Canadiens Notebook: Alex Galchenyuk among five players to show up for optional practice

STU COWAN

The Canadiens held an optional practice Friday morning in Brossard and only five players took part.

It wasn’t surprising to see Daniel Carr and Greg Pateryn on the ice just before 11 a.m. since they were healthy scratches for Thursday’s 5-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes at the Bell Centre. And it wasn’t surprising to see backup goalie Al Montoya at the practice or even rookie defenceman Mikhail Sergachev, who only had 10:59 of ice time against the Coyotes. But it was surprising to see first-line centre Alex Galchenyuk as the fifth player on the ice along with goalie coach Stéphane Waite, who put the players through some drills.

“I just wanted to work on some things, get a couple of shots,” Galchenyuk said after the brief practice and before the Canadiens headed to Boston, where they will face the Bruins Saturday night (7 p.m., CITY, TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690).

“It’s still early in the season, I feel like I can work on some things,” Galchenyuk added. “I was just feeling it. I just woke up and decided I wanted to go on the ice.”

 

Galchenyuk logged 15:56 of ice time against the Coyotes and scored his first goal of the season. But he continued to struggle in the faceoff circle, winning only three of eight draws for a 38 per cent success rate. After four games, Galchenyuk has won only 33.3 per cent of his faceoffs.

“He’s still a young man, even if he’s been a few years in the NHL,” coach Michel Therrien said during his Friday news conference about the 22-year-old Galchenyuk. “But the role we’ve given him this year, right from the get-go, we believe and we trust him that he’s ready for that challenge and the last two games you could tell that he’s getting better and better.

“It’s a demanding role to be kind of your No. 1 centreman at such a young age,” the coach added. “For us, he’s getting better. He wants to improve every day and he wants to improve every game, and this is what we saw so far from the beginning of the year.”

After Thursday’s game — which improved the Canadiens record to 3-0-1, earning seven out of a possible eight points to start the year — Galchenyuk was asked if he and his teammates were having fun.

 

“We’re playing in the best league in the world,” he responded with a smile. “Why wouldn’t you have fun, right?

“We’re missed only one point (in the standings) so we’re a confident group right now,” he added. “We know there’s still some things we can work on, but we’re definitely happy with the start.”

With a goal and three assists to start the season, Galchenyuk is averaging a point per game. Five other Canadiens are also averaging a point per game after four games: Jeff Petry (2-2-4), David Desharnais (2-2-4), Brendan Gallagher (2-2-4), Max Pacioretty (1-3-4) and Shea Weber (1-3-4).

When asked if there will be any lineup changes for the game against the Bruins, Therrien said: “We’ll see tomorrow.”

Learning process continues for Sergachev

Sergachev is still looking for his first NHL point after playing three games, averaging 10:25 of ice time and posting a plus-1.

When asked if he thought about skipping Friday’s optional practice, the 18-year-old smiled and said: “It’s not optional for me.”

The first-round draft pick said he was going to do a workout in the team’s Brossard gym after the practice.

“I got to go and skate and do a workout,” he said. “I think it’s good for me because I’m a young guy … I’m not playing a lot. I got to be in shape.”

Sergachev said he didn’t know yet if he’d be playing against the Bruins.

Confidence the key

After Thursday’s morning skate, Sergachev spoke about how important confidence is for a young player.

“Especially for a defenceman,” he said. “Just to play more and to improve every game and learn every game some new stuff. That’s the most important thing for me.”

Sergachev was made a healthy scratch for the second game of the season — a 4-3 shootout loss last Saturday in Ottawa — and said it was a learning experience as he sat with members of the team’s coaching staff, including assistant Dan Lacroix.

“He was talking to me about mistakes,” Sergachev said.

The teenager is adjusting to being a celebrity in Montreal, saying it’s now hard for him to go out anywhere in the city without being recognized. His parents and younger sister have been in town this week after travelling from Russia.

“Every time I’m out now in a restaurant or something everybody recognizes me,” Sergachev said. “It’s kind of weird. Especially like I was sitting (Wednesday) with my family eating my dinner and some people just came up to me and said: ‘good luck and nice game’ and ‘you got to stay in Montreal.’ My parents were surprised.”

A monster game for Weber

The Canadiens have scored 16 goals in their first four games — averaging an impressive four goals per game — and have been even better on defence, allowing only seven for an average of 1.75 per game.

The new No. 1 defence pair of Weber and Nathan Beaulieu are both a team-leading plus-6. Weber had a monster game against the Coyotes, logging 25:28 of ice time while scoring his first goal in bleu-blanc-rouge on a booming power-play blast from the point, adding an assist and finishing plus-3.

“He’s a special guy,” Beaulieu said after the game. “A guy that physical and that dominant physically that can damage you on the scoresheet is very rare. That’s why Shea’s such a special player in this league. I think what you’re going to see form Shea Weber is what he demonstrated tonight. I thought it was his best game yet. And it was nice to see him finally get rewarded on the scoresheet.”

Bad mistake by Beaulieu

Beaulieu logged 21:41 of ice time and picked up an assist. He also made a brutal giveaway up the middle when the Canadiens were on the power play in the second period, resulting in a short-handed goal by Laurent Dauphin.

Did Therrien say anything to Beaulieu when he returned to the bench afterwards?

“No,” Beaulieu said. “That’s an awful play by me. I can’t have that happen. There’s not much you can say to me … I know what I did wrong. It’s hockey … those things are going to happen. The biggest thing is to limit them. Other than that, it was a pretty good game, but those things can’t happen. I was trying to gain speed and I tried to cut inside and I lost my balance and I threw it up the middle. It was just a dumb play. I’m going to eat that one and move on.”

Nine shots for Gallagher

One of the most impressive statistics from Thursday’s game was the nine shots on goal by the Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher. The Canadiens outshot the Coyotes 43-29.

“That’s leadership for me,” Therrien said after the game about Gallagher’s performance. “He’s not the biggest guy, but he knows how to play the game. He’s paying the price. His compete level is always there. Those type of efforts, for sure is contagious from the other guys. You know what you’re going to get from Gally. Every game, every time he steps on the ice he’s going to give his 100 per cent all the time.”

Mitchell on pace for 41 goals

Fourth-line centre Torrey Mitchell scored his second goal of the year against the Coyotes, putting him on pace for a 41-goal season.

“It’s not going to happen,” Mitchell said with a big smile after the game when that stat was mentioned to him.

Therrien is able to role four lines pretty consistently, including the No. 4 trio of Mitchell between Brian Flynn and Phillip Danault.

“We have to create momentum, we know that,” Mitchell said about his line. “Playing in their end, winning faceoffs, creating havoc on the forecheck. That’s the key to our line for sure.”

(Photo: John Mahoney/Montreal Gazette)

• The future is now for Habs, by Stu Cowan

• Sergachev deserves more ice time, by Pat Hickey

• Canadiens vs. Bruins: Five Things to Know, by Pat Hickey

• Former KHL linemate expects Radulov to thrive with Habs, by Stu Cowan

• Price sharp in his regular-season debut, by Pat Hickey

• Weber uses hits to get into the game, by Pat Hickey

• Not even a ringing cell phone could upset Therrien, by Stu Cowan

340 Comments

  1. Habbily Everafter says:

    Habs fans at risk of getting ahead of themselves might note we’re 1st in the league in goals per game, 2nd in goals against, 2nd in penalty kill, 14th in power play and 1st place in the East.

    So is it fair to expect improvement on the fiasco that was last season?

    Well, we’ve got Weber instead of PK, Montoya instead of Condon, Radulov instead of Semin, Shaw instead of Eller and Lehkonen instead of Weise.

    Plus millions on their knees praying to the hockey gods Price goes all the way.

    At this point, I guess you could say things are looking up.

  2. B says:

    Rookies at a PPG or more early on:
    Austin Matthews 4 games 6 pts +1
    Zach Werenski 3 games 4 pts -1
    Wiliam Nylander 4 games 4 pts +2
    Patrik Laine 4 games 4 pts +3
    Devin Shore 4 games 4 pts +3
    Jakob Chychrun 3 games 3 pts +1
    Travis Konecny 4 games 4 pts 0+/-

    –Go Habs Go!–

  3. 24 Cups says:

    “I was living and travelling with men, and I was 17 years old. I remember a teammate, Jimmy Neilson, he was 36 or 37, and his daughter and I were in the same high-school class together in Edmonton. You’re like, ‘Oh my god,’ ” Gretzky said.

    • B says:

      Brenden Morrow married Dallas team mate Guy Carbonneau’s daughter

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • twocents says:

      Steve, regarding your comments below about the expansion draft, I wonder what might happen with Radulov if he continues his level of play. I can see Bergevin not wanting to lose him, and I mean not even risk free agency. He serves a need the GM has been trying to fill since he got here. So, does he sign him to an extension mid season? This would mean using a spot on the protected list, but I wonder if he might consider this option.

      • 24 Cups says:

        I’m not getting overhyped on any of the new players after just four games. I’ve always felt that was a weakness of posters on this site. There are a baker’s dozen examples of that.

        Having said that, I don’t think I’d sign Radulov for more than 2 or 3 years at around 6M a season. A lot will depend on whether he wants to hit paydirt or not.

        Assuming he did re-sign mid season, Montreal’s list would probably be:
        Price, Weber, Petry, Beaulieu, Patches, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Shaw, Pleks and Radulov. The last pick would probably be a young guy such as Danault or Carr (if gets to play that much this year).

        No matter how you cut it, Vegas will probably go after a Dman, Emelin (if they need to reach the cap floor) or Pateryn (if they want to get a low budget regular).

        • twocents says:

          Good discussion folks, on an interesting possibility. I agree with Steve’s parameters regarding an extension.

          And, yes Markov is another situation for several reasons, but primarily the fact that he has never shown interest in packing his bags.

          However, Steve, was it necessary to accuse me of over-hyping? While that may be a group weakness, I don’t think I’ve earned that particular coat of paint. Was the, “if he continues his level of play” caveat insufficient to exclude from the group tarring? Huh?

          • 24 Cups says:

            No accusations on my part directed at you in any way!

            I was just painting with a wide brush that goes back a long way on this site.

          • twocents says:

            Yeah, I knew that.

            Originally my response had a semicolon/closed parentheses winky face but posted with one of them pre-fabbed winky faces and I had to delete it cause I couldn’t stomach it.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        It’s an interesting situation. The expansion draft will take place June 18, before the entry draft. Technically, any player about to go UFA at that time will still be under contract, the NHL standard player contract runs until June 30th.

