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. Mavid says:

    total domination..yet its tied..hope they start going in soon..I don’t like these kind of games..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  2. third generation haber says:

    A lot of comments about what the habs should do next. I’m in favor of anything that doesn’t hurt our long-term plans. Looking at recent cup winners (Detroit, Chicago, L.A., Boston, Pittsburgh), it’s easy to see that u can’t win a cup with elite level players and team toughness.

    I think we have some elite level talent, could use more, but we don’t have anywhere close to the amount of toughness needed for playoff survival.

    I get the impression that MB is giving Timmins the benefit of the doubt when it comes to drafting since the past regime (allegedly) pulled rank on Timmins a few times, costing us big time.

    I would be in favor of the organization allowing Timmins to continue to make the calls, but mandate a toughness policy for future drafts. With Lehkonen, Hudon, Reway, Andrighetto, Collberg, and Thomas already in our pipeline, do we really need anymore “small forwards with ‘character’”? Yes, I know they’re great skaters, they’d be dead already if they weren’t.

    I’d like to see more Delarose type picks. Skilled players that can win puck battles and don’t need constant sheltering. Though they may never play pro hockey, Gregoire, Crisp, and Nevins are having productive seasons. McCarron, though slowly, is also making the adjustment to the OHL.

    Thoughts???

    j.p. murray

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      While there’s no question but that we need more size, let’s be careful not to put size above all else. As recently as 2010 we did well in the playoffs without being a team blessed with size. So is it possible we need only to add SOME size rather than undergo a size makeover?

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    Sweden leading 4-2 late in 3rd, De La Rose with the 3rd goal for Sweden, he also just took penalty in 3rd. Collberg with an assist on the 2nd Swedish goal.

  4. punkster says:

    Re: the potential of a Murray-Cube pairing tonight.

    My first reactions were that Diaz must have an injury/illness and the Bulldogs must be in transit to Utica thus unable to send a sub to Florida.

    Then I thought there’s no way MT would pair them in any event and the practice lines were just a ruse to throw off the TB coaching staff.

    Then I realized…it’s MT.

    I’ll be starting to drink early for this one.

    Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
    but…
    ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Ha, thus the reason I am now off to the pub to watch Team Canada, let the drinking begin indeed Dave! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you my friend.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I’m with you Dave. I tossed and turned most of the night with that image in my head.
      Say it ain’t so.

    • slapshot777 says:

      Diaz was going to be a scratch for the Nashville game but do to the injury to Gorges he got a pass. Tonight he won’t be so lucky. If your not going help the team and right now Diaz has done nothing that I have seen to date where taking him out of the lineup would be bad for the team.

      He is not shooting which is what we wanted from him on the powerplay. He is afraid o go in the corner and take a hit. Instead he is only poking his stick in there. he has made some terrible break out passes, so has some of his other d-men buddies, but he seems to make more than his share. I wouldn’t mind seeing him traded and have Pateryn take his place.

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

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        Well, if he was sitting for Beaulieu, Tinordi and/or Pateryn, fine. I wouldn´t have a problem with that at all. When he sits and Bouillon and Murray get dressed, it just shows what an idiot Therrien is.

    • frontenac1 says:

      “Early” is a relative term amigo.

  5. frontenac1 says:

    Elmer Lach. Great read.Thanks Stubbs. Saludos!t

  6. commandant says:

    Team Canada has some defensive issues to work out before facing the elite of this tourney.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/12/28/canadian-juniors-require-offense-while-solving-internal-problems/

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

  7. habstrinifan says:

    Quiet laziness on offence.

    In almost any sport it is the hardest tendency to pick out and the most difficult to coach and correct.

    Players with infamous quiet laziness on offence… Scot Gomez.

    Players with remarkably efficient and therefore ‘not’ quiet laziness on offence. Sydney Crosby and one shining example… John Tavares. Player of yore with similar strength.. the Road Runner.

    It can be called going through the motion etc. When you know as you watch, that unless there is a fluky bounce etc, that player is NOT going to have a real chance at scoring.

    One player who went through that phase and has corrected his ‘purposefulness’ on offence… Aex Ovechkin. Maybe he was sulkin etc, but for a time there he was showing ‘quiet laziness on offence’.

  8. habstrinifan says:

    Revisited the article on the HABS10 best WJC appearances.
    I am not sure that P.K will be picked for Sochi. But fom all his history. it would seem to indicate that, if he is picked, he will RISE to the occasion.

    I think this tournament will be Price’s goaltending zenith and will make his status undeniable from then on. Canada may start another goalie but I don’t see Price not getting into the #1 spot.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Trin

      What’s really unfortunate for Price in all of this is IF he plays well and becomes the go-to guy at the Olympics, anything short of a ‘stand on head’ Olympic Gold ‘may’ be seen as a failure.

