Audio: Martin shakes things up

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Brian Gionta | Alex Auld | Benoit Pouliot

Coach Jacques Martin shook things up at practice today, shuffling his forward lines and defensive pairings.

Travis Moen replaced Benoit Pouliot on one of the top lines with Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta while Pouliot lined up with Dustin Boyd and Tom Pyatt. The third line has Jeff Halpern between Maxim Lapierre and Lars Eller.

Roman Hamrlik and Jaroslav Spacek are back together on defence while P.K. Subban was paired with Alexandre Picard. Josh Gorges and Hal Gill remain together while Ryan O’Byrne was with Andrei Markov.  


  1. TripleX says:

    Hypothetical question.  Say you had a boss that you knew did not like you, and every mistake made he reprimanded you more harshly than anyone else.  Would you be able to give your absolute best?


    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  2. oshawahabsfan says:

    Pouliot has been solid, he’s yet to pot a goal but it will come. He’s leading the team in the body check stat column I believe and he’s been good at both ends of the ice. Let’s not forget his two linemates played worse than he did last night

  3. Ian Cobb says:

    I heard it was in the works if he can be cleared by the Doc. Hope he does not come back to early though. Its a long season if he gets hurt again. They will be sure with him though.

  4. VancouverHab says:

    Pouliot was damned by the ‘help’ of his own H-I/O supporters after last night — using Pouliot’s workrate and endeavour as a defense of him. I said to myself at the time that we already have Moen for that: Pouliot needs to show effective skill.

    Demote him.

    But O’Byrne? JM clearly plays favourites — no way O’Byrne was that bad last night relative to those around him. He’s just a whipping-boy for Martin (whom I am really starting to lose confidence in…)

  5. Sakus Evil Twin says:

    JM really seems to have zero patience with O’B. I thought the same… he battled back after the delay penalty and with Josh Georges was probably the best defensive guy out there (Price aside!)

    I think that Pouliot has to play like he did last night, every night. Eller is really snapping at his heels… that said the Lapierre line last night was arguably the best on the ice… and who’d want to break that up…

    I hope JM doesn’t get all Carbo and constantly shuffle with a hope and a prayer. Work with Pouliot and OB. Make them better players…   

    No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

  6. TomNickle says:

    In fairness, O’Byrne is making the same mistakes over and over again.  Pouliot on the other hand has really improved his game even though he isn’t putting the puck in the net.

    Pouliot doesn’t deserve a demotion in my opinion.  O’Byrne’s is questionable if it’s in favour of Picard but the fact remains that O’Byrne is getting his chances and simply can’t eliminate bad mistakes from his game.

  7. TripleX says:

    Have to agree.  Why does Hammer in his FIRST game back play over 20 minutes and O’Byrne gets limited ice?  JM is beyond incomprehensible.


    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  8. TommyB says:

    You’re right HH!  [slaps self in the head].  I’ll wait for the boxed set to come out.

  9. Ian Cobb says:

    24 cups– I think OByrne will be in and PK will sit with Picard when Markov comes back Sat. night. just a hunch. Martin will have to let PK watch a game from the press box. He learns very quickly unlike OByrne.

  10. HardHabits says:

    Ian, Timo spends all his time on one dimensional posts so you’re over his head with that one.

  11. TripleX says:

    Didn’t Moen play the fewest minutes of all the forwards?  Now he is on the second line?  I like the dude but he is NOT a top six forward.  Ellar has not looked out of place in any of the games I have seen.  JM just will not give a young player ( with the exception of Laps and PK ) a decent chance to prove themselves.


    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  12. HardHabits says:

    You forgot the other chef d’oeuvres >>

    Line Combos: An HIO perspective

    The Halak/Price Controversy: Then, Now and Future Musings

    Quips an Quirks: Best posts of Habs Inside Out, featuring the HIO alumni

  13. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Way to early to demote Pouliot. How is he going to get his confidence back playing with Pyatt and Boyd? Martin should at least pair him with Eller and Lapierre.

  14. savethepuck says:

    Are you basing Markov back on Saturday on the unofficial word that was posted in the last couple of days, or have you heard something new?  I can’t wait for him to come back. Helps our PP and solidifies our D

  15. Ian Cobb says:

    Can not spend all your money on a one dimensional guy Timo

  16. TommyB says:

    Could it be that Boucher got his guys’ attention during the first break?  He looked pretty pissed if you ask me, as he was leaving the bench.  Could it be that he made some adjustments?  You want to play run and gun with an offensive team such as the Lightning, or do you think you should be defensively responsible first?  Add the penalty factor into the equation, and then tell me again JM had them “sitting back”.  They weren’t sitting back, they were hanging on for their lives after the first period.  It’s great to have a good penalty killing team, but I suggest it’s better not to take those penalties.  Just a thought.

