About last night … Canadiens beat Toronto 5-3

pricehyman

Elliotte Friedman put it best during Hockey Night in Canada’s postgame show:

“Some time in the near future, I want seven games of that.”

“That” was 60 minutes of wide-open, frequently thrilling hockey at the Air Canada Centre Saturday night. The Canadiens emerged on the long end of a 5-3 score, but the home team put up an epic battle in a game so exciting you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching the World Juniors.

Brendan Shanahan and Mike Babcock are building something special in Toronto, and the Leafs’ young stars shone against the Canadiens.

Toronto outshot the Canadiens 36-31. The margin in shot attempts was 67-49.

Thirteen Canadiens blocked 23 Toronto shots. The Leafs had four blocks by four players.

Of course, the Canadien making the key blocks was Carey Price. In recording his 10th straight win over the Leafs, Price made 15 saves in the third period, including a couple of spectacular stops on prize rookie Auston Matthews.

The disparity in hits was less a manifestation of newfound CH physicality than an indicator of which team had more possession time in the offensive zone.

After falling behind early, Toronto cranked up its speed to climb back into the game. Matthews and the spectacular Mitch Marner were threats to score on every shift they played.

But the Canadiens prevailed … and in the process secured a 400th win for Michel Therrien.

Therrien’s injury-ravaged team – lacking seven starters – completed their longest road trip of the season with a 4-1-2 record,.

The Canadiens bagged 10 of a possible 14 points and solidified their hold on the top spot in the Atlantic Division, 10 points clear of Boston with two games in hand on the Bruins.

Since the injury bug hit with the loss of Alex Galchenyuk, most of the Canadiens have stepped up big-time to fill the void left by the loss of their best forward and subsequent injuries to Andrew Shaw, David Desharnais, Greg Pateryn, Andrei Markov and, during the road trip, Paul Byron and Brendan Gallagher.

This team battles.

In Toronto, the Canadiens squandered a 2-0 lead and let 4-2 become 4-3. But they never panicked, and Price was a wall down the stretch.

There’s a long list of Canadiens who have elevated their game since the injury bug hit:

Phillip Danault and Max Pacioretty have been excellent; and in Toronto, Alexander Radulov effectively filled the void on their line left by the injury to Gallagher.

Shea Weber and Alexei Emelin have been terrific all season. Jeff Petry and Nathan Beaulieu are emerging as a first-rate second pairing. This should let Markov play sensible minutes when he returns.

Tomas Plekanec is still struggling, but he was 11-7 on face offs in Toronto and plays a smart defensive game.

Artturi Lehkonen had an excellent road trip. The young Finn is emerging as the kind of solid, two-way player who’s been a feature of good Canadiens teams for decades.

Michael McCarron scored his first goal of the season. And his linemate, Nikita Scherbak, scored the first of his career.

McCarron and Bobby Farnham stepped up when the Leafs tried to turn the game into a Colton Orr Tribute Night.

That flashback notwithstanding, Toronto plays fast, skilled, exciting hockey that demanded the best of the Canadiens … Price in particular.

Let’s hope Friedman gets his wish. 

•  •  •

Comment on the Liveblog from city center:

Great to see the Habs keep rolling. 24, 67 and 47 is a bona fide number one line. Danault does not look out of place one bit and you almost wonder whether MB was able to essentially steal a number one center away from Chicago. And Rads,…. the power forward we haven’t had since Cole got sent packing.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of this stretch is that the Captain has clearly grown into the role. He has upped his game just when the team faces its greatest adversity of the season and sets a club record for clutch goals.
Last, Shea Weber is everything i had hoped for and more. Knows when to pick his spots for payback and deliver justice without pulling a Ryan White meltdown for the team. 

Well done boys. Tons of character.

And from Chris:

Since December 4th, the game where Montreal lost Galchenyuk, Pacioretty has 14 goals and 19 points in 16 games. Most impressively, that includes 7 goals and 11 points in 10 road games, where opposing coaches can match lines.

The other player who has really stepped up is Jeff Petry, who now has 5 goals and 12 points in those same 16 games, filling the offensive void left by Markov’s injury.

Maybe the best news is that the team has stayed afloat with all these injuries despite weak play by Carey Price, who sports a very mediocre 2.54 GAA and below average .900 SV% over those games. You know that Price can and will elevate his play, so a healthy Montreal team with a re-focused Price could be dangerous if they can pick up another scorer at the deadline.

•  •  •

And the final words to Angela Price

 

650 Comments

  1. Popsrink says:

    I have watched Hudon quite closely and through my rose coloured glasses I believe he has the potential to be a poor man’s Nik Backstrom. Very heady, good passer but not really a speed demon. Hopefully he stays healthy enough to get the chance. A few years ago at the WJC the Canadian coaches finally got frustrated enough with the powerplay to put him out and he immediately took over and quarterbacked them to many excellent chances.

    who loves ya baby!

  2. filincal says:

    Someone explain to me how the Lightning are so “deep” with talent, pre-season Stanley cup favorites, and now without their #1 goalie and arguably one of their top forwards are stinking up the league. Seems like I saw this movie before…

    • Jamin says:

      The issues down in here in Tampa are multifactorial. First of all, there is no passion and no fight in any of the players that are currently playing. They are in a mess, fighting for a playoff spot at best. With Stamkos out until March I don’t think many of their fans down here are giving them much hope unless there are some changes. The defense is brutal. According to the paper down here, they were fifth in the league in goals against season (2.41) and are now 22nd (2.81). They have given up 22 goals in the past 4 games. Injuries are really taking a toll on them too. Nikita Kucherov and Anton Stralman have missed games. At one point, six of 12 forwards were sidelined. They have used 32 players this season. I don’t see things getting any better in the next 2 weeks. They now go on a 6 game, 13 day road trip. They already lost to the Penguins tonight to get things started…

      HabsFan in FL

  3. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @25soon and RightNyder et al re bacon:

    Cap’n Crunch?

    Be honest now….

  4. Bash says:

    The intent of a bodycheck should be to separate the player from the puck, not the player from his head. Lauding the predatory hit as “part of the game” dismisses how the game has changed – these guys are tuned machines, not 150 lb barely protected, helmetless pond players.
    A good solid hit, that knocks a player on his can (maybe the lost art of the hip check) is absolutely part of the game. Running over a player with intent to cause as much damage as possible is another thing all together.
    This is 2017 FFS! We know the dangers of head trauma. The Rock EM Sock EM days are long gone, as I wish their champion was.

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

  5. Calgary Steven says:

    Here’s a question for the stat-minded folks of the commentariat. Is there a stat that would track the penalties given out by an official by team? Let’s say that we’d call this the Fraser stat, after Kerry…

    It would have to take into account the number of penalties given to a team based upon the number of game minutes that official reffed. There might have to be an offset to compare that amount to how much he gave the opposing squad – perhaps another stat altogether.

  6. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    McCarron and Farnham defended Petry when he got ran over. I hope Petry remembers this next time a team-mate gets ran over in front of him…

    • on2ndthought says:

      Petry is the gentlest soul in the NHL. I hope for his sake he never loses it, but it might be very interesting to see if it ever happens; he’s a big, strong lad.

      Free Front.

  7. DipsyDoodler says:

    I like bacon on its own, but I don’t think it makes things better. For example, I see no point in adding bacon to a cheeseburger or a scallop, as is often done.

    Luke says prosciutto is where its at, but bacon and prosciutto are very different. Guanciale is the “Guy Lafleur in his prime” of cured pork products.

    And the Spanish do a better ham than the Italians.
    —–

  8. piper says:

    Anyone else like what Farnham brings? I’d rather see Matteau get a look.

  9. B says:

    Who has averaged more pts/g over their career in the playoffs,
    Plekanec, Pacioretty, Gallagher, Eller or Galchenyuk?

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I looked it up.

      Plek: .56
      Max: .56
      Gallagher: .53
      Eller: .49
      Galchenyuk: .45 (but sample size too small)

      But here’s a weird stat: Eller, Pacioretty and Gallagher all have the same number of points, 18.

      —–

  10. B says:

    McNiven wins again, 5-2 over Kitchener. It’s his 7th in a row. Since being dropped by Team Canada, he has won 6 in a row stopping 142 of 147 shots for a .966 save%

    –Go Habs Go!–

  11. Chris says:

    Picking up on a couple of threads here today:

    1. Tomas Plekanec, playing most of the time with Lehkonen and Flynn, has 2 goals and 10 points and is +8 in 16 games since Galchenyuk went down. Phillip Danault, playing with Pacioretty (on a hot streak) and Radulov, has 2 goals and 10 points and is -1 in those same 16 games. Which of the two centres has actually been more valuable? Unlike most people, I DO value the +/- stat over longer time periods (like 16 games) because it tells you whether that player’s line has been a net positive or negative at even-strength. In Plekanec’s case, he leads the team in +/- despite handling the lion’s share of the defensive match-ups with Michel Therrien.

