Habs’ Diaz, Plekanec headed to Sochi Olympics

The Canadiens held an optional skate Monday morning in Brossard before facing the Florida Panthers Monday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Canadiens defenceman Raphael Diaz got some good news Monday morning when he learned he will part part of Team Switzerland for the Sochi Olympics. Diaz was also part of Team Switzerland for the 2010 Games in Vancouver. Canadiens centre Tomas Plekanec learned later in the day that he will be the captain for the Czech Republic team in Sochi. Plekanec also took part in the 2010 Games.

Team Canada will be announced during a press conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Toronto.

“I’m really happy,” Diaz, who was a healthy scratch for Saturday’s overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators, told reporters in Brossard. “This is the tournament of all tournaments.”

Max Pacioretty was named to Team USA for Sochi last week.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien announced after the morning skate that there will be no changes to the lineup that faced the Senators on Saturday night, meaning Diaz will be a healthy scratch again against the Panthers. The coach also said that Ryan White could be sidelined for two weeks with an upper-body injury. The only healthy players who didn’t take part in the morning skate were Brian Gionta, Tomas Plekanec, David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty.

Diaz will be one of eight NHL players on Team Switzerland, along with former Canadiens Yannick Weber, now with the Vancouver Canucks, and Mark Streit, now with the Philadelphia Flyers.

(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

Canadiens vs. Panthers preview, NHL.com

Game Day Report, canadiens.com

Panthers Game Day, floridapanthers.com

Game Notes, floridapanthers.com

Eight NHLers on Swiss Olympic team, NHL.com

Diaz on making Team Switzerland (video), Canadiens.com

Price comes out of wilderness and into Olympic spotlight, New York Times

Subban looks to impress Hockey Canada against Panthers, TSN.ca

Predicting Team Canada’s roster, by Cam Cole of Postmedia News

Selecting Team Canada is a matter of trust, by Bruce Arthur of Postmedia News

Canada’s Olympic team projection, TSN.ca

Who should make Team Canada, sportsnet.ca

Jagr named to fifth Olympics with Czech Republic, NHL.com

 

300 Comments

  1. Eddie says:

    Hey Shiram, the Flames picked Ryan Culkin with the 5th rounder they received from us with Cammy. He is now Captain of the Quebec Remparts and a terrific defenceman. 6’2, about 200, mobile as hell, great skater, power play quarterback. He was a steal in the 5th round. Of course he grew up and played minor hockey right here in Montreal as well. You should write his name down. I think he ay make it all the way to the NHL.

  2. Maritime Ronn says:

    Looking at the poll question, the Habs would have to have a complete meltdown – or God forbid, a Subban-Price long term injury, not to qualify for the playoffs.

    The current pace in the West is 98 points
    The current pace in the East is only 90 points.

    That means the Habs need 37 points in their final 39 games.
    A record something like of 16-18-5 is good enough.

    About Carey and an injury, was anyone at the practise yesterday?

    Some info out there that during the 1-on-1 skills against the goalies, the guys were making all kinds of moves and plays against Budaj….yet when it came to Price, the players were shooting from longer range, and not 1 guy tried a deke on Carey.

    Is that groin issue he had last playoff acting up?

  3. shiram says:

    No Habs player make the top 20 list of best selling hockey jerseys.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/nhl-jerseys-had-best-selling-sweaters-2013-213223570–nhl.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Is it because the team lacks a superstar? We surely have the fanbase to be in the top 20!

  4. FlyAngler says:

    Hopefully, the Habs will not need any help tonight from St. Andre sur son fete…. they sure aren’t likely to get any from the zebras.

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  5. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Timo, I just heard your mayor in a long radio interview. Sounded cool and sensible and rather alternative (for a mayor).

    What’s the reality?

    • Timo says:

      Well… he is good at twitter. Other than that, in my opinion, he hasn’t done much of anything other than raise property tax. So, he is useless.

      But, he appeals to a cooler, hipster crown because, like you said, he is not your conventional Calgary mayor.

      (I hate politics and politicians of all stripes. PS, except Bri. He is cool. )

  6. shiram says:

    I think it’s safe to say now, that the Habs lost the Cammy trade.
    Even with considering the cap implications, the returns have not been worth what was sent back.
    It basically rests on Fuccale to be a show stopper, as Bourque has steeply declined since arriving in Montreal, Patrick Holland does not seem to be putting significant numbers in the AHL.

    I can’t find the guy Calgary picked with the 5th round pick we sent them, but Ramo has been playing regular games for them, and Cammy has been producing as he’s done before.

    • CH Marshall says:

      I think deep down Bourque would rather be in Alberta.

