About last night … Caps stomp Canadiens 4-1

kuznetsov

Hit the panic button: The Canadiens are winless on home ice this year.

OK, I promise that’s the last cheap 2017 joke. 

Laughs were rare at the Bell Centre. Washington took the Canadiens out to the woodshed on a frigid Monday night in Montreal.

As the minutes ticked down on the Capitals’ win, fans could draw solace from the fact Alexander Ovechkin had been kept off the scoreboard.

If  the Great 8 was going to tie the career goal total of the even greater Maurice Richard, at least it wouldn’t happen in the 514 area code and be announced in the Rocket’s mother tongue.

Tabarnak!

Ovechkin tied the Rocket on a Washington power-play in garbage time. His 544th was an accurate but fairly anodyne wrister that beat Carey Price on the short side.

Washington was full-value for the win. The red-hot Caps – disgustingly healthy and riding a five-game winning streak – outshot the injury-ravaged Canadiens in each period of the game and generated continuous O-zone pressure.

In his postgame remarks, telecast during L’Antichambre, Michel Therrien praised the Capitals as “a good team that doesn’t give up many scoring chances.”

“Physically and mentally, we weren’t alert,” Therrien added. “I don’t know why, but the first game back from a long road trip is a demanding game. We weren’t sharp.”

The Canadiens had their moments.

Their best line was Tomas Plekanec, between Paul Byron and Artturi Lehkonen, and they combined for the Canadiens’ only goal.

It was scored by … wait for it … Plekanec. The veteran centre led the Canadiens with five shots on goal. Pleks had good rapport with Byron and Lehkonen. I’d like to see the line remain intact for a while… and Therrien agreed.

“They skated well, made sone good plays and attacked the net,” the coach said. “That’s a positive from tonight.”

The top line looked intermittently dangerous. There will be better things to come when Alex Galchenyuk returns to the lineup.

And it will be interesting to see who becomes the team’s second-line centre: Phillip Danault, who wasn’t great against Washington, or Plekanec, whose goal may snap the veteran out of a season-long torpor.

Nikita Scherbak was another bright spot. The kid had four shots, two of which were on net. He has obvious skills in the offensive zone.

He’s also a fun interview. The Sportsnet telecast included a great clip in which Scherbak said he’d spent two frustrating hours on a video link to Moscow, explaining to his unilingual mother how to find the Canadiens game on whatever NHL satellite feed you can pirate over there.

If the kid stays up with the big club, maybe Ma Scherbak will be treated to a win.

Max Pacioretty said it was too bad the fans, who hadn’t seen the Canadiens live in more than two weeks, weren’t treated to a better effort.

The chance for home-ice redemption will come Saturday against the Rangers.

In the interim, the Canadiens play a tough back-to-back in Winnipeg and Minnesota.

•  •  •

Comment on the Liveblog from Arnou Ruelle:

This game is, by far, the most obvious CP has been in terms of underperformance. But for me, the team should be putting more pucks in the net. Talent wise, the Habs are no match for the Capitals tonight. They sure do need a Galchenyuk, a Markov, or a Shaw. Other than that, I like the way the 4th line is working. MT did made sure Big Mac and Scherbak play within the system. They still need to grow within the team. 

The team, after their road trip, looked dead tired. After this game, its back-to-back road games in Winnipeg, then Minnesota. Rest and recuperation will be key here. The all-star weekend is their only time to recharge themselves. 

Washington will be a tough opponent if ever the Habs face them in the playoffs.

From kale vine:

Caps have no injuries…Habs have oodles. Just no match for them. If Habs hadn’t scored the tie goal it might have ended 1-0 or 2-0, but when they tied it the Caps just decided to regain the lead, and did it promptly.

A healthy Habs team does much better against the Caps, especially in the playoffs

And the last word, from Duker:

Glass half full: 4-1-1 last 6 road games
Glass half empty: 1 regulation win last 9 games

 

229 Comments

  1. expat_habsfan says:

    I only tuned in for about 5 mins last night and learned everything I needed to know about the game.

    The Caps were out shooting and out playing the Habs badly through 2 periods.

    Pleks was responsible for the tying goal early in third. Since he’s not one of the Habs most prolific scorers this season, where were the other guys up to then?

    The game turned on Patches playing turnstile on Kuznetsov in the middle of the ice. That “Ole” would be the end of any possible “Ole, Ole” emanating from the hometown crowd.

    In the end it was the usual suspects doing their usual (frown) jobs that end up producing the eventual outcome. With the so many missing parts the ones that are left can’t afford to be turnstiles on the ice.

    The other interesting thing is watching Price’s stats start to tick from amazing to very good. That in itself is a big dent to the typical MT game plan because that 2nd or 3rd GA can’t be overcome.

  2. joshua94k says:

    Geoff Molson you got conned. You let your GM trade a franchise player and city icon for Shea Weber.

    Shea Weber is suppose to make the team better now…
    The team has only two more wins than this time last year. Even with Carey Price playing majority of the games. Last year at this time they were 23 wins and 20 losses. Currently they have 25 wins.

    Shea Weber will make the specialty teams better.
    The power-play is struggling. It is predictable, teams are keying in on Weber and there is little offensive creation. The penalty kill is not good ranking 23rd. Carey Price has an awful .81% save percentage while short-handed.

    Shea Weber will protect Carey Price.
    This has not happened. Speeding forwards are crashing the crease and knocking Carey more than ever before.

    Shea Weber has a very hard and accurate shot.
    Pacioretty and Gallagher have been recently injured by his shots.

    Shea Weber brings amazing leadership to the room?
    With Carey Price, the Canadiens have only 2 more wins than last year. Weber’s teams have never made it to the conference finals.

    Shea Weber isn’t really helping this team right now. When he is 35 and eating 8 million of cap space for the next half decade, Mr. Molson will not be a happy man and we won’t have Bergevin and Therrien to blame. They will be long gone.

    • habsr4ever says:

      Yup let’s fire Bergy. Let’s fire MT. Let’s trade Weber back for PK.

      Oh wait – we DO have more points with a WAY more injuries this year.
      PK has a herniated disk in his back and he is the younger one with the LARGER cap hit. $1.2 MORE – which pay for Paul Byron in our line up.
      Weber has been AWESOME.
      This team is as tight as it has ever been.
      This team even says in post game interviews there are NO ego’s in this room and nobody cares about stats just WINS. Who do you think the players from last year are talking about? MAYBE PK?
      All the media say its the leadership on this team that is making them this good this season and how they are able to play successfully thru all these injuries we have had. Gelling etc. Ya think Shea has something to do with it? U bet your $7.8 M cap number he does. Did you see how many good things the Nashville players said about their former captain? He is a STUD period. There are reasons why Shea made Team Canada and was our top pairing dman on that team while PK didn’t even make the team.
      We are and have way better puck possession time this season.
      Our PP IS better than last year.
      Weber is protecting Price – did you not see Saturday nights game? Did you not hear what Trotz has said about Weber? Babcock? Other NHL players like Toews?

      Yup let’s trade Weber back for PK. Sorry its the BEST trade of the offseason. Move forward already please.

    • Nilan25 says:

      Totally agree. You don’t trade guys like that , first superstar since Guy Lafleur.

  3. Ian Cobb says:

    PRICE is the only goal tender in the league that plays Defense at the same time.!! He gives us our best shot to win every night!

  4. bwoar says:

    UCE, thanks for the warning on goats. I have been satisfied so far with enjoying the game Goat Simulator. I’ll admit it doesn’t do justice to what you describe, not at all.

    I was thinking I could rent the goat out to neighbours to control overgrowth and pests, like yappy dogs that none but their owners can tolerate. I suspect my rickety wooden shed would be demolished in a day. I think I’ll name the goat Frank Bravo.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Ultimately, that was the problem with us, too many goats for too small a patch of land, although that seemed impossible at the outset, such a huge overgrowth, we hoped the goats would put a dent in it, never thought they could completely graze everything down to the nub.

      And that’s what the farmer who loaned us the goats liked, he gave his land a break, and fattened his goats on our dime. If you can start with one goat and then reassess after a year or so, and if you have the opportunity to loan it out to neighbours, then go for it, even if it’s just for your kids to enjoy.

  5. Un Canadien errant says:

    New thread.

  6. Jonson says:

    My thing with Price is people say he is the best player in the world, but every time he goes up against another elite goalie Price is the one who comes out the loser. Price is rarely the better goalie when we face teams like Washington, San Jose and Chicago. Until Montreal starts winning those games 2-1, 1-0, or 2-0, I’ll never see Price as the best goalie in the league. Price has never really won us a playoff series on his own. Maybe I watch too much of Price and not enough of the other elite goalies in the league (to see their flaws), but I just don’t see him as a Roy or a Hasek who can a playoff round by himself. He’s good, but he’s not the best.

    • olematelot says:

      I guess all the experts and his peers are wrong and you’re right.

    • Cam_1 says:

      When they went to conference finals vs Rangers and he got hurt. They played Boston Bruins that year. The Bruins were the President’s Trophy winners and ousted by Montreal in 7. Price was exceptional in that series and a HUGE part of them winning that series !

