About this afternoon …

PrustBishop

Here’s the ideal regular-season schedule for your Montreal Canadiens:
41 games against the Chicago Blackhawks
41 against the Boston Bruins.
OK, maybe book a home-and-away against the other 27 teams in the NHL, just for variety.
That would leave 14 games against Boston and Chicago, two teams that seem to bring out the best in our heroes.

Sadly, the schedule doesn’t work that way.

The Canadiens have to play teams against which they struggle: Toronto, Florida, the elite of the Western Conference and, on Super Bowl Saturday, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

It was last week’s Carolina game all over again, the difference being this time Carey Price didn’t produce the shutout that delivered two points against the Hurricanes.

He came close.

The Canadiens’ goaltender made 34 saves in regulation time – including a penalty-shot stop on Nikita Kucherov. The only puck to elude Price was an anodyne Nate Thompson “shot” that was headed harmlessly across the front of the Canadiens’ net until rdirected by P.K. Subban’s stick.

Thompson’s second goal was more legitimate. It came with 24 seconds remaining in overtime as the Tampa Bay forward was left unattended in front of Price and cashed the Lightning’s only SoG of OT.

The visitors were full value for the win.

Tampa Bay hustled and played tight defence from the opening puck-drop. They outshot the Canadiens 36-29 and outhit them 27-14.

Save for the times avid Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher were on the ice, the guys in white jerseys dominated puck possession and played comfortable, error-free hockey in their zone, seldom troubled by attacking forwards.

Fifty-five games into the season, Michel Therrien continues to juggle his bottom three lines in search of combinations that might produce some semblance of even-strength offence.

With Michaël Bournival sidelined by the flu, Travis Moen began the game on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta. By the end of regulation, Daniel Brière, who began the game on the fourth line and played 3:02 through two periods, had been bumped up with Pleks and the captain.

Lars Eller centred, at various times, Moen, Brandon Prust and Rene Bourque. The third line briefly included Hamilton call-up Christian Thomas, who played all of five shifts and four minutes in front of his father, Steve, who’s an assistant coach with the Lightning.

There was more stability in the defence pairings, and Nathan Beaulieu contributed another strong game in partnership with Douglas Murray.

Andrei Markov played 28:25 paired with Alexei Emelin, P.K. Subban was on for the winning goal in OT. He might have been a tad gassed after a 4-on-4 shift that looked like an audition for the men’s figure-skating competition in Sochi.

On a day with young fans in the stands and little to cheer about – beyond that ridiculous brawl erupting during a TV Timeout, triggered by a Brandon Prust spear on Ben Bishop that drew the wrath of Don Cherry  – P.K. was at his hot-dogging best … or maybe worst, in the eyes of Steve Yzerman.

At least Subban could be relied upon to move the puck into the Tampa Bay zone. With the exception of DD and his linemates, the Canadiens were repeatedly stymied in their efforts to cross the visitors’ blueline.

They miss Alex Galchenyuk.

And if the limited ice time of recent call-ups Joonas Nattinen, Louis Leblanc and Thomas is any indication, there isn’t much help in Hamilton.

As my great and good friend Pat Hickey wrote in his Gazette piece on Saturday, the Canadiens are still in their seemingly-eternal rebuilding mode.

They have a great goaltender, a Norris Trophy defenceman, one dangerous forward line, a valuable 200-foot player in Tomas Plekanec and an outstanding prospect in Alex Galchenyuk.

That isn’t enough to win consistently … unless they’re playing Boston or Chicago.

360 Comments

  1. Forum Dog says:

    A week after looking like they needed to blow things up, the Habs have taken 5 of a possible 6 points and could get 7 of 8 if they play the same way today against the Jets. Should be a fun game to watch. The Jets have a good young team. Here’s hoping Montreal can jump on them early.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Habs really need a win today! It would knock the Leafs back into the wildcard spot and put us in 3rd in the Atlantic.

