Game 62: Bozak, Kessel power Leafs over Habs

Maple Leafs’ Phil Kessel is stopped by Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Hal Gill during the second period on Thursday night. Dave Sidaway, The Gazette

Preview | Matchups | Thursday’s

NHL schedule | Boone’s

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

AUDIO: Mike Cammalleri I and II | Carey Price | Alex Auld | Jacques Martin

• At a Glance: Alex Auld didn’t last long in his start against the Maple Leafs on Thursday night, giving up three goals before being pulled in 5-4 loss to the Maple Leafs. The Canadiens opened the scoring when Jeff Halpern redirected a Roman Hamrlik shot 5:43 into the period. But the Leafs scored three before the period was over, chasing Auld. Phil Kessel scored the first two goals, both on the power play. Brett Lebda scored at 13:02, ending Auld’s night after allowing three goals on nine shots. The Canadiens would tie the game early in the second with a pair of power-play goals of their own. Michael Cammalleri beat James Reimer with an accurate wrist shot 3:42 into the period. Only 20 seconds late, James Wisniewski blasted a point shot beyond Reimer to make it 3-3. Tyler Bozak put the Leafs back in the lead with another power-play goal. His shot pinballed behind Carey Price with only two seconds remaining on a questionable call on Wiesniewski. Bozak scored his second of the game 4:26 into the second period not long after the Maple Leafs killed off a penalty, putting the game out of reach. Max Pacioretty made it 5-4 for the Leafs with 2:37 to play when his shot from in front of Reimer found its way behind the Leafs goaltender.

• What It Means: Montreal has lost four of its last five games and falls to 32-23-7 to remain at 71 points, three ahead of the New York Rangers for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

• What’s Next: The Hurricanes come to the Bell Centre on Saturday night before the Canadiens hit the road for three games starting March 1 in Atlanta, then on to Florida and Tampa Bay.


  1. HabFanSince72 says:

    You realize every time you visit Eklund’s site he gets richer?

  2. SmartDog says:

    Eklund has this to say about it:  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    I’m sure after TSN posts the trade, Eklund will be right out in front with a rumour about it.

  3. SmartDog says:

    A reliably good post as always. Yes, that’s redundant.

    I noted that too about Mara getting the puck for Price and Price appreciating it.  Other games Price has ignored or played down the whole puck souvenir thing…. this one clearly was important.  Winning in the stadium nearest his home where he’d probably watched a lot of games.   Nice.


  4. HabFanSince72 says:

    Shattenkirk is not better than Subban.

  5. TomNickle says:

    Bernier doesn’t fit the team Steve.  Way too slow.

  6. habs001 says:

    with the leafs letting go some d lately what the habs need to do is just attack the leafs d non stop…while the leafs have 4 -40 point forwards after them their scoring is very thin…while we only have one 40 point forward we are better balanced…no reason to play checking game vs leafs 

  7. SeriousFan09 says:

    Trade Finalized via Bob Mackenzie of TSN:

    ATL trades Brent Sopel and Nigel Dawes to MTL for Ben Maxwell and a 4th rder. Done deal.


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

  8. TomNickle says:

    Brent Sopel and Nigel Dawes

  9. SeriousFan09 says:

    But Stewart is better than Max-Pac I believe is the balance that Steve is arguing. Still think Subban pushes MTL over the top in comparison though, potentially the best player out of 2007 not named Pat Kane.


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

  10. 24 Cups says:

    Hagman isn’t too bad for 1.5M but he runs way too hot and cold for me.

    Zherdev has tons of talent but we already have AK46.  I can only handle one at a time.

  11. Izzy says:

    Maxwell traded this afternoon…….just sayin…….

  12. TomNickle says:

    This deal is very likely for a current NHLer.  Clearly only thing holding off the announcement is the other team notifying their player or players.

  13. SeriousFan09 says:

    Maxwell was pretty much finished in MTL anyway, he never really improved on his rookie season in HAM. Rolled a guy who was going to get cut loose this summer to help in the final stretch and playoffs.


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

  14. TomNickle says:

    I’d put money on Pyatt and Weber being gone by Monday.

  15. SeriousFan09 says:

    Brent Sopel is going to give more impact in the final 20 games and the POs than Ben Maxwell is going to ever likely give in the NHL.


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

  16. TomNickle says:

    Maxwell and a 4th for two rentals.  You can bet that Gauthier isn’t done.

  17. avatar_58 says:

    Oh my, interesting

  18. Mike T says:

    Don’t like it

  19. J_P says:

    Another trade where I fail to see the point.  Our D isn’t exactly our problem.  Last time I checked, the habs main issue was goal-scoring and size in the top-6 forwards, and neither sopel nor dawes addresses that department in any way. 

    If someone could explain this logic of this deal to me, I’d appreciate it. 

  20. Storm Man says:

    Tom Dawes does WHAT!!!!! you know he is playing in the AHL right… and at 5’9 he better not replace anyone here.