  7. Gerry Pigeon says:

    Trade Carey for a Franchise Center.

    NOT Matt Duchene. He’s good, but not an FC.

    Since Chucky doesn’t seem to have much desire to play D, a Toews, Bergeron, or Kopitar type would be an ideal complement for him.

    • bwoar says:

      You are the Oleg Petrov of trading Carey Price. Flattering to deceive!

      ;D

    • B says:

      Should they have drafted Kopitar instead?

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • RightNyder says:

      I admire your relentless approach.
      You’re like MT continually tossing DD out there.
      I just don’t see anyone giving us a franchise centre for Price, unless it’s part of a giant package that guts the team.
      The time to have done this was before McJesus had played an NHL game; flogging Price for the pick.
      You might be able to get a second-tier guy like Draisaitl or Duchene as part of a bigger package, but what’s the point?
      Price remains one of the best players in the league. He’s almost solely responsible for the significant regular-season success the team has had, and will have.
      For me, this is the year MB has to go all-in, with Price. I’d say the East is up for grabs, and he needs to pull off a blockbuster. If Price fizzles again in the playoffs and you decide you want to start over, then the off-season is the time to explore blowing things up.

      • D Mex says:

        Agree.
        Price is a cornerstone of this franchise, and you do not willingly trade a cornerstone. Not in Montréal. Not done.

        I subscribe to the big, talented, dominant centre concept.
        Been been watching this team long enough to have seen Béliveau at work, and long before I knew a thing about the notions of succession planning or heir apparent, I remember commenting to my dad that Larry Pleau looked like a guy who would take Béliveau’s spot on the team one day.

        But, there is more than one way to skin a cat …

        Spread strength at centre across all 4 lines : Galchenyuk, Danault, McCarron, Mitchell, Shaw … OR, put another way, make damn sure there is no glaring weakness at that position across those same 4 lines. Talking about Desharnais.

        If Bergevin were to consider something along these lines, it could allow him to focus elsewhere to bolster for a run this season – Wing and / or D. Why not ?

        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 !

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

          True, only 9 of last 10 Cup teams had as their highest paid player a center. The other was a Dman (Chara).

          But again, none was a goalie.

          Thanks Carey for everything. A decade of hope, entertainment, a Hart Trophy, and most of all, for showing the way to the Cup ISN’T by just relying on your goalie to get you there. We’ll sneak your name onto the Cup as an honorary member of the team when we win it with the FC we get in return for trading you. And we’ll retire your jersey too.

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        I’d take Draisatl over Duchene.

        What’s the point? Haven’t I gone on ad nauseum already about my various points? 🙂

        Let me try making them a new way.

        When the many posters here rail against my Trade Price proposal, they inevitably offer what he’s done for this team as evidence we can’t get equal value, we can’t get enough, and no one is in line to take his place.

        What they don’t ever address is that’s the PAST, that a Draisatl with 10 of his best years ahead of him is worth more than Price with his best years already in the rear view mirror, and when you add bang for the buck into the equation, Carey’s value is about to slide precipitously with the new contract coming up.

        Wait until we take our run this year? Why? Is this team really a serious Cup contender? Caps were healthy last night, Habs were not. Holtby played well last night, Price did not. Even if everything was even, do you think the Habs can take the Caps in a seven game series? I’d say they have a chance, but the odds would be against them. I’d say the odds would also be against them vs. Pittsburgh and Columbus.

        So waiting would only squeeze the time frame Bergevin has to make a deal, only further handicap his ability to get back the best return. MB won’t do so, cause that means waving the white flag, a mini-reboot right after trading for Weber? Yeah, that’s likely a serious hurdle, but just because the medicine tastes bad, doesn’t mean it won’t ultimately help.

        Trade Price and get the following benefits:

        1) Cap relief, as Price would eat too much. This means MB has the $ to patch holes, like offence.

        2) Team Accountability. Price isn’t there to bail you out anymore, get ready to come to play every game. This franchise has been built around defending for so long, they need a kick in the head to remember they also need to SCORE.

        3) Franchise Center (hopefully, no guarantee). Having Chucky and FC would ensure an extended window, and allow Sergachev and Juulsen time to develop and help bolster a seriously competitive team.

        My ideal situation is a seriously Cup competitive team with the offence we need loses their goalie for the year, and MB has the cajones to step into the breach and pull off a blockbuster. Is it likely? No, but one can always hope 🙂

        FYI, Price does have either a NMC or NTC, so would have to okay the trade. Given there’s a new baby at home right now, doubt he’d want to move, so this, like all our discussions on HIO, is an academic exercise. But still think the concept is a sound one. Hope MB and Molson do too, and they can find a way to make it happen.

  8. Phil C says:

    So Price’s numbers are down since December? it’s almost like a goalie’s stats are correlated to the quality of the team in front of him. But that can’t be right, we couldn’t blame everything from last year on Condon in that case. Destroys that entire narrative.

    • RightNyder says:

      Doesn’t destroy the narrative because Condon was terrible.
      The ‘when’ he let them in was as bad as the ‘how many’.
      He’d let in a pair of uglies and you’re down 2-0. Team would battle back to tie, and he’d let in a clunker to lose it.
      He was deflating. He inspired zero confidence.
      We can joke about the numbers, but there’s a vast difference between Price not playing as well as he normally does and being genuinely terrible, like Condon was.
      Even average goaltending (I’m looking at you, James Reimer) last year gets the team into the playoffs.
      As always, I don’t blame him personally, I blame MT for having no answers and MB for attempting to rectify the problem of having the worst goalie in the league by bringing in the second-worst goalie in the league.
      Once the losing piles up, and the players know they’ve got an overmatched pud in goal, things unravel. All of a sudden, a “tight” room has fractures. Coaches throw players under the bus. The earth shakes. A panic beard grows.
      Fortunately, Price is too good to let any of that happen again.

      • Jonson says:

        So you didn’t watch many games last year? Condon was far from terrible. Condon is a good goalie and had a good year last year. If Condon was working a with a healthy Canadiens team, he would have been fine. Price is struggling right now and I can’t say it has anything to do with the team in front of him. Price needs to step up, maybe he needs a few players staring him down.

        • RightNyder says:

          I watch every game. Outside of a hot stretch at the beginning and his glorious outdoor win, Condon was terrible.
          He is a good teammate, a hard-worker and decent backup. He’s not good enough to start. Throwing him out there for 55 games was a crime for which MB and MT should be flogged.
          He’d let in the two stinkers, then play well for 50 minutes, then gag on the winner. You’d look at the stats and think “geez, 31 saves in 34 shots for Condon, he must have been good”. Nope.
          24 games with a save percentage below .900
          Six below .800.
          A nine-game(!) losing skid, followed shortly thereafter by losing 9 of 10.
          He was terrible.

          • Jonson says:

            He wasn’t ready to be a number one goalie and was put in a rough situation. I liked him and on a number of occasions he won games for them. The fact is, the entire team played brutal last year and injuries really caught up to them. I really liked Condon and will never blame the teams failure on Condon alone. For the situation he put into, I was happy with how he played. He’s doing fairly well in Ottawa right now.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        defensive breakdowns are also deflating.

      • cbhabsfan says:

        When I see some of the ridiculous saves Carey Price has to pull off on some nights just to keep us in the game, I’m pretty happy we decided to draft him and he’s not a Toronto Maple Leaf or something equally as horrid.

        I didn’t miss a game of Meltdown Season and there were more than a few Condon games that went down just as you described.

        But there were many more where he played as well you could possibly have expected, considering he had never played at such a high level before, and that heartless, dispirited crew in front of him let him down. Again and again and again.

        Last season’s injury-induced crapfest was a total team effort, from top to bottom, from management dithering to a backup goaltender unexpectedly thrust into a starter’s role he was totally unprepared for, and in a very tough and unforgiving market.

        I think Condon, without the Price injury, would still be our backup goaltender, and we would probably be singing his praises right about now.

        But unless I’m misreading you, you feel he’s not a capable NHL goaltender and should eventually find his way to the ECHL. I disagree, obviously, but let’s wait a few months and see how that all plays out.

        • RightNyder says:

          Says right in there I think he’s a good teammate, a hard-worker and a decent backup.
          He’s an NHL goalie, just not one who should play too many games.

          • cbhabsfan says:

            Huh. It turns out we don’t really disagree on the heart of the subject at all, once all the extraneous stuff is boiled away.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      haha. exactly!

  9. RightNyder says:

    So, who makes your personal “Mt. Rushmore” lists?
    For me:
    1. All-time best players: Lemieux, Gretzky, Orr, Howe
    2. D-men: Orr, Harvey, Bourque, Lidstrom
    3. Goalies: Roy, Dryden, Hasek, Plante
    4. Habs: Lafleur, Beliveau, Rocket, DD
    5. Random non-Hab favourites: Bossy, Orr, Ovechkin, Harold Snepsts

    • bwoar says:

      1. Dale Hawerchuk, Phil Housley, Teemu Selanne, Teppo Numminen
      2. Housley, Numminen, Dave Ellett, Randy Carlyle
      3. Bob Essensa, Mike Vernon, Hasek, Roy
      4. Gainey, Rocket, Beliveau, Markov
      5. Alexei Zhamnov, Igor Ulanov, Alex Kovalev, Sergei Makarov

      What?

