Game 33: Habs open road trip with loss

Colorado goaltender Craig Anderson foils Canadiens centreman Tomas Plekanec from close in during the Habs’ 3-2 loss Sunday night to the Avalanche in Denver.
Michael Martin, NHLI via Getty Images

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At a Glance: The Canadiens began their seven-game, season’s-longest road trip with a loss Sunday night, falling 3-2 to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver. The teams exchanged first-period power-play goals, Montreal’s Mike Cammalleri opening the scoring with a pretty one-timer on a pass from centre Tomas Plekanec at 10:50; Colorado’s Ryan Wilson tied it with 5.5 seconds left on a screened point blast that Montreal goalie Carey Price never saw. Canadiens’ defenceman Alexandre Picard pinched in to rap home a power-play rebound of a shot by Scott Gomez at 2:58 of the second, but Avs’ Kevin Porter got that back just 1:03 later, the game’s first 5-on-5 goal coming on a weak backhand that slipped past Price’s right pad. Price made a handful of outstanding saves with the game tied, but poor defensive coverage in front of the net and a bouncing puck off a rebound caromed past the goalie off the body of Avs’ T.J. Galiardi at 16:12 to give the hosts their first lead of the contest. It would prove to be the game-winner.

Key Moments: The weird winning goal and the Avalanche, winners of six straight, resisting good Montreal pressure in the third period, especially in the game’s final minute. It was a triumphant night for former Canadien Ryan O’Byrne, playing his first game against the Habs.

What It Means: The Canadiens ended a three-game losing streak on Thursday at home to Boston but couldn’t make it two straight. The Habs remain two points ahead of the Northeast Division’s second-place Boston Bruins, with idle Boston holding two games in hand.

What’s Next: The Canadiens were to charter out of Denver at midnight Montreal time, flying to Dallas where they’ll take on the Stars Tuesday night. The Habs will wrap up the pre-Christmas portion of their road trip with a game Thursday in Raleigh, N.C., vs. the Carolina Hurricanes.


  1. W35T5ID3 says:

    double quarter pounder combo.

  2. terrygain says:

    An intemperate, hot-headed comment. On the winning goal PK made an unforced giveaway.  Picard tried to block the shot. What did you expect him to do in that situation? Picard did make a hard pass up the middle which was intercepted and led to a Colorado goal. It didn’t help that all of the forwards had left the zone. Other than that he played well and made a heads up play to score the second goal. Picard is plus 8. He’s been very steady and a very pleasant surprise. 

    Our problem is not defence. It’s scoring.  

    Did anyone notice how those Maple Leaf fans are such sheep? They support management no matter what. It’s no wonder they haven’t won in 43 years.

  3. scrowe21 says:

    Gomez also has 5 assists in the last 3 games.

  4. MTLForever says:

    thank you, someone who can actually read!

  5. MTLForever says:

    you do not read my posts correctly 🙂

  6. Habnofear says:

    Happy birthday Paulin….you look a very wet and angry 28:)

  7. edgie says:

    Wake up? He was addressing the fact that you said the habs PLAYED poorly, which they didn’t.  


    You should probably re-read the comments before you decide to jump at someones throat..


  8. terrygain says:

    And that would be because we are only second best in Goals Against, and 19th in Goals For? Heck, we’re so strong on defence that we got rid of a 6’5″ guy who leads his new team at plus 13. Keep thinking about that and it may help you identify our most pressing need.


    Did anyone notice how those Maple Leaf fans are such sheep? They support management no matter what. It’s no wonder they haven’t won in 43 years.

  9. SeriousFan09 says:

    Picard is no longer a steadying influence for Subban, he’s weighing down the defence and can’t cover up for PK when he does get adventerous. Time to bench him and that’s all there is to it, no wonder he bounces around the league.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  10. tricolore says:

    thank you for what? LMAO

    2 points out of 10 = crap…

    it will get better once Martin starts to realize he needs to rest the old men at the back….


    Lafleur, coming out rather gingerly on the right side.

