About last night …


With an offhand remark he made during Saturday’s edition of L’Antichambre, Mathieu Darche captured the spirit that has lifted your amazing Montreal Canadiens from worst to first in the Eastern Conference.
The panel was talking about the dogged determination that has characterized Brendan Gallagher’s play this season, exemplified by the winning goal he scored from the edge of the blue paint in the Tampa Times Forum.
“I’d take David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher,” Darche said, “100 times over Andrei Kostitsyn.”
And with all due respect to Darche, a gamer who gave 100 per cent, we’d all take the 2013 Canadiens 1000 times over the team we’ve endured through recent seasons.

Playing without one of their Top Six forwards (Rene Bourque), without a Top Four defenceman (Raphael Diaz) and, for the last 10 minutes of the game, without Brandon Prust, their emotional sparkplug, the Canadiens erased a two-goal deficit, held the home team to two third-period shots – none for the first 18 minutes of the frame – the Canadiens racked up their 16th win in 25 games this season.

Eight of the Ws have come at the Bell Centre, which is once again a happy place. And eight have come on the road.

That could be nine road wins by the time the team boards a charter flight back to Montreal Sunday night. Even though they have a cross-state trip to Sunrise, the loss of an hour and a 6 p.m. puck drop against the struggling Panthers, the Canadiens have a decent chance to record their fourth win on a five-game road trip.

Even without Prust.

In his postgame remarks, Michel Therrien praised the courage of his newly-wounded warrior. Prust injured – or perhaps reinjured – his left shoulder on a Prustian play, flying into the glass of the Tampa Bay zone in an effort to prevent an icing call.

The guy doesn’t know how to let up.

Nor does Gallagher, whose determination, Therrien said, is “an example for his teammates”.

The coach also found good things to say about Michael Ryder – “he played well defensively and concentrated on small details” – and Hamilton call-ups Greg Pateryn – “played solid defence, didn’t take chances, made a good first pass and kept it simple” – and Gabriel Dumont, who played with intensity and won two crucial defensive zone faceoffs.

The injury to Prust obliged Therrien to make some late-game adjustments. Dumont and Colby Armstrong played shifts with Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk. And despite Ryder’s strong effort – five shots on goal, two assists – Therrien thought it prudent to play Travis Moen with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta late in the game.

Pateryn, a righthanded shot who se addition let Francis Bouillon play his natural left side, played 9:13, which is a shade less than what we’ve been seeing from the Number Six defenceman. At the other end of the ToI scale, P.K. Subban played 27:42, blocked three shots and was not on the ice for either of the Lightning’s even-strength goals.

Alexei Emelin was on for two TB scores but continued his positive contributions to the offence, popping his second goal of the season to tie the game at 3-3 less than halfway into the the final period.

I love the defensive system the Canadiens are playing this season. But when a lineup that includes Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier goes 18 minutes without a shot on goal, you have to think something is wrong in Tampa.

The Lightning are sinking fast in a Southeast Division against which the Canadiens have feasted this season with a perfect 8-0 record. They swept two games in Tampa for the first time in six years.

It wasn’t easy.

The Canadiens dialed up yet another second-period suckfest, yielding three goals, two of which could be traced to faceoff losses in the defensive zone. Ryan Malone was an immovable force in Carey Price’s kitchen through the first 40 minutes. Steven Stamkos’s league-leading 19th goal was a consequence of Ryder responding to a borderline hit by bitching the call and taking himself out of the play. And Sami Salo was left alone in the slot when, in short order, David Desharnais lost a D-zone faceoff and Max Pacioretty lost his stick and his coverage.

So Therrien and his staff will have fodder for some video chalk-talk, if there’s time before the game against the Panthers.

A greater likelihood is the coach, who has pushed all the right buttons this season, will just tell his Canadiens to do what they’ve done through most of the season’s first 25 games:

Play hard, play smart, trust the system and your teammates … and win one for the Pruster.

• The Canadiens lead the NHL with 12 players who have 10 or more points. Brandon Prust and Alexei Emelin have nine … Carey Price‘s 13 wins lead the league … the Northeast Division has four teams with 30 or more points. The rest of the league has three … Brendan Gallagher‘s third game-winning goal tied Andrei Markov for the team lead … Michel Therrien juggled his pairings in the third period, playing P.K. with Markov and Josh Gorges with Emelin … Emelin’s 88 hits lead the team and Prust is second with 62. Third place? Lars Eller with 41.




  1. The Teacher says:

    Bill. All due respect. This is not the iginla of even two years ago.

  2. Bill says:

    Hobie: to get Iginla would take a first round pick and someone like Nathan Bealieu. Obviously a gamble, but I like a gamble!

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      Why in the world would you want to repeat the McDonaugh for Gomez disaster again? I doubt Calgary will move Iginla at that price as good as he is he’s still 35.

