About last night … Hawks down Canadiens 4-2

Crawford

Was that a Stanley Cup preview?

The NHL could do a lot worse than a best-of-seven series pitting two of the Original Six franchises.

Chicago could make one half of the dream scenario happen. The Hawks’ 4-2 win at the Bell Centre Tuesday night lifted them past Minnesota into first place in the Central Division.

And despite being outshot decisively, Chicago looked like a team that could make a deep playoff run toward its fourth Cup in eight years.

As for the other half of the equation …

Canadiens fans should ask themselves this question:

Can you imagine the name “Alexei Emelin” engraved on the Cup?

Follow-up question:

Would you want number 74 sharing Cup space with Canadiens’ defencemen numbers 2, 3, 5, 18 and 19?

Not to mention Tom Johnson.

And Chris Chelios.

Emelin was on the ice – and looking horrible – on the goals that propelled the visitors to a 3-0 lead. By the end of the game, Shea Weber’s one-time D partner was on the third pairing, watching recently acquired Brandon Davidson work effectively with Jeff Petry.

You have to wonder what Nathan Beaulieu, consigned to the pressbox for a big game, was thinking.

In his postgame press conference, Claude Julien declined to single Emelin out for criticism. But the coach has to make some back-end decisions over the next few days as the Canadiens prepare for a crucial weekend home-and-home against Ottawa.

Tampa Bay did the Canadiens a favour by beating the Senators late in Overtime. Ottawa is one point behind the Canadiens and holds two games in hand. 

The Senators will play host to Chicago on Thursday night. Fans have to hope the Hawks bring the A-game they displayed in snowbound Montreal to the Canadian Tire Centre.

Game statistics don’t tell the story.

The visitors were outshot 42-24. The Canadiens had 90 shot attempts to 51 for the Hawks.

The Canadiens also held a 28-23 Hit advantage and won 40 Faceoffs, to 25 for Chicago.

Those impressive stats notwithstanding, the Hawks were fully in charge until the Paul Byron and Shea Weber goals that set up an exciting last few minutes.

Corey Crawford ran his record against his hometown team to 7-0-2. But the Chicago goaltender did not have to make spectacular saves under sustained pressure.

As is the case all too often when they lose – and sometimes when they win – the Canadiens ran up their shot total from long distances and bad angles. 

Because Alexei Emelin doesn’t play for Chicago, Canadiens forwards were not gifted scoring chances in which they found themselves all alone in front of Crawford.

Bottom line here, folks, is the better, deeper team won the game.

And there is a far greater likelihood of a Stanley Cup parade on Michigan Ave. than one on Ste. Catherine. St.

•  •  •

Comment on the Liveblog by kalevine:

The flu excuse for Emelin has been brought up a few times, but 1) why play him when he’s sick when there are a couple of D who could step in
2) the mistakes are all mental not physical mistakes. I suppose you could argue that the brain may not be 100% when sick, but normally in those cases you play it safe and don’t over extend yourself. He was pinching and getting caught. On the first goal, what was he doing up at center ice when he gave up the puck?

And from Coach K:

My take-aways tonight,

Emilein is not usually THAT bad. Any chance he was suffering from that flu bug that ravaged the team all week? Is that why Julien had him out there with the net empty. Trying to show him that he still has faith in him despite his utterly forgettable game?

For a guy who is supposedly poor defensively in his own end, Galchenyuk looked pretty good tonight. Especially when you consider he had to defend against possibly the best two way centre in the game and a high-octane offence in general and yet still managed to pick up an important assist in the process.

Plekanec. Veteran player, plenty of experience, allegedly the team’s best shutdown centre who was mostly invisible except for a -2.

Lastly, every goal scored against them tonight was completely self inflicted.
Gotta find a way to fix that little issue…

374 Comments

  1. thesenator18 says:

    Montreal should and will get to the conference finals……all they have to do is beat Rangers or Boston in the 1st round and Ottawa in the 2nd round,once in the Conference finals Price can take you to the cup.

  2. Paz says:

    The team Bergevin took over had a terrific core.

    Price
    Subban
    Markov
    Pacioretty
    3rd pick overall

    That’s not the core of a 28th place team.

    What Bergevin needed to do was build some offensive talent around that core, because any team with Price, Subban, Markov, was going to compete defensively.

    5 seasons later, the offensive talent is still the team’s weakness.

    And the GM’s rationalization??

    “It’s difficult to find offence. This is not PlayStation”.

    • olematelot says:

      He’s correct 100%. There’s shortage of those players available. He’s loading up on the back end, that’s where offence starts.

    • habsr4ever says:

      Lol.
      33 year old Markov
      pacman is no fwd core to build around.
      Third over all is not first over all.
      Subban helps.
      Price awesome

      One piece
      Yup Stanley cup here we come.

    • on2ndthought says:

      Compare to the core Yzerman inherited: Stamkos, Lecavalier, St-Louis, Malone, Hedman, Mike Smith; Panik, Killorn, on the farm; 6th overall pick.

      Compare to anyone you think is a good GM.

      Earlier I showed what Stan Bowman started with: : Keith, Hjarmarlsson, Seabrook, Byfuglien, Brouwer, Bickell, Bolland, Crawford , Toews, Kane

  3. The Puckhound says:

    He came in and had the 3rd pick and drafted Alex Galchenyuk.Not too shabby.

    I’m still waiting on the 5 year plan though?

    Forever #4

  4. expat_habsfan says:

    I watched some of the game in the 3rd period and I saw a Habs team that wasn’t in the same league as the Hawks. Perhaps because the Hawks didn’t help the Habs score any of their goals while the Habs could not say the same thing about themselves.

    Even as Emelin was being demoted during the game I did not see much improvement from replacement Davidson except that he’s more mobile than Emelin but neither could every be considered comfortable with the puck on their stick.

    At one point in the 3rd, Davidson got a loose puck inside the Hawks’ zone with the Canadiens suddenly having an odd man advantage and Davidson acted like somebody had taped a live grenade to his stick blade. Two Habs down low on a quick 3 on 1 and Davidson ended up with a deflected shot in to the netting.

    That in a nutshell is the difference between the Hawks and the Habs. The Hawks are either equal or ahead of the Habs in skill at every position and in a 7 game series that would probably be the difference maker. Hawks win the series in either 5 or 6 games.

  5. Habby_Haberton says:

    How was Emelin’s game last night?

  6. habsr4ever says:

    Every team needs a #1 goalie to make the playoffs. This talk about trading Carey Price is mind boggling.
    You need 65 games from your ACE. We don’t have the forward group to get by on average goaltending who may or may not get hot in the playoffs. Ask every team and they tell you a good coach is only good if he has a goalie.
    We have the BEST goalie in the NHL (top 3 from year to year) and now we want to TRADE him.
    Do Sidney Crosby’s, Malkin’s, Toews, Kane’s, get traded? When you have the BEST player at their position in the NHL do you trade them away?
    You say thank you very much for wanting to play here. Here is the cheque – fill it out.
    NEXT.

