Bourque on line with Brière, Bournival at practice; Leblanc called up from Hamilton

The Canadiens practised Monday morning in Brossard and all hands were on deck.

Raphael Diaz (flu) and Douglas Murray (lower body), who both missed Saturday’s game in Toronto, were back on the ice. Alex Galchenyuk, who has missed five games after suffering a broken hand against the Florida Panthers on Jan. 6, skated on the second sheet of ice in Brossard with strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard. Davis Drewiske, who hasn’t played all season after undergoing shoulder surgery, also skated before the regular practice.

And Rene Bourque, who was a healthy scratch Saturday night in Toronto, practised on a line with Daniel Brière at centre and Michael Bournival.

Late Monday afternoon, the Canadiens announced they have called up Louis Leblanc from the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. In 36 games this season with the Bulldogs, Leblanc has nine goals and 11 assists. Montreal’s first-round draft pick in 2009 (18th overall) played five games with the Canadiens earlier in the season, going pointless.

“It’s been a tough year,” Bourque, who has six goals and one assist in 36 games and is minus-4, told reporters after practice. “I’ve been good some games, some games I haven’t. I had a feeling (the benching) might be coming soon and it just happened to fall on Saturday.”

Bourque added that coach Michel Therrien didn’t have to say anything to him about being a healthy scratch.

“Obvously, I know what it’s about,” Bourque said. “So I have to pick up my play and get better.

I think I just have to be a little bit more aggressive … play with the puck more, be more confident with it … challenge the defencemen one on one,” said Bourque, adding his poor performance has nothing to do with any injury. “It’s a lot of things. Hopefully it’s a wakeup call and I get back to playing my game and helping produce a little bit.”

Goaltender Carey Price started  breaking in a new pair of pads at practice that he will wear for Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics. Price has two assists this season, one more than Bourque.

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at practice:



The Canadiens play their next game Wednesday night in Pittsburgh against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins (7 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690). The Habs then travel to Detroit to face the Red Wings Friday night and will play host to the Washington Capitals Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)

Bourque, Habs looking for some chemistry, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Canadiens recall Leblanc from Bulldogs,

Financial cost of injuries to NHL teams studied, by Pat Hickey

How did a jersey tug become an insult? by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Hockey Canada’s problems start at grassroots level, by The Gazette’s Jack Todd

Carey Price breaks in new Olympic pads (video),

Price’s new pads red, white and black,

Team Canada believes in coach Babcock,

Tribute to Penguins coach Bylsma sensible, classy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


  1. Sportfan says:

    Can the Sens let this go already?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

    • Mavid says:

      nope they were talking about it on the radio..even the homers were saying to let it go..I think its just that crazy owner

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • CJ says:

        The guys I’ve spoken with today Mavid are beyond pissed with Melnyk. He hamstrings Murray not allowing him to spend any money on players, yet drags this nonsense out for a year.

        As you said, even die hard Sens fans think he’s crazy.

  2. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Leblanc brought up…good. He should have been brought up last time. If you’re not going to give your first rounder a chance, then who will you give it to?

    As for Beaulieu. I like him but he’s not ready. Has the skills but needs more muscle. Also his game looks scattered (up and down the ice like a yo-yo). Also he’s another left-handed D-man…enough already. Playing him with other LH D-men playing out of position won’t help him or the team. Bring up Pateryn for @$@% sake.

  3. ooder says:

    holy crap so there actually is a forensic investigation into the cooke karlsson incident.
    i thought it was a joke all a long.. holy moly that’s intense

  4. Eddie says:

    So everyone of us saw Beaulieu against the Leafs. Was he amazing? No. Was he a star? No. Was he good enough to stick around and stay in the NHL?

    Absolutely yes. Because if that’s how he can play while shitting his pants with nerves, imagine how good he will be a month from now if he plays a regular shift every night.

    And this is how he played last year as well.

    I say get the man a locker and stick a big CH to his chest.

    Do NOT send him back down to Hamilton. Ever again. Never.

  5. CJ says:

    Louis Leblanc called up.

  6. Habfan17 says:

    Someone had posted earlier today that perhaps Bourque would be a fit on the right wing with Crosby. That actually makes some sense as a fill in for Dupuis. The Pens are reportedly willing to move Despres.
    Maybe a Bourque, Gorges, Diaz for Despres would be enough. The Pens are deep in prospects on the blueline.


  7. slyCH says:

    Not liking the Eller on the wing experiment. Guess management feels the need to satiate and kick start Briere at center at the expense of giving our future ample time to develop at their natural positions. How’s that working out for us. I’ve been blind drunk the last few games by design so I’m not quite sure if this rant is warranted.

  8. CJ says:

    Great comeback today by one of the hottest teams in the league, the New York Islanders. Fought back from a two goal deficit in the third, scoring two to tie, while out shooting the Flyers 17-3. Got the extra point in the shoot out. Does Montreal a small favor in the process, halting the Flyers charge up the standings.

  9. jimmy shaker says:

    As benoit brunet use to say, “oi yea yea”….if taranna wins both games tonight and tomorrow they will be tied in points…..but the habs will have 3 games in hand! Come on phoenix and colarada.

    Shaker out!

  10. Cardiac says:

    Oilers’ owner Daryl Katz issues a public letter of apology to fans… Your thoughts?

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    – Jerry Maguire

    • CJ says:

      That’s a lot of trust in Lowe and MacTavish. I’m not sure about those two….

      Lots of pieces in place, but they are still a ways away from turning a corner. As I see it, and I’m certainly no expert, but they have 4-5 players who essentially fit the same description. What I believe makes Boston or LA so good is that they have all types of players, each with a different role. Lucic, Bergeron, Chara, etc., are all distinctly different, but at the top of their game in their respective designation. Edmonton has Gagne, RNH, Hall, Eberle and Yak, who are too much the same. Oilers need significantly more balance. They should have traded the first overall selection instead of taking Yak, and looked deeper into the draft to fill two key positions. Anyway, just my two cents….

      More realistic question, what happens first; their new arena is built, or the Oilers make the playoffs?

      • habstrinifan says:

        Just a thought. With teams like Winnipeg, Oilers, Calgary appearing to be encountering ‘problems’…. what would your emotional reaction be if they ‘appear’ to resolve their staleness or rut.. before we do.

        Assuming of course you do think we are in a kind of rut… not deep maybe but definitely long.

        I think Ottawa and Leafs are showing more optimism than we are… but that’s just me.

        • CJ says:

          Ottawa and Toronto are both in the, let’s win now phase. To Ottawa’s credit, this follows a lengthy rebuild of six plus years. They now have young assets that they can shop if they think that a boost, influx, of established talent gets them over the hill. Toronto is chasing success with continued short term sighting. They are desperate to win now, the result of the new MLSE mandate, which is ironically the same as the old mandate.

          We are very much in the infancy of a transition. I have been preaching the virtues of a long term plan, which has the potential for major success in 2-3 years time. To this end, the organization has made some very asstute moves. The Briere signing doesn’t bother me because it’s only two years in length. This is still outside our window. I wouldn’t go long with Markov, and would let every other UFA walk, if no deals are available.

          Edmonton should be ahead of us, but their management team is below average. I spoke to this issue earlier, so I won’t inundate the forum by rehashing previous comments.

          Just my two cents..

  11. FANHABULOUS says:

    I like the adjustments with Emelin on his natural left side, and Borky-Bork o the right. I wanted to comment on the ongoing debate about Eller playing on the wing…

    I personally don’t mind it, and think that it has the potential to be a strong line. If you think ahead to the playoffs, the Plek line will most definitely be in charge of being the go-to shut-down line against the others teams first line. Whoever plays with Plek (mainly Geo and some rotating in) has to be good defensively… that’s why Moen’s done well on there. Eller has been excellent physically this year, and his defensive game, ability to hold off guys along the boards, and move it up the ice have all been great. It makes that line better than having Moen on there, as Eller brings the speed and puck-handling to the equation.