  11. tricolore says:

    I think there will be several departures at the end of this season to make room for one even 2, absolutely….problem is we have Weber which is better than Spacek or Hamrlik or even Gill right now….Martin does not have the Ko-Ho-Nes to make that call…mind you I like what Gill brings on the PK….He should start resting the old boys at the back….

    Lafleur, coming out rather gingerly on the right side.

  12. W35T5ID3 says:

    SO do tell me son,who it is …..hmmm?

  13. W35T5ID3 says:

    …….indeed…..perhaps you’d like to look into my crystal ball……

  14. W35T5ID3 says:

    …ur darn tootin’….

  15. MTLForever says:

    out playing your opposition means you are not playing like crap, thank you.

  16. tricolore says:

    stating the fact which in this case is negative….is reality…..not pessimism….pessimism is thinking they won’t come out of this or turn it around..which i believe they will…the reality now is that they are playing like crap….and if you outplay your opposition and not outscore them…it means nothing…..

    Lafleur, coming out rather gingerly on the right side.

  17. MTLForever says:

    Actually, I know results mean everything, they lost on a garbage goal by the Avs. You wake up and realize that they didn’t play like crap and then we will talk, thanks pessimist.

  18. MTLForever says:

    It always is crap to lose because of a goal like that.

  19. tricolore says:

    you must think results mean nothing….they are the only thing that matters…ask any player of any sport…they’ll take the victory any day over playing well and coming up with goose eggs….where do you live in fantasy land? you think those guys care about how well they played or dominated the opposition without coming up with a point or two to show for it? 1 win in the last 5 is crap…in this league…..wake up


    Lafleur, coming out rather gingerly on the right side.

  20. blu3chip says:

    3rd Avalanche goal was clearly goalie interference. What a bull crap call.

  21. deuce6 says:

    We need to trade for a d-man….

  22. MTLForever says:

    very poor? they did do a lot of things well or did you miss the whole 3rd period? the avs 3rd goal was one of those garbage goals and the second of the avs was a give away in the neutral zone which we have done a lot lately….did you notice they always give us a penalty at the end of periods, especially the first? i don’t think it was a very poor play or “not good at all”, did a lot of things well. so stop being so negative. 

  23. W35T5ID3 says:

    So upon further investigation,i have come to the conclusion that this team YUP is DEFINITLY missing a few solid pieces.We lack size.Its evident.But it is difficult to pinpoint the type of dude we need.Defense lacks too.We oughta go out and get Bieksa.He’d fit right in.Then we oughta fleece Sutter and them flames and land Iginla.Sutter is an idiot.He’ll trade for anyone.So we can give em some of our junk and im sure that it could be done…..bahh …but wtf do i know eh.Eeesh.

  24. tricolore says:

    Several missed opportunities tonight, poor finishing. Thought Price kept his team in it by making at least 3 key saves after it was 3-2. Anderson was just a bit better. Boy, AK46 like dead lumber out there. No interest in taking a hit or giving his all. As far as our D-men I think only Gorges and Subban can recover after making a mistake. The rest are like pylons out there. Once they’re beaten, they suck wind and trail from behind. 

    2 points gained out of a possible 10 in the last 5 games. Not good at all. Very poor play by the Habs. Hope to see some positives soon. 


    Lafleur, coming out rather gingerly on the right side.

  25. SmartDog says:

    Moen was supposed to be here for that.  But over time he seems to have settled into a nice guy mode too.  It’s odd becuase we’re not one of the least penalized teams in teh league.  But I’d say we’re one of the softest.


  26. tricolore says:

    I like your point. I’m just trying to think who in the Habs recent history, say last 20 years, was like that? You know, I think PK will be that kind of veteran in about 5 years…just hope he’s in the Habs uniform. Perhaps not mean but very ‘spicey’ and providing some kicks in the behind to move the players ahead….


    Lafleur, coming out rather gingerly on the right side.

