Game Day: Alex Galchenyuk back on ice for Canadiens’ morning skate

STU COWAN

After missing Friday’s practice with “flu-like symptoms”, Alex Galchenyuk was back on the ice for the Canadiens’ morning skate Saturday in Brossard and should be in the lineup Saturday night at the Bell Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC, TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690).

Meanwhile, Tomas Plekanec didn’t take part in Saturday’s morning skate because of what the team said again are “flu-like symptoms.” Coach Claude Julien said after the skate that Plekanec and Galchenyuk would both be game-time decisions.

Galchenyuk didn’t speak to reporters in the locker room after the morning skate, only saying “good game” as he walked past them en route to the showers. The Canadiens said Galchenyuk would speak after the game.

Julien is obviously getting tired of being asked questions about Galchenyuk, who is pointless in four games this season and has only two goals in his last 28 games, including playoffs, dating back to last season.

“Oh, we’re back on Alex again,” Julien said with a frustrated smile after being asked whether he had spoken with Galchenyuk recently or if the 23-year-old forward already knows what he has to do to move up from the fourth line, where he skated again Saturday morning on left wing with Torrey Mitchell at centre and Ales Hemsky on the right.

“He wasn’t put down on the fourth line for punishment reasons,” Julien said. “Basically, he’s no different than others. He’s working hard to find his game … that much I know. Whether he’s playing to the level that we expect or not is one thing. Whether he’s trying or whether he doesn’t know what to do … I think when a player is really trying to find his game there’s a lot of things going through his mind. So we talk to him, we tell him, simplify things, this is what can help your game and we keep doing those things. And we’ll keep doing it until he finds his game. It’s as simple as that.”

The Canadiens come into Saturday’s game with a 1-3-0 record and have scored only four goals, including two short-handed, in the first four games. They are also 0-for-14 on the power play. The Leafs are 3-0-1, have scored 22 goals and have the second-best power play in the NHL clicking at 33 per cent with eight goals on 24 opportunities.

The good news for the Canadiens is that they have won their last 14 games against the Maple Leafs, including 10 in regulation time, dating back to Jan. 18, 2014.

(File photo: Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

The lines

With Plekanec out and Galchenyuk back on the ice, here’s how the Canadiens’ lines and defence pairings looked at the morning skate:

Pacioretty – Drouin – Lehkonen
Hudon – Danault – Shaw
Byron – De La Rose – Gallagher
Galchenyuk – Mitchell – Hemsky

Mete – Weber
Alzner – Petry
Benn – Davidson
Morrow

Carey Price will make his fifth straight start in goal for the Canadiens. Price has a 1-3-0 record with a 3.30 goals-against average and .899 save percentage.

Schlemko called up from Laval

The Canadiens called up defenceman David Schlemko from the AHL’s Laval Rocket Saturday morning but he won’t be in the lineup against the Leafs. 

Schlemko, who suffered a hand injury early in training camp, was sent down to Laval on Friday for a conditioning stint. He played in the Rocket’s 8-7 overtime win over the Binghamton Devils Friday night in Laval. Daniel Carr scored in overtime for the Rocket to complete a hat-trick.

The Rocket are back in action Saturday afternoon against Binghamton (3 p.m., RDS2, TSN Radio 690).

Julien said Schlemko still wasn’t 100-per-cent healthy and the coach wasn’t certain yet if the defenceman would travel with the Canadiens next week to the U.S. West Coast for games in San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim.

“Nothing has been decided yet,” Julien said. “We’re obviously dealing with today and this is out of my hands right now. He’s just not 100-per-cent ready to go tonight so I’ll have to wait and see what comes out of that.”

Birthday boy

Happy birthday to Laval Rocket coach Sylvain Lefebvre, who turned 50 on Saturday.

Watch Julien’s news conference

You can also watch Julien’s full Saturday morning news conference from Brossard on the HI/O Facebook page.

Toronto’s old boys

The Maple Leafs’ Patrick Marleau (38), Dominic Moore (37) and Ron Hainsey (36) are all old enough to qualify for old-timers hockey but are still performing well in the NHL.

Marleau, signed as a free agent this summer after spending 19 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, has two goals and two assists in Toronto’s first four games. Moore, who played 21 games with the Canadiens during the 2009-10 season, had two goals heading into Saturday’s game. Hainsey, the Canadiens’ first round draft pick (13th overall) in 2000, had three assists in the first four games.

The Canadiens drafted Hainsey three months before the Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews celebrated his third birthday. Matthews, 20, was leading the Leafs in scoring heading into Saturday’s game with 3-3-6 totals.