      The pressure is going to be enormous and there are some pretty good teams such as Russia-USA-Sweden playing on a big surface.

      Many have also said Price never had a good team in front of him – the reason why the Habs never went far with him.
      Now, he will have one of the best.
      More added pressure.
      Habs fans can only hope this all works out…

  9. 123456 says:

    heading out for my son’s game and watched a goalie video (goash I hope he is the next carey price or Patrick roy)…anyway saw this video: best of carey price

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0JRn6CGwJs

  10. Eddie says:

    Lets make a few points clear about the defence.

    1) We absolutely need size because the games are won and lost on tight battles near the net and against the boards.

    2) Murray is size. He is too big, however. Too big means too slow, not mobile, not helpful against players who have NHL speed.

    3) finding a stay at home, big body, 6th dman for 1 or 1.5 million, is the easiest task an NHL GM could want. There are dozens of those guys available every summer.

    4) Bergevin correctly identified the need. I just think we should have found someone who was a better hockey player once we were at it.

    5) Murray seems like a great guy to have on the bench, a great teammate, so maybe that explains Begevins selection.

    Why not try Patteryn there for 5 games? Lets see what he can do. He’s playing real well in Hamilton.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Agree completely with all. And Happy Christmas to you, Eddie.

      I guess it’s in the nature of transition that the temporary pieces have a short shelf-life. As long as MB and co keep up the window-shopping, I can keep on being grateful to Murray for making us that little bit less like the defensive-zone pushovers we were in the playoffs.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Eddie

      Just curious.
      Below is the link to the list of 2014 UFA Dmen as of this moment.

      http://www.capgeek.com/free-agents/?year_id=2014&team_id=-1&position_id=D&fa_type_id=2

      Several will be signed by their teams between now and July 1st.
      Even if they were not, who would you suggest the Habs take a run at that would cost between $1M-$1.5M that you mention?
      Also, the qualities you mention af a big body stay at home guy?

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    Hah, this should be an interesting afternoon for me. The sports bar I like to watch games at also has a very strong contingent of English Premiership fans. Given that Man United have a game at approx. the same time as Team Canada the gauntlet will be laid down for who gets sound and picture on the big screen.

    It will be time for me to put on my Team Canada Jersey and perhaps bring along my passport showing Canadian citizenship to help explain why “Football” will take a backseat today. :)

  12. Maritime Ronn says:

    Somewhere in Tampa, PK Subban has a BIG smile on his face this AM…

    “Aside from a couple of details that still have to be worked out, the Toronto Maple Leafs are ‘very close’ to locking up captain Dion Phaneuf to a seven-year, $49 million contract extension, according to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger.

    Those details, according to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, are regarding Phaneuf’s no-movement and no-trade clauses in the language of the new contract.”

    No 8th year?
    ————-
    Imagine Don Meehan sitting in front of GM Marc Bergevin and saying, ” If that stiff-coward in Toronto is worth $7M per year, then PK is worth $_____”

  13. habs001 says:

    The Habs have done very well in not giving up goals so besides Price the D has to get credit…Now the team has been dominated in their zone the last 4 weeks in many games so that has to change…Scoring in todays NHL is not easy and the Habs D is comprised of players that will provide minimal 5 on 5 supprrt for the forwards.

  14. chanchilla says:

    reway with a sweet goal.

    • chanchilla says:

      bah, HiB beat me to it.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Maybe from a Has perspective.. yes. But more like terrible goalkeeping.

      Don’t know why the announcers kept saying score wasnt indicative of play. It was. Slovakia’s team didnt play as big or tight as in past tournaments.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Goalie didn’t play it well, but Reway still displayed strong puck talent. The backhanded shot is still the toughest for goalies to figure out where it is going. Reway did a nice job getting control of the puck made a bit of a spin move and found a hole in a goalie who has looked stong at the tournament thus far.

        Slovak team was completely outsized and outskated today, looked a great deal like Men versus Boys. I thought the Slovaks did a very nice job of making a game out of it, until the 3rd that is.

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Reway with another goal.

  16. WVHabsfan says:

    According to the good folks at Wikipedia, the two Butchers are not related

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    U.S. imposing themselves now, they are a big strong and fast team. Seem quite balanced.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Burli, you’re going too fast for me! Happy Christmas, my friend.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Same to you Mike, did your rendition of Bob and Dougs 12 days of Christmas go well? Can it be found on youtube?

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I HOPE NOT!

          My daughter says the other guy, who’s Irish, did a better Canadian accent than I did!

