About last night … Rangers even series with 2-1 win

No mystery to it.

The more desperate team won.

And let’s hope we see some level of home-team desperation at the Bell Centre Thursday night, because it would ill behoove the Canadiens to be facing elimination in Game 6 at Madison Square Garden.

Tuesday night at MSG, the home team just wanted it more. 

The Rangers dominated most statistical categories, and the one-goal margin of victory is deceptive.

As it was, the Canadiens withstood extended periods of Rangers domination in their own end without surrendering any goals.

They lost because of turnovers.

Andrei Markov – who NEVER makes a mistake – coughed one up to Jesper Fast, who got the home team on the board and brought the crowd to life.

Then, after Torrey Mitchell converted a perfect feed from Shea Weber to tie it at 1-1 late in the firs period, Rick Nash took advantage of chaos in the Canadiens’ zone – and poor effort by the Canadiens’ Captain – to steer the winning goal through Carey Price’s legs.

The Canadiens made it exciting.

After being bottled up for most of the third period, the trailing team generated pressure with an extra attacker. Weber clanged one off the post past Henrik Lundqvist, but the surge was too little, too late.

Claude Julien, in his postgame press conference telecast on RDS, described the Canadiens’ second period as “a real poor outing”.

“The second period hurt us,” the coach added. “We didn’t play well.”

The middle period began with the Canadiens on a power play. They failed to get a single shot on Lundqvist.

Shortly thereafter, Julien juggled his lines. Andrew Shaw moved up with Phillip Danault and Max Pacioretty. Alexander Radulov played with Alex Galchenyuk and Arthur Lehkonen.

The first line didn’t generate much. Pacioretty was particularly invisible.

The rejigged second line had some chances, and perhaps we’ll see them together in Game 5.

“Some nights you get some breaks, some nights you don’t,” Julien said. “We need to be better. They were a better team than they were the other night, and we weren’t as good.”

Credit the Rangers for a terrific effort in all three zones. They outshot and outhit the Canadiens, who spent extended periods pinned in their own end.

In his press conference, Alain Vigneault pinpointed his team’s smarter puck placement on dump-ins. Don’t put it near Carey Price, and make the defencemen deal with an aggressive forecheck.

The pressure wore the D down.

A telling stat: Markov’s turnover on the Fast goal was one of his FIVE cough-ups.

Again, it was not a great game for the Canadiens’ blue line corps. The Antichambre guys dumped all over Brandon Davidson, but I thought it was Beaulieu, his D partner, who struggled.

Let’s hope Alexei Emelin has been frequenting St. Joseph’s Oratory. 

 •  •  •

Comment on the Liveblog by Woodzie:

Great to see Max Pac playing at his usual playoff pace… gliding, lazy and completely ineffective. If he manages to get the puck an inch over the blueline, the Rangers never take that 2-1 lead. The second he failed to get it out, I knew NY was scoring. I’d have no problem seeing the Captain and King sit next game.

And from dickanddanny:

This may sound cliché but tonight the Habs really never got one bounce. Absolutely no luck tonight.

Examples; Shaw’s break-away attempt was an inch higher it was a goal, Gallagher’s deflection from in the crease from Plekanec pass that just dies instead of deflecting in, Galchenyuk shot from the slot that beats Lundquist 5 hole, but the puck trickles wide, and then of course there was Weber’s cannon off the post clearly beating Lundquist with just about a minute left in the game.

Rangers got two flukey goals on lucky bounces off of bad clearing attempts by our D.

Next game the LUCK will be on the Habs side.



  1. boing007 says:

    The Habs could have/should have put the Rangers away last night. They didn’t. Shame on those players who didn’t take the game seriously enough.

    Richard R

  2. Habs62 says:

    That’s one of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time on here. Packaging Pacioretty to the Isles might make great sense for them too as it pushes their issue out an extra year and saves them a million for 2 years. I wonder what that package would have to look like.

  3. RightNyder says:

    Game 5: King, Flynn or McCarron?

  4. RightNyder says:

    Don’t get why everyone gets so wound up over ‘player bashing’.

    It’s what we do. The Internet gives us a place to barf out our thoughts in real time, whereas we normally would have kept them to ourselves.

    Remember watching a game when you were a kid and thinking to yourself “geezus, Lupien sucks” or “Larouche is one lazy, talented mofo”? You might share some thoughts with your buddies, but that was usually well after the fact, and you were a often little more measured in your thoughts at that point.

    I find relentless Pollyannaism just as annoying as trolls crawling out from under their rock every time something goes slightly wrong. But it’s all part of the deal that is today’s fandom. There were always lots of stupid fans, it’s just now we get to hear from all of them. Just the way it is.

    Perimeter Patches might have 19 shots on goal, but we need production. Playoff Shaw has a six-year contract and may be rough and tumble and be fun in the room, but he has fewer playoff points than Tanner Glass and Tom Wilson. It’s fair to bash that lack of production.

    They’ll both probably be factors before seven games are out, and we’ll all be relatively happy. Until they suck for another couple of games. Then we’ll be all over them. Just the way it is.

    • D Mex says:

      C’mon, this is HI/O !
      – if you don’t love it, by default you hate it.
      – when you’re insecure in expressing a point of view,
      use the words everyone or no one.
      – if it isn’t all, it just has to be nothing.

      ” Bashing ” ? pfft – small patates.

      • RightNyder says:

        I sometimes get a kick out of the lack of middle ground.

