Game 65: Canadiens send snowbirds home happy

Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun is beaten by a shot from Canadiens’ Andrei Kostitsyn in the first period on Thursday night. Hans Deryk, Reuters

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• At a Glance: The Canadiens played before thousands of their fans in Florida on Thursday night and send them out into the warm night happy with a 4-0 win over the Panthers. The Canadiens got their first goal from an unlikely source when Hal Gill scored his first of the season with a point shot that eluded a screened Tomas Vokoun at 5:02. Andrei Kostitsyn, who has been playing well since being placed on a line with Lars Eller and Travis Moen, scored with a rocket of a shot at 8:54 that Vokoun had no chance on. It was Montreal’s second goal on only three shots and ended Vokoun’s night, replaced by Scott Clemmensen. Davis Desharnais made it 3-0 4:59 into the second period when his weak shot went off Clemmensen and dribbled over the goal line.Eller scored his fifth goal of the season 3:21 into the third period when he redirected a Moen pass over Clemmensen’s shoulder. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 30saves for his 30th win of the season and seventh shuout.

• What It Means: Montreal has won three straight games and improves to 34-23-7 for 77 points for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, six points ahead of the Hurricanes, who moved into seventh place on Thursday night. Montreal trails the Capitals by three points for fifth place.

• What’s Next: The Canadiens play the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Saturday before returning home to play the Bruins on Tuesday night. They then hit the road again for games in St. Louis and Pittsburgh next Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

439 Comments

  1. LA Loyalist says:

    I hear the Go trains are pretty screwed up. Is that so? Too bad, lots of people used to do that, great way to avoid the weather.

  2. punkster says:

    This I like. Welcome friend.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    Here’s their team picture http://www.khl.ru/upload/images/severstal_2010.jpg

     

     

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

  4. punkster says:

    Massacre?

    ***Subbang!!!***

  5. Ian Cobb says:

    Wayne.

    I have translate on my computer, but in any language, I think everyone gets the picture now.! And it must end, this is criminal.!!!!!

  6. SeriousFan09 says:

    Public transport isn’t exactly convenient for getting to an Intermodal train yard unfortunately.

     

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

  7. Kain292 says:

    Thanks for the numbers man. Tip of the hat to all the Habs who are on the threshold of major career milestones.

    Being a Habs fan is a way of life, and a great one at that.

  8. Kain292 says:

    Well hot dog. We’re all lively now. GO GUILE GO!

    Being a Habs fan is a way of life, and a great one at that.

  9. JohnBellyful says:

    Seeing as you’re talking about millstones, how could you forget..milestones? Not millstones? Oh. Sorry.

     

  10. andrewberkshire says:

    Why is Picard in the lineup tonight?

  11. GrimJim says:

    The Orlov thing is interesting, maybe because he’s an EL player sec 13 doesn’t apply. Or maybe Orlov’s not considered a “professional” player because he started the year (I assume) with his junior club. As to why Yemelin would want to, as a 24 year old european he only has to sign a 1-year EL contract, so if he signs a one-year for this year, he becomes an RFA on July 1 and escapes the limit on EL salaries and the EL contract’s mandatory two-way deal clause, all without losing any money because the KHL has already paid him for this season.

  12. punkster says:

    Someone has to be on the bench to say “Engage!” for The System to kick in.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  13. andrewberkshire says:

    Right! I forgot Mara and Weber were mutes!

  14. JohnBellyful says:

    Adding the exclamation marks was a nice touch: Wile with gusto! — Guile

  15. Danno says:

    True. Martin cannot engage, he can only enrage…

     

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

  16. Bugs says:

    Gotta love Mike Bergy on CKAC.

    “We’re a puck possession team that never has the puck!”

  17. punkster says:

    It’s a rare gift, JD. Law of averages really. I consider myself the DH of the Rose Coloured Glasses team.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  18. ClaytonM says:

    bad news – Guile is facing a disciplinary hearing with the NHL, AC

  19. Bugs says:

    Oooo!

    I’m bookin that one, Danno.

  20. SeriousFan09 says:

    Post of the day! Or as the Play by Play for the Panthers goes (And I’m NOT making this up) “Winner-winner Chicken Dinner!”

     

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

  21. Harditya_CareyPrice says:

    GO HABS GO!

  22. Jocko says:

    I read the comments and CM Punk made the most of his mic skills in dissing Merriman.  I read Merriman’s comebacks and they were WEAK! 

    I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

  23. ClaytonM says:

    dude, time to check the prescription on your glasses? That’s 2 replies to the wrong post or poster.

