Canadiens wake up in first place despite loss to Islanders

Despite letting one slip away Thursday night in a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders, the Canadiens woke up Friday morning still in first place in the Eastern Conference with an 11-4-2 record.

It marks the best start through 17 games for a Canadiens team in 20 years.

The Canadiens got off to a 12-3-2 start in 1992-93, the last season they won the Stanley Cup.

Wrote The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs: “There’s a lightness in the step of Montrealers these days, no matter that we’re trudging through a winter that’s hung coats of snow on the Bell Centre courtyard statues of Morenz, Richard, Béliveau and Lafleur.

“Last season’s cellar-mired disaster is a surreal memory. The lockout is long-ago forgiven by fans, not that there was any chance in this town that it wouldn’t be.

“The standing of the Canadiens, compared to what it was last April 7 when the curtain mercifully fell, is literally turned upside down. From fifteenth to first, despite a five-game winning streak having ended Thursday.”

The New York Rangers visit the Bell Centre on Saturday (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN 690 Radio) and then the Canadiens will play 11 of their next 15 game on the road, starting Monday in Ottawa.

The  Canadiens practised Friday morning in Brossard, but Brandon Prust took a therapy day after dropping the gloves with 6-foot-8, 249-pounder Joe Finley in Thursday’s loss.

Brendan Gallagher looks like he will be ready to face the Rangers after suffering a concussion last Saturday and replaced Erik Cole on the first power-play unit at practice along with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty.

The lines for practice were: Gallagher-Desharnais-Pacioretty; Eller-Galchenyuk-Cole; Gionta-Plekanec-Bourque; Armstrong-White-Moen.

The Hamilton Bulldogs are at the Bell Centre Friday night, taking on the Rochester Americans in a 7:30 p.m. start.

Best start in 20 years, by Dave Stubbs

Habs winning streak ends in OT, by Pat Hickey

Pacioretty says: “I think we’re all embarrassed,” by Pat Hickey 

Improved Bulldogs skate into town, by Brenda Branswell

(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EkEQk-z0eU

149 Comments

  1. habsprophet says:

    I woke up this morning with the sun in my eyes… when Stu Cowan came over with a script surprise… a mafioso story with a twist..

    Habs shouldn’t be covetous of first in the standings… what they should covet is true skill and strength. First place in conference, especially in an f–d up shortened season with wacky results, which isn’t even half way through… really not something to take too seriously. I hope like everyone else here its an omen of good tidings, but what really matters is making the playoffs, and then getting on a streak around that time. Last year, the underdog Kings (8 seed, not first. 8) win the Cup without too much difficulty. This season they are struggling. This is what Hockey has become– diluted, defensive, parity-stricken mish mash of 18 or so boring as hell teams, and 12 or so classic teams who deserve to be in this league. So like you all I hope like hell the Habs make the playoffs and get hot at the right time and fluke out a stanley cup, so we can laugh it up while the leafers rage. But rly shouldnt be coveting very dubious first in conference ‘distinction’ imo.

    If you can\’t find it within yourself to stand up, tell the truth… you don\’t deserve to wear that uniform

  2. gumper says:

    Can someone explain to me what’s going on with Robert Mayer. I thought he left the Dogs to sign in Switzerland. If so, why is he still listed on the Dog’s roster?

    The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
    Mark Twain

  3. Peter Young says:

    Statues of Morenz, Richard, Beliveau and Lafleur. All great forwards, but how come no statues of Doug Harvey, a great defenceman, or Jacques Plante, a great goaltender. Harvey is usually recognized as one of the top 10 players in NHL history and Plante is usually recognized as one of the top three goaltenders in NHL history. See the History of Hockey section at HFBoards website.

  4. Timo says:

    DiPietro on waivers

  5. liberjon says:

    If I am not mistaken the Habs started the 2005-2006 with a record of 12-3-1 after 16 games. How is this their best record in 20 years?