        One in a blue moon, you can engage in some actual hockey conversation with someone who has an opposing viewpoint. And also once in a blue moon, some of those opposing positions have even been so convincing, it’s helped alter my own views, which I actually appreciate.

        But mostly, you’ll get overrun by the marauding hordes of knobs who see only love or hate, so I amuse myself by talking about how DD inflames my loins.

        As long as everyone comes from a position of wanting the team to win, it’s all good fun.

  5. Habs62 says:

    Time to let go of ALN

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    I think a great deal of folks here should be happy that tomorrow is 4/20 on the calendar. Great deal of angst over Max and the Habs it seems.

    • RightNyder says:

      As the captain and titular leader of the team, I think the angst re: Pacioretty is well-founded.
      In 36 career playoff games, he has 10-9-19 totals.
      At what point does “there’s no way you trade a 35-goal man on a cheap contract” become “man, he’s a stud when it really counts?”
      And if that doesn’t happen, where does that leave the team?

      All that said, I fully expect both he and Shaw to hit the scoresheet in a significant way in the next three games. If they don’t it promises to be one interesting off-season of whining.

  7. B says:

    Аrpon Basu Tweets:

    Alexei Emelin is on the ice in Brossard with Habs extras Nesterov, Flynn, Martinsen and McCarron.

    Claude Julien does not rule out Alexei Emelin playing tomorrow. A lot of evaluation between now and then, but didn’t rule it out.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  8. The Gumper says:

    Happy to see all the Max bashing on here today.
    That means he’ll pot a couple tomorrow night…

    • Don Birnam says:

      Yes. It is a Bashing Climax.
      Hat trick for Max coming up.

      • Timo says:

        Pacioretty’s hat-trick is

        1. Gliding on the ice
        2. Waving his stick
        3. Making post game excuses

        • Habsbill24 says:

          Let’s all bash the team’s best goal scorer and captain That should all help the cause. Let’s all praise Gallagher who gives maximum effort night after night, but for all that effort has the same number of goals as Max. Let’s forget about all the other passengers on this team that night after night come up empty on the score sheet. Frankly from the posts it looks like amateur hour on HIO by people who know little about hockey and have little historical perspective.

          • RightNyder says:

            How does it help the cause to stroke him instead?
            How about fans be fans in whatever way they choose?

  9. cbhabsfan says:

    One last post before heading off to work (ugh):

    We are now in a best of three situation, starting at home and finishing at home. The deck is stacked in our favour.

    Our goaltender, arguably the best in the world, has been playing at the top of his game for close to two months now and hardly looks to be slowing down.

    His opponent, on the other hand, is an aging superstar who had a mediocre season but has somehow managed to channel an earlier and better version of himself for the past four games.

    If one of them is suddenly going to falter even slightly in the stretch run, I’m betting it’s the guy who unexpectedly rediscovered his game.

    • BC (Because of the Cats) says:

      Nice to be optimistic, but I wouldn’t count on it. Lundqvist is playing extremely well. No doubt he still has bad memories of last year’s playoffs, when he was terrible. He’s determined to redeem himself. And the Rangers had the best road-record in the League during the regular season.

      “We gotta lotta dep.”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Interesting how the two veteran goalies with the most question marks headed into post season (Rinne / Lundqvist) are both playing as well as ever it seems.

  10. unclefester says:

    London Knights defenceman Victor Mete will be reporting to the St. John’s IceCaps pronto. The team singed Mete to an amateur tryout contract after his London Knights were eliminated by the Erie Otters last night.

    Like Mikhail Sergachev, Mete is just 18 and he is probably the best/fastest skater in the Habs young talent pool.

    Be interesting to see how much ice time he gets with the IceCaps in their playoff run.

    Join me won’t you please in wishing him nothing but the very best…

    …”in rapier-like fashion”… Danny Gallivan…

  11. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Max deserves to get bashed for his defensive play on the winning goal. That was horrible. If Chucky did that, he would be getting destroyed today. Aside from that, Max is what he is. He’s not Wayne Simmonds. He is a sniper who plays a speed and shoot game. If it wasn’t for his goal scoring in Dec-Feb, the team would not be here. He’s just not going to bash and smash like Rads. It’s not in him. MB says that you need players that get you to the playoffs and through the playoffs. Max has proven he can get you to the playoffs…through is still uncertain.

    • cbhabsfan says:

      “If it wasn’t for his goal scoring in Dec-Feb, the team would not be here.”

      And neither would we.

      • dickanddanny says:

        So what happened to him since Dec/Feb?

        I guess Carrie Price and the 18 other players who comprise the roster have no business being here now and we should all just kiss Max a**.

        That’s BS and everyone knows it.

        “back to you Dick”

        • cbhabsfan says:

          He’s done plenty since then and everyone who follows the Habs knows it. And this series is just four games in. At least two more games to go, perhaps three.

          Pacioretty may well have something more positive to contribute to the final outcome before all is said and done.

  12. dickanddanny says:

    I’ve said this before and I will say it again about Pacioretty, when he is engaged in the game and not afraid of going into the corners, the front of the net, or of being hit in general, he is at his best. When he plays peripherally, like he has been he is no good.

    Last night I watched in amazement as he let another player go to the boards in the defensive zone and play a puck which was about 5 feet in front of him while he just stood there and watched. Frozen. Waiting for someone else to go and play the puck which was ‘his’ puck to play. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing especially from an NHL player , but then I thought, “yes I have seen this before”, and it is primarily and only from him.

