Budaj to start for Habs against Rangers

Peter Budaj will get the start in goal when the Canadiens play the New York Rangers Monday night at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Budaj has started only one of the Canadiens’ first 11 games, posting a 1-0 record with a 1.00 goals-against average and .964 save percentage.

Louis Leblanc, who was called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday, skated on a line with David Desharnais and Rene Bourque during Monday’s morning skate and will play against the Rangers, taking Travis Moen’s spot. Moen didn’t make the trip to New York after being hit in the face with a puck during Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks. He suffered a small fracture and will be sidelined for a week.

Defenceman Douglas Murray, who has been sidelined since training camp with a lower-body injury, took part in the morning skate and will be in the lineup against the Rangers, playing his first game in a Habs jersey. Murray will be paired with Francis Bouillon and coach Michel Therrien said he would monitor Murray’s ice time.

George Parros, who hasn’t played since suffering a concussion in the season opener, took part in the morning skate but was still wearing a no-contact jersey.

Expect Carey Price to be back in goal Tuesday night when the Canadiens play host to the Dallas Stars at the Bell Centre. In 10 games this season, Price has a 5-5-0 record with one shutout, a 2.12 goals-against average and .937 save percentage.

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

Galchenyuk – Eller – Gallagher
Bournival – Plekanec – Gionta
Bourque – Desharnais – Leblanc
Blunden – White – Holland
Parros

Markov – Subban
Gorges – Diaz
Murray – Bouillon
Pateryn

Hear what Murray had to say after the morning skate by clicking here.

Hear what Leblanc had to say by clicking here.

Hear what Therrien had to say by clicking here.

(Photo by Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Rangers vs. Habs preview, NHL.com

Game Day Report, Canadiens.com

Game of firsts (video), Canadiens.com

Road-weary Rangers are back home at last, New York Times

Old foes, new Garden for Rangers, newyorkrangers.com

P.K. Subban gets punk’d by Brandon Prust (video), Canadiens.com

 

326 Comments

  1. Johnny9 says:

    I was always a C student, I’ll take a B+ anyday!

  2. SPATS says:

    Pleased to report that everyone’s favorite event organizer Ian Cobb has had a successful kidney stone procedure and is enjoying some oxycontin as I type this. Man was he high!

    He will reply to your emails in the not too distant future I’m sure. But first, he’s coming over here later for soup and a comfy chair by the gas stove to enjoy our tilt against the Rangers en anglais sur les ondes de TSN Montreal (which he doesn’t get)

    I have also offered up my 50 wpm typing skills to allow him to post comments on the live blog for the first time in real time.

    PS, I was the guy selling raffle tix on Saturday. Very nice to finally meet many of you!

    CHeers
    Spats aka Bear (Barry)

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

    • Mattyleg says:

      Great stuff!

      Lots of love to the man, and great meeting you too!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • SPATS says:

        Rightbackatchya Matty, sorry I had to bail right after the game as I had Sunday morning plans back here in Belleville, otherwise I would’ve been at Hurley’s.

        A shout out to L Elle and Jeff from Brighton whom I had the pleasure to sit next to. So sad that we never had the chance to come out of our seats for at least one goal…

        Another big shout out to HabsTriniFan for supplying my last minute ticket. I have a nice pic of Ian and Andree from Saturday’s dinner that we’ll get up on the Facebook page soon. Ian tells me it’s the first time he’s enjoyed his meal at a summit while it was still hot.

        CHeers
        OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Thanks for the update, Spats.
      Please pass on best wishes to Ian from Ireland.
      Enjoy the game!

    • Timo says:

      Ian’s high? Awesome.

    • Max_a_million says:

      What the heck did you guys do to him?

      Fill him full of cheese and poutine until he started spitting out kidney stones???

    • haboholic68NJ says:

      A speedy recovery for Ian. Enjoy the drugs.

      As for me, going to MSB tonight section 213 row 21 and wearing a Habs jersey if anyone wants to say hello

      *Listen to my instrumental tribute entitled “Habs at War” at http://petertoliasmusic.site11.com/Music_Site/OtherOriginalMusic.html

    • JUST ME says:

      Thanks for the news. Even though he spoke about his beloved rock i did not think it would be removed that soon and wonder how he managed to endure it in MTL. I am amazed that he went through the summit while having stone troubles…and now he is stoned ! O.k. now you take it easy Ian !

  3. Johnny9 says:

    Ok fine! Everyone leave. McCaron alone, he’ll be a top 6-9 forward in 3 years when we win the cup and will put Lucic in his place I hope. Just give it time and stop jumping to conclusions so quickly and sounding like leaf fans! Better Matty?

  4. Sportfan says:

    How bad of an omen is this lol there’s an ad to buy Als playoff tickets, at Molson Stadium. I believe they are the visiting team.

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

  5. Mattyleg says:

    Friend of mine managed to do some drinking with Murray at the beginning of the season after a game.

    Apparently he could put Burly and Front through their paces and still run a mile.

    My friend was afraid to stop drinking. He got home at 6 and called in sick; Murray went in to practice.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  6. sprague cleghorn says:

    Oh no! According to “You Might Also Like”, Butch Bouchard has passed away… again.

    … ‘ow could we forget that?

  7. Ozmodiar says:

    I’m looking forward to the angry Wozniak twitter tirade tonight when she learns Louis is paired up with Desharnais.

    Should be a good one!!

  8. rhino514 says:

    Noticed that Bournival is actually not small. He´s listed at 196 lbs and is only twenty-one, so anyone think he can pack on a few more pounds in future? He actually looks fairly muscular.

