Game 36: Habs snowed under by Isles

A portion of the crowd of 3,136 at the Nassau Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum, a hardy group given the monstrous snowstorm that swept Long Island on Sunday night.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

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AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Michael Cammalleri | Max Pacioretty | Hal Gill | Maxim Lapierre

At a Glance: Could be the Canadiens played in snowshoes instead of skates? The Habs resumed their holiday-spanning, seven-game road trip Sunday on blizzard-pounded Long Island with a 4-1 loss to the lowly New York Islanders. Playing before a hardy crowd of 3,136, who’ll still be shovelling out their cars at dawn, Montreal surrendered first- and second-period goals to the home team and couldn’t solve goalie Dwayne Roloson until the game was well decide. The Canadiens enjoyed a 39-25 edge in shots on goal.

The Scoring: Blake Comeau hit the scoresheet first on a partial breakaway midway through the first period, defenceman Alexandre Picard caught pinching deep in the New York zone and blue-line partner Yannick Weber outlegged in the race. Then Michael Graber pounced on a Picard giveaway late in the second to race in alone and beat Habs goalie Carey Price to make it 2-0. (It could have been 3-0, but what appeared to be an Islanders goal earlier in the second on sloppy Price clearing was disallowed; replays seemed to show the puck across the goal line before it was scooped away by defenceman Josh Gorges.) The Isles increased their lead to three when P.A. Parenteau scored during a five-minute power play early in the third, Max Pacioretty having been given a major (and game misconduct) for boarding. Then it was 4-0 when James Wiesniewski beat Price 2:20 later on a 5-on-3 advantage, Scott Gomez off for tripping during Pacioretty’s major. Habs’ Tomas Plekanec ended Roloson’s shutout bid with 12:09 to play.

Key Moment: The Canadiens dominated the second period and had numerous chances to tie the game, outshooting their hosts 16-7, but Grabner’s late goal would serve to break the Habs.

What It Means: The Canadiens lost their sixth game in their past eight, having been outscored 29-18 during that span. They’re 1-3 to start this road trip, their longest of the season.

What’s Next: The Habs had planned to fly out of New York postgame, but they changed that idea early in the day. The team was to overnight near the Uniondale arena before practising Monday morning there, then chartering to Washington later in the day – weather permitting – for Tuesday’s game against the Capitals. Games Thursday and Friday in Florida will end the trip and the 2010 calendar year; Montreal is back home Sunday afternoon against the Atlanta Thrashers.


  1. habstrinifan says:

    A defensive system is one thing. A system which takes any and every player and squeezes the skill quotient out of his game inored to “keep it simple” and  play ‘on the backfoot’ all the game is demoralising. It subtly defeats the energy borne out of exploiting your talent for the thrill of individual extraordinariness which invigorates and inspires teammmates and provide the catalyst for ‘turning points’ moments. When did you last see a hab (except the goalkeeper) and especially on the offensive sid eof play make a play which you would describe as ‘a turning point’ moment.

    Dont let the cliched analysis of the NJ Devils system  fool you to the greatness of the players developed in that system and the aggressive domination of the ice which they sought to achieve on every shift. The DID NOT SIT BACK and play as if scared to lose. 

  2. LA Loyalist says:

    My personal opinion is that you can’t win the cup without a strong backup goalie. No matter what team you are.

    Aside from Price getting mentally tired, he’s more likely to get injured  if he’s not sharp, then we’re really f*cked.

    We’re actually lucky that Price didn’t play much last year, hopefully he has more in the tank, as we’re going to need it.


  3. SmartDog says:

    Yeah my GF got it.


  4. MTLForever says:

    he hasn’t looked like last year alright, seriously. team in front of him needs to give him a break, can’t keep away from the stupid penalty box and missing every wide open net at the other end?! unbelievable. they need to play better in front of price. 

  5. 123456 says:

    two breakways (yea would be nice to stop them),  a terrible bounce to an open guy and a PP goal. give him a break….. habs scored one goal and the D were terrible. yes that handling of the puck was horriffic on the one playt

  6. Fab K says:

    god i love such answers!!! good one buddy 🙂

  7. MTLForever says:

    no goalie can play 82 hahahaha

  8. MTLForever says:

    constantly in the box no wonder 

  9. deuce6 says:

    It would be nice to have a defense, every now and then…

  10. Fab K says:

    yeah, and a much better one too, i might add 🙂

  11. Fab K says:

    in my opinion, if i were such a coach, he wanted to give him an extra day off for the holidays, and then play him for the next month good or bad… the reason? because, most players on our team are average, and we have a less than average defense now that marky is gone until next season (i hope not, and hope earlier… what is his status anyways? skating? limping? what?) other than hamerlik who is a work horse and has been relatively constant (which pk can learn from) he and picard, are really our top 2-3, and then add PK and we’ll see… the big tall guy is slow, Georges has slowed down, and Spacek really hasn’t been effective of late (or ever, this season). Weber is ok, and can QB the pp… so can PK… just do it Jack, insert him for a good month, and then evaluate him… we neeeeed him, especially now…

  12. Fab K says:

    nah, it’s the players around him and the coach’s fault…. we seriously suck now, and, as always, around xmas time… hope we bounce back.