  3. Bill says:

    It’s interesting to speculate about what Bergevin will do at the deadline, because he’s got a lot of options.

    The Habs have a good team and it’s gotta be tempting to strike while the iron is hot, get an impact player, and make a run for the Cup. This is what I would do. You always have to go for it.

    He can either grab a rental guy like an Iginla (just for example, and yeah, dont kid yourself, Iginla would look great on the Habs for one playoff run) for a first rounder and a good prospect … or he could look longer term as well and send serious assets for a key-piece guy like a Bobby Ryan who would be here a long time.

    Of course, he can also do his steely-eyed long-range thing, make no changes, hope for the best, and actually use all those draft picks for himself.

    But I say go for it.

    • wjc says:

      Keep to the plan, there is no cup this year.

      Keep all draft picks, make no short term trades for older players.


    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …the final paragraph was the only thing You said that made any sense

      …just kidding 🙂

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Calgary will probably ask for a boatload back for Iginla. Feaster refuses to trade this guy and when he finally throws in the towel you can expect him to ask for a 1st round pick and and a top tier player for starters.

      So the team that trades for Iginla better be ready to give him a 3 or 4 year deal at $8 million a season and be confident he’ll decide to sign.

  4. Habitant in Surrey says:

    A reminder: …to Those wanting an evening at the Bell Centre next season to honor the great Toe Blake, both as a Player and Our Coach …please take a moment of Your time to write a letter to the 2 following gentlemen suggesting they do so on behalf of Montreal Canadiens’ Fans everywhere

    …a night We can celebrate by wearing a fedora ? 🙂 …and honor His number 6

    …please write Your letter to:

    Mr. Geoff Molson: President and Owner
    & Mr. Kevin Gilmore: VP Operations

    [Name of person]
    c/o The Montreal Canadiens
    1909, avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal
    Montreal, QC, CANADA
    H3C 5L2

  5. rhino514 says:

    These posts about not being able to have more than two small forwards on the team are getting very tiresome. Why don´t we look at facts:
    fact: who have been the two best forwards during montreal´s last two playoff appearances? Answer : Cammalleri and Gionta.
    This assumption that smaller guys can´t produce when it counts is completely unfounded.
    Look at Bourque now; physical players get injured as often or moreso than smaller players, because of the way they play. I´m happy he got off to a decent start, but if a guy like Bourque, who is not deemed to be an incredibly consistent player, becomes tentative after a concussion and loses his edge, he is basically a useless player, if he can´t play as physical as he would normally.
    I think there is a real danger that this can happen in Bourque´s case.
    If the players are equal in talent, sure, go for the more physical guy, but otherwise, go for the best player.
    The habs have DD, Gallagher, and Gionta, one smallish guy per line. Nothing wrong with that, as long as the guys are gritty players and clutch players, which assuredly in gionta´s and Gallagher´s case is true.

    • wjc says:

      Habs need more size! Do not kid yourself, two or three larger players are needed.

      Remember playoffs are more serious and small players get crushed if you have too many, it becomes a the other teams purpose to intimidate.


  6. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Here’s hoping we get another W in Florida. Go Habs!!!

  7. deuce6 says:

    They said Prust will be out 10-14 days..I say he is back by next week..The kid eats nails for breakfast..


    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  8. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Man, oh man, what is up with the Caps?

    Doubt they are at the firesale point yet, but how much longer can this last? Even in their good years, they haven’t had much in the way of playoff success. If this year were a one-off, I’d say stay the course. But they haven’t done anything for a few seasons now (anything for a team with that talent means more than make the playoffs, or even win a round…they should have gone deeper than they have).

    I doubt they’d ever move him, but you just get the feeling that the best thing that could happen to Ovi would be a change of scenery.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      The caps won 8 of 11 then yesterday in a 2-2 game in the third the Islanders got them for two quick power play goals in the third period. Less than 24 hours later they give up two goals in 30 seconds in the second period of a 1-1 game, and hang in a 3-1 game until the Rangers pot another one late in the third. Expect the Capitals to be in the Playoffs.

      • ABHabsfan says:

        No way the Caps make the payoffs. If a team currently in falls out in will be the Devils or Sens, maybe both. Flyers and Jets are both much better than the Caps. It seems they have no leadership, no edge. I wouldn’t mind trading for Hemdricks either.

        “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
        Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

      • Ghosts of the Forum says:

        Didn’t realize they’d been so hot of late…just saw how far back they were. With all the three point games that seem to be happening with more frequency, going to be tough for them to climb in even if they’re playing well! Dug themselves a big hole.

  9. topher5468 says:

    Just got home, I guess White draws in for Prust,

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  10. Ian Cobb says:

    So we need information, Mike!

    on Bourque, Diaz, Kaberle, Nokalainen, Weber, and Prust!!!

