About last night …


You could make a case for Lars Eller as First Star of the game even if he hadn’t scored the Shootout goal that gave your Montreal Canadiens a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators.
Eller opened the scoring in the terrifically entertaining game.
He had seven shots on goal, tying Max Pacioretty for the team lead on the night.
Eller put in 3:30 on the Canadiens’ penalty-kill, but he was at his best in even-strength situations, using his size to maintain possession and create opportunities for linemates Alex Galchenyuk and Gabriel Dumont in the Ottawa zone. He was also 9-7 on faceoffs.
As has been the case for a while now, Eller played like a number one or two centre.
Along with Galchenyuk, who’s 19 and 26-year-old David Desharnais, Eller – who’ll be 24, and  quite possibly playing hockey, in May – gives the Canadiens a bright future at the all-important pivot position.
And it’s not like Tomas Plekanec, 30, is ready for retirement.
Eller, a healthy scratch for Games 2 and 3 of the season, is displaying the talent that made him a first-round draft choice in 2007.
Hey, how the heck did the Canadiens get that guy?
Oh, right: In a trade for the goaltender who is now Jake Allen’s backup in St. Louis.

O Halakites, feast your eyes on this potentially great Dane … and STFU.

But of course, that’s not going to happen. Because this is Montreal, the city that devours its goaltenders like smoked meat or bagels.

And so while giving Lars Eller his props, Carey Price’s critics will stoutly maintain the game never would have gone to Overtime and a Shootout if Jaroslav Halak had been at the Bell Centre to stop the Patrick Wiercioch five-hole cheapie that completed Ottawa’s rally from a 3-1 deficit.

Maybe so.

But when you dial up NHL.com to check the goaltender stats, the name at the top of the list is the guy who can’t steal games for the Canadiens.

Carey Price has 14 wins, and to reach that total he had to stop 29 Ottawa shots – plus two more in the Shootout.

Was he the better goaltender on Wednesday night?

Probably not. Robin Lehner made 42 saves through 65 minute before was beaten by Eller and Galchenyuk in what Red Fisher calls The Gimmick.

You have to envy Ottawa’s depth at that key position. Lehner is their goaltender of the future, and Craig Anderson was an outstanding goalie of the present before he got hurt. Plus gargantuan Ben Bishop.

The Senators are right in the thick of the playoff race, despite injuries to Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and Jared Cowan. They play tough, disciplined, up-tempo hockey that produces great games against the Canadiens. Too bad there won’t be any more, unless the teams meet in the playoffs.

Ottawa romped to a 5-1 win in their first meeting this season. Since then, there have been three one-goal games, two of which went to Shootouts. On the season, each team is 2-1-1.

That’s a good matchup, and the Wednesday game didn’t disappoint. The up-tempo game was a showcase for players who can skate – and no one shone brighter than P.K. Subban.

His seven giveaways were atrocious. But P.K. played almost 31 minutes – as did Andrei Markov – and had a goal (his seventh, tops among NHL defenceman, and matching his 81-game total last season) and an assist.

Here’s a telling stat on P.K.: He had five shots on goal, plus four that were blocked by Senators. But Subban – he of the big windup and wild howitzers – didn’t have a SINGLE SHOT that missed the net.

Michel Therrien and J.J. Daigneault are coaching P.K. into Norris Trophy contention. In the absence of Erik Karlsson, Kris Letang is favoured. But P.K. is becoming part of the Norris conversation.

There were 77 shots on goal, two successful power plays by each team and some fierce hits – most of them dished out by the Senators, who had a whopping 39-18 advantage. That’s the most hits against the Canadiens this season.

Chris Neil and Eric Gryba had eight hits each. Francis Bouillon’s five led the Canadiens.

To their credit – and typical of the way they’ve played this season – the Canadiens absorbed the shots and kept on coming. They generated a good bit of traffic in front of Lehner, particularly when Brendan Gallagher was on the ice to fearlessly crash the blue paint. 

