About this evening …

This is true as we enter the Olympic break.
And it will be true until at least 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 26:
Your Montreal Canadiens are undefeated in the Dale Weise Era.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc (Google it) is a logical fallacy. But the facts are indisputable.

This is what has happened since Weise was obtained in the trade that sent Raphael Diaz to Vancouver:

• In his Canadiens debut on a line with Ryan White and Michäel Bournival, Weise played 12:45 and had three shots on goal and three hits in a 2-0 win against Calgary.

• In a 5-2 skunking of his old team, Weise assisted on White’s first goal of the season.

• And in the last game before the break, With seven defencemen dressed and Max Pacioretty lost to injury after six shifts in the first period, Weise played 14:02 and had two hits, two takeways and two blocked shots while playing with a variety of linemates.

Will the Canadiens go 26-0 with Dale Weise in the lineup?

Of course not.

But let’s celebrate the pro scouting department getting something right.

Nathan Beaulieu’s impressive showing in his latest call-up rendered Diaz expendable. In return, Marc Bergevin got a young, physical winger who has good size and can skate.

Weise has combined with White (whom he knew from Manitoba minor hockey) and Bournival to form an unspectacular-but-solid fourth line. Michel Therrien can use them for double-digit minutes , which creates a ripple effect through the forward lines.

White is  also deployed on the penalty-kill and defensive-zone faceoffs.  He lost a D-zone draw in Carolina, but the second-period sequence ended up with White scoring the game-winning goal – the first time in his NHL career he has scored in consecutive games. He also assisted on Brian Gionta’s empty-netter.

The absence of Bournival, who was concussed early in the Vancouver game Thursday night, and the injury to Pacioretty forced Therrien into some creative line-juggling. The coach got got good performances from the wingers who bounced around – particularly Rene Bourque, who has been playing some of his best hockey as a Canadiens since trade rumours about him circulated two weeks ago.

Bourque took Pacioretty’s spot on a line with Brendan Gallagher and David Desharnais. He drew a nifty assist on the first of two goals DD scored against Carolina.

Desharnais had one point in the first 18 games he played this season. Since then – and after being a healthy scratch for a couple games – DD has 31 points in 38 games.

He has his detractors. Their critiques can be summarized as the the opinion that a small, undrafted centre cannot lead an NHL team to the promised land.

Perhaps not. That will be Alex Galchenyuk’s job.

But with the promised land just faintly visible on the distant horizon, David Desharnais and Tomas Plekanec are the best centres on the team. And with White solifying his role on the fourth line, I’m starting to wonder whether Lars Eller will be part of the Canadiens future.

I like Eller. He has nice size and has learned how to to use it.

But this Dane is taking a long time to be anything near great. And you wonder about Eller’s hockey IQ.

Desharnais and White scored scored within 1:25 late in a second period dominated by the Hurricanes. Carolina outshot the Canadiens 14-8; but after his turnover opened the door to Drayson Bowman’s goal early in the period, Carey Price did what he does a lot lately: He stopped everything.

Price has allowed seven goals in his last six starts. He’s stopped 167 of the 174 shots he’s faced in that span, a save percentage of .960.

Sochi, here he comes … along with his friend P.K. Subban.

Price is a cinch to start at least some games for Canada.

Subban? We’ll see.

P.K. has not been P.K. lately. The hot-doggery has become a bit cloying, and he’s making mistakes on the back end.

The Canadiens will need Subban at his best when the NHL schedule resumes.

Detroit visits the Bell Centre Feb. 26, and the Canadiens – with eight players back from Olympic duty – visit Pittsburgh the following night.

Nine of 15 games in March are on the road – including a tough western trip to L.A., Anaheim, Phoenix and San Jose. The month also includes three back-to-backs.

But let’s postpone the fretting for a couple weeks and enjoy what the Canadiens have accomplished. They’ve taken 11 of a possible 14 points since their season bottomed out in that gruesome 5-0 loss to Washington; and hands up everyone who thought this team would be in third-place in the Atlantic Division with 70 points at the Olympic break.

Go Canada Go!







  1. showey47 says:

    Sorry mr.boone. You put DD in the same circumstances as eller which includes no pp time and wingers who can’t score and DD would probably have less points then ryan white. DD had 1 assist in the first 18 games. His turnaround started on nov 19th,the same game gally was taken off the eller line and put on the DD line. I highly doubt there is a g.m. in the league who would take DD over Eller.

