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. Storman says:

    Seems the boys really responded to the Sutter scowl of coaching

  2. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Canada filled with top-20 draft picks or projected draft picks completely dominated by little Finland

    …Finland full value

    …Fucale not to be faulted for this …Canada just overwhelmed

  3. Habcouver says:

    I like our anthem much better.

    Waiting patiently for #25

  4. jols101 says:

    I almost love Tomi as much as I love reading Timo. Funny stuff.

  5. rhino514 says:

    Bouillon actually usually plays well when he´s rested.
    I am not crazy about Diaz, but I prefer him to Murray.
    I would like to see Diaz with Pateryn and Bouillon alternating on the third pairing.
    I think Diaz is a stopgap until a couple of the young Dmen are ready.

  6. jols101 says:

    The Finnish kids were the better team today by far. Happens once in a blue moon. First time in twelve years we lose to them so they were due. Canada still has the most gold medals in this tourney. We have been slumping the last 4 or 5 years but it doesn’t mean Canadian hockey is in trouble. That is the same crap people spew every time we don’t win a tournament. There are other countries that are good at this sport as well. Shit happens.

    • mksness says:

      they take too many penalties. and apart from the US game the goaltending wasn’t good enough. not to say goaltending was too blame but it wasn’t good enough to cover up the bone head penalties and the defensive break downs

    • The Jackal says:

      Yes, Fins were great.
      But Canadian hockey is in danger of being complacent and resting on its past laurels.
      It’s no secret that there is a conservative, old boys club mentality and that needs to change.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Timo says:

      well… it all depends what you are looking for. Same with the Habs. If the goal is to say make playoffs, then sure… Habs are not a bad team. If the goal is to make it to the medal round same here… Canadian hockey is not in trouble. It’s all relative.

      • mksness says:

        they are a bunch of kids man. give them a break.

        • Timo says:

          Maybe they’ve been given too many breaks already… hence the today’s performance. And they are not kids.

          • mksness says:

            most of them are 17-19 year olds. they are kids.

            i think you should pissed at the coaches. defensively this team was horrible. this team took sooooo many bad penalties in the tournament. that’s coaching.

          • mksness says:

            to add you can be pissed at the druoin kid. he looks like a lil puke. this team was not properly told and coached on what was going to be called as a penalty.

      • jols101 says:

        Timo the goal for any Canadian team is to win gold anything less is failure. The point is we have won this tournament 5 times in a row twice. We are the most dominant nation at this tournament. We are going through a dry spell but next year we could start another run of five in a row. Nothing is wrong with Canadian hockey we are just in a little drought.
        Now the Habs that is a totally different story…

    • montreal ace says:

      jols thats the way I look at it, in one game anything can happen. I really don’t like it, when people jump on these kids as well. I just don’t get it when Canadians put down their own, especially young boys who play for them.

  7. The Puckhound says:

    How could he get player of the game..Pouliot!
    Is Derick Pouliot related to Benoit Pouliot?

    Both suck.. Russia is licking their lips.

    Only good thing Canada could have 11 players returning.

    Go to the net and keep your stick on the ice!

  8. ffenliv says:

    Well, the selection folks decided to take some top-end talent for about one line, and fill the rest with skilled but grinding players, and this was the outcome.

    I’ll never question the decisions of people obviously more qualified than me in any serious way.

    I think they could have brought maybe 2 more super-offensive guys and it would have made a big difference. The talent drop-off in terms of ability to score was rather immense.

    Hope McDavid has a better go next year. Glad he got the experience this year. Wasn’t too useful, though.

  9. Storman says:

    Last year we lost 5-1 in semi’s to USA this year 5-1 to Finland in the semi’s, this year and last year two of the least skilled teams we have sent to this tourney.

    The dominating team of 2005 seems like a distant memory, man that year was ridiculous we beat Sweden and Finland 8-1.. and in the final beat Russia 6-1. but we have had some very good teams since. Eberle, Subban, and Tavares years were fantastic teams to watch, That said Canada Hockey needs a restructure of its thinking and or a Canadian national development program and or team.

    • Timo says:

      That was a good team with a weak goalie. Canada could have easily defeated Russia if it weren’t for Tokarski. Instead they needed a miracle from Eberle to pull it off.

  10. Timo says:

    Pouliot is the best player on Team Canada? Hahah… oh my. What does it say for the rest of these sh!theads?