    • CJ says:

      I think the time to review this trade and subsequently evaluate the outcome will be another 5-7 years down the road. I think claiming that now is a safe time is entirely premature. Further, when evaluating this trade you also have to consider the cap hit implications. Lastly, what if Bourque gets flipped at the deadline, or even next year? Let’s just put this on hold for now.

  7. CH Marshall says:

    Damn cold out there. Anyways, was thinking how I’d be happy with Eller, pleks, chunky, as our centres down the road if we can get four new wingers with a mix of skill and size. Hopefully DE la rose and Collberg are part of that, which would leave us looking for two power forwards.

    As for the D, I just wanted to Larry Robinson to coach them.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      How Larry skips the coaching and comes back to play?

      (Who’s Chunky?)
      (As opposed to who’s chunky?) (Me, for one. NY’s resolution notwithstanding).

      • CH Marshall says:

        Chunky is 5’6, 230 lbs, non skilled centre. He has great vision of the ice and occasionally shot blocks.

        Chucky on the other hand could be our next Marian Hossa

  8. derfab says:

    The last time we made any noise in the playoffs was when Halak played for Slovakia in Vancouver and none of our other top players participated. I’m thinking our small forwards and gimpy kneed defence could use the rest, again. Pleks must be happy but doesn’t need the work.

  9. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    What’s “Captain Turtleneck” in Czech? I love Plekanec as a player, and am happy for him.

    Man, I’m excited for the Russian roster to be announced. Vladimir Putin centering the Ovechkin and Kovalchuk lines… Is there nothing that man can’t do?

  10. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Dipsy!
    Surely the difference is that for an atheist there is no possibility whatsoever of a God/supreme being/ultimate concern etc, or anything at all that exists parallel to what we determine to be physical reality,

    whereas,

    the agnostic merely asserts that there is no way of knowing or proving it one way or the other and that we will find out — or not if that’s the case — when we die. Until then, no point in arguing: see you on the other side, or not.

    If those definitions are valid, it’s not a false dichotomy.

    (There is at least one other poster here whose name I can’t recall but who will charge into this one!)

    Meanwhile — and not wishing to compromise my Schleprock gloom-and-doom-reverse jinx strategy (which evidence suggests is effective when Jols does the opposite and Burly doesn’t go curling and watches the game) — do we EVER need to give those pretenders from the Sunshine State a proper spanking and restore the order of the universe??!! DO IT!!

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    Habillis posted some interesting stats on Kunitz with and without Crosby. I would have guessed about what the numbers say and all the more reason for him not to be considered. What if Crosby gets hurt at Olympics, first of all no Crosby, and now Kunitz becomes a below average player.

    • habcertain says:

      I wonder if people said the same thing about Shutt years back?

    • The_Truth says:

      Kunitz is on the bubble and has played awesome the last few years. He is a well rounded player who deserves to be mentioned with the Benns, Nashs and Sharps of the world.

      The original comment was that Gallagher would be a better choice, which is just silly.

      Hypothetically if Crosby is injured, you think you put a guy like Kunitz with Getzlaf or Thorton and he would be below average?

  12. Habfan17 says:

    Doesn’t Denmark have a team for the Olympics? If they do, Eller should be on it!

    Habfan17

  13. SmartDog says:

    From Habcouver and arcosenate (huh?)… what’s the best fast food out there that ISN’T incredibly bad for you?

    For me it’s always been the Egg McMuffin. But their new chicken wrap things (grilled) are awesome too. I hate to praise McD’s but there ya go.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  14. shiram says:

    Renaud Lavoie ‏@LavoieRenaud

    #lightning Ben Bishop received confirmation that he’ll be at the Olympics if one of the 3 Team USA goalie is injured.

    This is interesting, seeing as Bishop left last night’s game with an injury.

  15. Habcouver says:

    Just wondering, is anyone else getting annoyed with that McDonalds commercial “whaaaaaaat?”

    Waiting patiently for #25

  16. Plekasuares says:

    GOOD FOR PLEKY. He should be the next captain for the Montreal Canadiens.

  17. Habilis says:

    I would pick Brendan Gallagher before I’d pick Chris Kunitz. Seriously.

    • arcosenate says:

      I would choose Duncan Dunitz before Chris Kunitz.

    • The_Truth says:

      Wow really? I think you would be the only one.

      Kunitz gets undervalued because of he is playing with Crosby, but watch the games. He is a very good player. Reminds me of Patrick Sharp.

      • Habilis says:

        These stats are a couple of weeks old, but still relevant. Per @Kinger999 from Twitter:

        “Kunitz 5v5 with Sid: 1016 minutes 20 G 31 A.
        Without Sid: 249 minutes 1 G 4 A.
        That’s since the lockout ended.”

        Kunitz is an average hockey player playing alongside the best hockey player on the planet. Nothing more.