  13. habs365 says:

    I goofed this one, I meant april 2011

  14. RJB says:

    A Mac is a pc…but nice try


    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo Baggins

  15. Exit716 says:

    There’s lots of time to turn it around.

    Not a great effort tonight.


  16. Fab K says:

    Hey Bugs, I replied to the discussion we had on the 24th… not sure if you saw but here it is …. let me know what you think now. That’s all i really need, since you are the only one who really replied to my reply to yours 🙂

    Hope you and the rest here had a Merry Christmas…. too bad the habs didn’t “show up” tonight.

    If anyone listened to the Anti Chambre on RDS after the game, i for one, completely agreed with Francois Gagnon, Marino, and the one on the far right and left (forgot their names). Bergy is too old for today’s hockey… But line changing and constant panick is not “the habs” system… JM or not, we really need a better coach. I hope he gets it, or get fired…. because i’m not sure if i’m right, but Subban is not hurting our team now, is he? We neeeeeeeed him on the ice for the next 10 games, and then make a decision on him… he’s a kid afterall…

    my 2 cents


    Go Habs Go regardless!!!

  17. habs365 says:

    You can complain all you want about the coaching…I’m not a martin fan… but…tonight was a team thing…Habs scoring % was 2.6 compared to the Isles 16.0 %…I think that pretty much sums up the game against a 29th place team……awful

  18. dre1744 says:

    Not too bash on Carey, As I’m one of his biggest supporters  but he just hasn’t been sharp the last 8 games   at all.  Hes looking more and more like last years goalie  then the guy he was at the beginning of the year. Hes not tracking the puck aswell as he was in the beginning of this season. I’m not as confident in him as I was at the beginning of November. I think we need to give him some more rest. 


    I’m sure he will bounce back!!!!!!  The habs always slump around this time of the year!!!!!

  19. LA Loyalist says:

    Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves for his fourth shutout tonight against Nashville.

    Just so you’re in the loop. And St. Louis have had a lot of injuries. 

    Price has been great, but he can’t play 82 games. 

  20. LA Loyalist says:

    Do you have such low standards generally or just for your hockey team?

    Do you drive a Trabant instead of a Mercedes?

    Use a PC instead of a Mac?

    Drink Regie box wine instead of Bordeaux?

    It’s a free country and you can do as you wish, and you can comment as you wish, but please stop calling people who have STANDARDS loons. Or we’ll start thinking you voted for Obama.

  21. Chris F says:

    Have to wonder what explanation would be given for sitting PK. I mean, this is embarrassing. It’s not like we have six all-stars back there. This was a pathetic display tonight, no energy, Pleks was the only guy who looked like he gave a sh*t. I am growing sick of this decision to sit PK, unless the guy went postal at practice or told JM where to go…..which is highly doubtful.

    We need a shake up, too many games in a row that the team is looking awfully plain, slow, tired, whatever you want to call it. Bring up the Hamilton boys and create a line with Desharnais and White, if for nothing else but energy. This loyalty to veterans like Spacek, or loyalty to Picard because he has a solid + – has got to end, the coach is not being paid to do anything but win. When teams skate like Montreal did tonight, they were not interested, those 20 guys could have done the same without a coach.

  22. LA Loyalist says:

    This was supposed to be the team with “intangibles”. Maybe there was a typo and it’s actually “incomprehensibles”.


    too soft, too small, too intangible

  23. rocketsglare says:

    The team is what it is. A future netminder, a couple of scorers (when there on), some prospects, and that’s about it.

    Even then, there simply was no energy or interest by this team to compete tonight and it showed. This team is just

    a mystery how it could be so focused and prepared and then become clueless and feeble from game to game. Both

    coaching and the players should be held accountable by management and if this trend is not immediately corrected,

    then changes should be implemented by the trade deadline and into next season.

    What a shameful display by this team tonight. I shudder to think if this attitude where to carry over next Tuesday in

    Landover, Maryland when the Habs face for the first time OV and the Caps. Could be ugly.

