Commentary: Brendan Gallagher might just be the Canadiens’ best player


After losing their fourth straight game Thursday night in Detroit, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien decided to give his players the day off on Friday, cancelling a scheduled practice in Brossard.

Not surprisingly, that decision upset some Canadiens fans who thought a bag skate was more in order than a day off for the players following a 3-2 loss to the Red Wings, in which the Habs blew a third-period lead for the second straight night after losing 3-2 to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday at the Bell Centre.

Tweeted one fan about the day off: “Is that so they can go find their missing jam?”

“Jam” is one of Therrien’s favourite words to describe what he wants his players to bring to the rink.

Rest is a weapon during an 82-game National Hockey League season, so a day off as the Canadiens get set to play their third game in four nights Saturday at the Bell Centre against the Ottawa Senators was the right call by Therrien and I’m sure the players appreciated it.

Maybe they’ll find their jam.

For any team to win in any pro sport it needs its best players to be the best. That’s even more true when a team is dealing with injuries, and it hasn’t been happening with the Canadiens.

And I’m starting to wonder if Brendan Gallagher might just be the Canadiens’ best player.

The Canadiens went 5-2-2 when goalie Carey Price was sidelined for the first time this season with a lower-body injury. The Habs proved they could win without their star goalie.

But since Gallagher fractured two fingers on his left hand blocking a shot during a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders on Nov. 22, the Canadiens have gone 3-4-1 without him. During their current four-game losing streak, the Canadiens have scored a total of seven goals and have gone 0-for-12 on the power play.

Daniel Carr looked like he was trying to fill Gallagher’s skates against the Red Wings by crashing into the blue paint, but the kid was playing in only his third NHL game. Carr already has a goal and an assist, but there’s only so much you can expect from a raw rookie who was never selected at the NHL draft.

Meanwhile, captain Max Pacioretty hasn’t scored a goal in four games and has only two in his last eight. He’s also minus-7 in his last six games after being among the league leaders in that statistic earlier in the season. You have to wonder if the serious off-season leg injury Pacioretty suffered might be slowing him down.

Tomas Plekanec has gone 14 games without scoring a goal.

David Desharnais hasn’t scored in the last eight games and has only one assist during that time.

Alex Galchenyuk has gone five games without a goal and is minus-3 in the last two games after being promoted to No. 1 centre beside Pacioretty on left wing.

Dale Weise — who was living up to his old “Dutch Gretzky” nickname earlier in the season — has now gone 10 games without a goal and remains stuck at nine for the season, one below his career high.

P.K. Subban has gone 21 games without scoring a goal, but he does have 20 assists and is a team-leading plus-11 while logging a ton of ice time. Still, for $9 million a season the Canadiens are expecting Subban to put a few more pucks in the net.

Sven Andrighetto scored against Detroit — his fourth goal in nine games since being called up from the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps — but was surprisingly limited to 8:45 of ice time by Therrien. The only Hab with less ice time was Charles Hudon, who logged 8:14 while making his NHL debut and picked up an assist on Andrighetto’s goal.

Pacioretty and Plekanec were on a roll when they were on the No. 1 line with Gallagher on the right side early in the season. But they’ve done little since Gallagher was hurt.

Gallagher seemed to be the one player Therrien could put on any line that was struggling and the 5-foot-9, 184-pounder would give that line a spark.

Now with Gallagher out of the lineup, Therrien has been looking for someone else to provide that spark. He hasn’t had much luck.

Maybe Gallagher really is the best player on the Canadiens.

He’s the one carrying the “jam”.

(Photo by John Mahoney/Montreal Gazette)

• Pacioretty-Galchenyuk pairing fails, by Pat Hickey

• ‘If we knew what the problem is, we could solve it’: Pacioretty, by Pat Hickey

• TSN’s Ray Ferraro a proud Hockey Dad, by Stu Cowan


  1. 24 Cups says:

    It will be interesting to watch Erik Karlsson tonight. Right now, you would have to think that the Norris trophy race is between Karlsson and John Klingberg. Lower down the list you would find Dmen such as Burns, Josi, Faulk and Weber.

    Karlsson is a different kind of defenseman. He is the prototype for the new era Dman who is a fast skater and puck mover. At times, Karlsson is like a rover.

    He presently sits at #6 in the NHL scoring race. He is on pace for +90 point season. In fact, his PPG average since entering the league is 0.79. He leads the Senators in scoring at the 1/3 mark of the season and has done so for the past three years. That’s pretty impressive no matter which team you cheer for in the NHL.

    Karlsson is only one of twelve defensemen to have won the Norris trophy twice. He is only one of three to have won it twice before the age of 25. Right now, the odds are 50/50 that he could win his third.

