Game 64: Canadiens finally defeat Thrashers

Canadiens goaltender Carey Price makes a save against Thrashers’ Chris
Thorburn on Tuesday night.
Scott Cunningham, NHLI via Getty Images

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PRE-GAME AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Jaro Spacek | Ben Maxwell

• At a Glance: The Canadiens finally found a way to defeat the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night, a 3-1 win in Atlanta despite being outshot 41-23. Max Pacioretty scored his 12th goal of the season 13:22 into the game when his shot from the blue line went off the stick of at Atlanta player and eluded Chris Mason. Only 34 seconds into the second period, James Wisniewski scored a power-play goal when he flipped a puck beyong Mason from the goal line. At the time, it was only Montreal’s sixth shot of the game. After making 35 saves, Carey Price was finaly beaten 14:14 into the third period when Nik Antropov redirected a pass from Anthony Stewart, catching Price moving in the wrong direction. Canadiens captain Brian Gionta sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 44 seconds to play. Price finished with 40 saves, including 16 in the second period, for his 29th win of the season.

• Key Moments: Moments before Antropov’s goal, Pacioretty failed to score on a breakaway that would have give then Canadiens a 3-0 lead.

• What It Means: Montreal has won two straight games and improves to 34-24-7 for 75 points, good enough for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, 5 points ahead of the New York Rangers, who sit sixth and lost on Tuesday night.

• What’s Next: The Canadiens continue their road trip with a pair of games in the Sunshine State. They play the Panthers on Thursday and the Lightning on Saturday.

292 Comments

  1. ClaytonM says:

    Yeah, you missed that there’s a huge difference between “can” and “do”.

    That being said, if Gomez had an amazing season, say with 15 goals so far(see theory of relativity), we fans would be feeling much more confident about the playoffs. Instead we’ve had only 1 center producing all season, our 2 best D men out for what seems like years, and we have more points this year than at the same point in 2010.

    I guess some people never look for silver linings like I do.

  2. showey47 says:

    Another overtime winner? He scored 2 goals all year with the other coming in a 7-1 win over the devils 3 months ago. Guess you also didn’t know that was hainsey’s first career overtime goal.

  3. GuyDoon says:

    The reason I think Gallagher will be just fine, in spite of his size, is that he is one tough SOB. He fights, he hits, goes to the net and in the corners with anyone. And since his hockey skills are not in question, I think he will do very well anywhere he plays.

  4. Malreg says:

    Montreal fans can’t even tolerate going two powerplay’s without a shot on net, let alone finishing in last place for 5 years. 

    It’s easy to join a franchise that has no fanbase, and that has been terrible for the last 10 years and sell the idea of we’re going to build slowly through the draft. 

    Also, for every success story like Pittsburgh and Chicago, there are teams like NYI, St-Louis, Los Angeles, Toronto, Columbus, who continually miss the playoffs and finish at the bottom of the league. 

  5. LA Loyalist says:

    Just don’t. Revisionism won’t fly here. Too many people actually watched the games. Price stunk ever since he played in the all-star game.

    Whatever the reasons, we don’t know, just youth, probably, whatever the cure, we don’t know, trading Halak? The rodeo? Who knows but this year he’s been great.

    I just re-read your post. You are arguing that the team played harder in front of Halak than Price? 

    Let me flip that pancake – they had more confidence in Halak and could focus on their own business. Goalies have a huge psychological impact on their team.

    My kid’s team came back from down 2-0 in their playoff game on Sunday to tie it 2-2, less than a minute later their goalie wiffed a Mr. Softie. They fell apart and lost 5-2. Of course they are only 8 years old, but they learn early how important the goalie is. It’s hard wired.

    The fact that they had no confidence in Price last year says it all.

    As noted, though, he has turned it around and power to him for so doing, hope he has as great a playoff as Halak did last year.

  6. Malreg says:

    Waiving Grabner was pretty good too.

  7. andrewberkshire says:

    I love how Dale Tallon gets all the credit in Chicago. Dale Tallon took over as GM of the Chicago Blackhawks on June 21st, 2005. Shall we look at the roster that won the Stanley Cup?

