About last night … Canadiens beat Ottawa 4-1

ByronGally

Barring a late-season collapse, the Canadiens’ winning weekend has won them the Atlantic Division.

And Ottawa has lost it.

The Senators were no-shows Sunday night at the Bell Centre. The 4-1 final score flatters the team that was breathing down the Canadiens’ necks before two weekend wins opened up a four-point gap between the teams.

While the Canadiens play host to mighty New Jersey Tuesday night, Ottawa visits Boston. Then Pittsburgh is at Kanata on Thursday, while the Canadiens continue their home stand against Carolina.

Ottawa makes a return visit to the Bell Centre next Saturday.

How close do you figure they’ll be to a Canadiens team that Claude Julien is tuning up for what could be an interesting postseason?

If the playoffs started Monday night, the Canadiens would play host to the Rangers– a team they’ve beaten three times this season.

Have you picked out your spot on Ste. Catherine St. for the Stanley Cup parade?

OK, let’s not get overly giddy here, peeps.

The Canadiens would not be favoured in a best-of-seven against Washington, Pittsburgh or Columbus. And if there’s a series against the team Claude Julien used to coach …

But man, the team looked good this weekend … particularly in front of their fans.

Every player in a red jersey played a solid game Sunday night.

Sure, some were better than others.

The second and third lines – Paul Byron-Tomas Plekanec-Brendan Gallagher, Artturi Lehkonen-Phillip Danault-Andrew Shaw – generated more scoring chances than the alleged number one line, Max Pacioretty-Alex Galchenyuk-Alexander Radulov.

On a night when the Canadiens dominated the dot – Plekanec won 14 of 22 draws, Torrey Mitchell nine of 11 and Danault seven of 11 – Galchenyuk was 5-11.  And he’s out of sync with his linemates.

Enough negativity.

Jordie Benn and Nathan Beaulieu, each of whom scored Sunday night, were as effective as the team’s top two defence pairings.

Carey Price – who’s been lights out under the new coach – was brilliant again. Even 96-year-old Bob Cole and Garry Galley, the Ottawa homers calling the game for Hockey Night in Canada, acknowledged how easy Price makes every save look.

The Canadiens’ All-World goaltender is in The Zone. And that portends some interesting April-and-beyond hockey.

“We didn’t sit on last night’s win and come in here today unprepared,” Julien said during his postgame press conference, telecast during L’Antichambre. “We parked last night’s win last night and we came in here today with another commitment to win a second game.”

Julien then added a note of caution:

“It’s not that we’re perfect. Our power play, to be honest with you, needs to be better so we’re going to keep working on that. There’s lots of room for improvement, and that’s not a bad thing because that means we can be even better.

“But I like the direction we’re going. We’re getting harder to play against. We’re finding ways to win. We’re showing character in coming from behind.”

Julien said his team hasn’t peaked.

But the Canadiens have definitely climbed out of their mid-season valley.

•  •  •

Comment on the Liveblog by slapshot777:

What can we say the Habs came into this weekend in a fight for first in the Atlantic and took the bull by the horns or in this case the Trojan by the head and played two sound games.

CJ has turned the Habs play into a 180 degrees since taking over from MT and also has their PK clicking. Byron has been a godsend and finally this weekend we got goals from players other than the first line.

A lot of so called analysts said the Habs would only win 1-0 or 2-1 going forward because MB didn’t address the scoring. Well that is eight goals in back to back games and no one named Radulov, Pacioretty or Galchenyuk scored.

By Habsbill24:

Great win tonight. However, something needs to be done about Chucky. His d-zone faceoff loss led to the first goal and he seems to be screwing up Rads and Max by over handling the puck. He has dragged down the first line. He just has not developed like other young centers in the league. No where close to the star we hoped he would become. Overmatched on faceoffs and frankly not very good at setting up his wings. He can stickhandle nicely and his shot is good but he otherwise not a first line center. His contract negotiations will be tough. And for that matter Rads is not 6M a year guy even in the depleted scoring of today’s NHL. It is unlikely he will score 20 goals or 60 points, that is not a guy worth 6M a year.

And by Arnou Ruelle:

This is a solid, playoff performance again by the Canadiens. Tight forechecking, limiting the scoring chances of the opposing team, the goalie can track whatever pucks come his way, good win. 

What I can say though is that throughout this season, this team scores by committee, loses by committee, and battles by committee. Each player contributes. Great performances by the secondary scorers by Plekanec, Benn, Beaulieu, and Byron. 

Anyway, I’m happy for the win.

 

132 Comments

  1. jctremblay says:

    Did not watch Sunday’s game..caught 3rd period of Saturday’s tilt. Is it just me or is Mr. Boone on fire lately? I read through the live game blog ..was was laughing and nodding sagely (as only I, Donald Trump can sage!) in equal measure. Nobody does it like Mike.

    “Maybe it’s the shtetl pessimism I inherited from my grandparents, whose Fiddler on the Roof community lived in perennial fear of men on horseback who looked like Radulov, but I wouldn’t risk back-to-back starts by Carey Price. And I don’t know why Davidson sits in favour of that other cossack.”

    “The great Brian Kilrea on Hometown Hockey. Two Kilrea classics: When asked about the influence of hockey parents, Kilrea said: “All my best players have been orphans.” ”
    –Kilrea..great coach, great person…and he’s funny as heck to boot.

    “HNIC is running the gamut from namby to pamby. I miss Elliotte and the panel.”