    • Fransaskois says:

      He’s an absolute gym nut and, since junior, has been praised as being an incredibly fit and dedicated player on and off the ice. Considering how speed is such an integral part of his game, I wouldn’t be looking for him to add too much more weight as he’s still quite effective physically at 196lbs.

    • shiram says:

      The guy is already ripped, and I don’t think packing on muscles on his frame would be of much help.

    • Bill says:

      Fairly muscular? The guy is a freak. He looks like a mini Angry Hulk. Doesn’t need to gain weight or get stronger and probably couldn’t if he tried.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • rhino514 says:

      He does look ripped; When someone forwarded me a photo of him barechested (no jokes please) I actually thought it was a fake photo because he just looked too ripped! I just find it funny how people coined the smurf line when he was slotted with Pleks (who is also 196 lbs btw) and Gionta.
      Seems anyone not over 205 is not wanted on the habs these days…

  9. Johnny9 says:

    If anyone’s upside is to be the next Josh Gorges he’s in trouble and so are the habs!

  10. DipsyDoodler says:

    Re: Michael McCarron.

    When the Habs picked him a lot of those of you who follow junior hockey were dismayed. He was felt to be ranked much lower, and possibly Bergevin intervened to pick a guy because of his size. I knew nothing about him but was reminded of Brian Burke justifying his Tyler Biggs pick a few years ago when Bergevin said we need to get bigger.

    I notice that he is not tearing up the OHL, at least stats wise, and appears to be getting limited ice time – but that might not mean anything.

    Does anyone know how he is doing this year? Has anyone revised their opinion of him?

    • Fransaskois says:

      I’m still not a big fan but I’m really not too worried. He’s transitioning to the OHL and is dealing with a shoulder injury.

      He’s been below-average in most of the games I’ve watched, playing perimeter hockey, not being involved physically, and not really creating any chances or offence to speak of. He’s playing on the third line in London.

      Wait and see, he’s definitely a project.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Biggs is starting to get questioned a bit by the Leaf media and fans similar to us who actually follow prospects etc…..

      It was a risk for Burke to take Biggs, and if I recall correctly he was projected to be a 2nd round pick by other teams.

      However, there are many big tough power forwards who seem to take 3-4-5 seasons of hockey in the pro’s before starting to really show themselves.

      Great example is Cam Neely, Vancouver was convinced he wasn’t going to become much and traded him far to soon. I in no way shape or form expect McCarron to be a Neely, but this position seems to take a while to blossom.

      Just as we gave up on Leclair too soon, again not a perfect analogy, but I think you know what I mean. There was risk in MB’s choice, but also perhaps high reward if his gamble pays off.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      >Does anyone know how he is doing this year?

      Yes. You do, it appears.

    • bwoar says:

      Yep, Bust. No chance for him. Another disaster.
      (just kidding!)

      “thoroughbred”

    • rhino514 says:

      it´s interesting that in most prospect lists, Lehtonen, and even De la Rose in some lists, who both went behind him, are listed ahead of him, and that´s AFTER the draft. So he doesn´t seem like a homerun pick, or even a great sleeper pick.
      I don´t see any picks in the last couple of drafts, personally, who really excite me. Maybe Fucale, but he´s in the one postion where there will probably not be an opening for 9 or 10 years, so forget him.

  11. doug19 says:

    Best for Louie Leblanc tonight!!!

  12. joeybarrie says:

    Murray might not be the fastest skater. But he has 651 hits and 480 blocks in 4 seasons. He was valuable enough to average more than 18 minutes per game with the Pens last season.
    3rd on the team in time on ice for Dmen on the PK.

    He is a role player, and the Sharks got 2 picks for him, and had to give the conditional one back cause they went deep in to the playoffs…

    Im looking forward to seeing him tonight.

    • Timo says:

      I certain am looking forward more to seeing Murray that little Louie. Little Louie has little Davey written all over him.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The best part of the comments below are the people now who know how injury prone he has been the past 6 seasons. In a possible 458 games over the past 6 NHL seasons, he has played in 396, 86% of games as a physical Dman.

      Yup this guy will get injured first shift, I hear its par for the course!

  13. HabinBurlington says:

    Regarding the Tyler Myers talk, he could become a very intriguing part of a package to a team like Winnipeg, Islanders etc…

    His contract is heavy front loaded, last year he was paid 12 Million, this season 6million. After this year it begins declining and finishes with 2 years in the $3million range.

    Teams with cap space who don’t like to spend may be willing to take him. I don’t think he is washed up, but a prime example of giving the farm away far to soon to a young kid.

    Perhaps a change of scenery is the best thing for this player.

    http://www.capgeek.com/player/728

  14. AZ_Hab_Fan says:

    Hopefully that doesn’t happen. But seems par for the course.

  15. AZ_Hab_Fan says:

    Murray will probably get injured..ugh.

  16. Dunboyne Mike says:

    From Gaetan Boucher:

    “Yes, Murray spent a lot of time at my clinic during his rehab. I think he’s going to surprise some people. His target was to outskate PK. Not there yet, but getting closer.”

    (unCONFIRMED rumour)

  17. jamman says:

    I think MB should move Nathan Bealieu or Darren Dietz. Both of them are gifted puck movers but based on what I saw in the pre season I feel Dietz has the edge in the defensive zone. If we are to sign markov and p.k to extensions, we’ll only have room for one of them. We need big rugged shutdown guy that can skate not more offensive d

    • Bill says:

      Respectfully, Beaulieu has more raw talent than maybe 80% of NHL players, and is a far, far better prospect than Darren Dietz.