    Patrick Kane – drafted by Dale Tallon 1st overall in 2007. Consensus #1 pick, no skill whatsoever involved. Pick was earned by managing a terrible team that finished in the bottom 5 in the NHL

    Duncan Keith – Not drafted by Tallon

    Jonathan Toews – drafted by Dale Tallon 3rd overall in 2006. Consensus top 5 pick in a year of can’t miss top 5 picks. Lucked into this pick due to a boneheaded decision by Ray Shero to take Jordan Staal 2nd overall. No skill involved in the pick, pick was earned by managing a terrible team.

    Patrick Sharp – excellent trade by Dale Tallon. Completely fleeced the Flyers, possibly his best move as a GM.

    Marion Hossa – a good player acquired by Tallon in free agency, but a questionable signing considering the term of the contract, and the heavy payout when his team had no salary cap wiggle room in the future.

    Kris Versteeg – another good trade by Tallon, acquired for a career AHLer from the Bruins

    Troy Brouwer – not drafted by Tallon

    Andrew Ladd – acquired by Dale Tallon for Tuomu Ruutu, also a good player. Mostly a sideways move, but Ladd was a big contributer. Solid trade.

    Brian Campbell - overpaid UFA signing by Dale Tallon. High salary almost crippled the team and was one of the main causes the Cup winning team was decimated in the offseason. Contributed almost nothing to the playoff run with only 1 goal and 4 assists.

    Dustin Byfuglien – not drafted by Tallon, but his RFA status was bungled by him, causing an inflated salary early in his career.

    Brent Seabrook – not drafted by Tallon, but Tallon did try to trade him about 5 times over the first 2 years of his career.

    John Madden – overpaid for a defensive forward past his prime in free agency, but he was ok in the playoffs.

    Tomas Kopecky - a solid signing for a depth forward who’s stepped up this season.

    Colin Fraser – not drafted by Dale Tallon

    Niklas Hjalmarsson – much like Kostitsyn and Halak were to Gainey, Tallon was in charge when this pick was made, but it’s unclear if he was running the draft.

    Ben Eager – traded for by Tallon, of little consequence.

    Dave Bolland – not drafted by Tallon

    Brent Sopel – signed by Dale Tallon, a solid signing as with Hjalmarsson he formed the Blackhawk’s shutdown tandem.

    Antti Niemi – signed by Dale Tallon, was huge in the SJ series, subpar the other 3 rounds.

    Cristobal Huet – signed by Dale Tallon, one of the worst free agency signings since the lockout. Luckily Stan Bowman convinced Huet to play in Europe, or Chicago would have been forced to trade Patrick Sharp.

    As for what Tallon has done in Florida thus far, he kept most of his high priced veterans as well, including Vokoun who has no desire to be there. He also traded promising young Michael Frolik for two draft busts. He also ended up trading Nathan Horton for the equivalent of a 3rd round pick after giving Wideman to the Capitals for essentially nothing. He also waived Michael Grabner who’s becoming the favourite for rookie of the year. The one nice trade he’s made since draft day was getting Bergfors for Dvorak.

    Essentially Dale Tallon is a good trading GM (in Chicago anyway), much like Brian Burke, who happened to become an executive in the right place at the right time (also like Brian Burke). He made some deft moves for the team to get to where it was, but was no more than 50% for the management decisions to get there, possibly as low as 30%.

  8. joeybarrie says:

    What we need is a mix of different players. Wiz, PK, and Hamr can score and get points.

    We need players like Gill and Sopel that can stop us from being scored on.

    I do think we need antoher goal scorer, but now is not the time to jump on any old deal.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  9. ed lopaz says:

    with his full cage he looks like my son!!

    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.

  10. Mark C says:

    Yes, 23 year old, 25+ goal scorers have no role on a re-building team.

    I have no problem with Tallon, but I can’t understand this grass is always green thing with other GM’s, it’s like Montreal is the only team that makes bad moves. Can you imagine if PG lost Grabner for nothing? People still complain about losing OB and SK74 for a return, while those players had legitimate reasons for being traded. 

     

  11. SeriousFan09 says:

    From what I understood of Locke, he played like his size and was intimidated by the hard areas of the ice. Gallagher doesn’t seem to be scared of anything, much like the NHL success stories like Gionta, he just goes those places to prove he can do it. The WHL is about the hardest major junior league there is for a smaller player to thrive but so far he’s managed the challenge admirably.