  6. Timo says:

    It’s funny how last year, when team was clearly not going nowhere, Cole was busting his ass and playing his heart out every night. This year, when team clearly has a chance to make some noise he is no where to be found. Someone should take him for a walk along St Lawrence river.

  7. GuyDoon says:

    I heard that talk is under way regarding teams re-alignment.
    Without adding or subtracting any, you get uneven conferences. So for the playoffs, would anyone else mind going back to “the best 16 teams are in”? You play 1-16, 2-15, etc, regardless of geography. MTL – BOS, EDM – CGY, in the finals, could happen! The rumour of having more teams in the playoffs is just crazy talk!

    • LA Loyalist says:

      1. Cole is a notoriously slow starter, but yeah he needs to get it going. A good thing about talented kids is they can push the veterans and make it fun for them again.

      2. More teams in the playoffs? That would be horrific, there are too many already. “Best sixteen” are in and we could play Canadian teams? That sounds fun. As much fun as it was beating LA in 93 for the cup, part of me still wishes the Leafs had made it and we could have beaten them for the Cup :-) That said, reality is that a Stanley Cup final between two Canadian teams is Gary Bettman’s worst nightmare, so don’t hold your breath on seeing it anytime soon.

    • HaBo says:

      Absolutely!!! I am SO tired of seeing the Same/usual match ups
      year after year after year. Not only would it be nice to see us play
      different/new teams in the playoffs, you are bang on in pointing out how the finals could have any possible combination. It’s a no brainer!!!

  8. La Duke 16 says:

    I put out an “APB” in Wisconsin this morning looking for Cole and Gionta. Can someone do the same in Monteal? I have no clue where there two are….. But they bettter show up soon!

    • Timo says:

      I would not count on it.

      • nunacanadien says:

        Gionta was good at the beginning as was Cole. But then Galy and others took the light away from them. Maybe it is time that we again ask where is Gionta and why should he stay captain if he lets himself be easily pushed over without fighting off a check, you can see Gionta let the other guys basically push him around. Cole badmouthed the league during the strike and may be just doing the union thing, hey Cole, where is your union rep now to save your butt….time to step up.

  9. SteverenO says:

    I am not sure how much credit for the teams success he should get but even though I personally didn’t like the choice, MT has got the team off to a good start.

    it took him while to promote Diaz to the PK unit where he belongs, But now that has promoted him he has gone overboard.

    Last night we had a total of 3 minutes and 28 seconds shorthanded. and gave up two goals on 3 shots. Diaz and Georges played 3 minutes 10 seconds and 3 minutes 18 seconds respectively. Subban, played zero on the penalty kill.

    On the Power play we had 7 minutes and 19 seconds took 7 shots and scored once. The Isles had 3 minutes and 28 second took three shots and scored twice.

    on the PP Markov played 4:47 Diaz 4: 01 Subban 3:10 and Bouillion 1:59 . the only goal was scored with Subban and Bouillion on the point. Perhaps more troubling was the fact that Cole and Gionta each had more than 3 and a half minutes on the PP yet Eller and Galchenyouk had 7 seconds and 30 seconds respectively.

    I dont think that Bouillkion should play on the point on the PP and I have suggested that he develop a forward to play as the 4th d-man
    We lost last night due to special teams, they scored 2 on the PP and we had only 1.

    Last night was a perfect opportunity to rest Markov. Kaberle , or Weber may have added a little spark to the PP and I am sure that Markov could have used the rest. It still bugs me that it is “obvious” that the Goalie gets rested from time to time,but not so for an aging veteran.

    with this shortened schedule you cannot afford to rest players after a loss for fear of getting into a losing streak, so the time to rest guys is when you are on a winning streak.

    Cole has not done much offensively this year , but at the same time he has not been hurting us defensively. I have not seem anything in his play, however, that indicates he deserves to be getting significant PP time.

