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. Arnou Ruelle says:

    So, the Maple Leafs made a move by Trading John Micheal Liles to Carolina for Tim Gleason. And this was all happening behind the scenes during the Winter Classic. Kinda reminds myself of what Gauthier did to Cammalleri in exchange for Bourque 3 years ago.

    If that’s the case and possibly more trades will come before deadline, why not the GM here pull the trigger and makes some calls now.

    Our Habs need players who are bigger and faster. Its 2014 so why can’t we see big changes now till off-season!

    • frontenac1 says:

      Gleason is a middleweight that will tilt with any Heavyweight usually with a negative outcome. I admirehis guts but he is a Stiff. Even Tinordi won his fight with him earlier this season.

  2. habs001 says:

    Just dont see the present lineup scoring many more goals in the second half of the season regardless who they are playing with and ice time manipulation..Plecks is on pace to having his best goal scoring season ever…Maxpac on pace for 35 goals….Gallagher and Galchenyuk on pace for 20plus….Briere,Gion and Borque i dont see them scoring much more than what they have done so far…same with Moen,Prust and White…the remaining forwards are pretty well on pace in goal scoring in what their past indicates….The majority of the D provides no scoring help at all…

  3. Psycho29 says:

    CBC technical difficulties???

  4. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    In other news, RIP Uncle Phil:
    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/fresh-prince-patriarch-james-avery-dead-65-183903280.html

    Enjoyed the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Favorite scene was the pool hall hustle (shooting while eating a sandwich…LOL):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT0Wp9LO4v4

  5. The Jackal says:

    Is anyone else at least happy for Muller that he got the W and avoided a firing on New Year’s Eve?

    I cheer for Muller and Canes whenever they aren’t playing the Habs.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  6. DT says:

    I’ve watched and cheered for this team for 45 years, through ups and downs, I continued to cheer… But let’s face it, there’ve been far too many downs for far too long. I’m usually positive, always hoping things will turn around and get better. Truth is, I can’t do it anymore. I’ve hit a wall. It hurts too much to support mediocre-to-bad teams, the likes of which we’ve seen in Montreal for what seems like an eternity. Will it ever change?

    I get no enjoyment watching the games of the current edition of Les Glorieux. The only solution that remains to right this ship, is to tank! And tank for enough years consecutively to eventually ice a team with enough talent to make hockey interesting and enjoyable to watch once again in this city. Do it for the passionate hockey loving fans who fill the arenas night in and night out in rinks like the Bell Centre, not the empty rinks of American southern-based NHL cities.

    The current team is bad enough to tank this year but one man stands in the way: Price. He’s too good. His game is at the highest level we’ve ever seen and it’s not likely to step back. The other young talent on the team and in the minor leagues, still needs time to develop but once developed, I fear it still won’t be enough. We’ll be stuck again, for years to come, cheering on how many more middle of the pack mediocre teams?

    For the love of the game and pride in this franchise, my New Year wish is to please have this team tank and start a seriously awesome rebuild of the Canadiens once and for all. Do it through the draft, with high picks. Do it like most all championship teams have done lately (Oilers excluded). Do it for the future generations of Canadiens fans to come.

    • CH Marshall says:

      Bingo. I couldn’t even watch more than 2 periods over the last month. This style (or whatever it is) of hockey is boring, and somewhat depressing. 07-08 was awesome because it was so fun to watch the puck moving and possession etc. even though we were pretty soft. Now we’re still soft and don’t score much 5-5.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Hi DT,

      You and I have been following the Habs for the same amount of time.
      I agree! I am realistic and don’t expect the team to be like the one that last won the cup four years straight with only 18 loses over two of those years, but I di expect them to play with the same zeal and be competitive. They need to have pride and want to show the best teams that they belong with them, and not want to be embarrassed by the so called weaker teams.

      That is one thing that seems lacking.

      Habfan17

    • wjc says:

      With parady you may never see another Stanley cup.

      Business corporations do not tank, they maximize profits.

      To tank (lose on purpose) is bad for business. Making playoffs and selling merchandise, advertising and being a part of a 30 team congomerate means you have to do your part.

      All for one and one for all. Players are united and go to the highest bidder if unrestricted, so salary cap is a factor.

      wjc

      • DT says:

        WJC
        I think you mean “parity”.

        I’m not asking for a Stanely Cup — although it would be nice, I’m asking for the entertainment value of this business in this market be raised considerably, to a level where a fan feels good and gets their share, their full value for their money. The Molsons have to be laughing at how little it takes to put out a product, that rakes in money based on the same mediocre quality, year after year.

        Rebuilding within the rules isn’t losing on purpose. It’s putting into place an NHL business strategy that has been shown to succeed to some degree, to have your on ice product be better and excel in the long run. It means, among other things, giving top young talent ice time, decent minutes, at the NHL level to develop and harness their skills.

        UFAs do not all go equally and fairly to teams that need them most. They often go to winning teams, not losing teams. No parity there.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Happy New Year, wjc.

        I think your points re business are all valid. But I hope you’re not suggesting it was ever any different. The surface details may change over the decades, but it has always been a business, so that player safety, for example, has never been a genuine concern of the league.

    • hansolo says:

      Happy New Year, DT.

      I largely agree with you. I’ve been a Habs fan for 43 years going on 44. My first season as a fan was when a minor league goaltender with 6 games of NHL experience (I’m sure you’ve heard of him — his name was Ken Dryden) took the Habs to a Cup win. I also got used to the sustained excellence the Habs always showed in the 70s and to some extent, in the 80s.

      But those days are gone and there’s no point in us old-timers lamenting them. The game is different, athletes and society are different. There won’t ever be dynasties like that 70s team again.

      I agree it’s harder to be a fan now. One can talk about officiating ad nauseam, but there’s no excuse for the Habs to be drawing so many penalties, or to get outshot, like they have been pretty regularly this season.

      I don’t agree the answer is to tank. Edmonton, Florida and Columbus have shown us that doesn’t necessarily work. What I think DOES work is to have a first-class organization, that cares about its players, fans, media — in short about putting a first-class product on and off the ice. I’m going to drown in an acid rain of protest here but I think you can only put a first-class product on and off the ice if you care about having the best people run the show. In other words, you can’t hamstring yourself by insisting the coach and GM speak French, and by wanting merely average francophone players on the team at any cost – yes, I mean Briere. And yes, I speak French.

      Imagine what English Premier League teams would be like if they insisted on only English managers and on having a substantial number of English players on each team.

      The Habs could be the Man U of the NHL because of their brand recognition. I think success starts with that change in attitude. I’m sorry, I don’t think MT and MB are up to the task of taking us to the promised land. We’ve had precedent before — Claude Ruel resigned in 1970. Al McNeil, a unilingual Anglophone, was the coach of the Cup-winning team in 70-71.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Absolutely well written and very true post… especially with the factors which influence coaching and GM selection.

        I will temper the statement, “and by wanting merely average francophone players on the team at any cost” a bit though.

        But the signing of Briere is an example of allowing the Francophone factor to blindfold your search.
        MB had say $4 mill or so to spend on a forward. From all accounts he went hard after Lecavalier (I was excited that he did and while it appears now that we dodged a bullet in not getting Lecavalier..I still think it would have been a good acquisition.) Unable to get Lecavalier, I think MB too quickly turned to Briere… a move which he would have no problems selling to the base he first and foremost had to ‘appease’. I dont think there was any other team that would have given Briere two years at that $.

      • DT says:

        Happy New Year hansolo.

        I agree that a first-class organization, which cares about its players is essential and any success you have as a team, needs to have many things in place. However, I don’t think it’s enough. Players like Koivu and others, always said the Canadiens were a first class organization — true or not, fans may never know (at least, before Gainey disgracefully dumped him). But first on my list, is having enough quality players. And the best ones, fall from the almighty draft tree. Without a good crop of top quality players, excellent management and coaches can’t get to the promised land.

        Having the best people run the show certainly helps, no doubt about it. However, this is a business and I think the French language majority market, in all fairness, respectfully deserve to have a coach and GM capable of communicating to the press and fans in the language of the majority. 1970s are long gone. In this respect, I believe, things have changed for the better for the team in this particular market — says this anglo. Sorry, just my two-cents.

