About last … yuck! 2014 has to be better than that

StaalGoal

In their first game of 2013, your Montreal Canadiens lost 2-1 at home to the Leafs.
Eleven months and 12 days later, they lost 5-4 in Carolina.
Those are your 2013 bookends: two one-goal losses to Eastern Conference opposition.
The Jan. 19 loss, fresh out of the lockout, was a disappointment.
The second – 88 regular-season and five playoff games later – was a bummer of such monumental proportions that we have to hope the game wasn’t a portent of what 2014 has in store.

Let’s go to the highlight reel:

• A 3-0 lead evaporated in two minutes, 29 seconds.

• Michel Therrien (pause for at least half the Commentariat to reach for air sickness bags) burned his Timeout on a second-period icing with the Canadiens leading 2-0. So the break was not available to the coach when his team began to disintegrate before our eyes in the third period.

• Carolina had 42 shots on goal. Another 24 missed the net, and the Canadiens blocked 34 shots. That’s ONE HUNDRED shot attempts. Comparable numbers for the Canadiens: 25 SoG, 11 misses, nine blocks by the Hurricanes. The margin, then, was 100-45. That’s a harlem Globetrotters final score.

• SoG through the second and third periods: Carolina 30 – Canadiens 12.

• The Canadiens took a season-high 10 minor penalties – including Too Many Men on the ice while shorthanded and a bench minor for Abuse of Officials.

• Tomas Plekanec was 6-28 on faceoffs.

• The Canadiens killed two 5-on-3s but gave up the first two PP goals of the road trip.

• Abandoned by his inept teammates, Carey Price smashed his stick after Jeff Skinner’s second goal, phones his agent after Eric Staal scored and demanded a trade when Manny Malhotra put Carolina ahead.

Look, I could go with these smart-ass observations. But it’s almost three hours into 2014, I’ve had a few pops and there’s little to be gained from pointing out what was obvious to anyone with eyesight better than Manny Malhotra:

The Canadiens sucked.

They lost to a team whose coach’s job is in jeopardy and whose captain began the game at minus-17.

The Canadiens began December by beating New Jersey twice. They then picked up Ws against Boston and Buffalo.

A 6-0 pasting at the hands of the L.A. Kings, who are better than the aforementioned Eastern Conference teams, was followed by a loss in Philadelphia. The month also included two losses to Florida and a keel-hauling at the hands of another Western powerhouse, the St. Louis Blues.

Yes, the Canadiens beat Nashville and Tampa Bay.

But as as the team completed the first half of the season with the debacle in Carolina, there are clouds on the horizon:

• Therrien is still tinkering with his forward lines, 41 games in.

• Alexei Emelin has celebrated his new contract and pairing with countryman Andrei Markov by playing his worst hockey since he left Russia.

• Lars Eller got off the schneid in Carolina, but the other scorers were the usual suspects: Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban. The drought continues for Brian Gionta, Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk at al.

Stuff happens, sure, but it’s difficult – for players, coaches and fans – to shrug off a total collapse against a mediocre team like Carolina.

At least we can’t blame that mess on Daniel Brière.

Last summer’s genius UFA signing doubtless will return to the lineup in Dallas, centring Travis Moen and George Parros.

 

 

581 Comments

  1. Feraco says:

    This team needs a captain on the ice. Not Gionta the way he handles the media…not Gallager who is a 20 yr old, or PK who is the on ice leader but he needs help. They need a sledgehammer. An identity…in a perfect world it would be Pleks. We’ll the world is not perfect. I believe we are 1 sledgehammer of a forward away…someone like Dustin Brown, Getslaf, Alfredson…we need LEADERS

  2. John Q Public says:

    Last ?

  3. habsfan80 says:

    Does anyone really think any coach can get more out of this team?
    If not for price and coaching we would not be 3rd

  4. FishOutOfWater says:

    So its been a while..
    POLL
    Would the recently announced team USA roster be considered too small? Features 6 players at a shocking 5’11? How will they compete?

    http://945thesmooth.tumblr.com/

  5. habstrinifan says:

    Am late but Leafs made a trade during the game. No comments? Or they are all way down in the thread? I keep reading.

