Canadiens Notebook: Alex Galchenyuk demoted to fourth line at practice

STU COWAN

Coach Claude Julien has decided to shake up his lines after a 1-3-0 start to the season during which the Canadiens have scored only four goals — two of them short-handed.

The Canadiens were back on the ice Wednesday morning for practice in Brossard following Tuesday night’s 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at the Bell Centre. 

Arturri Lehkonen, who finished Tuesday’s game at right wing on the No. 1 line — taking Brendan Gallagher’s spot — stayed there at practice with Jonathan Drouin and Max Pacioretty.

Gallagher dropped down to the second line with Tomas Plekanec and Paul Byron.

Alex Galchenyuk now finds himself on the fourth line with Torrey Mitchell and Ales Hemsky.

“I got to keep moving forward and get ready for the next one,” Galchenyuk said after practice.

When asked what his reaction was when he saw the new lines on the board after arriving for practice, Galchenyuk said: “Go here and keep working on my game. What else can I say?”

Galchenyuk said Julien hadn’t spoken with him about the line changes.

When asked to rate his own game so far, Galchenyuk said: “I’m not in school … I’m not here to give myself grades or anything like that. Like I said, I got to keep coming in here and working on my game.

“I’m here … my job is to go out there and make myself better and try to help the team win. So that’s what I’m focused on.”

Galchenyuk has yet to earn a point this season while averaging 16:21 of ice time and is minus-1. 

Julien did not speak with the media on Wednesday.

(Photo: Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

The lines

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

Pacioretty – Drouin – Lehkonen 
Byron – Plekanec – Gallagher 
Hudon – Danault – Shaw 
Galchenyuk – Mitchell – Hemsky 
De La Rose

Mete – Weber 
Alzner – Petry 
Benn – Davidson 
Morrow – Streit 
Schlemko

Schlemko says he’s ready to go

Defenceman David Schlemko, who suffered a hand injury early in training camp, is hoping to make his Canadiens debut Saturday night at the Bell Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC, TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690).

The Canadiens acquired Schlemko from the Vegas Golden Knights following the NHL expansion draft in exchange for a fifth-round pick at the 2019 NHL Draft. In 62 games last season with the San Jose Sharks, the 6-foot-1, 189-pound Schlemko posted 2-16-18 totals and was plus-4 while averaging 16:44 of ice time.

“I’m just going to bring my game … move the puck quick, jump into the attack,” the 30-year-old Schlemko said about what he can bring to the Canadiens lineup once he gets in. “I can defend well and touch all aspects of the game, really.”

While Schlemko is new to the Canadiens, there are some familiar faces in the locker room. He played with Jordie Benn and Alex Hemsky in Dallas, played with Paul Byron in Calgary and was Al Montoya’s teammate in the minors with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage.

It doesn’t get easier for Habs

The Maple Leafs are off to a 3-0 start and have outscored the opposition 19-10. That’s not good news for the Canadiens heading into Saturday’s game.

“When you look at them, and I watched the game (Monday) night against Chicago (the Leafs won 4-3 in overtime), they’re young and they’re quick,” Julien said about the Leafs after Tuesday’s game at the Bell Centre. “They have a lot of energy and they come out and they really wear teams down. So we got to make sure we’re fresh and ready for these guys. But at the same time, if you plan on playing on your heels against that team they’ll eat you alive. So we’re going to have to be on our toes and it is going to be us pushing them back with our speed, hopefully, and then playing with a little bit more energy — kind of like we saw at times tonight.

“We need to respect the skill level and the youth of that team that has a lot of speed and energy,” the coach added. “But at the same time, we shouldn’t be fearing them. We should be finding ways to win hockey games. The way we’ve shown in different times in the games that we’ve played that we’re capable of doing that. But we’re really going to need a 60-minute effort on Saturday.”

Habs’ power play firing blanks

The Canadiens have yet to score a power-play goal this season, going 0-for-14 with the man advantage.

The Leafs, on the other hand, were tied with the New Jersey Devils for the No. 1 power play in the NHL through Tuesday’s games, clicking at 37.5 per cent with six goals on 16 chances.

“Our power play has been good as far as moving the puck,” Julien said after Tuesday’s game. “I think tonight we were forcing things a little bit. I didn’t think our power play was quite as good as it has been. … There’s definitely room there for improvement.

“I think the shots that we had again, converging on the net and finishing is an area where we need to get better at as well,” the coach added. “And that goes back to why aren’t we scoring? Guys’ confidence is low right now, I guess, in that department so we got to fight our way out of this. And no matter what, you can’t forget the positive and you got to keep working with the stuff that needs to get better. And that’s the only way out.”

Some puck luck would help

Through Tuesday’s games, the Canadiens were leading the NHL with 155 shots on goal (an average of 38.7 per game) but had scored only four times for a dismal 2.5 shooting percentage.

“Luck is something that I think on the outside can be said,” Julien said after Tuesday’s game, in which the Canadiens outshot the Blackhawks 42-25. “I don’t think we can use that as an excuse. There’s no doubt that there’s a couple of times you know you’ve seen like: Wow, we didn’t get a break here or there. But you can’t rely on that. You got to fight through it and that’s what I want us to do. I want us to fight through it instead of using excuses. We don’t want excuses, we want solutions. And that’s how you become a hard team and a mentally strong team as well.

“We could use a little bit of puck luck, no doubt, but there’s more we can do I think as far as maybe getting some confidence.”

Scorers aren’t scoring

Through four games, Pacioretty has one goal and Drouin’s only goal was a shootout winner in the season opener in Buffalo.

Those are the two main guys the Canadiens are counting on for offence this season.

“All teams struggle throughout a year and players struggle throughout a year,” Pacioretty said. “Nothing’s ever been perfect, no one’s ever had 82 perfect games. We don’t make excuses in here. Things haven’t gone perfect. We have worked — probably not for 60 minutes at a time — but we have worked and we’ve put in a lot of work.

“It seems like we’re close to clicking,” the captain added. “It’s not there yet. But our goal is to work at it and make sure that we’re able to get this turned around quickly, guys can feel good about their games and produce the way we know we can produce.”

Ugly numbers for Price

While the Canadiens aren’t scoring goals, Carey Price is also off to a bad start in nets — thanks in part to a shaky defence.

Following Tuesday’s loss to the Blackhawks, Price has a 1-3-0 record with a 3.30 goals-against average and .899 save percentage

Drouin teams up with Children’s Foundation

Drouin is teaming up with the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation to launch the Jo et ses champions program.

The Canadiens announced Wednesday that Drouin will make an annual personal contribution of $165,000 to allow some less fortunate children to watch the Canadiens in action from a special Bell Centre loge. 

“From the first day I got here, I wanted to get involved and do something for children by giving them an opportunity to enjoy memorable experiences,” Drouin said in a statement released by the team. “By giving them a chance to attend a hockey game, I am hoping that an evening in the suite will provide the kids and their families with some relief from the personal hardships they are facing. They’ll have a chance to be together and have a great time, and for me, it’s an opportunity to contribute in my own way to their well-being.”

What’s next?

The Canadiens will have the day off Thursday and will practise at 11 a.m. Friday in Brossard before facing the Maple Leafs Saturday night. 

The Canadiens head to the U.S. West Coast next week for games in San Jose Tuesday, Los Angeles Wednesday and Anaheim Friday.

• Offence still missing in loss to Blackhawks, by Pat Hickey

• In the Habs Room: ‘We can’t figure a way to put it in the net,’ by Pat Hickey

• Habs fans show their allegiance to bleu-blanc-rouge, by Catherine Solyom

• Close-knit family key to Charles Hudon’s success, by Stu Cowan

175 Comments

  1. Gerry Pigeon says:

    Guy Lafleur was right when he said Habs won’t win with Max as captain and leader.

    Max is all about Max. He is in tight with MB/CJ and Drouin is just playing along, trying to make the best of it.

    If Max was an actual.leader, he would say to CJ, put Chucky on RW with me and JD. He can get going, and we need the goals.

