Game 57: Canadiens blank Maple Leafs

Canadiens’ Brian Gionta fires the puck past Maple Leafs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere during the second period Saturday night. John Mahoney, The Gazette

Preview | Matchups | Saturday’s

NHL schedule | Boone’s

Hits and About last night …
| Stubbs on Twitter | Hickey’s game story

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | David Desharnais | Benoit Pouliot | Carey Price | Brian Gionta

• At a Glance: For 20 minutes on Saturday night, the Canadiens appeared to be a little tentative against the Maple Leafs, but they found their legs in the second period en route to a 3-0 win. After a goalless first period, the Canadiens scored twice in the second with nearly identical goals. Benoit Pouliot scored his 12th of the season when he was left alone in the slot and was found by a nice bachand saucer pass from David Desharnais, who was posted behind the net. Pouliot fired a one timer to the top corner before Maple Leafs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere could move across the crease 10:12 into the period. Brian Gionta scored his team-leading 21st of the season at 11:52 when Max Pacioretty found him with another backpass from beside the net and Gionta fired it past Giguere. Desharnais scored his fifth of the season 6:19 into the third period when he deflected Scott Gomez’s pass during a power play. Carey Price made 27 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and 27th win of the season, tying him with Detroit’s Jimmy Howard for the league lead. It was Price’s second shutout of the season against the Maple Leafs, winning 2-0 on Nov. 20.

• Key Moments: Pacioretty appeared to injure his shoulder or forearm late in the third period when he was hit into the boards by Luke Schenn. He left the game and did not return.

• What It Means: Montreal snaps a three-game losing streak and improves to 31-20-6 for 68 points, the same number of points as the Washington Capitals, who sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference because they hold a game in hand.

• What’s Next: The Buffalo Sabres visit the Bell Centre on Tuesday night before the Canadiens head to Western Canada for games against the Oilers, Flames and Canucks.


  1. db says:

    Eject the coach for any player that leaves the bench.  Create a rule where only one fight can happen per stoppage..  2 fights in one game = ejection.  I think this would reduce stupid fights and keep the emotional ones still in there.

  2. TorontoHabsFan says:

    It’s dirty I gather? I’m not taking the p!ss, I genuinely don’t know the reference 🙂

  3. lefreak says:

    must be the water in the 416

  4. CanadienBoy says:

    Get injure to much

  5. TorontoHabsFan says:

    I’m still not getting the reference…

  6. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    I believe another Dman is required soon. Habs replaced Markov with Wiz (or at least 60% of his skills), and there is still Gorges to replace. Spacek and Hammer need to play on separate pairings to be effective, and both need to rest occasionally. Weber as a #7, and filling in for Spacek / Hammer / Gill when needed would work. A competent, tough-as-nails, experienced #4 shut down Dman is not the splashy move most would like to see, but a most pressing need for sure. PG will not seek another offensive Dman with Wiz, Weber, and Subban already on board. PG has also indicated a preference for players that either are signed beyond this year, or under 30 players that could possibly be re-signed.

    As PG has mentioned, and just as last year, it is also likely he will not wait for the trade deadline to add one key player, but unlikely to add a player if Habs are on a winning streak. So.. with this info, one should be able to establish a short list of players in the NHL that meet the criteria and also have a realistic expectation of the time-line involved.

    My take – If Habs were to lose tonight, thinking by Monday noon, we may see a new Dman in Habville. Keep in mind that a half dozen teams are seeking a Dman right now so the price may make PG look less of an astute horse trader than the Wiz deal.

    For those of you intent on looking to imediately toughen the team up front… the 3rd / 4th line tough guys that chip in limited offence are readily available and often throw in’s on a major trade. A tough-as-nails goal scoring forward who can play top 6 minutes is someone your team drafts, (just like a Dman, these players often take years to develop… see Shane Doan / Franzen) or pays a king’s ransom for in a trade.

    Habs are currently a 2nd tier team in the NHL, a little ways behind the best. That’s ok at this point and we all know what great goaltending and a well coached team can accomplish against the very best. Would you rather see a team that trades away the future for a one time long odds shot, or a team building to compete for a Cup at a 1st tier level for years (see Detroit). No answer is wrong, but I know what my preference is.

