Finally, a game

And it was worth waiting for.

The Canadiens are in Boston for a genuine four-ponter.

P.K. credits Hal Gill for mentoring

Bruins beef up with Jordan Caron

• Gill gives P.K. the gears and scab Journal writer takes it seriously. Arpon Basu explains what went down

• Gaston Therrien wants more consistency from Benoit Pouliot

• Marc Antoine Godin’s assessment of Pierre Gauthier’s first year

• Stu Hackel on the players and head shots

• TSN has trade deadline playbooks for the East and the West

Jaro stops 30 of 31 and Matt D’Agostini scores the winner

Carolina loses but gets a point

Surging Sabres light up Roloson

250 Comments

  1. Rudy says:

    When I stream the audio, the audio is always ahead of the game on the television, does that happen to anyone else? It reduces heart palpitations enormously!

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  2. habaddict_andy says:

    Must be Avery than.

  3. The Cat says:

    Thats true, thats why only a D signing makes sense. Well to me.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  4. Storm Man says:

    Who knows what can happen in the playoffs? did you have the Habs in the ECF last year. I would like to see the D pairings like this .

    PK- Hal

    Wiz-Brewer

    Hammer-Spaceman.

    I think Price will take his game up a level come playoffs and show what he can do.  

  5. Bugs says:

    “Out of the blue”? You mean TORONTO?

    No. Way. C’mon?

  6. Mark C says:

    I’ll give you another name: Roman Polak. He’s 24, a RFA and it seems he might be passed on the Blues’ depth chart by at least four players this off-season. Given his price tag, I’m thinking the Blues might be willing to move him now. He plays a Josh Gorges type game, and has the ability to help cover for weaker defensive players like the Wiz.

  7. Gormdog says:

    Dang it. All sold out. Would be the perfect gift for a Brit friend of mine who is a Habs diehard but doesn’t speak a lick of french.

    Watches every game on RDS (he doesn’t know “left” and “right” in french but uses the word “cafouillage” all the time), but the radio-to-dish delay for CJAD is unbearable…

  8. andrewberkshire says:

    Yes, but you can always trade future draft picks, ask Toronto!

  9. Storm Man says:

    When i see Toronto I dont see blue I see brown as in poo.

  10. Mark C says:

    Then it shouldn’t bug you.

  11. Storm Man says:

    We have no 2nd rounder to trade this coming draft.

  12. SmartDog says:

    I was a journalist too.. and now am a marketer, so I get where you are (I think) in trying to figure out the focus, style, etc.

    Forgive if I fall into stereotypical thinking (one of the closer gay friends I’ve had used to belt out show tunes as he walked down the halls of McGill… it’s hard not to be influenced by that)… but a couple of thoughts. 

    STYLE/FASHION

    I think you could talk about how the team “looks” in a way that would please and entertain both women and gay men.  And some of us regular guys who give a crap or like a laugh.  I’ve posted about who the best looking habs are.  Right or wrong you could probably do it with slightly more authority.  Who does the best celebration?  Who makes the best style statement – Pleks (turtlenck), Subban (floppy hat), Cami (shiny suits)?  etc.

    COMMUNICATION & MOTIVATION

    There isn’t much (or enough) written about communication.  It’s deemed a touchy feely topic I think but my REAL backgrond is psych so I think it’s crucial.  And ignored.  And motivation too – tied with feelings so is also ignored.

    GAME REVIEWS ETC. WITH SPIN

    As you say ‘Down Goes Brown’ and others just have their own spin… Im sure you could develop yours. As well as great plays and other important moments, it could include elements from those other themes – style, emotion, etc.  Pushing it you could (like my mother used to) emphasize with the opposing team’s goalie after we shell him for 5 or 6 goals (if that ever happens).  I mean, his kids might be watching right?

    Again, forgive the stereotype leanings. I hope a bit of this is of use regardless. The important thing I think is to figure out your core tone and style, what you can highlight that others don’t but to make it as relevant as possible to a wide audience Hey, I’d read an article about who has the most style… or the prettiest wife… or which guy probably gets lucky more often.  Come to think of it, there’s lots of untouched stuff IMHO.  