    • sakuknows says:

      In today’s game can a goalie, even the best in the world, win you a cup? Probably not.

      Can the skaters you mentioned be the critical and most importance piece
      in winning a cup. Definitely.

      Trading price, in particular after trading PK would be ludicrous. Given the market for goalies is also garbage compared to impact skaters, trading price is so not the answer. But…..if somehow the return could border getting something significant of value back, why would you not consider this?

      FYI, Price is my favorite current hab, and imo, even without a cup the best goalie we’ve had maybe ever. (I grew up in the Roy era).

    • LeaveTheCoachAlone says:

      Price has been in the league a decade. I wrote a long piece about goalies a few weeks back, and how there were few examples of goalies that started to win Stanley Cups after they reached 30, which Price will turn in the offseason.

      Price is going into his last year of that 6 year contract signed back in 2012, hes expecting a raise. Do you really want sign a goalie that has very little playoff experience to a 100 million dollar contract when he hasn’t proved he can win anything without a stacked team in front of him.

      Your going to leverage the future offence of this club by allocating so much money to the goalie, and he can’t score!

      We have a production problem, spending all that money on anything other than offense is foolish, and that’s what they’ve been doing the last decade already.

      • habsr4ever says:

        Price will signed for about $70 million not a $100 M. He knows if he wants to win a Cup he’ll take a bit less like Sid the Kid did on Pitts. My guess is 8 x $8.5M.
        Future offence in the form of what?
        What super star are we going to get that is NOT in our system already?
        Please let me know and explain what young stud/25-27 ish that is an offensive BEAST is going to be available? Thanks.

    • New says:

      @habsr4ever Don’t sweat it. The same folks who blamed last season’s woes on Condon want to boot Price. They always have infallible logic for their opinions. Including, but not limited to, any one of three goalies in the system with a total 1 game NHL experience can replace him. (If that were true why would anyone want Price anyway, any of McNiven, Fucale, or Lindgren is the answer at less than a million a year 🙂

      It is all just chatter. People attempting to increase wins by taking the engine out of the race car to decrease weight.

      The huge problem is that most of what happens in hockey games is ignored except fights and pucks going towards the goalie. The highlight reels don’t include the number of times a great opportunity was called because someone went offside, or discussion about why. Years ago they’d talk about this player not being able to take a backhand pass. Now we don’t even notice he is always turned the wrong way for the pass and the play dies.

      As fans we have a tendency to not see what we aren’t told. Nice to chat about though.

  7. habsr4ever says:

    How about Dale Weise and THAT contract he got from the Flyers? Healthy scratch how many games this season? 6 games in a row now again? Wow. And people ripped Bergy for not signing him and trading him away at the deadline.
    Talk about selling high for Bergy on Dale hey?
    Wow did we fleece the Hawks.
    Top 5 GM for many reasons. This is one of them.

    • UKRAINIANhab says:

      Name the reasons… All I got is Paul Byron.

      • habsr4ever says:

        28th ranked team when he started at the NHL level AND brutally weak prospects and cap room to work with.
        And don’t forget damage control with other players in the league and own team due to the previous mgmt regime (trading Cammy mid GAME AND not letting him take his jersey etc). Nice reputation to take over from eh?
        He has only lost one trade in his tenure (DSP – all though he is back to playing his normal game again so I am glad he is not on our team – we freed up a space on our roster for somebody else).
        Traded away PK and had the stones to do it and admit it was a bad contract who simply didn’t fit with the players and team. How he landed Weber I have no idea! Wow what a trade.
        Final Four.
        Missed playoffs only once.
        First place team in division twice and maybe 3 this year?
        Not bad hey for a 28th place team the year he took over?
        Ya he sucks…..others would have done better? ok peeps. What ever you say.

        • ooder says:

          so let me get this straight, when the habs collapsed in a laughable fashion with absolute horrid goaltending and coaching that was just a blip on the radar.
          But when the team that consistently finished relatively high and made the playoffs, had an off year (finished 28th) all of a sudden he’s a genious. give me a break. both were freak years.
          the fact is, this team is not that much better than the one he inherited.

          ——————
          It’s nice that MB got players who hate to lose.
          If only he also got some that could do something about it

          • habsr4ever says:

            if you say so.
            That’s why we are in the playoffs yet again and we have prospects in our system when he had zilcho 5 years ago.

        • CharlieHodgeFan says:

          Miracles? Not one.
          Creation of centres out of HIO posters? Not one.
          Getting something for Desharnais? Ummm.

          I think Bergevin has done a decent job. Sitting here in the snow, I think he kept Therrien too long. Nobody’s perfect.
          He has been unable to recreate the 1976-77 Habs in a boring 2017 NHL. That’s the greatest sin.

          Las Vegas baby, more tapwater for the soup. That process is a big part of where the problem lies.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      “And people ripped Bergy for not signing him”…who did that??? You’re exagerating. That didn’t happen. Nobody gives a crap about Dale Weise. The only criticism I remember is for MB not trading him while he was scoring.

      • habsr4ever says:

        Sorry. Comments were why did we only get what we got? We should have signed him instead of trading him. Then in the off-season – why didn’t we sign him. Oh there were MANY comments about it.

  8. habsr4ever says:

    People talk about our team and all our issues.
    How about the LAK?
    Sutter will be fired.
    I have watched a LOT of Kings games of late and Doughy has been pretty much brutal. He has some GREAT norris trophy shifts but sheesh. The turnovers. The puck over the glass penalties. The missed assignments. Its like who is that player. Wow. Kopitar – just doesn’t have it any more / this year. Perhaps all those playoff miles have caught up to him. He is still solid but the O part of his game has completely VANISHED. Imagine having his contract on your books for 7 more seasons? Typical example of paying for PAST services. I have said all along there is NO way I would have paid Stamkos his bucks for THAT long and always use the LAK and what they did with Brown and Kopitar and Richards. Same as the Oilers back for their ONE cup run that one season vs Carolina. It took them YEARS to get over those BAD contracts LOWE gave out. Out of all these signings – Kopitar was one that I thought was earned but again only a 5 year contract at best because you know those types of players regress with age. I was shocked he got 8 years and yes I know MANY teams would have lined up on July 1st to sign him for what he got if not more. Sure a few don’t regress THAT much but most do Its a fact.
    People complain about Pleks and his TWO year contract. Bergy over paid but he did it to keep the term down.

    • sakuknows says:

      2 cups later……..

      I would take another 2 decades of misery, if not longer if we could win even just 1 in the next few years…..

      • habsr4ever says:

        well – not THAT long but I am always perplexed as to the LONG contracts for players who you just know can’t play for that long. Pay them and reward them for sure……but 8 years worth and screw the next GM of the team etc? Why?
        Dustin Brown – really?
        Kopitar deserved 5 years times 10….or go 8 years times 6 or 7 Million?

    • chilli says:

      That’s all what happens when you lose your #1 goalie.
      No different than us last year.
      Tell that to the fools who come here talking up the idea of trading Price.

