – Sam Pollock

    • DLHABSNUT65 says:

      Not sure how you can compare the 2 when Halak’s numbers are not even as good as his apparent back up!! You’re comparing a goalie on a 1st place team to a goalie on a team that’s not far from 15th. It’s not a fair comparison!!

  10. Badwich says:

    Our Jesus factor wasn’t even a disciple last night and our shooters… Do we have any?

    L’antichambre is about at their wits end trying to explain things although during the first intermission the RDSHD wife beater and Benoit tried to blame the period on rumours of Subbans’s locker room behaviour. Seems like Gagnon’s preaching is reaching.

    Gauthier tried to explain the Hab’s effort on the fact that Subban isn’t serious enough on the ice and was seen talking and smiling with Ovi. “The Horror” Never mind that PK did a pretty good job of containing him during the game. I thought that they’d blast his demo of on ice creativity but I guess that Savardian spinerama (Danny’s description) got them thinking about the good old days and how good they were.

    Never mind folks. Don’t we watch because we love the best game on the planet, win or lose? The sun will shine again.

    Taberwitt

  11. Rob Maguire says:

    Boone: your statement isn’t ethnically insensitive, but it’s ethnically incorrect. Bourque, as a Métis, is not First Nations. Nor is Tootoo, who is Inuk. You could, however, say that you’ve never seen a bad Aboriginal fighter. Then you’d have your bases covered. (A resource: http://goo.gl/J6ueW)

  12. Forum Dog says:

    Nobody wants to throw in the towel, but this team does not appear to have the players required to make a serious run at a playoff spot. The importance of last night’s game was well known to the players, and the effort they came up with was horrific.

    I’ve seen it posted here that Gomez played well last night. That is a joke. Gomez is a perimeter player with some of the worst back-checking skills in the league. Kostitsyn takes some blame on the second goal, but on both of the first two, Gomez is the last man back. As a centre, that is almost inexcusable. Also, Plekanec seems to get very little criticism, but he has not impressed me at all this year. His game is very timid. He is constantly forcing passes, particularly when he is under physical pressure. He is a -11, the worst on the team. This from the supposed #1 centre. Not good.

    The only ballsy players going are Cole and Paciorrety. You have to tip your hat to Desharnais, but if he is the best centre on the team, you know you have some problems.

    Younger players like Eller are going to make mistakes, so it is foolish to expect too much. Also, Subban takes a lot of heat but his game is right about what it was last year, if not tamed down a bit. He doesn’t have the best natural hockey sense and people will have to get used to it if he is going to remain a part of the team. Price has been the Habs MVP all year. He was a bit of a let down last night, but goalies need their teammates to bail them out sometimes, and it didn’t happen against Washington. Emelin is going to be good, but he needs to play physical to be effective, and he seems to have let up on that a bit. Diaz is a useful 6th D-man, but is definitely not top 4 material, particularly for a contending team. Weber is a defensive liability and should not have to play 18 minutes. Again, the fact that he is getting that much time is indicative of the teams personnel.

    Bottom line is that unless they win the four or five straight games, the playoffs out of the question, putting the team in a bit of a transition year. Of the players brought in by Gainey, I doubt any beyond Gionta and Gorges will be back next season. The problem for management (and fans) is that very few of the vets will garner much at the deadline. Nobody will give much for Gill, nor for players like Kostitsyn, Moen, Campoli, or any of the other pending UFAs. Maybe some mid-round picks, but doubtfully more than that. Montreal has a decent core of young players, but the system isn’t bursting will high-end talent to replace departing vets, so improvement might require another significant move. Offers for Plekanec need to be entertained.

  13. DorvalTony says:

    They traded the wrong goalie.

    ——————————————————————
    ”First of all, you have to have continuity if you are to have success,” Pollock told the New York Times. ”I think it gets the manager and the players to become more attached to each other.” – Sam Pollock

    • krob1000 says:

      I too was shocked when they traded Cristobal. Oh well…no going back now Huet! Huet! Huet!

    • third generation haber says:

      When Halak proves that he can hold down a starting job (70 games per year) I’ll agree with u. But he doesn’t play for the habs anymore, so why do we keep on talking about him?????
      j.p. murray

    • CalgaryHab says:

      Halaks #’s would be far worse than Price’s with this Habs team in front of him. Besides – we can’t score!

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      Indeed. I think St. Louis Tony is correct. THey should have never traded Roy.

      Oh, wait, he was talking about Halak? Really?

      You mean the Platoon goalie who plays for the blues? You mean one of the best backups in the league? You mean the guy who can’t play more than three games in a row before he is gassed? The very same goalie who plays for a team who extended the OTHER GOALIE’S contract?

      Ya…. that is what this team needs. A goalie capable of starting 35-40 games who posts similar numbers to Price on a bad year (who has a worse team in front of him).

