Canadiens back to work today

Ecept for Roman Hamrlik and Josh Gorges, who weren’t at practice in Brossard this morning.

With Hamrlik getting an extra day to rest his weary bones, Alexandre Picard was paired with James Wisniewski.

The four forward lines that faced Atlanta on Sunday remained intact, which meant Lars Eller was an extra skater.

And Carey Price finished about 53,000 votes behind Marc-Andre Fleury in All-Star voting.

*  *  *

Tabernac! MAB to Canadiens Sud

*  *  *

Francois Gagnon’s midseason grades.

*  *  *

While everyone and his uncle was watching the Juniors romp, Boston beat the Leafs to pull three points ahead of the Canadiens (with two games in hand) and the Rangers called up Ryan McDonagh to see what he’s got.

Difficult stretch ahead

Desharnais deserves a chance

• Pierre Ladouceur’s mid-season report card

• Canadiens slip to 16th in ESPN Power Rankings

• Cute: Ovie and Varlamov as Russian spies

473 Comments

  1. Habs_love says:

    they are going to have an amazing powerplay

    “All I can say to the young players is, enjoy every moment of it. Just enjoy every moment of it.”
    - Lemieux

  2. mike g says:

    Exactly…

    I still think their D needs some fixing. A solid blueliner…

    And a Langenbrunner upfront would make that team scary good.

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  3. Bill says:

    Speaking for myself, I liked Carbo fine, experience or no. That team just quit on him and it was disgusting.

    And as for JM: a LOT of people questioned the hiring from the beginning, precisely because of his track record as an over-cautious, old-school, defensive coach who doesn’t handle young players well. This seemed to go against the grain considering the Habs are built to be a fast, offensive club which happens to have a lot of young players coming up.

    Now we are watching a team of fast offensive players struggling to play a grinding defensive game that neuters their skill. We are watching talented young players regress and backslide instead of developing. I cannot say I am surprised.

    The team indeed will go as far as Price can take it, just as it went as far as Halak could take it last spring. Point being, that should not be how it works. It shouldn’t be up to the goalie to steal everything. With Price in a bit of a funk the team simply cannot cope … still waiting for an adjustment.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  4. Mark C says:

    I don’t understand this move. Tampa is 8th in goals per game, 4th in PP%, and 26th in goals allowed per game. MAB seems like the wrong type of player to add. Anyway, that will be some kind of PP down there.

  5. KenD29 says:

    You’re right jrshabs1. However I would also have forwards who could score, checkers who would hit and crash the opposing net and D who would not continuosly give up 3 on 2, 2 on 1 or breakaways! Long for the glory days of Lafleur, Shutt, Gainey, Lemaire, Cournoyer, Lambert, Savard, Lapointe, Robinson to name but a few

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  6. KenD29 says:

    they will come April !

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  7. shiram says:

    Saw it on canoe.ca, the Lightning are really picking up all our leftovers… They should give us something for a change.

    edit : 1million at the nhl level, 105k if he plays in the ahl.

  8. naweed235 says:

    On the same note the Canadiens Organization announced today their official butt licker to be the Tampabay Lightining.

     

  9. matraque says:

    MAB is a Lightning

    ——

    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  10. jrshabs1 says:

     If you were still playing Kenny we would be sitting in the top 5 not 8th. You should be mentoring #31 on how to be a winner.

     

    Go Habs Go!!

  11. KenD29 says:

    What has Moen done on the 3rd or 4th line? And Spacek, while you are correct he has been bumped up due to Markov injury, he still coughs up the puck at least once a game if not more. Definitely showing his age.

    Guess will agree to disagree on the ratings for these two.

     

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  12. LA Loyalist says:

    what I look at:

    1. effort

    2. effort

    3. effort

    If our guys were killing themselves out there and we just don’t have the ponies, fine.

    But the one handed checking and the passes to nowhere and the confusion in our own zone…

    When was the last time WE won 3 games in a row? More than a month. 