    The Chara hit definitely changed this player. The will is there but the mind is not sometimes.

    I know as Captain he has to make post game remarks, especially after a loss, but would it not be totally refreshing for him to instead of saying the team need to do this and that to just flat out say, “I need to be better”. “I have not contributed and the team needs me”.

    Max take a page out of some of the great NHL players who have literally willed their teams to win, aka Mark Messier for example and step up and be the leader you are supposed to be. Sniping the odd goal is not what leadership is about. Look at your own game Max, and be honest and ask yourself, “what the hell have I done or accomplished in the past 4 games?”

    The obvious answer is: basically nothing.

    Even if his poor play is a result of an unknown injury (not again!) I would not re-asses my judgement of his play. It is time for him to man up and be the dominant player on the ice that he can be injury or no injury.

    Lastly, wouldn’t it be wonderful in our world as expert commentators if one of the Habs management, or players took a piece off of our web page and it somehow ended up pasted to the players stall in the dressing room. I’m sure that would never happen and I’m sure Max has already gotten the message I am sending but it is a thought which I am sure runs through a lot of our minds.

    “back to you Dick”

    • johnnylarue says:

      “It is time for him to man up and be the dominant player on the ice that he can be injury or no injury.”

      Sounds… reasonable… I guess?

      (Granted, I’ve never had my neck broken playing hockey, tried skating on a broken leg, or tried playing in the NHL playoffs with a separated shoulder or whatever, so I feel somewhat unqualified to comment.)

      • JohnBellyful says:

        But, according to many fans here, Pacioretty IS being the dormant player on the ice that he can be, and not giving a Maximum effort.
        I can’t believWhat’s that? Dominant? Not dormant? Ohhhhhhh
        Excuse me while I increase the font size.

  13. Danno says:

    After Price got steamrolled by Nash, instead of retaliating, #67 politely went over to Nash and tapped him on the shoulder as if to ask if Nash was OK.


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

  14. ThebadBoards says:

    ZAK I agree but the way he’s getting mugged who is going to let their captain take that much abuse without answering back then Petry would have to have his back (lol right lol ).

  15. joeybarrie says:

    The Rangers had more wins than we did this season. They only had one less point than us. They scored 30 more goals than we did in the reg season. They have an all world goaltender (despite his lower numbers during the reg season). They are fast and aggressive. Young and talented.
    It was always going to be a close series.
    We bash MaxPac (of course) cause we always do when he doesnt score. Then he lights it up and we eat our words. Only to use them again when he doesn’t score.
    The East is wide open other than Pittsburgh and Washington. But Washington seems to be proving otherwise.
    I think we will prevail. But it’ll be close. And so far our loses (other than overtime) don’t come any closer.

    • cbhabsfan says:

      This is a great year to be a playoff team in the East, for sure. You’re living in the Washington area, aren’t you, JB? How are the die-hard Caps fans taking the unexpected tough battle from the upstart Leafs?

      • joeybarrie says:

        Lots of blaming Holtby…. There was cautious optimism this season going into the playoffs already. Most fans are fair weathered, and the regular crew of opposing fans in this area are secretly smiling and hoping for a crash.
        Truth is… Its pretty quiet round here right now with the Caps.

    • habsandfood says:

      We all wanted and hoped for an easy 5 game series against the rangers but it was obvious from the get go that the series would be tight given how equally deep both teams are.

      As for MaxPac, the man never shows up in the playoffs. He’s soft both in the corners and the for-check, and never provides anywhere near the type of production we all expect from him. I would love to eat my words and watch him score 2 tomorrow in Montreal, but that still wouldn’t change the fact that he is an awful playoff performer and frankly never will be. If the Habs get eliminated early in the playoffs this year, its time to finally trade him.

      Be realistic.

      • joeybarrie says:

        Be realistic????
        And you want to trade a 4.5 million dollar 30-40 goal scorer if this team doesnt move forward in the playoffs?
        But I completely agree with the easy game 5 and our wants and hopes.

  16. GVZ says:

    I spoke about the lack of Max’s character early in this thread. Well we can add another episode of lack of character to his body of characterless acts. I was listening to his comments after the game and he blamed the goal the Rags scored because of his lazy play on his own DMen. Can you imagine Beliveau ever doing that?! He would take the hit 10 times over before letting a teammate be slagged. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. This time cannot win with a captain that has no team integrity and no character.

    • D Mex says:

      Pacioretty is no Béliveau.
      Truthfully, and I am guilty of this above ( ↖︎ ) , mentioning
      the 2 names in the same sentence borders on disrespect to #4.

    • cbhabsfan says:

      When I think back on what Pacioretty did for this team through the darkest days of this season, I’m at a loss for how to respond to this sort of criticism.

      The Canadiens would not be a playoff team this year without his contributions. And that includes his leadership on the ice.

      Despite how you feel about his comments to the media after last night’s game, we really have no idea what kind of a leader he is off the ice, but I don’t think that matters as much as the on-ice variety.

    • joeybarrie says:

      ” This will be my last post on this site. I had a discussion the other day about whether… “.
      Does this mean you have a lack of credibility and commitment?
      Bashing Max is ridiculous. Max has been a very good captain and is getting better. And given his history he has a lot more character than most people I know or have heard of.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Why would you compare anyone to Beliveau? How about Joliat? They say he was pretty good.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Everyone should click on GVZ’s blank avatar to see his previous posts before replying.