          Two performances (it was one of several inserts into a Christmas carol concert), matinee and evening, paying audience.

          Happily it seemed to be well-received, with a risk of becoming an annual fixture.

          Thanks for asking!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            So far my searching of the Inter-web is not yielding the results I was looking for. Of course if I ever did find it, I would never consider posting it here. ;-)

    • Storman says:

      USA winning all races and puck battles in 3rd period, imagine if they had Galchenyuk, Seth Jones and Jacob Trouba available to them,, Martin Reway another goal 3 goals and 3 assists in 6 periods of WJC play so far

  18. Marc10 says:

    Well the Leafs are officially eliminated from the playoffs for the next seven years if reports are true. Awesome news! Couldn’t be happier. Can you imagine when Phaneuf loses a step?

    7 mil x 7 years. Yup. That’s about right seeing as Clarkson does nothing and earns a mint. On ya Nonis!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      The concept of Phaneuf “losing a step” could almost come from Absurdist Theatre. Nice one, M10! And Happy Christmas to you.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am not a “fan” of Phaneuf, having said that I am not sure the Leafs really had any choice. I doubt they could have gotten back a dman ready to play big minutes in the NHL this season in a trade. They couldn’t afford to trade him for a prospect as they simply don’t have big strong dmen ready to play the minutes he presently does.

      The money and term definitely seems excessive, but with the Cap about to start a steady rise we are going to see many new contracts which make us scratch our heads.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        He’s not elite, is he?
        So if a team like Toronto can find themselves trapped into paying 7 per for a non-elite player, does that mean there are exciting implications for PK is IS elite?

      • Marc10 says:

        Oh they can afford it. I just think it’s another Komisarek deal in the making. Looks about right now. Looks terrible in a year or two.

        The Leafs are where we are. They’re not going to win a cup with this lineup. I’m glad they are throwing semi stupid money at guys that aren’t going to take them to the promised land.

        For my money, they would have been smarter flipping Phaneuf over to Calgary to reunite him with Burkie and gotten Cammalleri in return and a spare Dman… And then waited at the dead line to flip Cams for picks. But hey… Why not lock up your overrated Captain. Better for us Habs fans and the universe in general as the Leafs improving are ultimately bad for the cosmos I’m sure.

  19. rhino514 says:

    Can Gionta, Briere, and Bourque improve their output and should the team look for a solid Dman, or should the team go and pick up a solid winger at the deadline and live and die with its current D?

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good question.
      Is the background issue how much is the club willing to pay in order to gain playoff experience (and income?) in 2014? In other words, we don’t yet look like contenders, but is playoff experience valuable enough that we pay out in order to get in?
      Happy Christmas, Rhino.

  20. Habfan17 says:

    Does anyone know if Will Butcher, playing defence for the U.S juniors, is related to Garth Butcher?

    Habfan17

  21. WVHabsfan says:

    I am liking John Gilles in net for the US

  22. WVHabsfan says:

    Hey Storman! I too am a fan of Eichel. McDavid is a great talent and most likely better than Eichel. Well, there is no maybe about it.

  23. BJ says:

    After having watched a number of Hamilton Bulldogs games since the start of this season, I would say the closest player to the big team as a decent scorer is Sven Andrighetto. No one else there seems to have that “natural scorer” touch. He’s also a left winger, eventually maybe on a line with Galchenyuk at center and that elusive big right winger power forward.

    • Habfan17 says:

      It will be interesting next training camp. With some contracts expiring, there should be room for at least one forward and one defenceman to make the team if they stand out.

      I would like to see Pateryn given a call up this season and this time to see him given a shot on the third pairing.

      Habfan17

      • BJ says:

        I agree with Pateryn. He seems the ripest of the D’s in Hamilton.

        • Habfan17 says:

          He is older and more mature. I know he wasn’t happy with his training camp however, he adds some size and grit and is a righty.
          He was the captain and leader of his University team and helped Bennett a lot when he was there. Be nice to se what he can do.

          Habfan17

  24. WVHabsfan says:

    Anyone watching USA vs Slovakia? I know Burli is. Anyone stand out on team USA that would look good in a Habs uniform to anyone?

    • Storman says:

      Jack Eichel is a beauty, and a youngster like Connor McDavid only available in the 2015 draft, Quite a few pundits have predicted Connor McDavid as a runaway selection to go #1 in 2015, well I believe Jack Eichel will be in the conversation for the #1 selection as well come the 2015 draft year.

      Martin Reway of Slovakia has another goal this morning and now has 2 goals and 3 assists in 5 periods of WJC competition for the Habs 4rth round pick from last year.