    ” Bob is so helpful. Many viewers thought the crowd was chanting “Death to the imperialists!”
    –apparently they were shouting “Carey”…lol

    Just a few gems from a weekend full of them..

  2. truebeliever says:

    I guess it’s fine to dis the NJ Devils, but it’s the Detroit Dead Things that the Habs host tomorrow night.

  3. GeorgetownHabs says:

    First line scores too much and there’s not enough secondary scoring. Secondary scores too much and not enough first line scoring. Oy vey people

  4. johnyk says:

    The Ottawas didn’t bring their bully-boy act like they used to.
    I guess they noticed there is some size and coarse sandpaper here now.
    Can anyone explain why Dallas let go of Benn for Pateryn? JB is one steady player who knows the fundamentals of playing defense. Protect him, @$1 million and change he will be snapped up. Who are the other two D-men who should be protected? Weber and N8? Weber and Petry?

    Johnyk

    • habsinthegap says:

      I’d protect N8 over Petry. The latter is very high-priced for what he brings, N8 is a bit more error-prone but he’s younger and more aggressive. Absolutely protect Benn, what a revelation he’s been.

  5. Islandhabber69 says:

    I call Byron,the roadrunner in my household when I’m watching the games…definitely reminds me of him….

    The cj effect…is a process…blah blah…loving the system…thk u.

    Pateryn who??…Island boy benn is a steady fast viking rock…. clears the net,good passes and ain’t no pussy….

    Looks like players remembering their roles and doing their jobs better..

    Fuzzy ball was only off by 1 goal difference this weekend….its becoming clearer with who’s at helm…and my mathetician #’s equating properly thru the cj effect is adding up to my theory into the playoffs….wait…watch…and see….its gonna happen….we will make it to conference final….now bludgeon me nellys….

  6. knob says:

    What a difference as a result of the coaching change. This team is completely different under CJ. They are playing with confidence. I look at CJ and see a guy with swagger; I look at MT and see a guy that put personal agenda before the team.

    MB gets some credit too, he moved a couple of small quick guys (playing in the bottom 6) and brought in some grit and heavies to replace them! King, Ott or Martensen will never score 20 goals or even be good enough to play in the top six but having guys like Andrighetto (who I did like), DD and Carr in the bottom six doesn’t help the team win.

    Jordie Benn has been a great addition for the club too. Really happy to see N8 score last night. He deserves to stay in the line-up. Wonder how CJ will manage the line-up once Flynn and Nesterov are healthy again?

    in all thy sons command

  7. Calgary Steven says:

    I rarely get a chance to watch the Canadiens play as I don’t have a TV. (Luddite, or am I ahead of my time?) At any rate I took the love of my life out to the Pub yesterday for a brew and a meal and a watch.

    The last time I saw the team was in the MT era earlier this year. This is a very different team. I could quibble here and there about certain players, but on the whole a great effort. Make no mistake, this is a Julien team.

    Now beating Ottawa is one thing, but will this translate into victories in the playoffs? Dunno. I hope so.

    I really think that the addition of some beefier players who aren’t afraid to apply grit has freed up our smaller forwards. I kept comparing our 4th line to Boston’s. Maybe not similar results, but similar sentiment at least.

  8. JoshM says:

    Very good game .. a complete team effort, secondary scoring, even good 4th line presence but, and there should always be a but, lousy at face offs and the power play needs a lot of work .. time to get the foot off the pedal though, there is still a lot of hockey to play .. if this performance continues they could make the round of 4, if so season was a success .. only minor team blow up required .. sign the Russian centre, bring up Nygren ..

    JoshM

  9. Cheech says:

    Love whats gelling on the Habs and Radu,Byron and Benn are AWESOME ! We have a TEAM…it’s not the Pens but it ain’t to shabby “and we know shabby lol”

  10. Danno says:

    Habby days are here again?

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  11. Coach K says:

    Anyone else think that Byron could be the second coming of Yvan Cournoyer? With his combination of wheels, skill, IQ and hands, I can’t think of any better Habs comparison recent or past.

    -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
    (James Lane Allen)

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      Roadrunner lite.

      Cournoyer had four 40+ goal seasons (47 once!), and a couple of 30+ goal seasons too.

      Byron is in the same mold to be sure, but not the same calibre.

      Still, we’re happy for the 20 goals, even happier at the bargain cost.

  12. Arnou Ruelle says:

    If I will restructure the d-lineup, this should be the way Julien will put it in the playoffs:

    Markov – Weber
    Beaulieu – Benn
    Emelin – Petry
    Davidson – Nesterov (Extras)

    If N8 and Jordie both play better this next 10-games, I’d pick them to play as a 2nd pair unit. Both compliment each other and they’re both fast. They also have excellent coverage for Carey Price. Other than that, this squad should remain and I’m not seeing any changes moving forward. I like what I’m seeing and I like to see these pairings grow this last stretch.

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      +1

      Petry has to bring more if he wants to remain the anchor for the second pairing. He threw a hit last night, so that’s a step in the right direction.

      Regardless of who’s designated the second and third pairings, the fact that Benn has played so well, allows CJ to more evenly distribute minutes among the three pairings, a boon to Weber and Markov in particular, to lower their minutes and give them a break before the playoffs…

      Habs looked better last night than the 1-0 victory over CBJ, shortly after CJ took over 🙂 I sense a winning streak unfolding.

    • Coach K says:

      +1 on Nate and Jordie as the #2 pairing.