    What’s up with these guys status, and who can play? Who is going to play??

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …I just received tweet from RDS saying Prust out for approximately 10 days

      …unless He is like Patches …bionic 🙂

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Wonder who is available to step in? We might have to play with 3 lines!
        What did you think of # 64 last night?? Forgot his name so he could not have impressed me much!

        • Ghosts of the Forum says:

          Stay at home Dman playing in this first NHL game….if you don’t notice him, I’d say he’s done his job well 😉

        • Habitant in Surrey says:

          …Pateryn ?

          …wasn’t fancy, but seemed solid …kept things simple

          …I think as He becomes used to the speed He will be an invaluable addition to the mix on Our D, especially against the more physical teams

          …more important, I believe Therrien was happy with His first game

        • ABHabsfan says:

          I think the coaches gave Pateryn 2 options for his play last night, either off the boards and out or off the glass and out. That’s it, don’t even look at the middle of the ice. One play in the 3rd he looked directly at Pleks just outside the blueline, and threw it off the glass anyway.

          “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
          Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

        • wjc says:

          Pateryn was number 64 playing his first NHL game. Robinson, Savard and Lapointe did not over impress anyone their first games either.


    • Sportfan says:

      Prust won’t be out too long but as for the rest we’d like to know something -_-


    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …plus I believe Diaz and Nokalainen are both skating, but not ready for contact …Bourque, not sure

      …Kaberle is just a Black Ace

      …I have heard zero of Weber

  11. Mattyleg says:

    Where’s the Liveblog?
    Game’s in 2.5 short hours away!

    Somebody go over to Boone’s and bang down the door and get rid of the sleeping strippers, fill him with coffee and drag his sorry butt into the basement!

    (young people these days… honestly…)

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  12. Hobie Hansen says:

    Aside from guys like Hopkins, Eberle, Hall, Yakupov and Schultz, the Oilers have a bunch of other guys that could be available.

    Gagne, Peckham and Paajarvi are all RFA next year and Smid, Whitney and Fistric are UFA. One of the four defensemen there could interest the Habs?

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      I think they should definitely make a pitch for Smid. Exactly what we need I feel…got more than enough offence from the back end as is. But Smid is big and steady. Would be great in the playoffs as a shutdown guy with Gorges.

      All depends on the asking price, of course. But I think he’d be a good fit.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I think Smid is the best fit for the Habs as well. I’ve caught him in action many nights after the Habs game and he’s always got his nose in there.

        6’3″ and almost 200 hits last year. He’s not a scrapper but will drop the gloves on occasion. He can certainly clear the crease, battle along the boards and plays a lot of minutes.

        • Ghosts of the Forum says:

          The question is then, if he’s available (which I would imagine he will be given the way the Oil are going), how much is he worth as an upcoming UFA?

          If they think they could sign him after this year, obviously you’d be willing to pay more for him, but how much? My guess is the Oilers are going to want players, probably had enough of picks, haha

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Maybe the Oilers would take Gionta for Smid straight up? The Oilers desperately need a veteran leader, why not the captain of the Habs and a Stanley cup winner in Gionta, who’s under contract next year as well.

            We get Smid, hopefully sign him to a good deal in the summer. If not We’ve cleared $5 million in cap space from trading Gionta and we pickup someone else.

          • Rad says:

            Oilers are looking for grit up front. One of White or Travis Moen might be enough to swing a deal. I don’t think Bergevin is going to trade his captain in the middle of a successful year for the team. But like I said before, if I’m Edmonton I am holding on to Smid. He’s a good D-man.

          • Ghosts of the Forum says:

            Not sure I’d like to see the captain traded just yet…he’s a helluva playoff performer. And yeah, before we gave a roster player, I’d hope MB was really sure he could sign him. But he is exactly the type of guy you’d like to have play with PK, so I’d definitely make a charge for him. Guess the question is, who do you take out of the D lineup?
            Diaz has really surprised me this year and it’s evident they are feeling his loss out there. Markov is not a 1-2 guy anymore. Not his fault with the knees, but he just isn’t. That said, he’s still a very valuable depth guy and great on the PP. Emelin is steadily improving. Frankie has been solid and PK and Gorges are obviously in. Tough to say!

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            He traded Cole without blinking to dump a contract and got good return in Ryder. It would be a similar situation if he traded Gionta for Smid.

    • Sportfan says:

      Doubt Gagne will be available ever with the way he’s turning out.


  13. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Re: the Oilers — someone commented once that they’d be the best team in the League if there were 5 pucks on the ice.

    The whole “take the best player” draft strategy works when you’re drafting regularly. But when you’re in the exceptional position of drafting first overall so many times, you have to start taking what you need.