    • scotland says:

      boone thinks the play of the hamilton call ups indicate there is no help in hamilton.

      wonder how some the habs the best (use that term loosely) forwards would look if they played n2 3 or 4 mionutes a game. think gionta would look good getting 5 shifts…..he need 25 to get a good one in. what about moen….matter of fact how would pleks do sitting on the bench for over 2 hours and playing 4 minutes.

      habs stink …………. and the stink starts behind the bench

      totally out coached against t bay

  2. munch17 says:

    Maritime Ronn:
    You were right on earlier.
    It simply inconceivable how DD gets the ice time he gets and the opportunities to succeed.
    Since the beginning of last year:

    Games played goals assists points PPG

    DD 100 18 37 55 3
    TP 102 30 34 64 7
    LE 101 18 32 50 3

    Yesterday DD had every opportunity and was -1 in the game.
    This team cannot win with him as a number one center sucking the life out of Gally – and if Pacs wants to play with DD or else – well find someone to send the two of them to.

    And Old Bald Bird – yes DD has scored a couple of nice goals and contributed to a couple of wins – IS THAT ENOUGH FOR A NUMBER ONE CENTER?
    No.
    What is the opportunity to cost – how would 81, 14, 48, do with the ice time DD gets?
    And please – don’t even think of starting to play Briere and sit Eller – Eller hits , kills penalties, and if only given a couple of wingers ……..

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      “And Old Bald Bird – yes DD has scored a couple of nice goals and contributed to a couple of wins – IS THAT ENOUGH FOR A NUMBER ONE CENTER?”

      I agree with you, but in terms a recent OT play, he does rather well, so I can’t fault his use in OT yesterday.

    • scotland says:

      agree that dd is no no 1 center. but i dont have to “wonder” how “14″ would do with the same ice time and pp time. because he already gets it. pleks has led all forwards in ice time for the last 100 games. now i know that he kill penalties but he also plays pp. untll very recently his line was first unit out and dd line came next.

      niether pleks or dd are no 1 centers. but pleks is a heck of of a penalty killer.

      biggest waste of quality ice goes to gionta not dd. although i would say dd is second in the playing way too high in the pecking order.

      i for one cant wait for gionta to be gone. watching him skate around doing his little twirls and “chips” as he so often refers to them. but what i look even more forward to is to see plakanic without the floating squirt captain joined to his hip.

      against tbay gionta 25 shifts 0 goals 0 assists 0 hits (with powerplay)

      thomas 5 shifts 0 goals 0 assists 2 hits

      one will be sent down….one is team captain.

      ya know things have changed when the captain of the montreal canadiens would not even make the toronto maple leafs.

      i’ll pass of the habs jets yawner this afternoon. after yet another pathetic display yeasterday ……i’ll check boones liveblog later.

      go broncos

  3. jeffhabfan says:

    Well we got a point yesterday and we need every point or points this year to make the playoffs.We need to get a win today to make the weekend a good one.GO HABS GO.

  4. HabinBurlington says:

    Well, I have to explain to my Mother today that while I indeed love her, simply put, her Jets needs to lose today. Of course all my brothers back in the Peg will take her side….. I could be out of a couple wills by the time the day is over.

  5. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Big day coming up. Habs game, ladies curling, the BIG game. Pints,whiskey, smoke,probably some food I guess. Go Habs,Hurry Hard and Go Broncos! Saludos!

  6. HabFab says:

    Six more weeks of winter predicted by that short sighted rodent on a dark foggy morn… “sigh”

  7. rice says:

    Look at our record since Galchenyuk went down and you will see how important he is to the line up. Also shows a scary lack of depth at the forward position.

  8. Hobie Hansen says:

    Not sure if it has been mentioned here yet today, didn’t see anything after a quick scan about Don Cherry’s comments last night?

    He basically said that it’s poor sportsmanship or not the Canadian way for a player to trash talk or harass a goalie. He was inferring that Prust was a little rat and should get his but kicked by a big defeneman.

    I guess Cherry didn’t notice earlier in the game when Prust challenged a big defenceman and started feeding him a bunch of punches? Prust enjoys fighting big defenceman Don! He’d gladly take on any of your Bruins players from the 70s!

    Shortly after Coaches Corner a few Habs players came to the defence of the Prust on Twitter.

    ***
    Brendan Gallagher ‏@BGALLY17 12h

    heard what Don Cherry said about @BrandonPrust8 Prusty’s a warrior that sticks up for his teammates every game Take him on my team any day!

