Eller returns as Habs prepare to face Lightning

The Canadiens hit the ice Monday morning in Brossard to begin preparations for their first-round playoff series against the Lightning, which will start Wednesday night in Tampa (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Lars Eller, who missed the last three regular-season games while battling the flu, was back on the ice with his teammates and said he’s “100 per cent ready to come back.”

“It was good to get back out there today and feel the ice,” Eller told reporters after practice. “I’m sure that I’ll be fine for Wednesday. It was better getting sick there than a week later, but there’s never a good time to get sick.”.

The Canadiens used both ice surfaces at its Brossard practice facility, with the power-play unit working on one rink. The Canadiens went 0-for-23 on the power play during the last eight regular-season games and finished the season ranked 19th on the PP with a 17.2 per cent success rate. The Canadiens had the fourth-best penalty-killing unit during the regular season with a 85.1 per cent success rate.

“Tough to score 5-on-5 in the playoffs,” coach Michel Therrien told reporters after practice. “When you get a chance to get momentum on the PP, we’re going to make sure we do that.”

The first power-play unit at practice had Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Thomas Vanek up front with Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban on the point. The second unit had Daniel Briere with Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher (with Rene Bourque rotating in), and Alexei Emelin and Josh Gorges on the point.

 Brandon Prust, who missed the last 12 games of the regular season with an upper body injury, was on the ice but is still listed as day-to-day and Therrien wouldn’t say if he’ll be ready for Game 1 in Tampa. Travis Moen, still recovering from a concussion, skated on his own before the team’s practice.

Defenceman Josh Gorges told reporters he’s not concerned about starting the playoffs on the road.

“It gives us an opportunity to just play a really simple, playoff-style road game,” Gorges said. “We don’t have to impress anybody or go out there and make cute plays and impress a crowd that’s going to be amped up and ready to go. We just have to go out and get a win, whatever that takes. One of the good things about starting on the road is we can just grind it out and do anything we can to get a win.”

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Monday that the club has signed forward Jacob de la Rose to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 6-foot-3, 187-pound forward, who was selected by the Canadiens in the second round (34th overall) of the 2013 NHL entry draft, posted 7-6-13 totals this season with Leksand Idrottsforening in the Swedish Elite League.

Here’s a look at the first-round playoff schedule for Habs vs. Lightning:

Game 1: Wednesday, April 16 at Tampa, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Friday, April 18 at Tampa, 7 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, April 20 at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 22 at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Game 5 (if necessary): Thursday April 24 at Tampa, 7 p.m.
Game 6 (if necessary): Sunday, April 27 at Montreal, TBD
Game 7 (if necessary): Tuesday, April 29 at Tampa, TBD.

(Gazette file photo/John Kenney)

Habs vs. Lightning should be a treat for fans, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Habs focus on special teams, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Habs coach Therrien should be toast of the town, by Jack Todd

Captain Gionta puts finishing touch on 100-point season, by Dave Stubbs

Setting the mood for playoffs, Canadiens.com

Post-practice interviews (video), Canadiens.com

Habs final regular-season stats, NHL.com

Complete first-round playoff schedule, NHL.com

The Matchup: Montreal vs. Tampa Bay, Canadiens.com

Scotty Bowman weighs in on current Habs, Stu on Sports blog

Lightning goalie Lindback named NHL’s first star of week, tampabaylightning.com

Crosby wins NHL scoring title for second time, NHL.com

842 Comments

  1. Paz says:

    In the BT era, before Therrien, I would have lined up Subban and Gorges head to head against Stamkos.

    As Chris has pointed out, Subban was a hell of a defender and a great penalty killer only 3 seasons ago.

  2. Say Ash says:

    Timo, have you seen the new girl on RDS? Mee-yow!

    https://twitter.com/JoanieGonthier

  3. Ian Cobb says:

    If Detroit has all hands on deck for this series, they will blow the Bean town boys out to the golf course in a cloud of their own methane gas!

  4. Timo says:

    Good morning. More 5 on 0 at practice today? Or today is a travel day so no practice?

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good morning, Timo. Never mind hockey. How many teams “of new missionaries under the leadership of an experienced missionary or missionary couple” have you placed so far today?

    • Paz says:

      5 on 0 is a good way to work on new power play strategies. Every team does it.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Timo knows precisely nothing about hockey. It’s actually amazing. One of my classmates in med school didn’t know a single fact about the liver in 3rd year. Only guy who ever flunked out of med school.

        —–
        Moving. Forward.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          We had a guy who didn’t know how to work a fire hydrant. His excuse: “We didn’t cover that in training.”

          Uh, yes you did.

          He flunked out too, and he’s pretty much the only one who ever did also.

          It’s like a chef saying he didn’t get to use a knife in school. Even it that had happened, which it didn’t, wouldn’t it be his responsibility to find out, get additional training?

          It’s frightening, like the co-pilot in the Buffalo airliner crash, who minutes before was prattling on about how she wouldn’t know what to do if the airplane iced over.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Timo should leave HIO immediately. And take liver-guy with him if he’s posting here under a mysterious handle. There’s one thing we must not tolerate here and that’s people who don’t know everything about hockey or who know nothing about livers.

    • shiram says:

      5 on 0 zero is the best way to practice our best player and the biggest chance for the Habs to go deep in the playoffs.

      Price.

  5. Mattyleg says:

    So I’ve already got a beard.
    But I’ve decided to let it grow (still shaving my neck, though, hate a hairy neck) for the playoff run.
    I think I last trimmed it about two weeks ago, so it’s already starting to look shaggy. Should have a good mountain-man look by the time we win the Cup!

    Anyone else bearding it up?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  6. shiram says:

    Flyer sign MacDonald for 6years/30 millions.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Don’t they have a salary cap?

      They have

      Streit $5.25M
      Schenn $3.6M
      Grossman $3.5M
      Coburn $4.5
      MacDonald $5M

      That’s $24M for a pretty mediocre defence.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      It looks like teams know you won’t find anything on the open market in July, so if they have someone they control, they sign them up, cost almost no object. Like the Leafs with their UFA’s last year, Dion, Tyler Bozak, they overpaid, but they figured a bird in hand.

      Look for the bill to re-sign Andrei and P.K. to be pretty salty.

  7. SmartDog says:

    There are TWO things I am afraid of about the Lightning, and neither one remotely rhymes with lamppost.

    1. The Coach. A candidate for coach of the year, Cooper’s shown he can win even with a depleted line-up on a team that wasn’t supposed to be playoff bound. The team likes playing for him and buys in to his system – and that’s powerful. He’s a former lawyer and apparently just a brilliant guy. I have this picture of he and his team in a video room breaking down what the Habs are doing to destroy it… somehow I don’t get the same picture when I think of Therrien.
    2. Goaltending. The Habs don’t do well against Bishop, and Lindback just found his game winning player of the week in the NHL (and leading the Bolts to close out the season with wins – something the Habs failed at). And behind those two is the freak who almost shut out Canada while being shelled in the Olympics. It’s just not as rosy as the “Bishop is hurt so Habs should win” people are saying. We don’t even know how hurt Bishop is. For a team (ours) that has had trouble scoring… even with Price in net, I’m worried. Pricer can’t score goals.

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

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I think they should be afraid of us as well. The habs can be a very dangerous team and this series will be tight but I really believe they will get by Tampa

    • Luke says:

      The much-maligned Habs coach took a team that wasn’t supposed to be playoff bound, had at times a depleted line-up and got them to the playoffs as well.
      That you don’t get the same picture about Therrien is purely bias. Were you a fan of the Lightning and watching 24TBL and all of the TBL games and very few of the Habs games, you’d probably have a flipped perception.

      • SmartDog says:

        You could be right Luke. Last year’s abrupt playoff halt, and my general view of Therrien (old school thinking) has me worried.

        I promise that if he Habs make it past the Lightning and not just on Price’s back, I’ll be more positive.

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

        • HabinBurlington says:

          That is a nice little rider you placed in there.

          • SmartDog says:

            We’ve all seen teams get beaten by a good goalie, and not much else. If that’s how we get past the Bolts, I don’t credit that to Therrien.

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

        • Luke says:

          On Price’s back, or not, it doesn’t (shouldn’t) matter. He’s a member of the team and a teammate.
          If Price bags 2 shutouts and lets in 7 goals in a 6 game series win, why is that a bad thing?
          If Eller scores 8 goals & 13 points in a 4 game sweep is that bad as well?