    I WISH our glass was half full. We’ve got 4 or 5 players i would keep. Price, Plex, Gorges, PK, Cam-Cam (excluding Markov due to injury and Wiz as he just got here but certainly he looks good).

    5 out of 20 – (exc M and W). That’s 25%

    So which is it? Do we just not have the horses?

    Or do we have a bunch of glue factory candidates?

    Or is Count Chocula a problem.

    How can our record be acceptable? 6 weeks in the toilet is not a slump. 

    Ducks are improving. We are trending into the round file. That’s the point.

  13. mike g says:

    Ok, you’ve made that same remark about Richards about 1000 times already..

    It’s gotten old.

    If you can’t see his true value as a player, then that’s your loss. If he’d actually be the extreamly dirty player that you make him out to be, he’d be making the highlights for his dirty incidents on a monthly basis just like Matt Cooke does.

    But that’s not the case, so please drop it. It happened a couple of times, the same way it happens to every rugged player, and that’s it. If you wanna dwell on 2 incidents, then do so.

    All we were trying to say was that he was the only Canadian player who didn’t look physically engaged in the game last night.

    And you can’t argue that.

    Every team Canada player threw his weight around like a train without breaks and crashed the net like crazy. The only one who didn’t was Leblanc.

    If that’s not his game, fine. All we did was point out a glaring need on the Habs, and we thaught that Louis was more physical than that.

    I find it funny that you bash a 100% comitted NHL superstar, captain and Olympic gold medal winner like Richards, but yet you support a player like AK…

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  14. shiram says:

    Points for effort!

  15. matraque says:

    MAB to tampa… Should be annonced today.

    ——

    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  16. Timo says:

    He needs to learn respect.

  17. SeriousFan09 says:

    Hoping that Cammy going up against his favourite punching bag in the NHL will get him rolling.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  18. mike g says:

    No, I like my marks better….

    They’ve both been unfairly forced into roles that don’t suit them.

    Moen’s not a top 6, but played as one for a while and didn’t cost us games.

    And Spacek was penciled in as a #4 or 5 d-man this year, and has been bumped up to a #2. And has shut down the oppositions top lines often this year.

    So, IMO, they deserve higher marks for that.

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  19. Hoegarden says:

    All this JM negativity is perplexing. For years Habs fans wanted a coach with experience (from Tremblay to Carbo). BG finds one and everyone is happy. Now many are questioning every moves he makes. Line juggling, benchin so and so, every team does it. This team will go as far as Price takes it, period. We all saw a clear example of it vs Atlanta. The combo Martin/Muller is perfect. One old school, one new (sort of).

    The one issue that bugs me is the preferential treatment some get but if the coach is told to play them, he has to follow orders.

  20. A. Berke says:

    Well, the Habs will have a golden opportunity to burst the Fleury bubble in two days if they can bring their A game and win.

    Ali B.

  21. 24 Cups says:

    mg – If you were a classroom teacher the kids would love you!

  22. SeriousFan09 says:

    So my boy Louis Leblanc is takin’ some heat today for not being exactly like Mike Richards as his HC Pascal Vincent compared him to a couple of times.

    Could be he was compared to Richards because of some of the aspects of his play like his ability to hold the puck along the boards, have an outstanding work ethic and good hockey sense. I mean sure he doesn’t his use his elbow pads as weapons, recklessly target the head and cry like a little girl when a rookie doesn’t give him the respect he thinks he deserves but nobody’s perfect.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  23. wd40 says:

    For kicks and giggles, the season thus far … 

    Games 01-10 (2.8 GF) - (2.2 GA) – (7 WINS) - (1 start by Auld)

    Games 11-20 (2.3 GF) – (1.7 GA) – (6 WINS) – (10 starts by Price, included 3 SOs)

    Games 21-30 (2.7 GF) – (2.2 GA) – (5 WINS) - (2 starts by Auld)

    Games 31-40 (2.2 GF) - (3.5 GA) – (3 WINS) - (1 start by Auld)

  24. KenD29 says:

    ok. But Moen at 77%? Maybe 70-71 …   Spacek at 78% Maybe 75% or slightly lower   based on your criteria of being in a playoff spot at this very point in time.