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  13. andrewberkshire says:

    This is true. What would you be willing to give up for a Brewer rental?

  14. The Cat says:

    I suppose there could be a forward but I dont think itll make headlines or anything.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  15. andrewberkshire says:

    Polak is a bruiser, but I’m not sure the Blues will be willing to trade a 24 year old. Especially since he’s their PK guy like Gill is to ours.

  16. Storm Man says:

    Yah but we dont trade like toronto we like to have a team that makes the playoffs.

  17. andrewberkshire says:

    Same here, which is why I wrote that blog. However even a trade might not be necessary this year with the development of Subban and Weber. Then again I don’t think we have a shot at the cup with Gorges and Markov out.

  18. JD_ says:

    * Love watchin’ Habs-Broonz games. Wanna see Timmy T. get lit up, Gionta grate on Chara’s nerves, and maybe another servin’ o’ SubBANG! if the hockey gods are up for it. Anythin’ that makes Milan cry would be a pure bonus. Bring it on, baby!

    * From some Toronto Star piece written by a guy with huge glasses, “You can see that mountain growing in the way Kessel has been portrayed over his year and a half in Toronto. First, he was a godsend. Then he was aloof. Now he is The Man Who Stole the Future of the Toronto Maple Leafs.” For the record, many of us viewed Kessel as the latter from the get-go. So, Phil’s now gettin’ chewed up and spit out by the Toronna media because they don’t like his ‘tude. Maybe if, at the time of the trade, they’d put a call into Broonz head coach Claude Julien and asked for his thoughts regardin’ the l’il whippersnapper’s approach to things, there would have been no need to go on this long journey of discovery. Between Kessy, the overpaid and frequently overlibated and punchy back-end, and the least-liked NHL head coach as voted by the players, it must be one helluva good time in that stanky Loafs dressin’ room. Burkie’s many things, but effective chemist is not one of them.

    * Speakin’ of Burkie, back at the time of the ASG draft, you know, before widespread PC issues cut me off from the Internet for a week and change, I joked that should Kessel end up bein’ picked last, Burkie would lose it. Little did I know. Think PG would have been bothered to bleat like a stuck pig if, say, Pleks had been there and gone last? Doubt it. Burdened with a sense of perspective, he seems. Only a complete buffoon like BB could get sucked into whinin’ about a perceived slight borne of the most banal of events. Goofball.

    * Then there’s a guy like Peter “Never Say Over” Forsberg. Freakin’ warrior. From a front-row seat behind the net, watched him play when he was with Philly. Like a Soviet T-34 battle tank mowin’ down a Panzer division. I’m sincerely hopeful Foppa has somethin’ left in his tank and can end his career on some sort of high note.

    * And congratulations also to new Chicoutimi Sagueneens head coach Guy Carbonneau. His vocation is coachin’ and most certainly not yappin’ with Alain Crete on RDS. Frankly, nobody deserves that fate. Ok, Pronger and Cherry, excepted. That would be somethin’, though, wouldn’t it? Cherry on RDS? I’d effin’ be willin’ to pony up dough to watch a PPV Le Coin du Coach.

    * Richard Rodier, he who led Jim Balsillie’s hostile takeover attempt of the Phoenix ‘Yotes (TSNTalk™) has joined the ranks of Donald Fehr’s NHLPA. In other news, several stray cats have been reported missin’ in the general vicinity of league commish Gary Bettman’s home.

  19. SmartDog says:

    I thought you were going to say he’d be forced to admit that he’s gay AND likes hockey and they’d dip him in formaldehyde and put him under a glass somewhere.

    —-

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  20. SmartDog says:

    Gill is tall and moves slowly?  Ya don’t say…

    :)

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  21. The Cat says:

    Im happier than Gormdog on a Pride parade float that Halak finally had a good outting last night!