        So a team could choose an Alex Radulov if the Canadiens leave him unprotected, but all that gets them is an exclusive negotiating window for a week or so. In some cases it might be worth the gamble, but the smarter move would be to pick up players under contract, to draft assets you can control.

        So maybe Marc Bergevin doesn’t sign Alex Radulov before the expansion draft, to avoid having to protect him, and then tries to re-sign him right after, but that’s risky, at that point he won’t have any leverage. Alex could offer his services to any team on July 1, so he’d hold all the cards.

        If Marc Bergevin decides he wants to re-sign Alex and not lose him to free agency, even if it means he has to protect him, he can do so only after January 1. Players on one-year deals may not sign an extension until January 1.

        Another case is Andrei Markov. With Andrei, I think the path is easier to negotiate. He doesn’t want to go anywhere else, he wants to play in Montréal, so the Canadiens can come to an understanding, leave him exposed as an unprotected UFA, and sign him back up immediately after the expansion draft.

        • B says:

          The 30 NHL Clubs must submit their Protection List by 5:00 P.M. ET on Saturday, June 17, 2017. The Las Vegas team must submit their Expansion Draft Selections by 5:00 P.M. ET on June 20 and the announcement of their selections will be released on made on June 21.
          https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-expansion-draft-rules/c-281010592

          –Go Habs Go!–

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Yeah, it’s kind of weird. On Wikipedia, they say that the draft will take place over three days, from the 18th to the 20th, and the results announced on the 21st. Not sure how that’ll work, do they pick ten players every day? Do they start alphabetically, or can they claim players from any team in any order? And why the unveiling on the 21st? They won’t tell the players until the day of, like the Olympic team announcements? In the age of Twitter, they don’t think this will leak?

        • johnnylarue says:

          If the Tagil Toro makes sweet music with the Habs all season long and feels the love of his adopted peoples, I suspect he’ll be highly motivated to stay put so there’s a chance your proposed Markov strategy would work for him too.

          • B says:

            UFAs Markov and Radulov go to the Vegas White Nights next season?

            –Go Habs Go!–

          • 24 Cups says:

            In a perfect world, Vegas selects Radulov from Montreal, they can’t re-sign him by July 1st and then he re-signs with Montreal. That would mean Montreal doesn’t lose a player in the draft.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Yeah, I think Andrei is pretty much a cinch, but Radu is a wild card. He’s saying all the right things, but really, Montréal wasn’t his first choice. He wanted to play for Patrick Roy with the Avalanche, or with the Red Wings, probably because of the Russian connection and their history.

            I’m guessing Alex would re-sign here, I don’t think he’s unhappy or anything, but not for a lowball offer or hometown discount, he’s a mercenary who’ll sign one more NHL deal, and he’ll want it to be a big one. So Marc Bergevin has some tough decisions on his hands, starting January 1.

      • B says:

        I believe that Vegas has to submit their expansion draft list on June 24th, a week before pending UFAs become available for the “Free Agent Frenzy” on July 1st.
        edit: It’s June 20th, see snippet above

        –Go Habs Go!–

    • Phil C says:

      This should be be charging, but they stopped calling charging in the 80s for some reason. I guess when you have lawyers running your sport instead of the athletes of the sport, you lose control of the rules.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Not to mention the player left his feet at full force like a train locomotive. But hockey doesn’t have a concussion problem. After all, it’s a contact sport.

  4. Ian Cobb says:

    How many players can a team protect before they lose one to expansion draft.? I thought it was 15 and then they can lose one.??

  5. Ian Cobb says:

    Mitchell and Desharness shine as 4th and 3rd line centers.
    Gallagher is the silent captain of this group.
    Beaulieu has to stop the sloppy play, this should be his break out year, but not coughing up the puck with lazy play and blowing tires. If it continues, he will be moved down to 4th D pairing .

  6. habs001 says:

    There have been a few posts in the last few weeks about the expansion draft next year and the Habs losing players for good or bad…I know we have the best players in the world but maybe some of the other teams will have players available that Vegas will be more interested in…

    • Cal says:

      It all begins with how much the Vegas franchise is willing to spend. If they’ll be a Cap floor team they will have trouble being entertaining. If they are a Cap ceiling team, they will likely be overpaying for veterans that weren’t protected or UFAs that likely won’t deliver.

      • joeybarrie says:

        Can they be a successful midcap team that impresses in their first season?

        • Cal says:

          Very unlikely. Here are some examples of 1st season teams:
          SJ Sharks 17-58-5
          Ottawa Senators 10-70-4
          Anaheim 33-46-5
          Arizona 38-37-7
          Florida Panthers 33-34-17
          TBay 23-54-7
          Of the 5, the only playoff team was Arizona. 83 points in today’s NHL won’t get your team in the playoffs.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Their roster won’t be so devoid of talent their first season. The protected list that teams can submit are much less generous in their coverage than when the Senators and Sharks and Lightning came into the league. Gary Bettman wants to make sure the franchise is successful, so he wanted to enable them to ice a reasonable lineup right off the bat.

          They’ll also have some interesting guarantees as far as the draft goes, they can’t draft any lower than a certain position for a couple years, even if they do have a decent roster and finish mid-pack or something.

          https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-expansion-draft-rules/c-281010592

          The Las Vegas franchise will be given the same odds in the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery as the team finishing with the third-fewest points during the 2016-17 regular season.

          The Las Vegas franchise’s First Round selection in the 2017 NHL Draft will be determined in accordance with the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery and, as a result, the Las Vegas franchise will be guaranteed no lower than the sixth overall selection.

          The Las Vegas franchise then will select third in each subsequent round of the 2017 NHL Draft (subject to trades and other potential player transactions).

    • Habfan17 says:

      It is a bit more complicated than it seems. I have also read, that even if a player will become a UFA, just like the ones with NTC and NMC, they need to be protected. Thus ensuring, there are decent players available for Vegas. Each team can only lose one player as well.

      The Habs will, barring trades, have to leave a couple of decent players exposed. I would say, that each team will lose one player.

      What may also be interesting, is if Vegas ends up having to waive any players after training camp. Then to see where they end up. Not sure if they have some kind of exemption for the first year.

      Habfan17

      • 24 Cups says:

        Vegas will select one player from each team. That is mandated. They also have to reach a cap floor based on a percentage but I can’t remember what that number is. So they will have to draft some players with higher salaries.

        It depends on how the list if formulated but it would appear that Montreal would lose a player such as Emelin, Pateryn, Carr, Byron or Mitchell.

        I’m under the impression that the Habs won’t have to protect UFAs such as Radulov, DD or Markov.

        Regardless, I don’t see the team losing a player of any great consequence.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        UFAs and players with Limited No Trade Clauses don’t need to be protected, only players with No Move Clauses need be.

        So as an example, Andrei Markov, with his expiring contract, won’t need to be protected. If the Canadiens sign him to a new deal before then they can choose to do so.

        Jeff Petry, who has a full NMC currently, will need to be protected in June, the Canadiens don’t have a choice on that.

        https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-expansion-draft-rules/c-281010592

        * All players who have currently effective and continuing “No Movement” clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft (and who to decline to waive such clauses) must be protected (and will be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Each team WILL lose 1 player as far as I understand.

      • Phil C says:

        How will that work? They’ll have 30 players for only 23 slots minus any UFAs.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Bettman wants to make the Vegas team competitive as soon as possible. The Knights won’t be behind the eight ball the way the Capitals were back in the day.

          Vegas obviously won’t be able to use all 30 players but they will at least have the resources to make deals and move parts around.

          Believe it or not, Columbus may land up losing a better player than Montreal. NMC are going to bite some teams. Vegas should also begin their 1st season with a couple of decent goalies.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          They will have a functioning AHL team next year as well, so they will need lots of players. They will need veterans, scorers, etc., but also young players to stock their farm team, and prepare for the future.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I guess there’s still a lot of confusion about the expansion draft.

      https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-expansion-draft-rules/c-281010592

      I worried about it a lot, even before the rumours started about expansion and Las Vegas, I thought that we’d be pillaged just as our farm teams were starting to have decent talent. I regretted that expansion didn’t occur a decade earlier, when our roster was full of Andreas Dackells and Pierre Dagenais, when we didn’t have much to lose.

      I lost all that anxiety when it was announced that all teams would lose one player, but only one. No more, no less. At that point, it felt kind of pointless to mentally try to outwit the system, to go through roster manipulations, when it’s mandatory that we’ll lose one player, and not the dregs of our depth chart either, it will be a pretty good asset. But since every other team will suffer the same loss, why worry about it.

    • on2ndthought says:

      He writes accurately. Price is not yet back to pre-injury form. He is still the best, but his rebound control will improve against more pucks shot in anger.

      His WC teammates should give him a good test tonight.

      The G&M had a link to a PK article at the end of that one.

      More single malts, more saloons, más habla español, more spittoons: Free Front!

  7. HabFab says:

    IceCaps get their first win with a 4-1 road victory against the Baby Bruns. Conflicted between making fun of the baby bruins for their uniforms or commending them for their support of a worthwhile cause.
    Video and recap;

    http://www.stjohnsicecaps.com/article/recap-lindgren-spectacular-in-icecaps-win/

  8. FenceSurfer says:

    Here’s an article that will make the Kelly detractors think he’s the equivalent of Dostoevsky. Read on if you dare.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/whoa-mystery-bermuda-triangle-just-200441688.html

  9. HabinBurlington says:

    Weise picked up a 3 game suspension, clearly he was too dirty a player for the Habs.

    http://kuklaskorner.com/hockey/comments/video-dale-weise-suspended-three-games

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    While many hope to see fighting completely removed from hockey, a headline like this tells me the players don’t agree.

    Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin energizes crowd, impresses teammates with fight
    http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2016/10/red_wings_dylan_larkin_energiz.html

  11. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Saw a report that Kovalev had suited up for his Swiss team. Given how Nashville looked last night, with injuries too, I think they should sign him. Kovie and Subban on the ice at the same time (carving marvelous patterns in the ice). It would entertain.

    Do it.

  12. DipsyDoodler says:

    Hab fans are classy and practical:

    https://twitter.com/MannyElk/status/789484039531032576

    —–

  13. rhino514 says:

    I´m still intrigued by the Las Vegas expansion implications.
    Is it accurate we can only protect 3 defensemen?
    If this is true, who are we more likely to lose, Emelin or Pateryn? (note Pateryn is much younger and has a much cheaper contract)

    Also, will the new franchise try and avoid taking veterans, as they are not building blocks for the future? It may not be worth it to protect Plekanec, especially if he starts fading this year.
    I believe there is another option where the team can protect 8 skaters (instead of 7 forwards and 3 dmen). due to the large amount of exempt forwards and guys approaching free agency, it may be worth it for the habs to choose this option. I don´t really see which forwards are worth protecting apart from the first line and Shaw (this would make 4 forwards protected, allowing them to protect 4 Dmen instead of 3)…unless they want to re-sign Radulov and Radulov wants to stay here.

