Bouillon will sit for Habs while Murray plays against Capitals

The Canadiens held an optional practice Friday morning in Washington as they prepared to face Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals Friday night (7 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Backup goalie Peter Budaj will start for the Canadiens and Francis Bouillon will be a healthy scratch on defence, making room for Douglas Murray. Forward Rene Bourque will also miss the game with a lower-body injury.

Coach Michel Therrien explained that he didn’t want to keep Murray, who has been a healthy scratch, on the shelf for too long and added that at age 38 Bouillon needs some time off when there are back-to-back games.

“We have seven healthy defencemen and I don’t want to leave a guy like Douglas Murray off the ice too long,” Therrien told reporters in Washington. “It’s a discussion we’ve had since (Alexei) Emelin returned to the lineup. At 38 years of age, we have to keep in mind that the season is a long one. Bouillon will be in the lineup tomorrow.”

The Canadiens will face Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690). Carey Price will start in goal against the Penguins.

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings should look against the Capitals Friday night:

Briere-Plekanec-Gionta
Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher
Galchenyuk-Eller-Prust
Moen-White-Bournival

Markov-Subban
Gorges-Diaz
Murray-Emelin

(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)

Canadiens vs. Capitals preview, NHL.com

Game Day Report, Canadiens.com

Post-practice comments (video), Canadiens.com

Gallagher provides a spark on any Habs line, by Brenda Branswell

Weekend challenge awaits for Habs, Canadiens.com

Ovechkin chasing own version of 50 in 50, NHL.com

Caps coach still cultivating relationship with Ovechkin, montrealgazette.com

Caps close out homestand against Habs, washingtoncapitals.com

Not a pretty video session for Caps, Washington Post

Tenth anniversary of Heritage Classic, Canadiens.com

NHL notables a quarter of the way in, montrealgazette.com

217 Comments

  1. SteverenO says:

    No stats this time, just personal observations;

    It is often said that our teams best asset is speed.Certainly we rely more on our speed game than other teams that ney play more of a size /physical game. The thing about having team speed is that it needs to be the WHOLE team. Murray, and Bouillon are simply not fast enough to fit in this lineup.

    The team would see an immediate improvement if both Murray and Bouillon were healthy scratches. It wouldn’t even matter which of our young d-men (Beaulieu, Tinordi, or Patteryn) replaced them.

    It’s been years when everyone has been saying that the HABs are too small to compete. In my opinion the problem was not that we were
    too small , it was that we were not fast enough nor skilled enough.

    Instead of going with speed and skill throughout the lineup we always had the Kosptopoulous’s , the Pyatts, the Moens, the Whites, the Darche’s etc.

    This season we can finally ice 4 “skilled ” lines:

    Bourque/Bournival Plekanec Gionta
    Galchenyuk, Eller, Gallagher
    Pacioretty, Desharnais, Prust
    Bournival/Bourque, Briere, Leblanc

    Subban, Beaulieu
    Markov, Emelin
    Gorges, Beaulieu (Tinordi/ Patteryn/Bouillon).

    I think a team has to choose an identity and style of play. I grew up loving the HABS because of their firewagon style of hockey. I am not impressed, or entertained, with season after season of trying to play the “cycle down low” game with players that are not suited for that style.

    I guess with age I am now somewhat less concerned with wins and losses, (especially in the regular season) than I am with watching entertaining hockey. I would have no qualms about watching a game where we lost 5 to 4 in a game that had end to end action for 60 minutes.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • Tyhudg says:

      I disagree completely. Having team based on speed does not in any way shape or form mean that every player has to be fast for it to work…. especially the D. Boullion isn’t even that slow… not what he used to be but I wouldn’t call him slow. I like your lines though, other than the fact that we would be rolling with 4 scoring lines with no grit outside of Prust. You talk about players playing a style they are not suited to… Briere on a checking line? He is not suited for that at all. Beaulieu a top 2 D man? He is not ready for that by a long shot. The checking line serves a definite purpose, I can see this negatively impacting our PK significantly while yielding no more 5 vs 5 goals than usual.

      Personally I would rather see slow wins than end to end action that resulted in more losses than wins…. and I am sure 99% of habs fans are with me. Losses mean more goals against than for, and no level of excitement evens that scale.