    • 123456 says:

      I’m watching – us looks good but all 3 goals are from pp’s – I’d like to see even strength goals from them.

      oh there is it as I type 4-2 us

  25. Lafleurguy says:

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?intcmpid=nav-video-main
    Play Video (DAL) Erik Cole (07:38 in 2nd)
    Play Video (DAL) Erik Cole (14:04 in 2nd)

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Saw that last night, he looks to be getting his groove back. Happy for him, loved what he brought to the Habs, was such a shame that he appeared to lose his spark. Hope for his sake he has it back.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Cole has six goals so far this month.

      Rumour had it that he didn’t get along with Subban but who knows. He certainly didn’t turn it around in Dallas last year so maybe this hot streak will jump start his career.

  26. WVHabsfan says:

    I, for one, like what Big Doug has brought to the Habs. His physical presence alone makes me want to play him, at least against tougher teams. I don’t want to rush the young D in Hamilton

  27. WVHabsfan says:

    I agree Habinburlington. I am watching him and I like what I see

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    Reway is very skilled with the puck, reminds me a bit of Cammalleri.

  29. wjc says:

    My take on some things:

    Sweaters are too expensive to throw on the ice. Especially for construction workers that work in bad weather and do hard physical work. He probably regrets it, but I hope some rink cleaner took it home.

    I think you have to have some pain when building a team properly and when it does not work out you have to do it again and try to get it right. You need to lose for a while to win in the long run.

    I think when people (myself included) express an opinion it should be challenged if you feel strongly. People on here have little hissy fits and become bent out of shape if you have a contrary opinion.

    The New Years resolution should be suck it up, and admit you are wrong if things turn out differently then you thought.

    Lose with dignity and win with pride. You notice nobody signs when the Canadiens are losing.

    wjc

  30. Habfan10912 says:

    Good Morning friends. Seems like its almost like opening night, its been so long since the team has played. If last night was any indication , we’re liable to see some pretty good hockey tonight.

    Lots of Murray talk again today. Do you think that we’re just so starved for a big bruising defenceman that we’ve become blind to Murray?

    He’s been pretty bad (sorry Front) and perhaps a Pateryn or Tinordi could fit into his spot without adversely impacting the team. Who knows it very well could be a big improvement.

    As my ex’s always say, big doesn’t necessarily mean better.
    (Can I say that?) :)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Does feel like the season is starting over again. I haven’t watched many of the last games closely, so not as sure about the recent discussion of Murray. No doubt many of us were looking for that big dman. I realize he has his shortcomings, but every player has weaknesses, but they also bring other benefits. I have believed until now that what Murray lacked he made up for in other aspects.

      However, end of day, our team is still not giving up a great deal of goals (St. Louis and L.A. game aside).

      Tonight we play a team who seem to have found a way to win despite missing their MVP. I am looking forward to seeing how we come out of the gate.

      Your U.S. boys were looking dominant early, but the Slovaks have made a game of it.

      • 123456 says:

        as “bad” as murray, diaz, georges have been – the habs are second best in goals against. we all want to get bigger and stronger and tougher on d but the habs pressing need is goal scoring.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Forsure, an example was that L.A. game, if we bury 1 or 2 in that first period, who knows how different that game goes. Many chances but execution lacking.

          Our team needs to finish better around the net, we have a few youngsters in Collberg, Reway who are good at this, but we need another finisher sooner than they will be ready.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Jim

      Same question asked of Eddie and I’m not a big fan of Murray:

      Dmen’s partners are key and yes, Murray will never be mistaken for Eric Karlsson, yet is it at all possible that the multiple Diaz mistakes and several lost puck battles makes Murray look bad?

    • habstrinifan says:

      Good Morning! Murray was doing ok couple weeks ago. Maybe as his TOI/responsibilities increase he has shown his weakness, especially ‘age’.

      I would definiely be ok with a Pateyrn or Tinordi callup.

      It bears noting though that the defense have not been as solid as of late. Therrien broke up Subban-Markov as signs of this all around defensive drop-off started appearing. He then had to do it big time when Gorges went down.

      Markov’s play suffered. Diaz’s play suffered. Noticeably was the fact that Gorges/Subban saw an improvement in Gorges’ play and Bouillion/Subban saw an improvement in Bouillion’s play. Small sample but we shall see how it goes.

      The Markov-Subban split though seemed to make the defense as an aggregate weaker.

      All above comments are of course from a small sample and we shall see. I would be keeping an eye on Markov and Bouillion tonight.

    • wjc says:

      Murray is not that big of a problem if he plays within his limitations.