•  •  •

There was no puff of white smoke emanating from the Bell Centre, but the Canadiens are undefeated when playing on the same day a new pope is elected.

It had happened twice before Wednesday.

On March 2, 1939, when Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli became Pope Pius XII, the Canadiens beat the Leafs 3-1 at the Forum.

When Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli became Pope John XX!!! on Oct. 28, 1958, the Canadiens tied the Blackhawks 5-5 in Chicago.

Maybe the current backup goaltender’s spot in the dressing room should be called the Chair of Peter.




  1. strunzo says:

    Watched the Leafs last night and when Bozak scored he did quite a celebration (and why not) which I’m sure Don Cherry would have liked. But not Subban. He is not allowed to celebrate a goal, or a win. Now he is being touted as a potential Norris Trophy Winner!
    If He won it, would he be allowed to give an acceptance speech?
    Give this guy a break, please.

  2. habsfan0 says:

    “But when you dial up NHL.com to check the goaltender stats, the name at the top of the list is the guy who can’t steal games for the Canadiens.”

    However, when you configure this list to “GAA Leaders” you’ll note that Price is listed at #15,exactly in the middle.

  3. nova scotia vees says:

    Not sure what the STFU stands for…but I figure I know the last 2 letters. Boone…is your picture of Carey above your bed or the living-room fireplace?

  4. Saundies says:

    The same people calling for Price’s head after every bad goal are probably people who wanted Roy traded after he got shlacked 9-0 against the Wings.. and then went “OH NOOOO” after he won two more cups with the Avs and set Montreal back for years to come.

    People in here have short memories about their player opinions once they start doing well (and they usually do). I read the comments in here a lot and most of them/close to all of them are pretty negative. When Subban has his “contract dispute” a lot of people in here wanted to trade him, called him overrated, said the fans hated him, etc… Now he’s part of the Norris conversation this year.

    Really shows what people in here know about hockey sometimes.

  5. Shamrock says:

    Magnus Nygren is another one of those prospects that must be signed before June 1st 2013, along with Danny Kristo, Daniel Pribyl, Olivier Archambault and Dustin Walsh..

  6. showey47 says:

    nokelainen(sp) put on waivers

  7. Shamrock says:

    TSN announces Vincent Lecavalier out indefinitely with a lower body injury, I am guessing he sat awkwardly on his wallet

  8. Stevie.Ray says:

    Wonder if they will give Kaberle a couple games before inserting Tinordi.

  9. showey47 says:

    Magnus Nygren wins borge salming trophy as best defenceman in swedish elite league

  10. Cal says:

    I believe MB and the Gang are calling up players as per their long term plans for the club.
    The best way to evaluate talent is to have them with the big club against NHL competition. When I see how wonderful prospects are doing in junior, I take it with a grain of salt. Those prospects are playing against boys.
    Same for the AHL, save the boys are men who are either failed NHLers or are trying to get there. Again, that competition isn’t the best.
    MB and the Gang have a plan they are sticking to, despite this early success.

  11. Dirtsteed says:

    I agree a couple of those goals last night did not look good. But I would still categorize our defense as weak. Letting Alfredsson walk to the net yesterday is a recipe for disaster. Most of the goals we give up are wide open chances because we swarm/out number the opposition along the boards. If it gets loose, someone is wide open.

    Right now Ben Scrivens and James Reimer have a better save % than Price. Do you want either of those guys? I think the comment was made but I did the calculation. Don’t quote save percentage or GAA until at least the end of the year. A couple of games can have a huge impact in a short season. If you remove Pitt 7-6 and Toronto 6-0, Price’s GAA goes from 2.39 to 1.96 and Save % goes from .910 to .924. And if you look at prices historical stats, he will never be a 1.70 GAA, .940 save %.

    The question you have to ask yourself with goalies is, with the game on the line in the third period, does he make the save to help win the game. That will be proven in the playoffs.