      Beaulieu and Petry don’t work well together because they both want the puck. It causes both of them too much confusion. Your suggestions make far more sense because it gives each pairing a cerebral, skating puck mover paired with a stay at home shutdown type.

      With your arrangement the whole D corps is balanced.

      -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
      (James Lane Allen)

  13. 44har48 says:

    “Even 96-year-old Bob Cole and Garry Galley, the Ottawa homers calling the game for Hockey Night in Canada, acknowledged how easy Price makes every save look.”

    Funny…but what I do not find funny is when they are playing an American team (and I live in the US) and the CBC $%^holes still call it like homers for the other team. It’s freaking “Hockey night in CANADA!!!”. Why are you calling the game from the Rangers perspective??????

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      Good question.

      Been doing it for years, yet we’ll see them again next weekend.

      My favorite part though, is they had to be impartial and grit their teeth through two back to back Habs wins 🙂

      Other favorite part? When CJ sent King, McCarron, Shaw, Weber, and Emelin out late in the game 🙂 One of CJ’s specialties, remember it well during his Bruins days…

      • jhnc says:

        I can’t watch a habs game in english, either CBC or SN, both are biased against the Habs. i much prefer the french telecasts….

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          I wish I could partake, but my public school french level won’t let me.

        • nigel says:

          The best playoff series in terms of commentators that I ever saw was either the 2000-1 or 2001-2 playoffs. The Leafs were on CBC every night, so the Habs, who were playing Boston (like almost every year, yawn), were on the French CBC here in Ontario. What made this series so awesome was the French commentators were all on strike, so they just televised the game with no play by play team at all, just intermission stuff.
          It was amazing. Hearing all the thunderous hits, crowd noise, players yelling, all this but no color team,,it was as close to actually being at the game as any television simulcast could get.
          That said, even though I’ve forgotten almost as much French as I learned in school, I’d far prefer the french team over Bob Cole and that sieve partner of his. It’s hard to believe the guy ever played in the NHL, given some of the inane comments that spew forth.

          Habs rule, leafs drool.

    • JoshM says:

      Very good game .. a complete team effort, secondary scoring, even good 4th line presence but, and there should always be a but, lousy at face offs and the power play needs a lot of work .. time to get the foot off the pedal though, there is still a lot of hockey to play .. if this performance continues they could make the round of 4, if so season was a success .. only minor team blow up required .. sign the Russian centre, bring up Nygren ..

      JoshM

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Thank God for RDS. Not fluent in french but at least I don’t get aggravated listening to the likes of Galley.

  14. cashbagg says:

    “Barring a late-season collapse, the Canadiens’ winning weekend has won them the Atlantic Division.”

    Pump the brakes!

    There’s 10 games left, 11 for the Sens. More than enough time to lose the top spot. Get back to us in 2 weeks.

  15. Cal says:

    Has Pleks raised his game or is he finally interested? I only remember 2 stretches last season when he applied himself. The first stretch was the “playing for a contract” stretch. That was followed by the “Thanks, Bergy” stretch where he disappeared until a week before the trade deadline where he played like he wanted to go to a contender. After the trade deadline of 2016, he disappeared again.
    I don’t buy into Pleks playing this hard for much longer. However, even as a passenger with Gallagher and Byron, he can chip in here and there, giving the team some balance.

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    The transformation under Coach Julien is really fun to watch. Watching this teams effort increase, team standing up for each other and the return of other lines chipping in offensively.

    If the biggest concern here was the lack of scoring from Max/Chucky/Radulov, that is a pretty good problem. They are the teams best offensive talents, playing them together does allow opposing Coaches to focus their best defenders against them.

    With the other lines more cohesive (see Danault in his better suited role) it opens up space for them to be more effective.

    Another change from my perspective is how the Coach is using the competition to be in the lineup to make the players better. We are not seeing a dmen benched for weeks at a time, and we also are seeing how the players are being communicated with by the Coach with regards to what he wants to see from them.

    And to top it off, having a healthy Price playing well is always a good thing.

    Really enjoyable to see where this team is going after the Coaching reset.

    • Phil C says:

      Yes, they are definitely more fun to watch.

      I wonder if having a stacked line improves the match ups for the 2nd and 3rd lines.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        5 on 5 the Plex and Danault lines saw more time than L1 and L4. Nice to see a Coach who recognizes and plays accordingly.

        • Arnou Ruelle says:

          CJ is giving this opportunity to the 1st line to get use to each other. Max-Chucky-Radu line are the strong ones. If I can see it, Julien will ride this line till the regular season’s done.

          To me, I like this mindset b/c it forces Galchenyuk to play responsibly and work harder to correct his defensive game. Plus, both Patches and Radu are going to contribute within that line so that when playoffs comes, all 3 players are ready.

          • Gerry Pigeon says:

            I have a mixed mindset about it, as I think Chucky is kind of hard to play with at times, like PK sometimes was, unpredictable.

            Funny, but the middle lines had great games without Chucky in the mix, so I like that part.

            Hope u r right, that Chucky learns to do his part on the top trio by playoff time.

    • New says:

      I couldn’t be Habs happier. 4-10 under Therrien switched around to 10-4 under Julien.

      This team is so much more than it ever showed under Therrien.

      Coming into the Bell the Sens had a better road record than the Habs had a home record. Coming off a four day wait the Habs could have looked really rusty (maybe they did 🙂 Saturday. The Sens were ripe for winning and the Habs ripe for losing. I thought they’d split the weekend, 3 and 3 points. Settling for 4 and 1 is way better.