    • bmcalig says:

      DT
      I said the same thing yesterday. I have followed the Habs since 1968 and it really hurts to watch them today. We are so small and soft that it is pathetic. I yearn for the days of Ferguson, Risebrough, Nilan. Someone with a little passion and who cared about the CH on their chest. No one pushed us around then and our stars were real stars who could skate, shoot and SCORE. We have no one besides little gally who will stand in front of the net. Our two biggest wingers, Patches and Bourque are terrified to go to the net. So I agree time to blow up the team. Trade away everyone except Price, PK and the two Gallys for draft picks and young prospects. As a true hab fan I would rather watch a group of young players trying hard and making mistakes than a bunch of soft vets just floating on the ice and accomplishing zero.

  7. WAR72 says:

    Vancouver sun carried an article last may- 20 potential replacements for alain vigneault.
    Carbo and boucher are on the list. Jaques martin also.
    Torts is not.
    Considering habs must hire a french speaking coach, only three out of twenty available. The aforementioned three.
    Basically habs talent pool to chose coaches is around fifteen percent.

    Here is the article
    http://vansunsportsblogs.com/2013/05/08/20-potential-replacements-if-alain-vigneault-gets-fired/

    • 24 Cups says:

      Well Martin is certainly out of the running and I doubt management would go with Carbo so it’s down to Boucher. What’s the over/under on how many months he will last? I’m only asking because he would be the 8th coach in 10 years.

      • Eddie says:

        Boucher could have been hired instead of Martin. He also should still be in Tampa, but it was only after he was dismissed did Yzerman recognize that Lacavalier was the problem.

        Boucher would have the respect of our new leadership group, including Subban and Pacioretty.

        Boucher will take another job once his 4 year deal with Tampa has expired. He’s in no rush.

        According to RDS Bocher has been approached by more than one team since his firing.

        • The Jackal says:

          Maybe he’s taking his time to wait for a Habs job to clear up.
          I was disappointed to see him go to TB while we were stuck with JM.
          I’d take him and have Carbo as an assistant and then ideally have Robinson return in that position too.

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • Habfan17 says:

            Perhaps that is the plan. Therrien has one more year on his contract! Then maybe Boucher!

            Habfan17

      • Mark C says:

        20 months. He’d chewed up and spit out like all the coaches are in this town.

  8. 24 Cups says:

    I’ve got to give Cleary his due in this game. I’d be running to my momma if I had ten teeth knocked out. He basically hasn’t missed a shift.

  9. Habfan17 says:

    I have no problem with Bergevin. He needs time to change the team make up. Goal scoring, gritty power forwards don’t grow on trees. I wasn’t happy with the Briere signing, but even with him being slow, I like what Murray as a 7th defenceman brings to the table. I watch opposing players bounce off of him and it is fun! Parros was a crap shoot. If not for the Colton Orr attempt to injure take down, things may be different with him.

    Therrien does have me and it seems the players confused. He held true to his word and had the team going great last season playing an aggressive fore check up tempo game. They could score 5 on 5.

    Then came some injuries and as he said, the need to change things since he was missing key players. Now they are all back and healthy, he should be able to revert back to the system from last season with minor tweaks to shore up the defensive areas.

    The Habs are sucking in almost every way now with basically the same team. They did not need to change the way they played, with the exception of the defensive zone formation. What they need are a few more bigger bodied, gritty players to fill the holes.

    It wasn’t the system that caused the injuries, it was running into players on average 2″ and 2o lbs bigger all the time.

    Now Markov who was playing so well the first half of the season is struggling. Therrien is using him too much and wearing him out.
    The young kids have the energy and strength to take on larger roles. let them strut their tuff and give players like Pleks and Markov a bit of a break!

    Habfan17

  10. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I think MT should take the team synchronized swimming so they can bond just like they did playing baseball on their off day. Enough already kick the fother mucker out.

  11. rogieshan says:

    Team should just give the “C” to Carey Price. Watching our lame-duck captain Gionta struggling his way with the writing clearly on the wall is becoming sad. You could see Plekanec trying so hard to feed him a goal last night and the hands just weren’t there. Re-patriot him back to New Jersey for Jagr in return. Please.

    • Mattyleg says:

      3 things:

      (a) Goalies can’t be captains.

      (2) Captain doesn’t need to be the team’s highest scorer. It just has to be the player that the rest of the team listens to. Because you’re going through a bare spell doesn’t mean that people stop listening to or respecting you.

      That’s just what bad fans do.

      (iii) I wish you were our GM. You would get that Gionta-for-Jagr deal done in a flash. I don’t care if everyone else calls you a ding-dong, I believe in you…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • RAM_TOUGH says:

        Matty, what is a bad fan?

        Guts-Glory-Ram

      • Habfan17 says:

        How did Luongo become captain then? Is this a new rule? Bill Durnan was also captain of the Habs!

        Habfan17

        • Psycho29 says:

          NHL Rule 6.1
          “No playing Coach or playing Manager or goalkeeper shall be permitted to act as Captain or Alternate Captain.”

          I remember Luongo was named captain but never officially wore the C. The alternate captains handled the discussions with officials etc.

      • rogieshan says:

        I don’t doubt that Gionta has the respect of locker room, but his uncertain status with the team must make for an uncomfortable situation. I can only imagine what he’s going through: a captain who is under-producing and playing for a contract on a team that has given no indication of wanting you back.

        As for the Gionta-Jagr deal, throw in Emelin for Eric Gelinas and call it even.

    • Eddie says:

      I think Plekanec would take Jagr over Gionta 100 times out of 100. Those two, Plekanec and Jagr have a great history together.

      I think Gionta has been a very big disappointment. He’s a scorer who is not scoring. Plekanec has played well.

      It’s time for Giona to be moved at the deadline while he still has some value.

  12. SteverenO says:

    MT is guilty of “under-preparing” and “overcoaching” again.

    The team is full of effective penalty killers and in a game where the team plays short handed for more than 12 minutes the penalty killing duties need to be distributed better.

    Penalty killing time last night:

    Plekanec: 7:54
    Moen: 4:54
    Prust: 2:51
    White: 1;56
    Eller: 1:52
    Gionta: 1:05
    Galchenyuk:0:45
    Pacioretty: 0:24

    Plekanec to have played almost 8 minutes (2 goals allowed) while Eller played only 2 minutes is an example of poor ice time management.

    Eller has excelled on the PK this season allowing an average of one goal against per every 20 minutes of ice time. Plekanec has been good but not as effective as Eller. Plekanec has been on for an average of one GA every 15 minutes (going into the game; every 12 minutes after last night’s game).

    For Moen to have 4:54 while Pacioretty and Gionta played 1:29 between them is another example of poor ice time management.

    Both Pacioretty, (averaging 1 GA every 21 minutes) and Gionta (1 GA every 19 minutes) have been far more effective than Moen who is averaging 1 GA every 7.5 minutes when killing penalties.

    I am also of the opinion that Gallagher can potentially be (one of ) our best, if not one of the best in the NHL at killing penalties, and Desharnais was often used , effectively, by JM to kill penalties. The point is that there are many options on thie squad and there is no good reason why Plekanec should be playing a 2:15 shift to begin the third period.

    Here is how our defense men were utilized on the penalty kill last night.
    Diaz: 6:46
    Markov: 6:45
    Gorges; 5:25
    Emelin: 3:09
    Subban: 1:39
    Bouillon: 0:00

    While Diaz and Gorges have been our best penalty killers and should be given the primary penalty killing duty, Markov, much like Subban, is more effective at even strength and on the PP. His penalty killing minutes should be minimized. Bouillon has been effective so far this season and there is no reason to keep him off the penalty kill. In 19 minutes of short handed play Bouillon has only been on for one PP ga.

    As with Markov, Subban is much more effctive at even strength and on the PP and it makes sense for his PK time to be limited (especially when the team has other options), That being said there is NO reason in teh world that Subban NOT be used when the team is playing long periods of time at a man dis-advantage, and for a coach to keep his best skater on the bench when playing 3 versus 5 is , in my opinion, ridiculous.