      • habsr4ever says:

        U nailed it.
        I also think though the LAK are in for a world of hurt down the road here. Their window is done. They’ll be more pretenders than contenders and will be competitive but can’t see them winning another Cup for a long time. Price of success and winning a couple Cups.

  9. HUDSONHAB says:

    Dear HIO,
    Your site and my phone don’t seem to get along. Or is it just your site, cuz it’s not doing it for me.

    • Mavid says:

      its the site, did not work on my I phone either

      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

  10. Timo says:

    Day off today, I take it?

  11. CHicoHab says:

    This team is lacking a power play!! We are not taking advantage of the man advantage. You would think they would have figured it out by now. We have enough good hands AG27, Rads, good shots Max, Shea, Petry, net ball busters Shaw, BG11. Figure it out at practice. Only practice the PP. Only practice the PP. Only practice the PP. I will say it one last time. ONLY PRACTICE THE PP!!!!!!!

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    Tough break for the Hawks last night, Anisimov is out for a month it seems.

    Chris Hine @ChristopherHine
    Anisimov out 3-4 weeks, Quenneville said.

  13. PK says:

    The Habs have the foundation, the main pieces but one (or two) are missing. How do you get a Crosby,
    McDavid, Toews or Matthews?

    Without that type of star, the Cup is not coming to Montreal, or at least not easily.

    How do you get that kinda talent?
    By being embarrassingly incompetent and rich uncle Gary giving you a prize.

    I give some credit to MB. I don’t think there is an Einstein in the GM ranks; they are all comparable, well except for the folks running the Islanders and Coyotes.

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      It would great to have one of the top 5 offensive threats in the NHL but it won’t happen. Besides, scoring from the first line hasn’t been the problem. The problem is the other 3 lines. The Habs have no secondary scoring.

  14. Slack says:

    Did anyone ever think that maybe Vanrk didn’t want to come back to MTL…

    Last time he was here the media and fanbase tore him to pieces… Just looknat King… Right in the thick of it.

    • joeybarrie says:

      I dont think Vanek had much choice in the situation.

      • slapshot777 says:

        He May have had more of a choice than you think. The media is mostly to blame for players not wanting to come here. They just don’t let up

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

        • joeybarrie says:

          Considering what he was traded for I doubt very much he even knew what teams were in the mix, if there were even more than one. Detroit would be ridiculous to have turned down a better offer for him, just because he said…. “eh, dont really want to go to the Sabres or Habs. Take that AHL defenseman and a conditional 3rd for me please. Thanks, “

        • Mavid says:

          Kinda like some of the fans..it was not Emelin’s more shinning moment, but the bashing on here was over the top..imagine trying to just buy some groceries..and getting blasted for your play the night before..its not that his play cannot be questioned…its the degree of that questioning..too much sometimes..

          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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It’s possible Slack, also I wonder if MB wasn’t tainted on him from the first go around. I was hopeful that he could be acquired, big talented forward who seem to finally realize he needs to work for his contracts.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      MB was never going to bring him back.

  15. joeybarrie says:

    Always the same.
    After a win, we are on track although a little further out than we thought and after a loss, our window is closed and we don’t have enough to win a Cup in the next 10 years….

    The Hawks have Toews, Kane, Keith, Crawford. Among the best in the league in their positions, if not the best…. and a pretty great supporting cast in Panarin, Seabrook, Hossa, Panik, Van Reimsdyk, Oduya, Hjalmarsson.

    The Habs are no slouches themselves. Just top depth isn’t there. And guys like Pleks and Gallagher are still unproductive. Lekhonen and Beaulieu are not there yet, and Shaw has been better at penalties than points. Even Galchenyuk has been playing below his potential.

    Upgrade on Emelin, someone to play at Center who can score and our key players to produce…. We will be very very difficult to stop.
    But it simply isn’t happening for us.

    I would have liked to see MB found a way for Vanek. But the off season is where we have to fill those holes.

    Te be honest, we are still doing pretty well…

  16. 123456 says:

    I never understand the trade Price talk. Clubs spend years or even decades searching for a great goalie, now that the Habs have just that people want to ship him out? For what? A player that may or may not score 30 goals? Everyone always has a price, but IMO there almost nothing out there that would be an equitable trade.

    • Loop_G says:

      The goalie trade market has been weak for years, people who are expecting a huge return for a player that would be a free agent in a year are sadly mistaken, and then we need to get a top 10 goalie anyway if we want to really compete.

    • joeybarrie says:

      Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott were traded from the Sabres to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Jaroslav Halák, Chris Stewart, William Carrier and two future draft picks.
      Cory Schneider was traded for Bo Horvat (#9 pick overall)
      Roberto Luongo was traded to the Florida Panthers along with prospect Steven Anthony in exchange for goaltender Jacob Markström and centre Shawn Matthias.
      Semyon Varlamov was traded to the Colorado Avalanche for a first-round draft pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft (Tom Wilson) and a second-round pick in either 2012 or 2013.

      In what world would you get anywhere near value for trading Carey Price.
      Does anyone really think he can be traded for a Kane, McDavid, Crosby, Malkin, Burns, Seguin, Karlsson, Tarasenko????
      If you dont get one of those guys, i’m afraid you have made the team worse.

      • Butterface says:

        All valid points. There is no way you will get fair trade value.

        But you can allocate 8 million plus to other areas if, like the Habs seem to have, viable low cost options for the next bunch of years in Lindgren and McNiven.

        First we have to know if these guys will pan out. Lindgren needs to get some NHL seasoning next year while we decide what to do with Carey and his potentially big dollar cost going forward.

        I don’t want to trade him, but also I don’t want to pay him Kane and Toews money.

        ***********************
        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
        ***********************

  17. habsr4ever says:

    So who are our THREE D that we protect now?
    Weber Petry AND ??
    I guess its Benn.

    For all those picking on Weber this season remember his partner for 50ish games was Emelin.
    I am not throwing Emelin under the bus. He had a solid season but he was NEVER a top pairing Dman. Right now he looks like a #y or AHL dman. He is obviously struggling right now and he has had these stretches before in his career. I am confident in him still. Playoffs you need an edge and he’ll be just fine on our second or third pairing.
    N8 scares me just as much if not more than Emelin. Davidson just may be our guy and thank goodness for DD.

    • SmartDog says:

      Notice that none of your picks were developed by the Habs and JJD. NONE. ZILCH. NOT ONE. I really think he’s a big part of the problem.

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

      • ooder says:

        I’ll one up you.
        Out of our entire forward group only Ghallagher has been developed (and even then half a season in the AHL) by the habs system.
        Galchenyuk went straight from Sarnia, and Lehkonen was developed in Europe. For a team building thru the draft, that’s a pretty pathetic record over 5 years

        ——————
        It’s nice that MB got players who hate to lose.
        If only he also got some that could do something about it

    • Danno says:

      He is usually much better than he has been of late. Why isn’t he? Theories include: Emmy is either A – concussed and hiding it, B- has the flu or C- is mad at CJ and decided to make him pay for benching him. I hope it’s B and he’s over it soon.