    Lastly, what happens with guys who will become free agents next july? Basically, will Las Vegas simply avoid choosing any looking FAs? (this would make sense; probably few of them would be willing to sign with the new franchise)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Two options available for players to be protected:
      Protected Lists
      * Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:

      a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender

      b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender

      * All players who have currently effective and continuing “No Movement” clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft (and who to decline to waive such clauses) must be protected (and will be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

      * All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

      https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-expansion-draft-rules/c-281010592

  14. jamman says:

    Howdy HIO,

    Another season upon us and suddenly we need not search for purpose 3/4 evenings a week. I got some quick pros n cons to list:

    Pro: Price is back and thats great however a golden pro I see when assessing this club is the defense corps. Among the best in the league now, in a few years we will have the best d core in the league if healthy. if Sergachev becomes beastly the entire league will envy us even more.

    Con: This team will still get run in a playoff setting. Still not enough playoff producers to carry the load. Don’t count on Pacioretty to deliver. Certainly not Pleks or DD. Gallagher can steal a goal here or there but he’s too predictable to score consistently in the playoffs IMO. Galchenyuk hopefully

    Pro: I see a youngish core brewing for our habs. We got more then a few youngsters amongst our fwds: Galchenyuk 22, Gallagher 24, Lehkonen 21, Shaw 25, Pacioretty 27 plus Mac Sherbak awaiting… I’ll have to check but Im pretty sure we’ve been vet central for a while

    Con: Price is injury prone. Say what you want but Pricer is nearly halfway through his career and he gets injured in pretty much every playoff. Hate to say it but I would be suprised if Price plays the full season + playoffs this year w/o getting hurt.

    • AliHaba says:

      Price injury prone? He gets injured in pretty much every play-off? Where did you find that info? IMR, only once was he injured during the play-offs. That being when he was Kreidered in 2014.

      • Cal says:

        Price hasn’t finished the season (including playoffs) for 4 years straight.

      • habs001 says:

        Did he not get injured vs Ottawa a few years ago?

        • AliHaba says:

          @Cal…close but no cigar. Price did play the entire 2015 play-off in which the Habs were eliminated by Tampa. In 2013, he was injured against Ottawa and 2014 against the Rangers and, of course, last year we don’t have to discuss any more. I will admit that he’s had a few injuries over his career but on average he’s been healthy. Calling him injury prone is a stretch in my opinion.

  15. ACEEAGLE says:

    Weber is twice the defensive force that Subban is. And just as good or better on pp. We are clear winners in this trade. Nuff said. Do not miss him. Let it go all you pk lovers. Just let it go.

    • koosh says:

      I can’t believe someone got paid to write such drivel. What a terrible, empty “article”.

      • Heisenberg says:

        I agree. So superficial. It doesn’t take a Joseph Pulitzer to show the Canadiens over the past 20 have been a middling organization. What would be worth reading is why this has happened.

      • johnnylarue says:

        I gotta agree with koosh, Timo–this just reads like some rather uninspired whining from a bitter old man. Anyone expecting the Habs–or any pro sports team–to have the social significance and sustained dominance of those teams from the 50s to the 70s is living in an absolute fantasy world. The times have changed.

        And to complain about the Habs’ lack of francophone players in conjunction with this is equally delusional: does anybody who actually watches hockey believe that the Habs would be challenging for the Cup if their GM was limited to drafting and trading for French Canadian players in this day and age?

        (You don’t need to answer that.)

      • Cal says:

        The “article” was an opinion piece.
        And, yes, the Habs have been mediocre for a long time.
        Ownership and management have been lousy. When Gillett bought the team in 2001, NO ONE ELSE wanted it. He used the franchise to keep his other businesses afloat while having a stripped down management, scouting and coaching staff. There wasn’t even a full time scout for Quebec.
        Molson bought control in 2009. He only brought in changes after the Bergevin hiring and the debacle that was the Centennial.

  16. PK says:

    Sorry, how could I forget HiB?

    #FreeFront

  17. PK says:

    Any hope in H, E, double hockey sticks that Front gets back to leading HIO?

    I mean, other than Sholi, Timo, UCe and Ian.
    OK, I will include HiS, JLR and NR, Slack etc.

  18. marvin20 says:

    I don’t like the nhl site. I liked it better before

  19. ooder says:

    question. is anybody able to watch the replays on the nhl website? i find the video plays for a bit then just stops and goes back to the beginning. Tried on both chrome and safari.
    frustrating, they managed to make it impossible to navigate their site, watch a game easily and now to watch the replays.

  20. marvin20 says:

    What are the chances tinordi gets picked up. Should montreal give him another shot?

    • Heisenberg says:

      That ship has passed. If the Canadiens couldn’t turn him into a regular NHLer last year, what has changed that would lead to a different outcome now? Lefebvre is still in charge of the Canadiens’ prospects in the AHL. He isn’t Claude Ruel, who could turn groundchuck into tenderloin. Lefebvre couldn’t even find groundchuck in a meat market.

  21. marvin20 says:

    Lots of weber subban comparasins. The reality is that the trade is a win/win for both teams. Both players are going to be very successful and help their team win.

  22. berc says:

    2.5 years since I registered for this site and first successful login. Their password system is messed up. If you delete the original message without confirming registration, you’re screwed. Anyhow, I’m an occasional numbers-oriented poster on some of the other sites and read you regulars regularly. Hey, if season ends today only Flames and Leafs miss the playoffs and all of the other Canadian teams are in! PK -2 tonight. Tinner waived–a tale of woe. Radulov is an animal. Mitchell is a scoring machine. How long will Galchenyuk’s 33% face-off rate be tolerated? The wife moved out and now it’s non-stop hockey. I was there in person for some of the great Hab moments–the late ’70s cups, Koivu’s return, game 6 bruins upset elimination a few years back, game 6 Washington upset in that incredible 2010 run. This will be a good year, but Habs have got to get the shots-against down and improve the face-offs. Life goes on.

  23. on2ndthought says:

    Interesting conversations below about Plek, led me to this:

    We may have found our Hossa/Neal/Kunitz in Radulov.

    More single malts, more saloons, más habla español, more spittoons: Free Front!

    • RightNyder says:

      Now if only we could find our Malkin and our Kane, we’d be in business.
      Also very Polly-like of you to compare a guy with one point in four games to a 500-goal Hall of Famer.
      Get after it, unicorn man…

      • on2ndthought says:

        Ouch, RN. You’re wrong about Plek, and about Rads. Big, strong, offensively dangerous, even if the points don’t pile up.

        More single malts, more saloons, más habla español, more spittoons: Free Front!

        • RightNyder says:

          Wrong about what?
          I’m poking fun at your inferno-hot Pollyannaism, not ripping the players.
          Still like Plekanec, loved the Radulov signing.
          You said Lehkonen was a reasonable bet to get 60 points. You brought up the names of Cournoyer and St. Louis when talking about freaking Sven Andrighetto.
          Now you’re comparing a hopefully reformed ex-party guy (however feebly) with 48 career goals to a 500-goal, sure-fire Hall of Famer with 149 playoff points and multiple Cup rings.
          Someone could kick you in the berries, and you’d thank them because you had to bend over to tie your shoes anyway.

          • johnnylarue says:

            Actually I’ve found myself thinking of Hossa on more than one occasion while watching Radulov play. It’s a “feel” thing, Nyder. Can you dig?

          • RightNyder says:

            Hush. I’m teasing o2t.
            I think Radulov is a great pickup.
            He’s the next Elmer Lach.

          • on2ndthought says:

            Back from the sparkles factory. I have to admit to being very deceived by Andrighetto this camp.I wonder if his international game (which is very good) will ever translate to NA.

            More single malts, more saloons, más habla español, more spittoons: Free Front!

  24. Butterface says:

    Subban 2 goals 1 assist -2 24:42 ATOI Preds 1 win 3 losses
    Weber 1 goal 3 assists +6 26:47 ATOI Habs 3 wins 1 OTL

    After 4 games who wants to reverse the trade ?

    I miss the spinoramas, but I prefer the winoramas.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

    • RightNyder says:

      I think four games in is the perfect time to judge the overall merits of a trade.

      • Butterface says:

        It’s not, but it is good to ask now after a few short games to see if the mindset has changed since the announcement and since the puck dropped on the season.

        I was sad to see PK go due to his personality, his skating and puck handling and his philanthropy. I was disappointed but never complained about the return for him.

        I thought I would be bored by Weber… but finding I like the wins better so far….

        ***********************
        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
        ***********************

      • ooder says:

        hahaha man you kill me lol!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        On the other hand RN, there were an avalanche of predictions right after the trade that this would be catastrophic for the Canadiens, when 0 games had been played.

        Asking the question now isn’t quite the full checkup, certainly not the post-mortem, but it’s akin to your doctor asking you “So how are you feeling?” when you walk in to the examination rule, well before he snaps on his nitrile gloves.

    • Heisenberg says:

      I suspect it is far too early to make any meaningful assessment of the trade. While I was shocked and disappointed to see Subban traded, watching Weber is a treat. He’s the kind of defenceman the Canadiens have lacked since Chelios: talented but genuinely nasty. The way Beaulieu was gushing about Weber a couple days ago in an article was almost high-schooly in nature. Can’t blame him: I too have a serious man-crush on Weber now.

    • chilli says:

      At this point last season we were undefeated with Subban.
      And Webs has a much better team in front of him.

      • Butterface says:

        Just asking about the trade. Would you reverse it right now ?

        ***********************
        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
        ***********************

        • chilli says:

          Reversing a trade never works. The water is soiled.
          I wish the trade never happened and that MB improved the team the same way he did.
          PK was not the problem.
          Can this team match our 18-4-3 after 25 like last year?
          But my main disgruntlement was PK/Eller gone, MT/DD still here.
          That was painful to process.
          But it’s a process.

    • Butterface says:

      I even own a PK Subban bleacher creature doll…… so imagine my internal struggle.

      ***********************
      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
      ***********************

    • Habanero78 says:

      Subban -4 on the year… I see a pattern.
      Are you not entertained though?
      It seems like reality is setting in Nashville.