  7. TorontoHabsFan says:

    I dunno. I think Hemsky is one of the more under-rated players in the league…but that might be the fantasy-hockey manager in me talking 🙂

  8. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Yes, I agree. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    For the record, I don’t think Gomez is the best thing since Beliveau. But the level of bashing he gets around here is completely outsized to his deficiencies. He’s not been AMAZING, but he’s also not been TERRIBLE. And yes, he’s completely been eclipsed by Plekanec as our #1 Centre (and hopefully will also be surpassed by Eller in a couple seasons).

    If anything I would have thought that my list of scorers since Dec. 1st would highlight how dire our need is for more offensive punch. Hopefully when Cammalleri gets back he can go on a tear (as snipers are wont to do) and we can push up our Goals per Game a bit.

  9. christophor says:

    Sorry for the misunderstanding, but not every part of a discussion has to be explicit. By admitting that the +/- stat says something in this case, I thought you’d likely agree about my next post. I guess the misunderstanding comes from people tending to be more provocative in cyber space than when face-to-face.


  10. fbkj says:

    off to the game, ghg

  11. SeriousFan09 says:

    Do you need a getaway driver?


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

  12. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Where did I ever compare him to Plekanec? Go back and reread my post. Did you find it? If you did, I’d sure appreciate you pointing it out for me. ‘Cause I’ve been sitting here thinking that I was simply pointing out that Gomez is tied for the team lead in points since December 1st.

    “stupidness”. That’s a new one for me.



  13. ManApart says:

    Have to agree with you there. Gomez has been quite bad and his defensive game has been terrible. I disagree about Eller and AK. It’s not ONLY Gomez. AK and Eller were also both terrible the last few games.

  14. TorontoHabsFan says:

    +/- is, as many have noted, an imperfect statistic. But his extremely low number would certainly suggest that he’s been subpar defensively.

  15. BJT says:

    da heck is on your face?


    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  16. JohnBellyful says:

    Well, he does breeze by. Then comes to a stop.

  17. fbkj says:

    uggghhhh i hate this lull time before a freaking leafs game, i should be focusing on my inner zen so i dont get into my usual pissing match with the carnies that are leafs fans…


  18. Bugs says:

    So you’re speaking for OTHERS who say they’re fed up with Gomie makin that money off the ice, is that it?

  19. Bugs says:

    He does that on the ice too so there wouldn’t be need to say “on and off the ice”; you’d just say “he ticks me off”.

    Can’t be that.

  20. lavie says:

    What’d he do on the rink?

  21. JohnBellyful says:

    Tick off the fans?

  22. Bugs says:

    What’d he do off the rink?

  23. BKAK72 says:

    I can’t believe GRABO #s are better than GOMEZ.  Keep in mind neither interests me…dumb Bob Gainey move.

    — I will not apologize for being a delirious HABS fan! —

  24. BJ says:

    Gotta keep an eye on Grabovski 22 goals and counting.

  25. Jonson says:

    GOmez was placed on waivers!




    i can dream cant i ?

  26. Chuck says:

    Apparently, Gomez is the new Breezer.

  27. lavie says:

    (After Cammi’s back)

    MaxPac – Pleky – Gionta;

    Pouliot – Deshanais- Cammi.


    I hate to say this, but I just began getting fed up with Gomez, on and off the rink.

  28. HardHabits says:

    The Toronto Trucelents versus The Montreal Tricky L’il Ants

  29. Bugs says:

    We all knew the kid had moves.

  30. HardHabits says:

    Cashed more in a week than most people earn in a year.

    $8 million divided by 52 = $153,846.15 per week. After Quebec taxes that would be around 53,846.15 per week. No wonder no one in Quebec is saying boo about Gomez.

  31. samTHEman says:

    White – Halpern – Neil

  32. Bugs says:

    You’re not answering the question. What did he do off the rink that has you fed up as much as what he’s done on the rink?

  33. Bugs says:

    The pugnacious leafs vs the pungently gracious Habs?

  34. lavie says:

    That would be one of the best 3rd lines.

  35. Bugs says:

    What do you care; you ain’t payin’m.

  36. HardHabits says:

    Never said I was or did.

