Canadiens Notebook: Max Pacioretty not concerned about Maurice Richard Trophy

1211 spt canadiens 7745

STU COWAN

The last time a Canadiens player led the NHL in goals at the end of a season was 1977-78, when Guy Lafleur hit the back of the net 60 times, seven more than the New York Islanders’ Mike Bossy and 11 more than teammate Steve Shutt.

Not a single member of the Canadiens’ current roster was even born when that happened. Defenceman Andrei Markov, the oldest player on the team, was born on Dec. 20, 1978.

It looked like Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty had a good shot at winning the Maurice Richard Trophy this season for leading the NHL in goals before the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby exploded for five goals in two weekend games to give him 40 — seven more than Pacioretty, who has 10 games remaining in the regular season.

Heading into Monday’s games, Pacioretty was tied for fourth in the NHL in goals, trailing Crosby, Boston’s Brad Marchand (37) and St. Louis’s Vladimir Tarasenko (34). Tied with Pacioretty at 33 were Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov, Columbus’s Cam Atkinson and Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine.

After practice last week, Pacioretty said he wasn’t paying attention to the race for the Maurice Richard Trophy — which was first awarded after the 1998-99 season in honour of the former Canadiens legend — instead only focusing on his team’s success.

When asked if he was playing the best hockey of his career, Pacioretty responded: “I take one game at a time. You know what? If you’re not changing your game every year, then you’re falling behind. I think that to be able to maintain numbers doesn’t mean you just do the same stuff every summer or every year. Guys key on you, guys learn your tendencies and it’s also a league where trends or styles change every year.”

Pacioretty didn’t score in back-to-back weekend wins over the Ottawa Senators and has now gone three games without a goal. He needs six more to match his career high of 39 set during the 2013-14 season. This is the fourth straight season that Pacioretty has scored at least 30 goals.

“It’s hard work to even stay at the same level you’re at year after year,” the captain said. “But you try and do whatever you can to improve and I think that’s what a lot of the best players do. I see a lot of the best players over the summer and see what they do and see what they work on. So I’ve just been blessed to be surrounded by players like that.”

What makes Pacioretty’s scoring accomplishments this season even more impressive is the fact he has been playing with a variety of different linemates. Coach Claude Julien now has him with Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov on a stacked No. 1 line.

“When you look at his goal total and everything else, it just goes to show you that players who want to play the game right just do their jobs right and they get the results,” Julien said about Pacioretty after practice last week. “It doesn’t matter who you play with. It’s not always about looking for somebody to make you better, but you make somebody else better and right now he’s obviously done that with other players because it doesn’t matter who he’s played with, he’s scored some goals. That’s certainly a feather in his cap that he’s capable of doing that. He deserves a lot of credit for that.

“He’s a real good shooter,” Julien added. “He knows when to shoot the puck. He knows that that’s his strength and he doesn’t overpass because of those reasons and that’s what I like about him. Goal-scorers know their roles and they know what to do. Not only has he been scoring goals, but he’s been really good in all other areas of the ice. And to me he’s showing a lot as far as defensively, he’s killing penalties. I put him on late in the game the other night when the goalie was pulled out because he’ll do the job in his own end before he worries about putting the puck in the empty net.”

The Bruins’ Marchand might seem like an unlikely candidate to win the Maurice Richard Trophy, but Pacioretty said he isn’t surprised by the Boston forward’s success this season, already matching his career high of 37 goals set last year.

“He’s a very good player,” Pacioretty said. “He’s playing really, really well. It will probably be between him and Sid. Sid always, for some reason, seems to come out on top of those things, but it will be fun to watch until the end.”

(Photo: Allen McInnis/Montreal Gazette)

Day off for Canadiens

The Canadiens were given the day off Monday, following Sunday night’s 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre.

The Canadiens, who are now four points ahead of the Senators atop the Atlantic Division standings, will have a morning skate at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Brossard before facing the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., SNE, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

The Canadiens, who have 10 games remaining in the regular season, play their next five games at home. Of their remaining games on the schedule, only next Saturday’s rematch with the Senators at the Bell Centre is against a team currently in a playoff position.

New line clicking

Julien has been tinkering with his lines since taking over from Michel Therrien on Valentine’s Day — posting a 10-4-0 record since then — but the coach seems to have found some chemistry with Tomas Plekanec between Brendan Gallagher and Paul Byron.

Plekanec ended a 19-game goal-less drought when he scored Sunday night against the Senators, while Byron also scored to reach the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career. Gallagher picked up an assist, as did Byron, and all three members of the line were plus-2.

“It’s been really nice,” Gallagher said. “Everyone wants to have a line and for me this year it’s kind of been a little bit all over the place. It’s tough. It’s nice to build that chemistry and I think every game that we’ve been together we’ve been improving. There’s still areas that we can (improve), but the more we talk, the more we figure it out. I think the three of us enjoy playing together.

“The last couple of games we’ve kind of been tasked with playing against the other team’s top lines and I think that’s a challenge we all enjoy,” Gallagher added. “We’re all competitive guys and we get up for that. I think it brings out the best in us. I think when you can be matched up against top players, any time you have a role, you have an identity as a group. I think we’ve just been going out and trying to outplay the guys we match up against and the three of us we’ve been able to use each other pretty well on the cycle. Paul’s speed, Pleky’s a very smart player — I still learn a lot playing with him. For me it’s easy to do my job and just kind of be a contributor. It’s been good so far, hopefully it continues.”

Gallagher and Byron are both listed at 5-foot-9 and Gallagher was asked if he sees similarities between himself and his linemate.

“What I love about Paulie’s game is how he competes,” said Gallagher, who is 182 pounds compared with Byron’s 160. “He always wants to be a difference maker … he’s upset with himself when he’s not. There’s times he’s pretty tough on himself, but that’s what you want from your teammates. You want them to push themselves to be the best that they can be and year after year he’s improved. A guy that was placed on waivers at one point in his career. Since we picked him up (from Calgary before last season) he’s been nothing but impactful regardless of what line he’s playing on, who he’s playing with. He’s a guy that perfects the game. He’s a dangerous player … he’s a very good hockey player. He’s been blessed with a lot of skills, but at the same time he works for everything that he’s gotten and you’re happy to see him hit the 20-goal mark.”

Byron was very happy to hit the 20-goal mark with his family in the stands at the Bell Centre Sunday night.

“I didn’t think I’d be a 20-goal scorer in the NHL,” said Byron, who selected by the Flames in the sixth round (179th overall) at the 2007 NHL Draft. “I’ve come a long way to reach that, so it’s definitely a special moment. My wife and kids are here in the rink, so it’s a pretty cool thing to see.”

Habs getting secondary scoring

The bad news for the Canadiens is that Pacioretty hasn’t scored a goal in three games. The good news is that the Canadiens have won two of those games, meaning they’re finally getting some secondary scoring and not relying so heavily on the captain to score.

“I think it’s a real good sign for our team,” said Byron, who has six goals in the last eight games. “We had a lot of confidence in our team, especially post-deadline (for NHL trades on March 1). We weren’t scoring, but we knew that we were capable of it. It was just a matter of getting back on track and getting back to the offensive capability that we were able to play to. So to have that depth of scoring is huge for us.”

Added Shea Weber: “Come playoff time, that’s what you need. It’s not always the guys that are expected to score that get the job done. It’s kind of the unsung guys and right now I think everyone’s doing their part.”

Phillip Danault ended a 22-game goal-less drought when he scored in Saturday’s 4-3 shootout win over the Senators. Plekanec ended his 19-game drought Sunday and defenceman Nathan Beaulieu also scored Sunday, ending a 31-game goal drought.

The Canadiens player with the longest goal drought now is defenceman Jeff Petry, who has gone 37 games without a goal, dating back to Dec. 23.

What’s next?