“I think Patrick’s big asset has always been his skating,” Julien said Saturday morning about Marleau. “The one thing that happens to everybody as you get to a certain age, the first thing to go is a lot of time’s is your legs. You don’t have that quickness that you maybe once had. And you can look at a ton of players and you’re going to say the same thing. I don’t think that’s the case with Patrick Marleau. He’s always been a great skater and continues to be a great skater. And some of those older players that manage to continue to be as effective are guys that can certainly keep up with the pace of the game and I think that’s where Patrick Marleau is doing a great job. He’s certainly capable of keeping up with the pace.”

Odds & Ends

The Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher and Karl Alzner are both one assist shy of the 100-mark for their NHL careers. …

Alzner’s incredible streak of 544 consecutive games played, dating back to his time in Washington, is the longest on the Canadiens, followed by Phillip Danault (136) and Artturi Lehkonen (64). Anaheim Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano has the longest current ironman streak in the NHL with 791 consecutive games played. Former Canadien Doug Jarvis holds the NHL record for consecutive games played with 964.

This Date in Habs History

Oct. 14, 1961: Henri Richard scored two goals and Claude Provost had a goal and two assists ina 3-1 win over the New York Rangers at the Forum. It was the ninth straight opening-game victory for the Canadiens, an NHL record.

Oct. 14, 1988: After being suspended for one game by coach Pat Burns, forward Claude Lemieux responded with his first career hat-trick and added an assist in a 7-3 win over the Devils in New Jersey.

What’s next?

On Sunday, the Canadiens will fly to San Jose for a three-game U.S. West Coast road trip with games against the Sharks Tuesday, the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday and the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. 

• Maple Leafs at Canadiens: Five things you should know, by Pat Hickey

• Galchenyuk becomes ball of confusion with Canadiens, by Stu Cowan

• Price remains Mr. Cool despite bad start, by Stu Cowan

• Mete shows he belongs on Habs blue line, by Pat Hickey

• What the Puck: Canadiens fans seeing red, by Brendan Kelly

175 Comments

  1. FuzE_gus says:

    I found the end of the rainbow!!!

  2. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Hickey just said the Habs set-up Chucky to start the season playing him with Danault…LMAO…talk about propaganda.

  3. Captain aHab says:

    Scherbak not coming back today….s***!

    —————-
    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

  4. Captain aHab says:

    Carr’s game is a lot more tempered today. He may have left too much on the ice last night in his emotional return. McCarron still not showing much to me…might be time to move him to the wing for good and tell him to play more of a 3rd line game.

    —————-
    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

    • johnnylarue says:

      I always thought putting McCarron at centre was just a way to get him to skate more (and therefore improve his skating) and establish some sound defensive habits to help his overall usefulness (in case his point production never amounted to much.)

      In any case, I certainly think the time has come to shape him into the power winger he was destined to be. Less skating, more crashing. I can’t understand the continued obsession with putting him at centre when his ceiling at that position is the 3rd line in a best-case scenario–and even there, I don’t think his skating will ever be good enough to allow him to be a convincing shut-down centre.

  5. Reg Dunlop says:

    Seems to me that while they say they want “Alex to find his game” what they really mean is for him to find the game they want him to play. Whether or not it suits Alex’s game is imaterial.

    “Boy, every piece of garbage that comes into the market and you gotta buy it!”

  6. Breaking Wind says:

    Oh my. I’ve got a bad feeling about tonight, and it isn’t gas.

  7. johnnylarue says:

    When did spelling Seguin’s name with a ‘Q’ become a thing?

  8. Habby_Haberton says:

    Guys, I jus got back from the future (long story). In my Sports Almanac, I read that Habs win this one 5-4.
    Don’t tell Biff.

  9. Joey24 says:

    Well this should be a night to remember. The vulnerable, troubled and identityless Habs face a young exciting talented Toronto Maple Leaf team who are out to avenge the last 14 regular season matches. Sadly the Leafs will hammer the Habs and despite a gutssy Price first period, will lose by at least 6 goals in the Center Bell. The only silver lining in the cloud is another nail in the Bergevin regimes coffin. He and his 5 plus year plan has to go. St. Patrick get ready. Hopefully your time has or will arrive soon. Go Habs Go.

  10. on2ndthought says:

    Pretty fair take by Damien Cox:

    https://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/2017/10/14/wobbly-habs-play-for-today-with-future-less-bright-cox.html

    (don’t know if this has been posted previously)

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

    • on2ndthought says:

      not saying I agree with it

    • Joey24 says:

      Cox is right. The cupboard is pretty bare and the product on the ice is small, and lacking of a true bonanza fife franchise player. Oh I love Carey Price, but he can’t win a cup by himself. I love Jonathon Drouin and for the money Pacioretty delivers goals yearly. Weber is on the decline and PK should have either drawn a comparatively younger player and picks. Bergevin has desparely destroyed this team by band aid fixes. Therrien was not the problem. He did wonders with what he had. Time for change. Anyone notice empty seats in the reds. Yes they are sold, but not resold. There are few who are willing to pay so high a price for so little performance on the ice. There are leaks in the dam and sooner than later the dam is going to break. Tonight could be ugly.