    Prust has been been historically an excellent penalty killer and is better than Moen in that role. he deserves to be promoted to the first line on penalty kill. I am not sure of White is so good on the PK, he may get better with experience, but right now I think that both Bourque and Armstrong are better suited for that role.

    Back to the PP we need to practice more, there were time yesterday when we went into “power play” mode even though it was 5 on 5. We controlled the puck in the offensive zone for long stretches, making a lot of quick short passes, etc. This is an indication that the PP will improve, hopefully. Even though we had very little production from the PP on this recent winning streak, the problem was hidden because we had a great streak of killing penalties.

    I would like to see the coaching staff be a little more creative with their choices of who plays on the PP and PK units. It seems as if these decisions are currently being made before the game starts and they are cast in stone. There are no adjustments being made based on how guys are performing in the particular game.

    The volume of icing penalties is annoying. Is it part of the game plan?

    Also annoying is the way icings are being called, or not called, there must be some new rules that I haven’t heard about that gives the refs discretion to waive off certain icings.

    Also have we had enough of the ridiculous trapezoid yet? Lets remove that embarrassment from the game.It only promotes the “dump it in the corner and chase it” (or change lines), a style of play that I don`t think anyone enjoys.

    Another rule suggestion I have is three icings maximum allowed in the same period.The fourth, and any subsequent icing should result in a two minute minor penalty for delay of game. What is the point of penalizing a team for lifting the puck over the glass , often done accidentally, but allowing them to purposely shoot the puck the entire length of the ice as often as they want.?

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Your point about icings vs over the glass is interesting and I think worth kicking around, though I don’t have a strong opinion about it.

      I’ve taught my kid to play a dump like a billiards or curling shot – off the boards – or high, to get the puck between the circle and the goal line. He’s gotten pretty good at it and it drives the other team crazy. It might add a little frisson to a boring dump play.

      Actually it would be a bit like a CFL punt, where you don’t want it to go into the end zone.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Good idea on the icing. Three in a row, you get penalized. Everybody wonders how to get more offense in the game. Changing goalies pads and net sizes are not the answer. Changes to the rules that prevent teams from using certain defensive tactics is the answer. Another rule that I would like changed is removing the ability of a short handed team to ice the puck. Why should the rules change in your favour when you get penalized? Carry the puck out as normal.

      Good post…little long but still good.

  10. I’m no statistician, but I like goal differential as a rough estimate of how a team’s playing, rather than position in the standings.

    Last year ours was -14 and we finished dead last, but Florida was a -24 and they won their division and finished 3rd in the East. Washington’s -8 was good for 7th place. The 10th through 14th place teams were -46, -21, -30, -33 and -52 respectively — way worse than us. To me, that says we were a bad team, but not as bad as the standings implied.

    This year we’re sitting in 1st with a very respectable +10. Three other teams in the East have the same +/- or better, including TB way down in 9th. To me this (very roughly) says the Habs are pretty good team, and likely a playoff-quality team, but by no means a dominant one.

    Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

  11. Les-Habitants says:

    They need to spend some practise time on special teams. I realize that MT is trying to conserve energy during a long road-trip, but players are looking a little lost out there. Doesn’t have to be crazy intense, but with the focus on positioning, reinforcing the key elements that were making us succesful earlier would be very beneficial.

    I love that we can roll three pairings right now, but wonder if it wouldn’t make sense to reunite PK and Gorges. With absolute no disrespect to Diaz (who has been playing lights out), but 5 on 5 Gorges-PK are better suited to handling the shutdown role.

    • nunacanadien says:

      So that’s what Gionta, Cole and Bouillion are doing? Putting it on auto cruise to save on gas….ok….but hey if we don’t want to face the booins again, let us win big and face some easier teams in the playoffs then, there better be a trade off for Gionta Cole and others basically taking it easy!

