Audio: Ailing Spacek to miss Game 5

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Michael Cammalleri | Brian Gionta | Josh Gorges

Pressure-off approach for Habs in do-or-die: Hickey

Still troubled by a stubborn virus, defenceman Jaroslav Spacek did
not take this afternoon’s charter flight to Washington for Friday’s Game
5 in the Canadiens-Capitals Eastern quarterfinal.

Head coach
Jacques Martin said it’s GM Pierre Gauthier’s decision as to whether the
team dips into the Hamilton Bulldogs with its final callup of the
season to import, say, P.K. Subban to give the six-man blueline some
depth, but late this afternoon the Canadiens said that no roster moves
were imminent.

On Wednesday, Subban scored two goals for the Bulldogs, including the winner in double overtime, to lift his team to a 3-1 first-round AHL playoff series lead over the Manitoba Moose.

Stubbs’s Canadiens notebook is below:

DAVE STUBBS
The Gazette

The six defencemen used by the Canadiens Wednesday in Montreal should see action again Friday in Game 5 with an ailing Jaroslav Spacek not having made Thursday’s trip to Washington.

Spacek, suffering from a virus, missed Game 4 and after meeting a team doctor Thursday afternoon was held back from the trip.

Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin was asked at his daily briefing at noon in Brossard whether he might call up a blueline reinforcement from the Hamilton Bulldogs, say, the highly touted P.K. Subban.

“That’s a decision of management,” Martin said, volleying the ball into the court of general manager Pierre Gauthier.

The team said late Thursday afternoon from Washington that there were no roster moves on the horizon.

The Canadiens have one farm recall left until the playoff elimination of the Bulldogs, who are nowhere near that. Hamilton leads the Manitoba Moose 3-1 in their first-round AHL playoff series.

Subban scored twice Wednesday night in Winnipeg, including the winner in double overtime.

XXX

Sixteen times in their history have the Canadiens faced a 3-1 playoff deficit in a best-of-seven series. Only once have they rallied to win, that coming vs. Boston in the 2004 Eastern quarterfinals.

XXX

The NHL confirmed Thursday that there will no further discipline for goaltender Carey Price, who tapped Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom from the bench with his stick after the latter had scored the Capitals’ sixth and final goal with 11 seconds remaining in Game 4.

Price was assessed his second unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty of the period for that gesture, Backstrom having scored into an empty Montreal net. The frustrated goalie had been penalized after the Capitals’ fourth goal for firing a puck into a crowd of players celebrating in the corner, striking one in the seat of the pants.

“You need to have emotion, it’s really important to play with it in a game at a high level,” Martin said Thursday. “At the same time, you have to have controlled emotion. I know that (Price) cares. He’s made some progress through the year. It might not have shown statistically, but I think he’s grown as an individual and a goaltender.”

Said forward Michael Cammalleri: “I’ve said it all year, I love Carey’s passion. There’s nothing better than when he shows it.”

XXX

Cammalleri made a point of sending a message to those fans in the Bell Centre who have booed the U.S. national anthem, just in case there is a Game 6 on Monday.

“I would say that we really appreciate our fans and the respect they show us,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s right that we boo anthems. We should be a little bit more respectful.”

XXX

Brian Gionta laughed Thursday about his Game 4 rumble with Washington’s Tom Poti, who already has dropped his gloves this series with Canadiens centre Scott Gomez.

“Once you do it, you’ve got to commit to it,” Gionta said of the wrestling match that went unpenalized. “It was the fourth game. Things start boiling over after playing the same guys for a long time. That’s the fun of the playoffs. You build that kind of hatred for the other team.”

Gionta acquitted himself well, finally bulldogging Poti like a rodeo cowboy. Even more impressive: he gave away eight inches and 24 pounds.

XXX

The Canadiens held a team meeting Thursday, choosing not to practice before chartering to Washington.

“We went over some stuff, some of the obvious and some good things we did,” Mike Cammalleri said. “There were a lot of positives that came out of (Game 4), for sure.”

The Canadiens were mostly excellent through the first 39:53, yielding a shorthanded equalizer with 6.3 seconds left in the second period. They were swarmed by the Capitals in the third, outshot 20-6 and outscored 4-1.

About frustration being felt by the Canadiens, who now are on the brink, he said, “You don’t avoid it, you accept it. You appreciate what it is. You don’t fight it, you acknowledge it and do your best to move forward in a productive manner.

