Certain Habs need to increase intensity level, Therrien says (with video)

Following a 1-0 overtime loss to the Bruins Thursday night at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens didn’t practise on Friday before flying to Boston for Game 5 Saturday night (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690) with the Eastern Conference semifinal series tied 2-2.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien held a conference call Friday morning with reporters and the main topic of conversation was the struggles of the three members who used to make up the team’s No. 1 line: David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and Thomas Vanek. Desharnais and Pacioretty have one goal each in eight playoff games, while Vanek has scored three times. Desharnais and Pacioretty had one shot each in Game 4, while Vanek failed to get a shot on goal. Vanek has four shots on goal in the four games against Boston.

When asked if he could explain Vanek going without a shot in Game 4, Therrien said: “Tough for me to answer that.”

Vanek has been dropped from the top line in favour of Brendan Gallagher and has been put on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Michael Bournival.

Therrien noted that the intensity level in the NHL is at a certain point at the beginning of the season, raises by the middle of the season, goes up again at the  end of the regular season and then “goes to another level” in the playoffs.

“From our standpoint, our good athletes offensively, they got to make sure they adjust to the intensity of the playoffs and fight through those adversities and make sure that they’re impact players, because I always believe that there’s a certain way to play the game,” Therrien said.

“Early in the season, the intensity is at one level and after that the more the season goes on and on the level of intensity it’s always higher. But when we get to the playoffs this is where it reaches the peak and you want to make sure your offensive guys are capable to adjust to the intensity so they could be successful offensively and be successful defensively as well.”

Therrien had praise for his third defence pair of Mike Weaver and Douglas Murray, who were on the ice for the Game 4 overtime goal by Matt Fraser.

“I thought they played really well,” the coach said. “I thought they were physical, I thought they were blocking shots, they contained really well for the most part of the game. Guys like Douglas Murray, he’s a tough customer. He’s tough to play against. He’s physical and certainly he’s a presence out there for us and I thought Weaver and Murray did a fantastic job for us.”

Therrien added about his team as a whole: “I like the way we’re playing. Anything can happen in a best two-out-of-three situation. We’re gaining confidence every game.”

(Photo by The Gazette’s Allen McInnis)

(Game 4 locker-room videos by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell)

Game 5 Preview, NHL.com

Now it’s a best-of-three series, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Top lines struggling for both Habs and Bruins, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Putting CHaracter back in the CH, by Gazette Sports Editor Stu Cowan

Habs Playoff Notebook, Canadiens.com

Habs-Bruins tickets fetch steep price, by Pat Hickey

Bruins rookie ends Game 4 in OT, by Pat Hickey

Fraser improbable hero in Bruins’ stunning win, by Dave Stubbs

Both goalies phenomenal, Therrien says, by Pat Hickey

Fraser’s OT goal resets series, NHL.com

Tug of war, Canadiens.com

Bruins find a new weapon, Boston Globe

Canadiens take solace in best-of-three, Boston Herald

Mother of Rangers’ St. Louis dies at age 63, NHL.com

 

780 Comments

  1. Danno says:

    Don’t worry.

    Like MT says: We gotta lotta dep.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
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  2. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Series still favours Habs IMO

  3. Danno says:

    The Leafs are a perfect team and only need minor tweaking according to the Hockey 2 Nite guys

    ________________________________________

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

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I agree, they only need minor tweaking to convince their fan base they’re something they’re not and generate ginormous profits.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  4. Luke says:

    Enjoy the weekend, folks.

  5. Habfan17 says:

    Pateryn resigned for two seasons! He had a very solid season and was second in goals for defencemen in the AHL. 6’2″ 222lbs, 34 points, and a right handed shot. I hope he makes it next season!

    Habfan17

  6. Danno says:

    Those guys on TSN’s That’s Hockey 2 Nite…

    Do they always talk like that?

    ________________________________________

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

  7. JUST ME says:

    Really am looking up to tomorrow`s game. Has been a great serie so far and i am confident about the end result.

    Now i know that this epic duel MTL- Bruins does stay in our mind and keeps us on the edge but otherwise Canada being beaten by France today is….

  8. Mr_MacDougall says:

    @Ozmodiar and others that think Matt Fraser scored the OT winner… Click on highlights and go to 2:00 in.. Net cam view clearly shows that Weaver put the puck in off his left knee.. Soderberg goal.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/fraser-bruins-even-series-with-habs-in-ot/

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On says:

      Fraser might have been the last Bruin to touch it, though. Still, no Bruin scored on Carey Price last night. The puck was just lying there, and when Weaver dropped to his knees he squibbed it into the net… an own goal.

      That makes it hurt even more.

      X X X X X X 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Still with the net cam angle, huh?

      All this tells me is that the net cam angle doesn’t show Fraser knocking the puck in. The fact you keep watching the same replay explains why you don’t think Fraser scored the goal. This is why i suggest a different angle.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Ugh…. Click the link.. There are multiple angles of the goal.. Fraser hits the inside of Weaver’s leg with his stick..

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Of all the angles the net cam is the only one that shows the puck being propelled from a standstill.. And the instrument used to propel it was the knee of Weaver, not the stick of Fraser.. Your still shot shows how Fraser’s stick hits Weaver’s leg. Thanks.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  9. SteverenO says:

    Its in the close games where the coaches decisions have the most impact.

    Some people are “blaming” Murray . Not Fair. He battled hard and gave it everything he had. If there is blame to be cast about Murray it for the coaching staff for dressing Murray in the first place when there were better options and for playing him so early in the overtime.

    Bigger mistake is the lack of ice time and productive linemates, given to Briere.

    As I posted yesterday, Briere has been our most effective DEFENSIVE forward in the playoffs. he has now played 70 minutes at even strength and only one goal has been allowed during that time.

    other forwards to compare:
    Bourque: 126 minutes 6 goals allowed avg: 21 MpGA
    Plekanec: 135 minutes 10 goals allowed avg: 14 MpGA
    Gallagher: 118 minutes 7 goals allowed avg: 17 MpGA
    Gionta: 135 minutes 7 goals allowed avg: 19 MpGA
    Bournival: 75 minutes 4 goals allowed avg: 19 MpGA
    BRIERE: 70 minutes 1 goals allowed avg: 70 MpGA
    He was a part of our best two way trio during the regular season playing with Plekanec and Gionta for 180 Even strength minutes and the team scored 11 goals while allowing just one in that span.

    I really like Bournival, but playing him with Plekanec and Vanek
    is a mistake.

    To make the point lets look at these two line combos and how they performed in the regular seaspon:

    Bournival, Plekanec, HGionta vs. Briere, Plekanec,Giontaal

    with Bournival the line played 176 minutes during which time the team scored 5 goals and allowed 6.

    with Briere the line olayed 181 minutes and the team scored 11 times while allowing just one,

    Anyone , besides me, care to see how that line would fare with Vanek, in place of Gionta?

    It is often said that Therrien will not play Beaulieu or Tinordi because he “likes his veterans” In fact during the season Bournival and Weise weer both restricted in their playing time in favor of veterans like. Now that were in the playoffs , The coach has come to realize that speed is important. The fastest skaters usually find themselves with the puck on their sticks.

    Three questions;
    1) is not Briere a veteran who has out up pretty good numbers during a long career, and has proven to be More than reliable defensively? You would think that Therriens penchant for playing veterans would lead to Briere seeing some quality ice time, or productive linemates. The teams best line(s) in the Tampa series were Bourque Eller and Gionta followed closely by Weise with Briere and Bournival.

    Playing Briere with Moen is foolhardy and ridiculous,.

    2) If Therrien has come to realize thba tyouith and speed (evidenced by polaying time given to rookies such as Bournival and Weise), why does he not give Beaulieu, or Tinordi a shot and Vanek were the Hottest forward line in the NHL. Kn ow they have been broken up. Is is acceptable for a coach to be experimenting with brand new lines in game 4 of the second round of the playoffs?

    Vanek was moved to the left wing, (despite indicating that he preferred the left side) so that he could play with (arguably) our best forward DD and Pacioretty. If he is no longer playing on that line why not put him back on the left side where he is most comfortable?

    Is it acceptable for Josh Gorges to play 31% of the total PP time?

    The only one who needs to “bump up” his intensity os our caoch and his staff.

    The Habs are playing very well. Its a shame that our caoching staff is no making the right decisions to give this team the best chance of winning.

    How does Bergevin tolerate Briere, a multi million dollar free agent pick up, being given 4th line minutes and having Travis Moen on his wing?

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      MpGA is an irrelevant stat unless you separate O zone and D zone starts… What about competition? Bergeron line was great against everyone.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • SteverenO says:

        @macdougall ;;

        irrelevant? are you really saying that the frequency of goals socred or allowed is irrelevant?

        This is not even an “advancedd” stat. it is the most basic statistic of them all.

        I could understand that if comparing two players that are close, such as Bourque and Gionta you would want to dig deeper and look at zone starts and quality of competition. When considering a player who is hardly ever on the ice when the opponents score a goal , it matter little which zone he starts in.

        Personally, I believe that zone starts, are the most irrelevant stat of all. Unless you consider zone “ends” the zone start is meaningless.

        The only way that zone starts have any meaning is if you look at zone “finishes” . Take two players; one who starts only 30 % in his own zone but finishes his shifts 70% in his own zone., and the other who starts 70% in his own zone and finishes 70% in the opponents zone. That indicates that player two is the stronger player.

