About last night … with audio

The game was so dull I can’t even bring myself to watch L’Antichambre.
To their immense credit – and Randy Cunneyworth deserves props for this – the Canadiens played hard in Carolina.
It was the second game of a back-to-back, and it lasted 65 minutes.
Through that time, Peter Budaj made 28 saves.
He is signed for one more season, and Budaj is ending 2011-’12 on an upbeat note.
But let’s cut to the chase:
The Canadiens have locked in 28th place in the NHL standings.

They can still be overtaken by Edmonton and bumped down to 29th, which would enhance the Canadiens’ chances of winning the draft lottery Tuesday night.

As things stand – and as best I can interpret the lottery system – the Canadiens will draft no later than the four hole in the opening round.

This may bump them out of the running for Nail Yakupov or Mikhail Grigorenko. But a solid centre prospect should be available when someone steps up to the podium in Pittsburgh on June 22 to announce the Canadiens’ pick.

Alex Galchenyuk of the Sarnia Sting? He’s 6’2″ , weighs 185 and will fill out his frame. Galchenyuk tore up his knee and missed almost all of Sarnia’s season, but some scouts see him as another Marion Hossa.

How about Radek Faksa, a Czech kid playing for the Kitchener Rangers. Also 6’2″ and highly regarded.

The Canadiens haven’t had a Swedish star since Mats Naslund. They might consider Filip Forsberg, who has been honing his first-round talent in the Swedish Elite league.

Is this too much draft geekery for y’all?

Would you rather I write about monotonous and poorly-played game that transpired in a Carolina arena that was quieter than a Crescent St. bar?

A lower Crescent St. bar.

OK, here are your highlights:

• Frédéric St. Denis blocked more shots than Josh Gorges. The late-blooming defenceman, a rookie at the age of 26, is exhibiting Gorges-like smarts and has played himself into at least the team’s preliminary plans for 2012-’13.

• P.K. Subban played only 20:15 because he took three penalties. P.K. leads the league with 46 minors – three more than Scott Hartnell, who makes players remember the fouls he commits on them. P.K.’s time in the box is a consequence of  indiscipline. It’s something P.K. has to work on, and if you’ve followed the evolution of his game this season, there’s no doubt he’ll improve.

• The power play was 0-for-7. The Canadiens are 28th in the league – matching their standing – with an efficiency of 14.4 per cent. Puck movement has improved since Andrei Markov returned, but there’s too much perimeter play and not enough finish on the PP.

• David Desharnais is on fire in the faceoff circle: 26-12 over his last two games.

• Tomas Plekanec leads the known universe in shorthanded breakaways.

• Blake Geoffrion scored for the first time since the March 10 game in Vancouver. Nice goal, too: a wraparound that beat Cam ward, who was spectacular and made 30 saves. The kid is hardly the reincarnation of his grandfather or great-grandfather, but it’s nice to see Geoffrion getting some ice time before the curtain falls.

• In Aaron Palushaj, Brad Staubitz and the indefatigable Gabriel Dumont, the Canadiens may have discovered a fourth line that plays like an effective fourth line, i.e. unpleasant and annoying for the guys in the other jerseys.

That’s about all I noticed, apart from aborted breakaways and odd man rushes, passes into skates and general sloppiness and inattention to detail.

But the Canadiens showed up in the second game of a back-to-back. They tried to win.

The Canadiens played with honour, and that must have generated good karma because results elsewhere in the league ensured they’ll have the chance to draft a promising kid.

The Canadiens last Top 5 pick was Carey Price in 2005.

Before that, Petr Svoboda – like Price, a fifth overall – in 1984.

Over to you, Trevor Timmins … and whoever your boss turns out to be.

•  •  •

Brooks Orpik, who nearly ended Erik Cole’s career, did a nasty on Derek Stepan Thursday night.

Here’s the hit and John Tortorella’s postgame reaction:


  1. solomio says:

    That Orpik knee was intentional.No question in my mind. And Torts is right. I heard today he ( Torts ) got fined 20 grand for saying what he did. Worth every penny ! Way to go Torts and keep up the good work.We all know the NHL sucks eggs.

    “I figure ?? has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  2. habstrinifan says:

    As a true HABS FAN I never really believed that it was possible to ‘mathematically eliminate’ the HABS from the playoffs.

    But I give up. We are out.

    So I am joining the Rick Santorium presidential team.

    Wait…. !!!!! What’s that you say?