    I’m not a huge fan of Plekanec anymore because I think he struggles in the playoffs with his shutdown role. He works so hard on shutting down the other teams’ top players that his own offence disappears. As a third line shutdown guy, I have no problem with that. But Plekanec has been played as a #1 or #2 center throughout his Montreal tenure in the playoffs, so that lack of offence hurt the team. If Therrien can resist the urge to overplay Plekanec, he can be very valuable to the team in the playoffs with Galchenyuk and Danault perhaps centering the offensive lines.

    2. The NHL is trying to eliminate avoidable concussions, but they can never eliminate concussions altogether in a contact sport. I don’t think McCabe’s hit was that evil (although I would have preferred if he hadn’t driven upwards on the hit) — Laine simply got caught skating up the middle with his head down.

    3. I agree with Rocket: I would like to see Beaulieu stay with Weber on the #1 PP wave, and let Markov join Petry on the second wave when he returns. Beaulieu had a rough November, but he has been playing with a lot more confidence over the past month and his game has improved by leaps and bounds with that confidence.

    4. I don’t think that Montreal needs Matt Duchene, as good of a hockey player as he is. The cost would be too high, and we already have Galchenyuk to play that role. Instead, I would be going after scoring help on the wings. There aren’t a lot of obvious options out there right now, but another goal-scorer to complement Radulov, Pacioretty, and Gallagher would be helpful.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      “on a hot streak” is a bit disingenuous isn’t it?

      —–

      • Chris says:

        How so? Pacioretty has 14 goals in his last 16 games. I think we can both agree that Pacioretty is not a 70 goal per season player. So he’s on a hot streak.

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          Yes, but you’re implying that Danault’s points total is inflated by Pacioretty’s hot streak.

          Maybe his centre has something to do with his streak?

          —–

    • ebk says:

      Plekanec has played fairly well lately, as you point out but just doesn’t seem to have the same offensive game he’s had in the past. He’s by far the best defensive forward on the team.

      Don’t I agree however on Beau on the PP with Weber when Markov is healthy. I like Beau a lot and think he’s been playing really well this season but don’t think he’s a #1 PP D-man yet. Maybe he gets there but I just don’t see him being better than Markov yet on the PP

      I’d take Duchesne but I’d rather take a huge gamble and see what it takes to get Zetteberg from Detroit. Pleks would have to go the other way plus some stuff but Glachenyuk/Zetterberg down the middle would be as strong as any team in the NHL.

      • Chris says:

        Plekanec’s offensive game has definitely been declining, but he’s still very valuable because of his defence. I’m just not sure how bad his offence really is because I’m not sure that his linemates are giving him much to work with: Lehkonen is a good player, but he’s an NHL rookie. Flynn is offensively challenged. Gallagher was in an awful funk all season before his injury.

        I thought about Zetterberg too, but I think he will retire a Red Wing. I just cannot see the Red Wings trading him this season. But if he is available, he would be a great pick-up as he can play either center or LW. Prying him free of Detroit would be very expensive, though. I don’t think they deal him for Plekanec. That trade only gets made if Detroit decides that they are rebuilding, in which case they will want young forwards and prospects.

        • ebk says:

          Detroit will be at bubble team at best for the near future, so I’d think it would be in both the team’s best interest and his if they were to move him. Boston, to me is in a very similar position and probably start the rebuild as well. Bergeron and Krejci would look nice as well with the CH on their chests.

        • The_Rocket_Returns says:

          I would *love* to see Zetterberg in the bleu-blanc-rouge. That would be great on so many levels. And he might even have another year or two left in the tank.

          That said … not if it costs a first-rounder or a top prospect.

          … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

      • bandaide says:

        not trolling … I don’t think that beaulieu has or will ever have the hockey mind of Marky not yet and not in ten years but has he improved yes and its a pleasure.Imagine Markov had not had that run of knee injuries he would approach top 3?All time defense man points

        • ebk says:

          not sure he will either and I really like him. He’s a pretty tradeable asset at this point. Don’t think he’ll ever be a top #1 or #2 but right now depending on the game he’s a pretty decent #3 or #4(with the occasional #6). If the Habs resign Radulov this summer, I think sometime this summer him and Gallagher will be packaged up together to get a upgrade somewhere.

    • cbhabsfan says:

      1. Plekanec has been up and down through that 16-game stretch, despite the numbers. I’ve been watching him closely, and he’s had rough nights at both end of the ice on this most recent road trip, along with some decent, hard-working games. But the real problem is that we are getting the same thing from him as we are getting from three or four other guys, but their entire cap hits don’t even add up to his. In a cap world, this can’t go on for too long.
      2. I think the league is dilly-dallying on dealing with avoidable concussions. And while concussions will always be a fact of life in a contact sport like professional hockey, I think there should be zero tolerance for any hit to the head, clean or otherwise. Right now, there are plenty of players in this league who couldn’t care less what happens to an unsuspecting opponent who’s in their crosshairs. Perhaps they’d be a bit more careful if they knew thier would be consequences if their check resulted in a head injury.
      3. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Our best four defenders are arguably Beaulieu, Markov, Petry and Weber. It probbaly makes the best sense to pair the skaters with the more defensive guys. Emelin has done well on the first pairing, but what a nice kick he’d give to our third pairing.
      4. I’d love to see Matt Duchene in a Habs uniform, but I don’t see how we would get him without crippling our roster. Some earlier posts had some trade proposals that were completely unrealistic. To get this guy will cost some team some very good NHL players, just to open the conversation.

    • punkster says:

      Well stated regarding Pleks.

      “Don’t play what’s there. Play what’s not there.” – MD

    • on2ndthought says:

      Honestly, Plekanec does so many quality things on the ice that are difficult to notice. It is much easier to see what he doesn’t do. I’m not worried about him, in spite of the harsh treatment he gets here.

      It is his worst statistical season, but I suspect numbers more like the ones you cite above for the rest of the year. I expect 40 points this year, will be ecstatic if he manages 45.

      If Danault has earned the promotion most of us seem to be giving him, then Pleks could find himself with fewer, and more defensive minutes. It’s all good if the team is winning.

      Free Front.

    • The_Rocket_Returns says:

      Agreed with everything you said about Pleks *and* about +/-.

      For the life of me I don’t understand why people bash on +/-. Taken in isolation, without any context, it’s not very helpful in comparing one player to another. But one can say the same thing about every stat there is, including the possession metrics that +/- bashers love so much.

      And don’t get me wrong, I like the possession stats, too. But over a large sample size, and qualified with the appropriate context — role, linemates, etc. — +/- provides a very useful complement to them, not least because it makes manifest things that are presently difficult to empiricize, such as scoring chance quality.

      Disagreed on Duchene, though, if the cost was something like Scherbak + Hudon-caliber prospect + pick. A one-two of Chucky and Duchene would be golden for the next five+ years.

      And, yeah, Patrick Laine. I hate head shots more than anything and think they need to be punished severely, but that was a clean hit. Either take hitting out of the game or live with it.

      … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

  12. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Great to see Nikita Scherbak play his first NHL game and score his first goal, nice hands there. McCarron scored as well and made a solid contribution. The other call ups have by and large gotten the job done too. Of course having Carey Price helps. But have to say it looks like Sylvain Lefebvre and his staff are doing a pretty good job having his troops ready to backfill when needed. Thought that should be stated here. I was also pleasantly surprised to see the Ice Caps knock off Syracuse last night with many former ECHLers in the lineup!

    Interesting to see some of the recent signings in St John’s…Mike McCarron’s brother, John, for example looks promising. Great to see how well Michael McNiven has done since his return to the OHL, that kid is a legitimate prospect and MB and his staff deserves all the credit. I know the scouting staff took an HIO beating w/r to Roy, Gauthier and Philippe Myers but they managed to find great goaltending depth for the organization in McNiven and Lindgren. Maybe Fucale isn’t done yet either as many here have forecasted.

    All this to say that the ship seems to be sailing along smoothly at this point in the season. I am currently feeling pretty good about the organization and I hope that feeling lasts!

    Tagging onto the musical musings from the last thread I have recently revisited The English Beat and their brilliant little ska tune “Save it for Later”. Dave Wakeling went on to form General Public with Ranking Roger which produced “Tenderness” another staple from the early 80’s…Listen again to “Beautiful Girl” by INXS….and last but not least “Read my Mind” by the Killers. Hopefully not too sappy for HIO! One of the best concerts I ever saw was U2 at the forum in 1985 always curious if maybe some of the readers here might have been present for that one as well? My buddy Bruce won back stage access (thanks to CHOM and Chris Michaels) to John Cougar Mellencamp that same year when he played the Forum. I gave up one of my away Habs jerseys (teams wore red on the road at the time) to Larry the guitar player, who wore it on stage.

    24 cups and counting….

  13. Luke says:

    I’m not sure I understand the discussion about the Laine hit.

    Yes, him being concussed sucks and it is too bad that the league loses a star for some time. But, It was a clean hit. It wasn’t a headshot or blindside.

    Are we asking that McCabe doesn’t hit Laine, or simply doesn’t hit him as hard as he did?

    I’m just not sure. He didn’t hit him from behind or on the knee.

