About last night …

As fans filed out of the Bell Centre, a steady downpour of freezing rain was turning Montreal’s downtown streets into skating rinks.
A few may have taken a tumble.
Some might have conked their beans and seen a few stars.
The feeling is not dissimilar to the dizzying, almost hallucinatory experience of watching your Montreal Canadiens this season.

Seriously, can they possibly be this good?

Have a new coaching staff and some lineup tweaks turned a last-place hockey team into a juggernaut that has won four games in a row?

Four goals scored in each of the Ws, a power-play that’s on fire, a goaltender who was initially shaky against the Winnipeg Jets but then got brilliant when he had to be.

On and on … and all this without P.K. Subban.

Look, let’s not get too euphoric just yet.

The Stanley Cup Express is about to play six straight games against Northeast Division opponents, beginning with a Wednesday night visit to Scotiabank Place to face a very good Senators team.

We’ll have a better measure of this team by mid-February, when Montrealers are enduring the worst month of the winter and our heroes are playing two games in sunny Florida.

But let’s enjoy this for what it is: an excellent start that few Canadiens fans expected heading into this wacky 48-game sprint of a season.

After five games last season – hey, remember October hockey? – the Canadiens were 1-4. They had been shut out once and, in two other games, had scored one goal. It was a harbinger of the nightmare season to come.

Remember all those blown leads last season?

They’re still around. The Canadiens were up 2-0 and 3-1 against New Jersey and 2-0 against Winnipeg. They blew those leads – and won both games.

Unlike last season’s chronically dispirited squad, the 2013 Canadiens play like they expect to win. They were not demoralized by temporary losses of momentum against the Devils and Jets.

And again, the Canadiens are 4-1 without last season’s best defenceman. And despite a poor start by the forward line that carried the attack, such as it was, in 2011-’12.

Ten different Canadiens have scored this season. That list includes neither Max Pacioretty nor David Desharnais. Erik Cole hadn’t scored until Tuesday night.

But Tomas Plekanec, centring a healthy Brian Gionta and a renascent Rene Bourque, has three goals. Brendan Gallagher, the fifth-round draft choice who was a Vancouver Giant a year ago, has two – including the highlight-reel wrister that Jet goaltender Ondrej Pavelec still hasn’t moved on.

Ah, those kids. Two more assists for Alex Galchenyuk against the Jets, and First Star honours for Gallagher.

On the TSN 690 postgame show, my friend Pat Hickey said he couldn’t recall the last time a game’s First Star was awarded to someone who played nine minutes.

I can’t remember either. We might have to wake up Red Fisher.

But like his teammates in this young season, Gallagher contributed quality minutes.

Tomas Kaberle played 12:13, but he was on for two Canadiens goals and none by the Jets. Kaberle is almost certainly the odd Dman out when P.K. rejoins the lineup, but the former Leaf was steady against Winnipeg and provides insurance if there are injuries to the defence corps.

Let’s hope not. The D has been superb in front of Carey Price this season.

Andrei Markov had two assists against Winnipeg and ran a PP that produced two more goals, including Plekanec’s winner.

Playing against a big, physical Jets team, Alexei Emelin had eight hits. His 28 total leads the league.

Josh Gorges blocked six shots and saved a goal when Price was caught out of his net at the end of the second period. Gorges has 18 BS on the season, one fewer than Brooks Orpik and Brent Seabrook.

Raphael Diaz isn’t leading the league in anything, but he’s been steady in partnership with Gorges and excellent, in support of Markov, on the Canadiens’ no-longer-popgun PP.

Francis Bouillon played 21:50. He isn’t a kid anymore, and it will be interesting to see how Frankie the Bull’s 21-minute average affects his game in Ottawa Wednesday and in the weekend back-to-backs at the Bell Centre.

By then, P.K. should be back, playing second-pair with Gorges behind Markov-Emelin, with Diaz dropping to third pairing with Frankie.

The Subban-less Canadiens held Winnnipeg to 21 shots. Their shots-against average of 26.2 is second only to St. Louis, which is allowing a ridiculous 19.5 shots per game.

Except for the brief period during which the Jets rallied, the Canadiens continued a trend we’d seen through the first three wins: the team moves the puck efficiently in their own zone; one, two or three short, accurate passes and they’re away.

The mobility and puck sense of the defencemen makes them difficult to forecheck. Touch wood, Markov hasn’t been hit yet.