    Emelin, has been showing signs of fatigue, and his long injury layoff may me the cause. There is little resemblance to last years hard hitting smooth skating Emelin and until he gets back to where he was his ice time should be restricted and he should probably be included in the press box rotation shuffle with Murray and Bouillon.

    Basically , MT three biggest faults are;

    1) POOR ICE TIME MANAGEMENT -not using ALL of his available resources to the best advantage.

    2) GAME STRATEGY: One of the Habs greatest strengths is that we have one of the best goaltenders in the league. we should be playing an all out offensive style of game and be happy to trade scoring chances with anyone. The team should be looking to win games 6-5, 5 -4 and 4 -3 , not 1-0 and 2-1.

    3: LINE COMBOS: The have have had a number of effective lines this season, but for some reason MT refuses to keep them together:
    The line he won’t break up, 67/51/11 has been effective of late but seems like Gallagher is being utilized as a “decoy” more than anything else. .
    27/81/11, 49/14/21 OR 48/14/21, AND 67/51/ 8 (Prust replacing Cole) on the line with DD and Pacioretty that was very effective would give the team three balanced scoring lines.

    A 4th line of Leblanc/Bournival(Briere)/Bourque or
    would allow the team to roll 4 lines every game and make us a tough team to play against. A team that should score 3 or MORE goals almost every game.

    regards,

    Steve O.

  13. Psycho29 says:

    I have a bad feeling this will be a 3-point game………

  14. makka83 says:

    A lot of people are blaming MT and MB and using the same reasons they blamed BG, PG, Carbo, Julien, JM etc… Example: MT changes lines too much. Well, JM, Carbo, BG and Julien did the same thing and people complained about it.

    The truth is, the Habs are not yet built to be a contender in today’s NHL. Gainey took a chance on getting skilled players that are fast as supposed to other teams who went with “toughness”. It didn’t work.

    MB will be the GM for a while, at least 4-5 more years. So get used to it. MT will probably be the transition coach and will get fired right before the Habs are ready to make the leap to the next level in a year or two.

    What is disturbing to me about some of the losses this season is that the Habs are lacking character in those games. This is what MB has been saying since getting here… We only sign character guys. But I am not seeing a lot of character wins. I am seeing teams folding when they are 3 goals down and collapsing when they are 2/3 goals up.

  15. showey47 says:

    Boone said below that the players might be tuning out therrien. If that is true it could very well be MT’s own fault. Before last season started MT gave a speech,which I think was on the very first 24ch, he said ice time would be earned, not on where you were drafted or how much money you make. Take a look at the points standings on the team and tell me if that’s true. You don’t have to look much further then galchenyuk, eller and even bournival to see how false his statement was. Pretty sure Price has more PP points then bouillon does since 2011 but somehow bouillon still gets a regular 2nd pairing PP shift(cube has 1 pp point since 2011). What did bournival do to get bumped down to the 4th line? He still has more goals then gionta and DD. Eller with his very limited to no PP time still has more PP goals then DD. Galchenyuk is 3rd on the team in points and probably has the most natural talent. His time on the PP should be automatically among the top. If the team is started to turn on MT,its his own doing. Happy new year all.

  16. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Mattyleg, did U watch the game last night? Price has been bailing out the defense all season!

    Guts-Glory-Ram

    • showey47 says:

      Without Price this team is hard pressed to be playoff team. It would also be fair to give Budaj some props to. He has also played very well when called upon.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Yes I watched the game, and I agree that Price has been amazing.

      Why are you asking me this?

      Having trouble following you today…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • RAM_TOUGH says:

        Montreal’s D has been horrible all season

        The language of the coach should not make any difference. Hockey in the NHL the coach communicates to the players in English anyway.

        Guts-Glory-Ram

        • Mattyleg says:

          Our D has been amazing.
          We have one of the lowest GAAs in the league.
          Much of that has to do with Price, but also his defence corps.

          I haven’t said anything about the coach’s language.
          My post below sums it all up.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Whoa Matty!

            Amazing? The GAA stat is indeed amazing. But the D in general? Is it not more amazing that both goalies aren’t in hospital with the liberties that opposing forwards take any time Murray isn’t on the ice? Is it not disappointing how difficult it appears to be for our D to clear the zone and how little most of them contribute to offense?

  17. duffy says:

    Watching the so called greatest game ever, most BORING game I have watched this year !!

  18. mrhabby says:

    team still has a winning record and peeps want MT removed. With MB changing the culture iam quite sure this would be viewed by the players as being a stupid/rash move..talk about sending a bad message.

    i guess anything is possible but who wants guys like carbo or Boucher. Me thinks MT will be around for sometime yet.

    • Sportfan says:

      Carbo had a winning record and he got removed.

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

    • Strummer says:

      Coaches are hired to be fired.
      Therrien was a default choice for Bergevin as he establishes himself as a legitimate GM.

      Lasting 2 years of a 3 year contract is reasonable in the NHL

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

    • ont fan says:

      Carbo, Boucher and a couple of others are our only choices? We are short on talent and bringing some minor league players won’t change much at this point. Just grasping at straws. Patience fellas.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Please explain the ‘culture’ he’s changing and the ‘culture’ he’s replacing it with.

      People use such pompous phrases “we are changing the culture” on a macro level when their success at the micro aspects of their responsibilities aren’t all too clear.

      I learnt to challenge such pomposity as a consultant in my old job.

  19. Mattyleg says:

    Oh, hi.
    The post I replied to disappeared.

    …ahem…

    …this is awkward….

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      There was a body-part reference, yes?
      My Edit function ceased to work again — how about yours?

      • RAM_TOUGH says:

        Because the truth hurts.

        Guts-Glory-Ram

        • Mattyleg says:

          What was the truth?
          Some kind of discriminatory comment about Francophones being uptight, or preoccupied with details?

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • RAM_TOUGH says:

            That is right Matty. Details? What details? The game of hockey is about winning. Not the coach spouting to the Media!

            Guts-Glory-Ram

          • Mattyleg says:

            I’m sorry Ram, but you’re not making a lick of sense.
            Can’t make heads or tails of what you’re talking about.
            Have a pop and ‘enjoy’ the Winter ‘Classic’.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

  20. The_Truth says:

    People like to blame the coach, but it isn’t Therrien. I don’t care what coach you have, this team isn’t good enough to contend. Giving Eller more PP time (what has he done to earn it?), or moving Emelin to the left side or putting Bournival on the top 6 (Really?), won’t make any difference to that. It’s just semantics.

    Face it, the team is what it is and are not a top tier team. Only reason they are doing not bad so far is Price and there is only so long he can play on his head as was witnessed last night or vs the Kings or Blues. The team is competitive as are most NHL teams, but don’t have the firepower or talent to do much come playoff time.

  21. Bozo McBozo says:

    The true cure for the Habs is the resurrection of the Nordiques!

  22. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Enough is enough. Move Markov back with PK. As for Emelin, move him back to his natural left-side on the the third pairing with Diaz. Bring up Pateryn and play him with Gorges on the second pairing. If Gorges can’t mentor a young D-man then Gorges’s useless. Also, if JJ can’t coach him, then send JJ back to the AHL where he came from (BTW not hiring Larry Robinson was a huge mistake).

    I don’t understand posters who want to stick with the same’o same’o in Murray and Boullion. Pateryn is doing everything in Hamilton (even fighting). He should be given a shot. Also Emelin should play his natural side. Everybody else does so why shouldn’t he? If Pateryn does not work out, then MB should go out and get a top 4 RH D-man. MB should start doing his job instead of looking in the mirror, doing commercials and buying ugly suits.

    • Frozen Village says:

      Like Pateryn has earned his shot

      Sweden is not a country of (BS) Liberal Socialists

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        He is +11 on a weak team. He has surpassed his point totals from last year (39 games) in 26 games. What the heck else does he have to do??? I believe in rewarding performance not mediocrity (Boullion/Murray).

        • Eddie says:

          Bergevin hand picked Murray and Bouillon goes back 20 years with Therrien. That’s why they are here.

          Patteryn should definitely be given 5 or 10 games, I agree.

    • Eddie says:

      Murray was signed by Bergevin when no other GM would touch him. If Murray was trying out for an AHL team this week he would be cut. He’s done! Finished! He can no longer keep up with NHL speed.