  11. Habitoban says:

    Scherbak to the room with a sore leg.

  12. Captain aHab says:

    Crap…leg injury for Scherbak.

    —————-
    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

  13. Captain aHab says:

    4-1 weak weak goal. Lindgren not looking good over the last couple of games…

    —————-
    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

  14. Captain aHab says:

    Once the Habs decide that maybe they should have a real 4th line, Deslauriers will look good there…he’s like a guided missile.

    —————-
    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

  15. Captain aHab says:

    The Binghamton goalie is playing one hell of a game.

    —————-
    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

  16. Islandhabber69 says:

    Putting chucky on the 3rd/4th line will get him scoring against weaker lines….if he bangs in some goals ….maybe the confidence will come back …..something has to give…just don’t trade the kid……chucky is no pud…..u only learn from your mistakes….let him learn….he’s only been sucking since injury…. how many good players have gone thru that….alot…..he is 1 of the only exciting players on this team………there is talent on the team…just haven’t happen in the 4 games this season….once the defense starts dropping bodies and getting

    • Captain aHab says:

      Ask yourself this question: on the western road trip, opponents will have the last change. Do you think they’ll put their weak lines against the Galchenyuk line or will they go power on them? It’s the same as saying put Mete on the 3rd pairing. I would much rather he be with Weber, especially on the road.

      —————-
      Low risk, low cost, no return
      AKA The MB Trifecta©

      • Cal says:

        I’d rather Mete be in London now. Having him up is a waste of a contract year. He’ll be even better next year.

        • Captain aHab says:

          You can absolutely make that argument but since the new fangled D would look very weak without him, methinks he”ll stay up.

          —————-
          Low risk, low cost, no return
          AKA The MB Trifecta©

    • habcertain says:

      For Chucky’s game to be appreciated by his critics, it will require he play with like minded linemates, sticking him with Shaw, Dandy and now…etc, won’t solve anything at this point. Put him with JD et al, and see what it produces, I thought CJ would bring a different perspective, but obviously he is aligned with MB, so here we sit and wait. This is becoming an all too familiar with player handling/development, it is a blind spot for Team MB.

  17. Captain aHab says:

    The Rocket has a 3 to 1 shot advantage but is down 3 to 1. Sound familiar? From what I’ve seen this year, they are similar to the Habs in that the goals they give away are often on total absolute D breakdowns. Like opponents WIDE open in front of the net. I guess they’re implementing Julien’s system there as well….

    —————-
    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

  18. Captain aHab says:

    Jerabek looks shaky to me….Mete should get more permanent housing arrangements…

    —————-
    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

  19. Gerry Pigeon says:

    I think we should shoot less.

    We used to get outshot but win, and now we outshoot and lose.

    We used to be the best counter attack team, when the opposition would spend all their time and energy getting frustrated buzzing around our end, then we’d take off on an odd man break and put one in. Now we buzz and they score.

    I know it sounds ridiculous, but watching Drouin fly down the left side against the Hawks and blast one wide which started the break for Chicago and ended up in our net, it just seems we are trying so hard, we forgot to calm down and not work harder, but smarter.

    Less shots, more goals. Play a little looser and calmer.

  20. chilli says:

    @on2nd

    $100 on the Habs not making the playoffs…

  21. The_Rocket_Returns says:

    What does Chucky need to do to get off the fourth line?

    Lift a pair of anchors.

    … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • bwoar says:

      Score a goal, play hard. Seriously, that guy playing his a– off will absolutely lift two puds.

      I’m encouraged by Scherbak’s good start – there seemed to be an ounce of chemistry with #27 there in the preseason. I wonder if we might remake that 4th line at some point.

      • habcertain says:

        Any talk about making your number 3 pick a good idea for a strong 4th line, appears immensely shortsighted, any realistic options to improve scoring, is getting Chucky to produce in the o zone. 4th line minutes does not align with the solution.

  22. Gerry Pigeon says:

    @ Lapointe

    I wish you would post more. Seriously. I see most of your posts as candid honest insights that are usually critical of others opinions, but I think you have more to offer. I would like to know what you think of this team now, what you think of MB’s job so far, and where you think this thing is going.

    • Lapointe says:

      Gerry Pigeon…thanks for reading my post. I am a critic but not in a personal way. I’ve been a Habs fan since 56 so a long time. I had the great fortune of watching this team when it was a powerhouse. My favorite player of all time is Larry Robinson. He could do it all and still have class and professionalism. The 70’s team was special….just special.