  12. The Dude says:

    So ,yesterday I leave the house after the 1st “3-1 Habs” and I’m thinking the Islanders are a shitty ,one player team ‘Moulson” …a no brainer win! F-me.
    The problem with over achieving is it stops changes….and the Habs need changes in order to win the Cup “after 20 years I don’t want to just be entertained…I WANT A STANLEY F CUP!”
    Markov,Cole ,Gionta,Diaz”smallish”,Kaberle can be used for young “BIG” UPGRADES asap and will help the teams they go too “win win”, then make PK the Captain if you want to see some FIRE!

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Wow Dude.
      We are getting there, but you still need to be patient. It’s tough after 20 years, but that’s where we are.
      And PK will never be Captain.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • nunacanadien says:

        PK is too skittish to be captain, maybe test out an A first….but really there are way better candidates and team leaders on the team….time to take away the C from Gionta as he is basically pulling a Gomez on us, as is Cole….

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Why not?

        The thing that bugs me the most on this site is people making outrageous statements as if they were fact, and then, nothing.

        Make your argument! Is it because he’s immature? Because he’s black? Because he’s from Sudbury or Timmins or wherever Shania Twain is from? Give your reason(s). The Commentariat will provide clarification.

        My personal opinion is that PK needs another year or two, hopefully including extensive playoff experience, to fully mature and fulfill his potential. At such time, he could well be Captain. That said, it will probably be Gorges after we dump Gionta at the trade deadline, which may mess up my time line, but PK could be an alternate.

        Post argument, not statements.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      PK definitely can start fires…

    • bellcentre hotdog says:

      I hear you loud and clear.

      There’s no way the Habs should have lost that game. What is still needed is a ‘refuse to lose’ attitude.

  13. Say Ash says:

    OK, Nickle: Gimme odds on Cole scoring tomorrow night…

    • Loonie says:

      20 to 1

      Edit: And I’ll add a prediction. Rangers win 3-1 with an empty netter. Completing the seesaw for the week.

      • Cal says:

        Always remember the Cup is half empty. ;)

        • Loonie says:

          I like to think of myself as a realist. Which funny enough contradicts the thought that I’m cynical.

          Hey maybe I am an egomaniac. And maybe that’s why I’m not very fond of Therrien, type A personalities and all that.

          • LA Loyalist says:

            I think most of us were kind of stunned with Therrien’s selection, then we saw it as a stop-gap for the * season.

            Also I doubt many of us expected Chucky to be ready, not to mention Gallagher. I in fact advocated to have Chucky play in Hamilton for this short season. The success of G+G has made Therrien look good.

            That said, I don’t think many of us are complaining about where we are sitting at this moment, nor did many of us expect it regardless of who was coaching. If we had been told after last year we’d be a .600 or .650 team in February I think we’d have been reasonably content with that.

            So my point is “Don’t worry! Be happy!”

        • GuyDoon says:

          As woody Allen once said:
          “I see the glass half full, but of poison”
          hehehe

        • nunacanadien says:

          Unless it is the stanley which is never empty! Time to get stanley back in Montreal…..time to make champs out of this lacklustre rag tag bunch

  14. TheBoss says:

    Don’t look at standings. That’s up and down like the weather. Look at how the team is playing and see where they end up at the end of the season.

    Injuries has a big part of where you are in the standings. The Habs have been lucky so far. Look at ottawa. If it wasn’t for injuries. They would be a 1st place team.

    That’s how Hockey goes. One month you’re on top the next month you’re fighting for a playoff spot. Teams are so even anything can happen. we’ll see come April. that’s the way I look at it.

    Waste of time coming on here knocking Players, Coaches and management we are what we are and I still say injuries will be the deciding factor whether we make the playoffs or not ….we’re not playing that bad.

    • Loonie says:

      A good portion of this fan base is accustomed to having complained about players, coaches and executives during times of perennial success. Why would that change with a slightly above average team?

      I’d like to add that another large portion of the fan base is a generation that’s been spoiled rotten and has little if any patience.