        The object of the game (besides scoring goals) is to get the puck out of your zone and to keep it in the other teams zone.

        To make it clearer who would would you rate as the more efficient defensive player, one that has 70% off zone starts and a MpGA of 30 or a player who has 70% def zone starts and a MpGA of 15?

        The puck moves from zone to zone hundreds of time per game.

        regards,

        Steve O.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          I think individual stats are all fatally flawed, including goals, assists, plus-minus.

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • SteverenO says:

            Plus minus is NOT an individual stat, and for those who believe it is unimportant, I say, let them watch an overtime game in the playoffs.

            regards,

            Steve O.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            It absolutely is. So you think it is the fault of the players that were on the ice when Folino scored for Columbus in OT? A wrist shot dump in from the blue line?

            Flawed statistic.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          The purpose of statistics, in most cases, is to determine the ’cause’ of and ‘effect’

          To suggest a player causes goals simply by being on the ice is ludicrous. To determine the cause of a goal you have to backtrack from the event. Look at the goal and see what, if anything caused it.

          In addition to that, goals are viewed too much as the be all end all. Scoring chances are just as important, there are goals that aren’t scored because a player misses an open net or is robbed by a goaltender.. Does that make a defenders gaff any less “gaffable” .. Not in my opinion.

          Stats guys defend stats.. I can tear them to shreds with ease.

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Ozmodiar says:

      I’m trying to figure out which questions are the “three questions”.

  10. TheCanadianDagger says:

    Just caught a glance of a ‘You Might Also Like': Budaj to get Start Against Bruins!

    Almost went to drown MT in the Boston Harbour!

  11. rogieshan says:

    Win or lose, these playoffs may prove to be Michel Therrien’s coming-out party as a worthy head coach. I have been most impressed with his composure and tone when speaking to the media and the way he has handled his roster.

    A lot of fans have a hate-on for Murray, and he’s not pretty to watch at times, but there’s no denying the appreciation his teammates have for the game he brings to the ice. The team as a whole has given up three goals in the two games he has played. He’s 0 in +/-. Douglas Murray is not the problem.

    • johnnylarue says:

      I agree. Therrien, for all of his frustrating line juggling and rather weak motivational speaking acumen, has got this team playing to its potential. At the end of the day, it’s pretty hard to dispute the results.

  12. Steeltown Hab says:

    Someone please try and make the argument that Eller is worse than Desharnais, or that Desharnais would make that 3rd line as good as Eller has.

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  13. Steeltown Hab says:

    All the entitlement and babying Pacioretty n Davey got during the season clearly not paying dividends, some of the fly by passive stick check garbage plays i see Pacioretty make holy sh*t.

    Maybe break these losers up? Maybe try that for once. I don’t get why Desharnais is spoon fed as part of the core and Pacioretty seems to get more respect internally than a guy like Subban. (I’m sure that’s finally changing).

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  14. Mr. Biter says:

    Front, Do you live in Montreal and if so is your Tavern near the Bell center? Going to the game Monday and want a good watering hole near the arena to get “primer Up” for a Habs win.
    My supplier came through for the big one.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  15. Storman says:

    Dave Stubbs weighing his options for his day game article for tomorrow.
    1) Jay Miller
    2) PJ Stock
    3) The hidden effect of the bow tie.

  16. Luke says:

    As an aside:

    Darren Dreger, the insidiest of all insiders, made an insightful comment regarding the Leafs yesterday. I hope the Habs heard it, because it was a brilliant strategy.

    The Leafs will look at three ways to improve the team. They will look at their system and promote from within. They will look at free agency and they will also examine possible trades.

    That’s why he’s the best, folks.

    • Storman says:

      Pierre McGuire said recently on TSN1050 that Temmu Selanne is an awesome husband,, how is that for the all knowing insider..

    • johnnylarue says:

      Now that’s what I call an “insideful” comment!

    • TheCanadianDagger says:

      Sources close to me says they are first looking at pro hockey players, then out of that ideally they would like to get the best of that bunch.

    • Habilis says:

      LMAO. Dreger has officially become a sock puppet.

      Maybe it’s a good thing that TSN lost the NHL.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I know the father of a guy that played with the leafs for part of this season… Another person I know was speaking to him recently and he told them his son told him the Leafs room is toxic, tons of ‘blame game’ and that Kessel is a major baby. He also said Phaneuf tries very hard to keep things positive, is great with young players but just has a bunch of selfish players that will not help him lead… He said the Leaf room is a disaster and hopes to move on. And the problems run deeper than anyone on the outside could imagine..

      I used to know the player when I was a teen, I hope he gets out. This info made me happy because the leafs are a bigger mess than even us Hab fans thought.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • johnnylarue says:

        Their late-season collapse is certainly in keeping with your insider info, Mac. A more cohesive unit would have found a way to stop the bleeding before it got out of hand.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          I’d like to say who the player is.. But who knows how far it would spread… And it is 3rd hand information..

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • D Man says:

        Good one! I, for one, believe it. Remember Kessel Telling Phaneuf to ” shut the F##k up” just before a face-off? And a couple of days later reaming out JVR for missing him when he was open? I thought at the time that it meant trouble in the dressing room. I also thought about the non-existent coverage of either incident by the CBC crew. I ALSO thought of the coverage P.K. would have received under similar circumstances.

        You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

  17. Big Ted says:

    Michel Therrien just doesn’t get it when it comes to Douglas Murray. He doesn’t understand that Murray looks like a defensive stalwart because he’s spending his entire shift playing defence. It’s easy to rack up the hits and blocked shots when you’re constantly chasing the puck carrier and letting the other team shoot. Through 60 minutes last night, the Habs had 0 shots on goal and just one attempted shot with Murray on the ice, whereas when Murray was not on the ice the Habs had more shots and more shot attempts than Boston, one of the best predictors of sustained on-ice success.

    If you look at the NFL or CFL, there are plenty of linebackers on really bad teams who end up leading the league in tackles. It has nothing to do those teams having success nor does it have any correlation with how good a player that guy is. All it means is that the player has been put in a position to have to make a lot of tackles, and that’s usually because his team is playing defence a lot. Douglas Murray is that player for us, a journeyman who can block shots and make hits but who’s really doing that because of how bad he is in other aspects of the game. In the NFL, you can be really good at defence, but you probably won’t win if you’re playing defence for the entire 60 minutes. The same can be said of a team in the NHL; if the Habs are playing defence for the entire 15-18 minutes Murray spends on the ice a night, that’s a huge handicap to have to overcome in the remainder of the game.

    #freeBeaulieu #freeTinordi

    • D Mex says:

      If you think Murray was signed for his offence, you’re watching the wrong sport. He comes as advertised and is doing exactly what he was brought in to do.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • johnnylarue says:

      I’m onboard with the majority of your post, but do you really think Therrien “doesn’t get it”? Do you actually believe he’s blind to the fact that Murray spends an awful lot of his minutes chasing the puck around the defensive zone?

      When Therrien plays Murray, he does so with the full understanding that his presence in the lineup is “a necessary evil”, for lack of a better phrase.

      • Big Ted says:

        He may understand that Murray provides no offence, but he doesn’t seem to get how detrimental that is to the team. I think Therrien really believes Murray’s “intangibles” and character and size are so important that he’s missing the big picture: the fact that the big Swede can neither skate nor shoot nor pass nor stickhandle at an NHL level. His presence on the ice puts us at a huge disadvantage. When your team generates no offence when you’re on (and literally, I mean zero shots for us with him on the ice last night) then you really have to be perfect defensively just to break even. It means you’re asking the other two D pairings to come out as a plus for the evening playing against much better competition (because yes, Murray has been that bad playing against Thornton and Campbell most of the time). Why not have Beaulieu in there, hitting less it’s true, but at the same time skating more pucks out of trouble and giving our stalled offensive weapons like Pacioretty, Vanek, and Desharnais more springboard passes to set them up for chances?

        • johnnylarue says:

          Teddy, Teddy, Teddy…

          Do you think it’s just an accident Murray sat through the last few games of the regular season and the entire first round of the playoffs? The coaching staff know EXACTLY what Murray is capable of. He drew into the lineup for the first game in Montreal because Frankie got unlucky a few times and was showing some signs of fatigue, and stayed in the lineup because the Habs played a solid game three and were expecting a BIG physical push-back from the Bruins in Game 4. “Point final,” as they say.

          If it were up to me, Beaulieu would have stayed with the club from the Olympic break onward. He’s a game-breaker and I would be friggin’ thrilled to see him on the ice in Game 5.

        • Just a Habs Fan says:

          You know Big Ted you probably ought to be coach of the Habs….you could waltz right to the Stanley Cup finals. I am really sure that MT doesn’t have any idea and should immediately get in touch with you.

  18. jrshabs1 says:

    Bruin thuggery is way down in this series, matter of fact it’s been a non factor all year. M.B. has made this team bigger and harder to play against, and it shows on the ice. Doug Murray is a big part of the new image the Habs are making for themselves. Murray laid out Thornton last night and there was no response from the Bruins, when was the last time that happened? Murray might be slow, and some players will take of advantage of that, but, he’s fearless and the rest of the league respects that.
    Not 1 Bruin went after Murray. Not 1.
    Go Habs Go!!!!!