“You think, ‘OK, we’re frustrated. Good. We’ve got a little bit of fire in our belly. Let’s go play a game where we don’t have to be frustated.’ ”

394 Comments

  1. Storm Man says:

    Better coaching.

  2. Storm Man says:

    The Habs play exciting intense hockey? In what years? I think winning cups is better than selling out your arena. I guess you need to ask yourself do you want to win a cup or be happy with a full arena? I know of a time frame that the Habs did not sell out the bell centre.

  3. TripleX says:

    I did not realize it was also the job of the GM to ensure a full building.  I thought his only job was to put a winning team on the ice.

     

  4. TripleX says:

    The joy of watching a Montreal team hoisting the CUP might make it easier to swallow.  Lou built his team around Brodeur so it makes sense to emphasize defense.

    Bob Gainey wanted Lemaire as his coach.  You want to talk about boring and losing at the same time.

  5. SeriousFan09 says:

    If Lou’s so great then, why has he built a contender team that can’t sell out their own arena? I’ll take the Habs playing more intense, exciting hockey than what the Devils have. If you’re a Division-leading team more often than not with 3 Cups since 95, getting your own arena sold out shouldn’t be impossible.

     

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  6. showey47 says:

    I’m not comparing anything,learn to read.I clearly stated montreal isn’t the only city where playoff failures are happening. I posted nothing false,the stats are right there in front of you. Lindy ruff great coach? Missng the playoffs 5 times in 8 years? Awesome. Would you accept that in montreal? Average coach with a great goalie. Ryan miller missed 18 games due to injury last year,the sabres won 4 games. Do you honestly think if the habs won 2 cups 10 years ago that their fans would be happy with what is going on now? In a city where your only good as your last game? Talk about delusional. Jesus christ if we had won the cup last year and lose in the first round this year this fan base would be calling for everybody’s head. Welcome to the next 5-8 years of the eastern conference. You have the pens,the caps and 13 teams who don’t stand a chance in hell in getting past the 2nd round of the playoffs. 

  7. Storm Man says:

    Ah yes it has been so much better watching the Habs the past 17 years 

  8. SeriousFan09 says:

    There are few reasons I would ever stop watching the Habs, Lou building them into a horrifically boring trap team is one of them.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  9. Big Ted says:

    He could be injured playing for Hamilton too. Gionta could be injured, but we don’t send him to the minors to avoid that risk in the NHL. I understand the concerns to some degree but Subban would be a top 4 D on this team and I really do not think this hurts his development, so I think the upside is greater than the downside. sometimes one player can change a series (look at cam ward the year the canes won the cup). And yes, it’s easier for a goalie but the habs haven’t played poorly, and one D whose bringing more than turnovers might be enough to make a big difference. If we lose, he goes back down to ifnish up with the bulldogs.

  10. Storm Man says:

    I would have Lou run the Habs over anything the Habs have had the past 20 years

  11. 24 Cups says:

    likehoy – Hate to break it to you, but the Habs couldn’t get Parise for Price and Halak.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the worst in the Atlantic division, there is no way a trade with someone in our conference would be better than that, not even for a kessel.. lol

    Twice is Nice.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the worst in the Atlantic division, there is no way a trade with someone in our conference would be better than that, not even for a kessel.. lol

  14. Bill J says:

    Only problem with trading Price to NJ – you are doing just that – placing Price in a understudy role to Brodeur, who will eventually “backup” Price.

    Want to tell me how Parise is going to help the Habs beat the Devils ?

    Just saying – Devils = WORST TRADE PARTNER!!!!

    & For that matter – lets take a Poll

     

    ^^^^^

    WHO HERE THINKS PRICE WOULD WIN 4+ CUPS IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS WITH THE DEVILS ? (means the Habs are NOT winning the cup btw.)

  15. SeriousFan09 says:

    Actually with that great big echo in the Prudential Centre from the lack of anyone giving a crap about that team because they are so utterly boring to watch, there’s a good chance Lou would hear him disparaging him.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  16. SeriousFan09 says:

    I’ve seen Doughty play, Subban has a similar style to him especially in terms of being a rushing defencemen from the point and being a powerful skater. However he’s not developed as quickly otherwise he would have been a Top 5 pick we wouldn’t have gotten a sniff out of. We were fortunate that Subban wasn’t so dominant and NHL-ready otherwise we’d never have gotten to draft him in the 2nd round.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thats the thing most people forget to take into account when speaking of the all mighty goalie of legends named brodeur

  18. TripleX says:

    LOL….exactly dude.