  3. The HonestFan says:

    Happy to hear we have a 4th line … No joke look at what ice time has done for Chris Neil He wasn’t a sure thing but he showed up against Domi and every other guy he faced. Give Staubitz a chance he’s only 27

  4. Hali_Hab says:

    Gmur is 100 percent right! Also It has become increasingly hard to read some of the crap that passes for comments on here. Only here is the French issue still debatet by kids and short sighted self centerd bigots alike . Hey dummy’s !! You support he MONTREAL Canadiens !! A team steeped in French history not to mention engrained in the fabric of Quebec culture. French IS important!! In this franchise .. Get over it!! If the language thing is such an issue I am pretty sure there is a team down the road in Toronto that represents the ever wronged English speaking public. Thy could always use a few more fans and the intellectual conversation promises to be right up your alleys . YOU SOUND LIKE LEAF FANS!

  5. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I was a goalie Myself and your arguments re fast-twitch, glove positioning and dropping too low and too soon are issues I have made Myself on Carey
    …so We agree on many things Banger …but where We vary is I have seen Carey also grow and improve …for his age, 24, Carey is on-track
    to be a Top5 goalie in the NHL …to trade an asset 90 % of other NHL team would swap their wives for, to Me, is asinine

    • The Cat says:

      I dont know HIS…Everybody’s tradeable if the return justifies it. Good goalies arent as hard to find as key (30 minutes per game) d-men or key centremen, and Price really hasnt been a game changer so far. Not saying he wont be one day, but it wouldve been nice to see the habs afford half the patience with some other players like they have with Price.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  6. The Cat says:

    My first choice for coach would be Ted Nolan, but I guess if it has to be a francophone, the best available IMO is Guy Carbonneau. I think he did rather well despite being hamstrung by Gainey’s insistence of Price at the time.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  7. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …even though We apparently assured a Top 3 with an outside possibility of The Number One …there is still the possibility We can screw it up
    …my 2 gut-choices are Galchenyuk, as what little film I have seen of him he looks as close to a Malkin-clone as I have seen …big body, highly skilled, explosive speed for a centre, and a nose for the net
    …the 10 minute video of Grigorenko shot by a Rempartes’ fan on YouTube was not impressive …so that and the ‘Russian Factor’ which spooks Me more than Galchenyuk’s knee, makes Galchenyuk My personal choice 1a
    …1B, if Galcheyuk, Grigorenko and Yakopov not available, would be Mathew Dumba …Dumba, PK, Markov, Beaulieu, Tinordi and one or more of other promising D men in front of Carey Price for years would be wonderful to imagine
    …if still there in the second I would leap on Malcolm Subban
    …so My 3 horses in this Draft are Galchenyuk, Dumba and M Subban
    …2 of those 3 will be like a very merry Christmas indeed …and 3 out of those 3, somehow, would be like winning the 6/49 lottery 🙂
    This, with Brisson or Brisebois the new GM, and Roy, Larry Robinson and Guy Carbonneau our Coaching staff ? …would absolutely make Me forget the 2011/12 season ever happened 🙂

    • Cal says:

      No 1st pick Dmen. Habs need scoring forwards. It has been what has killed the team this miserable season.

    • boing007 says:

      Galchenyuk also has a a good wrist shot and a quick release. A split second can make all the difference between a goal and a save.

      Richard R

    • HabsinLA says:

      I totally agree on Galchenyuk although in the small sample size of games he played after coming back, he didn’t do much. But I do agree a weak knee is less scary than a weak heart. Disagree on Subban and Dumba. We need a high end forward. Dumba is supposed to be a more polished PK he’s a good pick if you were the Oilers. Forsberg is also pretty good, beyond the top 4 forwards, the other ones (like Faksa) apparently just don’t have enough high end talent to merit a top 3 pick. If he is still around I would like to see up pick up Tanner Pearson, he’s projected to go high 2nd round, I would like to see us either pick him or trade our 2 2nd rounders to get him.

  8. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …My point is directed re Your comment on Carey Price, not Our ex-GMs

  9. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Happy Easter to all Your little Ones …hophophop 🙂

  10. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …It’s Fans and GMs like You that are the reasons so many ex-Habs are excelling on other teams and We are in 28th place today

  11. AH says:

    Back from the Oilers game, of course when I’m cheering for them they lose….As some have said, Getzlaff sure would look good in a
    Habs uniform. He scored the winner on a breakaway and took off like a freight train to the net.

    Best part of the game was 2 total dickheads getting kicked out before the third period. They were cheering hard for Anaheim and whenever they scored they were hooting and hollering and standing up and cursing and giving the finger etc. Had probably 4-6 kids sitting around them. So take a guess at what teams uniform they each were wearing..(remember I said they were total obnoxious dickheads)…..

