Christmas break comes to end in Tampa for Habs

The Canadiens’ Christmas break came to an end on Friday afternoon when the team practised in Tampa ahead of Saturday’s game against the Lightning (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690). It marked the first time the Canadiens had been on the ice since beating the Predators last Saturday in Nashville.

Josh Gorges, who missed the Nashville game with a lower-body injury, practised with his teammates in Tampa and will be back in the lineup Saturday night. Carey Price will start in goal against the Lightning.

 The players headed to the Lightning’s practice rink in suburban Brandon, Fla., after taking a three-hour charter flight from Montreal on Friday morning. Coach Michel Therrien put the players through an hour-long workout that was heavy on skating.

“For sure, tomorrow the execution won’t be 100 per cent, but it will be the same for both teams,” Therrien told reporters after practice. “But I liked the practice. The players looked good even though many of them haven’t touched a puck for five days. They looked fresh.”

It will be a busy weekend for the Canadiens, who will be in action again Sunday when they visit the Florida Panthers (5 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690). Peter Budaj will start in goal against the Panthers.

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

Bourque – Plekanec – Gionta
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher
Prust – White – Moen
Galchenyuk – Eller – Briere
Parros – Bournival

Murray – Bouillon
Gorges – Subban
Markov – Emelin
Diaz

(Photo by Mark Humphrey/The Associated Press)

Canadiens vs. Lightning preview, NHL.com

Back to work for Habs and new dad Pacioretty, by Pat Hickey

Post-practice comments (video), Canadiens.com

Pacioretty lauds St. Louis’s hard work, by Pat Hickey

Christmas break ends in Florida sun for Habs, by Pat Hickey

Changes coming for Habs in 2014, by Pat Hickey

Elmer Lach still has stories to tell at age 95, by Dave Stubbs

Latest Lightning news, Tampa Bay Tribune

Habs’ top 10 world junior performances, Canadiens.com

344 Comments

  1. Danno says:

    Bruins’ Seidenberg sidelined for the season with torn ACL

    http://espn.go.com/boston/nhl/story/_/id/10205674/boston-bruins-dennis-seidenberg-tears-acl-done-year

    ________________________________________

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

  2. frontenac1 says:

    So the women Cda vs USA on Monday night. The last two meetings there have been Line Brawls. Front will be geared up for the next game! Meoww!!Yee-haw!

  3. Rob says:

    Hey guys. Stuck in the states for a week and need to stream the games. I know I’ve read on here that there are good reliable streams. Can anyone remind me what they are? Thanks!

  4. HabinBurlington says:

    So Murray/Parros/Bournival all out for Habs tonight, Diaz in.

    And oh yah, Canada just scored at the Schpengler Cup.

  5. HabinBurlington says:

    Perhaps it was just me, but did anyone else notice how McDavid wasn’t on the first powerplay unit? As soon as his unit comes on, immediate scoring chances. Then there was a 4 on 4 2minute period in the first, again McDavid gets the last 15-20 seconds and immediately creates chances.

    I argued with a fellow Cdn fan today that Sutter is coaching the team like they are playing in a North American barn. His defence was Canada has never lost with him coaching. After the game he didn’t want to discuss the topic further.

    I do think Fucale will get the next start, who is to say if he is better, but he certainly has won more big games than Paterson in his career thus far.

    Also, didn’t it seem like Hudon got little ice time early in the game?

    Play Drouin, McDavid and Hudon a ton, they can skate and have high hockey IQ, on the big ice they thrive.

    And just two days ago Mantha was the flavour of the day, today he showed how indifferent he can look on the ice.

    Canada will have to beat U.S. I think to advance as it is my understanding less teams move on as the bye’s to the semi finals have been removed I heard.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I saw McDavid take a couple penalties and Sutter glued him to the bench because of it.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Actually I believe more teams move on to the quarters; 4 from each side. Used to be 3 with the top team getting a bye. No bye anymore so they need 1 more team from each division to round it out.
      I hope Hudon gets some more ice time, also I would be surprised if Fucale doesn’t start tomorrow

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Oh Okay, I just heard that no more bye’s so I assumed less teams moving forward. Thanks for the update, I guess the road just gets longer and harder.

        I think Canada has the talent, but really need to tighten up in defensive zone and faceoffs were horrible with Czech’s getting numerous goals directly off of them.

  6. Hobie Hansen says:

    Funny how the Davos player gave the Canadian guy all kinds of extra shots with his gloves on lol. He knew the Canadian guy wouldn’t bother fighting back and if he did Canada would have been short handed. If you didn’t get kicked out of the game for fighting that guy would have got his ass kicked.

    If fighting is removed from the NHL we can look forward to Nazim Kadri punching Brandon Prust in the face with his gloves on after the whistle, poking and slashing him all game and Prust won’t be able to do a thing. Sounds like a great idea to me!