      The team you want to create already exists… they are called the Oilers, and they are terrible.

  2. jols101 says:

    New thread. Live Blog is up.

  3. knob says:

    The question on the pole is a tough one really. Bouillon is quicker and is not a push over yet does not hit like Murray. If they alternated from here on out I think that would be pretty reasonable.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Back to back games, one of them on and one sits! same for Briere and Bourke and Carey and Budaj.
      Until the next injury.
      Team is healthier for the 1st time this year. Time to put up a few points in the standings.

      Shoot outs—Who are your picks.??

      I pick 3 defense men. PK, PK, PK,

      • knob says:

        Shoot out:
        Eller
        Markov
        sure, I’ll say Subban

        Galchenyuk on the shoot out seems to be ineffective for what ever reason…he does have sick hands. Maybe he has become too predictable…he should shoot a few times

        • VancouverHab says:

          Subban? On the Shoot-Out?

          Use our best puckhandler and shooter and one of the NHL’s elite puckhandlers and shooters, on the shootout? The place where elite puckhandling and shooting are directly rewarded?

          That’s crazy talk. Fortunately Michel Therrien is our coach and not you.

          Sheesh. You’d probably use Subban on the penalty kill just because he’s our best penalty-killing defenseman….

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …that is what came to mind when I read the question too :)

      …My answer would be neither, in the sense I’d prefer an upgrade on both.

      …Boullion has been character all the way, but at 37 He can not compensate for His lack of reach and quickness like He used to

      …Murray, in My opinion is only useful for teams like the Bruins, Leafs and Flyers, etc

      …so, in short, neither …I prefer playing one of Our young defencemen from Hamilton

  4. Say Ash says:

    Anybody got a link a similar Caps fan page?

  5. Danno says:

    Tonight – An epic game is worthy of an astrolabe for measurement purposes.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  6. AceTen says:

    Hey according to TSN the Habs are surging! This is news to me

  7. Mattyleg says:

    It’s been a long week.
    But you know what?
    HI/O, at its best, reminds me of Cheers.
    Good spending the week with you fellas and ladies.
    Enjoy!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5J72H_HE1c

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Brilliant! That is this place indeed, and now my good friends, I need to go to my own version of CHeers, Beer O’Clock.

      Enjoy the game folks!
      Go Habs Go!
      CHeers!

  8. Maritime Ronn says:

    Interesting to note that Murray plays in an ‘Away’ game and Bouillon will play in the ‘Home’ game tomorrow night.

    Does anyone believe that Marketing has no place in decisions?

    A Briere signing… over a Leafs signing of 28 year old Mason Raymond – who was picked up for just 1 year/$1M, and who has already scored 8 goals and has 19 points in 22 games so far this season…..yet Mason was born in Alberta.

    The same goes for Budaj.
    Carey Price is loved by all, yet Budaj gets the ‘Away’ starts…only 3 of his 13 starts were home starts last year, and tonight’s 5th start will make it all 5 all on the road.

    Which leads to….nope, not even going to go there.

    • Say Ash says:

      Could’ve had Jagr.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi ash

        Jagr would have been a treat to watch for ONLY 1 year at $4M.($2M + $2M Bonus)

        The Habs are never going to win the Cup this year, yet having a big body Sniper that can protect the puck and make line mates better, would have been even better entertainment than another guy that Habs Management spent $4M for not only for 1 year, yet 2!

        His play would have been so much more fun to witness – His Cup Rings impressive to the younger guys….and his reported work ethic is 2nd to none, and may have been a great vet look up as to what it takes to win from a future Hall of Famer.

        The question remains: Did Jagr ever really want to play in Montreal, or did he use the Habs as a negotiation tool?

    • knob says:

      lol, I can’t wait to see the backlash that comes from this post. I couldn’t agree more btw.

    • shiram says:

      I had suggested the Habs pursue Raymond in the off season, but I was met with responses along the line of “soft, perimeter player, not clutch” and the likes.
      Would have been better than Brière, I think

  9. The Jackal says:

    Anyone got any bad roommate stories/situations back from their college days?