    • Old Bald Bird says:

      ” and he blamed the goal the Rags scored because of his lazy play on his own DMen”

      Just read the quote as reported by Cowan. No he didn’t blame them. He simply said what he thought happened on the play.

    • GVZ says:

      It’s people like Baird and joebully that are the reason this blog does not get even close to the number of bloggers it used to get. They believe they are right and everyone else is wrong. No discussion possible here. Good on you for taking a play out of the Trump playbook. You all must be so proud. Anyway I’ve stayed away for almost a year. Thought I’d come back with my 2 cents. Just forget it…I can’t be bothered with pathetic losers who cower behind their keyboards. If you try hard enough maybe you can have sex with yourselves as well.

  17. @B

    See Dan Blackburn about playing with two blockers. #UFI of the day for ya

    Have a great afternoon HabsFans

    16 to Win

  18. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Don’t mean to criticize CJ but can someone tell me what exactly has Dwight King brought to this team, especially in the playoffs? I for one would rather see McCarron take his spot starting tomorrow night. At least Big Mike uses his body.

  19. montreal ace says:

    The only thing I will say about Max and his game, is that in a short series, when something is not working you try something else. I know he is shooting, but I think its time for him to go to the net, and starting to get his stick on the puck for a few 2 foot goals

  20. cbhabsfan says:

    Julien’s game-to-game adjustments have been pretty good, and I’d like to see him do still more tweaking for Game 5.

    Moving Galchenyuk back into the top nine was a sensible move, as was getting Torry Mitchell back into the lineup to stabilize the fourth line.

    But I’d prefer to see a fourth line that can keep up with a very fast Rangers lineup, so I think it might be best for Dwight King to take a seat in favour of Andreas Martinson, a big and truculent winger who can really skate.

    As much as I love Mike McCarron, Martinson would make more sense in this particular series. Another decent skater, Brian Flynn, won’t be getting out of the pressbox anytime soon, but he’s another viable fourth-line candidate who won’t hurt you in an emergency situation.

    But if we’ve learned anything from these past four games, it’s that the nine forwards we have playing in our top nine right now are the players that deserve to be there and should be there until the end of the series. Enough with the experimentaion with bigger bodies that can’t give you the offence you need against a strong set of offensively-minded forwards like the Rangers can ice.

    On defence, the cone of silence on NHL injuries means we have no real idea when Alexei Emlin will be back, but we certainly could use him, considering his replacements are Brandon Davidson (sort of acceptable) and Nikita Nesterov (not acceptable at all), both being asked to play on their weaker off sides in this series.

    And if the Rangers can figure out how to fix their game plan and adjust their lineup from one game to the next, I see no reason why Julien can’t come up with something that will have the Rangers start off on the wrong foot from the opening faceoff on Thursday night.

    • 123456 says:

      I’d prefer Nesterov on the wing over King – he has shown me nothing.

    • montreal ace says:

      cbhabsfan, you have some great posts this morning

    • dickanddanny says:

      We like Martinsen game and what he brings to the table more than any of the other 4th line players including King. Not sure why the coaching staff doesn’t see this as well, but I will admit he was better in the regular season than he showed in 2 play-off appearances. Hope he gets a second chance though. It is time to rough house the Rags. They don’t like to get hit.

      “back to you Dick”

      • cbhabsfan says:

        Big and mean guys hardly ever skate that well, which is why it puzzles me that he was taken out of the lineup against the Rangers, a fast team that doesn’t react well to having their faces shoved into the glass by big, mean and fast forwards.

        If I see Martinson in the lineup on Thursday night, I know I’m feeling better about how our fourth line is going to contribute to the end result.

        • powdered toastman says:

          Thinking the same thing, and based on my ( very un astute) observations I can’t for the life of me understand their rationale for having King in instead of other (sometimes faster and) more physical options.

          I really do need to pause though and reflect on the coaching staff’s credentials vs (haha) mine. Still its frustrating when this team continually/historically opts for the softer option time and time again. This despite the fact that even an armchair pud like me can see the team being (at times) pushed around by another speedy team not particularly known for it’s physicality and one which may not respond well to getting belted once in a while.

  21. Danno says:

    Have they announced the time for Saturday’s game in NYC yet?


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

  22. ThebadBoards says:

    Yes the most desperate team won but other then the second period that capped with the power play or lack of it to open the travesty that’s how bad their play was in the second Had me confused with Gretzk’s Oilers power plays OF A BYGONE ERA. The Habs had no puck luck Nil .Yes kingly played well but how the puck never got by him with so many bounces jumps and hops not covered in the crease and still never scored was pure Luck .Even Webs post never scored .As I said many times before No LUCK no Goals for this team.
    Lets see who shows up next game .OH and by the way someone should wake up Patch. Is his foot broken again I hope not. GOODLUCK boys.

  23. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Be careful Eichel what you ask for because they might do something like replace Bylsma with Therrien.

  24. Danno says:

    Does Don Birnam know that winning by betting against the Habs only gets you the Devil’s Money? 👿


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

    • Don Birnam says:

      I Never bet against Habs amigo. Only Over/Under or for them.
      It’s a jinx thing.
      Nothing to do with Satan as all winnings are Filthy Lucre.
      Shame gives way to Elation as one wallows in the winnings.