          I just want my players to play well. I’m not going to say “Yah, but…” if it is the goalie who plays well or if its the 2nd line that plays well. Same team. Same result.

          • SmartDog says:

            For me, win or lose there are details that matter.
            If we squeak by because Price is amazing but get outshot and out-chanced the whole series, it’s not the same to me. If our PP still sucks and the 5-on-5 fizzles, that’s on Therrien.

            By the same token if we outplayed the Bolts and lost by fluke or Price had a total setback and was soft, I would still give credit to the HAbs – and Therrien. For me, I want to see the TEAM play well and do well – regardless of whether fate has us winning.

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

    • JF says:

      We haven’t yet faced either Lindback or Gudlevskis, both of whom have save percentages of around .900 (Gudlevskis’s in the AHL). So we don’t know what we can do against them. Whereas we’ve scored only four goals (plus one SO goal) on Bishop all season; and in a game last year when he was with the Senators, we dominated the Sens in terms of shots and puck possession, but he absolutely stoned us, and the Sens won 2-1 in a shootout. Sound familiar?

      So I’m glad we’re unlikely to face Bishop and I’m trying to feel confident our players will be able to score on whichever of the other two is in goal. There must be a reason for those save percentages.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So just to confirm, we rather Lindback or Kristers was the Hab goalie and that they have Price?

      • Paz says:

        Losing Bishop is like us losing Price. Huge advantage to Habs.

        Bishop is a Vezina finalist.

      • SmartDog says:

        So just to confirm, you’re making stuff up?

        No, I’m just saying that a) Bishop may be back and he’s a Hab killer and b) these other two guys have had brilliant flashes that worry me – having your goalie be the NHL’s player of the week going into the playoffs suggest that just maybe he’s in the right head space.

        I’m not worried about Price. I’m worried about the scoring droughts the Habs go through. Like, uh, last week.
        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • SPATS says:

      The pressure on their goaltending will be the difference. Carey has been through the Olympic fire

      OOH AAH HABS ON THE WARPATH – Dutchy rules!

  8. JF says:

    Most of the so-called experts I’ve read or listened to predict Montreal will win, but Tim Wharmsby is going with Tampa:

    http://www.cbc.ca/sportscontent/hockey/opinion/2014/04/eastern-conference-first-round-playoff-preview.html

  9. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @Mavid.
    Re. deconstructing Neil vs Chara, 9.18am.

    I absolutely love your purity!

  10. shiram says:

    Ac/Dc guitarist Malcom Young has apparently forgotten how to play his guitar due to a blood clot in the brain.

    Ac/Dc is supposedly “retiring”

  11. kempie says:

    Okay so here goes:

    BOS (7), MON (6), PIT (6), NYR (7)
    MON (7) NYR (6)
    MON (6)

    COL (5), CHI (6), ANA (5), LAK (7)
    CHI (6) LAK (7)
    CHI (7)

    MTL (7)

    Feels a little like ’73

  12. 24AW says:

    Habs 50/50 chance of winning the 1st round. Goaltending will be their key, if price fails it’s gonna be lights out!

  13. jimmy shaker says:

    YES……as mentioned below………where are the habs video montages? Something to get us all ready for the dance tomorrow night. Like that guy singing about the drive for 25 last year even the one he made the year before. Can someone make one with the song by LL Cool J, “mama said knock you out” that would be SWEEEEETTT!

    Shaker out!

  14. ABHabsfan says:

    I’m sure this has been mentioned already somewhere in the 700-odd posts on this current thread, but I will bring it up again.
    Flicked on Sportsnet Hockey Central Play-off preview show last night just to get a little hockey fix. And the lead story on the PLAY-OFF Preview is all about a team that is NOT IN THE PLAY-OFFS! It is vitally important somehow that Shanahan has joins the ranks of perpetual mediocrity. I guess this what we have to look forward to for the next 10 years when the lead broadcaster also owns the Laffs. We all know that CBC was pretty bad with the Leaf-blowing but me thinks it is going to get a lot worse in years to come with Rogers controlling the content.
    Is it Wednesday yet? Friggin’ snowing again here today.
    Out.

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

    • krob1000 says:

      I found the opposite…last night it seemed every time I changed channels there was a Montreal Tampa preview on. It was almost unanimous on all channels that the Habs wer ethe favourites. I saw teh score, tsn, sportsnet all showingthe Habs…and the segment and airtime devoted to that series far outweighed others they glossed over mroe quickly. I was quite impressed witht eh coverage last night re the HAbs.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Not the reply you wanted, AB, but here’s a link to a thoughtful article on the Shanahan appointment from today’s Toronto Star by Dave Feschuk. He doesn’t seem terribly impressed.

      “What are his priorities as Leafs president? What does this move mean for Dave Nonis and Randy Carlyle? There’s no solid word yet on the Shanaplan.”

      http://tinyurl.com/lpqk8ss

  15. HankHardball says:

    I don’t think both BOS and PIT will survive the 1st round.

    PIT not playing well. But don’t count out DET.

    • krob1000 says:

      PIttsburgh hasn’t had a healthy lineup again for most of the season..they will have all of their stars in the lineup (now that Malkin and Letang are back)come game 1…..they will walk through Columbus and are right there with Boston as favourites again now that they are healthy. Not having Malkin or LEtang for the last month definitely impacts a team. Especially their pp.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Yikes.
        And in nets, krob?

        • krob1000 says:

          O goalie who has already won a Stanley cup and only needs to let in one more goal per game than his team can score…and when they are healthy that is a cushion. I find it humorous that noone is talking about Pittsburgh? they dfinished with 109 points, they did that without Letang who is their PK equivalent, they did it without Malkin of r a quarter of teh season who is …well there is no equivalent in MOntreal…hasn’t been since GUy Lalfeur. They have a Pacioretty equivalent in James Neal who sis their 3rd or 4th best forward…he also missed a quarter of the season. IF youw ere giving odds…I think it goes Botson 1a and Pitts 1b. That being said both are vulnerable and thereisn;t much separtion anymore and goaltending can take over a series…but so can having two of the best 3 players in the world on your team. I can see Detroit beating Boston before I can see Columbus beating Pittsburgh.

  16. JUST ME says:

    A Habs fan is a strange animal. We have been complaining about the fact that the team is aiming to make it to the playoffs and not really to win the Cup. I am wondering whether we would be able to recognize such a team if we had one.
    Today we are in the playoffs,came in through the front door but still we are shy about our predictions. We want them to win but…Suddenly the regular season has value and does count to compare when all year long we say that the playoffs are a totally different ball game…

    I am not saying that this team can win the cup but who am i to know ,i am too much of a fan to be fair…But as far as i know we are all equal chances wise to make it.

    So far anyway the vibes are good about this squad chances to be successful at least in the first duel. Even the medias are predicting the Habs to win .Nice but man the waiting is atrocious…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I know this sounds like a cliche, and it is the obvious, but beating the Lightning in the opening round means everything. I could see this team getting on a big roll with an opening series win. There are many players important to this teams success who weren’t part of that run in the playoffs 4 years ago. Perhaps most importantly, Price watched that run and wasn’t the key contributor he is now expected to be.

      The confidence gained in a first round win can’t be overstated.

      We are playing a team who also lacks experience, so the series is there for the taking. I believe in the Habs, but also know we have a very worthy adversary in Tampa.

  17. shiram says:

    So I’ve said that it’s difficult to connect to the team, and some have chimed in with the same opinion.
    Playoffs start tomorrow, I should be more excited.

    But I figured what was missing, a hype video montage!
    A playoff pump up exciting video!

    I watched all of Max’s goal last night, but that was not enough.
    I’ll keep looking.

  18. HankHardball says:

    The Impact are the worst team in a low level league. Would they be getting as much coverage as they are on 690 if MLS wasn’t Bell Media programming?

    • Mattyleg says:

      No.
      Because the MLS is the only soccer league we have.
      And it’s a Montreal team, so they are getting the coverage they deserve.
      They were far from the worst team last season.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  19. Mattyleg says:

    Morning all!
    Great photo below, Dunboyne Mike!
    Canada’s stock is very high in Ireland, and that’s a sign of it.
    Brilliant.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Got you hankering, Matty?….

      • Mattyleg says:

        Yes and no… the eternal damp around the shelter did not go unnoticed.
        ;)

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          You should see the blue sky today! Temp in the teens.