    I don’t mind seeing him play out of position for a period of time, if it means the team becomes stronger as a result.

    “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

  12. Bripro says:

    I don’t get it.
    Here’s a guy with enough talent to make the NHL, yet plays so softly that he earned himself a trip to the rafters on saturday.
    Bourque even admits that no discussion was required.
    Now imagine having the frame that he does, with the heart of a Gallagher?
    I don’t understand how he can just float through a game without determination.
    Man….give me his talent, and I’d be killing people out there (figuratively, of course).

    • shiram says:

      Puts it all perspective, to have this talented guy through the motions.
      Then there’s Subban, working his butt off, and tugging his jersey after a great comeback win, and more ink is spilled about this passionate display.

    • CH Marshall says:

      It’s Definately a mental thing. Maybe these guys have life way too easy for them. Too bad you can’t withhold their pay, that would probably go a long way in lighting a fire under their butts

    • New says:

      According to Stu here is what Bourque said: … adding his poor performance has nothing to do with any injury. “It’s a lot of things. Hopefully it’s a wakeup call and I get back to playing my game and helping produce a little bit.”

      I really don’t know what else Rene has to say until people realize he never wanted to come to Montreal and he would very much like out. Good to know he’s physically ok though.

  13. derfab says:

    Torts vs. Burke.

    Hothead that doesn’t respect talent meets the goonball whose greatest accomplishment as a player was injuring Bobby Orr (?!).

    Kinda like Torts antics but, if you love hockey, show them both the door please.

  14. krob1000 says:

    VS PITTS & DET….two fast skilled teams who like to play a possession game….
    ..this is what I would like to see along with the D adjustments . Play 6 top skaters in PK/Markov, Emelin-Diaz, Gorges-Beaulieu (out Murray and Bouillon)….maybe you insert Murray but no way is it a BOuillon and Murray set of games.

    DD-MAx-Gally, Pleks-Moen-Gio(Pitts is a matchup nightmare), Eller-Bournival-Bourque(RW), Briere(C)-Prust-LEblanc(RW)

    • Phil C says:

      I like your D suggestion.

      Briere-Prust-Leblanc is not a very useful line. They are not going to score a lot, nor are they a checking. It’s the worst of both worlds. Not to mention Moen is an offensive speedbrake to the Plekanec line.

      • krob1000 says:

        IF and when Crosby and Malkin are put together after a pk or late in the game PLeks would be with GIo and Moen anyway ( I would match Pleks vs Corsby all night with Moen and free Eller up to have him go against Malkin with his size).. Briere-Prust and Leblanc IMO is a decent line….they would be the 4th line and a huge upgrade from the 4ths we have been dressing who have zero chance to score…nor zero chance to defend..

        • Phil C says:

          Eller vs Malkin makes a lot of sense, Pittsburgh is one of the few teams where you have to consider two checking lines. The recent 4th lines have been bad, that’s for sure.

  15. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Bourque, Briére and Bournival. What are the odds that that line will become the Killer B’s? Or … the bums?

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

  16. CJ says:

    So Eugene Melnyk and Bryan Murray are at the NHL headquarters today to present the CSI findings Melnyk sought to obtain last year following Karlsson’s injury at the hands, or more appropriately skate, of Matt Cooke. Is this guy crazy?

    He spends less then 27 other teams in the league based on the results of the Tampa Bay Rays (as per interviews here in Ottawa) but sinks huge money into this review. Thank your stars this guy doesn’t own the Canadiens, not that he could afford it anyway.

    • CJ says:

      Maybe Melnyk and Murray need to focus a little more on the on ice product and less about an issue that happened last year. The forensic review won’t prove anything, beyond a reasonable doubt.

      The Sens fans I have spoken with today are absolutely livid, on top of being embarrassed.

  17. ClutchNGrab says:

    Bob Hartley, classless. Calgary was the home team, so he decided to put the forth line to start the game, not Tortorella. Tortorella would never… oh wait

    Edit: Torts had the last change in both cases, this post is not a good one…

    Edit II: Not a line brawl, but Torts started his forth line:

  18. HabinBurlington says:

    I see no mention of White in the above report, isn’t he supposed to be close to returning?

  19. doug19 says:

    With an abundance of defenseman I would like to see one play at forward position preferably a big body( that narrows it down).
    It worked for Scotty why not for MT? I recall Rick Chartraw doing that successfully. Do any others come to mind? Beaulieau has speed lets try it! PK is already playing better forward than some on the team and should stay where he is.
    Why has it taken so long to get Emelin to his proper position on left defense? To me this should have been a priority with his coming back from serious injury.
    I can not wait to see Galchenyuk back. I think this break will really help him be even better.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Not sure about the defenseman playing forward thing but playing on the wrong side has become a problem. I’ve seen many clearing attempts fail because a Habs defenseman in on the wrong side, on his backhand, and he puts into someone skate along the wall or at the blue line.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        I’m pretty sure that should be “defencemen” even if smell check underlines it . 🙂

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

      • Coach K says:

        Hobie…Not sure what side they play on matters so much as who plays together. For example, even a 1st year coach should have enough sense not to play Markov and Emellin together. ACL repairs take a couple of years to heal completely to the point where a brace is no longer required and probably another year to the point where the player has complete confidence in the repaired joint. I’m betting that both of them are wearing one at their respective surgeon’s insistence to prevent hyper extension and further, irreparable damage. If so, then that is probably what is causing their problems with mobility and an inability to pivot effectively. Each of them should be paired with a more mobile skater who can compensate for their lack thereof. Putting them together is a recipe for failure. Both for them and the team.
        Then again, I’m no Dr. Recchi…so I could be wrong 😉

        —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Oh for sure, I agree. I think the handedness is only one of the many problems on the Habs D.

          I’ve just noticed a lot of plays where the defender is on his backhand, under pressure and isn’t able to get as much power or accuracy on his clearing attempt as a result. The puck stays in and the opposing team gets a few more chances.

          Happened to Subban on Saturday night actually.

  20. Phil C says:

    Looks like Bourque on the right, Emelin on the left, Briere at centre. I like those adjustments. If that’s how they line up against Pittsburgh, it will be very interesting to watch. I think Emelin is more physical on the left, Briere’s talents are more suited to centre, and Bourque had most of his success on the right. Hopefully it works out and they give it more than a shift or two.

  21. CJ says:

    Call me crazy, but I think Bourque, Briere and Bournival could work. Matched up against opponent’s third lines, I think this could be a favourable match up for Montreal.

    Maybe I’m being naive, but I’d love to see them break out this week, and honestly think they will.

  22. shiram says:

    Oil makes an official statement on their state of sucktitude.

  23. Plekasuares says:

    Don’t change equipment Carey! Remember the last time!

    • mksness says:

      they practice with it for like 2 weeks anyways. his pads are pretty much game ready. it’s just the glove that might need a bit of working in

    • scotland says:

      glad he is breaking in new pads for sochi a month ahead of time. last year he put on a brand new pair for a game against leafs (without breaking them in) let in 3 goals on 4 shots.

      i would not blame carey if he is more pumped for the olympic games than he is canadiens games these days.

      off top of my head i would say that 25 teams would take the habs out in a play off series. the other 4 would be a coin toss.

      • CJ says:

        Without looking, who do you think has a better record over their previous 10 games, Montreal or Boston?

        • shiram says:

          They got one less points than the Habs did in the last 10 games.

          • CJ says:

            Correct. My only point is that we assume Montreal is the only team struggling. Look at Toronto. If we could have won that game, and honestly it was there for the taking, we would have been 8 points ahead with a game in hand. We blew a big chance to burry a divisional rival, but we will have another crack. We need to pick up two wins this week. Sorry for the cliches, but it’s one game at a time.