Of course, they haven’t played Boston. Or Philadelphia.

But a team plays the schedule it’s dealt. The Canadiens, who sucked at the Bell Centre last season, have feasted on home cookin’ since the opening night stinkeroo against the Leafs.

They are undefeated in games that don’t begin with ceremonies.

But now the sked gets interesting …


  1. Bripro says:

    I wonder if anyone else noticed last night, after Cole’s goal, how both Gallys literally dove into his arms, to congratulate him.
    He had the biggest smile I’ve seen on his face since sometime last year.
    And that was usually when neither the Goat or JM were around.
    The energy those two kids give off is addictive.
    I hope they carry it straight through to the end of June, if possible.
    What a difference a year makes. Didn’t I say that before?

    • Cole’s been pretty quiet since he announced that he is thinking about leaving the game. It’s all I thought about him the last 5 games. I good season will fix that thought of his.

      They Call Me Shane
      “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      Custom Sports Figures

  2. habfan53 says:

    Some thoughts on Michel Therrien:
    Most here thought it was a bad move to bring him back based on his record 10 years ago.
    Who of us are the same person we were 10 years ago?
    Montreals problem was we brought in coaches with no NHL experience Vigneault, Therrien and Julien. All had to learn the NHL game.
    All are now more mature and BETTER coaches then when they left here.

    Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

  3. Mats Naslund says:

    I didn’t read through the comments to see if this was already covered.. but aint no way PK and Gorges will be 2nd pairing to Markov and Emelin. Its been a nice run til now, but Markov will be WAY more effective in the long run if PK and Josh log the big minutes. Emelin too. He’s perfect for Markov – but not at 25 minutes per night.

  4. habfan53 says:

    RE Markov’s comment about PK
    REALLY GUYS !!!!!
    How often has he said “Next question”
    Also yesterday John Lu was saying that it is custom on game a day for the players to answer ONLY questions regarding that nights game which is what Markov did.

    Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

    • It’s normal for the Eastern culture not to discuss someone when that person is absent; behind it’s back. Otherwise the one who does so might risk to look arogant enough.
      For me it looks evident that Markov replied that way. I’d do the same.


      This is Choibolsan.

      • Bripro says:

        So how do I (we) reply to you?
        Cop? Copo?
        Ha? (That would be too funny)
        Kobe? (wrong sport)
        Or Copa…. you’ll have me humming “Her name was Lola, she was show girl…”
        See? It’s started already.
        Don’t take this the wrong way, but your signature is giving me brain cramps. Although my wife would argue that that’s not hard.

  5. Rainrocket16 says:

    I really think that Bourque has stepped it up, he still isn’t a great shooter but he does have a blast of a wrister. Gallagher is very impressive as well when it comes to shooting, reminds me of Cammy a bit, especially on that wrister last night. I would have to say that Therrien has had a HUGE impact on the veterans of this team already. It seems that everyone is accountable for their mistakes. I really gotta hand it to MT’s leadership thus far!

  6. BrianSkrudland says:

    My 8 year old son’s first Habs game tonight. Section 113. Can’t wait!

    Anyone remember their first Habs game?

    Use it up, use it all up / Don’t save a thing for later, yeah / If there’s music out there laying in wait / To pounce and drain every ounce if you wait or hesitate, yeah

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Hope you and the little one enjoy the game. My first game? Second from last row at the Forum. I remember the organ, Dutchy with his trumpet and the Go Habs Go cheer. What a thrill.


      • BrianSkrudland says:

        I recall Kordic whuppin’ Wendy!

        Use it up, use it all up / Don’t save a thing for later, yeah / If there’s music out there laying in wait / To pounce and drain every ounce if you wait or hesitate, yeah

    • Bripro says:

      Good for you. Bring a video camera.
      We had an old 8mm when I was his age, and even though it’s B&W, I still view it once in a while.
      One of my favourite father/son moments.
      And I barely remember the post we sat behind in the old Forum.

    • Say Ash says:

      January 7, 1984 against the Blues. Habs won 5-0 and I was hooked.

    • Sportfan says:

      My uncle somehow got Desjardins seats and I got to go it was the Habs vs. the Mighty Ducks, all I can remeber is that Jeff Hacket was in goal and was the first star and Paul Kariya scored the goal for the ducks.