     

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  22. Mark C says:

    You could be right, but it might be worth kicking the tires on, especially if they fall out of the playoffs. With Johnson, Pietrangelo, Jackman, Brewer (if signed), Colaiacovo, and Ian Cole, Jonas Junland, and Nikita Nikitin waiting in the wings, the Blues might not want to pay Polak the $2M+ he’ll get this off-season. 

  23. Jimmy9Toes says:

    I talked to Shanny a bit, but not too much as I am sure he was tired from the whole weekend. But all in all very classy, like Nick Lidstrom, Kelly Hrudy and Rob Blake, who i all got my pic with.

  24. SmartDog says:

    Good use of ‘banal’.

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  25. andrewberkshire says:

    Very true, but it seems from the reports that have been circulated around St. Louis that it’s Brewer who’s on the move most likely. And I would find it hard to believe that a team would trade its captain, then re-sign him in the offseason. That would be weird.

  26. andrewberkshire says:

    Me too, he’s been killing my big money hockey pool.

  27. Bugs says:

    C’mon, Tommy. That’s not why Eller was brought up in the top6; we all know why he was brought up in the top6.

    Thing is, would this team REALLY miss out on ANYTHING if Eller wasn’t in the lineup?

    C’mon. Enough with the overhyping already.

  28. Storm Man says:

    Not sure at this point. 

  29. SmartDog says:

    NP, thanks for the kind comments. My title is ‘strategist’… I’ve always been an idea guy… 

    I don’t think you’d need to be an expert to throw some fun “other” angles in there like fashion and communication.  I think those are great topics that your traditional “macho” sportswriter (what they all seem to either be like or just ACT like) doesn’t know how to approach.  Sad as it is.  The more I think about it the more I think you’ve got a really big niche there if you want it. 

    —-

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  30. Gormdog says:

    That’s what I’m hoping for!

     

    Most of the “prominent” (first ones that appear on google) spend most of their time posting pictures of scantily clad attractive male athletes and Jiri Tlusty mirror shots. If my content was solid, I suspect I could get regular readership.

     

  31. Gormdog says:

    Wow.. SD… Thanks for the novel… Reminds me of many of my posts here!

    You have some very good ideas in there, but you also stumbled on one of the problems… That for all of your “stereotyping”, I don’t really have the knowledge of such things like fashion as one would come to expect from my kin. For all intents and purposes I’m like every other passionate beer drinking Habs fan, just wired differently.

    But… It iss a great point. Something like a humorous comparison on the “fashion” in jerseys could provide good fodder for both sides of the equasion, my knowledge thereof being completely moot if I can “make it work”.

    And as per the “showtune in the halls” charachter type, well, that’s part of the market I’m trying to get. Ironically, amongst my friends, I am the biggest sports nut. I don’t have many networking options in that sense to promote it from a “check out my awesome sports blog” angle. But gay networking? I’ve got contacts from Dublin to Dubai, it’s through those channels where I could really make a push with the potential of thousands of eyes locking on to something moderateley original.

    Thanks again for all the thought you put into that!

  32. andrewberkshire says:

    I agree, if anything it’ll be a 4th line guy who can take Pyatt’s spot on the PK and add more scoring.

  33. habaddict_andy says:

    Right on Bugs.  I like Eller’s potential and he should be very useful in future on top 6 as a big body.  But right now he is useless and should be with Hamilton to build his confidence.  I hope they do sent him down to Hamilton when Cammy comes back.

    What if this is the best Montreal can do right now.  What if there is no one to replace him.

  34. Bugs says:

    With Cammy out, he certainly is NOT serving the team better on the 3rd, Berkie.

    Eller can’t compete with the opposition. He is NEVER dangerous. He can’t win battles along the boards. He pushes himself so much to show he belongs that he forgets to pass the puck. Add to THAT the fact that a supposed top6 player is SUPPOSED score points, well, yes, Berkie, he’s utterly useless.