  7. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ The_Truth

    Don’t forget in that Cole-Ryder trade, Dallas was very kind to throw in a 3rd rounder… that ended up being Connor Crisp – the 6’4″-225 pound guy playing for OHL Division leading Sudbury.
    He is tough as nails, and is also the team’s 4th top scorer.

    We may see him in 3-4 years….Bryan Bickell played his first full season with the Hawks at 24 years old.
    He ended up being an unsung big factor in the Hawks Cup win with his ‘no back down’ battles with Chara and the rest of them.

  8. frontenac1 says:

    Davos coaching staff wearing jeans and fleece?! Is The Canadian coaching staff the only ones dressing properly?

  9. The Jackal says:

    Hey HIO – anyone know if we get the national game tonight?

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Sadly, it’s the Ottawa game.

      The Habs are on TSN tomorrow at 5PM.

      • The Jackal says:

        Ahhh why am I not surprised?

        CBC/HNIC should always have different national games… At least it ain’t the Laffs but only because they aren’t playing.

        HNIC would be a lot better if the national game alternated between the eastern teams and then between the western teams rather than have the Leafs almost always get the national game… makes no sense IMO. I bet there are way more Habs fans than Leaf fans in Canada alone.

        Either way, HNIC should broadcast all teams relatively equally on the national stage – let TO get the “local” game for a change.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Strummer says:

      Sens host Boston on the national game

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

  10. Mark C says:

    Ginormous loss for the Bruins. Seidenberg lost for the season with a torn ACL and MCL.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=439893

    • twilighthours says:

      Knee injuries make me sad and nauseous.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Not to mention Dupuis in Pittsburgh. Those are two major injuries for the eastern front runners. A trip to the Cup final just got a fair bit easier for a few teams in the East.

      • The Jackal says:

        Could that be us?
        In all seriousness, could we take advantage of this and reach the conference finals, and even win?

        Against Eastern teams, we hold up quite well, so it could possibly happen with a couple of tweaks.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Marc10 says:

      He’s probably their best defenceman. Doesn’t make the huge defensive lapses the Big Ape does. Little Krug and co are really going to get tested now… and the Big Ape is going to get run right down before the playoffs.

  11. frontenac1 says:

    Hey! Was that a fight in Spangle game? Well,sort of. It’s a good start. Go Canada!

  12. 24 Cups says:

    What do Ondrei Palak, J.T. Brown, Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, Radko Gudas, Andrej Sustr, Dmitry Korabov and Mark Barberio all have in common?

    They are all rookies who will be in the Tampa Bay Lightning line-up tonight.

    Believe it or not, but Tampa has gone 12-7 since losing Steven Stamkos to LTIR. Ben Bishop (28/20/5/2/1.93/.935) for Cory Conacher (38/3/6/9) has to be the trade of the year so far.

    Is there any doubt that right now Jon Cooper has to be the lead candidate for coach of the year?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Steve, noticed that Tampa has only 5 players with a minus in the plus/minus column while we have 12.

      I am thoroughly impressed at how this team of relative nobodies (St. Louis/Stamkos aside) have played so well, particularly since losing Stamkos.

  13. J Haul says:

    It’s a fun concept though. Almost like a lower tier Champions League for hockey. Seems like it would be a lot of fun to be a part of.
    It was funny a couple lockouts ago seeing guys like Joe Thornton playing against Canada though.

  14. Max says:

    The Spengler cup has to be one of the weirdest sport’s tournaments in the world.Referees dressed as dairy cows,players wearing billboards and players often playing against their own country while a random AHL team from America is just kind of thrown in there for fun.

    • frontenac1 says:

      It is beyond a Fashion Crime. It’s is an insult to the game of Hockey. Did you see the matching Walmart sweaters on the Coaching staff by that team the other day? Horizontal Stripes! A Parade Ground of Vulgarity.

    • J Haul says:

      It’s a fun concept though. Almost like a lower tier Champions League for hockey. Seems like it would be a lot of fun to be a part of.
      It was funny a couple lockouts ago seeing guys like Joe Thornton playing against Canada though.

      • frontenac1 says:

        The Fans sure do look like they are having a blast. The Booze must be cheap? Yeah, maybe I’m too harsh on this Spangle Spectacle. Go Canada!

        • Max says:

          I doubt anything in Switzerland is very cheap but they are pretty loyal fans apparently.The atmosphere in the building seems pretty energetic and yes,those horizontal striped sweaters were atrocious!

        • The Jackal says:

          I think so front, I bet if those teams/the tournament itself had more viewership then they wouldn’t need to dress as a billboard for their sponsors.
          Either way it’s a fun tourny and the fans there love it – they are very passionate and energetic and that’s always good for hockey.