     

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

  12. Jordio-oh says:

    The Cat’s tale O’ the Tape: Habs are 8-7-1 on 2 days off and 6-4-2 on Tuesdays. Atlanta are 16-10-6 on 1 day off and 1-5-0 on Tuesdays.

    Leading off from the Cat below, I just wanted to point out the following scoring numbers of our players on Tuesdays:

    Plekanec: 12 games, 1 goal, 5 assists

    Cammy: 8 games, 2 goals, 1 assist

    Gionta: 12 games, 6 goals, 4 assists

    Gomez: 12 games, 0 goals, 2 assists

    Kostitsyn: 11 games, 1 goal, 2 assists

    Pacioretty: 8 games, 1 goal, 0 assists

    Pouliout: 11 games, 2 goals, 1 assist

    Subban: 11 games, 0 goals, 2 assists

    In other words, everyone but Gionta (and maybe Pleks) perform terribly on tuesdays.

    These don’t actually mean much to me, but they’re fun to look at.

     

    Oh and for the record, Kostityn has 15 points in 16 games on saturdays and his highest point total for any other day of the week is 5, on wednesdays.

     

  13. Danno says:

    That’s why they call them Les Méchants Mardis Molson Ex

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  14. ed lopaz says:

    cool thing about Gallagher – his father – the Giants strength and conditioning coach.

    how many junior players have their dad in charge of strength and conditioning for the team?

    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.

  15. savethepuck says:

    No GM would ever last in this City with a rebuild and I guarantee I don’t want to watch it for 3 or 4 years.  You people think it’s the GM’s fault that he can’t draft Crosby’s, Ovies. Stamkos’s, Toews’, Kane’s, etc…etc…every year.

  16. ed lopaz says:

    the good old days – its been a few years since my kid was 8.

    now he’s a 200 lbs d-man.

    when my kid was 8 he could barely skate – but he would launch himself on the ice to knock the puck away from a kid on a break away.

    today he plays with a scarred chin, torn meniscus in his knee, and an edge that makes his dad very proud!!

    born to play D, my son.

    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.

  17. andrewberkshire says:

    The disconnect here is how you define bad goaltending. Is everything that’s worse than Halak was last year bad? If that’s the case, almost everyone is a bad goaltender. Price had league average numbers last year. They weren’t spectacular but he certainly didn’t stick or suck or anything that you and many others said last year and continue to say this year. At no point was he ever “AHL quality” which was a popular insult. Price has had one excruciatingly bad slump in his whole career, and that was February of 2009. A time in which he came back early from a high ankle sprain which is the fault of the coaching staff allowing it, not him.

  18. punkster says:

    Good research Andrew. To me it looks like Hawks management made some good moves, some bad moves and some so-so moves to build a team but may have failed on the Cap side of things. Hence they’re a one hit wonder. If measuring management’s success is done by a single Cup win, a single good season, then I suppose they’re a success. Unfotunately for them they won’t get another shot for quite some time.

    Now we all know there’s a desire here for the Cup. The question is do we want to buy one Cup or build a contender for a run at a few Cups, you know, a dynasty? It takes a lot of time, money, effort, development and the right picks to overcome the lean years here between 1993 and today. I think Gainey and now Gauthier are doing well to rebuild, restock and retool the franchise. As much as it pains people to go along with this notion patience is a virtue.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  19. andrewberkshire says:

    The only time I’ve ever seen Thornton play with heart and fire, is actually the series that he’s most maligned for. The year Montreal took out his 1st place Bruins, and he played with something like 4 broken ribs. He played his guts out but couldn’t contribute offensively at all, his team choked all around him and that was the end.

  20. Lurker_Girl says:

    Apologies if this has already been asked/answered, haven’t read the whole thread…

    Article above states: “Picard will also watch from the press box, with Ryan White facing the Thrashers”…um, did we call him back or is this a typo?

    thx

  21. SuperYogurt says:

    White was called back

  22. Lurker_Girl says:

    Thanks much.  Missed that somehow.  Thought I could take a day off Habs news following (no) trade day.

  23. andrewberkshire says:

    I think the biggest difference between Chicago and Montreal in the last decade is that Montreal never quite sucked enough at the right times to get those high picks, and they couldn’t afford to before Gillett took over because as many don’t remember, the Habs were in major financial strife.