      I believe the team now is middle of the pack and probably will make the playoffs but most likely one and done. Probably they have lost something in losing Markov and Radulov. I also liked Pateryn quite a bit. I am a fan of big defense groups.

      MB was inexperienced and it shows after 5 years at the helm. It can be argued that his job is a tough one due to the expectations of the city and it’s history of winning. However results is what matters and he is now weakened based on early hopes. Perhaps there will be changes in that position after this season…..unless the team somehow pulls it all together.

      I think the team is going to stay middle of the pack for the near future but like many on here it is a personal opinion based on emotion and frustration. It just seems like we as a team are spinning our collective wheels.

      As for my critical posting again nothing personal but some of the posts are really weak and I get it that people are frustrated but the frustration should not result in dumb posts.

      So again Gerry thanks for responding to my post. I read almost every post on here. Always appreciate yours Gerry.

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        Thanks Lapointe.

        I’m so jealous you got to enjoy the 50’s powerhouse teams. Yup, that 70’s dynasty was special, has spoiled me for life, makes me a harsh critic of today’s team. I get the world has changed, and it’s not realistic to expect consecutive Cups, but I’d settle for a really good team that makes the finals at least once…

        Thanks for posting a long reply, love to hear your point of view. Interesting how age brings wisdom, and a reserved perspective. Nice of you to say you appreciate my posts, although I’m sure more than the odd one is aggravating to those that don’t see the issues I do. Like most, I like to be right, but would happily suffer the slings and arrows of the pollys around here if this team magically catches fire and does the unthinkable. It might even help me find the silver lining in all other teams afterwards 🙂

        Thanks again sir, keep posting.

  23. Alvin says:

    FREE RANGE RUSSIAN! FREE RANGE RUSSIAN ! FREE RANGE RUSSIAN !
    On the RW please.

  24. Captain aHab says:

    Scherbak just scored on a laser wrister.

    —————-
    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

  25. Captain aHab says:

    1-0 Binghamton…stupid penalty on McCarron – snowed the goalie.

    —————-
    Low risk, low cost, no return
    AKA The MB Trifecta©

  26. chilli says:

    @on2nd

    It is for the Habs….

    That shootout point is the only thing separating us from the basement with Buffalo.

  27. CranbrookEd says:

    I am shocked at how poorly the Leaves are being treated by the NHL . . . yikes! 🙂

    https://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/2017/10/14/saturday-night-leaf-tradition-fading-away.html

    CranbrookEd
    Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . .

    • on2ndthought says:

      No mention of how many home Sat night tilts other teams have. By my count the Habs have 13. In the last month, though, we face the Leafs twice at the ACC.

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  28. habs001 says:

    For Plecks to have a good season he has to score goals like last game..He has scored a lot of goals in his career that probably should not have gone in but they do…Last 2 years those type of goals have been very limited..if that happens this year he will only score 10-12 goals…Main issue is that his style of play the last 2 years just does not produce goals from his wingers..

    • Captain aHab says:

      The difference between this year and the last 2 is that he is playing for a contract. Take the added effort but DON’T sign him to an extension.

      —————-
      Low risk, low cost, no return
      AKA The MB Trifecta©

    • Reg Dunlop says:

      Pretty much every goal Pleks scores is a “surprise”, last-faint-hope type of shot.

      They are almost never the result of a high level of skill, imagination or collabortion with his linemates. A lot of them are plain lucky. So for him to score with any frequency he will need luck on his side.

      “Boy, every piece of garbage that comes into the market and you gotta buy it!”

  29. Habby_Haberton says:

    If Habs win tonight…They will be 2 and 3…considered a horrible lottery draft bound team. The great Leafs would be 3 and 2 and have the parade planned already.
    Okee Dokee.

  30. chilli says:

    With Colorado in 1st place in their division and Andreghetto leading the team in points and Yakupov 2nd…
    some of you were calling Sakic the worst GM in the league a week ago.
    Where does MB land on that list of worst GM’s?

    • on2ndthought says:

      Season’s over?

    • johnnylarue says:

      That’s the thing about the “sky is falling”/”hang Bergie!” hysteria surrounding this place. Surely, everyone remembers all those years when the Leafs would start the season on fire with their new “Big Three” and their David Clarksons and whatnot, and all the TSN talking heads frothing at the mouth because surely, THIS was their year…

      And a month later, back to being bottom feeders playing in front of a 2/3 full arena haunted by the ghosts of corporate communications departments who literally couldn’t give their tickets away.

      To put any stock whatsoever in the results we’ve seen thus far in the season… Aren’t we above all this, Habs fans?

      (For the record though, I really do think our D sucks and Bergevin has run out of ideas and this team is going nowhere fast, but that’s beside the point.)