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  10. Jerk Store says:

    Good afternoon everyone. I attend the Habs blood donor clinic every year and on Wednesday I got to meet Mr. Murray. I was surprised at just how large he is. I knew he was a big boy, but he is much more physically imposing than I thought. Incredibly solid. Dude has no neck. I felt like I was standing next to a truck. I remember seeing Luke Schenn once, who’s not a small defensemen. Murray is easily twice his size. I realize he’s slow, but having him in the lineup is comforting. Right?

  11. DipsyDoodler says:

    Why is everyone worried about tonight?

    We’re back baby.

    Caps won’t know what hit them.

  12. Phil C says:

    DD had success playing with Gallagher. Does this now prove that DD does not need big wingers? Or should I expect him to regress if he plays with Gallagher?

  13. Mattyleg says:

    I foolishly organized a dinner-party tonight, thinking that the game was on Thursday.
    Me and my two buddies will be sitting at the table checking our phones for the scores while our women talk about babies until we get permission to leave.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Sometimes a little flatulence can go a long way with helping out a situation just like that. ;-)

    • Habfan10912 says:

      That’s all right Matty. You deserve a night off. I’m going to an Army hockey game so I’ve  got the DVR (PVR) set. I’m sure L, Chis and Burly will provide update plus I’ll check in here between periods of the game.
      Enjoy your evening bud.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Friday night hockey feels wrong doesn’t it?

    • zephyr says:

      we won our hockey league one year & got a free pass to a regional tourney. one of our guys said he couldn’t make it because his wife was due to give birth. I told him to get her induced the week b4 so he could make it. turns out most of us were pussified wimps & our team didn’t go.
      I have a dinner party 2nite too. i’m recording the game & watching it after. at least I don’t have to watch commercials.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I’m jealous of you guys.
      I don’t have pvr.

      I don’t even have a vcr like my folks still do.
      Mattyleg’s real-time-only.
      Beh.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • donmarco says:

      I had a dinner party last Saturday night. Was going very well. At 7:30 asked male guest if he wanted a tour of the house. Came down an hour later. Wives didn’t even notice we were gone. Waited 15 minutes and repeated until game over. Try it. What do you have to lose?

  14. Sportfan says:

    I miss most of the game cause of work this evening. So everyone else enjoy and GO HABS GO

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  15. steste11 says:

    Huge game tonight! With Sid tomorrow night this would be a big win to take some pressure off tomorrow night at home. Let’s hope DD and patches look at least half as good as they did against the Wild. Although I will not be holding my breath.

    P.K 2013 Norris Trophy Winner

  16. gmoan says:

    I would rather have Gomez over DDH under any kind of contract scenario! Who’s with me?

  17. Habfan10912 says:

    Good afternoon all. I have to say I’m somewhat surprised at the criticism thrown at Murray in defense of Frankie B even from the sites more knowledgeable and respected posters. Here’s my take.

    Murray is not replacing the second coming of Doug Harvey tonight, In the two games I’ve seen live and the many others I’ve seen on TV, Frankie looked like he had very little hockey left. Even if you believe Murray is a liability out there I don’t think he’s any more a liability then Frankie has been this season. We’re talking about two number 7 defenseman sharing some ice time.

    The only argument I can make pro Frankie B is he played his most physical and best game of the year against the Wild. Most coaches would not make a lineup change after such a great team effort but again, he ain’t Doug Harvey.

    • shiram says:

      Neither of the 2 are the Habs saviour, and both have faults to their game.
      Pick your poison.

    • scavanau says:

      Maybe crankshaft will do a little Grabovski thumping?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good points raised Jim. You know Front and I are going to enjoy the Murray substitution into the lineup.

      If these two fellows platoon, it can’t hurt. Each will get well needed rest and each will play as hard as they can to stay in the lineup. It’s a good problem for us to have for a change isn’t it?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi nice guy Jim

      Nice to see you posting again.
      HIO was not the same without you..

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Jim.
      Man-hug.

    • bwoar says:

      Keep in mind that some of the criticism from “knowledgeable” people is a byproduct of micro-stats “analysis”.

      Frankly, knowing that they will platoon in back to back games, there’s nothign to get too excited about either way. I happen to prefer Murray, but I don’t see a great margin of difference between the two in terms of the outcome of the game.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Good points, although unlike you I couldn’t declare a preference since the two are such different kinds of players.

        If overall our D stays healthy and Frankie and Murray split No. 7 duties, I’d be happy.