    But Max knows who butters his bread, and so it goees…

  2. strunzo says:

    Put Galchenyuk up with Drouin and Pacs. Give him a few games. If he is not successful there He won’t be successful anywhere.

  3. leafs stink says:

    I cant understand why MB did not take a chance on Yakapov for 1 million to play with Chucky, instead of Hemsky??? Mb takes chances on scrap players over aged but is blinded with youth vision. Who knows what could have generated from this pick up, he seems to be putting up points with the avs and dont for Andreghetto has 3 points also with the Colorado.

    Did u see the goal Smith Pelly scored on Price, top hand corner from the hash marks off the face off, I think he looked up and gave MB the finger.

    I always said deharnais was the problem with this team, but you have to say it is MAX. Not once in an interview has he ever said TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP not ounce!!!! PK always said im here to win the cup and bring it back to Montreal, he played with all his heart. Max is a weakaling, no power, no passing skills, gives the puck away, dumps it in and is too scared to chase it, slow, no leadership by example, scared to get hit, has never beaton up anyone when he sees his buddy Gally getting the crap hacked out of him, he is just a floater and he gets all the prime time icetime and chuck’s right spot on the power play where he has a laser beam shot.
    He is doing nothing with his primo time, why does he not get sent down the line-up please explain this to me!!

    • Strummer says:

      No one wanted to touch Yacko with a ten foot pole except the last place Av’s .
      Call it what it is- desperation

      Smith-Pelley? are you kidding?
      He’s on a 2-way 1 year contract at minimum salary.

      You think these 2 low-rent cast-offs are the answer?

      -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

      • leafs stink says:

        Ya take a chance why not, he was a first round pick and in his mid 20″s, for less than a mil, other teams have young players producing, and u mentioned the avs are desperate give me a break the habs are desperate!!!!!
        Smith Pelly is a power forward and most of the games i watched he played hard and drove to the net, and did the same in the juniors, your telling me the martinson pick up was better? Pelly never was used correctly because of MT.
        the power forward line pelly – delarose-mcarron, banging up defence on the fourth line.

  4. Butterface says:

    I am not getting on CJ back because he has coached in a number of places and has had success. He has earned the spot with the Habs.

    Galchenyuk has been terrible. He likely knows it. You know it. The coaches know it. People who have watched the games this year know it. People with eyes know it.

    But I am in agreement that you can’t expect this to change by placing him in a position to continue to lose confidence. Loads of talent, but maybe not the quickest to pick up on the concepts of two way hockey or ill advised passing.

    Play him in spots where he can excel and he will begin to produce points, but please don’t expect him to evolve a brain overnight and begin to play sound two-way hockey.

    Get him the puck around the net and let him light the lamp.

    Put him with Drouin. Drouin is clever, creative and dynamic. Hopefully Galchenyuk can feed of of this.

    It can’t hurt our chances to score….. we have a total of 2 goals with 5 guys on the ice over 4 games. I have already cut the eye slits out of a paper bag.

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

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Good post.

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      Chucky won’t see ice time with Drouin.

      I believe Horsey when he says it.

      Others have also noted CJ won’t do that cause it might work! Then MB/CJ would have to deal with Chucky, possibly long term if he keeps producing. They don’t want that, they want him gone.

      Chucky also wants to be gone. He gets the short end of the stick for five years, looks at the way this GM runs the team, and thinks he’s better off elsewhere (duh). If he plays better, MB might think he can get more for him, and drive a hard bargain, making the trade that much further off. So he plays like crap, hoping MB can’t stand it and will dump him for peanuts ASAP. It’s also easier to show MB up, that he didn’t get equal value, if MB dumps him for peanuts.

      Watching Molson and MB manage this team from the promise it held 5 years ago, to the desperation under the surface that exists now, really is a lesson in how NOT to manage an organization.

  5. RightNyder says:

    Grant McCagg‏ @grantmccagg
    My feeling is that the Habs shopped Galchenyuk pretty heavily in the summer, and discovered they weren’t getting a legit top 2 C in return.

    So we’re down to Brandon Sutter straight up?

  6. RightNyder says:

    Vegas Golden Knights bandwagon apparently has some ankle tape and open spots for disgruntled Montreal fans.

  7. Frozen Village says:

    Why do Leaves fans need to come to Habs sites ?

    Are they so far beyond winning the 2018 cup and sending Austin Matthews as the first hockey player to the moon, that they need to troll here ….

    More Swedes for the Lions in Winter

    • Strummer says:

      There is only one so just ignore him.
      He just wants attention

      -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

    • on2ndthought says:

      There is no intelligent commentary on the Leaf sites. Of course, there may not be that much here. 🙂

      If he wants to come here, waste his time with Habs’ fans; and is overall respectful (which he is), then I say welcome. Whazzup is actually more optimistic than a lot of long time posters.

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  8. whocares says:

    I wonder if Bergevin has considered Shawn Thornton as some kind of assistant to Julien? Might be some coaching material there and assistants don’t have to meet that specific criteria that head coaches and GMs do here.
    Speaking of which, I’m reading Patrick Roy’s name here a lot the last few days. Might be the perfect fit if Molson really did ever pull the plug on Bergevin (which wont happen during the season). Trades one golfing “bro” for another, and doesn’t hazard Gaston and Marie switching to Labatt.

  9. cdhc says:

    Re: Alex and the myriad of other issues at present, I sure hope Claude has a plan? And knows what he’s doing? Because so far, not so good.

    Good Evening Ladies and Gentleman, this is Danny Gallivan along with Dick Irvin from the Forum in Montreal!

    • Frozen Village says:

      Word.
      Other than the Bruins (which Julien) was a part of and Roy’s Colorado we may be number #3 for devaluing assets.
      CJ seems like a good man, and good men always learn from their mistakes…

      More Swedes for the Lions in Winter

  10. BigB says:

    I saw this commercial the other night and it clearly explains what I think we are failing at: what this car company does (and should do) versus what our team does and (shouldn’t do).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcZyzCMCVWc

    Habs forever!

  11. krob1000 says:

    Confidence …some guys have it, some guys need to be given it……

    • Luke says:

      For sure.

      Alex needs to be given the confidence to play his game.
      Julien needs to be given the confidence to play his guys.

      It’s a vicious circle.

      Alex has the key to break out of it though. If he works hard offensively and defensively, he’ll produce results (not even scoring) and be rewarded for it.
      If Julien just drops him on 1st line RW and he continues to bumble around drop passing to no one skating into coverage, we’re right back here.
      That’s why I believe Alex has to be the one to force the change, not the one to sit around and wait for one.

      He’s getting a fair bit of ice time, and top PP time (though I really dislike this PP setup), so he’s getting some chances. He should be driving to the middle and shooting a lot and engaging along the boards. The full-body extended reach-ins sure aren’t going to endear him to Julien.

      The Habs front office & coaching staff are all guys who made their careers as hard workers with limited skills. They expect their players to do the same.
      It’s why Lehkonen gets bumped up… he works harder than most of the rest of them.

      Look at the crew. CJ, MT, JJD, M Lapointe, Frankie Boo… MB.
      (Muller, the exception to the limited skill, but as hard a worker as you could find).

      Guys like that flush Floaters.

  12. DipsyDoodler says:

    Hudon was picked 119 spots below Galchenyuk in 2012. Has probably less than half the talent. But who has looked better?

    Chucky is the main cause of Chucky’s problems right now.

    —–

    • krob1000 says:

      one has o pts in 4 games and is minus 2…that is Hudon
      the other has 0 pts in 4 games and is minus 1

      one has 4 career NHl pts

      the other 240, a 30 goal, 20 goal and 20 plus goal pace seasons under his belt

    • Forum Dog says:

      A good point. Chucky is the main cause. Just like Seguin was the main cause of his problematic relationship with his coach. And Johansen with his. And Drouin with his. And Duchene with his. There is a long list so, again, trade him and move on. This 4th line lesson teaching is getting old, both for the team and the player.