    • Big Ted says:

      Bruins thuggery is down?

      – Bergeron clipping on Bourque
      – Knee on knee hit by Paille
      – A 3rd spearing incident by Lucic on Emelin
      – Iginla’s hit from behind on Pacioretty
      – Marchand whacking anyone he can with his stick after the whistle
      – Price taking an elbow to the head

      The Bruins are using their usual thug tactics, they just aren’t being penalized for any of it. I didn’t see Murray or any other Hab out there making Iginla pay for his hit last game, nor did Murray’s presence prevent the hit from happening. The Bruins can practice their cheapshots all they want as far as I care, so long as the officials call them on it and so long as we’re using speed and skill to make them pay on the scoreboard. Everything else is irrelevent, and not one player is slowing up on a check because they see slow-as-molasses Douglas Murray or George Parros sitting on the bench.

    • JUST ME says:

      Not sure if the thuggery is down but the Habs sure are not intimidated at all by all the usual Marchandises.
      The more the serie is advanced the less the Bruins will use such tactics cause they cannot afford to take penalties nor can they gloat in their superiority cause they are not !

  19. 24AW says:

    Not enough canadian teams in the playoffs, that’s a GM problem and it won’t happen next year. USA building better teams. who’s won the cup in the last 20 years, American teams and unless there’s some upsets along the way, they are going to win another 2014.

  20. shiram says:

    Don’t forget your mother on sunday.

  21. Chris says:

    You guys are all on the wrong track. For the past few weeks, the success of the Montreal Canadiens and the Guelph Storm have been strongly correlated. Guelph plays a bad game, so does Montreal.

    Guelph plays a good game, so does Montreal.

    Well, the power outage last night is due to the Storm. They used up the two teams’ allotment of goals in their 10-1 win on Wednesday. There were no goals left for my favourite teams…they all got wasted by the Storm.

    So, I’m hoping for a 1-0 win tonight by Guelph (hoping to see them win the championship on home ice…). The goal should be scored by Pius Suter, because his name rocks. And it should be assisted by Phil Baltisberger, because his name also rocks. Justin Augur and Ben Harpur need to be on the ice, because it is always funny to see people that are 5’10” celebrating with people that are 6’6″ and bigger. That should leave plenty of goals for the Habs in Boston.

    This is the year of Chris. My will be done.

  22. 24AW says:

    The least mistakes wins two out of three.

  23. adamkennelly says:

    Vanek sure looks like he’s floating out there.

    we need some PPs in order for him to bang a few in.

  24. Chris says:

    Sheesh…I guarantee you all that Dave Stubbs’ article on Terry O’Reilly had nothing whatsoever to do with losing Game 4.

    Sometimes I think that I’ve stumbled into Bizarro world when I log onto this site. :)

  25. CH Marshall says:

    I hope Berkshire has been peeping in today on our epic Corsi debate. On another note, if Vanek wants to float, that’s fine. Do it against other teams at another time. But these are the Bruins and you can’t just do your usual routine. Sacrifices are needed, even if you are worried about your ufa summer. It’s just too bad DD wasn’t 6’ft with some brawn.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I’d love for my old advanced stats professor to look at what hockey nerds call advanced stats.. He’d discredit them unequivocally because the data recording procedures are flawed and the data itself has too many moving parts.

      What determines the outcome of a hockey game, he’d ask. Hmmm, interesting debate. We could all agree that goals are what decides games. How are goals scored? Scoring chances. What are the different degrees of scoring chances? Is there a scale? What is the scoring percentage on each of these scoring chances? What impact do particular goaltenders and shooters have on these percentages? What are the benchmarks (historical league averages). Does attempting to create scoring chances impact the number you give up? If so, by how much? It just goes on and on and on and on…

      Hockey is damn near impossible to quantify.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Luke says:

        I bet he wouldn’t dismiss the stats outright, though.

        He’d probably see value in their use towards identifying trends, but not accept them as gospel.

        He may even appreciate that it is in its infancy and in the future it may become easier to quantify hockey.

        Even the lamest of all stats (+/-) has value.
        A player taht is -3, well that doesn’t reveal much at all.
        A player that is -27. That starts to indicate something.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          I do not think he’d see much value in +\- other than those that “buck the trend” of his team. Individual stats are relative to the team.

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  26. Sportfan says:

    Huet and France help stun Canada, how come our top goalies never go haha

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  27. ClutchNGrab says:

    The idea of analyzing the whole game by looking at the game winning goal is ridiculous. Now there is an article on the Boston Globe’s webiste praising the Bruins’ pro scout for helping identifying the “Habs weakness”, the defensive pairing of Weaver an Murray. You know. Like they were able to identify that the Bruins only had to shoot high to score against Carey Price. If teams could play all their games back to back, maybe these guys wouldn’t have to write so many useless articles.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/05/08/bruins-finally-exploited-matchup-they-wanted/wjglpJalnAUkx78c1xjbmM/story.html

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      The last goal was not even scored by Fraser… Weaver knocked it in.. Own goal.. Clear as day on the net cam view.. He dropped to his knees, left knee landed on the puck and it shot off to his left and into the net.. Soderberg should get credit.. It was a fluke goal caused by an abnormal bounce off the glass.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • adamkennelly says:

        our 3rd pairing should not have been on the ice 1:19 into OT – period. I don’t care what Boston line was out there. Mistake by MT.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          I’d argue the third pairing should never be out there.. Pronger and Neid played every second shift for the ducks..

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • adamkennelly says:

            you might lose that argument but you would never lose the argument saying they should not have been on the ice 1:19 into OT – seriously – terrible coaching mistake.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        No, Fraser knocked it in.

        There’s a different replay where this is pretty clear.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      “But there is an explanation for why they are third-pairing defensemen. They never have the puck. They’re always defending in their own zone instead of playing safe hockey away from their net.”

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • Habfan17 says:

      It is ludicrous! Did the article point out that the Bruins checked the boards to know exactly where to shoot the puck to get a funny bounce?

      I get it, Murray has his limits. Perhaps he should not have been on the ice, but I doubt Markov would have had better luck with the weird hop off the boards.

      I agree with those who post below that next season Murray. Weaver and Boullion will probably be gone and Pateryn, Tinordi and Beaulieu should be given the opportunity to make the club. I think the surprise will be Nygren! I would not be surprised if Markov is gone and they keep Weaver. Markov is playing well in the play offs, but is not the difference maker he once was and the money they save could be well used elsewhere.

      For now, Murray is useful in certain situations and makes up for his lack of speed with his smarts and positioning.

      I just hope, that if nothing else this playoff, the Habs bounce the Bruins!

      Habfan17

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Weaver put it in not Fraser! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr it was fluke.. Not Murray’s man

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Ozmodiar says:

          Murray was trying to contain Fraser. Fraser got away and tapped the puck in.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Wrong! Check the net am view, I watched it 5 times bro

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Net cam

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • Ozmodiar says:

            5 times? is that all? :)

            Perhaps you should consider watching other angles before telling too many people that Weaver knocked it in.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            I did, I rewound the game and watched it several times.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Mr. Biter says:

          Some posters just hate Murray. None of who can skate as fast as him or hit like him. He injected life into the entire team/building with bone crunching hits which had The NBC announcing team cringing about the damage done to their beloved Bruins. NBC sports looks at it Not really as Bruins /Habs but USA vs Canada (and I can understand that) but when the Habs make a good hit, good plays they do mention it without adding some other crap. Also they’re very impressed with Price and praise him more than Rask. CBC looks at the series as anyone but the Habs.

          Mr. Biter
          No Guts No Glory

          • Luke says:

            How come I can’t criticize Murray because I can’t skate as well as him, but you get to criticize NBC and CBC when you can’t produce a live sporting event as well as them?

          • Ozmodiar says:

            Luke, why are you assuming the Mr Biter can’t do a better job of producing a sporting event than the CBC??

            C’mon, man. You think Biter would hire PJ Stock? I doubt it.

          • Luke says:

            True, Oz. Fair point.
            (I’m probably as good a skater as Murray, anyways)

  28. Re: the cycling posts below, check out this really compelling 53-second video, created by London’s transport authority. Cyclists, motorists, pedestrians and everyone else should know that a truck’s blind spot is simply enormous. For your own safety, stay alert out there — the cemetery is full of people who had the right of way

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzL0Kyk4m-8


    Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

  29. JUST ME says:

    Martin St-Louis`s mom passed away suddenly from a heart attack and may not be in the lineup tonight since he was known to be in Montreal to attend familly matters.

    Sympathies to him and his familly. Quite an eventfull last year for St-Louis that he probably will never forget.

  30. krob1000 says:

    Douglas Murray…anyone can see wat he brings tot he table…and what he does not. yes his possession or hsots nubmers are not that bad. However, he also blocks a ton of shots and keeps people away from the front and amny of those shots come from the exterior. His plus minus numbers are not great but they are not horrific…in this case his plus minus has to count for something…and then that is weighed agaisnt his other value’s. For most of his career he was an even or plus player…as he has gotten older and his mobility even less than it was when he was younger then it of course is affecting his numbers and effectiveness…..however, he is as valuable as ever in the deterrent and phsyical areas. He is a plus 19 over his career.

    He also plays a lot on the pk (where shots will be hugely outnumbered and he NEVER plays the PP where shots go the other way) and in defensive zone starts…he also plays on a bottom pairing with a bottom pairing partner.