        (Interesting how most if not all posters here preface their reservations about Frankie with a statement about how much they like him. How could anyone not?)

        And some help please: I occasionally end up struggling for consciousness at what is about 2am my time in the third period, and I sometimes wonder if I IMAGINED something rather than saw it. One of those was Murray taking the puck over centre, across the blueline and heading for crease. A plucky defender got in front but simply disappeared into the treads. So cool! (Even though he didn’t finish by burying it top right.)

        Did anyone else see that?

    • Mattyleg says:

      I love having Murray in, and I love Frankie the Bull.
      They are both great bottom-pairing guys, and rotating them is a geat way to play them!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  18. formerly known as the hc says:

    Lucic is a truck. Emelin left his feet. Emelin paid the price and hopefully learned from that.

  19. Bash says:

    Line match ups will be interesting tonight. We don’t have a shut down line with Briere out there. So maybe puck possession is the key.

    Every team wants their #1 line out against the #3 defensive pair so nothing to panic about in that sense.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  20. mrhabby says:

    OV and his gang will be licking there chops facing the Habs tonight. Heres hoping Peter B stands on his head..

  21. Reflektor says:

    Did ya’ll know Grabovski is playing vs. the Leafs tomorrow? Check out all the supposedly Canadian sports web sites.

  22. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    “Desharnais depends a lot on Pacoretty. 70 of Desharnais’ 90 points over the past three seasons have come with MaxPac on the ice. It’s great that they have chemistry, but when a coach needs to split the duo up, or when Pacioretty is injured, it means DD is not going to deliver. And that’s a big problem when a coach needs to shuffle his lines.”

    http://hockey.dobbersports.com/index.php/columnistsarticles-mainmenu-77/forensics/6114-forensics-david-desharnais

  23. donmarco says:

    Murray and Emelin. Yummmmmmm. That’s a pairing I’d like to see against Boston or Toronto too.

    • otisfxu says:

      yep, Emeilin really did a job on Lucic last time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,got bowled over like a ten pin, lost a knee in the process.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Lucic is a big boy.
        Hit could go the other way next time.
        But well done focusing on the negative!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • twilighthours says:

          That’s what he does. And abuses apostrophes (or commas, as the case may be)

          • Habfan10912 says:

            and perhaps the commas. :)

          • --Habs-- says:

            I remember Lucic not finishing a play to not take the full hit from Emelin which tells you Lucic was aware of what could have happened so decided to give up on the play to protect himself. . But that’s always been his criticism. Likes to dish out but not a great taker.

            “Habs” Watch and learn!

      • scavanau says:

        Exacly what Mattleg said. Emelin also handled himself well when Chara grabbed hold of him, kept in tight so Chara couldn’t swing and then landed one or two. Better than most fights with that goat headed looking thing.

      • sheds88 says:

        you must have missed player #17′s knee he stuck out when he saw emelin coming at him…..real classy. i think i remember cherry on coaches corner praising lucic for gettin the knee up to “protect” himself. “That’s how you do it right there ” was the exact quote.

  24. Propwash says:

    This is, in a way, a good problem to have.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  25. Danno says:

    Did anyone mention tonight is one of those measuring-stick games?

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  26. Habilis says:

    This almost hurts to type, but good job by the coach here. I was afraid that his relationship with Cube would preclude him from ever being benched. This is the right call though, as both will probably be more effective in a platoon role.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Murray is about as useful as a parked bus on the ice, but Cube shouldn’t be playing 82 games either.

    Honestly though, I can’t wait until these two (and Drewiske) are gone. I love Bouillon and all, but he’s pretty much done as an effective NHLer. I can’t help but look forward to a D corps that includes Tinordi and Beaulieu instead of 3 stopgaps.

    • mksness says:

      i think you’ll have to be patient on tinordi and beaulieu, especially tinordi.

      tinordi does not have nhl speed and has to be better positioned. there is potential there but he’s still a project.

      Beaulieu has some serious gifts when it comes to offensive play making. but he needs to work big time on his positioning and defensive zone play. the thing is he will get more chances with the habs than tinordi becuase of his speed and playmaking abilities.

  27. Max_a_million says:

    oh my if you manage to get on the ice against Emelin and Murray, you had better keep your head up. There is some thumping there. Over and under on hits 15?