      I watched Beaulieu a lot in the Q, and I simply couldn’t believe how lucky the Habs were to draft him at the position they drafted him at. A total steal. To me, he’s the third best dman of that draft year, and that’s only behind Larsson and Brodin.

      Dietz is a heart and soul guy, but his upside is to be the next Josh Gorges. Beaulieu’s upside is more like PK Subban.

      I would trade any other D prospect before Beaulieu (if I were FORCED to trade one) and that includes Tinordi and definitely Dietz.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • jamman says:

        Hey Bill,

        If you’ve seen Bealieu play a lot Im sure your right about him being being a better prospect than Dietz. I just feel like we could move one of our young d and get something good in return(especially with Pateryn making strides). I went to see the hurricanes n habs in pre-season and was quite impressed with the poise Dietz showed at both ends of the ice. Maybe a package deal with Dietz n someone else could garner a solid prospect?

        • Bill says:

          It’s always possible to trade for a prospect, but in the case of rugged defencemen, I think they’re actually better to draft. There are always many to choose from and they tend not to go in the first round.

          The Habs have Tinordi, who in my opinion is a can’t miss shut-down guy, Pateryn, who is quite big and has pro potential, and also an intriguing prospect in Josiah Didier, who has improved every year in the NCAA and projects as the kind of big, physical dman you are talking about.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

          • jamman says:

            Interesting and agreed it is better to draft. Lol I just want the dream team now! Will def keep an eye on Didier as he develops. Thanks for the insight Bill!

  18. frontenac1 says:

    I’m going to knock back a shot everytime Murray creams a Ranger tonight. Don’t let me down Crankshaft!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      @Front, trust you will take this the right way.

      Hope your posts start getting deleted by about 8:45/9:00pm.

      By then he should have hit enough guys that you’ll be well on your way to typing like a sailor!

      CHeers bud.

    • John Q Public says:

      # 1
      Pos Couchsurfer
      Player Frontenac
      GP To many
      G Live life well
      A Anybody in need
      +/- Give or take
      S 164
      S% 100

  19. frontenac1 says:

    Smitty is The Verona Sniper! Viva Diaz!Mas Tequila! Saludos!

  20. habsfan0 says:

    While it may be my imagination, the Habs always seem to raise their level of play when Budaj is in nets. So, looking forward to the team bringing their “A” game tonight.

    • Habilis says:

      I hope you’re right, because I feel like they’re going to need it. The Rangers will come out flying tonight. I know they’ve had a rough start but they did have an 8 game road trip to start the season and they managed to beat Detroit in their last game. Being their home opener, this is as close to a must have game for them as you can get this early. Habs will need to weather the early storm, IMO.

      On another note, I really hope to see some good things from LL tonight. The kid has to know that he has a limited window to impress the brass. Hope he’s fired up.

      • Timo says:

        Well, LL was put on the line with Desharnais. He will have a good veteran leader to show him the way.

        • Habilis says:

          Snap.

          And yeah, I know. I guess I’m hoping that DD surprises us all and has one of his pre-contract games. You know, a game where he’s actually dangerous in the offensive zone and makes a nice play to set up one of his talented wingers?

          Le sigh.

          We can always hope.

      • Cal says:

        Many teams after a long road trip have a tough time their first game back at home. Let’s hope this stays true and the Habs nab two points.

  21. rljmartin says:

    The word is out…. Murray is slooooooow! So many posters here are just hilarious. Some intentional and some not… But Murray would not be the first slow defenseman to ever play hockey. These players learn to play within their limits/limitation and do not screw up too often. Just hope it does not take him long to shake the cobwebs. Remember this is his first serious game in a while and after injury. So cut him some slack tonight. If he ends up as good as Hal Gil…. I’ll be happy.

  22. jon514 says:

    Since it seems Buffalo is open for business, would you take a run at Tyler Myers? He’s had a few bad seasons in a row, but the all around upside he showed in his first 2 seasons is really hard to forget! Has he been irreparably damaged? If not, what is he worth?

  23. adamkennelly says:

    Habs should trade DD to the Dallas Stars for this guy…

    Antoine Roussel
    Left Wing — shoots L
    Born Nov 21 1989 — Roubaix, France
    [23 yrs. ago]
    Height 6.00 — Weight 200 [183 cm/91 kg]

  24. galchenyuk27 says:

    I would really like to see mb make what would seem to be a minor move and trade for one of my best friends from Ottawa Derek grant hes 6ft3 206 pounds and a center bigger then every center we have he led binghampton is goals last year and lead all ahl players with 5 short handed goals his skill and soft hands remind me of an underated eller I train with him all summer and play on ice with him in the past 2 years hes put on just under 30 pounds and it has not slowed him down what so ever Ottawa just called him up over all the crazy prospects they have which is saying a lot I know we could get him for a cheap deal and talking to him he just wants to play for a Canadian franchise I know this would never happen cause no one is thinking minor deals right now but having him in the line up daily would be so much better then dd I would even say trade dd for him and a 2nd or something and get rid of his contract you guys will all grow to love grant

  25. habstrinifan says:

    All you folks dissing Murray cause he slower “than a two legged coon dog on a monday mornin” need to be reminded of the following.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjokVI0LJzw

    He may catch the Rangers napping!

    Notice the hare has been to the MT school of behaviour and so was very gracious.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Nice one, Trini.

      And you’re entirely right — we didn’t pick up Murray hoping he’d be Paul Coffey II.

      I would like to see some lack of manners in front of CP.

  26. Max_a_million says:

    Remember table top hockey when your defenceman were fixed on a on line, and the puck would get stuck somewhere you couldn’t reach it so you had to tilt the table.