      Briere likewise. Finished. Nothing. Zero. Worthless.

      This is what our rookie GM brought to the table this summer.

      You guys can sugarcoat it all you want. I don’t hide from reality.

      • Bozo McBozo says:

        The Briere signing was Gomez lite. Like the “Smilin’ Jackass” he sucked mothballs at his previous team. Yet, MB picked him up. When are Habs GMs going to learn? If a player sucked on team t-1, he won’t turn it around in Montreal.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        That’s pretty clear. We all wish our GM was right about all of his decisions but that’s not the case.

        I love what DDO proposes. There is really little downside.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Murray is not that bad amigo. He clears the crease,hits like a truck and blocks shots. Check out the win/loss Maritime posted this AM. with him in vs out of the line up. It is surprising.

        • Eddie says:

          Front, watch him out there. He’s bad.

          • frontenac1 says:

            Did you see the last 2 games? Who isn”t? Sit Cube for the remainder of the season.Split his time with Murray and one of the kids on the farm. Put TU-74 back on his proper side and Keep PK and Markov together. But how can that happen when the coach is playing Sorcerer”s Apprentice?

    • JUST ME says:

      Nothing wrong with your ideas but you are stoping short in your analysis . Who scores goals on that team ? Who should be scoring goals and is not or are not ? The d- squad although not perfect is not the main problem . The habs are withinn the best at this position. I think we agree anyway that Emelin is having a horrible sequence,Bouillon was not hired to play every game and Murray should not be playing every game but once this is said offensive production is the key here.

      Make no mistake though, we will have to deal with what we have now on the ice and behind the bench also and are wiser to leave the kids in Hamilton. With or without them this team does not have what it takes to face the western machines . I do not think it was in the plans anyway this season.

    • Mattyleg says:

      There are only so many players you can have in your roster.
      We don’t need a junior d-man; too risky to bring one up now when we don’t need one.

      Our defence isn’t an issue; it’s our goal-scoring.
      Seems like we can’t have both at the same time.
      Last night we scored 4 goals, but let in 5.
      When we score one or two, we only let in one or two.

      MB is doing a fine job. We’re doing great considering we’re nowhere near having the kind of team that he wants. And as for him ‘going out and getting a top 4 RH D-man’, it may be a little harder to do that (cap-space issues on top of all the other kinds of negotiating problems that might arise) than you think.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        MB did great last year (except the rushed DD signing). This off-season was weak. I agree that it is difficult to get that D-man but if he is not going to play youngsters when they are doing well (Pateryn) then what is the point of keeping them in the organization? For me progress is not just about the standings, it is about the players too. I don’t see any improvement in the future for Boullion/Murray. Aside from Murray’s physicality, they bring nothing.

        • Mattyleg says:

          We have the defencemen we have this season.
          Pateryn will come up next year when we need him.
          There will be room on the roster then.
          Bringing a d-man up too early can be disastrous.
          Look at Del Zotto. Perfect cautionary tale.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

            “We have the defencemen we have this season”…no we don’t. We have only 1 top 4 RH D-man. Emelin, like Gorges/Markov, can’t play the right side. To fulfill Emelin’s potential, he needs to be moved to his natural left side. Enough already…

      • kalevine says:

        Isn’t the defence supposed to help out the forwards but getting the puck up and keeping it in? Only Subban and Markov are any sort of a factor in that regard. Sure the forwards can’t score, but part of the blame for that lies with the D

        • Mattyleg says:

          I agree that we have been best when we’ve pinched, but that goes against the defence-first mentality that some people don’t like.

          It’s hard to get the balance right.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  23. Plekasuares says:

    JM liles for Tim Gleason And his huge contract. Way too go Nonis

  24. CH Marshall says:

    Just thinking back to the Florida game, and the shot of the bench said it all. Players body language, slumped forward, gazed looks. Of course they’ve tuned Therrien out.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I think they were just pissed off because of the called-back goals.
      That kills a team’s morale.

      That’s why Therrien lightened things up with the baseball game.

      It worked, too. We came out strong as hell in the first two periods, despite the bad calls, which eventually caught up with us.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. habsfan0 says:

    Fans watching this game in the US are getting a primer on what this year’s Super Bowl will be all about in a month’s time.

  26. Mattyleg says:

    I’m curious to know, from all the MT-haters out there, who would be a better coach for the Habs.

    A coach that is available (so no Babcock or Hitchcock or any other -cock for that matter), and who is not a Francophone, so that we don’t have to listen to any more of that broken record.

    Who? Paul Maurice? Would he be good, or is his name too French-sounding for all the Francophobes on here? Tom Rennie? Ron Wilson?

    Who, people? Who??

    (and “I don’t care, but anyone is better…” doesn’t count)

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • mrhabby says:

      lol…how true.

      Gerard Gallant??

    • Eddie says:

      I think Carbonneau and Guy Boucher would have to better, actually. I like both of them. Carbonneau got a strange firing from an irrational GM, and I know Guy Boucher deserved better from Yzerman.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Not allowed.
        Francophones.
        Any shortcoming would be blamed on the GM for hiring a ‘French’ coach. Bergevin has to be smart and stay away from that piège.
        Trap, sorry.
        Trap.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • The Jackal says:

          No Francos? Then I would take Mike Babcock! (if he were available…)

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • Eddie says:

          Boucher does play the trap, when he needs to. His team scores a ton of goals, however, and the trap is only one defence he uses.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            If it’s the case that the trap is just one of several strategies he uses (perhaps in response to different situations or teams) then I am more interested in Boucher than I was.

          • Eddie says:

            Absolutely that’s the case. Boucher was also Subbans and Max’s coach in Hamilton, and they did fabulously well playing for him.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Subban also won the Norris under Therrien, and Max is the team’s top scorer now under MT.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • ont fan says:

      The haters don’t really have solutions, just complaints.

    • The Jackal says:

      I’d take a shot on Boucher or Carbo.
      From my limited perspective, I think Carbo was unjustly fired… I think Gainey panicked due to pressure from GG to win in the Centennial, and the Habs looked like they were going off the rails. Who knows if that is true or not, maybe the players did tune Carbo out, but if that’s not the case, I’d welcome him back.

      Boucher was considered a rising star in the coaching world. He had a lot of success early on but his team collapsed at the end of his tenure. I don’t know exactly why that happened but I’d say he has learned from his mistakes and would make a good coach with a new opportunity.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        I also like Carbo but thought Burli’s recent comment — that Carbs needs to practise somewhere else first and has not done so since leaving the Habs — is a valid one.

        How about Boucher and trap hockey? Is that what we would have to accept? I don’t know, never seeing ‘Dogs’ games and rarely Tampa games when he was there.

    • Frozen Village says:

      Guy Boucher, thinks the game different, and has had the opportunity to get perspective.

      Sweden is not a country of (BS) Liberal Socialists

    • JUST ME says:

      Whoever is chosen do you really think it would make a difference in the comments on HIO ?

      This complaining on MT is just a sad joke. If people chose to blame him for being french there are no words to qualify that. If people chose to judge him for what he did in the past they should look at themselves in the mirror with the same judgement and see how it feels and if it is justified for them first.
      His record since being brought back is better than anyone expected. He is not perfect but he is trying to stir up things but sometimes while doing that you stir something else.

      I have been through so many coaches now to tell you that it`s the same ole story again in Habsland and if they win 2 games in a row….

    • RAM_TOUGH says:

      You Matty won’t be alive to see the Habs win a Cup with a Francophone coach!

      Guts-Glory-Ram

      • Mattyleg says:

        Now why is that, Ram?
        Are Francophones unable to win Cups?
        You might want to tell that to Claude Julien, Bob Hartley, Jacques Lemaire, Jacques Demers, Jean Perron… etc. etc. etc…

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Heck, I would.

      Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  27. mrhabby says:

    Gleason to Leafs for Liles and a prospect.

  28. Miltie01 says:

    Love it. Something about snow falling while playing hockey…..Memories !!!

  29. Bozo McBozo says:

    The Leafs and Wings are having a tougher time in these conditions that the modern players who had to wear the old equipment in The Rocket.

  30. AH says:

    I’m loving this Winter Classic! Snow, cold, what memories!