        • The_Truth says:

          Those stats without Sid is a very small sample size and doesn’t include all his PP points, where Kunitz, like most offensive minded players, is very good.

          Not anyone could put up the numbers Kunitz has with Crosby. He has been more successful than any other winger Crosby has had. If you think he is average or that Gallagher is better choice you are not watching the Pens games. Kunitz is a very smart player with a great shot, skating ability, and some physicality. He is a very good 2-way player as well with a +22 compared to Crosby’s +11 this season.

          He is a way above average winger in this league and is 5th in NHL scoring at this point. An average winger like Bourque per say, could never do that.

          • Ncognito says:

            That small sample size is equivalent to 15 games. 1 g 4 a in 15 games are Deharnais numbers.

          • The_Truth says:

            Put in his PP numbers and he is still pretty much a point per game player.

            In any case Crosby will be there as will Getzlaf and Thorton and Toews. It’s not like he will be playing with DD or Eller over there.

  18. shiram says:

    How to make hockey safer?
    How about a big orange line!
    http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/01/06/hockey-injuries-line

    • arcosenate says:

      You’ve been all over the graphics today, it’s really added to your presentation mark.

      It’s been very entertaining.

      • shiram says:

        It’s kind of a slow day, so I’m passing along the few things I find interesting, glad it’s not a wasted effort.

        • arcosenate says:

          No, I am serious, I already sent the beating the dead horse to 10 people.

          • shiram says:

            Forgot the “not” in my previous post, which I just edited.
            Again, glad you enjoyed it!

          • shiram says:

            Renaud Lavoie ‏@LavoieRenaud

            #lightning Ben Bishop received confirmation that he’ll be at the Olympics if one of the 3 Team USA goalie is injured.

            This is interesting, seeing as Bishop left last night’s game with an injury.

  19. rljmartin says:

    After watching some of WJC, Team Canada should ice the best skating team possible combined with snipers. That ice surface is not made for grinders…. oops… that might leave Subban out!

  20. Habcouver says:

    Looking at the predictions so far for Team Canada, I am really looking forward to tomorrow’s selection.

    Like all Hab fans, as long as PK and Price are in, the rest of the players I can live with.

    Waiting patiently for #25

  21. C-Sword says:

    In my opinion, Team Canada leaving out Mike Richards and Jeff Carter would be a huge mistake. 2 players who always seem to be able to tie up games late in regulations. Richards is also very effective on the penalty killing department.

  22. John Q Public says:

    Why isn’t there a line of turtlenecks called Plekanecks ?
    Channeling ………………Player of the game tonight Eller.
    With PK’s backlash against the refs I expect a quiet game from them.
    I could be wrong.
    Om……………..Om………………Om

  23. JUST ME says:

    Come on boys ! Let`s win this one tonight.
    Should not be necessary to have a pep talk after the loss on saturday. Should be mad enough …And those damn Panthers deserve a lesson.

    Happy for Diaz and Plek.
    Diaz according to many here not good enough to play in MTL but good enough to play anywhere else in the league and on his country`s olympic squad…

    Plek has been named captain of his squad. Shows you how he is considered but again here is under appreciated and has been ever since he joined the Habs.

    Even though D.D. `s return in force was never in doubt for me since it also had to do with Max Pac, i am not so confident about Briere`s return to fame but am ready to give him a chance…

  24. shiram says:

    Panthers at Canadiens: Carey Price in goal for Montreal, Tim Thomas likely for Florida.

    If true it means Budaj does not get all the Panthers game this season.

  25. D Man says:

    Brian Burk wants a truckyoulent team in Calgary. He can’t even spell truckuleant.

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

  26. Luke says:

    Since people are commenting on DD’s no home goals in 20 games as a bad thing, I’ll be devil’s advocate and refer to his 19 points in his last 21 games as a good thing.

    As a fun bit of comparison… DD is now 3 points behind Kadri in scoring. (41gp 5g 15a 20p -1 to 39gp 11g 12a 23p -11).

    • shiram says:

      As long as the line produces… DD was not given a contract because of his shooting abilities.
      It’s the same with Gio, people complain he’s not scoring, which is valid with him, as it was his bread and butter, but he’s at least being a positive factor with his play and assists.

    • CJ says:

      Agreed Luke. Careful friend, positivity is not always appreciated here.

    • FlyAngler says:

      It is not just no home goals which I agree is not a huge problem if he is contributing with assists ….. it is his total of 7 points in 20 home games to date including zero goals and zero assists in 5 of his last six games at the Belle Centre that are a huge problem. You just will not win with that kind of non productivity from a player skating on your first line and playing on the first wave of the PP. It is insane……………

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

      • Luke says:

        But he is producing.