    ***
    Alex galchenyuk ‏@AGally94 12h

    @brandonprust8 1 of the most honest and passionate players Ive ever played with.. @CoachsCornerCBC is wrong about him! #InPrustWeTrust

    ***
    P.K. Subban ‏@PKSubban1 12h

    @brandonprust8 great teammate, good guy, good looking, & good looking girl friend, full package! Love him he’s a beaut! #onmyalltimeroster

    • Forum Dog says:

      Prust is great, and I’m glad his team-mates have got his back, but him going down to chat and then get into it with Bishop during a TV timeout is/was stupid. If that was an opposing team player doing it to Price…..

    • frontenac1 says:

      Hey Hobie, I got modded yesterday for suggesting that Prust told Bishop that his girlfriend was a d#ke! Just like Reggie Dunlop.

      • GGtheHab says:

        Saw that…I cleaned it up and reposted
        …she likes that FLA sn@tch

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Lol! Hey Reg, what the hell did you say to him???

        Good one front!

        I loved Prust doing that. But that’s just me!

        I was only upset at Grapes because he was acting like Prust was some cheap little weasel, mainly because he played for the Habs.

        I was like, uh Don, you realize you’re talking about the best “pound for pound” fighter in the National Hockey League eh bud? The guy that fights people half a foot taller and 50 pounds heavier without a blink of an eye…and often wins!

  9. Old Bald Bird says:

    I wonder what Bergevin thinks of his signing, Briere, getting the treatment that he does. And what about when he brings up a rookie only to have him ride the pine?

    • CranbrookEd says:

      There certainly, from the outside looking in, appears to be a disconnect between what management does (bringing players up during the season) and the coach . . . why bring someone up to ride the bench? You do have to wonder as it looks as if the coach is thumbing his nose at the GM. Briere may have deserved the treatment for several stretches early on in the season, he is seemingly getting things turned around of late, so yes, as has been mentioned elsewhere, Briere does deserve more time right now . . . yesterdays overtime would have been a good place to have started.

      CranbrookEd
      Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . .

  10. wjc says:

    $10,000,000,000.00 will be gambled on NFL today.

    You wonder if it could be fixed with that kind of money being bet?

    wjc

  11. Maritime Ronn says:

    No Evander Kane today.
    Out until after the Olympics with a hand problem.

    A lot of really good other young guys to watch such as 19 year old Dman Jacob Trouba and 23 year old Bogosian.
    Great to see a coach have confidence in young guys and playing them + 20 minutes…

  12. wjc says:

    How does the NHL entertainment come up with all these statistics. Time on the ice, blocked shots, shots on goal, missed shots, puck possession team by team ….on and on.

    Do they have about 600 nerds in a room with many large televison screens, with stop watches and little pens writing down all these things.

    Are there findings audited for accuracy.

    Is all this analysis necessary……just wondering.

    wjc

  13. Dunboyne Mike says:

    I said.
    Good morning, Guy and Jim!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Mike. Sorry for the delay. Puttering around this morning. CHeers bud. Sounds like this place was bad last night, eh?

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        The poster Ram_Tough insisted on the fairness of his racist comment and was, predictably, liquidized. A number of long-winded Pauline epistles from me went with him…

        (a few survived in a conversation with Habs Norway in the Older comments)

        Hey, will puttering allow for a look at the opening exchanges of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign (kick-off, 10am your time)? It’s the annual international rugby tournament between Ireland, England, Soctland and Wales, plus France and Italy. Always incredibly intense. Probably the best player in all of Irish rugby history — Brian O’Driscoll — has indicated this will be his last.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Morning gentlemen.

  14. Maritime Ronn says:

    In the last 13 games, the Habs PP is running at 9.7%.
    Put in perspective, the NHL PP leading team is at 24.7%.
    The midpoint team is at 18.6% and only 1 team is below 13.9%.

    Perhaps like several others, there was a belief that the Habs would win this game with a 4 on 3 opportunity for 55 seconds that started in OT….until the 2 forwards were chosen.
    The Head Coach chose the “Me and Davey” show.

    Surely the Tamps Bay coaches must have had a good chuckle because that 4 on 3 quickly became a…for all intents, a 3 on 3 with the use of a center that cannot shoot, cannot score, does not have any physical net presence, and is a 1 dimensional passer.

    What was the Head coach thinking?
    For at least one, he had available to him his $4M/year UFA signing Danny Briere who was starting to light things up in the past 2 games.
    Briere had 2 goals-1 assist playing a skimpy 7:39 and 8:41 in those 2 games…but that wasn’t good enough.
    The chosen center played 21:27 last night including 5:27 of PP time

    The Head Coach chose a hugely underperforming center that plays top 6 minutes and is also the PP minutes leader for Habs centers in terms of ave. PP time per game.