      ________________________________________

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

      • habsr4ever says:

        I said he has slumps like this pretty much every year since his knee injury. And HAS turned it around. That is why I honestly believe he will. I don’t think it is A or B or C. It is a new system as well. He was removed from the top pairing VERY early in CJ’s tenure and I am sure confidence has LOTS to do with his play right now. The stuff between the ears can be tricky.
        Just my two cents. Perhaps I am hoping but this is not the first time he has been benched and sucked for a while. He is who he is. A #4 dman at best.

      • on2ndthought says:

        He could be sulking because he’s off the top pairing; or suddenly remembering how much there is to do when you are no longer partnered with Shea.

  18. rhino514 says:

    Agreed, Julien made a booboo sitting Beaulieu over Emelin. We may well have won the game in the reverse situation.
    Therrien got a lot of flack but usually when he made this type of decision I was amazed at how often it worked…usually knew instinctively when to play the back-up goalie.
    I don´t want to see Yemmy cost is any more games, let him sit until whatever it is that´s bothering him goes away.

  19. aroma says:

    I’m wondering what has become of Normand Harvey who seems MIA both from here and his excellent blog Restless Ineptitude. Anyone know?

  20. B says:

    After they last won the cup and up to the season before Bergevin took over, the Habs averaged 1.0540 points per game (or 86.435 points per 82 games). Over those 18 season, they got 100 or more points once (2007/08) and missed the playoffs 7 times.

    Since Bergevin took over, the Habs have averaged 1.2115 points per game (or 99.346 points per 82 games). Over those 4 complete season, they got 100 or more points twice and missed the playoffs once.

    If you extrapolate the less than 82 game seasons (1994/95, 2012/13 and 2016/17 so far) to 82 games, then they have 4 seasons of 100 or more points in the 5 seasons since Bergevin took over compared to once in the previous 18 seasons.

    While they haven’t won another cup yet with Bergevin as GM, they rank better overall and are making progress towards that ultimate goal. They’ve gone from a team that typically fought to try and grab one of the last playoff spots to one that’s in the middle of the pack of playoff teams and fighting to climb even higher. They are trending in the right direction IMO.

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • BC (Because of the Cats) says:

      I agree they’re trending in the right direction, but the final steps will likely be the most difficult. Bergevin has improved the team’s depth and made them tougher and harder to play against, but he has done little to add significant offence. We have only two talented offensive players in our system, Charles Hudon and Nikita Scherbak. The progress of both these players has been stalled by injuries; and, in Scherbak’s case, there seems to be an attitude problem as well. We still need a top centre and a scoring winger; adding these players will be very difficult.

      “We gotta lotta dep.”

  21. Desi says:

    Let’s face it — this Habs team (like so many others over the past 24 years) just doesn’t have enough skill. Last night’s tilt vs. CHI showed the difference between a skill-laden team and what we have. CHI players made better passes, completed more passes, moved together as a unit consistently, and buried their good chances. The Habs struggled to make plays, have no power play, miss the net as often as they hit it, and generally don’t execute anywhere near as well as the league’s elite teams. It’s not that they don’t try, I don’t think — or that the coaches aren’t giving them good direction. The skill level just isn’t there to execute well enough to prevail over the league’s better teams. And when you add to that the regularly recurring brain farts on the part of guys like Emelin and Shaw and Petry, it doesn’t lead to good results.

    None of this is likely to change via trades — or via the draft, either, at least in the near-term. A team has to sink very low for multiple years to rebuild via draft picks and MTL fans and management aren’t willing to pay that price.

    I see only one way for this team to become a contender within the next 2-3 years. We would have to trade Carey Price, and have a young replacement available who isn’t expensive but is very good — a tall order. Nobody else on our roster would get us any of the pieces we need in the short-term.

    • habitual says:

      What game did you watch? The PP is sad, the Habs didn’t bury their chances, so yes, execution was an issue. That said, the Habs generated more than the Hawks did and were very competitive against a strong, savvy team. We all know what the game turned on.

      And your solution is to trade Price, but you would mitigate this unmitigated disaster by replacing him with a very good but cheaper goaltender. Why not throw in a leprechaun, a unicorn, and some magic beans?

      • on2ndthought says:

        What will you give me for the unicorn?

      • Loop_G says:

        The trouble with the whole trade Price schtick really comes down to exactly that – you need to trade him to a team that has at the very least a younger top ten goalie to offer in return, or else you are giving up on the next four or five years. If you get that great younger goalie in return, what else are you really going to get back? The market for goalies is not good so you might be able to trade Price and get a goalie and a prospect or pick back, but you are not going to get a huge return. You might save $2 or 2.5 million in salary, but that is about the only advantage.

    • cbhabsfan says:

      And yet if Beaulieu had slotted in instead of Emelin, the Hawks might not have been gifted three goals on a decidely limited number of decent scoring chances.

      The offensively challenged Habs, on the other hand, spent large portions of the evening in the other end, admittedly mostly on theb perimeter, but I don’t think it’s fair to say they are far away from contender status as you make them out to be.

      With Toews, Kane and Keith still viable hockey players, the Hawks are doing a great job out of squeezing every last drop out of the determined tanking strategy that made them three-time Stanley Cup winners in the first place.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I agree, the Habs have been, for a few years, a team that seems to miss the net a lot more than they hit it with their shots. I would give them a bit a latitude right now, Julien needs time to get his full system implemented, and to get to know what each players is capable of.

      I would give them the off season to make a few changes and the pre-season for Julien to have the opportunity to put everything he wants, in place.

      Right now, they are playing pretty well and may make a bit of noise in the play offs.

      Habfan17

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      I’d concur, but then, I’ve been beating this drum for a while now 🙂

      Thanks for helping me to not feel like the lone voice in the wilderness…lol

      Apologies to BC, SingaporeHabsFan, and any others that may have echoed this sentiment at one time or another.

      MB, it’s a hard job, and I know you did your best. I honestly admire the effort, and even your loyalty to MT, Pleks, etc, as misguided as I think it was. But I think it’s someone else’s turn. I hope Molson feels the same.

      _________
      Replace MB

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    So two players miked for a game happen to get in a fight. Was this a staged play fight?

    http://deadspin.com/hockey-players-fight-discuss-their-summer-workout-plan-1793301858

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    Did the rich just get richer?

    Penguins sign College Free Agent Zach Aston-Reese.

    Pens Inside Scoop @PensInsideScoop
    Aston-Reese: “Just their track record over the past few years with what they’ve been able to do with bringing in college guys was big.” -MC

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Ryan-Wilson/Learning-more-about-Zach-Aston-Reese/177/83767

    • cbhabsfan says:

      This is one of the fews ways you can add cheap, top-tier talent to your roster in the modern cap era.

      Just look what Vesey did for the Rangers this year.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree, and if Pittsburgh can keep getting these players, they can afford to keep using their 25th – 31st overall draft pick for rentals.