  12. bleedhabs81 says:

    I haven’t read all the posts, and I would have posted during the game but I was way behind the live feed (watching PVR)… so I apologize for repeating what has already been said.


    Not to take anything away from PK and the praise TSN heeped on him, but the best player was Eller last night.

    Lets hope this is the new normal for him. He is looking very good this year. Boone said it best… Halaktites can STFU…. It is starting to look like we won the trade.

  13. Rudy says:

    For the first time in a loooong time, I have complete confidence in our GM, MB listens to EVERYONE and then makes his decisions. He also has the guy (asst GM, can’t remember his name) who everyone said we were lucky to get (from the Leafs, couldn’t participate in the draft). These are all guys he picked to depend on.

  14. pete says:

    I just wasn to say hats off to MT he has done a wonderfull job with the team. Eller is beaing used right not like in the past PK playing well what a change with him.But Prust what a beast some say his contract is to hight i think hes worth every penny chucky and gally doing great.The whole team is playing good thanks to MT 2.0 as for Price vs Halak im a huge Halak fan but IMO both golies are good they bothe have there strong points and there weak points Iam enjoying the season GO HABS. OH i liked the post Ian Cobb did about knuckels well done Ian i was wondering if u were from bellville cause thats where im from ..Cheers every one

  15. habsguru says:

    all need to ease up on Price, he is in the top 3 in the nhl, and on many nights, #1. if only people talked about the crazy saves he makes, with the same passion of the odd stinker that goes in…. HIO posts would be jamming servers everywhere. with a boy playing on two hockey teams, i spend half of my life in the rink, and at every level (EVERY LEVEL), goalies make mistakes. it’s just not that easy. can you drain every 5 foot put? doubt it. a pro sniper can make an insane snapshot look as tame as a timbit fanning on a puck. most wins in the nhl… pretty good for a not great goalie huh?

  16. DD says:

    Come on Booner, quit playing around on Facebook and give us some Tinordi information.

  17. Shamrock says:

    It seemed only a few years ago that our minor league affiliate in Hamilton was dangerously bare of any D prospects. Fast forward to the present, with the Likes of recent 1st round picks in Nathan Beaulieu and Jarrod Tinordi, and bolstered by later picks like Morgan Ellis and Grabovski trade addition Michigan graduate Greg Pateryn, leaves Hamilton with some upcoming projects.

    Considering we will be adding to the D corps in Hamilton Mac Bennett another Michigan graduate. Dalton Thrower from Saskatoon Blades and also from Saskatoon Blades Darren Dietz a steal fifth rounder to match the steal fifth rounder that Brendan Gallagher was, Dietz is an absolute Gem, hope you all get a chance to see him play at memorial cup this spring.

    With Danny Kristo maturing and ripping up NCAA. Hopefully Kristo gets signed as soon as North Dakota wraps up NCAA and hopefully a frozen four appearance in his senior season. Sebastien Colberg and Charles Hudon, in the pipeline from Europe and the Q. Habs future and present looking to be quite promising is an understatement , especially with a plethora of picks in this years 2013 draft.

    The decision going forward is now do we trade a prospect like Beaulieu along with a draft pick or two, in order to pick up a David Clarkson, Ryan Clowe, and or big D man.

    For the first time in year’s I have confidence in the Hierarchy in the rafters at the Bell Center making the decisions. I for one hate to trade D prospects but after watching Darren Dietz play many many times this year his talent, skill set and leadership is skyrocketing in an MVP type performance in the WHL. I am very confident we can sustain trading Nathan Beaulieu and one of our many 2013 draft picks to land a David Clarkson, Ryan Clowe or Ryan Malone to give our lion hearted Brandon Prust a helping hand in the battles that will be taking place with the intensity that will be ramping up as playoff hockey nears, and thus make a serious run at Mr Stanley…

    • Loonie says:

      I think Bergevin will move some prospects on defense but pray he doesn’t move Beaulieu.

      Beaulieu is the prototype for what you want in a number one defenseman.