    We all know what we have…as a number 6 dman is ist better to have him in than Bouillon? agaisnt Tampa? nope…against Boston 1000 percent most definitely is. He may not even dress in Boston…but I figure he will but the last change matters as MT also knows his limitations…..those shots numbers though are a bit dramatic and not a compelte picture. That one shift yesterday where Murray bounced three Bruins in 10 seconds was fantastic….I haven’t seen the BRuins being the Bruins since he came into the line up. That comeback in Game 2 was after the game got nasty….one can say it had nothing to do with that or one can look at it as we have seen in the past where sometimes MOntreal does well, Boston gets physical and Montreal fades away…..this did not happen in either game Murray played.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Which team had the puck after those 3 hits by Murray?

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Boston had the puck Murray creamed the player as he passed it to another Bruin who the was immediately creamed by Murray who lost the puck back to the original Bruin who Murray laid out for a 2nd time. Both time in Habs zone.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

    • Commandant says:

      The stats are only for 5v5.

      I didn’t count any of the PK time in that 10 to 1 ratio.

      Also he doesn’t play huge defensive zone starts. Over the course of the season… 5v5, he played a greater percentage of offensive zone starts than any other Regular Habs defencemen…. (not counting the Bulldogs callups).

      As for his career… .Murray was effective in the 2010-11 season and all seasons prior to that. He hasn’t been effective for three years.

      Go Habs Go!

      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • krob1000 says:

        Hmmmsurprised then but either way the bottom line isn;t being affected much. Lars Eller was the teams worst plus minus for the reg season and is the Habs best forward in the playoffs. From what I saw the two games that he played the Habs played better than the two he did not. Records were the same. Physicality disappeared from Boston and Montreal outplayed Boston physically in both games.

  31. Pattyice says:

    The only problem with Murray last night was the fact that he was out a minute into OT . You know for sure that teams are coming out guns blazing looking to end the game quick , so they are skating harder and jacking up the intensity. I think Murray played great last night but by no fault of his own was put in a terrible position and it ended up in our net . Totally on MT not Murray

  32. Ozmodiar says:

    When looked at in a vacuum, it’s hard to argue with Murray’s advanced stats.

    However, when you look at the big picture, having Murray in the lineup takes away the one edge the Bruins have had over the Habs in the last few years – toughness.

    Did anyone feel the Bruins were the tougher team last night? Were they intimidating? Were they able to “impose” their style of play? No, they weren’t. Murray’s been smashing guys – Bergeron, Eriksson, Thornton, etc … The Bruin toughness has been absent during the last couple of games.

    Sure, you can pay attention to stats, but I’d rather look at how the game’s being played. Which team is playing their style of game. I think Murray helps keep the Bruins from playing their preferred style of game. It’s not all Murray, but he helps.

    At the end of the game the scoreboard read 1-0. They’re not gonna win a lot of games with a goose egg heading into OT. Maybe if the “1st line” had played with a bit more intensity, as MT suggests, they wouldn’t have gone to OT at all… and maybe we wouldn’t be discussing Murray.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      We had four power play goals in the first two games. That is what is keeping the Bruins quiet.

      The idea that Lucic and Chara are going to hit less because Murray, who is never on the ice with them, is dressed is … counter-intuitive.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I would add that Bergeron has not been as much of a threat since Murray popped him!

      Habfan17

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Notice no face washings, scrums in front of Price in the last 2 games as opposed to the 1st 2 games. Murray came in for the last 2 games. Coiendence?

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Are you sure it wasn’t the Habs lethal PP in games 1 and 2 that took the wind out of the bruins physical game?

      If it was as a result of Murray! I’d take him out for that reason! when the Bruins are trying to be intimidating they take penalties.. So Murray hurts our team by diminishing the amount of PP opportunities.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  33. Storman says:

    If Burly keeps baiting us with Crankshaft jokes, does that mean he is a master baiter.

  34. HankHardball says:

    Much has been made in this country about the lack of Canadian teams in the playoffs.
    For the sake of American TV revenue, it stands to reason the league would prefer BOS win this series.

    In the first 2 games of this series there were a total of 22 penalties called, 13 of them against BOS.
    There were 4 PP goals, all scored by MTL.

    In the 2nd two games of this series, there were a total of 5 penalties called, 3 of them against MTL.
    There were 0 PP goals in games 3 & 4.

    Did the 2 teams decide to put on their baby bonnets for the last 2 games?
    Or was there a refereeing decision made to not call penalties?

    One way to neutralize a PP advantage is to not call penalties.
    And one thing’s for sure, not calling penalties in this series is advantage BOS.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I thought the same thing.. There was a decision, none of us know from where, to not call penalties in this series.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Luke says:

      If the league was scamming us for the sake of US TV Revenue,

      Crosby wouldn’t be in Pittsburgh, teams would be in different markets and the LA Kings would play the NY Rangers for the Stanley Cup every year.

    • Chris says:

      I couldn’t believe that the refs didn’t call the hit from behind by Iginla on Pacioretty. That was awfully blatant.

      The referees knew it, which is why they let the Habs get away with 3 straight questionable hits from behind in their own zone (two were by Murray, can’t remember who the other one was…Moen?). At least one of them was simply one that you had to call, but they didn’t call Iginla, so they had to let the Habs away with it.

      But then they called the one on Emelin. Players must get so frustrated. “Okay, they’re not calling anything…….two minutes for roughing…”

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        What about Iginla jumping on Patch’s head in front of the Habs bench.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Chris says:

          People are wondering what’s wrong with Pacioretty…he’s been targeted something fierce in this series, taking some huge hits, many of which have been questionable. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’s playing hurt.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Milbury (working on NBC )says Bruins game plan is to hit Patches at every chance as they view him as our most dangerous player and by constantly hitting him they’re wearing him down.

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

    • Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On says:

      Just goes to accentuate the inconsistency of refereeing in the NHL. From 22 penalties down to 5. I don’t know if it’s been mandated to call fewer penalties and to “let ‘em play” but the lack of calls definitely favours only one team on the ice, since the Bruins are the best 5-on-5 team in the league.

      X X X X X X 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  35. habs001 says:

    Not that sure that Maxpac has had that much more fewer scoring chances in the 8 playoff games than he has had when he scored a few goals in bunches…they just have not gone in…

    • JUST ME says:

      We tend to forget that he is being checked very closely by the Bruins even though since him being knocked by Chara that dreaded evening seems to be far away. He is still considered as the number one offensive threath by the opponents.

  36. Danno says:

    I wonder if Charles Prevost-Linton will get to do the anthems on Monday

    ________________________________________

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

  37. habs001 says:

    There are at least 4/5 players on the Habs that we can say are not bad and have good points but they need to be upgraded to become a true cup contender…

  38. habs001 says:

    Vanek is the type of player that you need in the regular season…He is also capable of scoring 2-3 goals without being noticed…In the next 2-3 games the odds are the score will be 1-0 to 2-1 and this is where a player that can score goals out of no where may be a huge asset…

  39. Mattyleg says:

    A totally non-hockey related post, but it’s bugging me and I have to say it…

    Another cyclist is in critical condition in hospital today after being hit by a truck in downtown Montreal. The truck was turning right at a light, the cyclist was crushed and pinned on the inside of the turning truck.

    As a cyclist and a driver, TWO things MUST be identified here and fixed.

    1) Drivers: USE YOUR DAMN TURN-SIGNALS. It’s absolutely shocking that people drive without using them. It’s dangerous as hell to not indicate your intentions, regardless whether you’re going 10 or 100 km/h.

    2) Cyclists: IF A VEHICLE IS INDICATING A TURN, DO NOT TRY TO PASS IT ON THE INSIDE OR WAIT NEXT TO IT. You don’t have the right of way, and drivers are not looking down that inside line. They are watching pedestrians at the corner.

    As far as changes to laws go: Drivers should be re-tested every three years, and cyclists should have to be tested and carry a license to be able to share the road with cars.

    We all have to share the road, and people need to use their common sense or else these sorts of things will keep happening.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Or completely separate cyclists from cars and pedestrians like in many cities (Copenhagen, Amsterdam, every city in Japan).

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • Chris says:

        This is really the only logical solution. It will be very expensive, and it will take a generation to fix. But there is nothing wrong with getting started now.

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          They’ve already done it on many streets in Montreal. Given how much they are losing on Bixi it might be a wise investment.

          —–
          Moving. Forward.

          • Chris says:

            We’re slowly improving here in Guelph, but this is a small relatively young city.

            Most Canadian cities are death-traps for cyclists. We have such an ingrained car culture and so much antagonism between cyclists and drivers that any solution that involves sharing the road is doomed to failure.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Was Douglas Murray anywhere near the scene of the accident?

    • habs001 says:

      Drivers re-tested every 3 years is a good idea but would never be put thru by any political party….

    • shiram says:

      Some cyclists have started “owning their lane” as a protection measure, basically cycling in the middle of the road so cars can’t rush by and can’t miss them.
      This is especially used under the many viaducs in the city.
      And I’m all for it, drivers need to be aware that this is completely legal.