     

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  25. Mark C says:

    Which is funny because they give up a bazillion more shots (most in the NHL) than Montreal. 5.2 shots a game which is by NHL standards a bazillion.

  26. Hammer says:

    Does anyone know the record of the habs since the Count did his social engineering project with PK? The message was simple, there will be no fun in Habsville!! When you start listening to a washed up guy in a pink suit and to opposition players, you are in trouble. Since the project began, PK has not looked anything like his former self. IMO Habs need to get bigger, younger on D and keep the line is tact.

  27. mike g says:

    What do you expect?

    The NHL shoves the Pens down everyone’s throat 24/7, just like the HBO series. They make the Pens look like that perfect team, where everything works perfectly, everyone smiles and loves eachother, and the good’ol Sid just keeps on rolling.

    Every fan who gets influence by the NHL has a hard-on for the Pens.

    And, Fleury is just a part of the puzzle. Plays on a team that supplies him consistently with a minimum of 3 goals per night, and most often 4+ goals.

    He’s caught fire in the past month, but everyone seems to forget how bad he was for the 1st 2 months of the year. He was letting in 4+ goals every game, and lost his job to Brent Johnson.

    Yes, that Brent Johnson……

    But nobody who votes even looks at that. Who’s the Pens’ goalie?….Fleury?…Ok, let’s vote him in!

    Forget about goalies who were/are early Vezina candidates like Thomas, Lundqvist and perhaps Price.

    No, no, no. Sid’s goalie on that America’s Penguins team is Fleury….

    So vote him in!!

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  28. MikeMcLaren says:

    Please no, he NEEDS the rest!  For a fanbase that is supposed to be smart, I’m hoping they all pulled up on the voting when they realized this, too.

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  29. SeriousFan09 says:

    He could still get picked when the two All-Star Captains choose teams, one goalie per period after all.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  30. HabFanSince72 says:

    So when you look at the Ducks you see the glass as half full.

    When you look at the Habs it’s half empty.

     

  31. Mark C says:

    I don’t know, but that wasn’t my point. My point was that it is something that happens all the time (10 times in the prior two years), and almost always the teams that use one goalie in 70 games or more make the playoffs. Claiming (wrongfully so) that it is impossible and using it against JM, is a corrupt argument.

  32. mike g says:

    This is an answer to all of you guys….

    They all got a passing grade because this team is still in a playoff spot, and in full control of it’s destiny. If I told you at the beginning of the year that Markov wouldn’t have a single influence on this team and would miss the whole year, Georges would be playing with a busted knee for 3 weeks and now on IR, our top 2 defenseman would be Hamrlik and Spacek, and that Price would have been used more than a Russian prostitue, what would you have said?

    Probably this, “bye bye playoffs”.

    But, for as bad as the above paragraph seems, this team has somehow pulled through and it looks like they’ll make the playoffs if they stay the course.

    That’s why everyone gets a passing grade.

    I’m not gonna be like Gagnon and give players like Cammy a 55%. Even though I know he’s been playing like a bum this year, Cammy playing at 55% is a total mess and means were not in the playoffs.

    So that’s how I graded them.

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  33. SmartDog says:

    I’m glad Price didn’t get the allstar nod.  With his workload he needs rest, let’s not even get into whether it’s deserved.

    But Fleury??? MY FAWKING GAWD IN FREAKIN HEAVEN ON A STICK.

    Fleury is a JOKE.   A mediocre goalie on a powerhouse team just as famous for choking as for coming through. 

    ——-

  34. LA Loyalist says:

    …Getzlaf broke his face (!) they will miss him badly.

    i was at the Chicago game Sunday night and saw the first live penalty shot of my life right in front of us (Selanne put it off the crossbar and later got cross-checked in the head for his trouble by Keith).