      • CalgaryHab says:

        I’d say the last 15 years has been us scrapping by to be mediocre or slightly better – sometimes like last year it was far worse. Prior to that we were alway an upper echelon team and never had to worry about falling below respectibilty. I think the fan base yearns for those days.

    • HabsWinn-ipeg says:

      I admit that I was bummed when the Isles scored in OT. Thought about it later – reality is that the Habs have just taken 11 of a possible 12 points over the last 6 games. I think what we’re all afraid of is that they revert to last years performance. I think all any of us really hoped for was that they would be better and maybe squeek into the playoffs this year. So far they’re in first – much more than any of us expected.

  15. Habsrule1 says:

    I love how everyone seems to be throwing Markov under the bus now that he’s slowed down a bit. The guy has barely played in 2 years. He just needs to adjust and he’ll be more than fine.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  16. Dr.Rex says:

    Does anyone think the next match is a measuring stick game? LOL

    • Cal says:

      The nomenclature must now be “yard stick.” Everyone who uses the term must go out to their yard, find an actual stick and beat themselves with it.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Our metering stick :-)

      Coach Tortellini was really pissed after the last game. I would not have wanted to be the Rangers at the next practice.

      We had better be ready to play Saturday night. Win or lose, this is a test of our Coach to have them mentally ready.

  17. Dr.Rex says:

    ALl teams get fatigued and must adapt to the situation at hand but the one facet I found troubling was our inability to get the puck out of our zone last night. This started with exactly 6 minutes left in the 2nd period and lasted the majority of the match thereafter. I counted at least 25 times were we had the puck on our sticks within 5 feet of the blue line and failed to get it out. WE cant use the boards to clear the puck 100% of the time cause eventually the other team catches on. IF we really wanted to give the puck up at the blue line then we would sign Rivet out of retirement.

    • Dr.Rex says:

      Rivet’s last year with us it became common practice where he would blindly shot the puck along the boards straight to the oppositions dman everytime. This is why he was benched by Guy and Bob.

  18. shiram says:

    At the beginning of this shortened season, most agreed that making the playoffs would be a worthwhile goal for the Habs, considering their last season and the few player moves made.

    Now they sit first in the conference, albeit with other team having a better schedule ahead of them or having played less games.

    The goal is still to make the playoffs, that has not changed. There’s still alot of hockey to be played, and with fewer games we should see less separation point-wise between the teams, so alot can change quickly.
    Still the Habs have made the most of their easy start and racked up a great # of wins already, and those points will matter later on, you always have to get the easier points!

  19. Hobie Hansen says:

    “He (Cooke) knows exactly what he is doing out there,” Karlsson said. “That is why I am sitting here with leg in cast.”

    Karlsson went down with a cut left Achilles from Cooke’s skate blade late in the second period in the Senators’ 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh last Wednesday as the two tangled along the boards. “I don’t think he did it on purpose,” Karlsson added. “He meant to hit me hard and knock me out.”

    ****

    So is he saying he cut his leg on purpose or he didn’t lol?

  20. 123456 says:

    Special HIO Alert:

    I saw the phrase “measuring stick” below.

  21. habsfan0 says:

    While the Habs are in 1st place,there are several teams who are only a few points behind them. Even a minor losing streak can see them easily tumble out of a playoff position. This next stretch of 11 out of 15 games on the road might be the most important span of the season. I think they’ll need 20 points out of the available 30 to contend for a playoff spot.

    • CalgaryHab says:

      The extra point leads to parity in the standings. If you can’t win you at least need to get that point.

      • Welks says:

        I absolutely despise the loser point. What an abomination it is.
        Easy to solve but the owners want to loser point to give the illusion of parity. 2 points if you win a hockey game. 1 point if you win a shootout. Loser goes home with nothing.

