Crosby and Penguins up next for Habs

The Canadiens, coming off a 5-3 loss to the Maple Leafs Saturday night in Toronto, didn’t practise Sunday as the team held its annual Skate with the Canadiens promotional event at the Bell Centre.

The Canadiens will practise at 11 a.m. Monday in Brossard as they begin preparations to face Sidney Crosby and the Penguins Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. The Canadiens will then face the Red Wings Friday night in Detroit before returning home to take on the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

On Sunday, Crosby was named captain for Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics.

The Canadiens returned defenceman Nathan Beaulieu and forward Joonas Nattinen to the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs after Saturday’s game. But on Sunday afternoon the Canadiens called Beaulieu back up again. Both players were called up Friday and played against the Maple Leafs Saturday night.

(Photo by Pierre Obendrauf/The Gazette)

Van Riemsdyk scores winner for Leafs, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

‘We can be a very average team,’ Habs captain Gionta says, by Pat Hickey

How did a jersey tug become an insult, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

An “El Classico” matchup in Toronto, Canadiens.com

Leafs’ Kadri responds to trade talk with statement game, montrealgazette.com

Canadiens assign Beaulieu and Nattinen to Bulldogs, hamiltonbulldogs.com

Leafs win statement game over Canadiens, Toronto Star

Leafs drop Habs for fourth straight win, Toronto Sun

Crosby named captain for Team Canada in Sochi, Postmedia News

631 Comments

  1. Maritime Ronn says:

    lets see

  2. Trackpants says:

    Can someone please do something about this teams defense? Tonordi wasn’t ready…perhaps
    All I know is you can’t expect Price to make for the poor play of 4 out of your top 6 on the blueline. We just need a couple of legit Defensemen on this team to shore up the back end.

    Oh yes, I can hear it now… but they are(were) winning games, how can they be that bad. Well they are, watch them for 60min and you will start to get the idea. Count how many bad plays/goals against originate from a bad play on the backend.

    I really liked the way Drewiski was playing before he got hurt, I am thinking if we can get him back on the ice this year, he will not disappoint. Call up a couple of kids and let them get some NHL experience… The backend of this team is a real problem… although 2 of them might score PP goals, you can count on them to hold a lead, get the puck out of their end or clear the front of the net. Most importantly you can’t count them to bring there A game in games they need to win… AKA the playoffs.

    If defense wins championships then this team has a 0% chance of winning anything.
    =TP

  3. RetroMikey says:

    In the Room: We can be ‘a very average team,’ Gionta says
    Should Gionta not say “We are not even an average team”, but a working team in progress”?
    Major explosions erupting for the Habs, inside and outside the dressing room.
    Going to be an ugly second half for the team to rebound.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • habstrinifan says:

      I noted that remark too. Of course we cant make a big deal out of the wording but we can start to wonder about the subconcious mindset of this group…and if we do that then we have to look at… oh well ..

  4. SteverenO says:

    I didn’t notice anything “terrible” watching the game live on Saturday, but just to be certain I rewatched the first half of the first periods of the Leafs game , specifically Natinnen’s two shifts.

    On both shifts he was centering a line with Moen and Parros on the wings. Both started with faceoffs, that were won by the Leafs.

    The first shift was mostly uneventful, however Joonas did not look out of place, and in fact handled the puck briefly and efficiently.

    The second shift was pretty much a disaster, (it was the shift when PK chased a leaf player all over the zone), and the Leafs were buzzing in our zone and had a great scoring chance but did not score.

    On both his shifts Nattinen was the best of the three forwards, as Parros and Moen were basically bystanders.

    Both Parros and Moen went on to play a few more shifts , but Joonas was nailed to the bench for the rest of the game.

    In my opinion, Natinnen was not the player that should have been called up, but regardless, once called and dressed he deserved to play a regular (4th line shift) and if the coaching staff was not willing to give him an opportunity to play, they should not have dressed him.

    This nonsense about “sending Bourque a message” is just that, nonsense. The message would have resonated just as clearly, perhaps even more so, had BOurque been dressed and sat on the bench the entire game, perhaps playing one or two shifts.

    An even better way to send a player a message is to call him and talk to him.

    As bad as Bourque has been playing, (he has been totally ineffective offensively with the team averaging one goal every 48 minutes when Bourque is on the ice at even strength). The only forward close to that inept is Parros who has been on for one goal in 52 minutes.

    He has NOT been hurting the team very much because he has played fairly well defensively, with only one goal scored against the Habs every 34 minutes while Bourque has been on the ice. Compare to Moen one GA every 32 minutes, White one GA every 19 minutes, Galchenyuk, one GA every 22 minutes, or Parros, one GA every 8 minutes.

    In plus/minus terms, Bourque is only a minus 4 compared to Prust (minus 3) and Galchenyuk (minus 7). I have not heard anyone claiming that Prust or Galchenyuk should be scratched from the lineup.