  31. RAM_TOUGH says:

    sholi2000

    Hab fans are no different from Leaf fans. We have tolerated losers going on 3 decades now!

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  32. The Puckhound says:

    To win you need to be puck possession team and the Habs are not..too small
    If Tomas Plekanec and Desharnais are your 1 and 2 centers this team is in trouble..Too small and inconsistent…one good game …4 bad…

    Emelin and Markov have been terrible.

    Seriously ,Therrien and Bergevin should go in front of Jeff Molson and explain to him why they should have a job! Poor signing and poor trades/ or no trades!

    Go to the net and keep your stick on the ice!

  33. The Jackal says:

    Happy 2014 HIO, hope there is a lot of good for you all in store this year.

    Rather than engaging in a debate of why MT sucks or why he is good, let’s try something else.

    Does anyone think another coach could really do better with the current roster? When you have Cube (great heart but his time is up), Murray (decent 6th but not one to lean on), Diaz (not what we need), and Gorges are guys you rely on heavily, how can you really expect to play better defensively and help the offence?
    Then, with forwards who are not only undersized and past their prime (Gio, Briere) but also mismatched on the team, how can we really expect to score a ton of goals when the play closes up?

    I think we have a good core, and good peripheral youngsters.
    Chucky, Gally, Max, Eller, Prust, PK, and Price are excellent for us, and will be so.Bournival, Emelin, and DD have proven to be contributors and can work in the lineup and have a positive impact.

    But other than that, the other players are kind of in a grey area… other than Pleks – who is an unsung hero – they can be done away with to make room for new blood – the kind of players we need.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Mike Boone says:

      I agree with every point you make.
      But I’m starting to fear they’ve tuned Therrien out.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • 24 Cups says:

        Mike – If that’s true, then what does it say about the young core of this team that so many fans are enamored with right now? As well, what does it say about the character of Gionta, Pleks, Markov. Prust and Gorges?

    • 24 Cups says:

      As for replacing the coach, a logical question is which candidates would be on the list? There’s Crawford from the old list, but his court case hasn’t been heard yet so I doubt MB will take that route. Both Lemaire and Robinson have stated they don’t want to be head coaches again. That just leaves Guy Boucher.

      I think you also have to consider the fact that MB is trying to build a new culture in Montreal. What would it be saying if he fired the coach at the first sign of trouble?

      • The Jackal says:

        Agree with your last point. Firing the coach sends the wrong message, specially with a winning record.
        It tells the players that MB thinks they can’t turn it around or handle adversity, and it tells the fans that he is not patient enough to build a contender the way he said he would.
        Right now there are no good reasons to fire MT. Barring a an obscenely ridiculous derailing, MT will be coaching this team come April.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Gallant?

    • Mattyleg says:

      That’s the stuff.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      MB and MT have signed up to be patient. For this they are being well remunerated
      We, on the other hand, don’t have to be patient.
      Of course, WE don’t matter!
      And. We keep watching and buying tickets.
      MB and MT can be patient for us and meet us on the other side.
      (At which point we can all congratulate each other about patient we’ve been!)

  34. Habfan10912 says:

    I admit. I’m an old fogie and I understand its a cash cow but this outdoor game is embarrassing. To play a regular season game in such conditions us dumb.

    • Bozo McBozo says:

      Just wait until they have to play the Super Bowl in a winter storm. They will never cross the Mason-Dixon Line again!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Football at least historically is played outside, and bad conditions used to be synonymous with Big Playoff games. But hockey has been indoors since the NHL became a league practically.

        • Bozo McBozo says:

          As long as this gimmicky stuff brings in dough, Bettman will go full bore on it.

          • The Jackal says:

            What? Outdoor games are awesome!
            I don’t get the cynical stance towards them.
            Yeah, of course they will the coffers but they are a special experience for the fans. It’s cool to see the players play outdoors like people did when they were kids, snow falling around, being a bit cold, having a beer or some other beverage.

            As for the conditions? The hockey is fine, these are top players and the climate doesn’t bother them. It’s a pretty cool thing to do and I’d be glad to see a few more games like that throughout the year. The fact that we get 24/7 for this one is a big plus too. It’s a great way to give an inside look at the sport and the teams, and it must definitely help grow the game by attracting new fans.

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • RAM_TOUGH says:

            Buttman will have it in Phoenix next season.

            Guts-Glory-Ram

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Was about to type something similar. All that can happen here besides make money is witness poor conditions, player injuries and poor quality hockey.

  35. Bozo McBozo says:

    I predict that once The System is embraced fully in 2014 there will be a massive gelling on this team the likes of which has not been seen since the acquisition of Scott Gomez!

  36. Forget them fans, fill the seats, make some monies and then do it all again the next season.

    We are not Leaf fans, we do not tolerate losers!

    Someone better get a grip and bring in someone these drama queens will play for.

    OK I’m happy now :lol:

    God Bless Us Everyone

    CAREY CAREY CAREY

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

  37. AH says:

    Happy New Year all from Las Vegas! Missed the game last night while flying in, so no Habs watching for me for a week. By then they should be on another roll huh? LOL! It’s so nice to not see any snow! Looking forward to getting the clubs out.

    Cheers!

  38. The Jackal says:

    All I want in 2014 is a power forward, a goal scorer, and a top 4 D.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  39. RAM_TOUGH says:

    If the Brain Trust of the Montreal Canadiens are waiting for the next Francophone Coach to lead them to a Stanley Cup, every fan who is now age 45 will never live to see it.

    I for one don’t give a pile of hot steaming monkey poop if the coach speaks pig latin. Winning is all that matters.

    Mr. Molson needs to print a survey on the back of every Bell Centre ticket for all 42 home games and have them submitted after every game. “Does it matter if the Head Coach of the Montreal Canandiens can speak French” Let the Fans (who now, the ones who actually pay for this crap) decide!

    Guts-Glory-Ram

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I don’t think Price is blaming the coach today…he’s blaming the slackers that hung him out to dry.

      • RAM_TOUGH says:

        I agree DDO.

        I’m just stating my opinion on the Coaching.

        Guts-Glory-Ram

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          You have to wait until the end of the season for a coaching move. With one year left MT will be in line for an extension. If he is not offered one…look out. I always suspected he was a 2-2.5 year coach…not really MB’s 1st choice.

    • Psycho29 says:

      Therrien is 52-29-8 since taking over here.
      23-14-4 this season, tied for 3rd in the conference, better than most of the posters here expected.
      Sure they’re in a slump (4-5-1) but all teams go through that. If things get worse, maybe a change will be made….

      As far as coaching in Montreal goes, you’ll NEVER see a unilingal English speaking coach here. It would be like a coach who speaks only French being hired in Toronto or Vancouver. Ain’t gonna happen.

  40. Plekasuares says:

    Bergevin Screw Ups (in no order): Desharnais signing, Briere Signing, not signing Jagr the guy is almost averaging a point per game, Signing Emelin 4.5, Emelin is good but not 4.5, Even considering trading Pacioretty our top goal scorer, and hiring the infamous fan favourite MT, This one kills me personally and it is not locking up Norris trophy winner Pk Subban long term for a solid and fair price. We will sign PK for a 1 year deal and than he will be a UFA and gone to the Philidalphia Flyers ( they will pay big money for him )

  41. boonie says:

    Comments today suggest firing MT and trading an array of young and veteran players. Look, I’m all for building toward a Cup instead aiming to make the playoff. But let’s be sensible…

    Aging vets like Cube, may have mid-round trade value at the deadline for a particular team in need of a specific solution. Right now, two months before the deadline — when teams are maxed at the league cap or by their own internal budget — he has no value. No team will pay a maximum or reasonable price for guys like Gionta, Plecs, Markov or other assets until real contenders know what they need.

    MB has a couple of months to figure out if we are a contender or not. Most people here have their opinion. MB has to be a little more patient.

    If we are contenders, great. Pick up the pieces we need to make a long Cup run.

    If we’re not contenders, I hope he does what Gainey didn’t do and thinks long term. Shed diminishing assets to collect value down the road. Decide if you want to go young and develop the Tinordi’s at the NHL level. If that’s the plan, then bring in a coach who develops players. And make a play for the long term. MB looks like he expected a short build 2-3 years. He kept veterans, signed more, hired a coach who likes that style. If this doesn’t work, then it’s time to move on.