  24. ClaytonM says:

    Had a flashback to the scene in The Rocket when Clarence Campbell asks for someone who reads french to translate Maurice Richard’s article bashing the league.

    I doubt Bettman, or anyone at NHL HQ, will make a similar request this time around.

  25. JD_ says:

    Some lesser known Upcomin’ Milestones:

    Poolio is just 3 more unprovoked wipeouts away from the 700th of his career.

    Pleks is 10 underhanded faceoffs away from makin’ Rob Brind’Amour really envious.

    PK can bring home his 100th act of disrespect towards the league and its institutions with 2 tonight.

    JM is 15 disapprovin’ grimaces away from a career total of 5,000.

    Cammy just needs to control his simmerin’ temper and avoid crackin’ someone’s skull open another 24 times and he will hit his 500th act of wafer-thin restraint in the NHL.

  26. JD_ says:

    I’d much rather love Sofia Vergara on COUCH.

    Knowwuddamsayin’?

  27. HalifaxHabs says:

    watching fox news must be so awesome dude

  28. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    haha, just like the Founding Fathers… classic. People are so dumb here in the US. Have neither the knowledge nor the common sense to draw this conclusion. As far as I know, everyone hated the British colonialists… ‘cept alot of you anglo-Canadians out there. Still don’t understand that… o well. Good point though.

  29. Danno says:

    Does Gill have the gall to go full guile?

     

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

  30. Danno says:

    Benoit Brunet will utter his 1,000,000,000,000,000th “Oye, oye oye!” on RDS tonight.

     

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

  31. HabFanSince72 says:

    The Anglo Canadians were  British Colonialists!

  32. ClaytonM says:

    Here’s hoping we go up by a healthy lead, say 4 or 5 goals, and still play our top PP line to run up the score on them. I love seeing julien on the verge of cardiac arrest.

  33. LA Loyalist says:

    You forgot that Gomez will turn away from the traffic in front of the opposing net for the 8,013th time, otherwise – brilliant!

  34. LA Loyalist says:

    That’s the other guy we need: Gustovich, put him with Gille Guile and we are Molson’s Golden.

  35. Propwash says:

    Boump chicka wow wow

  36. ManApart says:

    I’ll say 9-7-2, for 95 total points. 11 out of 18 on the road, with a number of tough opponents. Seems a little over .500 is realistic.

  37. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS

    1.The deadline passed and brother Andrei (and perhaps also his heart) is still with us.  Will he be resigned?

    2. Sopel seems like an AWESOME good guy.  But is he a decent replacement for Gorges?

     

    3. I appreciate Basu’s insights and he says Gauthier and Martin are doing quite a good job.  He’s got a point – several actually.  But do you agree?  (And did you read the article?)

    4. Who’s an important player to this team?  a) Pyatt  b) Moen  c)Neither

    5. Who CAN’T we beat in the first round (at least without some luck and Price at his very best)?

    SD

  38. showey47 says:

    Unless there are more injuries i can’t see any possible reason why picard should dress over weber or mara. He should be the 8th dman at this point and pushed down to 9th when spacek returns.

  39. SmartDog says:

    Hot and cold like theyve been,,,,, 8-8-2… 93 points

     

     

     

  40. showey47 says:

    4) Moen should be important but on alot of nights he doesn’t show it,as for pyatt i probably would have traded him for a pick at the deadline (or to the oilers for stortini who i felt we should have picked up when he was put on waivers). White,IMO will have pyatt’s job next year.

  41. ManApart says:

    AS much as many don’t want to admit it, the absolute top reason, by a long ways, this team is where it is, is Jaques Martin and his assistants. People hate the system, because they claim it is boring and stifles our offensive players, but if they played a more run and gun style like Boucher has in Tampa and weren’t so defensive in mindset, this team would not be in the playoffs. It is their commitment to defense, to limit scoring chances, collapse down low to prevent second opportunities, and forwards clogging up their own side of centre to prevent teams rushing opportunities and odd man rushes, that is the key to the team this season. The forwards defensive mindset in their own zone, helping out by playing lower, is a huge reason a smaller and less physical defensive squad can be successful, no matter who is out there.

  42. observer says:

    #1- Not a free agent. RFA only. Will have serious bargaining power if he wins the Conn Smythe?

  43. SeriousFan09 says:

    1. Not without one hell of a playoff show.

    2. He’ll do Gorges job as best he can, maybe not as well but he’s heart-and-soul, he was big for CHI last season when it mattered.