    That and Chicago did a few of those Rivet for Gorges and Pacioretty like deals, and we’ve only done one lately. I know many wouldn’t agree with it, and I didn’t even think of it yesterday, but someone here brought it up. We could have gotten a good return on Hamrlik this year. Yes it would suck for us in the short term, but so did trading Rivet. If we could have gotten an underrated prospect and a 1st for Hamrlik… That would have been massive.

  24. VintageFan says:

    “Jacques Martin’s defensive style/system”  That phrase must have been used several million times since JM arrived in MTL.  But what in the blue blazes is he defending?  If the team can’t score, he can’t be defending the lead.  If they’re behind, I hope he is not trying to defend the deficit! (that’s really the job of politicians, not hockey coaches).  Perhaps he is just trying to defend the status quo, ending every game with one point (82 points) and stealing a few overtime or shootout wins to get 90+ points and make the playoffs.  OR maybe he’s just defending the defensive system.  Does anyone know what the he*& thinks he is defending?

  25. punkster says:

    It was Des who brought it up and I (of course) disagreed with him simply because as you say it would suck in the short term. The level of suck is what concerns me. Of course, the long term view says we should have gone after picks etc for him, but you never know, that’s exactly what PG may have tried to do. We could have muddled through somehow with the remaining D.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  26. Nine1one says:

    There are a lot of hockey fans in florida. 

    we’re all just kinda spread out ):

  27. TomNickle says:

    Can’t wait.  I deserve a weekend off.

  28. habs365 says:

    if the Habs don’t go into overtime they have a chance of winning…if they go into overtime Atlanta is deadly

  29. andrewberkshire says:

    His record was terrible, but assuming he’s the only one responsible is just ridiculous.

  30. nunacanadien says:

    I wonder how Sopel will do tonight.  With this new combination it makes you wonder if PG should consider drawing up more special lines, like power play etc., as JM seems to be big on those.  But Montreal of late has been very boring to watch.  There is very little initiative, its like watching a bunch of robots skate out there.  What ever happened to having really talented stars like Lafleur etc., who would excite with their talent and energy.  Here we got a lazy slob of a Gomez being overpaid to do what, get a few assists?  I hate to rant about Gomez, but really, what’s he done but do one neat pass since when was that?  What has Gomez done lately for Montreal considering how  much we pay him and how hard it must be to trade him away for fair value in return.  But honestly, I wonder if Gainey and Gauthier knew Gomez could be like this.  Honestly, the highest paid 20 goal a year man, only in Montreal.

  31. andrewberkshire says:

    Without Hamrlik I doubt we’d make it out of the first round, maybe not even make the playoffs. It’s all a moot point now.

  32. LA Loyalist says:

    There is no secret. It’s what you said, keep it close, hope to steal a few, make the playoffs, sell some beer, keep your job.

    I guess you could build a team of players who would happily execute that system, but it ain’t us. We can’t execute it to perfection, and neither can we attack very well for all the reasons that have been beaten to death on HIO and elsewhere.

    A coach should adjust to the horses he has, not the horses he wants.

    Even Lemaire, the g*d of systemic defense, is smart enough to recognize the stud he has in Kovalchuk and unleash him a little. And they’ve won a ridiculous % of their last 20 games and are one of the top 3 teams in the league — WITHOUT CHANGING ONE PLAYER (up until yesterday, of course).

    Mr. Happy (JM) ain’t Jacques Lemaire.

    He’s the high school football coach playing the prevent defense, with his defense on the field for 40 minutes, and wondering why he keeps getting beat.

  33. LizardKing1967 says:

    OK. I am not one of the biggest AK46 fans, but I am glad to stil see him in the line up. He is ONLY 26. Take a look at the guy “everyone” wants in comparison and the numbers are eye opening….

     

    Dustin Penner: We would have had to give up Patches OR P.K. OR Tinordi AND a 1st and 2nd rounder. I would have said NO F>>>> WAY!

    Penner vs. AK46 last 4 years

    Penner: 304 GP, 93 G, 93 A, 186 Pts, MINUS -11, 13 GWG

    AK46: 273 GP, 79 G, 81 A, 160 Pts, PLUS +3, 14 GWG

    AK46 prorated to Penner: 304 GP, 88 G, 90 A, 178 Pts, +3, 16 GWG

    If you ask me, for a guy who is TWO YEARS younger, I say….crap on Penner, AK46 is my guy.

