Game 68: Halak’s Blues stop Habs’ win streak at 5

Blues’ Jaroslav Halak and Alex Pietrangelo defend against Canadiens’ Lars Eller Thursday night. Dilip Vishwanat,Getty Images

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PRE-GAME AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Brian Gionta I and II | Lars Eller | Ryan White | P.K. Subban

• At a Glance: The much anticipated matchup between former Canadien Jaroslav Halak and current No. 1 Carey Price proved anticlimactic on Thursday night, a 4-1 win by Halak’s Blues over a Canadiens team that seemed emotionally drained after a whirlwind 48 hours. Jeff Halpern gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead with his 11th goal of the season 12:30 into the opening period. Defenceman Alexandre Picard found Halpern posted to the left of Halak and fed him a pass that Halpern only had to redirect beyond Halak. The Blues would tie the game before the period was over when David Backes scored off a faceoff at 18:59. Backes’s shot from the top of the faceoff circle dribbled under Price’s arm and across the goal line. Only 1:06 into the second period, the Blues took the lead when Andy McDonald took advantage of a turnover in the Montreal zone to beat Price for his 17th goal of the season. Another turnover late in the third period allowed Matt D’Agostini, also a former Canadien, to make it 3-1 Blues with his 14th goal of the season at 18:31. T.J. Oshie scored into an empty net to cap the scoring with 23 seconds to play. Halak made 27 saves for his 21st win of the season while Price, who has 32 wins, made 23 saves.

• What It Means:  The Canadiens saw their five-game winning streak snapped, and their record falls to 37-24-7 for 81 points. They remain in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the fifth-place Tampa Bay Lightning. The Canadiens missed a chance to close to within 2 points of the Boston Bruins, overtime losers on Thursday night, for top spot in the Northeast Division.

• What’s Next: The Canadiens play Saturday afternoon against Pittsburgh Penguins the return home to take on the Capitals on Tuesday and the Lightning next Thursday.

315 Comments

  1. lavie says:

    The Slovakian SOB will have to explain his contradicted words to the Prosecutors.

  2. Kain292 says:

    Before The Hit, I was really looking forward to this game. I won’t lie, last year my support was behind Team Halak. I have developed a case of foot-in-mouth sydrome and obviously, Price was right. But that’s beside the point.

    The Hit will overshadow the game tonight, and maybe the game after that, and for as long as headlines talk about it. As the QPP investigation continues and if Parliament takes action (all three Canadian parties have called for something to be done, and the Sports Minister is looking into it).

    Its unfortunate, as this game could’ve had a good hype to it. I won’t be watching tonight. I don’t have the stomach for it. Maybe I’ll have it on the radio while I’m doing homework, but I don’t think I can watch hockey tonight.

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

  3. Mark C says:

    It’s really getting laughable. Who is he trying to kid with this crap? I can’t believe that an NHL D-man doesn’t know who his check is, and I can’t believe that he couldn’t tell it was Max as he skated towards for 25 plus feet.

    If this crap is to be believed, then I think one has to conclude that Chara lacks the mental capacity to play NHL hockey and is a danger to all players.   

     Edit: Just remembered Chara knows 7 languages, yet he doesn’t bother to know who he’s lined up against. Yeah sure, buddy.

  4. Chuck says:

    Bettman contines to turn a blind eye. Courtesy of AM900 CHML in Hamilton.

     

    at 12:42 on March 10, 2011, EST.

    Commissioner Gary Bettman says Pacioretty hit horrific but part of the game

    The Canadian Press

    WASHINGTON – NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says Max Pacioretty’s injury is horrific, but it’s part of the game.

    Speaking after a U.S. congressional panel discussion about encouraging American kids to get into hockey, Bettman said most concussions and head injuries this year have been from accidents or players falling — rather than as the result of hits.

    As for Air Canada threatening to pull its sponsorship over such injuries, Bettman says the league can find other carriers if Air Canada doesn’t want the NHL’s business.

    Montreal forward Pacioretty was hospitalized with a severe concussion and fractured vertebra after slamming into a stanchion holding the glass at the Bell Centre on a hit by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.