    Good hit, unfortunate result in my opinion.

    • 25soonenough says:

      That is the discussion, it was a good hit, it’s the result that is unfortunate. It’s the league rules that allow open season on all players with soft punishments for head shots. That is the issue. This McCabe hit is just the springboard for the discussion. I have no problem with his hit. The problem is Laine is out. Fans pay big hard earned money to see players like Laine and because huge “dirty” open ice hits are allowed to go unpunished, clean ones like McCabes will keep happening and ruining the careers of young stars like Laine. It’s tough to say how severe the trauma to his brain is but it could be very severe and that’s what I believe the issue is.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • Luke says:

        Then I think using the Laine hit to springboard the discussion isn’t a good choice.

        His injury is unfortunate. But what can you do? Legal play, Clean hit, hurt player. Tough break… but basically the same as Gallagher and the broken hand. We can’t petition for no raisies… it was literally a fair hockey play that resulted in an injury. C’est la vie.

        Now, Brooks Laich running Crosby… that’s different. And I think that’s more the type of hit and injury you should be discussing in this context.

        I just don’t think the Laine flag is the one to waive at this moment.

        • 25soonenough says:

          fair enough, but the hit on Laine is recent. I’m old and my memory doesnt stretch far enough to reference Laich on Crosby. Besides, discussions are just that, doesn’t make them right or wrong they just happen.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • Slack says:

      It was a perfectly clean hit. Anyone complaining that ‘its open season on the stars’ should tell the stars to keep their heads up.

      I want to see more hits like the Laine hit. That’s my kind of hockey

      • Luke says:

        For sure.
        I probably have a bigger issue with Emelin’s hit on Colbourne (Avs) than that McCabe hit.

        I welcome & encourage that type of boneshaking avalanche of humanity that Laine caught a lungful of yesterday.

        • cbhabsfan says:

          In a 1-0 game that was an OK hit in my book. He didn’t target the knees or the head, but it was weird to see someting that punishing in a 10-0 white-washing.

          And no one likes the hip check these days, even if delivered correctly, which Emelin, to his credit, does. Most of the time.

      • ebk says:

        it’s a beautiful hit and legal hit but I think the days of hitting a defenseless and unaware player need to be over. To many careers have been ended with concussions and to many lives destroyed. That being said, it would sure be hard to pass up cranking him like McCabe did.

    • D Mex says:

      For a hit like that one, my most critical lens is that of parent :
      HOW I view that hit if one of my boys is on the receiving end.
      – POd ? For sure.
      – But looking for McCabe’s head on a platter ? That’s a tough one to rationalize IMO.
      Quite candidly, I’d be biding my time before reminding either one of them of the importance of keeping the head up when going thru the rather large CX space that is centre ice.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

      Support Therrien – vote Desharnais : https://www.nhl.com/all-star-ballot
      See the Therrien – Desharnais duet here : http://i.imgur.com/NoNJ3FV.gif
      Therrien / Lacroix / Pacioretty : All Desharnais All the Time !

    • cbhabsfan says:

      I think the conversation around the league is turning more and more towards the need to protect the health of the hockey player by getting head contact out of the game as much as possible, whether the contact occurs within the rules or not.

      I think we might see a time in the not-too-distant future when any contact with the head that causes an injury, regardless of intent or how it occurred, is a suspendable offence.

      Nothing else seems to be working. Just look at the Shaw and Byron injuries. Neither were penalties, but Krug and Sharp would both have done things a little differently if they had been operating under a different set of assumptions for how their hits would have been viewed by the league.

      • 25soonenough says:

        That is exactly my point. Severe punishment for any head shot would change the culture and force players to hit through the body only and avoid the head at all costs. That being said, it’s not easy to do. Hockey is a tough sport and players are moving at 30 km an hour, decisions happen very fast and avoiding all head contact without removing hitting all together would be tough and hitting is a fundamental part of the sport.

        –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • Luke says:

        But Laine wasn’t hit in the head. This is why I’m struggling with the discussion and that particular hit being used as reference.

        I’m all for a 2minute minor for head contact. Ohl does it.

        I’m all for kicking players out who fight, as well.
        And no touch icing.

        There are some simple quality of life type changes that do not fundamentally change the game that could be made to at least maginally improve player safety… but I’ve also come to a conclusion a long time ago.

        That is: we care about players safety more than The players and the league do.

        The hybrid icing rule is the most clear example of that.

        They removed the safest part of the play, but kept the most dangerous part… all in the name of safety.

    • piper says:

      It’s a physical game (at least it should be). Guys are going to get hurt from clean hits.

    • on2ndthought says:

      It’s the hard shell armour that is the problem. There is padding between the shell and the player wearing it, but not the player getting hit. Even that up by putting the same padding on the outside of the shell and you’re halfway to mitigating the impact of those hits.

      Free Front.

      • piper says:

        Thats what Don says

      • piper says:

        I think it has more to do with the speed of the game (less interference, no redline).

        • The_Rocket_Returns says:

          Agreed 100% piper. The game would be so much safer — and IMHO so much more entertaining, too — if players were about 20% slower. I.e., if they skated at 1980s/1990s speeds.

          That would reduce the force of impact enormously, and also give players more time and space to make plays. Part of why junior hockey is so fun to watch is that they’re slower, which allows skill to really shine through.

          … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

  14. RightNyder says:

    Things not made better by bacon:

  15. Habnormal says:

    @25. GL. Hilarious! He was so overhyped that he ended up being a huge disappointment. He was rushed in way too soon. I think they were hoping he would become John Leclair. Let’s hope they are a bit smarter with Big Mac

    • 25soonenough says:

      For sure, Leclair was an amazing player. If Big Mac becomes 1/3 of a John Leclair I would be ecstatic. I think Big Mac is more of a solid third/fourth liner though which i’m fine with, every team needs those.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  16. ProHabs says:

    Are the Habs planning an honorary tribute for Lars the way the Predators did for Weber.

  17. on2ndthought says:

    Will the Giants and Packers at least provide some entertainment / drama?

    AFA Laine is concerned; the players, equipment, training, speed have all changed. It’s time for the rules to change as well.

    Free Front.

  18. Habnormal says:

    Habs have never won the President’s Trophy since it was created in 1985. It would be great for them to win that this year, along with the Stanley Cup.

    • 25soonenough says:

      The President’s trophy seems to be a bit of a curse lately. Washington, Rangers etc.. I can’t recall the last President Trophy winner to win a cup. I’m sure there has been a few but usually its teams like Chicago that finish around 4-6 in their conference and turn it up in the playoffs. It would be great for bragging rights however.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        I think it was Chicago in the lock-out year. Let me check…

        Yup…in 2013. Actually since 1999, the President’s trophy winners have both won the Cup and lost in the first round 5 times…so no real predictor of playoff success.

    • RightNyder says:

      Don’t have to be the first one into the dance to go home with the girl.

  19. cbhabsfan says:

    I have a modest theory as to why we are still playing pretty decent hockey, despite so many injuries to so many good hockey players.

    The first part of my little theory is easy: We only have one indispensible player in the lineup, and we all know what happened to this team when he was out for the entire season last year. So long as he’s healthy and happy, we will always get the world’s best golatending, regardless of what else is happening on the ice.

    The second part of my theory is that, for better or worse, we only have five or six players who can be considered top-tier, front line NHL players this season, and we really only lost one forward (Galchenyuk) and one defenceman (Markov) who fit that bill. Gallagher hasn’t really been on the frontline list for most of this season, though he has certainly fit the description in past seasons and undoubtedly will once again.

    Time to tip the hat to Bottom-Feeder Bergey. When you have a young player like Danault step in and successfully fill Galchenyuk’s shoes so well in the short term, that goes a long way in keeping things moving forward.

    We make constant fun of Bergevin’s constant trolling for bargain players to fill out his lineup, but so far everyone who has been called up from the AHL or moved up to a higher line has been able to more or less replace the player they have been filling in for.

    So far, so good…

  20. 25soonenough says:

    I love the posters who show up once a day to jump into a conversation others are enjoying just to give some asinine jab at the poster, why, because they can. It’s great entertainment and I’m thankful for it.

    –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  21. punkster says:

    I’m a Pleks fan.

    There, I said it. And for D Mex, no Pleks does not wear his heart on his sleeve as evidenced in the many, many interviews I found going back to 2008. Just not his thing.

    He continues to be Habs best combination PK player and go to guy to shadow and stymie the opposition’s top scorer.

    Until such time as the Habs have proven substitute(s)/upgrade(s) for him Pleks is our guy.

    Now by all means throw salary and cap hit at me. Least of my concerns with Pleks.

    “Don’t play what’s there. Play what’s not there.” – MD

    • Slack says:

      Plekanec is terrible. He hasn’t even been good defensively for going on more than a season now. He has no offensive skill to speak of. This is a serious problem because when he is in the offensive zone he will inexorably make a moronic play, meaning that he has single handedly squandered an offensive chance and is forced to defend.

      He has one goal at even strength

      ONE.

      6 million dollars.

      One goal.

      Man Plekanec sure is the best!!!

