Brière returns to Habs lineup against Sens; Diaz a healthy scratch

Daniel Brière, who was a healthy scratch for the last two games, will be back in the lineup when the Canadiens face the Ottawa Senators Saturday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690). Defenceman Raphael Diaz will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season against the Senators with Alexei Emelin returning to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for Thursday’s game in Dallas.

“For sure I am happy to be back in the lineup,” Brière told reporters in Brossard after Saturday’s morning skate. “That’s what we train for. Whether you’re 18 or 36, it’s never easy to be scratched, and it’s always a great feeling to be on the ice.”

Brière will play centre on a line with Travis Moen and Michael Bournival.

“I always feel more at ease playing centre, but that’s secondary,” Brière said. “I’m just happy to be back in the lineup.”

Ryan White, who suffered an upper-body injury during Thursday’s game in Dallas, and George Parros, who is recovering from a concussion, didn’t take part in the morning skate.

Before the start of Saturday’s game, Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec will receive the Molson Cup for December based on the three-star selections. Plekanec, who posted 4-2-6 totals in 14 games in December, earned one first-star selection, three second-star selections and two third-star selections to finish ahead of Carey Price and David Desharnais in the Molson Cup standings.

The Canadiens will hold their annual “Open Practice” Sunday at the Bell Centre and then the Florida Panthers will visit the Bell Centre on Monday night (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at Saturday’s morning skate:


Emelin- Markov
Murray- Gorges

(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)

Habs vs. Senators preview,

Game Day Report,

Gameday Preview, Ottawa Citizen

Plekanec earns Molson Cup honour for December,

Habs make the grade after first half of season, by Pat Hickey

Galchenyuk disappointed he’s not going to Sochi, by Pat Hickey

Hickey on Hockey Notebook, by Pat Hickey

Dick Irvin gets warm welcome to Order of Canada, by Brenda Branswell

Tony McKegney remembers a pimply-face Gretzky at world juniors, by Stu Cowan

Tickets for 2015 world juniors nearly sold out,

Bantam hockey player lucky to be alive after severing jugular vein, by Brenda Branswell




  1. naweed235 says:

    That intermission could not have come at a better time for these youngsters. Time to unwind and rally them up.

  2. jrshabs1 says:

    Does anybody really care that Diaz is sitting this one out? The Sens may be unhappy about it though. Would the Habs miss a beat if Diaz and Frank B. were replaced by Tinordi, Beaulieu or Pateryn? Nope.

    MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

    • Mattyleg says:


      Diaz is our 3rd most productive defenceman, and is only -3.

      Tinordi proved that he didn’t have it in him to play in the Big League this year, while Beaulieu and Pateryn are too young, and will make far too many mistakes.

      Young defencemen need to be brought in slowly, and subbing out good solid vets for green rooks is a very bad idea born of naiveté.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • slyCH says:

        Naivete is optimism’s ugly cousin. Let’s go the Wings route and keep the players in the minors until good and ready. Development is a good thing.

      • jrshabs1 says:
        Diaz and Frank B. could walk out on the team tomorrow and the Habs D would only get better. If Brian Burke says opposing players get excited when playing against a guy like Yandle, what is the excitement level when playing against guys like Frank B. and the swiss miss?

        MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

        • Mattyleg says:

          I’m sure you’ll make an excellent coach/GM one day.

          Good luck to you.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • jrshabs1 says:

            Matty, other than being the HIO hockey Prof, who are you? You talk like you are on the coaching staff…were you upset in the morning meeting when M.T. decided to sit Diaz? Did you have a vote? Why would M.T. sit Diaz anyway? He’s 3rd in D scoring this year. 3rd..with 11 points. I guess your stock is falling within the Habs organization ’cause they seem to be sitting out your guy against your wishes…

            MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

          • Mattyleg says:

            You seem to be confusing two issues.
            You’re making a false parallel between me thinking that Diaz doesn’t suck and me loving him.

            Just because I don’t think he sucks doesn’t mean that he is a favourite of mine.

            …and because you asked, I am the Shadow Video Coach.
            I’m the one who decides whether injuries should be classed as ‘Upper Body,’ ‘Middle Body’, or ‘Lower Body’.