    Karlsson may not be that great in his own end or on the Ottawa PK. However, there isn’t much doubt that he is an elite Dman. Forwards such as Ryan, Stone and Hoffman are all in the top 25 scoring race. I’m not sure they would be there if Karlsson wasn’t playing on the Ottawa defense.


  2. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I would like to see MT stick to the line structure he had when they started the season and just make replacements for the injured/departed players. I would like to see:
    Max-Pleks-Hudon (temp replacement for Gally)
    Eller-Chucky-Ghetto (permanent replacement for Semin)
    Flynn-Byron-Carr (temps for Mitchell-DSP)
    If things are not going well in a game then mixing up the lines is fine but the base line-up should stay like this IMO.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Hudon has never played right wing so that might be putting him in a precarious position.

      It’s going to be at least another dozen games before Price and Gallagher return. The team is probably gong to bumble and stumble through that stretch of games. The only silver lining is that Montreal will at least get an extended look at rookies such as Condon, Ghetto, Carr and Hudon. They have all had to overcome adversity in their careers but they also seem to have great determination, drive and character.


      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        I don’t know but Hudon looked pretty good coming down the right side in Detroit. Byron has done his best but I would like someone with more offense. Hudon is responsible defensively too so I thought he might be good to try.

        The sad thing though is that everything depends upon Price’s health. I hope MB is looking into getting a serious Plan B for him because I don’t have confidence in Condon or Tokarski if Price goes out for good.

  3. Ian Cobb says:

    With Price out, it has exposed how poorly the team plays in our end to Bergevin. Not only is Price a great goal tender, but he is our best defense man. He gets to the puck first and makes the 1st pass starting out of our end or he simply kills the play by not giving up rebounds.
    With Gallagher and Mitchel out, it exposes our lack of puck possession time in the other end. We are simply not getting to the net. The team is just playing on the outside and behind their goal line. Not going to get many goals that way.

  4. habs_54321 says:

    Just noticed eric cole is listed as a free agent still. Is this accurate or has he signed overseas or retired? I thought he did a decent job with detroit down the stretch last year,

  5. Cal says:

    Time for another Christmas Carol.
    Bad King Bettmanlas.

  6. VintageFan says:

    Maybe, just maybe, some coaching actions other than firing up the line blender would be helpful.

  7. Mavid says:

    3/10 and yet again I feel like a hockey dummy..then I see 252, the highest percentage scored the same now I don’t feel so bad..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  8. 100HABS says:

    For those of you who haven’t seen the Habs “Let it go”, it worth the laugh:

    Emelin clearly did not want to be there, so the Habs must have been forced to do it. Weise made a try… Fleichsman got right into it and was not too bad. Subban obviously the most extravert. DSP wasn’t bad… Most guys just spoke their lines, Eller also tried to sing.

    • Mavid says:

      It was so funny, and yea you could tell Emelin was like “why the F@@# do I have to do this..” my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter loved it…’play it again gama, play it again” but then she is obsessed with Frozen..
      Even non Habs fans got a kick out of it..and what can you say about Subban..what a ham…LOL

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  9. JohnBellyful says:


    Which question would you prefer for This Date in Habs History quiz for Dec. 13?

    1.) In 1942, this Hockey Hall of Fame player and multiple Cup-winning coach scored his third career hat trick and added an assist in Canadiens’ 7-3 win over the Rangers.

    2.) In 1964 Jean Beliveau recorded his a.) 750th b.) 800th c.) 850th regular season point, an assist, in his d.) 680th e.) 710th f.) 725th game.

    3.) In 1971, the Canadiens traded a.) Bill Mosienko b.) Phil Roberto c.) Bill Derlago to the St. Louis Blues for d.) Jimmy Connors e.) Jimmy Swaggart f.) Jimmy Roberts.

    For results see next thread

  10. thehockeyphilosopher says:

    Anyone notice the mighty Rangers imploding against the lowly Oilers last night? 7-5! That’s 7 goals! Wonder how their fans are taking it? That’s 7 against their starting line up (injury free). So it’s possible that good, even great teams lose, eh? Maybe the Habs are going through a rough patch, but when the injury bug is over and players start coming back, this team will be right there bringing it’s best for playoffs. Screw the 82 game season – it’s too long, too many meaningless games, where injuries, boredom and fatigue set in. Nothing is wrong with Pacioretty by the way – he’s recovering from a broken leg for crap sake and Christmas is coming, so he’s got family on the mind (he seems like a dad who actually is right invested in his son). I’d love to see him score more in up coming games, but I’m not gonna sweat this December blues – happens every year.

    • J_P says:

      Well said! Not only did the Rangers get dinged for a 7-spot last night by the oilers while icing their A-team, but the Rangers have also lost 4 of their last 5.