      • The Puckhound says:

        Here’s last night plays from Plekanec.
        -Slashing penalty – PP goal for Toronto
        – On the ice for Toronto’s second PP goal— he was checking his shadow,
        – TO’s 3rd goal had a chance to get the puck deep to get a complete change and ended up with Barberio and Johnston still on the ice and Marner does his magic to JVR.
        How’s that for 7 mill?

        Forever #4

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Pleks was terrible against TB in the playoff lost. MB tried to get value from him in a two-year deal without a movement clause and it has not worked. Pleks is the new DD.

      • habs001 says:

        I agree..not sure what some posters see when they say he does so many good things on defense…Game after game the opposition gets so many great scoring chances when he is on the ice(not his fault all the time as other players on with him)…the PK is now 21st….

    • RightNyder says:

      Does five goals in 67 games concern you at all?
      Cap hit is a concern because the Habs are paying nearly $10M for two centres (Plekanec and DD) who aren’t producing.
      Every team has bad contracts/players not performing to their number, but you can always find puds to check.
      As mentioned, Ryan Kesler is a shutdown centre. Not only is he good enough defensively to shadow the other team’s “big boys”, but he’s enough of a scoring threat that they have to be worried about him, too. That’s a huge difference.
      Pleks is simply a decent defensive centre to this point in the season. Those are replaceable and not worth $6M.
      Let’s hope he can pick up the scoring

      • 25soonenough says:

        I stand by the fact that the only problem with Pleks is the contract. A very respectable third line center at 2.8 M per year would be an asset. At 6 he becomes a burden.

        –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • cbhabsfan says:

      I’ve been a Plekanec fan for a long time and I’ve always appreciated what he brought to the team, but there’s something not right with him this season, but I don’t think it’s his age.

      I’ve watched him closely in a lot of games this year and he has had nights where he’s one of the best players on the ice, but there have been many more where’s he’s just looked lost out there.

      If this keep up, he will probably be exposed in the draft. And if Las Vegas doesn’t take him (they probably won’t) we’ll likely be forced to buy him out.

      I don’t really see a trade market for his $6M contract.

    • 25soonenough says:

      great news.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • RightNyder says:

      Is Shaw aware he was skating at Brossard?

      • cbhabsfan says:

        I think that’s part of the concussion protocol, RN…

        EDIT: “Mr Shaw, can you tell us the name of the facility you are skating in?”

        • RightNyder says:

          Is that the same protocol that allowed him back in the game after a van ran into his face?

          • cbhabsfan says:

            “Mr. Shaw, can you recall the colour and make of the the van that struck you? Did you see the driver’s face? A licence plate, perhaps?”

      • on2ndthought says:

        Atlantic City!

        (there is a boxing story behind this: during training, trainers wake their boxers in the middle of the night screaming “where are you, where are you?”. The boxers are conditioned to respond with the site of their next fight, so that during the fight, when the ref is checking, they will respond with the correct venue through the fog)

        Free Front.

  22. Habsolo says:

    Relax DDO. Haters going to hate. Just ask your boy PK

    • D Mex says:

      Got a definition for ” haters ” handy ?

      • joeybarrie says:

        Hater:
        A person who has an intense dislike for another person or thing.

        • D Mex says:

          Thanks for the google response.
          I was hoping for HI/O context – the word ” hater ” is bandied about in these parts like cheap candy, often by apostles of groupthink.

          Save yourself the time :
          http://www.dictionary.com/browse/groupthink

          • joeybarrie says:

            Um, I DO NOT use google. Its all YAHOO with me.
            Second, you really should be more clear when looking for a specific definition. Its your own fault there, really…
            Critical thinking is not something that is supported by the masses.
            I’m not a fan of Dictionary.com. I find it to be fairly pedantic. I prefer Wikipedia.

          • D Mex says:

            Wikipedia is fed by the masses.

            As to assignment of fault, allow me to suggest in the friendliest terms possible that you tread very carefully on this one.

            Mrs Mex views it as a full-time / overtime job – her full-time / overtime job – and I doubt she’d take kindly to any other person diluting what she sees as an excellent body of work.

            Fair to say she might ” hate ” it.

            ALWAYS Habs –
            D Mex

        • Timo says:

          I have an intense dislike for brussles sprouts… am I a hater? Can you actually blame me?

          • 25soonenough says:

            I hate trolls. So i’m a hater of trolls I guess. Trolls and Squirrels. I find squirrels arrogant.

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • cbhabsfan says:

            Just caught one in my attic.

            A squirrel, I mean. No trolls, thankfully.

          • 25soonenough says:

            haha. Trolls in the addict would sure keep the kids up at night.

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • joeybarrie says:

            You are in fact, a hater of Brussels sprouts. I also can blame you, as i find them delicious. My favorite way is to cut them up, cook them a bit and pair them with fiji apples with an olive oil, lemon and dijon mustard dressing. Makes for an amazing side salad.

          • 25soonenough says:

            hmmm, yeah, brussel sprouts with bacon are divine, then again, what isn’t made better by adding bacon?

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        No need for a definition; just read his posts. When we discuss Weber (a Mtl player), he keeps bringing up PK (a Nashville player who he just called a boy) instead of debating our points of view. Honestly just whatever.

  23. boing007 says:

    Moronic play by Matt Moore.

    Richard R

  24. New says:

    This is a good team.

  25. Timo says:

    Is the game against Washington a measuring stick game?

  26. Arnou Ruelle says:

    A lot is now emphasized on extending Radulov’s contract. The way to look at it, Bergevin could resign him sooner, or in July 1st when overpriced contracts are either bought out or those players get traded. We have not yet heard of any offer sheet given to Radulov since this is a time when the season gets into a grind. Plus, there could be a possible trade in the works (as what was speculated last night on TSN690). So I would not be surprised if nothing is still being reported before the deadline.

    • Timo says:

      Personally I could see a hesitation at this time. Same happened with Plekanec. As soon as he signed that ridiculous contract, his production and desire to put it all on the line went south. Perhaps Bergevin would like to see how Radulov performs in playoffs before throwing huge amount of money at him. And it will be a pretty big chunk.

      • habcertain says:

        His price will go up, and could be unaffordable with the rest of the resignings.

      • joeybarrie says:

        Every time you sign a player there is the same chance they stop playing so hard and settle. don’t see that as being Radulov’s character.
        I say sign him asap.

        • Loop_G says:

          Agreed, he has never had a work ethic problem at any point in his career. He also is out to prove himself and cement a bit a hockey legacy with what is left of his career.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Is it so difficult just to wait and see how a player finishes the season before extending contracts? If the player performs well in the playoffs, by all means pay him. If MB was patient, Pleks and DD would be long gone by now.

  27. twocents says:

    Regarding a conversation below:

    As an 18 year old I watched the Habs win the ’86 Cup in the Carb with a tableful of friends. It was our first time there. Jam packed. Spilled out onto St.Catherine street afterward for what turned out to be a crazy night.

    There was a skinny old guy in the Carb with cut off sleeves that kept coming around and flexing his biceps at us like he was going to take us on. Good times.

    None of you guys here are him, are you?

    RN?

  28. 25soonenough says:

    Patrick Laine out with a concussion, no timetable for his return. That’s a real shame. This league really needs to wake up.

    –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • CH Sam says:

      He looked unable to stand at all after being destroyed at center ice like that. It really is open season out there.

      • twilighthours says:

        It’s open season, alright. But that’s a clean check, no?

        • 25soonenough says:

          Not the point if it’s clean or not. Laine shouldn’t be targeted like that, the games best players belong playing the games.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • Max says:

            How was he targeted? He was crossing the ice with the puck.The opposition wants the puck.So you think the stars should not allowed to be hit and allowed to do whatever they want on the ice because they sell jerseys? What nonsense.

        • 25soonenough says:

          Don’t call someone’s opinion nonsense? Should I call yours nonsense. I’m saying the hit was unfortunate and the game suffers as a result of it. Why do posters like you feel you need to insult people to make your point.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • moggs says:

            He didn’t insult you personally, he said your POST was nonsense. It was nonsense and now you’re crying because someone disagreed with you on an internet forum.

        • cbhabsfan says:

          Sure is. Which is why you have to wonder about the leadership of a sports league that allows it’s money-making stars to be taken off the market so often and so cleanly.

          A smart league would make sure there was a stiff price to paid by the player doing the sidelining regardless of intent or who was at fault on the play. It’s just good business.

          I know the NFL had enough and decided it was time to eliminate head shots, accidental or otherwise. And it really didn’t matter if McCabe’s face did the damage rather than his shoulder. The end result was the same and he was the one who initiated the hit.

          • 25soonenough says:

            I think the hit was clean. I just don’t like the other hits that take out star players and lead to minimum 2-3 game suspensions. The NHL is too soft on head hunters.

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • cbhabsfan says:

            It’s 2017 and we know a lot more about concussions now than we did in the past.

            I call these hits the way I see them – predatory. It doesn’t matter if the hit falls within the rules. Unloading like that on an unsuspecting opponent will often cause a head injury.