  11. Tomi says:

    What a POS team….with a POS coach and goalie. Reminds me of the Habs.

    I think I need a massage to relax me while I look at my MAB poster.

    • B says:

      I can understand the disappointment, but I really don’t get the hate and abuse those kids are getting from some here.

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Timo says:

        Apparently you don’t get a subtle reference either, B 🙂

        • B says:

          If they are just trolls for a reaction then i guess I bit and gave some. I often miss sarcasm and such in typed comments here. I do hope that you guys were just doing some weird schtick or troll thing I didn’t get rather than actually dumping on the kids. I don’t think they deserve getting crapped on just for losing a big game.

          –Go Habs Go!–

  12. frontenac1 says:

    I hope the Finns beat those Damn Swedes!

  13. Habcouver says:

    Well, our draft pick scored the winning goal. Anyone happy?

    Waiting patiently for #25

  14. SmartDog says:

    Good to see Pleks getting his due in Molson Cup votes.

    Touching that Briere’s happy to be “back on the ice”. Unfortunately, that’s about all he’s likely to succeed in doing tonight. Set your standards low Danny boy. Maybe go for having 1 SOG too!

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  15. Timo says:

    Well, the only printable thing I can wish these kids is a 9-5 job for the rest of their lives.

    • JohninTruro says:

      Haha, I don’t think with the lack of heart and drive of most of these players that their success in the CHL will transfer to being NHL players sadly.

      • Timo says:

        It is not “sadly” but “hopefully”. Hopefully they will be riding buses for the rest of their pathetic hockey days and then it’s to the Tim’s for them for the rest of their lives.

  16. Plekasuares says:

    This finn coach (looks like a fish) is one helluva good coach.

  17. duffy says:

    Put this bunch of losers on a plane back to Canada, Russia will Crucify this team .

  18. Habcouver says:

    Ha! Finns can’t hit an empty net!

    Waiting patiently for #25

  19. D Man says:

    Playing the Fins reminds me of playing the Devils

    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

  20. The Jackal says:

    Sigh…. where was this intensity?
    Canada defeated itself today.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  21. Storman says:

    TSN just lost millions of viewership for tomorrow’s final,

  22. Tomi says:

    There’s the future of the Habs….Fucale….Useless…. at least he has nice hair….

  23. Timo says:

    Later, losers. Go back to giving interviews to TSN.

  24. Propwash says:

    Nice scam job by the Finns.


  25. slyCH says:

    The good the bad the ugly, fitting song for a PS…and this game.

  26. dorvalhabsfan says:

    “The Canadians should be beating these guys. I don’t understand them being consistently unprepared mentality. All they had to do was keep their composure and eventually they would get rolling. When Drouin scored I thought the floodgates would open. Instead he goes and gets a 12 minute penalty…just mind boggling.”

    I think its comments like this that outline the problem with Canada… during the pretourny games, and RR games, there were some troubling performances, however everyone and their grandmother would say “It’s just an exhibition game, You’ll see what Canada is made of in the RR” then RR games came around and it turned into “Well These games don’t mean much, it’s just preparation for the knockout games”

    now its a knockout game, and Canada is still suffering from shoddy defence, horrendous passing.. Bad puck decisions, and bad penalties. But once one goal comes in the mentality is “alright now we’re guaranteed goals” I think Team Canada (Jr’s and adult Hockey teams)needs to seriously take a look at the way Team Canada perceives their skill compared to the rest of the world. Once they get that Canadian Deficiency out of their system, i think that Team Canada will perform much better in these types of tournaments… Just my 2 cents

    Go Habs Go

  27. The Jackal says:

    These refs suck so much.
    They have an agenda, trying to get Finland in to have Sweden vs. Finland – the dream matchup for the gold in this tournament.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  28. CH Marshall says:

    well.. let’s just say the heat of the moment got to two of the kids’ heads. Bad two penalties to take in 2nd period.

  29. Habcouver says:

    Darn Finns!
    Stop this penalty shot, Fucale!

    Waiting patiently for #25

  30. Timo says:

    Pouliot… why am I not surprised?

  31. Tomi says:

    Is Brent Sutter still the coach of this team? How did he ever get the job?

  32. slyCH says:

    The + size lady sings.

  33. Plekasuares says:

    Ridiculous, whens the last time they won gold?

  34. Storman says:

    Turn out the lights the party’s over,, but wait in International hockey if you score from over the blue line its worth 3 goals..