    • habcertain says:

      Wrong, can’t play with puds and be expected to produce in the o zone. What the hell has Max and the new wonder boy produced and they are the top line, two peas in a pod, has not turned too many heads.

      For a kid who potted 30 as a 20 year old, and got off to fast start before the knee injury, he has not gotten much support, just what he can’t be, or can’t do, from our glorious GM.

      • Loop_G says:

        Are you serious? 4 consecutive 30+ goal seasons, among the leaders in game winning goals for years and you are wondering what he has done to get on the 1st line?

        AG27 needs to get his head straight, he has been given every opportunity to do so in every way the last 2 coaches, both with long successful coaching histories, could think of. I like Galchenyuk and hope he turns it around but at this point he needs to get out there are work his tail off, or get traded.

        • habcertain says:

          He has had slumps but they always stay with him, not so with Chucky, and it is not like Max has a strong two way game. Max has always been given the best o players to,play with, not so much the other guy.

      • Reg Dunlop says:

        Habcertain, you have rather nicely defined the root cause of the problem. So much negatively surrounds young Galchenyuk.

        Like you stated, all they seem to want to talk about is what he can’t do but won’t admit that he hasn’t exactly been shown support from his coach or GM.

        They point to him being given all kinds of power play time but the genius coach refuses to position him where he previously was most successful – on the right hand side, half-wall. They also point to his turnovers on the power play but don’t or won’t acknowledge that his linemates are passing to him as he’s about to be checked or pass into his feet. How is he supposed to unload that lethal one-time shot with that caliber of “talent” doing the passing?

        What he can do though, is put up points when played along side complementary, like-minded players. As for his play away from the puck, his plus minus is better than Drouin, management’s shiny new bauble.

        Furthermore, his work ethic outstrips that of the lazy captain any day of the week. He may appear to be “lost” out there but nobody can accuse him of taking shifts off (unlike their leader).

        It’s not as though Plekanec, Max and Drouin are exactly lighting it up either.

        I am so sick and tired of this incompetent General Manager and him blaming everyone else for his failure.

        I hope the door does hit him on the ass on his way out. Can’t happen soon enough for me.

        “Boy, every piece of garbage that comes into the market and you gotta buy it!”

    • 25soonenough says:

      Hudon looks better for sure but play Hudon with Danault and Chucky with Drouin and see who looks better?

      The Hudon with Danault experiment we get to see Saturday.

      Chucky, will have to wait.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • knob says:

      Agreed. He has been a turnover machine. Still rooting for him and hoping that he comes around because he could definitely help this team.

      in all thy sons command

  13. Gerry Pigeon says:

    Leafs vs. Habs Saturday.

    Leafs #1C, recent first overall pick, will lead his high-scoring team against us. Meanwhile, what was once our future 1C, third overall pick, will play 4th line winger.

    Leafs full of optimism and potential, Habs headed in the opposite direction. MB is in his sixth year as GM, but Shanny is just starting his third as President of the Leafs.

    Time for a change at the top?

    Or time for more excuses and “it’s early, don’t panic”….

    • Luke says:

      Good. That guy should be able to exploit the Leafs as the other lines get the harder assignments.

      That’s if Alex Galchenyuk can outwork Connor Brown…

      I guess we’ll see who is more motivated on Saturday.

      • habcertain says:

        Nothing to do with motivation, last time I looked hockey was a team sport, if they can hold off goals scored against that can be the only win. Expecting Chucky to light the lamp on a 4th line is just plain stupid. Just get rid of the guy for a 4th rounder, sounds about right for MB, then we can hear about not playing the right way, not a fit, blah, blah, blah.

      • Forum Dog says:

        He will not outwork Connor Brown. Few players on MTL would.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      The Leafs had better be ready for a heavy dose of Carey Price on Saturday.

      It’s coming. I wouldn’t want to be them!

    • Andre Binette says:

      Patrick Roy for president of the club, not the GM, not the head coach as you explained in your earlier post.

      I’ll admit that I don’t think of him as a nice or good person but the habs are a business. He has the aura and the character to bring back a winning culture.

      This is where his Ego and “do anything to win at any cost” attitude would work best.

      I see him as a president of the board that would keep the pressure on the GM and his cronies to perform. In the present business model the GM is way too comfortable. He has no incentive to win at any cost, as long as the $$$ keeps pouring in and the CH image is protected, that is enough. He has no real boss himself except the very nice guy that is Mr. Molson.

      Yeah, crazy Lou is a cheater.
      Yeah, the leafs tanked on purpose and timed their descent to get some top picks when elite talent would be available at he draft.
      Yeah, the NHL let them do it.

      So why hasn’t the habs gone the same route?

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        Yup.

        I’m all for reasoned action and a methodical approach. I get that Patty is seen as the opposite.

        But all MB’s managed to build is an aging team, with decline evident everywhere (Pleks, Weber, Price, Pacioretty). If Shanny can get the Leafs turned around in three years (he became President in 2014), then I’m looking at MB who’s been GM since 2011, and thinking, he’s gotta go…

        I want what the Leafs have. Hope, optimism, excitement. I want to see a young, talented team, that’s “feeling it”, that seriously wonders if they have what it takes to go all the way. I look at what MB’s built, and see desperation, decay.

        Fire MB already.

  14. 100HABS says:

    Mr. Wrong below brings up a good point. They’re still paying MT! So they can just send CJ to Florida as a scout and bring MT back!

    I’m sure the players miss him right now. I know I do (I was never an MT basher, although I agreed he had to go when he did). After this stint with CJ, I bet all will be forgiven and we can start from scratch again. Go on a 10-game winning streak!

    • 25soonenough says:

      I can’t speak for others but if the team ever brought MT back I would not only buy a Leafs jersey,

      I would also move to Toronto and buy a small condo, maybe rent, so I could afford season tickets.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • 100HABS says:

        Wow. Just wow. It would take so much more just to get me to wear a Leafs jersey, man… Moving to Toronto? I’d rather die. A slow, painful death.

        • 25soonenough says:

          haha. a hyperbolic example to illustrate my dislike of MT is all. Toronto is not on my radar.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • D Mex says:

            Anyone with designs on going to TO to talk hockey shouldn’t expect much in the way of intelligible feedback.
            > NYC North – think about it.
            However, given its size, TO is easy to get around in, clean and relatively safe.
            Wouldn’t want to live there again, tho,
            I mean, NYC North – really ?
            🙄

          • toneez says:

            25 I am with you MT is the worse POISON that ever stepped foot in a Habs Dressing Room , he’s gone thankfully, and we WILL be Ok with Julien …

            All Habs all the Time

    • Captain aHab says:

      Bring him back as an associate coach. #popcorn

      —————-
      Oh my Dahlin, oh my Dahlin
      Oh my Dahlin, our blue line
      Has been shot and lacks a leader
      Please be there for our blue line

  15. D Mex says:

    While reading comments here about the lack of offence last night, I watched as the camera scanned the Habs bench, and started to think about the extent of optimism when Muller was brought back. It was widely expected he would lead the PP back to prominence and, with it, the team’s offensive output.
    Hasn’t happened.
    No, this is not a call for him to join the guillotine lineup, but he does have weapons to work with (Weber, Drouin, Galechenyuk among them), and they’re not producing. Most here would anticipate these guys to start producing anywhere else, so why not here ?
    Maybe Muller is the key …

    • Strummer says:

      Muller like the rest of the coaching staff hasn’t got a clue.
      Muller has yet to distinguish himself as a coach (or assistant or co-coach) in this League.
      His only head coaching job in Carolina ended in failure.
      The rest have been a number of assistant coaching jobs or minor league (Milwaukee).
      He’s over-rated. It was a PR, popular alumnus hire to keep the the anti-francophone contingent happy.

      -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

      • D Mex says:

        I saw him more as a ‘ good cop ‘ replacement for Gallant.
        Regardless, he seems immune to criticism comment.
        It’s interesting.

        • Forum Dog says:

          Speaking of Gallant. Howsabou them Golden Knights, eh? Not saying it will last, but the guy is a good coach. Players love him and respond.