    3. I find myself in general agreement, I don’t think JM deserves the flak he takes for the most part, I’ve had my issues with him (and still do) but I trust him to handle the bench. PG, it’s too early to really pass or fail him as MTL’s GM but I generally like the moves he has made.

    4. Moen can show up in the playoffs, which is more than what Pyatt can give.

    5. Flyers

     

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

  44. kingstonhabfan says:

    – Can’t see them resigning Kostitsyn.  They shopped him hard at the deadline and for two weeks prior.  There is no way they are putting money back into him.

    – Yes he is a decent replacement for Gorges.  Everything you read and hear about Sopel is positive.  From what has been said lately Sopel is a huge piece that is missing in Chicago right now.  They are playing great now but if you read the media reports in Chicago they talk about how they are going to miss Sopel come playoff time.  Gorges and Sopel together would be great.

    – Totally agree.  Martin has a system for this team and that’s why we are playing the way we are.  BUT- don’t underestimate Muller’s role in all of this.

    – Neither.

    – With Price at his best we can beat anyone- Florida teams do give us fits though…

  45. observer says:

    Let them win tonight to secure that playoff spot even more. One game at a time.

  46. Max_a_million says:

    1. He probably should be.  There is not much better available out there.  We are too privy to his warts watching him everynight.  His stats stack up ok against the alternatives.

    2. He is a decent replacement for the price, Gorges himself would be ideal. 

    3. I think PG is doing a great job, he doesn’t panic and gets what he wants.  We have young players busting through the system finally.  I think JM is tough to watch sometimes, and you will always question a coach’s decisions.  I think his even kiel is perfect for a team in such a tumultous market though.  I am not completely sold on him, but he gets results so I am generally happy.

    4. Both, Pyatt gives you a guy who isn’t going to be upset if he is inthe press box, makes very little money, makes very few mistakes, and skates like the wind.  He is a perfect 13th forward.  Moen is a physical presence and a greta skater.  Again watching him too much we lose some perspective.  He can’t be crazy physical every night or else he wouldn’t make it through a season, especially with our boards. 

    5. I think we can beat anybody, but I am frustrated by our recent experience with the Flyers.  Oh how I would love to beat the Flyers. 

  47. Habnofear says:

    1) Based on AK ‘s performance this year and  the years leading up to it he could stay on a reduced salary.At this time I believe he makes $3.5 mil per and I would say is overpaid $2.25 mil per sounds about right and on a 2 year contract.

    2)He will do fo now. And as much as I like Gorges I still say he’s overrated .(No big shot from the point,has trouble against big forwards,wear down factor caused by size.)

    3)I would take  Steve y and Bouchard in a heart beat over those two HACKS!

    4)Moen (tough guy)

    5)My team,the Fabled Montreal Canadiens will get trashed by  Boston and Philly… period…no contest…in four! And I’m fk’n pissed -off about it….smoking mad and if somebody has something to say bout it go puck yourselves!

  48. GrimJim says:

    Time for your meds, Tony (or proofreading lessons)…

  49. HabFanSince72 says:

    1. Yes.

    2. He seems to be a bit slow.

    3. Been discussed extensively today.

    4. Neither.

    5. The 1976 Canadiens.

  50. HabFanSince72 says:

    I think he was making a joke – in the sense that no one would have given us a chance against the Caps and Pens last year.

  51. Storm Man says:

    So the NFL and the NFLPA are going to have a good meal and some drinks and see who picks up the bill for tonight. Should be interesting what happens Friday.

  52. AH says:

    5. Islanders, Oilers, and Leafs, oh…wait a minute…

  53. VancouverHab says:

    I’ve liked Mara a lot so far  — but I’m not an NHL coach for a good reason ;–)

  54. savethepuck says:

    I am sure everyone is aware of this, but Your Canadiens is on TSN2 in 5 minutes. Episode 1 is about Carey Price, a good warm up for the game.

  55. HabFanSince72 says:

    He certainly won’t get a pay cut. As an RFA he will likely get a nominal raise.

     

  56. WestHab says:

    i was not aware, thanks

  57. Psycho29 says:

    TSN2 Has a great feature on Carey Price right now…

  58. Psycho29 says:

    Sorry…hadn’t noticed that you already posted it!

  59. LA Loyalist says:

    1. If he cranks it up in the playoffs, yes. Otherwise, why?

    2. Sopel, agreed. He’s not replacing Gorges, he’s filling in for Gorges and hopefully then will replace someone else. There is no guaranty we can sign the Wiz (tho I want to) and the mileage on Gill, Hammer and Spacek is getting up there).