    Anyway  Iwas hoping to see Lapierre but I think he just had one practice so they didn’t use him. 

    Ducks are getting it going. Perry and Ryan are the real deal, and Koivu and Selanne look like they are on string with each other. Also Hiller was excellent on 40 shots. They have a very young D Cam Fowler who looks really interesting.

    Chicago looks pretty balanced, but I wonder about their goaltending, apparently no one is happy with Turco right now. They used a young guy Sunday, not sure who played against Kings last night.

    Koivu looks fine. He is on the ice in every important situation and he will step it up with Getzlaf down.

    What I see in other top teams that I’ve seen live (Detroit, Chicago, Kings, Vancouver, Ducks_ that we (Habs) just don’t seem to have is balance. We have too many small guys who can’t use their skill and our bigger guys aren’t that skilled.

    I don’t see any quick fix for us. The 0-16 (or 17 now) when trailing after 2 is really, really disturbing in terms of the teams character profile.

    The good news is by signing Wiz (not Wiz per se but the type of player he is) PG seems to recognize what we need to do.

    I’ll report on Koivu, Chipchurra and Lapierre at next game. I probably seeing Blues (Halak) > Ducks next week.

     

  35. SmartDog says:

    Gomez > Subban?

    Gomez > Cammalleri?

    Those first 20 games didn’t count??

    ——-

  36. SmartDog says:

    Pleks wears it most games.  So much lately I think that it IS his.

    ——-

  37. The Cat says:

    It is possible for a goalie to play that much but why would you want to do that?

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  38. rocketsglare says:

    I couldn’t agree more. The Habs have no balance in the sense that their roster is to old or young and few in between.

    There’s not that mix of enough veterans, prime players, and up and coming youngsters to make for a balanced and

    working team. The only players I see as being in their prime or coming into their prime is Cammalleri and Plekanec.

    Who, other than the two mentioned fits that bill on this Habs roster? The veterans and youngsters will produce what

    they can, but it really falls on those prime players to produce and produce often that is the true catalyst of any good

    and successful team. Unfortunately, this team has very few such players and could explain for this team’s past and

    now recent struggles on the ice. Until that changes, the Habs will always be struggling just to make the playoffs.

    Go Habs Go!

  39. HUDSONHAB says:

    Back to work?

    I’m scared. 45+ shots and 3 goals should win most (80%) of the games.

    Next up… Pitt and the Bruins.

    Please Carey Price, please don’t go, don’t go away.

    ….Hab4life….

  40. LA Loyalist says:

    Then how come we’ve lost so many games, especially against supposedly “worse” teams?

  41. jennifer1984 says:

    out west i believe. i just checked my guide on my tv. says it starts at 11:30. tsn is showing wings and oilers first.

  42. Habnofear says:

    A) 2015

    B) no

    3)no

    4)yes or lower

    5)yes …it’s in the youth

    6)wiz

    7)yes

    8)no

    9)yes10)no

  43. Mark C says:

    LA do you actually watch the games or do you just make this stuff up?

    Last year 6 goalies played in 70+ games, and other two played in 69. It clearly is possible for a hockey goalie to play in 70 games plus the playoffs.

    Philosophy of giving up a million shots a game? Montreal has allowed the 11th FEWEST shots in the league.

    It isn’t hard to find these stats, and using them might allow you to form valid and interesting points, instead of misleading hyperbole.

     

  44. matraque says:

    Gratz to Halak for making it in the top 6 Western All Star team!

    ——

    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  45. KenD29 says:

    my apologies kooch, my previous comment should have been directed to jrshabs1.

     

    And I agree with your comment above on all fronts!

     

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  46. Say Ash says:

    AK: 68%? Not entirely fair. He was riding a 90% while sitting next to Plekanec and then JM moved him to the desk next to Gomez.

    And Lapierre: 64%? Even the guy who didn’t finish the course passed nonetheless. I wish I had you as a teacher.

  47. HabFanSince72 says:

    philosophy of giving up a million shots a game.