    That’s how I foresee the Bouillon and Murray pairing.
    Hey coach we can’t get to the puck.

  27. Habfan10912 says:

    Dunboyne Mike asked for summit pictures and here is a link that I hope works.

    Mike, I’m the good lookin one. :)

    https://plus.google.com/photos/115166424051824538335/albums/5939573712107746017

  28. Strummer says:

    Bouillon- Murray on the same pairing?
    He doesn’t plan on them having much ice time it would seem

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

  29. Timo says:

    I want Scott Gomez back.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      It would definitely represent a big scoring upgrade on the DD-and-Claude-Giroux combo, and neck and neck with Mike Smith.

      (Timo, high-5 on ‘Who is Colberg?”!)

  30. Johnny9 says:

    @steveren0

    JM brought out ridiculous stats like that to justify playing Darche on the PP instead of Cole. Just ridiculous, he no doubt belongs on the PP for many reasons, and just cause he’s not getting the points, he may be creating goals by taking everyone’s attention in front of the net!

  31. Max_a_million says:

    Wouldn’t that be something if LeBlanc got Desharnais going. Then they became inseparable like mom and apple pie. Come on Louis. C’est l’heure!

  32. habsguru says:

    the silver lining of the SJ game, #79 threw a check, and it was centre ice. damn near spilled my drink… and Diaz filled his diaper thinking that might be MT’s new system!!! DD has more points than Diaz has hits… how sad.

  33. Timo says:

    Matty, did you have a baby yet?

  34. adamkennelly says:

    wow DD, LL and Bourque – I bet opposing D are shaking in their Bauers…

    • Timo says:

      I am a little disappointed… I thought DD would be a monster against the Sharks.. y9ou know, making a statement. Was looking for big things from him in that game.

      Yeah, that line looks scawey… wewy wewy scawey.

  35. mrhabby says:

    I spoke to Reg Houle on Saturday afternoon @ Baton Rouge.

    He said Management is doing all it can to make the team bigger but will take some time. Drafting / trades if they make sense.

    He did not know to much about McCarron our 1st round pick thats okay…

    We did not discuss Patrick Roy/Mario Tremblay.

  36. Fransaskois says:

    Murray is slow….. just in case people were wondering.

    Hopefully he’s cut some weight and is a little more mobile than before his injury. He was really labouring during the preseason.

    He’s a complimentary piece and a #5 dman, that’s what he was signed for. He’s going to get beat to the outside and going into the corners but, if he brings physicality and decent defensive play in front of the net, we should be happy.

    Quite excited to see Murray and Leblanc in the lineup.

    • galchenyuk27 says:

      slow defence isn’t to bad if they play positionally smart but I agree to he looks way bigger then anyone on montreal so hopefully his size alone can intimidate

  37. Timo says:

    What’s the over/under of Murray getting injured tonight?
    What’s the same for another Habs player getting injured tonight?

  38. AceTen says:

    Anyone else starting to think Collberg is a bust?

  39. JF says:

    Can anyone tell me whether Steve Kerley (24Cups) was at the Summit and whether things are OK with him? I miss his posts!

  40. Say Ash says:

    I asked last night but nobody knew. Did Vanek have the shortest NHL captaincy ever?

  41. Stevie.Ray says:

    All the advanced stats guys are claiming Murray was statistically one of the worst players in the NHL last year, but if he can keep guys out of Price’s face, and can make battles tougher along the boards, then that’s all he needs to do. I can’t imagine he can be any worse than Hal Gill was. If he knows his role, that’s all you can ask for.

  42. habsguru says:

    i like the Murray signing, and was looking for it when the Pens got him last year, BUT the fact that so many HIO posters are craving a big physical player, is a testament to how overly sheepish and small the Habs really are. how many other teams fans go ape sh** when a 6’3″ 240lb slow (but steady) 33 year old D makes his debut!

  43. shiram says:

    I guess he needs repeating, but Murray is not a goon/enforcer
    Don’t expect him to fight as often as Prust, or even Moen.
    He’s a strady stay at home D, that like to lay out big hits, and fights 1-3 times a season.

  44. HabinBurlington says:

    Just as it was too early to write Louie off after 4 or 5 games in Hamilton, I hope people don’t judge Louie to hard after 1 game tonight. I think he will compliment DD and Bourque as Louie has a high hockey IQ and could provide more help offensively perhaps than Moen was giving.

    Time will tell, but I am glad he is getting the opportunity.

    • Luke says:

      All or Nothing, Burly.

      ALL.
      or.
      NOTHING!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Well said, Burly.
      Glad to see you had a great weekend.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Thanks Mike, hope you can cross the pond one of these years and join us.

        • 123456 says:

          I will join you guys someday . . . instead I was in Pittsburgh for my sons tournament…… and (off-topic) either Canadian players are a million times better than those in the US or they “cheat” and stack their teams for tournaments… LOL I figure in an olympic season I need to stir the pot

    • 100HABS says:

      My grandmother could provide more help offensively than Moen.

    • Propwash says:

      I’m thinking they brought him up a tad too quickly, but hopefully the fire is still lit under his rear. It would help his confidence a lot if he manages to pot one tonight, especially after the adversity he’s gone through.

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • mdp2011 says:

      Interesting little tidbit here on Leblanc, makes you think just how much of the game is mental.

      John Shannon ‏@JSportsnet 6m
      Hearing great things about Leblanc’s return to Habs.S pent summer with sports psychologist to re-think role on team,strengths & weaknesses.

