About this afternoon …

BeaulieuJets

Let’s put events on the first Sunday of February, 2014, into perspective:
A gifted actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, breathed his last at the tragically young age of 46.
A great NFL quarterback, Peyton Manning, screwed up the first snap of the Super Bowl … and it was downhill from there.
Bob Dylan did a car commercial.
And your Montreal Canadiens lost another hockey game.

Hurrying out of the Bell Centre to hit the dépanneur for beer and head off to my friend’s place to watch the Super Bowl, I compared notes with a hockey writer who knows more about the game than I.

(Doesn’t narrow the list down much, eh?)

I ventured the opinion that the Canadiens will miss the playoffs.

“No, they’ll make it,” he replied. “The Eastern Conference is crap.

“Toronto can’t possibly continue playing this well. And Detroit is having its own problems.

“The Canadiens will make it. Then they’ll lose in the first round, and the beat goes on.”

If my learned friend is correct in his analysis, the Canadiens will be in the hunt for a playoff spot at the trade deadline. They will hang on to pending UFAs who may (Andrei Markov) or may not (Brian Gionta) be part of general manager Marc Bergevin’s long-term plans for rebuilding the team.

I thought CJ made some good points in the HIO Comments today:

… we got the bounces against the Hurricanes. At times, I thought we were the better team, but for long stretches the Canes controlled the play on Tuesday night. Despite this, we got the win.

This afternoon, the first ten minutes of the first period aside, I thought Montreal was the better team. We controlled the play for long stretches, but couldn’t get a bounce.

We are not a great team, but we are not terrible either. We are one of 20 average teams in the league. There are maybe 5 great and 5 bad teams that make up the balance. This is a parity based league with a hard salary cap.

Games contested between two average teams are decided by a number of variables which are not always easy to quantify or qualify. Today two mistakes ended up in our net. I didn’t see how we were significantly outplayed. We are too small and have too many players who are the exact same. I don’t think Crosby could make a difference right now, nor do I think that Mike Babcock could guide our troops to the promised land. We need bigger players up front who can open up time and space for our skilled players.

Until this happens, we can expect to continue as an average team. Guys like Bozon, Vail, Crisp, Nevins, McCarron and Fournier are still years away, if they make it at all. Best case scenario involves us taking the deep breath and parting with our UFAs and fringe players for size, prospects with size, or draft picks (who can be used to draft size).

There’s that size thing again.

Jean-François Chaumont, who covers the Canadiens for the Journal de Montréal, tweeted during the game that Winnipeg’s roster includes 10 players 6’3″ or taller.

The Canadiens have three, and one of them is Carey Price.

Brendan Gallagher – generously listed at 5’9″, 180 lbs. – is the only player on the team capable of getting under the skin of opponents.  Gallagher’s feistiness was amply displayed in a losing cause against the Jets.

We love Gallagher. He’s a Bell Centre favourite, and they might have to enlarge the door to the home dressing room just so he can get his gonads through it.

But when a guy that size is consistently your most courageous and physical player …

Let’s put it this way:

If Dustin Byfuglien walked into a bar, a prudent person might make mental note of the nearest exit, just in case things got sketchy.

If Brendan Gallagher walked in, they’d card him.

And 6’2″ Rene Bourque has scored as many goals since Nov. 5 as Phil Kessel did in 27 minutes against Ottawa Saturday night.

Alright, enough negativity.

I’m just bitter because I took Denver in a Super Bowl bet with Dave Stubbs, and now I have to wear one of his bow ties for a week.

Heading into the Olympic Games break, your Canadiens have three winnable games: Calgary and Vancouver at the Bell Centre, then the Hurricanes in Carolina.

And if Bob Dylan believes in Chrysler, I’m ready to reserve Canadiens playoff tickets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkC_t9S6JSo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

220 Comments

  1. jeffhabfan says:

    We should have won the yesterday we hit 2 goalpost and gave up 2 shit goals.The interfernce on Gally was a penalty at the end.We need to start playing better if we are going to make the playoffs this year.

  2. Habfan17 says:

    Time to get over it folks. Blaming thee refs is ridiculous!! Yes, they make bad calls, yes they miss some. It happens to all teams during the season, not just the Habs. Mattyleg asked if I have proof and the answer is no, I don’t watch every NHL game. I have watched some and I have seen many missed calls.

    The refs aren’t the Habs problem. The system is a problem, the constant line shuffling is a problem and the fact they miss the net way too often when they shoot and that most of their shots that hit the net are perimeter or point shots with no one in front of then net.
    If the Habs hit the net with 25% of the shots they shoot wide, and took better quality shots, not the pretty passing ones where they do too much, The refs suck at times, but they are not the problem!
    Habfan17

  3. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I can’t believe anyone bet for the Broncos. How many times has the best defense always beaten the best offense? Plus the game was outside. Throw in the white jersey trend (9/10 winners of last SBs) and it was a classic phoney-favorite. Vegas must have made a killing.

  4. TheSleeveen says:

    Time to fire the coach. One only has to look at Winipeg under Maurice to see the difference he has made, even the players are saying good things. MT is a terrible coach, he is lost when playing against good teams. This team is a middle of the road team that needs a couple of good players to make it elite. But first it needs a coach who can do that, it does not have that coach, who in their right mind wants to come to a Thierrien coached team?????? Get a Good Coach, Trade Markov, DD, Briere and Bourque… and get something back that can help this young team reach the next level.

    How much longer is MB going to keep beating the fans over the head with this team?????

  5. Cal says:

    Question: Do the Habs have trouble scoring 5 on 5?
    Answer: Yes- at last check only 80 GF while allowing 95.
    Question: Have the Habs done anything to change this?
    Answer: No. TIO has not changed for all 4 lines.
    Question: If something does not work and has been clearly shown over 56 games that it isn’t working, why doesn’t MT try redistributing ice time?
    Answer: It’s all about DD. DD is the “team concept.”

  6. boing007 says:

    Who is Number One? It ain’t Peyton. That’s for sure.

    Richard R

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      He broke the record for most completions in a Superbowl. Isn’t that bizarre?

      • krob1000 says:

        Not really…he was throwing a lot of short passes (credit on him for completing them)…but it was the constant pressure he was under in combination with him knowing not to throw into Seattle’s secondary unless certain. Peyton was not to blame for that loss…he is to blame for 7 pts though…he palyed ok…not Peyton like butnot awful either.

  7. Ian Cobb says:

    Are the Seahawks that great a team? or did Denver just play their worse game of the season.
    I did not care who won the game, I just wanted a good hard fought contest. But instead we saw one of the worse Super Bowl games ever. After the run back touch down starting the second half, I just turned the channel!!
    Two disappointing games in one day was enough.
    Caribbean here we come to watch the Olimpics on the beach!

    • krob1000 says:

      Seattle came out of the gate urgent…but a safety and a kick off touchdown, two interceptions, a non call that may have changed things (pass interference call that should have been called when game was still in reach twhat would have had Denver inside the 10 instead of getting picked off for a TD the other way). Manning had no time and he isn;t a guy who makes his own time and space although he twice rolled out and was forced to throw across his body…that is not Peytonn Manning’s game. The game in my opinion was well played by Seattle and they were ready to go from the opening kickoff…Denver got caught unprepared and Seattle neverletthem back into it but I think if Denver scores when they were donw two possessions the game goes differently as Denver appeared tobe setttling in and moving the ball. As if being down 22-0 wasn’t bad enough waht appeared to be a goo dkick is run back with ease…right thorugh about 7 Broncos. Just a case of everything going wrong for Denver. I wouls say if football played 7 game series”it would go the distance but in a one game winner take all Seattle earned it by taking the bull by the horns right away.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      The Seahawks secondary is arguably the greatest in NFL history. Total domination the past 2 seasons.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      A little bit of both. I blame the stupid and unnecessary two week layoff between games. I could never understand the rationale for that.