    If we could make a pitch for Paajarvi, I’d do it. Swedes are usually full value and he’d fit our style. Hand over a solid D prospect (not Tinirdi or Beaulieau)

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      I think we should make a move for Neiderreiter out of New York. Kid wants out, he loves the spotlight, he is a big power forward, and likes to play gritty.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …I never hear of him lately …is He playing in the AHL ?

        …he seemed a ‘sure thing’ stud just a couple years ago

        • Stevie.Ray says:

          He had a bad rookie year in the NHL last year, and was not called up for training camp this year.
          He was playing well in the AHL during the lockout and not being called up pissed him off a little and he reportedly asked for a trade out of there.
          He would look good lined up on Gally’s left in a couple years

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            …thanks Steve

            …he looked like he had great potential …very surprised

          • Ghosts of the Forum says:

            Agree, he’d be great to have on the team. Big question is how much can you fleece Snow? hahaha

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Would you pass up drafting a guy like Stamkos, Tavares, Ovechkin or Crosby at #1 overall based on need? I’d think that that would be a bad idea.

      And I don’t see any reason why the Habs would ‘hand over’ one of their two best D prospects, Beaulieu and Tinordi, for Paajarvi.

  14. Stevie.Ray says:

    Brandon Prust will be out for 10 to 14 days. First degree shoulder (left) separation

    Budaj starts

    Koivu has 21 points in 23 games

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …what a great place to finish His career in Anaheim …great area for Family, Kids …sunshine, no snow, no pressure

      …I’m sure at this stage the last thing He would consider would be a return to Montreal

      …been there, done that !

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Time for Moen to step up ,we could be in trouble, may be White could get some slack

  15. Habilis says:

    Per the Habs official twitter feed:

    “Michel Therrien – Minor shoulder separation for Brandon Prust. Expected to be out of the lineup for 10 days.”

    Not great, but it could have been alot worse. I’m betting on the under here, 7-8 days I think.

    The sched is relatively light next week too, only 3 games in the next 7 days.

    • anotherhab says:

      Ready to go 5-6 days , he just needs a little Maxpac-ade!

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        But agree with previous posts that he shouldn’t rush, return prematurely. We need him to be 100%, and we also need other guys to step up in his absence.

        Remember when our playoff series with Boston when Joe Thornton had a dodgey shoulder? Good player reduced to passenger.

  16. habsfan0 says:

    Ryder will DEFINITELY score tonight.
    Or my name isn’t Curley Howard.

  17. habs-hampton says:

    Maybe Stubbs, Hickey or Boone could answer this question. Who, exactly is against bringing in no-touch icing? I doubt its the players. Is it the GM’s? Most of them used to be players, so that makes no sense. It doesn’t add anything to the game, and I cringe everytime I see a chase for the puck.

    So, again, who is against it?

  18. Boomer says:

    Poor Seth Jones… He’s gonna hate playing in Edmonton

    • Habilis says:

      Edmonton… Where first overall picks go to die.

      Seriously though, if you were an Oiler fan, would you even be excited about another high pick? After 3 years of suck and 3 first picks, I would be alot happier to see my team make some kind of progress towards at least competing, to say nothing of contending.

      • Boomer says:

        If i was an oilers fan i’d be excited about the future but not impressed with Tambellini (spelling?). It’s pretty easy to draft 1st overall. Edmonton is the complete opposite of Detroit. It’s amazing how year after year Detroit can find gems even though they draft late. Edmonton needs to build around these young guys. Something that hasn’t been done yet with the exception of Shultz.

        • christophor says:

          Detroit actually hasn’t drafted that well for while now.

        • Habilis says:

          That’s exactly why I would be discouraged if I were a fan, the apparent lack of ability of management to fill out the roster in the later rounds. Drafting first, as you said, is generally easy (although I still think that the Oilers should have taken Murray last year) but they’ve also had plenty of great picks in the later rounds, they should have been able to find at least some support for their big guns by now.

          Timmins would’ve. 😉

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The Oilers really need to add a couple of veteran players. I could see them packaging one of their young guns and/or a pick and pulling off a blockbuster for a couple of players who have traveled a few rounds in the playoffs on different occasions.

      Maybe Bergevin can do some wheeling and dealing and get one of their youngsters for a couple of veterans?

      • Boomer says:

        It would be a tough trade for any team, I think Edmonton would hold on to the younger guys like grim death. Unless the return is something special. But something does need to be done.

  19. habs001 says:

    The Habs have had a great run so far and hopefully it continues….i am not sure that finishing first is that important it all depends on match ups..The most over confident and arrogant fans for all teams seem to post on TSN a lot..

