Canadiens Notebook: Maybe a little California sunshine will help

STU COWAN

SAN JOSE — It was a gorgeous day Monday in San Jose, with the temperature hitting 29C under bright sunshine.

“It’s never a bad thing to come out here,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said after a morning practice at the SAP Center. “I think the guys enjoy you know … it’s a change of pace and everything else. But it’s only good if you get positive results and that’s what we need to get here, some positive results on this road trip. We’re close, but we’re not good enough yet.”

The Canadiens bring a 1-3-1 record into Tuesday’s game against the Sharks in San Jose (10:30 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN Radio 690), a place where they haven’t won a game since 1999, going 0-8-2 since then.

“I think our guys are focused on what needs to be done internally, inside the dressing room, and what we’re trying to accomplish here,” Julien said. “I think so far they’ve done a pretty good job of that. There’s no doubt when you got some guys that are goal-scorers that haven’t scored yet … it’s a normal thing that they might be squeezing the stick a little bit. But that’s what they got to overcome and that’s what we got to try and do and improve our game as we go along here.”

(Photo: Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Lack of goals

The Canadiens are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night at the Bell Centre and have scored only seven goals in their first five games — two of them short-handed.

Alex Galchenyuk scored his first goal of the season against the Leafs and it was also the Canadiens’ first power-play goal. The Canadiens rank 28th in the NHL on the power play with a 6.3 per cent success rate. They rank dead-last in the now 31-team league in scoring with an average of 1.40 goals per game. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights, who are off to a 4-1-0 start, rank 16th in scoring with an average of 3.0 goals per game.

Julien was asked after practice if there’s a way a coach can teach finish when it comes to goal-scoring.

“I think they know how to finish,” he said. “I think when it comes to finish it’s a matter of confidence. Max Pacioretty doesn’t score 30-plus goals every year because he has no finish. So I don’t need to show him because he’s got no goals (in his last four games) how to finish. It’s just a matter of confidence, I think. When things start going well, pucks usually go in. So the confidence part is a big part of the game and right now guys squeeze their sticks and they’re trying to bury it. Sometimes frustration takes over.”

Reason for concern?

Julien was asked what’s his biggest concern about his team after five games and only one victory.

“I don’t look at my biggest concern because that’s not how I think,” the coach said. “I think about what we want to get better at and not what’s concerning me.

“Our compete level is there,” he added. “We finally scored more than one goal last game, so there’s some things going in the right direction. But right now it’s just a situation where every little mistake you make sometimes ends up costing you, whether it’s on faceoffs or different areas. But we’re just continuing to focus on getting better all the time. There’s circumstances that dictate that we need some time to jell together and everything else. We’re just going to plug away until that solution comes and it’s hopefully on this road trip.”

Practice makes perfect?

The Canadiens had a fast-paced practice Monday and worked a lot on neutral-zone play.

“There’s always a theme for the practice,” said Brendan Gallagher, who decided to shave his head in the hope it will change the Canadiens’ luck in San Jose. “Today if you watched it was a lot of neutral-zone stuff, trying to move the puck quick, support each other. It’s a big part of the game nowadays is transitioning quick and then getting into the offence as quickly as possible. We just tried to touch on it a little bit today and hopefully it will pay off.”

Streit is gone

The Canadiens announced Monday that they have mutually agreed to terminate the one-year, $700,000 contract with 39-year-old defenceman Mark Streit.

Streit cleared waivers last week after playing only two games with the Canadiens and posting a minus-2. The remainder of Streit’s contract will not count against the Canadiens’ salary cap.

Mete still around

Rookie defenceman Victor Mete was still paired with Shea Weber on the No. 1 pair at practice and will play his sixth NHL game Tuesday night. After nine games the Canadiens will need to make a decision on whether to keep the 19-year-old or return him to the junior London Knights.

When asked after practice if he’s heard anything about whether he will be staying in the NHL, Mete said: “Nothing … still don’t know. Still day by day. I’m a little bit anxious, but just try to take it day by day and not think about it until I guess next week if I play every game.”

The trip to San Jose is a first for Mete.

“I’ve been to Los Angeles before, but I’ve never been to San Jose,” he said. “It’s pretty cool. Obviously, the weather is nice, so it’s good to be here.”

Big brother Shea

Weber has filled a bit of a big brother role with Mete on the blue line. It’s something Julien saw at the start of last season when he was coaching the Boston Bruins.

“I had the same thing happen last year with (Zdeno) Chara and (Brandon) Carlo,” Julien said. “Zdeno just kind of took him under his wing at times and made him feel comfortable and made sure that the game was easy for him. And I think Shea’s doing the same thing right now with Mets.”