      It’s a long season folks. There’s going to be ups and downs for any team. Habs are going to be just fine.

    • Hobie says:

      Agreed 100%. All we have to look for is that when the Habs get healthy is that they regain their mojo, which they most likely will. Getting angry at line combos now or after a Habs loss is just silly. The Habs are missing one of their top forwards, the best goalie in the world and two important role players.

      The regular season is such a bore when all we really want to see is the Habs make it in to the 2nd, 3rd and especially the final round of the playoffs.

      As much as I love it, for the good of the players I now do stand behind taking fighting out. However, removing the animosity and intensity it creates can make a already dull regular season seem that much more boring.

      Claude Julien said it best the other day before the Habs/Bruins game. With the attempt to lesson fighting the fans in Montreal and Boston are just going to have to live with a quieter and more peaceful rivalry between the Habs and Bruins for now on.

      Well that kinda sucks. Unfortunately, it does have to be done.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I don’t know why the removal of fighting would lessen players’ intensity, in driving to the net, setting up/removing a screen, digging for the puck in the corner, delivering an open ice hit, outracing a defender, dishing a pass while being manhandled, striving to win, etc.
        Nor do I think the absence of fighting reduces the animosity between fierce rivals. There’s been no love lost between the Bruins and Canadiens in their historic playoff battles, which could hardly be characterized as peaceful affairs.
        What they’ve lacked are fights.
        And yet the games have still managed to be exciting.

        • Hobie says:

          To each is own my friend. When the game is ultra important, as in the playoffs, every shot, every shift and every play is magnified. So it’s quite exciting. There is so much on the line.

          Personally, and I believe many feel the same way, I feel that when guys like Milan Lucic or Shawn Thornton were terrorizing the Habs it added a bit more storyline to an otherwise unimportant regular season affair. It made you hate the Bruins that much more.

          When Brandon Prust took on Lucic a couple times the excitement that brought was unbelievable. And as ugly as it was, when Zedno Chara beat on Alex Emelin after Emelin crushed various Bruins people went bananas over it.

          The phone lines on the radio shows light up, people are screaming at their televisions and talking about it at work the next day.

          There is zero questioning that when you take away huge hits and fights from the game that the buzz in an arena is greatly reduced.

          And yes there is much less fighting in the playoffs. However, I do seem to remember an exciting fight or two in almost all the recent Habs playoffs series.

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Who said anything about taking huge hits out of the game?
            In fact, you could argue the absurd notion that players who deliver huge hits must then defend themselves in a fight as reason enough for their choosing not to make a hit in the first place.
            I don’t dispute that fights generate excitement but there are lots of things in life that arouse the emotions for the worst of reasons. Some would call it rabble rousing. (Inflaming the fans? Fanning the flames?)
            In many instances it’s a cheap and lazy way to excite spectators when playing the game to the highest level is too onerous a task for teams to execute.
            Yes, my emotions run high when a fight breaks out and I cheer for one of the combatants to be the victor. But I would happily forgo that guilty thrill and replace it with others brought upon by a display of talent and effort expended for all the right reasons.

  11. zephyr says:

    dlr looked good last nite for stj. not a lot of guys did in what was a sloppy game. bournival hustled & it was good to see him back. mac did ok & played with bournival & Holloway but there was no chemistry. stj only dressed 11 fwds. looks like they might be juggling lines too. anyway, it was only 1 game.
    not sure I want to watch 2nite’s game. I’ve seen enough choking for a while now.

  12. rhino514 says:

    DSP being a huge loss forn the habs? Sure, he´s playing better this year, but come on people. He has still not proven he´s anything more than a fourth line player. Even Mitchell´s loss is heavier on the team than DSP.

    • marvin20 says:

      Has Montreal won a game with DSP out of the line up?…NOPE But DSP is certainly no Sekac !!! It would not madder what DSP does or how hard he works some people bias is to strong to give him any credit.

      • Hobie says:

        I think we’re all guilty of taking a liking to a player and then make every excuse in the book when he doesn’t pan out. Some will even go as far as trashing the player that he was dealt for or blame the coach for not using him properly. That seemed to be the situation with guys like Sekac and Semin.

        Semin looked absolutely terrible but people just couldn’t let go of the idea that the Habs pulled a fast one over all the other teams and stole him for a million bucks or whatever. Sekec looked OK on occasion but was really nothing special. Again, some fans were so wrapped up with the idea that we found a diamond in the rough and just couldn’t let it go.

        So then the blame game started with the coach, the line mates and a slew of other ridiculous acquisitions.

        DSP has been a quality player this year on both sides of the puck and adds more to the Habs than either Semin or Sekac could. He is missed right now. Is he a star, absolutely not, but he’s a quality player. Unlike the other two.