  35. Timo says:

    Hahaha… serves you right, little punks. Buh-bye! Back to your bush leagues.

  36. The Jackal says:

    This WJC team sucks and the refs suck as bad too.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  37. Tomi says:

    What a pathetic bunch of loser punks this canadian squad is. Just awful.

  38. sheds88 says:

    can’t remember the last time our D was this bad. not just today, for the entire tourney

  39. Habcouver says:

    Let’s have the final five minute push, Canada!

    Waiting patiently for #25

  40. Timo says:

    Where the F did that Dumba come from anyway? Worst Canada dman since Ellis.

  41. sheds88 says:

    it’s not just one player having a bad game, everyone player in red is having as bad game

  42. CH Marshall says:

    Call a timeout soon?

  43. Grimmly says:

    Dumba has been pretty terrible this game

  44. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    The Canadians should be beating these guys. I don’t understand them being consistently unprepared mentality. All they had to do was keep their composure and eventually they would get rolling. When Drouin scored I thought the floodgates would open. Instead he goes and gets a 12 minute penalty…just mind boggling.

  45. joeybarrie says:

    Losing possession left and right. Trying to get thru everyone individually. Positioning is ridiculous.
    No one wants to just shoot.
    Kids are playing a bad type of desperate.
    pass timing is non existent.
    but they want it. Just don’t know how to go about getting it.
    no confidence. Look like they have already been beaten mentally.

  46. slyCH says:

    Crowd chant sounds like go Habs go…which would be fitting for this team.

  47. duffy says:

    Cherry will be all over them tonight for not selecting Domifor this team.

  48. Timo says:

    Man, this is worse than Habs vs Panthers.

  49. frontenac1 says:

    Jeeze! Cda missing passes, getting out muscled,making bad decisions…….

  50. slyCH says:

    Another pass to Casper.

  51. sheds88 says:

    can’t even make tape to tape passes

  52. stephen says:

    Think Sather would entertain a Diaz for Girardi swap? Similar numbers this year with Girardi’s offense down, but both UFA at season’s end.

  53. slyCH says:

    This team couldn’t pass the butter at the dinner table.

  54. CH Marshall says:

    Come on kids focus!!

  55. Timo says:

    Poulion is terrible… just like another Pouilot that we know all so well.

    There you go. Another 2 minutes wasted. What a bunch of little poop heads.

  56. slyCH says:

    Are they even following a game plan? I mean, what was that PP?

  57. Storman says:

    When Canada would lose in the past at this tourney they would usually dominate the game , but get beat by a hot goalie,, Sutter’s ego and no selection, camp worked out for him, he knew best,, old school.. still time but does not look good, team plays too much one on one shinny type game, YUK

    • Timo says:

      Actually, last time Canada had a truly dominating team was when Crosby was on the team. Last time they won the cup it could have gone either way and the team wasn’t fantastic (save for Subban and Eberle). Since then all teams had consistently displayed lack of heart and intensity. Hockey Canada in general is a sh!t show more concerned with politics than anything else.

      • Storman says:

        That 2005 year was ridiculous we beat Sweden and Finland 8-1 and in the final beat Russia 6-1. but we have had very good teams since, last year and this year are the weakest teams we have had. Eberle Subban, Tavares were fantastic teams to watch.. Canada Hockey needs a restructure of its thinking and or a Canadian national development program and or team.

  58. ABHabsfan says:

    The only difference between the Canadians PP and the Canadiens PP is the spelling
    “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
    Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  59. Timo says:

    Look, another easy 2 minutes of hokcey for Finland coming up.

  60. sheds88 says:

    these kids look lost

  61. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Canada’s pp looks ugly and dead.

    Re various sobering points below about fewer games, NCAA vs CHL: is the problem that Hockey Canada complacently believes that in hockey — which of course we own — all we have to do is turn up, demonstrate our eternal global superiority, and tournaments will just hand us the gold?

    Are we too arrogant, too Cherry-ized, to evaluate and maybe even emulate what other countries are doing to develop their players and make them more competitive and better equipped to swipe the gold from us who own it?

    • The Jackal says:

      I think the leading minds in Canadian hockey are too conservative.
      We need to get rid of dummies like Cherry and the HNIC morons who perpetuate these ideas. Hockey managers need to open up their minds to new trends in hockey that have helped teams like USA rise to prominence and develop their talent superbly well.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  62. slyCH says:

    Again the passes have no urgency, lazy.

