Desharnais, Bourque pot 2 each in Habs 6-1 win

davey-still

Canadiens’ David Desharnais, looking every bit the hockey player, in the Habs dressing room post-game.
Stubbs video capture

Pat Hickey
The Gazette

Rene Bourque is looking like the player the Canadiens thought they were getting last January when they sent Michael Cammalleri to Calgary.

Bourque scored two goals Saturday afternoon to help propel the Canadiens to a convincing 6-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Saturday afternoon at the Bell Centre.

“It was a pretty solid team effort and I was glad to be part of it,” said Bourque, who was a disappointment last season. “We’re breaking out of our zone with speed and we’re creating chances.”

“For starters I feel better,” Bourque said asked his improved play. “I’m more comfortable, healthy. I never doubted myself even when things weren’t going well”

Bourque, who has three goals and two assists, said ihe enjoys playing with Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec. The chemistry with Gionta was in evidence on the Canadiens’ first goal at 19:52 of the first period.

“I just kept driving to the net,” said Bourque, who was rewarded at 18:15 when he was hooked as he took a pass from Gionta. The two combined on the same scenario to score on the ensuing power play.

“That was an important goal for us because we were all over them but we hadn’t scored,” said Bourque. Montreal had a 15-1 edge in shots in the opening period.

David Desharnais, another player who has worked to keep his confidence level up, also scored two goals, his first of the season.

 “I was telling myself I have to be better; I’m going to be better,” said Desharnais. “I knew nobody was going to feel sorry for me. The last couple of days I cleared my head. I had to get back to the point where hockey was fun.

“I didn’t think of it as being in a slump, five games isn’t a slump,” he added. “I’ve been in the league for more than 100 games and I know what we can do,”

Another player who had a breakout of sorts was Lars Eller, who scored a goal and added two assists for his first points of the season.

Eller has bounced around the depth chart but has been given an opportunity to skate with Desharnais and Erik Cole. That was Max Pacioretty’s spot before last season’s leading scorer was sidelined by an appendectomy and Eller was asked if he felt any more pressure now that Pacioretty is close to a return.

“I can’t think about that,” said Eller. “I just have to play hard. There are a lot of talented players in this room. The coach has some decisions to make and I’m trying to make that decision more difficult.”

  It was also another big game for the kids. Brendan Gallagher scored his third goal of the season while Alex Galchenyuk collected two assists and played a season-high 15:30. He won nine of his 11 faceoffs.

“He’s learning to play defensively,” coach Michel Therrien said of Galchenyuk. “He still has things to learn but he’s coming along.”

The 18-year-old’s popularity with the crowd resulted in his being named the first star for the second time in seven games.

And then there was the return of P.K. Subban, who modestly rated his own performance as “good, didn’t feel too great.” He played 18 minutes, picked up an assist on Desharnais’ second goal and hit a post during a power play. He was used in every situation and, while he said his timing was a bit off, he was happy that his conditioning was good.

“I wanted to see how I felt in the third period and I was good,” said Subban.

Therrien dressed seven defenceman and spread the work around.  He’s likely to go back to six and bench Tomas Kaberle (7:28 of ice time Saturday) when Pacioretty returns which could be as early as Sunday against Ottawa.  

Video in the dressing room after the game:

 

78 Comments

  1. Dudley the Dog says:

    Yesterday’s game was just what I hoped for — an up tempo skating game. Buffalo can skate as well, but they looked slow in comparison.
    ‘This is what Canadiens must do for success this year. Has anyone noticed how solid Frankie the bull is playing? Great addition. The young kids continue to look great and have an excellent future.
    Beat Ottawa with the same up tempo game.

  2. petefleet says:

    About the kids and others:
    It was said last June that MTL may have got the #1 pick at #3…the year off pushed Chucky down the line a few spots. At the time I could only hope that was true. He’s #3 on the scoring chart for rookies, ahead of the great Nail Yakapov, who I don’t like because he reminds me of OV, and the other guy that went ahead of him is back in the CHL. Gregorenko was the #1 pick by many of the posters as well and if last night is any indication of what BUF got in the draft, #12 spot may have been too high for him.
    Good to see Chucky able to play at this level right now because he is exactly what the Habs needed to revitalize the team.
    Gally could have made the team last year but I’m glad that he had another year in the CHL. I think it helped him grow as a shooter and skater…he does not look out of place and he takes some pretty good hits out there and gets right back in it.
    PK was a little over the top last year but last night proved he can tone it down and play hockey as well as any body. The theatrics are not a necessary part of his game. I do think however that he will get his swagger back quickly and see 25+ min/gm again before Feb is done.
    Therian was much maligned when he was announced as head coach but from what I’ve seen so far, he’s proven to be a great coach. White needed to be sat down and he was. Eller was playing on the perimeter and was sat. Kaberle needs to be used very sparingly and was. No head scratching for me yet, unlike last year.
    Franky is bringing some great hockey and probably alot of leadership to this young group as well. Great pick up in my opinion.