      Give it up man.

    • Balzac says:

      C’mon not fair to blame the goalie in a shutout loss. Impossible for a team to win a game if they cannot score a single goal. Price is not to blame on this one…at all

  14. timothy13 says:

    The Montreal Canadiens of the 2011/12 season making the playoffs, no way, are you out of your mind, this team as M. Boone stated, they are in 12th, deserve 15th and will not make 8th. Sure once in a while the team shows signs, sometimes strong signs of actually being a threat, like last Sunday night, but it is only a glimpse. I mean it is does not last and then they play a stinker the next game. The Habs have been shutout five times this year. Each year the number seems to be growing as the team gets worse. Time has proven the playoff run two years ago against Wash & Pitts was a fluke. The decision makers for the team make BAD decisions. Trade the best goalie the Habs have had since Roy and keep a netminder that is not consistent. This season Price is proving that he lacks passion. Why, he no longer steals wins. Too many soft goals Carey. Is the guy still partying? Something is not right with the guy. As I have always said BIG decisions need to be made to bring about a winner. In every aspect of the team and @ every level because they lack the drive, skill set, determination, ability to score, stop the opposition….instead they have become an embarrassment! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. HABZZZ says:

    Geoff Molson stated “As owners, we will be right there with management and the team, building and battling toward our next Stanley Cup.”

    I wish I still lived in Montreal so I could start a Real rally at the next home game. And instead of handing out little flags I would Present every fan a Paper bag with the habs logo on it and Gautiers name at the top. Mr Molson please just do the obvious and at least give us something to look forward to CAN GAUTHIER NOW !! After fourty years as a fan It was embarrassing to watch Carey “I dont give a dam Price” and the team play that game . Can we not start giving the rookies the rest of the year to get some practise and bring up a bunch of bulldogs to finish the season. See You all NEXT YEAR !!

    • third generation haber says:

      Many teams have achieved lower results than the habs will this year. They simply proceeded to draft high and continue to develop their assets, without resorting to stupid (Roy trade, Leclair trade, Kaberle trade) knee-jerk reactions, because they’re in low-key markets where they’re not surrounded by overly emotional fans with bags on their heads!!! One bad season does not a tragedy make. Let’s be sensible!
      j.p. murray

  16. aegyder says:

    It’s time to call a spade a spade. Mr. Price has let the team down at critical points too many times this year. Last night was a good example. 3 goals on 10 shots is not good goaltending and the other players are starting to play afraid. There is little hope for this team, this year and in the future, what with the number of long contracts to less than useful players.
    Go Impact Go!
    Aegyder

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Okay, let’s call a “spade a spade”. What was the critical point about last night? This is a 12th place team on its way down, not a team playing for something important. And since they scored no goals, none, zip, zilch, nada, even if he had stood on his head, so what? Ragging on Price is just plain stupid. Price is the best player on the team. He has stolen a number of games for the Habs this year, plays a huge number of games but, like everyone else, he isn’t perfect.Why on earth would any high draft pick want to come and play here when the fans savage you every time you aren’t everything they dreamed you would be, no matter how unrealistic those dreams may be? Save your venom for the forwards, who simply aren’t good enough to get’re done. NO goals equals NO wins, every single time.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Indeed lets. You don’t know what you’re talking about but it doesn’t appear to stop you. We got shut out in case you missed it.

    • ihabto says:

      Agreed. Price should never have allowed the second goal last night. He also should have scored a couple. If he could do that every night we wouldn’t be in this mess.

      What spade are you calling a spade? Sometimes I wish I had a club.

  17. third generation haber says:

    Blowing-up the team is not an option! Several teams have tanked in order to re-build through the draft (Washinton, Chicago, St. Louis, Philly, Edmonton) but only Pittsburgh tanked on-purpose, and that was due to bankruptcy!

    We should maintain our core (as Philly did) and move some excess baggage if possible. AK47 does not earn his pay on a reg. basis, Gill is too old for a rebuild, Kaberle because he has sucked for several years!!!!! Nokia, because Ryan white will more than fill his shoes. Campoli, because he has always sucked! Let’s bring in players who have yet to reach free agency.

    Gomez is the most untradeable player in the history of hockey, wake-up people! He will be burried in the minors because the cap hit from a buyout would be too damaging.

    By next year we could be back in the play-offs. How?
    1) Use F.A. dollars to bring in a stud D-man
    2) Acquire heart and soul players with size! (See: Cole, Gorges)
    3) Maintain young core: D.D., Patches, Eller, White, Emellin, Diaz, Webber, Subban, Blunden.
    4) Keep the right vets: Gio, Pleks, Gorges, Cole, Moen, Bourque.
    5) Maintain a 3 midgit limit on the team! (D.D, Gio, Pleks) Small players are great when they’re complemented by bigger guys.
    6) Develop our kids:
    Forwards:
    Leblanc, Kristo, Gallagher, Qualier, Nattinen, Avtsin, Archambault.
    D-men:
    Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis (having a break-out season), Nygren, etc.