    • helluva habs fan says:

      Yes. Habs 4, Leafs 1. At the Bell Centre. Price’s rookie year. You might remember this one. Kostitsyn leveled Bryan McCabe against the boards in the neutral zone, injuring him, and seconds later on the same play, Kovalev went down and scored.

      Memorable to say the least. I think Koivu had 2 goals that night as well. A Montreal victory in every way that night. It was awesome.

    • EnemyTerritory says:

      I remember mine vividly. 1981 NHL Playoffs – Game 1 – First Round. Our beloved Habs were hammered by an unknown kid (unknown to 10 year old me at the time at least) named Wayne Gretzky 5-1. Gretzky had 5 assists and they just started to show how good a team they would be.

    • Back in 1991, Winnipeg Arena

      The entire arena was wearing red that night. It was almost like Winnipeg was completely original 6 fans. When ever O6 arrived there were no Jets fans.

      Too bad they weren’t in the Eastern Conference back then, the team never would have folded/moved on.

      They Call Me Shane
      “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      Custom Sports Figures

    • Propwash says:

      Mine was in 94, at the Forum, standing room. I forget who they were playing though.


    • Rainrocket16 says:

      I was 3 years old, though i don’t remember it, I do know it was a 2-1 for Montreal in Forumn against the Winnepeg Jets. 1982. Never forget the Forumn!

    • Ditto says:

      My first game, California Golden Seals, at the Forum. We had tickets at the end of the visitors bench and the players let me open and close the door to the ice for them. It’s burned into my memory. They could not have made an 8 year old happier. Thanks for making me think of that, right now my smile is as wide as that long forgotten child’s was.

  7. BC HAB says:

    Give DD till Sunday. If he doesn’t improve, give Eller a try at center.

  8. Chuck says:

    A buddy put together this touching ballad about PK:


    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  9. GuyDoon says:

    OK, five games does not a season make, but I have a few thoughts to share on what we’ve seen so far:
    1 – When Molson took Savard’s advise and hired Bergevin, I liked it. As I imagined, MB has been steady and methodical. He’s eloquent and I believe will continue to be very good for this team. I was a little scared Roy would get it.
    2 – When we heard the coaches on the shortlist, Big Bird was my fave. St-Patrick second. At the very bottom of that list was Therrien. “Anybody but him” I told everyone who asked. At this point, I have to admit, he is doing an excellent job of it. He has been, like MB, very level, steady and methodical. He’s been very clear with the players, and the in-game adjustments have been superbly! When was the last time the Habs had a coach who ran a “meritocracy”?
    3 – I would say we are seeing the best third line the Habs have had since the last Habs dynasty. They had energy, skill, and sandpaper. Does anyone remember who that line was? (hint: two thirds of that line accounted for the overtime game seven goal against Boston in the” too many man” game.)

  10. habsfan0 says:

    What a ridiculous poll.

    Like asking:” Apart from your wife, what other woman do you have the hots for?”

  11. Say Ash says:

    PK playing tonight?

  12. nunacanadien says:

    You think Red would let the Gazette stab its team in the back??? Where are you Red Fisher when we need you? The HIO should remove the stupid poll of which other Canadian team is your second best. I have no other team to cheer for other than the habs. I don’t cheer for any other team! I am a loyal habs fan! Get rid of that poll for God’s Sake if only to improve the morale of our champions!

  13. BC HAB says:

    DD needs to seriously pick up his game. I didn’t see him do a single good thing last night. When Patches comes back, if DD is still stinking it up, he should sit. No reason to punish Eller. Eller has way more upside than DD. Help build up the guys confidence MT! Play him!!!!

    • Mr. Biter says:

      But Eller has not shown anything to deserve to take over from DD.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

      • HardHabits says:

        Put Eller with Pacioretty and Cole for a few games and maybe we’ll see something.

        • Mr. Biter says:

          Prehaps but Cole is also not playing like last year (yet) and nobody is talking about sitting him for a game. In fact all 3 have combined for 1goal and 7 assists so right none are burning up the league. We should be glad the scoring is coming from the entire team this year not just one line.

          Mr. Biter
          No Guts No Glory

          • nunacanadien says:

            We don’t know Cole is helping, and the reaction by G and G shows he is a good leader. I say give Cole the C as an alternate captain.