    The coach, the team’s goals, our strategy need to be harmonious.

    • Habfan17 says:

      This is the approach I think MB is taking and hope he does take, the long term one. Although at this point, I would think he already knows they are not contenders!

      Habfan17

  42. ABHabsfan says:

    Well I started to comment here about 2 hrs ago and since then I have trying ti rid my computer of various programs that have installed themselves along with the change of the calendar. Very annoying since I am not a techno wiz by any stretch. But I think I have achieved success, at least for the short term.
    Now I forget what pearl of wisdom I was going to leave with y’all. Crap.
    Well Happy New Year all, health and prosperity to everyone. Maybe we will get a centre for the Habs that can discover his responsibility in his own end this year! That’s what I was going to say earlier.

    “man, I love winnin'; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
    Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  43. nova scotia vees says:

    First of all..thank-you Mr. Boone. We here in the hinterlands, get nothing but Leaf commentary (ad nauseum). CBC, TSN, Sportsnet..our radio station even carries The Fan 590!
    Now to the negative….
    Maritime Ronn has it bang-on…read his stats on last night’s game and you have to wonder why Montreal refuses to use the Norris Trophy winner to kill penalties. Especially when we had only 3 players on the ice, much of the time (5on3’s and 4on3’s). The best skater and strongest guy sits and sits….Also..please, please play the kids. Say bye, bye, to the deadwood. Gionta, Bourque, Briere, Moen. Reunite P.K. and Markov, and play White more (as a checker). Moen is useless! Finally…fire Therrien and let Bergevin know that he is on a short leash.

    • WhatUp says:

      I like PK but when the team manages to be one of the best on the PK without burning any PK minutes than they are doing just fine (actually quite astute from MT)..2 PP goals allowed on 10 PP is not too bad considering the 5-3 and cumulative fatigue effect. I rather they save PK for the PP as no one else seems to know what to do with the puck. PK also makes things happen in 5-5 situation. having said this I would have liked to see Galchy and Eller more at the end of the 3rd. I suspect that MT was afraid of the shorty (salvage the 1 point) or wanted to please his vets.

      • nova scotia vees says:

        Last night was a different situation. It is one thing to kill 3 or 4 per game (1 man advantages), but fresh legs were needed last night when the penalties were non-stop and usually left us with only 3 on the ice. That is when you must use a great talent like P.K. My lord, there seems to be only one reason why he is being treated like anything but a Norris Trophy winner. Let’s all play the game…”which of these things is not like the other.”
        I watched the brain-trust on t.v. today talking about Team Canada. They didn’t use his name, but I would bet they meant P.K. when they discussed “whether his coach liked him now”. And who was the only coach not to endorse a star player….well, our very own M.T. I saw Chirelli pumping Lucic’s tires like mad.

  44. AH says:

    Is anyone else like me and just can’t read anymore possible suggested lines changes? I swear there have been so many proposed my head is spinning, hasn’t MT tried them all by now anyway LOL!

    • Chrisadiens says:

      I feel the same way. I normally see the format of line changes and skip the post.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • Timo says:

      This is what I would love to read: “Habs sacked Bergevin and Therrien and replaced them by someone who doesn’t parler francais and is focused on winning.”

      • AH says:

        Wishful thinking I’m afraid Timo, that mindset walked out the door with Scotty B. And has yet to return, and with the language issue, I don’t think it ever will.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Kudos to Ovey, akin to Prust’s “walrus comment”, only riskier.

      It’s the hit itself that should draw the sanction. Whether or not there is injury is a secondary factor.

  45. 19yan65 says:

    God we re up by 3 many times this season and teams keep coming back on us very frustrating. To make matters worst or just as frustrating as soon as we are down by 3 just forget about it no chance.God sometimes i wish i was not such a huge habs fan.I ve had directv down here in orlando for the last 17 years and have not missed but a handful of games since.Even on our annual ski trip somehow we end up in a sports bar cathing the game.

  46. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Last two contracts were DD & Emelin. They are both playing like little girls!

    MB has done nothing (other than Waite) to make our Montreal Canadiens better.

    Guts-Glory-Ram

    • The_Truth says:

      Actually DD has arguably been the teams best center the last 20 games (with Pleks), where he has 17 points. He isn’t Joe Sakic but is earning his salary at this point.

      He deserved the heat he got the forst part of the season, but is playing pretty good now.

  47. L Elle says:

    Happy New Year to all the fine folks of HIO!

    I haven’t been posting much lately, and until today, I didn’t know why. I guess I am of the if-you-have-nothing-good-to-say-then-shutup school of thought. ;)

    It is very hard to watch our beloved team these days. So much talent wasted.

  48. Bogie Man says:

    We seem to have a log jam at the defence position. I think it makes sense to trade a few proven NHLers to get a top 6 forward. Diaz, Boulion, Gorges and or Murray.

  49. 19yan65 says:

    Just found out some very interesting news we are going to have a renewed rivalry with the quebec nordiques.Yes i heard it last night and quebec will be getting a team back very shortly.

  50. DipsyDoodler says:

    Worst.

  51. habsfan0 says:

    Looks like Toronto Mayor Rob Ford won’t be attending today’s Winter Classic as was his intent.
    Something about issues at the border.

  52. Timo says:

    Wishing every player, coach and GM oft his organization the worst in 2014.

  53. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Why is Murray not playing?

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I think you should be asking why isn’t Pateryn/Beaulieu/Tinordi playing…they can’t possibly be worse than Murray/Boullion. At least the young guys would improve over a season…the other two won’t (they’re done).

      • Strummer says:

        Leave the young guys in Hamilton and let them develop.
        What’s the rush?
        Though they wouldn’t be any worse than the Murray/Bouillon we aren’t winning anything, in the near future.
        Those good Detroit teams of recent years didn’t rush players into the big league. Learn from this.
        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        My heart’s with your sentiment, DDO, but my brain’s with Strummer. In either case, calls-up are probably in the hands of the gods and will derive from injuries (or SERIOUS bench-stapling).

        Happy New Year, DDO.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Good question amigo. Maritime Ron had some numbers earlier. Habs are 11-4 with Murray in the lineup since Nov 4. With Cube it is 15-15

  54. WindsorHab-10 says:

    This team is much better than the way they’ve played the last 5-6 games which should lead all of us to believe that the main problem/challenge facing our team is none other than Michel Therrien. As long as Marc Bergevin continues to ignore this problem, the results will be the same & we can start kissing the playoffs goodbye. Therrien is an overrated good for nothing coach. Get his ass out of Montreal.

    • The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

      So, you’d fire the coach because of “the way they’ve played the last 5-6 games.” What do you do when the next guy comes in and the team goes through another patch of 5-6 bad games? That’s a great recipe for building a winner – a rotating door for coaches that makes Harold Ballard look like a genius.

      • Bogie Man says:

        Why should the Canadiens be any different than any other team in the NHL? MT is no longer an effective coach period. How many 5-6 game slumps has he gotten away with since he has been hired? He has had his chance with this team and it is now time for him to move on.

      • WindsorHab-10 says:

        This team is where it’s at because of our goaltending, no thanks to Therrien. I don’t think there’s a coach in the nhl that flip flops his lines around like MT which tells me that he sucks. Even the players are fed up with his lack of coaching skills.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Maybe this was the master plan all along. Keep Therrien, just miss the playoffs, get a higher draft pick, trade the players like Gionta and Briere at the deadline for prospects or picks, then fire Therrien at the end of the season and let Boullion, Parros, and Murray walk.

      Habfan17

    • New says:

      The tough thing about that logic is that MT has a winning record(23-14-4 this season and 29-14-5 last season). Martin and Cunnyworth were fired for 31-35-16 to finish sketching out the “firing” senario.

      Teams run hot and cold unless they’re top tier. The Habs aren’t top tier, haven’t been for 19 seasons. The team is a bit of a drama queen on ice and off. Aside from that they are right where you’d expect a team with moderately competent management to be after finishing in the middle of the pack every year. They are low middle tier. They can never get better without “star” players. They can’t draft “star” players because of where they finish. They promote players as “stars” because they are the “stars” of the team, but really come on, they are just good in relation to the competition. When a Theodore shines for a season they can’t trade him then because the fans cry incessantly. Huet the same. Halak the same.