    Ottawa, and Philly proved u can bounce back quickly from an off year without doing anything crazy to your line-up.
    Boston, Detroit, and N.J. proved u can be highly competitive without tanking. (Scouting/ player dev./ good management)
    Be sensible, and be patient.
    j.p. murray

  18. redgorf says:

    Never forget that first draft choice don’t always make out. I could name you dozens of failures. There’s a player on the caps that wants out he would love to be in mtl and he can score, all you do is baite the line with a few intl like CP OR PK OR MP,and so on, if you win 4-2 that’s O/K but losing2/0 3/0 most of the time ,gets to be long on the tooth.There are many above average goalers out there and good Dmen andOFmen to be had .

  19. sims says:

    totally disagree with the first goal being a good one. price was so deep in his crease he was basically on the goal line for that shot. he looked lazy on both of the first two goals

    im not for tanking but i am officially not upset that these guys will not make the playoffs this year. the second effort is never there in terms of getting to rebounds or fighting for the puck after turning it over. (except for cole…feel bad for the guy as he looks to give 110% every night)

  20. third generation haber says:

    I like what I see in Bourque, and to be honest with Cammi we were 1 midgit over the limit. Plus, we can’t afford to pay 6 mil (7 mil cap hit for the next 2 yrs) to a seemingly disinterested guy who rarely scores and doesn’t include defence in his job description. Give Bourque time and those bursts to the net will start to result in goals. (and half the cap hit!)

  21. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Washington played a crap game and still beat us 3-0. Pathetic. Gomez was our best player. Sad. Go Habs!

  22. Strummer says:

    Anyone know the “magic number” of losses before we’re done, mathematically-speaking?

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”
    -Dennis Miller

  23. G-Man says:

    Goals for avg: 2.54
    Goals Against: 2.74

    In a nutshell, the Habs season. Low scoring. Average to below average team defense.
    April can’t come fast enough.

  24. HardHabits says:

    The Habs will make the playoffs!!!!!!

    In 2015!!!

    • third generation haber says:

      I have to agree, but 90 points is still achieveable, and more importantly it seems that only 7 teams seem inteterested in making the playoffs this year in the east. (so many bad teams!) anything is possible, but let’s make some trades to re-tool (not tank) for next year.
      j.p. murray

  25. Chris says:

    Look, the difference between this season and last is not just that Kaberle isn’t Wisniewski.

    Everybody on this team, with the notable exception of Erik Cole, has been playing very inconsistently.

    Carey Price has been good this season, but he was absolutely lights out last season. His goals against average and save percentage are both slightly worse this season despite facing fewer shots than he did last year. His record in shootouts (1-6) is a combination of abysmal shooting by Habs forwards (17.4%, which is truly awful) and abysmal shootout goaltending by Price (50.0% SV%).

    The defence is playing slightly worse. While Hamrlik was much maligned, he gave the team 20+ minutes per night, often against the other teams’ best players, and helped sort things out. This year, we’re running with 3 unseasoned players (Emelin, Weber and Diaz)…this will pay long-term dividends, but has been painful over the short-term at times. Gill’s play has fallen off dramatically, and Subban is not playing at the same level as he was in the second half last season. There is still time, but the hole is getting deeper every day.

    At forward, things are really a mess. Eller, Desharnais, Moen and Cole have stepped up from last season, but the big guns (Gomez, Cammalleri, Gionta, and Plekanec) have all regressed due to injuries or slumps.

    The net result is that the defence is a little worse (2.51 goals against per game to 2.61 goals against per game), as is the offence (2.60 goals per game to 2.50 goals against per game). The Habs were a bubble team last season, and they’re a bubble team this season. Unfortunately, they are just on the wrong side of the bubble this year.

    • HardHabits says:

      The Habs bubble has burst. As for Price he has been average to mediocre. The team though has been worse both defensively and on offence.

      Time to to sell. Time for the brass to come out and say it. If Molson or Gauthier or anybody else comes out and says the Habs are still in it for the play-offs and have the team to win the Cup they should be publicly pilloried in the press.

      This is beyond stupid. Gionta and Gomez have to go. Markov should have never been signed. Price IMO should be traded for a 1st round pick to a tanking team this summer.

      I would like to see Gainey gone and all remnants of his disastrous rebuild after he let 11 UFA’s walk for nothing off the team.

      Price is not going to excel on this club because he is coddled here. He has been anointed to a position that he hasn’t earned.

      As long as Gainey is associated with management this team will be mediocre at best and possibly horrible for years to come.