    • helluva habs fan says:

      DD has hands of stone out there right now. He’s trying his ass off, but can’t hold onto the puck or receive a pass to save his life. Same with Cole for that matter, although he’s getting his legs going lately. Good for him banging one in last night. I believe they’ll snap out of it soon. I just hope it happens before the offence dips on the other lines.

      As far as Eller goes, I thought he played a great first period and a pretty good 2nd period last night. He was going hard to the net and battling for position much better. He needs to work on his board play, loses too many puck battles for my liking. But overall he’s heading in the right direction.

      I wouldn’t slot him into DD’s center spot just yet, but if DD doesn’t get his game going, a new look might be in order soon.

  14. Stormin says:

    Budaj starts tonight at least no Spezza, in his camp interview with Therrien, Budaj was told there was a one in a million chance he would supplant Price and become the teams starting goalie on a regular basis.
    Budaj responded so you are telling me there is a chance.

  15. Dr.Rex says:

    Who are the 82 weirdo’s that chose Toronto?

  16. Seps says:

    So first off, does anyone else here actually believe the tsn bs about Subban in the room? Because as I see it, even though we’re 4-1 the competition we’ve played is mediocre at best. So far we’ve proved we can be a playoff team by beating the teams we need to beat. You really think Diaz can play shutdown with Gorges against a NYR, BOS, or PIT. Goodluck with that. Right now we’re a good team, and Subban coming back provides the added defense we need to become elite. So as I see it, we really need him and the Habs should recognize that too, in and out of the lockerroom.

    • Dr.Rex says:

      Subban plays better against tougher comp for sure. Also he is a valuable resource in getting unstable thugs off their game like Lucic. IN the playoffs in 2011 Lucic spent the whole series trying to lineup Subban and therefore took himself off the scoresheet. Also he had to settle for a cheap shot on Spacek and ended up getting leveled by PK several times. That drives a nutcase like Lucic bonkers.

  17. Bripro says:

    What a difference a year makes.
    Last year, and even more so the previous year, all we could hear were chants for PK, PK, PK.
    Now, everyone is holding their tongues.
    The players remain neutral, at least publicly.
    Only Weber, Blunden and Budaj on the ice with PK. That means something, since it’s an optional practice that none of the other regulars showed up for.
    And as for practice, you would think that both DD and Moen would have been on the ice this morning, since they still seem to be sleeping through their alarms this year, at least so far.
    They’re currently shadows of their previous year’s selves.

    • Seps says:

      Moen? He has 4th line duties he’s not a 20 goal scorer nor should he be branded as such. For too long in Montreal Moen would be playing top 3 lines and trying to score, that’s not, and should never be his role. He’s hitting and fighting that’s all I see him for.

      • Bripro says:

        Moen has more talent than you give him credit for.
        He showed it last year. Maybe, given his age, it takes a little longer to get his legs back, like Cole.

        • The Cat says:

          Agreed. Moen is very useful. Price and Gorges didnt plead the organization to have him signed for nothing.

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

        • Seps says:

          I disagree, although every NHL player is talented and can put up points in other leagues, that is not Moens role and unless you’re suggesting that he be put on a different line (which is ridiculous), it would be ridiculous to expect the 4th line to put up numbers.

          • Bripro says:

            “hitting and fighting”… yeah, that’ll do it.
            Why ask him to go above and beyond, when he can hammer everyone and keep the penalty box warm?
            And that will certainly help the team, as well.
            Like MT said yesterday, there’s playing with passion, and then there’s being reckless.

    • nunacanadien says:

      Hey people chanted PK PK PK when the habs are losing cause they know he is a tough player who likes to win.

  18. arcosenate says:

    Apologies if this is repititious, but this was a pretty good description of PK v. Bergevin:


  19. Dr.Rex says:

    Media Translations:

    1) White – ” Im so glad to have Subby back”.
    TSN translation – ” I hate him”
    2) Markov ” I only want to talk about tonights game”
    TSN Translation ” I happy I dont have to see his face today”
    3) Gorges- ” Im glad this distraction is over”
    TSN translation “PK is annoying but your questions have been a delight”
    4) Prust tweet – “Glad to have you back buddy”
    TSN translation ” IM tweeting cause you are not worth the phone call”.
    5) Gallagher – ” He is a dynamic player”
    TSN translation ” But your personality is a pain.”