Carlo will turn 21 on Nov. 26.

“I’m sure (Weber’s) got a big impact because he calms things down,” Julien said about the partnership with Mete. “I’m sure that Victor feels pretty safe and comfortable with him and he’s such a good veteran.”

The lines

Defenceman David Schlemko, still recovering from a hand injury, didn’t make the trip to San Jose.

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

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

Mete – Weber 
Alzner – Petry 
Benn – Davidson 
Morrow

Julien confirmed that Carey Price will start in goal against the Sharks.

What’s next?

After Tuesday’s game, the Canadiens will head to Los Angeles, where they will play the Kings Wednesday night (10:30 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN Radio 690). The Canadiens will wrap up their three-game road trip Friday night against the Ducks in Anaheim (10 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

• Marc Bergevin has reason to sweat, but Carey Price won’t, by Stu Cowan

• Gallagher hoping bald head will change Canadiens’ luck, by Stu Cowan

• Fear not Habs fans, this team will improve, by Jack Todd

• Shea Weber (and his dogs) feeling more comfortable in Montreal, by Stu Cowan

402 Comments

  1. FuzE_gus says:

    Hockey season has become posting in a defunct forum 🙁

  2. RightNyder says:

    Still here.

  3. FormalWare says:

    GDT –>


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

  4. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    One thing I would guarantee is that if the Habs acquired JT to sign him long term Max has to go the other way. Guys like Chucky are not going to cut it.

  5. Luke says:

    Beer O’Clock.

    Here’s hoping I can remain awake for the game.

    May need a post-pub nap… also known as passing out and waking up in the bushes.

    Have a good evening, folks!

  6. on2ndthought says:

    “OzmodiarOCTOBER 17, 2017 AT 1:51 PM
    There are teams that are fun to watch. The Habs just aren’t one of them, unfortunately.”

    The Habs have been very fast and fun this year. They’ve lost.

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

  7. Luke says:

    I’d like to remind Max, who is struggling right now, that he was picked with the San Jose draft pick the Habs traded for. Basically, he could have been a Shark.

    Now, if years of being a Habs fan has taught me anything it is that the even loosest tie to the Habs or Quebec means you will score a few goals. Heck, 1/2 of Pageau’s career goals are against the Habs… ANYWAYS… Max’s most tenuous relationship with the Sharks should mean he’s good for at least a goal. Right?

    Just like Debrincat was.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Uh… YES! Yes, that should definitely be the case! Max will certainly be a man on a mission tonight, eager to show the organization that *might* have drafted him, had they held on to the #22 pick that year, what a colossal mistake they made.

      If I’m Max I’m putting a Starbucks gift card ($20 value) on the table for the guy who scores the winning goal.

  8. RightNyder says:

    Imagine how sour we’ll be when Tavares ends up in Nashville.

    • habcertain says:

      We will not be landing Tavares, we have never been close, because he can choose where he wants to go, and it ain’t here, he wants to hoist a Cup, and NAS is a hell of a lot closer.

      • Habby_Haberton says:

        He can only choose a team that happens to have a spare $10 million lying around…That isn’t everyone.

        • habcertain says:

          True, but I think 8-9 could get it done with the right club, smart teams like CHI know how to keep the parts moving to create space. I’m also not discounting the Isles resigning, they have a solid core.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        That would be the greatest UFA pick-up of all-time. Not happening IMO.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Who is Nashville trading? Would have to be a PK or Johansen, the Preds have always been mindful of the Cap as they don’t have the revenue stream like the Rangers/Habs/Leafs.

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          If Nsh traded for JT it would be just for the playoffs which means picks and prospects which they have plenty of.

        • habcertain says:

          If they recover sufficiently from injuries they appear to be overloaded on the backend, I don’t see PK as part of trade as he looks to be the face of the franchise to their fans, and a key piece.

          I think the bigger question is, if the Isles feel he will walk for nothing, it may take something of lesser than equal value, to secure him.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Isles have to find the trade that brings them the most. It will be interesting to watch this play out. I don’t see any way the Isles re-sign Tavares, specifically because of their huge arena problems.

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      LOL

      I envision Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes fame, with a stink bomb held behind his back, suddenly lobbing it into the crowd… 🙂

  9. crane says:

    we lose next 4 games,season done,playing 150 hockey,we need 675 rest of way to make play offs

  10. Luke says:

    Benn is out.
    Morrow is in.

  11. Don Birnam says:

    Chucky is too soft for The 4th Line.
    Or maybe they’re trying to toughen him up?
    Keep him away Max The Vegan.

  12. bwoar says:

    So after 5 games, the season is over & the Leafs have won eh?