          • D Mex says:

            Saw Vegas as little more than another Buttman gimmick, but was pleasantly surprised to see them make a couple of nice moves leading into the home opener last night.
            Pleased for Gerard Gallant – he seems like a quality individual.

    • 25soonenough says:

      The optimism over Muller’s return was largely based on his track record with us before he departed for Carolina. He ran a very good PP with less weapons than he has now, with the exception of course of Markov.

      The PP was shown for its weakness in perfect contrast last night while watching Chicago run theirs.

      Chicago has very mobile Dmen that walk the line like ballerinas on blades and feather passes to the offensive weapons Chicago has in the slot and off the half walls.

      They are always moving, making teams guess where the shot is coming from. It shows excellent coaching that capitalizes on the talents of the players they have. They put shooters where shooters belong and passers where passers belong.

      Our power play leaves noting to the imagination. Get it to Weber.
      Or find Pacioretty in the slot. Not mobile enough, just standing around. That 5 on 3 was painful to watch.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  16. Captain aHab says:

    I maintain that they may be trying to get him to lash out publicly à la Nate to have a reason to ship him out for next to nothing. That’s why they are demoting him without telling him. To get a reaction.

    He’s in no-win mode:

    1) If he scores a couple of goals on that line, they’ll say that that line works well so they’ll leave him there

    2) If he doesn’t score, they’ll say he needs to score to get to the top lines.

    They want him gone, period. The only reason he hasn’t been shipped out yet is that he is Bergie’s prized pick and shipping him out for a bottle of flat beer will look bad.

    The Habs under Bergie have had all of the communications subtlety of Trump.

    —————-
    Oh my Dahlin, oh my Dahlin
    Oh my Dahlin, our blue line
    Has been shot and lacks a leader
    Please be there for our blue line

    • 25soonenough says:

      Then why sign him? The logic is baffling. He was trade-able at full value two seasons ago, or whenever his ELC was ending, if his attitude or off ice behavior was the issue.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • Captain aHab says:

        Losing him for absolutely nothing is worse than losing him for a stale beer.

        —————-
        Oh my Dahlin, oh my Dahlin
        Oh my Dahlin, our blue line
        Has been shot and lacks a leader
        Please be there for our blue line

        • 25soonenough says:

          Yeah, he’s worth more than a stale beer, not quite Champagne at this point, but at the least a well aged Scotch.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Chucky knows he’s not wanted. That’s the risk you take when openly try to trade a player and then sign him short-term. There were plenty of LHDmen available this past off-season. MB should have dealt him for one to play with Weber and moved on. They can’t honestly believe putting him on the wing on the 4th line is going to do anything.

  17. Forum Dog says:

    alfieturcotte – your post captures it all. Apparently there is only one thing wrong in MTL and it is #27.

    Galchenyuk – 16:21 ToI; -1
    Plekanec – 14:15 ToI; -2
    Danault – 15:12 ToI; -1
    Drouin – 19:47 ToI; -3
    Pacioretty – 20:45; -2
    Shaw – 15:38; -2;
    Lehkonen – 17:19; -2

    And so on.

    • alfieturcotte says:

      It’s the “survival” instinct that kicks in for coaches and GMs – especially those under the microscope in Mtl – when the pressure begins to mount….

  18. LeaveTheCoachAlone says:

    Hows that Claude Julien working out for you, you Michel Therrien haters.

    Nothing more idiotic in this world, than people pointing the finger in the wrong direction. However that’s just sign of the times, were everyone blames, and no one takes responsibility…unless its starts to mess with the money thing. Even than doesn’t mean its going to get fixed or even addressed, just patched till the money thing gets going again.

    The Montreal Canadiens are a very financially lucrative broken social system, like many other examples in this fruitcake era of a society.

    • 25soonenough says:

      You are becoming one of my favorite posters.

      Bloated and smug country club is about as accurate as you can get.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • Forum Dog says:

      Therrien was bad and needed to go. Problem is that they fell all over themselves to sign Julien. Those guys are cut from pretty much the same cloth, so really all they accomplished was spending a bucket load of beer money.

      I was (and am) a proponent of a fresh face behind the bench. No more Therrien, Julien, Vigneault, Martin retreads. They had a chance to hire Boucher, but no. A chance to hire Groulx, but no. They wanted ‘proven’, but we’ve seen again and again that ‘proven’ doesn’t always equal success. The coaching carousel in MTL is a short and repetitive ride.

      • LeaveTheCoachAlone says:

        As bad as you may think he is, many others things needed to happen before his firing. And unfortunately the powers that be, much like the Trump administration, can endlessly provide distractions so that most people never really see the real problem.

        Subban, John Scott, Price’s year long injury, and on and on. This organization is as crooked as the rest. Just change the narrative, to renew interest, or hate, or debate. Doesn’t matter, achieves the same result everytime, pulling the wool over, and continue to make profits.

        And as you can see this team is falling apart as fast as…

        Every move they have made the last year and a half has been catastrophic, which inevitably will lead to the GM, which renew optimism for another 6 year cycle, which will have achieved nothing but continue to roll in the profits. The Montreal Canadiens are not on the right path, and will likely be a few generations before if and when that occurs again.

        Its inherent in fact because of the way the league manages itself. Rewarding teams who cheat to achieve high draft prospects, year after year, now Montreal has a sick demented pride issue that they would never do that what Pittsburgh, Chicago, Toronto, Edmonton have done, and the organization knows they don’t need to, because making the playoffs almost every year is sure as shit much more profitable than tanking 10 years to get there for a few, before salary caps taketh away again.

        So this is the result, mediocrity. Until nostalgia is no longer nostalgic, and the money stops, things will remain.

        • D Mex says:

          Geeze, first couple of paragraphs I thought this post had legs, and scrolled up to see who wrote it.
          Finally, I thought.
          Then I scrolled down to continue reading and reality reappeared. Too bad.

  19. 25soonenough says:

    Something positive in the mire of moroseness?

    Lehkonen on the top line is a good thing.

    –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  20. Sluff Adlin says:

    October 14th!!! Its coming its coming! Nowhere to run….nowhere to hide!

    “Carnage could be coming to Montreal” – Pierre McGuire

    • Butterface says:

      You should try to win at least 1 in the last 15…..

      14 in a row must be devastating.

      You might usher in a new era of winning over there…. whoops did I just say “usher” ? The Leafs have been stuck more or less in hell since 1967.

      Whoops, did I just say “Stuck more or less”…… Well at least I didn’t say “Stuck less”.

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

  21. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I’ve defended Julien often because I thought he was a smart coach unlike MT. Demoting Galchenyuk to 4th line duties? Proof positive this organization is run by idiots.
    “I hate the Leafs like a sickness”

  22. Gerry Pigeon says:

    My late reply from last thread, to those who didn’t understand what position I wanted Patrick Roy for, and the rationale for why immediate profitability and long term winning are at odds:

    I want Roy installed as President of our Habs, not as coach.

    I’m talking about Roy making personnel decisions with the goal of building a winner long term in mind.

    I am saying there’s a conflict in building a long term winner vs. profits.

    You disagree because you state that going deep in the playoffs means more revenue for the owner. That’s true, BUT going deep in the playoffs CONSISTENTLY means hard times at the beginning, amassing draft picks, and developing them. You have to build a really solid core (see Blackhawks). It takes patience, and a duration of lower profitability.

    So I’m saying ALL owners are NOT interested in that initial duration, and that it’s not as profitable in the immediate present as peddling hope with a middling team.

    How much money have our Habs made Molson the last five years? PLENTY. What if MB didn’t immediately start going for the gusto, and instead, sent Chucky down, traded Pleks and Marky, stockpiled young, cheap talent? Then the team would be ascending right now, but Molson would have lost out on a TON of money the last five years. As well, there’s no guarantee the team would actually win the Cup, even after that.

    But we as fans are tiring of the mediocrity, the false hope. We don’t care about Molson’s profitability. We care about winning. Since we’re not in charge, all we can do is lobby for what we want by boycotting Molson products and Habs gear, and discuss our desires on forums like this.