  28. Un Canadien errant says:

    In the interest of modulating our discourse so we’re kind of on target, and not in the weeds, I’ll bring up the thought experiment of playing Ryan White between Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher. Do we really think that this would be a better option than having David Desharnais centring that line?

    Now I know that the concept of Ryan playing with those two is far-fetched, but so is the concept that David has no talent, no value, and ‘doesn’t make anyone better, his wingers make him better’. We can argue and debate, but when we declare in absolutes we’re usually off base. Anyone who saw his behind the back pass for Max’s second goal is being dishonest if he still maintains that David is worthless and doesn’t bring anything to the equation. Without David, that goal doesn’t happen.

    So we are left with a centre who has had great chemistry with Max in the past, in the AHL and NHL, and who had a great year when playing with Max and Erik Cole. The latter had a career year playing with David, even though he’s had full seasons playing with Eric Staal while in Carolina. David has been ice-cold this season though, and we wondered if the league had figured him out, if he’d been a one-year wonder. Which David is the real David?

    The solution is, as frustrating as that can be, to continue to put him in a situation where he can with any luck re-capture the old magic. He came perilously close to forcing Marc Bergevin to make a drastic decision, but Max’s hat-trick served as his ‘call from the Governor’, the reprieve that will probably buy him another five games or so. With his contract, we kind of don’t have a choice but to hope he works his way out of his funk, there are painful consequences to giving up on him.

    So yes, if Marc Bergevin had a mulligan he probably would reconsider the four-year deal he negotiated with David’s agent, but now he has to play the hand he has, and that means Michel Therrien has to find a way to get David untracked. And it may be that for David to be effective, to be worth his salt, he’ll need to play with specific types of players, with bigger wingers who can score, but then if it works so be it. If David is a specific tool with a specific application, but one which does that job quite well, better than the others, then we’re kind of ahead in the game.

    A couple years ago there were stats that showed David as being ahead of the scoring pace of Martin St. Louis at the same age and stage of his career. Some of the hobby scouts in our group brought up a raft of objections to temper those of us who were overestimating his ceiling, and brought us back down to earth, and they’re being proven right these days, but in the same fashion we shouldn’t get carried away and discard David because of a really rough patch. Maybe he won’t be Martin St. Louis, but maybe he can be our Pierre Mondou, the third-line centre who racks up points because the opponents have their hands full dealing with Jacques Lemaire and Doug Risebrough.

    ———————————————————————–
    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Say Ash says:

      Just curious who were White’s linemates in Hamilton and who played alongside Patches and DD?

    • Ozmodiar says:

      I know that the concept of Ryan playing with those two is far-fetched, but so is the concept that David has no talent, no value, and ‘doesn’t make anyone better, his wingers make him better’.

      2/3 of this comment, as it relates to DD, is not far-fetched at all.

      Value – if we’re talking about trade value, then it’s true. He has no value. Lebrun reported that there is absolutely no market at all for DD. Of course, we didn’t need Lebrun to tell us this, considering his production, size, speed, etc…

      His wingers make him better – Again, not far-fetched at all. Isn’t that what we’ve seen this year? Nothing until the move to Gallagher’s line. If it weren’t the case, why does everyone keep saying that he needs to play with 2 big wingers who can score? Heck, YOU even said this might be the case – in this post! :)

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Love the formatting, you have to teach me how to do that.

        Value Well, I didn’t say trade value, and I don’t mean trade value. I agree with most that our smaller forwards don’t have much trade value in today’s NHL, and especially David in this goal-drought he’s on.

        What I did mean is what I alluded to later in the post when I brought up Pierre Mondou. If David can be a decent point-producer when paired with the right linemates, if he can feed them so they can snipe, as he did two seasons ago and did on Tuesday night, he has value in our lineup, even if we couldn’t get a return on the trade market.

        His wingers make him better You’re guilty of being selective on this point. You’ll note that I had “‘doesn’t make anyone better, his wingers make him better’ ” in quotes, that whole statement taken together. What I was pointing out is that it’s ridiculous to claim that David’s wingers make him better, but he doesn’t do the same in return. Again, I’ll point to Erik Cole’s career season playing with David, and to the fact that Erik Cole had previously played on a line with Eric Staal. Somehow he had his best year playing with wee David and not big Team Canada Olympian Eric Staal. That might mean something.