    • Red says:

      1st or 2nd in the conference is ok as long as they win the division because Boston and Toronto are then probably looking at 4th and 5th. Those 2 teams against each other in the first round would be appropriate.

  20. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Koivu (and perhaps Kostopoulos) being the exception, without Kovaloaf, the Kostitsyns, Komisarek and soon Kaberle, yes indeed, the de-k-ed Habs are 100% better for it.

  21. Gerry H says:

    Man, were the schedulers ever kind to Boston. Five back-to-backs vs ten for Montreal. Light schedule in the first half of the season, allowing them to get into game shape before things intensify.

    You’d think that kind of imbalance would have been verboten.

    • Chris says:

      Or you could look at it as an awful schedule. The Bruins are going to be very worn down and banged up going into the playoffs as compared to the other teams in the league. They have an insane schedule over the next month (basically, they play every other day for a month).

      • Gerry H says:

        First, my bad: It’s actually 9 vs 6 back-to-backs. But still..

        I looked at it the same way initially, Chris, but if you had a choice between an intense first half vs and intense second half, which would you pick in a season like this? Bear in mind the uneven conditioning inherent at the outset of a lock-out shortened season and that a tough schedule at the end of a 48 game season is a lot less daunting than at the end of an 82 game campaign.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Yeah, it’s hard to read that.
        I side with you, but Gerry has a point too.
        As long as the Boons stay healthy through this period, they’ll hit the playoffs flying.

        …or they could be totally run-down.

        Like I said, hard to say!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • anotherhab says:

      Goes to show that Jacobs has Buttman in his back pocket!

    • donmarco says:

      They’ve got 5 in 7 nights next week, with 2 against Pittsburgh, so check back then. Habs have a much friendlier schedule than they do at this point.

  22. Mattyleg says:

    Great tweet from ‘Therrien’s Temper’, a joke Twitter account:

    Prusty’s new job in da press box: keep da hotdogs away from Tomas! #Teamplayer

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • H.Upmann says:

      LOL that twitter account is hilarious!!

      “I love Florida. Da boys are having a good time. Except for Davey. He is not tall enough to get on da Disney rides. #itsaSMALLworld”

  23. C-Sword says:

    I enjoyed watching them crash the net to score those dirty goals last night, this is how you score in the playoffs, I wonder if this team can maintain a good position with the losses of so many key players, they need Bourque back ASAP. I think this team is in need of a good stay at home defenseman and another power forward to be taken seriously. I hate seeing them collapse every time Desharnais loses a face-off in the D-Zone.

  24. Mattyleg says:

    How’s about a question:

    Which coach is the next to go?

    a) John Tortorella
    b) Adam Oates
    c) Guy Boucher
    d) Ralph Krueger
    e) Joe Sacco

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. Habfan10912 says:

    I feel bad for Oates. His job will ride on Ovie’s play and he looks awful lazy out there. First move? Strip him of the C. That’s not a leader out there.

    • Bun E. Laroque says:

      Oates as a player was the polar opposite of OV (unselfish vs selfish). 102 assists one year I think. Not the best combination.

      • B says:

        Oates career single season high is 97 assists. Only Gretzky (11 times), Lemieux and Orr (once each) ever hit triple digits in single season assists. The all time single season assist record for a Hab is Peter Mahovlich with 82 in 74/75.

        –Go Habs Go!–

  26. Mattyleg says:

    While everyone’s still in a good mood:
    More jokes.

    A woman goes into a vet with her schnauzer because it’s stopped coming to her when she calls. The vet says that it’s because the dog’s ears have become clogged with hair, and it just need to be trimmed.

    The vet trims the hair, and tells the lady that if she wants better results, and to not have to visit the vet so often, she should just get some ‘Nair’ and apply it to the insides of the dog’s ears, and it’ll do the trick very nicely.

    So the lady goes into the pharmacy and asks where the ‘Nair’ is kept. The pharmacist shows her, and then says,
    “Listen, if this is for your armpits, then you shouldn’t use deodorant for a few days afterwards, as it’ll be a bit sensitive.”
    “Oh, okay,” begins the lady.
    “But if if it’s for your legs, then you shouldn’t put moisturizer on them for a couple of days as well.”
    “I see, but,” she begins again.
    “If it’s for your upper lip…” the pharmacist goes on.

    “No, it’s not for any of that,” the lady says, finally. “It’s for my schnauzer.”

    “Ah, well then I wouldn’t recommend riding a bike.”

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  27. RockinRey says:

    Great day to be a Habs fan!!!

    We know MB will tinker and will be a buyer come the deadline.

    I would love to see them add another top 6 guy with size and or a defenseman with size . If he is a rental, hopefully his salary is not overly constraining to the cap.

    I pose this question to the commentariat.

    What is the consensus pressing need for this team ?? As it stands or leading up to the deadline??!