            If the league wants to take that play out of the game, it can. Just take a look at the NFL, which is facing a lot of pressure for its history of dealing poorly with concussions.

            But this is all just talk among ourselves. The NHL has little or no interest in addressing the issue of clean hits where the head is impacted in some form or other.

        • 25soonenough says:

          Thank you moggs. Always appreciate your wisdom.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • 25soonenough says:

        It’s shameful. The game is centered around talents like Laine and a bum like McCabe takes him out for probably months, that’s if he ever recovers fully. Who’s buying McCabe jerseys?

        –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

        • D Mex says:

          Seeing that McCabe was involved, my first thought on this was to grab the keyboard. After all, the name is linked to the Laffs, a former cheap shot artist, yada yada.
          Yet, despite watching the replay thru that lens, I find it hard to assign fault to McCabe on the play.

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

          Support Therrien – vote Desharnais : https://www.nhl.com/all-star-ballot
          See the Therrien – Desharnais duet here : http://i.imgur.com/NoNJ3FV.gif
          Therrien / Lacroix / Pacioretty : All Desharnais All the Time !

          • 25soonenough says:

            I don’t blame McCabe at all for the hit. He was just playing “hockey” the trouble i’m having with it is –how do we stop it– Laine is a treat to watch and Jets fans are now deprived of him for however long. Doesn’t seem right.

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • cbhabsfan says:

            No fault on McCabe. He was doing exactly what he’s been taught to do. Unfortunately, that’s the problem here.

            Hockey players are taught to unload mercilessly on another hockey player who for some reason is unaware of what’s coming.

            With that mindset, it’s no suprise at all that there are a LOT of concussions in this league.

        • cbhabsfan says:

          Exactly. It’s a business as well as sport/entertainment.

          The McCabes of this league are interchangebale, while the Laines are valuable currency that put people in the seats and keep them watching on television.

          It’s all about the bottom line, and that clean hit hurt the league’s bottom line, and not to a great deal of purpose as well, so far as I can tell.

          • 25soonenough says:

            EXACTLY. that doesn’t sound like nonsense to me.

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

        • boing007 says:

          Nobody. Never heard of him.

          Richard R

      • boing007 says:

        I’m getting tired of star players being knocked out by mediocre players.

        Richard R

        • 25soonenough says:

          No kidding. Players like McCabe trying to be relevant for a shift take out an 18 year old kid with 21 goals.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

        • D Mex says:

          Seems highly improbable a Crosby is taken out by a Toews or a McDavid.
          When it happens, stars – by definition – have to be ” knocked out ” by mediocre / average players, no ?

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

          Support Therrien – vote Desharnais : https://www.nhl.com/all-star-ballot
          See the Therrien – Desharnais duet here : http://i.imgur.com/NoNJ3FV.gif
          Therrien / Lacroix / Pacioretty : All Desharnais All the Time !

          • 25soonenough says:

            truth. Crosby isn’t taking anyone out. McDavid loses half a season because of some bozo in Philly. status quo.

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • Habby_Haberton says:

      That play was more just bad luck, might have hit his head on the ice or visor to visor…I wouldn’t be happy as a Jets fan but I don’t think it is a dirty hit.

    • Max says:

      It was a clean check.Hockey’s a rough game and stuff happens.If you don’t want to get a concussion then probably don’t play pro hockey and take up knitting.Just beacause Laine is a young star is he not to be hit and escorted to the goal every time he’s on the ice and allowed to score?

      • 25soonenough says:

        Yes, hockey is a tough sport but are you suggesting that concussions are a requisite part of hockey? Why are they trying to prevent them then? They may as well just let it keep happening. I’m saying if the league keeps letting guys like Laine get knocked out then who’s left to watch and enjoy? A league full of Brian McCabes?

        –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • habberwocky says:

      Yes the league has to wake up. You look at someone’s stick sideways and get a penalty, but cause someone brain damage and it’s just part of the game?

      Bigger, faster and stronger players of today using rules from a different era, it sucks for the players getting permanent injuries and for the fans not getting the chance to see the most skilled players in action because they are always getting injured.

  29. boing007 says:

    Looks like a rout in Pittsburgh.

    Richard R

    • gordispitz says:

      hi , thanks for the youtube link. i have had it on ever since .. i am always amazed and appreciative on how the sound has been cleaned..from the early days of internet

      • boing007 says:

        Youtube is a gold mine for great music, videos, tv shows and more. Thanks to one and all who provide this material from all over the world.

        Richard R

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      Since you’re talking ’bout NFL, I can see the Steelers are a good team.

      • Duker says:

        They sure hit hard

        Where’s the beef MB ?

        • Arnou Ruelle says:

          Yeah, well if they do confront the Brady bunch up in Foxboro, Pitts’ defense will sure be a force in these playoffs. In fact the Patriots don’t like to compete with the Steelers.

          • --Habs-- says:

            Your talking about a Bill Belichick team not liking to face the Steelers? Please! Somehow I don’t think Bill gets frazzled by any opposing team. He’s the best coach in the NFL history and in the game today. The Pats are a very very well prepared and disciplined team. The Pats are NOT Miami.

            “Habs” Watch and learn….! Or Not!

  30. Cheech says:

    Well I’m very happy with last night’s result beating the Laff’s with yesterday’s lineup was awesome… All they would talk about is their prospects and their stars but we knocked them out with our numerous AHLers… Tip my hat to McCarron who took on the toughest guy in the league and Sherbak is going to be one of our main goal scorers for years to come you can see it… Now with all the talk about our best players they happen to be Price,Weber,Patches…but Radulov has changed the dynamics of this team the most this year with attitude and doggedness and pure talent this guy was a catch we are very lucky to have him, there is no quit in that guy… Awesome just awesome. As far as Plecs goes I’m sure he’s been good to have around with young guys but I do think it’s his turn to move on and to be replaced with more size and edge for playoff battle. Again well-done destroying a team built by tanking last night our future is bright

    • D Mex says:

      Something I notice with Plekanec, and it’s evident any time he is interviewed, is the apparent absence of passion for what he and
      the team are doing. Going thru the motions ?

      This is nothing new – it’s been there for a while, and I get that it may well be patterned after the on-camera demeanour of some of the great ones, but when guys like Weber and Price and Crosby use the matter-of-fact style to answer questions, you can still see that they care, and that effort / process / outcomes matter to them. Not so with Plekanec, and I cannot think of a time this was not so.

      This may boil down to personality, or a host of other background factors. He may be entirely different in team dynamic – the room, at practice, in team meetings etc etc. Just something I’ve observed with this guy for some time now – maybe something, probably nothing.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

      Support Therrien – vote Desharnais : https://www.nhl.com/all-star-ballot
      See the Therrien – Desharnais duet here : http://i.imgur.com/NoNJ3FV.gif
      Therrien / Lacroix / Pacioretty : All Desharnais All the Time !

  31. BKAK72 says:

    It’s quite ironic how many compliments the worst franchise in global sports received in the ALN comment. Somewhere, it’s been forgotten we too have a wealth of young stars overshadowed by (IMHO) sport and community politics. I would suggest that’s how we end up with PLEKS at $6MM and DD at $3.5MM – a horrible use of cap space. How much is MARKOV really worth as a fifth defenseman next year? Certainly not $5.75MM! That’s approximately $15.25MM to work with.

    I would rather see MCCARON/6’6″ and SCHERBAK/6’2″ (signed at approx. $1.25MM combined cap hit) ahead of the aforementioned forwards anytime. Sign that ‘fifth’ defenseman for about $1.5MM (max) and then use the cap space gained to resign RADULOV long-term and pursue the likes of HANZAL or TJ OSHIE to play behind/ahead of CHUCKY – assuming they’re available in July.

    That’s my dreamworld…

    — Les Canadiens. Building to make history for the current fan. —

    • habcertain says:

      The Laffs are on the right track.

    • Duker says:

      As a Det Lions fan, I challenge your opinion on the worst franchise in global sports

      Where’s the beef MB ?

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Me too as a Chargers fan.

      • boing007 says:

        Da Bears. Da Browns.

        Richard R

      • burnedprof says:

        Agreed re Lions. I have been fooled so many times by the Lions. They are so bad for so long that my dad stopped giving me the old guy speech of, “well, you never saw…” when he realized i had seen 45 yrs of Lions futility. That was enough. Without a doubt, they are the worst. The only good things about being a Lions fan are being able to shut down Leafs whiners with, “yeah, I know, I’m a Lions fan” and being able to trot that out if anyone accuses me of being band-wagon jumper or a front-runner.

        — (by request)
        Signature? I just want to change the picture attached to my profile.

    • Loop_G says:

      Well, first of all calling them the worst franchise in global sports is a pretty radical view to hold (also a Lions fan, Browns fans and many more would also protest), and secondly, they are off to a great start in re-building the team. It’s just hockey, not that important in the big scheme of things, and you don’t lose anything by acknowledging they are young and talented. (also, it’s not ironic)

  32. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Scherbak and picks for duchene… not happening.

  33. devhab says:

    Posters excited about McNiven using Don Cherry as a source of credibility??