    Sorry to pick on you, but you’re wrong again.

    Shots against during our latest losing streak:

    Col: 28

    Dal: 17

    Car: 24

    NYI: 25

    Wash: 29

    TB: 21

    Fla: 22

    Atl: 24

     

  48. KenD29 says:

    Interesting especially Moen, AK and Spacek. In my humble opinion, ratings are a little to generous.

     

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  49. Kooch7800 says:

    lol Price needs to stop all the pucks,score, and play physical. If not, he is just not cutting it.  but our forwards can just skate around and shoot over the net over and over and our Defense can give the puck away and they are not at fault

  50. JohnBellyful says:

    Great, another player with Stone hands…

  51. mike g says:

    Mike G’s midseason report card:

    Carey Price: 90%

    Alex Auld: 81%

    Pleks: 90%

    Cammy: 74%

    AK: 68%

    Gomez: 80%

    Gionta: 82%

    Pouliot: 80%

    Halpern: 80%

    Darche: 84%

    Eller: 71%

    Moen: 77%

    Lapierre: 64%

    Desharnais, Patches, Boyd and Pyatt get no grade, not enough to judge.

    Gill: 81%

    Hamrlik: 83%

    Spacek:78%

    Georges: 86%

    Subban: 76%

    Picard: 76%

    Webber, Markov and Wiz no grade, not enough seen.

     

    Those marks were based on overall delivery of my expectations versus what each player delivered.

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  52. KenD29 says:

    Kooch -  did not realize #31 also needs to score goals too !  Pretty hard to win games when you get shut out or score only 1 goal !

     

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  53. Hobie Hansen says:

    It’s amazing how one fight injured his shoulder and his confidence forever. For a while he looked to be one of the best hitters and defensive defensemen in the NHL.

     

    Thank goodness we let him go! Feel bad for him though, he has a good heart and tries his hardest every shift.  

  54. Kooch7800 says:

    Yemelin is not coming over to the NHL. I would be pleasantly surprised if he did but I wouldn’t get your hopes up.  He would be here if he was going too

  55. HabFanSince72 says:

    The Ducks are 6-4 over the last ten with 3 wins in a row.

     

     

  56. LA Loyalist says:

    Many of you will remember that I was TOTALLY down on Price last year. However, I think this year he’s played very well for the most part and if he is slipping now it’s mental fatigue because he is playing too much. 

    There is no mentally more difficult position in sport than hockey goalie and nobody can play 70+ games and playoffs… it’s not possible. Especially with our highly questionable D and philosophy of giving up a million shots a game.

    So play Auld (we’re losing anyway) and rest Price for a bit or trade for an older proven back up which is what we should have done in the first freaking place if we had any brains at the top.

    Price slipping was inevitable and totally predictable and it’s management’s fault. Ken Dryden couldn’t play 40 straight games behind this defence.

  57. Kooch7800 says:

    If it wasn’t for #31 this year we would be down in the bottom with the leafs.  Our offense is the problem on this team.  With the loss of Markov on the back end i knew we would be in trouble. Spacek and Hammer are just too old to carry the workload.

    Price is a better than average goalie who plays well but in my opinion has been played a little too much this year…..you ask why, because that is the only chance we really have of winning.

    Auld is a typical back up (nothing against him) but when your offense is as abismal as ours you need to stop the puck to win the game.

    Until we get more consistent goal scoring we will not being going very far. You can win when you only score 1 to 2 goals every game.  Seems kind of foolish to blame the goalie for lack offense

  58. GrimJim says:

    A camel is a horse designed by a desert…

    The minivan was designed by committee.

  59. G-Man says:

    The camel, a creature perfectly adapted to its extremely harsh climate and conditions, could never have been designed by a committee.

    The Habs, however, are another story entirely.