  27. SmartDog says:

    One thing that strikes me is that veterans are more useful against rookies when they are hard on them so the rookies know theyre up against guys that have been there and back and aren’t going to let the rookie take any advantages.  Our veterans are mostly nice guys.  I hate Pronger but his type of rude play is what we need a little more of in games like this——-

  28. zaq007 says:

    Guess Gomez ahs a use after all 😀

  29. tricolore says:

    Careless play. Lack of aggressiveness in front of Price and costly give aways. Some good saves by Price yet no stellar secondary support by his D-men. With a young ‘hungry’ team like the Avs and their fire power, you can’t make those mistakes. Let’s hope the Habs show some composure and the veterans steer the ship ahead.


    Lafleur, coming out rather gingerly on the right side.

  30. Laramy87 says:

    hahah did anyone else notice that after Price made that glove save before the commercial the price is right theme song started to play at the Pepsi Centre.

    I guess they were doing some sort of quiz, becuase you can hear the annoucer say “come on down you are the next contender” and then it went to commerical..

    hahah funny and ironic?????

  31. SmartDog says:

    Wow! Cami’s FIFTH GOAL in SEVEN GAMES!

    Seems like Gomez does have an important role to play on this team.  When someone on Pleks line needs a jump-start, put them with Gomez for a few games of punishment. When they come back – boom!  Goals-a-plenty!


  32. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Well by that rationale, Dandenault was a cancer as he was often a healthy scratch 🙂

    I have no idea why he’s a scratch, obviously there’s something going on there…doesn’t mean the baggage will come with him wherever he’s traded to though.

  33. A. Berke says:

    They’re still working on Hamrlik on that l’il point.

    Ali B.

  34. Malreg says:

    The guy who’s been a consistent healthy scratch, even though he’s their captain?  I also recall him being a problem in the dressing room, which was one of the reasons we traded him in the first place.

  35. habs365 says:

    martin will try his best for you

  36. deggy24 says:

    I tracked OB a couple of years prior to joining the big club, as well as attending a preseason game in his first season. He has a lot of great abilities, and one of them is that he skates well for a big man. I never saw him even venture to try to exhibit that skill, as he looked like a guy who had a noose around his neck every time he went out there. In my mind, this guy was doomed to fail under the coaching system that was in place. I’m not surprised he is doing well in Colorado. I always thought he could be a hell of a player.

  37. habs365 says:

    Don’t count the AVS out…they’re young, fast and made up of goal scores and they don’t let teams push them around…they have a few injuries right now…hope the Habs don’t let that fool them…this will not be 2 easy points for either team.

  38. Paulin98C says:

    Today is my birthday. I want a win! Go HABS Go!

  39. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Yeah, why not? He’s exactly the kind of veteran who can play on any pairing and help spread the minutes better between the defencemen. Guys like him are invaluable come playoff time.

    He’s obviously not wanted in Buffalo anymore but still has quite a bit of gas in the tank (from what I’ve seen).

  40. tony d says:

    you mean despicable

  41. blu3chip says:

    SK74 – easily replaced, locker room cancer, not doing so much better

    Gui – we have given him a lot of time, it was time to move on, got Pouliot in return

    OB – Hal Gill type of player, not a great loss, not even worth mentioning imo

    Desjardins – AHL goalie

    Hainsey – we lost him through waivers.

    Ribeiro – Locker room cancer

    Higgins – not doing do great

    Ryder – glad he is gone


    Players who were brought up successfully by the Habs: Plekanec, AK, Markov, Subban, Price, Halak etc. All much more valuable than the crap you mentioned.

  42. AndyF says:

    TomNickle: “Regardless, the point is valid due to the players that this organization
    has developed.  What players specifically couldn’t play here but
    thrived in another market after seeing significant or even moderate
    development time with their current organizations?  Grabovski?”