      Well. I got my wish. Habs are tanking. And they will tank for the duration of the Gomez, Gionta, Markov and Kaberle contracts.

      The final nail in the coffin will be giving Price a ludicrous contract with a NTC thus sealing the fate of the team for years.

      I am not saying Price is bad. He can be elite. Not the way the Habs have been and are developing him. He has been pampered since the Habs signed him. It is the worst type of favouritism and quite frankly it is evident the players don’t like it.

      They gave up after Price’s 2nd goal. They don’t want to put in the effort for him because in the back of their minds he will let them down again.

      • Badwich says:

        Spot on Bro!

        Taberwitt

      • third generation haber says:

        Price has a long career ahead of him and shouldn’t be blamed for our current situation. With a lackluster team in-front of him and chaios following the team his game has understandably slumped. Trading him b4 he reached his full potential (3-4 years from now) would be a huge mistake! Especially for a “first round pick”! Many first round picks never establish a full-time job in the NHL.

        j.p. murray

      • NCRhabsfan says:

        “They don’t want to put in the effort for him because in the back of their minds he will let them down again.”

        Really? I wasn’t aware they were doing it “for him”. Have I wandered into one of those 1950s “win it for the gipper” movies? What are you smoking dude? No one “does it” for their goaltender! They all do it, or in the Habs case this season, don’t do it, for themselves and for each other. If what you’re saying is true, that the whole team gave up because Carey gave up a bad goal, then tanking isn’t enough. We need to get rid of every single member of the team, no exceptions. But that isn’t the case and you know it.

        What I suspect is closer to the truth is that this team knows it cannot win once it is down by two or three. I think the players are still trying hard, but deep down they know it isn’t happening for them. If you’re a Hab, when you look around the dressing room, who is the guy that you’re going to believe is the go-to guy, the guy that will not be denied, the guy that will always score the big goal. It’s a rhetorical question, the Habs don’t have that guy. Before a game, when they look around they may hope that Price is that guy, because he can and does steal games for them from time to time when they manage to score a goal or two. But once you’re down a couple, they all know they don’t have what it takes to come back.

        Slagging the best player on the team seems to me a sure way to discourage other good players from wanting to play here. Not sure, in a strategic sense, that it is such a good idea, however satisfying it may be at the time.

  26. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Ok, what’s next?

    How about:

    Play it out, work hard, lots of ice time for the younger players.

    Move Moen, Gill, AK, Weber, and Campoli by trade deadline.

    Top 5 pick and a few extras based on deadline moves.

    This season ensures $$ savings on Price / PK contracts.

    GM change before draft day.

    Louis Leblanc up for keeps next season.

    Gallagher, Bournival, Beaulieu, Kristo, Tinordi, Holland, Pateryn, Ellis, all with the Dogs next season.

    CBA expires = Gomez bought out.

    Markov ready to go next season.

    No wishing on 6’6″ 120 point Centres, but brighter days ahead, for sure.

    • Strummer says:

      I agree with everything except AK, although Moen could be useful next season at a reasonable cap hit.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”
      -Dennis Miller

  27. Habsman1970 says:

    This pretty much sums up the game / team :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARITnC80VhE

    ONCE A HAB, FOREVER A HAB!!!

  28. petefleet says:

    I try to look at the positives. The team is bigger up front. The draft pick this June will be higher. Carey playing like he did last night will make him cheaper to sign. I can go back to the basic Satellite package (no TSN2 or RDS) sooner this year, saving me money. It’s all good.

    ******************************************
    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

    ***Habs Forever***

  29. Marcusman says:

    And while we’re all in a bad mood…I’m done with TSN…I’m watching RDS from here on in. Jim Hughson totally insulted every MTL fan last night. Max had clearly straddled the line and the ref called offside. Clearly blew the call and the fans let him know the moment he blew the whistle and when they saw the replay.

    His observation…”Oh ya not only are the 21 thousand in attendance the coach but they are part time linesmen as well”

    Bite me buddy… the ref made a crap call on the home team. Montreal is the BIRTH PLACE OF HOCKEY.. we have the most knowledgeable fans on the PLANET. We’re not whining…we’re not winning and he made a crap call and it cost us ……again.

    I’m not a “The refs cost us the game type” but the officiating this year has been more than suspect.

    • Mike Boone says:

      You mean Gord Miller

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist
      mboone@montrealgazette.com

      • Marcusman says:

        ya Miller…he could of gone in some many directions with that. Instead he makes us out to be babies and not into the game. Some teams in the league play to more seats than fans.. those fans haven’t a clue what the blue line is for.

    • RGM says:

      You’re going to find yourself watching games on mute because I’ve heard just about every single announcer who has ever called a hockey game use some variant of that cliche. “21,000 referees in the seats call a penalty, the two on the ice don’t.” That sort of thing. Seriously, if you find that to be so offensive to your sensibilities as a partisan, you’re going to need to develop a thicker skin.