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

  8. HabinBurlington says:

    Gallagher and the team have every right to be pissed off, frustrated at the refereeing. I just hope this doesn’t distract the team from focusing on its biggest problem, no goal scoring.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Although I agree that we need more regular goascoring, for the last game, it can be argued that our goalscoring was hampered by the pathetic and unbalanced calls.

      We lost a powerplay because of a terrible call against Gally, for instance.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HabinBurlington says:

        That is true Matty, but this team put simply cannot score goals 5 on 5 with any regularity. I am not trying to start a bitch session on the team, just stating what I think is the obvious. We are severely offensively challenged.

        • Mattyleg says:

          I know, and I agree.
          I was just saying that the refs helped yesterday.
          You nursing a Superhangover, or did the sun rise on Burlington today? :)

          -edit- That question doesn’t have anything to do with our discussion, btw! I was wondering yesterday if you were Superbowling it up.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Habs4LifeInTO says:

            I think we can all agree…the Habs can’t score 5 on 5. we all know that…And the biased reffing was a reason for the loss as well. Both points are true and valid. It is not a case of one position or the other! I’m with Matty!

            24 cups and counting….

          • frontenac1 says:

            The Habs and Broncos had me crying in my bathroom and screaming in my truck yesterday.Bas#ards.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Ha!!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habfan17 says:

      At the end of the day, all teams have been hurt by bad officiating. That is a poor excuse, This has more to do with the system and the players, not the refs!

      The players have proven that they can score at even strength and win when Therrien employs the aggressive forecheck / puck possession system. It is time Therrien stop playing musical chairs with the players and the system. How can any team succeed consistently when they are playing with different line mates game in and out and with completely different systems.

      It would also help if they hit the net with more shots!

      Habfan17

      • Mattyleg says:

        Do you have proof that all teams have been hurt by bad officiating?
        I think that’s unnecessarily dismissive.

        And I don’t agree that Therrien is changing systems, just line combinations to make things work.

        And I agree that we need to hit the net more!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Habs4LifeInTO says:

          I don’t know whay some people can’t accept what they see with their own eyes. The reffing was clearly biased with the non call on Gallagher..not debatable. But no one is hiding from the fact the Habs can’t score. These are both true. Some people can’t seem to handle that! Burly and Hab 17….

          24 cups and counting….

          • Mattyleg says:

            No, Burly isn’t arguing that!
            He’s just saying that we need more 5-on-5 goalscoring.
            Which is true.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Habs4LifeInTO says:

            OK Fine. I just didn’t like the dismissive either…see that from time to time. I thought your point about the bad reffing was clearly made and shouldn’t have been poo pooed! The habs could have done something with a PP there…The non call impacted the game. How could anyone miss that?

            24 cups and counting….

        • Habfan17 says:

          Gine me a break! of course I don’t watch all NHL games, I have a life! But unless you are a conspiracy theorist, we would be fools to believe that other teams don’t have the same problem.

          Do you really think the refs call games the right way for 29 teams and stiff the Habs? Come one, that is a very lame excuse. If the Habs scored on some of their shots, the refs would not have any bearing on the games. These Habs miss the net was too much and take weak perimeter shots. That is the problem! Not the refs!!

          Habfan17

          • Habs4LifeInTO says:

            You seem to be stuck on the thought that others see the reffing as a reason the Habs aren’t doing well. Get past that…. We don’t believe the refs are the reason in a global, season long kind of way. But, in this particular instance, and only in this particular instance it was a contributing factor. Are you normally this argumentative? How is that even debatable, did you watch the game when that happened?

            24 cups and counting….

  9. CJ says:

    Good morning HIO.

    Firstly, thank you Mr. Boone for including my post.

    I certainly don’t profess to have all the answers, but from the comfort of my couch I recognize that this building process is going to take time. As many posters have pointed out, our resources are significantly depleted. Hamilton does not ooze top tier talent. This I attribute to chasing loses at the deadline and draft table going back four and five years. Those picks we lost for Tanguay, Schneider, Wiz and Moore have hurt our depth. Take a look at the number of draft rounds we missed in 2009-2011.

    As an investor the worst thing you can do is throw good money after bad decisions to cost average lower. When a mistake is made, the investor needs to rid themselves of the losing enterprise and look for value elsewhere. I hate to continually throw the size issue onto the table, but if DD is our first line centre we will never be anything more then an average team.

    Let’s bite the bullet and use this deadline, the draft, or offseason as the opportunity to rid ourselves of those mistakes (DD, Briere), while unloading UFA’s and fringe players (those not part of our core). As painful as the results might be in the short term, it is a recipe for success going forward.

    I have always regarded our supporters as the most knowledgable hockey fans in the world. Let’s not allow our fanaticism to cloud our judgement. Changes are required. If not, I suggest we are destined to remain average. Nothing, IMO, could be worse. I’d rather try something radical and fail, then be content with middle of the road.

    Have a great day everyone! Cheers, CJ

    • Mattyleg says:

      Didn’t Gainey try something radical and fail…?
      ;)

      ps, good stuff on the re-post!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • kalevine says:

        yes he did, but the team he assembled did have a freak playoff run better than any since the Cup. Yes it was Halak and certainly Cammalleri, but also the bigger, older, but still serviceable defencemen like Hamrlik, Spacek and Gill. He was not building for the future though, letting free agents walk, giving away draft picks, and squandering some of the ones he didn’t give away. That and the Gomez deal, plus Gauthier’s brain dead moves in 2012, sunk him and this franchise, and we are still reeling, with few signs that Bergevin is righting the ship

        • Mattyleg says:

          Bergevin hasn’t had time.
          And Gainey’s big moves came at the detriment of our future, as you said. Bergevin has to be wary of going down the same road in the hopes of ‘righting the ship’.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • CJ says:

            Agreed. Bandaid moves now would be seen as panicked. Make the difficult decision and trade away our UFA’s.

          • kalevine says:

            agreed we have to give MB more time. But we needed a Spacek or Hamrlik, not a Bouillon, and we didn’t need a Briere or a Desharnais, certainly not both, so, although his standing pat is a good thing compared to Gainey, the moves he has made have not instilled confidence. And now the big test is, is he willing to get something for the pending overpaid UFAs. If not, then so far he is no better than Gainey

      • CJ says:

        Great point. He did. Gainey unfortunately put way too much confidence into the league. When it came back following the lockout, the new mandate promised a focus on speed and skill. Penalties were going to be called which, by extension, should have opened ice for the slick, skilled players to exercise their creativity. Unfortunately, when the playoffs began, the whistle was thrown away. Fast forward nearly ten years and we are right back to square one.

        I love watching Hudon, Reway, Collberg, Andrighetto, Thomas, etc., but we will be lucky to graduate more then one of these players. Each has terrific skill and could be successful in another organization, but not in Montreal given the current composition.

    • Stimpy007 says:

      Hey CJ, congrats on getting quoted. Its a posters dream!!!

  10. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    I am reeling a bit from the double loss to Abbotsford over the weekend on top of the double losses for the Habs. Had a quick look at what is coming to Hamilton next year. I see Mac Bennett, Dalton Thrower, Tim Bozon, Charles Hudon, Connor Crisp, Brady Vail, Jack Nevin, Mark McMillian and Sebastian Collberg. Magnus Nygren Could possibly be a replacement for Diaz who could then be moved for a third round draft pick or prospect. This information I will use as a salve to ease the pain from the weekend somewhat.

    24 cups and counting….