      • Captain aHab says:

        Habs have had trouble scoring for 50-60 games now. It isn’t just since the beginning of the season. Maybe JuJu will resolve this…who knows?

        —————-
        Low risk, low cost, no return
        AKA The MB Trifecta©

        • 100HABS says:

          different team … too many changes to say this is a streak from last year.

          The one constant over those 60 games is CJ…

          • Captain aHab says:

            Aside from the rotating puds, what were the huge changes on O? Radulov out and Drouin in. The team isn’t completely different.

            —————-
            Low risk, low cost, no return
            AKA The MB Trifecta©

          • 100HABS says:

            How about most of the D changed over? Hudon, DLR?
            No King, Ott, Martinsen.

    • Habby_Haberton says:

      And those stats are sure to stay that way all year right? Hyperbole much?

    • Habfan17 says:

      There is not the same pressure or expectation in Colorado. They were so bad last year, teams may not be taking them as seriously as they would had they been a top team. By seriously, I mean taking them too lightly.

      Habfan17

  31. Bash says:

    Didn’t Claude run Sequin out of town?

    “Damn it Jim I’m not a doctor; I’m a hockey expert.”

    • expat_habsfan says:

      Yup, Sequin and a bag of pucks went to Dallas for Eriksson and a bag of pucks. I believe Eriksson, is now doing his mediocre job with the Nuks and while Sequin continues to make the B’s suffer buyer’s remorse with his maturation and offensive numbers in Dallas.

      I can see Chucky in the same situation very shortly and haunting the Habs every time his eventual new team plays them. Sort of like how LeClair made the Habs pay when he wore the Flyer crest against them.

      Goes to show how the Habs’ have consistently kept mediocre and over-priced talent because they ‘fit’ in their system yet couldn’t see the real talent for the same reason. At some time, eventually, the Habs while have to face the fact that their system is the problem and that system encompasses everything from the owners on down.

      I’m not expecting a great showing tonight from the Habs. I expect some mild fury in the 1st period but that will fade shortly after the Leafs score a few goals. It is entirely possible that this game will be a blowout and the fans will be hitting the exits before the 3rd period starts.

    • Strummer says:

      It was Chiarelli.
      It was a salary cap move.

      -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

  32. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I was watching Jagr last night and I came up with a question: Who’s the best slow player you have ever seen play?

    I think it might be Jagr but for the sake of discussion let’s stipulate the player to have always been slow. The best I could come up with was Andreychuk.

  33. johnnylarue says:

    So, this Schlemko guy–he really does play hockey, right?

    • on2ndthought says:

      He’s a shell company, with an office in Montreal, and headquarters in Nevis.

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  34. Habituated says:

    “’Oh, we’re back on Alex again,’ Julien said with a frustrated smile after being asked whether he had spoken with Galchenyuk recently or if the 23-year-old forward already knows what he has to do to move up from the fourth line, where he skated again Saturday morning on left wing with Torrey Mitchell at centre and Ales Hemsky on the right.”

    All the attention being paid to Galchenyuk’s play, including the questions the player himself is asked, is yet another facet of the difficulties of playing in Montreal. The media spotlight is intense.

    To be fair, it’s not the only place where a sports team faces such scrutiny, though is perhaps the toughest city in the NHL. Less coverage than Toronto for logistical reasons (feel free to add the center-of-the-universe comment of your choice), but much more critical than others (feel free to add the nationalistic/cultural reference of your choice).

    You’d have to think that some in the media are fans of the team, and that some subset of those journalists must be aware there is potential harm in what they do. Still, they live in a lose-lose world. Fans are voracious and want and endless supply of information – “news “may be too big a stretch, for those of us who are purists about journalism’s role – that includes answers to the questions we have, spoken and unspoken, so they have to provide content. Ask the questions, risk the harm (and the ire of some fans); don’t ask the questions, risk being irrelevant/scooped (and the ire of some other fans).

    Not an easy situation, especially in the age of the 24-hour news cycle and endless hole, coupled with the ironic slide in traditional media revenues, most notably in print.

    Personally, I could do without the harping aspect of some of the reporting. Of course, the obvious – and probably the only – way to reduce that is to win, including 16 times in the postseason.

    • FenceSurfer says:

      Never been to TO strip clubs but them MTL strips be world famous. I should know, I grew up on them, sneaking in at a tender age. And then being reminded of the fact by Americans when first mentioned where I be from…”Club super sex” So….

      He was brought up as a young pro hockey player in this city while placed in the candy store unsupervised waaaaaaaay too soon.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Toronto really only has one…not that I have been there…

        • FenceSurfer says:

          LOL.

          I’ve never been to club super sex by the by, that was after my time to my move in the states. My hang out as a young one was Le Harem over the Cartierville bridge from Laval. Last time I went 3 years ago it was turned into a nursery. But oh. Michelle, ma belle.