      The thing to do is trade what is valuable now for what will be valuable when Galchenyuk and players in the system mature. Unfortunately that will get the coach and management fired. So they won’t do that and won’t get fired.

  55. The Teacher says:

    Chrisadiens. You gotta give something to get something.

  56. Chrisadiens says:

    Anyone else watch the games on Center Ice? The Canes TV announcers were absolutely in love with the Habs. Nothing but glowing praise for Price, PK, Pleks and even Gio. I remember something like “The Habs defense is just amazing.” It was actually a little un-nerving to hear a home telecast gloat about an away team. They barely talked about the Canes. Until of course the collapse….

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

      The Habs have quietly garnered some respect around the league for their young core. I think we should keep in mind that this team is still building.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Yes, they are! That does not mean that they can’t make some positive moves with a view towards the future. There are some players who would hold value at the trade deadline that will not be around once Bergevin gets the team where it needs to be. Why not leverage them. If he can move talent that does not fit long range for talent that does, it is a positive move.

        Habfan17

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      It’s usually just the opposite. Canadian broadcasters at least attempt neutrality. Sort of.

      There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk but … there is fighting in hockey.

    • Timo says:

      That defense was amazing, alright.

    • WhatUp says:

      I too watched on center ice and had the same thoughts. for all the hype on the Stall bros…Plecks has better overall numbers than Eric for a lot less $$$. Gio plays an honest game. the Habs just got absolutely burned out killing penalties. really hard to change gears and go on the offensive late in the 3rd when you kill 10 penalties in the first 2 periods (incl 2 5 on 3). the refs know it as well (hence the non call on the blatant Markov boarding). seriously I am not sold on this team and would like some changes but on the whole they played with lots of guts for a good while last night.

  57. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Last night’s performance was a perfect example of a typical Habs season: brilliant (3-0) then crap (1-5). Thank god for the blog because I was initially pissed then I could not stop laughing at the comments. DD’s performance was typical as well: 3 points but still -1. Like many have said, you can’t win a Cup when you’re #1 center is that poor defensively. Every time DD went on the ice in OT, Muller threw out Eric Stall…you think that was a coincidence???

    Boone should get kudos for doing an ALN last night…I wouldn’t have after that putrid performance.

  58. NLhabsfan says:

    The Canadiens were not the only ones that sucked.The refereeing was atrocious.10 you say..of course the calls were ALL FAIR:)

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      The NHL should call out their refs when they stink up a game like that. The NFL and NBA issue statements when mistakes are made because they know that their customers, the fans, are upset. The last thing you want to do in a business is to alienate your supporters…

  59. rljmartin says:

    Just looked at the game stats…. Coaching is DEFINITELY a problem.
    Ok, for those of you who insist he has a good record and is doing the best with what he has… Let’s say MT had an off night because those TOI stats with Pleks winning 18% of his faceoffs compared to Eller would support that notion…. Well was he watching the same game? Sure did not make any in-game adjustment last night and it cost what should have been a sure win….

    • The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

      So, according to you, this is a MUCH stronger lineup than its record indicates? Please. If we’d seen the Habs at 4th in the Conference as of January 1 going into this season, we’d all have been happy. There is no point in obssessing over specific player-usage decisions in specific games. ANY coach can be attacked on that basis. Again, I’m no big MT fan, but playing our best FW Pleks too much is NOT the problem.

      • rljmartin says:

        Agree with you but if Pleks is having a bad night, make some kind of adjustment, you don’t bench him, spread it out, give him a rest at the very least.

  60. The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

    We’re not contenders by any means, but the hysteria on here is fairly absurd. Hey, guess what? All teams go through patches where they look bad. Yes, they need to get better, but it is WAY premature to firebomb the coach, let alone the GM. (And I say that without being a Therrien fan, not at all).

    The reason for the skid has been pretty simple. Markov, PK, and Emelin have all struggled. This team lives and dies by its big blueliners.

    What’s to be hoped for is that MB is taking notes about how the players are grappling with this slide. Which ones care? Which ones don’t? Which ones have fundamental weaknesses? And he’d better make moves this summer based in part on that assessment. I don’t want, for instance, to be going to 2014-15 with Rene Bourque being counted on as a core player.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Voice of reason.

    • The Jackal says:

      Cool as a cucumber, and as correct as a cucumber, if they could actually speak.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      You know we make the mistake of thinking the players care the way a fan does….well they don’t. They play a system and when the other team is able to adjust and attack the system it gets messy like lat night. I don’t pretend to know when that happens in a game but the emotional side is quite subdued on the players side. Really give it some thought and watch the players…better still listen to Gionta talking to the media…it’s nothing short of cliches and excuses like ” we quit skating or we need to play a simple game ” it’s garbage and they all do it…..listen to the players it is a job once they are in the NHL for a bit. Every lame excuse is used over and over again to describe a lack of work ethic……they make millions (most of them ) and they play with less emotion than an industrial league.

  61. Kooch7800 says:

    Tough few weeks for the habs. Murray needs to be back in the line up. Emelin is really struggling and could even use a night in the pressbox.

    Time to see what MT is really made of. The way they are playing currently reminds me a lot of last years collapse accept this time we will not have the benefit of a shortened schedule.

    Lots of hockey left but there needs to be some changes in the off sesaon. It is obvious that MT doesn’t like Briere (can understand why) but a lot of our vets are not pulling their weight offensively. Gionta and Bourque need to step up there games.

    Time will tell. I think we may make the playoffs but I don’t see us getting out of the first round.

    Happy New Year everyone

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  62. rhino514 says:

    First off, the habs get 3 out of 4 points at least if the zebras call it fairly over the last two games.
    That said, the team is not as good defensively and is better offensively than what they APPEAR to be.
    Emelin has to get his game back before the end of the season, and it would be a nice boost if Pateryn could come in and establish himself on the bottom paring. I don´t think the habs will trade for a D, because it would delay the development of their blue chip blue line prospects.
    But I disagree that they necessarily need to trade for a forward at the deadline; I would do so, but only if it were a really good deal. If a deal for a good rental D comes along, I would go for that instead.
    It´s a tough year to identify precise weaknesses on the team because they are playing the type of game which makes them look better defensively. During the last two games, we have seen what happens when they lose just a little bit if discipline defensively.
    Therrien at some point soon has to evaluate his players and make a decision: Briere or Bournival, or trade for a winger. Stick with Emelin, maybe bring up Pateryn, or trade for a D rental.
    After 41 games he is still alternating between Briere, Bournival, and Bourque, and fiddling with lines every game. He has to be able to identlfy at this point which forwards give him a better chance to win. If he plays Briere, he should play him more than 9 minutes a game, otherwise don´t play him.
    We need to know what we have by the trading deadline in order to be open and ready for something that may shore up our needs.
    Though Therrien has kept the club competitive, he has done using a weird brand of hockey and one which makes it difficult to identify strenghts and weaknesses on the team. He just changes things up too much.
    Look at Markov, lauded by many as better than subban this season, but look what happens to the second pairing when he and Emelin play together. Not pretty so far. Heñs using a multitude of forwards in shut down roles. How many more points would Eller have if given a chance to be creative or some PP time? What about Gio? If he´s done we need to know.
    As I said, we need to better identify our strenghts and weakbesses and this has never been so difficult to do as on the current team.
    I´m not saying he has lost the team, because one thing i will say in his defence is, to play the stifling brand of hockey the guys have mostly been playing, they have to buy in 100%. What I´m saying is he has to be better, much better, at evaluating what roles his players are best suited to.

  63. Ian Cobb says:

    We are a good team, but not good enough to win very much this year.
    But has anyone noticed how many top junior players in the worlds junior tournament are Hab prospects. Not only on the Canadian’s team, but spread over all the teams. Our future looks very bright indeed.

    Happy New Year HIO

    • Eddie says:

      Quite sure De La Rose and Fucale are NHL players one day.

      Very hopeful about Colberg.

      The rest? I would be pleasantly surprised if they made it.