    • CJ says:

      The future is getting brighter. With Ellis hurt and Beaulieu and Thomas temporarily graduated, our cupboards are bare boned. We need two solid drafts and a few CHL and NCAA free agent signings and things will begin to look up.

      As you have noted, we are set to graduate prospects which will help this team going forward. I think DLR has a chance to skip Hamilton and find an apartment in Montreal next season. Lots needs to happen, but this kid is for real.

    • boing007 says:

      Maybe De La Rose?

      Richard R

      • CJ says:

        I think he has a chance to make the Canadiens next year. I’m sure they’d love to get him over on a PTO at the end of the season, like they did with Magnus last year, if only to expose him to the North American game.

  11. boing007 says:

    Seahawks trouncing the Broncos? Unlike Tony Marinaro, I loved every minute of it.

    Richard R

  12. Mattyleg says:

    Morning everyone, got a few comments to make, but I’ll deal with them one by one.

    First off, it was a great game to go to with my daughter, she loved it, danced and screamed and cheered, and yelled “Go Habs Go!” so much that everyone around us was laughing.

    Before going in, I read a comment posted on the Liveblog by Maritime Ronn. It was yet another long complaint about Therrien, but the part that stuck out in my mind was that MT had completely destroyed PK Subban (our best player, according to him)’s confidence.

    I don’t know how it played on TV, but PK getting the puck and dipsy-doodling with it in his own zone got people cheering in the crowd… until he started doing it all the time. Then the cheers became mumblings, then grumblings, then people started to shout at him to pass it, or get it out of the zone.

    He is a great player, will be an even greater one, and I love the way he breaks through the neutral zone, but he does NOT strike me as someone whose confidence is shot; in fact, to take the words of the guy sitting behind me, “Therrien’s got to reel that guy back in a bit.”

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I love PK but this is one thing we can agree on. If he made simpler plays he would save so much energy. He sometimes makes it harder on himself for nothing. Almost as if it is too easy for him so he makes it harder.

      Anyway, this is why I was upset MT did not hire Larry Robinson. The Habs philosophy should be to hire the best coaches for their players. Look at the difference Waite has made. You can see the effects in San Jose. MT should have put his ego aside.

      • krob1000 says:

        I jsut wish those plays he makes would lead to more aht they do…he should try and finish sometimes. If he canbeat the first 3 guys why not beat one or two more…he seems afraid to finish hard…he is strong enough and good enough one on one that he should do more witht hose great rushes.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Saying his ego had anything to do with not hiring Robinson is a bit baseless, don’t you think? Sounds like you’re projecting.

        Also, PK was playing extremely well during the period where people were complaining (loudly) that MT was hampering him and holding him back and destroying him.

        Now that he’s loosened the reins a bit, we see the consequences, and yet the same people who were complaining before about Therrien are not saying ‘maybe he had a point,’ they are shifting the blame elsewhere.

        Hmm…

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          “Sounds like you’re projecting”…what are you talking about? You don’t know me so stick to the hockey discussion instead of your BS psychoanalysis.

          If you think JJ Daigneault has a better resume than Larry Robinson, you know nothing about hockey. If every other team in the NHL had to make the choice between hiring JJ and Larry NOT ONE would have chosen JJ. The guy was coaching in the AHL for heaven’s sakes. This is the Montreal Canadiens…not some minor league organization. I’ve worked in business for 15 years and I’ve seen this type of hiring many times. The primary reason a CLEARLY better candidate does not get a job is always political. MT did not have the self esteem to have somebody of Larry’s stature on his side. Simple as that.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Hey DDO, take a valium.

            You say that Therrien didn’t hire Robinson because of his ego.
            I say that there is no conceivable way that anyone could know that outside of his therapist.
            That’s why I think that you may be projecting ego issues onto Therrien, because it suits your agenda of disliking him.

            And from you talking about Therrien’s self-esteem, it looks like you’re doing more psychoanalysis than I am!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

            Sorry but when I see someone making clearly the wrong decision, it bothers me. Anyway, I might not like MT but given the french-speaking candidates that were available, I do not blame MB for hiring him. As for this season, I have been critical of some of MT’s moves (e.g.,criticizing players to the media and ice-time). However, I do not blame him overall for what is going on. This is all on MB and his poor decisions this past off-season and lack of action during the season.

  13. Old Bald Bird says:

    HIO is being stupid again by rejecting a perfectly innocuous post that, in part, praised several posters including Maritime Ronn for their insights.

  14. Dodger says:

    Eddie:::: Bang on …as usual. And, unfortunately, this ain’t 1955 and Deharnais sure as hell ain’t Henri Richard.

  15. krob1000 says:

    PP needs an overahul….too much of the pp revolves around the point men….having Dd out there means you have a 4 on 4 with a guy that youcan pass to when in trouble…but he is not shooting and will not break down the box by threatening to walk either.
    IF DD adds some shooting to his game he could be a huge upgrade to his current version of himself….until then he is not unlike Gomez.

  16. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Olympic break can’t come soon enough.

  17. Habitoban says:

    So MT talks to the referees to complain that Gally should not have been penalized in his scrum with Stuart, I believe. The Referees, now duly chastized by a coach, let Gallagher get mugged and then interferred with in the last few minutes of the game. Very revealing.

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Turns out the refs have a churlish side, don’t they? Very unprofessional. My take..these refs aren’t of the same quality, character, discipline as the people they are reffing. They were just available. Competition to be an on ice official was sparse in comparison to the players, the pool was much smaller and they may not have undergone the same rigourous selection process. Could be a case of who you know. They just have to be able to skate, obviously judgement and professionalism are lacking. we see this time and time again.

      24 cups and counting….

  18. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I hope Bergevin is a seller come trade deadline. We need to start trading veterans for picks that will help us down the road. This team is average at best & just making the playoffs is not good enough.

  19. ooder says:

    Dave stubbs has awesome bow ties!

  20. jols101 says:

    Lol @ Josh Gorges.

  21. stephen says:

    Evidently, the sputtering powerplay has been a significant factor in recent losses. Teams long ago shifted pressure to the blueline and the Habs have never countered effectively.

    So, why not move PK to the wing on PP’s and use him as a one-timer option from around the dot, much like Washington uses Ovechkin?

    Might sound ridiculous, but would it not at the very least shift the defensive coverage around, giving the Habs different looks and options?

    I’m no expert when it comes to the X’s and O’s of the game, so maybe I’m spouting nonsense, but something surely has to change to get things clicking again.

    • piper says:

      We need Kovy back!

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Can’t do it with this coaching staff. They have a “one way street” mentality.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Actually, it does make sense. Many teams have used forwards on defence for the power play and Boston has used Chara up front to screen the goalie. It is worth a try! Coaches need to be open and creative these days. We all know the definition of insane! Trying the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome. I guess Therrien is insane!

      Habfan17

    • Mattyleg says:

      That’s a good idea, the only risk with that is when you miss the net, it tends to zing around the boards and leave the zone.

      You really need a sharp-shooter there à la Kovy, which we don’t really have. Max is good, but not that precise.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Cal says:

      No one in front of the net. Habs have Murray and Parros. Either should be in front of the net. Powerless Play includes DD off in the corner doing nothing. Take him off and replace him with MOAR BIGGER!!!!

  22. boing007 says:

    Now Peyton knows how Tom Brady felt two weeks ago. Looks good on him.

    Richard R

  23. Eddie says:

    I was going to write a long post but it was too frustrating so I’ll just to the point.

    No team that I can remember, since the days of Henri Richard, has won anything at the NHL level with their # 1 offensive center being 5’7.

    It’s not going to miraculously change just because the Habs wish it so.

    And they know this.

    So they know they can not and will not win a Cup with Desharnais leading the offence.

    At best he’s a 60 point player.