      If the best scout in the World could mold the skill-set and size of what he wants in an elite defenseman Beaulieu would fit it perfectly.

      Incredibly fast, great passing, great hands for a d-man, great shot, can be physical and is effective when he decides to be.

      For my money he should be the most coveted prospect the Habs have(not counting Galchenyuk).

      • Smiths Falls Habs Fan says:

        I haven’t seen any Hamilton games this year. How has he played so far?

        Some people have no idea what they\’re talking about. I\’m probably one of those people…

      • Sal from the Hammer says:

        Loonie, you speak the truth, Beaulieu is the next best offensive type defenseman in the system today, outside of Subban. I’ve posted here before I hope they don’t trade him.

  18. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If Pateryn was playing the best in Hamilton then why bring up Tinordi? Maybe will play with Gorges moving to the right side? MB/MT hoping for a Hall Gill type that can help kill penalties with his long reach and can clear the front of the net? Maybe they are testing the d-men before making a trade…who knows.

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Loonie says:

      I don’t believe anybody in the Habs organization ever said that Pateryn was their best defenseman or playing the best. I believe Therrien said he had experience against men from being in College which in itself is a half-truth. He also said that his right handed shot was an asset.

      Tinordi has a better chance of sticking than Pateryn ever did. Beaulieu has the best chance of any of them.

      Skill. It pays the bills.

  19. hockeymaniac31 says:

    I dont think they called Tinoridi up cause of a potential trade but because the backend has been playing too soft for too long. Since the Pens game they have only givin up 2 goals or less only 2 times. They cant count on scoring 3 or 4 goals every game and have to win 2-1, 3-2 hockey games.

  20. habs-hampton says:

    I’m not up on all the CBA rules, but why would Tinordi being recalled mean there may be a trade in the works?

    • lavie says:

      Me either to the CBA rules. What I can understand is that Habs do need a bid D ready for playoff, if Tinordi is ready for the prime time that’s perfect; if not, a trade for a big stay-at-home Dman will be on the way.

  21. Smiths Falls Habs Fan says:


  22. Smiths Falls Habs Fan says:

    I’m not a “Price-hater” by any means, but I don’t see why someone who isn’t convinced he’s as good or ever will be as good as people say are considered “trolls”. I respect others’ opinions and would hope that others would respect mind.

    • Loonie says:

      It all goes back to when both Price and Halak were Habs and the period that shortly followed.

      Price was evaluated strictly according to his winning percentage and maturity instead of his skills and individual statistics by people who fell in love with Halak.

      Those people come out of the woodwork and beat their chests every time Price has a game that you couldn’t consider fantastic.

      • Smiths Falls Habs Fan says:

        Okay, I’m sure there are a TONNE of people like that, but not all of them are trolls are they?

        Some people have no idea what they\’re talking about. I\’m probably one of those people…

  23. Stevie.Ray says:

    Gally27 has already had two training camps and has played 66 games this season. This is probably good for his development, especially after missing last year, but he must be getting somewhat mentally and physically fatigued.

    • Loonie says:

      Normally I would agree but believe it or not he really wasn’t putting out at the junior level or in the WJHC.

      This sounds very arrogant but he was skating down to his competition down there.

    • Looks fine to me. Speed, hands and power is all there.

      At his age mental fatigue isn’t even a phrase in his vocabulary. He’s probably still shaking his head asking himself how he got here, and smiling all the while.

      Now Carey Price playing is last year in the WHL/World Juniors/AHL/Sept training camp, that would have been physically tough, but it made him a better goalie for it.

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      Custom Sports Figures

    • Chris says:

      Exactly. It is not at all uncommon for junior players to start to run out of gas a little around this time of year. Galchenyuk has played a lot of hockey games.

  24. Loonie says:

    I still think the Cole/Ryder trade was a good long term move but the more I watch Michael Ryder the less interested I am in Bergevin retaining him after this season.

    Gabriel Dumont earned a full-time role on this team late last season in my opinion. I’m very glad he’s getting the chance to earn it again this year.