    • B says:

      “Subban 2 goals 1 assist -2 24:42 ATOI”

      FWIW, Subban is a -4 and his TOI/G is 25:12

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Butterface says:

        Stats were not all updated when I wrote that. So TOI and +- was not up yet….. but looks like Preds fans are scratching their heads.

        ***********************
        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
        ***********************

  25. Mr. Biter says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen Habs sitting on top of the East. Preds sitting 12th in West.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  26. FormalWare says:

    Preds are absolutely stacked. Subban AND Weber on their blueline.


    “Good Luck With That,” Habs!

  27. B says:

    Bourque had an assist, 5-4 OT win over Victoriaville
    McNiven stopped 22 of 25 in a 4-3 win over Erie
    Bitten and Pezzetta pointless in losses
    Mete had 2 assists in a 5-1 win over Saginaw
    Evans had a goal and assist in a 3-3 tie with Penn St.
    Bradley scored his 6th in a 4-1 win over the Ice

    –Go Habs Go!–

  28. Phil C says:

    Pleks is damn close to an ideal 2nd line centre. If you look at the top 30 scoring centres, the only other guy with less than 50% ozone starts is Bergeron, the best two-way centre in the game. Backes is right up there as well. So given how many defensive assignments he gets, he produces at a very high level.

    Defensively he matches up really well against other small speedy centres who otherwise give bigger centres fits. So if the Cup goes through Tampa, Pittsburgh, Boston, or Philly, Pleks is one of the best shutdown centres in the business and he has done it to Crosby and Krejci in the playoffs before. You won’t find that on any stat sheet.

    Admittedly, if they end up against a team with a big dominant centre like a Getzlaf, he could have problems. I’ve seen him have problems against Staal in the past. That’s why it would be nice to have a better option in the 3C slot.

    • Marc10 says:

      Yep. After Chucky, we need more size for the playoffs. I’d rather we roll three lines with a stronger centre line.

    • RightNyder says:

      I’ll again say he’s a more ideal No. 3 at age 34 and with limited playoff success.
      But we don’t have anything even close to being ready to replace him, so waddya do? That’s why we’re so desperate to at least try to make McCarron a centre, when he’s really the thumping winger we could use right now.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        I wondered about that also, but I think Habs wanted to get Bigger at center and Big Mac accepted the challenge and has progressed quite well. Would be fairly easy to slide back to wing which he played most of his junior career.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

    • Heisenberg says:

      I fail to understand how anyone could describe Plekanec as an “ideal second-line centre.” If as you presume Plekanec plays mainly a defensive role, then he should be on the third or fourth lines, not the second where the basic expectation remains scoring. Plekanec was never an easy player to play with, but his days as an offensive centre ended years ago. From my perspective, the problem with Plekanec is not that he is an overrated player — his contract though is overly generous given what he does — but rather that the organization has a dearth of quality centres and thus must use Plekanec in a confusing second-line defensive-centre role because the team has no one else to play there. It’s the same with Desharnais. Move him down and assign a clear role, and he can be an effective player. Plekanec and Desharnais are asked to do too much given their size and skill sets.

      • Phil C says:

        2nd line centres are often used in a defensive role against the other team’s top line, guys like Bergeron, Kesler, and Backes. You don’t match up your 3rd or 4th line against guys like Crosby unless you want to get destroyed. So one of your top two lines gets the assignment. You either match top lines (strength against strength), or if you have a good 2nd line, you can do that. So that’s where guys like Bergeron, Kesler, Backes, and Plekanec shine.

        As for offense, since 2013, he is 27th in scoring among centres with 160 points. Most of the guys above him are #1 centres getting favourable zone starts in a more offensive role. In otherwords, there are very few 2Cs who produce more. And given the dog’s breakfast of wingers his had since then, his production is remarkable.

        He is not an elite #1 offensive centre, I’ll give you that, and I wish he passed a little more. But as #2, I don’t see how you expect more production than that, especially given his shutdown assignments.

  29. Marc10 says:

    So like our man Ryder, I’m watching that $%#@show by an injury depleted Nashville side in Detroit.

    My completely biased analysis: They could use a big steady minute hogging, physical defenceman right now to steady the ship. Maybe some leadership and decent coaching would help that side. Just sayin’…

    Detroit is very average, but they’re looking like the Russian Red Army of back in the day on some shifts out there. Skating through a yellow sea of pylons. (Saying that… James Neal just missed a wide open net on a great save by Mrazek).

    Oh, and PK just made a friend in Abdulkader!

    Good thing Detroit lacks discipline. That might just help Nashville crawl back into this one.

  30. PK says:

    So what is the HIO consensus on Sergachev?
    Is he going back to Windsor after nine games?

    IMO, it may be good for him to get a taste of the Memorial Cup, mature a bit more, rather than stay up in the NHL.

    Barberio and Pateryn could fill his role (now that Redmond has a broken foot).

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  31. Heisenberg says:

    Is it wrong of me to say I have a major man-crush on the Man Mountain?

  32. RightNyder says:

    Predators sure run around a lot.
    And Yannick Weber fighting makes DD look like Bob Probert.

  33. Habsolo says:

    Ian..
    Last week you stated with authority that Price was out due to his knee. Were you told that by someone close to the organization?

  34. unclefester says:

    Nice outing by the game’s first star Charlie Lindgren in his A.H.L. debut as the St. John’s IceCaps beat the Providence Bruins by a score of 4 – 1.

    For the IceCaps it’s their first victory this season after going a combined zero and 6 in the exhibition and regular season. Lindgren was full value in the win stopping 50 shots. IceCaps were outshot 51-21 WOW !!

    Bruins pulled their goalie with 2:15 to go in the game but Sven Andregetto counted with less than a minute to go for the 4-1 final.

    IceCaps have two more games this weekend…

    Has Zach Fucale been sent to Brampton yet ????

    …”in rapier-like fashion”… Danny Gallivan…

  35. Mr. Biter says:

    Wife got some discounted tickets on some ticket site so we’re off to the Heritage Classic tomorrow. Was raining cats and dogs today.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

    • RightNyder says:

      So giving up 50 shots and winning?
      Sly really is coachin’ ’em up MT-style.

    • unclefester says:

      Hey B…

      How did you post the final score and 3 stars and shots on goal and alike at 8.34 p.m. when the game wasn’t over till 9.30 p.m. ???

      Two questions….

      How’d you do that ????

      …”in rapier-like fashion”… Danny Gallivan…

      • B says:

        Obviously I updated it after the game. I hadn’t noticed that you posted similar information when I did that. You seem bothered by it so I removed the post.

        –Go Habs Go!–

        • unclefester says:

          I seemed bothered by it ????

          Can you expand on that for me ?????

          I think somebody’s lost the plot here…

          Thanks…

          …”in rapier-like fashion”… Danny Gallivan…

  36. Ian Cobb says:

    Watching the PK against Detroit starting now on Sports Net. And of course the Nashville team is with him!!!
    Should be a fun game.

  37. Marc10 says:

    In spite of the solid start to the year (something we’ve become accustomed to under MT), I think most posters would agree, to be true contenders (and not merely pretenders), MB will need to find a true second line centre for the playoffs (assuming we get there, St Carey’s knees willing…)

    A quick scan at who might be available in terms of rentals doesn’t offer much hope…

    http://thecomeback.com/nhl/69-potential-unrestricted-nhl-free-agents-2017.html

    So that means MB will need to somehow swing a hockey deal with a team that can’t protect a valuable piece for the upcoming draft.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2016/06/16/five-teams-that-should-really-stress-about-the-nhls-las-vegas-expansion-draft/

    • HIO_Wieners says:

      And, what do you suggest we do with our current excellent 2nd line center (Pleks)?

      Some people, jeesh.

      • RightNyder says:

        Repost from August that took 2.5 minutes of Polly Poncho’s time to read. I’m sure some things have changed, but the point remains pretty much the same.

        Tomas Plekanec, about to be 34. Just 13 points in his last 29 playoff games. Terrific career, longtime Canadien, turtleneck aficionado; $6M cap hit for next two years. Likely our second-line centre again.
        Worth it?
        Below is where I think he would likely slot in elsewhere. Not counting the Canadiens, he’d only be a second-liner on about 1/3 of the teams in the league – mostly the lousy ones. He would also be a potential fourth option on about 1/3 of the teams as well. For the most part, he’d be a third-line centre (still a solid one).
        Our dep at centre is a little scary. One hopefully legit first-liner, a third-liner, a tiny AHLer masquerading as an NHLer, another third-liner who’ll likely be a winger, two fourth-liners, a hulking project and some fifth-line puds™.
        Need the Pollyannas to put some spin on this to make me feel better…

        Anaheim: Third/fourth
        Arizona: Second
        Calgary: Second/third
        Edmonton: Fourth
        LA: Third/fourth
        San Jose: Fourth
        Vancouver: Second/third
        Chicago: Third
        Colorado: Third
        Dallas: Third
        Minnesota: Third/fourth
        Nashville: Third
        St. Louis: Third/fourth
        Winnipeg: Second/third
        Boston: Third/fourth
        Buffalo: Fourth
        Detroit: Second
        Florida: Third/fourth
        Ottawa: Third
        Tampa Bay: Fourth
        Toronto: Second/third
        Carolina: First/second
        Columbus: First
        New Jersey: Second
        NYI: Second
        NYR: Second
        Philly: Third/fourth
        Pittsburgh: Third/fourth
        Washington: Third

        • koosh says:

          Ah yes, the classic corollary to MTL fans overvaluing prospects: undervaluing proven veterans.

          Last year – a year almost everyone agrees was one of Plekanec’s weakest – only 67 players produced more points than him. Limit the results to centers and it’s 30 players. Thirty.

          This isn’t about Nellies or Pollies. This is about actually looking at the stats and trying for just a second to evaluate them objectively. Plekanec is not a third-line center, nor as he been since he established himself as a Hab.

          • RightNyder says:

            Still a terrific player. Asked to do way too much heavy lifting, gets worn down every year, which likely contributes to his lacklustre playoff efforts.
            He’s still taking twice as many faceoffs as anyone else on a given night; chasing around the big boys on the other team.
            I’ve said it for years: I spend every off-season wanting Plekanec gone. Then I watch him all year, and see just how much he really contributes, and want him to stay. Then he wears down at the end, and I want him gone again. It’s a tough cycle.
            To me, he’s the perfect third-line centre on a good team.
            If you’re using stats based upon the role he plays and the minutes he’s given to prove your point, then I can nod toward DD getting 60 points one time when given No. 1 minutes. Is that his real value on a good team? No.
            We ask too much of Plekanec, and our depth at centre is still wanting.