    I think the Toronto Media have finally beaten some of you over the head too many times. Please consult your nearest Liquor Snurf (RIP) and have a refreshing beverage. Take a stroll outside (it’s sunny where I am.) Enjoy the fall colours. Raise your arms and welcome the majesty of the heavens into your outlook. There are two things you’ll remember quickly: One, it’s a big world, and two, the Leafs always lose in the end.

    • johnnylarue says:

      A beautiful, heartwarming post.

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      LOL

      The five game, too early argument doesn’t hold water.

      Try measuring both team’s trajectories since the beginning of last year.

      See a pattern?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Well then the Leafs indeed are the greatest franchise in world sports history. There is no room in this world for two franchises that great, how can you blame MB when you are comparing his work to that of Aristotle.

      • RightNyder says:

        Yup.
        Not worried about a slow start. Won’t be moist with a four-game winning streak.
        Team as constructed just isn’t good enough.

        • bwoar says:

          Agreed. But there 8 million reasons to hold yer powder, and leave the white towels where they are. Give or take a healthy CP.

          As I said two weeks ago, it’s gotta be 4-11 before that white towel gets brown.

          • RightNyder says:

            The win=parade and loss=catastrophe tennis match here amuses me.

            For me, it’s always big picture (should’ve done a significant reno in 2016, when the hockey gods, though still angered by the Patty trade, tried to show MB how much the team really sucked).

            But I’ve grown tired of MB telling us how hard it is, as he spins his hamster wheel and is no further ahead six years in.

            Not a horrible team, not a great team. Like many others, a flawed team. I just want to feel comfortable we’re moving in the right direction. And I don’t.

          • habcertain says:

            You need a plan, and beyond building your team around an expensive goalie, which in itself is flawed in this cap world, MB has been all over the place. While we were perennially looking for scoring help, we can now add, help on the backend. Max and JD are not lighting the world on fire, and our top pick is relegated to the 4th line, as CJ is still in message mode, this season can be close to a write off, if we don’t turn it around over the next 2 weeks.

      • bwoar says:

        The five-game “everything sucks and Leafs are champs” argument, that s’posed ta be airtight then?

        1967-this minute. See a pattern?

        • johnnylarue says:

          While I understand that the salivating is perhaps slightly more justified in this era with Matthews, Marner et al lighting it up for the Loafs, I also can’t help but wonder what it could possibly take to help their frothing fanbase and homer media remember the umpteen “Stanley Cup: October Editions” they’ve won in the past decade… only to go on to miss the (actual) playoffs?

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        The Leafs should switch to baseball. They always win the championship in October.

        —–

    • Loop_G says:

      You’re fooling yourself if you don’t think the leafs are a very good team that is going to get better, and they are also a lot of fun to watch.

      The habs are not out of it, they’ll get better as the season progresses but they really need to add some scoring.

    • whazzzup says:

      Says the drought for over 25 years, keep up the anti leaf distraction, we will just concern ourselves with wins.

      I may have lived beside ken Dryden once but now I’m in the center of the hockey universe

  13. RightNyder says:

    Trios du #CH ce matin:
    Pacioretty-Drouin-Lehkonen;
    Byron-Plekanec-Gallagher;
    Hudon-Danault-Shaw;
    Galchenyuk-De La Rose/Mitchell-Hemsky

    Let’s fix these (with what we have, not what we hope to have):
    Hudon-Drouin-Galchenyuk
    Pacioretty-Danault-Gallagher
    Byron-Plekanec-Lehkonen
    Deslauriers-Shaw-McCarron

    Hemsky-DLR-Mitchell

  14. veryhabby says:

    I refuse to talk about a Tavares trade

    It’s not happening….me talking about one…not until Jan.2nd…ok maybe Jan 5th when I am back from holidays.

    NYI ARE GOING TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO KEEP HIM. Sorry guys but money talks. $10.5M for 8 yrs and a promise to not rebuild but add to the core. No one walks away from that. There has not been 1 single top player leave their team in what 10 plus years? I can’t recall one who walked at UFA.

    So there is no trade for Tavares worth our time to discuss….until after Jan. If he isn’t signed the first week of Jan then maybe I may start to think about it.

    And if it was Jan I would suggest….
    PAtches, Juulsen, 1st for Tavares…..give everything for this 30 goal #1C UFA guy….to which MTL better resign the day after we get him.