  25. Seps says:

    The positives:
    I still think we win this series, maybe in six. I enjoyed how the team battled last night, this is a crew that doesn’t give up. Price outside of the first goal was his solid self. Really enjoy the Leks Chucky Rad line, hope that stays a line.

    The negatives:
    Lundqvist has been stellar. After 5 years of Bergevin our #2 defenseman is 38 years old and is therefore forced to log more minutes than he can handle which leads to gaffes like last night. Listening to Pacioretty interviews in the playoffs is infuriating, he comes off as so self-righteous.

    Other comments:
    I’d echo what others are saying in that these are two very evenly matched teams, especially when both goalies are as good as they have been. Post here, bounce there and the winner is decided. It’s the age of Parity.

  26. montreal ace says:

    I don’t know how they can play the final 2 periods, with only 1 penalty being called. Our PP had just started working in the series, so I thought it helped the rags

  27. WindsorHab-10 says:

    The importance of scoring first in this series.

    • FormalWare says:

      You’ll need to be more specific, lest The Revenant take that as the assigned topic for a 4,000-word essay.

      “Good Luck With That,” Habs!

  28. Flanelette says:

    Can’t wait to one day read Max Pacioretty’s autobiography. Specifically the chapter named: Why I never went in front of the Net during the playoffs.
    How come?
    2-In pain?
    4-Russian spy?
    5-Seasonal allergies?

    Come on Max do tell us: WHY?

  29. 123456 says:

    Did I miss an icing rule change? I have noticed a considerable icing calls that in years past would not be icing – specifically when a defender chooses to play a body instead of going for the puck seems to be ignored. So, did this change or is it playoff hockey and that’s just the way it is.

  30. B says:

    After dropping the first game without Fucale in the lineup, Brampton with Fucale in nets won games 2 and 3 to take a 2-1 series lead. It’s very early, but Fucale is leading the ECHL playoffs with a .965 save% and a 0.89 GAA. Games 4 and 5 are in Brampton Thursday and Saturday.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  31. rhino514 says:

    Habs need Emelin. Not because he´s great but he´s ok and can provide 20 minutes a game and take some minutes from Markov and Weber.

    The habs may or may not win at home without him (I´m gonna say 60/40 chance next game right now, the way the team is playing) but I really hope he is available for game 6 in NY where Rangers get last change.

  32. munch17 says:

    Price was solid , although I’m sure he would like the first goal back.
    The problem with Price is that he makes most difficult saves look easy. While the King is flopping and bouncing and giving up rebounds CP is gliding and playing the puck like a third defenseman.
    HL gets alot of pucks thrown at him because each one becomes a scoring chance.

  33. HabinBurlington says:

    Found it interesting to hear that Lundqvist has his glove rigged that it cannot close but rather is just one Giant Fly Swatter.

  34. B says:

    Giovanni Fiore, who attended the Habs’ development and rookie camps before the start of this season and then led the Q with 52 goals this season, signed a 3 year ELC with Anaheim.

    Edit: Fiore was also signed to an AHL ATO by Anaheim’s affiliate in San Diego.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  35. Danno says:

    Is the glass 1/2 full or 1/2 MT ?

    Things may not be ideal, but if I would have asked you in February if you would accept being tied at two games a piece in the first round with the Rangers, you probably would have said “Hell yeah!”


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

  36. B says:

    QMJHL semi-finals:
    #1 Saint John vs #8 Chicoutimi
    #4 Charlottetown vs #5 Blainville-Boisbriand

    Eastern final: #1 Peterborough vs #2 Mississauga
    Western final: #1 Erie vs #3 Owen Sound

    Eastern Final: #1 Regina vs #5 Lethbridge
    Western final: #2 Seattle vs #4 Kelowna

    Bourque with Saint John and McNiven with Owen Sound are the only remaining Habs’ prospects until Windsor (Addison and Sergachev) returns as Memorial Cup host.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  37. Don Birnam says:

    Ticket came in last night.
    Nice juice.
    Off to The Saloon to spend the Filthy Lucre before the OLG Gods know.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Eichel sounds almost as disappointed as his GM did when he got to pick Eichel instead of McDavid.


      • HabinBurlington says:

        Funny you should say that Dipsy, I was thinking almost the exact same thing. The whole thing in Buffalo is just strange. Must be driving them nuts to see how the Toronto Tank worked so much better than the Buffalo quagmire.

        • 123456 says:

          LOL – maybe someone should ask Eichel to first crack the top 50 point getters. Or for those concerned about him missing 20 games ask him to not be the only person in the top 20 in points per game to also have a giant Minus (-13). Self reflection my friend.

          • Strummer says:

            +/- is a useless stat taken in isolation.

            One brain cramp and 5 other players get a minus on that shift.
            Ovie and Eric Staal had the NHL worst +/- stats at one point when playing on bad teams.

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

      • Habfan17 says:

        What a difference flipping those two picks would make!


  38. Habfan17 says:

    Patches had a brain cramp and played the puck instead of the man, leading to the second Rangers goal.

    I like Patches but he needs to score to be effective. He is below average in his passing skills, although every once in a while, he makes a slick pass. Mostly though, he misses his target. He is at is best when he has no time to think and just reacts

    Those of us that notice he is struggling have some support. Even though he did have a fair numbers of shots in game 3.