    Poolio has three times the amount of points as Eller has playing his second full year, so no, he’s not “with Eller learning” this year, he’s a hell of a lot more, as his club-dominating goals-per-time on ice ratio clearly shows.

  35. ooder says:

    i’m pretty sure that was sarcasm

    ——————

    GWG = game winning gionta!

  36. andrewberkshire says:

    Will it be something out of the blue, or someone FROM the Blues.

    I have a feeling that if a trade is made, it’ll be for Eric Brewer. Gauthier has made 2 trades with St. Louis is under a year, and Bob Gainey has an excellent relationship with Doug Armstrong. Brewer is probably the best all around defender available, and he fits what the Habs need a lot better than someone like Chris Phillips.

  37. StevieRay says:

    MAB was a – 4 last nite …nuff said

  38. Timo says:

    I am glad Habs have Hal Gill. Partially cause it’s fan to say “Hal”… But mostly because I think he is a true leader that younger players need. Or at least so it seems from this story. But anywhoo… despite him being sometimes a little slow on his skates, he is a great steady infulence to our defense. I hope Habs resign him, or at the very least replace him with MAB.

  39. jimmy shaker says:

    the fourth period stating PG is actively pursuing penner and on the back end either phillips, kaberle or brewer.  I think the only one of these four guys I wouldn’t mind adding to the mix here would be Brewer.  Penner doesn’t impress me, phillips as well, and Kaberle has been on a loser for so long, I think he forgets how to win, plus he’s very soft in his own end.

     

    Shaker

  40. Cool Ice Price says:

    You are lucky. Dude, you sure are short … LOL … :)

  41. Fire_Laraque says:

    that’s probably why he’s second on the team with 84 Hits.  Try again.

  42. HardHabits says:

    Wasn’t it a while back that you said that you’d leave this site if Price won more than 10 games in his 1st 20 starts?

    You have less integrity than you have hockey knowledge.

  43. HardHabits says:

    You are by far the most bipolar person on this website, and this site is so bipolar it could be called Habs Upside Down.

  44. Cool Ice Price says:

    The Habs could win the cup this year. Yes they could! Yes, with the current roster they have! All our top players need to play they way they can/should & are capable of playing & we can beat anyone in a 7 game series. We have a very solid goaltender in Carey Price. Price can keep his goals allowed to 2 then we only need to score 3. We have the talent to easily do that! They just need to do it!

  45. j2w4habs25 says:

    Caron? who the heck is that? lol justkidding. The game should be exciting

     

    Carey Price #31

  46. samTHEman says:

    that’s the spirit!

  47. arcosenate says:

    OK, here it is people, I have crunched the numbers, whose kidding who, I’ve lost sleep over this, but here are the trades that will bring us to the promised land, and I Believe in a Promised Land:

    First:

    AK47, The Wiz, 3rd round draft pick (if we have one)

    for:

    A. Vermette, M. Methot, S. Pahlson

    And here’s the real kicker, the bing bam boom:

    S. Gomez

    for

    V. Lecavalier

    Feel free to destroy this at will.

  48. Julie H says:

    I wish I could “like” your comment. ♪Your cares and troubles are gone. There’ll be no more from now on. From now on happy days are here again, the skies above are so clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer again. Happy times, happy nights, happy days are here again♪

  49. The Cat says:

    I think any thing is possible, the east isnt strong other than Philly, and even at that, if someone manages to knock out Pronger -the best player in the NHL- the flyers are easily as beatable as anyone else.

     

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  50. Habitoban says:

    “I saw him beat out an icing last week though.” And, if I’m not mistaken, draw a penalty on the same play — all of which did not warrant a reference in the Game Blog. I’m OK with Benny not being in the top 6, since he brings some potential offence to the 3rd line. But he would be a definite asset on the PP — especially now that he has been going to the net more lately.