    My point is that despite his lack of offensive production, Bourque can still fill a role on this team, a defensive role, perhaps on a line with Moen and Prust, or Moen and White. Either of those lines could play a regular shift and allow the team to “roll 4 lines” and give the other lines a chance to acquaint themselves with each other because there would no longer be need to “juggle” 4th line players in to the mix trying to make sure they get a few minutes of ice time despite the coach not trusting the line as a whole to play 3 or 4 shifts a period.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • New says:

      You’re right. The kid never got a chance. The only way “it was a message to Bourque” is if the kid plays on right wing, on the second or third line, and pots one. The only one who can send that message is the coach by having the players set the kid up. Obviously that was not the intent. The intent was to play Parros out there, watch him stand around, and then go with three lines all night.

      So what did the entire thing reveal? It stuck a few mics in Bourque’s face and he confirms he isn’t injured. Now fans can be sure Bourque is playing the way he wants to play, achieving nothing, and waiting on his next cheque.

  5. Habfan17 says:

    @ mattyleg

    Re – your comment “Eller should play his game regardless”

    Tell that to the coach. You need to remember, he has to follow what Therrien tells him or he will end up in the press box again. Not to mention that he was doing very well with Gally and Gallagher, since then he has had to play with different wingers almost every game and sometimes from shift to shift. Given his usage, he is still doing very well. As far as consistency, take any player on the team and you will see their points have come in short periods of time, fits and spurts, even Patches! Until the coach adjusts his system to fit the players, we will keep having low offensive output from the players

    Habfan17

    • rljmartin says:

      Coach must make adjustments to favor a player’s strong points, not the other way round. That way, there is a higher possibility for success. We can mention A LOT of players but Bournival may be the best example of MT’s player mismanagement this year and that is why so many have struggled and the Team is struggling even though it has 8 Olympians on board.
      Since around game 20, team has been taking steps backward in performance when the team and players should be growing and improving.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I agree, that is why I wish they would fire Therrien. His system does not exploit the strengths of the players he has and his constant line shuffling is doing more harm than good. A little patience would go a long way with him! I was just responding to a comment that Eller should just do his thing. Look how that has worked out for a superstar like PK!

        Habfan17

  6. New says:

    I like the Stubbs’ article on the crest tug. Essentially he says van Riemsdyk and Anderson have problems with it & that Cherry has a problem with it. Their problem: It brings out the best in the competition. So van Riemsdyk, Cherry, and Anderson (who isn’t as good as Bishop and is facing that revelation) want PK to tone it down so opponents can sleep walk through games? So they don’t have to play their best? Sounds like something they should discuss with their coaches, agents and GM.

    I think what irritates many people is the furor over the whole thing. People used to be really upset over Orr and the almost fawning attention he got. Why? I have no idea. He was really good and quarterbacked games like no one before or since. So they took his knees away from him. Lafleur was heading for his first scoring title when Sittler took his hand away from him. The Russians were heading for a series domination when Sather sent Messier out to send a message via a broken jaw. Crosby is so good they try and take his head off, including Chara punching his newly welded jaw.

    Hockey is a beautiful game but I will tell you this. If you are better than the opposition they will try and take you out of the game and then say they didn’t mean to do that, sorry.

    They hit PK relentlessly. They foul him at every chance. Somehow he just fights back, giving as good as he gets. And he is emotional when he scores a come from behind overtime winning goal. Despite the hooks, slashes, knees, and constant verbal battles, if you don’t play at your very best the whole shift Subban will take you apart and send you home with people demanding to know how you could have lost. It is a whole lot easier to say you dislike the guy than to admit he schooled you or you were tired then.

    Since all the great players get the same treatment I guess it is time to admit that PK Subban is a great star. Young for that. Hope he plays 20 more years, all with Montreal.

  7. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Hopefully Eller suddenly “gets it” like Steen. That would be awesome!
    And if he doesn’t we still can’t give up on a guy with his size and physicality. We have so precious little of that.

    My 2 cents.

  8. Old Bald Bird says:

    Is anybody else experiencing a total but temporary freeze after posting a comment? This is a recent occurrence. I keep thinking my whole browser has frozen, and then it pops back to life.

  9. Psycho29 says:

    New thread up……Suckers!!

  10. DipsyDoodler says:

    Seattle Vs Denver – I don’t know who will win but I bet it will be the Superbowl with the most stoned fans in history. I bet Doritos booked a lot of ads this year.

  11. shiram says:

    Darren DregerVerified account ‏@DarrenDreger

    Gary Bettman and Bill Daly also attending this mornings discipline hearing for John Tortorella.

    It will be interesting to see what comes out of this.
    Does the Flames Coach get a fee for player selection??
    What a circus… I’m so happy this did not happen in Montreal.