        So I do grant that maybe David does need to have big wingers who can snipe to be effective, but maybe once he has those conditions he’s going to make those guys productive, over and above many other centres.

        • Ozmodiar says:

          Okay, so he has “value” to the team, albeit not much. If we were tradable, then the Habs would easily fill the void with someone who would offer more value in the line-up.

          I’m being selective about the quote, and you’re being selective about pointing at Cole’s production 2 seasons ago and not considering the production of those who have played with DD last season and this season. Let’s try to stay current when assessing his play, shall we?

          (formatting – see below the text area that you’re typing in. The tags are provided.)

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I understand what you’re saying about value. I thought about how Scott Gomez eventually wore out his welcome, and most of that was due to his contract. But if he had still been producing, if he’d been working hard instead of avoiding corners and contact, if he was scoring 15 goals and 45 assists, he would have still been untradable, had no trade value, but would have had value to the Canadiens. He would have made the team better by virtue of being in the lineup, although his cap hit was hurting it. In the same way, if we’re stuck with David and can’t trade him, but he gives us more 50-60 point seasons, he has value, but little trade value.

            As far as your second point, I thought I’d covered that angle in the third paragraph of my original post, where I asked which David is the real David. I’m being current in assessing his non-existent trade value and the dreadful slump he’s in, but I’m also holding out hope based on past production, and the performance on Tuesday.

    • mksness says:

      haha, a blind backhand pass that connects and he suddenly has value? sorry try again. i hope he can put a few more good night together but we’ll see

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        You’re being dishonest. It was a blind behind-the-back pass, but not in the sense that it was blind luck that it connected, in the sense that it takes a great amount of skill to perform it. If you watch the replays, you can see that David sees Max coming, and knows where to pass the puck to.

        You’re allowed to dislike David, but you can’t twist facts and ignore the evidence to suit your story. All you’re doing is robbing yourself of your credibility.

        • mksness says:

          i have no credibility….

          listen i’ll give you that he made the effort to get the puck to the middle of the ice for the trailer. However, that pass usually gets picked off or hits something in transit. even if you want to say it was his master plan and it was all skill, one good play doesn’t negate his season so far.

          he has no value to this team or any other team in the league. the only thing our GM can pray for is for him to put up a few more points.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Now we’re getting somewhere.

            I agree that his pass won’t work 100% of the time (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjvQFtlNQ-M), but it did in that case, and it led directly to a goal. And that’s how hockey works, you buzz the net and come close a few times but hit the post or get robbed by the goalie for every time you score. The trio buzzed around the Wild net all during the first period, there were tonnes of close calls, but passes were deflected, or shots were flubbed, or the shot just missed the post… But you could tell they were about to cash in, and sure enough they did in the second.

            On this specific goal, he didn’t take a lucky wild stab at something, he knew where Max was and got the puck and didn’t telegraph his pass so the d-men were surprised by it. Skill. You or I or Ryan White couldn’t have done that. Well, maybe I could have…

            And yeah, one good game doesn’t make up for his poor start, my original post covers that, I agree with that. But my point is our best, maybe our only course of action is to put David in a situation where he can work out of his funk. We’re kind of married to him, we don’t have a lot of options.

            And one further point is that none of this is due to lack of effort. David is working really hard, he’s just not getting results. This isn’t a Sergei Kostitsyn situation, it’s not like David has checked out, like Michael Ryder late last season. And the way teammates spring to his defence and reacted when he scored in the shootout bears that out.

    • shiram says:

      Good post UCE,

      My issue with it is something you point out, DD is better suited to a third line role, and he needs to play with big scoring wingers to be as effective as he can be.
      That’s a sticking point considering the Habs lack of size/grit and lack of scoring.
      He’s also tied at the hip with Max, as has been pointed out, he got the vast majority of his points playing with Max.
      Can he thrive in a 3rd line role? Maybe, but the coaching staff seems to be reluctant to put him into that situation.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Yeah, we’re not in an ideal situation, we’re having to make the best of it.

        The funny thing is, his line was in effect the third line on Tuesday, with Lars’ and Tomas’ being higher in the rotation. If they maintain their performance of Tuesday this weekend, that may change, they may be considered the second or first line, but if that comes to pass, is it a problem? If they’re producing I don’t have a problem with it.