  20. Phil C says:

    According to TSN, Spezza is out, Anderson will play in back-to-back games. Gonchar played 26 minutes last night, so I hope the Habs test his old legs. I remember Moen’s big goal in the 2010 playoff run when he skated right past Gonchar to score. I hope to see a replay tonight.

  21. Old Bald Bird says:

    I am not sure why the coaches have tinkered with how the pk works. Maybe they haven’t, but it seems more aggressive to my failing eyes. I guess aggressive is nice, but last years system worked pretty darn well.

    Am I seeing this wrongly?

  22. wall2bay says:

    If any Habs are pissed at PK for holding out for more money they should look at themselves in the mirror (ie. Gorges). So 700 players prolonged the lockout cuz of….you guessed it….MONEY and then they have the balls to be pissed at PK?

    Totally disappointed in Gorges and Markov, the high road would’ve been to say something nice about the guy like Ryan White’s comments and then if you had some beef with the guy address it in private when he comes into the locker room! They hate PK getting all the attention but then they just made it worst by not saying something generically nice about the guy!

  23. kirkiswork says:

    I would like to thank Mr.Molson for buying our team and giving a crap about it.

  24. Habs_4_ever says:

    Have they had the morning skate yet? Any word on if P.K. plays tonight?

    “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

    • mark-ID says:

      Stubbs keeps saying over tweets that PK will not be playing tonight. Not sure where he got the confirmation on that though.

      “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  25. HabinBurlington says:

    I wonder how much more clear the very matter of fact MB has to be, before people believe and realize that indeed he wants PK to be a big part of this team go forward.

    I can’t wait for about a week from now when PK has gotten used to the new system, new coach and teammates and the team will no longer have the PK questions floating around.

    Then and finally then we can go full tilt on Eller and Eller alone!!! 🙂

    • HardHabits says:

      I am setting my sights on Desharnais. He doesn’t get a pass just because he’s a Franco-Quebecker. I am still waiting for the game where Therrien puts Pacioretty and Cole with Eller as centre.
      I like DD. Glad he made it to the NHL, but unless he seriously picks up his game I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t considered part of the Habs present let alone their future.

      • The Dude says:

        What about everything he did for the club last year HH ….he carried the team on his shoulders when all most all the other players were picking there noses and where’s the thanks eh! As well last night the 1st person to take on huge Ponorusski was Deharnaise…. And have you or anybody thought he may be a wee bit injured??? What pisses me of most is a guy like Price can have an average year last year and get a raise to $6.5 million and fans like you are good with that though… Carey was average last night and everyone knows now to shoot high glove side on the boy “And they will” ,so CAN IT WILL YOU ! …..Go have another TANK-ard…..

  26. MiltonHab says:

    Love some of the comments regarding PK. Seems most are trying to make a big deal of his holdout. The kid was trying to get what some of what he’s seen some ridiculous GM’s willing to pay. Can’t blame him..but this is not a knock on his character or him not being a team player Good on MB for showing him how he will be part of a winning formula both on and off the ice. This is the Montreal Canadiens not the Minnesota Wild. Can’t wait to see him in the lineup!Go Habs Go!

  27. SnowManHabs85 says:

    Hey, anyone know if Tickets can be copied and send it over via email? I forgot our tickets back home and want to know if its possible they could be send by email?

    “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

  28. HabFanSince72 says:

    I know everyone loves Prust because he drops the gloves, but let’s face it: he faked to get penalties twice last night. Once he got caught by the refs. The second time the refs figured – well he can’t be acting again can he? so they called a ridiculous pen on Ottawa with 3 min left.

    If he wasn’t a good Ontario kid with hands of cement everyone would be on his back.

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

    • shiram says:

      He does have hands of cement, but he plays well to complement the kids, I was sermoned earlier for posting about his lack of shooting skills.
      He did fake on the Enstrom hit, the way he lay on the ice for a few seconds, before bounding up not even short of breath.
      Embellishment is probably a better description than diving.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Really? Okay, lets dump his ass, I can’t wait to see Petteri Nokelainen instead! WooHoo!!!!

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        I didn’t call for dumping him.

        Someone should speak to him and explain to him that you wear the C-H you don’t do that kind of stuff.


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

        • K-hab25 says:

          Ya and you shouldn’t drop to the ice like you were shot when you get face washed either, like a certain young defenseman did last year. Especially if you’re yapping at the guy who face washed you. I think alot of NHL players these days, played to much soccer as kids.

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Are you channelling tonight’s game? We haven’t played Ottawa yet.