After Tuesday’s game, the Canadiens play the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., SNE, RDS, TSN Radio 690), followed by the Senators on Saturday (7 p.m., SN, TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690).

• Jordie Benn fitting in well with Canadiens, by Stu Cowan

• Paul Byron hits 20-goal mark with his family in stands, by Pat Hickey

• Canadiens gaining confidence under Claude Julien, by Stu Cowan

232 Comments

  1. Loop_G says:

    Lots of “trade Byron” talk which makes no sense to me. The purpose of a team is to win, not to develop maximal trade value in players. Byron might get us another 2nd round pick or solid prospect, but then we have to replace Byron in the lineup which would cost us at least a couple million dollars a year more than Byron makes. This of course means that we have less money to address other issues.

    Byron was an outstanding pick-up, but unless he is part of a package for something special, then we need to hold on to him and appreciate the value he brings to the table.

  2. Habfan17 says:

    I am enjoying the talk about Pleks and the pros and cons about leaving him unprotected.

    I think it comes down to who the Habs think has more value to the team long term. That would include CAP considerations. If they frimly believe that Danault should be the 2nd line centre, with Galchenyuk as the first, or they want to sign Shipachev, then leaving Pleks unprotected and protecting DLR makes sense. If Pleks isn’t taken, then he could be traded.

    Bergevin could also make a deal with Vegas to take Emelin and they will trade Pleks to them for a low draft pick.

    Habfan17

  3. PONCH says:

    Funny how stats can be interpreted. Chris Neil has played in over 1,000 games for the Sens. All that stat tells me is that if a plug like him can play on a team for that length of time, that team has nothing in the minors, no pro scout expertise and did not have a GM over the last 15 years or so that could make a trade to upgrade the guy. Basically that stat tells me that team sucks.
    Maybe it’s me but the only stat that counts is how many of those little beauties does one have around his finger.

    To be a Hockey Fan is to be a Habs Fan

    • powdered toastman says:

      Dunno if I would dismiss Neil’s value too quickly. (Yah, he is definitely up there in the public enemy #1 ratings) But, with a career avg of approximately 1 point per 4 games as a bottom liner (3rd or 4th line pud) he’s not too bad. Plus there are those big intangibles (like why he is universally despised by other team’s fans). Hab fans should know…we have seen more than our share of puds who don’t seem to bring anything (except maybe they can skate)

  4. bwoar says:

    Just saying,
    If MB got Danault from the Hawks for spare parts, got Benn from Dallas for spare Pateryn, got a warm body on a $325K cap hit for DD…I like his chances selling high on Byron.

    Go get ya f–in’ shine box MB

    • Loop_G says:

      I understand your point, but if MB thinks Byron can avg even 15 goals a year while being a great penalty killer and responsible all around player, it would be foolish to trade him given his salary hit barring a huge offer from someone. It never hurts to look around but we cannot replace him easily.

  5. habsr4ever says:

    Ok with Montoya starting. Keep Carey fresh.
    I just hope the team does not have a let down game and take the Wings for granted. Two huge points for us. We need these in our piggy bank.
    Canes are no slouches and Sens on Saturday. 4 points this week please. And it better start with 2 tonight. Our number one line better play like one tonight. They are OVER due and I watch Pacman to get 40 this year.

  6. SteverenO says:

    Defense pairings:

    I can’t say it often enough, or loud enough,Petry and Emelin sould NEBVER be on the ice at the same time:

    When #74 & #26 are playing together (5 on 5 )

    195 minutes:\ team has scored 4 goals and allowed 8
    AVG+ 49 Mins per GF and 24.5 MpGA

    Petry when playing WITHOUT Emelin:

    1,029 minutes: / team has score 50 goals and allowed 42
    AVG= 20.5 mins per GF and 24.5 mins Per GA

    Emelin when playing Without Petry
    1,034 minutes;/ team has scored 32 goals and allowed 31 GA
    AVG= 32 mins per GF and 31 Mins per GA.

    in other words both players produce significantly more offense when playing with anyone other than each other- and Emelin has much better numbers defensively when playing with anyone not named Petry- Petry’s defensive numbers remain constant whether playing with/or without, Emelin.

    While historical records are NOT a guaranteed indicator of future results, the fact that these two played together last season and had equally dismal results (488 mins 13 GF and 19 GA AVG+ 37.5 mins per GF and 25.5 mins per GA) gives us a strong reason to believe that this pairing will NOT be effective.

    The “odds” are that this pairing will “cost” us approximately one goal every two games, or half a goal a game.

    While few people pay much attention to the impact that line combos and defense pairings have on a teams goal differential, I personally believe that in the future more and more teams will start adopting this type of analytics to improve their squad.

    Funny thing is that this can in no way, shape , or form, be called “Advanced” analytics … this is pure and simple basic mathematics combined with the monitoring of key performance metrics. It is something that EVERY major business in the world does on regular basis.

    However the team does from here on in, so long as they keep Petry and Emelin playing together, they will NOT have achieved their maximum potential.

    Regards,

    Steve O.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So non statistically speaking, what did you think looked dreadful about Emelin and Petry last game?

      • SteverenO says:

        @HIB;

        they looked okay last game, but I believe that the numbers indicate that the best we can hope for with this duo is simply “okay”

        The outrageously high number of minutes per goal scored when Petry and Emelin are on together, make it pretty apparent that we spend way too much time in our own zone, and not nearly enough when these guys are out there.

        regards,

        Steve O,

    • Loop_G says:

      The fact that they have played a small fraction of the time playing together vs apart makes those stats questionable for several different reasons. If Markov is playing with Weber, then Emelin should be with Petry with N8 and Benn on the bottom. Playing together more should see those stats even out a bit as they get to know each other. The effectiveness of the other pairs available when those two play together also needs to be added to those stats for them to have any real value.

      • SteverenO says:

        @LOOP:

        You may want to note that the number of minutes Petry and Emelin have played together is GREATER than the number of minutes that Beaulieu and Weber have played together.

        Somehow despite playing “only” 170 minutes together and the team scoring 5 goals while allowing only 2 was enough to determine that Beaulieu is not “consistent” enough to play with Weber.

        So; 2 goals allowed in 170 minutes shows inconsistency, while 8 goals allowed in 195 minutes shows “potential” in your mind?

        How long are you willing to wait for the numbers to “even out”?
        (Especially considering they are consistent with last seasons numbers)

        Someone needs to tell Julien that Petry and Emelin is a NO GO!

        regards,

        Steve O.

  7. Curtoph says:

    Anyone know why the norse horse hasn’t come into play last few games?

  8. ebk says:

    Atlantic Division teams, # of players drafted last 5 years who have played at least 40 NHL games to date. In brackets is the number who have played at least 1 game in the NHL
    Montreal 5(9)
    Ottawa 2(4)
    Toronto 5(9)
    Boston 4(9)
    Tampa 3(11)
    Florida 5(5)
    Buffalo 7(13)

    Edited to reflect a mistake with the leafs, missed a year.

    • 123456 says:

      Cool stat – especially when you factor in first round drafting position.

    • on2ndthought says:

      You come to gunfight armed with facts???

    • Bill H says:

      Let’s not muddy the situation with facts. Much easier and more fun to dismiss MB as incompetent in drafting and trading. 😉

      Great post. Thanks for the research.

    • BC (Because of the Cats) says:

      I’m stunned. Shows how wrong one’s impressions can be. I certainly thought every team in our division had graduated more players to the NHL than we had in the last few years, but in fact, only Buffalo has been more successful. And this is not surprising, since they’ve been near the bottom of the League for the last half-dozen years. In future, I’ll refrain from posting my impressions without at least trying to check how accurate they are!

      “We gotta lotta dep.”

      • ebk says:

        wasn’t my intent to show anyone up. Your posts are great, it just made me want to look it up and see. Thought I’d post it just for a reference, not a shot at you or anyone else.