    …….one was wearing a #29 Felix Potvin jersey and the worst one was of course wearing a #4 Bobby Orr jersey…..so if you guessed the 2 total obnoxious dickhead fans were a Leaf fan and Bruin fan, you definitely know your hockey!!!

  12. Un Canadien errant says:

    I have a Seattle newscast playing in the background right now, and they have a segment with the proponent trying to build a new arena in Seattle. It has focused exclusively on bringing back the Sonics. They showed clips of the Sonics, interviewed fans with Sonics gear on saying how much they want their team back… The issue being discussed was potential vehicular traffic concerns if the new arena is built, and how it might interfere with the other sports stadiums in the area, especially the Mariners’. The proponent was at a podium for a press conference on site, and actually said: “I’m a fan of the Sonics, the Seahawks, the Mariners, the Sounders….” No mention was made of hockey, until the very end of the piece, where the anchor encouraged viewers to follow any developments on their website, with a screenshot of their web address and a Sonics and NHL logo. At least the logos were of equal size, although the Sonics was in the prominent left hand position.


    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  13. light_n_tasty says:

    RC does not deserve props for a loss to Carolina. We could have lost 2-1 to Carolina with JM behind the bench. Hell, we could have lost 2-1 to Carolina with Mike Boone behind the bench.

  14. Un Canadien errant says:

    Be honest now. Did you find yourself hoping that the Hurricanes’ powerplay unit would finally click on their many opportunities in the third period? Did you yell at the ref for not awarding a penalty shot to Eric Staal on his breakaway? How about the chance Chad Larose had with about five seconds left, did you wince when he booted it? Well, despite being a lifelong fan, and despite cheering every nice play (all two of them) les Glorieux made, I was guilty of all the aforementioned infractions. My biggest fear is having the Maple Leafs swiping our draft pick, not another loss at this point of the season.

    If as fans we kinda sorta hope the Canadiens kinda sorta don’t win, we can’t fault the Canadiens to kinda sorta play with almost full effort. Guy Carbonneau had a knowing smile on as he explained before the game that for the last two games we could expect our boys to play with the tip of their stick (“du bout du bâton”), without total commitment and less inclination for sacrifice, so as to finish the season healthy and without injuries.

    Different kind of Antichambre tonight, with Gino Odjick as a guest. He spoke of the need for the next management team to come from Québec and, interestingly, to be francophone, so that the team would have leadership with a deep love and passion for the CH, something which was in question with our last GM. He spoke of how the team needed to be a family again, one for all and all for one, and how ‘in the old days’, issues such as the Mike Cammalleri case and the Scott Gomez situation would have been taken care of in house, by the players. He also stated that the arguments between coaches and players on the bench during games would never have happened, that this would have been taken care of in the dressing room between periods. Mario Tremblay chimed in that players can feel when they are not loved by their coach and GM, that it kills their morale, and I guess he spoke from personal knowledge with his background and relationship with Scotty Bowman.

    So a lot to chew on, although you have to take everything Mr. Odjick says with a grain of salt. He didn’t quite come out and say it, but he broadly explained that Mr. Gomez “would have been taken care of” during a practice. Someone please alert Commissioner Goodell.

    His choice for GM is Julien BriseBois, who he knows personally and professionally and holds in high esteem. He spoke of his drive to improve and get better, of his strength of character and leadership, and his presence and bearing which commands respect. He later explained how the Canadiens used to have an advantage in Serge Savard as their GM, how they used to roll into opposition towns and rinks and feel somewhat superior or invincible with him at the helm of the ship. He stated again that the Canadiens needed that kind of leadership, and that Mr. BriseBois was the man to fill that role.

    For coach, he was strongly in favour of Michel Thérrien returning to coach the team, stating that he had the hunger and the passion, that he had unfinished business and a Stanley Cup inside him. He refused to even consider any other candidates, Mr. Thérrien is his man.

    In any case, no damage was done by the loser point, since the Leafs and the Wild won and the Oilers also got a a regulation tie point. Not much to say about the game itself, except that it was nice for Blake Geoffrion to score a goal. The kid has talent, he won the Hobey Baker award as the best collegiate player in the U.S., so there’s something to work with there. Our boy just needs to set up shop in Brossard this summer and do oodles of training to increase his leg strength and explosiveness. All summer long. No golf, no partying in Nashville. His career will be defined by the efforts he makes this summer.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  15. H.Upmann says:

    @Matt Jordan: in sum, we finish the Gainey after much ups and downs with a goalie, D prospects, a few good fwds, and a couple of HUGE albatross contracts.

    • matt jordan says:

      They did have two good fluke seasons.