            This is a huge month. Go habs!

  24. Maksimir says:

    I got this feeling the Habs are going to go on a 3 game winning streak and by this time next week all will be forgiven and forgotten .. until the next 3 game losing streak.

  25. HabinBurlington says:

    Oilers Owner writes letters to fans basically asking them to be patient and believe that Kevin Lowe has a fricking clue how to run a hockey team.|EDM|home

    No mention of getting money back by returning bought jerseys to the home rinks ice during games.

    • Cal says:

      Nice “Sorry we suck arse” letter to what’s left of the fan base.
      It’s only 4 years since they drafted Taylor Hall. But they haven’t made the playoffs for 8 years. He preaches “stay the course.” What? Another 8 years of futility because people still pay money to watch those bums?

      • Habfan17 says:

        How about Gorges, Diaz, DD, Ellis and LeBlanc for Hall and a 3rd round pick!


        • Cal says:

          No team will take Habs trash, 17.
          They have the internet and everything to check players out with now, so there is nothing you can hide.
          Teams generally trade problems for problems, like Cammy for Bourque +. The only silver lining in that trade is Fucale.

          • CJ says:

            That pretty much sums it up. Well said.

          • D Mex says:

            Fucale, and salary relief.

            ALWAYS Habs –
            D Mex

          • Habfan17 says:

            It was meant tongue in cheek, but I would not call those Habs players trash, they just don’t fit here. DD on a third line with a deep team at centre, Gorges on a 3rd pairing, same with Diaz, I just think that Pateryn and Nygren would be better on the right size and the Habs also have Thrower, Dietz, Sullivan and Didier that are right handed d-men. Ellis is a prospect, as is LeBlanc, possibly in time a solid 3rd line player. On the left Gorges is expendable as Tinordi and Beaulieu are pressing and then there is Emelin and Markov. Drewiskie will add depth along with Murray and Boullion.

            I would not call them trash!

    • shiram says:

      On this after being the first team to reach a goal differential of minus 50.
      “Keep buying jerseys and tickets, we might get it right eventually!”

  26. Reefer64 says:

    Ah gotcha! Thanks

  27. Reefer64 says:

    I thought Beaulieu was sent to Hamilton after the Leafs game?

  28. Strummer says:

    Speaking of line combinations, here’s a trio that simply didn’t work out

    Edit- so perhaps moving forward Habs players could negotiate seperation agreements from THEIR linemates
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  29. habstrinifan says:

    Ok! I have nothing to do today (except find a car in a hurry), I have come up with new standard remarks for use in all situations…

    Instead of calling someone like Timo a Troll or hater you can say

    “He’d bitch if you hung him with a new rope.”

    Instead of putting down a suggestion with “yeah and where did you coach” you could say…
    “You’re so stupid, you couldn’t find your arse with both hands.”

    When Therrien benches Subban to ‘better him” you could say..
    “That’ll go over like a pregnant pole vaulter.”

    When someone is being, well how can I put it, ‘Bourquish’ on the ice, you could say…
    “He”s as useful as a tit on a boar hog.”

    When Chis Lee makes a bad call you could say,
    “That made my nuts draw up so tight you couldn’t reach them with knittin’ needles.”

    … more to come …or NOT!

  30. Maritime Ronn says:

    With Pittsburgh and Detroit on the menu, that has ‘potential’ to work (for 2 games)

    Playing Emelin on his proper side ‘could’ show some much better results.
    That will definitely help his skating and most importantly, his pivoting ability with a knee that surely is not 100%.
    The ‘look’ of the game is also different from the proper side.
    While Diaz is one of the softest Dmen in the NHL, if he could find some confidence, his puck handling could even that out.

    Subban and Markov will play about 55 minutes of the total 120 minutes of Dman time in a game – PP included.
    The other 4 need to hold the fort for the other 65 minutes – PKill included.

    …would still enjoy seeing a Beaulieu-Subban pairing – not for 1 game, yet at least 10-15 and really, right through the rest of the season.

    If the Leafs can give 19 year old Morgan Rielly almost 18 minutes a game playing with another young guy in Jake Gardiner and live with his mistakes, why can’t the Habs do so?

    Is a Cup winning coach in Randy Carlyle – and former Norris Trophy winner as a player, all that off the mark?

    • Maksimir says:

      I agree with the Beaulieu pairing – so many other team are putting their blue chip prospects with solid vets – why won’t the Habs?

    • rljmartin says:

      Regarding Rielly comparison, same old nonsense. Not ready, needs more time in Hamilton, etc…. the list goes on. Every club in the league brings up young guns and let´s them play….not Mtl…. too conservative…. too traditional…. too old-school.

    • JUST ME says:

      Agree that Emelin needs all the help he can get to get his mojo back.Beaulieu played with Murray in practice today. Not a very good match up cause Beaulieu tends to go deep and forget his position and Murray is not the slickests d-man to say the least. Beaulieu now has 7 NHL games under his belt so a final decision should be made soon about his place. I say in Hamilton but why was he called back up again if not because someone is injured ?

  31. shiram says:

    If anyone needs a break from discussing Therrien, the New-York Times has an interesting piece on injuries in the NHL.

  32. Mattyleg says:

    The Gazonk should be payrolling me!!

    Can I get a “click-generator” from y’all????

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  33. shiram says:

    Therrien has not done much to improve the Habs.

    You keep hearing about how he took a last place team and put them back to respectability.
    The year the Habs tanked was an aberration, and it was not a true representation of the overall team quality.
    Now and last season, Habs are ranked in the top of the East, and that too is not completely an accurate rating.

    Habs are not a top team yet, I’m sure we would all agree on this.
    And after a hot start they are regressing, much like they were doing last season at around the same time.
    So Therrien has managed to keep the team stable, at best.

    I’d say Waite had has more of an impact on this team’s result with the improved play of Price and Budaj.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Thank you!

    • mksness says:

      The waite love is incredible. But here’s a good question for you you. what has helped prices game more, waite or MT getting the shot blocking message out? i’ll give therrien a bit of credit on this one because although they might be horrible at getting the puck out of the zone they are very good at blocking it before it gets to the nets.

      • shiram says:

        Ok, but then why is the team allowing so many shots?
        Combine the blocked shots and the shots that made it to the net and we are one of the teams with the most shots on!

        Focus should be more on preventing shots than just trying to get in the way of the shot, and maybe denying vision to the goalie.

        • mksness says:

          lol the problem is once they block the shots they can’t get the puck out of the zone. apart from subban and markov, it’s rim it around of boards/glass and out. so unfortunately after the shot is blocked there might be 2 or 3 more shot opportunities.

          Prices game wasn’t really lost or anything either. the biggest difference i have noticed is that he is on top of his crease a bunch more helping cut down angles. when you challenge shots more, the shots will do the following, miss the mark because there is nothing to shoot at, easy save, or the shot won’t even be taken.

        • mksness says:

          i’m with you on preventing shots or atleast allowing shots from far and from the sides. which i think for the most part the habs do. so many times people get hung up on box scores and save percentage but nothing indicates the amount of difficult shots or saves.

          our defence needs big upgrade. not physical enough and not fast enough. emelin, josh, cube and murray speed more time being turned around by speed than most in this league. it’s pretty much why toronto scored 3 goals all of the back door tip in variety.

      • Cal says:

        Price is staying up longer under Waite’s coaching than that “automatic butterfly” he would resort to on all occasions. Staying on his feet that split-second longer gives him time to adjust better instead watching pucks go sailing by.
        This has nothing to do with how the D is playing.

        • mksness says:

          if 10-12 of those 32 shots blocked per game make it to the net. you’re looking at about 1 more goal per game.(statistically speaking). after which you’re calling for price to wake up. do not mistake that the shot blocking plays a huge role on this team and in the goalies numbers, once again from a box score stats perspective.