    Ready?  Here’s an example that would be a big positive for your stat.  Player drafted by Habs who is playing in the league and getting points.   His stats would make me look terrible.   Now let’s look at the specifics, as you suggest:


    Ron Hainsey

    Year | GP | Team | Pts

    2002-2003 | 21 | MTL | 0

    2003-2004 | 11 | MTL | 2

    2005-2006 | 55 | CLB | 17

    2006-2007 | 80 | CLB | 34

    2007-2008 | 78 | CLB | 32

    2008-2009 | 81 | ATL | 39

    2009-2010 | 80 | ATL | 26



    Myth: Those 2 seminal years in Montreal gave the boy confidence and skills.  We taught him to really believe in himself.  

    Fact: We put him on waivers after completely destroying his confidence.   We gave him nothing.   The Blue Jackets built him back up from scratch, and converted his natural abilities into NHL talent.




  43. NightRyder says:

    I’ve seen portions of every one of his games thanks to the miracle that is my centre ice package. He’s still made of mistakes, but he plays through them and doesn’t run around trying to make up for all of them in one shift. And his panic threshold has absolutely changed.

  44. scrowe21 says:

    Just 3. He looked steady, had a fight in one I watched. His hit stats and plus/minus stats look good. I know he was terrible here, Im just saying…Markov/O’Byrne talk is pointless since he is playing well without him now.

  45. Timo says:

    I say we play as a disgusting dirty little team we are 🙂

  46. NightRyder says:

    Yup. I was looking forward to adding Subban to that list this year.

    But O’Byrne has been excellent without Markov in Colorado. A lot of times, it’s about opportunity and confidence.

    Situation is huge for any player. LeClair goes to Philly and becomes a 50-goal man. Never would have been one in Montreal. The list is endless.

  47. naweed235 says:

    lol wow i really hope u mentioned river just to lighten up the mood here… cuz if not… REALLY?!?!?!? RIVET?!?!?!


  48. TomNickle says:

    On our roster, while not playing with Markov, all three players I listed were terrible.  And out of curiosity, how many times have you seen O’Byrne play since he was traded to Colorado?

  49. Habscat says:

    1. Langenbrunner

    2. Bieksa

    3. Ron Maclean

    4. If Martin is the coach the next 3 years – yes

    5. Finals if we trade for some bangers up front


  50. scrowe21 says:

    O’Byrne has been far from horrible since traded.

  51. TomNickle says:

    I don’t think they’re the best, but I certainly don’t think they ruin players.  Ribeiro was softer than the Charmin in my bathroom, Hainsey was claimed off waivers and was doing quite well here, Desjardins’ doesn’t fall under current management, Higgins is a terrible hockey player, he was good here and has been pitiful everywhere else and Ryder is brutal, and I mean brutal without the puck on his stick.

    Getting rid of Sergei Kostitsyn is a victory, ditto for Gui, the Gui trade is actually a homerun for us I think.

    For every example you can provide of a player not working out, I can provide one of a player who has worked out great.

    If one of every two of our draft picks work out to be great, I’m happy.

  52. TorontoHabsFan says:

    So with our LTIR money I think it would be smart for Montreal to sign another defenceman instead of a veteran forward. Our D has played admirably, but I fear the minutes could catch up with our older defencemen – Hamrlik, Spacek and Gill.

    The question is, which type of defenceman should Montreal seek out? An offensive guy or a steady, veteran top 4 defensive guy? The offensive guys almost always command a higher asking price at the deadline, whereas the defensive guys usually can be had for mid-round picks.

    Bieksa is the popular name of late, but know who else should be available for a relatively cheap price?


    Craig Rivet.

  53. AndyF says:

    SK74, Gui, OB, Desjardins, Hainsey, Ribeiro, Higgins, Ryder … *all* needed a little better mentoring.  The Habs gave them just about nothing.    In some cases, like Higgins, the damage was irreparable.  Even PK, who should have been carefully mentored like the Wings do with their rookies, ended up falling through the cracks.  Kudos to him for having enough talent to escape the Habs’ rookie curse.


    Of all the examples you cite, Pouliot stands out as just about the only exception of anything going the Habs’ way.