      Unlike a lot of folks I don’t much care who the Habs meet in the playoffs as long as a Western team is involved.

  17. Bash says:

    King has been okay along the boards and seems to be defensively responsible but does anyone else wish he would throw a hit on the forecheck?

    “Damn it Jim I’m not a doctor; I’m a hockey expert.”

    • Phil C says:

      I don’t think he is quick enough to hit on the forecheck. Defensemen are so mobile now. That’s why a fast player like Byron is 2nd on the Habs among forwards in hits despite being the 2nd lightest player in the league.

    • Coach K says:

      Can’t hit them if he can’t catch them.

      -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
      (James Lane Allen)

    • nigel says:

      I certainly remember him looking faster in the LA Cup runs than now. Perhaps injuries and or age have taken their respective tolls. Of all MB’s deadline grabs, I figured he could be the big difference maker for us. Still early, of course, to judge these things, but Davidson looks good thus far, as has Martinsen and–to my vast surprise–Ott.
      All that accounted for, Jordie Benn wasn’t precisely grabbed at the deadline, but he has been solid enough that all comments of, ‘MB got the wrong Benn’ have ceased. Best deal not made: trading N8.

      Habs rule, leafs drool.

  18. habs001 says:

    Galchenyuk has to play better for the Habs to have playoff success…The good news is that there have been many games this year where he did not play that well yet he scored a big goal…

    • JoshM says:

      Galchenyuk has to learn to play like Ovechkin .. find himself a sweet spot where he can unleash that wicked shot but he has to have someone who can set him up .. I don’t know if that would be easier if he was a winger or a centre .. sign this “Shipshayev” from the K .. unfortunately the best set up man the Habs had was Deharnais when he was clicking with Pacioretty ..

  19. habs001 says:

    Lets not get fooled yet on the Habs goal scoring..They have done this many times where it looked like they can score 3-4 goals a game regularly only to go back to 0-2 goals a game for long stretches…

    • Phil C says:

      Except now there is a new coach and system, so the old pattern is probably not that relevant. The fact that Julien plays his offensive players more, has then playing with more net presence and has the D more involved is cause for hope. Shaw, Danault, and Lehkonen seem to have chemistry, so their effectiveness passes the eye test. All three lines have offensive potential actually.

  20. SmartDog says:

    I played indoor soccer last night. A barn burner. We were up 7-1 at the half, totally crushing this other team who had no space to move.

    Something happened early in the second half, the other team put one in on an aggressive play in front of the net. Then another sailed in over our goalie on a fluky shot taken from far out. Then their striker picked a perfect corner. Lucky shots partly, but all of a sudden the team we dominated had us on our heals. They took it to us the whole second half, scoring NINE goals. We were fortunate to get back a few – just enough – and beat them 11-10. They outscored us 9-4 in the second half. And there wasn’t much luck on our side – we REALLY had to work for those 4 goals.

    The point being, momentum is a beotch. Which is what I see with us and the Sens sometimes. And that’s why credit needs to go to our 4th line as well. King and McCarron barrelling down on you are gonna make you rush. They take away space, and make the other guys nervous in their own end. To me that’s part of the story of the 2nd game compared to the first. We looked bigger and faster – the Sens looked less organized – they hardly got it together. Credit the little guys for hard work and great hands. The big guys for helping to keep the Sens rattled. To me, this is the line-up we should be going with.

    ————————————-
    The “H” stands for Hubris.

  21. habs001 says:

    Radulov has 15 goals and 48 points not a bad season and he has brought other aspects to the Habs ….But i am not sure that this type of production warrants 6 to 7 million a year…If he was on Chicago or Pitts would they pay him this much?…

    • Loop_G says:

      He had a bad time to slow down, but he really ups the offensive intensity when he is out there. If we do not sign him we need desperately to replace him, which we won’t be able to do for any less than it would cost to sign him in the first place. I’d rather just keep the guy we know, and who seems to really like it here.

      • Coach K says:

        What you said. Pay Radulov or someone else to do the same…except, good luck trying to find that replacement.

        -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
        (James Lane Allen)

    • habsinthegap says:

      If he was on Chicago or Pittsburgh would he have only 15 goals?

  22. habs001 says:

    Hopefully no let down for the next 2 games…Wings 8-0 in the s/o…only team undefeated…

  23. Habfan10912 says:

    Three players needed to turn their season around. Last night the three played perhaps their best game of the season. Certainly better than we’ve seen from them in a while. Gallagher, Nate and Emelin were all very solid last night.

    Very few nights if at all do we see Gallagher take a game off. Last night was certainly no different. He needs to be more than a pest. He needs to produce and over the weekend he sure did.

    Nate is now teetering on the new Coach’s doghouse. His “nothing” answer to what lesson he may have learned after being benched surely did not go over well in the coach’s office. His game last night did wonders to soothe those wounds.

    Emelin has looked like everything BUT an NHL defenseman for most of the season. Its just one game but he sure looked like he belonged last night. Let’s hope that he can continue to perform like that the rest of the season.

    If these three contribute like they did last night this team is pretty dang good.

    • habs001 says:

      Plecks also had one of his better games…Emelin had played some of his worst hockey recently but when he played with Weber he played some of his best hockey.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Agree. Pleks had a pretty good weekend.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Maybe he gets himself on a bit of a run. As I have said to you in the past, he was still doing so many good things that aren’t seen on the scoresheet nor on the TV telecasts. Some puckluck may have been all that was needed to perhaps see some more scoring from him.