      Murray fills a role, expecially with physical teams. Nice to see Pateryn rounding out nicely. Why rush him, next year is soon enough. I think guys like Lucic are a little leery around guys like Murray. You do not want another Komisarek beat down repeat.

      wjc

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good morning, Jim.
      The astute ones here are NOT blind to Murray.
      Posters like myself, however, are definitely visually impaired! I think back to the Ottawa series (most painful example although there others in the early season before Murray played) and feel grateful that there is someone who can actually punish opposing forwards for trespassing in the crease area. Yes, it comes at a cost. However, for me it made for much more painful viewing when opposing teams had total license in front of our nets.

      He was only ever a stop-gap, not the saviour, and he has provided some good moments. But hopefully a kid will be ready to step up soon (and some knowledgeable ‘Dogs followers here seem to be saying that Pateryn is becoming increasingly physical.)

      (‘Can I say that?’ — only if it’s true!)

  31. Lafleurguy says:

    ……………………GP G A Pts +/- PIM
    Greg Pateryn 25 5 9 14 9 29
    Nathan Beaulieu 26 2 7 9 -4 12
    Morgan Ellis 25 3 4 7 8 18
    Jarred Tinordi 27 1 4 5 1 48

  32. jeffhabfan says:

    hope everyone had a nice Xmas and tonight GO HABS GO.

  33. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good Morning

    Looking at the D pairings above, it appears that Diaz will be the odd man out tonight if that is the case.
    It was also strongly hinted that he was supposed to sit last game, yet when Gorges couldn’t go, there was no other choice.

    Is this Coach Therrien sending a message to Diaz, or are the Habs in the process of trading Diaz – then a call-up of 1 of the Hamilton guys?
    Only Eklund knows for sure.

    If a trade scenario is in the works (Diaz will be a UFA/cheap $1.225 Cap Hit), several teams have Dman needs because of either multiple injuries (Tampa-NJ-Winnipeg-Dallas-Pittsburgh-Florida), or a Dman unit that is just plain bad to awful.

    As for Diaz himself, he is not going through a very good stretch.
    In his last 8 games Diaz has 0 points, 2 shots on goal, and is Minus -5.

    Diaz has gone 49 games without scoring a goal while even HIO favorite whipping boy and offensively challenged Josh Gorges has scored 1, and is only 3 points behind the Diaz offensive output for the year.

    What is obvious is that if Diaz is not producing offensively – or at least being a solid, key factor in getting the puck out of his own end, he becomes a liability because of his very 1 dimensional play.
    Diaz has recorded 15 hits this year which ranks him 203rd overall for all NHL Dmen.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Is Diaz really an offensive d man anyway? He is mostly used on the pk not the powerplay and does a good enough job there.

      I’m not saying he’s anything more than a serviceable nhl d- man at this stage, but he is that.

      Also his recent lack of offense may be attributable to the boat anchor he is paired with.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Dipsy,

        For some reason(?), Diaz did not play 1 second of PK time in the past few games and is now seeing that role also decrease.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Ron, could it be that he loses almost every battle for the puck? Of all of his shortcomings it seems that this is the one I notice the most. Not a good weakness to have for a PK dman.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            Jim
            He’s also made some bad decisions such as going behind the net or in the corner when his Dman partner and another forward were already there for support. Those errors have cost goals.

          • 123456 says:

            i like diaz because he brings something to the team that some others lack. while his offensive upside has not recently been show I do like him for an extra part on defense. if one of the boys in Hamilton is ready I have no problems trading diaz – he should bring something useful as there is a defensive need across the league as ron points out above.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning Ronn. I’m disappointed in Diaz. I really thought when Emelin returned and Diaz’s ice time could be managed to his skill set that he’d thrive. Haven’t seen that so far but maybe it will start now.

      You don’t think that MT would be foolish enough to pair Murray with Frankie B, do you?

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi Jim,

        Murray and Frankie B?
        Geez Jim, Coach Therrien went public and stated that Frankie was the best Habs Dman against Nashville….
        Actually nothing is a surprise anymore concerning shuffling lines and D pairings.

        Diaz seems to be kind of a wrong fit for the Habs right now.
        He is not a Top 4, yet his game/makeup is also not suited for a 3rd pair, unless that other 3rd pair guy is both mobile and tough to handle the other teams’ bottom 6 supposed energy-tougher- larger-stronger guys in even strength situations.

    • Eddie says:

      a defenceman’s d-partner contributes significantly to a dmans effectiveness.

      Too many are not accepting how truly awful Murray is, but the coaches should see it on the video tape.

      On a positive note, I predict Briere will score tonight and Galchenyuk will get the first assist.