    If you think the Habs have an adequate mentoring and life coaching program for their rookies… if you think that Habs’ upper management is on the ball regarding longterm injury management (eg. bragging that Markov “miraculously” returned 6 weeks earlier than he should have from a serious surgery)…  if you think the Canadiens lead the league in progressive pro personnel development… great.     I don’t.  Neither do some athletic training professionals that know the inside workings of the team.




  54. TomNickle says:

    The list was provided by WGR550 radio station in Buffalo and I can’t find the link on the website anymore.  I believe it was in the NHL.  Regardless, the point is valid due to the players that this organization has developed.  What players specifically couldn’t play here but thrived in another market after seeing significant or even moderate development time with their current organizations?  Grabovski?

    Hainsey played meaningful time here, Latendresse and Kostitsyn did too.  O’Byrne had close to four years here to develop into a consistent player.  He was given several opportunities but couldn’t eliminate mistakes from his game that twelve year old kids can.  Not being physical, not covering well in front of the net, not making adequate decisions with the puck and couldn’t stop taking stupid penalties, more specifically, he couldn’t avoid shooting the puck over twelve foot high glass.

    If you were running the organization and a player was consistently making those mistakes, would you keep him and hold his hand through the process if it took more than four years?

    How can you explain to 19 players that you’re going to sit Picard and Weber in favour of a player who constantly makes stupid mistakes that force you into trailing on the scoreboard or killing senseless penalties?

  55. AndyF says:

    TomNickle: “Our organization has the second highest NHL games played per player
    drafted in the NHL.  So it stands to reason that your theory about our
    draft picks or young players not working out or ‘underperforming’ is

    Are those based on players still playing for us?  Or for players playing in the NHL?   If it’s for us, then I concede you have a valid stat.  Otherwise your stat is irrelevent.   Remember, I’m not complaining about our ability to draft.



  56. TomNickle says:

    Komisarek, Quintal, O’Byrne.

    They were great with Markov and horrible without him…..see a pattern?

  57. TomNickle says:

    And if you can please explain to me how it’s a coach’s responsibility to teach a professional hockey player how not to shoot a puck over the glass that would be nice.

  58. Malreg says:

    Care to rattle off a list of all these superstars traded/let go by the current management, that perform so much better elsewhere?  O’Byrne and Latendress(who admitted himself that he wasnt even trying anymore for the Habs)?

    Higgins? Ryder? Tanguay? Kovalev?                                                                                                                      

    Pouliot couldn’t even crack the Minnesota Wild roster, but he comes here and performs pretty well. 

  59. TomNickle says:

    Except Plekanec has thrived, Price is thriving, Halak earned a lucrative contract and heroic status here, Andrei Markov has been unanimously one of the NHL’s top 10 defensemen for the last five years, Mike Komisarek earned a lucrative deal, Ron Hainsey is one of the league’s most underrated defensemen due to the market he plays in, Andrei Kostitsyn is a productive top 6 forward, I can go on and on.

    I’m sure you would counter with examples like Sergei Kostitsyn, Mikael Grabovski, Guillame Latendresse, Kyle Chipchura and Ryan O’Byrne.

    And of those players, Chipchura is the only one who didn’t have problems off the ice,  Sergei with his cancerous attitude, Grabovski with his pouting and off ice bar scandals, Latendresse never met a mirror or microphone he didn’t like and O’Byrne got into his troubles on the road.

    So perhaps you could question the evaluation that goes into the character of the players that management have drafted but it’s fairly obvious that with selections like Leblanc, Gallagher and Tinordi among others that the team has put a renewed focus into drafting leaders.

    Our organization has the second highest NHL games played per player drafted in the NHL.  So it stands to reason that your theory about our draft picks or young players not working out or “underperforming” is bunk.

  60. scrowe21 says:

    But, hes playing the same way with..Liles? 

  61. habaddict_andy says:

    With good coaching, Atlanta we can beat. 

  62. AndyF says:

    That OB was terrible in Montreal is not the question.


    The question is how, time after time, young players  underperform under Habs management, while they thrive under  other teams’ managment.   Habs *suck* at managing their youth. The OB issue is about *that*.    Habs management is known everywhere for being the laziest pile of dead wood anywhere in the league.  Oh, uh… sorry… second only to the Leafs’ managment.