            Middle Body is rarely used.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Plekasuares says:

      Diaz is not as bad as some think.

  3. slyCH says:

    I’d like to be a fly on team Canada’s dressing room wall. It’s gonna be ugly.

  4. Grimmly says:

    This PP is terrible, each player is trying to do it themselves

  5. Adidess says:

    Why does it look like there’s more skill on the Finns side, in terms of passing and puckhandling?

    Is this just a case of our most skilled youngsters being in the NHL?

    • The Jackal says:

      Probably, but Canada has looked lazy and disorganized.
      I’m just glad we have Lehkonen and Fucale. Not to mention De la Rose and ‘Berg.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Probably has to do with the fact that the Finnish players are more skilled.

      And that they are probably better-coached.

      Why do you think Canada would have more skilled players?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Adidess says:

        Hockey tradition, larger hockey pool, resources and aspirations to join the biggest hockey league on the planet, right in our backyard. Just because you’re not the one who raises a question, Mattyleg, doesn’t mean there can be some sort of basis or logic for asking it. Thank you for addressing me though, I am always honoured when somebody of your caliber affords me the attention.

        • Mattyleg says:

          I don’t think that those things are necessarily congruous with creating more highly-skilled players.
          Look at how the Russians surprised Canadians in the 70s…
          In this day and age, of increased globalization, having hockey in your back yard isn’t as much of an advantage as it used to be.

          I have no problem with raising questions, I’m often just curious about the logic or basis for asking them, which is why I ask about it.

          I’m happy to chat with you, Adidess, and I don’t think you should feel inferior to me.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Adidess says:

            I totally feel inferior to you. I know the limits of your my own knowledge and reason and I can see how you are so smart.

            The full display of all the out-of-this-world smarts you possess is there for everyone to see. How can I not be intimidated? Again, I sincerely thank you. I feel smarter already.

          • Mattyleg says:

            One does one’s best.


            —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • frontenac1 says:

        The Finns were hitting like they meant it, and great positioning. Canada better get their sh#t together.

  6. The Jackal says:

    Canada has so much talent and such a winning tradition that I think sometimes the junior players feel like they are just going to win by virtue of playing for Canada.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I think that they feel a hell of a lot more pressure than the juniors of any other country.

      How many Russian fans are in the crowd, compared to Canadian ones?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • The Jackal says:

        Yeah I’m sure that is also a factor, but they look like they just expect to win and be the better team. They don’t appear to work as hard or play as cohesively as other teams. Seems like sometimes they just win out of desperation after realizing they aren’t just going to be handed a W.

        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  7. Storman says:

    Canada pp misses Drouin big time

  8. Mattyleg says:

    Finland’s powerplay > Canada’s powerplay.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  9. CH Marshall says:

    probably gripping their sticks pretty hard at this point

  10. slyCH says:

    Lazy passes. Like they’re playing on vallium.

  11. ooder says:

    you know what’s funny. the refs in the iihf call the rules by the book. when they do people complain.
    when the refs in the nhl arbitrarily let things go we complain they don’t call by the book

  12. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Can’t believe how bad Canada’s defensive zone coverage is. Sutter looks like he is about to burst a coronary.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  13. Adidess says:

    OK, Canada is in tough now. To win this, it’s gonna take something magical that this team doesn’t seem to have in it. We shall see!

  14. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Why no whistle on the government save? Did he not have control of the puck?

  15. jols101 says:

    What a great save and then a soft goal. That’s what happens with 18 year old goaltenders.

  16. Stuck_in_To. says:

    Feel bad for Fucale … his team is stuck in 2nd mental gear and not getting it done.

  17. Plekasuares says:

    Great save. Then lets in a softy… Arghhhh

    • The Jackal says:

      What are you talking about?
      Canada’s defensive coverage has been garbage.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Plekasuares says:

        Whole top of the net was open. The defense is garbage for sure though

        • Stuck_in_To. says:

          Could not disagree with you more. Finland has been lights out in getting shots from where the should not — because Canada is letting them — and that one should not be blamed on Fucale. Ergo, not a softy. But hey, opinions are personal.