  17. andrewberkshire says:

    I’m not sure exactly why O’Byrne, who played well after his one dumb penalty that cost us nothing, and Pouliot, who just played solid last night, but didn’t hit the scoresheet, are being punished when the real reason for the loss is the ineptness of the coach. Maybe he should demote himself and let Muller take over for a night.

  18. Max_a_million says:

    I agree.  You know P.K. is pretty rugged, and is right in the oppositions face.  He is making a difference in our team toughness for sure.  Hammer is underrated for his physicality, but he isn’t a prospect. 

  19. HabFanSince72 says:

    He’s not “looking for a scapegoat”, he’s benching a player who he feels isn’t up to scratch.

    It’s hard to see beneath your loser persona, but you actually don’t understand hockey very much.

  20. kirkiswork says:

    It’s just practise, things will be back the way they were come game time.

  21. Ian Cobb says:

     Timo, Pouliot cannot play with those two on the top line, does not work.

    If Martin stayed with him there you and I would be P Off. I like moen, lets see what he can do there. Surely no worse.

    The 3rd line just might get a lot more playing time if Lapierre can stay out of the box.

  22. Max_a_million says:

    I can’t remember the Moen with Gomez and Gionta line ever working.  Seems like putting Eller here might be a good idea.  Not crazy about how the defensive lines are being put together either, evidently I like O’Byrne more than JM does. 


    ”Last season we couldn’t win at home and we were losing on the road. My failure was that I couldn’t think of any place else to play.” – Harry Neale

  23. Timo says:

    There is always MAB.

  24. SeriousFan09 says:

    Sanford, Mayer, Ramo, Similia and Delmas on the goaltending chart, re-loading the depth as is necessary.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  25. scrowe21 says:

    Yeah I dont understand that either, atleast he’s been trying.



  26. rocketsglare says:

    You think that if the top line where playing well that JM would substitute Moen for Pouliot? Of course not.

    Even Gionta said that their line was not playing well and needed to pick up their play. This shake up has

    nothing to do with the next opponent but is a wake up call for Gionta, Gomez, and Pouliot to get going.


    Go Habs Go!

  27. SeriousFan09 says:

    Same reason OB-Gill skated together in yesterday’s morning practice, testing pairs and sending messages. Perhaps JM wants Picard to give Subban some advice about being a little calmer and simpler on the ice.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  28. 24 Cups says:

    Ian – O’Byrne sure is a bit of a puzzler.  He rarely gets an extended opportunity to improve his game the way some other young Habs do.  At the same time, you wonder if he has the skill set to become a solid NHLer.  He seems to continually repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

    I trust the coaching staff know what they are doing with this guy, because he is the only real defensive prospect we have that has any real size with the ability to dole out hits and clear the front of the net.  Tinordi is the only other name that comes to mind and he’s at least four years away from regular NHL employment.

  29. Timo says:

    Not sure Moen would know what to do with Gomez’s end to end skating… although nobody seems to either

  30. andrewberkshire says:

    We have that tenacity, it showed in the first period last night. Unfortunately we have a coach who would rather see the team sit back with a slim lead and wait for the other team to score.

  31. TommyB says:

    No kidding, Chuck.  I’ve been coming to this site since it’s beginning and one of the main topics of criticism has been the coaching.  Doesn’t seem to matter who it is doing the coaching.  When the Habs lose, there are plenty of knowledgable coaches here on HIO to point out the coach’s inabilities, or poor judgement.  I want to read the book on coaching being compiled by the HIO armchair coaches.

  32. Ian Cobb says:

    Why else would they be practising together.?

  33. Ian Cobb says:

    I am not sure of that Tom. But the penalty kill is our best special teams play. Sure be nice if we put a power play together.

  34. Chuck says:


    Tommy, you mean that the guy that coached us into the 3rd round last year might actually be.. coaching? Say it isn’t so!


  35. SeriousFan09 says:

    I highly doubt that, Subban has rope with the team for his talents and JM will give him opportunities and will be able to limit him when he gets too aggressive with the option of using Markov.

