Game 75: Habs make it interesting vs. Panthers

Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak clears puck away from Panthers’ Rostislav Olesz. John Mahoney, The Gazette

Preview | Matchups | Thursday’s NHL schedule | Boone’s Game Blog and About last night … | Stubbs on Twitter | Hickey’s game story

AUDIO: Brian Gionta | Andrei Markov | Mike Cammalleri | Travis Moen | Jaro Halak | Tomas Plekanec | Jacques Martin

• At a Glance: This time, the Canadiens were able to hold on in the third period despite their best efforts to let the game slip away. One night after blowing a two-goal lead in the final three minutes against the Buffalo Sabres, Montreal didn’t make the same mistake twice in a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, snapping a three-game losing streak. The Canadiens got first period goals by Benoit Pouliot, his 17th of the season, and linemate Brian Gionta, who scored his 24th of the season with a shot Tomas Vokoun would likely want another shot at. Jaroslav Halak had a calm night through two periods, facing only 13 shots, but the Panthers came on strong in the third, firing 11 shots at him. Radek Dvorak made for some tense moments at the Bell Centre when he scored 16:24 into the third period. But Tomas Plekanec scored into an empty net with 1:24 to play, his 100th career NHL goal. Gionta scored his 25th of the season with eight seconds to play, also into an empty net.

• Key Moments: Unlike the game in Buffalo, the Canadiens were able to keep the Panthers off the scoresheet on five power plays, including a 5-on-3 at the end of the second period. This time, with an empty net at the other end of the ice, the Canadiens were able to pot two into the empty cage, rather that letting their opponent score.

• What It Means: The Canadiens improve to 37-30-8 for 82 points, moving them two points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers for sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers lost 4-3 to the Wild in overtime on Thursday night.

• What’s Next: The New Jersey Devils will be in town on Saturday night, followed by the Carolina Hurricanes next Wednesday to wrap up the 14-game month of March.


  1. DONJUAN says:

    It was Plecky with big GILL, I thought he was going to jet to the bench but he joined the 2 on 1 better pass from plecky he would have put it in.  What a moment lol!!

    In HABS we trust.

  2. habsgirl74 says:

    wow, you must be one of the few on here who actually knows about hockey…finally someone with a brain

  3. wotever says:

    Ha! Why would they want to come here?  Cold, annoying media, no privacy.

    And no. The numbers are near identical without either goalie, except that St. Louis is older and who knows if Lecavalier can hold it together?

  4. Storm Man says:

    Change Price for Halak and I would think about it….

  5. Former Jets Fan says:

    and San Jose

  6. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    “Gill might as well sit in a chair in front of the net waving his stick back and forth watching the opposition fly around him.”

    haha…it’s very rare that I actually laugh out loud (lol) about something I read online, but you did it with that one Ian!

    I didn’t read your post till after I posted my comment above, but obviously agree entirely with you.  We can’t sit back, there is no way that the top clubs in the East are going to be stymied for a full period by our D.  We can beat them, especially Washington…but we have to take risks, and take the game to them. 

  7. Chuck says:

    Thanks! I’m about 30 minutes west of downtown Toronto.


    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  8. habsgirl74 says:

    finally a comment from someone who knows what they are talking about

  9. habsgirl74 says:

    didn’t anybody watch price play against buffalo, he played extremely well and came in after sittting for 17 days, halak is playing good too but price can’t get a break from you guys no matter how well he plays, its getting very old

  10. pmaraw says:

    8-1-2  we lost to ottawa (shutout)  toronto and buffalo (shootout)

  11. pmaraw says:

    the whole time I was thinking please dont skate past the red line, please dont skate past the blue line, please dont stake past the hash marks, please dont skate past the goal line, fewsh!!!  I think gionta got on the ice about 10 seconds before gill get off lol

  12. Ian Cobb says:

    Timo- had to go to the can. I guess I missed a Gill two on one did I. Who was he with and did he make it all the way down the length of the rink?

  13. Ayan_SB says:

    I hate those “Shoot the puck!” fans

  14. gp52 says:

    agreed 100 percent

  15. gp52 says:

    That must be the first time he’s ever been in that situation

  16. megagoten says:

    3 games in four weekday nights, even Habs fan tires

  17. SeriousFan09 says:

    Victory calms the masses.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  18. andrewberkshire says:

    Poor him for the results, I hope he gets better, but he isn’t a very intelligent player. He constantly skates with his head down entering the zone, and is completely at fault for getting hurt by the Spacek hit.

  19. Ian Cobb says:

    I have a much better appreciation for Moen’s game. He made a huge
    difference tonight. The team as a whole is better than they show most
    nights. I believe Martin plays a far two passive style of game. He
    needs to turn the boys lose to create spontanious plays at times.