  63. CH Marshall says:

    Damn it that Drouin penalty is f’N costly!!!

  64. Timo says:

    They look like they are out for a leisurely skate out there. What a pathetic bunch.

  65. slyCH says:

    Need to score pronto.

  66. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Is the Comment editor working for you guys? Not for me on Ipad or BB Playbook.

  67. Timo says:

    … and it is absolutely mind boggling that this is the first time this season Diaz is a scratch. Unreal.

  68. Timo says:

    These “kids” SUCK! Plain and simple. It was evident from the beginning of the tournament. Canadian heart? If they are what Canadian heart it then Canada’s hockey is in deep sh!t. What a bunch of losers. Probably already dreaming about big $$$ they will earn in the NHL. What a shameful performance. No intensity, no heart, no desire, no skating, no nothing. Bunch of spoiled little punks.

  69. JohninTruro says:

    If you’re going to insert Briere into the line up the 4th line with 5-8 minutes is pointless. Either play him top 9 or leave him out of the line up. This doesn’t set him up for success (whether he was going to achieve it or not) when he is in this role. He is asking to get benched again with this assignment. But with Bournival and Moen maybe they can create something, thankfully for him he has Bournival playing the 5-8 minutes with him.

  70. ABHabsfan says:

    I think you should have had faced a least 3000 shots as a goalie before you are allowed to comment on what is a soft goal or on rebound control. On shots you can’t even see you are lucky there is a rebound.

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

  71. BJ says:

    In Europe they have fewer games and more time is spent on practicing basic skills like passing, stick handling etc. You can see the Euro skills in these departments are superior. Maybe the CHL should consider shortening the amount of games and using the extra time on developing these skills. We have the guts but there is a shortcoming in those departments.

  72. Hobie Hansen says:

    Nice job by Thorburn on the Jets going after Chara and taking him down. I love how every time Lucic or Chara gets it handed to them in a fight Jack Edwards makes the excuse the opposing player is a 4th liner or a bottom paring D. Douche bag!

  73. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    OK here’s my gripe list:

    Dumba, as his name suggests…and how does he have an A on his sweater? The only D man who is worse is Josh Morrisey. Both are ambitious but don’t have the poise to back it up. Sutter has managed to disengage Drouin and to a lesser extent Horvat. Also passing not there, is the ice that bad? Finns seem to be able to do it. The team is young yes I know. Maybe next year? Haven’t given up on them yet but they seem like the lesser team here today. I hope Sutter is deselected for next years team. Kind of had it with the scowling etc…

    24 cups and counting….

  74. duffy says:

    They had better look up the meaning of INTENSE during the break!!!

  75. JohninTruro says:

    This team has no drive, no heart, no passion. They have a useless 4th line with Anderson and Gauthier. These guys need to be energy, momentum swingers, intimidating guys that skate hard and bang everything, in your face kind of line. Rychel can do this but he needs two guys to do it with him…Anderson and Gauthier are not these guys. Their D think they are fwds and want to skate the puck all over the ice, just like that last PP. Pouliot goes for a skate over the blue line and the fwds are wondering what to do and he turns it over and Finns send it out. Next up Dumba, same thing. So Morrissey figures he should give it a shot, one after the other, the EXACT same thing. Poorly picked team, poorly coached in my opinion.

    • The Jackal says:

      That’s why it was interesting to read what Team USA wanted in their team.
      They didn’t necessarily pick the most talented and skilled guys, they opted to go for the players that would best form a cohesive team that has chemistry, speed, and character.
      Seems like this junior team was not put together that well. They don’t seem to play much of a team game. It’s like they are the Oilers.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      I think it starts with the coaching too; good point. Lehkonen looks good though, eh?

      24 cups and counting….

      • JohninTruro says:

        Yes he does, he wasn’t noticeable in the quarterfinal but has been slick and shifty today. Easier to do against defensemen who have only interest in offense and moving the puck up the ice rather than defending. D-zone coverage has been horrid, and as you mention above has anyone been worse than Morrissey? Terrible. McDavid has been manhandled, and looked pouty and lazy but continues to get top 6 minutes which is also a head scratcher.

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Right, no set up on the PP all individual!

      24 cups and counting….

    • Storman says:

      Gauthier and Anderson were very weak selections to the team for sure..

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