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

    • krob1000 says:

      That kind of things is said all of the time…BUT…..I am ina greeance with last night…it was the way he said it…you could tell it was a direct shot at Motnreal in particular and not a home crowd. I remember at the time thinking that isn;t like Gord Miller…..and then I remmeber thinking about how the Toronto Sports Network has no problemsaying something like that about the Habs but never about Toronto despite Ron Wilson and BRian Burke’s every move being

  30. JayBee says:

    So the team doesn’t score a goal and we blame the goalie? Of course Price let in a softie. But the team can’t score. Puts a lot of pressure on your goalie when he has to be super human in order to have a chance at winning? 0 for 7 on the PP including a 6 minute PP. 5 on 4 where 2 fowards lost this stick and can’t even get a shot on goal?

    This team has 14 games where they have scored 1 goal or less. shutout 5 times.

    Habs lack finish and it’s been like this for a long, long time. But lets blame the goalie!

    PS: Price is the best passer on the team. Should use him on the PP

    • HardHabits says:

      Price has been average to mediocre this season. The Habs offense and defense has been worse. Anybody who thinks Price should be given 10 million per year needs to get their head checked.

      Look at St. Louis. When Halak was playing crap they had no problem playing Elliot. Not the Habs. Price is Gainey’s little golden boy. I can’t wait to see Cunneyworth start going with Budaj thus sealing his fate as we see Gainey come behind the bench for a 3rd time.

      Habs should start drafting goalies soon.

  31. xaverian001 says:

    You know it’s bad when you watch American Idol instead of the Habs game … glad I did though … check out Brittany Kerr!… oh man I hope their lottery pick isn’t as big a bust as hers.

  32. smiler2729 says:

    Ho hum, another midweek no-show by the Habs, fear not, they’ll make the playoffs…

    Oh who am I kidding, they suck, it’s over for this season, and probably next if ownership won’t budge on Goats.

    This team needs an enema…

    ___________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam

  33. Marcusman says:

    Just watched the Bourque fight from last night….If that performance and courage couldn’t spark the Habs then maybe we deserve our fate. Had his shot only gone in instead of the hitting the post, we’d all be a little happier this morning. That would of made it 2-1 and their goalie wouldn’t be feeling unbeatable. We would of won 3-2….

  34. RGM says:

    #FailForNail or #BlowForGrigorenko ?

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

  35. RGM says:

    One of the CTV guys, Brian Wilde I think it was, had a really good tweet last night after the game regarding Gauthier. Because I’m not limited to 140 characters (maybe I should be?) I’ll re-post what he said here in expanded form.
    Gauthier has made 4 great moves (Wilde’s word, not necessarily mine): the Cole signing, the Bourque trade, the Gorges signing, and the Eller trade.
    Gauthier has also made 3 moves/non-moves that are fireable offences: Markov signing, Gomez still being on the team, and the Kaberle trade which has him for 2 more years.

    Now, while we can debate the merits of the first category, I don’t at all disagree with the labels attached to the second.
    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

    • pat s says:

      i hope you are being sarcastic b/c gauthier has no clue what he is doing–he doesn’t know whether to go left or right–he should be replaced asap-he and master gainey should be fired asap

  36. BLACK ICE says:

    Last night in the post game interview I wanted to hear Carey Price say ” I need to be better. I have to be better”

    When a Player is not playing the way he should we need to hear it from them!

    • Bill J says:

      The last guy to express that type of sentiment, was traded to CGY for Bourque.

      I don’t disagree, just suggesting why players may not say that type of thing.

      But scoring a few goals would help as well.


      If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

      Go Habs Go!

  37. HabFanSince72 says:

    Is there a player on our roster we can trade for a #1?

    I would still target Colorado’s #1, which now belongs to Washington. The Caps having two picks means they can give one up in order to make a cup run. Colorado is currently picking 13th but I expect them to slip in the standings.

    Who could we send their way for that pick?

    Maybe Plex, but we don’t want to trade him.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • odber says:

      The fans deserve a hell of alot better than they got last night ,keep the young talent and get rid of the rest ,by whatever means nesscesscary,,,,kostitsyn,s at the top of my list,,,plays when he wants to,,lots of talent and no heart,,,,he,s had enough chances,,time for him to go…

    • Vladdy Mondavi says:

      It all depends on the market.

      If a lot of teams are vying for a big D, PK specialist, but there aren’t many available… then maybe Hal Gill goes for a high round draft pick. Unlikely, I know, but it’s just an example that there is no set standard until the market is established (buyers, sellers, injuries, etc…).

      In my opinion, Kostitsyn is the Habs most moveable asset that would fetch the best return.