      • Mattyleg says:

        That’s how I cycle.
        If there’s lots of room, I take the side.
        If there isn’t, I take the centre so I’m visible and out of danger.
        I don’t stay there, as I know how annoying it can be to be stuck behind a cyclist, and I move aside when the opportunity arises.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • shiram says:

          And that’s great!
          I saw a video couple days ago a cyclist who was filming his ride, as he went under the viaduc, he took center lane, and as he emerged and took back the side of the lane, a car pulled up and started yelling at him, it was Ville de Montréal car.

          This information needs to be communicated.

      • Chris says:

        Unfortunately, this idea is noble, but often ineffective.

        You can do everything right and still get mowed down by a car. The problem with being a cyclist is that you can assert your right to the road and still be killed, or you can learn to ride incredibly defensively.

        My oldest brother was killed on a bicycle. I’ve had two friends killed on their bicycles. In all cases, the cyclists did everything right and they got mowed down by a distracted driver.

        I always ride expecting drivers to do something unbelievably stupid, and am not often disappointed.

        And yes, I also agree that many cyclists drive like idiots, which contributes to the antagonism between drivers and cyclists. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should do it.

    • mdp2011 says:

      Agree that both drivers and cyclists have to be more vigilant. Not saying this is what happened here, but I just hate it when I see cyclists just zooming in and out of traffic, they’re begging to get hit.

    • Luke says:

      As a runner I’d like to tell BOTH Cyclists and Motorists to go suck a lemon.

      • Chris says:

        I am prohibited from law from going on the sidewalk, so that’s where they should be. I get forced out into traffic so often because running groups decide that the bicycle lane is theirs to run in.

        Bicycles have no business being on sidewalks. Runners have no business being on the pavement, or at the very least should get off the pavement when a bicycle is coming.

        • Luke says:

          Another thing runners and cyclists do that is way too dangerous is stacking 3 abreast so they can chat.

          That drives me nuts as well.

          • Chris says:

            Oh man…me too. In many jurisdictions, it is actually illegal. This usually falls under local by-laws. Here in Guelph, you aren’t permitted to do it yet cyclists insist (INSIST, I tell you!) that it is their right. One of the local cycling clubs actually recommends it to their riders for safety reasons.

            It is pathetic how poorly educated cyclists are about the rules of the road, and the most aggressive ones are often the ones that know the rules the least. :)

  40. Habfan17 says:

    Commandant stated
    “Douglas Murray played 12 minutes of even strength last night. In those 12 Minutes…. Shots on goal: Boston 10, Montreal 1.”

    This is one of those useless points in my opinion. On it’s own, it means nothing. This comment is not meant to offend, so sorry if it does.

    Unless it was Murray that coughed up the puck that led to each shot, this means nothing. I could be standing at a street corner for 12 minutes while 10 cars blow through the stop. I am no more responsible than Murray was.

    There are 5 players on the ice that have their jobs to do, If any one misses an assignment, starting with the face off, then the rest need to adjust and regroup. There are so many other factors as well. Bad bounces, official gets in the way, and many more.

    Habfan17

    • D Mex says:

      It’s pretty sensational to read, tho …
      Carey Price seems happy to have Murray around ;-)

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • Commandant says:

      You are right and this is all true.

      However, this is not an isolated incident. There are three years of solid stats that show Douglas Murray’s teams are horribly outshot when he is on the ice, and do much better when he is off the ice.

      This is 3 seasons, with 3 teams, with 3 coaches who have often changed pairings, changed forward lines, mixed things up.

      In three years every player who has played semi regularly with Murray is a minimum of 5% worse with Murray than away from Murray (and many much more than that).
      On the Habs every player who has played semi regularly with Murray this season is a minimum of 7% worse with Murray than away from Murray (and many much more than that).

      So yes, I get your point that it could be other guys making mistakes. But the OVERWHELMING evidence over a huge sample size here is that Douglas Murray drags down the other four players on the ice, no matter who they are.

      Go Habs Go!

      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • Mattyleg says:

        I disagree.
        Completely subjective.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • frontenac1 says:

          Statistics say ,given my lifestyle,I should have been dead a long time ago. Uh-oh, scratch that.

        • Commandant says:

          Over 200+ games… its not.

          Especially when you consider that over those 200+ games his level of competition is very low relative to other players on his team (he’s matched with 3rd/4th lines not first liners), and his offensive zone start percentage over the 200+ games is very high (he’s sheltered this way as well)

          I agree, Corsi, Fenwick, Fancy stats, they aren’t the be all and end all. You have a guy who is 55% and another who is 50%, and lots of factors can be involved in that and you need some eyeball scouting to figure it out.

          You have a guy who is 17%, and is epically bad with everyone you pair him with I don’t need the eyeball test to know he’s bad.

          But for fun the eyeball test tells me he is constantly pinned in his own end by his inability to skate and retrieve loose pucks, and his inability to make a pass. Now that eyeball test is the subjective one.

          Go Habs Go!

          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            What you fail to do is give analysis as to why those numbers are what they are. Just stating a stat then jumping directly to a conclusion is not analysis.

            I agree that Murray is a liability 5 on 5. It has nothing to do with CORSI. It is because when he obtains possession of the puck, more often than not it gets chipped off his stick, he loses it, he makes a poor pass, or just clears the zone.

            He rarely makes a play that results in the Habs gaining possession. Stating a team gives up more shots when a certain player on the ice is irrelevant, it’s a team game. Now, if you could present data with all things being equal, except for Murray! and these numbers change the. You may be on to something.. What are the odds that the other 11 players are the same with the exception of Murray, with the score the same?

            The problem with CORSI is that there are far too many externalities to account for. It reminds me of how insurance companies being prohibited from charging people more based on the colour of their automobile..

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Habfan17 says:

          Completely! Please see what I posted below. I still have not seen anything that proves those performance drops.

          Habfan17

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Yet 3 different NHL Teams coached by 3 different NHL Coaches chose to play him….. Clearly some people here are more qualified than 3 NHL Coaches.

        • D Mex says:

          All are / were teams with winning records, BTW.

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

        • Commandant says:

          And 2 different GMs decided that taking him away as an option for their coach to play was a smart move. Lets hope the third does the same.

          Go Habs Go!

          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Chris says:

            There is no way Murray is back next season. He was a stop-gap, nothing more.

            I will be surprised if any of Weaver, Murray or Bouillon are back next year. The only one I could see is that they let Markov walk and Weaver is signed to mentor Beaulieu on the third pairing.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Agree Chris, the team needs to start getting Pateryn/Tinordi/Beaulieu into the lineup next season.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Weaver is as effective as Gorges.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • Chris says:

            Perhaps, but Weaver is about to turn 36, while Gorges is going to be 30 late in August. Gorges will continue to improve as he gains Weaver’s understanding of the game, earned by playing in the league for years.

            Weaver is going to start to slide simply because of his age and mileage. He’s been a warrior in these playoffs, but I wouldn’t re-sign him with Pateryn, Tinordi and Beaulieu all chomping at the bit for NHL ice-time.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I still don’t see any actual stats to prove your percentages! I also don’t see any stats to show how many times, players of the opposing teams haven’t taken a liberty with Murray’s team mates while he is on the ice or how many times the goalie was able to stop a puck because the opposing team wasn’t crashing the net. Or how many times players like Bergeron have been playing timid and haven’t produced due to Murray!

        To be fair, both sides need to be represented and hard stats need to be presented. I can say that every Hab that played semi-regularly was 7% worse. Unless you are going to put together every unit that played, showing time on ice for each unit. Where on the ice they started their shifts, did they win the faceoff. Did they get stuck on a line change where the opposing team got their first line out against Montreal’s 4th line, and on and on, then again, his is unsubstantiated and meaningless!

        There could be other players that were also common that helped drag down the performance. If the forwards did not back check as they are supposed to and did not pick up their men, putting extra pressure on the defence. I don’t see how you can justifiably make this statement either.

        Habfan17

  41. habs001 says:

    I hope that i am right on this prediction…I really feel that the Hamilton big 3 will have a major impact on this team within 2 years…Plus there are a couple of other D prospects …..

  42. Max says:

    Vanek just seems so dour and moody.I think he’s one of those guys who brings it when he wants to bring it.I doubt he can be turned on and off like a switch. Great player for 5 millionish but doesn’t seem as appealing for 7.5-8 mill at 7 years which is probably what he’ll get on the market.What will a 35 plus year old Vanek look like?

    • Habfan17 says:

      Yes, I am less than impressed with his effort in the play offs. Even Patches seems to be lacking. I hope they both get it in gear starting tomorrow or the Habs may be golfing soon!

      If Vanek keeps playing this way, I say let him walk. If he wants a long term big money contract, he needs to perform when it counts most, now!!

      Habfan17

  43. habs001 says:

    The odds are the Habs will not win in Boston because they outplayed,outchanced and outshot the Bruins…The Bruins will probably win these stats…To win in Boston it will take a gutsy effort and having the breaks go your way….

  44. Storman says:

    Dion Phaneuf asked by TSN media if he has been playing golf, he says no I really have been just doing a ton of fishing,, reporter asks him do you consider yourself a master fisherman,, he says no I am working on being a master baiter before I can be a master fisherman.

  45. Mattyleg says:

    Not sure how Therrien’s remarks can be read as ‘dissing’ Vanek.
    He was asked about Vanny-van-van’s lack of shots, and I would have been upset if he’d said “oh, I’m not worried about that, he’s played extremely well during these playoffs, and besides, everyone is allowed to take a game off every now and then.”