    • 25soonenough says:

      Gretzky
      Robinson
      Brodeur
      Lafleur, Robinson, Believeu
      Bossy, Lemieux, DD

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      1) Orr, Lemieux, Beliveau
      2) Orr, Harvey, Robinson
      3) Roy, Sawchuck, Durnan, Hasek
      4) Rocket, Beliveau, Harvey, Lafleur
      5) Makita, MacLeish, Mogilny

  10. CaliHabFan says:

    Any one know what put Redmond in the dog house other than the fact that it was unoccupied? Don’t like the idea of little Johnston going up against the Jets.

  11. cautiousoptimist says:

    Hi folks, I used to post all the time, but I’ve been a lurker for so many months/years now that I’m surprised my account still works.

    Just signed in to say that Carey Price, though he’s had a couple of iffy games, is a bloody rock star. He’s 20-6-4 this year with a .928 SV%. His last few years, he’s posted .934, .933 and .927 numbers. That’s fantastic.

    All this talk about him being the “best goalie in the world” isn’t helpful, as it moves the discussion to territory that doesn’t matter. We don’t need him to be the best, we need him to be awesome, and to give us a chance to win almost every night. And he does that in spades.

    Okay that’s it, see you all in a couple more years. : )


    “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.” -Jacques Lemaire

    • D Mex says:

      Apparently, Price’s ” body language ” is off.
      Waiting for the breakdown on that – there seems to be a delay – guessing the BAU is working on it as I type this.

      • cautiousoptimist says:

        I hadn’t realized that Dr. Recchi also ran a psychiatry practice out of his sports medicine clinic. : )


        “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.” -Jacques Lemaire

        • 123456 says:

          I’d like to say your post was spot on you just missed a few things. 1) Price is horrible 2) MT is the worst coach in the NHL 3) MB has never made a good player move 4) all our young Dmen belong in the AHL 5) Max never scores. The “fan” base still seems to amaze me.

          • cautiousoptimist says:

            That got a legitimate LOL out of me. Which is not a good thing, as I’m lying here hacking up a lung with pneumonia. But still.


            “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.” -Jacques Lemaire

    • RightNyder says:

      Carey Price
      October: 5-0, 1.40 GAA, .954 save percentage.
      November: 8-2-1, 1.81, .944
      December: 5-3-3, 2.64, .899
      January: 2-1, 2.61, .918
      From otherworldly to Mike Condon, then back up to James Reimer.
      We need more from Carey Price than James Reimer.
      I’m not overly concerned, we just need more.
      Of note, playoff Carey Price: 23-27, 2.62, .912. So I guess we can say he’s been in playoff form for more than a month now!

      • cautiousoptimist says:

        It’s fair to say he hasn’t been lights-out as much the past few weeks. But a goalie with a .934 SV% in April doesn’t post that stat game in and game out all season. He’ll have shutouts and stinkers just like anyone — sometimes due to injuries in front of him, quality of opposition, and his own ebbs and flows. That’s just the reality of a sport full of imperfect humans. But when all you have to judge those humans on is their past performance and commitment to excellence, I’ll bet on Price every day of the week.


        “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.” -Jacques Lemaire

        • RightNyder says:

          I still think he’s the best goalie in the league.
          There are stretches where I agree with the folks who say he’s the best goalie they’ve ever seen.
          But without a signature playoff run, he’ll never make my personal goalie Mt. Rushmore.

          • cautiousoptimist says:

            That’s fair. He’s come awfully close though, with a worse team than this one. If he hadn’t been Chris Kreider-ed, who knows…


            “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.” -Jacques Lemaire

          • RightNyder says:

            Seeing Chris Kreider sufficiently pummelled for his actions remains very high on my list of must-sees.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        Condon’s the one with the .918 this season.
        Reimer’s slightly below that.

    • CJinBK says:

      Hey CO! Nice to see you here again. Always loved your Daneyko story sig.

      Totally agree about Carey Price. He is a special talent, and we fans of the Canadiens need to be grateful for what we have. Have we forgotten last year’s meltdown and the parade of good-but-not-good-enough goaltenders Bergevin had access to? Just look at the Maple Leafs; Andersen is good, but not good enough, which leaves Lamoriello trying out anyone who has previously played in the NHL. Witness the waiver wire pickup of McElhinney. (Would the Leafs have claimed The Monster had McElhinney not been on waivers as well?)

      Carey Price reminds me of that old Steve Martin bit. To paraphrase: “I like to start my shows by doing one impossible thing, so I am now going to inhale this piano into my lungs.” “There!” Carey Price does a few impossible things every game; it’s what we expect of him and of all world class goalies.

      • cautiousoptimist says:

        Thanks, good to see you too!

        I hadn’t heard that Steve Martin bit — though his performance of Duelling Banjos on the Muppet Show is among my cherished childhood memories!

        FWIW, I applaud Bergevin for not pursuing a good-but-not-good-enough stopgap like Reimer or Anderson last year, and creating more problems down the line. Bob Gainey was wrong about some things, for sure, but he was right on the money about Carey Price.


        “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.” -Jacques Lemaire

    • bwoar says:

      Great to see you back here! You’ve got one of a very few classic signatures too.

      • cautiousoptimist says:

        Thanks bwoar, good to see you too!


        “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.” -Jacques Lemaire

  12. Dust says:

    Weber And Price going to the allstar game

  13. Un Canadien errant says:

    A marooned viewer on Canadiens Express thanks to our Commissioner of our game Gary Bettman, I thought it was touch and go until the third period when the Capitals put it away 4-1. The shots on goal don’t quite tell the same story, maybe the edited broadcast gave me a false impression, that the game wasn’t really that close, but it seemed like the Canadiens could hang on and maybe find a way to win this one.

    1) An oddity in this program was that a complete, entire, unabridged powerplay was edited out of the broadcast, the one early in the third on the Capitals’ too-many-men penalty. RDS has to cut out around five minutes of game action to fit the game into a one-hour program, with commercials and other breaks eating into that hour. Usually, it’s understood that they’ll cut out stretches when neither team threatens the opponent’s net, where nothing much exciting that happens. Sometimes they’ll cut out fisticuffs. And I disagree with their decision in shootouts, when they usually only show the winning goal.

    That they could hack out an entire powerplay from the telecast is a good indication of how much the Canadiens struggle setting up in the opponent’s zone and getting to work. Maybe Andrei Markov’s return from injury will help in this area, but even when he’s healthy, that’s still a problem for our boys.

    2) We often talk about players playing their off-side, how some forward like being there to be able to protect the puck on rushes, like Erik Cole notably, and also to get off one-timers more easily. Coaches these days are very leery of that arrangement, want their forward to work on defence and along the boards on their strong sides. This allows them to make the proverbial ‘strong play’ with the puck, to bang it off the boards, or a good clean hard pass to a teammate that they might fail to do on their weaker backhands.

    We saw an example of this during the game when Nikita Scherbak, on his off-wing deep in his zone, with his back to the opposition, got the puck on his stick with time to make a play near his own goalline. Problem is, there was no open teammate nearby to progress the puck to, and he couldn’t really tell what would happen if he shoveled the puck along the boards on his backhand, so he rimmed it around the boards to the other side of the ice.

    This wasn’t a more favourable option, it left the Canadiens scrambling in their own zone for a few more seconds and the Capitals got to bang and hack at the puck near Carey Price’s net a few times. No great scoring chances for them, but an opportunity that was created because Nikita wasn’t in a position to make a strong play.

    3) Lars Eller with a slewfooty braincrampy tripping penalty on Artturi Lehkonen in the third, which allows the Canadiens to tie the game on Tomas Plekanec’s powerplay goal? Not really what Lars had in mind I’m sure, but we’ve grown accustomed over the years to his numerous minor penalties, often in the offensive zone away from danger.

    He almost made up for it by scoring on a 2-on-1 break late in the third when the game was out of reach really, but Lars missed the net and failed to convert. Again, expectations.

    In keeping with these expectations, he didn’t have a bad night, won 63% of his faceoffs and tallied one hit. I didn’t pay attention to matchups, but on L’Antichambre they mentioned a couple of times that the Pacioretty-Danault-Radulov line didn’t have its best night. Probably Lars played a role in that, by defending effectively.

    And I still would feel better about our centre situation if we’d flipped Tomas Plekanec for draft picks and prospects as his contract was expiring, and kept Lars in the fold.

    4) Is Shea Weber healthy again? Tonight he was using his wicked slapshot again, after a stretch of a few games in which he eschewed it.