          Great times.

    • Habby_Haberton says:

      Agree. It is time fans and media give him some time and patience and then watch him thrive.

    • on2ndthought says:

      Good comment. I’ve seen Alex’s play as quite positive. He has hustled defensively, worked offensively. No goals, and the ‘frequent deer in the headlight’ play make it easy to single him out. As long as those plays happen in the offensive zone, things will be fine.

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  35. haloracer18 says:

    I don’t believe that Pittsburgh and Chicago have any better coaching than the rest of the league. I think the big difference between their teams and Montreal’s is scouting. They have different criteria that they are looking for than the habs’ scouting team, and it is allowing them to play a skilled transition/breakout game. Very few teams work from the cycle down-low, but there are certain players that have the speed and skill that makes them a cut above others in the transition game. That’s when a team can invoke some creativity, find some space and get a quality scoring chance, but it means cheating a little bit up the ice, and being adept at stealing pucks, moving the puck quickly and having defense that joins the rush, every rush, until the team has a secure lead. That extra player in the rush can hide off to one side and get a cross-ice pass. Cheating up the ice does work well if the player can read the play accurately enough.

    I think part of the reason for the habs failures over the last few decades was their refusal to find players that are better at reading plays in the defensive zone and moving/carrying the puck up the ice. For this reason, I would have elected to keep Sergachev and offered Tampa something else for Drouin.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Don’t you think he offered something else than Sergachev? You weren’t going to get Drouin for De La Rose and a 5th.

      —————-
      Low risk, low cost, no return
      AKA The MB Trifecta©

  36. Habastard says:

    Re Andrighetto, I think time will indeed show he’s a legit top 6 player. It was obvious to some of us while he was here but apparently not to MB or MT.

    With Chucky they seem to be fed up, and I can’t blame them, so he’s not going to move up until he learns and sticks to his assignments. Fair enough but on the PP he must be put on the right side for his shot; for the good of the team. Thats what’s frustrating so many of the fans.

    • olematelot says:

      We’re all aware that many on here know more than MT or MB.

      • Lapointe says:

        olematelot……….I’ll drink to that. I know it a place for opinions but Geez there are some real hockey Gods on here. I get a kick out of reading the incredibly dumb posts. AG for instance is a superstar who only needs first line duties to score almost at will disregarding the facts that AG can’t back check or won’t back check ….goes to a crowd to display his stick handling….makes blind or stupid passes and loses the puck way more than most. Yep he is a superstar just needs to play on the first line and PP. Actually he needs to learn how play and get his lazy ass in gear. He does have talent but his days are probably getting to an end with the Habs.

        • 100HABS says:

          Chucky remains the player with the points from his draft year. He has scored 30 goals when placed with competent linemates.
          While not being a hockey God, he has established himself as a top six forward without a doubt. Yet CJ places him on the 3rd or 4th lines, and tells him to work hard and play north-south, which is simply not his game.
          I see him working and trying. Although I admit some of his passes are bad, good ones are often lost because he’s playing with 4th liners. While with Max, he’d get that right back, now they just get lost.
          Chucky is being badly coached right now, just like CJ couldn’t coach Séguin.

  37. on2ndthought says:

    He’s been amazing me since 1971. Why am I surprised he still can?

    https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/appview/sports/hockey/ken-dryden-head-injury-essay/article36585129/

    ” they especially don’t when, just as with other seemingly unmovable problems – racism, inequality, climate change – they don’t know what to do. So first, they don’t see what is there, then they ignore, then they doubt, then they fight back, then they create doubt, then they manage…
    It’s also the story of science, of knowing better today than yesterday, but of never knowing for sure, because science never knows for sure, because what it knows today is only a placeholder for what it will know tomorrow…
    The issue isn’t whether a hit is intentional or accidental, whether a player’s head is up or down, targeted or not, whether the hit comes from a shoulder, an elbow or a fist… No hits to the head – no excuses…
    The risk to the game’s players is not fair, not right, and not necessary.
    These last two words are crucial – not necessary…
    Gary Bettman is the decision-maker in hockey… If change is to happen, he will implement it…
    It’s all so doable. In hockey, there are answers.”

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  38. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Biggest factors tonight IMO: Habs PP and Anderson’s play. If Habs PP doesn’t score, no chance. If Anderson plays well, no chance either.

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      You assume the Habs can press enough to draw penalties…

      I think the Habs will be busy defending, and the Leafs will be the ones with the PP.

      I know everyone’s in a knot about the game tonight, but win or lose, it’s only one game.

      My concern is watching our Habs trend down the last 40 games, stretching into last season. And my annoyance is watching the Leafs trend up at the same time.