    When he says “your guess is as good as mine,” it means that he’s tried to get The Vanster into gear, and he doesn’t know why it’s not catching.

    No dissing, just the media pointing out what everyone’s noticed, and Therrien taking the opportunity to deliver a message to all forwards.

    No big whoop. If Vanek feels embarrassed for being singled out, perhaps he should work a little harder rather than drifting and disappearing.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    A break from hockey tonight, going to see City and Colour, anybody catch them at Bell Center 3 nights ago?

  47. JUST ME says:

    Therrien must know that something does not feel as it used to to say that intensity level is not up to par.

    Because to our eye ,the team still competes although we see that line number 1 is not stacking up points as it was at the end of the season.
    Not certain that Vanek on line 1 was such a good idea because his way of playing and Gallagher`s are so different . The little warrior does a job that neither Max or D.D. are doing when Vanek is more of an artist not doing the bulldozing job like Gally.

    Also one has to say that Boston has the best team in the conference and arguably the habs are second best, at least statistically. One against the other is another story that is being written as we write.
    Oddly the same can be said about the goalers. Rask deserved the win yesterday , not more than Price but statistically…In reality we fare much better.

    There will always be a way to get better and a need to get better but at least i feel like we are competing ,consistently and that the effort is there. I trust from this year`s instances that the habs will rise to the challenge .

    I just know that in so many ways things are not what they used to be between those two teams win or lose . I do not feel like the habs are being intimidated,bullied and tossed around. Things have changed.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      In a very close game, one mistake is all it takes.

      Last night Michel Therrien made a mistake.

      He is trying to disown his blunder by (1) saying that Weaver/Murray were great despite compelling evidence to the contrary and (2) blaming his team for lack of intensity.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • Luke says:

        I don’t thnk he is trying to disown the mistake.

        He’s trying to not throw Murray under the bus.
        Do you want him to say: “I should never have put Murray on the ice in OT.” ?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think that is precisely what he wants him to say, followed up with the fact that Murray is no longer a Hab and shall never be named again. ;-)

      • Mattyleg says:

        What mistake?
        There was no mistake.
        If you mean putting Murray on the ice, it was the proper matchup for their third line.
        Would fans rather have seen PK and Gorges up against the 3rd line, and then Markov and Emelin against the 2nd line, and Murray and Weaver against the 1st?

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • JUST ME says:

        @ DipsyDoodler

        You tend to try to pin the blame on M.T. as if he was not part of the team and deserves all the blame. You win as a team….
        What if we had won yesterday ? Then Murray would have been a beast whit his physical style and Weaver as surprizing as he has been since joining the team.
        Being part of a team whatever role you are playing is also being able to feel that something is not right like we all feel sometimes at home of at the office.

    • JF says:

      Agree with you that we’re not being intimidated the way we used to. For the most part, we’re giving as good as we get. That is something that has certainly changed over the last couple of years. For me, the difference in this series is not size or physicality, but five-on-five play. As was the case three years ago, the Bruins have the puck more at even strength than we do and are out-scoring us. If this situation continues, they’ll likely win the series, since the referees seem for the most part to have put their whistles away. If I were Therrien, I think I’d reunite our top line and trust that they can start lighting the lamp. Vanek was tried with Plekanec when we first acquired him, and it didn’t work. He got going as soon as he was placed with Pacioretty and Desharnais.

  48. Habilis says:

    One more thing I will say about this whole fancy stat Murray debate:

    The Leafs don’t put any stock in fancy stats, they’ve admitted as much. The Hawks, Kings, Sharks and Blues all do.

    How can you look at that list and at the state of those teams and think that fancy stats aren’t meaningful?

    I’m not saying that a team should make decisions based solely on the numbers, but to simply ignore them is downright silly.

    • Strummer says:

      Speaking of the Leafs- their “facncy-stats” were terrible earlier in the season but thier goaltending was great so they were OK.
      Once the goaltending was less than stellar they crash and burned.
      ____________________________________________________
      “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

      • Habilis says:

        Exactly. The fancy stats can’t predict success or failure because there are always circumstances that are beyond quantification, such as a smoking hot goalie.

        But ignoring the underlying stats because you have a hot goalie or a line that’s scoring in bunches will lead to one thing: failure. The Leafs proved it.

        It’s the exact same premise that sees Las Vegas rake in billions every year. If you gamble for a short period of time, you have a chance to win, maybe even win a lot. But the longer you play, the more the odds stack up against you. Eventually you lose it all and more. Hence the golden rule of every casino on the planet: Keep them playing.

        It’s the inevitability of being on the wrong side of math. Math always wins over the long run.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Do you have any examples of teams who don’t put any stock in fancy stats but are successful nonetheless?

      I know it goes against your thesis, but it would be interesting to see the whole truth.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Habilis says:

        Again, I’m really just starting to understand all of this and by no means am I knowledgeable with regards to fancy stats. My main point is simply that ignoring them is dangerous.

        That being said, I know that Colorado was one of the more obvious examples out there. They had bad numbers all year, but they had Varlamov playing like a beast. They rode that as far as they could, which turned out to be 7 playoff games.

    • habcertain says:

      the Murray debate is grossly overstated on either side of the argument, (considering his limited minutes) he is not as bad as some say and doesn’t appear to make any more mistakes then a Frankie Boo, nor does he intimidate the Bruins. He is what he is, if you want to assert a little more grit you dress him. I think game 5 will be a banger at the TD Center, and would keep him dressed. I would prefer Tiny or Beaulieu but that isn’t going to happen.

  49. The Jackal says:

    From a more even-keeled perspective this morning, the loss wasn’t really “bad.”

    1-0 in OT on a fluke goal… can’t say either team did too badly or too well.
    I think the Bruins are obviously glad to get the win but the seed of doubt is there – they are literally lucky to be tied. Sure, we now go to Boston for possibly two games, but the Habs can certainly win on the road. The longer the series stretches, the more of a chance there is that Patch wakes up, but even if he doesn’t we can still beat the B’s. Rask’s curse remains unbroken and the Habs have played better every game.

    Habs in 6.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • JF says:

      That’s a very optimistic way to look at it. You could just as easily say that we’re lucky to be tied, since the first game also went to OT. As for Rask’s “curse,” I’m not sure about that. His excellent performance last night will have given him confidence. From the point of view of goaltending as well as other facets of the game, this series is coming to resemble more and more the one we played three years ago. Our powerplay is better than theirs, they’re better at even strength; our goaltending was better to start the series, theirs certainly improved last night. Thomas also got better as that series went on.

  50. habs001 says:

    Looks to me the remaining games will be 2-1 type games…The series can go either way…A bit odd that Bruins have been short only once in each of the last 2 games…..

  51. Danno says:

    Corsi is being used to extrapolate in ways it was never intended.

    From the inventor of the Corsi system:

    “It’s really just a number that I’ve used for goaltenders to hone in on their fitness and how much activity is actually going on with respect to goaltending.”

    ________________________________________

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

  52. punkster says:

    With reference to my earlier post and the multiple comments following, I’m not about to get in to a discussion about big hits versus puck possession and the relative importance of either. Two tribes and all that.

    I will only provide the following observations:

    – Vanek is very comfortable in the space between the blue lines. He should really buy property there and build a home. Life is sweet and easy between the lines, baby, particularly when you don’t have challenges. He needs line mates who will challenge him.

    – Max is being covered and checked expertly. He’s a player who has one the highest shot attempt totals in the league, is a top scorer, and he is blanketed, blocked, interfered with, pushed, shoved and slowed down at every opportunity. Max needs help. Please, Michel Therrien, do us all a solid here and help Max.

    – Gally is small. He’s all heart and soul and grit and never-give-an-inch and speedy and lovable and all but he’s getting pushed to the side boards. Nothing wrong with sideboards as long as the buffet laid out there includes eggs benedict and lobster and various fried pork dishes. But Gally needs 2 big line mates so he can do what he does best…go to the net and shit disturb.

    – Briere is a mystery. I’ve read lots of mysteries…who-done-its, spy versus spy, cop stories…but I can’t figure this one out. I almost expect one of those surprise, unanticipated, bizarro endings where all the main character heroes and thugs just play out their scripted parts and in the end it’s some unknown bit part performer, a walk on, you know…Aunt Millie’s long lost illegitimate son from a long forgotten marriage…who pulls the trigger and slays the main villain.

    Release the Subbang!!!

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Or it’s going to be like The Killing – unexpectedly (and annoyingly) goes on for a second season.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • habcertain says:

      Briere has still managed to get a few points while getting 6 minutes of ice time, I do not understand the criticism when he is not playing with other offensive players, to go along with the limited ice. MB invests $8m in an offensive player that the coach has refused to put in a position to produce. It seems to me that every time he has gotten an opportunity he has done pretty well, then it reverts to sitting on the bench. Very strange.

  53. secretdragonfly says:

    Not that I’m superstitious or anything but do you think the folks at HIO could possibly refrain from displaying pictures of former Bruin players until after the series, hmmm?

    • CH Marshall says:

      no kidding! “Oh but it was such a superbly written article! And it’s HOCKEY inside out”. BS.