    5) Watching Jeff Petry get posterized by Evgeny Kuznetsov, it’s obvious from my couch and from the stands that he got caught looking at the puck and got fooled. You get taught early on as a defenceman that on a two-on-two or similar situations, your job is to not let your guy get by you. You’re taught, again and again, because it’s difficult to achieve, to not look at the onrushing forwards head or eyes, not to get hypnotized by the puck, but rather to focus on the crest of his jersey and bar his way to the net. If you’re looking at his chest, you’re not going to bite on a head fake. You close the distance towards him and hopefully force him to pass before he’s ready.

    Not that Jeff Petry is an All-Star who won’t make mistakes and needs me to make excuses for him, but as I watched the replay, I wondered how the ‘get the puck’ focus of Michel Therrien’s Canadiens contributed to Jeff’s blunder.

    If he played on the Bruins, he’d have to adopt their ethos of intimidation and physical dominance, that you guide and funnel the forward towards the boards where you finish your check no matter what, no matter how long the puck has been gone. If you achieve that as a Bruins defenceman, you’ve done your job, that’s a win, a checkmark in your smiley-face column.

    Michel Therrien and Jean-Jacques Daigneault preach a different philosophy that we’ve discussed before. They tell their defencemen, their players, to not worry about dishing out hits, that those will happen naturally, organically during the game. What they want their defencemen to worry about is to strip the puck from their opponents, gain possession and get it going the other way, quickly.

    We see how Andrei Markov is the master of this, he’ll hang back, keep his stick close instead of outstretched, and fool a forward into thinking he has a passing lane. Then, when the pass is attempted, Andrei’s stick springs out like a scorpion’s tail, snags the puck, and he catches the opposition flatfooted. Andrei doesn’t play the body, he plays the puck.

    And in this instance, Jeff tried to play the puck, was looking for a pokecheck opportunity, and got hypnotized by it, got bamboozled by the wizardly Kuznetsov.

    6) Did everybody see how Bobby Farnham bounced off Karl Azner on his attempted bodycheck? Get this useless stiff off my beloved Canadiens’ roster, please, and pronto.

    7) Nathan Beaulieu got the most icetime of any Canadiens defencemen, even more than Shea Weber. Pierre Houde and Marc Denis lauded him for a very good stretch of play by him lately. I sometimes think that Nate just needs to understand that he doesn’t need to do anything extraordinary. He shouldn’t try to pull a rabbit out of a hat every second shift. Instead, if he realizes that his mobility and ability with the puck is an advantage to his team, and that if he just goes out there every shift and plays to the best of his ability, without needing to try a Hail Mary or three every game, that the Canadiens will come out ahead, and that he’ll become and excellent defenceman. With his skillset, if he plays hard and focused and cuts out mistakes, he’ll easily be a Top 4 defenceman.

    8) Carey Price makes a puckhandling mistake that leads directly to a Capitals goal? That’s kind of jarring. Carey’s puckhandling is effortless and flawless. Dependable.

    Chantal Machabée of RDS was saying last week that Carey isn’t his usual self, she says he’s choleric instead of calm in practice, breaking sticks over the crossbar. She says this has been going on for a few weeks, she’s not sure if he’s fighting through a minor injury, or what else may be bothering him.

    He’s certainly not been the dominant goalie we’ve come to expect, but maybe that’s more of a issue with our expectations, since we can’t rely on him to be otherworldly for entire seasons at a time.

    9) Very nice suit on a composed Michel Therrien during his post-game remarks. He says the Caps played a good game and his charges didn’t, that he noticed in the first they didn’t have their usual spring to their step, that they were late getting to the puck, lost puck battles. He was questioned about the first game back on home ice after a long road trip phenomenon, and allowed that it’s difficult to explain, but it does exist.

    ———————————————————————–
    ¡Viva Frontenac siempre y para siempre!

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • New says:

      I think the issue with Price is he is now competing against himself. He is at the point where he doesn’t like this batch of sticks, the skates are not quite right, that bruise just irritates him.

      People think that because he is so consistent it takes special to beat Price. So they try and set up plays forcing lateral movement or screens and double tips. If Price can’t see it or setup for it then he has to guess, and hopefully he guesses wrong. Each time he guesses wrong Price gets angry at himself.

      Overall his play is fine. The Man is 20-10 on an injury wracked team that can not afford injuries. Markov plays 22 minutes a game for a reason. Barbario or Beaulieu or Johnson or whoever the AHL spits out can’t do that, or they would have been already.

      I expect first game home after a trip is almost like players are people and have families. The game interrupts their schedule, while on the road they are waiting on the game.

    • The_Rocket_Returns says:

      Good observations, Errant.

      I do think Beaulieu has made a big difference to the powerplay, and enables transition in ways that Markov’s aged wheels just can’t. At least before last night’s game, the team’s PP% had jumped by 3 or 4 percent since Markov’s injury — a pretty stark testimony to how much-improved it’s been.

      Wonder if Price is just having one of those times in life where &$@! just piles up. New kid, less sleep, off his game a bit, high pressure. Things right themselves eventually.

      The Emelin/Weber pairing still makes me nervous. Shea was a bystander on two goals last night. He needs a partner with footspeed. A -2 in the last 18 games. This isn’t an anti-Shea rant, he’s an excellent defenseman, but he needs a partner who complements him.

      … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • on2ndthought says:

      5) Petry would never last on the Bruins. He is the kindest, most gentlemanly D in the league. He plays like one of my daughters (and I mean that as a compliment), brilliant skating, smart, and extremely compassionate. He’d get traded for a bag of pucks.

      I didn’t rewatch it, but my instincts tell me Petry was caught with his momentum going the wrong way, when a puck that should have been at the very least contested, was gifted to Kuznetsov; who has the ability to make defenders look bad at the best of times.

      Free Front.

    • cbhabsfan says:

      Because of work commitments, I also had to watch the game via the Canadiens Express and, taking into account the Habs-positive nature of the chopped-down RDS replay formaT, it really didn’t look much different from somE of the recent games where we managed to come away with two points.

      We like to think Carey Price is head and shoudlers above the rest of the goaltending pack, but in reality top-flight goalies like Braden Holtby are very close in ability and performance, and last night was one of Holtby’s better outings.

      But there’s no doubt at all we could have won the game with a break or two. Petry was just plain beaten by Kuznetzov on the winning goal and the insurance marker was the result of a clumsy play on the puck by Price. Scratch those two unfortunate goals, and we were just as likely to takes the two points as the Caps, despite the Caps carrying the play for much of the night.

      At the risk of sounding like a broken record, minus a couple of breaks and this game isn’t much different from what we’ve been seeing from the Canadiens over the past couple of weeks – we generally keep it close until everythjing gets decided, one way or the other.

      Last night, we were just the first ones to crack.

      (Bobby Farnahm. What’s that all about? I was annoyed when I thought Carr was sitting out for Andrighetto, but I was left speechless to learn that even Farnham was playing ahead of him. Thats’ just plain wrong, by any estimation. Even Chris Terry makes more sense. Much more)

  14. Paz says:

    I see Barberio doing things to help the power play that Beaulieu simply does not do.

    Barberio moves the puck much quicker.
    He makes creative decisions that lead to the puck getting to the net.
    He has quicker foot work along the blue line.
    And he’s better at keeping the play alive, keeping the puck in the zone.

    Barberio has consistently put up good numbers because he’s been an excellent power play dman.

    • Dust says:

      In the ahl. He hasn’t exactly put up good numbers in the nhl. This is not in defense of Beaulieu. He hasn’t put up good numbers as well

    • on2ndthought says:

      Sometimes I think Beaulieu is being showcased because his skill package is quite similar to Barberio’s (except for his mean streak, a handy asset in a D-man); then I remember he is two and half years younger.

      Free Front.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I noticed that he got 2:21 of PP time with Jeff Petry, while Alexei Emelin and Ryan Johnston got none. It may well turn out that Mark becomes that third-pairing defenceman who gets powerplay time, like we thought Yannick Weber might be, at one time. It would be the best use of his abilities, while Alexei Emelin mucks around on the PK.

    • The_Rocket_Returns says:

      Why all the Nate bashing? In the last 7 games he has 6 points, of which 4 came on the power play. Those are fantastic numbers.

      … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      In the end Barbs accomplishes little. It’s often some goof or other.

  15. Redzodrum says:

    I think Price is just frustrated,you can see it in his body language ,
    He’s entering his peak years with a team that let’s face it, is not a Cup contender even when healthy with a bad coach.
    We are a few pieces away, a #2 center,another scoring winger Another
    Puck moving solid adman. Need to say goodbye to Pleks, DD, most of the AHL guys.

    • D Mex says:

      Great post.
      Would you have a definition of ” bad coach ” handy ?
      Also – any chance you could break down this body language
      for those of us less skilled in the art of observation ?

    • New says:

      This is going to appear off the wall and against the flow of group-think but I’d say Price is just fine. Certainly his record is trending exactly the way his previous stats indicate it should. He is the most remarkably consistent goalie to come along in years.