      I disagree about Prust faking the first penalty.

      Ka is a wheel.

      For Your Life

    • Ozmodiar says:

      > If he wasn’t a good Ontario kid with hands of cement everyone would be on his back.

      Everyone would be on his back if he was a good Ontario kid with soft hands? That doesn’t make very much sense.

    • twilighthours says:

      I disagree with you.

    • Cal says:

      Nothing like being cross-checked in the back and getting the penalty for being cross-checked. He gets a stick in the face and you say he’s faking. What game did you watch last night?

    • B says:

      Prust is comfortable pulling his shenanigans on the ice knowing that #51 has his back.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  29. commandant says:

    Burly was asking Budaj’s record vs Ottawa.

    I found this quite amazing for a guy with 259 career GP and 234 career starts, who was a former starter in the NHL (with the Avs).

    He’s never faced Ottawa.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  30. CCL says:

    Habs will have their work cut out tonight. if they can beat Ottawa. we can say they’re for real. I ‘d like to have two more Gally’s and one more prust Ottawa would be a cake walk.

  31. jeffhabfan says:

    Great Win Boys. There more fun to watch year and I love the passion. We have a great young player in Chucky and very fun to watch he already is starting to bring me out of my seat.

  32. Propwash says:

    Beating on a dead horse here, but how many different ways can the media ask the same questions about P.K? No wonder why the players are getting annoyed.


  33. punkster says:

    …aaaand TSN is still replaying that crap PK piece from yesterday suggesting trouble in the room.

    What a bunch of absolute tools.

    ***SUBBANG BABY!!!***

    • Propwash says:

      Amazing. Fact checking is becoming a lost art.


    • Fansincebirth says:

      I posted on the TSN article that this is what happens when the Leafs aren’t winning. The reporters turn on the Habs like a pack of rabid dogs and that THEY (media) are the main problem here.

      Even last night on TSN, prior to the game, they played the interview with Marky and they called him a ‘Dud’ for not commenting on Subban. Morons!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      They own the Leafs, they represent Toronto, soooo what to do, hey lets stir the pot in Montreal!!!! And that is how the program directors plan their day at TSN.

    • shiram says:

      They have to find something to crap on the Habs.
      Apart from the PK thing, which should be resolved quite quickly the team is doing great.

  34. HABZ24 says:

    4 wins in a row even after blowing leads.new regiem seems to be taking command, new calmer terrien seems cool too, until we hit the skids a bit,lol. Deharnais needs to be demoted to 3 rd line then pressbox,this lil guy is lost without patches. Cant wait for superhockey weekend.


    • Habfan17 says:

      I agree, give Eller a shot centering the line for a while and on the PK. I am also looking forward to Hockey Day in Canada!

      I know Desharnais had a very good season with Cole and Patches, IMO Eller would have too if he was given the chance instead of making him play out of his natural position and with different linemates. It is hard to show your stuff like that. DD had a much easier time. Imagine the confidence Eller would have if he was given the chance. He did well during the lockout when he was a go to guy and played in all situations. That would be my only criticism of Therrien so far. He should have leveraged that experience.


  35. mark-ID says:

    Anyone from Ottawa know which hotel the Habs are staying in?

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • Newf_Habster says:

      Brookstreet Hotel which is not far from Scotiabank Place or Westin Hotel in downtown

    • arcosenate says:

      I didn’t think they ever stayed here, right back to Montreal after beating the Sens, I would think.

      • mark-ID says:

        I know they slept in Ottawa last night. I work downtown so thought maybe I could see one of them strolling the streets maybe.

        Prust tweeted that they arrived in Ott last night.

        “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  36. twilighthours says:

    I had almost forgotten how good Plekanec really is. Almost.

    Man he is a special player.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      I was thinking the same thing last night.

      23 minutes, winning goal. Creating chances, even on the PK. Anytime there’s an important face-off or PK, he’s there. Always making the smart play. Speed.

      edit: …and tell me the name of another player in the league that can rock a goatee and turtleneck at the same time and not look like a fool!!

  37. shiram says:

    DD’s bad play, rookies manning the third line and the fourth line being the fourth line are all combining to give Plekanec the extra workload we all hoped would not be on his shoulders this season.
    Even with hiring players to play on the PK, he’s still the most used for both special teams, and has a great share of the ES time.
    Eller and/or DD can use this to step up, and in fact they need to, Plekanec won’t be able to keep up the pace if he’s playing 6-8 minutes of special teams and about 23-24 minutes a night total.