          Do you remember how almost giddy everyone gets when a couple of days like that roll around?

          Anyway, you’ll have to get over SOME day. We need to go to another game together!

          • Mattyleg says:

            Wow, it’s early ‘Summertime’ in Ireland!
            That is to say, the two weeks, almost always in May, during final exams, when God teases Ireland before letting the faucet drip again for the rest of the year.

            Next time I’m back on the Aul’ Sod, we’ll definitely have to go for a jar in one of my old watering holes.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Exactly.
            Exams=sunshine.
            The jar – book it.

  20. Black Horse says:

    Therrien should shake things up by reinstating the Triple Low Five!

    On my way back home to Newfie on May 4th. Happy to be able to watch the Habs with my 83 yr old Mom. She called me after the game last Sat. night. “The Habs did it, they won. It was a tuff game by'” I said it was never in doubt Mudder maid!

    ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

  21. kalevine says:

    Her’s my 10 cent theory. We talk a lot about the influence of Price on games this year, and that cannot be denied. Without his stellar play the team would probably not have made the playoffs. But we rarely talk about the influence of the opposing goaltender as being anything as close to as important. I believe that many of the games in which the Habs were shut out were the result of very hot opposing goaltending, combined with a certain lack of finish. And, many of the games the Habs won were against goaltenders who were REALLY off their game. This skewed things so it looked like tha Habs were either a scoring juggernaut or the Bulldogs, when obviously the truth is in between. So a lot depends on which Price and which (insert Tampa goalie) actually shows up. I just hope the opposing goalie doesn’t pull a Greg Anderson

    • Black Horse says:

      Yes and no!

      In those games the Habs blew many open net chances. That will be the difference in this seasons playoffs. The miss chances. Scoring chances will be slim so they have to cash in on every opportunity.

      ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

      • kalevine says:

        good point. sometimes the lack of finish was mind boggling, but some times that was because they were so psyched out by the goalie that the nerves got the better of them.

        • Loop_Garoo says:

          Yes, especially when it comes to Bourque, that guy must of hit 50 post this year.

          • kalevine says:

            yes at first I thought he was just having bad luck, and since he was getting the chances he would eventually explode, but I now have set the bar pretty low for him. ie-any production would be a bonus

  22. Black Horse says:

    “And a 25th Stanley Cup banner will be raised to rafters of the Bell Center … The Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup”!

    ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

  23. joewindsor habfan says:

    Regarding Eller, after a brutal season he had this year for some reason i have a gut feeling he’s going to be solid or at least on the positive side in the post season.

  24. Phil C says:

    You’ll have to excuse me if I’m not impressed with Tampa’s wiinning record against the Habs. They won one in the gimic, they won one in overtime, and their one regulation win was decided on a 3rd period shorthanded goal.

    These teams are very close. It may come down to goaltending. If Tampa has problems in net, the Habs will prevail. If they get solid goaltending, it will be a very tight series.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      With Price in the Habs net and back-ups in the other, the Habs should win this series. Last year’s loss was understandable with the injuries but this year there are no excuses. They have to win this first series.

      • kalevine says:

        agreed, IMO anything less than a win will be a big disappointment and a vote of non confidence for the team as currently constructed and coaching staff

  25. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    Hockey Limbo

    We all remember the beginning of the season. All that new-found hope of another season anew.
    The thought of the massacre that was the year before lay beaten down to the subconscious level.

    Briere signed in the offseason after being bought out. Sure we are a better team now,few of us actually thought.Would Tinordi make the team ? Would Eller come back from injury the same?

    On paper this rag tag team of smurfs was vilified by many, justifiably so. Would they make the Playoffs?

    So the season began and the muscles started to say ” I wish I was still in the Islands”. Injuries mounted, the reinforcements were called up. Shitty teams that I never heard nor seen were coming to town. Some of the most boring hockey ever was played. But we kept are head up just over the water. Michel Therrien took a fast skating team and said “You are grinding
    team”. WTF ? As I the see guillotine in my head and scream loudly for it to fall it does not.
    We endured DD’s slump and came out better for it. Veterans were still sleeping come the holidays. Gionta I mused may need to be put down.Fighters who couldn’t take a punch.

    After watching to this point I thought I had post concussion symptoms. Snipers are needed for us to do any damage at all.

    Could it all be part of MT’s master plan?

    Slumps intermixed with brilliance had me wondering whether we had a chance for Stanley. The veterans came out of their hibernation and showed us how to play the game. Murray was less of a pylon and more like a freight train. Primordial, quoi?

    The playoffs were in sight. The kids were bobbing up and down like waves in this long NHL season.

    The refs showed their true colors on too many occasions, (cough) fixed.

    But the Habs addiction is a hard one to crack. So I kept watching.
    The almighty Vanek appeared on the scene. Hope ? A strong finish against teams we had to beat had the team trending upwards.

    With nothing much to play for the team let off the gas and has left me wondering yet again whether we will contend for Stanley.
    Could playing Subban .5 seconds more a game made any difference ?

    The team is in the big show now. No denying that.
    We can forget all the talk about contracts and statistics for the moment. The season is over and the slate has been wiped clean.
    Now, we dream of Stanley as we wait in limbo.
    Hope springs eternal!

    Go Habs Go

  26. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    We have Briere, they don’t. Habs win in 5. Plus, we have nicer jerseys — and Youppi. In other words, it’s a toss-up. I’d like our chances a lot better if our PP wasn’t MIA for 2/3’s of the season.

    ~~ You’ve been spun ~~

  27. Habfun says:

    I expect my team to win the cup every year. I know this is unrealistic but that is what I want. If that does not happen I will never stray from my allegiance to my team!!
    Go Habs Go!!!

    It’s all about the CH

  28. adamkennelly says:

    going into these playoffs with tempered optimism.

    Imagine if we get the clutch playoff Briere?

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Imagine if MT actually gave him the steady ice time with Pleks and gally and doesn’t bench him if he takes a penalty, misses a check or loses a face off. I’m sure Danny B would’ve had a better season if the coach had his back a bit more than he did. Hopefully a new season will be good for danny b, pk and MT.

      Shaker out!

  29. Black Horse says:

    If I said the Habs will go 16-8 would you hold it against me?

    ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

  30. Cal says:

    Why bother being pessimistic about the playoffs? It is the best time of the year for hockey and the Habs are in it. Will they win it? We start to find out tomorrow night.
    For all of you that are positive the Habs will fail miserably, why bother telling the commentariat over and over again?
    We are here to make our points about where we think the Habs are, but to constantly dump on a 100 point team as if they are the worst-coached, most poorly managed team in the league is, to be blunt, pretty effing stupid. (Unless you’re Timo- it’s all schtick after all.)
    The fans are primed and ready for a glorious Spring Cup run. Will the Habs do it? Likely not, but I will not allow any of the “enlightened” posters here dump all over the site because most here want the team the succeed.

    One more sleep. Can’t wait.

  31. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Bus shelter ad in Dublin:

    http://drinkawaste.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/img_0195.jpg

    Statue: James Larkin, labour leader and hero of the 1913 Dublin Lockout
    Building left: the GPO (General Post Office, built 1818), O’Connell Street, headquarters of the Easter Rising in 1916 when it was shelled by the British
    Beer: Molson Canadian. Appears to be doing well so far. Canadian brands come and go here (incl. Moosehead and Labatt Ice), but so far MC is hanging on and is widely available by the case, even in smaller shops. My Grade 12s love to brag to me about drinking it.

    NB No fewer then THREE airlines are introducing year-round direct Toronto-Dublin flights in April. (AC, WJ and Aer Lingus). So who’s coming over? (after the playoffs)

    • Habfan10912 says:

      After the playoffs = THE PARADE?

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      That ad sucks in so many ways.

      It’s better than that one where the two bros bring their bro friend in Indonesia a Molson’s refrigerator. Full of Molson’s.

      Why would you do that? Why would he need that?

      Plus, for the price of the fridge, round trip air travel for two, and transport, you could probably have sent him a case of Chateau Petrus.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

      Oh…”added Toronto”! That’s the secret ingredient that makes you feel like you’re wonderful and entertaining and oh, so precious, when actually you’re just an obnoxious jerk that everyone wishes would just shut up.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Hahaha!
        I reckon that “Toronto” was one of the few place names they could use for the ad. Had it been with “added” “Ottawa” or “Saskatchewan” or “Nunavut”, most Irish beer-drinkers would have assumed that it was an actual ingredient!