    But it’s not January, so NYI isn’t even thinking trade right now…so I won’t waste my time talking bout it 😉

    • The Gumper says:

      AHA! As you can see below, the Tavares trade is essentially a done deal!

      https://www.hockeyfeed.com/nhl-news/report-john-tavares-willing-to-sign-extension-with-3-teams?ref=marco

      To save you a few seconds and a major eye roll, the teams are the Loafs, Tampa and Les Glorieux. The article quotes Larry Brooks, a writer from the NY Post (a paper that no self respecting fish would be wrapped in) and the teams are basically pulled out of his ass.
      It does however go on to state that the Isles are no where near a deal on a new barn and are unlikely to be by the trade deadline. I’m sure JT is no longer interested in playing in that flipping baseball diamond or whatever it’s purported to be but at least he can play the “have no barn card” and not look quite so mercenary to either of the current fans. Two weeks prior to the trade deadline he partially removes his NTC and we pick him up rather cheaply. We pay a rental price trade wise and sew him up long term July 2nd while he’s still admiring the first of many Stanley Cup rings.
      We have more cap space than the Loafs and Lightning combined, we buy Plecks a one way ticket to Kladno and we haven’t even broken a sweat.
      Easy peasy…

      • veryhabby says:

        if I were to talk about a Tavares trade….

        I think NYI would be dumb to wait till trade deadline. TEams looking to stock up the can’t afford to give you key pcs of their roster at that time. I think they can get a lot more in Jan/Feb. But then again, GMs are dumb. He will wait and one guy will offer the world

  15. veryhabby says:

    I know a lot of fans are ticked that Chuck is on the 4th line

    We see the talent and want to give him a chance to do well, as he proved he could the year he scored 30 and then last season’s start. He has already proven he has NHL talent and when used with O players and given the TOI that he does perform.

    So in trade talks with NYI, even if Chuck is now on the 4th line…GMS know the whole story, they know what Chuck has done the last 5 yrs in the NHL. They see the talent. He hasn’t been the same since his injury and isn’t in the coach’s good books. No one is trading for him wondering if he can be a good player or even an everyday player or maybe someday more then a 4th liner. They are trading for him because they know in a new enviroment that he will do well.

    For those who make it sound like Chuck is worth a bad of pucks, GMs are not like fans, they think with their heads and not their hearts. They know what Chuck is. When motivated and playing with confidence he is the perfect winger for Tavares.

    MTL won’t get some AHL kid who has shown he isn’t cut for the NHL yet. They will get a player of value. Nope not another 30g guy. But a solid dman and young player/or bottom 6 vet. That’s at min his value right now. And NYI totally wins the trade, unfortunately.

    knowing MB its Chuck for DeHann and Beaulivier….future bottom 6 french kid.

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      Absolutely agree with your assessment 100%.

      So instead of MB dealing from a position of weakness, where the other GM knows he’s in a tight spot, and can squeeze AG off the team with a lesser return, why not play Chucky with JD?

      Habs get more goals, Max learns you have to produce, not just be the Golden Child, MB can deal Chucky from an equal footing and get more for him?

      Learn to work with your people MB, you drafted them. Poile worked with your previous headache, look where it got him.

      • veryhabby says:

        Gerry….all I can say is….they hate the kid. They refuse to use him period, they don’t care. Actually they know if he were to start scoring alot that fans/media would turn on them for trading him.

        This way when he gets a meh return, not super bad but not a Barzal for Chuck type move….then they can say, he was just lost here, we tried everything behind the scene, we gave him so much support, it just wasnt going to happen, this is whats best for the MTL Canadiens for him to move on, we wish him lots of success.

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          Yup, I know, you’re right, that’s where they want to go with this.

          That’s why I say MB’s strangling the talent off this team for lesser returns, just like PK.

          That’s why I say fire MB. But it won’t happen. He’s Molson’s guy, doing Molson’s bidding.

          We’re all focused on the wrong scoreboard. On the bottom line scoreboard, Molson’s winning big time, and MB’s his most productive player.

    • bwoar says:

      I posted about this in the last page, and Bellows would have to part of that trade to even it up. DeHaan is a long way from Nick Leddy.

      as for Beauvilier, don’t be so quick to judge. He’s being healthy scratched in the middle of a too-much-youth movement, lowering his value, but I do think there’s more to him than what he accomplished last year.

      • veryhabby says:

        I guess I am scared Beauvilier on this team = Danault.

        Played out of position, too much expected of him, but really just a 3rd liner

        • bwoar says:

          The Isles brought him right out from junior, and he’s got more scoring ability in him than he’s able to show right now. It’ll be a development year for him again under sheltered conditions. He may end up being a winger in the NHL but he’s a goalscoring C until proven otherwise. He’s much better at scoring than Danualt.

  16. Gerry Pigeon says:

    Leafs will win the Cup again before our Habs.

    How can I say such a thing?

    Leafs can score. Habs can’t.