    • Dave Jones says:

      Good post.

  29. AZ_Hab_Fan says:

    I cannot see posts on the forums using safari on my iphone.
    I have to use the HIO app which isn’t very good.
    What happened to the website?????

  30. Maksimir says:

    Good to see Therrien take this approach.

    I wonder though if it would have been better to have Murray in against the Pens since he played there briefly and might know their tendencies better.

  31. govenah says:

    Very Happy the crankshaft is playing tonight.
    But one of these night we should also rotate Georges, and Diaz
    And bring up Tinordi and Beaulieu if we need to.

    Grind this.

    • Hstands4Hockey says:

      Did the NHL expand their roster size when I wasn’t looking?

      ——————————————————————–
      Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
      @Hstands4Hockey

  32. DipsyDoodler says:

    Makes sense to cycle Frankie and Murray in the lineup. Neither is very good, but they are serviceable and will probably be better if they play fewer games.

  33. DipsyDoodler says:

    The discussion got me wondering why Sean Avery retired so young (32). He was no worse than ever – basically a 30 or so point per year. Not good but he was probably a useful enough guy – a bit like Moen.

    Even his controversies weren’t really all that controversial. He made a few dumb comments but how is that comparable to deliberately injuring a guy.

    And that stick waving in front of Brodeur – sure it’s Bush League but if you are allowed to screen the keeper you should be allowed to screen the keeper.

    On the plus side he really hated John Tortorella.

    Also according to Wikipedia he’s engaged to a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.

    • rhino514 says:

      I´m always surprised more hockey players don´t retire after they have a fe million in the bank and keep risking their health.
      Hockey players really are for the most part a bunch of great guys compared to other pro athletes. Having said that, i wouldn´t have a problem with anyone who wants to retire in their early thirties.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Nobody wanted him anymore after Dallas.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      It comes down to burnt bridges. When he made his comments in Calgary, the team brass had heard he was going to make those and specifically instructed him not to. He still went ahead and called the reporters over and blurted out his offensive comments, defying his bosses. The reporters who were there took the time to explain that it wasn’t a slip-up, a Joe Thornton moment where the guy speaks his mind in the heat of the moment, but a carefully calculated, staged affair. The reporters felt kind of used, and some didn’t write anything about it, because they felt Sean Avery was manipulating them for his own aggrandizement.

      When he was in Dallas, and later a Ranger in New York, his own teammates couldn’t stand him, he wasn’t a Matthew Barnaby-type who gets under the opposition’s skin but who his teammates loved. He was ostracized in his own dressing room, eating alone on the road, etc.

      So you have a player who can be effective, but sewered his own career. He’s unmanageable, and a ‘problem in the room’. So he can’t play any more. Matt Cooke and Raffi Torres are guys who have changed their ways and furthered their career, and Jaromir Jagr is back in the league after years of stealing money in D.C. and New York, but they’re not dressing room cancers and players that a General Manager can’t stand to have on his roster.

  34. Sportfan says:

    So who goes on the second PP unit? Who ever it is I hope they score or get like 3 pp assists so Bouillon stays seated.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  35. Hobie Hansen says:

    I think we went from having the smallest defence in the league to being just below average with Murray being inserted into the lineup?

  36. Sportfan says:

    Yay good news sorta haha hopefully this becomes a rotation thing and not one bad game and you’re in purgatory for 3 weeks.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  37. frontenac1 says:

    Crankshaft Oil and Swiss Pure Spring Water. It will work amigos!

    • Timo says:

      Not for long. It’s been already confirmed that Bouillon will be back in the lineup on Saturday. I guess Therrien doesn’t believe in giving Murray as many chances as wee Davey.

      • piper says:

        Maybe Diaz sits Saturday. Or they could give Markov a rest in back to back games.

        • Hstands4Hockey says:

          Sit Markov against Pittsburgh? Have you been hanging out with Rob Ford?

          ——————————————————————–
          Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
          @Hstands4Hockey

          • piper says:

            No, but that would be a hoot!
            I just think Markov got worn down towards the end of a short season last year and I’d rather not see that again.

        • savethepuck says:

          Therrien is not stupid enough to give Markov a rest. He is one of the most important players on the ice.