  32. SmartDog says:

    Therrien is a mystery. You have to credit the guy with getting the team to 100 points. But instead of just saying “Therrien is more evil than an Ironman villain” or “Therrien is fantastic – my gf wants to have his love child”, I’d like to know how people make sense of this season so far.

    A show of hands, which do you think is most true:
    1. Therrien is a very good coach, with a few quirks sure, but no more than most coaches.
    2. Therrien is a very good coach, and if he could only deal with the younger players better, we’d have more than 100 points – and a better shot at the cup.
    3. Therrien is a decent coach who in short term can make things happen, but his negatives are hurting the team and ultimately we’d be better off without him.
    4. Therrien’s success is much more about Price and some other key players on the team, as well as the staff around him. He can’t leave soon enough and is unlikely to get another coaching job.

    SD

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

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Great thinking-point, SD, and your options are all distinctive and tempting. I was about to jump and then suddenly chickened out. I throw it out there (a la party-pooper): we have no way of knowing. No matter how we scour the media or watch 24CH or study game-time body language, we have no real valid insight into how, for example, MT deals with young players. We like to project — sorry we LOVE to project! And speculate and extrapolate. But we don’t know. So in the end I believe we have to go with the record: 100 points, a place in the playoffs, + who knows how deep we go. Success/failure will be the product of a combination of coach+players+other factors.
      Sorry to poop!

      • JF says:

        Good post. It seems to be pretty much a consensus here that Therrien is not good with young players, but, as you point out, we have no idea, beyond the anodyne version presented in 24CH, of what actually goes on between the players and the coach. We do, however, have some comments made by a few Penguins players, including Sidney Crosby, when Therrien was hired by the Habs. Crosby was enthusiastic and had high praise for Therrien. Remember that Crosby was one of the young players Therrien worked with in Pittsburgh.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          But don’t those comments have to be taken with a grain of salt as well, Jane? After all wasn’t it reported that Crosby whispered in Mario’s ear to move MT out of town?

          I’m not a fan, probably never will be of this guy. That said, I am rooting like heck for him to be right on all matters concerning the Habs. I want him to succeed.

          You and Mike are right though. None of us really know. His report card will be graded on wins and loses and as of right now he’s on the high honor roll.

          • JF says:

            I don’t know whether Crosby said that or not, but even if he did, it doesn’t negate the impact Therrien had when he first arrived or the work he did with the Penguins’ young players in his time with their AHL club or his first couple of seasons with the big team.

        • twilighthours says:

          Don’t we also have hal gill’s assessment of Mt?

          • SmartDog says:

            What did Gill say – I forget?

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

          • twilighthours says:

            All rumours, but here’s UCe’s blog on the issue:

            ‘Hal Gill hates Michel Therrien’ is a rumour, nothing more
            Okay, let’s nip this rumour in the bud. Hal Gill didn’t say he didn’t want to play for Michel Therrien. At least, we can’t state that for certain. He’s not on the record as such.

            This all started from a blurb from Dave Stubbs’ article. The quote:

            “One prominent unrestricted free agent I’ve spoken with since regular-season’s end could be a nice fit in Montreal at a decent price and would fill a Habs need.

            “But then I floated the name of Therrien among potential Canadiens coaches, a suggestion that drew 30 seconds of stone-cold silence. Finally:

            “If that happens,” he said, “I’ve got 29 teams I can play for.”

            Now, some sharp-minded HIO’istes deduced that it must have been Hal Gill who said that. That’s not a bad guess, but is just a guess nonetheless. Whoever the ‘prominent UFA’ is, we can’t say for certain.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Hmmm.
            I love Hal Gill, so his opinion would carry a lot of weight for me (and I so hope he goes into coaching post-playing career).

            On the other hand, at that moment in his career, COULD he actually have played for 29 other teams? If it’s someone who might have been of interest to all 30 teams, it may not — sadly — have been HG.

        • Habitforming says:

          Do you really think you develop players like Crosby or Malkin?

          Crosby etc are generational players that develop no matter what the coach does in front of them because they already know the game better than the coaches do.

          Therrien couldn’t develop young talent that needs it if his family’s life was on the line.

          He can be gone soon enough

    • Cal says:

      Loaded questions as usual.
      Therrien is a decent coach getting the most out of the team overall. Every coach relies upon their stars to end the season as winners. Therrien has most of the team playing pretty well. Success in this playoff year is paramount for a contract extension. It will drive Timo around the bend.

      • SmartDog says:

        > Loaded questions as usual.
        Great to know that no matter how repetitive I get, you’ll have me beat.
        Thanks for playing.

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

        • Cal says:

          Don’t think so. You pretty much mix every positive with a larger negative side when you ask these questions.

          • SmartDog says:

            Gee, some people would call that balance.

            But if you want a FULLY objective view of the world, go read a physics book!

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

    • piper says:

      #4. Unfortunately it’s all about Price.

    • Phil C says:

      The importance of an NHL coach being good with young players is highly overrated. It is not a development league. If you are not getting the job done, there is always a guy in Hamilton or on waivers waiting to take your job. A coach has to ice the players he thinks give them the best chance to win now. Let the GM worry about the future. Leaving a guy in the AHL too long does not necessarily hurt them, see Nyquist, Gustav.

      I think a young player needs to take away a vet’s job with great play, give the coach no choice but to play you. The idea that a young player should be given an opportunity based on potential alone reeks of an attitude of entitlement.

      • SmartDog says:

        I disagree Phil. You hear it from past players on tv and the radio, that the mental part of the game is so crucial. And those guys talk about the young players as needing a lot of guidance, having to learn to be professionals and all that. I agree with you that the young guys need to have the fire and drive… but I think they need help in getting over the bumps and that help can mean the difference between playing up the line-up or getting frustrated. Just a simple example but I think of Galchenyuk getting really angry at himself and Prust saying “when we’re on the ice, you’re the best player out here”. What a great shot in the arm for a kid who is putting to much pressure on himself. And yah, that’s not he coach, that’s a veteran, but my point is that young players are shaped by the things the leaders around them say. And some guys like Gallagher are so tough, they could probably thrive under Torts. But Eller isn’t the same guy – nor is Galchenyuk IMO.

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

    • Black Horse says:

      I pick all 4

      ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

    • Habitforming says:

      Therrien did get 100 points this year, but IMO it was fewer than they should have had. Too many just out there decisions in games with defence pairings, players on the ice in overtime, PK and Eller benchings, the outright refusal to look at Tinordi, Pateryn or Beaulieu seriously until game 81.

      It’s luck to have 100 pts right now and that luck is named Carey Price (and a few others)

    • boing007 says:

      Door Number Four.

      Richard R

  33. chesterfiled says:

    The PP, maybe Subban and Markov should be split for a a one-two punch or any punch since Beaulieu won’t be used yet for second minute

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    Missed the Ranger game, seems I missed the penultimate moment of the season. Surprised it isn’t on Loop on TSN.

  35. Black Horse says:

    Good morning everyone. It is raining very heavily here in Southern Ontario. BUT it is a great day BECAUSE our Habs are in the playoffs & Ontario’s darlings are not!

    Did PK do wrong with the fake glove drop? Maybe, maybe not! PK is an agitator like Linesman & Marchand etc. the player other teams love to hate. PK tries to goat other players in to penalties. Will he ever change? Maybe maybe not! Maybe it will take a good arse whooping for him to change. I am glad that we have a player like PK for a change…

    Tic Toc … Tic Toc … Tic Toc … You hear that Tampa Bay Lightning?

    That’s the sound of the clock winding down on your season & the beginning of the END for you!

    THIS IS THE SEASON OF THE HABS …..

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!

    ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

  36. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Ryan Miller’s decline? Tick
    The 2008 Recession? Tick
    Global warming? Tick
    My fallen arches? Tick

    Can we blame all these things on Milan Lucic?

    Loop garoo (last night): “Probably, on this site, we blame pretty much everything on Lucic.”

    You BEAUTY!
    (And I’m guilty as charged!)

  37. DipsyDoodler says:

    I’m much more pessimistic than the commentariat.

    1. Home ice advantage is important. Sure, our home and away records are identical, but Tampa’s aren’t. They, like most teams, are about 16% better at home. That’s one game in 6.

    2. Needing to beat two teams that (a) had nothing to play for and (b) were missing several key players, to guarantee home ice, we played two very poor games.