        • B says:

          I think it works both ways, whether one likes or dislikes a player, it can be difficult to alter one’s initial perspective. That’s why the “eye test” tends to inherently reflect a bias (both overtly and subconciously).

          –Go Habs Go!–

  13. Un Canadien errant says:

    Notes on the IceCaps 3-1 loss to the Rochester Americans.

    –Lots of callups in Montréal (Andrighetto, Thomas, Carr, Hudon), so as the RDS boys point out, lots of offence, lots of goal scoring missing from the IceCaps’ roster.

    –The positive is the return to action of Michaël Bournival for his first game since last spring, and of Jacob de la Rose after a few weeks due to a lower body injury.

    –Right off the bat, the Amerks get two minor penalties in quick succession, but the IceCaps can’t convert the opportunity. For a long while, the powerplay is static, keeping the puck on the periphery. Parent-club disease?

    –Are the refs working hard to even up the chances? Now the IceCaps are in danger, with two minors taken on two successive shifts by Michael McCarron. Best scoring chance on the second penalty was actually by Jacob de la Rose on a shorthanded breakaway.

    –Patrick Kaleta up to his old tricks, desperately trying to get back to the NHL, picks a fight with Josiah Didier. I was hoping that he’d bitten off more than he could chew, since Josiah is a huge beast. There was a picture of him at the golf course a few summers back and he’s massive, more than is conveyed by just his height and weight measurements.

    When he was drafted, Josiah was described as being really big and strong and mobile, but his stats didn’t really bear that out, not the way that a Stéphane Morin or a Jamie Oleksiak is big. and especially when you compared him to Colin Sullivan, who was drafted a couple rounds later. Why was Mr. Sullivan described mostly as a great skater when he’s only listed as being 5-10 pounds lighter at most? Well, seeing Josiah in street clothes explained why, he’s all chest and shoulders and traps.

    It’s kind of like at the World Cup of Hockey in 1996, during training camp, getting to see the players up close. Based on listings in yearbooks, and seeing them on TV, I got the sense that Scott Niedermayer and Scott Stevens were kind of the same size, roughly, with the former being a little more mobile and the latter playing a little tougher. But again, seeing them in person, you realize how ten pounds on paper, if that number is to be believed, can make a tremendous difference in person. Scott Niedermayer was all lean and angular, and Scott Stevens was just a tree trunk, as movable as a fire hydrant.

    –So yeah, I rubbed my hands in glee, hoping that Josiah would consume the former Sabre rat, but it was a clear decision for the bad guy. Josiah took some jersey shoves/jabs early to instigate the fight, and once the gloves came off, Patrick Kaleta landed all the punches, a lot of them. Luckily they were all to the helmet, he had Josiah all off balance and all turned around the whole way. You could hear the sound of his knuckles hitting plastic the whole time, over the hushed crowd.

    Some college players get to the pros and can fight naturally, I remember Kent Carlson was a sensation in the early eighties when he came to camp and wiped the floor with a few tough guys on other teams. George Parros, John Scott, there’s a long list of them who never fought in the NCAA, but picked up the trade and built a career in the pros.

    So that’s another facet Josiah needs to polish up in the AHL, if he wants a shot at the NHL.

    –Lots of big and strong Canadiens weren’t great fighters. Craig Ludwig, Mark Hunter, Gilbert Delorme, we had great hope that they’d be purveyors of Justice, but they struggled in that area.

    I remember one game against the Nordiques when Gilbert Delorme finally got his hands on Dale Hunter and got him to drop the gloves, I was ready for The Rapture. That slimemold knew that his days were numbered with the ‘style’ of hockey he played and all the dirty deeds he did, so he was famous for holding on to his stick and slashing and crosschecking at anyone who tried to get him to fight. But now we had him. Gilbert was going rebalance the Universe. The Archangel Gabriel was readying to blow his horn.

    Crushingly, Dale Hunter kind of clutched and grabbed and jabbed and uppercutted a couple and mucked and wrestled and basically won the fight, although I’ll never admit it and fight you if you ever dare bring this up again in my presence, the nerve of you. There’s no way that disgusting little shrimp won the fight.

    Later, we read in the papers how, after practice the next day, Chris Nilan took Gilbert Delorme aside and gave him some pointers, kind of like Brandon Prust did with Gally and Chucky and P.K., but with more urgency. This was a national crisis. We’d spent a first round pick on Gilbert, and he’d come with reports that he didn’t fight much in the LHJMQ, he was just too strong, no one wanted to take him on. Now he’s not able to take care, finally and forever, of Dale Hunter, when given the chance? Fire Ronald Caron!

    –Seeing the Amerks roster in action, and looking at their scoring totals so far, a lot of my Sabres anxiety is quelled. Sure, they picked up a lot of prospects recently in the draft, who all had great writeups and bios, but a few of them got traded away, a few more are not setting the AHL afire. We may survive this yet.