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Habs_Norway says:

      Oldest hockeytournament in the world, also with a great arena in Davos.
      And isnt it so that team Canada consists of players in Europe?
      One D is playing in Norway for the “oilers”..
      PS: Davos 2- team Canada 0 after almost 2periods.
      ______________________________________
      Say no to visors, yes to fisticuffs and sign Emelin for 10 years

  15. Marc10 says:

    Looks like more Fucale and Hudon coming up… It won’t solve our D issues, but at least two of our prospects should see more action.

    If I’m Team Canada, I’d have both goalies’ respective goaltending coaches in attendance given the importance of the position. High pressure tournaments hinge on clutch goaltending. If you have the resources and the result is that important to you… Why not?

    • mksness says:

      If fucale was in nets i think you get the same result today. posters here are calling for fucale because he’s a habs prospect. other wise they wouldn’t even mention him.

      if switching the goalie would make canada win the coach would have done that. the goaltending has to be better, like you said making clutch saves; but today was just brutal defensive zone play.

      • formerly known as the hc says:

        YUP. I think it was the 4th Czech goal (2 seconds into 4 vs 4)… absolutely brutal defensive zone play by the Canadian players, and very soft play to boot.

  16. mount royal says:

    Sutter is a total sourpuss. He makes MT look like Jolly St Nick. There is a bad clique controlling Canada`s international game and the media sucks right up to them. Except for La Presse which has Sweden as the favourite, the Canadian media seems to think that Canada is favoured. That must be based somehow on how well we play in the 80`s. Its Our Game!!! Right, save that one for the history books.

    • BJ says:

      I was thinking the same thing. If he was at a bus stop instead of behind the bench, he could be a psycho type looking candidate.

    • CH Marshall says:

      I predict that we’ll see the emergence of pan-asiam hockey markets within a few years, and competition will increase, making Canada’s expected quest for glory even tougher eventually. Eventually, I hope to see an international cup club format, as well as NHL adopting international sized ice rinks and regulations etc.

  17. Hobie Hansen says:

    What a great day of hockey. Juniors lost, who cares it’s the stupid round robin! The funky Spangler Cup is on now. I’m having a hard time explaining to the woman why the Rochester Americans are in the tournament lol. She’s wondering why the Hamilton Bulldogs aren’t there? She might have a point?

    • The Juice says:

      Am I the only one who misses the old format? A single round robin where everyone plays everyone else. The team with the best record is the champ.

      __________________________________________________________________________

      “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

  18. frontenac1 says:

    Ruskies up 5-1 in 2nd. Canada better stop playing Euro style and start playing Canadian style or its adios amigos.

    • mksness says:

      ya they should only hit and fight!!!!! that’ll help them win. good canadian game.

      the D for canada is bad. too many pinches and really bad player position

      • frontenac1 says:

        Not allowed to fight in this Tourney amigo. Let em taste some Canadian Lumber maybe?

        • mksness says:

          no no no. that’s a lie. drop the gloves and punch the hell out of the other player show them you’re tough and intimidate. besides a good fight ALWAYS changes the momentum of a game. you’ll get suspended and a 5 minute major but show the world that fighting is good… slash away too and hurt them. i like that. it’s a hockey play.

          or they could try to play better defence lol

          • frontenac1 says:

            I agree amigo but in these international Tourney”s, I think you get tossed for the whole tourney. Just stick to bone crushing checks and feed”em the odd bit of lumber now and then. Also run their goalie once each period.

          • formerly known as the hc says:

            Goaltending needs to be better. Defense is poor.

  19. naweed235 says:

    so are we going to see our boy Zach in goal next game?

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      I think so. It seems that the Habs have the upper hand when it comes to goaltending. We have Price here and Stephane Waite as a goaltending coach. Then we have Fucale who, i believe, will be a top goaltender one day.

    • twilighthours says:

      Hey naweed, how you doing?

      • naweed235 says:

        Hey budd… Thanks for asking; I’m feeling much better than I did a week ago that’s for sure. Just trying to keep busy in any way possible until the hearing since that’s all I can do for now. Hope you are enjoying the holidays.

  20. BJ says:

    Better losing this one than later. They played well enough to win but the goaltending was crappy at best. Lets see what our boy can do.

  21. PrimeTime says:

    Not enough size on Team Canada …..;)

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      It was a gutsy effort by those players. They get to tie 4-4 with the Czechs, only to blew it all from that shootout by their goalie.

      Sutter should have put Fucale instead of Patterson. He should know better. No wonder why he lost his job in Calgary.

  22. Plekasuares says:

    Canada will not win a WJHC until they find some real goalies.

  23. Propwash says:

    That was a disgusting move…

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  24. The_Truth says:

    Mistake by Sutter going with Patterson. It’s all in Fucale’s hands now.

  25. scarboro_habitant says:

    a lot of forced passes by canada in this game.