    3. Subban. Scotty B is right (naturally). Every competent coach would have tried to make PK better defensively (Dallas Eakins wouldn’t have – do you wish he was our coach?). Therrien could (OK, should) have gone about it better, and Subban is also to blame, but the end result is he is in a very bad place right now.

    4. Tampa’s tight system is exactly what we do poorly against. I can see Lindback or Bishop (or that Latvian dude) getting hit in the chest protector with a lot of long range wristers. I also see lots of turnovers ending up behind Price.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      More pessimistic, less optimistic, more realistic, more measured….

      Whichever, those are all good points. Better to approach the playoffs with high hopes rather than high expectations.

    • Phil C says:

      1. Agree, home ice would have been preferred.
      2. The Habs weren’t willing to match the intensity of hungry Islander team who finished the season 6-2-2. I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions based on that.
      3. I think Subban will step up for the playoffs.
      4. Every game against Tampa this season was low scoring and tied deep into the third period. As such, I think it will be an extremely close series that may be hard to watch as a fan. Special teams will be very important.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I’m somewhat with you, in that I wish team had won home ice and always think it is good to play well heading into the playoffs. I do think the win against Rangers helps (regardless of how team played) in that it was a positive to move forward from.

      I am very concerned about the Lightning, but end of day if the Habs play very well they can win. Question remains, will they?

      Let’s hope so.

      Go Habs Go!

    • JUST ME says:

      So all that crap about this being a brand new season that has nothing to do with the one just ended suddenly does not apply ? I`m confused. Any way we can find something negative is the way to go i guess.

      I expect P.K. as well as everyone else to shine and raise the level of their game as it should be in the playoffs.
      Playing a best of 7 serie against anyone is a totally different ball game and the habs being who they are tend to copy the other team`s style first and then take control of the game with their own game. I expect it to be the same.
      Obviously the guys were not up to par on the compete level once they had clinched a spot in the playoffs and i do not think it`s something you can blame them for. Just look at the other teams that made it to the big dance early and you can judge by yourself.

      If you go back to the season`s serie between those two i do not see a domination on either side and i could find negativity on their side too. My job as a fan it to cheer and as much as possible be objective and positive!

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        ” a brand new season that has nothing to do with the one just ended”

        Well, one thing this new season has in common with the one that just ended, and I hope you’ll agree it’s a BIG thing, maybe the biggest, is that it’s the same teams. Exactly. Same players, coaches, arenas, equipment.

        —–
        Moving. Forward.

    • piper says:

      I’m pessimistic only because this team can’t score consistantly. How many teams have a #1 centre that is outscored by their #2 d-man?

    • JF says:

      I’m with you. I’ve said several times that I think this is the worst possible match-up we could have had in the first round. I can all too easily see us falling into our usual trap when we play tight-checking teams – staying on the perimeter or, when we do get to the net, taking the shot as we come in and then continuing on around the net, thus negating any chance of pouncing on a rebound. I can see the Lightning shutting down our top line and rendering our attack completely impotent.

      I’m a bit surprised that all the so-called experts think the Habs will win and that they’re completely ignoring the season series. It’s true the games were all close, but Tampa did win three of the four. They also finished the season a point ahead of us, which makes us the underdogs. So why are these “experts” expecting what would technically be an upset? It must be the goaltending factor and the injury to Bishop. But judging by the play of Lindback and Gudlevskis last week, it may not matter much who is in goal for Tampa. In fact, the injury to Bishop may turn out to be bad news for the Habs, since he had not been playing as well since the Olympic break.

      I’m excited for the series, but I expect it to be hard to watch (perhaps impossible), and I’m not optimistic.

  38. doug19 says:

    I believe PK should become captain eventually which will bring out maturity!

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      So you are acknowledging he is immature now and want to give him the captaincy so he can mature into it. A really good idea for the team. Only on here I guess can you hear the obviously crazy ideas.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      Not usually the way life works, first the expectation is placed on you, then you either rise to it, or you dont, then the title, rewards etc are given to you. If he consistently shows the leadership and the consistency, then he will be made captain.

  39. jo_maka says:

    Since HI/O is our beloved saloon — word to Front, what up holmes ? — it’s only fitting that we discuss the rules that go into effect starting wednesday pertaining to liquid frivolities. Here are suggestions but feel free to weigh in:
    – Desharnais thrown of the f/o circle : 2s
    – Subban spinorama: 2s
    – Gallagher goalie interference: 3s
    – Pacioretty breakaway: sip till he shoots (finish glass if he scores)
    – Emelin hip check: 3s
    – Mention of “warrior” re: Gorges: 3s
    – Dman giveaway: 5s
    – “Carey Price robs” : 2s
    – Subban slapshot: 2s, 5s if scores
    – Eller puck possession: starts sippin until he passes, finish glass if he shoots

    EDIT: s is for sips. I mean we all need to make it past Parros’ first shift, don’t we ?

  40. Timo says:

    So, apparently in Russian press they pronounce Chara as “ha-ra”.

    Accidentally, in Hebrew, “hara” is the word for sh!t. Fitting, no?

    • BJ says:

      And here I thought from Aikido that the “hara” was the power center?

      • SmartDog says:

        It still fits.
        Freud said that learning that you produce and control poop (toilet training) is the foundation of learning that we can shape our world, and a central component of confidence. Think of how excited parents get when a kid first poops in the toilet – ‘wow!’. And of course the bewildered but inspired kid thinks “holy crap, I sure did something amazing”.

        And of course they stay in touch with that mastery their whole lives – and with the right bathroom reading materials, rising to great accomplishment!

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

  41. Timo says:

    Larry is so handsome in this picture.

  42. Butterface says:

    Called off, not called off….. doesn’t matter. I am pretty sure before a game they know how this goes down. PK likely told to stay away from being gooned and let Boullion take on the idiots.

    I am sure PK would have stepped up despite likely being told not to, but Boullion came in to do his job.

    Tired of listening to you idiots whine about the coach, PK and Boullion. Same posts all the time.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

    • The_Truth says:

      Whatever the situation, PK was never going to drop the gloves with Dorsett, I think we all know that.

    • Danno says:

      PK can’t fight so what would it prove?

      ________________________________________

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

      • Chris says:

        If you mean that he can’t fight because of his value to the team, I agree.

        But Subban absolutely can fight. If anything, he is pretty good at it but he’s got a very strong tendency of trying to land wild haymakers. One of the season ticket owners next to my brother in Belleville had a son in the OHL and has followed the league for about 30 years. He said he has never seen anybody who fights as dangerously as Subban did in junior. He was worried that P.K. was going to kill somebody if he ever landed one of those huge punches.

        • Just a Habs Fan says:

          He is absolutely not a fighter…no way no how even if you are blind to PK and his shortcomings boy you must have some unexplainable attraction to PK to think he can fight. He knows he can’t and other than the blinded ones on here who think he is the second coming everyone else knows he can’t fight

        • piper says:

          Chris, if he was any good at it he would land those. He should just hang on and wrestle the guy to the ice.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      Then why are you here? It’s kind of our thing.

  43. Phil C says:

    Just watched the last episode of 24CH. A proud moment as a fan was seeing Gally get in Chris Neil’s face and then seeing the entire team pile in to make sure he didn’t get killed. These guys are behaving like a real team, so that can be a real difference-maker in the playoffs.

    Also liked Gallant telling Gally afterwards to stay away from Neil, he’s going home in a week and a half.

    • Marc10 says:

      Ah Chris Neil. What a scumbag! :-)

      • ProHabs says:

        Always liked him since the game he hammered Johnny Boychuk with one of the hardest hits I have ever seen and then fought Chara after and put him down on the ice.

        • Marc10 says:

          That is awesome. He’s still a scumbag, but now holds a special place in my heart. LOL

        • Mavid says:

          I was at that game, he did not put Chara down, he lost his footing and fell..and then of course in true scumbag style he skated off flayling his arms in the air proving what an idiiot he is. Yes he did hammer Boychuk however it was probably at the end of his shift when he was skating off..thats his MO..

          Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  44. faschists says:

    MMMppphhh!

  45. habcertain says:

    We all know PK is not going to drop them against a guy like Dorsett, it would be suicide, at the very least he was trying to draw him in to another penalty. To go down the path of honorable/ dishonorable is ludicrous. We know nothing about these people other than we have nowhere near the talent that we would all crave for. Can we move on from the ridiculous talk about giving him one pass etc. Enjoy the friggin playoffs.