          I still don’t think it was an effort thing with Plex. We also never did hear just what had him out of the lineup a few games back. Perhaps he was trying to play through an injury that finally needed to heal.

          Is he worth $6mill per season? Probably not, but every team in this league has players with contracts too big and some that should perhaps be bigger. I think with all the information avaialble we sometimes get too caught up in the salaries rather than the effort levels.

          Mornin’ Jim!

    • Habimus-Maximus says:

      Coach’s Doghouse?…umm no. It was just his time to sit.
      Emelin NOT playing like an NHL defenceman for most of the season?
      lol…yeah, except for ALL those other times where he did play well..Where do you get this stuff???

  24. Not only did the back to back sweep solidify a place at the dance, this could be the weekend that sends the Sens packing. Nothing would please me more than to see them in 9th and the Islanders in 8th. That’s a long shot as the Isle need to play better than they have. Floating around .500 hockey isn’t getting them any closer to a playoff position.

    The Sens are a really good team, we all saw how hard they worked, maybe they should be called the red blacks, they sure don’t represent the senate. Seeing a bunch of goals fly past Anderson was very soothing on the brain.

    Emelin and Beaulieu. Great return, especially Emelin, he was playing very poor hockey and last night he took all the worry away.

    Benn. Love him.

    McCarron. Noice! 4th line assignments looked great on him, and Julien knew exactly when they should have been on the ice. Coaching is more than “next line out.”

    Goals. We like goals, and they came from everywhere except line one. Get that line going and this week could be very very bad for the Wings and Canes. Pucks and bodies to the net, what a concept. 😆

    Byron. 2 on 1, Gallagher going to the net, Anderson had to play two options, and once that happens, those five hole goals are going in. Gallagher. WoW, great game.

    Carey Price. WoW, what a save but that’s the Price we all know and love.

    Shane Oliver
    Sholi2000.com
    @sholi2000
    23 Wins to Tie Saint Patrick
    Shane&Son Dec 2016

    • Habfan10912 says:

      If your a Calgary fan and you look at the box score this morning and see a player you just waived scoring 20 goals for a division leading team, do you post a scathing reply on Calgary Inside Out this morning? How could supposably smart hockey men get that one so wrong?

      Out of all the moves not named Radulov, this one ranks number 1 in my books for Bergevin moves.

      Morning Shane.

      • Byron was awesome, I expect nothing from he and Gallagher on the ice other than to fly around putting pucks to the net. Goals are fun, and we need those two to help out in the post season.

        Gooooooooooooood Mooooooooooornin Jimmy!

        Shane Oliver
        Sholi2000.com
        @sholi2000
        23 Wins to Tie Saint Patrick
        Shane&Son Dec 2016

    • habs001 says:

      For Ottawa to miss the playoffs 3 teams have to catch them…

    • nigel says:

      Hard to see the Islanders making the playoffs when their best goalie is languishing in the AHL. Greasy and the rookie they’re using in favor of we-all-know-who can barely stop a soccer ball some nights, nevermind a puck.

      Habs rule, leafs drool.

  25. JUST ME says:

    I can see why the Sens can win many games with the skill, size and energy they display but it won’t work against every team nor will it succeed in a playoff format that gives you the time to adjust to the opponent.

    It became clear and obvious yesterday in the second period during a Hab’ s penalty when the good guys got two breakaways in a row because the Sens opened the game to strike fast. They have the system to do it but if they don’t succeed then the floodgates are opened and can lead to disaster.

    That being said i did not really expect 4 points this weekend but will gladly take them home and build on it. Hopefully what we see is what we will get because this team seems to peak towards the playoffs as a unit. Different players are now shining and doing their part grinding away and wining one on one battles.

    • AndyF says:

      Don’t forget that the Sens were missing Stone. He’s a big piece, and when he’s back, the Sens are a very very good team.

      • Mavid says:

        He was not playing Saturday and the teams looked pretty even, so to use him as an excuse on Sunday doesn’t make sense.

        º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

        Weed Wacker -and now Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

  26. Arnold 56-79 says:

    High energy game up and down the lineup. Ottawa speed never had a chance to really get rolling. Got to give some credit to the fourth line as well as the more important players. They spent probably two thirds of their ice time in the offensive zone disrupting the Senators and finishing most of their checks. McCarron seemed to have some jump and a little chemistry with King, who played his style of game well. All you can ask from a fourth line is to bring energy, physicality, create the occasional scoring chance and not make mistakes. Given their role, a successful night.

    The Ferguson-Shack melee was a real donnybrook, if not an outright brouhaha.

  27. KW-Habfan says:

    Great game!

  28. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Nice measurements if that was indeed a measuring-stick game.

    Can’t remember who (my apologies) but someone posted yesterday that perhaps one of Emelin’s issues has been not being able to adapt as quickly as others to a mid-season coaching change.

    Perhaps there’s an element of that with Galchenyuk, on top of recovering from injury and the patchy development plan he was subjected to under Therrien.

    I’m recalling his late-season blossoming last year and just hoping CJ helps him rebuild his confidence so that the guy can get back to plumbing his deep, deep value.

    This surely involves him staying with Pacioretty and Radulov at practice and in games. There’s still a month to go.