      Watch Galchenyuk control the puck in the offensive zone, create his own time and space, and then find Briere open near the front of the net.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi Eddie

        I’m with you.
        That looks like an excellent pairing for Briere.
        Both are big guys that can control and protect the puck and Galchenyuk is getting much more attention now.
        All of that should open up some time and space for Briere.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Eddie

        Dmen’s partners are key and yes, Murray will never be mistaken for Eric Karlsson, yet is it at all possible that the multiple Diaz mistakes and several lost puck battles makes Murray look bad?

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Galchenyuk is such a treat to watch. His skill set with the puck is just tremendous. Maybe there will be some good chemistry there with Danny Boy.

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    Game Day has finally arrived, and the Canadian Jr’s should have a much better test today also.

    Good day all around, enjoy everyone and Good Morning!

  35. Hobie Hansen says:

    Morning everyone!

    I hope Pat Hickey’s above article is accurate:

    -Pacioretty isn’t going anywhere
    -Bouillon, Murray and possibly Diaz out in 2014/15
    -Pateryn, Tinordi and Beaulieu in
    -Plenty of cap space at deadline to add physical forward
    -Gionta gone before 2014/15

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi Hobie

      re Hickey’s ” Pateryn, Tinordi and Beaulieu in” I guess we’ll see, yet that is highly unlikely.

      One, perhaps a long shot of 2, yet I don’t believe the Habs would want to rely on 3 guys considered rookies that have so little NHL experience to play a long 82 game schedule.
      Pateryn has played 3 NHL games.
      Beaulieu has 11 NHL games, and Tinordi has 19 including 5 in last year’s playoffs.

      Perhaps the only way that happens is if injuries or trades happen – then the young guys show well both for the rest of the season and in the playoffs.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      3 rookie dman in one season? Oh boy. Wouldn’t it be best to recall 1 of the dman now and break him in this season. It seems that Pateryn is the favorite to come first so why not?

  36. The Jackal says:

    Just saw the latest episode of 24 CH.
    Pretty sure there is a shot of our beloved Mike Boone during the LA Kings game segment – the camera pans the press box and we get a profile view of the journalists’ faces, with the 2nd closest one to the camera being Boone’s mug. It only lasts a few seconds but it’s pretty cool since it is basically Boone doing the live blog.

    In the off chance that it is not our main man, I apologize for the confusion.
    Anyway, check it out, it happens at about 10:38 into the show (commercial times included)

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  37. rogieshan says:

    Blunden popped two for Bulldogs tonight. Just saw him the other day on ESPN Classics scoring a couple in the ’06 WJC. He sure looked like a Jeff Carter/Ryan Getzlaf-clone then the way he was using his big body in the goal area. Shame he never found the next level in his game.

  38. kalevine says:

    wow 5 games in 8 nights. Do you think the Habs are tired?

  39. jols101 says:

    Holy smokes, was just looking at some stats from tonight. Nail Yakupov only played 6:14 tonight. The only player with less ice-time was their tough guy Luke Gazdic with 5:36.

    Maybe Nail got injured, I didn’t watch the game, if not he seems to be regressing instead of progressing.

    • Habcouver says:

      Nail is +/- minus 25… worse in NHL.
      Perhaps he doesn’t deserve more ice time (or risk having even a worse +/- stat!).

      Waiting patiently for #25

      • CH Marshall says:

        Personally, I think he’s being discriminated against. And I think the oilers coach is turning out to be all smokes and mirrors. Fat lot of use its going to be if he can trade for some of his old Maries guys. If he can’t motivate his current squad with that much talent, then he shouldn’t coach in the NHL

        • Habcouver says:

          Good point. Ralph Krueger seemed to get more out of Nail.
          Also I thought Eakins lacked class by trying to ridicule Eller for the Jr. A hockey comment.

          Waiting patiently for #25

    • JUST ME says:

      Obviously benching the kid is not serving any purpose, either for the team or the individual.

      Send him on the farm team. If he has such a flaw in his game then have him work on it ! I just do not trust the coaching staff to be able to fix the problem. It looks like the kids and veterans are left alone on the ice to try to do miracles. Ya see ! If only they had a competent coach as M.T. !

      Although one must remember that they are kids and graduating directly to the NHL is not for everyone ,in his case it looks like they are not doing anything to help his game. The more they wait, the less value he has if really they want to deal him.

  40. desertman says:

    Pateryn is doing awesome in the AHL. Best Dman, most utilized in all situations. Hes big and hes become much more physical.

    They REALLY need to give him a shot with the big club. I feel Tinordi and Bealieau are getting more looks because they were first round picks, something I feel is wrong.

    It will probably take an injury for him to get a shot, which is kind of crappy.

  41. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Bulldogs beat Marlies 4-2 tonight.

    24 cups and counting….

  42. ProHabs says:

    Poor Kyle Chipchura took a beating in a scrap tonight. He is a guy that should not be fighting as much as he does. He is not that good at it. Reminds me of Tom Kostopholos.