    • 123456 says:

      That second goal (as most goals do) had a few different times that could have prevent it. First, earlier in the play Rads did not get the puck deep into the NY zone – turned it over at the Blueline. Max taking the body would have prevented the good pass but let’s not forget the Dman made a good play. I do think if Max had chipped the puck past there would have been a 2 on 1.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Should have, would have, could have. None of these matter, nor do the other plays you mentioned, Max was the last Hab to be able to clear the puck out and by playing the man, he still may have been able to have a 2 on 1. Play the right way as the Habs are all saying to the media!


  39. cbhabsfan says:

    Come on everybody, lighten up.

    This has been an evenly played and excting series that’s been more like a closely contested arm-wrestling contest than your usual NHL playoff series. One team wins a game and the other picks itself up off the floor and wins the next. If everything goes the way it’s been playing out, we’ll see a seventh game in Montreal to decide the series. And I like our chances in that one.

    While each of the wins has been more or less the result of one team being a little more determined from the puck drop than the other, it’s the little breaks and mistakes that have determined how the goals have been scored.

    A different result on Shaw’s near miss on the breakway (a little closer to the goaltender’s body and Lundqvist has no time to get a piece of his glove on the puck) and minus the Markov flub on goal one and the non-coverage by nearly everyone on the ice for goal two and it might have been the Rangers playing with an empty net in the final minute.

    As otherworldly as Lundqvist has been, Price is matching him shot for shot, so there isn’t going to be any high-scoring games here, which magnifies the mistakes and bad puck luck that much more. Whether we like it or not, these are two evenly matched teams that were likely always going to go to six or seven games to decide their series.

    I for one am perfectly happy to see the series become a best of three, with the deciding game at the Bell Centre.

    I know it’s like beating a dead horse to post this once again, but it’s invariably sunshine and roses on HIO when we win, but a suicide watch has to be put in place when we lose a game.

    It’s fun to read but it’s also kind of silly.

    • New says:

      I agree. These teams are both from the East and a point separated them in the regular season. You can sit there all day and talk about Montreal not having strength down center but the season standings indicate that, on balance, this should be a pretty even series.

      I think it is the best series we’ll see in the playoffs this year. Perhaps not the most exciting, but definitely the best one.

      Whichever team wants it the most will take it. Quite often that is not a factor, this time it is.

    • BC (Because of the Cats) says:

      A nice, balanced assessment and a welcome change from all the hand-wringing and catastrophizing we see here after every loss.

      “We gotta lotta dep.”

    • The_Rocket_Returns says:

      Amen man. I’ve quit reading comments here until the playoffs are over. Losses are followed by bile-spewing, wins by pollyanna-ism … between the overreactions and the people just looking for excuses to confirm whatever prejudices they already have, it just takes too much away from actually enjoying the hockey.

      … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

  40. HUDSONHAB says:

    The problem with the Habs is they play a couple good games and think the next one will be easier. No game will be easy.
    The problem with max is he too thinks that getting 2 goals or the winning goal allows him to be lazy and float the next game.


  41. habs001 says:

    The Habs are a team that can beat any team in a playoff series but they dont have the fire power to overwhelm the majority of teams by pure scoring and this would include the non playoff teams..This is why they cannot make too many mistakes in a game as they need to win most games 2-1…When you are constantly playing one goal games it is also possible to lose to any team in the league in a series..The scores would not be much different if they were playing one of the non playoff teams in a series…

  42. Habby_Haberton says:

    Larry Robinson just tweeted this – I think he is talking to you Max!

    Larry Robinson‏Verified account
    @CanadiensMTL need more from some of their top players if they want to move on..

  43. habsfan2long says:

    No single Hab played so poorly they should be awarded the goat horns, even Patch.

    When the team is down 1+ goals it’s on the coaches if they don’t demand BG11 should pass first and crash the net after rather than take low %age shots and not score; or that AG27 should cheat down low and shoot rather than worry about D-zone coverage; ditto for Lek.

    When down 1+ goal if your top D pairing either can’t or won’t pinch, cheat, or slide in back-door, change-it-up to insure they can: say Petry with Markov, Weber with Beaulieu?

    Habs must play to win rather than not to lose, which they did last night even when down 2-1 late in the third when getting a goal was far more important than allowing a goal.

  44. habs_54321 says:

    Price has played fine this series, his numbers speak for themselves, guys like NASH are experts at scoring goals in tight thats there bread and butter, if max pacioretty could only take a page from nash’s book and play with a simular mindset i dont care if he scores 40 goals from the perimiter in the regular season, because it doesnt work in the playoffs

  45. Coach K says:

    Chill folks. The Rags threw everything they could at Les Boys last night and barely squeezed out the win. If our heroes play three full periods next game it will be theirs.

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

    • bwoar says:

      My take too. Sure I’d like to see the Captain carry the team a bit more but overall the Habs played a poor game and the Rangers didn’t. I don’t see anyone saying “Where was Paul Byron all night?” and no real outcry over Markov or Beaulieu but frankly the team, minus Weber, Lehkonen, Ott, Shaw and Gallagher were all pretty flat. I thought that was evident moreso than the Rangers “playing their game” as the broadcasters mentioned.

      23 shots on Lundqvist ain’t gonna do it, period. The team needs to be in high gear on every play & will pull it out.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Rangers have done a good job this series in targeting players like Max and Markov with every hit possible. Julien of all coaches should be pretty well versed in how to deal with this.

        Team may have had some complacency set in as well, I would think that mistake is being learned from pretty quick today.

    • Timo says:

      That’s a huge IF.