  18. Grimmly says:

    Amazing save, then a terrible goal:(

  19. Mattyleg says:

    John Lu tweets that Gallagher won a bet against Galchenyuk that the Canadian juniors would go further than the US ones.

    Chucky now has to wear a Team Canada jersey.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  20. CH Marshall says:

    F****…. But what a f’n save!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Plekasuares says:

    Drouin costing Canada. He should be DOMINATING this tournament…

  22. slyCH says:

    Drouin can cost us a medal if he continues.

  23. BJ says:

    Years ago I canned basketball and soccer as part of my sports viewing because of all the fouls and penalties called. Euro refs are doing the same thing with hockey.

  24. duffy says:

    Watching the game on TSN, Miller is Ok but I wish that other joker would shut up. !!!

  25. jols101 says:

    Think NHL refs are bad? What a brutal call.

  26. Storman says:

    Drouin will be a 100pts a year man in NHL especially playing with Stamkos

  27. BJ says:

    F…… ridiculous refs.

  28. habs001 says:

    Too many up and down forwards on this team for Canada…most lack pure offensive skill…they have to score dirty goals…hope the Olympics selecters learn that you will struggle with this type of forwards on big ice…i would go with 10 pure offensive talent..these type of players have way more success on this type of ice…The type of team Canada has at this tournament would dominate on North American ice…

  29. slyCH says:

    Big, BIG goal by Drouin.

  30. Stuck_in_To. says:

    Wow. Canada just made me proud.

    Edit: impressed with Finland’s ability to make passes in tight places.

  31. frontenac1 says:

    Yes!! Drouin!!!

  32. CH Marshall says:

    FANTASTIC!!!!!! And Mantha knocking that D down like a power forward! Oh man I wish we had drafted him

  33. IdleNoMore says:

    Out of Diaz , Boullion and Murray, which one could get us a better pick?

    “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

  34. Storman says:

    Canada playing shinny,, horrible hockey,,

  35. Mark C says:

    Nice net presence goal by the wasted pick, Lehkonen.

  36. CH Marshall says:

    Huge kill needed here

  37. slyCH says:

    That’s a penalty? Bizarre.

  38. BJ says:

    Again the refs stealing the show. We have to get by this one.

  39. ABHabsfan says:

    Message from the Dept. of the Blatantly Obvious; Canada needs a goal here
    “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
    Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  40. Adidess says:

    Let’s not anoint Fucale the next best thing yet

  41. The Jackal says:

    Why is Diaz out?
    He and Crankshaft were a good third pairing.

    What’s this about DD below?
    DD is a good player, he may excel with a particular type of winger, but he has really been on a roll ever since breaking out of his slump.
    This team has, on paper at least, enough scoring and talent up front that it shouldn’t matter that Max and Gally play with DD.

    It’s funny how people, most often those who don’t like DD, say that his wingers are making him look good… tell me then, why can’t it be the other way around? It’s not like Max has found the same success with another centre – sometimes chemistry is more important than pairing a winger with an ostensibly better centre.

    On top of that, it’s not like DD is being anointed as the first line centre. He gets the minutes because his line is producing more than any other line at the moment. Sounds like meritocracy at work. Maybe Eller just isn’t there offensively yet. Either way, Max is our only consistent winger at the moment. Move him elsewhere and another line will produce more, but at the expense of another line.

    The problem is a lack of scoring. Gionta is done as a consistent scorer, Bourque is too inconsistent this season, Gallagher is being used as a grinder because he is the only guy who consistently drives the net, etc. These problems are due to a lack of adequate players, and we need to address them ASAP. IMO with a balanced roster DD can play an effective role on this team.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Grimmly says:

      Reposting this again

      Diaz is an offensive D-man doing nothing offensively, so i dont see an issue with this . Mind you Frankie is past his best before date and needs to go

  42. CH Marshall says:

    oh no..

  43. Adidess says:

    Canada’s D did not anticipate that bad bounce. Now time to show what they are made of.

  44. Storman says:

    Bad bounce off the end boards but Fucale has to follow that puck better and react a little better to that bad bounce.. Canada playing very tentatively, not playing like a confident team.