    What do they plan to do with Nokeleinen?? He is pretty efficient with faceoffs…

    • HabFab says:

      Nokeleinen is still on the IR. He has started skating but is not ready for contact.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Here’s a 2nd question – what are fans willing to pay for a rental that fits the needs that you just described?

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I don’t want to see the Habs go all in with their 2nd round picks for rentals again. The team chemistry is good right now, and this is supposed to be a rebuilding year.

      Unless there’s a guy that they absolutely cannot pass up, it’s probably wiser to stay put.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      Most pressing need:
      4th line grinders that can kill penalties, log hard minutes against opponents top lines, and can play gritty.
      Bottom pair Dman that can shutdown opponents top line and add some size to our backend
      Top 6 winger that can score and be an integral pat of the team for years to come.

    • GGtheHab says:

      when u look at it like that it seems the two Fla teams should be swapped with the two NY teams.. money must have talked

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Central division looks pretty weak.

    • HardHabits says:

      I still don’t like that 16 teams are in the East and 14 teams are in the West. The NHL appears to be either improvising or hiding some grander plan. Whatever the case it I am not pleased with these changes and I suspect they will be short-lived, which begs the question, why?

    • Chris says:

      Looking at that map, it really would make more sense to exchange Pittsburgh and Columbus for Tampa Bay and Florida.

      The problem is that the league doesn’t want to take Crosby and the Pens away from their big television market in New York, nor take away the Philly/Pittsburgh rivalry, which is understandable.

      I still think they should just make everybody travel equally. Cut the number of games, but spread it out so that the divisions are aligned more North-South than East-West.

      Look at the travel schedule of the New York teams and then look at the teams out West. Huge competitive advantage over an 82 game season.

    • B says:

      That map really shows how wrong it is to put Florida and Tampa in the North East. If reducing travel time is a supposed part of this realignment, then FLA and TB should be in the Atlantic division.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    I see only 1 plausible trade for Vinny. The Canucks could trade Luongo for Vinny straight up. The Canucks in my opinion need to win the Cup this year or Mike Gillis is in trouble. They could use Vinny on their 2nd or 3rd line. Still far fetched I realize, but seems to me as the only possible trade.

  29. naweed235 says:

    any news on Prust’s injury? what’s the consensus here? is he gone long term?

  30. munch17 says:

    Here are some interesting stats re our power play:

    DD: 1 G 3 A = 4 points. 73:46 total PP minutes. Ave 2.57 per game.
    Pleks: 4 G 8 A = 12 points 70 minutes 2:48 per game
    LE : 1 G 2 A = 3 points 17:09 minutes . 0:44 per game.

    I have not done the research re 5 on 3.
    If someone out there would like to add to this feel free.
    DD is usually out on first wave.
    I’m not sure why.

  31. AH says:

    If Dumont is good at face offs consistently, we need to find a place for him. Lost draws kill us

  32. frontenac1 says:

    Rds 2 is televising Lingerie Football. Its pretty good too amigos.

  33. Mark C says:

    Boy, what is going on in Tampa? Guy the Great and the Amazing Stevie Y have a mess on their hands. Both of these guys have got a ton of love on HIO before, but would anyone trade MT/MB for those two now?

    On another note, Eller’s D shows up in every game. Outstanding anticipation on his key shot block with less than 2 minutes to play. More exceptional neutral play leading to Tampa turnovers.

    • Sportfan says:

      Haha nope I wouldn’t trade for them but maybe trade for a Stevie Y player 😉 they’ll bounce back if not this season next season there goaltending is kind of the question mark with A D corp thats a bit weaker


    • HabinBurlington says:

      They have $58million committed to 16 players for next year. This team will not improve much next year. I am not sure what they have in the pipeline besides the surprising play of rookie Conacher.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        The right move is to buy out Vinny. You think they will? That’s a lot if moola to eat.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          He has made all of his money through investments, hedge fund managing etc…. the concept of paying Vinny that much money to not play would be very hard for him to understand from a business perspective.

          I suspect he rather tells Stevie Y. trade him for a bag of pucks.

    • Phil C says:

      Therrien has been awesome, coach of the year IMO. Boucher is still learning his craft at the NHL level, but I think he will be good also.

      Too early to judge the GM in both cases. Selke didn’t win anything for the first 7 years, then we all know what followed.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Is it possible neither of those first-timers was actually ready for those roles in the NHL?

    • Fansincebirth says:

      It’s funny….I was one of the ones screaming about when we lost GB from our potential head coach pool and when he was joined by Stevie Y, I thought they were going to build a power house around Stamkos, Vinny and St L but…..guess not. Well not yet anyways. 🙂

      Vinny’s contract is killing them and will for a while because they aren’t going to be able to move that albatross.