  22. Rad says:

    Easy there boys. I believe that the current 1st place is deceptive. It was brought on by a favorable schedule that masks some of the team’s weaknesses. I hope that management moves to address some of those areas of concern. Habs are not a top tier team yet.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t recall reading anyone saying this team is a Top Tier team yet. Seems to me most rational posters here agree, the team is a work in progress who have had an excellent start to this year. There is much work to do, players to develop etc….

      However, there is no harm in enjoying a strong start to the season, all the while knowing that it is unlikely we finish the year 1st in the Eastern Conference.

      But it does appear possible to have a playoff appearance, and you never know what can happen once at the dance.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Easy there Rad. They are doing better than we all expected, regardless of the schedule. Enjoy the ride. We have a very young core learning what it takes to win.
      Keep your expectations realistic and this shuld be a very fun season to watch.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • nunacanadien says:

        The lack of a good backup goalie like Halak, the failure of the defense against bigger stronger teams, the captain playing on his back most of the game….I don’t know, if you knock down a general doesn’t the army usually give up? And don’t we see this with players like Gorges, Moen, White when they see Gionta and DD being pushed around, it also affects Cole, Patches and Emelin? And then you have the part time players like Eller who are hardly there unless threatened, and then you have Kaberle who is basically invisible but getting a huge paycheck…..this is very much a work in lack of progess I would say. A band aid team made up of emergency contracts that have hindered the habs from the day Savard blew it apart.

  23. Athlétique.Canadien says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7DeFXgoW-c

    Thought I’d share some of my video handywork. Go Clutchenyuk Go.

    Hopefully we sting the Rag$ on Saturday to forget last night. At least we got a point I guess

  24. 123456 says:

    By my count 6 of the 10 games last night the “favorite” won. With favorite bein ghte team with the better record. The point is the better team does not always win, but they should most of the time.

    Not to take anything away from the Habs early season success, but they accumulate more points than anyone would have reasonably expected. Should they beat the Isles? YES Are they in a better position that I would have thought? YES

    Let’s be happy and appreciate this, and build on it. A couple key players have not really done much (or not as much as we know they can) so the Habs can get better.

  25. 24 Cups says:

    The team is playing beyond all expectations but they still need to trade for O’Reilly? Even though we all argue every day about how we can play the five centres we presently have.

    O’Reilly isn’t going to come to Montreal for Weber, Kristo, or
    a 2nd round pick and one of Dave Stubbs’ bow ties.

    MB has to listen to all offers (just like any GM) but a trade right now is the last thing this team needs.

    • It would be crazy to deal a good roster player and a top prospect for an unsigned kid with 107 points in 236 games who’s demanding $5M per. That’s absolute lunacy.

      Think of it this way:

      If Colorado doesn’t think he’s worth that kind of money, why would we think he’s worth that money plus the assets it would take to get him?

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

      • 24 Cups says:

        O’Reilly should develop into a solid 2nd line centre. Assuming Galchenyuk will evolve into #1, we then have Pleks as the perfect #2 pivot. Or Eller. Some might even say DD. So why the hell does this team need O’Reilly, especially (as you state) seeing his salary would disrupt the entire team budget as well as team morale?

        If O’Reilly was a kick-ass, tough as nails Dman, then I could see it.

    • mrhabby says:

      after MB held the line on PK…a trade for O’Reilly just will not happen..

    • ont fan says:

      After going through the Subban deal I can’t believe MB would even entertain a deal for O’Reilly. Makes no sense at all.

  26. JF says:

    The situation was ripe for a result like last night’s. A five-game winning streak, a weaker opponent, a dominant first period, a lead that slipped away in a sloppy third period. The Habs are still learning to be a good team, still learning to win, to close games out, to protect a lead. Games like last night are going to happen.

    At this point I don’t think it’s anything to be worried about. Some good things happened last night – one of our best first periods all season, signs of life on the powerplay, the re-emergence of Max Pacioretty and of the chemistry between him and Desharnais. The Habs need to get back to what worked so well on the penalty kill, they need to improve in the faceoff circle, and some players need to lift their game. But the season is a process, and the team can learn from what happened last night. Unlike last year, I don’t think we’ll see a repetition game after game.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      They say that’s it’s bad to be scored on in the first minute. Sometimes, it’s also bad to score that early and easily. They thought it would be easy, and it’s never easy for this team — and few others as a matter of fact.