    I can’t get enough of the agents from Octagon Sports putting their feet in their mouths and forcing their players to justify their childish behaviour to reporters. The three amigos; Walsh, Liut and Hankinson may think they’re doing their clients a courageous service by taking their grievances public but I’ll bet some General Managers and Owners are aware of how ridiculous those men behave and look in the other direction on July 1st. Bad business.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I think the Cole/Ryder trade was inspired. We all remember how the doubters when he was signed bemoaned the length of the contract most of all. All prudent observers thought the first couple of years might bring good returns, but were leery of him aging and losing his effectiveness in the last two.

      We in fact saw that he was a changed player this year. So much so that I wondered about PED’s, since I read Bill Simmons’ column in Grantland a couple of months ago, when he put a bug in my ear that from now on, every great swing in performance by a player from season to season is open to scrutiny and conjecture. Erik just didn’t have the devastating speed and power this year that he showed last year. Of course, he was injured this summer so most probably that’s the reason he’s not performing, but the decrease in output is such that I considered whether he gave his liver and kidneys a break this year, seeing as the season had a good chance to be scrubbed.

      Mr. Bergevin did well to sell while the stock was still high. I’m ambivalent on Michael Ryder, they’ll evaluate him as the season progresses and make the call. The big win was ridding the team of the salary cap hit going forward, and the bonus was giving Trevor Timmins and his posse an extra third-round pick to play with.

  25. PrimeTime says:

    Price haters will never stop to criticize him. I would hazard to guess they are Roy era fans from their youth and only recall the highlights if his great career. It’s like watching highlights of other players but do not see the entire picture. The Habs could win it all and they would say it was done despite Price. If he won the Conn Smythe and did not repeat the following year they would criticize. Their hate is personal and they own the problem. If they expect Price to be the Crosby of goalies they need to realize that even the best player on earth makes mental errors and has off games. Again it’s personal with ignorant and shortsighted reasoning. This year Price is winning and he owns the toughest job in hockey. He is stud goalie and every team wishes they had one as consistent as ours. So as Boone says…..STFU

    • ont fan says:

      Criticize all you want. Tell all the other GM’s he is tradable and see the response. We see every shot on Price, but not on all the other goalies in the league. Surely, these other guys must let in softies? Pastures are always greener somewhere else.

    • santerre says:

      If you remove the stats from both Pit and NYI game, in wich he was not sharp, his stats becomes #5 for gaa and #8-9 for save pct… Those 2 games have affected his stats by a lot! Put him on the market and you’ll see 29 GMs lining up with a lot to offer for him…he’s that good!

  26. Bripro says:

    MB’s and MT’s philosopies are obviously in sharp contrast to JM’s and the gestapo’s last year.
    I thought St Denis was quite solid last year, and I’m surprised to not having seen him yet this year.
    Kaberle, to most fans’ satisfaction, is seeing very limited action, although I thought he was pretty good last week.
    Now, they’re trying the kids before pushing for a rent-a-player, or doing a panic house-cleaning.
    What a difference a year makes.
    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think there should be an award for GM of the year.

    • Chuck says:

      There is. It’s called the Stanley Cup. 🙂

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

    • durocher says:

      I liked St Denis last year also — he played a simple, solid game. I think he deserves another shot; he’s paid his dues and acquitted himself well in his stint with the big club.

      • jmsheehy19 says:

        The issue is who does he supplant? I also liked him last year, but with the team playing as they are, it’s hard to bump someone. Though I wouldn’t mind him taking over the 6th spot with Frankie the Bull until Diaz returns.

  27. habs-fan-84 says:

    Lost in all this, is the fact that the Habs are once again on a 4 game win streak!


  28. Habitforming says:

    I just noticed that the Habs are 3rd (tied) in the league in goals for. Very suprising since we are normally middle of the league or bottom.