    Leafs look like they are focused on scoring. Why pay Marleau big bucks and add him to the payroll otherwise? He’s OLD, and Leafs need D, not more GOALS. Right?

    But Marleau can still skate and score. He can add mentorship to the young forwards of the Leafs, their most valuable assets.

    Leafs get it. Habs don’t.

    GOALS.

    • veryhabby says:

      hey did ya hear…one of the mighty 3 had been dropped to the 4th line.

      His reaction…I don’t like it but I know I have to come in here and work hard.

      I like that he said he didn’t like it. Imagine if Chuck said that here…he would have been escorted out the the dressing room never to be seen in a habs jersey again. Marner wasn’t questioning the move, or sulking. He was just honest. He doesn’t like it and will work hard.

      Anyways, looks like the Leafs are now following MTL’s pattern to run a team?

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        LOL

        Leafs have a ton of offence, and can afford to discipline a youngster. A few days ago, I posted that Bowman did the same to Larouche, and the Habs eventually moved him. But they didn’t miss him, they had lots of offence, like the Leafs now.

        Habs don’t have a lot of offence. Does that mean they should roll over and let Chucky run wild? Of course not.

        But maybe meeting in the middle isn’t such a horrible idea. Maybe give him some more ice time after he scores vs. the Leafs. Maybe a little more give and take, instead of rushing him down the same road as PK…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Are you also envious of the road the Leafs have taken to get to this point?

      While it is true that the Leafs are in a better situation, player wise, at present. How different is your adoration of the present Leaf mgmt. if they ended up with the 3rd overall pick instead of #1?

      Dubois or perhaps Puljujarvi instead of Matthews, how does that team look then?

      It is all well and good to appreciate how talented the Leaf roster is, but it is very easy to overlook the good fortune in landing Matthews. In my opinion he is 1B to McDavid in young centers in the league. And is actually outplaying McDavid at present. Pains me to say it, but he is playing absolutely incredible hockey for the Leafs. He is the Leafs future, plain and simple.

      Look at how different things went in Buffalo when they got Eichel instead of McDavid and how the Oilers rebuild suddenly started to work. Getting a first overall pick is the single greatest move by the Leafs.

      • whazzzup says:

        you are over focused on the lottery. The leaf mgmt is superior to the habs in every way. ( sorry that seems harsh but true.) The leafs have ninja lou who pulled two rabbits out last season and maybe 3 this season. you have dubois, not only a london knight champ coach but the money ball of the org. then there is hunter the best and hardest working scout in the biz, he is known as first to the rink and last to leave. then babcock who is a hard a$# as far as coaches but we had the muskoka five complex that needed to be wrung out completely. and shanahan put it all together.
        so the lottery win is always good but the ability a year and a half before to realize that a handful of untradeable contracts needed to be traded and were, is a testament that i doubt mtl, can or are willing to do if you have to.

        I may have lived beside ken Dryden once but now I’m in the center of the hockey universe

      • veryhabby says:

        OMG!!! finally someone who is saying exactly what I have been saying.

        MCD and MAtthews are generational talent. Add Crosby to the mix…that is 3 in the past 10 yrs. So that means that the 5 worse team each season during that time drafted 50 players and only 3 have the talent to turn around a team on the spot. Leafs/Edm are seen as the next best thing because of those 2 lucky winning pick. Without, they are still rebuilding.

        It’s not the sure way..this tanking thing. Teams like Avs, Car, Ariz, Buff have been horrible for years too. they didn’t get that generational guy, they keep drafting high, and we don’t see much result.

        • Lapointe says:

          Why are people so defensive regarding the Leafs ? They are the better team now and going forward probably are going to stay that way for a few years. They have Mathews that’s true but it is what it is and look one player doesn’t win much in a team sport although I hasten to add I wish we had Mathews instead of them. Now guess what Ottawa has a better team that us also and there is no Mathews on that team. It appears that there are several teams better than us with out a Mathews or McDavid. We are in a struggle for a bit I am inclined to think.
          Oh yes another thing the Leafs also are much more entertaining than us also. This version of the team that once was so great is soft and I mean soft. Please take notice of this. They don’t hit at all and I know Gally and even Byron do play bigger than they are but really….this team is really soft. I sincerely hope I am wrong on this year’s bunch but it looks like a struggle to make the post season.

          • veryhabby says:

            lapointe, not defensive on if Leafs are a better team

            What everyone is defensive about is this thought now that all of a sudden the only way to build is winner is by sinking for 10 yrs and drafting high. Proven stats is that few teams have reached this truth and those who have it’s because they drafted a generational talent.

            Our problem is that MB didn’t build properly on the core he inherited. HE didn’t need to tank, he needed better trades and signings.