    The NHL subsequently elected not to suspend Chara.

  5. SeriousFan09 says:

    If I move to NY, run Bettman over with my car in the street but it’s on my way home, technically that’s just part of the drive home. I wonder if he’d appreciate the distinction.

     

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

  6. savethepuck says:

    Covers has Halak confirmed. The only mention of Carey is in the article above. I know there is talk of Carey resting down the stretch, but we are in a hunt for home ice advantage right now.  He should rest if and when that is no longer the case or back to backs only IMO

    http://www.covers.com/postingforum/post01/showmessage.aspx?spt=23&sub=101001302

  7. savethepuck says:

    Covers has Halak confirmed. The only mention of Carey is in the article above. I know there is talk of Carey resting down the stretch, but we are in a hunt for home ice advantage right now.  He should rest if and when that is no longer the case or back to backs only IMO

    http://www.covers.com/postingforum/post01/showmessage.aspx?spt=23&sub=101001302

  8. smiler2729 says:

    Halak starts, Price starts.

    After the historic Habs I/O tug of words last season here, that sentence appeases both camps.

  9. Curtoph says:

    The Habs should wear a small number 67 on the front of their jerseys for the rest of the season, and play with emotion and heart and keep winning for Patches. That would be really something to keep winning for him!

     

    Hope he gets well asap so he doesn’t have to be hospitalised anymore!

  10. wd40 says:

    honestly, anybody really shocked he’d support the decision?

     

  11. andrewberkshire says:

    So how long until idiots start blaming JM for having Pacioretty on the ice at that time?

  12. Miltie01 says:

    I find nothing shocking in any of this. EVERY nhl player takes numbers for pay back later….yes even our own Habs players. I do not believe Chara meant to half kill Max, but to say he wanted to pay him back for Jan 8…..hell yes, that was what his intent was. You are correct, the league dropped the ball for not using this in their decision.

  13. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    2 frachises at different ends of the spectrum. One with the objective of speed wins, talent shines, and building grit to support, thats our Habs… the other side is Grit at the forefront, finesse limited or non existent, and speed on the average… what is the result? a MASSACRE…. and a MASSACRE II.

    one giant chemisty experiment gone bad… all the variables, the history, the composition, the race for 1st, the past records, the interchange of personal… and what do you get? a cataclysmic breakdown, an incident which obliterates the envelope of the game… a behemoth bruin who personifies their franchise on a collision course with the HAB prodigy which personifies our future…

    not hard to predict, but who is looking?…. ever so clear now when you can analyse all the pieces..

    there are many points of failure leading up to this catastrophe… of course 99% of the blame goes to that animal who viciously and intentionally with forethought, rammed MAX’s head into the steel post at high speed.

    the other 1% can be spread around… our managements lack of vision in addressing a need to toughen our lineup, they’ve had years and they failed… The NHL and its failure to have the guts to expel players that cause life threatening injury, they are accountable for ruining lives, but they wash it with money only when their back is against he wall.. squirming worms they are.

    We must continue on the path and priority of the N.A.G. mandate… we must wipe clean and obliterate the reputation of being weak… unfortunate that this incident is what it takes to wake the idiotic but wake they must…

    THE REFS will not help us, the LEAGUE will not help us… WAKE THE F(&*P(&^(*EKE UP and bring respect back to this franchise.

    Wednesday March, 9th, 2011 – the day NHL Hockey “officially” died

  14. Mark C says:

    Now would be a good time to give Price a game off. 3 games in 4 days next week, all huge games (Caps, Tampa, NYR). With the game tonight and on Sat. afternoon, it would make sense to rest Price tonight and then again next SUN vs. the Wild.

    If Price plays tonight, we’re looking at 5 starts in 8 days.

  15. Ton says:

    this guy’s hate for cdn institutions, teams, culture, icon players, continues, his eyes are on the american market and the rewards for it are huge!! so he thinks

  16. mrhabby says:

    the old  boys club rules at all levels in the nhl…sad.