        • cbhabsfan says:

          It must be nice to be a fan of teams like the Pens and the Rangers, where free agents actually contact those teams first, just to see if they might have a spot open for them.

          Meanwhile, we have to pull off desperate strategies like signing a KHL bad boy if we want to acquire quality without giving up quality to get it.

          Glad that one worked out, though. Hate to think where we’d be now otherwise…

    • Habfan17 says:

      Dallas has also signed a college UFA.
      http://www.tsn.ca/stars-sign-ncaa-standout-d-bayreuther-1.696899

      Bergevin needs to be more aggressive with this. I remember reading how the Habs had a scout just for U.S. Colleges. I hope he is going to add Shipachev this off season, but a couple of high end college UFA’s would sure help add some depth.

      Habfan17

      • cbhabsfan says:

        Does anyone know Shipachv’s contract situation with SKA? It sounded like he was really hoping to sign an NHL deal before the KHL figured out a convoluted way to keep him in Russia.

        If he signs with anyone in the NHL next season, it could very well be us. He’s a great player and Bergevin has enough Russians on his roster to make him feel rigtht at home…

        • Habfan17 says:

          No idea. I thought I had read earlier this season, he would be available to sign at the end of this KHL season. I had also read, that in the past, the KHL has asked for “release” money to be paid, and NHL teams are not allowed to do this and need to be creative.

          Hopefully Bergevin can sign him and trade Pleks for an extra pick.

          Habfan17

        • GrimJim says:

          If I remember correctly he is in the second year of a two year deal. The wrinkle last summer was that the contract had a clause where if he notified the team he could opt out of the second year and be free to play in the NHL. He gave SKA the notice but then the team said the window to notify them had passed and he had to stay in the KHL.

          • Habfan17 says:

            Thanks!

            Habfan17

          • HabinBurlington says:

            As soon as i see you say “If I remember correctly” I know it’s going to be accurate. You got a good memory Jim, hope you are well.

            I do think he is complete fair game this summer, let’s hope Radu can help woo him over here.

  24. habsfan0 says:

    “In his postgame press conference, Claude Julien declined to single Emelin out for criticism.”
    Of course, if MT was still the coach, and PK was still a Hab who had just experienced that type of a game, this would not have been the case.

  25. Habnormal says:

    Someone mentioned trying Beaulieu on forward. I like this idea. Maybe he turns into Mark Streit. He cannot be any less productive than say Mitchell Flynn King Ott or Pleks, can he???

  26. montreal ace says:

    Its hard to compete against the Hawks, when a player like Campbell takes less then half the money, he was offered in Florida. Emilin is a stay at home dman, he should go back to that style and stop with the pinches. Habs played a good game, against Crawford who is no slouch. Crawford spent 5 years in the AHL, before really getting more then a sniff at the NHL level, the man knows his trade. Weber what a shot, the safest guy on the ice when he shoots is Price

    • cbhabsfan says:

      Campbell was always going to resign with the Hawks, but I’ll admit I was surprised that the deal was as cheap as it was.

      But it was a perfect match between team and player otherwise: Campbell is 37 and had a long and successful run with the Hawks until his whopper contract became too big a burden on their cap and he was moved to Florida.

      With the contract expiring and the Hawks needing help on their left side, like they do every year, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that something would be worked out between the two sides.

  27. SmartDog says:

    There’s something weirdly soft about this team.

    Is it just me or do players on other teams LOOK more competitive just in how they carry themselves? Last night they were panning the Chicago bench and they look tough and confident. Montreal’s bench looked like college kids. And then they settled on Emelin and for what seemed like minutes he stared blankly into space.

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

    • powdered toastman says:

      Maybe a manifestation of the perennially soff culture which defined the franchise through the late nineties, and into the millennium perpetrated by Houle/Gainey/Goat (incl. The Count/MT era)…with the odd exception ie Staubitz/Sheldon/Prust/Whitey etc.nyuck nyuck

    • Phil C says:

      It would probably be the other way if the Habs were winning and things were going their way. Also, Chicago are hot right now, Montreal are up and down, so that body language is not completely surprising. Emelin knows he’s struggling.

      On one of the “Road to the NHL Winter Classic” shows, I was impressed with Babcock who was telling his players not to hang their head after a loss. He said something like, “Hey, don’t hang your heads, if you played hard there’s nothing to be ashamed of, c’mon, be proud.” That’s good coaching when you are tuned into their body language.

      • SmartDog says:

        I agree that’s good coaching.

        It’s more than body language, it’s the faces. We don’t have the hungry/cocky looking guys that other teams have. That sounds weird I know. It looks that way to me though.

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

  28. cbhabsfan says:

    It was kind of frustrating to watch Johnny Oduya play nearly 22 minutes of error-free hockey against the Habs last night, particularly since we were supposedly kicking the tires on him long before the trade deadline.

    I guess the pricetag – mid-level prospect Mark McNeill and a conditional fourth round pick – was too steep for our notoriously frugal GM.

    Too bad. Even at this late stage of his career, Oduya is a solid second-pairing talent who could probably even do a reasonabale job next to Weber on the first pairing, considering the current competition.

    We all know that in a perfect world Markov would be a better fit on the second pairing with Petry than as Weber’s sidekick on the top pairing. But there just isn’t anyone else that can be trusted with the job right now.

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      +1
      _________
      Replace MB

    • on2ndthought says:

      When you go fishing, you don’t land every fish. I’ll take Benn over Oduya. Don’t forget Oduya has 3 years experience playing with Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson.

      • habitual says:

        Smart, On2.

      • cbhabsfan says:

        I’m well aware of how well Benn has been playing, O2T, and I’m pleasantly surprised with what he’s brought to table. He’s solidified the third pairing on the right side, and I would argue that that’s exactly where where he should be.

        But I think it’s equally obvious we also needed someone who could provide us with more on the left side, and Oduya certainly looks like he would have been a nice upgrade on the left side second pairing, at the very least.

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          I don’t see why it’s either Benn or Oduya. Why can’t both be had?

          If there’s not enough to give to get both (doubt it), then why can’t it be Oduya, as agreed, the left side is in more need?

          _________
          Replace MB

  29. myron.selby says:

    All this whining about Bergevin not trading to get scoring help. I keep reading that you can trade for offensive help and the examples cited are almost always Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. Well, Edmonton wasn’t willing to take on PK’s contract and I doubt Boston would ever trade with Montreal.

    Other than these 2, how many genuine first line forwards have changed teams since MB took over in Montreal? If there are dozens of these trades made then there is a legitimate complaint to be made. If on the other hand, there are only 4 or 5 guys moved since MB took over, then it is ludicrous to hold it as a failing on MB’s part that he hasn’t been able to do what no other GM has managed either.