          • koosh says:

            Let me make sure I understand this.

            Historically, we’ve asked too much of Plekanec, which has impacted his production through the later stages of a grueling season. It meant saddling him in spots where he wasn’t best suited, like 1C.

            Despite this, he produces better than most players, and does so consistently even during terrible years.

            Now that we can play him in the role he was basically born for – one in which he’s thrived previously even with lackluster wingers, you argue he’s meant for 3C?

            This isn’t DD getting one good season in perfect circumstances. This is a player with ten seasons of solid (if sometimes unremarkable) play. Again, better than most. I’m perfectly comfortable comparing “one year” of his stats against DD’s, as that comparison will always favor Plek, and for way longer. Especially considering your counter pits Plek’s arguable worst against DD’s unequivocal best.

            That you cite his flaws and repeat he is a third-liner does not make it so. Stats – this year or any other – do not support your position. He is, in fact, a near-perfect second-line center on a good team, which the Habs certainly seem to be.

            The problem with the Habs’ centers isn’t Plekanec. It’s the fact that our 3C cannot handle the defensive assignments meant for the role. Had DD been able to fetch the same return as Eller did, we’d be in a much better position, and Plekanec’s workload would be more fitting of his abilities.

            Don’t mistakenly attribute one player’s faults to another; it’s unfair to both.

      • Marc10 says:

        I was looking at the playoff picture. I think we need a stronger option than Pleky for a deep run. An experienced pivot with more size for trench warfare.

        I’m not sure who we might be able get out there. I was hoping to start the conversation, because until that puzzle is solved, we’ll likely fall short when it counts.

    • Phil C says:

      Pleks is good enough to win the Cup. Chicago won 3 Cups with much weaker 2nd line centres. If they end up going through Pittsburgh or Philly, Pleks is a good shutdown centre for their smallish speedy centres.

      I think they need to have a better option at 3rd line C. DD should be a winger.

      • RightNyder says:

        You really think Chicago’s Cup-winning teams were all ‘much weaker’ than this version of the Canadiens?

        • Phil C says:

          I did a quick edit on you. They were much weaker in the 2C slot. They would have been so screwed if Toews was ever hurt, but he’s been a horse.

          • RightNyder says:

            That’s more fair.
            But I’d say their winning was more about forward depth than who’s slotting in where at centre.
            Kane, Hossa, Ladd, Sharp, Byfuglien, Brouwer, Saad Teravainen, Bickell, Versteeg. How’s that for depth at wing?
            Bolland, Handzus, Shaw, Frolik, Richards, Vermette – all servicable at centre. Maybe not as good individually as Plekanec, but as a group surely better than Plekanec, DD and Mitchell.
            Plekanec isn’t high on my list of things to worry about. Better talent around him might also ease some of the heavy lifting I’ve mentioned.
            There’s a difference between dep and balance. We have dep, but those Hawks had balance.

  38. lazman says:

    Many very positive reviews about this Habs team all of a sudden. I thought that the Habs were very lucky getting 3 of 4 points their first two games, against poor opposition. And, the Pens were missing Crosby, as well as Letang for 1/2 a game. Montoya really was the difference in all three games. Yes the Habs were very good last night, but their opposition was again less than stellar. The upshot is I want to see how they do against Anaheim, San Jose, St Louis, Chicago, and/or Dallas before making a full assessment of this team.

    • The_Rocket_Returns says:

      Agreed.

      … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • The Jackal says:

      You got a good point there.

      I think the Canadiens are a slightly better version of the same old, same old team and system we’ve had for who knows how long.

      They need to play a style/system other than get out-shot, out-possessed, and hope the goalie can bail us out. Despite the goalscoring we’ve seen early on, the team has an absurdly high PDO – the highest in the league, in fact. They are shooting at 13% and have a sv % of .955 – those numbers are gonna go down. Even if Price averages 935-940, it’s still lower than 955, and we don’t have any shooters who actually have career shooting % close to 13.

      I know people are glad hockey is back, and that the Habs are winning, and that Weber is Chuck Norris, but beneath the surface, this is still the same kind of team we’ve always had. The problems start and end with Therrien and MB.

      _______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  39. Steven Finn says:

    Evening everyone.
    Poked my head in on the “other site”, eyes on the prize as a couple of guys from work keep going on and on about it.
    The articles weren’t terrible but the comments section, wow. Can’t say I was impressed. Couple of people criticizing Weber for fancy stat possession numbers, cause thats what matters. And here I thought that scoring more goals than the other team is how you win hockey games and taking 7 out 8 points was good. What an idiot I was….

    Oh and the best one of all was that, and I quote “Therrien didn’t bench anyone for bad plays/giveaways because there aren’t any black players on the team”……..
    Wow, I’m not a fan of our kindly old coach but wow, just wow…..
    In my opinion there’s tons of reasons to criticize Therrien so I don’t see the need to go this far out on a limb.

    So the next time you see some crazy out to lunch post (like this one?) about “MT” (Mario Tremblay?) “DD” (Donald Dufresne?) or “PK” (Patric Kjellberg?) remember it could always be worst……

    • The Jackal says:

      EOTP has surpassed this site in terms of content and analysis, but the comments same to be a wash. This site tends to lean one way, and EOTP another, but there’s usually a current of thought that is echoed throughout the comments.

      _______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  40. BC (Because of the Cats) says:

    It seems that Marc Bergevin had some idea of what he was doing in making the off-season moves that significantly altered our roster. The team has a different look from last year and plays a different game. Accusations that Therrien teaches a stifling defensive system based on dump-and-chase, that players are not given scope for their offensive talents, and above all, that the team plays not to lose rather than to win are no longer justified. If they ever were, which I’ve never believed.

    This is a fast, exciting team, a team that forechecks hard, moves the puck quickly and efficiently, and attacks in waves. All four lines can attack; goals can come from anywhere, including the defence. Gone are the days of the one-line team that other teams found it easy to shut down, the one-and-done attack, with most of the game being spent frantically defending our own zone. Based on the games so far, I see why Bergevin said that this year’s team was beginning to look like the team he had envisaged.

    All the new players have so far looked good and fit well into the roles assigned to them, but I think three of the changes Bergevin made are key.

    The first is Weber. His presence has made the defence far more solid, much better in our own end, and better at moving the puck. Despite fears that the loss of P.K. meant the defence would struggle to relaunch the attack, I’m seeing a defence that is more mobile, better at getting the puck out, and much better at transitioning. Weber’s presence seems also to be allowing players like Beaulieu and Petry to play a bigger role and at a higher level than last year.

    The second change is the addition of Alexander Radulov. Last year’s offence often looked moribund; Radulov has galvanized this year’s group. The guy is a work horse, plays with incredible passion, energy, and intensity, even ferocity. He’s the power forward we’ve been craving since forever, the player people criticize Pacioretty for not being. And a bit like Weber on the back end, Radulov seems to make the players around him better, and his offensive creativity has already revitalized the powerplay. I hope we can find a way to keep him after this year.

    The third change is the hiring of Kirk Muller. Therrien is a fine defensive coach, but offence is not his strong point. The character of our offence has already changed under Muller’s influence, and will continue to do so. Our numbers with the man advantage have not improved so far from last year, but the powerplay is a different animal, faster-paced, more creative, more dynamic.

    If I were to list a fourth key change, it would be the addition of an experienced backup goaltender in Al Montoya. A team depends for confidence on solid goaltending; even in the first couple of games, when things were a little tentative, the improvement over last year was apparent.

    “We gotta lotta dep.”

    • hansolo says:

      Good comments. What all of us really ever wanted was a team that was competitive. If it took us to the ultimate goal, that would be fantastic, but a bonus. What we’ve been disappointed about (since 1993) is having a team that wasn’t always competitive. You always felt there was a certain amount of luck involved when we had good playoff runs (like when we made the ECF).

      Now (fingers crossed), we might have a team that IS competitive, and that has all the elements needed to consistently contend. We hoped for that last year, but those hopes were dashed when the team eventually gave up after Price became sidelined for the season.

      I think your signature says it all. We DO have depth. Not to say we couldn’t use a player or two, but we have better depth than we’ve had for a long time. We have players who will inspire others to not give up when the going gets tough, as it undoubtedly will, when – not if – we have injuries.

      Bergevin has generally made good personnel calls, the most recent case being Tinordi, who was placed on waivers today. When it didn’t work out, it was usually no biggie (Semin, Kassian). That won’t stop me, for one, from commenting on his personnel moves. But I’m finally persuaded we have people minding the store who have the best interests of the team at heart, and who (like us fans) want the team to win and will do everything they can to make that happen.

      • BC (Because of the Cats) says:

        My faith in Bergevin has never wavered, even during last season and at his season-ending press conference, when most of the media were jumping on him. I’ve always felt that he had a solid plan in place, that he would stick to it, and that he knew exactly what he was doing with every move he made. His moves last year didn’t work out, but none of them cost much, none of them ham-strung the team with albatross contracts, and I’m willing to bet he and his management team learned a lot from the shipwreck of last season.

        His immediate task when he took over was to restock our system, which was pretty barren after years of middle-of-the-pack finishes and squandered picks. We’re only just beginning to see the fruits of that restocking, and it’s looking as though Bergevin and his scouts have done a great job.

        Bergevin has also remade our defence and our bottom two lines. A lot of defencemen and “fifth-line puds” have come and gone through the locker room door since he took over, but it looks as though we finally have a solid, puck-moving defence, and I love our fourth line. All of Mitchell, Flynn, Byron, and Danault are fast and gritty, and there’s enough skill among them to win faceoffs and score goals.

        Bergevin always said there was a lot of work to do and it would take time. I guess fans are just impatient if they don’t see immediate results.

        “We gotta lotta dep.”

    • rabidhab says:

      I think Muller’s presence behind the bench will be one of the best off season moves. I notice in the few games I’ve watched on TV , he’s always talking with players , giving them pat on the back after a good or bad shift. This small gesture will go a long way to bringing a positive morale on the Habs.
      I am not sold on N8 just yet. I think playing with Weber has caused him to be making small mistakes too frequently, trying to make cutesy plays which ends up on the other players stick or an icing. Hopefully he learns to make safe plays and cut down on the mistakes.
      Montoya is a great pick up and Radulov has me eating crow, he’s relentless , so far anyway.

    • Coach K says:

      I haven’t been convinced yet that Bergevin knows how to build a winner but I must agree with what you’ve said and give him full credit for some solid off season moves.