    Can someone please explain how these minutes are warranted after 55 games? (something about Einstein and insanity)

    With all those preferred minutes, one would have to figure this center would be in the Top 20-30 centers or at the very worst, Top 30-45 centers for either goals or points.

    The chosen center/coach’s pet ranks 94th for Goals scored (8) by all NHL centers, and ranks 70th for Points (27) for all NHL centers – well outside the Top 60 Centers of the 30 teams.
    He has 1 goal and 9 assists playing for the most part on the 1st Unit PP time totaling 124 minutes.
    Briere has 2 PP goals mostly on the 2nd Unit in 76 minutes of PP time.

    • HabsFansince49 says:

      Right on the mark!
      Add to your accurate analysis that a team that is still trying to find the right combination for 3 of its 4 lines in February is a team going nowhere. And I for one am sick of this rebuilding process that started back in 1995 or thereabouts. Now we get the rationalization that MB is a patient man and we have to be patient. In the meantime, we patient fans have to remain loyal and pay premium ticket prices to watch minor league hockey.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Is my memory failing? Didn’t he not too long ago win us 2 OTs almost single-handedly? Pretty sure I remember at least one.

      Mind you, despite his production, I am of the opinion that his presence holds the team back by how it affects Pleks, Eller, Chucky and even Briere.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        he has 2 game winning goals…and Prust and Eller have 3 game winning goals each and Plex has 4.

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          The one I remember in OT was a fantastic effort. Even the great Don Cherry highlighted it.

          • Mark C says:

            Yes, he set up Max’s OT goal on Long Island and scored in Nashville, which is the goal you were referring to.

          • B says:

            DD is very good at setting up Pacioretty, who leads the team with 6 GWG. Only 3 guys in the league have more GWGs than Pacioretty. Is it really such a shocking and unthinkable move to put those two out in a situation like that?

            –Go Habs Go!–

  15. JF says:

    I have a bad feeling about today’s game. The Jets are playing well under Maurice and they’re overdue to win a game at the Bell Centre. They have some big bodes and they can score. I’m not sure Pavelec has really shown that he’s a top goaltender, but otherwise they’re pretty solid. The Habs had better be ready.

  16. JohnBellyful says:

    So Crankshaft plays his 500th game today, eh?
    (To be clear, not his 500th game today — the Olympics haven’t compressed the schedule THAT much — but the 500th game in his NHL career.)
    Impressive for a fellow many consider a pylon with blades.
    Just how slow is Murray?
    He’s so slow
    – he divides the rink into three time zones
    – his skate speed of 35 mph sounds impressive until you learn it’s metres per hour
    – he packs a lunch before going into the corner
    – he asks teammates to cross-check him to get a good start
    – his relations include plant life
    – he grows a beard on an end-to-end rush
    Go, Crankshaft, go!
    (You might want to start now. The game’s at 1.)

  17. Ian Cobb says:

    Good morning boys and girls!
    For a very fragile team, we are keeping our head above water. The entertainer was entertaining last night. And I do not mean the PK, I mean Price. He sure is the real deal. Bergevin has to get some more players in front of him by next year!

  18. Cal says:

    We’ve hit the dead middle of winter and a lowly groundhog (or three or four) will decide our climatic fate. Ian is right to hop on a plane to the Caribbean.
    Oddly enough, it’s also the Superbowl. Wonder if that varmint (or three or four) will have a say on that game, too.

    For those that missed it, check my site for a preview of the Half-Time Show: http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  19. Psycho29 says:

    Good Morning everyone….a bit of the white stuff fell overnight here west of Montreal. looks like hockey weather!!!

    Nice to see the HI/O mods got rid of a problem here last night.
    From racial slurs to physical threats, we don’t need any of that here!

    As bad as a lot of you feel about the Habs’ play of late, like one of the Antichambre guys said yesterday, this team has taken 5 out of 6 points over the last 3 games.
    And yes some guys could be playing better…imagine if this team was running on all 3 cylinders! ;-)

  20. jrs10069 says:

    Briere heating up just like I knew he would ;-) Murray looks pretty good too. Beaulieu is now on the team…

    Time to dump Diaz and Eller and make a run for the cup

    jrs10069

    • Cal says:

      It was looking good until the “and Eller” part.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I concur, Cal.
        Yes, the feller hasn’t been lighting it up but I still have hopes he will contribute on a consistent basis.
        If he’s enrolled in MT’s personal development program he might want to consider switching curriculum for the remainder of the year. The instructor isn’t going away.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Blame the frogs!