    Going forward, PG did good. We do not have depth (sic) to trade for the ONE GUY. And we need MORE than the ONE GUY to go all the way. If the team holds fort like last seasons playoffs, sky’s the limit.

    In BG and PG we trust. YOU DO NOT MORTGAGE THE FUTUR FOR RENTALS.

    I STILL BELIEVE!!!!!!!!

     

    Jim-out. I BELIEVE!

  34. TomNickle says:

    Here are two facts about Tallon’s last two teams that may surprise you.

    When he took over the Blackhawks they were doing Two Dollar Tuesdays.  You could buy tickets for Blackhawks games for $2.00.  That eventually turned into a year long feature in which you could buy mid-upper bowl tickets for $2.00 for every game.

    In Florida, at the time of his arrival.  The Florida Panthers were auctioning off season ticket packages based on the best offer they received.

    There was absolutely no pressure to win or make the playoffs in either of these two environments.  In Montreal, a logical person would see that these are not options due to the pressure of winning every season and making money, every season.

  35. observer says:

    Wonder if PJ Stock helped her?

  36. TomNickle says:

    One thing you forgot to mention in all of this was that Rick Dudley was his assistant GM and head of scouting for both professionals and amateurs.

    Every trade Tallon made and every draft pick he made was on the advice of Rick Dudley.

  37. Antho says:

    Kostitsyn easily can be a 40 goal scorer, as can his brother

    can you imagine if they were centered by someone like Eller for a season?

    I just wish AK would play every game with Penners intensity and grit and finish his checks because when he does he knocks everyone down….hes built like an ox and has a cannon shot…..they should have never broken up cammy pleks n Ak….all to get gomez going; going down the drain

  38. savethepuck says:

    The Habs unfortunately don’t have first Dibs on French Canadian hockey players anymore and it is unacceptable to the fan base to finish low enough in the standings to draft player’s of that caliber.

  39. punkster says:

    And as a fan of this year’s team I’m thankful for that.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  40. savethepuck says:

    It is not the defensive system or lack of scoring that is to fault over the last couple of months of play. It is the numerous injuries to our defence.  We play a defensive style, including our forwards, and we have speed to capitalize on other teams mistakes.  you can’t blame management or coaching for the ridiculous amount of injuries to our D. Our PK was consistently 1st or 2nd until all the injuries to our D. Now we are around 9th. To drop from 1st or 2nd to 9th in that period, your PK has to be bottom third in the league over that period of time.

  41. savethepuck says:

    It is not the defensive system or lack of scoring that is to fault over the last couple of months of play. It is the numerous injuries to our defence.  We play a defensive style, including our forwards, and we have speed to capitalize on other teams mistakes.  you can’t blame management or coaching for the ridiculous amount of injuries to our D. Our PK was consistently 1st or 2nd until all the injuries to our D. Now we are around 9th. To drop from 1st or 2nd to 9th in that period, your PK has to be bottom third in the league over that period of time.

  42. Mark C says:

    How can a team with a crappy coach, crappy system that fits like crap, a crappy #2 center, crappy smurf players, crappy back-up goalie, and crappy injuries to their best player and other key players be in Montreal’s position?

    Kovalchuck had 8 points in 8 games just before Lemaire took over, so let’s not act like Kovy II’s turn around was fully due to Lemaire’s magic. Giving him credit for the team is fine, but let’s remember, minus Parise (who played more games than Markov this year) and a few moves on D had 103 points last season.

  43. ClaytonM says:

    It can also be argued that they had less confidence in Halak, so they played a tighter defensive game, whereas when Price was in nets, they would feel like he’d make the big save.

    I watched the games closely, and Price wasn’t letting in any softies last year either before or after the break, at least not on a regular basis.

    My opinion which everyone has one is Price had some ego issues last season, worked them out before the season ended (which is why he mouthed off to SK about not staying late at practice) and now his head is in the right place again.

  44. 23 HABS 23 says:

         Antho … I COMPLETELY agree with you about Kostitsyn – I have always been a quiet fan of his and have seen his value to this team.  He does have a great shot (quick release too might I add) – and he IS built like a TANK!  He leads the team in hits … and when he does hit … he lays people OUT! 

         I know there are games when he loafs around out there, but as you point out … he needs good line mates – as does any good goal scorer!  I hope that the organization can see his worth and re-sign him.  If not … there goes one of our only BIG bodies out there on the ice.