  21. HabFanSince72 says:

    Dawes for Maxwell is a wash – two AHLers who haven’t managed to stick in the show.

    Sopel for a 4th is OK I guess. Sopel is a decent defenceman, and a UFA next year. He appears to be Atlanta’s #1 penalty killing d-man (based on nhl stats). Also leads the Thrashers in +/- among d-men but likely not playing against the top lines.

  22. TomNickle says:

    And Sopel replaces Weber immediately.  Dawes very likely replaces Darche/Pyatt.


  23. smiler2729 says:

    I like Sopel, tough SOB

  24. HabFarmer says:

    A man’s attitude… a man’s attitude goes some ways. The way his life will be. Is that somethin’ you agree with?

  25. TomNickle says:

    Darche is on IR.  Dawes will very likely be the 13th forward until Kostitsyn gets dealt tomorrow.

  26. Storm Man says:

    Im not sure with 16 PIM this year you can call someone a tough SOB. 

  27. Mike T says:

    Sopel is the decent end of the trade. Never really liked Maxwell anyway…Don’t understand having any desire to pick up Dawes (5’9) when we have Boyd in the minors

  28. Storm Man says:

    I sure hope not…. His game is weak. 

  29. TomNickle says:

    Sopel isn’t the kind of guy who lets forwards crash the crease, he’s a fairly decent addition.

    Kostitsyn or Gomez are all but gone now.

  30. TomNickle says:

    He brings energy.  But that’s all.

    I might be having the typical fan reaction but I feel something else is in the works here.  There’s no point in adding Sopel and adding that number to your cap figure unless you’re shedding some salary somewhere else leading up to Monday.  

    I’d say Andrei is gone tomorrow.  That’s the most likely scenario anyway.

  31. SmartDog says:

    Sopel is a big, tough shut-down D.  From Calgary, he’s a Western boy.  He’s been traded a lot so he’s not exactly a high-demand guy but he played well for the Blackhawks last year and won a ring for his troubles.  He doesn’t score a lof of points, but he plays the PK, and has size and grit.

    I like it.

    But he NEEDS to stay away from crackers.  Always. At all times. This is important.

  32. KenD29 says:


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  33. JD_ says:

    Maxwell looked doomed to spend his days in the AHL.

    The Sopel pickup certainly suggests Spacek is gone for the season. The press release to that effect is probably imminent, bit of a fill-in-the-blank exercise for the Habs this season.

  34. naweed235 says:

    I like both Dawes and Sopel… both can bring some needed toughness to our team and sopel’s cup winning experience from last year is welcome in the locker room…

    for some reason though, Sopel always looked to me like he just put down the crack pipe…I dont know why


  35. HabFanSince72 says:

    Our D is and has been our problem all year. With Spacek gone for the season, this was even more of a problem.

    This obviously means that Picard/Weber/Mara were not trusted to fill in the bottom two spots in the D roster.


  36. TomNickle says:

    He isn’t what we need, he can’t move big bodies off of the puck or play keep away down low.

    Ryan and David Jones please.

  37. Jonson says:

    its hard to argue with you but he is still young, and hasnt he been injured a lot this year?

    i think he gonna be a hell of player., i guess time will tell. but atlanta scored big time on this deal.

  38. HabFanSince72 says:

    Dawes is going to the AHL. Sopel is a defenceman.

    I don’t see how this has any bearing on Kos or Gomer.

    And  Gomer is not going anywhere.



  39. Former Jets Fan says:

    My hazy and unreliable experiences have suggested  that the mulleted have a predilection more towards meth than to crack.

  40. HabFanSince72 says:

    There’s no point in adding Sopel

    Sure there is, if Spacek is done for the year.


  41. smiler2729 says:

    Sopel can pummel Lucic on March 8th, Dawes is probably a Bulldog to take Maxwell’s place… nice deal.

  42. krob1000 says:

    weird trade…very weird…hoping there is something else going on and these are us filling out the depth needs because other roster players are being moved

  43. TomNickle says:

    Gill, Subban, Hamrlik, Wisniewski, Mara, Weber, Picard……and now Sopel.

    Somebody in that group is moving.  He’s not going to carry 8 defensemen on the NHL roster.

  44. SmartDog says:

    Stop teasing me!!!!!

  45. SmartDog says:

    Tough, but responsible.  Even better.   Just look at the guy, he LOOKS like someone you don’t want to f… I mean, mess with.

  46. KenD29 says:

    Spacek is done. Gill is banged up. Hamrlik has been used more than he should.

    Hence Sopel.


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  47. Jonson says:

    DONT LIKE IT, MAXWELL is going to be a really good hockey player.  i dont mind getting those guys, but i HATE giving up Maxwell.


    Does anybody know why Dawes has only played 9 games?


  48. Storm Man says:

    Picard back to the Bulldogs.

  49. TomNickle says:

    Sopel eats up just over half of the money we had left to spend.  We can now only take on somebody whose salary is around $1.6 million annually.

    Somebody else, with a salary, is moving.

