About last night …

Max
So what did we learn from the Canadiens’ ridiculously easy 5-2 stomping of the punchless Tampa Bay Lightning?
Well, I don’t think anyone left the Bell Centre exultantly proclaiming “I have seen the future, and its name is Gabriel Dumont!”

The Hamilton call-up was actually pretty good.

And Dumont’s line – with Brad Staubitz and Aaron Palushaj – drew praise from Randy Cunneyworth for their energy and physical play.

In only 10:11 of ice time, Staubitz had five hits to lead both teams. Palushaj had three shots on goal, and Dumont had a few hits.

So we learned the competition could be fierce for fourth-line spots at training camp in September.

And we learned the David Desharnais line is pretty darn good.

But we knew that already.

Pacioretty snapped an 11-game drought with two goals. Erik Cole bagged a pair to raise his career best total to 34 – while raising his Take that, Jacques Martin power-play total to 11. Desharnais, the undersized and undrafted free agent who has overachieved at every level of  hockey, has 44 assists and 60 points.

All three linemates have more points than the 57 with which Tomas Plekanec led the team a year ago.

But when asked whether a game like this possibly showed what the Canadiens can accomplish next season, Cole struck a note of caution.

“It will be a completely different year,” he said. “Who knows what changes are coming. Players have to focus on having a good off-season and coming to camp prepared.”

I’m with Cole.

A win is nice for Bell Centre fans who have seen too many losses. But Tampa Bay sucked out loud and did not represent anything that could be construed as a measuring stick opponent.

The Lightning had 16 shots on goal, of which Maurice Richard Trophy lock Steven Stamkos had four. J.T. Brown, who won’t win any trophies, had three.

Eight Tampa Bay skaters had no SoG. Vincent Lecavalier had one – and he’d have had none were it not for the generosity of Peter Budaj, who fed Lecavalier an on-the-tape pass for TB’s first goal.

Lightning goaltender Sebastien Caron began this season – and played 49 games – for the Iserlohn Roosters of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.

The Roosters? Are you kidding me?

(Insert cock joke here.)

Pressbox neighbour Arpon Basu came up with a slogan for Caron’s German league team: “You have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat the Roosters.”

So beating Caron five times on 25 shots wasn’t exactly a display of awe-inspiring offensive prowess by your Montreal the crappy D corps in front of the Rooster ran around like chickens with their heads cut off.

How the heck did this Tampa Bay team take Boston to seven games in the Eastern Conference final last season?

I suspect a sterner test awaits the Canadiens Thursday evening in Carolina.

If they’re going to retain their shot at a Top % lottery draft pick, the Canadiens have to let down their socks and lose to the Hurricanes.

The lower end of the standings is getting too tight. The Canadiens can overtake the Islanders, Toronto and Anaheim – which would push them above the league’s bottom five.

Saturday night’s visit by the Leafs could be fraught with draft position significance.

Never mind Olé-Olé.

How about lay ladies, lay.

• P.K. Subban played an astonishing 27:17 in a game the Canadiens won easily. His increased workload was because Andrei Markov played 14:27 – and only 10:33 at even strength. Both numbers were team lows.

• Josh Gorges blocked three more shots. Frédéric St. Denis, who played 15:36 and didn’t screw anything up, blocked four.

• DD went 12-3 on faceoffs. Lars Eller was 9-3.

• Tomas Plekanec’s two assists gave him 36  – one more than last season with two games to go. It’s impressive when you consider Pleks’s list of linemates.

46 Comments

  1. VintageFan says:

    Looks like St. Denis has made Weber irrelevant

    what goes around comes around

  2. RetroMikey says:

    All I have to say is………………………….

    TANK I SAY! TANK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  3. Eric37 says:

    Some talk on the thread earlier about Arpon Basu.

    I definitely miss the daily Hab-It. Between Basu and Boone we had the best insight into the Canadiens we could get.

    Happy that he’s got a nice job with NHL.com, but miss the insight and indepth analysis about the team on the Hab-It.

    —————————————————-

    To quote the great Carey Price: “Chill out.”

    E.

  4. BeachHabFan says:

    So basically we can count on two teams staring at the puck and not wanting to touch it on Saturday? Winning team loses, with Budaj vs. whoever Burkie signs on the way in from the bar. May as well book that colonoscopy I’ve been putting off..

  5. rated_R says:

    BJ why are you re-posting your comments?!

  6. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Tone it down a bit Gumper – this is a family friendly site.