    –Impressed with the play of Jacob de la Rose. Last season in Montréal, despite all the praise he got for his defensive play, I was left wanting more. Tonight, he seems like one of the best IceCaps, showing real leadership. His #20 seems to be everywhere on the ice, having an effect on the game, aside from scoring the first goal of the game.

    –The balance righted somewhat in the second period. Rochester, outshot 22 to 4 in the first, turned the table and outshot St. John’s 15-11. 1-1 after 2 periods.

    –Have to admit, I snoozed during the third period. The telecast format is a little hard to enjoy, with Michel Lacroix and Norman Flynn a little hard on the ears, even though they try their best calling the game off a feed from a remote studio, instead of being there and being able to see the ice and play develop.

    And let’s talk about this feed. Some really rough camera work, panning ahead or behind the play, zooming in at the wrong moment and making you miss the action. Replays that just show the original shot in slow-mo. The image, while better than the first couple of times RDS broadcast a game, is still far from the crystal clear picture we’re used to these HD days.

    –So I woke up when they announced the winning goal by Rochester. Too bad, I thought we were headed to overtime there, that the IceCaps would continue their regulation undefeated streak at home.

    Woe. But I didn’t rewind to see what I’d missed, I’d had enough. I watched to the end, and saw the empty-net goal to seal it.

    –Promising return to action by Michaël Bournival, didn’t detect any hesitation or skittishness, he played with speed and energy, was dangerous on offence.

    Dean Spanos, partnering with the Raiders, robbing me of my team.

    • Know et al says:

      Forgot the IceCaps were on RDS (and I live in Newfoundland)! Good to hear Bournival and DLR looked good. Lots of talent missing, but lots left there too.

    • B says:

      Didier is not a fighter or a guy who goes looking for big hits. He uses his size more to help him try to positionally control the puck. He is considered a smart defensive Dman whose skating was adequate for NCAA but a question mark moving forward as a pro. He is a way’s down on the Habs’ depth charts and many expected him to be in the ECHL in this his first full pro season.

      FWIW, it was Didier’s 2nd pro fight and something like the 63rd for Kaleta. Kaleta’s last 2 fights were wins over Senators Borowiecki and 6’5″ 228 lb Cowan. The guy’s a dirty POS but he knows how to fight, Didier not so much.

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Agree on all that. I was happy that Josiah got retained this summer, but the hesitation, and the fact that he got an AHL-ECHL contract instead of an NHL Entry Level Contract is a good indication that he has a long road to travel to ever make it to the bigs. I thought with the glut of righties on the blue line he’d be in Brampton at least to start the year, but the injuries have helped his cause.

        Following his stats after his draft, and seeing a couple of college games on TV, I could tell he’s not a superbly skilled player, but the talking heads talked about his leadership and how much he’s loved by the coaches and teammates. His last season, during a game, they talked about how he was on the first wave of the penalty kill and even saw some second-wave PP time, his puck confidence having grown to that level.

        I hoped that his great size and dependability might translate better to the pro game, he might have a nasty side, his strength might come in handy with permissive reffing standards. But last night’s game showed he might not have that natural affinity for that aspect of pro hockey.

        Plus, the sport seems to be trending away from that anyway. When he was picked, we needed talent, but also size and antibruining, but since then, it’s tilting towards puck control and puck movers, which is how we have Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn on the bench, who we’d have loved to have in 2011 during the playoffs.

  14. The Jackal says:

    Just for some persective:

    -The Canes are still red hot and gave the Ducks a spanking. Skinner looking to have regained his 30 goal form.

    -Rags allowed 7 goals against the Oilers

    -Wings blew a lead to NJ to lose in OT

    -The Pens still can’t buy a goal

    So… in the bigger picture, the Habs are just fine. Two of their best players are injured, ya know. No reason to panic or get down on this team. They’ve just not been getting the bounces. It happens.

    Keep calm and Carey on.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • The Gumper says:

      About time somebody made some sense around here Jackal. Well said.
      It’s an 82 game schedule and teams are going to have their ups and downs, every team. Couple that with a few key injuries and, there you have it. It’s not like we”re getting blown out either. We have been in every game through this difficult period.
      Many of the kids are getting some much needed NHL ice time and this current stretch in particular, will separate the men from the boys. A bit of adversity never killed anyone and I’m willing to bet that our Club will ultimately emerge all the better for it.

      There are three kinds of people in this world. Those that can count, and those who can’t.

  15. bwoar says:

    Not liking this losing streak, or the indifferent play of the veterans in it. But, Tokarski’s play has been a bright spot, and Carr, Andrighetto and now Hudon haven’t been goats. That’s a nice positive in the temporary mess. DSP will have to keep up the hard work as guys are pushing. Mitchell, well, no worries for him he’s in asap.