      • 123456 says:

        also tells a story of toranna – they draft in great positions and essentially have marner and mathews to show for it

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Plus Nylander and Rielly. Loads of talent on that team offensively. Now we find out how good at drafting they are later in the rounds when looking for dmen and others.

          Leafs are in a wonderful situation based on their rebuild. The one small issue remaining is defence and maybe goaltending. We’ve seen how the Dallas Stars gathered incredible offensive talent and have failed miserably shoring up the rest of the team.

          Leafs have essentially started from the Center position back in their build. Lets see how they do from here.

    • bwoar says:

      This is great research and thank you for adding up that fact. I’d be curious to know what the numbers look like if “at least 40 games” were “NHL regulars” – not calling out these results, legit curious.

      • ebk says:

        time to kill, so I can take requests 🙂
        Toronto 4(Matthews,Nylander, Marner and Reilly)
        Buffalo 7(Eichel, Risto, Reinhart, Ziggy and McCabe, 2 in Colorado)
        Montreal 2 ( Galchenyuk & Lehkonen)
        Ottawa 2(Lazar & Ceci)
        Tampa 1( Droiun, case could be made for Paquette and Point)
        Florida 3 (Ekblad, Barkov and Matheson)
        Boston 2 (Pastarnak and Carlo)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      ebk thanks for this information. The other day when I posted some information draft related, I was astonished at how few players per draft year end up making teams squads.

      The one caveat is how important those top 5/10 picks in the draft are. And how a team cannot afford to miss when they get that quality pick.

      The Habs drafting problems were when Gainey/Gauthier ran the draft. Missed on picks and traded away our top picks. MB can start to get questioned on the picks made in Galchenyuks draft year, but he cannot be criticized for taking Galchenyuk.

      The rest of the drafts are still playing themselves out, as evidenced by Lehkonen etc….

  9. vegas says:

    looks like it will be Montoya between the pipes tonight

  10. Don Birnam says:

    After watching the Bruins last night, I have to ask,What the heck happened to them? They were getting manhandled by the Laffs!
    Bergeron gets drilled face first into the boards and nobody steps in?
    Yikes, The Bruins are Cubs now?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      When Bergeron got nailed (real dirty hit) I thought here we go and Bruins would take care of their best player. Nope…..

      Julien gone and the Bruins have lost their bite?

    • New says:

      So, like, you guys spend a lot of time watching the Bruins and Leafs? Nothing wrong with that of course.

      Didn’t see the game or highlights but it seems to me that Bergeron is: A. Extremely talented and B. Always getting drilled into the boards.

      Just saying, recalling from the Riberio at death’s door (I’ve fallen and I can’t get up) that sometimes what a team feels is appropriate isn’t what we think they would think appropriate.

      There may be something about physics Bergeron doesn’t quite grasp or something about the rules he does.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        You need to watch the hit, there is nothing wrong with Bergeron and his center of gravity on this play. Just plain a simple a dirty hit resulting in his face been bloodied up by the dasher boards.

        We would be furious if Galchenyuk or Max took this hit.

        • New says:

          Went out and found it. Bergeron knew he was there from the blue line in, in his last 15 feet he shoulder checked twice and knew he was coming, then he braced himself.

          Yes, dirty hit. Bergeron enticed it and purposely put himself in a vulnerable position. That does not make the hit right and I don’t say it does. But I have seen Bergeron get hit this way over and over again. If I have, and I don’t follow Bruins much, then I’m going out on a limb and guess his team mates have seen it many times as well.

          The guy who isn’t Front was puzzled that the Bruins did not go to war over the hit. I am not.

  11. Danno says:

    Everyone who is suggesting MB trade Byron in the offseason because his value is high are overlooking one thing. He might get better.

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  12. HabinBurlington says:

    Defense Pairings
    John Lu‏Verified account @JohnLuTSNMtl 7m7 minutes ago
    More
    #Habs D & G vs #RedWings:
    Markov – Weber
    Emelin – Petry
    Beaulieu – Benn

    Price starting
    Montoya

    Scratches: Martinsen, McCarron, Davidson

    John Lu‏Verified account @JohnLuTSNMtl 8m8 minutes ago
    More
    #Habs lines vs #RedWings:
    Pacioretty – Galchenyuk – Radulov
    Byron – Plekanec – Gallagher
    Lehkonen – Danault – Shaw
    King – Ott – Mitchell

  13. HabinBurlington says:

    According to Lavoie, Ott in for McCarron tonight.

    • habsr4ever says:

      Makes sense. Ott was once a wing. I love how CJ is keeping all the players fresh and getting them into the games. I do think Mitchell needs to be sat though in this rotation. Big Mac needs to play to develop. He has had enough nights up in the press box this season. I would plunk in Martinsen soon. He can skate and hit.
      We need these two points tonight. We let them beat us last time. Let’s clinch first as soon as we can so we can start resting guys.

  14. mdp2011 says:

    Last week after the Chicago game, I posted a rant about Gallagher and my frustration with his play this year. I just want to say that with his play in the last 2 games against the Sens, he has really made me look foolish. That was vintage Gallagher this weekend and hopefully his game is back to where it was before the 1st hand injury. His sweet pass on the disallowed Byron goal was awesome. This crow tastes so good.

  15. DipsyDoodler says:

    Bergevin’s moves, from best to worst. Who agrees/disagrees?

    1. Julien. I always thought the H I/O criticisms of Therrien were over the top but Julien is a major upgrade, especially in the human resources aspect of management.

    2. Benn. Wow, what a steal. Hope he stays.

    3. Ott. Seems rejuvenated. Making a solid contribution.

    4. Davidson. Haven’t seen anything to suggest he’s an NHL defenceman.

    5. Martinsen. Healthy scratch. No better than Flynn, who is also a healthy scratch.

    6. King. Does he have a hip problem? Gout? Arthritis? Something.

    2a: The moves he didn’t make like Hanzal and White for a #1 and #2. Those two already almost lead the Wild in minus. That’s for the entire season.
    —–

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I would move King to 3 or 4. I realize lots of folks are complaining about him, but our team is winning games with him in the lineup. He is the proverbial away from the play player. He does need to be better, but the playoffs is where his best hockey will be on display.

      Perhaps I am moving up more out of hope than reality thus far, but it is way to early for folks to give up on him. I watched lots of Kings hockey during their Stanley Cups and King was very good for them. There is nothing exciting about his game except his effectiveness.

      Julien is the best move MB has made since becoming GM of the Habs. Satisfied the teams criteria while satisfying HI/O’s demands for the best coach available globally.

      • ebk says:

        excellent post, agree 100% about King, is a very good player, hasn’t been so far, needs to get way better but he’s his past track record suggests he will. I mean some of the experts peg him as an ECHL player though, so we could be wrong.

      • johnyk says:

        I think King is still adjusting from sun to snow, from western conf to eastern, to a team with a different focus/plan/style/strategy.
        He can be an effective 4th line heavy cruiser along the boards. And he’s been all the way to two Cups.

        Johnyk

    • mdp2011 says:

      If you’re talking about strictly this year, then agree completely. The Habs biggest and best deadline deal was Julien, and it didn’t cost them anything besides cash.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      1. Julien
      2. Benn
      3. Davidson
      4. King
      5. Martinson
      6. Ott

      #3 – also have to consider the addition by subtraction
      #5 and 6 – they slide on the list b/c they aren’t in the top 12. Good to have the depth, though.

      edit: it seem Ott’s in the top 12 tonight. 🙂

  16. bwoar says:

    I think Vito makes a good, if potentially unpopular point below – Paul Byron will never have more value on the trade block then he will this offseason. There’s an opportunity there – I know, seems like sacrilege at this exact moment in time, but a GM picking up a waiver player, cheap contract, 20 goals…a package with him might help land that #1LD we need badly.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I think it would be great to package Byron in exchange for a top pairing d-man or an ex- number two overall pick.