  17. punkster says:

    I suggest you direct your boundless energies to finding solutions and not adding to the problems.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  18. wd40 says:

    it’s not like they could prove you had any INTENT to injure him…

  19. smiler2729 says:

    Okay people, let’s take the rage glasses off now. I’m reading about the players wearing a 67 patch, about blaming JM for having Max out there and other stuff… let’s move on, we’re starting to sound silly.

    The reality of the situation is Air Canada’s getting free publicity, the government and their inquiry is all talk and no action and like Stubbs said police investigation is a waste of public money.

    Max Pacioretty was wronged, is hurt but he will play again. Best revenge on Chara and Boston is to keep beating them on the scoreboard.

    And let’s show St. Louis who’s got the better goalie tonight.

    Go Habs, stand tall in spite of it all.

  20. Chuck says:

    The most idiotic thing about that statement is that he was at a congressional hearing about kids playing hockey.

    Great way to promote the game, Gary. “Your kinds are going to get hurt, but hey, that’s the way the game is.”

  21. observer says:

    Who’d have thought last June that this meeting of Price vs. Halak would NOT have been the only thing anyone talked about today?

  22. 134 says:

    I had this day circled in my calendar and was looking forward to it. But now I just simply cannot bring myself to that excitement anymore, everything just feels so bleh and insignificant after what happened to Pacioretty. I really hope that the rest of the team can re-focus and be motivated to play for each other, but more importantly, for their teammate Max who’s laying in a hospital bed watching the game. GO HABS GO!

  23. Propwash says:

    That’s just affirmation that someone will have to leave the ice in a pine box before something proactive is done. Oh and Gary, good luck finding another airline that has the means to sponsor the NHL. Goof.

  24. DearyLeary says:

    He can find other companies willing to put up millions in sponsoships?  Is he seriously threatening a company that puts up seven figures for his product?  The gall..

  25. lavie says:

    The way Bettman runs NHL is NO DIFFERENCE from that Gaddafi runs the Libya.

    Straight and simple!

  26. fbkj says:

    i for one support the idea of patches patches :)

  27. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    OK, so our management had to get SOME blame for this mess from our commentators, of course… What does Gauthier saying anything aloud accomplish except letting people here get their jollys off? It is a violation of league rules and anything he says publicly will have more resonance said privately to officials and those who matter. Unless he plans on ignoring the issue during his dealings with the league, he’s doing the right thing. And we have no reason to believe that he considers this ‘settled’.

    Also, the very short statment in itself is a pretty obvious criticism of the league’s decision. Anyone should be able to read between those lines.

    Finally, IT IS NOT UP TO GEOFF MOLSON TO PULL SPONSORSHIPS OR VENDING CONTRACTS. HE DOES NOT RUN MOLSON COORS. He is one of very many members of a Board of Directors, and not even the President or Chairman. Not to mention none of these positions have anything to do with direct day-to-day management.

  28. savethepuck says:

    The middle link is what would happen if Bettman came to a game at the forum

  29. Say Ash says:

    People in Lockerbie would disaggree.

  30. savethepuck says:

    Well said. Management should not be judged because the fan base has no clue what they are actually doing about it. Not everything is done in the press.

  31. Miltie01 says:

    Gauthier, Molson et al are just not contributing to the freak show…….and you know how most people just love their freak shows !!!!

  32. TheDagger says:

    Gary Gaddafi.

  33. SeriousFan09 says:

    Jim Slater, Marc Savard, Steve Kampfer, Raitis Ivanans, Peter Mueller, Theo Peckham, Matthew Lombardi, Bryce Salvador, Rhett Rakhshani, Derek Boogaard, Ian Laperriere, Kurt Sauer, Sidney Crosby, Aaron Asham, Eric Tangradi, David Perron, Colton Orr, Mike Green.

    All out with concussions, suspected concussions or post-concussion syndrome.

    Max Pacioretty is in some good company there, every walk of life in the NHL is represented on the IR list and they all have one thing in common, the NHL couldn’t care less.