        He’s put up a PPG during his last 20. Does it matter if he scores 10 at home and 10 on the road?

        We have gone from ” MAN! DD isn’t putting up any points!” to “Man! I don’t like where DD is putting up all his points!”

        • FlyAngler says:

          I am glad that he is producing of late Luke, but feel strongly that in order for us to take care of business in our own building, we need to have a strong first line. I think that he deserves to play, I just don’t think that it should be on the first line and that the DD, Max & Gally line has not been as productive as it should be especially at home. What I don’t like is the myopic mindset that DD has to be on the first line, with Max, and on the first wave of the PP. I think that it is pretty fair to say that he has been a bust on the PP so far this season, so why not give Eller or Chucky some of that time?

          “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  27. krob1000 says:

    Sven Baertchi did not make Swiss team?

  28. Phil C says:

    I’m surprised they have not called up a forward with White injured. If someone goes down in the warm up, I guess they’ll play 7 D, unless Parros can go.

  29. Sportfan says:

    Congrats to plek on being the Captain of the Czechs! And to Diaz for making the Swiss team!

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

  30. kalevine says:

    The D:

    Diaz needs to start shooting on the PP. If he can’t find an open lane, he should move around till he does. He should be playing with Murray

    One of Gorges and Diaz needs to be traded. He should be replaced with a big D in the manner of Ottawa’s big D. Doesn’t have to be a great D, just a stay at home guy who won’t get pushed around and can make a first pass

    Murray needs to play

    Bouillon needs to retire, preferably before the season ends because otherwise he should be benched

    Subban and Markov need to play together again

    Emelin needs to start hitting again

    That is (not) all

    • bwoar says:

      “One of Gorges and Diaz needs to be traded. He should be replaced with a big D in the manner of Ottawa’s big D. Doesn’t have to be a great D, just a stay at home guy who won’t get pushed around and can make a first pass”

      We have that guy, Tinordi. He just plays the wrong side. Actually we may also have a guy in Pateryn who does play the right side, but the org doesn’t want to call him up. Yet. I think Diaz will be traded, and that MB is trying to find a team that will accept a trade-and-sign as Diaz needs a contract.

      “thoroughbred”

      • kalevine says:

        works for me…not I said “replace”, as opposed to exchanged or an acquisition. I don’t follow Hamilton closely but people were saying a few weeks ago how neither was impressing and suddenly it’s been turned around and both he and Beaulieu look good.

        It’s laughable how much bigger other teams’ D is. How does this happen? I’ll get to the O eventually

    • zephyr says:

      agreed. murray is a wrecking ball & we need him out there. losing georges or diaz & playing pateryn or tinordi would be a step up. bouillon is depth for us. I think one or maybe 2 of the young dmen will be up b4 the season is over.

  31. Habcouver says:

    I’ll add my applaud to Diaz and to ex-Habs Streit and Weber. The Swiss have upset teams in the past. I hope they do the same in Sochi… but of course, not against us.

    Waiting patiently for #25

  32. shiram says:

    Kaberle also made the Czech team, as did Peter Nedved.

  33. scotland says:

    lol. gionta and brierre (9 million a year combined) finally get on the scoreboard and someone posts how they were on for “all three montreal goals ” FINALLY!……..it is usually the other way around….where they are on for no canadiens goals. one game prior against dallas dd line on for 4 habs goals, elar line for one….gio line ZERO.

    BRIERRE AND GIONTA STINK. ARE WASHED UP AND A WASTE OF ICE TIME. they are scott gomez 2 and 3

  34. Habfan10912 says:

    So Daddy Campbell called PK today and gave him a stern warning, eh? If I was PK i would have told that dirty piece of crap to stick it.

    • CJ says:

      Had to laugh, “dirty piece of crap to stick it….” Funny on so many levels! I believe we share an equal appreciation of Mr. Campbell, which is to say, not at all. CJ

    • 1010 says:

      So if he questions the big machine again he just disappears and no is allowed to ask about him. Awwww….Stalin is alive and well. No one can ask questions. Just accept that what is being done is for the greater good.(They need to be in the mix in Ottawa or no one will show up).

      GO HABS…

  35. Biggest_Greek_HABSfun says:

    Not that his value is going up , its a good chance to trade him . Go habs go #13wemissyou

  36. Yer-mum says:

    I didn’t seem the game. Is there where White took the upper body injury?
    http://kotaku.com/nhl-team-seeks-suggestions-for-chiptunes-to-play-during-1495614406
    Thoughts on video game music during fights?