    3. I was screaming mad about Basu’s article this morning and no longer have the energy to brawl about it.

    4. Neither.

    5. Philly, New Jersey, Washington, no. I wouldn’t bet a nickel against NJ right now and they will scare the crap out of whomever they meet in the first round, if they get there. Boston, Pittsburgh, Leafs we can beat if we play well and ignore JM’s directives. Supplemental: Why we don’t match up against the first 3? a) while I think we will be a bit better able to protect our goalie than last year with Sopel and Wiz, and the fact that Cary is bigger than Halak, in the other zone we still cannot go to the net with authority and create chaos which begets opportunity. Imagine Gomez playing against Arnott, even an older on the way out Arnott. Imagine him playing against Ovechkin. Sorry, I know it hurts.

  60. LA Loyalist says:

    I am biting my tongue. Needs ketchup.

  61. LA Loyalist says:

    Considering we’ve been .500 for weeks, I think your goal is realistic if the wheels don’t come off and our back end stabilizes now with Mara, Sopel. Hammer and Gill can ease off their minutes a little.

    It still comes down to generating some offense, though, not that JM cares about that.

  62. Displaced says:

    Great coaches adapt a style to suit their personnel. Good ones conform talent to their system. But then, I never said JM was a great coach.  It would be nice if JM adapted his style to fit a depleted D-corpes and the small, fast supposed scorers we paid big money to sign.  It doesn’t need to be a huge change, but some something to balance our need to score with the mountain of evidence that his D system is really just hope to hell the G saves a lot more than can be reasonably expected.

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

  63. The Cat says:

    Its true, its mind boggling how slow the habs D is. This team couldnt run and gun with most, the system also protects Price. Its a decent system, not so much if youre a forward on a contract year cause offensive forwards aint gonna put big numbers under such a system. But do I think this is the way to go for the habs -yes I do. Ive watched games and the D is awful slow, it aint funny how slow Gill, Spacek and Hamrlik are compared to other teams forwards.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  64. Displaced says:

    My word today is parity.  Whatever their business and strategic objectives might be, I applaud the NHL’s efforts to level the competitive playing field.  Salary cap, revenue sharing, and less restrictive player movement are all good things.  Look no further than the Western Conference to see how these changes manifest themselves in real life.

    Now, that being said, parity also makes it more difficult to see how teams and players differ. So, revisit my foggy memory of the stats classes I skipped and slept through, I applied a little logic (admittedly, very little) and worked the standard deviations from the mean for a bunch of things.  I started with 09-10 points, GF, GA and goal differential for each team and added up the SDs to see where we ranked. 

    More detail and interesting (to me) factoids follow, but I’ll start with the Habs stuff.

    For those keeping score we had 88 points (avg=92), 217 GF (232), 223 GA (233, yeah rounding), and a minus 6 goal differential (0, duh).  Our total SD was -.71, which placed us 18th among all NHL teams last season. 

    So what’s the point — (that’s the question I’d ask at this point) — Good news.  This year we are up 4 spots to in overall SD rank to 14th.  We are also +0.71 SDs in GA (10th) and -0.60 SDs in GF (23rd). 

    Next step, how much of this is due to Lord Carey?  Run the same analysis for G’s using wins, GAA, SV% and shutouts. Price is 5th.  The top four in SD order are: Thomas, Lundquist, Rinne and Quick.  The point here is, we have (statistically) the fifth best goaltender and the 10th best GA.  That tells me our D is probably weaker than average – which we expect when we miss Markov and Gorges.  And, it means our offense is horrible.  The glass half full folks should take this to mean that when Gorges returns next year, our D-corps will improve and our GA ranking should improve with it.  The glass half empty folks will complain about not adding scoring to shore up our weakest spot better our chances in the playoffs. 

    ———

    Now, for those of you still interested, there were some other non-Habs points of interest. 

    Last season’s top four teams in SD ranked order were: Washington, Chicago, SJ, and Vancouver.  The West played out almost perfectly.   Chicago knocked out Vancouver, then SJ.  The East was a mess.  Philly (#13) beat NJ (10), we knocked off the Caps (yeah, us).  Then Philly (13) correctly beat Boston (14) and upset Pittsburgh (9).  The rest you know.