    Halak did not have a ton of shots but his very solid play has put him
    in the driver’s seat. He is a little more careful with the puck , after
    he touches it, it always goes to a safe area or to one of his team
    mates or he kills the play.

    Cary on the other hand is a little
    more daring and adventurous and the puck often ends up with the
    opposition as he tries to do a little to much with it. He will be a
    great goal tender in this league in time. It would have helped a lot if
    he had of spent a year or two in Hamilton to mature and hone his
    skills. But he will have to put in his development time of the fly now.
    It might take a little more time this way, but he will get there and be
    a real force for us.

    Martin Knows who his #1 is now, and will use him mostly the rest of the way I think.

    cannot continue to play this way and be successful against better
    teams. Once we get the lead we do not try to put the games out of reach
    offensively. We go into a more defensive posture of play.

    one point of play tonight we had 6 goal tenders on the ice all standing
    in the shooting lanes ready to block shots or passes. No one was
    attacking the man with the puck. Just a matter of time before they pot
    one playing that game.

    Can you just imagine the amount of
    penalties Gill, O’Byrne and Hammer will be taking in the play offs if
    we play that way against the speedy Washington or Pittsburgh clubs.
    Gill might as well sit in a chair in front of the net waving his stick
    back and forth watching the opposition fly around him.

    We have as
    good of a 4 line hockey club as most in this league, but our defence
    will only be addressed next camp. Until then we will continue to sit on
    the edge of our seats and chew our finger nails for the remainder of
    the year.

  20. Mattyleg says:

    Me and the people around me had a good laugh at the game. We all cheered for him anyway.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  21. Bugs says:

    I may have caught a glimpse of it.

    Dubiously unequivocal, know me as

    L.B. Potter, esq. First Bugler of the St-Habberson’s Club Red Brigade and Head Coachman to the President of Habsbros Flannel-weaving Services:

  22. Mattyleg says:

    I was there tonight, and it was a good game overall. A snorer for the first half of the first, but we came out on fire in the 2nd. A bit of a lull in the 3rd was scary, but it was a good effort.

    Some observations:

    Gionta played his ass off all night, a great effort from him.

    Gill skating back for the puck = scary. Gill in our zone = shutdown.

    Spacek’s hit on Booth, right in front of me (a couple of miles up, tho) was completely clean, and it was quiet when it happened, and we could hear his face hit Spacek’s shoulder way up in the nosebleeds. Echhh.

    The best line was definitely Moore/Moen/Sergei. They worked and worked all night, and they all had good shots on goal.

    Best player of the night: Josh Gorges. Wow. He took a puck in the inside of his elbow early on, and he played through it, and made some fantastic plays in our end. Always fighting for the puck, dogged, full-on.

    The Horton goal: offside. I saw the linesman looking up at the replay after the goal. He realized it too.

    Everyone cheered when they put up the Boston result.

    Awesome. I’m hoarse.

    Oh, and a piece of advice to the guy next to me: SHOOTING ALL THE TIME ISN’T THE BEST OPTION!! STOP COMPLAINING!!!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  23. bostonantifan says:

    Thanks, it’s got the pre-game ceremony, which is what I really need.  I have the game, the ceremony is what got messed up.  All I have to do now is figure out what player to download for the Mac and I’m all set.  Thanks again 🙂

  24. boy from school says:

    i was about to post something in a similar vein. i know he should have his head up, but damn do i feel for him.

    apparently he was coherent and alert in the hospital. he must be rattled though.


  25. Rainrocket16 says:

    Much better fellas!!! Booth got OWNED!! JAroBlock was good once again! too many penalties yet again, need to get disciplined. I say 4 more wins and we can breath a little easier. Who else is in favor of playing the Sabres in the first round?? I sure don’t want the Pens, but I would love to see us beat Crosby’s bitch ass…. A guy can dream huh!

    ——-US Born Habs fan, Proud to be a traitor (when it comes to Hockey).

  26. Bugs says:

    Is it ok if I say “Poor David Booth” or is that traitorously misplaced compassion?

    Cuz… dang, that didn’t look like it helped his concussion rehabilitation any.

    Dubiously unequivocal, know me as

    L.B. Potter, esq. First Bugler of the St-Habberson’s Club Red Brigade and Head Coachman to the President of Habsbros Flannel-weaving Services:

  27. deuce6 says:

    Well, well, well…Little different personel out there with less than 2 to go tonight, eh Jacques?

    Much better job at shutting things down late..Gionta goes hard right until the final whistle…

  28. Le Jadester says:

    OK, Just for Fun-ziees !

    Would you trade for:

    M. St Louis and V. Lecavalier

    In Exchange for:

    B. Gionta, S Gomez and C Price


    Just had a chuckle over this with a buddy.

    On a random……..Third line is getting very scary and Poulio is still gonna be too good. Good Team game for 2 important pts.