  46. sCOTT1243 says:

    Its funny how people on this site are so split in their views, perception etc. Nothing wrong with that but I find that comments from people can go to the extreme…why do we do this as habs fans?

    PK.
    – He skates towards Dorsett, fakes a glove drop. Really who cares? Was he afraid to fight him, did he think twice about how useless it would have been to fight, did he see Boullion already heading towards him with gloves off? Who knows… But one thing is for certain, if PK fought and let’s say broke his hand he would be crucified on this site with most saying how stupid it was, what did he really prove etc etc.

    What am I trying to say? I don’t know but, I am super happy this team made the playoffs and hopefully they can go deep this year.

    Go Habs go!

  47. Say Ash says:

    On a side note, has everybody seen the new RDS hottie? Mee-yow!! Timo-approved, I’m sure!

  48. 416erHabsFan says:

    On a side note did everyone here see John Scott get dropped by that Islander??

  49. dabez14 says:

    We want positive vibes, gentlemen. Be excited and cautiously optimitistic and don’t underestimate TB. They are solid you les Boys do have pieces to make a nice run this spring. So chill with the negative nancying until we have a reason to …. In Price We Trust

    • Marc10 says:

      You’re right. There’s a lot to be positive about – for one, our goaltender, arguably the best in the biz.

      I’ve been listening/watching the end of season Habs’ montages from various media outlets. Getting fired up!

      Go Habs Go!

    • Habcouver says:

      Great advice, folks!

      We need everyone (including our friend Timo) to support our Boys.

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

      • Adidess says:

        If Timo was like this in real life, I’d hate to see how he ‘supports’ his son when watching him play sports in person, for example.

        The reason I like Timo is that I don’t believe he’s real.

        Go Team CHanada!

        • Habcouver says:

          Not real? Like… a unicorn, or a merman?
          Perhaps I need to Google Timo.

          We Are (Not) All Canucks.
          Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

          • Habitoba says:

            HA! For fun, I did google Timo:

            TIMO (Pronounced team-o) stands for Training in Ministry Outreach. If your heartbeat is getting God’s message of salvation and new life through Jesus Christ to the far reaches of this earth, and your desire is to be equipped to do so, then take a few minutes to learn about TIMO. It’s a program designed to do just that.

            Learn and Minister as Part of a Team: TIMO places a team of new missionaries under the leadership of an experienced missionary or missionary couple. Together, they live as learners among an unreached or partially unreached people group with a shared goal of sharing Christ.

            Pretty much sums it all up

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      I didn’t think the Habs would make the playoffs this year and was wrong…so now I want to channel that same magic by saying our Habs will lose to TB in 6-7 games….wouldn’t be shocked if they lose in 5 games…….will be quite happy if they win the series. Actually I think if they can get by TB they can make it interesting.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        You just reminded me that Jols and I actually caused Montreal to win a number of games this season by exactly the method you are now describing. We both felt so good to be able to contribute in such a positive way by being negative!

        But where is Jols? Hasn’t posted in ages.

  50. Mattyleg says:

    Oh boy, on A/C, Bernier just won the ‘Vesa Toskala Award for bad goaltending. Three terrible goals against.
    Very weak.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  51. JF says:

    Forty-six hours to go.

  52. Adidess says:

    @Front, sorry I’m on IPhone, can’t reply thread-style.

    I don’t know if that crusade will end, just by expressing a wish. This point has been belaboured beyond reason.

    We get it CJ, you’re different, you’re honorable, you have strong values.

    We heard you the other 300 times you’ve said the same thing. Nothing else could have happened than what you are so certain happened in this situation. Case closed, you win!

    Can we talk about the Power Play now ? Or PK’s contract situation ? ;)

    • habcertain says:

      I like what you said^

    • CJ says:

      Good evening Adidess. I respect your opinion. Mine is but one voice. I’m sorry I’ve rubbed you the wrong way friend.

      Sucks that I’ve become that guy. Certainly not my intention. I reply when someone comments on my post simply as a courtesy. I’m new around here, so perhaps this logic is misplaced.

      In any event, I love the forum and enjoy sharing my feedback. I try to add something by offering an opinion, but like to think that I’m very humble. With very few exceptions, I generally defer to the commentariat, who I consider more knowledgable than myself.

      Thank you again for sharing. Cheers, CJ

      • piper says:

        CJ, you’re absolutely right about PK. He’s a good player and going to be a great player but he has to stop that acting BS.
        That being said I hope the Habs can sign him long term even if it is for 8 per.

      • Adidess says:

        CJ, I may have come across as upset, it seems, which isn’t the case. Sorry about that.

        You don’t rub me the wrong way at all, I like reading your stuff. You’ve been a quality contributor and a very active one, which I appreciate.

        Personally, I can only chime in at night and on weekends, but I usually take a peak during the day. It’s clearly been 3 nights and 2 days on the same subject, hammering out the same view. At some point, I think it’s better to just accept you’re not going to convince everyone. I don’t make the rules here either, so take anything I say with a grain of salt.

        One thing I’ll say, the sweeping judgements about character tend to get to me. I don’t know how we can assume we know these guys’ personal morals and character just by watching them play for a living. We should be more humble what we really know about these guys, unless we are acquaintances of theirs. That’s true for me and you and everyone.

        Also, I don’t ask you to change your opinion, but feeling like you need to have the last word is not the best way to cultivate a rapport, contribute to a dynamic of fruitful exchange. Anyway, I hope I didn’t upset you in any way. That was not the point. Thanks!

        Go Team CHanada!

        • CJ says:

          I took no offence to your comments. It is your opinion and, whether I agree or disagree, I respect it. Further, it provided an opportunity for self reflection.

          Thank you again. Cheers, CJ

      • laGrandeTerreur says:

        I’m a fan of your posts, usually (not that my approval is worth a $hàt).

        But don’t apologize for your opinions! Only apologize when you know on your own that you’ve said more than you meant to. No shortage of emo on here. Don’t sweat it.

        Funny you get heat, but we read the same negative obnoxious garbage from certain posters all day, everyday, and it’s treated as ‘cute’ or something. Oh well…

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Mancrush/Mancrushes. When I cross my eyes, the 2 yr. old laughs hysterically.

          • laGrandeTerreur says:

            A fan of posts, not people, seeing as I know none of you. He could say something outrageous tomorrow, which I would bash if I thought it appropriate. None of my comments, be they applause or rants and ravings, should be taken personally. I would hope they aren’t.

        • Adidess says:

          You’re talking about Timo, aren’t you? -)

          Timo is like your old obnoxious uncle. His approach is viewed as a schtick, and most people get his schtick. You’d get nowhere debating Timo, so after all those years, everybody has given up trying.

          I secretly hope/expect that one day, Timo (whose avatar is a comedian/impersonator) will reveal himself as somebody who is quite normal and chill. Timo’s attitude is no way to live a life, he’s just pretending, methinks ;)

          Go Team CHanada!

          • laGrandeTerreur says:

            I hope so. I consider myself a generally cynical and often grumpy person. To be THAT cynical and negative all the time in real life would possibly have disastrous consequences. Still, if it’s a schtick, that means he’s a troll (most of the time), and it shouldn’t be encouraged! If it were funny, that’d be different…

    • frontenac1 says:

      Huh? CJ made a point on PK which I agree with 100%
      We gave him a mulligan and have moved on.If PK pulls another stunt like that again, I will be all over him like a dirty shirt. Like you said, let’s move on to the Playoffs.Go Habs!

  53. 416erHabsFan says:

    For all the fight fans out there that may have missed it, everybody’s favorite hockey player John Scott gets absolutely dropped by 5’10” Justin Johnson of the Islanders. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8qZ3huAdk

  54. Black Horse says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvIvKz4YZ6Y#t=52

    ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

  55. Black Horse says:

    The Rock says “Just bring it Tampa”

    ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

  56. Danno says:

    Where do I get a large cardboard-cutout PK head?

    ________________________________________

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

  57. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    @CJ: Who gives a sh@!%t about what biased/idiot MSG announcers thought about PK’s “drive-by”. It is so clear that Boullion yelled him off (PK turned his head towards him). Dorsett went after a 5’7″ player and they have the gall to criticize PK??? The only coward I saw on that play was Dorsett…stupid goon.