      The thing is this is a good team fronting the best goalie there is right now. When Price gets injured Budaj loses his job, Tokarski loses his job, Condon loses his job, and now Montoya hopes Price doesn’t get injured. Meanwhile other teams survive a goalie loss by discovering a capable replacement. I would say with Montreal it is not that the replacements are not capable but rather that they are not capable of being Price.

      The NHL has a great many good teams. What makes some better than the others are the Toews, Crosby, Price, Weber type players. Montreal is extremely fortunate to have three but that does not make Danault, DD, Pleks, or Mitchell the offensive quarterbacks that other teams have.

    • bwoar says:

      That just, like, your opinion man.

      Of Price’s opinion.

      It’s the square root of an opinion. But I like your last line a lot!

    • Dust says:

      When healthy this team was 1st in the nhl. How is that not a cup contender?

  16. Mavid says:

    Been watching the Vikings..what a fantastic show..just started season 2..

    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

  17. Luke says:

    If the Leafs make the playoffs, or come pretty close, one must be confident that the Jack Adams is Babcock’s, right?

    There could be no alternative.

    Like, Even if Torts and Blue Jackets run the table… 40 straight wins… it’s still Babcock’s.

  18. DipsyDoodler says:

    Matt Duchene.

    If they’ll take Beaulieu and a (lottery protected 1st), we should consider it. Maybe it will require Beaulieu plus Gallagher. That’s a stretch but I still think we win that trade.

    The expansion draft rules mean we can only protect three defencemen. We will probably risk losing one of Emelin or Beaulieu. Might as well trade one now.

    —–

    • Duker says:

      Pateryn is who we probably lose in expansion draft. N8 will be protected and Emelin s contract will probably keep him safe

      Where’s the beef MB ?

    • UKRAINIANhab says:

      Beaulieu and Gallagher likely won’t get you Duchene

      • Duker says:

        If he’s on the market there will be a bidding war. We don’t have enough to match. The asking price would supposedly be Sergachev, N8 +pick.

        Where’s the beef MB ?

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Gallaghers contract is a beauty and worth gold in a salary cap world. I am not sure I would trade those two players for Duchene. Duchene is really good player but I am not sure we have the assets to sacrifice to get him. Plekanec & Gallagher and a 1st for Duchene maybe. balance out the contract weight

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Duchene is not Tavares or Stamkos. He’s a 28 goal / 60 point guy.

        Gallagher is good for 24 goals and 50 points.

        Not a gulf between the two (although obviously Duchene might be more consistent).

        —–

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      It would take Sergachev and I am not sure that would be enough. I would be willing to do it. Three post-seasons of Duchene at 6 million with Max at 5 million makes the Habs Cup contenders now IMO. Serge will take at least 3 seasons before he might hit his prime. Weber would be 34-35 then. The window is now.

    • New says:

      Duchene for Petry, that I’d do. Duchene is enough with the rest of the team to keep the puck in the other end. You got some Duchene you need less Petry. Meanwhile back at “Lets sign Barrie big time” land Petry would be a hero.

    • bwoar says:

      I love these lists for the ability to scan the names of guys and figure out who I don’t want to draft.

      Does anyone want***:

      U-P (Youppi!) Luukkonen?
      Grant Mismash?
      Morgan Geekie?
      Isaac Ratcliffe? (well, actually…)
      Jocktan Chainey?

      Ya gotta love Walter Flower or Kilm Kostin or Stelio Mattheos or Rickard Hugg.

      *** with no malice to these guys whatsoever, it’s a simple acknowledgement of the grand tradition of great, great hockey names.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        If you’ve missed this before, you’ll probably enjoy:

        http://deadspin.com/the-future-of-hockey-is-still-a-bunch-of-kids-with-irri-1775117194

        • CJinBK says:

          Effing brilliant. Love it. I’m sad to see all of these “Brooklyn Names” on what are probably fine upstanding Canadian kids. (The parents here in Brooklyn give their kids all of these TERRIBLE names. My wife calls them “mediaeval tradesmen”, which is totally true: Cooper, Thatcher, Archer… One of my daughter’s classmates was named Beckham. As in David. That’s terrible. And what did David Beckham do? Named one of his kids Brooklyn. (I guess that’s fair, considering the number of “Chelsea”s there are in this country, but still.)

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            There are countries where you can’t name your kid whatever you want, the name has to meet certain standards. I believe the province of Québec is one of those jurisdictions, you can’t name your kid Zorglub, unless you can show that Zorglub is a proper name in your culture, one your grandfather had, etc. You certainly can’t name your kid Hulk or Transformer or U2.

            I was watching a TV show the other day, and they flashed up on the screen how many spellings of Kaydin or Kaden or Kaidynn there were on the birth rolls, something like fourty.

            When a kid gets mad that I misspelled his name Chris, that it’s really Kryss, I tell him I didn’t make the mistake, I spelled his name right.

          • bwoar says:

            I’m personally tired of the Aiden, Kayden, Jaden etc list.

        • bwoar says:

          Yep I’ve seen that – I had in mind when I made this post, I know you’re thinking about those names too. 🙂

    • B says:

      How far down the list does one have to scroll to find the first Quebec kid? Will the Habs be under pressure to draft him?

      –Go Habs Go!–

  19. 76Habs says:

    Considering their schedule alone- and not the surplus of injuries on the team- last night is what I call a “schedule loss”. After 2 weeks on the road and only 1 day off, hosting Washington last night was not going to be a successful game. You could mark your calendar with a big L before this road trip began.

    Proud of this bunch, they’re turning around the big battleship!

    • bwoar says:

      100%. I don’t care for it, but I get that guys are human, and coming off a long trip you go home to your family / girlfriend / new baby / pet goat / what-or-whomever and it’s not a mystery (as the coach covers for them), why the team wasn’t “alert”.

      • Luke says:

        WHO GOT A PET GOAT!!!

        Now, That’s what I call a Merry Christmas!!

        • Mavid says:

          I love goats..

          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

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          Yeah, but you (Luke) would be thinking of recipes.

          —–

        • bwoar says:

          Have been bugging the Mrs for years about getting a goat, or a couple alpacas. Seems like a forlorn hope, so I imagine hockey players own them instead.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Growing up on a hobby farm, we had a large enclosure out back that we held chicken and geese and ducks in at various times, and the combo of lots of seed thrown around for feed, and manure, resulted in an overgrown tangle of brush that was almost impenetrable, except for a path to the pond that the water fowl kept reasonably open. Someone suggested we get goats to feed on the shrubbery and keep it under control, so my dad found us six goats, including Bruno, the randy male of the herd.

            They went to town, those things were eating machines. Not only did they eat the grasses, anything plant-based ended up in their stomach, including a few trees we’d planted years before. There was this deciduous tree near the pond that was maybe a teenager tree, and the goats climbed up it and ate most of the leaves and branches.

            Bruno would rub his horns on the fence posts and knock them over, and then I’d get back from school or work and have to find the goats and herd them back. My father once tried to deter Bruno from doing this by slapping him, open-handed, on the head, where his horns grew out of. For the first time in my life, I gave my dad a look that said “Are you kidding me?”, and he didn’t argue. That slap wasn’t even a mosquito bite for Bruno. Eventually we had to install an electrified fence, which was great for playing tricks on my cousins.

            From spring through that fall, those goats ate everything in sight, until our two acres or so out back were desolate, a wasteland, with a muddy pond and a few sticks poking out of the ground nearby, the former teenager tree.

            We got the farmer to come back and retrieve his goats before they started to eat the outbuildings, and he was mighty pleased how sleek and fat they were now, after a summer of overgrazing us out of house and home.

            So beware.

  20. montreal ace says:

    Shanahan and Lou in TO, supposedly two of the finest minds in the hockey world, are paying Kessel over a million a season to play for the Pens. Its hard to believe that teams are allowed to make stupid trades like that. There just had to be money changing hands under the table.

    • Duker says:

      Pretty smart actually if it’s only $1m. I thought it was much higher. He makes $8m I believe

      Where’s the beef MB ?

    • bwoar says:

      I recall a chorus of people on this board proclaiming how far away we needed to stay from “Fat Phil” Kessel. Meanwhile he’s a PPG player with a 6.8M cap hit.

      Not gonna say anymore.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        The commentariat prefers “character” over actual skill.

        —–

        • bwoar says:

          Yeah, witness the hand-wringing over Radulov in the summer…as though it takes will alone to win games.

          Gimme some skill guys, gimme some dirty champs, a reliable netminder, some Irish whiskey and a few wild animals and suddenly, ya got a hockey team.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Phat Phil Kessel is who we thought he is, despite his brief dalliance with Gary Roberts two summers ago. It didn’t take.

        So he’s a massively talented underachiever who’ll help your team if you don’t break the bank for him or expect him to lead by example. Or lead.

  21. DipsyDoodler says:

    Obviously, Bobby Farnham doesn’t belong in the NHL. But I come to praise him not bury him.

    He’s not letting a lack of each and every one of the attributes needed to be a successful professional hockey player (ability, physical strength, speed, vision, an understanding of the game) stop him. He just doesn’t quit trying.