  37. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS
    1. Does Canada lack depth of skill, as Sutter suggested?
    2. Was Fucale good enough to likely get the nod next year?
    3. What’s your biggest single problem with Therrien’s coaching… and what’s his biggest single strength?
    4. As Fly says at length below, with 0 goals in 20 home games, and able to play well only with Patches, is DD still a bust despite some good games?
    5. If the Habs were a character from fiction, what character would they be? Jeckle and Hyde? Icarus?
    SD

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  38. The Jackal says:

    Following the crap-tastic showing of Team USA and Team Canada at the WJC’s, as well as the controversial snubs to would-be olympians by Team USA, there’s been a few very interesting articles about why these two countries are faltering or stagnating while rising powers are, well, rising powers.

    First, they mention that USA and Canada have the luxury (or curse) of having so many players, that they can over-think who to put on the roster. Rather than saying they will just take the best players, these two nations think about taking the “right” players. It just so happens that in international tournaments, with the big ice and playing the best players each competitor has to offer, the best players ARE the right players. It has often been the case that a team is put together and very curious decisions are made – would-be locks are left out and head-scratching picks make the team. Once at the tournament, the North American teams have had the experience of not being able to score enough goals and they are also unable to compete with other teams because they lack speed and skill.

    This brings us to the next point, which is a problem we’ve seen in Turin, and the past WJCs – for Canada, we’re so used to winning, that the tried and true “code” is cemented into the brass’ decision-making process. We have great hockey minds but they are too conservative. They are risk averse and are stuck with the idea of the “good old Canadian kid.” Rather than see a super skilled, fast, and talented player as a lock, they see the grinding, hard-nosed players as a lock, because they are very low risk. But low risk how? They are not gonna be making many mistakes, but how much offence do they bring to the table?

    When the chips are down, and Canada is down one goal with a minute left to play, who do you want on the ice: the guy who can make a play on his own, or the “reliable” guy who will play it safe?

    Team Canada has to pick the guys who will be able to zoom up and down the big ice, and use their insane talent to their advantage. That’s a relatively new idea because normally Team Canada identifies itself as a talented team but one that is more systematic than dynamic. On the small ice that works well because there is little room for explosiveness, but on the big ice, you NEED guys like PK Subban, Claude Giroux, Jamie Benn, Taylor Hall. In other words, Team Canada has to be able to rethink what makes them successful, because they have not been so on big ice. If they approach the Olympics trying to play it safe, we will not win squat.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So your saying no Rob Niedermayer on this years team?

    • CJ says:

      Respectfully, and believe me I do agree with many of your points, I feel that far too much weight is placed upon a single tournament. I felt this way when we won, and I feel this way today following the second consecutive year without a medal. I love watching the tournament, if only to see players within our organization, or potential draft picks who I wouldn’t see otherwise perform against skilled players of equal age. I say this because it’s hard to evaluate de la rose (as an example), as he is playing against men. If he was in Windsor, I think he could be a dominant player. In closing, there will be plenty of time to reevaluate, however it’s never a productive exercise when emotions are still high.

  39. Timo says:

    Jessiaca asked Therrien why Panthers has been such a challenge. Therrien’s answer boils down to “they play very hard against us”. I guess Habs need to hope that other teams, especially in playoffs, choose not to play hard.

  40. Timo says:

    Therrien said it’s 2 week for White.

  41. boonie says:

    Other some media types, who exactly is saying PK is a bubble guy?

    Did Stevie Y do an interview? Did Babcock trash PK on an online all-access show?

    Speculating is fun. It’s one of the reasons we’re here. But speculating on uniformed speculation for this long is borderline insane.

    Why don’t we wait until tomorrow to find out.

  42. mdp2011 says:

    @zedmat: Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens will be the captain of Czech national team for #Sotchi2014!

    • shiram says:

      Nice and well deserved!
      Turtlenecks for all the Czechs!

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      Good stuff….now if only for once the NHL could at least nominate him for the Selke!

      Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

    • Habcouver says:

      Well deserved. Pleks is so underrated for his contribution.
      It will be interesting if he shows great chemistry with Jagr at Sochi, and bends MB’s arm to make a trade.

      Waiting patiently for #25

    • CJ says:

      Good. Once again, this can only be a positive. The Olympics lend the potential for the hockey community to see our players through a new lens. I truly hope fans of the Canadiens can take such a progressive approach. This has the potential to build the profile of as many as 8 players on our current roster. I, for one, see tremendous upside.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Good for him. Must be (and should be) pretty proud about that.

  43. I answered yes in the poll. The East so bad the Habs would have to be down right horrible to not make the playoffs.

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  44. Forum Dog says:

    Saw it posted earlier re: Habs PP %. According to ESPN, the Habs PP went:

    October – 12 for 53, 22.6&, 5th in the NHL
    November – 12 for 47, 25.5%, 4th in the NHL
    December – 6 for 43, 14%, 25th in the NHL

    Maybe someone can tell me what has changed (or not), but a drop of 10% in success rate is pretty dramatic in little more than a month. Personally I think that Eller and, more importantly, Galchenyuk should be getting much more PP time than they are, but maybe there are other issues as well.