  29. JUST ME says:

    The Tinordi recall is the way a recall should be done. Call up the youngster for a few games like you did with Pateryn and let him show what he has got. Very different situation from calling up a youngster to replace an injured player when he then has to take the place of a proven NHLer… I like the way things are done with the habs this year.

    I find it funny although not surprizing that we read about people wanting a trade here even if we are number one ,have been for a month now and are the ones to copy. We are 4 points away from a team that had an historical season so far that should tell us something about the level of play the Habs have shown us no? We are in another winning streak of 4 games ,have lost 1 game in regular time in the 20 last games. I mean the Habs are impressive.

    The Habs win every way they can and even if some are not playing up to par ,others are taking over and shining.

    Am i the only one that notices the applause noise level has risen at the Bell Center ? I think fever is coming.

  30. Loonie says:

    Tinordi eh?

    Now there’s a guy with some hype that I can get on board with.

    • shiram says:

      Really? The few time’s I’ve seen him play in the AHL, admitedly it was a while ago, he looked to still be trying to find his game, still needed to adjust.
      That said, most callups seem to be doing better on the big club…

      • Loonie says:

        He isn’t going to have a 40 point rookie season but I think he’ll be as responsible defensively as Pateryn but better with the puck on his stick and more physical than Pateryn’s been.

        He has better tools.

        • Cal says:

          Pateryn was on the ice for only 7 minutes last night. Only 2 recorded hits in 3 games.
          Tinordi will have to adjust to very little ice time. Ought to be interesting.

          • Loonie says:

            I’m inclined to think Pateryn had low ice-time due to the games being close and because he struggled mightily. He was noticeable in bad ways when he was on the ice. He didn’t pin his checks to the boards, was an adventure with the puck under pressure and didn’t use his size effectively at all.

            I don’t mean to trash him because it’s a very difficult adjustment. Expectations of him specifically were too high. It seemed people read some glowing scouting reports coming from bloggers operating on word of mouth instead of actual play and decided he’d never go back in Hamilton.

          • Cal says:


            It appears bigger players need the ice time to get going, but Pateryn did appear nervous, like he didn’t want to screw up the good thing the team’s got going. I was hoping to see a couple hits or a little nastiness, but it never materialized. I think Tinordi is more aggressive. He will make it harder for management to return him to Hamilton.


          • Loonie says:

            I agree Cal.

  31. Rudy says:

    Is there a limit on how many times we call someone up?

  32. Cal says:

    You enjoying your first day as pope? I thought you’d be too busy to visit… 😉

  33. Bripro says:

    Good morning everybody.
    I would like to extend our deepest thanks, on behalf of my wife and I, for all of your gracious thoughts and condolences in the passing of our Maggie.
    She will be missed a great deal. After 16 years, it’s hard to lose a family member.
    It appears as though many of you have lived through it and it’s never easy.
    If there is indeed a doggy heaven, I hope they have an industrial supply of tennis balls, because she’s going to chew them all up.
    To all of you who posted your respects, even though I’ve never physically met any of you (yet), I have come to respect many of you on our common site, and I call you my friends. Cheers! Brian

    • Wintercount says:


    • Chuck says:

      We’ve been thinking of you, Brian. Doggie heaven does indeed have an unending supply of tennis balls… and is also cat hell. 🙂

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

    • Mavid says:

      aww so sorry..it is difficult for sure..

    • Strummer says:

      Sorry to read about your loss.
      We have a 15 year old who has been part of our family since she was 6 weeks old.
      Inevitably we’ll be in your shoes.

      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  34. Un Canadien errant says:

    1) So Marc Bergevin made a mistake by not signing P.K. Subban to a long-term contract at a relative discount this summer, when he had the chance? You say he’ll cost us even more on the next contract? Bring it on I say.

    I’d rather we pay full-value in another year or so for a multi-talented, well-coached, mature and focused defenceman who’s making a strong case for inclusion on the Team Canada squad for the 2014 Olympics, rather than gambling on the flawed, beautiful, complicated youngster who tormented and titillated us last season. We’re better served buying a blue-chip stock rather than speculating on a flyer. Keep up the good work P.K., and kudos to the coaching staff and veterans on the team for helping him realize his immense potential.