  43. adadi says:

    Looks like the coach has an epiphany over Xmas. He finally figured out that Prust, White and Moen should be playing together. The last time they played together they were the best line on the ice. Let’s see if they stay together for more than ten minutes.

  44. Max says:

    The habs should attempt to sign Moulson next summer.Give him Gionta’s money for 4 or 5 years.Solid goal scorer and habs killer.Still only 30.

  45. duffy says:

    Ville Leino ,signed to a 27 million dollar contract, not one goal this season. Buffalos Clarkson

  46. theox_8 says:

    That hit on moulson could have been disastrous . To me that’s worth 10 games .

  47. jols101 says:

    Patrick Roy and his Aves are getting spanked by the Hawks 7-1 in the 3rd period.

    Maybe he will have the same temper tantrum his son had at the Spengler Cup yesterday.

  48. jols101 says:

    Booo…Leafs totally took over in the 2nd period. 3-2 Leafs after 2. Hopefully the Leafs will fall apart in the 3rd.

  49. DipsyDoodler says:

    When does the walrus get canned?

    • Mavid says:

      hehehe..I see they are stinking it up again..hope the boy’s bring their A game on Jan 4th especially because I will be at the game section 111..

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • jols101 says:

        I got tickets to the Habs/Sens in Ottawa Jan. 16th for Christmas. Section 209. I think they are decent seats. I look forward to it. Hope we bring our A game.

        • Mavid says:

          got tickets to that game too..my son gave us a set in Montreal (100) and a set in Ottawa (300 section ) ..they better bring it both games..if not I expect you all to collect my bail money, in particular for the Ottawa one

          Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

          • jols101 says:

            Ha. The game at the Bell Center will be great. Enjoy it. I usually don’t go to the Canadian Tire Center, Corel Center, Palladium or whatever you want to call it because I despise the Sens and their fans so I might be joining you in the local jail. lol.

  50. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Interview with Brooks Orpic about how he and Thornton are such great buds.

    http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/12/20/brooks-orpik-apologetic-shawn-thornton-a-pretty-good-friend/

    What IS interesting is how Orpic acknowledges that he himself is no angel and has been in Thornton’s shoes (ie. done something rash and regretted it). This goes back to earlier discussions here about how Chara’s kind of violence is in an altogether different class.

    The league could reduce — or virtually eliminate — such incidents if it had a mind to. However, it does not. If it did, then otherwise valuable players like Thornton would work in a culture that actually protected them from themselves, ie. by making such incidents — where a player allows the red mist to descend — a matter of professional shame and severe financial loss.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Hola Mike! Yuletide Greetings amigo. Living in a culture that protects you against yourself? Not for me amigo. I’m my own worst enemy and I like it that way. I’d be bored sh#tless otherwise. Hope you and your family had a great Christmas.Saludos!

  51. jols101 says:

    Oh oh, Leafs finally woke up. Still 2-1 Sabres but the Leafs have taken control of the game.

  52. DipsyDoodler says:

    Nhl offering a $50 discount on tickets for the outdoor game in LA.

    Good idea, bettmann.

    • D Mex says:

      Interesting – and no surprise.
      Who sends the letter to Canadian NHL cities notifying that equalization payments are due – Buttman or Robitaille ?

      Hockey in the sunbelt – Buttman’s dream lives …

      ALWAYS Habs -
      D Mex

  53. jols101 says:

    Funny how Girgensons picked 14th overall in 2012 is killing penalties and playing top line minutes for the Sabres while Grigorenko picked 12th overall in 2012 has been loaned to Team Russia for the WJC because he was doing jack squat for the Sabres.

    Personally, I think Grigorenko will eventually be a great player but it just goes to show that some players just develop must faster than others.

  54. scarboro_habitant says:

    laffs scrambling early!!!

  55. Ian Cobb says:

    Ottawa, Boston game, way before I would watch Toronto, Buffalo!

  56. jols101 says:

    John Scott just scored his 1st goal in 165 games. 2-0 Sabres over the Leafs.

  57. punkster says:

    Triple Heh…John Scott scores.

    Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
    but…
    ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

  58. punkster says:

    Heh…Loafs.

    Double Heh…Phaneuf.

    Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
    but…
    ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

  59. Strabo says:

    With the comments below about great radio entertainment, I bring a great fight at the old Maple Leaf Gardens.
    Windesmear vs. Boomer

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPplyQWf-u4

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

  60. scarboro_habitant says:

    Dupuis possibly out for season. lol gionta?