    On HIO? Don Cherry?

    Don’t think his opinion carries much weight here.

    Giddy up

    • 25soonenough says:

      I’m excited about McNiven because he is a great goalie. Forget Don Cherry

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • Loop_G says:

      He’s a good prospect, maybe a great one and Cherry is right that McNiven and Lindgren are both outstanding goaltending prospects. Personally I turn the TV off whenever that blowhard Cherry shows up, however he was a professional hockey player and an NHL coach; he knows a bit about hockey.

      • 25soonenough says:

        He’s extremely athletic and never gives up on any puck. Great quality for a young goalie to have.

        –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  34. Coach K says:

    One thing I’ve noticed in recent games (during Price’s supposed slide in his performance) is that he isn’t handling the puck behind the net and passing as much as he usually does when his defence comes back into the zone for their regroup. After all, he is usually the one who starts their breakout/transition. I think, that hhis “decline” in his game is not really an indicator of a decline but might be a function of him seeing more shots because they’re spending more time in their own end.

    I’m starting to wonder if this isn’t by design. Think about this…every time Price passes the puck to his defence he saves them about 25 feet of ice and prevents them from having to take both a pounding on the boards or come back all the way behind their goal line to retrieve the puck and start the breakout/transition (when he passes they only have to come back to the hash marks). It also means the forward can cheat and stay high for a quick transition.

    I wonder if Therrien/Muller recognized this, didn’t like it and told Price to cut back on those passes because they thought that he was “spoiling” his defence. Maybe they thought the defence and the rest of the team were becoming lazy/complacent and were cheating a bit too much for their own good? Maybe that plus, they know that Montoya doesn’t have that skill set so maybe, they wanted the defence and the back checking forwards to work harder at coming back deep on the back check to support whomever was in nets.

    Have the rest of you noticed this too (Price passing less) or am I seeing something that isn’t there? Curious what y’all think…

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

    • habcertain says:

      I have not noticed that, I don’t see how the coaches would want to curtail it, as fast breakouts of the zone is good defence.

      • Coach K says:

        I agree that fast breakouts are indeed most desirable but if Price goes down again, they have to be able to play with a goalie who doesn’t pass like Price can which means getting used to coming back deep and starting the breakouts themselves. That’s what I’m figuring might be at play.

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

        • habcertain says:

          Good point, I guess if Price goes down we will have a host of other problems!

        • LeGrosBill says:

          I haven’t noticed either but to address your point I think the players are all very aware when its Price or when it Montoya in nets. Not sure they play very differently for each but I think they maybe modify their game in small ways.

    • dropthepuck says:

      I don’t think he does anything different with regards to handling the puck. Can be just the flow of play, or teams possibly avoiding the dump. I have noticed in the last few games, that on occasion, he has been a little too calm and he has caused problems.

    • Schmarkty says:

      I think you might be on to something, but it might be coming more from opposing coaches forechecking on Price to force turnovers when he plays the puck. I’ve noticed in the past few games that forecheckers are coming in on a different angle to stop that pass.

    • johnyk says:

      Other teams picked up on Price and arent coming in as deep.

      Johnyk

    • CH Sam says:

      I wonder if this change is a small adjustment in the system…I can’t help but wonder how beneficial it is to have Kirk Muller on the coaching staff. You can probably pinpoint it better than I can as a hockey man. Seems to me, as a layman, they’re paying more attention to little details involved with having the puck.

      Another guess I have is that it helps their skating game to regroup with the puck and start a new play. Having Price make the first pass in the system, and then dishing it into the Ozone right away can put pressure on opposition D, but I wonder if it creates a start-stop- effect for the Habs players, in effect, having to go from 10 to 100mph to chase the puck, which can disrupt momentum etc. Anyways that’s my non-educated blabber.

      • on2ndthought says:

        I was going to comment on Muller last night. The system looks the same, just better, and it is attention to detail as you say. We are very difficult to exercise gap control on because our speedy forwards take off as soon as possession changes, or is even contested. Even when the opposing D is able to close the seam, you normally end up with contested pucks in the neutral zone.

        Coach, it could be an effort to draw the opposing forwards in to our zone a little further before launching our counter attack; spread them out a bit vertically, so they can’t effectively close down the blue line, opening lanes for passes.

        Free Front.

  35. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Price versus Andersson…c’mon let’s be serious. The Leafs are very young so they haven’t developed their defensive play enough to be beat the top teams yet. If I am a Toronto fan I am ecstatic because you can’t coach offensive ability and they clearly have it. They will develop their D-play with Babcock coaching them. Look at what he has done with Kadri. He looked like a Ribiero-type one-dimensional lazy player. Now he is a two way gritty chippy center with 16 goals already. Not bad.

    Anyway, Kyperos mentioned that Pleks might be available at the deadline. If MB was “listening” for PK offers last year, I’m pretty sure Pleks is available now. The only way I can see his contract getting dealt is to a cap floor team with a lack of center depth and experience. I think a trading Pleks for an upcoming UFA would help the Habs. I am thinking along the lines of Pleks and a pick/prospect for Hanzal at the deadline. Habs get a bigger center and the Yotes get a player for next season with prospects.

    • Duker says:

      First paragraph,100% right. 2nd: 3yrs/$12M for Stall would have solved alot of issues (and silly trade proposals) . And Pleks would be ideal for #3C

      Where’s the beef MB ?

    • The_Rocket_Returns says:

      I don’t want to see Pleks traded unless he brings back Hanzal or equivalent. This team looks like it could do some playoff damage. We need more depth, not less.

      … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • Rad says:

      Hi DDO. Not sure why you feel that it would be necessary to send Pleks AND a pick/prospect for Hanzal. Pleks has not had a good year, but he still has value on the trade front for his experience and veteran leadership (captain of the Czech national team). I would think a straight up deal for Hanzal would suffice. How much trade value can Hanzal have with only 3 mos. before he becomes a free agent? If anything, the prospect/pick should be coming back to Montreal in a Plekanec/Hanzal exchange of fellow countrymen. Doesn’t Arizona still owe us for the John Scott affair?

      By the way I doubt that Kypreos has any inside information on Pleks. He was just surmising that # 14 might be available. Something out of HIO if you will 🙂

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        You are right the deal can be made straight up because Zona can deal Pleks next season for picks/prospects at the deadline. Personally, I would throw in a mid-level prospect or max 3rd round pick just to get Pleks’s contract off the books next season.

  36. habsfan4ever says:

    Hey Charlie Hodge Fan, in reading your post back about 10.30 or so I could not help but notice your reminiscing of the tavern in the basement of the Alexis Nihon Plaza. If memory serves, I believe it was called The Voltigeur. Every Saturday night, I am my buddies would gather to enjoy many drafts(two pints at a time) standard fare, plus pickled tongue with crackers, pickled eggs and of course strong cheddar cheese and crackers! All the while watching our Habs usually always kick butt. Those were the days!!

    Les Canadiens sont la!

    • Psycho29 says:

      Any chance it was this place, the Maidenhead? I remember going there a couple of times. For some reason I never remembered leaving. 😉

      http://coolopolis.blogspot.ca/2016/12/bring-back-maidenhead-inn.html#!/2016/12/bring-back-maidenhead-inn.html

    • Habfan17 says:

      I believe it was called the Alsation at one time, spelling may be incorrect.

      Habfan17

    • habcertain says:

      I believe it was called the “Carb”, short for Les carabiniere

      Spent may lost hours in there.

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      I really don’t know the name. It had barnwood walls, cheap beer and good tv angles. The waiters were old school tavern waiters – they would look at long haired teenaged freaks with disdain, but they never once checked how old we were. I always appreciated that.
      And it had 75 cent beers, which made tipping a quarter easy to calculate even late in the evening. Closer to downtown, they gouged you for 85 cents.
      As a teenager in Montreal in the 70s, I never once was carded. People weren’t that rude, I mean, if you had money and acted reasonably (we wanted to look 20 anyway), it was cool.

      habsfan4ever – you can’t have been one of those negative begrudgers unless you are now about 100 years old. If you are, I have to tell you, Robinson actually was good, even if he had sideburns.

      • twilighthours says:

        I love this. Post of the season

      • habsfan4ever says:

        CHF, I am 68 years old making me 20 just prior to the start of the 70s.

        Everything you describe fits the place and you are absolutely right in your recounting of the waiters and carding.

        I am not sure what you mean by “negative begrudger”. I loved Larry Robinson. He was and still is one of the best…all time! Do you have me confused with another poster?

        Les Canadiens sont la!

  37. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Just finished watching the game. A couple of thoughts. Nice to see the young guys chipping in and the officials, although they called a lot of penalties, were very kind to the Leafs. Lots of interference. The boarding on Emelin was rather egregious. The same guy who threw himself at Price. The league should consider creating a major penalty for goaltender assault. Good win for our side! Always nice to beat the Leafs.

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. – Mark Twain

  38. LeGrosBill says:

    Someone tweeted the following;

    Plekanec+Juulsen+Beaulieu vs Duchene what do you think of that if you are Colorado?