  46. twocents says:

    We can talk about player performance, and that’s key of course, but it also seemed to me that Vigneault made some adjustments that rendered the Habs strategy less effective. Look for Julien to make adjustments in response to this game and for game five to have a different feel. These are two good coaches.

  47. arcosenate says:

    That just plain old-fashioned sucked. Pick it up tomorrow night boys, enough of that garbage.

    Max, it’s time to score.

  48. Dust says:

    The thing Im most curios about is what the lines are going to look like to start next game.
    Will they keep chuky with rad and lehky?

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      The question is why is King still in the line-up. Give McCarron a shot.

      • Psycho29 says:

        Julien was asked about King in the post game presser.
        To paraphrase his response, he said King does a lot of little things that many people might not notice. (??)

        Edit: I agree though, I’d rather see McCarron in there. More physical presence and faster…

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          Technically speaking nothing is “little”so Julien is not wrong… LOL.

          • Chris Lee says:

            No clue what King is doing in the lineup. Everytime he’s out there I want to give him a push from behind to catch up with the play… so frustrating watching him out there should not be in NHL.

  49. Habs62 says:

    I love Price but take your blinders off he should of stopped one of those two. I do agree that we need to score more and Pacioretty needs to step up as does Galchenyuk. Gotta love Gallys compete they need to bottle that. I really like Carr and think he should get a real shot too as he has a lot of Gally in him

    Edit Ddo
    I’m sticking by that was an average game at best by price no hugely spectacular saves and neither one of those goals was great and at least one should be stopped if he was playing typical Price. I wasn’t impressed but I will say we need score more then 1-2 goals if we are expecting to win
    Habby exactly what I’m saying

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      You can’t just nit pick one or or two plays. What about the saves he shouldn’t have stopped? He has made great saves. What if some of those went in? Are you going to say he should have stopped those too? C’mon.

      • Freddy says:

        I can only agree. Price has been very good. I think a couple of goals so far weren´t completely unstoppable but on the other hand he didn´t let in one real weak one in four games. Add some very good saves to that. It´s absolutely ridiculous to blame him.

        The lack of goal scoring is the problem. Thanks to a GM that is obsessed with acquiring several 4th liners each year while a guy like Hudon never gets a chance and another one who is significantly better than King, Martinsen, Ott and Flynn was sent to Colorado.

        Lundqvist has been good but also really lucky at times. He completely sucked during the regular season in many games and I think he´s due to look like hot garbage in one of the next tow games. So at least a games 7 is safe…

    • Habby_Haberton says:

      He’s been good but not the best goalie in series…He can be better.

  50. Timo says:

    I’d like to see front page articles in all major Montreal sports publications bashing The Captain. He’s been getting a free ride for way too long.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      YUP! He has to be called out and then moved out before other teams find out he has no DRIVE!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Today is a good day for you Timo, enjoy it.

      • Timo says:

        Of course, Burlington. Clearly it’s all on me… my negativity must be really affecting the team’s performance. If only I could be like you – rational, wise, positive. Maybe I’d stop picking on poor Max Pacioretty and then he would definitely start battling like Gallagher and scoring like Radulov.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Oh please don’t for a minute take yourself so seriously that you could have an affect on the play of the players. I merely hope you can enjoy wallowing in the bacterial matter you so enjoy.

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          Obviously your negativity has no effect on the team. Doesn’t mean it isn’t annoying.

        • twocents says:

          Timo, my read is that Burly is only giving you a gentle poke. I would suspect that even you would recognize that you have more to say after a lose than a win. We all have our own tendencies and perspectives. No one is suggesting anything said here has any impact on the ice.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Just giving my twocents on a guy who is far more excited to fertilize the internet after a loss than spread sunshine after a win. Both are needed I suppose, he just prefers the fertilizer.

          • twocents says:

            Needed is debatable. Inevitable though…

    • Coach K says:

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s not his comepete level that’s suspect it’s his hockey I.Q.

      On the breakout, he tries to get behind the defenders for the breakaway pass that never comes. By cheating like that he’s forcing his defenceman to make a pass through 2 zones that will never work because he won’t cut to the middle of the ice. The problem is that he doesn’t move his feet. Staying on the boards turns a play like that into a low percentage play because their defenceman reads it, cuts the pass off before it get to him and leaves Max on the wrong side of the puck and in no position to defend.

      To some, it makes him look lazy because it appears as though he’s “floating”. To me, it makes him look dumb because it happens time and again and he doesn’t seem to learn from it.

      I cannot belive for a second that he’s coached to be positioned on the wrong side of the puck and that is why I question his hockey intelligence.

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

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I don’t like speculating some one is hurt without reporting but I was there at Game 1 and watched the Rangers (especially Girardi) pound Max. Max tried to hit back but wasn’t able to. The Rangers, to their credit, went back to pounding him last night. Max looks like a boxer in the 8th round who has taken body shots throughout the fight. IMO he just can’t take and give shots like Rads, Byron, Shaw, etc,.

      • Coach K says:

        An injury might be legit but it is no excuse for not playing smarter and having the sense to stay on the defensive side of the puck. That’s the problem with him and always has been. Take care of business in your own end first and the offence will follow.

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

  51. PK says:

    Interestingly, the two young Alberta teams have been brought down to earth by the veteran California teams.
    Wonder if Washington is going to school the Leafs, at least for one game in their series?

    Unfortunately, history shows that the Capitals are not very good in the playoffs, so … ah, no.