         I would also hope Wisniewski signs after this season – what a beast – not even a Tyler Hall shot to the face keeps him down!  Gritty, full of character, and what a cannon of a shot!

    GO HABS GO! (Let’s go get that elusive 25th Stanley Cup!)

  45. Antho says:

    Your absolutely right…Eller, Kostitsyn, Pouliout and MaxPac are the next nucleus of young players this team will be built around and likely led by Pleks, Cammy, Gio etc.

    These kids need to have more icetime and play on top lines, if pouliot played with a guy like pleks and 20 minutes a game instead of 8, how many goals would he have? these kids need to play make mistakes and learn and develop into 30 goal scorers

    JM cant keep rewarding gomez with all the icetime after he carrys the puck to turn it over in the neutral zone or off zone.

    I wish we could see more from these kids; this is why boucher would have been awesome in montreal because he developed a lot of these kids especially PK

  46. filincal says:

    Penner/ Intensity ???

     

     

    I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  47. HabFanSince72 says:

    What ruined Big Joe is what ruins all Bruins players: the shame of having to  put on that poo-coloured jersey with the spoked B. Two cups in 68 years.

    Look at Ray Bourque. Had to get Patrick Roy to win him a cup ring.

     

    As Alec Baldwin said in Glengarry Glen Ross: A loser is a loser.

     

  48. mike g says:

    Alright, gros match ce soir….

    Habs will take it, the vets know how important this one is. They don’t wanna be in the same situation as last year, fighting until the last game. They want a cussion in the standings.

    Expect a good game from Gomer, Gio, Gill and Cammy.

    And btw, if Tom is still around here, can you please start planning our weekend. I think our bet is in the bag now, so it will be your treat!

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  49. SmartDog says:

    “Expect a good game from Gomez….”

    Huh? Being insanely optimistic doesn’t look good on you.

  50. Danno says:

    Go Habs Go! Les Méchants Mardis Molson Ex. Go Habs Go! Solide mise en écheque! Go Habs Go!

    Et c’est le buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut!!!!!!!!!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_rGPea-VxQ&feature=related

     

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  51. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Wow. The fact that you are extolling the virtues of Florida defies belief. That is not a team that is rebuilding, that is a team that is keeping its salary load as low as possible because they’re in a dire financial situation. That they have exactly three contracts that extend beyond 2 seasons (Booth, Weiss, and Olesz) is not a coincidence…and they tried desperately to trade Booth and Weiss (Olesz is untradeable).

    Now their picks might end up helping the team in the end, but to suggest it’s part of a concerted rebuild is just wrong.

     

    p.s. Amusingly enough, Montreal has 2/3rds of Tallon’s magical formula ;)

  52. db says:

    I honestly think Gomez suffers from depression.  It’s a disease.  How else can you explain his lack of effort/passion?  Although he does appear to smile a lot… but also looks like he hates to score.  I think most players give a good effort every night.. it just doesn’t always have an impact on the game.

  53. TripleX says:

    Bobby Orr?  Phil Esposito? Cam Neely?

  54. TripleX says:

    As was PG for Bob Gainey.

    Gomez, Gionta and Spacek are as much PG as BG.  That is what worries me.  His ability to assess pro talent.

  55. Bradlo says:

    How about a little blurb about Andie Bennett leaving the Team 990? Didn’t always agree with her, but more often than not she was the voice of reason on my drive home. Best of luck to her in her future endeavors

  56. Bradlo says:

    How about a little blurb about Andie Bennett leaving the Team 990? Didn’t always agree with her, but more often than not she was the voice of reason on my drive home. Best of luck to her in her future endeavors

  57. solomio says:

    I, like must of us, really appreciate Andrei K and we could talk about his potential until the cows come home,

    Fact is though he has never in his hockey carreer scored more than 26 goals.

    Perhaps quite a number of players could score 40 goals easily on a line with Shutt & Beliveau but of course that ain’t gonna happen.

    Here is Andrei’s best season ever and if we can get that out of him again we should be happy.

    2007-2008 Montréal Canadiens NHL 78 26 27 53
  58. LA Loyalist says:

    That’s interesting. I mean I don’t know the guy and goalies are usually pretty laid back (like drummers, is that weird or what?). Warrior goalies (St. Patrick, Hextall) are more unusual.