    So it’s a scam, a ruse, to buy into this team, to believe this team can win, because THEY WON’T.

    But they had Eller and Galchenyuk playing BEHIND Desharnais, with Galchenyuk not even at the center position.

    Now Eller is floundering, what a surprise!

    And Galchenyuk has about 10 minutes played at center, against The Blues of all teams, for the entire season!!

    If you don’t see this as a problem there is no helping you.

  24. Ozmodiar says:

    I hope this team either wins all 3 games or loses all 3 games before the break. This “win one, lose one, tie one” routine sucks.

    If I had to choose, I’d lean towards losing all 3 games. I just don’t see this team making it past the 1st round in the playoffs, and a good losing streak might convince MB to trade our pending UFAs for some futures to help this team in the long-run.

  25. boing007 says:

    MB lost me when he signed DD to a four year contract. Then he signed DB. Those two players cannot be put in the category of Gainey/Gauthier era booboos. They just compounded the booboos.

    Richard R

    • jo_maka says:

      What is painful to consider is that he might have given those years to DD as a welcome gift to his friend and new customer Pat Brisson who in turn made DB sign here, which he didn’t want to do back in 2007.

      I still think, even if he’s obviously miscast on this team, that DB is hustling hard and put up more points per TOI than anybody on this team.

      “All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us…they can’t get away this time”

  26. jo_maka says:

    Silver lining of the weekend: Beaulieu.

    Even Bob Cole had a man-crush.

    “All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us…they can’t get away this time”

  27. boing007 says:

    Habs need to find a young version of Brian Gonta on the Plekanec/Bournival line.

    Richard R

  28. GL says:

    all about scoring and defense. If you can’t put the puck in and keep the puck out it won’t matter if you’re small or big. It’s called talent which we have very little of. I could count them on one hand. Teams that’s around or near the top all the time is built with a combo of talent and toughness until we do the same we’ll always be a mediocre team….

  29. Strummer says:

    3 exceptional players had blooper moments this past weekend,

    PK “Whoops” Subban on Saturday

    Carey “Whoops” Price on Sunday afternoon and

    Peyton “Whoops” Manning on Sunday night.

    Next time one of us has a “Whoops” moment we’ll be in good company.
    __________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

    • boing007 says:

      Whoopee!

      Richard R

    • jo_maka says:

      And three ”journeyman” were stellar:

      Thompson on Saturday
      Stuart on Sunday afternoon
      Smith on Sunday night.

      Next time someone says we’ll never amount to nothing, we’ll be in good company :P

      “All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us…they can’t get away this time”

  30. Mick says:

    I think it is time to look at our “Little DD experiment” and realize it is an epic failure on MB and MT to continue to hold this team back from progressing with our young core. DD has been given every chance to succeed. The only question is this. “Does MB have the balls to correct his mistake or does he have the balls to correct MT’s tragic misuse of DD at the expense of other players on the Habs?”.
    If he does not correct this ship we have 3 more years of mediocrity with DD as our #1 center and Max as the cowardly Lion.
    Trade both of them.
    :)

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Do you mean you are not happy with the Habs top average PP minutes per game center?
      The guy that ranks 94th for ALL NHL centers for Goals scored?(8)
      The guy that ranks 70th for ALL NHL centers for points?(27)
      The guy that’s on his way to a 39 point season?

  31. Ian Cobb says:

    HIO–A message from the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation, to this great HIO community!

    Dear Hockey Inside Out members who participated in the Summit weekend in October 2013.

    We would like to thank you for your contributions to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation. Your support will help us in our efforts to provide a better and healthier future for children. We have been able to respond to a resounding need for high-quality sports infrastructure with community, refrigerated and multisport rinks in underprivileged neighbourhoods, allowing for the youth and families in these areas to experience the advantages of an active lifestyle. We encourage you to follow our Facebook page, Twitter (@CHCFondation) and visit our website http://www.fondation.canadiens.com for more information. Special thanks to Ian Cobb who give his all to organise this wonderful summit year after year!

    Thank you for being proud supporters of our youth.
    Ryan Frank

    Coordonnateur, Collectes de fonds – Fondation des Canadiens pour l’enfance
    Coordinator, Fundraising – Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation
    Canadiens de Montréal
    Aimez-nous sur Facebook / Like us on Facebook
    Suivez-nous sur Twitter / Follow us on Twitter

  32. Maritime Ronn says:

    Regarding the Habs size thing debate, it has much more to do with overall talent and (physical-mental) toughness, than just plain size.

    If you look at recent Cup winning teams, the first ingredient is Talent – Superb Talent, and if a player happens to be a smaller version, he had better have great talent and physical/mental toughness ( Patrick Kane)
    And yes, while many Habs fans dispise this player, the Bruins Brad Marchand shows up in the season AND playoffs and always produces.

    In the brutal tough playoffs, physicality matters and size helps when the going gets tough, yet talent/heart wins from the net out.

    The biggest issue with the present Habs is that their little guys (with the exception of Gallagher) have very little overall talent, are 1 dimensional, or are way past their ‘best before’ dates.

    Then there is the question of wasted and precious Cap dollars:

    Gionta ($5M) far from worth it
    Briere ($4M) far from worth it
    Desharnais ($3.5M) a bottom 6 at best on any other NHL team
    Bouillon ($1.5M) few NHL teams would have him on the roster
    Diaz ($1.2M) softest Dman inthe NHL-a 6th-7th at best.

    Total wasted Cap Space?
    $15.2M representing 24% of the Habs Total Cap Space.
    Brutal.

    EX:
    Imagine for 1 moment what $15.2M could buy on the UFA market?
    Tomas Vanek and Ryan Callahan with money left over!
    Get rid of those 5 above – add these 2, move Galchenyuk to Top 6 center with Plex, and all of a sudden we have a serious team to contend with.

    GMMB needs to correct this before next season or the Habs are going nowhere.

    In the present NHL (playoffs) no team can afford to play with a bunch of smallish, unskilled, 1 dimensional players and expect to go far.
    That is the challenge for GMMB…and please, no more DDBrieres.
    There are only so many mulligans you will be allowed.

    • stevieray says:

      well put . I feel the team should just let some of these guys walk at the end of year ..instead of getting a 3rd or 4th rounder in return . WE have plenty of these on the ” farm ” My reasoning is exactly as you say ..freeing up wasted cap space

      • Habfan17 says:

        Why not do both, trade Gionta and Markov for picks and or prospects and still, if they are available, try to sign Callahan and Vanek? For example, if LA would trade Clifford and their first round pick for Markov, the Habs have now upgraded their 3rd line and have the extra first rounder. This gives MB the opportunity to trade both his first round picks to move up if he wants to.

        Boullion, Diaz and Murray would probably not garner much interest, but even if they did get a 4th round pick for each, it is better than nothing and still clears room to sign a couple of better free agents.
        DD may garner some interest.

        Habfan17

        • Cal says:

          LA likely won’t trade their youth for Habs aging vets. Best we can hope for is picks and no salary coming back.

          • Habfan17 says:

            Teams do strange things at the deadline, especially when they think they could go all the way. LA has lot’s of depth so to give up a third line players and a first rounder probably between the 25th and 30th spot is not much for the money the will make in the playoffs!

            Markov would not be over used and his experience would be valuable to them.

            If they chose not to sign him in the summer, he could still come back!

            Habfan17

          • Stimpy007 says:

            I think LA would take Markov for sure. They need someting on their Powerplay.

    • TMan1969 says:

      Well put…

      I would like to point out to everybody who thinks if you add a few marquee players and that would instantly mean championship. The most recent example against this is the super bowl chumps, Denver Bronco’s, Tim Tebow had a better game and the team as a whole played better. The older examples would be the Rangers debacle when they bought every talented UFA in the 90s (failed to make any noise) and the NJD paying for all the talent but really spinning tires.