    I recently saw an article where that effect is called “Cash Cow Disease”.   🙂



  63. habaddict_andy says:

    Exactly what I was thinking.  If he does, he will crack me up…for a change.

  64. Ian Cobb says:

    We are in big need of points on the road. If we play our game and skate like we can, checking as a 5 man unit, we will come away with two points. Should be a very good game against a very good team.

  65. SeriousFan09 says:

    Markov has made a number of defencemen look much better than they actually are.

    If you can only play confidently when Markov is your partner, you’re not much use.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  66. NightRyder says:

    1. Arnott

    2. Bieksa. Although I think Sami Salo would come a lot cheaper, and if he can be held together with duct tape, is excellent on the power play.

    3. Milbury. Was it Stephane Richer who was banging Milbury’s face into the ice one time?

    4. Yes.

    5. Too early to tell.

  67. JF says:

    1.  Neither at the moment.

    2.  Joni Pitkanen (but I think the Canes will be in the playoff race). 

    3.  Neither

    4.  No

    5.  We might get to the Conference finals, but, unless someone else takes out Philly, that’s as far as we’d get.        Atlanta would also be tough, but I like our chances against any other opponent.

  68. NightRyder says:

    He was horrible when he played 12 minutes a game and got yarded after every mistake. He was excellent when paired with Markov and playing 20 minutes without having to worry about making a mistake. While I do think he got “every chance” to play over the years, I don’t think he got “every chance” to be excellent. There’s a big difference.

    But you’re right, I don’t think he ever would have blossomed here. As long as we don’t end up saying the same thing about Subban, and Bournival is half-decent, it’s not a huge loss.

  69. weightman25 says:

    what are the odds on OB gettin a delay of game penalty tongiht??

  70. t1tan5 says:

    Love to see all the revisionist historians come out and defend OB. The fact of the matter is that OB was horrible for the Habs and there is no guarantee that he would have ever blossomed here. Another fact is that Picard completely outplayed him in every chance he got at the beginning of the season thus rendering OB expendable.

  71. HabFanSince72 says:

    1. Neither, unless we get more injuries.

    2. Pitkanen. Certainly not Kaberle who is bad in his own zone.

    3. Milbury played on the 70’s Bruins teams that kept getting owned by the Habs. He’s suffered enough. PJ Stock is harmless.

    4. No. It’s not clear Tavares will turn into a game breaker.

    5. At present, we have a shot but there are better teams than us in the east.


  72. scrowe21 says:

    Neither. Im hoping Maxpac is here to stay. Only spot I see opening up in the top 6 is Kostitsyn, likely getting moved in a trade for a kid. ( see O’Byrne trade )


    I wouldnt mind punching Milbury in the face. I like PJ. Neither deserve to be tortured….lol


    I dont think so but anything can happen. I just cant see them beating Philly in a playoff series unless Bobrovsky chokes.

  73. weightman25 says:

    1 jamie langenbrunner

    2 kevin bieska

    3 mike milbury

    4 never … taylor hall or jordan eberle on the other hand

    5 gotta stay positive so yes off to the finals

  74. W35T5ID3 says:

    Here a few dumb questions for you all ….im bored and so im throwin this out there.Sorta curious to see the answers.

    1)If the habs could acquire one of either Jason Arnott or Jamie Langenbrunner ,who would you rather have?

    2)If you could acquire one of either Thomas Kaberle,Joni Pitkanen or Kevin Bieksa….who would it be?

    3)If you could have 5 min alone to torture and beat up one of Mike Milbury or PJ Stock, who would it be?

    4)Would you trade PK Subban straight up for John Tavares?

    5)Are we bound for the Stanley cup finals this season?1st round exit?2nd?East Conf. Finals????



        Thanks ….im off to christmas shop before the habs game in denver.Go habs go .

  75. HabsPEI31 says:

    Any word on line combos yet? Or have I missed it…


    “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

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