    • ooder says:

      gee I wonder why PK’s contract was so steep.
      oh right MB played hardball with PK and PK just went out and won the norris.

      in the last 5 years these players have been moved: Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, ROR, Ryan Johansen, Phil Kessel, Ryan Kesler, Jason Spezza, Marion Gaborik, Rick Nash, Martin St Louis, Ryan Callahan, Mika Zibanjead, Carl Haglein
      Right before MB took over:
      Jeff Carter, Jakub Voracek

      oh and this is just off the top of my head without any research

      ——————
      It’s nice that MB got players who hate to lose.
      If only he also got some that could do something about it

      • habitual says:

        Carter was traded from CLB because he never got over being traded from Philly, Taylor Hall didn’t fetch much, St Louis for Callahan was done because St Louis was in a snit not being picked for the Olympic Team, and was at the end of his career. Seguin was traded before he became the player he is now, and the Bs got Eriksson back. Hagelin? Really? And that’s just off the top of my head. Most of the trades you site are several years old, and has been pointed out ad infinitem, big trades are rare these days due.

        • ooder says:

          always an excuse for why other teams find players who can put the puck in the net, but for MB it’s just too gosh darn difficult.
          okay then

          ——————
          It’s nice that MB got players who hate to lose.
          If only he also got some that could do something about it

      • Phil C says:

        When you look at the price paid for all these trades, how many could the Habs even have competed on? We didn’t have anything better than Seth Jones to offer for Ryan Johansen, for example. Most of these trades were made to the other conference, which is common for big stars, you don’t want to play them 4-6 times a year. Some of these guys had no trade clauses they probably wouldn’t waive to go to Montreal, like Nash. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Habs had nothing better to offer on any of those deals you listed.

        Trading only works when you have surplus assets anyway. They Habs have not been in that boat for a while. Even the PK trade was a lateral move. It might take them another few years before they have a surplus of talent that’s tradeable.

        • habitual says:

          It’s too bad players’ No Trade lists aren’t public domain, because I think it would be an unpleasant surprise to see how many players don’t want to go to Canadian teams in general, and Montreal in particular. It might even dampen the criticism MB gets (ok, that’s a stretch.)

  30. Sir Lance Compte says:

    In my opinion Pleks has been a warrior with this team for many many years and was brought up thru our system. I know his salary is too much but I think we owe him this last year even as a third / fourth line Center, penalty kill etc. As well it’s going to be tough to deal him

    • sakuknows says:

      If we thought King was “shocked to be traded” wait until Pleks lands in a new city. Unless he’s paired with Jagr (maybe Vegas?) poor guy is gonna be in a world of hurt.

      He’s been nothing short of great for us through his career. Not his fault he got PAID!

      • kalevine says:

        Yes he has contributed mightily in the regular season over the years. Although that seemed to end right after he got his extension. That is his fault.
        in the playoffs his performance does not even rate “Fallen warrior”.
        The ironic in me says that he will have his best playoff run ever this year, but even that won’t be nearly good enough

        • sakuknows says:

          Funny how most on here defend Weber with the “He’s always on team Canada” argument. Which truth be told I’m also a believer in. But when it comes to pleks, who often Captains a very good Czech roster (over the likes of Elias, Jagr, Kreji, etc) the love is so easily lost for him.

  31. Habs62 says:

    Anyone who defends Emelin and says it’s a concussion is why he is playing so poorly is truly fooling themselves. Emelin peak was prior to the knee injury a few years back. Since then he has had moments of good play but his typical play involves unexplained lapses in judgement. As Burly said for people that said Eller had a low hockey IQ what would Emelins look like … ouch I agree. He is at best a 5/6 right now he should sit until he gets some of his head together. In an ideal world we could make a deal with Vegas take Emelin and Pleks we will pay $2m salary and we sweeten with a pick. $10m is just being wasted and a player like Hudon and Sergachev could do much better

    • Loop_G says:

      When Sergachev was up here at the beginning of the year he was not better than Emelin, who had a good start to the year. Serge was not ready at all, but has been brilliant in the OHL and will likely be on the team next year. Hudon deserves a shot and could replace (likely) Pleks offense but not his experience or leadership. Vegas at best could only take one of the two, hopefully we can convince them to take Emelin along with a pick. I think Pleks will be around next year, unless someone like Arizona needs to make the salary floor and takes him.

    • MustardTiger1337 says:

      Emelin has looked great all season, especially playing out side his skill level.

      Couple issues in the last couple games but if you think our D is better with out him your wrong

  32. LeaveTheCoachAlone says:

    How wild is this stretch drive right now. Tampa is 12-3-2 in there last 15.

    Montreal could just as easily play them, as Boston, Ottawa or NY.

    If Boston doesn’t stop the Flames 10 game winning streak, and Tampa beats the Leafs tomorrow night.

    Tampa will be 1 point behind the Bruins.

    Montreal plays Tampa twice in April too.

    Again I don’t see at this point Montreal not making the playoffs, but they could fall all the way to third and have a first round matchup on the road starting in Tampa.

    Hold on to your buckets, theres going to be some emotional moments the next few weeks.

  33. Sir Lance Compte says:

    Would like to see Martinson in over King. Has contributed nothing and seems very slow and not that aggressive. And enough of E melon anybody but him on D. E melon….? should catch on?

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    I know some can’t stand him, but a nice 2 min. blurb from Cherry on what HNIC means.

    https://youtu.be/FLbic4gzY7s

    • FenceSurfer says:

      As a genuine “frog” by birth you’d think I’d be one to take “O”fense (as a long expat I’m just trying to add the Canadian flavor in pronunciation through spelling) to Cherry. I never did.

      There are many times my brain synapse took a step back at things he said, especially on his obvious Xenophobic and or near racist views where his mouth probably ran faster than his “neighborly” commonsense, but it never clouded my ears to his sharp insight and astute observations regarding game strategy and …whatnot.

      I’m drunk?

    • The Gumper says:

      Thanks for posting HiB, great stuff!
      HNIC will always be something special to me, some of my fondest memories…

  35. on2ndthought says:

    So, as WAS stumbles, we can hope they stumble out in the first round of the playoffs, and our second round pick becomes a valuable commodity.

  36. DipsyDoodler says:

    (Sung to the tune of Guantanamera)

    Post when we’re losing
    You only post when we’re losing
    Post when we’re losing
    You only post when we’re losing.

    —–

  37. bwoar says:

    @ Donny B

    Lernout is making progress but it’s incremental. His offense is only starting to come alive recently – but his defensive game has grown much more solid this year. His penalty numbers are down and he’s made a decent effort to become a steady-eddy as a 21 year old. I think he’s two years away. He’s not a great fighter, and he’s gonna have to train crazy in order to skate well at 220 if he makes it there.
    He’s played every game this year and that’s encouraging. Next year I hope we see his shot become a bit more of a weapon, but that’s less important than becoming the top RD by the end of the year. With Redmond back there now there’s stiffer competition.

    The ‘Caps are in a total dogfight with Utica for the last playoff spot in the North division, so expect decisions to be made with that in mind. Another good reason not to move Terry or Hudon right now, either.

  38. sakuknows says:

    If you were to choose between any of the following D men to have for their entire career, given their body and work and perhaps potential would you choose weber of any of them?