  6. Carey Carey Carey

    Jan will be way better than December (winning record played very poorly), so wowo I’m thinking by Feb 8th the night they play back in Carolina the Habs will be playing for 1st overall, who’s with me?

    Carey Carey Carey

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  7. Plekasuares says:

    No Galchenyuk, I say no kidding

  8. Sportfan says:

    Just saw 24 CH and it was interesting to see Gorges, Prust speak to the team during the Coyotes game and Murray who seems like the quiet big guy is vocal a lot through out the show.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  9. HabinBurlington says:

    I think I would take Bobby Ryan over Derek Stepan, I realize Blake Wheeler can skate like the wind, but better than Bobby Ryan?

    Interesting choice.

  10. Danno says:

    Habs stank in December as you can clearly see by the S.H.I.T.S

    ________________________________________

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

  11. habs-fan-84 says:

    Congrats to Patch!

  12. Sportfan says:

    Can you believe some of the guys who didn’t make team USA
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=440174

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • The Jackal says:

      Good for Patch to make Team USA.
      The roster looks good but then when you see what Team Canada has it’s crazy how stacked our roster is. Of course that is not a guarantee of anything but look at Team USA’s D and then look at what could be our potential D – it’s nuts!

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  13. reddog24 says:

    I would really like to know if Cherry is paying for his Rockem Sockem commercials on CBC/HNIC or are the Taxpayers of Canada? Could someone please make the people aware of this BS. If true others should be able to do the same. Maybe the head of CBC a guy called Lareru or something should be asked.

    • A. Berke says:

      Funny you should ask, of course we are (the taxpayers) paying for that and many other things like salaries of that incompetent and biased laffs group called HNIC.
      I don’t want to sound condescending at all but what planet have you been on?

      Happy New Year all.

      Ali B.

      • reddog24 says:

        Things are actually different than what you think. I have been on CBC/HNIC case for years that they no longer respond to my emails or letters sent in mail. Once I even had a phone call from a HR person at CBC telling me I as a taxpayer I had no right to know Cherry’s salary because it was a private contract that is not required to be given out. Their bias toward the Laffs with taxpayers money is complete BS.

  14. cliff rashotte says:

    Happy New year everyone..Read a lot of the comments here but usually laugh along and seldom reply..Been a habs fan as long as I can remember which is getting shorter the older i get.I grew up in the golden years ..One of my best buddys was Bob Gaineys brother inlaw.Got to see the habs play at the forum usually 2to3 times a year.Those were the days.It probably spoiled us Habs fans who enjoyed those years and makes watching this and previous years teams tuff to watch.I still have the same enthusiasm at the start of every year but as the year wears on you become aware again this team is not having a parade any time soon.BUT first and formost Im still a hab fan true and true and hope management stay their plan and dont make panic moves.That will only prolong the next parade…

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good to hear from you, Cliff, and Happy New Year.

      Your then proximity to the Gainey family must make some of the posts here hard to read.

      We might be of similar vintage since I also grew up in the glory years, and yes, I think being spoilt was an inevitable outcome. So fans like us have had to learn patience. I think under MB patience will pay off. (Hope Timo isn’t online at the moment!)

      • cliff rashotte says:

        Thanks Mike…Hopefully Timo is having a massage etc.and doesnt read my comment. Im sure he would have a reply on not panicking and stay with the plan.There is talent on the team and a good start moving forward but still a ways a way from the cup..Im sure I will have a few more grey hairs before that happens.

    • reddog24 says:

      Welcome Cliff. I enjoyed the same growing up as you but money seems to be the root of all today’s game. Hope Molson is not turning into Harold Ballard. Good day in Peterborough but cold. Say Hello to Gary. Remember the days that the Habs owned Our Peterborough Petes.

      • cliff rashotte says:

        Hi Tom…Those were the days…Everything seemed better..You could watch the Petes play and see exactly what the habs had comming up thru the ranks and kinda of know them personally from the Petes games…Will say hi to Gary…He is in Florida and luckily for him got to see the Tampa game and not the Panthers …

        • reddog24 says:

          Hi Cliff
          Wondered is you would figure out who I was. Miss are daily game replays and things we would do with the Habs. I still have no use for MT as coach.