    I want Roy as President of our Habs. I believe he’s less susceptible to the greed and self interest of ensuring his own paycheque at the cost of building a winner. I think he’s driven by challenge and ego, and that he’d love to be the MAN that brought Cup glory back to our Habs. And I think if Molson hires him, the public support for Roy, and pressure to succeed, will ensure Molson doesn’t compromise winning for profits.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      No thanks.

      • 25soonenough says:

        Yes Please.

        –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • D Mex says:

        Leaning into ” no thanks ” myself.
        People here are quick to point fingers at out how Therrien, Julien and Bergevin are responsible for the demise of Galchenyuk, but seem to forget that Roy had a leading part in helping the coveted Duchene slide from his perch in COL.

        People able to keep their eye on the ball and execute will do nicely. The team doesn’t need another ego.

        • 25soonenough says:

          Roy’s ego is exactly what the team needs IMO. A hot-headed, ill-tempered madman to fire every executive in sight that has dragged this team down. Hire Julien Brisebois and some assistant coaches that can teach special teams. Julien is safe for a while.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • D Mex says:

            Motivation’s necessary, sure, and if it wears the ‘ ego ‘ label, so be it.
            Problem with Roy, tho, is he can’t keep his eye on the ball and manage himself at the same time.

            See above re : Muller.
            Thoughts ?

        • Frozen Village says:

          Roy is no motivational-scientist.
          He had one year in Colorado that was decent then he jumped ship after a bad one. When things went sour after our last cup, he didnt exactly stay with it.
          His player procurement(brief) in Colorado…ultimately swapping out O’Rielly for Soderberg and save 2.5 mil…eesh and devaluing Duchene and Landeskog (both national team members) no thanks on Roy.

          PS Gerry, love your posts, a bit against the norm is refreshing.

          More Swedes for the Lions in Winter

          • Gerry Pigeon says:

            Thanks FV, appreciate your feedback too.

            See your point about his past history, but I’m hoping that he’s improved since then. The man definitely has flaws, but I can’t think of anyone that would care more, and would want that Cup more.

            As Andre Binette points out above, correctly IMO, MB currently only feels oversight from Molson, and in fact, they’re in the business of making money first and foremost together.

            Roy as President, with the backing of the public, would prioritize winning, holding everyone under him accountable, skewing the parameters in every decision (from $ to winning), and I’m betting more likely than not, creating a drive and optimism we haven’t seen since ’93. It might cost Geoff a few bucks at the beginning, but he can write off the losses against his taxes…it’s not like he hasn’t made tons already, and will make tons more if Patty gets it right.

  23. Cal says:

    Well, gotta laugh at the mess. 3 years @ $4.9mil and the genius coach puts him on the 4th line.
    I wonder who gets out of town first, Julien or Galchenyuk?
    Like BC said, simply mystifying player deployment.

    • Strummer says:

      Julien- $25 million- biggest severence package in coaching history!

      -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

    • Mister Wrong says:

      They’re still paying Therrien. Julien is as safe as he could possibly be.

      Surprised Galchenyuk hasn’t been traded already.

      #FireBergevin

      • 100HABS says:

        Can’t trade him now, they’re making his value drop by the millions everyday… If they wanted to trade him, MB would tell CJ to play him ont eh first line. At least then he would rack up some points and would have some value on the market.

  24. savethepuck says:

    It is so frustrating to watch what is happening to this kid. He looks disengaged and like he has absolutely no confidence out there. The kid used to bring me out of my seat and create “oohs” and “aahs” while watching him play. Now there is absolutely no excitement to his game. It’s like either he has no idea what he is supposed to do or he just doesn’t want to be here anymore. We’ve seen in the past that this approach has not worked.
    I am a guy that seldom complains about coaching staff or management, but I’m getting tired of the players we become attached to being discarded by this management team. The talented D corps we had last year that could chip in and help with offense, has been discarded for nothing. I’m getting sick of having “character” shoved down my throat as a fan of this franchise. It feels like our present GM believes his beloved Blackhawks won those Cups due to the character of Andrew Shaw and not due to the talent of the misbehaving Patrick Kane. I have absolutely nothing good to say about the meathead he has put behind the bench either.

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

  25. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    My favorite stat so far. Hudon is tied for 5th in the NHL with THIRTEEN hits (Weber tied for 1st with fifteen). Hudon had ELEVEN more hits than Jordie “must be protected” Benn. In FOUR games Benn has TWO hits. Yet Chucky is the whipping boy here…maybe he should grow a beard so MB thinks he’s a “gars de charactere”.

    So the Habs have Benn here not hitting, not blocking shots, not scoring and not moving the puck while they have a first all-star team KHL offensive Dman in the AHL who has played over 20 min/game 4 seasons in a row. Just beyond stupid.

    • Frozen Village says:

      agree on Benn he is a team guy but a 5-7.

      Chucky in his 6th yr, has no excuss to get lost as frequently as he does.
      in a weak draft year still a top 5 pick though.

      More Swedes for the Lions in Winter

    • D Mex says:

      If this team goes to 1-5 after its first game in California, seems a safe bet the lineup it comes back with won’t be the one we saw last night.

  26. sakuknows says:

    Is the Drouin makeshift Centre experiment over yet?

  27. CHasman says:

    As usual there is a lot of negativity on here but there is good reason for a lot of it.
    We are having trouble scoring but our two main snipers on this team (Pacioretty and Galchenyuk) are not doing anything. You can whine about Chucky not getting the right linemates but he is on the first pp unit and he is quite simply a give away machine. The amount of bad passes he is making, blindly throwing the puck away will keep him off any top line. Perhaps he needs to be coddled instead of earning his way to the top but that is not Julien’s way and I agree with him on that. Patches meanwhile is floating. Drouin and Gallagher (and now Lekonnen) are working their butts off while Pacioretty is just waiting for something good to happen. These are our two 30 goal scorers and they are not getting the job done.
    It will be interesting to watch this team try and get on track. Last night Hudon made a couple of dazzling plays, Lekonnen is working hard and coming close, Drouin is easily the best forward (and how he helps this team turn it around could make or break his career in the NHL), Gallagher and Shaw work hard every shift as do most of the other forwards.
    I think the Hemsky experiment won’t last long as his potency on the PP is null and void. That’s okay though, it was a risk worth taking and JDR will be back in the lineup soon.
    Weber is playing great on the back end and unlike some I hope the Mete remains because he does move the puck well and you can tell he is an offensive defenseman. Petry has been sloppy and unimpressive this year and Jordie Benn is the new Emelin (without the big hits). Benn looked good last year but this year he has made too many bad passes as he did last night that turned into the Hawks first goal.
    And finally I have to say what we can all see, Price has not been other worldly so far this season. This is one player who will turn it around but so far this year he has let in some goals that he maybe should have stopped.
    As I said, it is going to be interesting to see how everyone deals with our slow start, all the way from Bergevin to Price on the back end. I hope it’s not as painful as it threatens to be!

    • Forum Dog says:

      Stats are not always accurate, but according to the official tracker of the NHL, Galchenyuk has 2 giveaways this year, tied with Mete, Byron and Davidson, but less than Drouin and Plekanec. Guess who leads MTL in turnovers? Weber with 6 (which, incidentally, is 4 more than Subban at the moment).

      So while I won’t disagree that Galchenyuk has not looked good, I think at least some of the criticism is misplaced and more about what people want to see. I saw both Pacioretty and Drouin try and rush the puck up the middle last night and turn it over in the process. No one says boo, but if that had been Galchenyuk…..

      • strunzo says:

        I agree those stats on Galchenyuk may not be accurate. I have seen him give the puck away twice on one power-play. Do you know who led the league in give-aways the last few years? Subban (I miss him) Markov and Carey Price. Yes Carey Price.

  28. Frozen Village says:

    RE: Galchenyuk.

    Bergevin does seem to be immune to devaluing his assets…on the organization.