    Go Habs Go!



  24. bolder says:

    He doesn’t prepare this team to play every game with intensity.

    The game against detroit was one of…if not the best games they played all season…where is that intensity?

  25. sidhu says:

    That’s dedication!

  26. bolder says:

    The team sucks because the coach sucks wake up

  27. HabFanSince72 says:

    You’re not making any sense. The team sucks or the coach sucks?

  28. Laramy87 says:

    Ya i know he has dove in the past and has that reputation as a diver… But when your facing the boards, i still think it was a hit from behind. Oh well!

  29. HabFanSince72 says:

    Not unexpectedly the anti-JM loons are out in force.

    Reminds me of a friend who personally blames Bill Gates every time his computer crashes. (Even to this day.)

    How you can have watched this game and blame the coaching!

    Admittedly the benching of PK has gone on too long, but it’s not the coach’s fault if the snipers keep missing, and everyone takes dumb penalties.




  30. bolder says:

    your posts are just funny period…LOL your trying to compare this team to the cup winning devils who had stevens and rafalski in the back and we have who???? oh right hammer and spak

    If gionta scores 40 goals and gomez scores 20 like they did back then then we might have a chance…so be realistic when your trying to prove a point

    JM has 0 cups after over 1200 games coached…that should tell you something

  31. habs03 says:

    yup just like how he is doing it in St Louis..

  32. jimmy shaker says:

    Laps is a targeted diver in the league now and if the stripe had any balls he would’ve just called Laps on a dive.  I hate that even up call.  It’s either one or the other, not both.  The stripes since going to a 2 man system are a travesty on ice!


  33. Habnofear says:

    I hate to say it….But this is when Halak  standing on his head time !

  34. habs03 says:

    Its funny how most of your post come after the Habs loss only!

  35. Laramy87 says:

    Well i sure am glad i PVR’d that game. God i wasted 2 hours of my life watching it.

    That was just pathetic. I cannot even count on my fingers and toes how many times they fanned on a shot or boucned over a stick.

    AGAIN penalties favoured the oppostion, what 7-2 or something. AND HOW THE HELL DOES LAPIERRE GET A PENALTY THERE, that was f’in bullsh!t

  36. jimmy shaker says:

    Hate to slag on Price……but he’s very very very below average when it comes to breakaways.  I know it’s not his fault that the breakaways are coming his way, but all year he’s been really weak when it comes down to a one on one showdown.  Hammer is sucking once again and I think Auld has to start getting some more games or Sanford because although Price ISN’T at fault for the losses lately the goals against are really starting to creep up at a high rate.  5 vs philly, 3 vs detroit, 3 vs Boston, 3 vs colorado, 4 vs Dallas and another 4 tonight.  JM should’ve pulled him after the fourth but he’s a jabroni so what can you do.  Get Auld or Sanford in next JM!  And please keep PK in now, no matter what.  He’s our best D-man and doesn’t belong in the presser!


  37. bolder says:

    so price has to shutout the other team for them to win? Their style of hockey is completely awful

    Isn’t it obvious that he doesn’t want to play for a team that never puts up goals for him?

  38. larisalapointe says:

    Luckily the live blog crashed or we’d be at each other’s throats. 🙂

    Well was that the mother of all stinkers or what?

    I’m not one to bash the team but……things are missing. They need to regroup and fast.

    I have to admit the irony of Habs fans singing OLE OLE, was hilarious.


  39. HabFanSince72 says:


    1. Scorers can’t score. Cammi, Gionta, Pleks, Gomez etc … Would have been a different game if we had scored in the 1st two periods.

    2. Price is not as good as he was. Now he’s merely OK rather than superhuman.

    3. Dumb penalties.

    4.Every mistake ends up in our net.

    5. No Marky.

  40. AH says:

     All you JM supporters out there, please tell me what JM is going to pull out of his bag of magic tricks now?, surely he must have some new “potion” cooked up with all the notes he makes on that little notepad of his?

    Bench PK, check!

    Pound the Islanders, check…wait a minute….

    So what new “strategy” can I look forward to tuning in to the next game for?

  41. bolder says:

    you should probably never post again

  42. bolder says:

    Where’s HardHabits? I’m surprised hes not trying to blame this one on Subban

  43. MTLForever says:




  44. MTLForever says:

    yup, didn’t know we got a new player

  45. salshabs says:

    utter humiliation, it’s 4-0 isles, i can’t take anymore, i’m otta here.  Can’t even post on Boone’s Blog…I smell a steady slide out of playoff contention.  CP is less than ordinary, and, without him we’re toast….why does something like this have to happen every f#&kin’ year, around this time, Keeerist!!!!