  60. krob1000 says:

    The Boyd thing was a mess from day one…waived without knowing…twice waived yet kept around and not playing…now they send him down and he lights it up but can’t be recalled this season. Laps…a mess…..Subban…that only came about when Mike Richards decided it should…and how Cammi escaped blame there and did not step up and take any heat of the kid…I dunno.  Now we have grounded Eller despite the winning thing (personally glad teh winning thing amy be broken)….I can’t see anyone possibly suggesting it is becasue of his ego…. I do not like the way Montreal (not just JM ) handles their youth…we handle them as if their mistakes are going to mean we don’t win the cup….we spend all of this time and create all of this negative energy only to have them leave….for nothing.  We do the training….we are a RFA Farm Club it appears anymore….that trend has to change as RFA’s and youth are the key to the Cap era….

  61. LA Loyalist says:

    What leadership perchance is this to which you refer?

    The leadership that’s gotten us through the last dozen games so we are staggering punch drunk into the new year?

    I wasn’t against Gionta, but… the results speak for themselves, and leadership by committee?

    A camel is a horse designed by a committee.

    If we had a leader Gomez would have been bounced off the dressing room wall two months ago.

     

     

     

  62. jrshabs1 says:

     Ian, I disagree. #31 is no longer a rookie and it’s time that everyone figures that out. #31 shows signs of greatness but his overall play is not that good. His lack of focus is  baffling concidering he is a profesional athlete. #31 has a problem with letting in bad goals and letting in goals at the worst times..ie in the last minute of periods. Nobody wants a top goalie in Montreal more than I do.

     

     

    Go Habs Go!!

  63. mbplekfan says:

    Nash is a pleasant surprise but needs at least next year in the A.

  64. mbplekfan says:

    PG will work overtime to get Emelin. He is NHL ready and exactly what we need.

  65. Mark C says:

    But when the team was 18-8-2 it had nothing to do with the coach, right?

    Coaching is so overrated in most cases, only elite and horrid coaches make a big difference. I don’t think JM is either.

    Most of the recent loses have been against top teams; Det, Dal, Phily, and Tampa all lead their divisions; I think Wash was at the time. Only the Leafs and NYI were only stinker teams. Both Col and ATL are playoff teams. Sorry to let facts get in the way of your JM hate on.

     

  66. NoTinFoilCups says:

    The Nash kid in Hamilton looks very promising. Every now and again you get a guy out of nowhere.

    Pitkanen would be a nice free agent signing if we go that route.

  67. Ian Cobb says:

    Never was a problem with # 31, JR. Price was fine as a learning rookie, and has progressed into one of the best at this level. He has won a lot of games and kept us in games by himself.

  68. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Dump ASAP

  69. forskis says:

    Not surprised that all the doom and gloom are back…however, this is not going to be the last time a team has a bad month…it happens…although the team may be coming out of it…a gritty win against FLA and inspired play against ATL (at least Price allowed them to garner a point with some saves)…the important thing is that at least Price knows he is playing subpar….let’s see if he can do what every other goalie in a slump has done and get himself out of it.

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  70. Mark says:

    It’s kinda been by committee. It seems like they alternate between Gomez, Cammalleri, Gorges, and Plekanec for the other A. I agree that Plekanec should have a more permanent go with the A, but it’s nice knowing that we have so much leadership that we can alternate assistant captains.

  71. Ian Cobb says:

    Sam

    I for one was very pleased to see Komisaric leave us and take such a big chunk of the leafs cap. He is not worth half of what he is getting. His con days are over, barely a good AHL player.

  72. GrimJim says:

    Gill and Gomez wore the A in the last game.

    And of course, Emma Stone…

  73. HabFanSince72 says:

    Cool fact of the day.

    The Habs could have drafted Jarome Iginla. He went 11th that year. With the 8th pick that year we chose …. Terry Ryan.

  74. jrshabs1 says:

     Don’t forget about # 31 and his Alex Kovalev disease affecting his focus and thus hindering his ability to stop the puck on a regular basis. Doctors thought they had cured #31 from AK disease during the summer but somewhere in the beginning of December it flared up again causing #31 and his mates to suffer unexplainable losses. More to follow…..

     

    Go Habs Go!!


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