  61. habstrinifan says:

    Leafs vs Sabres. Game worth watching. Sabres play under Nolan has improved (their team chemistry absolutely has). If Sabres start climbing it could change the pplayoff picture, including the HABS’.

  62. Alvin says:

    Jeez, Pat Hickey’s article(CHANGES 2014) was a mind blower eh ? NOT!

    • Adidess says:

      Agreed.

      And I mean no disrespect to Gionta who has had a long career in the NHL and been a key cog on a Stanley Cup championship team, but has Gionta been an “exemplary Captain” for the Canadiens?

      I would argue he has been a decent Captain. He does play his heart out (though there isn’t much there anymore) and by all account represents the organization well in the community. But to me, exemplary means one could not ask anything more from the guy, in terms of his leadership and impact on the ice, in the room, and off the ice. Maybe it has to do my high expectations of what the Captain of this team should be about, but I have always felt Gionta sort of falls short of that piedestal, in terms of fulffilling his role and being a presence. This is in no way a reference to his physical stature, I am no tall specimen myself, so have no such bias against him. Koivu wasn’t big but that didn’t really prevent him from being a presence.

      Yes, in fairness, Gionta was never going to come close to Koivu’s impact in Montreal without hoisting the Cup. Koivu entered the league, became a man, then an icon under the bright lights of Montreal, a story that ended up transcending the sports page for many reasons. Gionta came to Montreal after he was past his prime and was asked to be the veteran that helps guide the team to respectability on the ice. He did an OK job. Not necessarily exemplary in my book and frankly that is just fine, I think. But let us reserve the exemplary qualification for somebody who will have delivered more for the team, the city and for hockey.

  63. Rudy says:

    Oops, tomorrow night

  64. Rudy says:

    Anyone know why I can’t get the game on my center ice channels?

  65. LTHF says:

    Thinlk Bournival should be on Rw instead of Briere with Eller

    • PureGuava says:

      I agree, but they really need to get Briere going. I wasn’t a fan of all the breaks that Therrien gave DD – but they’ve paid off. Briere’ still has something left…I hope.

      “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
      - Robert Anton Wilson

  66. Ferguson-22 says:

    I’m guessing there are some HIO folks in FLA for the games. Ferguson-22 and Pitre-5 will be there with our Habs jerseys. Love to meet and say hi to anyone here.

  67. Adidess says:

    I will miss the rumour thread. NOT.

    What do people think about the decision to split the Markov-Subban pair? I know the tandem has been less effective 5-on-5 in recent games and the two still play together on the PP, but they remain the pairing I trust the most when they’re out there. They often carry the play and otherwise defend well (+/- being in the double digit positives for each). On the other hand, Markov and Emelin have not exactly done well together since being reunited (though limited sample size).

    With the current pairings, I fear somebody (Gorges or Emelin) will end up playing too much, which might cost us.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good point and the thought of pairing Murray with Frankie B will keep me up tonight.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Murray must be paired with Diaz. The God’s have already spoken. Anything else will unleash all manner of pestilence! John Scott is a sniper. Sweet Hands Blunden will return! Saludos!

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      I’d leave them together as one of the league’s top pairings. I’ve never bought into the idea of breaking up good pairings or lines in order to strengthen other groups.

      There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk but … there is fighting in hockey.

  68. rhino514 says:

    It´s hard not to believe Pateryn would be less of a liability than Murray or perhaps even Bouillon. That 6th D pairing looks scary.

  69. Danno says:

    Turd.

    ________________________________________

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

  70. D Man says:

    First! What do I win?

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

  71. Lafleurguy says:

    Who’s on first?
    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Guy, mon brave!
      Answered you on previous thread!
      Long live Abbott and Costello!

      • Lafleurguy says:

        There was great entertainment on radio, in its day, and some of us were fortunate to have lived in that era. Responded to your response as well. Funny you mention the doves and then turtlenecks which Clay detests no. 14′s usage thereof.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

  72. mksness says:

    WATCH THE GOALS. only the 3rd one was bad and even that was on a horrible play by the D. same result if you played any other goalie…

  73. Hobie Hansen says:

    Canada will be practicing the coverage after the draw. Two bing-bangers right off the faceoff for the Czechs.

  74. mksness says:

    sorry, that’s the goalies fault… only the goalie is to blame.

  75. PrimeTime says:

    3 goals in the SO wouldn’t have hurt either……or 6 in regulation.

  76. mksness says:

    shows u probably haven’t played any real ice hockey making a dumb statement like that….

  77. mksness says:

    so as a goalie. would you be happy with the D infront of you?

  78. The Jackal says:

    You tell that fool, FOOL!

    ^ This is internet argumentation at its best!

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  79. formerly known as the hc says:

    Or, maybe, the “10″ are the noisy minority.


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