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

  38. JF says:

    Markov is not skating yet, and his return is now expected to be after Ryan White’s. I fully expect to hear sometime in February that there’s been another setback. I don’t expect him to play again this season – perhaps never. But unless he retires, the contract remains on the books, so we could face the same mess next season.

  39. HabsFansince49 says:

    It’s kind of comical reading the references to the Habs tanking and getting first draft pick. Do you really expect Pierre Gauthier to make a good choice?
    Some commentators on this site may react by showing Gauthier’s good decisions – Cole and perhaps Bourque. Big deal! A good manager is expected to make good decisions. It’s the norm. But not in Montreal where Gainey (imagine thinking that small guys were the wave of the future in the NHL?) and now Gauthier has managed to sink this team into oblivion.

  40. Captain aHab says:

    I think guys know there are trades coming that will signal the end of the season and they’re playing like it. From the sound of it Gomez played well – he wants out.

    Did I read correctly that the Habs might be considering John Ferguson Jr. as a GM? If that happens, I’m becoming a Bruins fan. They might as well keep Gauthier instead of doing that.

  41. Captain aHab says:

    Well I ended up listening to the game in the background while doing something else….pretty good decision.

  42. The Cat says:

    I’m still surprised Price didnt get one of the 3 stars last night.

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

  43. G-Man says:

    Alas, Don McLean

    A long, long time ago
    I can still remember how
    Those Habs used to make me smile
    And I knew if I had my chance
    That I could make these lyrics dance
    And then Hab fans would be happy for a while.
    But then a cold night in January
    The Caps were being sanguinary
    Bad news for coach Cunnyworth
    The Caps goalie was Neuvirth.
    I can’t remember if I cried
    When I read about his wounded pride
    But something touched me deep inside
    The day the hope for Stanley died

    So…

    [Chorus]
    Bye, bye to the Stanley Cup Drive
    Watched the Habs drive me crazy; I’d drink until dry
    Watching les boys score no goals after many tries
    Thinkin’ this’ll be the day that they score
    C’mon guys; one more.

  44. Bad Digestion says:

    It’s games like these that reminds you never to sign a goalie to long term/expensive contract. I hope they sign Price for 4-5 year MAX, at no more then 4.5/5 million a year.

  45. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    “the Rangers have been the Canadiens’ bitches at the Bell Centre.”

    really boone?

    • Croz38 says:

      Ok, things aren’t that bad.
      Sure, we won’t make the playoffs this year. i’ve accepted it. Lets look at the positive points though; 1. Management has realized we need to get bigger and tougher, and will make moves accordingly so we’re not pushed around like we have been for years. 2. This is a strong draft year. With the way we are playing now, and with us more than likely trading away more than a few players before deadline and bringing up players from Hamilton, we are likely to get a high draft spot, at least top 10, probably closer to top 5. 3. New management on the way. I’m sure most of us realize that Gauthier has worn out his welcome. My only fear on this one is that Gauthier will do more damage before he gets his walking papers, and also fear getting a half wit like Pierre McGuire or Ferguson as a replacement.
      Its a tough time to be a Habs fan, but things will get better. We don’t need a full rebuild either, I see us potentially being competitive again next year. If not, I’ll be drinking more beer than ever during games to dull the pain.

    • Marcusman says:

      Seriously Mr. Boone my 9 year reads this page…can you give me a tip on how to explain the expression “being someone’s bitch” to a nine year old? I’m having trouble enough explaining why we’re 12% on the power or why daddy drinks so much during the games.

      Class up …

      • RGM says:

        Ha!

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

      • Marcus T says:

        Perhaps you should take this opportunity to explain the use of slang to your kid. Before he finds out about it on the schoolyard, or on another internet site?

        Or if you are so worried about what your kid is reading, why don’t you proof read it first?

        Seriously.

        • Marcusman says:

          Great suggestion…I’ll take the time to proof read his internet surfing. Didn’t think Hockey inside and out was about slang. Thought it was about hockey and the Habs. And it wouldn’t be proof reading it would pre-screening had I had the chance to proof read Mr. Boone’s article i would of suggested a metaphor that didn’t include a curse word that had very submissive sexual overtone that when i was nine would of had the editor of the paper fired.

          Maybe I just long for time when people were polite and the Habs were 26% on the powerplay.

          • RGM says:

            You’ve been here since last March and think this is the first time Boone’s used such a term? Come on, man.

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

      • Mike Boone says:

        You’re right. I was tired and depressed. My customarily high standards lapsed.