     

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

  34. savethepuck says:

    I don’t think they were focused and motivated in the 3rd period Tuesday night because of the shock, I do think they will be be tonight. They will rally around their fallen teammate.

  35. Miltie01 says:

    And from the way it looks neither do their fellow players.

  36. Storm Man says:

    And? Im sure if Price needs rest he will ask for a night off.

  37. AndyF says:

    After trying to seriously injure Pacioretty, Chara is now trying insult the intelligence of the entire hockey community by saying he didn’t know who his defensive assignment was.   What utter cowardice!

     

    AndyF

    http://andyfroncioni.com

  38. observer says:

    exactly! a dictator! backed by his VERY CLOSE owners LIKE JACOBS

  39. observer says:

    NOT OLD BOYS- JUST SOME OTHER BOYS

  40. CBrady12 says:

    Not to mention the ones who had a concussion and came back. It’s like  1 concussion per week in a job with 700 employees!

  41. Trisomy 21 says:

    I wish this Pacioretty stuff could be separated from other hockey talk. I miss the hockey talk and hate to be reminded of this incident. Nothing will come from us all posting the same comments. Let’s save our breath and think about going for our 6th in a row

  42. robokan says:

    Bettman continues his disregard for those putting money in his pockets.  I’ve heard many suggestions of ways for us to show our disapproval and am submitting my own idea: Boycott Habs games in non-traditional markets.  Never having been to a Habs game in Florida, Atlanta, Phoenix, etc., I can’t say for sure what the impact would be, but from what I see on TV these traditionally empty rinks are packed with Habs supporters.  I am sure the ownership of those teams count on the revenues from when the Habs and their snowbird fans visit, so let’s show our anger and refuse to give them another penny.  Even here in Ottawa, perhaps we (we made up more than half the crowd the last time the Habs were here) should boycott, especially considering the Habs are done with their games in the Southern US. 

    Something to consider.  I’d be interested to hear from anyone that has been to a game in those other markets and can support/refute this idea.

  43. observer says:

    must keep on winning to finish 6th and meet the bruins in the playoff round 1?

  44. wd40 says:

    According to Pierre LeBrun, “Confirmed: Kubina suspended 3 games by NHL for elbow on Bolland”

    So it’s not like they *won’t* suspend a player, just not Chara.

  45. matrags says:

    hey Ian  cbc says Tim Hortons is going to make a statement about the incident  ..just heard it on News world .

  46. observer says:

    he was only one of those tossed into bettman’s turnbuckle and he also sustained a fractured vertebrae

  47. Chuck says:

     

    So what he’s saying is that even though it’s his job to know who he’s lining up against, that he didn’t know that Patches was on the ice. Sounds like he’s trying to deflect criticism against him that is was premeditated. And of course, if it WASN’T premeditated, why would he try to defend it in such a way?

  48. matrags says:

    just heard Tim HOrtons may have something to say. Heard it on cbc Newsworld……..we the People

  49. SeriousFan09 says:

    Well hey come on, it’s not like Bolland fell to the ice and appeared to be dead at first glance, now that would be serious and the league would have to investigate the hit and suspend the player! Oh wait…

    Wheel of Injustice strikes again.

     

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

  50. Kooch7800 says:

    I agree some of this is getting out of hand but I don’t think this is going away anytime soon.

    I wouldn’t say he will play again though….you never really know with these types of injuries

  51. LA Loyalist says:

    Ducks have 3 cancer survivors – Saku, Jason Blake and one other guy. I don’t think they did it on purpose.

    What if each player who has had a concussion wore a patch on his jersey or helmet – the NHLPA would have to get behind it – I know there are a miliion rules about the jerseys – but a visual reminder of so many guys might go a long way to keep the pressure on the NHL.

    Just trying to come up with ideas… guys?

     

  52. observer says:

    yeah right – bettman was quite the athlete in his day. i believe he was an nba basketball player before they started using 7 foot players.

  53. Trisomy 21 says:

    Respek.

    well done

  54. DearyLeary says:

    Good.  The more sponsors get involved the better.