    In no particular order:
    PK, Burns, Karlsson, Ekblad, Hedman, Doughty, Keith

    Are any of these guys NOT franchise building material? Is Weber?

    • habsr4ever says:

      I would take Weber over Ekblad and PK no problem what so ever. And yes you can build a franchise around Shea. Nashville did.
      Weber was on the top pairing of team Canada and had an A on his jersey.
      Nuff said.

    • bwoar says:

      Ekblad is in tough as far as I’m concerned, called up so soon.

      The only franchise you can build on PK is the Pernell Karl Subban Foundation. Formidable but it’s not a hockey team.

      Burns and Karlsson are in their own league. You can build a franchise on them. I really want to put Hedman in this group but just can’t, yet.

      Hedman, Doughty, Keith and Weber all qualify in the same area: #1 D but it’s the difference between J. Toews and Patrick Kane.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Man 3 documented concussions and the last 2 within 6 months. Very worried about that young man.

        I think Karlsson is in a league of his own when you consider how soon he has become dominant and we see how lacking his support cast is in comparison to what Doughty, Keith, Burns get.

        Weber is a stud, if flash is what drives people to like a dmen then he will never deliver the goods those are looking for. Young Sergachev should be able to bring some dynamo to the ice.

        Hedman is indeed darn close if not already in that upper echelon.

    • Cheech says:

      Burns,Burns, Burns and Burns.

  39. I_Am_Second says:

    Price is smart enough to see that MB will not build a Cup team or should I say incapable of building a Cup team!
    Price wants a Cup so he will not sign in Montreal …

    “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      And you are assuming that there is a list of teams that are willing/capable of giving him what he wants and the term he wants, that are also Cup contenders?

    • sakuknows says:

      And his $10mil/year ask will surely handcuff whatever team he signs with in the exact same way. Good luck to that team and their GM building their contender!

  40. fastfreddy says:

    The Habs will have to be lucky in the draft in order to pick up a goal scorer, MB is not going to get them one in a trade. That’s the only way they find a scorer, luck in the draft. Cross your fingers……….

  41. on2ndthought says:

    The constant carping here is that Bergevin has done nothing in 5 years to address the top six. It is an anagram of carp.

    Pretty much his first move was to give Max Pacioretty a long term contract, one of the best moves he made. Since then he signed Gallagher to a long term and DD to a medium term deal at decent cap hits. Galchenyuk is his next target and likely won’t be a bargain.

    Bergevin, since taking over, drafted Galchenyuk, Collberg, Bozon, (Hudon), (McCarron), Lehkonen, Reway, Andrighetto, Scherbak, Audette, (Vejdemo),Bitten

    Those in parenthesis may never be top six, the rest are developing, because, unless you’re drafting top 2 or 3, NHLers take time to develop. Most may never make the NHL, which is the reality of the NHL draft. You can argue better top six were available for him. He certainly could have drafted Jost, Brown, McLeod, Kunin or Bellows this year to address the position. That’s exactly what a poor GM would have done.

    So, in the meantime, without touching his core he trades for/signs: PAP, Briere, Vanek, Semin, Radulov, Kassian, Fleischman. Not much success there aside from Radulov; injuries, age were risks he was aware of, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    The truth you seem unable to see, or argue conclusively against, is that Bergevin is taking the astute and prudent path to building a contender, given the presence of a game changing goalie. Of course it may not work, but there is nothing resembling evidence to say it shouldn’t.

    • habsr4ever says:

      well said.
      one cup out of 30 teams.
      We were so far behind the Hawks and Kings and Pens when he started it was insane.
      Bad contracts and cap issues and no prospects and just finished 28th over all.
      Yup snap your finger and win a cup in 5 years with no Sid or Kane or Malkin or Kopitar or Toews or Seabrook or Keith or Letang or Doughty and no first over all picks since he arrived. Yup he should have won a cup by now…..really people? Playstation. We can add Sid or a top super star up front with the prospects we have. Hello – these guys are not available unless we get first over all picks.
      Peeps wanted Duchy….well there are reasons HE is available….how did he turn the Avs around? Koggy? Same thing. Why over pay for THESE guys when they can’t do it with the Avs? Why give up Chevy for this? Way to go Bergy in not biting.
      Bergy is a top 5 GM in my books for what he has accomplished so far.

    • Cheech says:

      Hey …Radulov is beast …as good as OVIE in my estimations

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      “Of course it may not work, but there is nothing resembling evidence to say it shouldn’t.”

      Well, I’d say the evidence is in the makeup of the recent Cup winners, teams that are characterized by offensive talent (Pens and Hawks) as opposed to superlative goaltending. And the fact the Habs under MB have never been favored to win the Cup, nor reached the Cup final.

      Not enough time you say? Five years now, does he need seven? Eight? Does the team look like it’s trending toward a Cup? Or has there been some discussion that, aside from Price’s heroics, this team looks middling, and headed downhill?

      There seems to be a concerted effort to discourage those malcontents, nellies, etc. from posting today, lots of tripe about how this Habs club skated with the powerhouse Hawks, and how we’re only one or two players away from being in their level.

      Really?

      That’s not what I saw last night. I saw a team down 3-0, that had no answer to the Hawks steady, opportunistic play. That got a few desperate goals late in the game, which is becoming a regular feature as trailing is the new norm.

      Yup, this is a preview of the Cup playoffs. But not the finals.

      _________
      Replace MB

      • Loop_G says:

        Every few years a team wins a cup a certain way and then everyone says “that’s the type of team you need to win a cup”. Everyone tries that for a couple years and then someone wins in a completely different way.

        The fact is there is no one way to win a cup other than outscoring your opponent. You can reach that objective in a bunch of different way though. One of the keys to success that every winner has is a top goalie, hands down the most important component of every team.

        The habs this year are not in that upper echelon of 5 or 6 elite teams. They are not that far off with a couple key additions in the off-season, but in a seven game series, against any team in the league, the habs have at least a fighting chance. This team should make the second round, maybe the third but not likely to get all the way this year.

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          Sounds reasonable.

          But I again present my own idea that a hockey game is like a tug of war.

          Big guys that can really pull are your scorers. They can help you win the game.

          Little guys that can’t really pull, but make it harder for the other team to win, they’re your defenders, bottom 6, shot-blockers.

          The goalie? He’s your anvil anchor. BUT, he has no pulling power. He can’t score.

          Pens and Hawks have big guys. Caps and Minny this year too, which is why they’re in the mix when talking about Cup favorites. Sharks last year had guys that could pull, got to the Cup final.

          Habs have the biggest anvil in Price.

          That’s it.

          _________
          Replace MB

          • on2ndthought says:

            Max, Chuck, Rads.

          • Gerry Pigeon says:

            Yup, Max, Chucky, Rads.

            Max is proven, Chucky will get there, and Rads may not even stay.