          • scotland says:

            shot blocking leaders are always the teams that spend most of the time in their own zone. shot block leaders also tend to be leaders in failing to clear puck out of own zone when given the chance. also tend to lead league in goals where they screened their own goalie, and deflecting puck past own goalie. – Ray Ferraro

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        The stats show that the habs have given up more shots per game this year vs. last year.
        29.9 this year and 26.9 last year.

        We’ll never really know about Waite’s influence, yet it is hard to argue that it is not positive after schooling/counselling 2 different goalies to perform incredibly during a Cup win.

  34. DipsyDoodler says:

    On the last thread two of the the links (I think one was the Toronto Star and the other the Gazoo) both referred to Saturday’s game as a “statement game”.

    Anyone know what this sports cliché actually means?

    How is a mid-January game between two non-contenders a “statement”?

    Unless the “statement” was one of these Samuel Beckett-like meditations on the futility of everything. Minus the laughs.

    • Cal says:

      It just means the NHL sent out their statements early, instead of at the end of the month.
      Laffs media turns every victory over the Habs into their Stanley Cup, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

    • Mattyleg says:

      The term derives from “bank statements”.
      It comes along every once and a while, you can’t ever remember when, and tells you how poor you are.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  35. joeybarrie says:

    Interesting how Boucher got fired last season, and Tampa are doing very well without him.
    Yet Boucher will obviously do a much better job than Therrien, mostly because it didnt work out with Therrien the first time, and of course he got fired in Pittsburgh….


    • Habfan17 says:

      IMO the jury is still out with Boucher! I liked his credentials and that he seemed to do very well with the prospects in Hamilton. Not sure if he is a better coach than Therrien. Just not sure Therrien is the best coach for the Habs!


    • Habfan10912 says:

      The million dollar question on which Marc Bergevin may have HIS job security tied.

    • mksness says:

      Just a side note. Ben bishop has been ridiculous this year in nets. I’m not a fan of bishop but there is no denying his stats; he’s a huge reason for the turn around.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Very true, he appears to be a real stud. Hard to believe two teams moved him. Especially curious/strange that the first team to move him (St. Louis) is rumoured now to be looking for a goalie. Amazing what they had in their own backyard. Just as Price may be making MT look good, Bishop indeed is helping make the Tampa coach look good.

        Excellent point you make.

        • mksness says:

          i don’t think st louis needs a goalie. i’ve ben watching a lot of their games this year and their biggest problem is staying out of the box. they give up a ton of powerplays. both halak and elliot have a gaa of about 2.3 and 1.95. i don’t think they should give up anything for better goaltending unless they can upgrade for cheap. you also have to remember that the west is stacked with top team talent. i would say they have other areas of where a trade could be more beneficial.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Rumour continues they want Miller out of Buffalo. Halak and Hitch had a bit of a confrontation last year, and while they are saying the right things, I am not sure Hitch is really over it.

            They are a stacked team, will be interesting to watch what they do or don’t do by trade deadline.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        The guy is freaking huge. I saw him Thursday night and a few times it looked like he was laboring (groin?). He stayed in and looked OK though but your right. He makes up for a lot of the Bolts mistakes. Sounds familar, eh?

        • mksness says:

          his should is at the cross bar when he’s in his butterfly position. he’s freakin 6’7”. his problem in the past was playing small for his frame and he was very weak 5hole. once again he’s a big part of it but they also got rid of a cancer in vinny and the team is much more defence this year and it also help that hedman before he got hurt was on a real tear offensively and a stud defensively/

    • aroma says:

      The reason I believe that Boucher would be a better fit is because the Habs are a youngish team that figures to get younger. Working with young players as many of you already know is one of Boucher’s strengths. And I suspect just about any other coach would work better with PK than the incumbent…

  36. Habfan10912 says:

    Afternoon all. I’m fortunate enough to be taking Chrisadiens and my oldest Grandson to the game on Saturday. We’re planning on coming into town Friday afternoon and meeting up with our friends L Ellie and Bripro while we’re here.

    As luck would have it, Ian will also be in town this weekend and is bringing HIS oldest son with him. After the game Saturday night some of us will be going to Hurley’s after the game (2nd floor). If any locals are interested it would be great to see everyone.


  37. 24 Cups says:

    It appears that all three major Hab websites have now taken the stance that the main thing wrong with the Habs is Therrien. Let’s say Boucher did become coach this week – just for discussion sake. Here is what he will be inheriting.

    Playing lights out – Price, Subban, Markov and Pleks.

    Solid but not exceptional – MaxPac, Gallagher and DD.

    Middle of the road – Bournival, Diaz, Moen and Badaj

    Playing below expectations – Eller, Prust, Bourque, Briere, Gionta, Emelin and Gorges.

    Placeholders – Bouillon, Murray, Parros

    Injured – Galchenyuk (solid) and White (fringe player)
    Hamilton – for this year it’s a maybe for Beaulieu or Leblanc, the rest are outside possibilities for 2014-15 with the huge majority not being legit NHL candidates.

    So realistically, once the honeymoon period ends, Boucher would have to get more out of those two middle groups which total 11 players, just under half the team. He also would be having two players from his top list returning from the Olympics who might be burnt out. That would be balanced out a bit by the energetic return of Galchenyuk.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I searched the one website and found no mention of them wanting Therrien gone. 🙂 However, that site is usually slow to report these stories and normally make a big deal out of the change after the fact and try sound all official about it.

    • Eddie says:

      I think the “playing below expectations group” would certainly play better.

      But hey what do I know? We won’t know until we give it a try.

      I never wanted Therrien from the outset.

      I have no respect for the man. None.

    • JUST ME says:

      What are the three major Habs web sites ? I am so scared of your answer…

    • JF says:

      Steve – Great post. You tell it like it is. As someone else pointed out below, the team is a .500 team barring the 9-0-1 streak. The players you list as lights out have excelled all season; the others have all been up and down. There is nothing at all to suggest that Guy Boucher would be any better than Therrien at getting them to play consistently well.

      I defend Therrien because his record since taking over is very good and because I think one of the key ingredients of success for the team is organizational stability. There has been a carousel of coaching changes since the beginning of the Gainey years, with each new coach enjoying, as you suggest, a brief honeymoon period, before becoming mired in basically the same problems.

      Therrien is getting a lot, although on an inconsistent basis, out of a roster with serious flaws and only medium talent (on average). Does that mean I think he’ll take the Habs to the Cup? I simply don’t know, but we’re nowhere near there yet.

  38. CHicoHab says:

    Coach needs to take blame for things he does. Benches PK for taking a penalty. Oh yeah. That’s going to light a fire cracker under PK. Moronic move. Your best player needs to be on the ice. Team leading point getter. Norris Trophy. Junior gold medal. And just named to represent Canada at Olympics the same time he got benched.

    • Mattyleg says:

      He won the Norris under Therrien, and got picked for Sochi under Therrien.

      I’m not saying that he’s the only reason behind Subban’s success, but it can be argued that with a worse coach, neither of those things would have come to PK.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • CHicoHab says:

        He needs treat a star player like a star player. Not a thorn in the teams side. As for what PK would be like with another coach we will never know so cant speculate.

        “take your time and hurry up”

      • Eddie says:

        Under Jacques Martin, Subban was outstanding.

        Under Boucher in Hamilton, Subban was outstanding.

        Under George Burnett, Subban was outstanding.

        Seeing a pattern develop here?

        Subban can be given 100 different coaches, the results will always be the same.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Here’s the pattern bud. PK IS outstanding!

        • Mattyleg says:

          Just like Plecky!

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Eddie says:

            What does Pekanec have to do with this? Yes. Plekanec is te type of player who would perform consistently well no matter the coach.