    I think this is exactly the kind of trade that is not goign to happen. I can’t see MB parting with that many assets, even is Colorado is willing to settle for that.

    To my mind a trade that I thought of when Chucky got injured and everyone was goign on about how we were weak up the middle and how we needed a Center was Grigorenko for something like Carr and Ghetto. Not saying Colorado would accept, much less MB, but at the time the Habs cleaned the Avanche’s clock and Grigorenko was like the only even +/- player on their team.

    I don’t think he’d be too expensive, played in the Q like Radu, has good size and maybe is out of favour in Colorado since Roy left?

    • Duker says:

      MB is too smart to insult a team like that. He’d be the laughingstock of the gm meetings with that proposal.

      Where’s the beef MB ?

      • LeGrosBill says:

        Which Proposal, the one tweeted for Duchesne or mine for Grigorenko?

        • Duker says:

          Both,no offense. Carr has 1 goal, and Ghetto passed thru waivers

          Where’s the beef MB ?

          • LeGrosBill says:

            No offense taken. I was just curious to see if anyone else thought that MB might be more inclined to make less of a blockbuster trade and go for Grigorenko in lieu of Duchesne and what people thought would be enough to get him.

    • Habfan17 says:

      As good as Duchesne is, he is not in the league of McDavid, Crosby, Malkin. That would not be enough to get one of them, but is too much for Duchesne. Pleks, Ghetto, Beaulieu and a 3rd round pick for Duchesne and Iginla.

      Habfan17

    • Coach K says:

      If I’m MB I only throw in one of those two defencemen. Chances are it will likely have to be a roster player and not a prospect to land Duchene. They would want someone who could shore up their defence right now not someone who at this point, is nothing more than a “maybe”.

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

      • 25soonenough says:

        With the imminent re-build Colorado is facing I would think draft picks would be a big part of their wish list. A first and a young D-man like Beaulieu.

        –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      None of those guys are as good or will be as good as Duchene. Don forget that Duchene has an excellent contract which makes him even more valuable. It will take Sergachev to get him and I’m not sure Colorado would do it. I would trade Serge to get Duchene because Duchene at 6 million for 3 post-seasons makes the Habs Cup contenders. From what we have seen recently, the type of deal I see happening is a Duchene for Fowler/Trouba type deal.

  39. Mavid says:

    Colton Orr Tribute night..haha..

    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

  40. slapshot777 says:

    Just looking that the replays from last nights game and the interviews after. Saw the run over of Price and followed by the interview with Hyman.

    Reporter asked him if he had any problem with Weber coming after him. His reply was” I don’t mind him coming at me just not punching me in the back of the head like he did”

    My answer to that would be he would have a problem with Weber if the refs let Weber go at him. He was saved by the officials both times when Weber went over to him the first time he turtled up and the officials got right in there this is why he got punched in the back of the head, hell I would have rag dolled him all over the ice he is lucky he only got a punch in the head.

    At the end of the second period, again the officials jumped right in when Weber went after Hyman. I think Weber would have cleaned the ice with Hyman. Yet when McCarron fought Martin they let them tire themselves out. There was bias officiating last night on who got protected and who didn’t.

    Everyone is talking about how well the Leafs played,and they did but you have to look at the Habs with SEVEN regulars out and listening to TSN and Sportsnet you wouldn’t know that the Leafs were all over the Habs and that only for Price the Leafs would have won.

    Take SEVEN regulars out of the Leaf lineup and see what the outcome is. I bet the game is not even close.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

    • Coach K says:

      “I don’t mind him coming at me just not punching me in the back of the head like he did”…to which my reply would be, would you rather he punch you in the face? What a genius…

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

    • Mr. Biter says:

      You mean HYMAN THE TURTLE. Weber would have killed him and he TURTLE’S both time. Real tough guy. Next time Leafs come to the Bell center the Echo’s of TURTLE should follow whenever Hyman touch’s the puck. What a wimp and whiner.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

  41. LeGrosBill says:

    You know how everyone was on Patches case when he wasn’t playing well and then it turns out he had a micro-fracture, and now once healed, he’s tering it up? What is Plecks is suffering from the same type of nagging injury?

    • Cal says:

      Pleks is suffering from OPS. OverPaid Syndrome. Gomez had it, too. If someone offered me $12 mill US for 2 seasons, I’d take the money and run, too. Bergevin offered him waaay too much for what he brings.

      • Schmarkty says:

        I would argue that Pleks is suffering from “always playing with guys like Flynn and rookies like Lehkonen” syndrome. Also “always taking the hardest defensive assignments and D-zone draws” syndrome. I think Pleks is far more essential to this team than people give him credit for. Put him with Pacioretty and Radulov in sheltered offensive minutes and he’ll put up some points. He’s doing his job night in and night out and it’s one of the hardest jobs on the team.

        • chronichab says:

          You are correct schmarkty,he is not easily replaced either.
          Most people just look at his salary and points total and give little
          credit to his actual value to our team.

          • habsr4ever says:

            As I keep saying kopitar has one more point than pleks. Just sayin.
            He needs to bring more o but it could be worse. Pleks defensive game is hard to replace. Mitchell nor dd nor Big Mac can fill in for what pleks does for us.

  42. boing007 says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_LAW1xLCpA&list=RDE_LAW1xLCpA#t=84
    Hey Pete! Let’s eat more meat – Dizzy Gillespie

    Rock On – Buddy Johnson
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAht14ssu2s

    Richard R

  43. Andre Binette says:

    I hope that they keep the big lug McCarron. Like Radu Love, he brings something to the habs that they need and was lacking. A big body screening the opponent’s goalie during the PP and a physicality that seems to be effective against the opposing team that try using intimidation as a weapon.

    He really was effective against Matt Martin in yesterday’s game. Sure, Martin was obviously the best fighter of the two but big Mike wore him down and was not intimidated at all (after the fight/wrestling match, I noticed that McCarron grabbing Martin by the back of the head and speaking to him in what seemed to be a friendly manner. Something like “this is not personal, it’s just my job”.)

    Martin was not a factor in the game after the fight.

    I remember not too long ago that the CH had NO answer for this type of tactic when used against them.

  44. sirs81 says:

    MB should wait to sign Radulov. Let see what he will bring during the playoffs. I think Pleks will be gone at the deadline.

    • Duker says:

      How will Pleks be gone ? You couldn’t give him away right now,with that contract

      Where’s the beef MB ?

      • POPS says:

        If Phaneuf can be moved…

      • chronichab says:

        l can’t believe any hockey person would give away Pleks,l can
        believe most hockey people think more highly of him than many
        posters here do,he maybe underperforming points wise for sure,but l
        for one hope it does not last as he is irreplaceable defensively. Yes
        he is overpaid as are countless others in this league,and many of them contribute less to there teams than Pleks.

  45. adamkennelly says:

    Is Radulov the MVP of this team so far?

    Scary how much its going to cost to lock him up – better get cracking before July 1st. You would think the chance to play w/ and mentor Chucky and Scherbak would be worth something – maybe help offset Quebec taxes.

    3 years at $7M per get it done?

    • habsr4ever says:

      Weber is our MVP.
      5 years x $7 mil will be the price. Hoping we can get him for $6.5 though for home team discount.

      • habsr4ever says:

        Correction Price is our MVP but Weber is as far as skaters go.

      • Arnou Ruelle says:

        They spoke about Radu’s contract on l’Antichambre last night. Here’s the catch: #47 is no guarantee he’ll sign here for long-term. It will all depend on what his agent say when an offer sheet is given. Other than that, the expansion draft will be a big factor on Bergevin’s decisions.

        I do agree F. Gagnon that Radulov’s situation is likely the same as what happened with David Backes in Boston (5 yrs., $5million/yr).

        • adamkennelly says:

          you think? Rad is 2 years younger – less NHL miles on him but still deemed sketchy by some I’m sure.

          I think shorter term higher dollars.

          3 years at $7M to $8M

          • LeGrosBill says:

            I agree not more than 3 years. As to the price per, the cheaper the better, but I think your numbers are right.

          • Loop_G says:

            I think you are correct about the money. Rads wants to be in Montreal from all reports but I think the term will end up being four years. He is in great condition and very strong so hopefully he will age well. I think $7 at 4 or 5, and odds about 75% he stays in Montreal.

      • adamkennelly says:

        Price IS the most important player on the team no doubt and Weber IS the second most important player but I’m giving Rad the token MVP for being the offensive engine of the team. He is a beast and he battles every shift – makes everyone around him better and has a great time doing it.

    • Duker says:

      I’d be very cautious giving a long term deal to a 30 yr old on a contract year. MB has stated he is too. 3/$18M would be ok,but probably not for Rad or his agent

      Where’s the beef MB ?

      • Coach K says:

        I’ll go with Lou Lamarillo’s way of thinking about players when they hit 30. If a player at 30 years old is still putting up similar numbers to what he did previously then he’s worth an extension. If he isn’t putting up those numbers, then don’t be sentimental, cut him loose and improve your team with what you save.
        I think crazy old uncle Lou has a valid way of thinking.