    This year the top 15 are mess relative to their points-only rank.  But, I didn’t take into consideration games in hand, which might explain some of the variances.  The top four SD teams right now are also top four in points albeit in slightly different order: Vancouver (1), Philly (2), Boston (3) and Detroit (4).  TB, Washington, Chicago and LA are outliers.  TB ranks #15 by SD (5th in points), aficionados and Habs fans will appreciate this is a true ranking for a team with great scorers and no D.  The Caps are 11th, three places below their points ranking (9), Chicago is 6th in SD land versus 9th overall in points and LA is 8th in SD versus 13th in points.  I didn’t take into consideration games in hand, which might explain some of the variances.

    Among goaltenders, Thomas is literally off the charts with an 8.1, Lundquist 3.9, Rinne 3.6, Quick 3.5 and Price 3.3.  Luongo is close at 3.1 and then a big drop off to Crawford at 2.3.

    Trade deadline deal I dumped on — LA picking up Penner.  I don’t like the Penner move, but check out (SD #8 ranked) LA.  Quick is top 5.  Their GA SD rank is #4.  Their weak spot is offense.  Their GF rank is 16th.  If you add Penner’s 21 goals to date, LA would be 6th in GF rank and 6th overall, with a big drop off to #7. 

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

  65. Bugs says:

    Mentioned this a week or two back and I’m kinda surprised I didn’t get more hell-blazin ripostes for it.

    I said that within 3 years, Dezzy will be in the top-10 of NHL pt-producers. … And y’all just LET me get away with it.

    I mean, c’mon, are y’all slippin?

  66. Storm Man says:

    Nah, No one is slipping Bugs you just come up with some great fiction is all.

  67. SLYDER says:

    also regarding Markov – i think he needs to re-sign to further the development of PK. Markov is the mentor he needs, not Gill. PK is the Markov of the future…with much more flare. Markov will instill discipline and a better understanding of the defensive aspect of being a defenceman – this will enable him to make clearer decisions regarding when to show some flare and to just keep it simple

  68. DrewCareyPriceIsRight says:

    Aren’t ya also a huge Benny fan? What is it with all this luv for the underdog? 🙂

  69. HUDSONHAB says:

    Dezzy who ??? lol.

    ….Hab4life….

  70. TomNickle says:

    PK brings a physical element that Markov doesn’t.  I agree that Markov should be mentoring him(and I believe he is as we speak), but Gill is by no means a bad mentor when you consider how well Subban has played with his guidance.  

    Having more than one mentor is okay.

  71. HalifaxHabs says:

    1) yes

    2) yes

    3) yes

    4) Moen

    5) If Price is at his “very best”, then no one, but Philly if I had to pick one.

  72. HardHabits says:

    I remember the last bet you made.

    With the the added grit of Sopel and Mara, the Habs can beat either or both of those teams but they need to be disciplined. If they are they can beat the Flyers and/or Bruins.

    It depends which team shows up. The one with cold efficiency or the one that loses its head in the heat of the moment.

  73. Seps says:

    1.  Yes if it’s for less than 3M and short term

    2.  I don’t know one guy in the league who can replace Gorges, although Sopel is a solid player.

    3.  Did not read the article, but agree considering for the majority of the season we’ve been playing without our top 2 D and look at our record and where we sit in the standings.  Gauthier has acquired great substitutes for our injured players although we still do need a first-line forward.  Martin has done what has needed to be done with the team he has.

    4.  Neither.

    5.  Philly for sure, I’m hoping Leafs make 8th, beat out Philly because I think we can beat any other team.

  74. Mike D says:

    1.  I think he will.  He has to be qualified at something like 3.6mil for next year so unless we get offered a really good trade for him, I say it’s almost a guarantee we re-sign him.

    2.  Decent enough.  He’s no Gorges IMO, but considering we got him for next-to-nothing I thought PG did well to plug the hole left by JG’s absence.  Doubt he will be re-signed this summer but our D situation next year is a whole other story.

    3.  I read the article and yes I agee for the most part.

    4.  Neither are irreplaceable but Moen is more important than Pyatt cuz of his size and willingness to drop the gloves once in a while.  JM just has to stop putting him in the top 6 cuz he clearly doesn’t belong there.

    5.  Anything can happen in the playoffs, but Philly would be our toughest challenge.

    – Honestly yours

  75. Mike D says:

    My guess is to give him some time in the rotation and make sure the rust and cobwebs don’t set in.  Florida is a pretty weak team (especially after their selling spree at the deadline) so it was a good opportunity to get him in the lineup for the first time in a while without jeopardizing the team’s chances for 2 points.

    I thought he played well.

    – Honestly yours


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