    2) Lars Eller seems transformed. Instead of the timid player who seemed confused so often the previous two seasons, he is now playing like he wants the puck, he fights for it, and when he has it he increasingly knows what to do with it. It’s awesome, like getting a free agent for free. Our spare part who filled a spot in the lineup is now a frequent, significant contributor to our many wins.

    I was never awed by him or a big fan, I thought Pierre Gauthier had received meager returns for our hero goaltender, and am now pleasantly surprised. I had him pegged as a Dave Maley or Craig Laughlin type of player, necessary on a team, but not spectacular. I now see the upside that so many on here swore was there all along. Let’s hope he continues on this trajectory, and becomes a Bobby Smith type instead.

    3) Who needs to be traded when René Bourque and Brandon Prust and Raphaël Diaz come back from injury? Let’s relax about that. So far, we’ve been incredibly lucky with injuries, but it’s asking too much that once those guys come back we’ll sail through the rest of the season unscathed. With the imbecilic short-sightedness of the Hockey Operations department of the NHL, the ‘finish your check’ mentality that reigns, and the fact that you need a cavity search to locate a ref’s whistle in the playoffs, guys will get dinged and bruised and have to miss games. Probably, one or two will be felled by something more serious. So a full roster is a pipe dream. Let’s enjoy the depth we have now, the options and permutations that are available, as opposed to last year when we could barely cobble two NHL-worthy lines together.



    • Cal says:

      Nice seeing you post, UCe. All good points.

    • Mike Boone says:

      Great post!

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree 100% Normand.

    • Morenz7 says:

      Good heavens. Craig Laughlin. You just triggered a flashback. Same effect as when I see clips with Kevin Haller in them.

    • Fred D says:

      Thank you for this post. This is the kind of thought out material that brings me to this site.

    • Chris says:

      Lars Eller was playing very, very confidently at the end of last season as well. Unfortunately, it was buried in the negativity surrounding the team by that point in the season.

      The kid is a good player. He will never be a superstar, but he could easily become a great second or third line centre on a Stanley Cup contender. I’ll take that in a heartbeat.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        You know Chris, I just didn’t see it, certainly not to this degree. Maybe I need to re-read my game recaps from last season, but he rarely caught my eye, if I remember correctly.

        He’s large and in charge now, he grabs the puck and whatever he does, skate or pass or shoot, he does it with authority. I never discount the benefits of a young player maturing from one year to the next, but this is a qualitative change, not just a quantitative one.

        I remember Stéphane Richer in his first season for example, you could tell he had amazing gifts and skill, and that if it fell into place he’d explode, but I couldn’t say I saw that with Lars. Even his four-goal game against Winnipeg, two of his goals were tap-ins on setups from Andrei Kostitsyn, on one of the rare nights when the latter had had his coffee and played like he was awake for a change.

        Max Pacioretty is another example we can use, his first callup to the Canadiens wasn’t that great, he certainly looked like he wasn’t ready. In Lars’ case, I always wondered if he’d have been better off spending a year in Hamilton after the trade, and whether his talents were blunted by being asked to perform at the NHL level too soon, that maybe he was picking up bad habits instead of progressing. Anyway, it seems that every game he gets better, more confident, hungrier.

  35. durocher says:

    I respect MB/MT’s decision to recall Tinordi and give some of the young guys a chance to show what they can bring in Montreal. Pateryn played just fine, he didn’t make any glaring errors and wasn’t out of place. My guess is that MB is giving Pateryn and Tinordi playing time before he shops for a big defenseman on the market (unless Tinordi blows away MB).

    Speaking of trades, I suggest MB takes a hard look at Brian Boyle, the hulking 6’7″ forward for the Rangers, who hits and is awesome on faceoffs. Plus he was Prust’s frequent linemate and buddy in NY. I’d do Moen for Boyle in a heartbeat.