  26. BJ says:

    Hoping the shootout doesn’t turn in to a sh.t out….

  27. twilighthours says:

    Drouin is magic.

    Mantha looks disinterested.

    Man I would love to draft Ekblad.

  28. BJ says:

    To OT. Exciting game. But weak Canada goaltending. I felt we took it to them most of the game. So lets get our first lead of the day.

  29. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    most games for candiens by a non-canadian player. list might not be completely accurate.

    fin Saku koivu (792)
    rus Andrei Markov (722)
    cze Tomas Plekanec (636)
    swe Mats Naslund (617)
    usa Craig Ludwig (597)
    usa Francis Bouillon (556)
    cze Peter Svoboda (534)
    usa Chris Nilan (523)
    cze Martin Ruscinsky (432)
    usa Chris Chelios (402)

  30. Clay says:

    Great game here.
    __________________________
    ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

  31. Propwash says:

    Would be nice for Team Canada to take the lead.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  32. commandant says:

    Hopefully Sutter is learning today, MORE HUDON, MORE FUCALE.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  33. BJ says:

    More ice time for Hudon and a start for Fucale.

  34. Plekasuares says:

    Canadas goaltending has screwed them over for last 5 years in this tourny

  35. Haberoooo13 says:

    Go Canada! Go Habs! Go Hudon!

    Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

  36. Et le but says:

    Canada Junior game quite the roller coaster…4-4

  37. Mavid says:

    tied…again..what a beauty

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  38. Storman says:

    Hudon beauty toe drag and quick release wrister

  39. Mavid says:

    grrrrrrr…common..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  40. HabsFanInTampa says:

    Any fellow HI/Oers in town and going to the game tonight? If so drop me a line or see you at the game. my seats are located at section Club 4, row E seat 5.

  41. Mavid says:

    shorty!!

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  42. Et le but says:

    Canadian grit and heart…love it!

  43. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Jordan Eberle…your country needs you!

  44. stjrandy says:

    Paterson is losing this game for Canada. 2 of the 3 goals are real stinkers. #FreeFucale

  45. The_Truth says:

    I really was not a fan of the Briere signing, like most people. It wasn’t what the Habs needed at all and I think they would have been better off keeping Cole. MB sheds the salary of Cole and then goes and gives it to Briere which is a sideways move at best.

    In saying that, I really would like to see Briere get a good opportunity with Eller and Chucky. Even some PP time. With the Habs shortage on offense, we need the skills a guy like Briere can bring. He can still score 20, I think, if given some leeway.

  46. Propwash says:

    Not good…

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  47. BJ says:

    Bring Fucale in for the next game.

  48. Mavid says:

    WTF..the Czech kid hits the ref and knocks him over…Farraro cannot believe what he saw..me either…

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  49. Plekasuares says:

    LOL hit the ref wish our boys could do that to Chris Lee

  50. BJ says:

    Czechs 2-1 on the PP

  51. Mavid says:

    power play..common lets pot one..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  52. Mavid says:

    aaarrrgggg…see..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  53. Gerry H says:

    Diaz in, Murray out, according to TVA’s Lavoie.

  54. frontenac1 says:

    TU-74 is still searching for his Mojo this season. I have a feeling it will arrive very shortly. Diaz needs more confidence.if he doesn’t get some soon and start getting some points he might get shipped out. He should go out for a pint with Gally. Saludos!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I agree as usual front. Emelin is still finding his groove and can’t explode off that knee yet. He might even be a bit gun shy and timid to tell you the truth. There’s also the fact that teams have had almost two seasons to get to know Emelin now and keep their heads up when he’s on the ice.

      We’ve also seen a huge drop in the big hits by Subban this year. Teams know to keep their head up coming across the Montreal blue line these days, which is good!

      Diaz, he’s had some OK games but he really has no impact on anything, he’s a filler. Hopefully he’s gone next year or sooner.

      • The_Truth says:

        I’ve thought Josh Gorges has been really good this season. Easily the team’s 3rd best Dman. he has been great on the 2nd pairing. If we had one more legit top 4 Dman, with some size and puck moving ability, that would be a hell of a top 4 with Subban, Markov and Gorges. Moving Emelin down to the 5th hole and a guy like Pateryn or Tinordi next season in the 6th, that would be a very strong Dcore.

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        Most of his best hits and best passes came when he played on the left. Pretty stupid that he hasn´t played there more than a couple of shifts while Gorges is pretty much as effective on the right as he is on the left.

  55. frontenac1 says:

    Hola amigos! Brutal season so far with my NFL picks. Can you make money with soccer? I bet the Red team a few years ago on that Europe cup and won a fin off the Evil Barkeep. He was fired so nobody bets soccer at the Saloon anymore. Maybe I should start….naw, soccer sucks. Saludos!


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