        Mike Boone
        Hockey Inside/Out blogger
        Gazette City columnist
        mboone@montrealgazette.com

  46. Jdub1985 says:

    PS

    Nice to see the Habs win their first hockey fight in 2 years … at least that’s something to cheer about

  47. Jdub1985 says:

    This is why I am so glad I live in Lob City

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPJ9sxSMkM4

    Imagine expecting to witness a Lars Eller SO goal every 5 minutes of every game…

  48. Rad says:

    Michael Cammalleri was right about one thing. The winning spirit is not there in this edition of the Montreal Canadiens. I don’t blame the players, I blame management for icing a small team that got physically beaten up most nights, until their spirit broke.

    So now after 2 years of this merciless pounding, The Goat says the Habs need to get bigger, and he runs out and gets Rene Bourque. Too little, too late: The Goat must go.

    NHL Hockey is a brutal and violent sport. Al Purdy called it a mix of ballet and murder. The Habs did fine with the ballet, but not with the murder. Management left them out to dry. All responsibility for this dismal season rests on management.

  49. j2w4habs25 says:

    I was ever so mad we didnt win this game – my throat was sore and dry – thats how upset I was. I knew I had to get out of the house and take a ride. I am glad I did.

    I kinda gave up in making the playoffs. Kinda gave up in watching “asif me” ahaha

    Carey Price #31

  50. A. Berke says:

    I wonder if any one is left in Habsworld who can’t still see the writing on the wall?

    Mr. Molson? anyone?
    It’s about high time to make a wholesale change in the management methinks.

    Ali B.

  51. BrianSkrudland says:

    This game killed my rum buzz. I have been a life-long Habs fan and long-time follower of this site. My expectations this season were minimal, and as such, I decided to attempt to ignore the standings and focus on the play of our team. Thanks to man of you for reminding me how bad our boys are doing in the East!

    I will continue to support the guys that compete even if they fall short of expectations, but I need to see an effort every single shift on every single night.

    Give me Saku on his first night against Philly as a rookie – he was a beast that wouldn’t even back down to the Big E. Give me Corson pounding the hell out of Domi at the Forum when I was a kid. Give me Skrudland, Walter and Carbo battling on every shift they ever played wearing the CH.

    I’ll take Pleks too. A bad year in 2012? Deal with it you doubters; I’ll take him. Eller’s growing pains? I’ll take him too. Cole is a beast that doesn’t quit, no matter what the score? He’s good on my team.

    I don’t blame the tanking mentality of some fans. I also support the thought of others, that the boys keep battling.

    My young son has been sucked into this Habs mess, as many of us have as impressionable kids. He won a Cammalleri jersey less than a week prior to the big trade. Please don’t let him know about the deal!

    Battling is all we can ask of this team. It makes for great hockey. The rally against the Rangers from a 5-0 deficit a few years back still brings about strong emotions in both my Father and myself. That type of fight is what inspires me to be a Habs fan. Great hockey and great pride.

    Do I want to see sensible trades made by another Habs GM? Hell, yes!

    Do I recommend that other HIO posters that are suddenly single as a result of the insane shenanigans of nut-job ex-wives enjoy the companionship and buck-wild nature of young waitresses? Hell, yes!!!!! If I was American, I’d shout ‘USA!!! USA!!!”

    Damn rum!

  52. JayK-47 says:

    Habs are 10 points away from a playoff berth, BUT……..

    ONLY 5 POINTS FROM THE #2 PICK!!!

    TANK! TANK! TANK! TANK!

    MTL 46GP for 42
    NYI 44GP for 40
    TB 45GP for 40
    CAR 48GP for 40
    EDM 45GP for 38
    ANA 44GP for 37
    CBJ 45GP for 31

    Seriously, if your kid is kinda, uh… I’ll just say it, “stupid” wouldn’t you steer him to a career he could handle instead of rocket science?

  53. Rogie Protégée says:

    Here’s an example of something worth reading:

    http://www.thereuschblog.com/?p=12950

    Some of us grew up in an era – when the boards were all white; the game was just as clean (players respected each other) and yer Habs (my friends), brought home the cup with a great degree of regularity!

    • Sweeeny says:

      Correct – when there were 6 teams (even the Leafs won regularly) & the Habs had first refusal on all QC players – 3/4 first round draft picks EVERY year,. The big change is that hockey is now a business and the #1 company in any industry is the one with the best management. I don’t understand why Montreal, the team with most money has the worst management. Find the best management possible at any cost – pay GM & Coach 5 & 8 mil each & take your pick. Good management would not have Gomez & Kab & ________ , _______; we’d have saved a fortune, have plenty of CAP space, flourishing draft picks AND a great team. Last I looked you can pay the management anything & not affect squat other than results. Forget he language issue (do you really think the fans would be any happier with any French speaking coach????) – go get the best, it makes good business sense.

      • Chris says:

        The first refusal on all Quebec players was a non-issue, because it only extended to the draft. The bigger contribution was that you could sign kids (sometimes as young as 13 or 14 years old) to development contracts that locked them up for your franchise.