    • Andy and the habs says:

      Weber and Kaberle still in the roster and he’s shopping for a big defensemen? The are going to try Tinordi and see if he can adjust with the Canadiens. It has been working with young players so far. Perhaps MB is starting to believe Therrien is more than capable teaching the young guys to play with the big league.

      If Tinordi can adjust to the big league, he will not be easy to play against. He is a big body and he can drop the gloves.

    • Cardiac says:

      I think Boyle is a UFA at the end of the season.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

    • Morenz7 says:

      I thought of that too, but realistically, you’d have to move a centre to create roster space for Boyle. With Eller and Dumont playing so well, who goes?

      • Morenz7 says:

        Cardiac: he’s a UFA end of next season. $1.7M per, which is a fair bit of coin to lay down on a #4C (with Eller securing himself at centre, that’s where Boyle would have to slot in).

  36. Cardiac says:

    Question for goalie critics…

    Who would you rather have on your team instead of Price and why:

    1) Chris Osgood (circa 1997-98)
    2) J-S Giguère (circa 2006-07)
    3) Marc-André Fleury
    4) Antti Niemi

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    – Jerry Maguire

  37. Andy and the habs says:

    I went to Canadiens website to check on Prospects and Tinordi is not in the list. Was he forgotten?

  38. habsnuts says:

    Many are saying we should pick up Eager and as much as i am for getting alot tougher, MB knows Eager from his days in Chicago. I trust MB and if he is staying away then there must be reason.

  39. Chuck says:

    Even after Chicago’s awesome start, we’re now only 3 regulation losses and 5 points behind them.

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

    • Strummer says:

      3 regulation losses- 2 to the leafs including one stinker and 1 other stinker to the Isles

      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  40. habs-fan-84 says:

    Anyways, another 2 points in the bag. Didn’t like losing that 2 goal lead (again), but frankly we’re not the only ones immune to it…just look at Boston.

  41. Andy and the habs says:

    RDS reporting Tinordi was is called by the Canadiens!

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Exciting times!

      • Andy and the habs says:

        It’s a coincidence after Chris Neil going all over the ice trying to rough up the Canadiens last night. I wanted to check his weight.

        • Luke says:

          coincindence. I don’t Tinordi has much of a reputation and knuckle chucker. He’s tall and lanky. (lanky at that height = 210+ lbs), but he’s not a BRUISER.

          Not sure why some here tout him as the answer to Chara.

          • Andy and the habs says:

            Not a match for Chara for sure, but he has long reach for possibly…against Neil? I’m just throwing that out. I know he has fought few times for his teammates. If he is 210 lbs, yes he is a bit lanky for his height. But I don’t think he shy away from a challenge.

            Edit: his long reach is a plus by the way. Chara is yes heavy. But I don’t think he is that strong, just tall with long reach and really hard to make him fall.

  42. Phil C says:

    I loved watching Bouillon rough up Chris Neil. I wouldn’t say Neil was afraid of Bouillon in a traditional sense (in that he was worried that Bouillon would hurt him), but I do think Neil was afraid to fight him because it would be embarrassing to lose a fight to such a “little” guy. Neil has been in the league long enough to know to not mess with him. Love it.

    As much as I want Montreal to do something at the deadline with one of their 2nd rounders, sometimes I wonder if trading for a defenseman would be a mistake because Bouillon would likely come out of the lineup.

  43. ont fan says:

    Price, Subban, Eller, take your pick. They have all struggled and then they do something that makes you think they are going to be very good. The 5 hole last night made me wince but 5 min. later Price makes a save that could have easily went in. Eller gets benched when he seems disinterested, Subban looks unmanagable sometimes and now looks like the goods. I think this coaching staff is way better than most give them credit for. Galchenyuk at wing is right where he should be responsibility wise. Let him get his feet wet. Stop managing and enjoy the ride.

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