      I really thought after the Habs the 1st in the east season, the Habs were on their way to contenders. They seemed to be drafting well and had a young fast team.

      If only they had stayed patient and didn’t keep abusing that panic button!

  16. NCRhabsfan says:

    The Orpik hit on Stephan was disgusting, but he’s not a Bruin so he won’t get a free pass. That said, he’ll only get a meaningless game or two. The NHL doesn’t give a rat’s *ss about its players. Really. If the Bruins were found to have done what the Saints did in the NFL, the league would give them extra points for ingenuity and appoint their GM to the HOF.

    Thank goodness Toronto and the Islanders are even dumber than the Habs. This 3 points out of 4 run could have lost the Habs a difference maker for years to come. RC should never, ever work in hockey again. You really do need to understand the goal. When you’ve been setting the gold standard for sucking, the time to fix it is not in the last three games. Happily, now that the Leafs have denied us the opportunity to emulate them, we can kick their *ss on Saturday night and it won’t matter.

    Oh well, baseball has started and the former Expos are 1-0 so life goes on.

  17. Rob D says:

    In a year chock full of superior defenseman, the Habs will probably take a flyer on on of these forwards…The No. 1 consensus pick is an undersized guy who had better be Ovechkin (and not this year’s edition of Alex that shuffled through most to the season either) and eye popping in every offensive category. We will not be drafting him in all likelihood unless we win the lottery. The other choices are Grigarenko and its hard to get a read on him. Is that solitary report of him not giving his all and coasting really to be trusted? Is is a plant by some nefarious organization to ensure he falls to them? (cough..the Leafs) What about the American kid with the Russian name who missed almost the whole season? How good is he? “And does the Forsberg guy havemore than just a great last name? Or is he one of those “jack of all trades, master of none” types the Habs have drafted in the past? I’ll take the guy with the one, superior, NHL skill…(ie) Brett Hull shot, Mike Bossy release, Cournoyer blinding speed, thant the guy who does everything fairly well.

    This is going to be a very interesting draft to say the least. I’m just not sure that we won’t one day regret not taking a Dman in a year that features many out and out top prospects at that position. I’m not overly hot on any of the forwards as I don’t think we are watching elite level talent there. Great talent,,,of course..but not franchise changing talent. And I will be very happy to be dead wrong. But I’d gladly trade our pick for a similiar one next year. Then again, we may be picking top 7 again next year..lol..who knows?

  18. matt jordan says:

    The real news tonight is the Habs are finishing last in the conference for the first time since 1940.

    It’s unbelievable that Gauthier has managed to build a team that is worse than the low water mark that was the Rejean Houle era.

    Embarassing day to be a Canadiens fan.

  19. H.Upmann says:

    I think what Crosby went through can’t be taken lightly, but let’s get real- PIT have a bunch of dirty players with a history of dirty play. Won’t be long before someone on Bruins or Philly gets clocked and they’ll be whining etc.

  20. D Mex says:

    Tortorella properly pissed at the Orpik hit on Stepan.
    This is the 2nd time in the past week that PITT tactics come under fire. My pappy said the other guy can’t be wrong all the time – might be time for Mario to have a chat with his GM, head coach and house guest.
    Their 1st round series vs Philly should be ‘ entertaining ‘ …

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  21. Selkie says:

    my question is do we really need another european, i get the high lottery draft but really how many high scoring eurpeans have we had that were high scorers (and i loved Koivu leave him out) i’m talking about high high potential scoring players(they were all part timers despite that comment i like Kovy lol i know i know), but maybe i’m wong. not hating, just past worries. we don’t need any more part timers than we already have. we want players with a giva a danm!

  22. Let a side talents and the like.

    I feel that CH needs a guy with a last name Faksa.

    Just imagine 23K people chanting:

    Go, Faksa! F-a-a-k ça!!!


    This is Choibolsan.

  23. jedimyrmidon says:

    From my wishlist earlier:
    1. the Habs play a solid game, but ultimately lose in regulation (almost, they played solidly, had quite a few good chances, but lost in the SO)
    2. Toronto wins: check
    3. Islanders win: check
    4. Edmonton wins: OT loss…. oh well, they got a point, but it looks like the Habs will not be in 29th unless they lose against the Leafs… I think I’d rather they won against the Leafs

  24. ReHabs says:

    Karma say’s you will see Patrick Roy stand at the podium and pick Grigorenko in June.. If anyone knows Girgorenko it’s Roy… I can’t see the Habs taking the chance with a player that just finished severe knee injury after Markov…


  25. pmaraw says:


  26. Timo says:

    Holy crap, did the game put everyone to sleep? It;s dead out here tonight.