    I don’t think we’ll see Big Mac, with these other guys having paid some dues already. He’s tagged as “in development” for the year. Certainly Holloway’s a one-and-done given their play as well.

    But, I sure would like to see if Tinordi could play a credible game in the NHL sometime before January. I haven’t cared much for Gilbert, and Pateryn, well, just took himself out of the lineup IMO. Would it be so bad for a game here and there for the big guy?

    • fastfreddy says:

      Good points bwoar, I agree especially about Tinnordi.

      CH = Les Glorieux!!!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Charles Hudon said at training camp that last season, Marc Bergevin told him not to worry about getting called up, that it wasn’t going to happen, so he should just focus on his game and his team. And Charles said that helped him, he wasn’t hoping for anything or expecting anything except to work hard and try to help the Bulldogs win.

      I wonder if Mike McCarron and Nikita Scherbak got the same message?

    • Habfan17 says:

      You may be right about Holloway, but I don’t think so. I think one and done is harsh for a player who was stuck on the 4th line and is not that type of player and he had very little ice time. Put him with Galchenyuk and Eller and see how he does. Then if he does not do well, I may agree with you. Even with Fleishman and DD.


  16. edm_habsfan says:

    Yup, they need the rest to make Anderson look good tomorrow.

    (I really hope I’m wrong about that)

    go Habs 🙁

  17. chilli says:

    I’m glad that you are a proud knucklehead.
    That’s great for you.
    I’ve also been a Habs fan for a very long time. But I have understood that the Habs dynasty was a different era. The sport is different now.
    Any team can beat any team on any given night.
    So when the Habs lose 4 (and we outplayed 3 of the teams) and people come here saying PK should be traded, the coach sucks, the GM sucks…all I learn is that those fans aren’t being realistic and are not true fans of the team.
    And that’s fine – you are entitled to not like this team, but then you can’t then be a part of the chorus of applause during our 9 game win streak. It’s the same team! We have injuries.

    If you don’t like the team overall, I’m cool with that.
    It’s just the “hate” after a loss and the “love” after a win that bothers me. It’s the same team.

    They will win some or lose some. I don’t “like” Eller one night and “hate” him the next. I like him and glad he is on the team.

    Our goalies are Condon and Tokarski – do you expect to win every night because you once had Dryden and Roy?

    • Reznor says:

      Right on. I have to say that the interesting comments are harder to find after a few losses. It’s not that I dislike the team being criticized, it’s seems to be much less facts and a lot more emotions.

    • Pong says:

      Absolutely have to agree. Not a great time for them and for us.
      There is criticism right now, but at least the team isn’t doing 100% garbage. Kudos to the AHLers for stepping up.

      Such wonder… not.

  18. on2ndthought says:

    I hope you all have seen this from Sulemaan ( I forget his user name )

    “a cannonading drive”

  19. on2ndthought says:

    Our gang of course misses BG, a never back down inspiration. They also miss CP, a never crack consolation. They are still playing good hockey, and you learn more from losing than from winning.

    “a cannonading drive”

  20. fastfreddy says:

    My french is not very good, listening to Antichambre, did not make out what they were saying about Habs. Anybody else with better french than me get it? Much appreciated.

    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

  21. B says:

    Audette had a goal and 3 assists in a 8-2 thumping of the Drakkar.
    Bourque picked up an assist in a 3-2 SO loss to Cape Breton
    McNiven gave up 6 goals on 33 shots in a 6-1 loss to Kitchener.
    Addison didn’t play vs Erie tonight

    –Go Habs Go!–

  22. cdhc says:

    Was fortunate to be at the Joe last night. Random thoughts from an infrequent poster:
    Fleishmann was a monster all night. He and Desharnais brought the ‘jam’ big time all night. Not a lot of attention paid to Flash but he’s been such a revelation.
    No question Gallagher is sorely missed. The poster who also noted the loss of DSP who is a different person/player this year to the tune of 180 and of course the ‘straw that stirs all things Habs’ the best player in the world, CP. Difficult stretch missing key ingredients. Lots of things went wrong on the winning goal at the Joe last night. Pateryn gets Savardian spinnerama’d and many assignments missed to creat a d-zone 2-0 at a crucial juncture and an unfortunate penalty to the sensational PK who looked devastated in the box, and the game that looked in the bag slipped away. The Habs were skating the wings into the ice and very much looked the part of the powerhouse they were until 7 games ago. Against Boston they also were cruising along until late. Frustrating stretch sure….this is still a fun, fast skilled team that will need be reckoned with. The entertainment value at Joe Louis last night was phenomenal. Kudos to the boys for value for the $

    Good Evening Ladies and Gentleman, this is Danny Gallivan along with Dick Irvin from the Forum in Montreal!