  37. Jonson says:

    eller would be a better fit, younger bigger and faster. He could also help neil score some goals.

  38. Jonson says:

    i wonder if its because he seems  like a douche bag and doesnt care about how bad he is playing.

  39. Bugs says:

    The pug-ugly vicious?

    Hey, man, “pugnacious” is hard; you took the easy one.

  40. N.B.habs fan says:

    I don’t know about anyone else,but I been a Habs fan for 50years and that game against Boston really upset me alot.can’t stop thinking how we got beaten up and don’t have anyone to help.

    I love the Montreal Canadiens and someone has to do someting stop this from happening again.WAKE UP MANAGEMENT AND COACHING STAFF.

  41. JohnBellyful says:

    Well, the mystery deepens. Stepped in front of somebody waiting in line at the grocery store? Just spitballin’ here, killing time, reputations — this is what comes from idle hands, idle fingers, conveniently placed keyboard.

    Let me retract: At no time have I ever witnessed nor have I ever heard Gomez cut in front of somebody, on or off the rink.

  42. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Points Since December 1st.

    Plekanec – 22 pts

    Gomez – 22 pts

    Pacioretty – 17 pts

    Subban – 16 pts

    Gionta – 15 pts

    Wisniewski – 15 pts

    Kostitsyn – 11 pts

    Pouliot – 10 pts

    Desharnais – 9 pts

  43. BJT says:

    Bieksa, please


    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  44. Jonson says:

    points dont always paint the whole picture.  He is playing terrible plain and simple. LAst year i really liked gomez despite his lack of production. He was fast and could take over the game with his speed. Nothing like he is playing this year.

  45. BJT says:

    Liking how high up there Patches is, I am.

    How many games has it been since then?


    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  46. HardHabits says:

    Since so many people talk about his cap hit I jumped to conclusions and made an ass out you and me assumption. My bad. Get it ASSUME = ASS + U + ME

    I am sure you knew that one but for those less in tune to the subtleties of your and my banter I thought I’d spell it out, literally.

  47. HardHabits says:

    Testostoronto vesus Montrealitycall

  48. JohnBellyful says:

    Wilson’s Wackos vs Martin’s Maladjusted*?

    (*According to some, given the current NHL climate)

  49. TorontoHabsFan says:

    When he’s not scoring one can’t mention any “intangibles” because he’s not paid for them. When he *is* scoring however, “points don’t always paint the whole picture”.


  50. HUDSONHAB says:

    With all this talk about needing help,PG will get fleeced in any deal. Which is fine if we get the right guys and it helps win games not just look tough.


  51. A. Berke says:

    IMO, Bieksa isn’t going anywhere, “Nucks have a bunch of D injuries and they need Bieksa going to playoffs (they need every D-man).

    Any insight on why should they get rid of him or is this a wish from your part?

    Ali B.

  52. TorontoHabsFan says:

    In 26 games. Would translate into a 56 pt season over 82 games. He’s been playing exceptionally well since being called up…and I think we can safely assume this isn’t a D’Agostini-like hot start that will be followed by 3 months of frustration 🙂

  53. j2w4habs25 says:

    Okay heres a game we need to win….this game can pump the team back up to winning again…


    Carey Price #31

  54. BJT says:

    Hey guys, couple things:

     Ok, so I’m kinda confused. The way it looks to me, we didn’t lose that boston game ’cause we aren’t tough enough; more because our defense crumpled, for reasons unknown, like a tin can under a jackhammer, right? Now some might say (and they may be correct) that our defense crumpled because it got manhandled, and to that I say ‘Kevin Bieksa’. But others might talk about completely different things and say something like “we need an incompetent ape (Chris Neil! Andy Sutton! Yaay!) to play on our third line or defensive pairing to pound Bruins’ faces in”, and to them I say this: yesterday (or whenever it was) in the Islanders/Pittsburgh game, one of your ever-coveted incompetent apes (this one goes by the name of Derek Engellend) was fighting/attemtping to fight some Islanders guy on the boards at one side of the red line, and of course the TSN camera pans over so we can see these apes bash each others’ faces in, but while all this is goin’ on, some dude by the name of Grabner (6 feet tall, 21 goals this year, won the fastest skater comp. in the ASG, 23 years old) comes flying down center ice and makes the Pens’ goalie look like a fool; roof daddy, game over. THAT’S who I wanna see on the team (besides Bieksa!)! I wanna see our fast, skilled team stay fast and skilled, with a third line of Pouliot-Eller-Grabner (DROOL); not to have a third line that could lose a foot race a pack of hippopotomi on ripsticks


    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  55. BJT says:

    haha, one would hope. I’d love to see him become a perennial 20+ goal scoring fixture on our 2nd/1st line for years to come.