  27. TheBoss says:

    We are playing the Rangers tomorrow. They are in 8th place we are in 1st don’t let that fool ya. The Rangers are a good team and they can beat the Habs.

  28. kempie says:

    So, the word is that, provided he can stay healthy for another 35 minutes, the Isles will put DiPietro on waivers at noon today. Looks like a buyout I guess.

  29. Timo says:

    What goes up must come down. Some players looked like they did last year. Bourque, for example, has been invisible for the last couple of games. Gionta is brutal. Markov and his knee are sleep walking.

    Anyway… not like anyone expects them to stay in the first place. Michael Therrien will give another pep talk, they will promptly lose to Rags and things will be back to normal.

    Is it a day off today? I think the poor tired darlings should rest.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Enjoy the ups because there will likely be many downs.
      This team’s most important players are under 25….Price, PK, Eller, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Pacioretty, etc.
      They are learning what it takes to win. They will make mistakes and there will be growing pains.
      I’m enjoying the ride right now…hoping it continues, but tempering my expectations.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      Timo, you should know as well as I do that Bourque was bound to dissappear. Even if you didn’t watch the flames, you must have heard the praise and grumblings about Rene.

      He will be back

  30. TheBoss says:

    We are a better team than the islanders. Like every sport. sometimes the better team gets beaten.

  31. habsfan0 says:

    I think it’s vital that the Habs beat the Rangers tomorrow,and not get into any type of a losing streak. But to do that,they’ll have to rectify whatever it is that’s ailing the power play. It was clicking on all cylinders to start the season, but has been terrible since. They need to have a big body in front of the net (Cole?) to screen the goalie. If he’s not up to it, then obtaining such an asset through a trade (O’Reilly?)might be the only option.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Our point-men are shooting the puck directly into the guy in front of them and it’s driving me batty.

      Markov keeps doing it, Emelin did it a couple of times last night, etc. etc. The worst thing about this kind of thing is that it creates rebounds that go past the defenseman, and the blocker who is already moving forward gets a chance for a breakaway.

      Gotta be patient opening shooting lanes, and getting the puck back to the point quickly from down low.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  32. frozengolf says:

    Markov is not the same player he was to start the season. He looked slow and tentative last night, and I think MT should start giving him some nights off. Not as a penalty like in White’s case, but to simply rest and refresh him. We will need Markov down the stretch, but not if he plays like he did last night.

    _________________________________________________________
    “We know that hockey is where we live, where we can best meet and overcome pain and wrong and death. Life is just a place where we spend time between games.”

    • 123456 says:

      I have thought that for years, when the Habs had Gill for example I wanted him rested on back to back games. It’s just not done – I am guessing because guys are in shape and it’s better to play more and help your team win nightly. I just do not understand baseball then, guys get breaks and freaking come on – all they do during a game is stand around and 3 or maybe 4 times they sprint 90 feet.

  33. lavie says:

    Teams have wins and loss, so are Habs.
    A OT loss to refine the team, I am OK with it.

  34. shiram says:

    A blown lead is always a tough loss, but those games happen and overall the team is still in good standing.
    Let’s see how they bounce back on saturday before trading any players…

  35. bwoar says:

    From the credit where it’s due dept. : David Desharnais had a great game last night. It helps when Pacioretty cashes on those golden chances but even having to carry Cole, that line looking something like its old self.

    If we can ever get all 3 lines clicking at once, we’ll be unbeatable.