      • Habituated says:

        While the Habs vs. Leafs rivalry hasn’t been an on-ice issue for years, the fans still see it that way — the rivalry exists between the cities, acerbated by the Toronto-centric media.

        For many years, while the Habs have been steeped in mediocrity (at best), we could take some solace in the ineptitude in Leaf-land. Not so anymore, as the Habs sink and the Leafs ascend courtesy of the one workable formula for success in today’s corrupted NHL model.

  39. CH Sam says:

    Random thought: the player I think Chucky’s game should be patterned after is Ovechkin, in terms of skill-set on the wing. Right now, they’re moulding him into a Shawn Thornton or Greg Campbell.

    • on2ndthought says:

      Add 2 inches and 30 pounds, then add an unyielding nose for the net, then add a desire to crush mere mortals, and maybe AG could emulate Ovie.

      At this point, if Chuck can become a Filip Forsberg, a Landeskog, a Marcus Johansson, that would be grand. Solid both ways, and skilled when given a shot.

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  40. joeybarrie says:

    Canadiens fans see red and are against the management?
    AMAZING REPORTING. Along the lines of water is wet, the sky is blue, death and taxes. WELL DONE. I just cannot believe the fans are not happy, in MONTREAL????? Crazy.
    The Stanley Cup champions trade for Streit 4 month prior, but MB is an idiot for giving him a minimum contract…? Yeah. There is a great argument there.
    What about DSP??? Cause when we traded him to NJ he did well and all I heard was how bad we were to not realize how amazing DSP was. Now? 4th line in Washington on a 650k contract. I thought he was going to be a 30 goal scorer outside of Montreal.
    But now the Ghetto is getting top line minutes in Colorado, he gets some points. We missed out on a top line player. We will see what happens in the long run…
    Middling NYR team? Does this guy even watch hockey?
    But apparently according to the comments, Kelly always hits the nail right on the head…. Well. To that I cannot comment, cause my mom taught me better.
    Grumbler and he is not the only one, is correct…. Look up the definition of Grumbler…. Nagging, discontented, complainer, muttering nonsense.
    4 games in and here we go with this again. I guess we will see what happens. But I can guarantee you that we will not be reading an article of Kelly’s that says he was wrong like Jack Todd admitted a few times. I’m pretty sure we only see his grumbling during the lows.
    How did the Preds open their season last year????
    And NO ONE is saying what the puck. cause its stupid.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Kelly is not a sports reporter. WTP is just an opinion piece sorta like a blog.

      • joeybarrie says:

        Doesn’t excuse the nonsense. And if he is writing a weekly article about The Habs and hockey…… Maybe they should get a sports reporter. Or even a good reporter. or even a good writer.
        He should go back to the free paper I used to get in college.

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          The problem with the article is that it is at least a week early. If the Habs lose tonight and on the West Coast trip, then the article would be apropos IMO. After only 4 games it is ridiculous.

          • joeybarrie says:

            Cant reqally write that article next week when we take the league back by storm. (and go 50-50 winning by one goal each game in OT)

          • Gerry Pigeon says:

            The article is timely, reflecting the feelings of many Habs fans.

            Can you say we’re reactionary, too easy to get up in arms? Obviously.

            But you can’t say the reaction of the fans should be ignored. You can’t even say the concerns are unfounded. It’s not like our Habs have been an offensive juggernaut before this year’s lack of goals. It’s been an ongoing issue for years.

            I’m not a fan of BK, and wouldn’t miss him if he AND that other guy hosting the HIO show disappeared. But BK hit a sore point, and a valid one, with the last article.

          • joeybarrie says:

            Offensive juggernaut. NO.
            But 4 out of 5 seasons in the top ten.
            2nd with 110 pts, 7th with 103 pts, 9th with 100 pts and 4th with (what would have been) 107 pts.
            Yet over that same time we have heard this again and again. Considering this is still a top ten team, its pretty early and judgmental. Its like picking a sore spot.
            Lets say this team ends up in the top 10 in the NHL again at the end of the season…. Was this anywhere near anything but nonsense.
            Would you bet against them not being in the top ten?

          • Gerry Pigeon says:

            Yup, I would. $50?

            I admire your positivity Joey. I wish I could share it. Occasionally, I do, even moreso a few years ago.

            And while I think I’m right with my observations about how MB’s building the team ass backwards, I know it’s just another point of view, and the team might prove me wrong yet.

            But I’m willing to bet I’m not.

  41. on2ndthought says:

    Schlemko sitting out tonight, according to JF Chaumont:

    http://bit.ly/2gaAWVH

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I guess they are looking in Laval to play a vet who sat out last night’s game. Rather just give Schlemko another game unless there is some sort of call-up/roster/waiver situation going on.

