About last night …


Late additions: Mike Milbury tells it like it is. And this

What a wacky weekend!
Your Montreal Canadiens began the most difficult stretch of their season with back-to-back games against a pair of Eastern Conference powerhouses, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins.
In taking three of a possible four points, the Canadiens lifted themselves back into first place in the conference and, more importantly, served notice that they are no longer the female dogs of the brutes in black and gold.
The Canadiens will visit the TD Garden again on March 27.
Nine days later, Boston will be at the Bell Centre to complete the teams’ regular-season slate of four games.
So far, it’s one win each and a cumulative score of 5-5.
After a couple of years during which the Bruins had their way, the rivalry has resumed.
And it’s freakin’ intense.

In his postgame remarks, Michel Therrien singled out Brandon Prust for his great leadership.

“It takes courage,” the coach said, “to do what he did.”

What Prust did, 15 minutes into the second period with the Bruins up 3-2 and cruising, was fight Milan Lucic.

He didn’t win. Guys who give away 35 pounds and a few inches only win movie fights.

But Prust is not Mike Komisarek. He hung there against one of the toughest fighters in the league and landed a couple on Lucic.

A half-minute later, Zdeno Chara tried to play Milan Lucic to Alexei Emelin’s Komisarek. The hulking Boston defenceman was penalized as the instigator and took a 10-minute misconduct. Chara was still cooling his heels in the third period when Max Pacioretty tied the game and David Desharnais scored the winner.

The stat sheet shows the Canadiens being outhit 30-24. They went 0-2 in the fights.

But I think they made an important statement: We are not Mike Komisarek’s Montreal Canadiens.

They don’t have a player on the roster – or in the system – who is going to strike fear in the hearts of a Lucic or Chara. But there’s some hoary sports wisdom that seems relevant to this year’s edition of the team:

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog.

Brendan Gallagher didn’t fight Lucic or Chara. That would be suicidal for the 5’8″, 175-lb rookie. But his diminutive stature doesn’t prevent Gallagher from steaming into the dirty areas where many players  larger than he fear to tread.

En route to night of two assists and plus-3, Gallagher got in the faces of all the Boston defencemen – yes, including Chara – and crashed Tuukka Rask’s crease at every opportunity. With the departure of Erik Cole, Gallagher is solidifying his spot on right wing with Desharnais and Pacioretty.

For now, they’re the Canadiens’ number-one line. And that could last a while.

With the Canadiens on the road this week, perhaps Gallagher can light a hotel fire under his roommate.

Alex Galchenyuk is struggling. The Canadiens’ lottery draft pick, third overall last June, played 11:15 against Pittsburgh and 9:40 in Boston. He bounced around from line to line and did not register a shot on goal in either game.

The NHL may be too fast for the kid. Bear in mind knee surgery restricted Galchenyuk to eight games in Sarnia last season. And because the Canadiens are winning, there’s isn’t a ton of pressure on the kid.

And Galchenyuk is not the only Canadien who had a tough weekend:

• Michael Ryder was invisible in both games. He had two shots on goal against the Penguins, one in Boston against his former teammates. The addition of Ryder has not rejuvenated the power play.

• Travis Moen, elevated to supply some muscle on Tomas Plekanec’s line against the Bruins, had a grand total of 0 hits in Boston. Pleks, who endured a revolving door of lousy linemates last season, needs Rene Bourque back.

• Josh Gorges was minus-3 against Pittsburgh, minus-1 against the Bruins. But no Canadiens defenceman distinguished himself on the weekend – except for Tomas Kaberle (plus-3 against Pittsburgh, even in Boston), and who would have predicted that?

But hey, it was a bad weekend for bold prognostications.

Who foresaw Peter Budaj making 31 saves against Boston – including a game-saver off Tyler Seguin in the dying seconds? In his last three starts, Carey Price’s understudy has a 1.33 GAA and a save percentage of .949.

Goaltender controversy?

No way. But Therrien gambled and won on Budaj in Boston, and now it’s up to Price to get his poop in a group on the rest of the road trip, starting Tuesday night on the Island.