    Galchenyuk, mismanaged development – (ultimately he is an excellent shooter from the right side, that should be able to help in the middle..6 years later.)…on the player and the org.

    Fired the professor as his agent..on the player and his family probably.

    Move him if you can, If you could get Duchene…throw in something worthwhile too like a 5.5 cap hit on D

    More Swedes for the Lions in Winter

  29. Strummer says:

    “BC (Because of the Cats)OCTOBER 11, 2017 AT 12:47 PM
    Claude Julien has won a Stanley Cup, while Michel Therrien only managed to get to the Final. He’s smoother and more articulate than Therrien. But I’m beginning to doubt that he’s a better coach. ‘

    Agree about Julien
    When he won the Cup he had Chara, Krejci, Lucic , Bergeron in their prime Marchand up and coming and picked up Nathan Norton,

    Tim Thomas had the best save% of any goalie in NHL post-season history.
    I dare say Therrien could have won with that group.

    This Hab squad has nowhere near the talent.
    As the Bruins declined in recent years Julien couldn’t keep up.

    -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

    • Frozen Village says:

      Agree whole-heartedly.

      The year the Bruins won was a bit like 93 too, when the front-runners fell off early.

      Julien I believe is better than Therrien, but not a top 5 in my view.
      Bergy, for all his style is old school and likes old school conventional thinkers around him….everyone can add to their thinking…..I hope.

      More Swedes for the Lions in Winter

  30. FormalWare says:

    For the #FireBergevin crowd, a reason to hope:

    If Bergy pays any attention to fan sentiment (I suppose it’s possible he does not), he will realize his seat is getting toasty. He may be tempted to sacrifice the longer-term for the short-term; he may intend to keep Victor Mete up beyond the “magic” 9 games.

    Geoff Molson, for his part, if he cares at all about building a Cup contender (I suppose it’s possible he does not), will not want “Meat” to spoil; he’ll want him put on ice in the CHL. Maybe his disagreement with MB on that issue will be the proverbial last straw.

    (Speaking of straws: Yep – I’m grasping at ’em.)


    Montréal Canadiens: “Season after season under the same, low ceiling.” – D.M.

  31. D Mex says:

    As Galchenyuk is subject of this thread, following
    response to leafs stink on previous is re-posted :
    ———

    • D Mex says:

      Sitting here nodding agreement with so much of this post.
      People here were in a lather to land Galchenyuk, and his selection at 3rd overall was widely heralded. The theatre of his ‘ exit interview ‘ with Therrien still resonates, as does Bergevin’s reinforcement that ” Mike ” had a track record of working with talented young players in PIT.

      I’ve said before, and maintain, that Galchenyuk works too hard to appear the serious young pro. Parents living with him or no, he is but one example of a great talent who should have been supported differently, both on and off the ice. Your comment about Therrien drawing on the success of the EGG line to get his protégés going could not be more on point, and who knows how those moments linger and affect thinking.

      Too often, I wonder if those who call for this guy and that guy to be moved somewhere, anywhere are motivated by little more than wanting to see what another player looks like in the CH uniform. There isn’t a player out there who doesn’t falter at times, but that rarely appears to factor into what looks a lot like over willingness to devalue our players in order to move on to the next great thing.

      As the pre-season drew to its close, I observed that the issue we had been witnessing was not one of personnel as much as that of personnel deployment. IMO, Galchenyk is the only player who should work the right side half-wall on PPs, yet there is Pacioretty on too many first waves.

      That Pacioretty is a problem on this team has been camouflaged too well by his ” proven ” goal scoring abilities and mealy-mouthed platitudes.
      He had the other starring role in the soap opera that played out leading into the Subban trade, and continues to play a gutless brand of hockey. Alex Galchenyuk will be part of a winner well before Max Pacioretty IMO.

    • veryhabby says:

      D Mex…and u just know that Patches will get a long big contract form the habs. MB loves this guy. It’s his guy. Picked him as captain, and moved our 2nd best player when there seemed to be room issues between the two.

      Patches is going nowhere. Maybe it’s Patches who asked to not play with Chuck! They definately have every intention of leaving our captain with our supposedly best player in Drouin. Imagine if they tried chuck/drouin …never

      But hey after MTL trades away chuck, Patches will be then next scape goat from media and fans.

  32. japh10409 says:

    I’ve resigned to the perspective that this team needs to struggle miserably now in order to succeed in the future.

  33. Max says:

    Watched the Dallas game last night and Radulov was excellent.Typical Radulov carrying two opponents on his back while moving towards the goal.Tough on the boards and always comes up with the puck.I can’t help but feel we’d have an excellent team if Radulov was still on board.He drove the play last year and was a fan favourite with that toothless grin. Bergevin should’ve really opened the vault to keep him at all costs.His presence is really missed.

  34. jacquesthemonkey says:

    I would be surprised if Galchenyuk finishes the season with the Habs. He will likely get traded for a bag of pucks and the Habs will have wasted a top six asset. He will likely find his game again elsewhere.

    • Max says:

      In all fairness to Julien and the coaching staff,Galchenyuk has looked awful so far this year. He’s not engaged and is fluffing passes ,giving the puck away,playing soft and not skating.Maybe he’s moping but at the end of the day,it’s up to him to get his game back if possible.In retrospect,the top end of the 2012 draft was exceptionally weak and just our luck we had a high pick.

    • veryhabby says:

      yup..and darn I picked up his tshirt after he signed that contact, new coach, summer to fully recoup from knee injury…..

      boy was I wrong

      I feel VERY SAD and beyond disappointed. We land in the top 5 draft so few times. It hasn’t been a great draft so far from all results. But up until 2nd half of last season, even with MTL bringing him along slowly….he was still prob the best frwd in that draft.

      no more.

      I have to think there is more to this…u know the drug/party rumors we hear. MB has no desire to work with/care for players with off ice issues. I will assume MB was a perfect angel off the ice.

      • Max says:

        As I said at the time,the habs should’ve taken Forsberg.He dropped down a bit in the rankings but anyone who saw him play would’ve agreed he was the top pick in that draft class. It was a weird draft generally.

    • joeybarrie says:

      So then what is the deal with him? Did CJ ruin him? MT? I have seen a lot of blaming the coaches about this type of thing. But I have yet to see a player find his game elsewhere. Andrighetto is doing well, but in my book the jury is still out. He is playing on their top line, getting top line minutes.
      SO what exactly is Galchenyuks problem right now? 7 points in his last 22 games.
      It spans more than one coach. So is CJ just MT lite in this case?
      Why does our top prospective superstar suck so much right now?

  35. FormalWare says:

    Post of the Season:
    ============

    Ozmodiar OCTOBER 11, 2017 AT 10:51 AM
    basically, just undo all [Bergevin’s] moves, and the team is better.. lol


    Montréal Canadiens: “Season after season under the same, low ceiling.” – D.M.

  36. tophab says:

    our coach IDIOT

  37. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    My advice to Chucky would be just shoot whenever you have a chance. That is what Max basically does and piles up his shots stats. Forget about passing the puck to guys who can’t finish anyway.

  38. Waitingforcup says:

    Demoting him to the 4th line is the coach’s prerogative but when he finds out by reading the line up at practice this tells me he has lost the coach’s confidence. If this was to help AG find his game and help his confidence by putting is simple situations he would have sat him down and explained his reasoning and what he expects in order for him to move up. It is not like the rest of the team is killing it and he is the lone under performing player. Yea, they have talked to him before so he should know but isn’t the plan is to tear down and build up. Look at Kadri on the leafs, thought he was a star but Lou and Babcock could have gave up but transformed him into a decent 2nd line centre.

  39. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If you are going to put Chucky on the 4th line, put him at center. That is the only way I see any good coming out of this.

  40. SteverenO says:

    Is it
    A) a case of a blind squirrel finding a nut?
    or
    B) multi million dollar coaching staff actually did some research?

    Turns out that Byron – Plekanec – Gallagher was the teams best line (with over 100 minutes of even strength TOI last season)
    in 155:05 minutes of TOI the team scored 8 goals while allowing only 3 goals against with this trio.

    regards,

    Steve O.