  51. habs03 says:

    The Jackets trade doesn’t make sense, Jacket’s wouldn’t trade Vermette for A.Kost, they have a similar type player Jakub Voracek, and while I’d love Methot, we need Wiz for the PP and his shot. The Vinny looks logic but really isn’t. Does MTL want to take that contact. And new Tampa owner said he will not ask Vinny to wave his no trade, and I really believe that Vinny does not want to play for the Habs.

  52. TomNickle says:

    I’d rather have Gomez for the next three and a half years instead of Lecavalier for the next 8 and a half.

    Vermette is Pahlsson with more offense, no point in having two of them.  We have a 3rd round pick but no 2nd rounder, I don’t see it being traded.

  53. Bugs says:

    Read that Poolio article yesterday. Yeah, “not consistent”. Hasn’t scored in what, 6 games? Being one of our most dangerous forwards in that span of time and creating plays three quarters of the time he touches the puck ain’t good enough in his 10 mins of ice-time. Has to be consistent. Like Kostitsyn and Cammalleri.

    Maybe, if he works really, really hard, and puts in the effort, he can be as consistent as Lars Eller one day. I mean, Lars Eller has been BRILLIANT in the last 6 games; and THAT’S why HE stays in the top-6. No other reason. And all those goals he scored? Boy, oh boy, what consistency! So until Poolio becomes HALF as consistent on the attack as Lars Eller, we can’t expect him to stay anywhere else but behind the Dane on the totem pole. 

    We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess. But yeah, more consistency, definitely.

  54. Gormdog says:

    Substitute “pride” for “Stanley Cup” and you’ve got it!

  55. W35T5ID3 says:

    vermette has been awful this year……

    AK has mountains more potential than that schmuck…..

    Pahlson is garbage and so is his huge salary for a 3rd line……

    …etc etc….

    Gomez for Vinny….meh could care less if they swapped places….Personally i think gomez is good for this team.He carrys the puck fast with blinding speed and hes got moves,dangles….hes a good player.Vinny is past his prime.He can stay with the ‘Ning…we dont want him.

  56. TomNickle says:

    Gionta and Plekanec are the only consistent forwards we have.

    Pacioretty has around 20 games of NHL play this season under his belt, and as much as I like him and as excited I am for his development, I can’t say he’s consistent based on a quarter season.  Darche is far from consistent, his effort level is always there, but he makes some mistakes that make you realize he was a career AHLer for a reason.

    I’m thrilled for the team by the way, because players like Cammalleri, Gomez, Kostitsyn and Pouliot are streaky scorers, and they haven’t been scoring.  When they start to contribute offense it will lead us to first place in the division.

  57. W35T5ID3 says:

    Darche has been more consistent then gio.He’s got 9 goals!NINE FRIGGIN GOALS!Whodathunkit.And since when did giving it your best effort night in and night out as darche does wasnt considered being consistent?He does what he does consistently and effectively.He may not have the most gifted hands but hes consistent more than anyone else.If he wasnt he would not have stuck with this team like he has.

  58. Bugs says:

    The Gomez deal will work in 3 years.

    Won’t work now.

  59. TomNickle says:

    We have two consistent forwards and I really hope that everyone here knows who they are.

    That said, everybody else needs to be more consistent up front regardless of where they’re playing and how many minutes they get.  Eller is better defensively if you’re wondering why he’s getting more minutes Bugs.  

  60. HabFanSince72 says:

    There are aspects of Pouliot’s play that are quite consistent. Backing away from physical challenges for example.

     

  61. The Cat says:

    I think you have a right to be miffed Bugs. It seems the system is more important than producing, thats ok, but then JM cant turn around and penalize some players for not producing. I mean if you got to think defense first, dont see the PP and play on the 3rd or 4th line, itll be pretty hard for ANYONE on the habs to produce.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  62. Habnofear says:

    So here comes the BIG QUESTION: What does the Montreal Canadiens organization have to do to make a showing in the Stanley Cup finals? And for those fans that say all is good and the team needs no upgrades….you are definitely from the Church of Habs,KEEP PRAYING….

  63. Bugs says:

    Is that why he always comes out of board battles with the puck?