    • Coach K says:

      Hey DB Mike,

      Hope you had a memorable St. Patty’s day/week!
      I definitely agree about the “patchy” development of Galchenyuk as a centre under Therrien. I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes Julien a full season to turn him around and have him become the #1centre we suspect he can be. There are a lot of bad habits he needs to unlearn. I for one, would start with getting him to move his feet and position his big frame between the puck carrier and his net when he’s trying to check somebody instead of whacking away with his stick like Plekanec taught him. It would put him in a better defensive position and prevent the temptation to take a stick foul type of penalty.

      I’d also be stressing that when attacking/carrying the puck inside the other team’s blueline, that he needs to stop trying to do everything with his hands. The instruction needs to be: “Alex, either move the puck or move your feet. Standing still and stick handling is not an option!” This will prent turnovers and make him even more dangerous because he will be less predictable.

      Just my silly point of view…

      -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
      (James Lane Allen)

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting anomaly, presently every NHL team with a positive goal differential is in a playoff position.

  30. Timo says:

    Couldn’t watch the game tonight. Did Davey D score? If he didn’t I am sure he served as a huge inspiration.

    Man, Byron… what a steal. He is so good even Plekanec scored. That line’s been playing so well lately.

    And am I ever glad the turds got brought back down to earth.

    However, I am still not sure why King is playing a regular shift.

  31. DDPKS says:

    Noticed 3 of the 4 Habs goals involved guys in front of the net or going to the front of the net. On the first goal you had Plek then Gallagher right in front of Anderson. On Benn’s goal, Pacioretty was moving in front. Lehkonen screening when Beaulieu scores.

    I will pretty much cheer for every Byron goal. Amazing year for this guy when others have disappointed. I wonder if he can be a legit 2nd liner long term. Shaw seems to be playing better but he still makes for a rather expensive 3rd liner.

    Nice to see Gallagher becoming effective again. It seems Plekanec is hanging around the front of the net more. These are the guys who should be initiating the secondary scoring so it’s no surprise that when the Habs score more than 2 that these guys are involved. They have to be for the Habs to get more wins.

    If the habs want to modify their lines they could go back to Pax, Plek, Gallagher and Byron, Galchenyuk, Radulov. Both those combos have worked well in the past.

    Petry has a career high 8 goals and 27 pts so far so he’s inching closer towards what he should be producing for a Dman earning his salary although I think at this point in the season he should be closer to 35 pts. He only needs 4 assists to match his career high. A good chunk of secondary scoring from the D should start with him as the anchor on the 2nd pairing. I hope he picks it up because he hasn’t had a point since Feb.


    DDPKS: An embrace that can never be broken.

    “I have a reason that I can’t really tell you why, but if I could, you would probably understand.” – The CH approved explanation that school-aged Habs fans can now use to explain poor grades.

  32. ColdComfort says:

    Benn is not only good but a natural on camera. The endorsements will be coming except from Gillette. I see him in a cozy little pub called Hockey Heaven holding a Guinness.

    • Singapore Habs Fan says:

      Gillette can offer him a wad of cash to shave his beard live. Apparently they made that offer to Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill (from ZZ Top) years ago and were refused.

  33. Islandhabber69 says:

    Every pro sports, coaches have shelf lives…with all these millionaire egos…..just a matter of time when things go south…

  34. PONCH says:

    I can here the TSN 690 guys tomorrow morning already, and Marianaro, Nilan and Seleikis(sp) included

    Sure the habs won but it took them into OT and beyond on Sat and the then on Sun. Galchenyuk wasn’t 50% in the faceoff circle, and he doesn’t work down low in the defensive zone (Nilan give it a rest) and the first line doesn’t have any cohesion. Sure they won two games against Ottawa but, well, you know, just wait until, but but, we all know, if they make the playoffs they don’t have a number 1 centre so, well……………..
    blah blah blah blah

    To be a Hockey Fan is to be a Habs Fan

    • Lapointe says:

      PONCH you probably ought to not listen to tsn 690. Sounds like you may be trying to punish yourself for something. There’s help for this kind of thing probably.

  35. johnnylarue says:

    “It’s very upsetting to lose to Montreal two days in a row but they played well and showed they are a quality team,” said Karlsson. “They executed really well on the back-to-back and we couldn’t do the same.”

    Pretty hard to dislike the Swede, much as I would love to… to fuel the rivalry and all that, I mean. And speaking of “the rivalry”, is it just me or has it lost a bit of sparkle now that PK isn’t around to be Karlsson’s foil, and that Gryba and Eller have moved on to greener pastures?

  36. Cal says:

    One odd thing about these back to back games with the Sens. In both games, Hab players scored own goals. Saturday, it was Danault getting by Price on the left post and in Sunday’s game, Benn deflected the puck over him. In both cases, the “own goal” player made up for it by scoring, evening up their error.

    The “Galchenyuk isn’t that good” chorus has climbed out of the muck. Nonsense. Give him some more time and things are going to work out. He is up against top players now. He will adjust, as he always has, and get better. (People have mentioned the lack of development. That’s on Therrien and Bergevin. He should have been playing center since the moment he first started with the Habs, instead of the perpetual cane coming in from the side of the stage to yank him by the neck.)

    • on2ndthought says:

      I agree, Cal. Give the kid time. It’s not like teams can afford to ignore him, either. There are 5 panicked defenders every time he touches the puck.

  37. habsfaninphx says:

    Based on the replay, Gally deserved half of Plex’s goal. It sure looked like an assembly line the way the dman pushed Plex away from the front and Gally slid right in to take his place. Anderson clearly distracted by #11. Actually Anderson seemed distracted all night.