      The key to yesterdays super bowl was overall team effort – top and bottom and there were no passengers. This was brought home by Stuart wearing the flying helmet and stating that the coach advised they play for each other. The Jets had 100% effort through 60m and the Habs 85% (first ten minutes – they were skaters).

      So you can acquire size and even talent, but does that translate into team effort or maybe just a glossy cover for a really good season and really bad play off performance…I am more the blue collar, third line chargers type guy. Remember ’93? Not very talented, but the team overcame their shortfalls…anything is possible.

      “If I knew the answer to that I’d bet $10,000 on the game and retire from coaching.”
      —Montreal Canadiens coach Toe Blake after being asked if his team would win an upcoming game

    • Stimpy007 says:

      Yeah Buddy!!! Thats what I’m takin about!

      Also Boston’s small guys can have that confidence because ALL of their D men are huge and are always there to stick up for them. Krug is small tho.

      Grab O’Brien for Boullion and start this process. Love it, good post!

  33. scotland says:

    boones expert friend is dead wrong. habs will miss the play offs. ( mois have stated as much every month on here since september) As they should. If a team this bad, small, and poorly coached is a play offs team….that diminishes the nhl play offs.

    agree with the point that you are in HUGE trouble when branden galagher is you most valuable forward and the ONLY player that bothers opponents. Also does not bode well when one of the hamilton bulldogs was your best defenceman on the week end.

    • JUST ME says:

      One question. Why do you bother coming here ? Obviously the subject makes you depressive. I don`t know maybe some other field of expertise would be better for your moral ? Flowers ,kittens, fishing or maybe one of the other 29 teams since they are all better than the habs . Why do you bother coming here ?

      • John Q Public says:

        Fishing kittens with flowers in their fur, ummmmmmmmmmmm.
        Meow
        But can they skate ?

      • TMan1969 says:

        He’s Scottish..and thats not oatmeal!

        “If I knew the answer to that I’d bet $10,000 on the game and retire from coaching.”
        —Montreal Canadiens coach Toe Blake after being asked if his team would win an upcoming game

      • kalevine says:

        I think there is room for anyone who is a fan here, whether they are cantankerous curmudgeons, pink power optimists, both or anything in between. As long as you love the Habs. People have different ways of showing it.

  34. Cal says:

    Size and speed with skill trumps skill alone. Every scout wants all three. They drool over players like that. Habs rarely, if ever, get to draft that combination.
    The Jets are very close to being legitimate contenders. They need 1 more scorer and better goaltending. Their D is getting better, but is inexperienced. They are closer than the Habs to success because they have the right kind of players, starting with Ladd as captain.

    • Phil C says:

      Players with all three are very rare. Other than a few freaks of nature like Eric Lindros, players with above average size usually suffer a loss of speed and vise versa. No team can plan to draft them on a regular basis.

    • scotland says:

      every team in the league is closer to success than the habs….including islanders, sabres, jackets.

      habs maybe the only team still getting worse before they get better.

  35. Donkey Hoat says:

    The obsession with size is a slightly incorrect analysis; what we need are goal scorers, people who can put the puck in the net, AND a few big lugs to open up the ice.
    With respect to CJ, having Crosby on the team would help; he could have at least made the score 2-2 yesterday.

    • scotland says:

      CJ says crosby would not help this team ….. in the next sentence he says a couple of big guys would. lost me right there.

      and if he thinks it does not matter if you have babcock or therrien…..he is either drunk or a relative of therriens

    • Habfan17 says:

      The Habs would score more if Therrien would stick with the aggressive, puck possession system he seems hesitant to use. Everytime he uses that system, the Habs score more and win more.
      Against Boston they had 3 even strength goals and two against Carolina! Then they go back to that defensive, shot blocking system and they lose 2 games while scoring 2 goals!

      Habfan17

  36. Habfan17 says:

    There have been some great posts questioning if it is purely a size issue.

    I would say it is four things that hurt the Habs.

    The system that Therrien has them playing, The use of the players,
    Some more size on defence, but size with sandpaper!

    For the forwards, maybe subtract two smaller players, Gionta and DD, and bring in two players that have the same mentality as Gallagher. They don’t need to be behemoths, 6′ 200lbs, with that, I am getting to your net, you can’t stop me! attitude!

    One last point, I have never seen a team that misses more passes and the net when shooting than the Habs! Even when they aren’t pressured they miss the net. Unforgiveable!!
    !

    Habfan17

  37. boing007 says:

    Rocky Mountain Sigh.

    Richard R

  38. rljmartin says:

    Lot’s of talk about size and weight but you all know that size is not the only factor. Look at Bourque and you can bet there are more like him in the league who play every game.

    What I do not see much of in the HABS are the intangibles we call passion and honor. These attributes are found in copious quantities in teams that make it to the Cup final. They gel at the end and play above their heads with passion and honor.

    Juicy contracts, a cap world and many other factors have had a big impact on passion and honor. They are not lacking among HABS fans who I dare say have more than many players…. that makes it pretty frustrating at times. If we saw a lot more of this in players, HIO would be a pretty optimistic place.

    Passion and honor are what you find in Gally, I do not see it in MT’s face ever, same uncompromising look game in and game out, Mr. Stoic himself. Sunday would have been a good time to go ballistic on the ref and as an extension of that Stoic expressionless face, the response of Gally’s teammates was also sad. One might say you do not do that in a one-goal game but I believe that with 15 or 20 seconds left, there was more to gain in team building than the extra point or two.

    • scotland says:

      great points.

      its beacuse of that that i can honestly say i have always loved the montreal canadiens since 1970. but i cant stand this team. had i just tunes into hockey this season……no way do i support this club…..why would anybody. there is nothing to draw you.

      thank me lucky stars for sports package…….able to catch some good nhl hockey by swithing off the Canadiens game and going to my choice of several other great games

  39. montreal ace says:

    The last icing of the game, the Ref sure took his time to blow his whistle.

  40. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    I went to Howie Meeker’s hockey school one summer (sorry I wasted your money dad). This is what they drilled into the defensemen:

    1) Head man the puck (i.e., don’t hog the biscuit!)
    2) Play the man
    3) Keep shots from the point low and on net
    4) Don’t screen your goalie
    5) Don’t take stupid penalties
    6) Clear the crease (or at least tie up the guy’s stick)

    I’m a big P.K. fan but man that guy needs to have a talk with Howie cuz he ain’t executing on a few items in the list.

    • Phil C says:

      When PK tries to do too much, his play really suffers, ie holding the puck to long, going for the big hit at the wrong time, etc. When he moves the puck like he is supposed to and simplifies his game defensively, he is awesome. I had thought through maturity he had evolved his game beyond these problems, but they are coming back again which is disappointing.

  41. Lafleurguy says:

    Meanwhile, in Denver, it’s not the Year of the Horse.

    “Bends but won’t break”

  42. Eddie says:

    This team does not play to score goals, this team plays to stop goals.

    And we have terrific goaltending, which already helps the defence quite a bit.

    And we do not have tremendous scorers, which would encourage many coaches to push a little harder to “create” offence.

    And we have Plekanec, Gionta, Moen, Prust, and many others who are considered “defensive” forwards.

    Sure there is parity.

    But whenever we play an “up tempo” game we begin to win more games than we lose.

    Whenever we play the shut Dow defensive game we seem to lose more games than we win.

    I would rather fall right out of the playoffs than make it, allow Molson, Bergevin, and Therrien to conclude the season was “successful”, justify keeping older players who need to be moved, only to be bounced in 4 or 5 games by Toronto.

    And here’s a question.

    If everyone in the league, and here, believes we are too small, then why would our brilliant GM go out and sign Briere, Bouillon, and Desharnais.