    Good for you, Mr Farnham.

    —–

    • montreal ace says:

      He did get 8 goals last year, while providing energy. The call against him last night was terrible, he was even letting up on the check

      • B says:

        He scored at a better pace for the Devils last season than Smith-Pelly is doing for them this season. Speaking of the Devils, Parenteau is scoring more goals than Cammalleri for them this season.

        –Go Habs Go!–

    • Luke says:

      Work Ethic is a skill just as much as stick handling is.
      Farnham’s got the Work Ethic in spades.

      He absolutely deserves heaps of credit for making a career out of professional hockey and flirting with a 100 NHL games.

      But yah… there are plenty of other professional players I’d prefer in the lineup instead of him.

    • adamkennelly says:

      there are way worse and less useful players in the NHL. He brings it every shift – maybe they are playing him to see if that wears off on everyone else.

      that being said – he runs around like an a-hole high school player.

      I’d much prefer to see someone with that energy and grit but the size to make it matter.

      penalty on him was complete crap.

    • bwoar says:

      Tom the Bomb with a rat brain, I don’t mind that.

  22. Ian Cobb says:

    It is very obvious that Bergevin will be scouring the bowels of every club, trying to loosen up at least 1 top 4 defense man in a trade. At the present time we only have two top D, Weber and Price.
    Playing a top speedy well coached team like Washington certainly high lighted our weakness on D at both ends of the rink.
    We are a very good team as long as Price and Montoya are brilliant every period. Of coarse we miss Galchenyuk, Shaw as well as DD, but we are missing three top D.., Markov is now a second pair D, Petry and Beaulieu should really be our bottom 5&6. I know this is the hardest position to acquire, without giving up half the farm throughout the NHL, but that is Bergevin’s tough job if we are going to the play-offs..
    Plekanics has carried this team on his back in the lean years, just like Koivu did for us. It is sad to see him struggling of late. Sure hope the club treats him a bit better than they did Koivu in his twilight years. But he is likely to be moved.
    I thought Eller played a great game last night centering his 3rd line.
    Points are going to be a lot tougher to get going forward, but as long as the farm hands play as well as they have lately, we should stay closer to the top.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Not sure of the need for another D. Having both Marky and Patty back will help an awful lot.

    • myron.selby says:

      Sorry Ian but I just don’t see that. To me Petry is a very good second pair D-man. I think there are games where Petry is our best blueliner by a considerable margin. He makes the occasional mistake but no more so than any other second pair guy. Beaulieu still makes too many mistakes but he is getting better all the time and is working his way up to being a good #4.

      The real problem to me is the third pair at the moment. I think Barberio can look respectable with a strong partner. But putting him out there with Johnston is a bit of … um, an adventure.

    • joeybarrie says:

      I disagree about your top D.
      Petry has been playing very well and he is clearly a top 4. Markov may have lost a step, but he is still quite good and is easily a top 4 on any team. Weber has been amazing.
      Beaulieu and Emelin have worked hard and done well this season so far. If Beaulieu keeps it up and continues to progress, he is a decent top 4.
      While we might need another top 4 D. We need a second line center MUCH MORE. If there is going to be trades and acquisitions… Center is where it needs to be.

    • CaptainHabs13 says:

      Has anyone noticed Webers play dip after the first 15 games or so? Someone look into at what game he was paired with Emelin and taken away from N8.

      6 and 28 need to be a pairing. Weber covers the D and first pass, N8 moves the puck and goes for a skate when Weber cant. it’s a great pairing. I think maybe Weber is a little more aware of Emilins slower speed and doesnt trust him to cover if weber steps up in the play. Just my opinion, but D pairings should be:
      6 and 28 – for the aforementioned reasons
      26 and 74 – emeilin hits, and petry skates
      79 and 8 – veteran guides the most inexperienced man on our blue line and makes him better for it.

      Who do you think Sergachev replaces next season?

      Keep Markov for the PP but otherwise manage his minutes with 3rd pairing ice time.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Nathan only played three or four games on the first pairing before being taken off it, and being replaced by Alexei Emelin.

        I suspect the downturn in production by Shea was more due to an injury, if only because he stopped using his slapshot, he used his wrist shot exclusively. I figure he has a sore shoulder, but that’s an educated guess at best.

        • CaptainHabs13 says:

          not the worst theory i’ve heard.

          I still cant stomach Emelin on the top pairing…..love having him for the big hits, but he brings nothing to the offense.

  23. Old Bald Bird says:

    As Hab fans we tend to view the game one way. When the Habs score, it’s usually a fine play. When the other team scores, it’s almost invariably Habs’ fault, like on that Kuznetsov goal last night where both Pax and Petry were to blame, but I saw Kuz making a brilliant play. There are two teams playing and most goals will be the result of a good play by one team and an imperfect one by the other.

  24. dgab says:

    I am Artturi Lehkonen’s new biggest fan. The kid has lightning quick short-distance speed. Just you wait until he further develops that shot of his. He’s a grinder at heart with high-end finishing capabilities… our best prospect, hands down.

  25. Old Bald Bird says:

    Could Price be experiencing a fall into ordinariness? While we hope that this is a temporary lapse, remember how when last year, Pleks pretty well changed overnight. While Pleks still has good moments or games, he hasn’t been the same. Maybe Habs should be careful about opening the vault.

  26. HNS says:

    Bottom line, Price is not worth the money they are paying him.

  27. Timo says:

    Cancelled practice. Of course. What possibly could this team need to work on that they’d need to practice?

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Our power play has to much power Timo!

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Carey needs a massage.

    • Dust says:

      What could this team possibly need a rest for? Not like they have had injury concerns.

    • myron.selby says:

      4 games in 6 nights for a team that is riddled with injury. I know let’s bag skate them, that’ll teach them.

      I realize that you have a schtick to keep up Timo, but seriously can’t you just give it a rest once in a while, or at least complain about things that are vaguely reality based?

      • habs001 says:

        50% of his comments would be negative if this was the Habs team that won 4 cups in the seventies…just like he was negative on the last Olympic team….He has had at least 2 semi positive posts this year…miracles do happen

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          The only purely joyful post he ever made on H I/O was when Daniel Briere suffered a concussion.

          —–

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Guys, guys, the best way to deal with Timo is to fast-forward over Timo, like you do with Don Cherry. I used to cringe-watch him, but only to be informed, so I’d be aware what the next controversy was. Now, I blithely skip over, and if anything controversial happens, I’ll hear about it, accept that he’s a tired hack, and move on with my life, having saved myself six minutes of idiocy every week.

            And we got to give credit to Timo, he uses a nice distinctive yellow avatar, it’s fair warning to everyone what imbecility lurks. When I trip up and accidentally read his stuff, when I’m scanning posts quickly and absorb one of his one-liner no-thoughters prior to realizing it’s one of his scribblings, I know it’s on me.

            I got mad at him a couple of months back because he replied to one of my posts and despite my best intentions I read it, so I fired back a curt reply, but really I was only angry at myself.

            It’s kind of like stepping into dog poo at the dog park. The dog park is awesome but sometimes you walk into a noxious pile, and you could get mad at owners who don’t pick up after their dogs, or you can accept that the dog park necessarily involves dog poo, and when you’re contaminated, you scrape it off and clean yourself off the best you can, and be even more vigilant the next time.

        • longtimehabsfan says:

          6 Cups. 71, 73, 76, 77, 78, 79

      • Psycho29 says:

        And lets not forget that he crapped on 18-19 year old Canadian kids who lost the gold medal to the Americans in a shootout….

        Same old tired schtick. Lather… rinse…repeat….

  28. Old Bald Bird says:

    In praise of Bergevin, from Wilde among other things in his game reportLINK

    Marc Bergevin said “It is on me.” When the horrible last season was explained with that thought, we thought that he was simply just pointing his finger at himself and taking blame. He was doing more than that. He was also saying he would do something about it. Remarkable for me to see Bergevin recognize his team’s weaknesses and do something about it. He saw a problem at right wing so he got Radulov. He saw a problem with the team’s sandpaper so he got Shaw. He saw that the defence was one-dimensional so he added the stay-at-home D to add a dimension. He overall didn’t like how easy his club was to play against – a soft touch – so he changed the makeup of the club overall. His staff made a list, it seems, and then they filled out the list. The beneficiary of this much more well-rounded roster is Michel Therrien who just got win number 400 and who is having an outstanding season as head coach. Not sure there is a Jack Adams nomination in there but it’s close. Seven AHLers in the lineup during the road trip, with only one loss in regulation time. This included a win over the Leafs who had won six of seven. Impressive.

    • Phil C says:

      He also saw a deficiency in the coaching and brought in Muller.

    • Timo says:

      The thing is that with everyone healthy Habs won’t be having a much better season. Therrien is not capable of coaching and managing to maximize players strength. It’s all about da system.

      • adamkennelly says:

        Timo – I agree with you pretty much 100%. Team has delivered results with a depleted lineup – although turn those two OT wins in loses and the shine comes off pretty quickly.

        that being said – I don’t expect the impact of having all our players back would be that significant – 1 or two more PP goals perhaps.