    • veryhabby says:

      What’s there to expect. If lucky he will play 10min, maybe 12 if few penalties. He’s playing with DD who is struggling, and bourque who can finish but has missed the few opportunities that DD made for him to finish.

      LL is not a top 3 player, he’s not a game changer. He will make the NHL as a 3rd liner, maybe 2nd liner depending on depth and how hard he works.

      I guess that’s what my expectations are. To see LL bring some compete to his game, to win puck battles and to play good on backcheck and maybe create a scoring chance or two.

      But I can’t imagine any fan expecting LL to come in and be an impact player like Gallagher was for us last year.

  45. commandant says:

    A look at the busy, and crucial, upcoming stretch.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/10/28/november-crucial-to-canadiens-success/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  46. Sportfan says:

    I’m not sure that I’m really that excited to see LL play to be honest.

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

  47. SteverenO says:

    Looks like Vigneault could use some help with performance analysis as well;

    Last season on the penalty kill for the rangers:

    Girardi and McDonough were the most often utilized. The rangers allowed a PP goal every 8.5 minutes ( 28 PPGA in 239 minutes shorthanded)

    With Girardi on the ice a PPG was allowed every 6.4 minutes, with McDonogh every 7 minutes.

    The rangers most effective penalty killers last season were

    Stralman 1 PPGA in 46 minutes SH TOI = AVG 46mins per PPGA
    Del Zotto: 5 PPG in 72.5 mins SH TOI = AVG 14.5 mins per PPGA
    Stall: 5 PPG in 66 mins SH TOI = AVG 13.2 mins per PPGA

    Last season’s NYR ice time management ,poor as it was, cannot be blamed Vigneault, he was busy with Canucks. This season here is the SH TOI numbers for the Rangers:

    Girardi : 36:12 TOTAL ; 4:01 Mins per game
    McDonagh: 32:33 TOTAL ; 3:37 Mins per game
    Staal: 21:32 TOTAL ; 2: 23 Mins per game
    Stralman: 16:03 TOTAL ; 1:47 Mins per game
    Del Zotto: 1:46 TOTAL ; 00:15 Mins per game

    How is it that two least effective penalty killers from last season are getting twice as much Short handed time than the three defenseman who were SIGNIFICANTLY more effective on the penalty kill last year.

    It is no wonder that the Rangers PK unit is ranked 17th in the league.

    The PP ice time distribution among defensemen is equally puzzling.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      “Looks like Vigneault could use some help with performance analysis as well;”

      Steve, you attract a good bit of abuse here (never from me so far) for your religious devotion to stats! But it never seems to bother you and you just keep posting what you like to post. Fair play to you! You never diss anyone, and you never take offense. Great combo.

      And if Vigneault knows from the ex-Habs coach grapevine that all Montreal managers and coaches come to this site for inspiration, then I’m sure you’ll have his ear!

    • No et al says:

      Steve O – your stats fail to account for Girardi and McDonagh drawing PK time against the opposition’s best PP unit. I’m not saying they’d post better numbers if they were the second PK unit on D, but I don’t think it’s fair to compare goals against stats for the top PK defensive unit versus the second unit, given that quite often the quality of opposition faced by the second pairing is far less than what most teams ice as their first PP unit. Make sense?

      • 123456 says:

        good point – and also sometimes it’ sharder against the second wave because generally the team with the PP has possession of the puck when the second unit begins their time (as opposed to a 50/50 faceoff). these are things a lot of people and certainly the stats can not account for

      • SteverenO says:

        Yes, it makes sense, but it is not enough of a factor to offset the productive/ effectiveness numbers.

        On the PK unit players, especially defrensemen, change when they get the opportunity, the puck is cleared down the ice. The team with the man advantage does not necessarily change their lines when the defensive team does. It seems to me if the pucks are consistently going in the net with the same two guys playing defense, and consistently NOT going in the net when two other guys are playing defense it may be a good idea to give some additional ice time to those who are successful and a little less ice time to those who are not.

        If, as you say, the “weaker” defenceman (those whose numbers are better but you claim that its because they are facing weaker opposition) begin to give up goals at the same pace or worse than your “A” team, their numbers would no longer look so good.

        If you are claiming that the coach has some “extra natural ” ability to KNOW that a player who is currently doing a great job of keeping the opposing team from scoring, will start to give up lots of goals if he played against a different line, I don’t buy that.

        The are some facts that are “known” facts. In this case it is known that the Rangers penalty kill has been significantly better historically when Del Zotto , Stralman and Staal are on the ice than they have been when Girardi and McDonagh are.

        There is no logical reason, in my opinion, why they should not be given more time on the PK unit.

        regards,

        Steve O.

      • SteverenO says:

        @ Desertman …… you wrote:

        3 things:

        1. Gallagher gets “rewarded” powerplay time for his excellent even strength play and his non-stop 110% attitude and effort. Not to mention he is a legit goal scorer and gets to the dirty areas (something no one else on our team does).

        2. Correlation does not imply causation. Just because the stats say the team scores less with Gallagher on the powerplay doesn’t mean he is the cause. He seems to always do a good job on the powerplay.