    ******************************************

    “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

    RGM
    ***Habs Forever***

  3. lavie says:

    Do my fellow Habs fans think our Chucky is a very good speaker? only 18 years old. :)

  4. Forum Dog says:

    What a well rounded game. Lots of fore-check and aggressive play. Lots of puck movement by the D. I thought Subban had a great first game back. So easy to forget how good he is. Galchenyuk is getting better by the shift, Desharnais looked much sharper, Bourque has really re-dedicated himself, Eller played like he wants to stay in the lineup, and Price did what he does. You base things on tonight’s game and the Habs look great, especially when you consider how young they are. They just need to stay consistent, and with the leadership back (Markov and Gionta) and the role players standing up, they might be able to do it….

  5. Danno says:

    Not that I care, but the Leafs got robbed on that call

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  6. CCL says:

    Great team game Guy’s. see if you can carry it over tomorrow.

  7. rhino514 says:

    Where are all the posters who want us to trade Plekanec?
    He is a heck of a player. Watch him this year with two decent teamates, he is going to put up some really good numbers, and also be great defensively.

  8. Bill says:

    Bruins look tentative out there … missing their bodyguard?

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  9. punkster says:

    Come on guys…4 minutes in and no blood? WTF???

    ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  10. Danno says:

    Leafs vs Bruins

    I do not really care who wins.

    But please feel free to pound each other into a fine powder.

    That would be great…

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  11. ZepFan2 says:

    Anybody else watching this puke fest on CBC?

    At least their owning their maple leaf bias.

    ———————————————————————-
    Ka is a wheel.

    For Your Life

  12. Bill says:

    Haha, and now the Leafs are loving HNIC back with an actual pre-game ceremony honouring the show! What a joke this league/network is.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  13. billylove says:

    Love the effort after the loss to the Sens. I ENJOY watching this team play. Passion, high energy and good puck movement. Cant wait for the rematch with the Sens. Another W tomorrow and the confidence level keeps on growin! I’m still pumped about our chances.

  14. Danno says:

    Oh man. I’ve got this feeling the Habs might be for real this year…

    And I have DD in the pool!
    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  15. commandant says:

    The Isles are playing good hockey to start the season. What is happening to start the year?

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/02/02/whats-up-with-the-islanders/

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  16. JohnBellyful says:

    Missed the game — being an undercover Wal-Mart greeter does have its downside, working weekend shifts — so I was excited to hear on the radio Habs sheathed the Sabres. Especially so when I learned later Bourque and Desharnais each scored twice and Eller had three points.
    I was a bit surprised by Desharnais’ slow start — I thought he’d excel in a short season. Bourque was working hard so it was only a matter of time before he’d be rewarded for his efforts.
    It’s Eller who remains a puzzle, if only because I have faith in his abilities, even though he has yet to realize his potential on a consistent basis. With the Habs winning as they are, perhaps they can be a bit more patient with Eller; as long as he is defensively responsible, give him more ice time with players offensively talented.

  17. Bill says:

    Jiminy Cricket … watching the HNIC pregame show (I know, I know) and the fawning over everything Toronto is beyond belief. They are so far up the Maple Leafs a** … right now Ron Maclean is practically licking drops of Nazim Kadri and Matt Frattin off of Dallas Eakin’s face.

    Somebody name me another national sports program in any sport that is blatantly behind a particular team. You can’t do it.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Danno says:

      Look what I found…

      The toy box for the little Leaf fans says it can be folded and tucked away.

      Just like the real Leafs do around January. Fold and tuck away as far from a playoff spot as possible.

      http://shopping.canoe.ca/shop/product–productId_27619081.html

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

    • neumann103 says:

      Bill

      Late to the party and I don’t disagree but the National coverage of the NFL (exemplified by Monday Night Football but carried over on other packages’ big games) has historically worshipped the NFC East with an almost inexplicable love for the NY Giants and reverence for the Dallas Cowboys. I guess the last 10 years of suckitude for the Cowboys has finally taken root a bit but the Cowboys are still taken way more seriously than deserved. And while I love the RGIII emergence in Washington (and despise the wilful mismanagment of that kid’s health by that team) it has given the TV folks an opportunity to take seriously the Redskins.

      “Et le but!”

  18. Bun E. Laroque says:

    Therrien is doin’ a bang up job so far. Very impressed.
    Bourque trade looks great now.
    I would like to see Budaj get another chance tomorrow.
    Go Habs Go.

  19. 69HABS says:

    So, Price or Boodaj tomorrow?

  20. remi_10069 says:

    who sucked tonight? Cole comes to mind

    pipes

  21. hab fan in leaf jungle says:

    PK is sounding more like the team player all should be and is toned down and playing sound hockey on the ice. He will mature under this management even though he may not like it and leave after his contract just like kids who don’t enjoy their parent’s criticism and manipulation even though they become wonderful adults. Way to go Habs. Keep on playing hard and let’s get some revenge from the Senators for that drubbing.