    • krob1000 says:

      also deserved half of Byron goal and half of disallowed Byron goal. Gallagher played great, got under skin and was well aware he was going to get hit if he hung in to take that puck in neutral zone, hung in there like he was Peyton Manning….made the chip…..it is funny how such little plays are so important and sometimes people seem to notice them on goals….but nobody seems to notice the plays guys like Pleks, Eller, even Danault make by occupting space and taking away potential passes…..same thing with Nate/Petry….their speed allows them to get to pucks that could be potentially troubling pucks for others…but nothing happens…and sometimes we take it for granted…like the play you are referencing, the one Gally made in neutral zone, I think back to two distinct bachecks where Pleks had absolute perfect lane/stick positioning….so pass never happens….doesn’t mean he didn’t make a hell of a couple defensive plays…

      • berc says:

        Plekanec has elevated his play and continues to prove himself valuable. He is about to reach #10 all-time in games played for Habs, and I’m beginning to think that Plekanec will be protected in the expansion draft, but that makes some other choices difficult.

  38. B says:

    The CHL playoffs get underway Thursday.
    First round series involving Habs’ prospects:

    Thursday:
    Bourque and 1st place Saint John host Rimouski, the team that Bourque played most of his junior career with and captained before becoming an Sea Dog.

    Friday:
    Mete and 4th place London host Addison, Sergachev and 5th place Windsor.
    Bitten and 5th place Hamilton play on the road vs Kingston.
    McNiven and 3rd place Owen Sound host Kitchener
    Bradley and 2nd place Medicine Hat host Brandon
    Juulsen and 1st place Everett host Victoria

    TBD:
    If Pezzetta Sudbury loses their last game Tuesday to Mississauge, then they finish 7th and start on the road vs MIssissauga. If they beat Mississauga Tuesday (and perhaps if they get a loser point), then they finish 6th and start on the road vs Oshawa.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  39. Danno says:

    ONCE AGAIN – BIG GAME, BIG WIN!

    ________________________________________

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

  40. habs-hampton says:

    I can’t believe the crap Gally has to put up with. Benn gets a roughing call for yanking a guy off Price, something that happens to Gally 3-4 times a night with no calls. I though the reffing was pretty bad tonight. In the 3rd period alone, Methot punches Gally in the head, Kelly crosschecks Mitchell into the boards, Petry gets a high stick in the face. No calls.

    Also, I know York and Bartlett were in Fredericton doing CIS hockey all weekend, but WHY do we need to be subjected to Gary Galley? His allegiance to Ottawa is as bad as the NESN guys for the Bruins! Is there not one English language color guy who DOESN’T hate the Habs???

  41. HabCez says:

    Cool moment of the game.. seeing Rad and Benn knock helmets together while in the BOX. (wish i had a screenshot of that)

    Benn in my mind is the second coming of Josh Gorges but an upgrade in all departments minus a wonky knee or old injury. If he makes a mistake(or Nate in this case on the only sens goal), he will correct it(GOAL). The fact we are paying him less than a mil per year is a bargain.

    Lets hope MB doesnt spoil em with money and become fodder for the HIO troll/vets.

  42. jimster says:

    Gotta love that Jordie Benn. We traded Greg Pateryn for him?? What a steal. He’s got great hockey sense, I hope he stays with the team for a long time.

    • Mmmich says:

      Speaking of, Pateryn he has only played 3 games for Dallas since the trade, roughly one third of games since that time. Which seems like less than he was playing for the Habs. I wonder if his wife has taken to Twitter to voice her displeasure.

  43. Danno says:

    Since Julien, Habs have won 10 out of 14 games.

    ________________________________________

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

  44. berc says:

    Great effort by Habs and satisfying weekend for Habs nation. Plekanec deserved that second star and may yet persuade MB to protect him at the expansion draft. 41-14-11 looked great tonight. First line struggling mightily and most of the time spent running around defensive zone was when the first line was on. Radulov still a step behind and definitely not the beast of earlier this season. It would seem that the experiment with Galchenyuk as a centre is a failure. How many first line centers in the league lose 2/3 of their draws? And he seems to add a dimension of complication that somehow renders the top line less effective. He may not like it, and his agent may not like it, but Habs should move him back to the wing and off the top line. Unfortunately, we have 3 good left wings going at the present time. So what to do? Byron is officially listed as a center, and has a decent record on face-offs. Maybe move Plek to center the #1 line, Byron to center the second line, and Galchenyuk to left wing on the second line. 27-41-11 could become a very effective scoring line. Leave Lehkonen-Danault-Shaw intact. My 2 cents. I’m sure this suggestion will not be appreciated by some.

    • HUDSONHAB says:

      I often wonder what the players think. For instance, Max, scoring goals with Danault and then Chucky moves up, and nothing. Who does he want to play with?

      ….Hab4life….

    • dropthepuck says:

      If you want Byron as a center because of his face-off record. Won 10. lost 2 for the year. Is that your decent record reference? His NHL record is 98 won, 157 lost.

      • Danno says:

        That’s pretty damned good!

        ________________________________________

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

      • berc says:

        I knew there weren’t too many draws for Byron this year and was too lazy to look up the past history. I still think it could be a creative idea, but it would seem my case is weak (and in any event, this scenario is highly unlikely). But I just don’t see Galchenyuk working out at center, regardless of his apparent lack of faceoff acumen. It’s more about his being better suited to be set up than to set someone else up. In defense of keeping him on the top line, when Radulov and Galchenyuk are both on their game, their puck possession is good and this can make the top line very tough to play against. Maybe now that Gallagher is back on his game it might be worthwhile to experiment with 67-27-11; this doesn’t solve Galchenyuk’s weaknesses at center, but it was an effective combination at the end of last year. But 41-14-11 was a great combination tonight. With both of those speedy smurfs racing up the wings and Plek able to feed them, that is a good combination.