      My only concern at this point is that they need upgrades over Pleks and Desharnais if they want to contend for real. All things in due time though and if Bergevin can move at least one of those contracts and somehow find an upgrade then I’ll happily pump his tires for sure.

      As my management team at work like to say…we’re trending well.

      -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
      (James Lane Allen)

  41. B says:

    Where are the guys who played in the Habs’ org last season but are no longer around?

    Still UFAs:
    Scott (unofficially retired)
    Fleischman -> PTO Wild, released pre season
    Brown -> PTO Columbus, released pre season

    Subban -> Nashville
    Weise -> Philly
    Eller -> Washington
    Smith-Pelly -> New Jersey
    Semin -> KHL
    Gilbert -> Los Angeles
    Condon -> Pittsburgh

    Tinordi -> Tucson (AHL) ? pending waivers
    Fournier -> Tucson (AHL)
    Holloway, Scrivens, Lessio -> KHL
    Dumont, Bournival -> Syracuse (AHL)
    Dietz, Thomas -> Hershey (AHL)
    Ellis -> Chicago (AHL) Kristo is there too
    Bartley -> Minnesota (NHL)
    Tokarski -> San Diego (AHL)
    Pasquale -> Grand Rapids (AHL)
    Miceli -> Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL)
    Neilson -> Manchester Storm (England)
    Yogan -> HC Bolzano (Austria)
    Rankin -> Toledo Walleye (ECHL)
    Bakker -> Providence (AHL)
    Bennett -> Rochester (AHL)
    McNally -> Utah (ECHL)
    Ranger -> Norfolk (ECHL)
    Ward -> Manchester (ECHL)
    T.Brown -> Allen (ECHL)
    Joyaux -> Tulsa (ECHL)
    Bozon -> Springfield (AHL)

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • ArmyFan says:

      Jeez that’s a long list. 18 players that played at least one game with the Canadiens last year are no longer with the organization. Didn’t realize how much change there was until you start looking at lists like this!

  42. Un Canadien errant says:

    The one that got away:

    http://www.rds.ca/hockey/lhjmq/goon-un-jour-goon-toujours-1.3593849

    « En deuxième période, j’ai complété une grosse mise en échec sur un défenseur qui joue habituellement dans la Ligue américaine. Il m’a cross-checké, je l’ai cross-checké. Il m’a ensuite dit : ” Sais-tu qui je suis? “. Je lui ai répondu : ” Je ne sais pas qui tu es, mais si tu veux savoir qui je suis, on peut y aller “. Il n’a pas jeté les gants et ç’a fini là. »

    “In the second period, I delivered a big check on a defenceman who plays in the AHL. He crosschecked me, I crosschecked him back. He said to me ‘Do you know who I am?’ I told him ‘I don’t know who you are, but if you want to know who I am, we can go.’ He didn’t drop the gloves, and it ended there.”–Bokondji Imama

    ———————————————————————–
    “Management knows what they’re doing. I’m 100 percent sure that they’re not making any moves to hurt our team. They only want to make us better.”–Andrei Markov

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • B says:

      Imama is back in the Q with Saint John

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        In his case, I don’t think playing in the LHJMQ as a 20-year-old rather than the AHL is a bad thing. Instead of being a 4th-liner or healthy scratch in the pros, instead of constantly having to fight, he’ll now play Top 6, be a veteran leader, get a chance to round out his game, work on his skills.

        When we see what happened to Jérémy Grégoire when he jumped from le Drakkar to the IceCaps, he went from being on the top line, first wave of PP and PK, to being overmatched, injured, on the fourth line with checking assignments. Imagine what Boko would face, with much less skill and experience as a hockey player.

        It’s worth noting that Boko started playing hockey relatively late, at least in the competitive sense. Into his teens, he played more football and basketball, that’s where he thought his future was, not hockey. So he’s still got a lot of catching up to do. I think playing an overage year, in his case, is the right decision.

        • Steven Finn says:

          I remember my time in The LHJMQ playing for Laval. They didn’t track my plus/minus and I was considered a actual “tough guy” as there were no big meanies like Knuckles Nilan to call my bluff. It was the best time of my hockey career. My dream of playing for my beloved Les Habitats was still alive. I thought I had a decent chance of getting selected by the Habs when by some miracle, I scored 20 goals one year and the Canadiens had multiple selections in the first 3 rounds. But it was not to be. I waited and waited as the Canadiens went to the podium, never calling my name. Then by some strange twist of fate, I was drafted by the Nordiques in the 3rd round. My worst nightmare was a reality. Instead of winning Stanley Cups with my heroes in bleu blanc et rouge I was beaten bleu noir et rouge by them. So if you wonder why I cross checked this guy or butt ended that guy or had to desperately tie my skate laces at inopportune moments of on ice bedlam, now you know.
          No one ever grows up wanting to be a Nordiques, no one……..

  43. Un Canadien errant says:

    We talked about faceoffs at the very start of this thread, here are the percentages from last night.

    Desharnais: 60%
    Mitchell : 50%
    Plekanec : 45%
    Galchenyuk : 38%

    We need our best players to be our best players.

    ———————————————————————–
    “Management knows what they’re doing. I’m 100 percent sure that they’re not making any moves to hurt our team. They only want to make us better.”–Andrei Markov

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • New says:

      To what would you attribute the inverse order of line utilization and faceoff efficiency? When you compared the faceoff efficiency to the Coyotes efficiency were there any obvious anomalies – one player taking an inordinate amount of faceoffs against a much more proficient faceoff taker?

      What matchups in Boston should Therrien avoid or should he just match lines as best the road team can?

  44. DeadEnd says:

    I have heard it mentioned a few times (or read it in print, one or the other), that there is an apparent east-coast bias when it comes to certain NHL awards. This is explained by the larger number of writers being based on the east coast and people, therefore, not having to stay up until 3 in the morning to watch games. I believe that this has even been used as one of the explanation as to why Drew Doughty hadn’t won the Norris before last year.

    Does that then mean that Shea Weber, who now plays for an Eastern Conference team in one of the largest hockey markets, and who was part of a very high-profile and, some may say, controversial trade, will have many more eyes watching his every move? Does this then lead to the possibility that his chances of winning a Norris have increased somewhat?

    And, most importantly, if he does win a Norris, will there be enough sanitation engineers in the city of Montreal to clean up the mess when the supporters of a certain charismatic ex-Hab all have their heads explode?

    Just curious.

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      A lot of ifs. I’d like to see Shea Weber win a Norris. I’d like to see PK Subban win a full season Norris too. It’s not either or.
      The key thing is that I don’t wish to see PK win a Stanley Cup, since he isn’t a Hab anymore. Individual honours? Sure.
      My head would not explode either way. Sorry.

    • johnnylarue says:

      I think the bias is real, and I believe I heard or read one of the more reliable talking heads (Friedman, maybe?) postulating that this added exposure, along with the fact that Weber has yet to win the award, would likely make La Montagne a contender this season. (Assuming he keeps up the point production and continues to be “hard to play against”, of course.)

    • chilli says:

      Weber has been great so far, but a little early for Norris talk.

      Let’s see where this team sits after 25 games and if they will be better than last years 18-4-3 team when were having PK winning the Norris chatter…..

      • Mavid says:

        The Sens homers are already talking about Karlsson for the Norris, oh and the league MVP..so why not start on Weber..

        º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

        Weed Wacker -and now Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

      • DeadEnd says:

        Just speculating. I haven’t drunk that much Kool-Aid.

        Yet.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      When I lived in Montréal, I struggled to stay awake to watch Western games, even when I wanted to watch the Oilers and Flames battle. Now that I live out West, I can watch both Conferences easily. It’s a real hurdle for Western players I think.

      My theory in the Seventies was that Denis Potvin got more cred than Larry Robinson because he played in New York, so what few games reporters saw, they were carried on American TV, in the New York market. That’s why he was winning Norrisses. Denis Potvin was good, but not clearly better than Larry, as voters seemed to believe.

      • New says:

        I think the prejudice is to offence over defense. As you are aware the media votes on the Norris. Big media presence, big Norris votes. It would be really interesting to see how voting went if players voted on the Norris instead or there were an equal number of teams (and voters) in the East and West.

        Potvin’s 70s wins bracketed Robinson’s. In both cases Potvin won he outscored Larry. The one time Larry won he outscored Potvin.

    • The Jackal says:

      Weber won’t win a Norris without a supporting cast of mobile, skilled d-men. He had that in Nashville and he’s already past his prime years. He didn’t get it when he had that favourable situation, so I doubt now is a better shot for him. Unless Beaulieu turns into Josi.

      That said, why is there a constant need to sell the trade? Just because one has accepted it doesn’t mean there’s a need to market it now. It’s done, and we know which of the guys is the better dman, and he now plays in the US. Also, why would people’s head explode? If Weber won a Norris, good for him, the guy who wanna take shadow jabs at already has one and is a perennial candidate. If anything, it’ll be harder for both of the two dmen to win a Norris, as there’s been an influx of dynamic, excellent young d-men coming into the league. The competition will be fierce.

      Lastly, what’s this baloney about Doughty? He’s not as good as the old boys’ club says he is. Players like him (good, no doubt) get an inflated reputation because they behave like the cookie-cutter player that hockey culture imposes on all players. Erik Karlsson is by far a better dman, but he gets a bad rap because he’s a Euro who doesn’t hit that much and prefers to defend by having the puck and creating offence *(which is a much more effective way to defend). Doughty is a top dman in this league but his value is inflated and him getting a Norris only recently is not a product of bias.

      _______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Coach K says:

      I’d rather see Weber win a Stanley Cup in Montreal. The Norris or the Conn Smythe would be a nice consolation for hi though;)

      -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
      (James Lane Allen)

    • JohnInTruro says:

      Who are the writers on the East Coast? Are there a lot from NL and NS?

  45. RightNyder says:

    Crankshaft retires.
    Thought he packed it in years ago.

  46. Un Canadien errant says:

    “With a goal and three assists to start the season, Galchenyuk is averaging a point per game. Five other Canadiens are also averaging a point per game after four games: Jeff Petry (2-2-4), David Desharnais (2-2-4), Brendan Gallagher (2-2-4), Max Pacioretty (1-3-4) and Shea Weber (1-3-4).”

    To rely on the old hockey cliché, this is exactly what we need, that our best players are our best players.

    ———————————————————————–
    “Management knows what they’re doing. I’m 100 percent sure that they’re not making any moves to hurt our team. They only want to make us better.”–Andrei Markov

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Sergachev is still looking for his first NHL point after playing three games, averaging 10:25 of ice time and posting a plus-1.