  7. LafleurGuy says:

    Small note. Jacques M.’s 13-12-7 record would have projected out to an 84 point season over the 82 game span, not good enough to make the playoffs, and a draft position at about eighth instead of the current third.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  8. 69HABS says:

    It will be a relief knowing that Booodaj will play 30 games next season to give Price a rest.

  9. BJ says:

    Here is a Brisson story. I was covering a game as a photographer in LA during the 1986-87 season could have been 87-88. In any case after the game I met Pat Brisson outside the Kings dressing room and we chatted in French and spoke about the Hull Olympiques and small talk. I remember asking him what he was doing and he told me he was staying with Luc Robitaille and trying to get his life together. He told me he was washing Luc’s car/cars? and other small tasks on his behalf. He wanted to make it in LA. Quite a change from where he’s at now. So anyone with that kind of vision and courage to make it happen, would be a welcome candidate in Montreal.

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Interesting info. Personal data can be embarrassing but not in this case. Shows how friendships in youth are a priceless entity.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • ReHabs says:

      Candidate yes, but why would he leave his job for the Habs… Wouldn’t be for money that’s for sure.. I think he makes 10 times the money he would as the habs GM…

      kbinding

  10. HabFanSince72 says:

    I’ve figured it out.

    The key to Habs success is the other team not showing up.

    When the other team doesn’t try we’re not bad. Probably above .500.

    It’s when the other team has a mind to win the game that we have problems.

    Something to work on for next year.


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

  11. BJ says:

    Maybe Kirk will do us a favor tonight. Having said that there are at least 6-7 excellent choices in the draft. Here is where we stand with Columbus having 1st pick overall. One Montreal loss gives us a bottom 3 finish. Tonight should gives us a better idea. Hopefully it does not boil down to our last game vs the Leafs:

    Toronto: 78 points and 2 games left
    THU APR 5, 2012 Tampa Bay @ Toronto
    SAT APR 7, 2012 Toronto @ Montreal

    Anaheim: 78 points and 2 games left
    THU APR 5, 2012 Anaheim @ Edmonton
    SAT APR 7, 2012 Anaheim @ Calgary

    New York Islanders: 77 points and 2 games left
    THU APR 5, 2012 Winnipeg @ NYI
    SAT APR 7, 2012 NYI @ Columbus

    Montreal: 75 points and 3 games left
    THU APR 5, 2012 Montreal @ Carolina
    SAT APR 7, 2012 Toronto @ Montreal

    Edmonton: 73 points and 2 games left (3 more wins than Montreal)
    THU APR 5, 2012 Anaheim @ Edmonton
    SAT APR 7, 2012 Edmonton @ Vancouver

    • Marc10 says:

      All we need to do is to tweak the ice time…

      Double shift Eller and Bourque.
      Play Campoli like you would PK.
      Put White back on with Pleks.

      And then just pray the DD line doesn’t win the game all by themselves…

      Done.

  12. Cal says:

    Habs still in 3rd. You can’t worry over things you have no control over.So, get off your knees and face reality. It isn’t that bad.

  13. Un Canadien errant says:

    Mr. Boone, is it necessary to label Erik Cole’s efforts and PP goals as a FU to Jacques Martin? Is there really that much animosity in their relationship? How about we characterize it as a thumbing of his nose at Mr. Martin? If we ratchet it up to FU, what’s left for Brad Marchand and Mike Milbury?

    While Jacques Martin had very set ideas on how to lead his team and a few foibles, he was at bottom a capable, decent man who worked hard to achieve results. I’m not sure he needs to be demonized for his coaching stint. That’s reserved for Mario Tremblay, Réjean Houle, Irving Grundman, ….

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • VancouverHab says:

      I agree that our Mr. Boone misses the mark here. It’s just as plausible that JM’s treatment of Cole was the cause of the player’s subsequent success on the PP.

      It would be what is known in hockey circles as “coaching”. A certain Scotty somebody or other for instance was notorious for the same kind of head-game….

      • matt jordan says:

        Ya, so as the Canadiens tumbled out of the gate into last place, JM’s “coaching” put Erik Cole on the bench in favour of Darche.

        Nice talent evaluation, real good coaching.

        • VancouverHab says:

          Woah: JM had this miserable lineup playing winning hockey — look at his record the 20 games before he was fired and replaced by the Titanic of NHL coaches who has dropped us ….glugglug …to the near bottom.

          • boonie says:

            Not to quibble, but 13-12-7, Martin’s record this season is not a winning record in today’s NHL. With  post-lock-out OTLs, the average winning percent is .596. Jacques was well below this threshold and outside the 16 team Eastern Conference playoff bubble when Gauthier fired him.