  19. PrimeTime says:

    Yep…here we go again…Fans have zero patience.

  20. nickster13 says:

    well you can kinda argue that about any goalie though. especially the win totals, those always reflect how good your team is, since hockey is a team game, and your team needs to score goals. So like i said, for win totals especially, of course it depends on where you play!

  21. TripleX says:

    Drew Doughty.

  22. Storm Man says:

    Ian come on, Keep it real your a good guy lets not get silly

  23. likehoy says:

    our penalty killing is pretty good, we’re 18/19 in this serise.

    - Habs Romance (Lady Gaga remix) http://montreal.virginradio.ca/blogs/39/posts/464

  24. Storm Man says:

    Lou cant hear you as he has both his cup rings pluged in his ears.

  25. hablifting says:

    Price for Parise?  Where do I sign?

  26. Anonymous says:

    If you want to replace brodeur, put any goalie thats half good in NJ hahaha. Price would be a star, guaranteed.

  27. Bill J says:

    I was hoping you would say that.

    Because do you remember 3 years ago ?

    Price finished his Tri-Cities career, was signed by the Habs with one week left in the AHL season.

    Then came to Hamilton, played the last 2 games of the season ousting a certain Halak.

    Do I need to remind you how that went ?  No…

    Washington could not handle the explosiveness of Subban, they have a D that CAN be exposed.

     

    So YES – Oddly enough I agree, Montreal Management will not do this.  Not because IT is a silly thing, rather because THEY are quite silly themselves for not seeing a perfect opportunity to

    1) Catch the Caps off guard, and truly OWN them. Bring the series back to Montreal for game 6.

    2) Lose, PK returns to Hamilton and that Cup run.

     

    BUT WHAT IF…  And the NHL has a VERY long history of those, they have MANY commercials of these very moments airing during the playoffs.  RDS (dunno if TSN has yet) just aired the Roy one (’86 run) Yet another example without trying to make comparisons…

    Roy did it for Sherbrooke by coming up from the QMJHL at the end of the season in ’85

    then he went on to doing the same thing in ’86 but this time with Montreal.

    Or hmmm Lets see… Ken Dryden ? yup Rookie of the year One season AFTER winning a Cup & the Conn Smythe – impressive no ?

    Trust me when I say I am not trying to stir the pot & draw comparisons to some of the greatest.  But you can not sit there and say this has never happened before.  And On top of it THIS Management HAS done it (Price/Hamilton) before.

  28. notbigbird says:

    I hope that you are correct in your analysis, Ian.

  29. Anonymous says:

    As good a goaltender as Broduer is, his numbers are largely inflated due to the fact he has played for NJ his whole career and enjoyed the trap benefit. If broduer played here his whole career, or anywhere else for that matter, there is no way he has as many records and would most likely be retired…

  30. notbigbird says:

    Thanks for that perspective.

  31. likehoy says:

    so the devils lose in 5, brodeur gets yanked from the olympic starting position, and isn’t getting any younger.

    it’s time PG to trade carey price for zach parise. he may not speak french but his father did and he has a french last name!

    we drafted carey price as the next martin brodeur for this reason, to REPLACE martin brodeur!

    - Habs Romance (Lady Gaga remix) http://montreal.virginradio.ca/blogs/39/posts/464

  32. nickster13 says:

    more importantly, NJ couldnt score goals, they made Boucher look good

  33. nickster13 says:

    its no coincidence between highest revenue teams, including american ones and canadian ones, have the least penalties againt them.

  34. Harani says:

    All you gotta know about NJ-PHI: Boucher shuts out the Devils and Brodeur lets in 3 goals on 21 shots in a must-win game at home. 

    “I gotta feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night!”

  35. likehoy says:

    if the sabres finally fire regier/ruff…i vote we get them both! if my vote only counted for something…..