  12. B says:

    At the start of the season, 16 teams had better odds of winning the Cup than the Montreal Canadiens:
    http://www.ibtimes.com/nhl-betting-odds-blackhawks-penguins-bruins-kings-blues-favorites-2013-2014-season-hockey-preseason

    Now, only 9 teams have better odds of winning the Cup than the Montreal Canadiens:
    http://sports.bodog.eu/sports-betting/hockey-futures.jsp

    –Go Habs Go!–

  13. habsguru says:

    well put MR, and let’s consider that Larry is only 24 years young

  14. Maritime Ronn says:

    Lots of talk about Lars Eller and his supposed inconsistency.

    To become consistent, a player has to get to know his linemates and their tendencies at both ends of the rink.

    Contrary to one of the Coach’s pet centers, Eller has played with just about every forward that has worn a Habs sweater this year.
    You can see this clearly here:

    http://www.leftwinglock.com/line-combinations/index.php?season=2013&team=MTL&strength=EV&playertype=F&gametype=ALL

    Now rewind the tape to the beginning of the year.
    Eller + the 2 Gallys are on fire.

    Bournival is going lights out with Plex and Gio.
    Bournival scored 6 goals and 5 assists in his first 20 games and was Plus + 6!
    What more do you want from a rookie?

    Of course that wasn’t good enough for the coach because his pet Center was doing sweet nothing.
    So he gets an idea.
    Screw up the successful lines.
    Force that square peg into a round hole regardless of repercussions with the other lines.

    Yes, the pet center has put up some numbers lately with the best 2 forwards and privileged 1st Unit PP time, but if you think that guy will be visible in the playoffs when the going gets tough, you will be disappointed as was the case last year.

    • shiram says:

      It’s something taboo around here, but it seems that when DD is producing and doing well the team usually suffers for it.

      When he was doing bad, the team was doing great.

    • Wintercount says:

      Clear and concise. BIG x +

    • Eddie says:

      I’ll take Eller at 6’2 and 215, hitting like he’s been doing this year, and slot him in my lineup for the next 6,7 years without batting an eyelash, as they say.

      He’s also a terrific team player who has been bounced around by an imbecile coach, who will hopefully be fired sooner than later.

      Now I feel better!

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      I like DD, but I can’t disagree with anything you said MR.

    • commandant says:

      This was a .500 team before the 10 game point streak.

      They have been a .500 team since the 10 game point streak ended.

      The point streak? It coincided with Gallagher-DD-Pacioretty being put together as a line.

      So I don’t agree that the coach was tinkering with a winning lineup when he first put that line together. He was tinkering with a team that looks very much like the team we have right now. It worked for a while, but now the team is back to being a 500 club.

      The only thing I will say is that since we are currently again mired in the win one – lose one approach, that it might be time to tinker with that line again. Perhaps move Gallagher back with Eller, and try someone else on that wing.

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

    • Mattyleg says:

      Your posts, Ronn, tend to be full of seemingly unequivocal statements, but they don’t always hold water.

      You say that “To become consistent, a player has to get to know his linemates and their tendencies at both ends of the rink.”

      How do you explain, therefore, the early success of the EGG line? They didn’t play together for significant amounts of time before the season started, and they performed very well right off the bat.

      I think you may be making the mistake in thinkng that rookies (and sophomores in some cases) who start the season strong will continue to produce at the same rate throughout the campaign. I don’t believe this is the case – rookie forwards tend to start off well, but then as defensive responsibilities, energy levels, and a million other on-and-off-ice pressures and influences come into play, their production diminishes. I mentioned this at the beginning of the season when everyone was high on the EGGs.

      You are also ignoring the fact (or have forgotten) that a lot of the early-season line-juggling came as a result of a glut of injuries, and necessitated movement.

      The linemates chart that you show demonstrates that Eller has played on one fewer line combination than Plekanec, and only two more than DD. I’m not sure what you’re showing there…

      Are you blaming Therrien for Eller’s lack of production, or just using the Eller conversation as an excuse to take a pot-shot at Therrien and Desharnais? I’m not being sarcastic, I’m just wondering.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Habfan17 says:

        You are making a stamen as fact when you don’t know. The EGG line might have been practicing together all through training camp.

        I played for 20 years and coached for 10 and what Ron says is correct. If you don’t accept me saying it, look up John LeClair and ask him! Demers did the same thing to him and they ended up making a huge mistake and traded him

        Habfan17

    • B says:

      Who was the responsible forward that led the Habs in plus/minus and led all Hab forwards in ES TOI vs Ottawa in last season’s playoffs? What I am trying to say is that he was not a total disappointment in my books. He did his job defensively at least.

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • Habfan17 says:

      Thank you, you get it!

      Habfan17

    • Wintercount says:

      Last year Trini went out on a limb and said Bournival was going to be ‘a player’ and that he thought would make the team. So the kid is all heart, makes the team and becomes the motor on the plek line. What better story can a fan ask for.
      MT could not leave well enough alone and has left the kid pretty much regressing in limbo. How dare he?
      Describing MT’s actions with the word Egregious is simply not strong enough. I search for a better word.

      How anyone believes this coach is good for the franchise is beyond the pale.


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