    • mark-ID says:

      I honestly think it is just the other teams who have adjusted to their PP. Notice now that the defending team always has two men on both Markov and PK…..they don’t have nearly as much time to get off a decent shot from the point.
      That leaves a 3 on 2 down low with the remaining players…..but I find the forwards aren’t doing much with the opening.

      They seem to be staying on the perimetre. They always pass it down low….but then don’t manage to cross the puck to the man standing in front of the net. I wish guys like Pacioretty…..would cut to the slot and get some shots off a little more.

      “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

      • Forum Dog says:

        Yeah, I agree that other teams are keying on Subban and Markov. And you are also right that the forwards who should be open down low are not doing much with the puck. That could be a function of the team’s makeup though, since two of the “top-unit” PP guys are under 5’9″ and less than 180 lbs. Hard for guys that size to battle for space and pucks down low against other team’s top PK units.

        Again, just my opinion, but an elite offensive talent like Galchenyuk should be getting all the PP time he can handle right now. I get that he is only 19, but that makes it even more important for him to get good ice in offensive situations. If, for example, there was ever a time for him to play centre for the 2013-14 edition of the Habs, it would be on the PP. Don’t strangle his offensive abilities just because you are worried about his defensive game. HE IS 19! If you are that worried, send him to the minors where he’ll play 20 minutes per night.

      • CJ says:

        Advanced scouting really has redefined the game. The other 29 teams in this league are not stupid. You can only do the same thing for so long. Montreal will continue to adjust. It really is a cat and mouse game. All that said, and as much as you can’t quantify this statistically, or qualify it logically, we haven’t gotten the breaks this past four weeks. It will come around. I am hoping the character that was on display Saturday night to fight back from a 3-1 deficit and overcome a no goal is in full force this week. This could be a turning point. I’m hoping and believing it’s going to be positive.

        • Forum Dog says:

          All true, and I’m with you on the positive sentiment. I’ll be rooting for Briere to keep things moving, and would love to see Galchenyuk get his groove back. He’s been struggling for a while and is either hitting the wall in his first “full” NHL season, or is just not getting the ice and opportunities he needs to succeed. If the former, they’ll need to find some way to pick up the slack. If the latter, they need to find ways to get him more involved in the game. Watched him handle the puck the other night against Ottawa and he seemed totally out of sync with himself.

      • Habfan17 says:

        That would be the job of the other coaches. Which begs the question, why can’t Therrien make adjustments.

        I would like to see year end, how the top 10 teams did on a month to month basis like you have shown for the Habs. If those teams are consistent, and you can bet the teams they are playing are adjusting to defend their power plays, then it would show a weakness in Therrien’s ability to coach a true contender!
        Habfan17

    • Phil C says:

      DD broke out of his slump against Minnesota on the 19th Nov. Since then, he has been given the 1st line PP duties. Facing the other team’s best defensive centre, I think he has being getting killed in the face off dot, so many PPs start with having to chase the puck down the ice. Given that every PP starts with an offensive zone face off, this is a significant disadvantage.

      Having a centre who is also a threat to shoot is a better option on the PP, and DD almost never shoots. Honestly, I would start Plekanec, Briere, or Eller before I would start DD on the PP.

    • Habcouver says:

      I was thinking that the PP and drop in play during December may be attributed to the constant MT line shuffling which has finally caught up to shaking the players’ flow and confidence.

      Waiting patiently for #25

    • adamkennelly says:

      easy – being badly out coached – period.

    • 1010 says:

      Actually, that is better than a 40 per cent drop from their November pace. In terms of actual scoring.Ouch!

  45. Haberoooo13 says:

    All subjective but one guy on TSN has PK as one of the 2 runner-ups at mid-season for Norris Trophy. Keith has the winner and Karlsson as other runner-up. So if my math is good, best defenseman in Canada last year and 2nd best this year.
    But he’s a bubble guy for 8th spot in Canada…

    PS I am prettty confident he’ll be picked but just a bleepin joke that it was a point of contention to begin with.

    Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

    • The Jackal says:

      Well can’t argue with Keith, he’s been great, but Karlsson? He is not a good DEFENCE-man. He is an offensive dynamo but he is unreliable in his own end and that award should go to D-men who are the best all-round not a guy who is a bit better than a PP specialist.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Haberoooo13 says:

        I don’t disagree with you but my point was more about the whole ridiculousness about there being even a debate about PK being on Team Canada.

        Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

    • shiram says:

      The Norris is such a polarizing award.
      They really need another award for Dman, one for offensive abilities, and a best overall.

  46. francbiss says:

    Diaz made the Swiss team. Good his stock is high, Trade him!! some new socks should close the deal

  47. CJ says:

    Tonight will be a great test. These are not the same lowly Panthers. Two key additions return this evening, who were not in the lineup when he faced them earlier this year. Florida has won 7 of the last 9 against us. It just appears that they are one of those teams, like Ottawa, who has our number. All that said, Montreal’s speed and skill, if on full display should be able to chip the puck past the Panthers defence and create rushes. We must dictate the game. If we allow Florida to effectively counter and control the pace, it could be a long night. I actually think this could be the toughest test this week. And yes, I know that we have the Blavkhawks on Saturday…..

  48. Cal says:

    Good for Diaz making the Swiss team. He’d better get used again to playing in Europe unless Habs fans will be treated to his blocked point shots for another 2 or 3 years. In other words, DON’T SIGN HIM, MB!

  49. jrshabs1 says:

    The only 3 Swiss D to play in the NHL all played for our Habs. Do you think Webber will see time up on the wing during Swiss PP’s? Is Diaz sitting again tonight? Diaz has 11 points..0 hits and is a minus 3. Don’t ya think Beaulieu could do at least that?

    MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

  50. Haberoooo13 says:

    good for #61 and good for Weber to be on the Swiss team.
    Am I the only one that thought the former coaching regime ruined a promising offensively-gifted player by constant benching , pressbox-sitting and worse 4th line playing.

    Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

    • Phil C says:

      Weber was given a one-way contract and a starting job going into the 11-12 season. Even with that opportunity and all the injuries that season, he couldn’t keep his starting job as he was so bad defensively. They couldn’t keep him in the line up even though they needed him for the PP.

      I don’t think he will ever be good enough for the NHL defensively, he doesn’t read the play well enough and gets out of position too easily.

      • Haberoooo13 says:

        I respectfully disagree. Under the former regime there was no offensive creativity and a rookie making a mistake was benched repeatedly.

        Also JM had this obsession of making offensive guys, defensive specialists.

        Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

        • Phil C says:

          I honestly don’t think they benched him to punish him, they simply couldn’t afford to play him anymore. He cost them several games in the 3rd period that year with basic errors that are not good enough in the NHL. Diaz simply took his job because he was playing much better. The easily could have sent Diaz to Hamilton who was on a two-way at the time, but didn’t.

          Even with a fresh start in Vancouver, he has cleared waivers, been sent to the AHL, is now back in the NHL playing only 10 minutes a night.

    • bwoar says:

      The fact that Yannick Weber can’t play defense to save his life VS. actual NHL competition has something to do with it. Considering the hash that it’s the Canucks’ D corps, he went to the right team!

      “thoroughbred”

  51. Timo says:

    So now that the pressure of being selected to his home country team is off he can focus on helping Habs? Yes?

  52. Hobie Hansen says:

    Good for Diaz. Hopefully it gives him a bit of jump when he comes back!

    • CJ says:

      I agree. Why folks use this announcement as the catalyst to pile on….well, I just don’t get it. Good for Diaz. I hope he has a great tournament. This can only help to improve his profile, which will either add appeal as a trade commodity, or improve his confidence and improve his play.

  53. Habfan10912 says:

    I’m happy for Diaz as well. I had (still do) great expectations for Diaz when Emelin returned. He’s been a disappointment to me. I wonder if playing in the Olympics will give him renewed confidence and he returns from the experience the secondary power play specialist this team sorely needs?

  54. Habilis says:

    Same lineup? So Diaz sits again? Brilliant.

    Someone wake me after we blow it tonight against a team that’s 15 points behind us in the standings.

    • CJ says:

      Tough day? Why not take a deep breath and enjoy the wonders of the world. I think you’ll find that the results of tonight’s hockey game have little consequence in the grand scheme of things. I want to win too, but let’s take this in stride.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I am not gonna pre-judgr Diaz’s contribution. But I gotta admit that sometimes the night’s hockey game have lots of consequence in my grand scheme of things. I try not to let it but sometimes it overwhelms my mood.

        • CJ says:

          Sure, a loss, poor call, etc., can get to me to. That said, when it’s over it’s over. I couldn’t sleep for a week when the Canadiens lost to the Bruins in 2010-2011 after being up 2-0 in the series. My mother always told me I lacked perspective, but would find it someday when I had children. Guess what….I have lots to be thankful for. Hockey only serves to augment that.

  55. habs-fan-84 says:

    Curious; which NHL team will (probably) have the most players at the Olympics?

    Will be interesting to see where Montreal stacks up.