  15. The Jackal says:

    Is it blasphemous if I wear a Canucks item, both while not wearing any Habs stuff and also while wearing some Habs stuff?

    I’m going to see the game tonight (vs TB) and I’m gonna wear my Habs shirt, but I’ll be cheering for the Canucks. They’re my new hometown team since my family immigrated and settled in Vancouver a few years ago. I’m a diehard Habs fan living in TO but I cheer for the Canucks whenever they are not playing us.

    As with any crazy hockey fan, I’m a tad superstitious and don’t want any bad juju. I wanna represent the Habs but I don’t wanna disrespect the home team tonight.

    Thoughts?

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • dr. gesundheit says:

      A loud mouthed/idiot buddy of mine (originally from Vancouver) is a Canucks fan therefore I can’t stand them.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Aren’t we allowed to have second-favourite teams?

      I forget, along with the HIO secret hand-shake and tithing arrangements.

      Enjoy the game!

      • The Jackal says:

        Oh yeah the secret hand-shake…. That’s how you recognize a HIO member out in the world.
        And the tithe… I sent my payment to Boone via a raven like in Game of Thrones.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Sure you are. When I was a boy, my Dad invited Phil Myre and Phil Roberto to our house for dinner. Back then players had other jobs and they were working part time during the summer. Phil Myre was very nice to me and my sisters and when he ended up in Atlanta, they became my second favourite team. I still have his autographed
        black and white 69/70 Montreal Voyageurs photo on my office wall.

        Habfan17

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Yes we are allowed, just not Vancouver, Boston, Toronto, Rangers, Devils, Ottawa, etc….

        • dr. gesundheit says:

          Totally Agree…(and add Quebec City if they regain a franchise)…would also take Devils off the list if one could come off…Corey Schneider’s new(er) team

  16. Frank2468 says:

    I pvr’d the game last night and couldn’t figure out why my pvr giggled when I first started it up at 1:30am. By the end I understood glad I went out instead of watching that cra** live.

  17. FormalWare says:

    Congrats, Patches, on your selection to Team USA!


    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  18. Mondou6 says:

    lol…Announcing the US Olympic roster to an empty stadium, half an hour after the game ends. What was the point of that?

  19. Habfan17 says:

    If you could choose a top 4 defenceman from any 3/4 defenceman from any other team, a first line right wing snd a second line left wing, who would they be and who would you let go?

    Habfan17

  20. munch17 says:

    As I read here earlier the Canes announcers had a lot of nice things to say about Carey Price.
    What was really impressive was that they said CP never blames any of his teammates or throws anyone under the bus. In addition to playing great hockey he seems to be a great teammate.

  21. Mark C says:

    What is Babcock doing? How is Todd Bertuzzi getting 5 more minutes than the young future core member, Tomas Tatar? Not only is Tatar more productive, his plus/minus is 13 points better!

    Clearly Babcock playing favorites.

    • Eddie says:

      Are you comparing Tatar to Galchenyuk?

      • Mark C says:

        Nope. Any young promising player, not just Galchenyuk, but also the ilk of the Bournival.

        Appears that Babcock is doing the same thing that gets posters on here to chant for MT’s removal.

        • Eddie says:

          Some young players deserve to play ahead of veterans. When Subban came up he was uniquely talented. Galchenyuk deserves that kind of treatment as well, especially on a team starved for offence.

          Tomas Tatars game does not suit outdoor conditions.

          • Mark C says:

            Bertuzzi has been getting more ice time all year, additionally Tatar had 4 more shots so the outdoor conditions thing is an excuse.

            My point is, even great coaches, such as Babcock do things that would upset the anti-MT contingent.

          • Eddie says:

            Unfortunately, your point does not make Therrien a better coach.

            He’s just not in Babcock’s league. Not even close.

            Not sure why you always want to defend him?

          • Mark C says:

            Not defending or even saying he’s a good coach, just that the things people don’t like when MT does it are done by coaches who are universal considered much better coaches.

            If Babcock was hired in Montreal tomorrow, half of HIO would be crying about some of his moves by the playoffs. This league is all about great players, until you have enough of those, it doesn’t matter who the coach. Montreal is still short on great players.

    • piper says:

      should have used Todd in the shootout


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