  34. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Hey HabFab,
    The guy we were discussing prior to face-off had a good game, ie he was involved and positive and contributed. Also his points-per-game avg is impressive. Have to give you that. He didn’t do enough to ease my reservations, though. You said you also had some — I wonder what they are. Maybe we’re in fact on the same page.

    Also, there are other wise posters here — and not 100 miles from this post — who were MUCH less polite about him after the game!

    That would nearly suggest putting him in the same category as AK46, memories awakened by Darche, but I wouldn’t go near that far. Just reservations. Plus I find it hard to square him with the Therrien philosophy.

    We’ll see how he goes. Cheers.

  35. Bill says:

    Oh, and here’s a messed up stat: Tomas Plekanec, 25 games, 5 assists! That is crazy. Think he gave up on line mates after last year and decided to take matters into his own hands and just shoot? I don’t mind.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • shiram says:

      His scoring pace would have him at 36 in a 82 game season, and that with a reasonable shooting %, well a bit high at 13.8. He’s shooting more also.

    • FunkyCrabChairNF says:

      Agreed. He’s my favorite player on the team, as evidenced by my pizza and beer stained jersey I wear to every game I go to.

      He is probably the best all-around player on the team without having one particular skill or specialty that jumps out. If you’re a fan like us, we notice his defensive play and PK prowess, but it goes unnoticed by a casual hockey fan.

      I’m sure he leads by example, but his quiet, “just business” mentality keeps him out of any captaincy conversations. Frankly, I think it is that approach which allows him to be the player he is. No b.s., no drama, no controversy. The crap with Subban is the only thing that I can recount, and that crap happens. They are pretty much opposite personalities but equally intense, so it was no surprise, despite the media fodder at the time.

      I would be happy to see the guy remain a Hab his entire career, and when guys like Galchenyuk and possibly Eller are higher on the chart than he, I can’t see him crying about being a third line center at age 32 or 33. I also get the impression he loves the city. Most Europeans seem to (understandably) more than other North Americans… even Quebecois players.

      All that to say there is no need to get rid of this guy in the foreseeable future. That or I just have a man-crush. Shoot me.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Excellent post.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Agree. He doesn’t often get the recognition he deserves. Well said.

        • FunkyCrabChairNF says:

          What’s great is that I don’t think he cares if he gets the accolades, and even in terms of financial compensation he has been more than reasonable and loyal. If he’s had any gripes, we haven’t heard them. Just “shut up and play”… GM and coach’s dream.

      • JF says:

        Great post. Plekanec is one of the most under-rated players in the League. Yet people here dismiss him as a decent second-line centre and package him up in every fantasy deal. I love his quiet, business-like attitude. He is absolutely professional, says little, never complains, just gets on with the job. And I know he loves the city.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        Hopefully Eller is of the same mold.

        As others have pointed out before, he seems to be a very coachable kid. Not going to cause a lot of drama.

    • Phil C says:

      Plekanec almost always shoots this year. He leads the team with 80 shots, which puts him in the top twenty in the league in both shots and goals.

      I think it is part of the reason why Gionta struggled earlier this season; because his centre shoots first and asks questions later (and passes never). If you look at Gionta’s recent goal scoring success, it has little directly to do with Plekanec, they’ve come from the PP or from Eller.

      I can only assume Plekanec has been told to shoot more. It’s been working, he is looking like a sniper.

      • Danno says:

        They asked him that question several weeks ago on AC and Plex just kind of laughed but didn’t answer


        “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
        Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

      • vancouverite says:

        I think it makes sense after last year. Pleks expected the worst coming into this season – that he would get the same group of semi-decent revolving linemates. (I could see other people complaining in this position when the second best center gets the two best wingers all year in Cole and Paches)… Many people on this site like to put DD in front of pleks, but as much as i love DD, he simply does not have the defensive qualities, experience and poise of the more mature Plekster. Basically Pleks came in this year thinking “you know what, if they’re not going to give me good wingers, its okay, I score myself”

  36. Bill says:

    Loved the comeback. That third period was total domination. It doesn’t hurt that the Lightning do a lousy job of executing Boucher’s trap … I would surmise that they don’t really like it? Pure speculation.

    On the goalie thing, it always helps to remember it’s a team game. When the team gets in trouble, like it has during second periods lately, the goalie gets in trouble. When the team plays well, the goalie will have good results. I don’t think it’s crazy to defend Price on the goals against last night … the team was backed in and running around and there was someone right in his face on every goal. You can’t stop what you can’t see. But there were even people criticizing the double bounce Malone “goal”!

    Gallagher is a total revelation. Like Marty St. Louis or Theo Fleury, it doesn’t matter that you’re small if you play big, and no one plays bigger than him. You can wish he were bigger, but with his junior career and talent, remember that if he’s over six feet he gets drafted in the top ten and he’s on some other team.