  45. savethepuck says:

    What a BS bounce

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

  46. slyCH says:

    Any decent links to the Jr. game without having to register? Please.

  47. Habilis says:

    Diaz sitting… really? He’s playing better than at least 3 of the D-men in the lineup tonight.

    More proof that Therrien is just clueless. Take this guy out, put this guy in, try this guy on the 3rd pair with that guy… no wait, not that guy, this guy…

    No rhyme, no reason, no foresight whatsoever. He’s tossing junk at the wall and hoping something sticks.

    We will never do anything of substance with this man at the helm. Never.

    • Grimmly says:

      Diaz is an offensive D-man doing nothing offensively, so i dont see an issue with this . Mind you Frankie is past his best before date and needs to go

      • ooder says:

        “Diaz is an offensive D-man doing nothing offensively”
        ^ this is exactly the issue

      • Habilis says:

        You guys are joking, right?

        Diaz has 11 points and is a -3 while playing 3rd pairing minutes with 2nd PP duty. That’s 3rd among our D-men, behind two guys named Markov and Subban.

        Bouillon has 3 points… 3! And you all know he’s seen plenty of PP time. Murray has a big 0 points and is -11.

        Those guys are better options than Diaz? Come on.

  48. frontenac1 says:

    Whoa! Finns playing Canadian style, hitting hard.

  49. Mark C says:

    What a block by Lehkonen on Drouin.

  50. Storman says:

    Drouin flashes his NHL and above level hands

  51. jols101 says:

    Drouin is magic. What moves. Silly.

  52. christophor says:

    Desharnais is doing well and is not the problem. But it can’t be overstated how DD needs to be on a very specific type of team in order to succeed:

    (1) A team DD fits with needs two centermen who are (a) defensively responsible, (b) can still produce meaningful secondary offence in spite of being burdened defensively, (c) are PK-savvy, and (d) can mitigate the “DD road game effect”, where it’s harder to get weaker competition for DD.

    (2) That team also needs a great possession-driving winger to mitigate DD’s negative possession stats when not with that kind of winger. Possession wingers are rare, since possession is more centerman-driven (Pacioretty and Taylor Hall are two of relatively few examples).

    (3) That winger also needs to be a sniper. since goals have to come somewhere from that line.

    (4) The team needs to be OK with allotting significant PP time to DD.

    (5) Last, the team needs a contingency plan for when DD goes through a slump, as all players do. Other players are still useful in other ways (e.g. PK, defensively in general), but DD is not. Montreal survived this because of (1b) – i.e. Plekanec and Eller being able to take DD’s minutes and step up offensively.

    • Mark C says:

      What’s the DD road game effect? All 5 of his goals have been on the road and he has almost twice as many points on the road 7 to 13. He also had 6 more road points last year. See what your saying in theory but it just isn’t reality.

      • christophor says:

        (1) That’s just one of lots of points, not my whole “theory”. (2) Also, I suspect that DD gets even more offensive zone starts on the road to even it out. (3) Further, you need to weigh his home vs road defensive performance too, not just offence.

        (4) But in any case, 40 or so games is a very small sample. We’re talking about what’s most likely over seasons and seasons worth of games, not what’s guaranteed over small periods of one season or less. (5) I’m glad if there hasn’t been a large “road effect”. I’m even fine with dropping that point and still arguing that DD needs a whole lot of accommodation nonetheless (but I don’t think I need to do that).

    • Mattyleg says:

      It also can’t be overstated that every successful centre (apart from Crosby and maybe one or two other superstars) needs similar requirements to succeed.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • christophor says:

        No centerman who isn’t poor defensively or who has a positive effect on possession needs the same requirements. Very few other centermen need two good two-way centermen as teammates. It just isn’t going to work so well if the short or medium term plan is to move Galchenyuk to center and give him good wingers and offensive chances.

        Edit: plus, Pacioretty and Galchenyuk will be amazing in a year or two. Desharnais would suffer a lot without Pacioretty, regardless of how much he helps Pacioretty in turn.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Hmm, what about David Kreijci and Patrice Bergeron?
          Or Grabovski AND Backstrom and Brooks Laich?
          Olli Jokinen and James Wright?
          Brad Richards and Brian Boyle (a very good example)…

          I could go on…

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • christophor says:

            Go on, then.