  41. RightNyder says:

    Callout to o2t:

    OK, Unicornicus. The naysayers are running wild. Surely it’s not as bad as the braying donkeys say and the ship will right itself. Right?

    From your positive perspective, what are the main issues? What needs to happen? What’s been good so far? Does the team make the playoffs and what becomes of Galchenyuk?

    We needs some sunshine and sprinkles right about now…

    • on2ndthought says:

      Make your own damn sprinkles, green guy!

      I’m not happy with:
      Benn on his natural side, he became an NHLer on the right side, doesn’t look good the other way

      Chucky getting mediocre line mates. He needs to play with smart two way players who can insulate him, AND create with him. I suggested Hudon and Lehkonen, but Plekanec may be a good bet (Pleks best years were with an enigmatic skilled Slav). Chuck Plek Gally could be good.

      Schlemko. Our second biggest D replacement has been invisible so far. Just kidding, but it hasn’t helped that the go to plan has been disrupted.

      Other than that, we have become the darlings of the prop-heads, what with our corsi fenwick possesion… sorry, nodded off there.

      The only real cause for optimism is the way the team is playing. They have been dominant, at least in their losses, controlling the pace and the ice. It’s just gotta turn around.

      My main worry is that we actually have a couple of bad games in a row, and rash comments and decisions are made.

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  42. habsrule_29 says:

    Depending on the outcome of Saturdays game I am prepared to change my tagline below. Watched most of last nights game and saw what most others have commented about…scoring chances but no finish. If this does not change soon it could be an ugly season. Hopefully what the team needs is a victory against the Laffs in a convincing fashion but, based on the prior 3 games, it is a reach.
    Enduring the Laffs fans glee here in the GTA I sign out until Sunday.

    A Habs fan trying to bring some sense to the people of Toronto!

    • veryhabby says:

      in same boat as you living in GTA, but I am married to a leaf fan. I guess they will all quickly forget that they have not won vrs us in the last 14 games, they are due for one, no?

      Nope 10 yrs of holding it in….Leaf fans will gloat, they have been dying for like forever with how bad they have been. Imagine if we don’t beat the Leafs for the next 14 times? Can’t imagine how hard that has been for them lol

  43. FormalWare says:

    @Captain aHab: Love the new tagline!


    Montréal Canadiens: “Season after season under the same, low ceiling.” – D.M.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Why thank you!

      —————-
      Oh my Dahlin, oh my Dahlin
      Oh my Dahlin, our blue line
      Has been shot and lacks a leader
      Please be there for our blue line

  44. Smell the Roses says:

    Remember last year’s start when 27 played with 67 and 11 ? 27 was among the league’s scoring leaders. Then he got hurt … came back and played with 3rd and 4th liners. This year he has been playing with 24 at center and 65, both ok 3rd or 4th line players. How the hell do you expect him to put up points playing with players who have very little offensive talent or creativity. Put him with 92, there will be mistakes but I bet the 2 of them put up points and are a positive +/-. If you aren’t going to use him in an offensive role trade him.

    How about trading 27 and 31 plus some picks etc. To Colorado for Nate MacKinnon, reunite Memorial Cup champs Drouin and Mackinnon and watch the fireworks !

  45. BC (Because of the Cats) says:

    Claude Julien has won a Stanley Cup, while Michel Therrien only managed to get to the Final. He’s smoother and more articulate than Therrien. But I’m beginning to doubt that he’s a better coach. His deployment of Alex Galchenyuk is simply mystifying. The team is almost totally incapable of scoring, so he puts one of our best goal-scorers on the fourth line. Does he think he’ll score from there? Does he think he’ll break out of his funk? Does he think his attitude will improve? Say what you like about Therrien, Galchenyuk had lots of chances under him. He even seized some of those chances. The first half of last season, he looked great. When Julien took over, Galchenyuk had a few games on one of the top lines and was promptly demoted. He hasn’t had a sniff of a chance since then to play an important offensive role.

    This is terrible player deploymnent and worse asset management. We might as well trade Galchenyuk straight up for a fourth-line plugger.

  46. hbghab says:

    CJ,”When given lemons you have to make lemonade”.

    • krob1000 says:

      could learn to tak4ehis own advice…..if Chucky is the lemon to him because he doesn’t play a Julien game…then try to make lemonade with him….put him with players who can make that happen…instead we are taking a banana, peeling it then leaving it on the counter until it rots

  47. habs1971 says:

    If Galchenyuk is truly being put on the fourth line you can see that moves like this cost Julien his job in Boston. This is a bonehead move of the highest order. It is a panic move. We have two players on this team who have good snapshots and like to be set up the captain floater Pacioreeti and Galchenyuk. Last year they had Radulov to set them up this year they have no one. Last year we said over and over where would the Canadiens be if we didn’t have Radulov, now we see where the Canadians are which is dead last in the league. This is the worst team in the league with the worst general manager who’s now equaling Rejean Houle for inabilty to understand the team he has and worst of all the worst spiked haircut in the league. However standing outside of a metal concert for tickets Bergevin would fit right in!!! Well he said expect the unexpected. I say he should expect to get fired very soon. Many people on this thread would like to fire Molson also and it’s easy to understand why if you can’t pick good Executives who have a track record and continue to pick newbies who really have no idea what they’re doing you will continue to get 25,50,100 years without making it to the Stanley Cup Final.

  48. veryhabby says:

    why are ppl bothering with coming up with line combos?

    This team is anti Chuck. I really thought a new coach was going to change that. Shaw got his game going, so has Gally under a new coach. But chuck didn’t turn it around last year, and from day one this year they decided no C for him and no top 6 TOI outside of PP.

    What a waste of talent…u setting up smart lines lol

    • Lapointe says:

      Perhaps both MT and CJ aren’t exactly impressed with AG’s play and there is a reason. I somehow doubt that coaches demote players that contribute to winning. The posters on here, many, think AG is a superstar who only needs to have 1st line assignments and power play minutes but don’t watch the game with a eye towards who is performing well and in what circumstances. I would love AG to be the best player in the league but he is not and right now he doesn’t seem to even know how to play hockey in an effective way. I am a Habs fan but reality is just that. This team hopefully makes the playoffs but man it is evident that MB has taken the team backwards a little bit in each of the previous 2-3 years. . However he does speak French so there’s that.

  49. Butterface says:

    Keep up the great work Mr. Bergevin.

    5 Years, 5 Months, 9 Days.

    All you had to do was babysit the core of Pacioretty, Subban, Price, Plekanec, Markov, Emelin, Beaulieu and Gallagher.

    Flush the rest.

    Then build through the draft, trade as needed, get the best out of an aging Markov and find free agents to augment.

    Most GMs given Price, Pacioretty and Subban with a 3rd overall pick in the draft and veterans like Markov and Plekanec for guidence would salivate at the potential.

    But you decided to overpay and overterm, hire your friends, destroy the farm system, concentrate on acquisitions for the 4th line and 3rd pairing defence, forget about centre ice needs, try to convert (square peg) wingers into (round holes) centres, trade away talented fan favourites, lose players for nothing, trade useable players for next to nothing and have no fall back plan when you could not resign players on your own team.

    Now your core are 5 years, 5 months and 9 days older, no closer to a cup, no talent on the farm to speak of…. your defence is a turnover machine and your even strength offence has the same number of goals as your penalty kill after 4 games.

    How do you still have a job ?????

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

    • veryhabby says:

      agree with all the MB bashing ppl are throwing out here except the whole ruined our prospects cupbord.

      Ppl forget how empty it was when MB came. He actually has stocked it up. It takes at least 4 yrs for a regular prospect to show if he can make the nhl. Seeing where we draft, outside of Chuck and Serg the rest will take at least that long.

      It is now 5 yrs…Chuck, Ghetto, Hudon, DLR, Mete are all in NHL presently. Prospects drafted before him that he graduated…Beau, Pateryn. Presently in AHL Juulsen, McC, Sherbak, Lernout all seem NHL bound.