    • Sap Anderson says:

      Totally ridiculous post. This guy clearly doesn’t know any of the people that he is talking about by reputation or personally

    • Cal says:

      I avoid giving them hits.
      The team represents Montreal, which is about 85% french speaking. They are marketing the team accordingly. We only would have been too glad to have drafted big stars like Lecavalier- or smart enough to give a player like Martin St-Louis a shot.
      The reality is that there aren’t many local gars chez nous in the NHL. The Habs have DD and Bournival, and a few like Dumont in the AHL or in the Q. And not a one is a star player.
      RDS pumps their tires because their audience can relate. They also realize that the Habs stars right now are Price and PK. They spend a lot of time talking about both. Sometimes in a very harsh light.

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      With all due respect to that article… wait, none is due. Was that not the perfect example of Anglo ‘duh where do I live’ Montreal writing? The Montreal Canadiens are a corporate holding of the Molson’s, and marketing helps make them money. I don’t know where someone who could write that drivel lives, but the people being marketed to speak French. However, they are francophone, not “French”.
      Maybe Molson is a Habs fan, but with his background and history, he is certainly a fan of increased beer sales and of money. You don’t sell beer with mimes.

      • HabFab says:

        Sorry but the Canadiens are not a corporate holding of Molson’s… check it out. The most interesting part of that article was exactly who are involved in the ownership of the Habs. The francophone issue does exist in Montreal, the rest is perception.

  21. DipsyDoodler says:

    I only watched from the 2nd period on but I thought it was pretty even. They got a freak goal, both teams had chances.

    The good news is we’ve fixed our defensive play. Opponents aren’t just waltzing into our zone and taking free shots from the slot.

    H I/O on the other hand had a fairly poor showing. Nothing but hate.

  22. CJ says:

    Good morning folks! Looking forward to another couple hours of trail riding before heading home to catch the game. Hoping the Habs can get a win and take 7/8 points this week. It will be interesting to see if there are changes, provided Bournival is ready to play.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Hey CJ. Hope everyone the snow and sky yesterday. Would love to see Bournival back with Gio and Pleks today if possible, although Rhino below makes an interesting case for Briere possibly being Montreal’s hottest scorer when measured against TOI.

      Who’d be coach, eh?

      Thanks for your post last night. I didn’t answer because I wanted to leave space for my correspondent.

      Have a great day!

      • CJ says:

        Absolutely. Best to put last night in the rear view mirror.

        Looking forward to seeing what configurations the team uses today. I’m expecting PK to be much better. I also think they go right back to Price, who had no chance on either goal.

        Thomas looked like he had speed and skill, but saw little to no ice. It would be nice to get ahead 2 or 3 goals so we could see the kids get some ice. I wonder if Eller could end up the odd man out? I really like the kid, but he may benefit from watching the game from the press box. Briere could be moved to centre in Eller’s absence.

        Food for thought. Cheers, CJ

  23. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    If one is a P.K. Subban fan, there has to be some large concern at the moment.

    Simply put, the man appears lost on the ice and his confidence level has taken a beating.
    His defensive play has been awful lately, and to try and cover up or make up, he is trying to do way too much.
    His holding on to the puck forever – the continuous minor hockey moves of putting the puck between his legs, is only hurting the situation even more.

    So what happened to the reigning Norris Trophy winner?
    What was the event that turned his game upside down?

    If one listens to the Antichambre gang, things changed when PK was named to the Olympic Team.
    What this same gang will NEVER do because of how they protect and cover for their former RDS mate and now Head Coach, is call him out.

    The turning point was the Philadelphia Incident – the one where the Head Coach benched his best player for 10 minutes to start the 3rd period.

    That move not only embarrassed Subban in front of his team mates, yet embarrassed him for the entire hockey world to view.

    Few would argue that up to that point, that PK was the Habs MVP along with Carey.

    So what do the numbers say?

    In the 44 games prior:
    PK had 7 goals-26 assists-33 points and was +14
    The Habs were 25-14-5.