      • mdp2011 says:

        Bang on! Funny, it took the Leafs over 10 years of suckitude before lucking out with a stupid lottery. If the stupid ball that came out was a 7 and not a 13, then the Habs would have won the lottery.

        http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/canadiens-draft-lottery-near-miss-matthews-really-stings-now/

        • whazzzup says:

          No burke traded away our two first round picks, then we made the playoffs two years later. so the rebuild had to start after we fired his sorry arse

          I may have lived beside ken Dryden once but now I’m in the center of the hockey universe

        • veryhabby says:

          yup….but at the same time MB should have this team at a better spot right now.

          I don’t agree on tanking cause it’s not a sure thing and so few generational talent in a decade. But when MB came he had a decent young core….he should have been able to build better then he has. To many sideways deals and too many depth moves. Not enough Drouin for Sergachev deals.

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        Yup, you make good points Burly, usually do.

        I’d be happy if the Habs just shifted their focus from defence to offence.

        I don’t have to prefer the tank and hope to draft the number one pick in a year he’s a phenom. This defence first focus will eventually land us in tank mode, whether that’s in one year or five.

        And you’re absolutely right, Matthews is playing superb. The poise and confidence he shows is awesome. I believe Lord Stanley said he’d take Matthews over McJesus, and based on the year so far, I’m inclined to agree.

        Right again, that luck is a big factor, that the Sabres getting Eichel number two hasn’t turned them around (yet).

        But don’t bet against the Sabres having a comparable year to the Habs…we’re not as good as we hope we are, and they have unrealized potential.

        My point is simple. Offence wins games. We need some.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          It’s why having CHucky play as he is, hurts our franchise so very badly. He is our version of a lottery win and we need him to perform as such.

          It’s up to Chucky, I don’t think it matters who is coaching him, he either wants to be a star in this league and put the work in, or he can coast his way through as it seems he is want to do.

          • Luke says:

            Jeff O’Neill made a comment the other day… at some point, he had to decide if he wanted to be “just a guy” on an NHL team or if he wanted to “be a player.”

            Kinda feels like Galchenyuk is at that crossroads right now.

            Galchenyuk should be forcing the play like Scheifele does. He should be our Scheifele.

          • Gerry Pigeon says:

            Agree again. Chucky is definitely not inclined to stay, but to leave, and his attitude and play show it.

            My beef is with who to blame for this? Most of the posters on the site are older, myself included, and want to hold Chucky accountable for himself. On an emotional level, I do too, as my previous posts railing about Chucky’s lack of effort attest to.

            But all that’s happening is these type of players are being marginalized, traded for less, and our team’s poorer for it.

            Does the alternative have to be we let the misfits run wild? Why can’t it be more of a meeting in the middle? Why couldn’t MB and whatever coach he had at the time find a way to co-exist with talent, get them excited to play for us, and put forward their best effort, warts and all?

            We’d have more goals, we’d have sell-outs again…

            Meritocracy? Shove your meritocracy. When the team’s winning, everything is sunshine again.

      • veryhabby says:

        everyone is making very good points here….

        I will say the one thing I do like about what the leafs seem to have done is with their drafting philosophy. I may be wrong but it seems to me that with their top pick the last few years….it doesn’t matter that there were some good D available and that D is a huge issue for them….but they CHOSE TO CHOOSE the most offensive player available. Obviously Matthews was a no brainer. But when they went with Marner and Nylander….they could have chosen to take a Dman even with just one of those picks. But no I believe Hunter was hard in fighting for Marner no matter his size…it’s the talent and you need offense.

        So yes Gerry more goals would be nice. I have NEVER EVER liked picking a Dman in the top 10. Most of the best dmen were not taking there. Altho excited when we landed Sergachev cause a big drop after him left on the board. But if you are drafting, especially top 5, you should go with the most offensive kid there cause the odds of finding that offense anywhere else in the draft is not as good as getting a stud dman elsewhere in the draft.

        Just my 2 cents

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          Good points veryhabby.

          I was also happy to land Sergachev, but now reconsider that because if MB can’t get FA’s to come to MTL, and he says no one will trade him a 1C, then how else will he get some GOALS?

          Draft offence. Draft them early, draft them often.

          Leafs D get criticized all the time. But when they keep winning, and even Habs fans say they’re fun to watch, then they have the right idea, no?

          • veryhabby says:

            Gerry, just don’t buy all the BS the media is throwing down hockey fans in Canada in regards to the LEafs. Not arguing that they aren’t better then the habs today, or that they seem to have a better immediate future….but we know it’s a long season, and we know that things get tight in the playoffs. That slashing and holding aren’t called as much. Playoffs are tough, and there is never any guarantee.