            His record compared with randy’s shows a team approach can trump riding stars if you’re looking for boring play for marginally better yet still unacceptable results.

    • shootdapuck says:

      Normand,

      The treatment of Cole by JM was plain arrogant and stupid but the treatment received by all other players with less that 5 years in the league was abhorrent!

      JM threw sticks and stones to a lady reporter who dared question his non use of Cole on the PP and was subsequently proved wrong by career stats and by Cole’s PP performance this season.

      JM reaps exactly what he sowed!

      BTW what is left for Marchand, Milbury etal?

      Consider maybe MFU! Which could be interpreted as Mega, Multi, Moronic or something else.

      Any comparisons made between Scotty Bowman and JM are moot as soon as success at the NHL level is contemplated.

      Mismatch of the century!

      Bowman had tangeable success in Montreal, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Buffalo and missed the playoffs only once in his career. He led a sad sack expansion team in St Louis to the finals in consecutive years.

      Can JM even come close? One Stanley Cup final in Ottawa and nada in Florida and St Louis. With zero Stanley Cups as coach or GM.

      =================================================
      The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

      “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
      “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”

      • HardHabits says:

        JM never made it to the finals. Bryan Murray was coach when Ottawa lost to Anaheim.

        • shootdapuck says:

          Absolutely, JM was shown the door before Ottawa got into the Cup final.

          =================================================
          The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

          “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
          “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”

  14. frankcasting says:

    This notion people have of tanking is so ridiculous, it goes against the fibre of every high-octane jock and coach and gm in any NHL building.

    We had a crappy year, we’ll get a good pick, if we’re skilled, we can maybe move up a notch with a deal.

    As a Habs fan and ex-Montrealer in Toronto, I would love to see us tank them on Saturday night, they were rubbing my nose in it pretty good a few weeks ago. Some things are worth it.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  15. Un Canadien errant says:

    The Canadiens’ first line had cooled off somewhat in the last few games, with their production dampened if not their effort and their enthusiasm, but exploded back into form with an eight point night, keying the win against an admittedly defensively-poor Lightning lineup.

    The Canadiens knew they couldn’t rely on Carey Price and probably thought they needed to create chances and score more than a couple to have a chance to win. And this was before the trusty backup Peter Budaj gift-wrapped a goal for Vincent Lecavalier. As usual though, the only dangerous combo was the Desharnais line, with some flashes from Tomas Plekanec and Louis Leblanc.

    Alexei Emelin scored a nice goal on a sneak in from the blueline, and on a nice feed from David Desharnais. It was nice to see him celebrate with his teammates and give props to David. He is not as spectacular with his open-ice hits as he was in the middle of the season, some speculate that he may be tired in his first 80 game season, but this goal and his overall performance augur well for next season. His increased familiarity with the league and his new city and teammates should lead to an improvement in play, especially if he is paired with a healthy Andrei Markov. We can count on Alexei as a solution to one of the Canadiens problems next season, as opposed to being a question mark.

    We saw less of Ryan Malone in the game than we have this season, and it could be happenstance, but some will nod sagely that it is the result of the Brad Staubitz effect, which incited Mr. Malone to take a moment or two of sober reflection before trying to decapitate another Canadien. It’s detrimental to the NHL that it allows itself to be steered in that direction by the Brian Burkes of the world and the Boston Bruins, resulting in a situation where the worst player on the Canadiens becomes one of its more valuable members.

    I noticed after Max Pacioretty’s second goal, on the subsequent shift, that both Tomas Plekanec and René Bourque had an opportunity to go after a loose puck to create at least an odd-man rush if not a breakaway, but they both kind of looked at each other and hesitated as to who would go for the puck along the boards and who would streak to the net, in a situation reminiscent of a second baseman and a first baseman on the diamond waiting for a pop fly to come down and each deferring to each other, only to see it drop to the turf between them. The result of our play is that both veered toward the puck, then away from the puck, in unison, before Tomas went for it and René headed for the net, for what ultimately turned into a broken play. So not too much to make of this, except for the obvious observation that these two players may have a future together, but as of now have very little chemistry and on-ice communication. Again, I hope that over the summer René gets more settled in Montréal, as well as with his teammates, and that on top of all the training he’ll do, he’ll have time to get his head on straight and get over the trade and the suspension and rebound next season. We need him to be the big tough winger who pots goals and dishes out hits and who is hard to play against, as Mario Tremblay remembers him from the days when he coached at Minnesota and Mr. Bourque played in Chicago.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  16. jedimyrmidon says:

    Do you guys think Nathan Beaulieu will be better than Jake Gardiner? I believe both were chosen at 17th overall in their respective draft years, and both are labelled as mobile, puck-moving defensemen.