    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  56. samTHEman says:

    I have nothing against Pyatt. I love his work ethic and his speed. Besides a few games, he is very invisible. He’s useless on offense once the puck is dumped past the blue line. He’s good at skating in with the puck, sort of like gomez, because he’s super fast, but it doesn’t convert to anything. He’s just too small and weak to win battles on the boards. Besides his services on the PK, he can provide a slot for someone who can chip in goals. Have PG and Martin not realized this?

  57. BJT says:

    Nope, don’t see it happening; but if it did? Oh man.


    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  58. SeriousFan09 says:

    He got punched out by Tom Kostopoulos, we can do better for muscle than that.


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

  59. BJT says:

    While we’re dreaming about the league’s best third lines, imagine this:



    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  60. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Wonder what Edmonton wants for Hemsky. He’d easily be the most offensively creative Canadien in years and would drastically improve our PP.

  61. Jonson says:

    go ahead and support Gomez. Fact is he sucks. He isnt doing anything right at this moment. He is very lazy, makes terrible passes, doesnt backcheck and he isnt winning faceoffs. He is making his linemates look terrible. I feel bad for AK and ELler right now, especially the game against boston. He made that line look horrible. I know everyone was hard on AK against boston but i thought he played a decent game. It was Gomez who looked terrible. SO i dont care what you think, watch the games, and you will see how much we dont need this guy.

  62. christophor says:

    When people point out his +/- people say it’s because his line doesn’t score, not because he’s bad defensively. 

    You say he has been scoring. Does that mean he’s been our biggest defensive liability?

  63. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Right. He sucks. Which is why he’s had as many points as Plekanec over the last two months. Gotcha.

  64. Harditya_CareyPrice says:

    Kovalev trying to sell himself?

    8 points in last 6. If he only played like this every game…

    I think Pens’ will eventually land him at the deadline.

  65. samTHEman says:

    Last night, Koivu 2 goals 1 assist.

    Just now, Kovy 2 goals 1 assist.

    Good to see them having a good game.

  66. Bugs says:

    That doesn’t mean nuthin. Look at George W. Musta been doin somethin right if he stayed in office 8 years, no?

  67. lefreak says:

    that is all fine and dandy, but compare pleks +/- over that same time period.

    you can score 75 goals, but it means squat if the other team scores 100 while you are on the ice.;)

  68. Bugs says:

    Too late, I already called his lawyers and told’em you said that.

  69. samTHEman says:

    Maybe but it doesn’t matter because both Malkin and Crosby are absent and the pens show that they don’t have much of a team without them.

  70. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Yeah, I’d love to see that too. I sure hope he’s able to keep up the strong play – when he’s on his game he’s extremely effective, and not entirely dissimilar to Dustin Penner (obviously I was just watching the Edm-Ott game 🙂

    I really do think that going forward we have a lot of potential with our forwards (Pacioretty, Eller, Leblanc, Avtsin, Palushaj, Desharnais, Kristo[if his foot doesn’t fall off], Gallagher).

  71. Harditya_CareyPrice says:

    Really impressed by Max-Pac. 

    10 points in last 9. Man did Gainey hose San Jose in that trade or what. Gorges and Max-pac, what a steal.

  72. Bugs says:

    I don’t see how I’ve been made an ass in all this…

  73. christophor says:

    – can’t mention any “intangibles”

    – points don’t always paint the whole picture

    – +/- is an imperfect stat

    – linemates suffer with Gomez, thrive with Plekanec


    There are at least as many such excuses people use in Gomez’ defense. Don’t try to say those criticising him have more far- fetched explanations. It’s at least even, though I suspect the opposite is true.

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