    • Storman says:

      Ya I mentioned it in the last thread,, i politely asked Dave Stubbs to try and hold off his Stan Jonathon tribute piece until after we eliminate the Bruins.. every time I think of him posting that OReilly piece on Game day i just shake my head in dis belief,, i was so excited to wake up log on and get into Habs Bruins rivalry mode with my fellow Habs crazed brethren,, and HIO has an Oreilly love fest posted,, a pure WTF, guess Stubbs has never played at that ultra competitive level of sports…

  54. Storman says:

    I have to admit the pleasure of seeing a Bruin get squashed into the boards is undeniable,, I scream with delight when the Habs score,, but if i ever get a chance to see Crankshaft or Emelin put a lick on Marchand, like the one Moen put on Iginla,, i think i would probably Let an Alexander Semin blast go.

  55. mdp2011 says:

    To Commandant and all the other stat guru’s out there. You point out that the shots on goal with Murray on the ice were Boston 10, Montreal 1. Can you expand on that please?
    How many were a direct result of an defensive zone faceoff where the Habs centermen cleanly lost the faceoff which resulted in a shot against? How many shots were the results of a turnover NOT committed by Murray that resulted in a shot against? How many were the result of offensive zone breakout by Boston that resulted in a shot against?

    • habstrinifan says:

      Every single situation you describe has one fundamental starting point. The HABS are not in ‘control’ of the puck in those instances… which essentially is Commandant’s point (hope I am not putting words in his mouth). You have to play your pairings not only with an eye for who can ‘do the best prevent defense’ but also who gets and retains longest possession of the puck.

  56. HabinBurlington says:

    Habs would have swept series in 4 with Diaz still in lineup.

  57. knob says:

    If only advanced stats could tell us the difference in the Boston testosterone in games where Murray is in vs. games he is out.

    To me that is the positive impact having a guy like Murray in the line-up. Murray keeps Boston honest.

    • Luke says:

      Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.
      Lisa: That’s specious reasoning, Dad.
      Homer: Thank you, dear.
      Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
      Homer: Oh, how does it work?
      Lisa: It doesn’t work.
      Homer: Uh-huh.
      Lisa: It’s just a stupid rock.
      Homer: Uh-huh.
      Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
      [Homer thinks of this, then pulls out some money]
      Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.
      [Lisa refuses at first, then takes the exchange]

      http://www.getelastic.com/lisa-simpson-gets-why-correlation-does-not-imply-causation/

      (Actually, advanced statistical analysis COULD tell you, but getting the Bruins to submit the necessary blood samples would probably be a bit of a chore).

      I’ll also add, becasue I feel I should, I like Murray. He has a role. Seems like a pleasant guy. Adds somethign the Habs have lacked.
      Sadly, he’s not exactly the most skillsy of folks.
      He’s the 6th best defenseman on the team (at best). I’m with Commadant, I’d play Tinordi or Beaulieu instead.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I’d play Beaulieu also. Long before now, in fact.
        But Murray’s too big to be made a scapegoat.
        Scapemoose?
        Nah, still doesn’t fit.
        He did what was asked of him. How many forwards can say the same thing?

  58. CHicoHab says:

    Shots on goal is only a reflection of Murray being on the ice?? How about the other 4 guys on the ice?

  59. Commandant says:

    Douglas Murray played 12 minutes of even strength last night. In those 12 Minutes…. Shots on goal: Boston 10, Montreal 1.

    Prorated over 60 minutes…. thats getting outshot 50-5. Oh but he’d throw 30 hits in that time.

    Thats what we are dealing with….. just to put it in perspective.

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • mdp2011 says:

      Thankfully, he doesn’t play 60 minutes. He can be effective 6th Dman with just 10-12.

      • Commandant says:

        If you call effective, the fact that during those 10-12 the shots are the equivalent of giving the Bruins 5-6 powerplays.

        Go Habs Go!

        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • JohnBellyful says:

          Not to worry. They don’t score on power plays anyway.
          :)
          (I’m adding those now to do my part to keep the HIO debate from getting heated — again — which I might have contributed to with my post last night in defence of Murray. I guess I was kinda cranky after the game because people were after Cranky.)

    • knob says:

      Better then watching Bruins run over Frankie

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Why hasn’t Murray been burned at the stake yet! We need to remove this scourge from all of society, he needs to be wiped off the earth, and oh yah, how come MT keeps playing Crankshaft by himself, wouldn’t it be better if he had 4 linemates during those 12 minutes?

    • D Mex says:

      Pro-rated over 60 minutes :
      Carey Price wouldn’t get as much as a dirty look.
      Just to put it in perspective …

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      By comparison, Boston’s worse D pairing is Krug/Miller and shot advantage was 15-10 for Montreal. Not good but not indicative of the ice being tilted in one direction.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • Hobie says:

      Where did the play start? In the Habs end? Did they use him in the offensive zone with Montreal’s top offensive players? How many shots against would there be if he played with Subban and could just flip it over to him to clear the zone like Gorges?

    • The_Truth says:

      Murray isn’t the only guy on the ice out there. The last two games, Price has had to handle a lot less quality shots than the first two games and Murray does a nice job of boxing guys out, letting Price see the puck.

      Murray is a +/- 0 in 2 games and has not been a liability. Handled correctly, like he has been by MT, I think he has been effective. Lucky bounce last night, that had nothing to do with Murray.

      Now with Boston having the last change at home, that is a different story. I am not sure if I would sub in Bouillon or not.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Re-post from last night.
      Not enough response then for you?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  60. Storman says:

    If crankshaft was a police officer and he was chasing me for stealing something, i would stop and steal something else, just to tease him.

  61. L Elle says:

    Marty Biron, in an interview before the game, had some interesting points. When asked about Rask, he said he had the same problems with the Pens. In one playoff game, he got a shutout, and thought the curse was over, only to lose the next game 5-1. Rask is not in the clear. heh heh

    He also predicted a Habs’ loss last night, but an eventual win in the series. My gut told me he was correct about last night’s game, no denying.

    Series tied at 2, sure to be a fun game on Saturday.

    Habs in 6!

  62. HabinBurlington says:

    How much bigger would this website be if renamed, CrankshaftInside/Out?

  63. DipsyDoodler says:

    Oh and another thing – publicly dissing Vanek is going to help the team how? I think it’s only a lack of familiarity with English clichés that prevented Therrien from saying we need to up our compete level.

    Mike Babcock has one year left in Detroit. We can afford to pay him the big bucks.
    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  64. Habilis says:

    So both teams have a top line that’s not doing anything. We have DD’s line, they have Krejci’s line.

    Feels like whichever team manages to get their guys going first will win this thing.

    I think we need the mayor to insult DD again. Seemed to work last time.

  65. Storman says:

    Really cant wait to see Nathan Beaulieu given a full chance to play and make this team,, two of the best D prospects in the skating department, not presently playing in the NHL, Nathan Beaulieu and Mike Matheson.

  66. Psycho29 says:

    I make it a point to stay away from the live blog but went and read some of the comments.
    I don’t usually agree with “Crotchland” or whatever his name is, but this in my opinion was the post of the night:

    scrotchland
    May 8, 2014 at 11:04 pm
    corsi? who gives a flying f*** about corsi.
    freaking useless egghead stats.
    the game is played on the ice, not paper.
    murray played a great game. lucky goal by boston.

    • Habilis says:

      Still don’t understand how anyone can think like that. I’m not a huge proponent of fancy stats but I also think that ignoring them completely is foolish. That’s like ignoring math.

      Murray laid out some hits last night, yeah. But the underlying team numbers when he was on the ice were atrocious. We were outshot, out-chanced and hemmed in our zone every time he was out there.

      Not sure how people can just ignore that because he’s big.

      • Cal says:

        You’re letting everyone else on the ice for the Habs off the hook.

        • Habilis says:

          In fact I think that the 4 guys who were on the ice with Murray must have been doing a pretty good job since they weren’t scored on with those insane shot discrepancies in regulation.

          If Murray wasn’t the problem, then you’d expect roughly the same numbers from Bouillon-Weaver as you would from Murray-Weaver. That’s not the case. Everything goes south (possession-wise) when Murray plays. I just don’t see how this can be ignored.

  67. shiram says:

    Before the playoffs started, I said Max and DD needed to up their game as their previous playoffs were not very successful.

    Most pointed at the small sample size, yet now 2 series in, I have to feel vindicated on those comments.
    Therrien seems to feel the same way.
    And if they do not up their game it will very difficult to eek out 2 wins in the last 3 of the series.

  68. Hobie says:

    Therrien had praise for his third defence pair of Mike Weaver and Douglas Murray.

    “I thought they played really well,” the coach said. “I thought they were physical, I thought they were blocking shots, they contained really well for the most part of the game. Guys like Douglas Murray, he’s a tough customer. He’s tough to play against. He’s physical and certainly he’s a presence out there for us and I thought Weaver and Murray did a fantastic job for us.”

    ****

    Connor Mckenna, Andrew Berkshire….. STFU!!!

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      A Nelson Munzesque “HA HA” would have been more appropriate.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • Hobie says:

        I’d usually never say this about any media member from Montreal…

        I wouldn’t mind Conor McKenna getting caught in the wrong part of Boston with his Habs jersey on after the game tomorrow. He’d probably try and protect himself by swinging his Corsi and Fenwick stats book at someone before getting beaten to a pulp.

  69. habstrinifan says:

    Lots of BS in the featured article for this thread.

  70. DipsyDoodler says:

    “Therrien had praise for his third defence pair of Mike Weaver and Douglas Murray.”