  2. Datara68 says:

    With the Olympic Break here I’m already in withdrawl from Habs Hockey. I decided to take a hard look at whether or not my faith in Price is misplaced, I’m not saying he is Dryden or Roy by any stretch, but I believe he is becoming an elite Goalie. Here are the stats amongst his peers that have played similar numbers:
    Goalies that have played more than 30 Games:

    Category Price’s Rank
    Shots against 2nd
    Shutouts 2nd
    GAA 5th
    SV % 5th
    wins 5th
    (this is out of 26 goalies)

    Goalies with 40 or more games
    Category Price’s Rank
    Shots against 2nd
    Shutouts 2nd
    GAA 4th
    SV % 4th
    wins 4th
    (Out of 13 Goalies)

    Maybe I’m an optimist, but these rankings are hardly dismal, and I have seen the goals that make you cringe, but his positional play is upper class, and he’s made more of the “spectacular” variety saves this season than I can ever recall.

    Am I missing something?

  3. Steeltown Hab says:

    I don’t think Bergevin is a pro-active GM looking at several options on the table. But obviously now when there’s value is the time to move a guy like Desharnais.

    Is Bergevin even exploring this avenue though? Like is he at least testing the waters to see what he can get. Because if they continue to put Eller in situations to kill his production and then trade him for a bad return MB is a worse GM than Gauthier.

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  4. HabsCentralO says:

    Being in Ontario I am stuck seeing Leafs games more often than I prefer. Saw Luongo play in person last night – scary. It has to be Price all the way in Sochi. He has the momentum & desire to be #1. Hopefully PK sees some ice too – GO CANADA GO!

    • Habcouver says:

      I am stuck seeing Nuck games… mostly on TV, but it’s funny, I don’t really blame Luongo on most nights. The team in front of him has played like crap most nights and he is bailing them out with many key saves.
      I’ve grown to like “Stombone” since he was gaffed by Gillis during the brief Schneider era.

      Waiting patiently for #25

  5. Strummer says:

    Is Weise the new David Clarkson?

    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  6. Habcouver says:

    If Dale Weise is our lucky charm for winning, I’ll take two of ’em.

    Waiting patiently for #25

  7. montreal ace says:

    I hope that MB manages the roster by waiving Parros and the Cube, could be a paper demotion with a big thank you for helping us get to the playoffs. I have no problems with DD and see him as a big plus because of his contract, it enables MB to treat Eller fairly with a raise, while he waits for better mates. The only help coming from the Bulldogs will be on defence, so I think we keep our roster assets, as we have some solid players. I like the job management has done, especially considering the point they started at. Price makes the whole team look good, its going to be hard paying players more then him.

  8. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    I guess it wouldn’t be hio without fretting about some player and how he is now the one who is going to be “traded”. Since is gospel that a 20 year old who missed a year and half of hockey since he was 17, must be made a center right now, Eller is toast.

    Consider perhaps though, that MT and MB are not worried and trust him enough to play through his drought, rebuild his confidence and eventually find his way.

    Patience is not a hio virtue but remember that the number 2 pick in a recent draft didn’t dislodge their team’s 3rd center let alone one or two.

    “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  9. frontenac1 says:

    Trade Moen? No way. Come playoff time you need a guy like him. Experience size, toughness. Lars? His problem now is in his head. He should take the next 2wks to re-discover his Viking Juices. Like last year. Saludos!

  10. Dunboyne Mike says:

    ABHabs, Dipsy, Trini, Scotland, MikeD et al.

    Re. The Stanley Cup.

    Last week or the week before, someone (CJ?) posted a credible flight-path to the finals for Montreal. It had a feasibility beyond that of mere logical possibility [oh now I suddenly remember my last turgid attempt to delve into that area!] and, although assuredly an outside shot, was a legitimate shot all the same. It was contingent on the East being relatively week this season.

  11. Strummer says:

    It would seem that Bourque and Eller have turned a corner.
    Both seem to have played with more vigour the last few games.
    Good timing for the stretch run coming up.

    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  12. Timo says:

    Did you people see how great Bourque looked with my man DD? Wee Davey makes everyone around him better. Even Bourque.

    • Lafrich says:

      Obvious sarcasm aside, you have to admit DD has played well for quite some time now. On the other hand, I have no idea what to make of Bourque. He can look so good 1/17th of the time…

  13. habstrinifan says:

    @ Boone:

    I am going to defend P.K in last night’s game. I was at the GYM and did not watch the first 10 minutes or so of Period #1 nor did I watch every minute of the game as I used to.

    But based on what I saw. I saw one glaring error in the 3rd period(bit of mis communication but definitely a give awa). I did not see much hotdogging from him. I thought he played what was a tidy very defensively oriented game… based on what I saw. There was that glaring error as I said.

    He was usually the mucker defenseman on the boards and often grinding the puck free and making short passes to a defensive partner who was able to get teh transition going.