        The fact that Montreal had the most extensive scouting network in Quebec is understandable and did lead to an almost exclusive lock on Quebec players. But there was nothing stopping the Bruins, for example, from trying to sign Jean Beliveau or Bernie Geoffrion before the Habs did.

  54. Rogie Protégée says:

    Interesting how you say ” the present kinda sucks” Mike when all you sports media types here on HIO and the Gazette spend far too much time in the future – calculating how many games we need to win this week , all this crap about four point games … %’s, how many games we gotta win (ad nauseum ).

    Why don’t you guys just get back to “reporting” the facts on what happens on a given night like Pat Hickey does and leave it at that. Personally, I’m getting fed up about your collective whining.

    You guys ( and a lot of others on this site) simply dwell on the negatives – when in actuality, there are a lot of positives …

    Like this …

    http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/108928

    I’m not a big advocate for fighting but it’s a necessary evil in a sense – for teams to know that there are some guys that go on the Habs. Cole, Paciorretti, Desharnais ..Eller, Emelin … There’s a lot to be excited about.

    I’ll choose to focus on the positives, knowing that the Habs will go on a bit of a run – and it won’t take too much of a streak to move up to where we need to be …

    There’s still a full half season left.

    SIGNATURE:

    Some of us grew up in an era – when the boards were all white; the game was just as clean (players respected each other) and yer Habs (my friends), brought home the cup with a great degree of regularity!

    • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

      stop complaining! and just be

    • RGM says:

      Oh wow, one of our players won a fight. That is some kinda wonderful thing to hang on to and cherish when we want to accentuate the positives, isn’t it? One of our players won a pointless and archaic-NHL-code-based fight 1:15 into a game that the team lost 3-0 in what was a 4-point game against a team that they are chasing for a playoff spot. Yippity-skippity!

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

  55. The Dude says:

    Lets just put a Nail Yakupov in the tank and see what happens….Habs and Sabre’s are in big doo doo and need to shake stuff up…I propose a trade /switch…Carey Price and P.K. Subban for Tyler Myers and Ryan Miller…it’s a win win !

  56. Seps says:

    Hey, good news out of tonight:

    1. Anaheim’s hot, they will pass us very soon
    2. We are 2 points out of dead last in the east
    3. The islanders have also been hot of late (believe it or not)

    This is all good news because very soon we will be in the top 5 picks which means yes, we should have a shot at #1 come the draft lottery. We will never get to #1 any other way because Columbus is just so bad.

    • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

      our last top 5 pick was Carey.

    • viper says:

      speaking of columbus seps what the chances of getting nash

      • Seps says:

        Nash, I’d say slim to none. He’s an untouchable on Columbus and he has a no-movement clause thru 2014-15, and a no-trade clause thru 2017-18. Hypothetically speaking however, if he was available, we’d have to give up alot because he’s that whole team. I’d be thinking the deal would include something like Price (a proven starter) Eller 2nd for a Steve Mason (who hasn’t been able to handle the reins in Columbus) and Rick Nash. That trade actually doesn’t seem too bad to me, but we’d be taking a big gamble on Mason.

        #failfornail

  57. SPATS says:

    3 game winning streak heading into the all star break and we’ll all be back on board. Start with playing Budaj on thursday and keep him in until he loses. Get some mo, sneak in and take out the B’s in the first round. Let Carey rest, he’ll bounce back after Ottawa. Would sure make a great movie if they can pull it off. The power of positive thinking

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

    • Rad says:

      What a lot of people keep missing is that it’s not just a question of a 5-game winning streak. On top of that, at the same time, the other teams ahead of you would have to go on a 5-game losing streak in order for your team to make up those 10 points. How likely is that? And even if 1 or 2 teams take a dive, would the other 5 teams also in the fight for the final playoff spot do so at the same time?

      Highly unlikely. Hence the current 10-15% probability of making the playoffs. If we lose to Toronto on Saturday night, that probability goes down to single digits.

    • Lizardking89 says:

      This team is not making the playoffs…no way…no chance in hell so you might as well get used to that fact now. I’ve seen some pretty bad Habs teams before but this one takes the cake,

      • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

        all this talk about winning .700 of their games. Its whack, every year a dark horse squeezes in. Last year in NJ that was so sick, fell short, but amazing for the fans and gave the, reason to get excited, maybe the habs can go on a run, and other teams fall off and our stars can allign if the other teams stars drop out of their line-up.

  58. sampson12 says:

    Amen.

    For the first time in my life I’m almost hoping that they keep losing so we can lock up a solid draft pick. My focus is certainly shifting from the present to the future. I just wanna win and I am young so I can wait for it.

  59. Corson27 says:

    Sign over the Bell Center.

    Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

  60. HardHabits says:

    It is not get rid of. If a team wants to trade something of value like a pick and/or a prospect it would be worth pursuing.


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