  27. Timo says:

    Perhaps Habs should beyond the obvious first 3-4 players. None of them of a Crosby / Ovechkin caliber so they are probably 50/50 at best to become somewhat of impact players in the NHL. I feel like somewhere 10-15 spots above there is another Claude Giroux or Ryan Getzlaf that Habs outta look at. Just my feeling though. I barely parler francais so what do I know?

  28. Timo says:

    you gotta love Torts, man 🙂

  29. naweed235 says:

    hahahah love him or hate him, Tortz always speaks the truth

  30. Castor says:

    Honest question about why some people are against Grigorenko…
    6’3 scoring center?

    • scrowe21 says:

      Mainly because he avoids contact, and he was catching some heat last month because some scouts were questioning is work ethic.

      Galchenyuk uses his size too his advantage and doesn’t shy away from physical play, and his offensive potential is just as good.. if not for missing the regular season with a bad injury I think he would be going 2nd overall.

    • jols101 says:

      One scout reported on TSN that he is lazy and not committed to showing up evey night…kind of AK47esque…
      Probably a scout working for a team picking 7th or 8th and hoping this rumour will take and Grigorenko drops far enough for them to take him…

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        “Probably a scout working for a team picking 7th or 8th and hoping this rumour will take and Grigorenko drops far enough for them to take him…”
        :)!!! Your theory seems as plausible as any.

        “Patch the holes, ride it out, Play for 2015”
        – Sean Bonjovi

    • Mike Boone says:

      I think Grigorenko will be gone by the time Canadiens pick. But maybe not. I tend to like a kid who has shone in the OHL more than one who lights up the Q.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist

      • jols101 says:

        I agree with you that the OHL is a tougher League to amass stats. The Q. is always wide open hockey with several weak teams each year, resulting in many blowouts and artificially high offensive stats.
        The OHL seems to have more parity and plays a tighter checking game much like the NHL.
        Having said that, I don’t pretend to know enough about the top prospects to make an educated pick but I pray Timmins does.
        If we win the Lottery, Yakapov is the no brainer but after that Grigerenko, Galchenyuk and Forsberg are all a coin flip as to which will be the best NHLer…

      • Viruk42 says:

        If the Habs pick third Grigorenko could easily still be there. Edmonton *should* pick a Defenseman (based on organizational needs), and Yakupov *should* go 1st (because he’s the best player available). We’ll see what happens though.

      • ReHabs says:

        What about trading the pick for Jonathan Huberdeau??? Wait he’s in the Q to…. lol


        • jols101 says:

          I think Huberdeau is going to be a super star. I would make that trade. I have nothing against players from the Q., i was just pointing out the offensive totals are sometimes misleading…

      • NightRyder says:

        Deal the pick for Getzlaf if he’d ink a long-term deal? 27 years old, 6-4, 225-pounder; might be available coming off a down year. Already with a 90-point season under his belt, that would pretty much be the top end of what you’d hope for from the pick. Getzlaf-Cole-Pacioretty would be awfully tough to play against.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      As stated, his work ethic has been questioned but he’s crazy talented. But no one’s a sure thing. Can Yakupov’s body stand up to the physical style? Is Galchenyuk’s knee susceptible to another injury? Forsberg seems like the safest of the 4 but also the has the lowest roof.

  31. ProHabs says:

    Yeah, good results tonight. Welcome to MOntreal Mr. Forsberg.

  32. HabFanSince72 says:

    God the Oilers suck.

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  33. HabFanSince72 says:

    Brooks Orpik knees Derek Stepan out of the game and maybe out of the playoffs.

    He should be suspended for the remainder of the playoffs. Period.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  34. scrowe21 says:

    “Alex Galchenyuk of the Sarnia Sting? He’s 6’2″ , weighs 185 and will fill out his frame. Galchenyuk tore up his knee and missed almost all of Sarnia’s season, but some scouts see him as another Marion Hossa.

    How about Radek Faksa, a Czech kid playing for the Kitchener Rangers. Also 6’2″ and highly regarded.”

    Galchenyuk is 6’2 205 pounds now. He was 185 his first year in the OHL. Faksa is not going in the top 5 and is out with a concussion I believe.. He may not even go in the top 10 with all the top D prospects this year.

    Its Grigs,Gally or Forberg for us. I think Grigorenko will be there at 3rd with EDM likely taking Ryan Murray. Although if Grigs is gone Im fine with Galchenyuk, he is much more well rounded.

  35. Castor says:

    I think we’ll pick third. I also think Edmonton will take a defenseman. Yakupov or Grigorenko will be ours I say!!

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