            Krejci isn’t sheltered; Bergeron is a two-way dynamo but Krejci gets secondary (not tertiary) tough minutes. If Krejci needed to be sheltered, the Bruins’ 3rd line C option would need to be more heavily relied upon AND produce more offence than currently is the case there. In other words, the Bruins’ 3rd C offerings wouldn’t do Eller’s or Plekanec’s job allowing for DD’s sheltering.

            Boyle doesn’t produce secondary offence and so couldn’t take Plekanec’s or Eller’s place. Actually, it’s Brassard’s and Stepan’s two-way games that allow Richards to be sheltered, and he’s not as sheltered as DD (i.e. he can and does actually play some defence). But there’s your closest case to DD, and one that will likely change: Richards is likely to be bought out precisely because it’s not ideal. Plus, Nash isn’t as tied to Richards as Pacioretty to DD.

            Washington’s 3 centermen are all defensively capable, plus they have Johannson, who, unlike Laich, creates offense. Laich wouldn’t provide the secondary offence in Plek’s or Eller’s minutes to support DD.

            Winnipeg is hardly a model. But Wright isn’t analagous to Plek or Eller at all (look at the offensive numbers). You’re wanting Little or Schiefele. Anyway, all three are capable in tougher minutes than DD. Schiefele is also a kid and so is understandably sheltered, for now, a bit more than the other two.

  53. ooder says:

    dd reminds me a lot of gomez. they were both given every opportunity to succeed. top wingers, top pp time, offensive zone starts, everything
    DD actually did something with it, while nomez continued to suck

  54. punkster says:

    Diaz, for those of you stuck on his lack of goals and minimal physical play, is presently tied for points in 80th place out of 278 D in the league, a -3 while playing with a collection of black hole D partners, and is responsible in the Habs end.

    I know everyone wants another Murray (albeit one who can actually skate) or unreasonably so another PK or Markov (like they grow on trees) but Diaz is exactly what is required on the third pairing.

    If only we had responsible partners for him and not the present collection of missing links.


  55. Hobie Hansen says:

    Glad Diaz is taking a seat. He really is no better than Bouillon or Murray. All three are almost equally as guilty of getting hemmed down in their own zone, each for a variety of different reasons.

    • stephen says:

      I would tend to agree with you, Hobie.

      I have been particularly disappointed with his lack of offensive contribution this season, especially on the second wave of the PP.

      Wonder if that concussion last season has knocked his game off kilter.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Diaz constantly gets the puck on his stick, gets rushed and either knocked off the puck or panics and turns the puck over.

        • stephen says:

          Yes, that’s what I’m seeing too often.

          It’s a shame because he seemed so much more confident and composed coming out of the lockout and filling in with Markov out.

  56. stephen says:

    Just some fat to chew on during intermission…

    Let’s say Fucale leads Canada to gold in this tournament. What does that do for his ‘stock’, if anything?

    Not condoning trading him, but genuinely curious about what his worth is and could be should he win gold with the juniors.

    Let’s assume Price is the Habs’ goalie for the next 6-7 years, at least. Any sense in including Fucale in any pacakage for a higher impact return?

    Interested to hear any thoughts…


    • jols101 says:

      You let Fucale develop for the next 3 or 4 years. If he becomes a #1 NHL quality goalie well then management needs to make a decision. It will be a great decision to have to make because Price will still be in his prime and teams will offer a boat load for him. If Fucale develops like he should, Price becomes the biggest bargaining chip the Habs have had in along time.

      • slyCH says:

        That’s exactly my position on the matter. Thanks for typing it in for my lazy @zz.

      • stephen says:

        Hi jols,

        I must admit that would be my own gut instinct. I suppose the recent trade chatter online made me consider the bits and pieces in the system that could fetch the best return. At this stage in his career, I guess Fucale would simply be a promising addition to any trade proposal.