    • rhino514 says:

      Ther only guy tearing it apart so far is Reway, and he´s real small.
      De la Rose is playing well, but a few of his teamates are playing better. Hudon is small, not healthy and also playing well but not great. Collberg has not done anything special at all. Andrighetto is playing well in Hamilton, but also very small
      Fucale….well, Price is only 26.
      Plus it will be at least 3 or 4 years before one if any of these players can make an impact at the NHL.
      I doný see the big fuss over our young players at the Worlds. There is no star on the horizon.
      I still see the strength as lying primarily in Beaukieu, tinordi, abd Pateryn and getting possibly 2 decent defensemen out of that bunch in the near future. Nothing else is imminent

  64. formerly known as the hc says:

    Much has been said about how Chicago and Pittsburgh, etc built their teams. In fact, all of the strong teams right now (for the most part) built thir teams through the draft. Chicago was terrible for years. Can’t see this team being able to do that, fan base just wouldn’t allow it. That leaves us to trades… need to trade away good players to get good players. Problem is, there are way too many holes in the roster. There is no organizational depth, or at least no one that will be ready for a few years. Past management threw away picks and prospects trying to hit that grandslam trade…. failed and screwed us for today. Tough days ahead.

  65. Sportfan says:

    So I get home from last nights festivities and the guy who my sister is seeing stays over and in my little man cave spot there is this freaking Bruins jersey lying there I want to burn it.

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

  66. Habfan10912 says:

    There are only a few players in this team that you DO NOT trade. They are the blocks of a Cup contender.
    Galchenyuk
    PK
    Patches
    Price
    Eller

    There are a few players that cannot be key pieces of a Cup contender.
    Frankie B
    Bourque
    Briere

    • Chrisadiens says:

      You forgot Gallagher. Or did you omit him on purpose?

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • Ron says:

        I agree with Jim in not including him as a must to be a cup contender. Gally is a fierce competitor and all heart but to be a true cup contender I don’t think Gally is the player to push you over the top. This is IMO though and I know alot on here would not agree.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Would like to disagree here.
          Does Gally need to be the player “to push you over the top”? I don’t think so, even though he often ends up trying to be as he picks up the slack.
          No, I keep Gally because, on a better-balanced team in terms of scoring and positional play, he is a nearly irreplaceable piece.

          Such is his commitment to this team, I sure hope he is not reading here today!

          • Ron says:

            If he is Mike he will see that he is not being slagged or put down in any fashion. As I wrote it is IMO of which I am comfortable with. Gally could be part of a well balanced team for sure but my comment was in to a post by Jim as who is expendable or not to be a cup contender. Right now a don’t see him as a must keep. As to your feeling he is nearly a irreplaceable piece, thats great you feel that way in your opinion. Right now I do not.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            Let me clarify. I would not actively shop Gallagher as I would Gionta, Bourquea, Briere among others. I wouldn’t actively look to move others like Emelin, Markov Plejs and Prust but like the Teacher points out you’ll need to move pieces to get pieces.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Fair enough, Ron. Lots of ifs etc in both our points. But ultimately you are the correct one, in the sense that EVERY player is tradable if it improves the team. Even Gally.

            Perhaps where we differ is that I would include him in the inner circle of last resort trades. I just imagine him as being exactly the kind of player who — with closer-to-ideal line-mates and coaching — would absolutely shine in a Cup run: on the score-sheet, as inspiration, as the momentum-shifter in a game going the wrong way. None of which, I’m guessing, you or Jim would disagree with. Compare: Bourque; Briere; Gionta.

          • Ron says:

            I do agree Mike in regard to the inner circle etc. Gally is higher in my list way ahead of Gio, Bourque and the Brieres of the team. There are many who should be moved if possible before Gally but in the process of bettering the make up of the team he would not be among the players made untouchable.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Gallagher is a wonderful player who gives 100% every game but if a team came asking I’d listen.

    • elclappo says:

      Coach has to go . Not a player friendly coach. Can’t articulate to the players. It’s not enough to be able to speak French when 90% of the team can’t speak French. Should have signed Roy.

      Danny Soucy

  67. munch17 says:

    The only reason to trade Patch is if he is packaged with DD.
    If they continue to be the number one line and get the primo minutes this team will be like the 2012 last place team.
    The only reason they are not now is Carey Price.
    It is time that Chucky and Lars get PP time .
    They were hot at the start and MT did everything possible to get DD going- including sacrificing Gally.
    I’m sure Lars and Chucky are getting frustrated. . I hope MT doesn’t destroy them.

  68. rljmartin says:

    Does anyone have any insight as to why Emelin has not hit anyone AND has had his play bottom out since he got kicked out of the game for breathing on Downie?

  69. punkster says:

    My view of all this is nowhere near as dark and dreary as some here. (of course, you think, it’s because punkster farts rainbows and unicorns and can’t see reality for the beautiful kaleidoscope of colours dancing before his eyes, man)

    Seriously:
    23-14-4 on the season

    9-5-2 in their last 15

    4-5-1 in their last 10

    Their record so far doesn’t suggest a trade is required or a coach will be fired.

    As much as all us basement GMs and beer league coaches wish our trade demands and lineup suggestions be taken seriously it’s likely just a slump.

    The real coaches and real players haven’t changed much since the beginning of the season only the execution has changed. It may be due to a combination of line juggling, illness, injury, holiday blues, baby deliveries, road weariness, compressed scheduling.

    They’re going through a rough patch. The real coaches and real players will work it out.

    Happy New Year to all…it’s going to be a fun ride this season.

    Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
    but…
    ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

    • Eddie says:

      I’ve heard about rainbows but once you start farting unicorns I really think you might have an issue there.

      I know a small man, athletic, used to be a scorer for the Flyers, Habs, who is now an MD.

      Just let me know and I will set you up, buddy.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Blowing leads consistanly indicates a flaw somewhere. Whether its the coach, the system or whatever, something is amiss.

      You’re right about our standing and record though. I wonder where we would be in the standings without Price? Maybe he’s been masking the shortcomings.

      Edit: Happy New Year Dave. Peace to you and yours.

  70. The Teacher says:

    The more I think about it. The more I think max is on his way out. He is the only guy who has for enough value to pry a top flight talent from another team and think we won the deal.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Yes and maybe we’ll get lucky and draft or aquire a big 30-35 goal scorer player.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Max is our only goal scorer and his contract is a steal. If the Habs trade him I will….well, I don’t know what I’d do…but it would be something drastic! :)

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • Chuck says:

        Not sure why people are so quick to want to trade an asset that we’d just have to go out and replace. Let’s trade Price while we’re at it, and hope that Fucale is the next Roy.

        _______________________
        Anything is possible.

  71. CJ says:

    Not sure if many of the Inside Out commentariat attend games at the Bell Centre, but I’d welcome the opportunity to connect with folks between periods.

  72. The Teacher says:

    Max pax, Diaz, someone else and a first for Kane and bogosian.

  73. jeffhabfan says:

    Another JOKE of a game.For a winning team WE ARE A JOKE.

  74. juniorsfarm says:

    No leader on this team. Gionta is no captain. Somebody has to step up because team will just scratch to make the playoffs.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Carey Price alone will keep us in the playoffs. Add in the weakness of the Eastern Conference and this team will easily make the playoffs. Whether that’s a good thing or not, is up for debate. Hard to make changes with the team high in the standings.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • CJ says:

        I tend to agree. Things would be much less complicated if the team regressed into the bottom half of the standings. In such case I think a more realistic chance of turning over the roster would exist. That said, and as novel an idea as this might be, let’s win. Win the next period, the next game, then build on that success. Go HABS!

        • Chrisadiens says:

          Its hard for me to root for losses but its the only way changes will be made. Maybe we’re just overreacting, and the Habs will right the ship? I don’t know, I’m grumpy this morning.

          Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Hmm. It is A way changes could be made, but I wouldn’t agree that it’s the only.

            If we weren’t linguistically hand-cuffed, I’d say replacing the coach could prove another.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Chrisadiens, my belief is that the playoffs WOULD be a good thing, because there are guys with little or no playoff experience. We are rebuilding, so interim exposure to the very different pace and culture of playoff hockey would be most welcome imo.

        Happy New Year to you.

      • NDG BOY says:

        We will not make the playoffs

        We are not as far as u think


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