      When asked if he thought about skipping Friday’s optional practice, the 18-year-old smiled and said: “It’s not optional for me.”

      The kid gets it.

    • RightNyder says:

      One of these things is not like the others,
      One of these things just doesn’t belong,
      Can you tell which thing is not like the others
      By the time I finish my song?

    • thesenator18 says:

      DD is one of Montreal’s best players…..3 goals and 10 assists in 38 career playoff games say’s otherwise…SIGH.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        So what you’re saying is that, instead of blurting something out, I should have maybe done a little research like Jacques Martin advised? That since I’m on the internet anyway, I should maybe make sure I know what I’m talking about? Is that the gist of your ‘SIGH’?

        Hey great comeback, I genuinely laughed. And it looks like we’re on the same page.

  47. RightNyder says:

    How long until Tinordi retires?
    If he’s in the AHL, he’s going to get KTFU (can I say that?) again, leaving him with precious few functioning brain cells.

    • hansolo says:

      If Tinordi gets picked up on waivers, doesn’t the team that picks him up have to keep him on their NHL roster all season? We couldn’t pick him up and assign him to the Caps, could we?

      • RightNyder says:

        The chances of Tinordi getting picked up on waivers are about the same as o2t not being first in line with sprinkles at the unicorn stables every morning.

        • GrimJim says:

          Hey, give o2t a little credit. The unicorn stables are tough to get to. You have to pass the chocolat ice cream mountain, traverse the sticky gum drop bog and cross the bridge with all the trolls under it. And don’t forget the Lake of Lagavulin, a lot of us have lost our way there.

          Edit: I miss Front.

  48. nightmare_49 says:

    Twitter attack , it’s a process.

  49. thesenator18 says:

    The top 10 players i predict Montreal will protect in the expansion draft the off season,unless there are trades are……Price,Weber,Beaulieu,Petry,Galchenyuk,Gallagher,Pacioretty,Shaw,McCarron,Scherbak….that leaves one spot left between….Plekanec,Carr,Hudon,Danault,Mitchell…….I do not think they will protect Plekanec.

  50. thesenator18 says:

    Montreal reporter Arpon Basu is in Winnipeg for the alumni game,with Serge Savard as the alumni coach for Winnipeg and Gretzky playing his last ever game for the Oilers alumni….Heritage Classic goes at 2.30 eastern on Sunday.

  51. leafs stinck says:

    Much better played game but remeber its Arizona. They do not play a physical game thats why the habs looked much better than the first 3 games.
    We just are not physical enough, our d-man dont drive the oppostion into the boards in our zone with hard finishes, our forwards have to pound the defence more by running into them even just to scare them, our 2 centerman plaks and dd are quick dont use their speed to skate around defence going into the zone because their scared to get hit.
    The first line should not get first bid on the power play all the time, should rotate, the second line was on and they scored last night, same with the defence, leave Beleaue with weber use Markov and Petry.
    Emproved team but im worried that were not physical enouglh like most contender teams and it will show as the season goes on, the habs have too many players on the team that are scared to dish out or to take hits to move the play forward, will see Lets beat the Briuns for now!!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      It’s not a failing of our players that they don’t hit ‘enough’, but rather a team philosophy. Michel Therrien wants the puck, coaches his team to prioritize the puck more than hits. Many times, I’ll see a player bracing for a Canadien to finish his check, only to see a Malhotra or Weise or Flynn take off after the puck carrier instead. Michel Therrien was seen on 24CH coaching up P.K., telling him to not worry about big hits, that those would come organically, that if he had a choice to make, he should try to strip the puck off someone rather than rock them with a hit. Later in the same episode, having a post-game chat with Marc Bergevin, you can see that he agrees with that approach.

      The Canadiens are not thumpers and check-finishers like the Blues or the Bruins or the Kings. They’re a fast team that forechecks and pressures the puck. Whether that’s good or bad is up for debate, but that’s where we are.

      • leafs stinck says:

        I agree with what your saying about the system its not a cup contender system, what i see is that Montreal does not have puck control possesion if they did they would not dump and chase or get caught in the zone all the time.
        The majority of the team has no puck control skills. They need to be more physical, you say the habs are fast? thats what we have been saying for years now and there not, the other teams are, if they were they would be blowing by or down the middle with there speed and they dont cus the smaller players are scared meaning are #2 and #3 centerman.
        If the habs dont tuffin up there just gonna be intimidated and easy to beat thats been the problem for quite a few years now.

  52. HabinBurlington says:

    The pen protecting hockey fans really do get their gotch in a knot over the simplistic statistic of CF shots for and against.

    Reading Scott Cullen compliment Weber but have to throw in the outshot comment is really a humorous thing.

    http://www.tsn.ca/statistically-speaking-weber-does-his-thing-in-montreal-1.589613

  53. Phil C says:

    Losing spectacularly at the World Cup was bad, but getting zinged by Therrien about press conference behaviour; is this a new low for Torts?

    • GrimJim says:

      I think trying to bum rush the Flames dressing room in between periods on a nationally televised game was Torts lowest of the low moment so the Therrien zinger is more like a playground nouggie…

  54. CHasman says:

    With Redmond breaking his foot the odds of Sergechev staying with the team have improved dramatically. I would like to see Pateryn get into more games and I’m sure he will, especially now with only 7 D on the team. If Sergechev does go back to juniors after his nine games (which is still the probable outcome) Pateryn will be back in the line up full time which is ok because he’s not going to hurt us and he needs to see action. As for the entire D-corp, Markov is now the smallest at 6′ and with the addition of Weber we are turning into a bigger tougher group of defensemen.
    As for being one man below the roster limit I would personally like to see McCarron called up but I don’t think he has responded that well to being in the minors so he may have blown an early chance at playing back in the NHL for now.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Had to fact check your assertions regarding McCarron, and you’re not wrong. Granted, it’s only 3 games played, but:

      0G 1A and -6 (after only 3 games!)

      I expected a more beastly start to the season from him. I’ll still give the kid a coupla dozen games to find himself before I start calling for MB to trade him to LA for Anze Kopitar.

      • bwoar says:

        Yeah, the goaltending hasn’t been much either. Fucale had a good outing last game but lost 2-1.

        Doesn’t look good for Big Mac, nor for Barberio at a team-worst -8 in 3 games. If I were Sven Andrighetto, I’d be getting ready to play big minutes.

        • johnnylarue says:

          I know AHL teams are a different animal and not subject to the same criteria for success as their parent clubs, but I’m starting to think the coaching staff down there need to be given their walking papers… yesterday. The stench of perpetual losing is starting to poison our prospect pool.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I wasn’t crazy about the mix of that team to start with, for various reasons.

        –Loss of many veterans (Morgan Ellis, Darren Dietz, Gabriel Dumont, Michaël Bournival, Bud Holloway) from last year.

        –Current veterans like Mark Barberio, Sven Andrighetto, Charles Hudon, Chris Terry, Phillip Samuelsson on the roster might be dispirited to find themselves there. You might argue that’s true for every AHL team and every year, but I think there’s a vibe some years where there’s a good group all on a positive career arc, and maybe that’s not true for these guys. Chris Terry was in the NHL last year. Phillip Samuelsson must be wondering if this is it. Sven, Charles, they must be less enthused about another year of buses, wonder what they need to do. Mark Barberio thought he was finally an NHL’er. Etc.

        –Thin roster. Sven and Mark passing through waivers will help, but man, that initial roster, it was one first line, and then nothing to fear for other teams.

        –No great influx of eager beavers. Mike McCarron and Nikita Scherbak last year along with Zach Fucale is exciting, as a teammate you think these kids will help. This year, seeing tiny Daniel Audette joining a group that’s already undersized, that must have been underwhelming.

        –Lame-duck year in St. John’s. Last year was a breath of fresh air, leaving Hamilton, tout nouveau tout beau. Sure, it was a two-year deal, but we’d worry about that later, right? Well now, the move to Laval is confirmed, and the local populace is already looking beyond this season, to whether they’ll even have an AHL team next season.

        It might start to boo early this season at Mile One arena.

        • johnnylarue says:

          All of those are valid argumentations, but still I ask you: what exactly has Coach Sly done to warrant a length of leash heretofore not afforded to a head coach since Lindy Ruff spent 50 years trying to get his pickup out of a mud pit in Buffalo?

          Ya gotta think whatever coachspeak platitudes he has in his vocabulary are starting to wear at least a bit thin by now…

          (And I know you agree, I just like to make the clickety-clacks on my keyboard some days.)

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I do suspect that Sylvain Lefebvre is not the most talented, inspiring head coach. He might be a better detail-oriented assistant coach who focuses on defencemen than a communicative head coach who gets the most out of each player and a roster.

            I think there were/are LHJMQ coaches who are ready to move up, young energetic coaches with innovative ideas who should be groomed for the NHL.

            I understand though that Marc Bergevin, from the get-go, talked about stability in the organization, how the revolving door had to stop. I think he wants a culture in Montréal where you don’t sit back and wait for the coach to get fired, where the guys hang together and play tough and go through the wall for their team, whoever the coach is.

            So these two concepts are in opposition. I do hope that if Sylvain Lefebvre doesn’t have more success this season, despite what I admit is a spotty roster, that the transition to Laval allows for a transfer of power to someone else.

    • bwoar says:

      I’d call up JDLR if that absolutely had to be another forward called up. Honestly there’s no one on the Bulldogs worth adding to this roster right now. Timmins and Co need to take a bigger bite of the sandwich.

    • bwoar says:

      Also McCarron is suspended right now.

  55. Prop says:

    Tinordi on waivers according to Lavoie.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  56. CaliHabFan says:

    A bit off-topic but I am curious how many of you out there prefer the old NHL website compared to the “new” one. I find this version just slow, cluttered and tedious.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Dislike it, but then again most every sports website has gone this route. It’s like George Stroumboulopoulos is now in charge of all sports website redesigns.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I hate it. It is slow, clunky, doesn’t work well with a computer, the sidebars don’t scroll down, it’s a mess. I guess if I was using a phone with a tiny screen it would be great.

    • B says:

      It keeps getting worse. Their stats page crapped out on me today. I have been using alternate sites more lately.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  57. on2ndthought says:

    Great article by Stu on Radulov as seen through the eyes of Geoff Platt, a teammate in the KHL. It is linked above.

    The best thing about Radulov is that he and Galchenyuk are cast in the same mould, and he will hopefully be an inspiration (not sure I expected to think this way on July 1st).