      • DT says:

        Respectfully disagree. Price certainly has and will have value in the years to come, but unless the market changes, there are too many talented goalies in the league to warrant the kind of return one may expect.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      I think within the next 4 years or so one of Price or Fucale will not be in the organization. I just hope management can maximize the assets and avoid Luongo/ Schneider situation. Good thing is that there is no need to rush Fucale at all into the NHL. After jr he can light up the AHL for a couple seasons until he is truely NHL ready

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • CH Marshall says:

      keep him.. we need more Price/Halak days in the near future on HIO

    • B says:

      Tokarski was the last goalie to backstop a Canadian WJC Gold medal team. That was in 2009. How’s his “stock” 5 years later?

      –Go Habs Go!–

  57. ABHabsfan says:

    What a great sports TV afternoon; Jrs on then a little NFL play-off, Chiefs/Colts while we wait for the Habs game later. Then finish off with the tail-end of Packers/49ers. Put the cooler beside the easy chair, pack of pepperoni sticks for sustenance, give the kids a healthy dose of Nyquil and enjoy the day!

    “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
    Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  58. slyCH says:

    Diaz scratched as a belated punishment for “the pass.”

  59. jols101 says:

    Unfortunately I think Sweden will pound either of these teams. The Canadian kids look lost and are having trouble with simple passes. Hope they figure things out in a hurry.

  60. rhino514 says:

    The problem with Desharnais isn´t that he isn´t ok offensively. the problem is that Eller and Plekanec have to play more of a defensive game. They are both underrated offensively and if they had consistent wingers would put up much better stats. Eller especially has great offensive potential.
    Some of this can be mitigated if the team manages to find a decent offfensive winger before the deadline to distribute some depth through the lineup.
    We saw last year when Gio and Ryder contributed, the team finished fourth in the league in goals for. A bit of help on the wing and this team could explode offensively.

  61. Adidess says:

    Canada playing with fire with a couple of turnovers right in the slot, almost completely unforced.

    Also Hudon is not particularly impressive to me so far in the tournament. He got hurt early on, could that be a factor?

  62. scarboro_habitant says:

    brutal passing in this game especially by canada.

  63. ABHabsfan says:

    As I am sure we are all watching the Jrs right now, see how many times the Canadians put together 2 or more passes in a row. I haven’t seen one example yet. This team cannot put offense together because there is no playmaking. Other teams focus on Drouin and no one else can pick up the slack

    “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
    Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  64. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Whatever you think of Diaz and Emelin they are WAYYYYYYYY better than Boullion/Murray. At least Murray brings physicality but Boullion is useless. This shuffling does not solve anything. Make a trade or give a kid from Hamilton a chance to play already…

  65. yukonhab says:

    Good day for a Habs win!!!

    Price 31

  66. DipsyDoodler says:

    When you (yes you) repeatedly say that DD isn’t a true number one centre, who else do you have in mind?

    Ryan Getzlaf? Eric Staal? Brad Richards?

    These guys earn about $9M per year.

    • durocher says:

      Paul Stastny

    • christophor says:

      For DD to succeed, he needs the team’s best winger and two other centers who can be overworked defensively so that the coach can insure that DD has poor competition and more offensive zone starts.

      For now, it works, but it wont for too long with Galchenyuk needing to move to center. Galchenyuk will be wasted (and maybe not so successful) with heavy d-zone starts. I should say, rather, that he will not be used to his full potential that way, just like Pacioretty, who can take really tough minutes, isn’t being used to the best of his potential right now.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Yup. That’s why DD gets exposed on the road. With last change, other teams always send out their best centers against him (e.g. Eric Staal in Carolina, Tavares in NYI, etc.). A true number one center can play against the other team’s number on center.

        You forgot his needs a power winger to do the work in the corners and in the front of the net.

        • christophor says:

          good point.

        • B says:

          The Habs just spent 6 games in a row on the road where Deharnais got exposed as a plus player with 7 points in those 6 road games.

          –Go Habs Go!–

          • christophor says:

            Did I near someone say “small sample size”? Your shorter term point doesn’t negate the broader claim that it is more likely than not that he won’t produce like that over the long haul. Plus, that was just an additional point to many others besides.