    • GrimJim says:

      I can’t find the ISS or Central Scouting rankings for 2008, so take this with a grain of salt, but TSN ranked Gardiner 21st in 2008 and they ranked Beaulieu 11th in 2011. Central Scouting had Beaulieu ranked at 5th BTW

  17. Marc10 says:

    I think they’ll lose tomorrow. Kirk will make sure that happens.

  18. Corson27 says:

    Why is PK playing 27 minutes, what purpose does this serve at this time, RC trying to add some wins to his resume I guess.

  19. ProHabs says:

    Find Markov a seat next to Price for the next two games and shut him down for the season. Let him spend the summer getting ready for next October when we really need him.

    • Duracell3 says:

      I agree. Not point in letting this guy get hurt.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      There is a big difference between Andrei Markov’s situation and Carey Price’s. Carey is injured and cannot play. Andrei is not injured, just rusty and needing time and minutes to shake off that rust and learn to trust the knee again, regain the proprioception in the joint by having to perform at game speed.

      Nothing will be gained by sitting him down, unless he complains of pain or swelling in his kneed. As of now, he’s healthy and cleared to play by doctors, let’s take advantage of these meaningless games to get his confidence and timing back.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  20. bellcentre hotdog says:

    Costly win.

    That win puts the Habs 2 points clear of Edmonton, 2 points behind the Islanders, and just 3 points back of both Anaheim and the Leafs … all teams with 2 games left to play.

    This would be a terrible time for a 3 game win streak.

    The Canadiens still have something meaningful to play for this season:
    the lottery pick. They better not blow it.

  21. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I am surprised mostly with all the options of candidates out there for Montreal’s new GM, considering the prerequisites necessary to the Montreal market …bilingual, …Francophone, …Quebec-born …highly qualified
    …there are many options each with unique skill-sets and experience
    …I am surprised with the high interest I sense from those candidates to take-on the unique challenges of being a GM in Montreal
    …it says a lot how special the Canadiens remain in the hearts of many toiling for other NHL teams, otherwise they would be all be saying ‘thanks, but no thanks’
    …this is such an important opportunity to make ‘the right decision’ …critical for Our future …critical ‘to get it right’
    …Brisebois was, to Me, the most logical choice until I heard that Pat Brisson was crazy enough to ‘listen’ and consider the possibility …Brisson as Habs’ GM would have so many extra ‘intangibles’ that Brisebois (though an excellent choice himself) can not offer
    …this summer, with new Coaching staff, free agents, high draft pick, and GM and wildly diverging opinions on what is right re-imaging our hockey culture, will be far more exciting, interesting and stimulating than this dog’s breakfast of a hockey season :)

    _________________________________________________________
    HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song; Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjObvIQtsLk&feature=related
    _________________________________________________________
    What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  22. NCRhabsfan says:

    Idiots! A loss tonight would have pretty much clinched a bottom three finish and a top three draft pick. I think Cole, DD and MaxPac need to suffer “mild concussions” in practice, maybe PK too. They need to start Mayer in goal, perhaps without equipment. Winning at this point in the season is just flat out stupid. The last thing this team needs now is a three game winning streak. That would be very, very Leafish.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …the Players will not lose on purpose…neither the Coach …it has to be a directive from Management to play the youngsters and Lawson (or Whoever was called up from Hamilton to replace Carey)

      _________________________________________________________
      HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song; Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjObvIQtsLk&feature=related
      _________________________________________________________
      What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
      _________________________________________________________
      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
      http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

      • Duracell3 says:

        idk about RC. Pulashj and Gomez in shootouts? Maybe youre trying to impress teams with your longshot hunches, but I’m just saying you aren’t exactly going with your best chance to win games.

  23. rjonline1 says:

    Hey Boone and Co,

    Do any of you guys know where Arpon Basu has gone? He hasn’t updated his twitter in forever. I always found his comments very insightful. (And your guys comments too!)

    Cheers!

    • Matt04 says:

      As much as I’d love a top 3 pick, I think Faksa, Frk, and Gaunce are also pretty attractive and will surely not go that high. Any chance we take take one of these kids in the 1st and one in the 2nd? I see Frk is no longer projected as a 1st rounder …


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