    As for PK, Eller, and whoever did not have a great year, the playoffs are where it really counts. One good month can wipe out 6 bad ones.

    • CJ says:

      Hi DDO. I agree with your preliminary comment. I could care less about the MSG announcer, however I have a difficult time defending PK on this play. No apologies here, but I’m a fight fan. I get that the game is changing and you can’t time stamp today’s player and hold them to the standard of their colleagues from previous eras. I get that. Having said this, I’ve watched the video no fewer than 20 times and PK does not turn his head to look at Frankie. PK fakes the glove drop and head fakes Dorsett. Your gloves are either on or off. Dorsett is a tough dude. He’s not waiting for a signal from PK. Frankie, to his full credit, stepped up and addressed the issue.

      Dorsett made a wreckless play and was held accountable. Kinda like when Whitey stepped up on Boychuck when he took a run at PK. Or, when DD stepped up against Phaneuf when he got loose in Toronto.

      Again, to 98% of fans this was nothing. To fight fans, or fans of old school hockey, the play stood out. IMO, although I don’t know this for certain, I bet Frankie got his due from the group inside the room for stepping up.

      Just my two cents…. Cheers, CJ

  58. jimmy shaker says:

    I think Clance is going to have PK in the ring this offseason and showing him how to throw a couple and add that to his skill set, so the drama and theatrics will be kept to a minimum and the guys that chirp and try to goat PK will finally get some sweet chin music, if you smell what the rock is cookin. Does that go there or not?

    Shaker out!

  59. jimmy shaker says:

    Why isn’t Guy Lapointe’s number 5 hanging from the rafters at the bell?

    Shaker out!

  60. HabinBurlington says:

    So the three “experts” on Sportsnet all pick Habs to win series, why does this scare me!

    • Black Horse says:

      Any other season yes but not this one. They are trying the reverse jynx. Only Boone can pull off a reverse jynx!

      ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

    • CJ says:

      It scares me too. The boys better be ready to compete. Tampa will not be an easy out.

    • Marc10 says:

      I think it comes down to question marks in our lineup when it comes to secondary scoring. Who is going to get it done?

      Gally, Gio, Pleky, Eller, Bourque, Briere…? You don’t want to have to rely on Markov and PK to do all your secondary scoring…

      Tampa knows where those goals are coming from. They have a couple of kids and Filppula scoring at a steady pace.

      That has me worried. Gio appears ready. Gally will always bring it. If Danny B plays as he can, I think we can go a round without Chucky. But I’m worried. Lars and Rene owe this team a good first round. They’ve been carried all year. Time to show up. They do that, we win.

    • JF says:

      Last year just about everyone picked the Habs over Ottawa. We saw how that worked out.

      I always prefer being the underdog. I loved it in 2010 when no one on the planet gave us a chance against the Caps or Penguins. Technically we are the underdog in this series, but I’m a bit surprised that all the experts are overlooking the fact that Tampa won three of the four meetings between the two teams this season.

    • Habcouver says:

      I’m miffed with the assumptions on TSN that the Habs already have their sights on the Goons. Really? Have they got inside news or just spewing cr&p again?

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  61. stephen says:

    So…

    Am I the only one who gets a ‘Rob Ford’ vibe from Dave Nonis?

    Just saw some footage from the Shanahan coronation today and in watching Nonis’ interviews, something struck me as eerily similar to that city’s ill-fated/fêted mayor.

    Not sure if it’s his permanently stunned expression, his ‘portliness’, or his shifty sort of laugh, but there’s something there…

    Say what you will about Bergevin, but at least he looks half-decent.

  62. CJ says:

    Good evening folks.

    I wanted to offer the courtesy of a reply, following up on my post from lunch hour today. Again, sorry I was unable to extend this courtesy earlier.

    I want to be very clear when I say this, I like PK Subban. Although I’ve suggested he’s not worth, based entirely on his play, $8-$9 million, it doesn’t mean I don’t want him as part of this group going forward. PK is a polarizing player. He received accolades last year following his stellar 42 game season, culminating in the Norris trophy. This year he’s become a lightning rod of criticism, based on some poor decisions, born from a lack of confidence IMO. Both were deserved, the good and the bad. This may or may not be attributed to PK, the coaching staff, a lack of consistent partner, or all of the above. Fact is PK has struggled. I don’t know if one 40 game segment is weighted differently than the other, but that’s the facts, as I see them. I won’t go further as the commentariat have been inundated with PK, dissecting his play six ways to Sunday.

    I do however want to follow up on my comment today. Again, to clarify I didn’t think PK needed to fight Dorsett. PK is not paid to fight, and although I think it would have been nice to see him jump Dorsett and at least wrestle him to the ground, I won’t hold his passive approach against him.

    What burned my britches on Saturday night was the fake glove drop and drive by. I saw it. The MSG team was laughing at it during the replays. The players saw it. That I can not explain nor condone. I can accept the poor play. I can accept the horrendous game in Detroit where he and Frankie were on for all goals against. Heck, if it’s deemed that he deserves $9 million, I will begrudgingly accept that too, but I hate the theatrics.

    Living in enemy territory I defend PK daily. I stick up for the guy, having his back so to speak. I’m justified I tell myself. This morning, I had no answer. I feel like a member of Ford nation. I’ve dug in. I keep saying that’s it’s a one off, a growing process. It won’t happen again I tell the critics, yet it does. IMO, that was the low point of PK’s season. Sorry to be so outspoken, but that irked me.

    Now, here’s the good news….

    I believe this issue will create tension. From tension comes energy. If this energy is used properly, this could turn PK’s whole season around. PK needs to be at his best for the team to win. You can’t fake 100 points, but the playoffs are a different animal. The team will not succeed with PK at 15 minutes as others will be forced into roles they are not capable of managing. So, in closing, I’m putting my frustration aside and getting behind Subban once more. I’m behind the team 100 percent. Will that make a difference, no. But it does to me.

    Go habs! Cheers, CJ

    • db says:

      I saw that fake too, but a friend of mine that knows a guy who knows a guy said that he heard Bouillon call him off at the last minute.

      • CJ says:

        I heard someone else say that. So, if that’s true, we defer to a 38 year old, who is 5’8″ and 30 plus feet away when the hit take place? As I said yesterday, I’ve been in hockey fights. When I was locked in, nobody would call me off.

        Looked good on Frankie though. I’m critical of his play, but I’ll never question his character. Guy is a warrior.

    • ProHabs says:

      Perhaps PK was going to go after Dorsett but he heard Frankie Bouillon yelling “I got him, I got him”. Frankie B is all heart. He would know that everyone (all fans, teammates, and coaches) would rather he fight Dorsett than PK as he is a better fighter and a 3rd pairing defenseman as apposed to a top pairing dman.

      Just my thoughts. I for one am glad PK didn’t fight Dorsett. He is a terrible fighter while Dorsett is a good one. To lose PK just before the playoffs would have been a shame.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …I couldn’t say it better

      • CJ says:

        I don’t want PK fighting either. I just hate the optics of that particular play. I also hated the play in the second period when he crosschecked Dorsett when he was down three times. Dorsett came up swinging and PK bailed. Gorges jumped in and tied up Dorsett. PK got up and looked at the ref with a smirk on his face.

        Sorry, I know I’m in the minority, but I don’t like that. Call me a traditionalist, but I didn’t grow up playing hockey that way. Look, it’s not just PK. The game is filled with actors who dive when a stick comes anywhere near them, or rears their head back if there is a stick in close proximity.

        • ProHabs says:

          It is a part of PK’s game that he could do without. If you look at the video of the fight between Orr and Parros in the first game of the year, the fight that Parros fell on the ice, that whole fight was started by PK. He pushed Orr a couple of times knowing that Parros would fight him instead of PK having to. You actually see PK laughing and smiling while Parros is punching Orr. He only stops laughing when he begins to realize Parros is knocked out and hurt.

          However, like you said, many teams have these types of players. PK knows he can’t fight because he is no good at it so he just tries to get under the other teams skin and draw penalties.

          • CJ says:

            I cited this example of Sunday. I recall exactly what you’re talking about.

            Again, good on Frankie. Good on DD for sticking up to Phaneuf in Toronto.