    In the 11 games since and including the Philadelphia Incident?
    Pk has 1 goal-3 assists-4 points and is Minus – 11.
    The Habs were 4-6-1.

    So the question becomes, how to get P.K. back on track…because the Head Coach isn’t going anywhere soon.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Hey Bud!

      “Bends but won’t break”

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Hey Maritime. Good to hear from you, sorry you weren’t around yesterday.

      Your stats are telling.

      There will likely be no tarring and feathering of the coach, so we may simply have to hope he can stagger on to the Olympic break, enjoy himself over there, and the change of scenery — and coach — and come back ready to lead us to the playoffs.

      The good thing is we’re not speculating on the eventual potential of a prospect. We KNOW PK is elite, and competitive, our best asset in years, so that if somebody eventually has to move on, the coach will go first.

      Enjoy the Atlantic, enjoy the Super Bowl.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Afternoon Ireland.

        While P.K. probably won’t get much ice/game time in Sochi (Weber-Doughty-Pietrangelo) perhaps the best thing for him is to get away.
        Hopefully he will get an opportunity to bond with a few elite guys that may help him out with the other than physical issues.
        Here’s also hoping he doesn’t come back wanting to go somewhere else….

        • habfan01 says:

          Was just going to say the same thing regarding your last sentence Ron. Hope he doesn’t see the grass is greener elsewhere, do a short term deal to get him to UFA, then thumb his nose at Bergevin and Therrien as the door misses his butt on the way out.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Playing with, or even just being with, good players in Sochi, not to mention a good coach, might be what the doctor ordered.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Great observation Ronn. PK has probably faced adversity all his life. He’ll work his way out of this as well and the coach and his apoligist will take credit it for it. CHeers and good morning sir.

    • Cal says:

      PK seems to be trying too hard. He’s got to stop thinking so much and just do. He’ll be fine.

  24. HabFab says:

    Dave Stubbs – Milestone for #Habs defenceman Douglas Murray, today playing his 500th NHL game. Faceoff 1 pm vs #NHLJets

  25. HabFab says:

    So what exactly does the NHLPA do? Doesn’t protect the players playing today and certainly not those who played in the past;
    http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_25043632/its-time-league-help-ex-players-need

  26. Lafleurguy says:

    Overused idioms and regular words numb the original impact these words once had. “Idiot” was an IQ category so that educational programs could be developed for a disadvantaged group. “Cretins” are very disadvantaged babies whose thyroid gland never acquired function.

    Simplicity works in matters of hate. There are so many, too many people filled with hate. My hope is that HIO attracts its expected share, and no more than its pro rata.

    “Bends but won’t break”

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Hey J, I’m beating you to the post in the mornings, to turn a phrase. Friendly contest. Most first posts win. Winner gets to name a destination (Summit, the playing arena of your youth, Utica I think, et cetera) where second-place has to buy winner a coffee, no size limit. Start savin’ now.

        “Bends but won’t break”

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Good morning Jim and Guy.
        Coffee sounds great.
        Were you lurking last night, Guy, but keeping below the parapet? Some of the “expected share” were about.
        Disappointing game meanwhile, although losing by a goal to a team well ahead of us in the standings is nowhere near as bad as our losses to poor teams. Or the Capitals game.

        Will MikeB give us a Super Bowl liveblog this year do you think?

  27. rhino514 says:

    I cannot calculate it, but I am pretty sure Briere has to be second on the team in goals scored per minutes played.
    Play him, already, MT.
    It´s been a tough stretch, but Briere coming to life is good news. If you just look at the stats, it´s clear that if he gets ice-time, he´s going to score.
    Just go through some video and see where the majority of his goals have come from, the left side of the ice or the right side, and play him there. I wouldn´t advocate Shifting Eller as they were hinting on l´anti-chambre; on the contrary i think Eller needs more support, but give Briere good minutes on the wing and some PP minutes.

  28. Lafleurguy says:

    Two of the team’s 6’2″ forwards have been “largely” ineffective. Skill trumps size. Skill and size may not be a royal flush, but is at least a full house. Gallagher/Gionta/Desharnais/Briere are like two pairs which is better than nothing.

    Bemusing to see a large California team struggle, the Sacramento Queens, um, and the LA Kings as well. Not overly sad to see a Mike Richards’ team flounder.