            A lesser coach would NOT detract from the performance and the accomplishments of an athlete like Subban (or Plekanec)

            So your statement that one could argue that under a lesser coach Subban would not earned the Norris or Team Canada is flawed, incorrect.

          • Mattyleg says:

            The difference is that only one of those coaches was at the NHL level.
            My comment on Plekanec only refers to his NHL coaches.

            Sorry I didn’t clarify that.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

  39. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    My guess is Eller is holding down that wing until Chucky returns, at which point Eller will be in Briere’s spot.

    That’s the plan for today anyway, but they’ll probably change ’em for tomorrow.

  40. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Finally Marky and Subban back together

  41. Mattyleg says:

    We are all aware, of course, that if Therrien didn’t juggle his lines, and just left them the way they are, people would be complaining just as loudly, right?

    He did that earlier this season, and there was much screeching and offended dignity that he wasn’t changing lines that ‘clearly aren’t working’, as any idiot could tell (or so they claimed)!

    …so don’t get worked up by his line-changing, gang, because it don’t matter, you’ll hate the opposite just as much.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Cal says:

      I really don’t care how many times he changes the lines. All coaches try to go with the players that are going well that particular game save for the star players.
      For me, the issue is the BORING STYLE of hockey the Habs are playing. That is what is rather unforgivable. If the Habs lose the game, but play a brand of hockey that’s more in keeping with the 70s Habs at least we can say it was fun and interesting. The style MT has them playing would be fine for a team of grinders, which the Habs aren’t.

    • Habfan17 says:

      So, change the lines that aren’t working and leave the ones that are, alone!


      • Mattyleg says:

        Hmm, that might be hard to do!
        If 2 lines are working and 2 aren’t, and you aren’t going to change the 2 that are, then that doesn’t leave you with a lot of player movement options.
        I guess you could just keep calling players up from Hamilton to sub into those lines until they work, but that could prove costly. And illegal.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Habfan17 says:

          It certainly does limit the possibilities. There is no perfect solution. Breaking up what is working, seems counter productive. I would have been okay with it if he had tried working different combinations from the lines that did not work first! The if he ran out of options, break up one of the lines that did not work, but not the kid line. It is easier for Veterans to adjust. He should have let the kids go in my opinion.


    • punkster says:

      Not really Matty. It’s the unrealistic insistence on wedging his favorites into the lineup at all costs that irks me.

      I’m not fooled by the recent uptick in DDs points when I watch him float on the back check. We all know I’m a delusional, rainbows and unicorns fan but I’m not delusional enough to think Max, a real NHL talent, couldn’t do just as well if not better with a solid two way centre. I’m not delusional enough to believe Briere will ever “bring it”. I’m not delusional enough to believe Murray and Cube bring anything to the D. I’m not delusional enough to buy in to MT’s continued merry go round of line combos as an answer to success.

      Juggle the combos, sure, but match the partners FFS.

      Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Hi Matty. I always find your defense of Therrien admirable. Its not surprising coming from such an admirable gentleman like yourself. Here’s my thoughts. Therrien didn’t do himself any favors with his work on RDS especially with some of his words concerning PK. In my case, PK is the brightest star on this team and easily the teams most exciting player. Therrien gave an honest opinion of how he felt about PK before he was the coach. I understand that but I thought a lot less of him because of it. Burned some bridges on his way to town IMO.

      There been a lot of debate on here from some of HIO’s finest about Therriens system that may be contributing to the teams seemingly lack of inspiration on many nights. That’s a fair discussion for fans to have.

      There’s also been a lot of talk about Therrien’s switching up of lines which you note above. At the very least it appears that half way through this season the coach is still trying to figure out who best fits with who. I find this a little troubling. Could be more on this group of players then Therrien but still worthy of discussion.

      My biggest criticism of Therrien has been his use of Galchenyuk. Galchenyuk is the future of this teams forward corp. He should be playing with the teams best players and given ALL the best opportunity to succeed. Look at all the top picks in recent drafts and see how their coaches played then out of the box.

      The other night he plays the new kid 2 shifts and Parros 3 minutes. We’re often playing games with a significant manpower disadvantage. That’s on him.

      I think the conversation around him is great. In the end it doesn’t matter as Bergevin is the only one whose opinion matters. I wonder what he thought when his recent call up was given 2 shifts?

      • Mattyleg says:

        Heh heh.
        Flattery undeserved, Jim!

        I agree that Therrien has made mistakes, and talking as he did on RDS was not the cleverest, but in that situation he was being paid to be outspoken, while in his position as a coach, he’s being paid to get the best out of his players, and it can’t be denied that he’s got the best out of Subban; he’s our leading scorer, won the Norris, and is on the Olympic team! It’s not all up to him, for sure, but it was on his watch.

        I defend Therrien because I see too many people on here piling on and trying to outdo each other with negative hyperbole, and self-perpetuating complaining based on personal gripes. That bugs me a bit, and I play devil’s advocate.

        If they fired Therrien tomorrow, I wouldn’t care. Just like Martin. I was behind JM when he was coach, and gave him the benefit of the doubt as much as I could, although by the end I was getting pretty fed up.

        The only coach I was really disappointed to see go was Carbo, because I thought he got a bit of a crap deal.

        I agree that good conversation around Therrien is great, but there’s a lot of schoolyard b!tching that irks me.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I have it on good authority that the only reason the Habs haven’t fired MT yet is because they are waiting for you Matty to change your mind. Apparantly once they see you posting things like “Axe Therrien” (Not the body spray) the team will then make the change.

      So it’s your move bud! 😉

  42. punkster says:

    I’m going to assume that MT will continue to blenderize the lines and D pairings to another glorious defeat. Maybe practicing Diaz and Emelin together, with Emelin on his proper side is an indication of MT waking up? No, he’ll press box Diaz and ice Murray with Emelin on the wrong side again.

    And I’d be willing to wager that the PK/Markov pairing won’t last through the first period.

    Oh and he’ll continue to misuse Eller. Don’t let that Eller, Pleks, Gio practice line fool you. He’ll have Eller back between a couple of nobodies by the middle of the second period.

    A little music theme for MT:


  43. habsguru says:

    i think they need to look at what went right against CHI, PIT, BOS, and find a way to bring that into games against TOR, FLO, etc. you can’t be lucky enough to shut down 87 and 71, one night, then Toews and Kane another. why do the CH consistantly suck against mid to low level teams? MT looks brilliant some nights, and like a Timbits coach others.

  44. GL says:

    Blame the Coach all you want. If I’m right. I believe we are 26th in the league 5 on 5 scoring. wouldn’t that be a reason for having a hard time winning games especially against the good offensive teams. It won’t go well against Pittsburgh who sits at 15th 5 on 5 in their game up-coming. We need more scoring from individuals that’s our problem and until it changes we will remain an average team. Bottom line don’t think cup. its not happening. Playoffs Maybe.

    • Habilis says:

      You don’t think that our lack of 5 on 5 scoring has something to do with our overall style of play? It’s the coach who decides that.

      • CJ says:

        You are correct. Unfortunately, when we open up like we did the
        last two games and play more wide open, we also give up a ton of chances. We scored 5 and 3 goals respectively, but surrendered 4 and 5. It’s a double edged sword. The personnel dictate the style of play.

        • Habilis says:

          Agreed. But Therrien’s deference for falling back into “dump and chase” is not the optimal style of play for this team. It’s merely a way to minimize risk.

          As you pointed out, a wide open style opens us up at both ends. But if we played that same style night in and night out, we’d probably get better at minimizing the defensive holes over time. That’s how Chicago wins games and IMO, it’s a pretty good blueprint for our personnel.

  45. CHicoHab says:

    SteverenO——I guess he doesn’t. Well said.