    At this point, I’d say let’s not have Prust rushed back into the line-up. The Habs have a bit of a cushion. Where they are really gonna need him, god willing, is in the playoffs.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  37. Ian Cobb says:

    Took me a long time to write this, so I put it up on this new page for comment.

    We can talk all about Prust and Gallagher’s dogged tenacity, and it is wonderful the way they have fired up this team.
    But if I was one of those two guys, I would have a few strong words to tell my team mates in the dressing room.

    If these two guys and others play their hearts out, being hard on the puck and keeping it in the opposition’s end of the rink with super effort.
    Then the rest of the players that ice the puck continuously because of laziness or they need practice hitting our own players sticks with passes, or not skating to the red line before dumping it in, causing icings and face offs back in our end, that give the opposition shots on goal. Because of one of our teams overall weaknesses of not winning face offs.

    Half of the time the opposition gains our end of the rink is through our own stupidity with icings.

    Pretty discouraging for the players working their tails off keeping the pressure in the other end, when other players gives the opposition so easy entrants to our zone icing the puck, with a scoring chance or an injury, like we all saw last night.
    On the ball or on the bus boy’s! Get this constant icing under control!!
    Toe Blake must be rolling in his grave.!

    • Bill says:

      The Habs do ice the puck a lot in tight situations, and I don’t know why. Should be remedied.

      As for being examples, I wonder if some of the other guys on the team feel Therrien’s stare when Gallagher storms into the front of the crease, takes abuse, and tries to score? Wouldn’t mind seeing a few of the bigger guys try it!

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Ian Cobb says:

        He is putting guys like Ryder and a few others to shame for not getting their noses dirty as well as the little guys.

        • sheds88 says:

          this is exactly what this team has been missing in the past. i mean gorges has heart but a forward the parks in the crease he cashes in is priceless to us. any coach would love to have a guy like this on their team to set the bar for the rest of the team

        • LizardKing12 says:

          That really isn’t Ryder’s game, he is a sniper. Not many snipers score their goals by crashing the net, they tend to float around the slot area looking for open space to shoot from. Although he doesn’t go to the net much Ryder won a lot of battles in the corner last game. Plekanec’s goal was a direct result of Ryder forcing a mistake behind the net with good board play.

    • HabFab says:

      The icings could be part of MT’s Keep It Simple Strategy If you don’t have a player to pass to and are under pressure, ice it and we will regroup. Of course it would help to be winning more face offs then you lose.

  38. habs_54321 says:

    missed the game last night, how did ryder play i know he got a few assists but was he still looking lost in the offensive zone and coughing up the puck or was he burying his head and making plays?

    • HabFab says:

      He was involved in the play and doing good considering he was playing off wing.

    • CHasman says:

      Ryder played hard and caused some turnovers that led to goals. Obviously he didn’t like being benched on Thursday and Therrion pushed the right buttons. Only two assists last night but he was directly responsible for the turnover that led to Plecanec’s goal but didn’t earn a point on that one. Looking forward to seeing him rifle his first goal today.

  39. AH says:

    Is that picture above Gallagher in a nutshell or what? LOL! Got to say, I thought they were done after the second; they proved me wrong nicely.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Frank – Coach of the year is going to be the most interesting category. So many great candidates. Anaheim is as much a surprise as Montreal.

      Interresting poll question on that THN link. 85% voted that the Getzlaf contract was too much. I was one of them.

    • LizardKing12 says:

      I’m a bit disappointed that Gallagher was snubbed. He wasn’t even mentioned as a candidate. He has carved out a role for himself on the first line of a first place team and has been a real spark plug for the Habs. Among rookies he’s third in points, second in goals, second in assists and first in +/-. Huberdeau is being relied upon as a first unit PP weapon on a terrible team and Conacher is playing with the second and third most productive players in the NHL! I am more impressed with Gally…

  40. 24 Cups says:

    Is there truly any hope of changing hockey when the NHL and NHLPA can’t even fix a problem as simple as this.


  41. likehoy says:

    I’m going against the sheep grain of saying “dumont had a good game”

    He thought he was an offensive player playing on the 4th line. He was trying to make offensive plays, but his duty first and foremost is to kill minutes and make the safe play. He’s a rookie and it’s clear, he tried to do a drop pass at the blue line, and then had a few plays where he tried to feed the puck into shooting areas. That’s not what you do as a 4th liner on this edition of the Montreal Canadiens. Get the puck deep, grind and wear down the dmen.

    Sure he won a few faceoffs, but zenon konopka can win faceoffs, just saying. Plus he’s really small. If he’s tried on the 3rd line and excels with a more offensive role, then maybe he has a future on this team.. but as a 4th liner? forget it.

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