        3. Powerplay is at 25% which is excellent. Don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken.

        My rebuttal:

        1: Yes, Gallagher deserves to be rewarded for his excellent even strength play and his great effort and phenomenal attitude. I am not arguing that he should NOT have been given every opportunity to play, and succeed, on the PP.
        What I am arguing is that he HAS been rewarded and he HAS been given the opportunity, and he HAS NOT been successful. No only does Gallagher not score PP goals at a decent clip, the TEAM does not score PP goals when he is on the ice. At some point when the rewards given to a deserving player starts to impact the teams chances of scoring and winning it is time to look for a different way to reward him. (make him an assistant captain, give him a pay raise, buy him a sports car, just stop putting him on the PP, it is not working! If we assume an average PP shift is one minute, in 27 shifts with the man advantage the team has scored ONLY two goals, ( I am pretty certain that one of them came on a 5 and 3)

        2. You are absolutely right that correlation does NOT necessarily equal causation. Let’s even say that Gallagher is NOT to blame for the lack of production the HABs experience when he is on the PP. The fact is that when he is NOT on the ice the PP produces goals much more frequently.

        What in your opinion constitutes doing a good job on the PP? Shots? Scoring chances? It’s a powerplay for god sakes, you are supposed to get shots and chances! Shots and chances do NOT win games, and in this case they don’t seem to lead to goals. The sole objective for a PP unit is to score goals.
        Its like a batting average, you either get a hit ( score) or you make an out (don’t score) . Our average, when Gallagher is on the ice, has been SIGNIFICANTLY lower than when he is NOT on the ice and that has been consistently so since he began playing on the PP. (approximately 130 minutes so far)

        3. Our PP has been fairly good this year…….Agreed. In fact it has been excellent when Gallagher is on the bench, and significantly less so when he is on with the PP unit. I am not suggesting that our PP get a complete overhaul, only that the ice time management mirror the productivity. Plekanec, Gionta, and Bourque, (and Briere and Pacioretty when healthy) deserve to get more PP time because they are MORE PRODUCTIVE on the PP.

        Like I said, its simple mathematics, not rocket science.

        I love what Gallagher brings to the team. at even strength. Maybe he can be rewarded with some time on the penalty kill unit?

        Our least effective penalty killers this year have been Moen and White. Why not give Gallagher some time on the penalty kill?
        Both Pacioretty and Bourque have been used, with good results, in that role this season. I don’t know for a certainty that he would be effective but I can imagine that Gallagher’s style of play can be very valuable killing penalties, breaking up passes, causing turnovers, preventing the pass form one point man to another. it would not surprise me if given the opportunity, Gallagher would soon become one of the leading short handed goal scorers in the entire league.

        If you are being honest you would have to admit that there is a pretty good possibility that Gallagher would become a “weapon” on the penalty kill. That possibility should be explored.

        In any case, right now, he is liability to the team’s PP. There can be no harm done by removing him from that position.

        regards,

        Steve O.

  48. desertman says:

    Random notes:

    – New Flames jersey is the ugliest thing i have ever seen.
    – My Canuck friends HATE yannick weber already
    – How bad is new jersey? Does Lou have unlimited time considering his past? Zajac deal looks awful right now and the kovalchuk deal has screwed them real good. Not to mention when they lost in the stanley cup final they chose NOT to abandon the 29th overall pick (pretty much a second rounder) and this year will probably be giving up a top 10, if not top 5 pick! Not so many good decisions in recent times.

  49. JUST ME says:

    This is an excellent game for REVENGE. Sorry about that but we need one of those games where we win 6 to 1 or 7-0 to provide for the guys a good practice session and enjoy our many talented players. As much as this can be seen as wishfull thinking i say it is a well deserved wish and the Rangers look like a good target.

    We may not be at the Shark`s level (yet) but if we come out like we did on saturday, i like our chances.

  50. jedimyrmidon says:

    I find it pretty ridiculous that Price has a 93.7 save pct and 2.12 GAA and his record is 5-5! His teammates need to step it up!

  51. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Where can a Facebook-paranoid non-Summiteer see the weekend’s photographic evidence?

    I enjoyed the pics posted by the Gazette, but everyone seems to be going by their birth cert names instead of their REAL ones! How’s a guy to know who’s who?

  52. Mattyleg says:

    There once was a player called Murray,
    and everyone was in a hurry
    to see him throw punches
    and pound ‘em in bunches…
    how does he skate? That’s the worry!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • FormalWare says:

      *genuflect*


      WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Are you reciting that in a soft, sing-song voice with a sweet little lilt and a big goofy grin on your face?

      Many, many congrats Matty, and to your gf (who didn’t dump you after the turn-style incident!).

      And not a bad limerick at all! (If we collected all HIO poetry and published an anthology — any illustrators out there? — our favourite charities might benefit by millions. Especially with a Nobel Prize…)

      • Mattyleg says:

        Thanks Mike, but the little one hasn’t emerged yet.
        It was looking like it was definitely on on Saturday night, but things ground to a halt, and it’s been cruising altitude since.

        I’ll keep everyone posted tho!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Psycho29 says:

          You could have had a few more pints then!!!! I was willing to buy, but I knew you had a limit!

          ;-)

          • Mattyleg says:

            I know you were up for it, Psycho!
            It was a tough one, but all for a good cause.

            I guess.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Yikes! How’d I get that wrong?
          If you’re a first-time Dad, pack a sandwich and wear layers (that you can peel off in the tropical heat of the delivery room — no need to pass out at the crucial moment). If you’re not a first-timer, you know this already.

          • Mattyleg says:

            We left in a bit of a tizzy from the Summit, pretty sure it was going to happen, but it didn’t.
            Oct. 31 is due-day, and it’s #2, so we’re well ready!
            (because every delivery is the same, right? Right?)

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • dr. gesundheit says:

      Yo…not bad.

  53. habstrinifan says:

    Very afraid to post this . But it’s been bugging me a lot. And I am not sure if it’s all my imagination; my lack of confidence in MT; or my disgust with the mediocrity which has stemmed from the overly-coaching of ‘restrictive’ hockey used by coaches from Gainey to JM and now to MT?