            I don’t care that PK won’t fight, that doesn’t bother me, but don’t shake the gloves. They are either on or coming off.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …premature to summarize P.K.’s contribution until the playoffs are concluded

      …I think We should relax and let P.K. ‘breathe’

      …even at P.K.’s ‘worse’ P.K. is key dynamic of Our Team

      …per the regular season, P.K. is clearly not ‘deserving’ anywhere north of $ 6.5- $ 7 million/ …but, let’s relax until We see what P.K. brings to the table in this year’s play-offs

      …My feeling is P.K. will be at His kick-ass best

      …if I’m right, and We get beyond the first and second rounds, We will have a completely different conversation

      • CJ says:

        If PK carries us beyond the second round, I will be the first to say I was wrong about the contract value. I’m simply calling it as I see it.

        • Habitant in Surrey says:

          …agree with You on ‘if You want to start a fight, You better be ready to finish it’

          …that is something that galls Me about P.K. too

          …something He has to change

    • Hobie says:

      I wouldn’t read too much into the flyby CJ. We’ll never know exactly what PK was thinking but what I do know is I’ve heard Subban mention that he doesn’t like fighting and he’s also said jokingly that he isn’t very good at it either.

      I’m pretty sure he either realized Bouillon was coming at the last second or Bouillon yelled that he was coming. Bouillon’s teammates all know that he’s tough as nails and he’ll take on anybody 6’2″ and under and probably win.

      I agree with the rest of your assessment on Subban though. He’s had a rough year and it’s been of his own doing and nobody else’s. It’s a small bump in the road of what will be a great career. I think he deserves 7-8 million a season.

      • CJ says:

        Fair enough Hobie. I respect the commentariat and defer to the group’s knowledge. I don’t like the optics, but wasn’t there so I can’t say my opinion is anything more than an observation. Again, hated the fly by fake glove drop, and hated the crosscheck bail out in the 2nd period.

        As noted, I’m still 100% behind PK, I just wish this crap didn’t follow him around.

        • Hobie says:

          If he didn’t play for the Habs I’d want to strangle him :-).

        • frontenac1 says:

          I agree CJ, and you and I were the first to call out PK on that disappointing episode. It was not Honourable no matter how you cut it. I also said that I’m giving PK a mulligan on it. But only one. I think we should move on this time amigo. Saludos!

          • CJ says:

            Front, I respect your opinion and will agree to drop it on your recommendation. As you noted, this is his freebie. Hopefully it’s the last “episode.”

            Cheers, CJ

  63. Spoke to Montreal Mayor Coderre tonight at a Quebec House event in NYC. Inside scoop he says… Montreal in 4! No drink or Mile End smoked meat or poutine in his hand!

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  64. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …like a medieval knight (call Me Sir Shootsalot :) ) I have been crusading for Our Montreal Canadiens to retire Toe Blake’s number 6 …and add His banner in the rafters next to Our other former Greats

    …some of You may believe Toe was only a Great Coach, and as a Player, did not quite rate such an honor …and/or, do not want yet another low-number retired and unavailable to contemporary Players

    …maybe unaware Toe Blake also was a great hockey Player, won an NHL scoring championship, the Hart Trophy and a Lady Byng, led Our Habs in scoring in 6 seasons of His Hall Of Fame playing career

    …Hector ‘Toe’ Blake was a key component with The Rocket and Elmer Lach on ‘The Punch Line’, which was the most feared scoring line of it’s day

    …most younger Fans understandably remember Toe Blake mainly as the genius Coach of the Montreal Canadiens at the cusp of Our Golden Era …the Golden Era that most of Us, whether We know it or not, were inspired to follow Our Habs as if it was ‘a religion’ unto It’s own

    …Toe Blake’s name is on 11 rings of the Stanley Cup; …8 as Our Coach, …2 as a Player for the Montreal Canadiens …and one as a Montreal Maroon

    …Toe Blake was the ‘heart and soul’ motivator Whom inspired and ‘showed the way’ to Our great Players of the time, both as a Player and Captain, …and as Our Coach

    …His Legacy is greatly taken for granted, I strongly believe, by the fact that Toe Blake’s number 6 is not represented yet in the rafters of the Bell Centre

    …the totality of Toe Blake’s legacy, as a Player and Our Coach, to the History and exceptional success of the Montreal Canadiens becoming the most famous brand in the hockey world is way past the overdue stage

    …I request all Montreal Canadiens Fans to join with Ian Cobb and I to right a wrong

    …We would like to encourage all Montreal Canadiens Fans whom agree with the objective to make Their opinions known to Geoff Molson and Montreal Canadiens executive board, that a special game night to honor Toe Blake’s number 6 with a banner in the Bell Centre is long-overdue

    …if this is something You would like to make right as I and Ian do, I provide the following mail contacts to send Your requests to ‘Retire Number 6 !!!’

    Geoff Molson: President and Owner

    Kevin Gilmore: Vice President of Operations

    Send your testimonial to:

    c/o The Montreal Canadiens

    1909, avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal
    Montreal, QC, CANADA
    H3C 5L2

    …merci beaucoup :)

    ________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    …and, last, …but not least:

    “Finding every way to stir up sh.. is pretty much my job description.”

    Mike Boone; MARCH 25, 2014 AT 7:54 AM
    Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • Marc10 says:

      I agree. They should also retire Lapointe’s #5 and Steve Shutt’s #22. Those guys were all world at their peek and were great for a long time. Heck Lemaire makes that cut too.

      My two cents. When they retired Gainey (and no disrespect to Bob), they opened it up to a bunch of players. Jacques Lemaire was every bit as good as Gainey – impact wise (in as much as you can compare different styles…)

      Toe Blake seems like a no brainer. Look at his stats as a coach and as a player…

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …thanks Marc

        …yes, there are still a slew of ex-Habs worthy of the honor

        …Toe, though, has been the most ‘forgotten’ …hard to understand that Elmer Lach was considered ‘banner-worthy’ before Toe

    • Peter Young says:

      While Toe Blake is remembered as a player primarily for his time as left wing on the famed Punch Line with Elmer Lach and Maurice Richard, he was a top star in the NHL before the Second World War, years before Lach and the Rocket came along in the early 1940s. He won the NHL scoring championship and the Hart Trophy as most valuable player in the 1938-39 season. He was a first all-star left wing in both the 1938-39 and 1939-40 seasons.

      Toe’s sterling play and his leadership on some very weak Canadiens teams were the reason he was given the team captaincy. He captained the Canadiens for eight years through the 1940s to four straight league titles and two Stanley Cup victories. He won another two all-star team nominations before injury ended his NHL career at the end of the 1947-48 season.

      Toe’s contributions to the Canadiens as a player ought to have been recognized by retirement of jersey number 6 long ago.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …again, thank You Peter

        …I really would appreciate all interested members of HIO to petition, through Their individual effort, by mailing a testimonial of Their feelings that ‘it’s time’ to raise a banner to honor what Hector ‘Toe’ Blake meant to the Montreal Canadiens

        …I also, very much, if the Canadiens approve the initiative, for the Canadiens to time any celebration in October 2014 on the same date of HIO’s next Summit

        …I know it would be very important to Ian, as much as it is to Me

        …and, We can build some themes on Toe into Our next Summit

        …this could be a very enjoyable focus to the next Summit

        …so, hope all You wonderful HIO Habs’ Fans will take the time to write Geoff Molson, c.c.’d to Kevin Gilmore, Your support to honor Toe Blake with His banner in the rafters of the Bell Centre

  65. Mavid says:

    any of you use XBMC?

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  66. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …in the previous ‘The Reporters’ segment, Simmonds and Arthur stated no one outside Quebec are interested in the Montreal Canadiens

    …wonder why they are bothering to prognosticate on the Habs prospects in the playoffs

    …certainly no one cares

    • 1010 says:

      That`s just bitter Toronto media spewing at it`s finest. Even as dumb as Simmons is, and let`s face it, he is world class stupid, he knows better than that.

      GO HABS…

  67. Black Horse says:

    Jeezus, Sportsnet has a Playoff special & start off with the Meat Loafs …

    ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

  68. JohnBellyful says:

    The team should officially designate PK a rover.
    Don’t obsess who will be his partner on the blueline. Pair him with a defensive forward, like Plekanec or White, who can drop back to take his spot as he races into the other team’s end and creates mayhem with his rushes, and not have to fret about getting back.

  69. 100HABS says:

    Given that in the old format, the Habs would have had home-ice advantage against the Rangers (instead of road against TB), I expect management will push to return to the old format next year.

    If the series goes 5 or 7, this represents at least $1M profit for the Habs to have one more home game…


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