    More single malts, more saloons, más habla español, more spittoons: Free Front!

  58. Timo says:

    To continue with being positive, like I always am, I have to say that Emelin’s been playing very physical so far. I hope it doesn’t go away towards the end of the season.

    That hit he dished out at a blue line last night was a thing of beauty.

    • on2ndthought says:

      Emelin is a beast, but his skating really suffered from the surgery. He seems to be getting it back. The better you skate, the better you hit.

      I’d like to see him out there with Pateryn, who could provide protection. Yemmy cannot afford to engage in tomfoolery (different surgery), but to be effective, must engage and enrage others. A touchy combination.

      More single malts, more saloons, más habla español, more spittoons: Free Front!

      • Phil C says:

        I think his skating this year has been outstanding, especially for a big man.

      • Coach K says:

        Agreed re: ACL rebuild surgery. The physical part heals in 6-9 months but trusting the repaired joint can take a year or two psychologically, depending on what discomfort the player experiences during the recovery and after games.

        My 18 year old son is going through it now so we do have some knowledge of what it takes to completely come back from that.

        -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
        (James Lane Allen)

  59. habcertain says:

    I understand we are supposed to meaner to play against with Shaw and Weber, I thought last night we looked a little soft, Whitey was certainly looking to push us around.

  60. B says:

    After 4 games:
    67-27-11: 12 points + 13
    62-14-47: 6 points +1
    41/43 – 52 – 65: 8 points +9
    41/32 – 17 – 24: 5 points -1
    28 – 6: 6 points +12
    79 – 26: 6 points +5
    74 – 22/8: 1 point +1

    –Go Habs Go!–

  61. Un Canadien errant says:

    Sometimes I feel bad that I don’t take the time to read the articles provided by Stu Cowan and Pat Hickey, I figure these guys work hard, I should take the time to benefit from their work, instead of going straight to reader comments.

    Today, I make a point to read the article, and there it is again:

    “…with goalie coach Stéphane Fiset, …”

    Harried overworked newspaper reporters are one thing, but this is getting sloppy. We’ve already been over this.

    ———————————————————————–
    “Management knows what they’re doing. I’m 100 percent sure that they’re not making any moves to hurt our team. They only want to make us better.”–Andrei Markov

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  62. Bergevin's Foxhole says:

    Surely Pateryn starts against Boston, no?

  63. bwoar says:

    The screen above showing Beaulieu drafted #17… Comparable to… Jack Johnson. It sure would be nice if NB could put up 40 points this year.

  64. DipsyDoodler says:

    So I decide to order a muffin with my coffee this morning. Felt a little crazy.

    I point to one in the display case that looks good. After I pay for it I ask what flavour it is. (my mistake of course)

    Banana – Chocolate.

    Really? Banana – Chocolate?

    Why does Banana – Chocolate flavour even exist? What’s your target demographic? What’s wrong with blueberry, cranberry, bran, etc ?

    All this to say that I have no complaints about hockey. (OK, other than Gary Bettman.)
    —–

    • bwoar says:

      Target demographic: 4-year-olds and the ever-lovin’ folks raising ’em.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I make a great banana bread, it’s a great way to use up those overripe bananas. Whenever I bring some to work or a potluck or something, I get asked if I put chocolate chips in, and can see the disappointment when I inform them I didn’t. Sometimes I figure I should just bring a kilo of chocolate, that’d make everyone happy.

      • bwoar says:

        Chocolate-banana bread…perfect for turkey & bacon filled Monte Cristo sandwiches.

      • Mavid says:

        they don’t need chocolate chips..keep making it the way you are..

        º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

        Weed Wacker -and now Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

    • johnnylarue says:

      You mean to tell me it’s taken you until the year 2016 to notice that banana and chocolate are a thing? C’mon, man–get with the times! (And for god’s sake, get rid of that acid wash jacket. Even the hipsters have moved on!)

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Lots of things are a thing, but they may still be surprising, or at any rate worth remarking upon.

        Leaf fans thinking they’re going to win the cup every October, for example.

        —–

    • RawdonHab says:

      Actually, banana/chocolate is a pretty tasty combination..

      Great minds die young…I don’t feel so well myself…

  65. HabinBurlington says:

    So young SergaCHev learned very good english in 1 year in Windsor. If this kid decides to tackle learning French he could really endear himself to this team and city. Maybe he should move in with DD and Timo to work on his Francais.

  66. Timo says:

    Contract year for Davey D. Molson better sell more beer and fast to have enough cash to sign Davey.

  67. B says:

    First star Victor Mete scored the game winner (with less than a minute to go) and added an assist in a 5-4 win over Kitchener. He now has 4 goals and 9 points in 9 games.

    Addison was held pointless in a 2-0 win over Kingston. He has 4 goals and 9 points in 6 games.

    –Go Habs Go!–

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        http://thehockeywriters.com/samuel-montembeault-girard-off-to-hot-starts-in-qmjhl/

        Leading the charge so far this season is Nashville Predators prospect Samuel Girard who is currently scoring at an astounding 2.8 points per game rate. The undersized defenseman is known for his all-worldly offensive abilities and was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The left-shot defender finished his draft year with 74 points in 67 regular season games and then followed that up with 22 points in 21 playoff games.

        Girard led all CHL defensemen in scoring last season and finished with an impressive 15 more points than the next highest scoring blueliner in the QMJHL. The record for most points ever registered by a defenseman in a single QMJHL season is 137. This feat was accomplished by Pierre Lacroix and dates all the way back to 1978-79. Could Girard legitimately challenge this longstanding record? He would need to score at a rate of just over 2.12 points per game the rest of way to beat the record and would actually finish with 177 points if he maintains his current scoring pace.

        If Girard is able to continue to build off of his strong start to the season he should also find himself in the conversation for Canada’s World Junior team. The 18-year-old has represented his country at international tournaments in the past, including the most recent Ivan Hlinka Memorial, so he can rest assured that he is at least on Hockey Canada’s radar.

        • B says:

          I thought Mete was kind of small for a Dman at 5’10” 180lbs, Girard is listed as 5’10” 160 lbs.

          –Go Habs Go!–

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            And is that with the usual inflation that accompanies such team-supplied stats?

            At the combine, Samuel Girard was listed at

            Samuel Girard (38th NA): Listed: 5-foot-10, 162 lbs Combine: 5-foot-9, 160.02 lbs

            For some reason Victor Mete isn’t listed anywhere. Did he not attend the combine? I thought he was a relatively highly-ranked prospect, so he would have been invited, no?

            I rely on the Scouting Combine measurements, they tend to be accurate, not subject to inflation by home teams and agents.

            There was a blogger a week ago who pointed out that this year, Artturi Lehkonen is now 6 feet tall, and Tomas Plekanec is listed as 6 feet tall too by the Canadiens. Our team was pretty good in the past as giving accurate measurements.

  68. HabinBurlington says:

    Contract year for Chucky?

    • habcertain says:

      care to dust off the bridge contract debate? or is MB gonna try to lock up longer term? 5-6m/per

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Guy Carbonneau, Éric Bélanger and Denis Gauthier on L’Antichambre last night commented that there’s been ‘un déclic’ with respect to Alex’s defensive play, that he’s more involved, doesn’t cheat towards offence as much, works harder in his zone. Yesterday, he had a great defensive effort on an odd-man rush by the Coyotes, and was rewarded a few seconds later when he scored his goal.

      They went on that there will need to be ‘un déclic’ as far as his performance in the faceoff circle. Some points they brought up:

      1) Faceoff excellence isn’t handed down from heaven, it’s a skill that requires a lot of work and dedication.

      2) Alex hasn’t shown that dedication in his preparation so far, and not even during games. Éric Bélanger and Guy Carbonneau, both centremen, agreed that it’s noticeable to them that he’s not focused on faceoffs, that he shows up to the dot unprepared. They said basic things like getting ready, his positioning, right off the drop, he’s not set, and that’s why he’s losing.

      3) They said that he does work on this in practices, but he needs more help, and more focus. They specifically said that having Dan Lacroix drop puck for him so he can practice is basically useless, since Mr. Lacroix wasn’t a centreman himself. They said that Kirk Muller needs to work with him, he’s a former centreman who excelled on faceoffs.

      4) They noted that for all the coaches’ talk about the importance of faceoffs, what will speak loudest for Alex is that Brendan Gallagher has been taking draws on occasion, bumping him to the wing. That has to sting a little bit. Gally isn’t great at faceoffs, but he’s usually the one called on when the centreman is waved off, over Max Pacioretty. Also, Gally is a rightie, so it might make more sense to have him take draws on his strong side than to have Chucky on his weak side. But let’s hope it hits Alex right in his pride, and that’s why he’s putting in extra time this morning during an optional skate.

      More general thoughts about faceoffs:

      –Faceoff proficiency improves as players age. This is thought to be due to a player getting more savvy and tricky, but also mainly just getting stronger. Chucky has a bit of an advantage in that latter area, his size and training will serve him well, but he now needs to take lots and lots of faceoffs.

      –Manny Malhotra, his one season here, spoke often on 24CH on the Zen of Faceoffs, how every situation, every opponent is different. He said once that in some situations, he’s not so concerned about winning the draw, but more about making sure he doesn’t lose it cleanly. Alex needs to have that battler mentality, that every draw matters.

      –Speaking of Manny, he’s now a Development coach with the Canucks.

      http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/manny-malhotra-named-vancouver-canucks-development-coach/

      One of the oft-stated goals is that by hiring him, he can pass on some of his faceoff know-how to the Canucks’ players and prospects.

      –We often talked about hiring Manny as a coach, but he was always going to head back to Vancouver, that’s where he wanted to live. Maybe there are other specialized coaches we can hire from the Montréal area though, Yannick Pereault is often bandied about. I don’t know if he’s available, I know he’s consulted with some teams, and some players work with him over the summer as a ‘skills coach’.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Heard Dave Poulin talking about faceoffs today and he said a big part is age/experience. He said the vets know exactly how each linesman drops the puck and just how things like that help the centerman.

        Undoubtedly hard work is required in this facet of the game, Crosby struggled early in his career with faceoffs as well. Gretzky was never considered strong on the faceoff.

        Chucky will get it ‘Im sure, and having a full season as center would go a long ways to helping.

      • on2ndthought says:

        I heard Manny had a ‘bible’; handwritten notes on every center, linseman combination, that he studied daily. That would have been a good hire, good for the Canucks.

        More single malts, more saloons, más habla español, more spittoons: Free Front!


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