            Where we are today….we should be better. Lets not forget we have finished 1st in recent years. But MB didn’t fix the holes.. Another top D and a top C…it’s been years, and still no fix. That’s the problem with MTL. And in 5 yrs, he should have found a solution.

            They thought they had in Chuck, but they messed that all up with this bring him along slowly. He should have been at C from the start or in year 2. We can’t go back, but just some errors and too many sideway deals that don’t make us better.

            I do like Drouin for Sergechv. But imagine if Chuck had worked out.. 35g/ 30g/ 60 assist top line! anyways, what ya gonna do. Can’t change the last few years but better moves need to be done now.

            This Chuck/NYI trade has to be a good one for the habs. And it’s not about “winning a trade”. I don’t care if chuck scores 30 in NY, I care that what we got back was exactly what we needed and not another 3rd liner, or 2nd pair dman.

          • Gerry Pigeon says:

            Yup, you’re right again.

            We need to make the best of it, can’t change the past.

            I’d be okay with MB staying if he learned from his mistakes.

            But I don’t see that happening.

            So, while it’s a tough mountain to climb without deliberately tanking, I understand and agree with posters that say tanking isn’t a guarantee of success.

            So what I want is a new GM that actually looks like he’s willing to stockpile our team with young talent that can score. I want an owner that’s willing to trade $ for the long term success of our team. And I’d like some entertainment for my time and money. NOT outshooting teams from the periphery, but OUTSCORING teams from all over the ice.

            Damn demanding Habs’ fan, spoiled rotten from his childhood 70’s dynasty team….yup.

            What’s Tim Robbin’s line in Bull Durham? 🙂

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gy5a4wMpIw

    • CH Sam says:

      The signs have been there the past few years for all GMs to read. (More forward talent = better success).

      Re your Price trade. Pure 10.5 cap hit. I think a trade could only work if MTL retains a good portion of salary, say even up to 4 mil.

      Seems that MB has this habit of handing out contracts without planning for a possible trade.

    • Lapointe says:

      Gerry I think if you reflect on MB’s philosophy a bit you will understand or remember he is defense first. So if you agree on that and most would all you have to do is note how he has watered the product down in this area. The team’s defense is a mess this year at least in the early going. They have to be the backbone along with CP if we are to win anything using the theory he seems to champion. This man was never the right person for the GM slot. He came with hype ( on here ) due to his working with the Blackhawks, a guilt by association if you will with a winning team. It remains difficult to imagine our once glorious team doing all that great this year. Hopefully MB will be shown the door after this season and the ownership looks and hires the best candidate for the position regardless if he or she is French.

  17. Ozmodiar says:

    i wonder what the Habs would have to add to swap Max for Tavares.

    captain for captain
    30+ goals for 30+ goals
    5 o’clock shadow for 5 o’clock shadow

    The Isles would get a local-ish kid still under contract for another year.

    Habs would get the better player who plays a more important position. They’d have to add, but how much?
    Perhaps they could relieve the Isles of the Ladd contract? (Grit, character, blackhawk)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I like that line of thinking and can’t help but think at some point Max finishes his career playing for the Rangers, or perhaps in this case the Islanders.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        They’re both in the wrong markets.
        Tavares should be in a big, Canadian hockey market.
        Max should be out of the spotlight, closer to home. He could crash on DD’s couch after the trade.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          The other day I found myself realizing that DD’s style of play was actually perfect for Max. A centerman who had zero desire to ever shoot the puck but rather just look for Max and feed him.

          I am by no means suggesting we should have retained DD, but am starting to wonder about all the “failed” #1 centers in Montreal and if there is a commonality amongst them. (Perhaps a certain winger)

          • Ozmodiar says:

            Not a lot of centers got a shot with max while DD was there.
            Pleks did. He did pretty well with him.
            Dano’s a 3rd line guy.
            Chucky did well.

            We need to set up a 1-800 number for you to call if you start longing for DD again. It would patch (no pun) you thru to Gazoo or myself. We’d talk you back down to earth. 😉

  18. JoshM says:

    I for one am finally losing interest in the sport of hockey. If this mega collection of simply bad teams is what we have to expect for the future of the game then I believe that it is time to opt out. Why endure what will be happening in Montreal for the next 4 or 5 years, a team that due to its dismal draft position and inability to attract free agents flounders in the mid range of the league and barely makes the playoffs.
    This money grab has gone on long enough. Fans deserve to have teams that have a chance to actually succeed. Bush league as it is, at least in the CFL your team has a good chance of winning every year.
    Take this overrated spectacle away, please.