      The problem is the other teams’ GMs, even Garth Snow, are somewhat competent.

      Just like us, they won’t see “potential 20 goal scorer”. They’ll see “29 year old journeyman who just had a career year”.

      —–

    • HabinBurlington says:

      For all the spitshining Babcock and Crazy Uncle Lou were doing the previous season to trade assets for picks, I think the spit shine done by MT on Dale Weise could give lots of folks reasons to be wary.

      Gotta give MT credit for knowing how to make 4th liners look like 2nd liners. Who knows, maybe he opens a shoe shine shop?

      • ebk says:

        not a fan of Therrien but he’s a way better coach than he’s given credit for here. 3 different GM’s thought he was the best available coach and hired him. Then again, all three fired him too 🙂

  17. CJinBK says:

    I’m not personally worried about the recent lack of production from the top line, the “Even Sevens”, as I like to think of them. As the most dangerous offensive line, they are going to be matched by the oppositions’ best shutdown lines and first D. This leaves lines 2A and 2B to face more amenable matchups.

    As for Sunday’s strong win against Ottawa… I only saw the first two periods at the time, then had to hit the road. Loved seeing Benn’s second goal; it was a great response to his own-goal earlier. (Nice tip-in from the big man. Who would have guessed he has such soft hands? Also loved him coming to the defense of Radulov in the 3rd.)

    Worth noting: no Senator scored on Price on Sunday.

    Anyhow, finally watched the third period last night, and thought it was one of the best periods since Claude Julien took over. Everybody looked good.

    Emelin was smart with the puck, hit Karlsson, made a great pinch and drew the penalty that led to Beaulieu’s goal. For the game, Emelin had 5 hits, 2 blocked shots, no giveaways, and was even +/-.

    Byron absolutely earned his first star. His disallowed goal was millimetres from being onside. He’s showing great smarts with how he gets to the net, and his shot selection is fantastic. Beating Anderson 5-hole on the back-breaker seemed to deflate Anderson completely.

    Watching the goal crease celebration after the game, I was struck with this thought: Radulov is the new Subban. Watching his pure joy when congratulating Price reminded me of PK. Both players can protect the puck very well, and can make you stand up from your seat. PK never seemed to have an end game, however; more often than not he would lose the puck and then be out of position to defend the resulting rush the other way. Radulov is looking for a pass first, or a shot second, often when there is the chance of a rebound for an incoming teammate. He’s selfless and utterly team-first, and I’m looking forward to July 1st, when he is signed to a long and reasonable contract.

    Excited for tonight’s game. I expect we’ll see Montoya, and I am hoping for a win for the guys in bleu-blanc-rouge.

  18. Psycho29 says:

    I’m really really not trying to rub it in (honest!), But nothing better than reading your comments from the beach in Cozumel Mexico with a cold cervesa. Is Julien still the coach of these bums?

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    Preview from the Associated Press on tonights Red Wings vs Habs tilt.

    https://sports.yahoo.com/news/red-wings-playing-pride-visit-habs-045721591–nhl.html

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    Amidst all the expansion draft scenarios, here is a synopsis of what the Bruins, Sabres and Stars will possibly face.

    http://spectorshockey.net/2017/03/expansion-speculation-on-the-bruins-sabres-stars-march-21-2017/

  21. Mavid says:

    A Leaf/Sens matchup would be interesting, they were saying on the Ottawa sports station that this would be a preferable matchup, they expect that the Sens would win it quite easily, not so sure about that every series had gone to the Leafs, it’s been a while so who knows, I would never under estimate the Leafs as they are doing.

    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

    • Don Birnam says:

      Playoffs get more physical and less whistles.
      Leafs still have a weak D and suspect goaltending.
      Advantage has to go to Sens imo.
      But then again, my ticket got blown up last night.
      Saludos!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree with you on giving the Sens the edge in the playoffs for the exact reasons you give.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          I’m with you and Don but man that would be a cool series to watch.

        • Mavid says:

          I would agree on giving them the edge, not an easy series win as these guys were saying..I think if they win they will have to work hard to get it, and it would probably go to 6 or 7 games

          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

    • sakuknows says:

      Only downside to this matchup is that one team has to advance!

  22. Ozmodiar says:

    I see everyone has Plekanec being left unprotected. 🙂

    Among the scenarios, there’s even one suggesting the Habs could offer up a 2nd to entice Vegas into picking him, with Vegas planning a Hanzal-like swap next season. This makes me wonder: why would the Habs would give up a 2nd just to get rid of a player who could be worth a package that includes a 1st a few months down the road? To protect a player like JDLR? Not worth it. Perhaps this can be revisited after they land Duchene, but right now they don’t need the cap space, the UFA class is weak, and the Habs don’t trust Hudon.

    While it’s possible they could leave Pleks unprotected, I won’t be shocked, like most, if they protect him. If you think there’s no chance that he will be protected, tell me this: why was Chris Terry called up for stint earlier this season? why was he given that mid-season contract extension? both moves were needed to make him eligible to be 1 of 2 forwards that must be left unprotected. Is that a coincidence? Terry can now join Mitchell as one of the 2, instead of Plekanec. If the Habs *still* don’t want Plekanec, he can be traded for a pick or prospect to a team like Arizona, instead of losing him for nothing.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      This expansion draft is going to be very interesting. With the way in which the league has structured (perhaps the wrong term) the process, it appears to have become a real exercise in horse trading. The unprotected players essentially become commodities for the Vegas team to draft and trade to other teams.

      The relationship of various teams front offices with the Vegas front office could become crucial as teams will be trying to convince McPhee who they draft.

      A strong finish to the season by Plex drastically changes his value. Entering his final season before becoming a UFA makes him far more valuable next season as a trading piece as well.

    • bwoar says:

      I doubt a second would change hands, but hanging on to Hudon, Benn and Beaulieu (yes, him, ugh) seem to make more sense than an aging centre who’s good 2 games out of 10.

    • Loop_G says:

      It’s more an issue of freeing up salary by having Vegas take him I think. The hope is that we could sign a quality second or third line centre for 4 or 5 million and still have another million or two left for other needs. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer with Pleks, he still has value and only one year left.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        As you say, he still has value. So, if they want to get rid of him, it will be in a trade rather than the expansion draft ( certainly not giving up asset to entice LV to take him ).

        The UFA class is very weak at C. Only ~ 5 players with 30 points. As vegas says below, maybe Shipachyov is an option.

        In any event, without any obvious needs for the cap space, and the Terry moves, i don’t think exposing Pleks is a slam dunk.

    • vegas says:

      they would need the cash to help resign Radulov, renew Galchenyuk and possibly take a shot at Shipachyov

      • Ozmodiar says:

        Good point about Shipachyov, although i’ll believe it when i see it.

        They have the space for Chucky, Rads and Markov. They’ll only need space if they add. … and they can still subtract Emelin.

      • johnyk says:

        Almost $5 mil coming off the books after dumping DD and Parenteau’s buyout ending.
        So maybe $1 mil of that to Rads and the rest sprinkled around. Perhaps give Marky 1 year @$4.5 mil for reduced minutes and that’s another million or so available. I think Marky could be a great mentor for Sergachev both on and off the ice.

        Johnyk

  23. Cal says:

    The Habs, along with every other team, are going to lose their 11th best player. Why all the fuss?
    If the Habs can’t afford to lose that player, they aren’t that good a team.
    Vegas will be a collection of 3rd and 4th liners and 3rd pairing D with a sprinkling of young talent.
    It’s not that BIG a deal.

    • Vito says:

      +1

      Canada IS hockey!
      -Mike Weir

    • on2ndthought says:

      Two years ago, we picked up Calgary’s 24th best player off waivers. It’s been a big enough deal.