        Chucky is critical, Markov is somewhat critical mainly because it gets rid of the AHLer on the 3rd pair but Shaw is a 3rd liner and DD should not be on the team. We just lost Gallagher who should be really important but has been struggling.

        still really need help in the top 6 – help with the PP – now help with the PK and better tending from Price in order to compete against the best teams.

      • Duker says:

        MT is a sideways move from JM,who has over 600 wins himself. Not a bash,just the way I see it

        Where’s the beef MB ?

  29. montreal ace says:

    One big difference between Carey and other goaltenders, is he does not pull himself, in order to protect his numbers. He stays in games and fights to the end, that why he had the glare, when MT pulled him. I think that Price is fighting for his new contract this season, for an extension that will be made over the summer. His new contract is probably causing consternation for the team and him even now. He deserves to be the highest paid goaltender, but for how long and how much, is going to be one huge decision.

  30. DipsyDoodler says:

    Fake News Alert!

    I get news feeds on my phone. Lats night one of the headlines, from cbc.ca no less, was “Don Cherry Sacked for Cam Newton Comments”.

    Finally, I thought! The old fool said something offensive and he was fired.

    But no.

    Sacked in this case didn’t mean fired. It didn’t even mean raped and pillaged as in olden times.

    It just meant “criticized on twitter”.

    So disappointing.

    —–

    • CalgaryHab says:

      I also read the same news feed from my phone. Even though I find others far more offensive than Cherry, I felt mislead from the headline none the less.

  31. adamkennelly says:

    Price does look distracted…good word for it. still has his moments of brilliance and overall quality play but over the last month or so has been less than Price-like.

  32. CJinBK says:

    Hey, RN! What’s your feeling about MT’s loins? Is “Tird” the new sizzler?

    Also, and this is for everyone who knows about cap stuff… I have read in a few places about LTIR helping teams with their cap, especially Tampa Bay, who have Stamkos out for this extended period. But I have read here that the extended absences of Galchenyuk, Markov, Desharnais, and Shaw do NOT help the Habs cap. Any elucidation would be gratefully welcomed.

    PS; game was blacked out last night, because Bettman sucks. So I listened to the TSN 690 feed, as I did a lot for a few seasons. Yes, the Capitals won, but there seemed to be good pressure on Holtby, who is habitually excellent against the Habs. (And Plekanec did what neither the Senators or Blue Jackets could do: scored a goal on Holtby.) Can’t win ’em all.

    • CaptainHabs13 says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Holtby was great, but also had a few pucks slide by the outside of the goal post for him. I counted two or three in the first period alone. Can’t win em all, or in the case of my Monday night beer league where we are a staggering 1-14-1, cant LOSE em all, haha.
      And as for your blackout solution, being an Ontario boy, i subscribe to Sportnet Canadiens and get any blackout games in RDS which means french commentating at its best. Let’s hope more good things and goals for Plekanec as Pacioretty is now in a drought. One game without a goal. PANIC!

      Also wondering if this hand injury isnt the best possible thing for Gallagher. Kid is playing brilliant hockey for his style of play, but the slump has got to be in his head now. Take some time away, recover, come back with a clear head and put 10 goals in over the last 20 games of the season.

      Go Habs GO!

  33. CaptainHabs13 says:

    Woah Woah Woah,

    So Suddenly turning on CP31 is the thing to do? Carey Price. Really? Really? IF everyone wants to compare his current play to his God like stats of 2014-15, that is unbelievably short sighted. Lets get on Pacioretty’s back for not scoring 4 goals the game after he did it in Colorado last month. Like, come on. Price is Price. He played a lights out game – especially 3rd period against toronto on Saturday, but how quickly you all forget.

    Price is not going to have a .985 svp every game. The “lack luster” numbers or play you fellas are jumping on him for can be an effect of the team opening up their game a bit more. They still rank 5th in GA/Game. Are you guys only satisfied if we are first? Everyone is PRAISING the Leafs now for how much their youth is getting a change to play big minutes, and everyone praises Andersen even though he lets 4 get by him each game like hes payed per goal.

    The youth in Mtl does not have the skill or talent that Marner or Matthews do (Who will be a Toronto equivalent of Crosby and Malkin in a few years) But that doesnt mean they should be denied opportunities and ice time – especially with all the injuries. Let the kids play.

    We still have a clear lead on 2nd place in our division and have not played a BAD game in quite some time – results not withstanding. I missed the 3rd but how many pucks just grazed by Holtby’s goal post last night or just missed by a few inches early in the game. Puck luck was not on our side last night, get over it, and move on. I might have to stop reading these ALN if these comments are going to constantly be so negative. I’ll be sure to cheer extra loud for all you guys when I take in a pair of Matinees Super Bowl Weekend at the Centre Bell. McDavid and Ovechkin, baby!

    Everyone needs to just chill out.

  34. thesenator18 says:

    This would be the perfect time to call up Brett Lernout and give him a chance to play vs a big Jets team in his home town of Winnipeg and send Johnston down.

  35. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If there was something wrong with Carey, I’m sure the Habs will let us know…lol (sorry couldn’t help myself).

    Unless told otherwise, not worried about Price. Just want the injuries to heal and the playoffs to start. Congrats to one of the greatest scorers in the history of the game. Very fitting to tie the Rocket last night in Mtl.

  36. docketrocket says:

    I don’t blame him, or blame anyone really, for the loss last night, but Price seems quite distracted, which is fatal in a position requiring focus. It has been going on long enough to be disconcerting.

    • toneez says:

      Maybe its because he is tired of pumping up MT’s Wins and he knows that MT will never be a Cup Winning Coach … Maybe that’s what’s bothering him and there sure is something bothering him , that stare a few games back when he got taken out spoke volumes , time will tell if Bergy reacts and makes a change, or Carey leaves …

      All Habs all the Time

  37. habsrule_29 says:

    Stopped listening to the radio when the 3rd goal was scored. Les Boys did not have the horsepower to compete against a rested healthy Caps team. Put it behind us and move on to the next game. A great season underway and unless they completely collapse there should be more W’s to come before the break, especially with injured players returning.

    A Habs fan trying to bring some sense to the people of Toronto!

    • Habfan17 says:

      Agreed! Once Galchenyuk, Markov, and Shaw return, it will be a different team. As long as no one else goes down.

      It should help the team long term that these players got some “rest”
      I would like to see Sherbak on the 2nd line with Lehkonen and Danault, once Galchenyuk is back. If the first line keeps playing well with Danault at centre, then Galchenyuk with Lehkonen and Sherbak.

      Habfan17

  38. piter says:

    Sure was a lot of scouts at the game last night. Hopefully that means our GM has been earning his salary and trying to get us that top 6 player we desperately need.(without giving up too much of our future)

  39. Habfan17 says:

    On the plus side, the six million dollar man scored a goal.

    I watched up until the end of the second, so I missed all the goals.
    I would like to see Sharbak moved up and get more minutes. He did play 11 minutes, which isn’t bad, but once Galchenyuk is back, I would like to see a couple of games with Sherbak on a line with Lehkonen and Danault.

    Habfan17

  40. Bash says:

    Free chicken leg! How great is that?
    Everyone wants a leg up on the competition.

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

  41. petemahovlichHOF says:

    Lethargic goaltending from Price, it looked he drank a bottle of Sambuca before the game, and Petry looking like
    Sheldon Souray against Jason Spezza, they looked really bad. They gave away 2 points tonight.

    • NoTinFoilCups says:

      Correct about Petry. So, playing the body doesn’t work at the pro level? The eyes are supposed to be focused squarely on the puck carrier’s mid section. Oddly this is not uncommon in the NHL but continues to leave me gobsmacked. There should be no way around you unless they go over you steamroll fashion. I suppose if the defenseman is caught flatfooted and the forward is bearing down at top speed, yes. But that didn’t seem to be the case. Boone gives credit to Kuznetsov but I see it differently. A few weeks ago someone questioned Petry’s poor backward skating. Anyone here who’s played at a high level care to chime in?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Too funny, after that goal was scored I literally said Petry got “Souray’d”

      Petry actually played a really good game up to that point and was having some really solid rushes. I thought Radulov and Max didn’t look sharp either. Nobody other than the Pleks line was really doing anything out there.

      On to the next game

    • Mavid says:

      Sheldon Souray against Pizza head..let me refresh your memory..flu had ravaged the team, they were down to 4 defencemen..Souray being one..he had been on the ice for a full 2 minutes..as he put it a novice player could have deked around him.. thats the same lame old video the Sens used for years to try to show how fantastic Pizza boy was..pick a better example

      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

  42. Arnold 56-79 says:

    Montreal won in Washington recently. The schedule rumbles on and on. Ups and downs are expected, especially with injuries and weariness. As the Stranger tells the Dude in the Big Lebowski, “sometimes you eat the bar, sometimes the bar eats you.” Just as long as the team avoids slumps they can stay close to where they are in the standings and integrate the returning healed players in due course. The last twenty games will be the time to get seriously focussed on building momentum for the playoffs.
    Depth is never a bad thing, and even in these losses the young players are gaining valuable experience.