  23. Habs are indeed missing Mr. BiG and his hopped on sugar play. Now that gives me an idea…Brendan’s agent should try and swing an endorsement deal with the candy bar maker. Make a special Christmas edition of Mr. Big with Gallagher’s big ol’ smile and tell all the fans to buy it and wish for a speedy Gallagher recovery for Christmas.

  24. haberoo13 says:

    Going to the game tomorrow night..
    should I be Knegative Knucklehead or a Positive Poser?


  25. Arrow77 says:

    The problem isn’t Gallagher’s injury as much as the injury combined with Semin flopping. We knew we had a problem of depth at right wing going into training camp. Bergevin’s gamble didn’t pay off and we got hurt at the place we were the most fragile.

    Still, let’s not fool ourselves: if Price were healthy, he would have made sure to raise his game so that our inability to score wouldn’t cost us much. He is the great equalizer of this league and he’s the player we miss the most.

  26. frontenac1 says:

    Kaleta just smacked around Didier. Pretty weak showing by Didier.

  27. rabidhab says:

    So are you saying DD, Petry and Eller are overpaid , or just Eller ?

  28. frontenac1 says:

    Heads up Amigos!
    Rochester vs Ice Caps on RDS at 8pm.

  29. jrshabs1 says:

    I’m a negative knucklehead poster and proud of it…
    When you’ve been a Hab fan for as long as I have, you acquire a certain right bitch and moan about the team. I do not care what the consensus is from the rainbow and unicorn gang that get offended whenever the negative comments start flying after a loss or a losing streak.
    The Habs have been stuck in a rut of mediocrity for the last 22 years. Our Habs have only made the conference final twice in that span, that sucks!! You can put whatever spin you want on it, but, the record doesn’t lie. That being said, I will say whatever is on my mind regarding our Habs, if you don’t like it too bad.

    Go Habs Go!!!!!

  30. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Price is the man. That’s it, that’s all.

    As for Gallagher, he is a sparkplug but I think it is the cumulative effect of Gally, Mitchell and DSP that is hurting the team. These three were basically doing all the dirty work up front (probably why they are hurt). The rest are easy to play against (even though Byron tries). Weise used to be tough to play against but he hasn’t hit anyone in a month. If McCarron is playing physical, he should be brought up to help with the missing “jam”.

  31. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos!
    Keep the faith. We’ve got a great squad. The Kids are filling in and giving everything they’ve got. The future is good. When our injured get back watch out.
    This is our year, as Danno says,”Book it”.

  32. habcertain says:

    Threads are flying today.

    I think since Max has worn the “C”, the expectations of his play has also shifted, but he is what he is, a guy who is streaky, scores in bunches….. So we wait. What has become apparent is Galley is the spoon that stirs the coffee. Thought Chucky could fill that role, but it does not appear to be so, at this point.

    I believe Burl made a statement about waiting another year to name a Captain, starting to look like it could have been the way to go. Still a lot of talent developing, and no clear cut leader.

    A lot of comments about how PK being sub-par, I don’t think he gets enough credit for the good plays he makes. Some camera angles have caught some pretty plays. His unorthodox manner leads you to believe he is out of control, but he manages to eke those out, and the puck somehow gets out….. Just a style thing for this guy, also a couple of those passes to him last game were virtually impossible to handle. I think there is always room for improvement, but he logs a lot of ice time.

    I’m more concerned about the Price injury, and the W-L record with and without Price should lend itself to the “Therrien is good because” debate. Can barely wait.

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      I agree with you regarding PK. The guy is, by far, one of the elite defensemen in the NHL and a lot of Habs fans put the blame on him if things don’t go well. Sure, Subban makes mistakes and takes penalties. But that does not mean he becomes ‘the’ issue.

      Here again is another commentary that talks about PK:

      P.K. Subban has gone 21 games without scoring a goal, but he does have 20 assists and is a team-leading plus-11 while logging a ton of ice time. Still, for $9 million a season the Canadiens are expecting Subban to put a few more pucks in the net.

      Honestly, it does not matter if Subban scores a goal or not. His job is to defend and be a strong passer in the offensive zone. So to me, I leave PK alone. He’s alright IMO…

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        Agree on Subban. It doesn´t help that he always starts the powerplay on the right side. Makes zero sense. Play him on the left from game one and he would at least have 3 or 4 goals now.

      • piper says:

        PK works his ass off every game. Sometimes tries to do too much and makes mistakes. At least he seems to give a shit which is more than some.