      • Cal says:

        Once in a while, a blind squirrel finds a nut. This does tell us more about how poor Bergevin’s drafting has been.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          ? So because we do a good job of pro scouting, take advantage of Burke choosing truculence over speed/skill this means MB is a terrible GM in the area of drafting.

          Okay, yah I follow.

          • Don Birnam says:

            Picking up Benn and his cheap contract was brilliant imo.
            Nesterov and Davidson for depth are ok, I guess.
            Injuries will happen.

        • BC (Because of the Cats) says:

          Can’t disagree about the drafting. At least it looks that way at the moment. Only three players on the team have been drafted under Bergevin’s watch — Galchenyuk, Lehkonen, and McCarron. Andrighetto is playing in Colorado. That makes four NHL players out of five drafts. Without checking exact figures for other teams, all of Ottawa, Boston, Tampa, and Toronto (to name only four teams in our own division) have more young draftees in their lineups than we do.

          Possibly it’s still too soon to conclude that Bergevin’s drafting has been poor. A year from now, we could have two or three of Sergachev, Hudon, De la Rose, and Scherbak playing for us. Perhaps not likely, but I’m still willing to be patient.

          “We gotta lotta dep.”

        • Loop_G says:

          It hasn’t been poor at all, it’s been about average and for most of his drafts we won’t know for another year or two at least.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      We should rather be excited to see a player help the team and then hope he leaves and wish him good riddance.

      Terrible that folks here choose to speak about possible player moves on a site dedicated to a hockey teams fans.

    • boing007 says:

      You just described the Montreal Canadiens.

      Richard R

  24. Arnou Ruelle says:

    Looking at this last 10 games, it should be well served for both Markov and Weber to not only decrease their ice time, but also give them a rest for the last 3-5 games. That way, the pairing can get some rest to prepare for the playoffs. Plus, come round one, decreasing their TOI will get both players better prepared for power play duties. If CJ will make the team prepped for the playoffs, now is the time for the Beaulieu-Benn and Emelin-Petry pairings to get acquainted.

    • SmartDog says:

      This is one of the Great Lies we get fed. “The playoffs are what really matters.” “Our only goal is to make the playoffs.”

      Of COURSE the playoffs are what really DOES matter. And so once we get in, resting Markov and Weber and any other veteran likely low on gas should be a strategic imperative. It makes 100% sense. Not doing it doesn’t make sense… if the playoffs are what really matters.

      But they won’t. They will keep playing Markov and Weber even though we fans know they actually need the rest. That’s why my sig. below. So much is done by this franchise out of pride. Oh we CAN’T sit THAT guy. That guy can’t wear our sweater. We need more of this, not that… It’s a bunch of bullcrap.

      As a GM, I think Bergevin is somewhere between okay and pretty good. But to lead you need to do what needs to be done, and foster the kind of culture that makes practical long term decisions without a lot of prejudice. This club is about money and pride – then hockey. SOMETIMES hockey actually does rise above. But mostly it’s money and pride, then hockey. Weber and Markov will play every game unless they are injured. And they’ll peter out in the playoffs.

      ————————————-
      The “H” stands for Hubris.

      • Arnou Ruelle says:

        You have a good point. The organization is mostly about financial gains and sport. Health wise, I think this has been a bitter reality towards sport athletes and the beating they get in their respective sport.

        Habs wise, I do like what CJ has done. Putting rotations on Emelin and N8 (even if they hated it) did make sense. It seems this is what goes on with both Ott and Martinsen. I would like to see a rotational game stretches as well for McCarron. But you’re right Smartdog, they’ll play both Marky and Webs until they get hurt.

        At times, mgmt. should already understand the meaning of “banged up” when they see a player slows down or gets injured.

  25. Vito says:

    We are always saying that a GM should buy low and sell high… isn’t Paul Byron the perfect opportunity to do that? What can possibly be lower than a waiver pick up and his stock is never going to get higher mainly because small players regress much earlier (be that due to finally getting a big contract or physical abuse or injuries). What if we package Byron, a 2nd and Plekanec for Landeskog this summer. Colorado will get rid of Pleky’s contract in a year and will keep a 20 goal scorer and a draft pick, while the Habs can fit Landeskog’s salary into the cap by simply subtracting Plekanec.

    It just seems to me that after all the talk about the cap and how important it is in today’s NHL, never does a GM really sell high. A good example of this is Gallagher (who I loved and still love as a player), but I always thought he would slow down just because of the constant abuse he takes. It happened quicker than expected because of 2 freak injuries, however it would have happened anyway, just a bit later… Imagine the return we could have gotten for him when he peaked the season before last. And in both cases, Byron and Gallagher, the Habs can maximise value by selling high and at the same time reduce the number of small forwards without losing out on talent!

    Canada IS hockey!
    -Mike Weir

    • Max says:

      I’d rather hang on to Byron as he’s one of our best forwards,one of if not the fastest skater in the league(outraced McDavid just last week) and one of the best deals in the league and only 27 years old.You keep players like that.He also seems to be a very popular teammate.Landeskog seems to be a moody type as well.Not a big fan oh his.

      • Vito says:

        That’s a fair and very defendable position, but I would add that players are always moody on a losing team. I’d bet that everyone was moody and pissed off in the Habs locker room at the end of last season.

        Canada IS hockey!
        -Mike Weir

      • Habfan17 says:

        Benn too showed some speed I was not aware he had catching the player on the back check last game.

        Habfan17

    • on2ndthought says:

      Gally is rounding back into form. Watch him in the playoffs and decide if you want him gone.

      • Vito says:

        I really don’t want him gone even now, I like the guy, and now is not the time to trade him anyway. You keep him and you hope the wrist heals and he gets back to the level he was at before.

        Canada IS hockey!
        -Mike Weir

  26. habs001 says:

    While i trust Benn way more than NB28 in the D zone, because of age, NB28 has to be protected over Benn…Also there could be other D unprotected from other teams than would offer better options for LV than Benn…

    • Habfan17 says:

      I would protect both Benn and Beaulieu and leave Emelin and Petry unprotected. I know that Petry would have to agree to waive his NMC. If he would, that is what I would like to see.

      Habfan17

      • Loop_G says:

        Petry has to be protected due to his contract, but I understand your thinking. I would protect Weber, Benn, Petry, sign Markov after the deadline, and offer Vegas a 3rd round pick or something to take Emelin. They need to make the salary cap floor so they will have to add at least a few big contracts.

        • Habfan17 says:

          Players can agree to waive their NMC for the expansion draft, I would hope Petry would. I do find Benn brings more of what the Habs need and Sergachev could be ready to play next season.

          Habfan17

      • on2ndthought says:

        I think you’d miss Petry as soon as he is gone. Logs lots of good minutes, rarely stuck with the puck.

        When I see how often Habs forwards create turnovers from other Ds; I’m very glad to have the D we do.

  27. habs001 says:

    Leafs now 3 points ahead of Islanders for final playoff spot and 4 ahead of Tampa…Leafs have last 4 games at home but 3 tough opponents and Tampa…Tampa plays the Habs 2 more times…Islanders do not have an easy schedule…..

  28. Habfan17 says:

    @lazman

    I would switch Petry and Benn. I would rather the Habs keep Benn,
    I also hope they keep Martinsen.

    Habfan17

  29. on2ndthought says:

    Still 10 or 11 games to go, but the Isles or TB are going to have to scorch their way into the playoff picture. (if either of them do, they will be tough in a series).

    LA stumbling when they are supposed to be cruising. Losing back to back in Alberta has them in a ‘must run the table’ position.

    WAS fading at the wrong time, could be visiting PIT or CBJ when the playoffs start.