        • dropthepuck says:

          I don’t agree or not with your ideas. Just caught me with the face-off reference, as other than taking a face-off when the center is tossed, Byron doesn’t take them. I do agree that the 1st line is a problem now.

  45. CaliHabFan says:

    Listening to Cole and Galley makes me wonder if I watch the game with as much bias.

    • HUDSONHAB says:

      We’re fans, we’re allowed. Not sure Galley should be “hoping” the Sens score on their power play. At least not out loud on national tv.

      ….Hab4life….

  46. prep says:

    And two players that haven’t impressed me galchy and Weber

    • CaliHabFan says:

      Weber only played an error free game. Got an assist and was plus 2 for the game.

    • HUDSONHAB says:

      I’ll give them a pass. Chucky has some issues, and Weber is just cruising. Don’t need everyone to have monster games all at once. Well at least not until the playoffs.

      ….Hab4life….

    • Habnots says:

      Not sure what you want Weber to do.I would like him to hit more but he’s very solid,and as long as they are winning,hard to complain.Gally seems overwhelmed by playing center.

      • johnyk says:

        I like that Weber hits when he has to or gets a nice head-down target but he doesn’t go for the hit first and potentially get caught out. Opponents know he can make crushing hits and if that holds them back then it’s job done.

        Johnyk

  47. HUDSONHAB says:

    Enjoyed the game, Cole and Galley, not so much.
    Keep it going Habs!

    ….Hab4life….

  48. Danno says:

    Julien denied the team was peaking and said that’s a good thing because it means the team can improve even more. He stated the power play is obviously an area that needs work but that is not a negative thing because it means the club will only get better when they address certain problems.

    CJ > MT

    ________________________________________

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

    • Lafleurguy says:

      C.J. is a good coach, but something went sideways for him in Beantown. I regret not seeing him coach the Bulldogs in Hamilton, although he didn’t win big there. The one and only Calder win in the 21st century by the Habs’ AHL affiliate was coached by Don Lever (!). Team had Halak, then Price, Lapierre, D’Agostini, Maxwell, Corey Locke.

      Where would the current Habs be if Don Sweeney, and Cam Neely didn’t cut loose Julien?

  49. PK says:

    Habs are looking like a team that will make some noise in the playoffs.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  50. Singapore Habs Fan says:

    The so-called number 1 line looks like anything but. Ag27 was a no show again. Not sure what his problem is but he’s taking a place someone else could use. I thought Emelin played a good game

    • krob1000 says:

      Would still like to see some tweaks….but moving Danault down has been great….he has been effective again and again looking like a steal. Gallagher is generating, Byron is doing well….I would prefer to have 2 lines going and have the top line waiting to burst out then what we had before where no lines were going and occasionally the first line did ok….this team needs to score through depth and balanced scoring….I still hold out hope they are more aware then we think regarding certain combinations and pairings that will help the overall game….I think they are very well of when they want to hit on all cylinders and it is right before playoffs….not right now…..that is my hope anyway but things appear to be getting close to ideal in babysteps…

      • Singapore Habs Fan says:

        Agree – I wouldn’t mess too much or at all with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines. I just wonder what AG27 is doing or not doing. Rads and Max played with intensity but I didn’t notice Galchenyuk at all.

        • habsinthegap says:

          I noticed him … mostly getting in the way of his wingers when the line had possession. He doesn’t seem to know what to do when he doesn’t have the puck. And when he DOES have the puck he doesn’t seem to know how to use his wingers.

    • berc says:

      Doesn’t seem like King brings much. Would like to seem him rotate out of the lineup and Martinsen get a chance.

  51. prep says:

    Be patient people .. I’m sure the wheels will fall off soon with this team ,………………………..Just joshin … This is great ……First time in I don’t how long I feel they can hold the lead and win !!!

  52. artartand says:

    Schedule days we’re playing Detroit on Tuesday, not NJ Mr. Boone.

  53. Chuck says:

    This is the perfect time of the season to see the team trending upward.

  54. SUMO says:

    This ws the proverbial statement game. At home after a close one in Ott, Habs sent a message. They are the deeper team.

  55. Suck It Sens! 4-1, that’s a statement game and without our best players scoring.

    Beaulieu, and Emelin played a good game, very mistake free, and played their roles without causing any scoring chances, that’s all we want from those two. Benn, Awesome! Weber, meh, didn’t stand out, didn’t make any mistakes, shut down everything that came at him. Paid a lot to do what Benn did tonight for 7 million lesss. 😳 #Trollin101, seriously though, our defense played well-great tonight.

    McCarron was awesome considering his role on the team.

    Three Stars as per the Bell Center
    1. Byron
    2. Plekanec
    3. Gallagher

    CAREY CAREY CAREY
    #TrollTheHalakFans 8 years, 96 mil 😳

    Carey will get the next three days off, get ready for the Canes and Sens, Montoya on Tuesday.

    As predicted, Canadiens Sweep the Weekend! That was for you Mavid!

    GREAT GAME!

    Shane Oliver
    Sholi2000.com
    @sholi2000
    23 Wins to Tie Saint Patrick
    Shane&Son Dec 2016


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