      Yes none are stars, but we don’t draft top 5 so don’t expect a star. The fact that they are developing and starting to graduate in year 5 is actually the normal of the NHL. Yes some from those first 3 yrs we can start to write off that they may not make NHL. Again that is normal for the NHL. Any picks from the last 2 drafts we shouldn’t even be looking at yet, which makes this Mete thing even more incredible.

      MB has not ruined our prospect pool.

      • Butterface says:

        So which prospects currently filling our pool have other teams interested in acquiring them ??

        Lindgren and McNiven ??…. goalies are not worth a lot in trades unless they are proven…. and even then you don’t get a ton…. hence why you don’t pay them 15% of your cap….(if they are able to demand that you trade them and get another team to commit salary cap suicide)

        You think we are getting knocks at the door for Hudon, McCarron, Scherbak, and Fucale ??

        Juulsen and Lernout might have some value, but look what MB got for Beaulieu….Andrighetto….so we can expect not a lot.

        Lehkonen might garner something if packaged, but then Lehkonen never went to the farm to get screwed up. (No, I don’t necessarily want to trade Lehkonen)

        I wish I could wax poetic about the prospect pools on every team, but I can’t. I can say that the farm players the Habs have really don’t get me excited about the future.

        Unless we are talking about Lindgren and McNiven…. however one of either Price or Lindgren will need to go when Lindgren is ready. Only McNiven is young enough to potentially take over the number 1 spot from Price…(or from Lindgren)

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

  50. theox_8 says:

    This team from owner to management is a complete joke and sh*t show . It started the day with the Subban trade and has snowballed ever since . Fearless prediction – Toronto will end the losing drought on Saturday .

  51. habshockey72 says:

    Looking for offence while ignoring the issue remains at centre. How about:
    Pacioretty-Danault-Gallagher
    (give Patch a centre)
    Drouin-Chucky-Lehks
    (speed/skill line all looking to prove, must at least try #27 as C)
    Hudon-Pleks-Shaw (some shutdown grit, that hopefully scores)
    Byron-Mitchel-Hemsky (well, that’s all we’ve got left)

    Good luck CJ – but let’s at least try to focus on putting talent where it can score. Crazy to demote Chucky to 4th … he’s the only guy we can trade for a centre anyway, must give him opportunities and confidence)

  52. Lafrich says:

    Oh man. Ridiculous. Put him with Drouin and Gudon, not 4th line! I feel bad for him already.

  53. Ozmodiar says:

    3rd overall pick on the 4th line?

    This team has terrific depth!!

  54. on2ndthought says:

    Well, if you are trying to teach Galchenyuk how to coast on talent, pairing him with Hemsky is ideal. We could sign Ribeiro and put him between them. Mitchell is all wrong, he cares.

    Gid rid of Hemsky, put Galchenyuk with Hudon and Lehkonnen, give them 20 minutes a game (Hudon will have to center).

    It will be unfair to Plek, but he is useful, even if he is not scoring.

    Max JD Gally
    Chuck Hudon Lehk
    Byron Danault DLR/Mitchell
    Shaw Plek DLR/Mitchell

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

    • Ozmodiar says:

      switch Dano and Pleks, move Shaw to 3rd, then over to the right, invert middle 6 LWs, switch #11 and the Finn, then all rotate wingers clockwise, twice, remove forward slash, separate the DLR-mitchell twins, put Hemsky on IR, fire MT again, blow cigarette smoke in his face, give DD the youppi suit.

    • RightNyder says:

      My loins will not stand for any bashing of ubersoff Hemsky.

      Perhaps the Billdozer is smarter than we think. By putting the two talented floaters together, they’ll secretly conspire to work hard and show him he’s a halfwit.

  55. expat_habsfan says:

    Chucky is probably hearing “bring out ye’r dead” in his sleep by now. How the “F” to you put a guy with that much offensive upside on the friggin 4th line?

    It looks like CJ sees Seguin every time he looks at Chucky; somebody should remind CJ how after being trading away (with a bag of pucks) for Eriksson (and a bag of pucks) and put in a position to excel, Seguin has become quite the prolific offensive talent.

    “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”

  56. habcertain says:

    This is going downhill fast, has CJ actually put some words to this boner move? If Chucky is gauged by points attained, this will surely fix the problem. He should just mouth off, and punch his ticket out of town, we sure know how to eat our young. And, it is not like Max and JD are turning any heads, but I guess they have get out of jail cards.

  57. Phil C says:

    I guess we’ll see how it works. What concerns me is:
    – the broke up the line that was playing the best in Lehkonen, Plekanec and Hudon.
    – Hudon who has arguably been their best forward ends up o the third line
    – By spreading this line out, they will either provide a spark or kill the only good thing going

    Also their problem has been finishing and Galchenyuk is their best finisher after Pacioretty, so why is he in the 4th line? I admit he looks slow this year for some reason, but I would like to see what he could do with Hudon or Drouin. There doesn’t seem to be any sense of putting complementary players together.

    • RightNyder says:

      Disco Stu, if you’re checking in (and I know you are), ask about Galchenyuk’s knee.

      Is it fully healed? Any other health issues? Or just apathy?

      The only thing the Habs could do to devalue him more as an asset is to admit there’s something wrong with his knee. So I expect MB to do just that sometime this week.

  58. habs-fan-84 says:

    Remember last year, when AG27 started the year and looked like a legit #1 C…then he got hurt and everything supposedly changed…

  59. RightNyder says:

    Some talented players just aren’t born with the wallbreaker gene.
    Coach: “Run through that wall.”
    Wallbreaker guy: “OK, coach.”
    (Runs into wall, injures himself. Coach loves wallbreaker guy)
    Coach: “Run through that wall.”
    Talented guy: “Bleep you.”
    (Dangles around wall, goes top shelf. Coach hates talented, non-wallbreaking guy)

    Reminds me a story I heard from a guy who used to play with Pierre Larouche in Hartford. Pete wasn’t breaking any walls, and coachie decided to teach him a lesson by benching him. Whalers down by a goal, finally says “OK, Larouche, get out there”.

    Larouche turns to (guy I was speaking to) and says “watch this”. Gets the puck off the faceoff, dangles through the entire other team, scores to tie it, comes right back to the bench, shoots daggers at the coach, turns to (guy I was speaking to) and says “that’s why they pay me the big bucks.”

  60. RightNyder says:

    Put the kid with real players or trade him now.

    Galchenyuk for Evander Kane.

    Buffalo gets a playmate with cost certainty for Eichel, Montreal gets a guy with something to prove on an expiring deal.

    The only thing that has worked with Galchenyuk is playing him at C on the first line and letting him run. He played with confidence, skill and the good certainly outweighed the bad.

    Now, he’s already in ‘eff you’ mode; moving him further down the lineup isn’t punishing him, it’s hurting the team.

    You’re scoring a goal a game and you won’t put your two most talented players together? Then you’re an idiot, all apologies to the Billdozer.

  61. alfieturcotte says:

    And so it begins — the scapegoating of one player, the easiest target on the team…..

    While Galchenyuk has not looked good, many others look equally poor. For a team in need of scoring, relegating Galchenyuk to the 4th line is pointless. How does Shaw and his 6-yr $3.9MM contract for one survive a 4th line demotion?

    CJ / MT all the same. MB

    Habs need goals – offense.

  62. yukonhab says:

    4th line doesn’t help the situation…#27 needs confidence FFS…killing him slowly

    Price 31

  63. johnnylarue says:

    “We’re trying to convince Chucky that he should just learn how to fight and accept the fact that he’s a no-talent 4th-line goon,” explained Julien. “Hemsky is a very, very fragile hockey player. He needs to feel protected on the ice in order to be successful. So hopefully Chucky understands this and embraces his new role for the good of the team.”

  64. habs-hampton says:

    AG27 will break out of his slump playing with THESE guys???
    And Benn is still in???

  65. SteverenO says:

    First?

    regards,

    Steve O.


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