    One player who thinks this is ridiculous is Daniel Winnik:

    http://www.csnmidatlantic.com/washington-capitals/daniel-winnik-calls-current-playoff-format-stupidest-thing-ever

  30. rhino514 says:

    Andrighetto with a goal again last night. MB may have erred on that one.
    At the very worst, we could have kept him in the hopes Vegas takes him instead of someone more valuable like Benn, for example.

  31. habs001 says:

    DD 7-1 face offs today…

  32. Timo says:

    So leafs were celebrating beating Boston tonight as if they won the Stanley Cup. Are they a lock for the playoffs? I really have been out of it my interest in following anything NHL related has been reaching the all time low.

    Since Davey D is gone I feel blue and lonely.

    • Butterface says:

      Chances of making playoffs as of 9am Tuesday March 21

      Montreal 99.98%
      Ottawa 96.6%
      Boston 84.4%
      Toronto 73.5% (up 10% because of last night)
      Islanders 24.1%
      TB 18.6%

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

  33. Danno says:

    He’s good on faceoffs and he is second only to Max in the scoring department. Maybe it’s worth a try to put Paul Byron on the first line as centre.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  34. Cheech says:

    Benn is a BEAST….protects his teammates too

  35. Commandant says:

    Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron has come a long way since being considered too small to play in the NHL. Standing at 5’7″ and around 153 pounds, Byron is one of the league’s smallest players. However, his blazing speed is among the league’s best which has brought him a long way. He is now a 20-goal scorer who brings something to the Habs game, every night.

    http://lastwordonhockey.com/2017/03/20/paul-byron-speed-hard-work-success/

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  36. lazman says:

    I think that this is the way the Habs will go at the draft:

    Protect:
    Pacioretty
    Gallagher
    Galchenyuk
    Shaw
    Danault
    Byron
    DeLaRose
    Beaulieu
    Weber
    Petry

    Players of worth to be left unprotected:
    Emelin (limited NTC)
    Benn
    Davidson
    Nesterov
    Mitchell
    King
    Ott (free agent?)
    Hudon
    Plekanec
    Martinsen
    Flynn

    Sign after July 1:
    Radulov
    Markov

    Do not need protecting (1st or 2nd year pro):
    McCarron
    Scherbak
    Lehkonen

    If they have to sign Radulov before the draft, then DeLaRose will unfortunately be left unprotected, and might get selected by LV over Benn or Emelin.

    If the Habs can protect DeLaRose, LV selects Benn in all likelihood, or possibly Emelin. A remote 3rd choice would be Davidson.

    No way does LV take Plekanec.

    A dark horse would be that LV takes Hudon (but Id take odds on that one).

    • The_Truth says:

      No chance Vegas takes De La Rose, so no need to protect him. But generally I agree. I am still up in the air about Benn vs Beaulieu and will wait until the end of the Playoffs to give my final opinion.

    • Commandant says:

      Vegas could very well take Plekanec.

      If you look on cap friendly, and use their expansion tool, you quickly come to the conclusion that there are very few centres available. You’ll also see that there are many defencemen available. That will be Vegas’ strongest position, so they don’t really Need a guy like Benn.

      So… here’s a scenario.

      1) MB trades Vegas a 2nd round pick for them to take Plekanec’s contract off his hands.
      2) Vegas gives Plekanec a ton of favorable icetime early in the year. PP Minutes, Offensive Zone Starts, etc… really try to get him scoring and pump his value.
      3) Plekanec is a UFA to be at the deadline. Teams are always looking for extra depth up the middle at the deadline. They trade him for a similar package as Arizona got for Hanzal.

      Vegas spends a little money (which they have to spend anyways to hit the floor) and ends up with an extra 2nd round pick in 2017, plus a bunch of picks/prospects at the 2018 deadline. Great way to start building a team from scratch.

      Go Habs Go!

      http://lastwordonsports.com/

  37. PONCH says:

    Full transparency I live in Ottawa. So here is what I’d like to see.
    Bruins beat Ottawa on Tues and are then only 2 points back of Sens
    Sens continue their free fall (Pens/Habs their next two games)
    Hard to type this but Leafs win their next two (that hurt) That puts them only 1 point behind the Sens

    All this just to listen to Galley squirm (it’s the only time I could listen to this dolt) and the radio talking heads up here as well

    Here in Sens land in a foregone conclusion that the Sens will make the playoffs. Man it will be good radio if things tighten up like the scenario above. Not that farfetched!!

    To be a Hockey Fan is to be a Habs Fan

    • jermart says:

      Ponch, I’m in Ottawa also. Have stopped listening to local sports radio ’cause it’s difficult to listen to, and it’s likely the same for any fan cheering for other than the local team. Used to really dislike the leafs going back to when Sittler slashed Lafleur- mid 70’s for the younger ones. But I’m really hoping sens sink and would like to see what happens if your scenario arises. Sens are by far my “hated” team.

  38. habs001 says:

    Late PP and two empty net goals Leafs beat Boston….Someone mentioned on TV Leafs had 11 first year players in the line up last Sat vs Chicago…not sure how many today…While the Leafs have had a history of screwing things up it looks almost impossible that they will not be a major cup contender in 3 years…

  39. careysubban3176 says:

    Weird stat of the day:

    Before the start of the Bruin-Leaf game, 13th place Florida and 12th place Carolina are only 6 points back of the last wildcard spot with 11 and 12 games to go respectively.

    One bad losing streak is all it takes for the Leafs to be out of the playoffs.

    “Stop blaming the goaltender! He can only do so much”

  40. PK says:

    In response to some posts down below.

    Confession time:

    I was a Subban and Eller fan.
    However, just like the case with other ex-Habs, I have very little to no interest in their play, success, failures.

    Weird seeing these players in other uniforms, who cares?
    Not a Hab? Not my problem or concern.

    I have felt the same way about other Habs: Langway, Engblom, Recchi, Higgins, Ryder …. even Lafleur (!).

    Does that make me a bad person?
    You know? Being so Habscentric.

    I do miss DD in that Timo has lost a bit of his verve since
    “The Trade.”

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

    “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

    • careysubban3176 says:

      I followed Patrick Roy when he was let go and the Avs became my 2nd favorite team to root for. Once he retired I didn’t give a crap about the Avs anymore, but point being is there is nothing wrong with rooting for another player outside of the Habs.

      “Stop blaming the goaltender! He can only do so much”

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Did any other player ever look as good carrying the puck up the ice?

    https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-100-portraits-guy-lafleur-bernie-parent/c-287872730?tid=286585838

  42. HabinBurlington says:

    This Bruin Leaf game is about to get ugly. Really dirty hit by Soshnikov on Bergeron.

  43. Danno says:

    Habs can beat the Rangers
    Habs can beat either the Bruins or Senators
    Conference Final is not such a far-out pipe dream anymore.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  44. Danno says:

    Bruins vs Leafs…

    Who to go for?

    I just hope they pound each other into a fine powder.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  45. Don Birnam says:

    Dandy Don’s Picks to Click tonight.
    Sitting ducks.
    Bruins,Preds and Sharks.
    Skinny Odds.
    1:3
    Go Big or Stay on The Farm.
    Saludos.

  46. Nobody says:

    Lol that’s not much of a story. More of a story if Paccioretty said he is completely focused on the Richard trophy race and intended to put that before the team’s success.

  47. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    What is the definition of a ‘position’ as far as the expansion draft goes? If a d-man were to be used as a forward for x number of games, would that change his status? What’s the cut off?

    • D Mex says:

      Interesting question.
      Took a quick look and there are two (2) protection options available to existing teams for the expansion draft :
      A- 7FWDs, 3D, 1G, or
      B- 8 skaters and 1G
      Didn’t invest much time in pursuing details on what constitutes FWD vs D for draft purposes but, with Buttman’s alleged aversion to shenanigans and his apparent desire to please his newest greenback buddy, seems doubtful there would be a way to hide Weber as a FWD, for example, for the purpose of protecting more (11 vs 9) players.