    Someone in Ottawa made an interesting comment about Kovalev the other day, that he needs to feel important to play well, needed. Like when Koivu went down and Kovy was captain he played well, and he may play a lot better in Pittsburgh until Crosby comes back and then slip again. I don’t know, just a theory, but let’s watch for it.

    Perhaps Halak freaked out Price and the show of confidence from management was enough to straighten him out.

    The lesson, i think, is to be really careful with our kids, they are each different and I don’t mind being a bit inefficient with our players, having older guys like Mara, Sopel, Spa, Gill… who may be past their peak but if it keeps us from burning out the next PK or Savard or Larry then I think it’s well worth it.

  59. observer says:

    is she going to another network? tv?

  60. observer says:

    hainsey is! he had another of his overtime winners on sunday.

  61. N.B.habs fan says:

    Glad to get Sopal,good D man and he wants to play in Montreal.The Habs are still better team than most .No matter what happens I will always love my HABS..

  62. mbplekfan says:

    PG could be looking at Sopel to replace Gill or Hamrlik for next year. Not as old but still going to pass the magic over 35 barrier.

    One or two years to Sopel while we groom Nash should get us over the next few years.

    As far as reserve defenceman go I would keep Mara over Picard. He’s bigger, tougher and wont get pushed around by the bigger teams.

  63. WestHab says:

    was it Higgins that said he could be a 40 goal scorer? Maybe now if they line him up with the twins..eh?

  64. LA Loyalist says:

    You make a decent point. Who knows what’s going on in the guy’s life, we don’t know him. I’ve had periods at work when I was so distracted, when my parents died, when my kid was a premie, marriage stuff… when Pouliot first came to us his father had just died… we can’t know any of this stuff, usually, but crap, shouldn’t the team be watching these guys? Bring in a sports psychologist, send him to Hawaii for a week, show him the picture of a hockey net… whatever it takes.

    I don’t mean to joke, not everyone who is down shows it in the usual ways and money has nothing to do with it or may in some abstract way.

    This is a horrible example but someone who’s first song or novel they write is a monster hit and they feel paralyzed to have to match it.

    I don’t think that particularly because Gomez is not a kid and he’s had a pretty successful career until he got here.

    While Gomez is responsible for his performance, the team is responsible for creating a situation in which he can succeed.

    Maybe Bob can bake him some home made bread… something!!

  65. HardHabits says:

    SD is all full of beans since JT wrote the Gomez Effect.

    I was that way too when she touted the stealth tank last season. ;-) We were both wrong.

    I for one, and I’ve been bashing Gomer lately, still think G-Love will turn it up come play-offs.

  66. observer says:

    at $7 million a year he has lots to smile about and certainly keeps him out of depression.

  67. habstrinifan says:

    This board, tonight, is amazing(weird), reading. In one post Atlanata has beaten us twice but our ability is ‘definitely’ superior to theirs (they are not even close) but in those two games we didnt show up. Our talent knows no bound when we show up it seems.. contrary to the evidence of our record. Other posts revived the Price-Halak debate. Yet another post mnimised Talon’s work in Chicago because they could ‘tank’ but teams like us cant ‘tank’ and ‘rebuild’ because of the pressure. Quite the dilemna though, because, while he cant ‘tank and rebuild’ PG is also great and and wise because he refused to ‘tweak’ assertively and with deliberate purpose as other ‘dumb’ Gm’s have done this past month or so. And the post above confirms that we ‘have’ 3 lines( yes 3 lines) that can score but their scoring touch has been hampered because of the ‘trade bullcrap, a miasma which inexplicably affected our team from day one and may have even migrated across seasons.

    So I will just sit tonight and watch the game (or more likely read Boone’s blog) and do what I do for all games in recent history. Nervously pray that we pull out a win.

    And one day, soon I hope, the right decisions would have been made, on and off the ice, that there would be no question about the grandeur of this team and the posts will speak of an excellence rather than pollyana-esque inanity.

  68. derfab says:

    Our smallest guys got a rest at the break last year which gave us a lift into the playoffs.

    Gomez, as we all know, will be the key, which is why everyone is muddying their shorts over him. He can elevate his game to work with Gionta, but will he?

    Gorges was fantastic and will be missed.

    No Markov, no PP.

    Flyers, Bruins or whoever in 5 unless Gomer shows up.


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