  43. habs001 says:

    The odds are slim Habs do anything in the playoffs if their PK remains the same…cannot be giving up 1 or more PP goals every game…

  44. habs001 says:

    Hard to figure Leafs have the 6th best PP and 7th best PK…

  45. habs001 says:

    Mitchell has over produced goal scoring wise in the first half..but now he is looking like the minimal scorer he has been in his career….He and Flynn should only be on the team for PK purpose but right now they are not producing along with the rest of the PK…giving up a PP goal in ever game lately…Habs now are 23rd on the PK…

  46. The_Truth says:

    Price is a great goaltender and one of the best. I am not worried about him, as he will be there come playoff time. To think he will win games on his own, is expecting too much. He can and will sometimes, but if we want that most of the time, it won’t happen and there is a problem with the team, if we need him to.

    Price can and will be beat, if the team is playing a lazy, soft style like tonight. Their legs were not there, as is often the case after a long road trip. The team is doing well, despite being on paper, a bit of joke, with all the injuries. The Danault, Radulov and Patches line were ugly tonight, especially in their own zone. Danault was awful, but he is not a 1st line center and is doing pretty well as a default guy.

    These are not the late 70s Habs and it is about making the Playoffs these days, which they will. Upgrades are needed by MB, and he knows that. We need to understand, the McCarrons and Andrighettos, or Barbieros of the team will not be there In May, but are doing a decent job in the interim.

  47. Timo says:

    What a waste. It would have been nice if Price, for a change, could stop the puck. Kinda like… oh, I don’t know… like Holtby? Or whoever is the goalie in Columbus?

    This game was a guaranteed loss. When was the last time Habs won their first game back home after an extended trip?

    And honestly… Ryan Johnston…?!

  48. ILC says:

    Can someone please replace the so-called irreplaceable ALN author. A Greek tragedian perhaps? Is it never sufficient to simply say it wasn’t their day? That the Habs didn’t do enough? Must the victor
    of one game always be so much our better….must it always mean a colossal collapse….or perhaps just a bad day at the office, when half the staff is off sick… get a grip ….good game for Caps, bad game for Habs….even Price realized that when he walked off with praise for Ovechkin…..another day…..oh, BTW, denim shirts are half price at Mark’s this weekend, for all the fashion mavens on this site ….authors get an even deeper discount ….

  49. CH Sam says:

    Unfortunately we still lack talent up front. Boys did a great job on the road tho..

    Its too bad Price werent a few years younger. Hes in his prime and needs to win now. If MB cant extend him, fans may be in for some tough drought years

  50. ThebadBoards says:

    please please go back to sleep !!!!! Go Habs Go to sleep

  51. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Trade Price lol really ?? Really? Really ??????

  52. dickanddanny says:

    Tonight to beat the Caps we needed Price to be at his best both in stopping pucks and handling them as well. Holtby you could tell was up for the challenge at his end of the rink and seemed really into the game. Focused. Steady, if not spectacular. Price not so much.

    I don’t want to come across as a Price basher, as those who question the sainthood of Carey Price on this forum are referred to, however the game results speaks for themselves.

    The Caps first goal was indirectly a result of a giveaway by Price which then led to a scoring chance which then led to a poor rebound given up by Price which resulted in a goal. He had the shot in his glove and it should have easily been held onto in that one.

    The second goal is one which has become almost a common occurrence this season, with Price on his knees too early, beaten high to the short (stick) side. Weak goal. Not even a big save was required there just a good save. We didn’t get it. You could see the deflation meter in the Bell Center hit it’s highest reading of the season. How many of these same goals have we seen scored this season on Price? Several.

    The third goal Price again coughs up the puck on a poor, or very lackadaisical re-direct to Petry, who has no chance of playing the thing which then leads to a turnover and one good pass later with an equally good shot Price is beat again.

    We were in this game even if not playing spectacularly tonight with the exception that their goalie made the saves when they needed him to and our goalie didn’t. And in fact our goalie had a direct hand in two of their goals.

    My biggest concern going forward with this team is one player’s contract. The one which is going to be signed once that player is free agent available. It the team opens the vault for Price, which I wholeheartedly think will happen, I believe that contract will singlehandedly hand-cuff this team for years to follow. If, as fans we don’t like the fact we rely on our goalie to win games for us now, then how does the future bode for a team who will have even more money tied up in said goalie who will be designated as the main person to win games for us? One, who possibly may already have played his best hockey?

    “Back to you Dick”

  53. JohnBellyful says:

    Geez, I actually got a headline right:

    4-1 loss has Canadiens looking ahead to next game on road

    Feels even better than posting first on a thread.
    (Oh yeah, too bad about the loss and all that.)

  54. jols says:

    First game I missed all season. Looks like it was a good one to miss. Trading Price is ridiculous. I didn’t see the game but even if all 4 goals were terrible, who cares, he is Carey Price, the best goalie in the world. Now, if he demands 12 million a year after next season then it will be a whole new discussion.

    Finally, so pumped that Galchenyuk should be back next game. I have really missed him. I hope he picks up where he left off. As good as Patches has been, and he has been excellent, only Galchenyuk and Radulov make me jump of my couch as yell “holly crap what a play”. We need more of that…

  55. dickanddanny says:

    There are two guarantees in Life:
    1. Death
    2. Taxes
    If you are a Habs fan there are three:
    3. The first 20 seconds on the power play will be spent retrieving the puck from your end of the rink.

    “back to you Dick”

  56. J Dub says:

    Boone writes way better when he doesn’t have to commute to the game, haha

  57. Kvothe says:

    Hopefully I won’t be labelled a negatron or a troll for saying this, but I think it’s important to note that the Habs only have 3 more wins this season, than at the same point last season.

    What’s changed? Price is healthy, that’s the big one. Some will refer to the injuries of 6 regulars, ironically counting DD in that group, despite their objections to his place on the team. But is that really a relevant factor? Last season, the injury bug was not kind to the CH either, and they lost their MVP, along with multiple other regulars, for extended periods of time.

    So are 3 wins with the best goalie in world healthy, more depth, and better top 6 really something to be that giddy about? Note that Chucky is the only notable absence from the scoring (Gallagher has been having an off season, and is a recent injury), and the addition of Radulov and Lehkonen, and others, have improved the team’s depth and offence. Taking that into account, they’ve only managed to win 3 more times than a team with markedly below average goaltending.

    Chalking the record up to “leadership and character” is just another flawed analysis of this team, and it reeks of insecurity to call things as they are – this team relies on Price for its wins. There’s nothing wrong with relying on your best player to carry the day, so there shouldn’t be any shame in admitting that. Sadly, the narrative of leadership and character will continue to inform this organization’s decision’s, to its detriment.

    Price has a very positive effect on this team, even when he is playing below his standards, and that is something that should not be discounted, especially in favour of intangible-centred narratives. Indeed, Price’s goaltending is a huge difference maker, and every team around the league acknowledges that – Therrien and Bergevin’s approach just happens to coincide with having the best goalie on the planet. The better results this year are just coinciding with Therrien and Bergie’s system, they are not caused by it.

    Granted, the Habs 5 on 5 play has been pretty solid, but special teams still suck, and that’s a big flaw. How good can a coach be when they’ve had crappy special teams for the entirety of their tenure? And how good is MB’s plan if he’s failed to acquire a top 6 centre, and failed to plan for Pleks’ decline?

    This team is still a couple of pieces away, that’s the good news. They are a good team that is close to being great. But the bad news is that the people running the ship under appreciate talent in favour of factors that do not improve scoring, or win games. That is why this team is still only marginally better with a healthy Price and Radulov, their record is buoyed by the loser point as well.

  58. Cal says:

    This one had to be expected. The Habs are missing 6 regulars and Washington is built for the playoffs…maybe. They’ve underwhelmed for years when it matters; they’re the Sharks of the East with no trip to the Finals yet.
    This is another tricky week. They need Alex and Markov to be back.

    • Duker says:

      They need Markov AND Pateryn back. When healthy,Habs have as good a defense corps as any team 1-6. Barberio,Johnson and Redmond are minor leaguers and upset the balance when in the lineup

      Where’s the beef MB ?

  59. D Mex says:

    @ hockey fans
    You Might Also Like
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    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  60. fastfreddy says:

    I don’t think that Price is the problem, it’s the players in front of him, the forwards especially.

    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

    • ThebadBoards says:

      ever watch the hypnotist that waves his hand and puts any one that sees the motion to sleep? That guy must have been on the plane home and for 10 min. in the game they woke up turned over and went back to sleep .Sorry can’t blame price he was on the plane too

  61. 100HABS says:

    Firstly, yes, two of those goals are partly Price’s fault. But after a long road trip with a baby at home, you can allow for one bad game. He’s still one of the best goaltenders in the world. Talk of trading Price is ridiculous, I think he’s more valuable to this team than Roy was in ’94.


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