  38. punkster says:

    I think someone should check deeper into this “PK wants to be called Subbanator” thing…he didn’t originally suggest it. But then people will believe anything reported by a qualified and respected media hack.

    It would not surprise me to learn that the “word on the street” tweet from Dreger did not originate with PK.

    ***SUBBANG BABY!!!***

    • Phil C says:

      PK likes to have some fun and oddly many hockey fans have a problem with it.

      As a friend of mine says, everybody is someone else’s freak. Some people we never understand a guy like PK. I find those people freaky.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      It’s become a sport. Pile on PK. I hope it stops when he gets back on the ice. He is the most exciting player on our team and makes a decent d corp better. I am just sick of the mud slinging.


      • montrealtilldeath says:

        Agreed. Too much BS and over analysing got the Raptors (who drafted #!) to select the Italian player over Aldridge. People who knew thought the Raptor management was crazy. When they asked the man known as the :draft Guru:about the Raptor choice he did not comment he just laughed. The so called “wise ones” in Toronto were looking at the large Italian Canadian community in Toronto. They forgot the simle basics that winning teams bring fans. Any one who knows Basketball knows the numbers LeMarcus Aldridge put up from day one are fantastic. He is also Chris Bosh’s best friend. Andrea will likely be traded next year.

        My point to the management and fans DO NOT BE STUPID and runn PK out of town with this BS> I love Markov but he is 34 and PK is 23. Forget the Don Cherry BS. If this kid would be on every billboard. Old school did not like the Tiger Woods fist pump but he increased golf viewership 15-20%. The young viewers of hockey golf who are the future love “show time”.

    • commandant says:

      It was one of the Habs reporters… I think Stubbs (but it may have been Lavoie) who suggested the Subbanator nickname and PK texted back that he will accept the nickname.

      So no, PK didn’t request it.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  39. longtimehabsfan says:

    I like Prust. A lot. Let the critics complain about his contract. He brings grit and toughness and it affects the other players on the team. He goes to all the dirty areas and to the net, in particular. He’s not a star, but he can play. The signing was a statement. MB has quickly changed the culture on this team. No longer easy to play against.

    “It’s a moo point. Like a cow’s opinion, it doesn’t matter. It’s moo.”

    • Propwash says:

      A lot of the contract criticism eroded away when he started playing.


      • nunacanadien says:

        Prust has won me over, at first I was leery given his small size in comparison to what was expected of him, however given the long season of 40 or more games to, Prust has to last all season, something which is difficult for veterans but Prust can’t really be considered a veteran, however his lack of size may wear him down like it might with Bully-on. There is a reason why most teams that make the playoffs are there at the end, because of the wearing down in the season etc.

  40. commandant says:

    On Kaberle vs Weber.

    Kabere is clearly the better player, both offensively and defensively IMO. In sheltered minutes this season (~45 at ES, ~60 overall) he is +3 and has not been on the ice for a single goal against. I think we’d like some more points, but his point shot did create Cole’s goal last night.

    Now that said, he’s also the 7th D when Subban joins the lineup Saturday. He’s way overpaid if we can’t get him on the ice (and honestly he is the 7th D). So Bergevin should do everything in his power to try and trade him. If you can’t trade him, then move Weber.

    I know depth is important, with injuries and a short season, but your 7th and 8th D both needing sheltered minutes and being PP specialists is redundant. You can leave one of the two as the 7th. Have Frederic St. Denis as the 8th. And if you really need a game or two callup, you have guys like Tinordi and Beaulieu and even DeSantis. They aren’t full time options yet, but they could be fill ins, if we need it.

    I dont expect much in return for either guy. But a mid-round draft pick or a young goalie or depth forward prospect would be a good addition.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Loonie says:

      I have a hard time believing Bergevin couldn’t create a market for Kaberle by eating half of the cap hit and salary.

      But the question is does he want to if he can just buy him out this summer?

      • twilighthours says:

        This is the issue. It’s a tough one. I’d probably hold on to him because he’s a better fill-in if injuries occur.

        I can’t believe I just wrote that and I have to go wash myself now.

        • Loonie says:


          Well I’m not sure if it’s permitted but if he can eat half of the salary but trade all of the cap hit I would do it in his shoes.