  46. SteverenO says:

    Does Therrien know that the line of 67/51/11, while producing 13 goals has been on for 11 ES goals against in 276 of even strength play? a combined Plus/Minus of + 2 as a line?

    The line of 67/51/17 in only 29 minutes of even strength are a combined plus/minus of + 1.

    Does he know that the famous “shut down” line of 32/14/21 have played together for 80 minutes and have allowed two goals while scoring just one? (plus/minus -1)

    Does he know that the much maligned Bourque has played together with Plekanec and Gionta for 88 even strength minutes and the combo of 17/14/21 have also scored only one goal but have allowed zero?
    (plus/minus = +1)

    Does he know that the line of 48/14/21 have also allowed only one ES goal in 101 minutes of playing together as a line? The difference is that during those 101 minutes the line has contributed 8 goals and has a team leading (plus/minus) of + 7?

    What exactly was that point of playing Eller with Plek and Gionta when briere has fit in so well on that line?

    Therrien should be in the circus….the constant line juggling with no rhyme or reason has become embarrassing and is a blatant indication that he is desperately grasping at straws while no longer having any idea as to what he is doing or why.

    I would love to hear reporter question MT as to what his reasoning was for playing Eller (and not Briere) with plek and Gionta. Could Eller not have played center with Bournival and Prust instead of Briere?

    The curtain has been lifted and the coach has been exposed as a circus act juggler. It seems that he is now juggling strictly for the sake of juggling. Every now and then the juggling produces an effective line such as 48/14/21 but the juggler does not recognize it, preferring to toss the balls back up in the air calculating that “randomness” is preferable to analytics.

    As a life long fan of the team, the fact that the organization spends so little time money and attention in analyzing player performance is extremely disappointing.

    For a tiny fraction of what they team is paying the clown to juggle lines they could employ someone with basic analytical skills to create lines that optimize the players strengths and weaknesses and actually measure and leverage the elusive “chemistry” that is so often talked about but can never happen until the juggling stops.


    Steve O.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Cudos to you! I applaud your post!


    • DipsyDoodler says:

      How do you know he doesn’t know these things? It took you what 6 seconds to google them?

    • mrhabby says:

      How do u know the team spends very little time analyzing player performances. Again you have no suggestions to make.

    • habsguru says:

      67 won’t backcheck
      51 can’t play D zone coverage
      11 is usually still in the other team’s net when play returns the D zone

    • Habilis says:


      Great post. And no, Therrien probably has no idea about any of that, because that would require actual preparation. He just goes with his gut.

      Whether it’s chicken wings or line combos, he uses the same system. Scary.

    • habsguru says:

      but could the analyst make them “better people”

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I guess MT & MB just aced their interviews….they have no clue about actual hockey.

      I’m a little surprised more posters from this site are not on the Habs staff, seeing as how they know everything and all.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Some poster on EOTP actually said the Habs should hire Berkshire.

        Berkshire, to his credit, replied that he was just a blogger with a lot of spare time , and no real expertise or knowledge on how to run a professional sports team.

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    A rant from Pittsburgh Tribune writer, some interesting points, in particular I agree with his view on Bettman and the fact Bettman won’t discipline the Flames, with Burke in charge there.

  48. montreal ace says:

    2006-07 MT coached the Pens to the 4th largest turnabout season in NHL history, 47 points, but he know nothing of coaching according to some.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Yeah, and then he was turfed because he couldn’t win when it counted. He also didn’t know how to use his players.

      The success masked the fact that he didn’t have what it takes to really get the most out of the players talents and get to the next level.

      Jacques Martin is another one. Had great regular season success with Ottawa. His press conferences were always the same. We are learning and getting better. Why is it then that Tampa, coming into the league at the same time, was able to figure it out sooner and win the cup?

      Not to mention that Ottawa was better in every statistical category after Martin was fired! The same thing repeated itself in Florida.
      He never won anything in Montreal either with that “put everyone to sleep” system of his.

      I would rather the Habs play 500 and be exciting to watch than what they are now! a snore fest!


      • Mattyleg says:

        Tampa was able to win the cup because they had an AMAZING coach called John Torto…oh.

        Wonder how his meeting’s going…

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Habfan17 says:

          That is what they say about Martin, he is a great coach!

          Torts may want to tone it down before he gives himself a heart attack!

          It is fun sparing with you!

          My point is, just because a coach can coach a system which wins games, it does not mean he is a great coach and is getting the most out of his team. That is my issue with Therrien. He could use more horses on the back end, but the syetem he employed last season better suited the players. The part that didn’t work was the defensive formation in their own end. So tweak that, and keep the aggressive fore check. He does not seem to be able to see these things and or adjust. His only solution seems to be to shuffle lines.

          I am tired of watching cycling in the corners and the Habs chasing their tails in their own end!


      • montreal ace says:

        Habfan I am not saying MT is perfect, what I will say is he is not a bad coach. Blysma took over from MT and led the Pens to a Cup, I would not bet the house that he changed the system MT installed very much.

        • Habfan17 says:

          I hear you, but he did make changes that Therrien would not make or was incapable of making, or he would not have been fired, and Blysma would not have won!


          • ClutchNGrab says:

            Bylsma coached 25 games before Pittsburgh started their playoffs, what significant changes have you seen in their play after the firing?

            I’m sorry, I get a little worked up when people talk about Bylsma. That 24/7 where he looked like he was the second coming of Toe Blake while portraying Bruce Boudreau as a buffon made it for me.

      • ClutchNGrab says:

        What I remember from that last MT season in Pittsburgh is that an injury to Sergei Gonchar sidelined him most of the season. MT was fired just when Gonchar was coming back.

        • Mattyleg says:

          (this is like the quiet kid in the back of the class who is the only one to say the right answer, but because all the other kids are yelling and making noise, only one other kid hears it and is amazed!)

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      2000 draft: Brooks Orpik
      2002 draft: Ryan Whitney-Max Talbot
      2003 draft: MA Fleury 1st overall
      2004 draft: Malkin-Goligoski
      *2005 draft: Crosby-Letang
      2006 draft: Jordan Staal

    • SteverenO says:


      Why are you so certain that MT had much to do with the turnaround?

      At first glance the team he inherited had only 4 defencemen that played more than 60 games , the “turnaround year had 7 defensemen playing more than 70 games.

      the 05 /06 penguins used 24 forwards during the “bad” season only 3 played more than 70 games, the 06/07 penguins under Therrien used 19 forwards and 8 of them played more than 70 games.

      Could injuries have had anything to do with it?

      Or maybe adding Malkin (81 points) and losing Leclair (51 points and a minus 24) had something to do with it?


      Why does everyone think that the win loss record is a good indication of how well a coach is doing?

      A bad coach will win more than he losses if he has the “best ” talent.
      A good coach will lose more than he wins if he has inferior talent.

      The only way to evaluate a coach is by measuring his decisions, does he make the “right ” choices as to who plays on the special teams and does he properly distribute ice time to the players that are deserving?

      Doe she give his team the best chance to win on most nights?
      Do his players understand their roles and are they “suited” for them?

      Judging a coach by his team’s W-L record is, in my opinion, fool hardy.


      Steve O.

  49. jo_maka says:

    We all know these lines won’t stick through the game. Who’s the first to be juggled around ? Dibs on Larry.
    Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

  50. CHicoHab says:

    What coach sits a healthy player to bring up a farm recruit to play 1:45?? A minor penalty is longer than that.

    • Habfan17 says:

      If I were MB I would have been furious with Therrien, What a waste of a call up and use of cap space


      • Mattyleg says:

        He wasn’t replacing Bourque.
        It seems that is difficult for people to understand.
        Was Bourque playing on the 4th line when he was scratched?

        Natty was replacing the player who moved up from the 4th line to replace Bourque.