    No one else seems to be concerend so I have kept my mouth shut. But it’s bugging me. I think somehwere after the Columbus game MT’s has put his foot down and we now are seeing a gradual tone down of offense for a structure similar to JM’S hockey.

    We’ll see how it goes. But many of you, Jimmy Shaker being the latest, have remarked on the lack-lustre play of players who usually are not that way for an entire game… much less a couple of games.
    The reasoning seems to be poor effort on the part of the players. Based on MT’s positive responses to these games and his ‘alarmist’ response to the Columbus game… I am not so sure.

    Since I seem to be a ‘lone’ voice I have to assume I am WRONG.
    Guess we shall see. But I just had to get it off my chest.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Fair enough Trini, but I don’t think that MT has anywhere near the same methodical approach to ‘team defence’ that JM had. We were pretty free-wheeling last season, and we beat the Ducks 4-1 on Thursday.

      We coudn’t play a wider-open game on Saturday night; there was no way, with the number of youngsters on the team, that we would have been able ot play a more attacking style and still be responsible defensively against the top team in the NHL.

      Basically I’m trying to reassure you.
      It’s fine, I don’t think we need to worry too much.
      Hopefully some of the youngsters get their scoring touch back!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • desertman says:

      I agree with Matty. The system is no where near as restrictive as JM’s. Against the Sharks we had to play a checking game and it almost paid off were it not for an unlucky bounce and a PPG (that shouldn’t have counted in my opinion).

      In general we have played a very free flowing, aggressive game. Subban dangling through teams is evidence of such.

      The recent tightening up has a lot to do with the injuries and the young players on the team. If young teams don’t play tight you get the oilers and the islanders (horrible defensive teams due to lack of understanding of when to take appropriate risks).

      All will be well

    • Cal says:

      MT doesn’t adjust mid-game. We’ve seen this now over enough games to know this is true. He worries more over some details that lead to chances against, but doesn’t focus enough on creating offense (by adjusting to what the other team is doing).

      • HabinBurlington says:

        In complete agreement about what appears to be an inability to make in game/between period adjustments in accordance to what others teams are doing.

    • SmartDog says:

      In my eyes, the loss against the Sharks was just a lack of physicality.

      The style of play was fine – they had their chances. The overall effort even was good. But they lost more battles than they won, they dished the puck away more than SJ did, and they got hammered to the ice several times without retaliation. That’s about it.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  54. Luke says:

    From TSN re Rangers injuries:

    Although Lundqvist is set to return, the Rangers will not have captain Ryan Callahan or fellow forwards Carl Hagelin and Rick Nash on Monday, as all three players are on injured reserve.

  55. stephen says:

    Apologies if I am late to the party in commenting on the Dubinsky hit on Koivu, but I’ve only just seen it today.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTSsQ7UwnZ0

    How does this not warrant supplemental discipline? Unless my eyes are gravely deceiving me, is this hit not:

    a) late?
    b) an elbow?
    c) clearly directed at Koivu’s head?

    I’m completely befuddled on the league’s decision not to pursue any further discipline.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Great post, Stephen, and I fully agree and wish you had Shanahan’s position.

      It’s a hit that entirely merits a major sanction. In its cynicism, however, the NHL prefers the notoriety and media coverage that accompany these hits over any notion of player safety.

      Notice the move that Dubinsky “pulls” on Ducks D No.4 (Cam Fowler) in front of the crease in the ensuing scrum? Familiar?

    • Curtis O Habs says:

      The league thinks it`s Saku`s fault for being smallish. I wonder if the person that came to Saku`s defense received a interference penalty like Alex G.

  56. SmartDog says:

    @GrosBill – thanks for the link about Ted Bird and others being let go.

    Too bad. But at least I’ll never have to listen to the monumentally vapid Sharman Yarnell again on CJAD. Hooray for that.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  57. frontenac1 says:

    Is The “Stache in tonight? Might be handy with Prust and Moen out.

  58. ClutchNGrab says:

    Eventually, I would like to see Murray with Subban, he made a good duo with Dan Boyle in SJ.

  59. FormalWare says:

    Murray the Truculent
    Murray the Bellicose
    Pounding the Blueshirts
    Into so-much Cellulose!


    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  60. SteverenO says:

    Here is a snapshot of Habs forwards production on the PP:

    Player: PP TOI / PPGS / MIbs per PPG

    Galchenyuk: 31.27 / 4 / 7.9 Min.PerPPG
    Gallagher: 26.54 / 2 / 13.5 MinPer PPG
    Bourque: 26:06 / 5 / 5.2 MinPerPPG
    Plekanec: 23:34 / 6 / 3.9 MinPerPPG
    Eller: 22.58 / 2 / 11.5 MinPerPPG
    Desharnais: 21:10 / 3 / 7.1 MinPerPPG
    Gionta: 18:17 / 4 / 4.6 MinPerPPG
    Briere: 16:39 / 3 / 5.5 MinPerPPG
    Pacioretty: 7:48 / 3 / 2.6 MinPerPPG

    Gallagher, just like last season is the weakest of all Habs forwards on the PP.

    His production at even strength is awesome, but for some reason it does not translate to the PP unit. As I have been pointing out since middle of last season. the Habs PP unit does SIGNIFICANTLY better when Gallagher is NOT on the ice.

    Why the coaching staff insists on continuing to give him “top” PP minutes,and more often than not, have him playing on the first wave is a mystery to me. It makes no sense at all.

    Overall the HAbs have scored a PP goal every 6 minutes and 10 seconds when we have the man advantage.