    As for the Habs, we knew it was going to be a long series.
    The Habs have warts just like other NHL teams in this salary cap world. Hopefully, we can cover up the warts for the next two games.

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

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

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  52. sakuknows says:

    Not the least bit surprised by Max’s effort. Thoroughly disappointing, yes. But he’s has never been a gamer. When the stakes are high, he is nowhere to be found. Whether that’s for us, team USA, or whatever.

  53. Timo says:

    So one more year of plekanec. How many more of Pacioretty? Maybe Vegas would want his lazy a$$

  54. FormalWare says:

    Looks like I’ve drawn even with Sholi in our pool. Woo-hoo!

    Just need Larry to light up the Laffs for 25-or-so points, and I’ll be over the top!

    “Good Luck With That,” Habs!

  55. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Don’t understand the criticism of Price. He’s their best player. They don’t make the playoffs without him. Except for the second game, he has given up 2 or less per game. His save percentage is 0.942. The top RH Dman and the goalie are playing the best in the playoffs which has been the same story for the past five seasons. Price is not the problem. It is the same old lack of scoring and weak down the middle. If you look at the two teams, they are very similar. I thought the Habs would win easily because Lundqvist would not play at his prime. He’s been fantastic. The Habs are just going to have to grind this one out.

  56. Habs62 says:

    Speaking of Gally. The refs let everyone have their way with him and it’s ridiculous

  57. Ian Cobb says:

    Pacioretty is a disaster out there, he is a one trick pony. He is the top scorer on the team if he is fed the puck by his team mates. He has the quickest release and a very hard accurate shot. But he is chicken against the boards,have you ever seen him in the dirty areas fighting for the puck like Gally, Byron and others.? He gives up the puck every time he touches it, he cannot make a play or a pass properly, and he is the last man back to help out our D . I will be surprised if he is not moved in the summer.
    I always felt sorry for him after the Chara dirty hit that nearly killed him, and maybe he still suffers from that fear. I do not know what his problem is. He has size, speed and a great shot, if only he had a little of Gallagher’s heart and drive! But alas.

    Sorry for the negativity on Patches. I still think we take the Rangers 2 out of 3.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I agree, Patches was underwhelming last night. The second goal was a direct result of him playing the puck and gambling he could poke it past the defender and get a breakaway, instead of taking the man.


  58. Habs62 says:

    Price wasn’t an $8m+ goalie on either of those goals that’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it. A poke check in either and neither one is making it in front of the net. Both St Louis and Nashville goalies are a notch above Price this post season maybe even Lundquist. If Price doesn’t steal one of the next 3 then is he really worth 8m or more.
    I really think we have too much overall $ in D and too add to that issue with huge amount at goalie I’m not sure that’s a winning formula in today’s NHL. Granted we could maybe fix some of the D $. I really don’t see Emelin and Petry worth $10m of the cap. I think we need an Oshie like player added to our current forward group and those $ have to come from sonewhere

    • expat_habsfan says:

      I still say that the best bet for the Habs this summer is a deal with the Oil. Exchange Price, N8, Scherback and some others (Pleks, Mitchell, etc.) for Talbot, Nurse and Draisaitl.

      If we want more scoring punch then Price is the currency needed to by it.

      Of course if the Oil do better than the Habs this playoffs then the cost could go up but regardless Price is the only commodity MB has to improve the team without a another 5 year rebuild.

  59. expat_habsfan says:

    This is why every playoff game is a “must win game”. If your team can’t match the other team’s desperation then you don’t deserve the breaks or the bounces and that goal post during last minute heroics is meaningless.

    All players make mistakes even the best ones but Patches’ most common mistake is his level of effort. As captain his level of commitment and effort has to be higher then everyone else. He has to be willing to do more (smart plays, shots, hits, blocks) than anybody else on the team. IMO, Patches doesn’t have that in him and that makes him undeserving to wear the ‘C’ on his jersey. It’s exactly why he was called out by Torts during the World Cup, no “heart” and an inability to not only lift is game but the game of those around him.

    I can’t see the Habs winning the Cup even if they get by the Rags because they don’t have a leader who leads by example game in and game out. And in the playoffs that is an intangible that matters.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I found it funny after the comments patches made to the media about how some of the other players were stepping up, then he steps down. I did not see the same effort from him as in game 2. That amateur play at the blueline, playing the puck instead of the man and making it sure the puck got out of their zone, led directly to the 2nd Ranger goal.

      Beaulieu also had me concerned on more than one occasion, turning the puck over.


  60. Don Birnam says:

    Hola Amigos.
    Got this ringing in my ears today.
    Last night’s booze or Shea’s shot off the post?
    Either way,I’ll get over it.
    Always do.

  61. DipsyDoodler says:

    I’ve gone from cautious optimism to moderate fretfulness.

    Those Rangers can skate.

    Also, remember when we had mode defencemen than Bradgelina had adoptees? Whatever happened to that?

    • weirdscience says:

      This. I don’t understand the view that the Rangers are oft surprised by the Habs’ speed. They have some wheels of their own, and their defense is much faster and more mobile than the Habs’.

      But, they gave it all last night and barely pulled it off. I like Montreal’s chances!

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I am starting to wish that they somehow acquired Benn while keeping Pateryn.

  62. zak says:

    If Jordie Benn just clears the puck up the ice instead of the back pass behind the net none of the rest happens on Nash’s goal. That and then really poor effort by the captain. I still think that Gally should be captain.

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