  55. observer says:

    wakey! wakey! it’s bettman’s friend WIRTZ’s player who got hurt!

  56. robokan says:

    Breakfast Club?

  57. G-Man says:

    You have disgraced yourself with that clearly not thought out remark.

  58. G-Man says:

    By stating publicly that the NHL was wrong, Gauthier would be indirectly reassuring the fan base that he is going to defend his players. By saying nothing, he is in tacit agreement with the NHL’s decision. This is not about fans “getting their jollies off.” This is about demonstrating that he cares about the safety and security of Hab players and doesn’t care about the $10K fine.

  59. smiler2729 says:

    No, it’s not going away ever cuz we almost saw a player murdered on live TV but he was lucky and after reading about Brian Savage’s similar and worse neck injury as well as Gary Roberts’, then I’m pretty encouraged MaxPac will be back.  How timid he becomes is another matter.

  60. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    Glad I am not alone. You’re right, damn they sure do. Even I love me a good freak show. If Gainey would have mugged Bettman in his office over this I would have found it hilarious. But I also would think it was a pretty dumb way to get a point across. We gotta remind ourselves, our team is run by intelligent people, not Snows and Wangs.

  61. lavie says:

    …Bettman said most concussions and head injuries this year have been from accidents or players falling — rather than as the result of hits…

     

    What the FuC of his shit words!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  62. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I did point out the solution, we need an animal on the team to take care of other animals, that is reality. We don’t want or need another warning… the path we are going down is very wrong.

    3 Boston games ago when MAX gave that little shove which was NOTHING… and that animal struck him back in the midst of 4-5 celebrating Habs? that was ludicrous and should have been dealt with on the spot, drop the gloves and a beating to that animal.

    instead it boiled and continued to boil… then March, with the animal continuing his pursuit of MAX

    then Feb, the insulting score,… and then he had him in his sights….

    where is Ferguson? where is Robinson? where is Nilan? Where is Kordic? where is Corson? Manson? etc…

    believe me, that is the solution.

  63. SeriousFan09 says:

    There’s another one! Thanks for the correction.

     

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

  64. ooder says:

    paul kariya is taking the year off

    ——————

    GWG = game winning gionta!

  65. habfan53 says:

    Yeah how do they they feel? Their spokesman out since January 1st  

  66. RGM says:

    An eye for an eye only leaves everybody blind.

    Go Habs Go!

  67. Nahlsy says:

    Kubina should have signed with Boston. He’s probably in trouble for not letting Thornton attack him a few games ago

  68. LA Loyalist says:

    Silence implies consent.

  69. LA Loyalist says:

    When Habs were here in LA and Anaheim 2 winters ago (they come every other year) there were 50% Habs jerseys. I can’t speak for the San Jose game. I’m sure in Florida the % is high also. Phoenix not sure.

     

  70. LA Loyalist says:

    Huh? please explain why not?

  71. Nahlsy says:

    I wish Bettman would “fall”

  72. LA Loyalist says:

    This is not directed at you personally, of course we have battle fatigue from being stressed about this incident, that’s normal.

    It is also exactly what Gary B and his gang are counting on, a furious storm that lasts 2 days and then goes away and they can get back to lining their pockets.

    It’s sad, but this needs to get bigger, not smaller. Air Canada, I pray Tim Hortons… 3 or 4 sponsors would be fantastic in escalating this.

  73. Trisomy 21 says:

    Don’t get me wrong, if it were up to me Betman, Campbell and Murphy would looking for work because of the inconcistancy with discipline. This was merely the straw (since i’m a habs fan maybe severall straws) that broke the camel’s back. I’d love for sponsorships to be pulled (though i don’t know what reprecussions would follow) just so they’d realize hey, this isn’t acceptible in the game I love, and players have to be held accountable.

    I just feel that writing about on HIO doesn’t make it bigger and in the big picture won’t change things in the league. Feel free to correct me if i’m wrong

  74. Bugs says:

    Read what I said after “because”.

  75. Habs fan in Sens land says:

    First, we’d have to figure out a way to delete this thread…. Then intent wouldn’t be proven.


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