• On March 4, 2012, the Canadiens were 25-31-10 and in last place, 10 points out of a playoff spot. They had finished February with a five-game losing streak and had a goal differential of minus-14.

Your new, improved Brandon & Brendan/Teammates Defendin’/Goalies Tormentin’ Canadiens are 14-4-4. They are 10 points clear of the ninth-place Rangers and have scored 15 more goals than they’ve allowed.




  1. angelomosh says:

    Agree voice of reason milbury is it clod or clud were not embellishing
    As far as p.j. Stock is concerned
    There’s a reason he only scored 5 goals same as his IQ!!

  2. Mannix says:

    His name is Clod for a reason.

  3. shootdapuck says:

    Its becoming abundantly clear that there is something wrong with the water or the air in Massachusetts.

    The symptoms are delusional thoughts, selective myopia and hysteria!

    Clod Julien(Boston Spelling) has been exposed since 2007 and the effects are becoming more and more pronounced.

    Mike Milbury has been in Stamford Connecticut and suddenly has become the voice of reason!

    Could it be argon gas, asbestos or some type of stupifying toxin developed at MIT?

    The cranial flatulence of PJ Stock:

    “On peut play cette game tres simplement”
    “Le game est tous de hard work”
    ” I have a pet peeve”

  4. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Kind of impressed with Milbury stepping back and calling the game as he saw it, even though this meant acknowledging that the Old Enemy outplayed his darling Bruins.

    But let’s not mistake this for Habs love! His face, his tone, and some of his content (was it “your thick skull”?) suggest he was very unhappy having to analyse a game with the uninformed no-namer sitting in the middle (who must have endeared himself to national women’s hockey team with his “bunch of broads” remark).

    As a poster asked beneath the clip, why listen to a guy who’d never seen a hockey game prior to 2 hours previously!

  5. thehabs21 says:

    So Moens a top 6 forward again? so god damn tired of these experiments. Put Ryder with Pleks alreadyyyyyy. Galchenyuk just isnt a gritty player, but will one day be a PP specialist he kind of reminds me of the 3rd pick in 2000 aka Gabby. The way this team keeps finding a way to score and come back is so refreshing. keep excepting them to lose and fall over. Give the boys alot of credit

  6. kirbhabs says:

    Wow if Milbury can make comments like that, can the CBC guys… doubt it, but I have more hope.

  7. Mr. Biter says:

    Funny crew we have here. Allways wanting to get rid of some players. First DD(to Small), Pleks(not playing well) Max (not worth the money) now Gionta (to small and not Captain material) Kaberle(Money, defense issues etc) and now suddenly after 2 bad games Gorges is now trade bait.. Seems when they’re mentioned here they begin to play better. Next 2 weeks will tell if we part with some draft choices and Webber or AHL’ers to pick up some rent a players for a deep run for the cup. WE could use 1 big d-man and another mean 4th liner, butwith the way the Habs are playing who are they going to replace? You don’t mess with success.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  8. 1010 says:

    Good thing Moen isn`t a Russian. Or he would be accused of signing his contract and then quietly collectiong his paycheck before riding off into the sunset. After all, this is his last big payday and he knows it.
    GO HABS.

    • TheAmerican says:

      I’ve been thinking he’s hurt. I’ve always considered him a character guy and would be surprised if he just disappeared.

      • 1010 says:

        Yeah, I probably don`t know the whole story. But they really could use him stepping up when the B`s or the Buds are around. It`s like he`s a toal no-show.
        GO HABS.

  9. TheAmerican says:

    I thought about it twice, but I still hate Milbury. But I love John Stewart.

  10. fitzyboy says:

    I’m not seeing the same Travis Moen as in the past. A four year deal @$1.85M per is a lot for a guy playing on the fourth line and only being used sparingly. This isn’t going to make everyone happy, but MB should contact the Ducks to see if they would be willing to trade Brad Staubitz back to us straight up for Travis. It’s a business and Staubitz could add that true fighter that we need. He didn’t look out of place playing a regular shift for us last year.

  11. Michael says:

    Wow, just watched the Emelin-Chara fight (missed the game), and I gotta say, Emelin did amazingly well in that. Didn’t win, obviously, but I’d say he beat the spread.

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