      Anyhow, here’s one link on the expansion draft :
      https://www.nhl.com/goldenknights/news/expansion-draft-primer-who-can-teams-protect/c-286578106

    • HabinBurlington says:

      That is indeed a great question, if I’m Anaheim I dress Fowler or somebody as a forward real quick.

      If you are a non playoff team, why not try this?

  48. Mr. Biter says:

    For a GM who was verbally whipped as incompetent 3 weeks ago the players he has picked up ( many for next to nothing) seem to be doing quite well for what we traded away. Notice that the Sens did not take their usual glee in smacking the Habs around. Size matters especially when the playoffs begin and the rule book seems to shrink.
    Also must admit (grudgingly) that CJ is a very good coach and probably the best one out there to fit the needs required to coach the Habs.
    Byron, probably one of the all time Habs steals off waivers.
    Also Big Mac did not seem out of place and covers exceptionally well in the defensive zone. Don’t see much from LTCA since Price started playing well.
    WE could be watching Habs Hockey for quite a while this spring.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  49. Danno says:

    Maybe the Red Wings will do Max a favour and let him score a hatty like the Panthers did for Crosby.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  50. habsr4ever says:

    Lars Eller
    10 goals and 12 assists for 22 pts.
    He may top 30 pts for the first time in his career.
    Then again – he may NOT even though he is on the top team in the NHL and has many good players around to help him (which was always the excuse here in Montreal for many posters).
    Just say’in.

  51. GrimJim says:

    I know this was on the last thread but according to this NHL news article, the 40 and 80 games requirement for the expansion draft are NHL games not just pro games.
    https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-expansion-draft-rules/c-281010592
    Admittedly this is from June so the league might have changed the rules but I couldn’t find anything saying that had happened.

  52. FormalWare says:

    The Benn vs. Nate debate illustrates one reason why it might be best (for the 30 teams other than Vegas, and for their players and coaches – certainly not for fans and reporters) for the expansion draft protected player lists to be kept confidential.

    Imagine the expansion draft occurs and Vegas chooses Al Montoya from the Habs. If everyone knows who the Habs protected – and did NOT protect – we then see whose feelings are hurt (hint: not Al Montoya’s). Problems in the room and with player agents ensue.

    The brouhaha is averted if the protected lists are shared only with those who have an express need to know. The Big Cubana is Vegas-bound – with our fond wishes for (almost) every success – and all other Habs players heave a sigh of relief (or resignation).

    Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.


    “Good Luck With That,” Habs!

    • piper says:

      I always thought it would be kept confidential.

      • FormalWare says:

        Apparently, there are rumblings that it may be made public. If they do make a public event of it, the league will say they are doing it to be transparent and to respond to a high level of interest from fans. Really, though, they will do it because they have concluded that these lists (some of them, at least) are bound to be leaked, anyway.


        “Good Luck With That,” Habs!

  53. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Byron has been a real find. Off the waiver wire yet! More goals than Gallagher and Plekanec combined. Whoda thunkit? Do they keep that statistic? Who is the best waiver claim ever? He must be getting there.

    It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. – Mark Twain

  54. Phil C says:

    It’s almost impossible to figure out who Vegas will take in an expansion draft because every pick affects the next one. They can’t take 29 roster players, they can only have 23. So they’ll take some prospects or guys they can trade for prospects. They can’t take all young guys because they need to get to the cap floor, so a few big contracts must be selected.

    For example, they have to pick 7-8 defensemen roster defensemen and spend at least 18 mlillion or so. If they take some big contracts from other teams, guys like Davidson or Benn become attractive. If they have all young guys, taking Emelin looks good to get to the floor. If they already have their 8 D from other teams, they won’t even consider a defenseman. The first few decisions will have a big dominoe effect on who else gets picked.

    • ebk says:

      there is a window between the the release of the protected lists to all teams and when Vegas drafts. McPhee is on record as saying these 72 hours will be a free-for-all. Teams will be making offers to Vegas for other team’s unprotected players.

  55. careysubban3176 says:

    I’d be more concerned about the #1 line not producing than winning a meaningless award. But that’s not to say the #1 line has had chances. If Galchenyuk can just learn to pot those down low type goals, that line would have had 3 goals during the weekend.

    “Stop blaming the goaltender! He can only do so much”

  56. habsr4ever says:

    Who has been the best trade deadline pick up this year?

    Benn has to be at the top of the list or darn close to it.

    • on2ndthought says:

      Still very early. Right now, the Wild’s wild speculation seems to have backfired (see Dipsy’s post below); but if they have a good playoff run, this recent stretch will be forgotten.

      But, yeah. Benn looks like a winner right now (and with that contract, for a couple of years to come).

      • habsr4ever says:

        Yup early days but all the Sens fans were raving about Burrows for the first week. Did he even play this weekend?
        And remember they gave up Dahlen to get him.
        And THEN gave him a two year contract extension.

        Hanzal – this website blew up when we didn’t give up a first round pick ++ to get him. Kind of funny stuff.

        Shattenkirk will probably end up being the best deal at the end of the day but the caps payed a heavy price for a rental. But if they win the cup hands down that was the best deal of that week.

        • piper says:

          I doubt anyone here was hoping we’d give up a first++ for Hanzal.

          • habsr4ever says:

            big Mac and a first round pick was what I kept reading on here cuz Big Mac is a bust etc etc etc.
            So yes not + + but certainly a BOAT load for him.

          • piper says:

            I think Hanzal would have been a good pickup for the Habs but a second round pick and a mid level prospect should have been enough. I was surprised the Dogs did as well as they did.

          • habsr4ever says:

            fair enough.
            especially since the leafs gave up a second rounder for Boyle.
            yup i would have given up a second rounder too for Hanzal.

          • piper says:

            Boyle was the one they should have went after. Always good in the playoffs.

          • toneez says:

            Piper … they did go after Boyle but Toronto’s offer was better or Boyle preferred Toronto but Bergy did try

            All Habs all the Time

  57. habsr4ever says:

    Weber
    GP 72 Goals 16 Assists 25 Pts 41 +17 25:15 average ice 132 hits
    Who says Weber doesn’t hit any more?

    PK
    GP 55 Goals 8 Assists 27 Pts 35 -4 24:30 of ice 71 hits
    How is it that Weber is so old and slow and aging but yet Shea has played every game this season and PK has not?
    Imagine if Weber was paired with Josi or Lindholm this season instead of Emelin for 50+ games?

    Just say’in.

    • docketrocket says:

      What a great post. This has not been covered in days. I am so tired of thinking about the here and now with the Habs. Who cares about the present team and situation? It was so sad the way the Price-Halak debate died. Please keep stirring this pot.

      Just sayin . . .

      • habsr4ever says:

        That was a funny debate back then too.
        We all know how that played out.
        One of them is in the minors.

      • habsr4ever says:

        I wonder how many players with a cap hit of $9 M actually have a minus 4 in their stats line? People wonder why PK never made the world cup roster nor a starting roll on the olympic team. Mind boggling.

        • piper says:

          Wasn’t Weber a minus with the Preds last year? Just askin.

          • habsr4ever says:

            Yes he was.
            But pretty sure he got 50+ pts and over 20 goals.
            How is PK doing in that department this year?
            Oh and did Hockey Canada pick Shea to be on the top pairing on the world cup team after his minus season in Nashville last year?
            Just wondering.

          • piper says:

            PK has done that and more, and will do it again.
            We all know why PK wasn’t picked by Babcock and was traded from the Habs and is hated by a lot of HIOers. His over the top personality.

    • habcertain says:

      he was paired with Josi, with the same minus stats.

  58. sakuknows says:

    Is Nate’s (very) recent upswing in play directly related to him playing with Benn?

    Benn over N8 in a heart beat.