    - Habs Romance (Lady Gaga remix) http://montreal.virginradio.ca/blogs/39/posts/464

  36. joeybarrie says:

    At worst he gets injured and his season is over. Plus The Dogs have a tougher time winning the Cup. Makes no sense. Our season is done. He filled in a bit, but in th end we want him to join this team fresh and new in the fall…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  37. Anonymous says:

    The reffing will never change when it helps the NHL reach their bottom line of creating more excitement for the “Casual” fans, who don’t really understand when there is a penalty, just that it is exciting.

  38. SeriousFan09 says:

    Duncan Keith is considered the easy favourite for the Norris trophy this year, his first nomination at age 26 because of a dominant NHL season. He is currently ahead of every defencemen drafted between 2000 and 2002, his draft year. Some guys take longer, Shea Weber was drafted following Suter, Coburn, Phaneuf, Seabrook, Stuart and current Canadiens prospect Shawn Belle, all drafted in the 1st round and he’s better than all of them.

    Some people have a higher talent level, but take a bit longer to develop that talent into a dominant NHL player.

     

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  39. Harani says:

    That penalty on Fisher was total bull. They don’t want OT in that game. Because Thornton called and said he was actually going to show so that would be way too important to miss. 

    “I gotta feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night!”

  40. joeybarrie says:

    Maybe Lemaire SHOULD have joined the Canadiens…….

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  41. Ian Cobb says:

    I am a little prejudice after watching his every game played since he was 16. Anyway we are sure going to have fun watching him play when he makes our roster next fall.

  42. HabFanSince72 says:

    Brodeur hasn’t won a playoff series since they took away the trap.

    Neither has Jacques Lemaire FWIW.

  43. nickster13 says:

    yeah and pittsburgh fans were still booing, stupid refs and stupid fan base

  44. TripleX says:

    Even for you Ian that is a huge stretch in hyperbole to the max!  Bobby Orr dude?  The greatest defenseman and arguably the single most talented player of all time??

  45. nickster13 says:

    and Fischer gets the call. can you say fixed?

  46. SeriousFan09 says:

    Did Fleury just cross-check Fischer into Orpik? Wow…

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  47. wmarcello says:

    I would absolutely LOVE to have Ruff on the Habs.

  48. notbigbird says:

    But if memory serves Orr was playing in the NHL when he was 18 or 19. The fact that PK still isn’t ready and still requires larnin gives me pause. Would love to get your feedback on this Ian. What am I missing? Thanks.

  49. TripleX says:

    Lou’s record over the last decade with TWO STANLEY CUPS does not need anyone to explain.  Any GM that would have brought two Cups in the last decade to Montreal would be a GOD.  Please don’t compare him with ANY GM in Montreal in the last decade, that is an insult to Lou.

    Lindy Ruff IS a great coach.  Anyone who has watched even ONE Sabres game would see that.  What he has done in a small market town with a limited budget is amazing.  Montreal would be so lucky to have a REAL coach like him.

    Making false comparisons to great GM’s and great coaches when they suffer an infrequent downturn does not make the situation in Montreal any better. 

  50. Ian Cobb says:

    You will see. Management will not do such a silly thing. They know what is best all around!!

  51. Big Ted says:

    Why are people worried we are going to expose Subban to failure? At worst, he will be here for one loss, and no one will blame him for that. At best, he plays well and we win. He can’t do worse than guys like spacek, hamrlik, and MAB and i’ve said since before game 1 that he brings skills that washington will find hard to control. Imagine we had him on the second PP unit instead of hamrlik or spacek. maybe we don’t give up those SH goals. Imagine we have him moving the puck out of our own zone instead of MAB. Maybe we don’t have those turnovers or maybe we don’t have a defenceman who goes -4 in a game. Sure he could play a bad game, but i don’t see how we have anything to lose. Give the guy some experience. Look at Tyler Myers, look at carlson for washington… these guys can play. habs have gone gun-shy after they ruined latendresse and pacioretty (so far). I personally don’t think subban will be as immature as guillaume. And as i said, it’s not a full season of ups and downs and expectations.

  52. Ian Cobb says:

    Right on 09! This is the experience of a life time for him. Going through the total season of playoffs in his first year as a pro. We will benifit much later as he will!

  53. ooder says:

    It’s not even fair how dominant him and Malkin are

    ——————

    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  54. HabsBlogger says:

    Questions: Why do the bulldogs keep doing so good but the habs get nowhere?/p>

  55. HabsBlogger says:

    Questions: Why do the bulldogs keep doing so good but the habs get nowhere?/p>


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