  56. HabinBurlington says:

    How much longer until Burke starts building a truculent winner in Calgary?

  57. GL says:

    Should the Habs Keep losing to the weaker teams I’m on-board with the 18% unsure they will make the playoffs and if they do I can’t see them getting by the 1st round. They’re not consistent enough. At times they do provide some good Hockey in a weak eastern conference.

  58. FlyAngler says:

    I have never reposted anything before, but this really, really bugs me and I did post it yesterday not knowing that a new thread had started.
    Suffice it to say, that I for one do not believe that Matty or anyone else is a jinx or that the bat had anything to do with the loss on Saturday night.
    But clearly this is a problem:

    In 20 games at the Bell Centre so far this season DD has Zero goals and 7 assists for a total of 7 points. In 5 of the last 6 games at the Bell Centre he has been kept off of the score sheet and in those 6 games has a total of 2 assists. In that same 6 game period, he is a minus 3.

    While some have tried to make the case that he is playing better of late, that certainly is not true with regard to home games as the statistics do not lie. Earlier in the season, the Habs were enjoying greater success at the Bell Centre with productivity from the EGG line and other players.

    Last night, one line, the Plekanec, Briere & Gionta line accounted for all 3 goals. MT deserves credit for putting this trio together as it was extremely effective. I am sure that you know where I am going….
    When is it going to be time to try Eller, or Bournival or Chucky at center with Max to see if they can get something going. M T has demonstrated no willingness to deviate from playing DD & Max together not only at even strength but also on the PP and at least at the Bell Centre- IT IS KILLING OUR OFFENSE and making it much easier for lesser talented teams to come into our building and skate off with a victory. Sometimes I wonder if this is some kind of a new fangled delayed tank strategy.

    ZERO goals SEVEN points in 20 home games for your supposed #1 centremen. Sydney Crosby has 35 points in home games to date. David Krecji has 24 points. SEVEN is unacceptable and his continued employment in the same fashion is as big a travesty as some of the officiating that we have witnessed of late. I have no hatred for DD. I do despise the way that M T is using him right now because it is a joke. Give the young centremen a chance. They can’t do much worse than DD has of late, at least at the Bell Centre.

    You have to wonder too if visiting teams tighter checking, road game style has something to do with the disparity between DD’s home and road performance.

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Afternoon Fly. You would think the opposite would be true with the Habs having the last line change. Weird, huh?

    • munch17 says:

      I read thus yesterday as the last post and am glad you reposted it.
      It is a very good observation.
      In addition- since DD got resurrected he has centered our number one PP unit which has been terrible.
      I know there are some that believe he has a number of points in his last 16 games – but how can he not have points playing PP and with top minutes and wingers.
      Bottom line – we will repeat 2012 season if we rely on him to center top line. And what’s worse is there is less chance for Lars and Chucky to develop.

      • FlyAngler says:

        Could not agree more Munch…. very frustrating.

        “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

      • Phil C says:

        Yep, DD is definitely hurting the PP. It was clicking at 23% at the beginning of the season when DD was sitting due to his slump. In the last 18 games, the PP is around 14%, with DD getting most of the 1st wave opportunities. Why the coaching staff cannot see this is baffling. The difference between 23% and 14% is huge: 23% puts you among the top 5, 14% puts you among the bottom 5.

    • Mattyleg says:

      You can’t take my jinx away from me!!!

      .

      …it’s the only thing I’ve got…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Lafrich says:

      5 goals and 8 assists on the road then? Pretty good I’d say.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Probably best to leave the scoring to DD and Max, and the defensive responsibilities to Eller – for now. There will be an upgrade, likely from within (chucky), when the Habs are ready to take it to the next level.

      One change that I’d like to see would be Chucky centering the 1st unit PP.

  59. Maritime Ronn says:

    Looks like the Habs could have as many as 7 Olympians.

    Price-Subban-Markov-Emelin-Plekanec-Diaz-Budaj (Team Slovakia with Halak).
    Too bad Denmark didn’t qualify, as the Habs would have had 8 including Lars Eller.

    Don’t worry about Olympic hangover.
    Last time out in 2010, the Hawks had Toews-Kane-Keith-Seabrook-Hossa in the Olympics, and then went on to win the Stanley Cup

  60. aversglay says:

    Wait, 18% of respondents are unsure whether they are confident that the Habs will make the play offs. If you are not sure you’re confident, doesn’t that mean you are not confident?

  61. Great for him, no bigger honor than representing your country.

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  62. Thurston says:

    It would be nice to see if a certain other Habs D-man makes his country’s Olympic team when it is named tomorrow. We shall see…

  63. shiram says:

    Yannick Weber makes Switzerland team as well.

  64. DipsyDoodler says:

    Go Raphael!


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