        But please, use any excuse to complain about the coach, regardless of how tenuous or nonexistent.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Habfan17 says:

          In either case, it is still a waste. Let the kid get over his nerves and have a decent chance. Who he was replacing is irrelevant. The fact that he was not given a chance after having called him up is bad on the coach! You may not like people complaining with the simple ” I hate the coach” You can’t close your eyes to the facts. I have my opinion and you have yours.

          I have been watching the NHL and have coached at many levels and I have never seen a coach make as many line changes as Therrien does. Game in, game out, shift to shift.

          If he bothered to stop trying to recreat the wheel, which by the way, would get him fired from a job in the real world and lean on the many resources at his disposal, the hours upon hours aof game tape, he would know that Eller did not play well on the wing. he would also know that with Briere on the left, Pleks and Gionta had the best line numbers as pointed out in another post.

          There is enough evidence to prove that if not for Price and shot blocking, the Habs would be out of the playoffs and the success that some place at Therriens feet, is in spite of him, not because of him.


    • montreal ace says:

      I question why Joonas did not get more shifts, somebody should ask him.

    • habsguru says:

      unless the other team scores!

    • SteverenO says:

      reposted from previous thread:

      I didn’t notice anything “terrible” watching the game live on Saturday, but just to be certain I rewatched the first half of the first periods of the Leafs game , specifically Natinnen’s two shifts.

      On both shifts he was centering a line with Moen and Parros on the wings. Both started with faceoffs, that were won by the Leafs.

      The first shift was mostly uneventful, however Joonas did not look out of place, and in fact handled the puck briefly and efficiently.

      The second shift was pretty much a disaster, (it was the shift when PK chased a leaf player all over the zone), and the Leafs were buzzing in our zone and had a great scoring chance but did not score.

      On both his shifts Nattinen was the best of the three forwards, as Parros and Moen were basically bystanders.

      Both Parros and Moen went on to play a few more shifts , but Joonas was nailed to the bench for the rest of the game.

      In my opinion, Natinnen was not the player that should have been called up, but regardless, once called and dressed he deserved to play a regular (4th line shift) and if the coaching staff was not willing to give him an opportunity to play, they should not have dressed him.

      This nonsense about “sending Bourque a message” is just that, nonsense. The message would have resonated just as clearly, perhaps even more so, had BOurque been dressed and sat on the bench the entire game, perhaps playing one or two shifts.

      An even better way to send a player a message is to call him and talk to him.

      As bad as Bourque has been playing, (he has been totally ineffective offensively with the team averaging one goal every 48 minutes when Bourque is on the ice at even strength). The only forward close to that inept is Parros who has been on for one goal in 52 minutes.

      He has NOT been hurting the team very much because he has played fairly well defensively, with only one goal scored against the Habs every 34 minutes while Bourque has been on the ice. Compare to Moen one GA every 32 minutes, White; one GA every 19 minutes, Galchenyuk: one GA every 22 minutes, or Parros, one GA every 8 minutes.

      In plus/minus terms, Bourque is only a minus 4 compared to Prust (minus 3) and Galchenyuk (minus 7). I have not heard anyone claiming that Prust or Galchenyuk should be scratched from the lineup.

      My point is that despite his lack of offensive production, Bourque can still fill a role on this team, a defensive role, perhaps on a line with Moen and Prust, or Moen and White. Either of those lines could play a regular shift and allow the team to “roll 4 lines” and give the other lines a chance to acquaint themselves with each other because there would no longer be need to “juggle” 4th line players in to the mix trying to make sure they get a few minutes of ice time despite the coach not trusting the line as a whole to play 3 or 4 shifts a period.


      Steve O.

  51. habs001 says:

    It is way too early to decide what type of player Bournival will be…He needs a lot more experience…His early scoring success made expectations on him unrealistic…He pretty well maximized his chances in his early scoring success…

  52. DickandDanny says:

    What, no trade announcement today? I guess I’ll check back again tomorrow, and the day after that, and so on until I find something on these pages worth reading. Until then we can juggle the lines 50 ways from Sunday and the outcome will always be the same: too small, no offensive upside, a coach who is too defensively minded, and a team that relies far too heavily on it’s goalie, defense, and power play. MT is a carbon copy of JM. I see no difference from where we were 3 years ago to now.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • Cal says:

      Chucky, Gally, Bournival.

      Other than that, not much, excepting plug-ins like Bourque, Diaz, Bouillon and Murray.

    • JUST ME says:

      Then why do you bother coming here to read and write ? I am sure that if the Habs dare trade a paper clip against a post-it it will be all over the news !

    • jo_maka says:

      Not quite: MT is a drill sergeant that was given a battalion; the Count was a dietitian performing brain surgery on a child with a wrench.

      Sometimes, they stumble on a sound approach. More often than not both are lost, but the entertainment value is very different.
      Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

  53. habs001 says:

    While there is weakness at the forward level i still believe if the Habs D had better players that could help the forwards 5 on 5 the scoring would be better…Gorges,Murray,Cube,Diaz provide very little help 5 on 5 ….plus they tire the forwards out with their constant struggles at getting the puck out of their zone…I am suprised that Emelin had made the Russian team as he seems lost when facing fast skilled forwards …and he will see plenty of them in Russia…

    • krob1000 says:

      I disagree…I think Emelin is smply not as effective when playig the right side…I am thinking this is why the Diaz-Emelin pairing…see how he reacts playing his natural side again…is it him or hte position they have put him in?

  54. CHicoHab says:

    Therrien didn’t work out first time in Montreal. Then he didn’t work out in Pittsburgh. So the logical thing to do was hire him here again??? Not sure who else we could have hired. But no reason to bring him back when his last 2 stints not successful.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Therrien has only one move, shuffle lines, that is it! He should be shuffled off to Vegas and become a card shuffler!

      Oh yes, he is a baseball on ice coach, I nearly forgot!! Maybe he could start a pro league!


    • Habsrule1 says:

      He led a very young pens team to the Cup Final, then the next year, he gets canned on his way to getting there again.

      I’m not a huge fan of his, but would Mike Babcock have this Habs team ahead of the penguins? How many more points would we have if he was coach? My guess is not many. In time, Bergevin will have to do his job by getting the coach better players to work with.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  55. frontenac1 says:

    Diaz withTu-74? What’s the point? Will he stop rushing his passes to avoid contact? Will he start hitting the net with his laser like shots? Will he make Emelin play with more mojo? Yikes!

    • krob1000 says:

      I think the point is to see if Emelin is better on his natural side. I would like to see him paired with PK. He is adept enough moving the puck if with someone like PK…not necessarily enough to carry a pairing as far as puck moving goes…but god enought o compliment an offensive guy IMO.

  56. Habfan17 says:

    I think I have found some lines that Therrien hasn’t tried, but may like to!

    Gallagher, Briere, Gionta
    Prust, Pleks, Parros
    Moen, DD, Bourque
    Bournival, Eller, White

    If anyone takes me seriously, then move to the back of the bus…lol


  57. mrhabby says:

    Thats a scary line Bork , 48 and Bournival..wowowowowowowow.

  58. Mattyleg says:

    I find it a bit frustrating that any conversation these days gets hijacked by the “I Really Hate Therrien” Gang, and is used to further illustrate the extent to which they hate Therrien, have always hated him, how they were against hiring him from the beginning, and how he will send this team back to the Stone Age while personally driving its best players to the edge of town and dumping them.

    I don’t think Therrien is perfect, but c’mon…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Luke says:

      So, you are saying that Therrien should be fired so we can get back to our regular conversations?

    • mdp2011 says:

      Agree Matty. Although I am not a huge fan of Therrien and I hated the hiring as much as the next guy, he has done a good job with this team considering where it was 2 years ago. He is not perfect and still drives me nuts with some of things he does and says, but the fact of the matter is that this team still sits 3rd in their division, 4th in the conference. Also, posters bringing out articles from 2008 to try to prove their point is really low and has no bearing on the current situation.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      What do you mean by hijacked?
      People can have different opinions.
      If they don’t match yours, it has nothing to do with hijack – it’s just that they are different.