  59. PONCH says:

    Any clarification would help. This is what I heard and after a bit of investigation came up with. Again, please correct me if I’ve misunderstood or misread
    Petry has a No Move Contract as opposed to a No Trade Contract. Unless he agrees, he HAS to be protected by the Habs and cannot be ‘moved’ for any reason. His contract was signed before the announcement of expansion so no reason to crap on the Habs for this clause. Some of you will anyway but that is what a forum is all about.

    If that is the case and they do sign Markov then do they protect
    Weber (the rock)
    Markov (the General)
    Petry (‘case the rules is the rules)

    Does anyone have a link they can point me to that discredits what I’ve heard

    Thank you fellow fans

    To be a Hockey Fan is to be a Habs Fan

    • Habby_Haberton says:

      Petry is a must protect player, but I’m sure they would protect him anyways despite his so-so play as of late.

      Markov they won’t need to protect because he is a UFA and I’m sure they will do a wink wink – sign you later this summer, deal with him.

      The big question right now is to protect Benn vs Beaulieu, with some suggesting to keep Benn and trade Beaulieu for a forward and protect that forward instead of Mitchell.

    • vegas says:

      they have to protect N8
      Kids 24
      our best skating dman
      has size
      comes cheap
      will drop them to protect a team-mate
      and still has lots of upside
      Markov doesn’t have many years left
      and i’m sure we would give up Emelin for a bag of pucks
      No way should he be left un protected

      • habsr4ever says:

        Weber Petry Benn – unless something changes drastically in the playoffs.

        • vegas says:

          how could you protect a soon to be 30 year old whom has always been a 3rd pairing and was basically dropped by Dallas over a 24 year with untapped potential.

      • ThebadBoards says:

        Are You WATCHING the same game as I am N8 is a disability out there .I get a cramped feeling in my gut every time he is the last man back. N8 seems to like passing the puck to the other team in those situations . Did it again twice against the Senators .Maybe he’s color blind. As far as I’m concerned he is a liability. Which is his only consistency.

  60. DipsyDoodler says:

    Matthias Brunet on the problems with the Wild. (Courtesy of Google Translate – you can decide whether you think AI has made incredible strides or still sucks):

    Predicting a Minnesota Wild defeat in the playoffs would obviously be premature.

    Nevertheless, the five consecutive defeats of the Wild at this stage of the season, after seeing outrageously dominated this winter, arouses curiosity.

    The Wild coach, Bruce Boudreau, has this reputation. His previous clubs, the Capitals and Ducks, flew their opponents in the regular season, but despite a 409-192-80 record, he won only four qualifying rounds in ten years, with a record of 41-39.

    The slip started against the Blackhawks a week ago. Boudreau then withdrew his guard Devan Dubnyk at 4:38 of the first period after two goals on two shots. The Wild guardian did not digest it. He has scored 16 goals in four games since.

    The Wild is 2-8 in March. It is in the best interest of the club to relocate quickly. They will likely face the Blues or Predators in the first round. St. Louis seems unbeatable by the current times and will have nothing to lose after liquidating Kevin Shattenkirk on the trade deadline. The pressure will rely on the Wild, who sacrificed the first and second round picks to get Martin Hanzal and Ryan White.

    The Minnesota team collapsed after DG Chuck Fletcher declared, after his acquisitions: “We are going there for everything, this is the year where ever.”

    —–

    • bwoar says:

      Chuck Fletcher does say some funny things.

      If Boudreau smooths things over with Dubnyk they’ll be fine. No team gets through a season without a down period, and it’s been pretty easy going for the Wild so far.

    • habsr4ever says:

      They are sucking right now because they are in that stretch of a lot of games in so few a nights. They are tired. Just like the habs were when they hit the rocks for a while. Fatigue is an issue and a reason.
      No other words to say.
      Dubnyk has sucked too….and so many picked on Price when he wasn’t super human during his funk while he was so tired.
      Bottom line – the Wild will get better by the playoffs….they may only win one round cuz of the Hawks but they are still a VERY deep talented team that I would NOT want to face.

    • FormalWare says:

      HI/Olarious!


      “Good Luck With That,” Habs!

    • Mr. Biter says:

      I’ll be going to the Wild/ Philly game on Friday with a customer whose uncle is a part owner. He gets to park Under the rink where the players dress. Made my customer (Sens Fan) take off the jersey he gave my daughter to wear and made him buy her a Mossy Oak Wild Hoodie. Can’t wear opposition colors in owners box.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

  61. AndyF says:

    @sholi2000.com :

    From the previous thread… about the off-side rule.

    You know that if you wait long enough in hockey, anything will happen. Picture a player wiping out to stay on-side. Picture Radulov after a particularly long draw of his smelling salts.

    That said, after a bit of consideration I will concede that the current rule is not as bad as I thought it was initially. In fact, the Toews goal got me to change my thinking. Here goes…

    Just for simplicity’s sake, the same rule should apply for deciding whether a player is on-side and whether a player has properly “tagged-up”, as in the Toews goal. The criterion for tagging up has you “just having to touch” the other side of the blue line. And so the criterion for being off-side is when you “just touch” the other side of the line. That’s a nice symmetric solution and the reason why I changed my mind on the matter.

    Thanks for having the patience to watch me figure out what you already knew. 🙂 Cheers!

  62. Danno says:

    There is only one trophy that matters.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  63. krob1000 says:

    Nate is just fine the way he is…..as is Petry….as is Markov …as is Benn and as is Weber…it is only the number 6 spot that has been a concern IMO…and that is only because Emelin seems to be struggling this year. I think it is simple….the guys who are the most “Stable” are Weber, Markov and BEnn….they all play a very simple yet cerebral game but none are fleet of foot.

    However the Habs have 3 other dmen who are all really good at different things…but they are the most unpredictable and will occasionally get caught out of position.

    Petry and Beaulieu are very similar but play on opposite sides , both are risk/reward guys but bring more good then bad to the table. They are each elite skaters whose decision making is decent but leaves them vulnerable to the occasional misread as gambling and relying on their skating is what their strength is. Neither is particularly physical although Nate is a good fighter.

    Emelin is an interesting one…his mental game is similar to Nate and Petry but his “gambling” is not normally offensive in nature…he is out to hit and takes the same risks sacrificing position at times for big hits….so he needs a very stable partner. He also makes some odd decisions in neutral zone and when to chase…but his reward can be a devastating hits that cause hesitation for opposition teams.

    I think you need to pair one of the steady guys each with on eof the risky guys….so for the millionth time this IMO is optimal

    Nate-Weber
    Markov-Petry
    Benn-Emelin ( I prefer Emelin on right side)

    Not only would this help to “stablie everyone….it would allow a great top 4 to be on ice for 45 mins a game and Benn could help steady out Emeln or Davidson for how ever many minutes needed and he can play PK too.

  64. Habies says:

    Now this is some good filler Stu… I’m impressed and pleased you take us through the minds of the players (and also the views from Vancouver streets) was welcome too. Especially as an international fan (currently in Barcelona), this is much appreciated.
    Having said that, Max is really relishing the opportunities to deflect any personal acclaim onto the team. Even if he’s coached in this by the comms team or his wife or munchkins or Weber, it’s a welcome state of gravitas which we need from our genuine captain as we ride to the playoffs. And 4 30+ seasons en suite may be the best bargain in NHL history. What a stud.

  65. HabinBurlington says:

    I think that answer from Max is to be expected.

    In non hockey news, those of us who remember the first San Francisco 49’ers SuperBowl team remember Dwight Clark and “The Catch”. Sadly he has just discovered he is now in a fight with ALS. I watched my Dad battle this horrendous disease.

    Sad to see our hero’s succumb to things like this.

    http://deadspin.com/former-san-francisco-49ers-star-dwight-clark-has-als-1793440696


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