    When Gallagher is on the ice we have score once every 13 minutes and 30 seconds.

    When Gallagher is NOT on the ice the PP unit has scored once every 4:minutes and 31 seconds.

    This is not rocket science, it is a very simple measurement of productivity.

    One of the following must be true:
    a) the coaching staff are not aware of the fact that the PP is less effective when Gallagher is on the PP unit;

    or
    (b) they ARE aware and choose to ignore it, by continuing to give him maximum PP ice time.

    I would understand the coaching staff decision to keep playing Gallagher on the first PP line if he had been was reasonably productive on the PP last season however the FACTS are that he was the least effective of the HAbs forwards on the power play last season as well.

    What do you all think?

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • bwoar says:

      For the simple, non-rocket science answer (i.e. just my opinion):
      Gallagher goes to the net where few others do. It’s a matter of learning for him to continue to play those minutes.

      “thoroughbred”

    • desertman says:

      3 things:

      1. Gallagher gets “rewarded” powerplay time for his excellent even strength play and his non-stop 110% attitude and effort. Not to mention he is a legit goal scorer and gets to the dirty areas (something no one else on our team does).

      2. Correlation does not imply causation. Just because the stats say the team scores less with Gallagher on the powerplay doesn’t mean he is the cause. He seems to always do a good job on the powerplay.

      3. Powerplay is at 25% which is excellent. Don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken.

  61. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Good moves. Budaj could use the work and has played well and Price can’t play them all. As for LL, even if he doesn’t score, for size alone, I like him better than DD. Go Habs!

    There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk but … there is fighting in hockey.

  62. jamman says:

    Good afternoon all and happy gameday! Wise decision, dont want to burn Price out considering he is arguably the front-runner for Sochi. Hoping galchenyuk breaks out of his slump!

  63. jimmy shaker says:

    MT only 18 more starts for budaj this year……remember he needs 20 games played……and once the injury bay is empty this team will be fine.

    PK, chucky, larry need to pick it up…..seem to be a little lax the last couple of games. I didn’t list DD because, well, you all know why.

    Let’s go Louis, make your girlfriend proud tonight! Hopefully she’ll be kinder in her remarks. LOL!

    Shaker out!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Hi Jimmy,

      Are those guys lax, or are opponents’ adjusting their game plans so as to hinder them from playing their game? Genuine question.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        Good point…..opponents have keyed in more on that line, maybe a little more bulldog mentality like gally would be a good thing. I know they are different type players, but there is no substitute for hard work. And PK seems to be a little indecisive to me. Opponents have limited his time and space as well, but he knows and we all know, that as an elite player now in the game, he can rise above that pressure and excel. We’ve seen it before.

        Shaker out!

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Me thinks that if LL’s not in the NHL he better be looking for a “Hamilton Hottie” as his current girlfriend will drop him as fast as her rankings in the WTA did.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

  64. habsguru says:

    Murray is playing centre tonight. he is going to carry DD on his back in a little bag like that dude on game of throwns. guessing Davey will need a longer stick.

  65. Eddie says:

    So the Rangers have just beaten Detroit in Detroit for their 3rd win of the young season. They are now 3-6, as they started the season with 9 straight road games because MSG was not yet ready for Prime Time.

    Tonight is the Rangers’ home opener, and I would say, an early “must win” game for their new coach, Alain Vigneault.

    How pumped do you think the Rangers will be for this one?

    If Vigneault can not get his team up for this game, he is not getting through very well to this group I would say.

    I think Vigneault is a solid coach who has earned the players’ respect, and I expect a very tough game for the Habs tonight.

  66. L Elle says:

    At least I finally know what Cal looks like. Pretty close to what I had imagined. LOL

  67. Sportfan says:

    I’m kind of excited to see Murray tonight, especially the I want to hit people comment.

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

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Me too. we’ve been waiting for our big crease clearer for a few months now….I’m hoping he stays healthy and provides a little militancy back there!

      24 cups and counting….

  68. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Congrats Ian! Looks like everyone had a fantastic weekend. Can’t wait til I get my chance to go.

    I was away all weekend and have only seen highlights of the Sharks game. Hey, considering all the key players we’re missing, it sure looked like we kept it close with currently the league’s best team.

    (Did someone mention condensed games on RDS? Once you go to the site, what do you click?)

    Dubinsky on Koivu: dirty hit, Shanahan’s a puppet. But go back to the follow-up play in front of the crease — what is that that Dubinsky then does to Ducks’ D Cam Fowler (no. 4).

    Look familiar?

  69. Sportfan says:

    Thought it was supposed to be Price tonight ah well tomorrow then haha.

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

  70. Habitant in Surrey says:

    @StuCowan

    …Stu, I already posted Budaj was starting tonight …COMPLETELY unnecessary to start a new thread !!! :(

    :)

  71. FANHABULOUS says:

    I’m optimistic about tonight… I think the boys did ok against the Sharks, considering who we’re missing. Just think, it was really a 1-0 loss, that second goal being a huuuuge fluke. PLus, we gave them a way better game than the Sens did.

    Btw, anyone who thinks Karlsson is a better D than Subban should look at last nights Sens highlights… a huge giveaway then the worst lazy back-check ever! At least Subby can play D, hits like a monster, and also gives you all the offense. I know ya’ll might think I’m biased, but I wouldn’t trade the guy for any other D in the league. And if he doesn’t make team Canada…

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

  72. The Dude says:

    Who’s gonna start….So,think the last goal got Budaj this gig? I do!

  73. habsguru says:

    TSN radio says Murray is in tonight!

  74. FANHABULOUS says:

    2

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


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