      The Habs have some very nice talent on the squad and Therrien should live with the motto ‘Do No Harm” but his strong arm tactics with Subban – his messing up lines to give his pet center everything to the detriment of the team is flat out wrong…and hopefully deep down you know that.

      • D Mex says:

        In other words, ” hopefully deep down ” his opinion matches yours, but ” people can have different opinions “, right ?

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

      • Mattyleg says:

        I don’t have any problem with differing opinions, Ron, you know that.

        I mean ‘hijacked’ in the sense that certain posters (and I’m not taking a shot at you) use every conversation to attack Therrien rather than discuss other aspects of the questions being raised.

        The only thing I know, deep down, shallowly, superficially and intrinsically is that I love the Habs, I put my faith in the entire team and its management (although it is still open to criticism and analysis) and banging on and on about the same thing is boring.

        I don’t see Therrien the same way as you do, which is fine, but you don’t need to complain about him in every post, do you?

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • JUST ME says:

      I just do not understand why those guys keep on coming back to read and write HIO. Therrien is not going anywhere soon and do not bet surprized if he signs a new deal in the off season since it is bad omen to coach within the last year of your deal.

      I find the analysis based on his past so cheap as if anyone does not deserve a second start at his job. He is damned when he tries things and damned when he does not so anything to change things.

      I am not willing to say he has a clean slate but the real problem is on the ice. I recognize that fact and also must add that it is too early to judge anyone since the changes in this team are not completed yet.

  59. careysubban3176 says:

    Ok MT, leave these guys alone for just ONE GAME! please

    Stop blaming the goaltender! He can only do so much.

  60. Maritime Ronn says:

    Before having a look at this, think about what the Habs look like on the bench and their body language – their play on the ice – the picking on star players in the media – the goofball line juggling gamein and game out….and proof that history will repeat itself shortly.

    Summer 2008
    from Greg Wyshynski Puck Daddy:

    There is a brewing problem between Penguins coach Michel Therrien and some of his players — a number of them despise playing for him.

    No one will choose the Stanley Cup final as a forum to call out their coach but there are far too many whispers out there that too many players can’t stand working for — or with– Therrien.

    If that isn’t an issue to be dealt with immediately, it is certainly something that will grow with time.
    Brooks Orpik, the free agent defenceman who will be coveted by many teams after July 1, has told people he will not re-sign in Pittsburgh if Therrien is the coach.
    Jordan Staal is another Therrien complainer.

    Add to that the belief that part-owner Mario Lemieux hasn’t been impressed with Therrien’s work in the playoffs and that’s another problem for GM Ray Shero.
    Mon Feb 16 2009

    PITTSBURGH – Michel Therrien, his team fading in the Eastern Conference playoff race, was fired as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ coach last night.

    Therrien relied on a system in which every player, no matter his skill level offensively, was required to play tight defence, and there were rumblings in the dressing room the players were no longer buying into the coach’s disciplinarian ways.

    General manager Ray Shero decided to fire Therrien after a 6-2 loss in Toronto on Saturday in which the Penguins led 2-1 going into the third period.

    “I didn’t like … the direction the team was headed,” Shero said. “I’ve watched for a number of weeks and, at the end of the day, the direction is not what I wanted to have here. I wasn’t comfortable, and that’s why the change was made.”

    Asked how much the Maple Leafs’ comeback entered into the decision, Shero said: “It wasn’t so much the outcome, it was how the game was played.”

    “You hear that in pro sports, that the team may have tuned the coach out, or the coach may have lost the team, but I’m not sure if you can pinpoint that,” Shero said. “As the general manager of the team, I’m very close from watching, it’s just a feeling — the timing is right.”

    • Mattyleg says:

      …but do you like Therrien, Ronn?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • careysubban3176 says:

      The difference between Habs and Pens management is the Pens don’t follow that Bilingual coach bull crap. The Pens didn’t have to worry about letting MT go and replacing him with one who speaks French.

      Stop blaming the goaltender! He can only do so much.

      • Mattyleg says:

        What Anglo coach was available who would have been better?

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • D Mex says:

        The Pens also didn’t have to consider the bilingual ” bull crap ” when they hired MT. Nor did Colorado (Roy), Calgary (Hartley), the Rangers (Vigneault) …

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

        • careysubban3176 says:

          You don’t get it. Those teams choose to hire those guys. The Habs HAVE to hire those coaches. If Babcock was available the Habs couldn’t hire him unless he speaks French. The habs have to limit themselves while the rest of teams don’t

          Stop blaming the goaltender! He can only do so much.

          • D Mex says:

            Actually, you don’t get it : You’ve stated the Habs are reluctant to fire bilingual coaches because they are bilingual. Jacques Martin, Guy Carbonneau, and a long list of others that includes Michel Therrien might disagree.

            Your post also conveys the notion that the Habs have no choice but to hire bilingual coaches, who are somehow deficient, or inferior. If so, then it’s fairly clear the Habs aren’t the only franchise backed into this imaginary corner, because the very same thing occurs across the NHL – and elsewhere.

            Could it be that maybe – just maybe – these guys know a bit about the game ?

            ALWAYS Habs –
            D Mex

    • ClutchNGrab says:

      The current Oilers roster would benefit from a coach like Therrien 2008.

      I don’t particularly like him, but looking at what players, that were not doing so well before his hire, have to say about him doesn’t mean much.

      I’ve heard a lot of ex players saying how Scottie Bowman was … unpleasant.

  61. rhino514 says:

    Will Therrien have his lines set by game 82, you think?
    Some players can play with anyone, but many players need to get to know their linemates tendencies in order to mesh well. It´s little wonder so many forwards are underperforming this season.

    I do like the fact he is giving Emelin a chance to play on the left side, which should help his confidence.
    Let´s live and die with that second pairing until they get a solid Dman, which has to be soon.

  62. Rob says:

    D pairings are getting close! This would be preferable considering the current players available IMO
    Emelin- Diaz
    Bealieu- Gorges

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

  63. Eller-Plekanec-Gionta

    Dear Coach, When Galchenyuk comes back, move him to Line one, and then never break them up.

    Your welcome!

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member

  64. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Eleventhish! Go Habs!

  65. homerbowen says:

    After watching Chicago and Boston yesterday it is obvious (to me) we are “light years” behind the cream of the NHL.
    To start we need to replace the coach, he looks lost behind the bench (scratching his head) (poor line combinations). Then MB needs to focus on replacing almost all of the small and/or soft players. I see this taking 4 to 7 years at best.

  66. habs-fan-84 says:

    Keep PK and Markov together, please!

    • CJ says:

      Agreed! Failing this, I wouldn’t mind seeing PK and Beaulieu together if we fall behind and need to create some offence. Might as well give the kid a fair shake. Tough to prove yourself alongside Bouilion.

  67. chanchilla says:

    it’s not like it even matters what the lines are at practice, they never stay that way during the game, there’s no chance for any players to build chemistry less gio-pleks patched-dd

  68. Timo says:

    Boy, I sure hope Bourque has learned his lesson. If he doesn’t stop floating around Habs will replace him with another 2 minutes per game player.

  69. Old Bald Bird says:

    Seems like we’re still re-arranging the deck chairs on that famous ship.

    • shiram says:

      They can’t generate much scoring, so they switch players around.
      When that does not work, a quick trip to the press box, and then they try it again.
      At one point though, you have to realize that all the shuffling is of not much use, it’s not the players position that is a problem, but the players themselves.

  70. Strummer says:


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

  71. CJ says:

    Just a question, but why are the lines from practice always reported differently? The gazette reports one set, while other media outlets reports something else. Just curious.

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