    The goal started by Beaulieau was a prime example. Tough work on the backboards by P.K; short pass to Beaulieu who then started the play offensively which DD and Gallagher finished. Anyone disputing may want to go back and watch the play from almost behind the net.

    Many similar plays were made to Gorges, his regular defensive partner. I thought, as far as recent games go this was better, albeit very very defensive.

    DD bashers may want to revisit their criticism a bit. With Pacs down, DD showed HE IS NOT totally dependent on Max Pacs.

    Was a fairly decent game to watch. Maybe too much anticipating Olympic hockey to give the game an A… BUT was one of the more active HABS performances.

    Best play of the night.. a Murray open ice hit.

  14. Habsbill24 says:

    When Moen is helathy and Galchenyuk and Bournival return, who sits other than Parros? Assuming that one forward is always sick/injured, there are still too many. If we like the line of Weise/White/Bournival and we keep Max with DD and Gallagher, Pleks plays with Gio and Briere. That leaves Eller, Prust, Moen, Galchenyuk and Bourque fighting for three spots. Not going to sit Eller and Galchenyuk so that leaves too mnay guys for the last spot. Given Moen’s aga and friendly contract he makes the most sense to move for something of value, maybe in a package.

    • Habs1962 says:

      or will MB plan on one of two forward being injured or resting ailments all the time.. would make sense.
      How many forwards were down at end of last season and/or playoffs… 3 or 4 I think.

  15. ABHabsfan says:

    A lot of posters and media keep coming back to the question ” are the Habs a Cup contender?” The answer for most is “no” but to get to that answer I think many ask themselves if the Habs are a top 4 team league wide, which is also no. I think a better question to ask when considering whether to make moves at the deadline or not is “are the Habs a ECF contender?” If a team can get to a CF all bets are off really.
    Which teams in the East would you rather not face in the playoffs? I think Philly is the only one for me; the Habs just can’t seem to beat them in the playoffs or the reg. season for some reason. Pit is obviously tough but you never know what Fleury will show up in April and if the Habs can maintain 3rd, then they wouldn’t get the Pens untill the ECF anyway. I think as fans we would all take Bos as an opponent, or the NYR or Det.
    So are the Habs an ECF contender? I think definitely. So I would support making moves to improve the team in the short-term for some success. The addition of a guy like Moulson could really put this club into the conversation in the east. ( though he should be signed to a contract as well) I would offer our 1st for him without hesitation. Many posters keep saying we can’t mortgage the future but at some point you have to push the future a bit. The Habs had essentially a double draft last year with all the picks in the first few rounds so missing out on a mid-to-lower first is hardly ruining our prospect stable.
    So, my message to MB et al: Let’s be aggressive. Get the players that make the Habs better so we can enjoy a decent playoff run. Always good for Beer sales!
    “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
    Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      The only prob with Moulson is that he’s a very different player without Tavares. His goals per game fell by 50% when he moved to Buffalo. He’ll turn 31 next season.

      • Mike D says:

        He’ll also be fairly expensive to sign….and if we’re talking about acquiring him at the deadline, the asking price would be bare minimum a 1st round pick. Not a good move for us as far as I’m concerned.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

    • Mike D says:

      I admire your positive view of our club. You may well be right too, but I see it a bit differently. To me, there are 7 true contenders in the league right now. From the West: CHI, SJ, LA, ANA, STL. From the East: PIT, BOS (barf).

      Surprisingly, I don’t really fear Pitt and Bos as much as other Eastern teams, but I still don’t see us coming out of the East.

      Regarding our prospect pool, we don’t seem to have any sure-thing star forwards coming up. We have some quality players and guys who MAY develop into something really good, but nobody who forecasats to become a Galchenyuk-quality forward. I think we need to acquire more picks and develop our pool more. If we could trade someone like Gio, Moen, or Briere and acquire at least one or more 1st round picks, we could then maybe package two 1sts for a top-10 overall pick which would likely give us another high-quality prospect who hopefully would be NHL-ready very soon. Personally, I see that as our best possible move. Just my $0.02 of course – not saying I’m right.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • habstrinifan says:

      I do not agree with the ‘definitely’ that HABS are an ECF contender. Given the weakness and unpredictability… anything can happen but I cant use the term definitely.

    • New says:

      “So, my message to MB et al: Let’s be aggressive. Get the players that make the Habs better so we can enjoy a decent playoff run.” …with a view of contending for the conference finals.

      Soar to four. Strive for five. I myself wouldn’t buy the T-shirt.

      To me the future is built on player development and character.

      The Habs have to do something about the Hamiliton situation with a view to the development team being seen as a jewel in the players trophy case rather than a sentence of indeterminate length.

    • piper says:

      No way this team beats Pit, Philly, Toronto or Boston in the playoffs. It’s a whole different game when the refs put the whistles away.

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