        Radulov is proving that he’s worth the extension. Get it done already!

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

  46. Habsolo says:

    2 minutes for looking so good Rocket.
    Sherbak played his 1st NHL game , so you should give him a pass for playing tentivly.
    Some people love to hate on Weber, it’s sad considering what he has done this year. The Habs haven’t had a defenceman if his ilk since Chelios, but the haters are going to hate.

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      Scherbak has potential. What mgmt. are now doing is giving the 1st rd. picks a reason to play and stay here. But I do understand many here are not convinced of what callups like McCarron can put. The problem is, how will they learn what they can give if you don’t see them in the NHL?

      Right now, the Habs are on the right track. Develop their prospects both here and the AHL, proper coaching, add depth, get injured players healed in time for playoffs.

      This way, the team can make a deep run to make it to Cup Final.

    • Duker says:

      Am I the only one who hates the term “haters” ? Is it a millenial or teenage saying ? NO ONE on this site hates on Weber. NONE. Some may have been critical of his play before the road trip. He had a down period for 10-15 games. But hate ? Puhleeze

      Where’s the beef MB ?

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Don’t waste your time. You can’t say anything at all about Weber or he gets upset; not even if it is an accurate observation of a specific play. Not an objective poster.

      • JUST ME says:

        It is justified to use the term haters for some so-called fans and /or experts.. It has to do with someone that finds any excuse to downgrade someone for reasons that have nothing to do with reality.
        Hating Weber because they liked P.K.
        Hating Therrien for what he has done a gazillion year ago.
        Hating D.D. because he is french…

        They usually never say exactly why they hate and keep on saying bad things about someone but continue to do so openly as hypocrites. That s hate.

        • Duker says:

          I haven’t seen any of that JM,with all due respect
          Nobody hates Weber,maybe the trade,which is fine.
          MT hate is for his playing favorites and last years meltdown
          DD has been favored because he’s FC,no doubt,but he’s not hated because of it. I would say the situation is what people hate.

          Where’s the beef MB ?

      • The_Rocket_Returns says:

        @Duker Right? He’s practically Saint Weber around here. It brings out the contrarian in me and I find myself being extra-critical just as a matter of principle. Which isn’t fair either, because he is an excellent player.

        But it’s frustrating to see the double standard at work. Like that last-minute cross-checking penalty the other night — it was just unnecessary, and if it was PK there’d be a chorus of people denouncing him as selfish and undisciplined. But it’s Good Canadian Boy Strong But Silent Shea, so there’s nary a peep of discontent.

        … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

        • Mr. Biter says:

          The cross check in the last minute cleared a Leaf from screening Price (and out of the play) during the last minute where the leafs were buzzing around our net. Had no problem with it. Also great to see someone go after Hyman the Turtle after Price was run and then again at the end of the second period. You don’t do that to our goalie and I remember. Players remember that.

          Mr. Biter
          No Guts No Glory

          • The_Rocket_Returns says:

            Agreed on teaching Hyman a lesson (the second time too … because after all repetition is the essence of learning 🙂

            … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

      • Loop_G says:

        Nope you are not the only one. If someone is young enough, say under 18, then I wouldn’t really worry about someone who says “hater”. If an adult said it to me it would be difficult for me to take them seriously.

        • chronichab says:

          lt should be mandatory to state your age group ie. 60-70 (mine)
          l know of a poster that
          claims to have followed the habs since 65 yet he still believes in
          santa claus by stating how disappointed he was that santa didn’t
          fire Mt. for his xmas gift. Knowing an age group you could easily decide
          whether and how to respond, or not.

  47. LeGrosBill says:

    You know how everyone was all over Patches earlier in the season when he wasn’t playing well and it turned out he had a micro-fracture before turning it up of late? What is its the same with Plecky, what if its because of a small nagging injury?

    • Coach K says:

      It’s not an injury.

      He’s been in steady decline for the last two seasons. It actually started before that when he began to gradually disappear then fade completely the last few times they made the playoffs.

      Based on the evidence provided by his own performance, the contract extension was a big mistake. Should have cut him loose for picks while it could be argued that he he was still bringing value for money spent. It is a lot harder to do that now.

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

      • Loop_G says:

        There was no way to know he would slip this quickly and the contract was fair at the time. Pretty much every good player ends up with a year or two where they are overpaid as their skills slide.

  48. Habanero78 says:

    This team is looking fine! Radulov what a pick up, sign this guy! He works hard all over the ice. Forwards are back checking, hanging onto the pucks instead of just dumping them away…

    Weber and Radulov make a huge difference to this team!

  49. The_Rocket_Returns says:

    Nine thoughts …

    1. Shortly after I found myself thinking, “Boy is Nikita Scherbak slow and tentative,” he pulls out a world-class move for his first goal. Wow. That was sweet.

    2. Pet peeve: when players — as Scherbak did, but it’s common in the league — skate right past a waiting teammate and celebrate on their own before returning to the group. It looks selfish and self-absorbed.

    3. As evident on the goal and in other plays throughout the game, Scherbak has a knack for going to the right place, especially in the offensive zone. He has a sense of the soft spots. But he also looked like a reactive rather than proactive player, one who stays on the perimeter, and either his motor is slow or his first-step acceleration is non-existent.

    True, it was just his first game, but this has been the book on him. It’s hard to imagine Therrien embracing him. If he can bring back a young-ish asset this year, or a piece like Hanzal, then …?

    4. When Beaulieu is healthy, I sure hope he stays on the first PP. This is the best it’s looked in two seasons. His speed, puck movement and ability to gain the zone is vital to that. It changes everything.

    5. Danault fits so well with Patches & Rads — does all the little things that need to be done for them to shine.

    6. After this road trip, I’m happy to put my hat in hand, heat up the crow pie and give Therrien a lot of credit. Price is not stealing games. The team as a whole is playing great, smart, passionate hockey.

    KROB100 noted how they’re regrouping much more frequently, and being smart about the chip-and-chase. Absolutely. And credit for that, I think, goes to Therrien (and Bergevin too.)

    7. It doesn’t seem like there’s much future for him in the organization, but I just love Andrighetto’s game. He’s quick, tenacious and smart. Can’t have too many of those guys.

    8. As bad a job as it’s seemed like Lefebvre has done over the last several years, every call-up — Hudon, Terry, Andrighetto, Carr, McCarron, even Farnham — has done a good job fitting into the system: short plays to space, chips to safety, little give-and-gos off the cycle. True, none of the call-ups has been impactful in a top-six way, and perhaps that still reflects poorly on him … but I’m at least starting to consider that maybe Lefebvre isn’t so bad after all.

    9. So happy to hear Cherry call out Weber for injuring Gally and nearly hurting Patches in practice. The shot that hit Gally wasn’t deflected; it was just high and wild. And the one that hit Patches in practice was just unnecessary. Weber needs to smarten the bleep up. It’s not often these days I agree with Cherry, but he was right on with that.

    &&& lose the moustache, Nicky.

    … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • Strummer says:

      No. 2- it was his first career goal in his first career game- lighten up!

      -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

      • The_Rocket_Returns says:

        Yeah, it’s true. He gets a pass on this. But I’m not just talking about him — you see this all the time. Guy scores a goal, turns towards teammate who is waiting with his arms wide open in celebration, skates straight past teammate without even looking at him and does a show of his own.

        Celebrate with your teammates first, *then* celebrate on your own. Not the other way around.

        … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • boing007 says:

      Scherbak scores his first goal in his first game. Use him as trade bait. Sheesh!

      Richard R

    • habsr4ever says:

      Sherbak is a keeper. Why would we trade him for a rental? Makes zero sense. He will only go for a duchy or landeskog type of deal.
      I am sorry but ghetto and his game have gotten worse this year. There are reasons he went unclaimed on waivers. Many of our ahlers have passed him on the depth chart. I saw more good things last year from him.
      Weber and his shot in practice was down. Not sure what u mean unnecessary? In games yup keep it down please. But he isn’t the first nor last to have been told that who has a cannon.
      On the pp I would say Markov is a way more crafty than N8. N8 has done ok on it but he is no Markov back there with those perfect one time passes right where they need to be. N8 and petry r a good second pairing pp unit though.

      • on2ndthought says:

        Agreed re: Scherbak and Weber. Don Cherry is entertaining, but take what he says with a large block of salt.

        OTOH, I thought ‘Ghetto had a productive game last night, moved well around the ice, made smart plays; his best game of the year. I just think our quota of small forwards has been surpassed, so he needs to be moved, once the team is healthy (or someone does).

        Free Front.

    • Duker says:

      #6. I’ll eat my crow pie when a) Therrien can prove he can win w/o Price(I hope we don’t see) b) when he can vastly improve on his 17-17 playoff record and/or not get out-coached in them and c) not go right back to DD when he’s available. He has done a very good job with a pretty banged up/mediocre roster this year

      Where’s the beef MB ?

  50. boing007 says:

    Scher et certain.

    Richard R

  51. thesenator18 says:

    Montreal last 13 games vs the Laffs 13 wins 0 losses just the facts .


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