    Habs, OLE !

  29. homerbowen says:

    I did, and it’s because we have a tiny tot named Camm who I think is the best of the 3 tiny tots. We are never going to get to the “promised land” with our 3 best forwards all under 5’10”. What other team is like that? When you get to the playoffs these tiny tots (3 on the same team that is) will be targeted and worn down making for a short series. Gomez and Gionta added to separate bigger teams would thrive similar to Kessel in Laff land, Briere in PHI and Martin St Louis in Tampa to name a few…but not 3 on the same team.

    Again, all 3 are talented but it won’t work on one team which is why I said we should trade Gionta and Gomez for that matter.

    During the regular seson our tiny tots will run around and zip in and out and score pretty well but it will end in a 7 game playoff series….that’s just the way it is and hopefully explains why I said “trade him”.

  30. dre1744 says:

    you got  that right  Gio  competes night in and night out.  Kovy is a magician  he plays  great for 3 games  and  dissapears for 20  at a time.

  31. Harditya_CareyPrice says:

    I think we’re 8-2-2 since the break. Still a good record.

  32. Dennis says:

    That check Spacek delivered on Booth was the kind of thing we used to see from Doug Harvey.

  33. Bugs says:

    He ain’t no bum, that’s fersure.

    Unless my math is out the window, a goal every two games is 40 goals at the end of the year, no?

    I guess maybe Gio for 5 years could be better than Kovy for 2 after all…

    Dubiously unequivocal, know me as

    L.B. Potter, esq. First Bugler of the St-Habberson’s Club Red Brigade and Head Coachman to the President of Habsbros Flannel-weaving Services:

  34. habs03 says:

    Thats a problem with Hamrlik, he’s up there in age, and its really the same thing with Spacek. The problem with MAB is that he makes horribe passes in his own end, he can’t  play D on the boards. If you rememeber early in the year he was playing with Mara, as bad as Mara was alot had to do with him playing with MAB. The offesive potential that MAB has is his shot, and that is why he is in the lineup becuase it is so good, but playing as a forward.

  35. lavie says:

    I like Pouliot who always shows his smiley face.

  36. Bugs says:

    That might be the reason.

    There might be another reason too…

    Dubiously unequivocal, know me as

    L.B. Potter, esq. First Bugler of the St-Habberson’s Club Red Brigade and Head Coachman to the President of Habsbros Flannel-weaving Services:

  37. dre1744 says:

    Either is  that small guy called Gionta!!!!!

  38. Bugs says:

    Say, that kid Poolio ain’t too shabby, eh?

    Dubiously unequivocal, know me as

    L.B. Potter, esq. First Bugler of the St-Habberson’s Club Red Brigade and Head Coachman to the President of Habsbros Flannel-weaving Services:

  39. Anonymous Canadiens Fan says:

    Oooh. Good liink. I didn’t know about this one…

  40. I_SAY_FIGHT says:

    try probably get it in hd

  41. jimmy shaker says:

    The first name you mentioned….at least he can skate, join the rush, and actually shoot the puck and get if off the ice when he is in the offensive zone.  Hammer looks like a worn out bum, who’s sippin on his last drop  of JD out there….completely useless.  I’ll take my chances with MAB, his  offensive potential will make up for his defensive shortcomings.  And explain to me how hammer is helping this team right now?

    Cheers boss,


  42. SeriousFan09 says:

    You can watch it on YouTube, the uploader’s name is buffalochoppers I believe.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  43. bostonantifan says:

    Off topic, but just wondering, does anyone know where I might be able to get a tape or dvd of the CBC coverage of the pre-game ceremony and the Bruins-Canadiens 12/4/09 (100th anniversary) game?  I had taped them but unfortunately the tape was accidentally destroyed.  If anyone can help me out, it’d be greatly appreciated.  You can check my contact info for my email address.  Thanks.

  44. ThirtyThree says:


  45. Anonymous Canadiens Fan says:

    Gotta give props to Moen. Played a great game, and only missed one after a crazy scare and 50 stitches. Wow.

  46. lavie says:

    Great home win when I was on the road.

  47. SeriousFan09 says:

    Moen got screwed out of being selected as one of the 3 Stars though.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  48. I_SAY_FIGHT says:

    attach a giant stick on spacek, attach a manican paint it red and call it a player … does it really matter?

  49. anotherhab says:

    Great road win, Moen And Gionta were great tonite.

    7-1-2 since the Olympic break – not much to complain about!!!

    “I find your lack of faith disturbing” Darth V

  50. wotever says:

    Nights like last night where you take away a loser point after a fifty-odd minute lead are lessons.  Hopefully we’ve learned how to compete for and retain a lead.  Unfortunately this being Florida, the conclusion you can draw is that we are, broadly speaking, worse than Buffalo and better than Florida.  And we knew that already.  Hopefully some sphincters tightened up and that is the reason we pulled this off.