  46. deuce6 says:

    Bench PK and we can’t score on the Isles..Great call, JM..Just stop trying to over coach this team and just let them play F’n hockey, you old turd..

  47. Bugs says:

    Are the Islander commentators calling Kostitsyn “Kostishion”?

    Unquestionably unquestionable, I think I’m

    L. Bugs Potter, esq., Herzog of ze Abominable Habsuchtig Brigade, Markgraf of ze Fearsome Flanell Flausen Flank, und devoted minion of ze Habsbros Order:

  48. filincal says:

    Sweet tatoo…is that what I’m supposed to see?




  49. filincal says:

    I don’t disagree…i was just pointing it out. I also agree we need our goalie to stand on his head most nights to win, but I found that during last years playoffs we found a way to bounce back after bad or early goals. We’ve seen a bit of that this season, but haven’t pulled off the “big” comeback yet ( Detroit, Philly etc.).

     I wish we had the talent to go full offense, but our roster is suited to the “system”, intensional? I don’t know.

    Whatever it is we did a 90` turn when we signed and traded almost half our roster and have somewhat succeded. Calgary tried doing it mid season and look at that mess.




  50. SmartDog says:

    I think the link works now…

    Merry merry!! My GF’s new tattoo:


  51. SmartDog says:

    Thanks. Dang.  The Flikr command interface stinks.


  52. A. Berke says:

    Ah yes! get the first goal and then try to sit on that lead to win the game, that’s the “system”. And that’s why I started my post with “IMHO” because I don’t like this kinda system. 

    However, with the “system”, in order to win games we have to have our goalie standing on his head in every game (and when he lets a soft one in – just one – then we’re done) and hope for the best that someone will score one more goal than the opposition.

    We’re not good from coming behind precisely for that, we are not an offensive team that can attack and score at will, that’s why there are only a few handful games we come behind to win.

    Feel free to disagree if you will.

    Ali B.

  53. dh says:

    Your link gets me to the flikr sign in page.

  54. A. Berke says:

    FYI, JM hasn’t won any of the Lord Stanley’s Cups yet.

    The Devils won cups but they had Brodeur in goal (can you say standing on his head more than once?) and a superior defensive talent as well as a good offence. However, I wonder how they’re doing this year?

    Besides, against Devils’ “boring” 3 cups, how many cups were won several times over by teams playing with a regular defensively balanced offensive game. I can name several times more winners than 3 in one breath.

    Ali B.

  55. SmartDog says:

    Is that a no?  Someone said you needed to be signed into Flikr to see it?  Hope not I’m trying to share it (a pic of my SO’s new Habs tatoo).


  56. SmartDog says:

    That would seem to have some basis. We’ve lost a couple of games because we stopped skating and just kept backing up.  PK is the kind of player we NEED because his break-outs keep the other team on their heels.  But the whole team needs to be able to play that game… and it’s not how we play. 

    To put it more succinctly, Martin has his defensive system in place, so where’s the offensive system?


  57. habsfan_61 says:

     your right it seems as though there is no aggressiveness to his game plan.

  58. habs03 says:

    or maybe he likes to coach a very defensive system that led the Devils to 3 cups? Boring or not, to win the cup you need a strong defensive team,you can have all the talent in the world but without a defensive structure you’ll never win when it matters(Caps). People talk about JM ruins young players, Havalt, Hossa, Afly, Yashin,Bonk, all turned out pretty good 2 way players imo, funny how the only player JM had issue’s with was Speeza, funny how he is still making rookie mistakes as vet. So I Much rather P.K. sit out and learn from this as opposed to be the next Mike Green.

  59. A. Berke says:

    IMHO, JM is a coach who coaches for “not to lose” instead of winning, i.e. not to lose first and hope for the best that we’ll score one more goal than the opposition (thus 2-1, 3-2 etc games that he’s aiming for).

    I believe this is a sign of most coaches who have been around a while (in all team sports), who become afraid of making mistakes and try to preserve the status quo (reputation) instead of being daring and using creativity & inventiveness to win games.

    Very unfortunate for Subban and Pouliot and also for the team (especially in the long run) and of course, for most (if not all) of us who want the very best for the team.

    Ali B.

  60. habs365 says:

    you’re wasting your time talking about JM or giving him ideas…it’s his way or the highway…April 2010 come playoff time, if they make it, will prove how wrong or right we were with out comments to HIO.

  61. filincal says:

    Really? It seems to me the team tries to get the first goal in most, if not every game. And they have the first goal more often than not…thing is they need to score first, we’re not good at coming from behind.




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