    Oh ya, forgot to mention there’s an “intangible”, “cultural” reason why we signed them,

    And “culture” is even more important than size.

    • third generation haber says:

      So, u mean we play not to lose too badly as opposed to playing to win because our coach knows full well that we don’t have the talent, grit, or size to compete with the true contenders?

      U can add why did he trade for and recently call-up Christian Thomas to your list of what the hell was MB thinking type questions.

      I wish Molson would institute a no-midget policy on the organization from top to bottom moving forward.

      j.p. murray

      • scotland says:

        i watch tomas in hamilton …and i will tell you right now. he is not and never will be an nhl player.

        the best forward on the bulldogs is dumont. every single night. thats not to say that the habs should have him up. its to tell ya’ll that the habs have no nhl forwards on the dogs………… and not many on the big club

        24 forwards play every night for both the dogs and habs.

        i like 3 of them

    • RUSTIE says:

      I would have to agree with you

      Joe Laplane

    • Phil C says:

      The trapping and dump and chase is mind boggling considering the roster and the success they have had with different systems. I would love to understand why the coaching staff have chosen this route.

  43. Cal says:

    The Habs are now officially the GAG team. Goal a game and very tough to watch without gravol.

  44. Phil C says:

    Count me in with the posters who think the size thing is overated. Boston and LA win a Cup with big teams, now a lot of people think that you need a big team to win. Yet Chicago has won two of the last four Stanley Cups with an averaged sized team. Who did Chicago beat last year on the way to the Cup? LA, and Boston, two teams that so many posters envy. Yet the only team to give Chicago any trouble was Detroit, another average sized team.

    Go back to before 2010, and the Pittsburgh and Detroit Cup winning teams were also average sized. So we have 4 of the last 6 Cup winning teams were average sized. If anything can be concluded, this tells me that winning does not favour ths big teams, but averaged size teams, teams that can handle the the heavy game of a big team, yet still skate with the fast teams.

    Do the Habs need to get bigger? Yes, but they need a tweak, not an overhaul. Getting one more top four defenseman with size, and maybe swap out one or two forwards with a bigger player without sacrificing speed and skill and this team will be fine for size.

    • CranbrookEd says:

      Rene is a fine example of how size alone is not the answer . . . there needs to be a level of determination and character in each member of the team, a willingness to engage the players on the other team regardless of their size . . . hmm, did Max’s commercial for the Egg Producers of North America make it to the Super Bowel? :)

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

    • scotland says:

      the hawks are the exception….what a six man d.

      they also have 10 forwards more valuable than the habs best forward.

      the habs only have once defenceman that could make the hawks could use. pk…and he would not be on top pair.

      the habs have price. and thats it. pk is talented but on a terrible hcoeky club that is poorly coached…… he will become a laugher. looked like brian macabe on the week end.

  45. Lafleurguy says:

    Yeah, but Rene Bourque is better lookin’ and bigger than Phil Kessel.

  46. CranbrookEd says:

    Well kudos to Mr. Briere for going bowling and using the Peg goalie as a pin at the very end . . . never saw the supposed loose puck that the CBC darlings were talking about, perhaps either did Briere . . . either way, I saw it as Briere coming back to take a shot for Gallager, something that none of his other teammates were willing to do . . .

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

  47. third generation haber says:

    Something we can all feel good about; our CHL prospects are doing well this year. In the past, we barely had any as Gainey loaded us up on NCAA guys who barely play and may not be interested in playing hockey after graduation. I think this has hurt us for several years now. It seemed that we were adverse to drafting much from the WHL or OHL.

    http://habsprospects.com/statschl.html

    J.P. Murray

    • CranbrookEd says:

      As if I really had the choice(!), but if I did, considering the actual chances of making and sticking in the NHL for a long career, I would choose the college/University route so that I would have something to fall back on . . . and (well, there are exceptions to everything) would have appeared at the NHL level with more maturity and better able to handle the pressures and distractions. Talent will rise to the surface even without the extra games from major junior under your belt . . . of course, totally ignoring the junior ranks is not exactly a very wise move either! :)

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

      • third generation haber says:

        Choosing the college route would lessen your chances to make it since the CHL best prepares players for the NHL.

        Our neglecting to draft CHL players for so long was tragically stupid.

        j.p. murray

  48. Maritime Ronn says:

    Mr. Boone writes, ” They will hang on to pending UFAs who may (Andrei Markov) or may not (Brian Gionta) be part of general manager Marc Bergevin’s long-term plans for rebuilding the team.”
    ————
    Even if GMMB decided he wants to move either or both of Markov-Gionta, it may not be as easy as it appears.

    First off, Gionta has a full No Trade Clause and the Habs would need his permission to trade him.
    Markov may be slightly easier to move as he has a Modified NTC.

    Next is what teams have the Cap Space to take on even the remaining parts of their respective Caps Hits.

    Cap Geek has a column on one of its pages that calculates what type of contract (Annual Cap Hit) a team could acquire even at the trade deadline.
    It is the far right column on this page:
    http://www.capgeek.com/index.php

    Without moving significant assets, only a few contending or Cup hopeful teams have Cap Space for either Markov or Gionta.

    At present, there are only 14 teams that have the necessary Cap Space, and only 2 ( Anaheim-Colorado) where it may make sense.
    It would be useless for a non-contender to waste draft picks or other assets on pending and aging UFAs.

    While Markov-Gionta may remain with the Habs until the end of the year, the CBA may be the bigger reason why that may come to fruition.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Hey MR,

      Nice post. I would say the cap hit will not be an issue. I read on TSN that by the deadline, the majority of the salaries are already paid. There would only be around 1/4 of the salary due. That should give most teams the space they need, especially if they send a roster player the other way.

      Habfan17

    • third generation haber says:

      As arguably the biggest and longest serving trade Markov advocate I was afraid someone might point this out. I think this could be mitigated if we took some salary (another impending UFA) back in the trade, along with a good prospect from the 2011 or 12 draft.

      We are NOT cup-contenders, so trade anyone that won’t be part of the solution!!! Commit to the re-build!!!

      j.p. murray

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        good point JP

        The other option – and a new CBA wrinkle this year, would be for the Habs to retain somewhere up to 50% of the traded Salary/Cap Hit to allow other teams a chance at these 2.
        That would be the only option to move let;s say a Markov to LA that is now ranked 29th in the NHL for Power play.

        • third generation haber says:

          U got me curious, so I checked. L.A. has Tyler Toffoli (RW) from the 2010 draft, Tanner Pearson (LW) from the 2012 draft, and Valentin Zykov (LW) from the 2013 draft. All of these guys are 6-0 and considered scoring threats/ possible top-six forwards.

          I would love to see us add these types of prospects as part of a Markov trade.

          Can’t understand why so many fans want us to hold onto an aging d-man who is no longer strong defensively while we’re no where close to competing for a cup. Is being a perennial bubble team really that exciting???

          j.p. murray

    • twocents says:

      It’s still manageable. The Habs would just have to take some NHL salary back, in the form of an unwanted player, even if the Habs don’t really want the player, to help the other team make the cap. This would be in addition to what they actually want(prospect/pick). Ideally this player’s deal ends this year too. Or else we consider buying out the contract. Additionally, the new CBA allows teams to retain a portion of a traded player’s salary on their books.

  49. DipsyDoodler says:

    Average size of every NHL team (based on opening day):

    http://mirtle.blogspot.ca/2013/10/2013-14-nhl-teams-by-height-weight-and.html

    (It’s not a great stat. It should probably be modulated by time on ice, but this is what we have.)

    I’m not denying that size might be a proxy of physical strength, which clearly matters. I’m denying that measuring the average size of a team is relevant.