  51. MontrealAtheist says:

    Why do Price fans always have to make it sound like there is some sort of conspiracy theory among the team to play poorly and lose on purpose whenever Price is in net and save their best performance for Halak?


    Did it ever cross your mind that the energy might be flowing the other way, i.e. that Halak might inspire his team mates to bring out the best performance, to give them the confidence that he’s got the goal covered and that everyone can concentrate on their own game?

  52. habfab14120 says:

    Bravo Chuck.  Where are you located?  As you may tell from my name, I’m in NT.

    Love that avatar BTW

  53. MontrealAtheist says:

    Price is a bit risky at the moment given that we need all the points we can get in order to make the play-offs. We should continue riding Halak until we secure a play-off spot and then let Price play for a while.

  54. jimmy shaker says:

    And please bench hammer….he has sucked large lately……And not because of another shite call from Devorski either.  He’s been horrible of late, and like tommy knickle has been saying, “why aren’t people complaining about his contract of 5.5mill per.?”  Anyhow, what happened to being able to battle in front of the net like in the old days, now you have to front the guy like in basketball or something.  If you want to stand in front of the net/goalie you better be willing to pay the price, not get a free pass and if you do happen to get hit, go down like a girl and get the stripes to fall for it and give you the call.  No wonder Larry Robinson hates the new rules….so do I.


  55. habs03 says:

    The problem with benching Hamrlik is, who are you going to put in his place? MAB is horrible on D, Mara out for the year, Weber can’t handle big nhl forwards, Subban is spending the year with the Dogs….

  56. jimmy shaker says:

    And the bottom line is: A big fat W!



  57. dre1744 says:

    I can’t remember who it is on this site that keeps  saying we should trade Gionta!!!!!!  Well  the guy should wake up and smell the coffee  cause night in and night out Gionta  is probably one of our best players on the ice!!!!!

  58. MontrealAtheist says:

    don’t they know the only reason they are where they are is Miller?


    That’s definitely true, however we also had a few games where we played terrible and were outshot 2 to 1 yet came out with a win thanks to a brilliant performance by Halak.

  59. MontrealAtheist says:

    50+ shots for the B’s and they still lost 🙂

  60. petefleet says:

    Worst example of an obstruction penalty I’ve ever seen.  Two refs is and
    always has been a waste of ice.  The penalty before O’Byrne’s was
    called by a guy 80 ft away while the ref right on top of the play didn’t
    see fit to make a call.  Pathetic.  Two ref system should go away but
    sadly it won’t.

    Go Habs Go

  61. Habscat says:

    Quite the shake-up for tonights game. I agree that Price really has had it tough and deserves anotherstart. I am just glad that he has the fire to say what he said about the team sitting back on its a$$es the last 5 minutes. We have made that our trade mark over the last few years…get a lead and try to sit on it. DRIVES ME CRAZY!

  62. Chuck says:

    Exchange on the way out of the building last night:

    Sabre Fan, assuming I’m from Montreal: “Man, it must suck to drive a long way to watch your team lose.”

    Me: “Actually, I didn’t have to drive far at all.”

    Sabre Fan: “Oh… because I know that it sucks to drive all the way to Toronto if the Sabres lose.”

    Me: “If I were you, it wouldn’t be the drive to Toronto that sucks… it would be losing to the second-worst team in the NHL.”


    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  63. Habsforlife 1959 says:

    Halak did the samething against the Leafs but still got to play the very next game against Sens. That’s what baffles my mind the most. Geeze!!!

  64. salshabs says:

    Was at the game last night…what a f%$#king bummer. Having to listen to those obnioxous Sabre fans on the way out was almost unbreable…don’t they know the only reason they are where they are is Miller? Well, and a pretty good coach in Lindy Ruff.  That guy has got to have pictures of somebody, to keep things going the way he does, more power to him I guess.  Those late game penalities are Hab lead killers.  Seems we always find a way to get them, plus, I think it’s a league policy…close game, give out late penalties to make it interesting. Ya think!!?? Na…

  65. Jordio-oh says:

    wrong, once again.

  66. matraque says:

    I think they will win for Halak cause he’s the one in net tonight.

    Price didn’t do bad yesterday’s 3 periods… he did bad during the shootout.  No one would be talking about Carey Price today if we would have won in the shootout.


    Komisarek: 0 – 4 – 4 (-9)

  67. Habsforlife 1959 says:

    Scott Gomez missed an open net last night that could have put the Habs up 2-0 early on PP. SH*T HAPPENS!! Price deserves another start for peatsakes!!! Not his fault but the team in front of him that just could not match Sabres high tempo attack. C’mon boys lets rock & roll tonight and WIN for Priceberg. Go Habs Go!!!

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