          • nunacanadien says:

            What about Kaberle’s intended purpose was mainly solely and always has been the power play on which ever team he’s played, another version of Markov without some of the toughness perhaps. How do we know Kaberle is not also adding wisdom to the powerplay like Markov? One veteran like Kaberle with his words can be better and worth all the money he is paid if it results in wins….I say give Kaberle time.

          • commandant says:

            Wow, I’m shocked by this. I was expecting Nuna to say that:

            Kaberle came from Toronto, sent by the suits there to destroy the Canadiens from within.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

          • twilighthours says:

            It was surprisingly lucid.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            @Twi, LMFAO

      • Phil C says:

        It’s a good idea, but the cap situation is such a mess for next year, I don’t think they should keep anything on the books to move Kaberle.

        Kaberle does not looked washed up to me, he looks better than last year, that’s for sure. I’d be surprised if they can’t move him. If not, he is a good depth guy to have.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I would say that with teams at the cap floor, come trade deadline, he may find a taker if he throws in Weber. Especially to a team that has some injury trouble. Kaberle has shown as long as he is not being looked at as the go to guy, he has value. His top 3 time is gone. Adding Weber to the trade may land a 3rd or 4th round pick. If it was just Kaberle, I would say a 7th round pick or a body for Hamilton.


    • Mattyleg says:

      My buddies and I were impressed with Kaberle.
      We talked before the game about how he makes one brain-dead play per game, and we were pleased to see that it didn’t happen last night.

      I hardly noticed him, which is a very good thing in a defenceman. In a forward, not so much.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • ed lopaz says:

        I think you are supposed to notice defencemen – they’re not the referees who hope not to be noticed.

        You can notice if they win battles on the boards, or in front of net.

        You can notice if they gather loose pucks and get the puck out of the zone quickly, and especially if they are great skaters, quick and impressive burst of speed, or if they make an excellent pass.

        You can notice d-men who have great stick work, poke checking, winning battles with their sticks.

        You can notice d-men that hit hard and punish the opposition, and then retrieve the puck and help clear the zone.

        You can notice all of these things in a d-man.

        The reason why you didn’t notice them in Kaberle is because last night, like on most nights, he didn’t do much of any of these things.

    • Phil C says:

      I am starting to wonder if Weber has a future in the NHL. He seems out of position often to me. I know he is young, but he development has also not progressed in the last year. I’m not sure he has much trade value. I wonder if Bergevin could sneak him through waivers so that he can find his game in Hamilton?(assuming he can’t trade him)

      • commandant says:

        I don’t think he’d clear waivers. Teams who are struggling on PP will see his shot as a worth a gamble remedy at no cost. Also teams with many defence injuries.

        That said, I don’t think he’ll be anything more than a PP specialists. In his sophomore season, and third year (half year before callup) in Hamilton, I didn’t like his defence at that level.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  41. commandant says:

    For those who are questioning the use of Price last night and Budaj tonight.

    I did a quick look at the schedule, and I think you had two options here.

    1) Price plays Winnipeg…. Budaj plays Ottawa…. Price gets 3 days off, and plays both games this weekend… (end result… Budaj plays Ottawa a division rival, but Price gets 3/4 games).

    2) Budaj plays Winnipeg…. Price plays Ottawa…. Price gets only 2 days off and can not play both games this weekend. (end result Budaj plays 2 games, 1 vs division rival, Price gets 2/4 games).

    The extra day of rest for Price is huge and should allow him to play both games on the weekend.

    That said, lets hope Budaj plays well tonight.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Ben I wonder if playing Price at home was part of the decision. For Budaj perhaps a bit less pressure on the road and Ottawa will be a split crowd thus not a hostile road game.


      • nunacanadien says:

        Too bad we don’t have Halak. Halak would have got us into the playoffs for sure and Halak would fit in perfectly with the makeup we have now. Too bad Bergy can’t chase after Halak again. He is what Price needs to evolve into a dynasty goalie, in fact both could be dynasty goalies, both champs to the heart!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think you got it right there Ben. Price will get re-energized and Budaj is probably excited to get his chance.

      Any idea what Budaj’s lifetime numbers are against or in Ottawa? I’m not a big believer in them, but sometimes those things actually matter.

    • Propwash says:

      I think Budaj will be up to the task. Hopefully the D can help him out a bit.


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