  19. G00SE says:

    Price isn’t going to be traded. Why? Nobody will take on Price’s salary. Not even the islanders at this point with their past experience with overpaid goalies. Nobody wants their goalie to be the highest paid player on their team accept us!

  20. Mmmich says:

    I see repeated mentions of “Freddy Capspace”. Who is Freddy Capspace?

  21. ari says:

    Last night I listened to Fournier a bit,it was a lot of talk about trading Price,,

  22. jols says:

    Good news is the California teams aren’t what they used to be, well maybe with the exception of the Ducks…

  23. G00SE says:

    My contacts tell me MB will make an offer to Mark Streit by EOD.

  24. Luke says:

    Huh, a look right into the mind of a coach. Babcock has placed Marner on the fourth line.

    Their line wasn’t going. So, tie goes to the veteran. How’s that? [Marner] just happens to be the kid on the line, that’s it,” Babcock said.

    and:

    “When things go bad for you, it’s no one’s fault but your own. If you own everything you do, you’re in control of it,” Babcock said. “As soon as you play the blame game, or it’s something else, now you’re not in control of it anymore.”

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/marners-demotion-highlights-browns-effectiveness-maple-leafs/

    • Mmmich says:

      That’s actually pretty refreshing to read a coach be so honest. I feel that we rarely if ever get an entirely honest answer.

      MT was the worst for that. He would answer the question he wanted to answer, not the one that was asked. CJ seems a little more forthright, but he seems concerned with not ruffling feathers.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I think the marketplace in Montreal prevents any Coach not named Scotty Bowman from being able to speak as frankly as we may want them to.

        Also, at present here in the Toronto marketplace, Babcock/Lou/Shanny can do no wrong. As a result they can be pretty candid with virtually zero scrutiny by media or fans.

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          I agree, but wonder if the owning part doesn’t play out here too.

          Maybe Habs management should own the fact they’re not ready to be candid, and suffer the slings and arrows that will inevitably come their way.

          Yup, Leafs are golden right now, it’s easier to be candid. But they weren’t always golden. At one point, Shanny had to stand up and say “we suck, we need to rebuild”, and Babcock had to say “there will be pain”.

          Maybe Molson’s just not ready to let go those fat profits just yet…

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Along that way Shanny also threw most of his players under the bus, in particular Kessel.

            Helps when the folks you answer to also own 95% of the media in the marketplace.

          • Gerry Pigeon says:

            True. Very good point.

    • bwoar says:

      It’s like the coach purposely put him in a position to fail. Marner is as good as gone. They are ruining him. Way to destroy a kid’s confidence. Babcock is hated everywhere in this league. No way will they ever win the Cup putting top talent on the 4th line. The GM and coach need to be fired.

      *snicker

    • HabinBurlington says:

      My scuttlebut sources tell me that Marner’s father decided to tell Coach Babcock how hard he has been on his boy Mitch this year. (This was about 5 days ago i heard the scoop)

      Perhaps not the best fatherly thing to do.

      • Luke says:

        “Hockey-Dads” are the worst thing to ever happen to hockey players.

        • twilighthours says:

          That hurts, man. Your words cut deep.

          • Luke says:

            (“Hockey Dads” in quotes to differentiate the meddlesome, abusive types that interfere with their kids at every level of the game including the pros. Not all hockey parents who make up the vast majority of parents who let their kids just enjoy the game and are happy with however far their kids go, just as long as the kids themselves are happy).

          • twilighthours says:

            No actually that sounds like me.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      “As soon as you play the blame game …”?

      Uhm, Babs, you just blamed Marner.

      —–

  25. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    One TSN690 text messenger said MB is looking at Ladd and Clutterbuck for MOAR leadership..LMAO.

  26. Luke says:

    My attention returns to Andreas Athanasiou.
    Big, Quick & a Centre.

    Would you deal Gallagher for him?
    Would Detroit?

    They’re kind of a weird tweener team with old guys and young guys. Not one of them is crazy elite though, so aside from Mantha no real indicator of direction.

    Wings have had a solid start to the season. Habs have some extra wingers… why not?

    Freddy Capspace could be used to… no. Nevermind, I don’t want to swap out Plex for Nielsen to make it more appealing to Detroit.
    His contract has four more AFTER this season at 5.25 on it.

  27. whazzzup says:

    Ok not my biz but, scramble eggs can result in a runny mess. It’s fun to throw out trades and know mb has spent a load of time in the isle. But let’s just let the cake bake and if it flops like a squirmy nut eating shyte toad, then the noose tightens, heads roll.
    Do you really want a guy like mb twisting in the wind making deals to try and save what might not need saving, one way or another.
    Just my two cents.

    I may have lived beside ken Dryden once but now I’m in the center of the hockey universe


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