  22. Ozmodiar says:

    Bourque – at some point in each game this season I’ve said to myself – thank God Cammy isn’t on this team. I suppose everyone has an opinion of the trade – who won the trade, could Goat have gotten more, etc, … Either way, I think it’s safe to say that Bourque makes the opposing D work harder, which I’m sure pays off in the 3rd period of games. Oh, and there’s no way Cammy is in the crease on those 3 occasions this afternoon (2 goals, 1 penalty call).

    Pleks – typical Pleks game. He was all over the ice tonight, challenging the Sabres D. It set the tone early on. I think he got 2 points, yet wasn’t considered by anyone to be a star of the game. I’m not saying he should have, or I care….just saying – unsung. Typical Pleks.

    DD/Eller – Good on them, getting their 1st goals of the season. Pretty cool to see how happy DD was after Eller scored (congrats smack on the bench). Each scored doing something they should employ more often in their respective games. Eller – driving to the net. DD – shooting.

    Galchenyuk – The kid is good. Imagine how good he’ll be when he’s, oh…say 22.

    • Bourque has a history of playing well then quietly disappearing.

      When he came the Habs he was down right awful, and looked like he not only didn’t want to be in Montreal, but in the game itself.

      It’s a half season, he should make it the whole way without going into his funk.

      They Call Me Shane
      “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

  23. GGtheHab says:

    Last year when Borgue had his abdominal surgery I commented that they should insert some heart and guts while they had him open. Looks like they did, it was like making a trade for a new player without giving anybody up, anybody miss cammy? it is a treat to have 4 lines 6 nhl D men, and Patch on the horizon..good times, now lets put it too the sens tomorrow, if they skate like that all the time we are going to win a lot of games..sabres had zero time to handle the puck

  24. deuce6 says:

    Listening to PK in that video just solidifies in my saying that the media is fabricating the BS about the kid..He continuously is giving props to his teammates and talking about team play..

    IDK about anyone else, but Galchenyuk sounds nothing close to an 18 year old playing in the NHL..This kid is mature beyond his years..Best thing to come out of a last place finish last year..lol

    ——————

    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      PK has always been nothing but humble and a team player when he talks to the press. If any of the stories you hear about him are true, then it’s happening offcamera, cuz I have never seen him say or do anything remotely selfish.

    • ZimHabwe says:

      Well said, deuce. Watch all of the post-game interviews from last year. Follow PK on Twitter and you’ll see how much he’s dedicated to the city and the team. Maybe what people see is a player with flare who excites the fans and thus makes him a target for the opponent ALL the ‘nikcuf time! But I think the kid will play his part and he’ll be fine.

  25. Ncognito says:

    So HIO’s favorite 3 whipping boys (Bourque, Desharnais & Eller) have outstanding games!
    I can’t undertand how many on here feel Desharnais should be a 3rd line centre??? Cole and Maxpac both had career years because of DD not inspite of him.
    Great game today. I always thought JM’s system of defense first was not the right system for a team with this much offensive talent.

  26. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    thanks for these videos…great to hear/watch.


    The N.A.G. effect remains the only path to success…
    In PRUST we TRUST

  27. duffy says:

    Why is everyone but PK wearing CH shirts and hats in the locker room after the game. I have noticed in all his interviews with the press he mostly has NIKE WEAR on.

  28. 69HABS says:

    Outstanding game.

    Got to love it when Miller gets chased from the net!

    Glen Healey is a moron.

    Outstanding game …

  29. Stevie.Ray says:

    Excited to have Patches back to play with DD and Cole who are slowly getting back into the swing of things, but I don’t want him to come back too soon. I wouldn’t be against letting him sit one more game just to make sure. If his surgery was like mine, then he had three small incisions made, but you don’t want those to open up or anything internally.

  30. Kooch7800 says:

    Good TEAM effort. loved it

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  31. commandant says:

    Great for DD and Lars Eller to both get their first goals of the season.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  32. Stevie.Ray says:

    It’s nice being able to trust all of the lines at all times. Last year you could trust DD’s line to score, and Plek’s line to defend, and that was it. This year I’m confident no matter what line we put out.

    Same on D. Subban, Diaz and Markov are working well offensively, and Emelin, Gorges and Boullion are sound defensively. Maybe we can move Kaberle for a good young defensive d-man or some picks.

  33. piper says:

    which one would be your fourth liner?

  34. Danno says:

    Will Dear Leader Stephen Harper make it so?

    Onward down the golden path to a glorious Toronto-centric future

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  35. Bill says:

    It really was … oh wait, you’re talking about my imagery. Sorry.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  36. boing007 says:

    A new team in Markham might cure that problem. Especially if they kick the Leafs’ butts on HNIC.

    Richard R
    Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.


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