    OK. Over the last two games these are the shots on goal at 5 on 5 when our three D pairings are on the ice..

    PK/Gorges 28-21
    Marky/Yemmy 22-16
    Weaver/Murray 6-20

    Basically, for one quarter of the game, we give up the chance to score a goal.

    ” Guys like Douglas Murray, he’s a tough customer. He’s tough to play against”

    Last night Boston shots were 10-1 with ‘tough to play against’ Douglas Murray on the ice.

    Those hits didn’t prevent the Bruins from controlling play, as we knew they wouldn’t.

    Douglas Murray is easy to play against. Not tough. Easy. Because you always have the puck.

    Put it another way, we had 30 shots on goal with Murray off the ice, and just one with him on.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  71. Rudy says:

    What the hell with this team not practicing! It’s the freaking playoffs!

  72. Luke says:

    I hope there is a special place in Hell for the people who stir their coffee with the sugar spoon and then put it back in the sugar.

  73. Un Canadien errant says:

    ***Re-posted from previous thread.***

    In dissecting an overtime 1-0 loss to the Bruins that evened the series a two wins apiece, Canadiens fans would do well to keep a sense of proportion, although it will be very difficult. In the post-mortem, fingers will be pointed, and a lot of them will be trained on Douglas Murray.

    The big Swede is a bit of a polarizing figure, and not in the sense of a Claude Lemieux or a Mike Ribeiro. In fact, most Canadiens fans harbour no ill-will toward the big lug, he’s a pretty sympathetic figure. In his long turn as a San Jose Shark, I don’t remember him being ‘hated’ by other teams’ fans, notably the Canucks’, just sometimes derided for his lack of mobility, and admired for his great size and strength and ability to throw thunderous bodychecks.

    Where the two camps form in his case is more with his ability as a hockey player, whether his defensive ability, his toughness, comes at too great a cost for him to hold much or any value to a team. Some fans love his contribution, the way opponents need to skate with their heads up and not get too fancy when he’s in the lineup, while others say having him on the ice is like voluntarily surrendering a powerplay opportunity to the opponents, so limited is his ability to make a good pass or get to loose pucks to clear the zone.

    I do notice how the Canadiens often have to scramble in their own zone when he’s on the ice, so I understand and don’t dismiss those arguing the ‘con’ side, but something I also notice is how much better behaved other teams like the Bruins and the Flyers, the Leafs and the Senators are when Douglas Murray is in the roster, how much less crap Carey Price has to put up with when the whistle goes and Douglas is standing in front of him. I don’t think it’s subjective, that it’s confirmation bias. When he’s staring down Douglas Murray, giant pain Wayne Simmonds will avert his gaze and skate to the faceoff circle at the whistle.

    The difference to last season’s roster, when we had the likes of Tomas Kaberle, Raphaël Diaz and Yannick Weber on our third pairing, is striking. Facewashes, scrums, Carey getting his glove hand slashed, getting jostled, they all happened when our overmatched slicksters were getting ragdolled by Chris Neils and Marcus Folignos or other such types impervious to a sense of fair play, and apparently invisible to NHL referees once they blew their whistle.

    Veteran observers and fans of the Canadiens will remember a time when a Douglas Murray would have been superfluous to a team that had Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe and Larry Robinson as its central pillars on the blueline, with adjuncts like Brian Engblom, Rod Langway, Bill Nyrop, Pierre Bouchard and Gilles Lupien. Or a team with Larry Robinson, Chris Chelios, Petr Svoboda, Rick Green, Craig Ludwig, Mike Lalor and Donald Dufresne. Especially when you have Rick Chartraw, Bob Gainey, Yvon Lambert and Mario Tremblay in your forwards, or Mike McPhee, Shayne Corson, Chris Nilan, Claude Lemieux, Mike Keane and Brian Skrudland. These guys will act as dampeners, as brakes on opponent excesses.

    With defence corps like that, the toughness, the mean quotient, is built into the machine, it’s integral to it. It doesn’t have to be bolted on as an accessory. It’s in the mix, like the fiber in carrot cake, it comes in every bite. The recent defence squads of the Canadiens have been more like sponge cake, you’d have to have an apple next to it on the plate to get your roughage.

    The ideal modern defenceman comes in the form of a Shea Weber or a Kevin Bieksa, a player who can play big minutes in any situation. He can defend, he can provide offence, he can play 5-on-5, shorthanded, on the powerplay, he can rattle your cage, he can answer the bell, he can break out of your zone with a good pass, can connect on occasional stretch passes to spring a forward on a breakaway, he can do it all.

    Obviously, there aren’t enough of those guys to go around, certainly not six of them for every NHL team, so they have to ice the best roster they can, with matching and complementing skill sets, and that’s how guys like Brian Campbell or Anton Volchenkov become very valuable even though there are holes in their skill sets, they tend to do a few things very well and their shortcomings get palliated in various ways.

    In football terms, we see this phenomenon with the advent of the situational pass rusher, the Fred Dean, the Sean Phillips or Aldon Smith or Antwan Barnes, a player who won’t be much use shedding blockers or tackling runners, but on third downs when a pass attempt is almost guaranteed, can pin his ears back and give linemen fits trying to keep them off their quarterbacks. In baseball, we see players like the situational lefty reliever, or the left-handed bat who can make contact, and can come in as a pinch-hitter or designated hitter to go up against a rightie.

    This player is not a generalist, but a specialist who is handy for a manager to have among his twenty-five man or fifty-three man roster. He’ll be put in in certain situations, against specific opponents, to get a job done. His teammates can pick up his slack.

    Douglas is such a situational player, a guy who adds salt to the batter, kick drum to the groove. He brings the noise. Until players like Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn are ready to roll, until and unless prospects like Darren Dietz, Dalton Thrower and Josiah Didier who have a lot of toughness in their skillset pan out, a player like Douglas Murray complements our defence corps, increases its ruggedness profile. Injected at the right time, against the proper opponents, like a sack specialist or a Del Unser, Douglas provides crucial toughness for his team, and pushback against teams that are likely to use intimidation to cheat their way to a win.

    And I’ll repeat that Douglas shouldn’t be judged against P.K. Subban’s or Andrei Markov’s numbers. At worst, you’ll look at his performance compared to your next-best defenceman, to a Francis Bouillon or a Jarred Tinordi. You’ll look at it as an opportunity cost versus playing the other #6-7 defencemen on your roster, or those that were available in free agency the previous off-season.

    Optimally, you compare him against the likes of a Brooks Orpik or a Shane O’Brien, similar defencemen who are counted on by their teams to add snarl to the lineup, and whose defensive lapses and adventures when handling the puck are forgiven when they play hard, given the current climate in the NHL, and the lax refereeing standards, and the tolerance to extra-curricular activity, to ‘finishing your checks’, to ‘crashing the crease’.

    Kind of like you’ll forgive your new turbo-hot girlfriend if she dings up the front quarterpanel on your pickup, she makes up for it in other ways.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Luke says:

      (also reposted)

      You don’t judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree…

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Yet Colin Campbell and Don Cherry are very insistent that fishes must climb, like in the good old days, and not just stick to the easy obvious swimming portion of the competition, like dem foreign fishes, with visors.

    • Commandant says:

      Here is the thing.

      We have a player in the press box, who while he isn’t as tough as Murray… does have size, and does have toughness in his own right. He’s also a much better skater, and a much better passer.

      In fact we have two of them.

      The only problem…. they are both “rookies” and our coaching staff would rather die with a veteran who hasn’t played well since 2011…. than give a kid a chance, a couple kids who have over 30 games of NHL experience each (over the last two years) and have outperformed Murray in those 30 games.

      I say give one of them a chance. My personal preference would be the more offensive of the two in Nathan Beaulieu, however I could see going with Jarred Tinordi too.

      Claude Julien isn’t afraid of his rookies, and playing one in his first NHL playoff game paid huge dividends last night.

      Go Habs Go!

      http://lastwordonsports.com/

  74. FlyAngler says:

    First!

    “Gardez la foi! Keep the Faith!”

  75. rhino514 says:

    Funny you should say that, everyone assumes that because the advanced stats tell a bad story, the reason is he must be incredibly slow and cannot moe nor skate. But for a big guy out there I see him skating just fine.
    Advanced stats used in short term situations have very little value, here is why I think so;
    The Bruins most dangerous line right now is the soderberg line and they are often being matched up against our third pairing.
    The Bruins are a deep team with three good lines and we simply cannot win the matchup on all of our D pairings…just like Bartkowski/Mezjaros and their partner have been a nightmare defensively for Boston.
    Stick Bouillon in and I bet the that line continues to dominate (though I can understand Bouillon subbing for Murray in Boston, but that has more to do with me thinking Bouillon is grossly undervalued for his one on one coverage, rather than me hating Murray)
    Also, the advanced stats apply to Weaver, the other half of the pairing, just as much as to Murray. It would be just as logical to say Murray is a decent Dman being held back by Weaver´atrocious play than the opposite story, which is the one we are hearing.
    The truth probably lies somewehere in between; they are both having trouble against the line which has the best chemistry going for the Bruins right now.

  76. Habfan17 says:

    We can only hope!

    Habfan17

  77. Just a Habs Fan says:

    Very mature slyCH……people like you are a minus on this site. Oh yes and generally people like you who threaten others behind a electronic wall are also useless in many ways….


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