    Or do you mean he should…fight more? Like Plekanec?

  64. TomNickle says:

    We’ll just have to disagree on this one.  Suffice to say I don’t fall in love with the great story on the team just because it’s a great story. 

    Gionta hasn’t taken a shift off all season.  He’s the Energizer Bunny.

  65. TomNickle says:

    The team needs Pouliot, Kostitsyn and Gomez to play their best more often than not.  They need Subban to develop three years ahead of schedule and Wisniewski to become adequate enough defensively that Hamrlik and Spacek can be held under 20 minutes/game.

  66. fbkj says:

    i believe in order to make a showing they need to win more games than they lose

  67. TomNickle says:

    Not true at all.  Failing to pick up the proper man when he’s backchecking into the neutral zone and defensive zone would be fair, but your physical play comment is not.  Well, I can’t say that I’ve seen him give up on a play due to a fear of getting engaged physically.  I saw him beat out an icing last week though.

  68. W35T5ID3 says:

    Dude lots are consistent …not just 2.Darche is consistent ….patches since hes bin up has been consistent…..Plex play is as consistent as his wearing of that turtleneck of his….pouliot i believe has been matureing and his game is evolving in a positive way….gio’s been fairly consistent…..and so on and so forth…..Habs rule!!!.We ought not get so bloody picky with this team.They are winning and they are playing excellent hockey,for the most part….so be happy!Remember the days of aebischer…thibault…turner ‘sk8s in mud’ stevenson…..oleg petrov….donny audette….REMEMBER!!???Those were awful sh!t teams….Be happy with this team now….its collectively a solid group.

  69. Bugs says:

    Ha!

    Eller is not “better defensively”, Tommy. Eller has NO offense. Nuance. Always stuck in his zone. Only natural to see HIS defensive play improve.

    If Poolio didn’t HELP create plays and forward pressure was stuck in his zone the whole shift, I dare say his defensive play would improve as well. As would anyone’s.

  70. RGM says:

    Carey Price will play a major role in the team’s performance, as has been the case all year.

    Beyond the man between the pipes, the offence has to step up and the defence has to continue to play the system, with fewer mental lapses. I do believe that there will be one or two additions (and possibly additions by subtraction) made at the deadline to put that $4.7M worth of cap space available. As it stands right now, the team is good enough win perhaps a round or even two, but to go over the top we need more scoring. The always-elusive big-body presence is naturally a priority.

    Go Habs Go!

  71. Bugs says:

    Definitely the pp. It’s ridiculous that he’s not on it.

  72. arcosenate says:

    And I actually forgot another one, get Carkner from Ottawa, all playoff roads go through Philly, he would be quite and asset when Mr. Hartnell decides to push folks around.

  73. DearyLeary says:

    Do you suppose that Devils journalists feel the need to be passive aggressive every time Gionta scores a game winner?

  74. TomNickle says:

    Bugs.  I’m huge on Pouliot and on record saying that he has the most upside of any player in our ORGANIZATION.  Can’t emphasize that enough, I’m including Leblanc, Kristo, Avtsin, all of em.  Just not Price.

    Anywhoo, Eller doesn’t turn the puck over at the offensive zone blue line, he doesn’t screw up his backchecking assignments and he most importantly, he makes the opposing puck carrier go where he wants him to go when he’s forechecking.  Pouliot doesn’t do these things well enough, he’s improved very much over the last season and he’s showing me that he’s willing to learn and get better, but as of today, he is not as good defensively as Eller, and that’s the reason he’s not getting those top 6 minutes.


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Finally, a game

The Canadiens are in the Motor City.

Maybe Scott Gomez and P.K. Subban will play.

Maybe they won’t.

Gomez hopes rest is tonic

Martin details Weber-Subban and his thoughts behind the situation: Stubbs column

Cam Cole blasts benching of P.K.

• Stubbs on some of the season’s better hockey books

• Pat Hickey on Jarred Tinordi

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