    First things you might notice:

    1. Among the bottom 10 teams in terms of height are St.Louis, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Minnesota.
    2. Among the top ten tallest teams we have Buffalo, Florida, Ottawa, Phoenix, Winnipeg, none of whom are currently in the playoffs.
    3. St.Louis is 2nd in weight but 2nd last in height. Which stat do you prefer to make your case?

    Now if there was a stat for mass times velocity squared, multiplied by some psychological variable like grit. Maybe that would tell you something.

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      Your point is well made. Winning teams can’t be built based on height and weight. Else how to explain the success of Chicago and Pitt, neither of which rank among the top 10 in either category? I think most of us know the “magic formula” goes something like this:

      1 part skill + 1 part size + 1 part heart = the ideal hockey player

      I mean, that’s what scouts look for when they’re beating the bushes for draft prospects, right?

      MTL really hasn’t followed the formula much in the past 20 years and that’s probably why they’re a middling team. There are other reasons too but they pale in comparison.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      A Dipsyfenwickcorsi.

      “Bends but won’t break”

  50. jrshabs1 says:

    Hab experts….the team is too small.
    All the reasoning in the world isn’t going to change the fact that the Habs can’t score. Habs can’t score because they don’t have enough players willing to pay the price in front of the net . Not many goals scored from the top of the circle these days. Habs are falling fast…Is the small captain going to put this team on his back and lead them to a Cup?

    MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

  51. GL says:

    Our biggest problem is scoring and that is not for the lack of size if it is. How come St. Louis is so successful. I do believe size comes into play when it comes to toughness and yes we could use more but that don’t mean we are going to score more. We have some big players on this team that don’t do diddly squat on the score board that is a big issue. It’s no good bringing in a big Guy if he’s not a scorer may as well bring in a small Guy that can score. Until we can get more consistent scorers whether they be Big or Small this team is going nowhere. Goal scoring consistency is a major problem with this team we have loss a lot of one goal games….

  52. JF says:

    Size is certainly important and we certainly don’t have enough of it, but I’m not sure it’s the main reason we can’t score at even strength and the powerplay has fizzled. Going back to the Chicago game, we have scored more than one goal in only four out of eleven games. That’s not going to add up to too many wins. Yes, we have to get bigger, but we also have to add more offensive talent. As CJ points out, what there is in the pipeline is still at least a couple of years away. The Bulldogs are as barren at the moment as the big club – largely the result of the previous administration’s pissing away picks and prospects.

    When we use our speed and play an aggressive puck-possession game, we can usually score enough to win or at least have a chance of winning. This was the case against the Bruins the other night. When we play a grinding, dump-and-chase game, we nearly always lose because our lack of size becomes a factor and we get out-muscled trying to retrieve the puck after we’ve dumped it. It’s up to the coaching staff to have the team play the kind of game they have a chance of winning. It would also help if they could get the powerplay firing again.

    As I’ve said several times recently, I’m hoping we miss the playoffs and use the opportunity of the trade deadline to move impending free agents and some veterans. This would accelerate the rebuild as well as securing a higher draft position.

  53. rhino514 says:

    With all due respect to Boone, his colleagues, and many posters on here; the size thing is not nearly as big as it is made out to be, and it is tiresome to see it raise its ugly head after each loss.
    The 96 point habs who were ravaged by injuries and came within one shot of upsetting the bruins, the habs team which went to the semifinals, and the habs who were very difficult to beat throughout most of last season were not big teams.
    The difference was Andrei Kostitsyn, or Eric Cole, for maybe 20 games. That is one biggish body more.
    We will never know the whole story behind Cole´s departure, so it is tough ton crticize MB in this vein, but clearly if the organization really wants to go after a physical winger it can do so; this fatalistic view that we may have to wait 4 or 5 years for young guys to develop is laughable.
    They are maybe one big body away and that can be had through trade or free agency. The proof is they were able to sign Cole; we had him, it is unlucky he got off to a bad start and was let go, but we can sign a similar type of player in the same fashion. Cole, Wisniewski; there are good players out there and if MB cannot attract one of them, then he isn´t as good a GM as the much maligned goat was. The Cole departure is on him and the onus in my mind is still on him to replace him.

    • Cal says:

      Cole’s departure? How about he was playing like sh*t and showed no interest other than collecting a pay slip?

      • rhino514 says:

        That´s eaxctly why I don´t blame MB, because Cole did look like he wasn´t trying. However the onus was on MB to replace that salary with someone comparable in size instead of, for example, Briere (who is playing well lately, but isn´t an ideal fit on this team). I´m just saying that we don´t need to fill the team with big oafs, if we pick up just one more biggish body who can score, along with Eller, Pacioretty, Bourque and Prust and D with decent size, I think it is enough for us to stop being pushed around.

        • Cal says:

          Push back from the right people. Think that stuff would have happened yesterday if Parros was in the line up?

        • marvin20 says:

          This has been an issue in Montreal since the 1990s. Montreal consistently chooses poodles over pit bull style players. Remember pit bulls come in different sizes. Montreal is the only team that gives these style players away, just look at their trade record since the 1990s. I remember when the played the smurf line against the legion of doom line. How did that game work out LOL

  54. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    Brendan Gallagher is a great competitor and is now the guts and soul of this Habs team. If he ever went down for an extended period, this team would be in deep trouble.

    That mentioned, Gallagher may have to start to rethink his game and better pick his spots because if he doesn’t, he won’t last long in this league.
    The physical beatings he is starting to experience will take their toll and he will get hurt.

    It’s one thing to be aggressive, quite something else to constantly disrupt/bump goaltenders and be involved in post whistle skirmishes.

    Yes, there were questionable non-calls at the end of the game, yet a closer look shows Gallagher brought most of that upon himself.

    After getting hit behind the net, there was no reason for Gallagher to skate through Montoya’s crease and bump the goalie.
    The Winnipeg players did what they had to do – as would be expected of Habs players if Price received the same treatment.

    You can see the sequence here:
    http://www.rds.ca/hockey/canadiens/gallagher-a-tout-tent%C3%A9-1.839965

    When refs see stuff like that – things and plays that make their jobs more difficult, sometimes players get ‘marked’ and have difficulty receiving the benefit of the doubt.

    It’s going to be up to coaching (???) to try and teach Brendan the fine line…and good luck with that with the present crew behind the bench.

    • Cal says:

      Hey Ronn.
      I saw it and wondered why Gally was going that way. Too many hits to the head already?
      I agree. He can’t keep playing that way on that line. Throw him on with Eller and Prust. Put Bourque with Patches and DD. Better yet, trade DD and end the tiny tot parade.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi Cal
        If Gallagher is removed from the “Me and Davey” line, those other 2 will sink.

        • third generation haber says:

          My thoughts exactly, so it would be poetic justice to, as Cal suggests, give Gallagher linemates who can support his style of play, instead of forcing the little-big man to carry Patches and DD on his back all season.

          Can we not sympathize with MT??? He can’t just make the lines he believes in when he has so many forwards who need to be coddled. DD, Briere, and Bourque.

          j.p. murray

        • Cal says:

          If they do sink, it will be more on Patches’ style of play. He should be the one making room on the ice, not Gally. It’s sad to watch, game after game of Patches looking on and doing nothing about it.

  55. jrshabs1 says:

    The little team that could has run out of gas. Now they can’t. Size matters..just ask.

    MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

  56. Roger Ramjet says:

    Pitiful.

  57. Marc10 says:

    Good ALN. Funny stuff as always and nice to echo CJ’s post which was bang on.

    Were we the better team? Yup. I won’t fault anyone on the team for this game. They tried but couldn’t convert. Price was extremely unlucky and Montoya the polar opposite.