    Has there been as many top 90 draftpicks (first three rounds) in the post-Sam Pollock era, as the 6 the Habs had in 2013? None of these six will have major impact next year (unless we get a “Tomas Hertl” surprise). Draftpicks are valuable assets, but clearly unpredictable beyond the top 10 to 12. Amazing that Habs had McDonagh/Eller/Pacioretty/Subban from the top 43 of 2007. Peace.

    “Bends but won’t break”

  29. rhino514 says:

    If a team really needs size as much as everyone says we do, then we have to accept players with some issues.
    If that´s really the case, then I don´t understand how we let AK go, or traded Cole. Why do that if size is as big issuean people are making it out to be?

  30. Propwash says:

    I gotta rant.

    Some guys say that the team should trade the upcoming UFA’s for draft picks. In theory that works, but that leaves the team high and dry. Use the already existing prospects? Hamilton still needs to run a team too. It’s a balance.

    I would be on board of blowing up the team if they were bottom feeding, but it isn’t the case. At least, not yet. Pinning stuff on Therrien is also a cop-out IMO. He sets a gameplan, it’s also up to the players to execute said gameplan. Yes, his coaching has lead to some WTF moments, but in the end, it’s up to the players to execute.
    If they were to make trades, it needs to be beneficial for both sides.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • rhino514 says:

      I am usually dead set against trading veterans with leadership skills, but I do feel, exceptionally, that the team should let Gionta go. I like Gionta, and he has been good defensively with Pleks, but going forward the team needs to find room for a bigger winger who can score, it´s really the missing piece and the team isn´t as far behind as some say we are.
      Having said that, I think Gionta still could have trade value and we could well get an NHL player in a trade involving him and some other spare parts.
      It´s tricky letting him go, but they still have enough veterans who can assume some of the leadeship; as we all know Gionta wasn´t a particularly vocal captain anyway, but the thing we will miss is the fact that he comes to play every single night.
      By the way, he has been a better player than his goal total would lead one to believe; he has quite a few more assists this year and they have been quality assists; Gio springing Plekanec for both goals in the Chicago game was a thing of beauty; he probably would have nothched a few more goals if he wasn´t being used strictly in a shutdown role.

  31. Plekasuares says:

    Exactly sheds lol

  32. Plekasuares says:

    On mobile can’t reply to comments (which is something that needs fixed) but I agree with DickandDanny. Why do we always try and set up subban for the blast. DD had at least 20 shot attempts on the PP he tossed up to set up PK. I get he has a Cannon but how many has he scored from the point. I like PK alot but man has he been extremely off lately. Might be looking towards Sochi but I don’t think he will see much ice with a very conservative low risk coach in Babcock.

  33. DickandDanny says:

    One more thing, in OT on a 4-3 PP you do not set up the point man for the big blast. You work it low to an open man at the side or front of the net. But of course not with PK on the team. They kept forcing it to him and he kept trying to blast it. not even an attempt to move laterally for a better chance just stand there and blast it. Ridiculous. Even the players on the PP were pissed when they came off after that OT PP, especially Patches. You could tell he was clearly frustrated with the Subban show.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • Habfan17 says:

      As long as they are not blaming Subban, that would be a coaching decision to have them set him up!

      Habfan17

    • jrs10069 says:

      Agree. It looked ridiculous. They need to start shooting from the wings on the pp, this will force the opposition to change their strategy, then you can send it to the point to mix it up.

      I’m going to mention it the next time I speak with Geoff.

      jrs10069

  34. Plekasuares says:

    Plekanecs A BEAST. Never trade Plek! Ever. Ever. Imagine if he had someone other than “hands of Moen” and Gionta on the wing. Trading him would be Dumb unless the offer is impossible to turn down. Plek future captain.

    Trade Gorges for pucks

  35. DickandDanny says:

    The worst game I have seen PK play ever. He was, and not just because he scored into our net, awful. No more afternoon games for him. May as well sit tomorrow. And, what was so fantastic about DD today that Boone keeps mentioning him and his line. Did he score? Hell no, but he had so much ice time and PP time you think maybe he should have. Useless. I would like to see what Briere could do centering that line. At least he can take a pass and doesn’t fall down every 5 seconds. What would a real center do playing between Gallagher and Patches. I’m guessing they would be a line to be reckoned with, but not with the present guy who I am sorry is in way over his head (no pun intended).