          “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
          Carey Price

  38. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    There are SO many fantastic anagrams in Elisha Cuthbert, none of which should be spoken in polite company.

    Go Habs! Phaneuf sucks; even his name is misspelled.

  39. Timo says:

    You’re all welcome.

  40. Habfan10912 says:

    Psycho29 with the post of the day! Tremendous.

  41. habs-fan-84 says:

    Awesome news!
    I read some of Bill’s comments last night, re: Murray. I agree he looked bad his first couple games. Frankly though, after missing most of training camp and not playing competitive hockey in something like 6 months it was to be expected imo. Recently he’s simplified his game and has looked much better (I know his stats say otherwise, but I think they were amplified from his first few outings). I’ve thought Murray on the PK has been really good.

    • shiram says:

      Murray is just scary in his own zone, for many reasons.
      For one he lays massive hits, but the other side of that coin is that he often leaves himself in bad position and just does not have the wheels to get back where he needs to be.

      Hopefully he picks his spot better.

      • Cal says:

        Murray wouldn’t be on the PK if he were “scary in his own zone.”
        He’s actually pretty good in his own zone. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be there. Now, Diaz in his own zone…

        • shiram says:

          He won’t go for the big hits on the PK, he at least knows that’s not the time for it, but at even strenght? I’ve seen him do it a number of times now.
          And Diaz plays the PK so that arguments flies out of the window, not only that be he’s the Habs second most used D on the PK.
          PK’s been doing pretty well too.

          • Cal says:

            Diaz, when the game is on the line, shies away from pressure. He’s second to the puck a lot of the time when the puck is dumped in the corner and rarely fails to throw the puck to an opposing player when he gets it. Watch him closely tonight and you’ll see what I mean.

          • shiram says:

            just pointing out that Murray being used on the PK is not an argument as to him not being scary in his own zone, just like Diaz can be, but for other reasons.

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        I agree Shiram. A few times in his first couple games he took himself out of the play to make the big hit. I think he was trying too hard. More recently, I’ve noticed him pick his spots better though (and I assume he’ll continue to improve in this area as he gets more comfortable in his role on a new team). Again, though I think he’s been really good on the PK.
        Cheers,

  42. Cal says:

    Crank and Tank in the same line up. Yesssssss!

  43. Habitforming says:

    Oh No!!!

    Frankie Boo sits?!?!?!?!

    Now our 2nd PP won’t have a QB

    yep, that was sarcasm mixed with a bit of nausea

  44. shiram says:

    Pizza, friends and hockey tonight.
    This work day can’t end soon enough.

  45. Donkey Hoat says:

    Frankie Needs A Rest.

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting how now, MT admits Frankie B. could use some nights off. I shouldn’t be cycnical, but if we don’t have Murray I don’t think he says this. I could be wrong, have been very often in the past.

    But regardless of the reason for the change, I look forward to this lineup tonight.

    • Eddie says:

      Therrien needs a Press Secretary.

    • habs12 says:

      May be right, but this is also why you go out and get someone like Murray, who can be a 6-7 guy. I agree though if Beaulieu or Tinordi were the #7, this may not have happened.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I don’t understand the need for any cynicism. Douglas Murray was acquired at little cost, as a depth defenceman, and is being used as such. So was Francis Bouillon, except he had to take a bigger bite of the sandwich with Alexei Emelin out of action. Now that we’re almost at full strength, Francis gets pushed down to #6 verging on #7 duty, and Douglas Murray is the #7 verging on #6.

      If it was up to me I’d have Douglas Murray in there regularly, with Francis Bouillon getting spot duty, but that’s because I have Bruins issues, I get outraged and feel victimized when we play them and the refs let them get away with murder. So I want him in the lineup to distribute crosschecks liberally, and I notice it and applaud when he does. Meanwhile Francis’ game is more quietly effective, I don’t notice the little things he does well, the positioning and the little passes and the way he gets to the puck, but the coaches do, and they’re the ones left holding the bag when losses pile up. So they feel more comfortable with Francis in, but I’ll be happy when they rotate Douglas in, and I hope that eventually he works himself into the lineup as an effective pairing with Raphaël Diaz, the Rhino and the Eel.

      ———————————————————————–
      … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    Woohoo

  48. GrimJim says:

    that measuring stick would be a micrometer


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