      • Lapointe says:

        I guess if you think a player is elite and can’t do no wrong then you won’t see wrong when he does it. I watch all Habs games and although I am a bit unimpressed with the current team because it is way, way too soft, I totally disagree with many posters on here regarding PK. He turns over the puck numerous times a game and l recognize his flashy skill I still see him as very over-rated. In fact personally I wish they had traded him. He is just able to carry his massive ego around now and it will only get bigger. You guys eat up his clithes but I see him as a selfish and bragging person.

        • habcertain says:

          You totally misjudge the persona versus character, this man is quite generous, and leverages his best option to maximize revenue to charities, his fame. It also happens to align with him giving a lot personal time to the community he works in. He would make Jean proud.

        • The Jackal says:

          I don’t see how you can factually support what you say about PK. In the end, it remains just an opinion, one which is factually wrong.

          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  33. punkster says:

    Random thoughts for the day:
    Max – He’ll step it up, even with the leg brace. He always does.
    PK – The angst about him in certain circles never goes away. He’s one of the elite and he’ll come through.
    MT – When they’re winning he’s genius. When they’re losing it’s all his fault. He’s an NHL coach and it comes with the territory. So far he seems to be able to deal with that better than most coaches.

    In other news…those new PK skates look pretty damned cool.

    When I learned to skate, in the 50’s, the two tone black and brown leather Bauers were about the only thing a S/W Ontario boy ever wanted for Xmas. Well, that and a new stick, and as I got a bit older maybe one of those with the fiberglass laminated blade. Every year or so as my feet grew there would be another pair of leather skates, the old pair handed down to the next of 3 younger brothers, who handed his down, and so on. Poor Steve never saw anything but well worn floppy leathers with nicked blades and weak padding. My first Tacks didn’t show up until 1993 after moving to Montreal and they served me well for recreational skating, indoors and out, and a number of years of “helping” coach minor league teams. (I was one of the best bench door openers in the league, if I do say so myself). Last year I finally made the move to a sweet pair of Bauer Vapors. Nothing fancy but great support and so comfortable, two qualities a retiree looks for in most things in life.

    Golf Sunday with the boys. Who’d a thunk it in mid December?

    Release the Subbang!!!

  34. chilli says:

    Boy it’s hard to enjoy this site when the Habs are losing. Thankfully none of these ‘negative knuckleheads’ actually run the team… or we’d be in real trouble.

    Do you guys remember during the last 4-game losing streak when… exactly, no one remembers.

    None of this matters. I think a little diversity is actually good for our team.

    And it doesn’t matter if we finnish 1-8 in our division. Any team can beat any team in a playoff series. What matters is how we are humming heading into the playoffs and more importantly, our health.

    I’d rather have our ‘unhealthy games’ right now, because it means nothing. If we don’t have Price or Gallagher or PK or Max come playoffs, we are done.

    Just enjoy the regular season.

    We are making the playoffs.

    And anyone that is angry at PK for promoting his brand is an absolute fool. This is his life, his job, his choice to do whatever he wants. He’s one heck of a hockey player that brings it every single night and also helps a lot of people along the way.
    The long journey of the regular season is really not that big a deal over the long haul with how much good he does and how he will lead us into the playoffs.

    • BC (Because of the Cats) says:

      I remember the five-game losing streak in January 2014 that culminated in a 5-0 loss to the Capitals on a Saturday night at the Bell Centre. A lot of people here wanted to tear down the team, trade Markov and Plekanec at the deadline for picks, and finish as low as possible.

      This streak is bad, but with so many veterans out and so many rookies in, it’s not surprising. I rather expect us to lose at least the next three — Ottawa, San Jose, and L.A. I haven’t looked beyond that, but the Christmas road trip won’t be much fun.

      The good news is that the kids are getting a chance to play and have for the most part looked good. We just need the veterans to stop floundering — and they will at some point.

      “We gotta lotta dep.”

    • Lapointe says:

      If you say so…but I think you are the knucklehead

  35. Mustang says:

    The Habs surely do miss BG right now. No one has any real presence in front of the opposing net with him out of the lineup.

  36. ScotianHabFan says:

    So does Gallagher and Price missing a significant amount of time change the cap situation? What is the formula used?

    • 24 Cups says:

      It doesn’t impact the cap in the way that most people think. That would only happen if the Habs needed to pierce the cap max in order to replace Price or Gallagher. Right now, Condon and Andrighetto can replace the two veterans without impacting the cap max. Montreal isn’t saving any money because Price and Gallagher are on the sidelines. In fact, it’s costing them extra cap space (the two extra salaries). It’s also costing them money to replace DSP and Mitchell.

      As of today, Montréal has $2,821,000 in cap space. And that is carrying 28 player salaries including Parenteau’s buyout. It’s also worth noting that cap space is calculated on a daily basis (which becomes a running total).


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