            That said, I always welcome the bonus production and I don’t think DD is a problem. I think he will be for the team’s longer term plans if they decide to hold on to him.

          • B says:

            I can’t (and won’t try) to comment on how Desharnais will produce over the long haul in road vs home games, but this season so far he has 13 points and a +1 in 21 road games and 7 points and an even +/- in 19 home games. That doesn’t seem to support the “being exposed” in road games comment to me. I am probably missing something here.

            –Go Habs Go!–

          • christophor says:

            It’s really a minor point because there are other things a coach can do to compensate (e.g. zone starts) and there are a lot of other variables.

          • B says:

            So he is exposed over all and not just on the road then?

            –Go Habs Go!–

          • christophor says:

            He needs to be sheltered and tied to a possession driving sniper on the wing. The degree of sheltering he enjoys is possible because Plek and Eller eat up the tougher minutes (and miss out on playing with Pacioretty).

            Edit: The coach is slightly less capable of guaranteeing easy minutes on the road but the thing with probability and lots of variables is that not everything will line up over small periods even if the wider probabilities hold.

  67. jols101 says:

    Wow, Canada needs to wake up in a hurry. The Finns are taking it to us.

  68. chanchilla says:

    man dumba takes a lot of penalties.

  69. habs_54321 says:

    im happy to see briere at center even if its fourth line. could be to showcase potential buyers what he can still do at the c position

    • IdleNoMore says:

      He’s lucky White is hurt but common, he’ll be playing less then 7mins tonight.

      “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

      • habs_54321 says:

        yes but I think its at the point where briere should be either playing center or not playing at all, hes a different player at center.

        • IdleNoMore says:

          The team and him both knew he would have to play wing before he signed here non?

          “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

  70. frontenac1 says:

    Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling.

    Go Canada!

  71. ooder says:

    Diaz scratched? Christmas has either come really early or a little late!

    • christophor says:

      Sorry, but there’s no way Diaz or Emelin should sit instead of Murray or Bouillon. If either of the former two are struggling, they’re still a lot better than the latter two.

      • IdleNoMore says:

        ^ this

        “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

      • ooder says:

        boullion is pretty terrible. I actually like Murray as a 6th d man. he is tough, blocks shots and clears the net.
        Diaz doesn’t do any off that and doesn’t contribute on offense

        • christophor says:

          Bottom line is that for all the qualities you think Murray has, Diaz does a way, way better job of getting the puck moving toward the opposition’s end. More goals will be scored against and less (actually, none as of yet) for when Murray is on the ice and not someone else. Bouillon is a better d-man than Murray.

          Edit: I take it that “crease-clearing” is a good defensive trait? Well, it’s not enough to change the fact that Montreal is most likely to concede a goal when Murray is on the ice. That said, I watch all the games and have seen Murray meaningfully “clear the crease” only one or two times. He actually once pushed an opposing forward into Budaj which lead to a goal against, so I don’t think his “crease clearing” has been a net benefit to the Habs. It’s an over-emphasized trait, at least in Murray’s case.

          • ooder says:

            i dunno. i am just really not a fan of diaz.
            he was sold as an offensive dman, however he has taken a huge step back
            he is terrified of any form of contact, gets rid off the puck way to quickly, doesn’t really separate anybody from the puck.
            really not a fan

          • frontenac1 says:

            Ralphie hit a guy last week and Crankshaft hit a post last week. They work well together amigo.

  72. Adidess says:

    I’ll say it and duck out: we might miss Diaz tonight.

    He plays so many minutes, MT needs to make sure it’s Subban and Markov who get the extra minutes.

    • christophor says:

      He’s also much better defensively and on the PK than people give him credit for. In short, the puck in in the Habs’ end far less when Diaz is on the ice then when Murray or Bouillon are.

      Bouillon’s deficiencies will be masked by Subban but it’s not smart to pair your world-beating d-man with a 7th d-man. That said, maybe Subban forgets he has a d-partner and takes the game on his back, like he did in Dallas.

  73. Don Carnage says:

    Scratch does not = trade

  74. Hugh Jass says:

    Go Habs.

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