            Not quite Toews/Kane, or Crosby/Malkin (and Kessel! bastards…), but we play the hand we’re dealt…

            Can MB get us a better hand? 🙂

            Wonder if Julien Brisebois is good at cards? 🙂

            _________
            Replace MB

      • on2ndthought says:

        Last night you saw a usually steady d-man make bonehead play after bonehead play, against a team you have to be at your best to beat. New d scheme throwing him off? I honestly think it was just a horrid performance; like he had money on the Hawks.

        Comparing the Habs to the Hawks, Pens, Leafs is patently unfair. If you want, then go back to Gainey/Gauthier, who chose to ‘compete now’; trading picks and prospects to stay in contention.

        MB has turned that around, but didn’t promise pain, is still doing all he can to be competitive, just not trading away the future to do so.

        You can argue anything you want, but data concludes unequivocally that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          “…data concludes unequivocally…” ? 🙂

          All I see on HIO is a bunch of passionate Habs fans making their cases, some in a sensible way, sometimes with the backing of well-chosen stats, occasionally even appropriately applied! 🙂

          I’d be willing to go this far:

          MB hasn’t overpaid, which I agree is just a formula for futility.

          But while MB may not acknowledge the existence of a window, time stands still for no one. It may be true that other teams have had the benefit of numerous years of suckitude to accumulate the offensive talent they have, and that there’s no guarantee that if we go that route, we will reap the same result.

          But it also seems apparent, five years into MB’s reign, that while this slow and steady approach may have inched us a little closer, it’s not going at the rate we need before key players on this team see their performances decline due to age, and we’re not any closer to getting the offence we need to compete. Our approach to Cup contention seems to have crested two years ago, and now we’re headed downhill again…

          Maybe slow and steady might win the race if we could stop time, and maybe a tank and accumulate draft talent for years is a risky idea that’s unpalatable to many, but it’s obvious something different has to be tried. Either MB has to learn to wheel and deal on a larger scale, or the tank scenario might not be a choice, but something thrust upon this team.

          _________
          Replace MB

          • on2ndthought says:

            I agree GP. The tank scenario may be thrust upon us. I just hope Molson is a smart enough hockey guy to keep MB, TT and gang in place if it happens.

            This place would be a riot through an intentional tank; which is what half of last year turned into. Now imagine 6 or seven years of that!

            Imagine the derision from Sens and Leafs fans? Well, it would be a new experience, but one I’m prepared intellectually, if not emotionally, for.

      • on2ndthought says:

        Ken Holland says you need seven years to evaluate a GM. Even then, context is important.

        Is Stan Bowman a good GM? Well, he certainly became GM at an opportune time. He took over a team out of the playoffs and horrible for 9 of 10 years.

        After they had drafted: Keith, Hjarmarlsson, Seabrook, Byfuglien, Brouwer, Bickell, Bolland, Crawford (Pulford), Toews, Kane (Tallon).

        HE’s the genius, the Stanley Cup winner, the son of Scotty.

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          Yup, agreed, context is important.

          Can’t remember who posted that the immediate success of Chucky and Gally and the Habs bounce back, kind of put MB between a rock and a hard place. No more good draft picks to help accumulate some nice talent, and an accelerated timeline and expectations to Cup contention.

          Maybe I’m too hard on MB, who I agree has done a good job in not giving up the future to get the present. But I think he’s starting to learn that if you’re not bold, if you don’t make significant changes to the club fast enough, and take a little risk, your team can start to slide backwards faster than you can build it up slow and steady.

          MB reminds me of the guy who thinks he can get rich by stockpiling money. You have to invest in good stocks MB. Inflation eats at your money as fast as you can accumulate it, especially at the rate you’re doing so. The risk isn’t in investing in your future, the risk is being so afraid to make a mistake that you don’t do anything.

          _________
          Replace MB

      • toneez says:

        Really Gerry …

        All I see posted from you are negatives about the team and trade Price , you know there are 29 other teams to root for if you do not like the Habs or Price far as I can guess they’re both around at least for a while , Just saying … Gerry

        All Habs all the Time

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          Sigh 🙂

          How many times must I repeat I love my Habs and I love Carey Price?

          Your viewpoint says in order to do that correctly, I must NOT critique the team.

          I’d love to get to that point, like when they were winning four Cups in a row in the 70’s.

          Of course, even then, I was still pissed as a kid if Dryden didn’t get a shutout against a bottom dweller, or if the Habs didn’t rack up the goals against the Dead Things… 🙂

          Well, I guess I will continue to call them as I see them, and you will continue to tell me I can cheer for another team.

          Finally, here’s a couple of points to mollify you 🙂

          I do think MB has been good at not overpaying, at not mortgaging the future for a shot at the present (thankfully, I was worried at this deadline).

          I do think that some posters have a point that MB’s solidified the depth.

          I give MB credit for finally realizing MT had to go, and for seizing upon CJ when the opportunity arose. I’m sure it was a difficult decision to fire your friend.

          And I admire MB’s loyalty, even when I thought it was misguided. From always considering who really owns this team (the francophone fans) and paying heed to their wishes, to consistently providing a competitive team to ensure the guy who takes all the financial risks is rewarded (Molson), MB has done a solid job on these fronts.

          But I want more 🙂

          Now that I see a reasonable man in the GM’s chair and an owner that professes to higher ambitions, I’d like to see some risk taking to make the moves to get this team to the Holy Grail. I’d like to see concrete evidence that this GM that doesn’t believe in windows, really does understand they exist, and is now willing to roll the dice to get there.

          Isn’t it better to try and fail, than be too afraid to try at all?
          _________
          Replace MB

  42. DDPKS says:

    “Was that a Stanley Cup preview?”

    Can we retire this question? Who is even remotely optimistic that this is a possibility this season?


    DDPKS: An embrace that can never be broken.

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

  43. CHerry Picker says:

    Did Anyone else notice the look on Petry’s face after the third Goal against (I think it was the third)?? He was pissed.. Petry was playing the right side and pressing the Hawks down the boards with the puck . He played his man well. Puck slid past him and who was right there to Petry left ? His d partner ,Emelin. Thirty feet out of position. No D wants to play with this guy when he’s struggling. The first goal he some how got the wrong side of his coverage and the second one was a very poor attempt to keep the puck In Chicago’s end . JJD needs to sit down with Emelin and a translator and explain what we want and need from him going forward…

  44. Max says:

    I doubt Dwight King would make the Meadow Lake beer team. Talk about the league being watered down. The league needs to get back to 24 teams maximum and get players like King out of the league.Emelin is completely out of it these days as well.Something’s not right with him.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I disagree. You’re way too negative.

      King would easily make the Meadow Lake beer team.

      Remember, they don’t play hockey. They only drink beer.

      —–

  45. G4be says:

    Anyone else saw 24CH last night? Man, I didn’t know so many things have to happen just to make a trade and MB is walking down the hallway asking everyone if its all good. Then when its past deadline, MB is all happy of what he did and I’m sitting there thinking, you forgot to grab a scorer on your way out…

    Win is a win, but I hope we win.


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