    Subban and Markov need to be on the team together, playing so Markov can mentor the kid in the style of the NHL skating defencemen.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  36. Chips says:

    Yea, not so sure about Moen with Gio and Gomer!! I thought OB played pretty decent (except for his second delay of game call of the year!!!), was physical and pretty well positioned. I thought Pouliot has actually been playing pretty decent too and has been really trying hard. He really needs to pot a couple so he can loosen up the grip on his stick a bit, then he might get a bunch in the mesh. He’s had some terrific opportunities so far and is just totally snake bitten!!



    25 in 2011

  37. TommyB says:

    Geez, I don’t know.  I think a wake-up call is a bit of a stretch at this very early part of the season.  Might have more to do with the next opponent, and their style of play.  Moen would be expected to create a little more room for his smaller linemates, and get in Miller’s doorway.  Get the opposition looking around for a big body crashing into them takes some of the attention away from Gomez and Gionta.

  38. Ian Cobb says:

    I think Picard and PK are going to sit on Saturday when Markov comes back.!!!!

  39. Chuck says:

    Benny: Please go to the net, and stand there. You got a ice-level view or Ryan Malone doing it last night… now take a page out of his textbook and do it.

    Rhino: hit someone. Hard. Get the blood lust in ya, kid. Even if it means a few games’ suspension. It’ll feel good to hear someone’s bones break. Trust me. And I’ll foot your salary while you’re out.

  40. joeybarrie says:

    I saw nothing but lucky Tampa goals last night.

    Pouliot was very unlucky last night. I agree he has to turn it up, but last night he couldn’t buy a goal. He has 2 assists and is one point short of being tied for the team scoring lead….  Let’s give our guys a few more games to see what they can achieve individually. His line hasn’t been effective either, so its not only on him.

    If you would rather a coach with less than 2 years of professional experience than one with the most experience than its your loss. So far Boucher has beaten the Thrashers and the Habs in overtime. Thats the extent of his accomplishments. Yet somehow everyone loves his great coaching. Communication with players is not the only aspect needed. Let’s see what happens before we give him the Jack Adams…

    Ill take the guy that got us into the Conference finals last year, for now…

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

  41. TomNickle says:

    He got some pretty good reviews from camp and stuck the whole way through as you said.  They’re probably just grooming him like they are with Mayer.

  42. Ian Cobb says:

    OByrne in the dog house again!

    Pouliot on the 4th line works for me.

    And the best line last night was Halpern, Eller and Lapierre.

    PK will learn and we all love his emotions, but he cost us two goals last night.

    !st goal he left the zone to quickly, leaving a man alone in front of Price.

    2nd, he is taking far to many penalties. It will take until Christmas before he rounds into a full NHLer

    PK and Picard will sit Sat. night, Markov will be back.

  43. TomNickle says:

    I don’t keep track.  I just don’t think Martin wants him around if he isn’t going to correct his mistakes.

  44. rocketsglare says:

    I don’t get Moen on the top line and P.K. paired with Picard. Moen may have jam but not the necessary

    scoring skills to augment the skills of Gionta and Gomez. As for P.K. paired with Picard, that is two raw

    D-men neither having enough experience, working together. Usually you would pair one experienced D

    man with another one with less experience. I don’t see either shake up contributing much but more of

    a wake up call for this team.


    Go Habs Go!

  45. Marky Sparky says:

    Ryan Ob is not going anywhere he didnt play a horible game yesterday but he could have been alot better. I would love to see Eller with Boyd they look like they would fit together very nicely

    Habs Fan since 94


  46. Marky Sparky says:

    Ryan Ob is not going anywhere he didnt play a horible game yesterday but he could have been alot better. I would love to see Eller with Boyd they look like they would fit together very nicely

    Habs Fan since 94


  47. TomNickle says:

    He’s not gonna stick Timo.  He can’t fix the problems.

  48. likehoy says:

    what’s your conversion rate on hunches?

    – I support Carey Price as the Number 1 Goalie!

  49. likehoy says:

    if the defensive pairings say anything, looks like subban is on the 3rd or 4th defense pairing (depending if markov’s slotted in the 3rd or 4th).

    JM is not happy with subban’s game and rightly so.

    – I support Carey Price as the Number 1 Goalie!

  50. Timo says:

    Other than a brain fart delay of game penalty I thought OB did ok last night. Martin, as usual, is looking for a scape goat to his piss poor coaching. Yes, the #6 dman, who was a plus on the night btw, was definitely a problem last night.

  51. TomNickle says:

    One delay of game penalty?