    “thoroughbred”

  36. Rad says:

    I wouldn’t be bragging about being in 1st place. The Bruins are nipping at our heels with 3 games in hand, and Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Ottawa are also only 2 pts. behind in the standings. If the Rangers beat the Habs on Saturday, they will be 4 pts behind with a game in hand. With that 11 in 16 road stretch starting Monday, I doubt the Habs will be in 1st place for very much longer.

  37. HabinBurlington says:

    Phone hearing for Taylor Hall, meaning little to no suspension. Just another Hockey Play….

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=416570

    • Cal says:

      He should get at least 5 games for that. However, because it is Clutterbuck and Taylor Hall is who he is, maybe 1 and a fine.

      • bwoar says:

        Yes because frankly, f— Cal Clutterbuck.

        “thoroughbred”

      • 24 Cups says:

        True, but if we’re ever going to clean up the game then the people involved or the extent of the injury should not matter. Hall had plenty of time. He could have peeled off but came in with a low blow. Everybody in the league knows how devastating those hits can be.

        It’s not my philosophy but if some teams want to live by the law of the jungle then so be it. The league doesn’t care. Just know that if I’m coaching we’re not going to retaliate against the other team’s thugs and meatheads. We’re getting payback on guys like Eberle and RNH.

        • Loonie says:

          Exactly right and I think Max Lapierre provided a bit of a deterrent Steve.

          I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that some teams were cautious with the Habs stars with Lapierre around. He would had no reservations about targeting star players on opposing teams.

          • 24 Cups says:

            Please don’t mention Laps to me, I loved the way he played. Sure he was a pain in the ass, maybe even had a screw loose. But he’s an asset that we didn’t develop and let slip away for little return.

            A 4th line of Prust/Laps/White with Moen as the 13th man would be perfect for a team making a Cup run.

    • Timo says:

      My take on it is this… NHL players themselves need to start doing something about plays where there is an intent to injure. NHL clearly doesn’t give a crap. If the players themselves don’t give a crap, then hey… who am I to give a crap.

  38. Sakukoivumc11 says:

    Is it just me or is Gionta the worst player on our team so far this year ? I know he is coming off a major injury from last year but this is ridiculous. Yet MT still plays him regularly. Maybe it is time for a seat! As for our Penalty killing, Diaz and Gorges were over 3:00 on the PK and nobody else was over 1.5 minutes of ice time. In fact Pk received no time on the PK and Diaz again had more time on the ice for the game than PK. I have heard about working a guy into the line up but this is crazy. I love Diaz and even selected him in one of my hockey pools but PK should be the leader from the back end as even Markov looks slower than a turtle out there. We may have over achieved so far this year but maybe a trade involving Markov and Gionta or both could give us the bigger power forward and another quick mobile D-Man.

    paolo merenda

    • bwoar says:

      It’s just you, Erik Cole has been terrible. Much worse than Gionta. I think Cole got Tank Commander training during the lockout.

      “thoroughbred”

    • Habsrule1 says:

      It’s just you.
      I didn’t read anything after the first line. I assume it was correct though.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • frozengolf says:

      I agree, Gionta hasn’t been good. He and Cole need to step up and start making plays. Gionta has been ineffective, and could easily be replaced by Gallagher. Cole looks a step slow so far, and his wristers from 40 feet won’t beat anybody.

      _________________________________________________________
      “We know that hockey is where we live, where we can best meet and overcome pain and wrong and death. Life is just a place where we spend time between games.”

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Ever hear the name Colby Armstrong? How about Tomas Kaberle?

  39. egold98 says:

    Would love to see the Habs explore a trade for C Ryan O’Reilly. Clearly there are salary cap implications but he’d be a nice piece to fit into our roster. Big, young, strong centerman who can undoubtedly fit into a 2nd/3rd line role, with spot duty on a top offensive line.

    Could a package surrounding David Desharnais convince the Avs to bite?

  40. CalgaryHab says:

    I wish they were coming out west this year – not last nights team, maybe the one that was on the streak.

    • Clay says:

      Hear hear!
      (and so are you – in this thread)
      __________________________
      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜


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