    I found the refs’ performance at the end of the game simply disgraceful. Sure Gally was doing what he does best, but was playing it clean. He got at least 3 direct shots to the head for his troubles all the while getting yelled at by the official.

    When the League gets sued for being willfully blind to concussion problems, they should run the clip. It’s negligence of the highest order. Good thing no one tried to spear Gally on the play. They probably would have let that go too.

    The Olympics cannot come soon enough.

  58. DickandDanny says:

    Wow, are we an unlucky team. How many goals should we have scored today? I’m counting at least 6, Gionta’s crossbar, Eller’s one time shot from right in front, Prust’s off the post re-direct, Pacioretty drive to the net off the left wing, Bourque’s glorious rebound shot from the right side, and Desharnais wide open shot from the slot on the PP. Then there was the deflection from the point shot that went just wide and countless other good chances by the boys. They deserved better in this one. If even half their great chances went in they had 3-4 goals. other teams seem to score at ease and yet our Habs have to score almost perfect goals. I don’t get it. Is there a curse against our team. it almost feels like it. I didn’t see anything wrong with the way we played today, other than PK really needs to learn how to hit the net. We wonder what is wrong with our PP. Well, my God PK how many times can you miss the net on the PP? This has become ridiculous. Your a NHL pro. You should be able to hit the mark on 2 out of every 3 good shots you take from the point. You could have been the difference. And we need to get someone else in front on those shots, maybe someone like Prust to screen the goalie and tie up the D man, for a player like Gallagher , or Gionta, or even Briere to clean up the garbage. I don’t like having only Gallagher, or Gionta in front on the PP. Although they are both tough they are too small to be in there all by themselves.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  59. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Really sad about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Great actor!

    Other than that this size talk is utter bs. In my point of view we should be bigger. Yes, Desharnais and Briere shouldn´t be on this team in my point of view but this is not the main problem. Didn´t we beat the Jets earlier this season 3-0 btw? How was that possible?

    This team played pretty decent hockey last season and at the beginning of this season. Since Therrien changed the system we are constantly getting outplayed and outshot and there´s no reason to believe this won´t continue. Anyone who thinks one or two trades and some size will fix these Problems is really deluded.

    Therrien just has to go. It´s not only his system, it´s the way he uses theses players. A talented rookie dman has to play on his off side with one of the slowest players in this league? This is insane, just like never giving Emelin a chance on the left, not giving Eller PP time, making changes over and over again but stubbornly always keeping DD and Pacioretty together, sitting Bournival in favour of Parros, playing Murray instead of Diaz or Pateryn and I could go on and on.

    Dream of a bigger team as long as you want: The Habs will never be really successful with Therrien. Just look at what happened when he was fired the last time here. Look at what happened when he was fired at Pittsburgh. Both teams improved and so would the current one.

  60. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Bob, Chryslers may be ‘built in America’, but they are ‘owned’ in Italy

  61. third generation haber says:

    Trade Budaj!

    I’d like to keep him actually, but it occurred to me that if a contender loses a goalie to an injury, we may be able to get a great return on Budaj. And, it would allow AHL all-star (just read this) Tokarski to audition as a back-up for Price.

    j.p. murray

  62. jimmy shaker says:

    Price could’ve easily had back to back shutouts in these two games and been up by a point on the leafs with a game in hand. It’s too bad the boys couldn’t save the bacon for Carey like he has done for the team most of the year to date.

    Shaker out!

  63. vlhorowitz says:

    I laughed out loud at the Gallagher “gonads” line; then I cried because it’s true.

    TRADE EVERYONE but Mr. GONADS!

    • third generation haber says:

      If we had an entire team of Gallagher, we would be a nightmare to play against. But our team is more similar to an entire team of Diaz.

      Please!!!!! Trade Markov, Gionta, Briere, and Diaz. Commit to the rebuild!!!
      Didn’t include Bourque because the market to add his contract makes trading him incredibly difficult.

      j.p. murray

    • boing007 says:

      Great name for a new board game.

      Richard R

    • third generation haber says:

      Bennett is an “offensive defenseman”, which means he’ll need to put-up big numbers at the pro level. He’s not big, not very physical, doesn’t have a big shot, so his skating is all he has to offer. Problem is he’s never put-up big numbers in college, so he probably won’t do it in the AHL either.

      No, I highly doubt he’ll play in the NHL. If he does, he’ll be a more physical form of Diaz, a plug.

      Beaulieu, Tinordi, Thrower, Ellis, Nygren, possibly Dietz, these are good D-prospects.

      In the NCAA, u may want to check-out Josiah Didier (6-2, 202). This guy has no offensive upside, but he hits like a Mac-truck and loves to block shots. I’d love to see this guy killing penalties for the dogs soon.

      http://habsprospects.com/didier.html

      j.p. murray

  64. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    I’m mad at Boone, and he knows it. He damned the Habs to a regulation loss, all do he could get his superbowl drink on a little early. And I thought he was talking about watching a football match, not a football game. And it’s not even Canadian football, but the American kind. Really, Boone? Shame on you. And serves you right: your true sports love, Liverpool FC ended up drawing, so ner to you! I bet you hope the Habs don’t make the playoffs, so you can give the live blogging a rest. Jeez Marie. Anyhow… CH indeed had it right, and often does. Habs played a good game, but lost. They have played great games and still lost. Bergevin has some work to do to grow the Habs into an elite team. Grow them. Grow. Grow Habs Grow!

  65. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Sick-th.

  66. Habcouver says:

    Congrats CJ on getting the thumbs up endorsement from Mr. Boone.

    Waiting patiently for #25

  67. Plekasuares says:

    Cj gets a Shoutout! Congrats to CJ!

  68. CranbrookEd says:

    Average team with too many average players . . . Rene and Max still carrying around the same dozen eggs in their back pockets for the last three/four months . . . TGFP (Thank God For Price) . . .

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

    • rogus says:

      When we got Bourque, I told my friend the Calgary fan that we were turning the corner and going for size and grit. He then told me that Bourque was in a local ad for baby wipes, and I never really put it together until now. Bourque is BABY SOFF!!!!

  69. Mattyleg says:

    I don’t get it.
    What ‘kind of hockey’?
    We played well yesterday.
    We outchanced the other team, and were unlucky with posts etc., and their goals were the result of Price, not the team (for once!).

    Come out from under your storm cloud.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  70. Stimpy007 says:

    Do you really think we played well?

  71. Mattyleg says:

    I do.
    I was there.
    We hit a ton of posts, and totally outchanced the Jets.
    They had their moments of pressure too, but both of their goals came from Price’s mistakes, and not from team breakdowns, as they had in the past.

    We should have won that game, and as I mentioned above, it can be argued that the refs were responsible for our failure to, to a great extent.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  72. BleedsTri-colour says:

    The Habs played pretty well. Better than the Jets, after the first 5 min., but could not get any puck luck. The boys outchanced the Jets significantly and Montoya certainly outplayed Price. Can’t recall a game this season that I would solely blame Price for the loss. Bottom line: you are NOT going to win many games in the NHL by scoring only ONE goal. Scoring please.

  73. Stimpy007 says:

    Oh ok sorry I just watched it on TV??

    Post arent even shots on net!

    So I suppose its all price’s fault? This is where the rest of the team is supposed to bail him out like he has sooooo many times. Losing to the jets and TB and scoring a whopping 2 goals is ridiculous! Poor efforts in both games IMO.

    WE NEED TO CHANGE THIS TEAM and soon. Its hard to watch.

  74. Stimpy007 says:

    Being at the game doesnt mean a pinch of coon scat. I saw replays and different camara angles. Our offense needs a boost and if not this game then all year our defense is out of sorts. So beating the jets in the big picture is not going to help us.


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