  50. TomNickle says:

    I’m not speaking in terms of what he brings, I’m speaking in terms of what his acquisition does for future moves until Monday.

  51. HabFanSince72 says:

    Sopel was the number one PK d-man during the Hawks cup run with almost 4 min/game on the PK.



  52. krob1000 says:

    or Spacek is our LTIR as well and really is done for the season as some rogue reports indicate…in which case we still would have plenty of room.  It is all very strange nonetheless…..Dawes? is there another player who is as David Desharnais as Dawes?

  53. TomNickle says:

    Doubt it.  They told him to get a place in Montreal Tim.


  54. SeriousFan09 says:

    Maxwell never really built on his rookie AHL season and honestly, Desharnais shows more balls than he does on the ice.


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

  55. TomNickle says:

    Sopel not playing tonight per Lavoie.

  56. TomNickle says:

    And now he’s top 10 in our hearts.

  57. ABHabsfan says:

    Will Sopel make it into the line-up tonight? That frickin’ Grabovski could use a dose of Sopel-glove.

    I am really perplexed about starting Auld tonight. I realize he needs to play, but this game is far from a gimme. Wouldn’t you go with the guy that shut them out less than 2 weeks ago? BTW that is 2 quasi-nice things I have posted about the Leafs recently, sumpin’ wrong with me.

  58. TomNickle says:

    Dawes is FAST.  Very Fast.  But all he brings is energy and some fancy moves here and there.

    I think he takes Pyatt’s place if/when he gets the call.

    I think Kostitsyn, Pyatt and Weber are gone.

  59. ed lopaz says:

    Sopels a shot blocker – exactly what Martin loves!

    he’s top 10 in the NHL in shot blocking

    .Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  60. SeriousFan09 says:

    Pre-season is pre-season, he hasn’t been a constant impact guy for Hamilton this season and in his 3rd AHL year, he should be that at the least, hell he’s had free shot at No. 1 C since Desharnais left and never really exploited it.


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

  61. TomNickle says:

    No Dumont please.

    I definitely think Weber is moving now though.  They basically just bumped him off of the NHL roster.

  62. ed lopaz says:

    if we make a deal, I would think AK 46 and Weber give us our best chance for a decent return.

    those are 2 legit NHL players.

    go on a limb and say the deal involves AK 46 and Weber to Nashville for J.P. Dumont and ??

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  63. krob1000 says: 

    read the sopel assessment…great heart, great pk guy, shot blocker..but warns we better not let him coross center ice because he can’t skate at the NHL level and isn’t smart enough to play 200 ft.  Kind of like another Hal Gill without the reach. Bizarre move unless we are planning last years strategy of five men shot blockingadn relying on our goalie to stand on his head… which case Sopel will be great.  Interesting move though I think they realized last game that they can;t waste PK’s time on the PK like they had to against the Nucks…that to me is the most logical reason…a Pk guy and stay at home guy to babysit Pk or Wiz with Gorges out…my issue is that we already have trouble scoring and another dman who takes too much time getting the puck out had better be offset by another forward being added….also I think Spacek may be done now with this news.

  64. TomNickle says:

    His cap hit is $2.333 million.

  65. shootdapuck says:

    Sopel is a UFA at the the end of the season.

    His 1.6 million is per season the proration due from the Canadiens is small maybe 500K.

    He is probably a rental or replacement for Gill, Hamrlck, or whoever is departing next season.


    “I only like to watch and takes notes” JM

  66. keepthefaith says:

    Its obvious that our strategy is going to be a five man shot blocking brigade. Just like the Vancouver game. Score a goal and try lock it down. JM thinks its the only way we can win.

  67. Displaced says:

    PG loves getting players on the cheap.  But why give up assets, even ones of modest value like a fourth, fifth and Maxwell for Dawes (rumored to be destined for the minors) and two d-men who were healthy scratches with the teams that traded them (Sopel and Mara).  I can’t believe a d-corp of Sopel, Mara, Gill, PK, Hamr, Wiz and Weber is demonstrably better than Gill, PK, Hamr, Wiz, Weber, Picard/Rivet/Souray/…

    Whose leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  68. Mattyleg says:


    Brent Sopel for Ben Maxwell? Is that correct? Am I correctly misunderstanding posts that I only half-read?


    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  69. olematelot says:

    Get your facts straight before making incorrect statements, Sopel has played in 59 of the Thrashers 61 games this season. Hardly sounds like a guy whose a haelthy scratch

  70. habs365 says:

    just for a playoff run nothing more

  71. olematelot says:

    Dawes is 5’9 200 lbs, short yes, small no.

  72. olematelot says:

    Doesn’t mean with the ever changing scenario that he can’t be sent down.

  73. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Hey JM, we need the 2 pts tonight. You missed the boat going with Auld.

    Hope I’m wrong.

  74. C_Hand says:

    Lol @ refs ruining the game so far for us tonight. Killing our momentum completely with stupid penalties.

  75. habstrinifan says:

    JM is an A…

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