    There’s a lot more to it than that.

    Like a refusal or unwillingness to correct easy mistakes.  

  52. SeriousFan09 says:

    Not that I know of, but he stuck all the way through camp and was then assigned to the HAM camp so I guess the organization sawe something in him. ECHL assignment could be coming his way.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  53. RGM says:

    Not a big reader eh? That’s OK. Saying that it’s got anything to do with Gionta’s American nationality is absurd.

    Go Habs Go!

  54. likehoy says:

    i agree, moen is not a top 2 line player…bring up eller!

    – I support Carey Price as the Number 1 Goalie!

  55. SLONCOLD says:

    delay of game…..again

  56. TomNickle says:

    Injury to Mayer or Sanford?

  57. RGM says:

    I think he’s played his last game until the next one, and it will surely be in a Habs uniform. One delay of game penalty does not cost a guy his career.

    Go Habs Go!

  58. SeriousFan09 says:

    Hamilton Bulldogs signed tryout goaltender Peter Delmas, are they rolling with 3 goalies or is he due for an ECHL assignment? Guessing ECHL for him.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  59. TomNickle says:

    I think Ryan O’Byrne may have played his last game as a Hab.  Just call it a hunch.

  60. TomNickle says:

    Were they not the first powerplay goals the team’s given up so far this season Ian?

  61. TomNickle says:

    I’d like to see Auld face his former team.  

    Then again, if I want Auld in there against his former teams he’s going to play 60 games this year… maybe not!  Haha.

  62. Ian Cobb says:

    We are as fast as any team in the league. But we lack 60 min.
    tenacity. Tenacity draws penalties.  Passive coaching during the play.!

    And without a power play we are done like dinner, in the new era of NHL play.

    Two power play goals against last night again! and no PP goals for us again.!

  63. TomNickle says:

    Pouliot missed the net twice, but so did Lecavalier and Stamkos, I don’t think they’re going to be relegated to the fourth line tonight.

  64. SLONCOLD says:

    price against both. hes a big boy i’m sure he can handle a back to back game especially since he’s playing well right now

  65. SLONCOLD says:

    so it’s been said gionta pronouced his name wrong beacuas eof a locker inside joke kinda thing

    i thought the team did a good job keeping the shots to the outside and price was solid with the rest

  66. HabsFanInTampa says:

    You could put Benoit Pouliot on a line with Gretzky and Lemieux and this guy still wouldn’t be able to take it up a notch. I’m sorry, but we should’ve got rid of Pouliot in June as I mentioned then. Instead, we give him a raise and dumped D. Moore. Someone here yesterday said that Boucher had zero NHL coaching experience and JM is a veteran coach and he would rather have him behind the bench. I’m sorry, but I’ll need to disagree with you on that. I’ll take Boucher and his 2 games against JM anyday.

  67. TomNickle says:

    Price against Buffalo and Auld against Ottawa please Jacques.


  68. TomNickle says:

    Pouliot leads the team in bodychecks and has two points in three games and is playing effectively.

    Yeah, benching him sounds about right.


  69. zaq007 says:

    He also said Justin Boyd haha but he told TSN it was for jokes

  70. Propwash says:

    “Line changes, missing players, and rookies……  These are not our
    problem… I think our biggest problem is GIONTA…  Is it just me or
    did he say Max Laperriere last night?????? If he doesn’t know the guys
    last name, and he has no problem with Kostitsyn’s name… US
    CAPTAINS…. Thats what you get…”


    Ummmmm… just an fyi, Stubbs confirmed that he did it on purpose to rib Lappy and Boyd.


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  71. VintageFan says:

    And so it begins. Seven months of line-changing one-upmanship posts.

  72. avatar_58 says:

    Look I like Moen, but he shouldn’t be on anyone’s top lines. Just please Martin….stop. Next we’ll see Darche up there.

  73. joeybarrie says:

    Line changes, missing players, and rookies……  These are not our problem… I think our biggest problem is GIONTA…  Is it just me or did he say Max Laperriere last night?????? If he doesn’t know the guys last name, and he has no problem with Kostitsyn’s name… US CAPTAINS…. Thats what you get…

    We were unlucky last night. The goals they scored were crap. The reason we lost is because we let them get those shots, we couldn’t get the puck out of our own zone and we suffered for it. Other than that I thought we played a pretty good game. Price was outstanding, and the Gomez line was fairly useless. Once they get going and we get Markov back to full fitness, I am really going to like what we see…

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

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