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  36. Plekasuares says:

    It’s funny when you have soooo many passengers (including 76 lately) and yet we trade Plekanec. Hillareus

    • HABSnEXPOS says:

      Tell me what we win having Plecanecs . If he’s on the team or not we are not going anywhere. So I’m get something for him . I want to be in a position like for example say Colorado. The Avs or not even considering resigning Paul stastny. A player of that calibre and they are content with letting walk for nothing at the end of the year. That’s the difference in strength of talent among franchises. Last year we weren’t sure how we could move forward with life without resigning Ryder. The Avs aren’t even batting an eye moving ahead without stasny.

  37. TheLogician says:

    tough ram guy said: “I drink Timmies (as does hundreds of thousands in TO)”

    “as does”…and you think “they” can’t speak english??

    no way you live in the city. i’m guessing oshawa/pickering or some other 905 backwater.

  38. GL says:

    Like I said way back the Habs are a average team and we expect too much. They beat the good teams mostly on their off night and lose to the weaker teams when they are having a off night!! Kinda evens it’s self out and that’s why they are in 5th place in the Eastern Conference. All in all things could be worst who knows maybe it will be!!

  39. HABSnEXPOS says:

    I need to take a course on learning the game of Hockey. I think I’m the only one on here that doesn’t understand all the big love and praise for Plekanec. I find he’s boring to watch. This guy has 1 move and is a soft player. I didn’t see anything in today’s game that made me happy he was playing for our team. Honestly I could careless if I watch another plekanec shift with the Montreal Canadiens. I would love to trade this guy for a 1st and 3rd rounder. I’m awful and speculating what players could receive for draft picks but the way the media and this message boards speak so highly on Plekanec I’m sure we could get a 1st round pick Thomas.

    I might just sign up for the halfday Hockey course. After all I can’t be completely out of focus with game of hockey. I remember scratching my head at the beginning of the season when it when mentioned quite a bit that Georges should be the Captain what a great defencemen he is. scratching my head in November when it was news that MB was sitting down with Diaz to get him locked up.

    I don’t see MB is sitting down with Diaz anymore and a lot of us are discussing moving georges to teams in need of D-men.

    Guys and gals this is just how I feel ,I know I’m going against the grain and breaking the unwritten rule of we don’t speak negatively about Thomas Plekanecs ,however I’m ready for the verbal beat down. Please be civil when directing your hatred towards me.

    • Cal says:

      Pleks shuts down the other team’s top line will scoring anywhere from 1 to 20 goals a year with a rotating cast of linemates. Team like Chicago and LA would love to have him. When he does get traded, the GA line on the standings sheet will go way up.

      • HABSnEXPOS says:

        sure I agree but if we take that pick and are able to package to move up and pick a big time Hollywood scorer that can take over a game stick handle threw a team every once and a while, who is a cold blooded sniper I think our GF would go up.

        I’m not denying that if we trade Markov and Pleks for unproven draft picks that we will never say ” boy I miss so-and-so ”
        Of course we will ,however it’s time to move on. Does anyone see this team including every Habs prospect we own competing in the Stanley cup finals any time soon ? I just don’t . He’s 31 today and in 5 years when we might have something going for us he’ll be 36 years old with no real need or place on the future roster. He’s one of our best assets we have , so trade him. We aren’t going to win jack Sh… With this roster.

        This roster is in much more trouble than a few trades to find someone talented to help plekanec. I agree that Pleks has being a great Canadien despite having to play with useless plugs on his line. Give it up we’re not a contender we may not even make playoffs this year . Having. 5 mill/ 31 year old talent is a waste for both the franchise and Plekanec.

        • formerly known as the hc says:

          You need players with all sorts of skill sets, including big time scorers and players like Plekanec. I am not sure how we should go about getting that big time scorer, but trading away Plekanec would not make us any better.

        • sheds88 says:

          there would be 29 teams standing inline for plex

          • HABSnEXPOS says:

            Great . I agree that 29 teams would show interest. Trade to the highest bidder.Same with Markov. 29 teams would love to have markov Too.

  40. habs001 says:

    If the season ended today..Habs vs Bruins….a way better match up than Ottawa/Tampa/ yes hard to say Leafs(i have a bad feeling that Clarkson and Boland will be very good in the playoffs if the Leafs make it and they will probably add another D)


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