      EDIT: read above that Julien says he’s still not 100%. WTF does that mean? Guys here said last night Schlemko looked good….I give up.

  42. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Predictions for tonight’s tilt?

    I feel a huge win for the Boys.

    “I hate the Leafs like a sickness”

  43. Gerry Pigeon says:

    Do you know the way to San Jose?

    Burt Bacharach + Dionne Warwick = Perfect Timeless Pop Music

  44. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If you overlap the Habs and Rocket schedules, it is pretty interesting. Obviously Schlemko is playing tonight because if they wanted him to keep “conditioning”, he would be playing tonight in Laval. If the Habs lose tonight there could be an opportunity for a hot player from Laval to be called up for the West road trip. If not and the West trip goes bad, there will be 3 games on the 20th, 21st and 22nd for players to make the case to be called up. I can see Hemsky being released after the road trip and someone being called up.

  45. 25soonenough says:

    Boy, that picture at the top of Claude staring, dumbfounded, at Chucky while Gallagher stands by in awkward proximity sure paints a thousand words.

    I wonder how the whole situation is affecting the players that are entrenched in it?

    Like the friend in the middle of two other friends going through a bad breakup?

    –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • FenceSurfer says:

      Remember that Habs show where Chucky and Gallagher were playing video games in their hotel room on the road. They were best buds.

      Good times.

      • 25soonenough says:

        I’m sure they still are, which, must make the situation worse for Gallagher. I would hate to see one of my best buds struggling like that. It’s a crappy situation that only some puck luck will fix IMO.

        If Chucky pots one tonight, the albatross will be lifted off his back, at least, temporarily.

        –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

        • FenceSurfer says:

          I wasn’t insinuating they weren’t still good buds. But let’s be honest, one took the right path while the other has taken the wrong turn on that yellow brick road. Now he has to deal with flying monkeys (coachs’ MT & CJ) Green witches (night life) and men behind curtains (MB). He needs to wise up and find a brain.

          • 25soonenough says:

            haha. Maybe. I’ve had more than one buddy walk the line and end up in all kinds of bad situations,

            but we remained close friends.
            Friends stick by each other.

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • FenceSurfer says:

            If friends really stood by each other Big Bird would still be your neighbor.

          • FenceSurfer says:

            Stupid joke, I should have done a Costanza and left on a high note.

          • 25soonenough says:

            haha. Big Bird ran off with Oscar and started a boy band.

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  46. 100HABS says:

    Julien “So we talk to him, we tell him, simplify things, this is what can help your game and we keep doing those things. ”

    This is the problem where CJ does not know how to deal with Chucky IMO. Chucky’s game is not simple, it’s not about dumping the puck, North-South, battling in the corners… that’s not what has got him here, that’s not how he’s gotten success. That’s how guys like Marchand, Gally, Shaw have success..

    Chucky’s most useful when he thinks he’s the greatest. When he dekes players out, makes risky passes to find the open man and sends the puck on his stick, when he receives a puck on his stick for a top-corner one-timer. All he needs is for the coach(es) to give him the chance, set him loose, tell him he’s great, to take the risks and be creative!

    CJ is doing the ultimate wrong thing with Chucky and it hurts me to see this.

    • jon514 says:

      CJ has coached tons of talented players over his career and gotten excellent results… Chucky is a headcase. He got a 15M contract and he still can’t get it together.

      There’s not one right way to handle the situation and it’s wrong to assume that the way Chucky reacts on the ice is a direct response to where CJ played him.

      Everything about the kid’s body language screams that he’s lost his passion for the game! He’s not competing the same way he used to on the 1st or the 4th line.

  47. Don Birnam says:

    Chucky,Mitchel,Hemsky is the 4th Line?
    Wtf?
    Broll, Big Mac and Deslaurier is a Real 4th Line.
    Sit DLR and let Chuck centre the 3rd Line.
    Good to go.
    Hey,is Shlemko playing?

    Viva Timo Libre!

    • 25soonenough says:

      Shlemko is still conditioning. I say bring up Sherbak to replace Hemsky ASAP. Deslaurier would be a nice Prust-like addition.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  48. on2ndthought says:

    Allow me my fantasies, please.

    If this lineup works; the flu hasn’t sapped energy, and these 4 lines role. The result will be a good tilt against a good (there, I said it!) Toronto team.

    Plekanec recovers, and we go into the road trip with a fourth line of:
    Galchenyuk Plekanec Hemsky. Mitchell sits as the 13th forward.

    That looks like a decent 4th line.

    TBH, I have yet to see any indication from Hemsky of anything other than skill and vision. Certainly, Galchenyuk has out-worked him in every game that I’ve seen.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  49. FenceSurfer says:

    Perhaps the Habs can fire CJ and replace him with Sly, he seems to finally have a hold on the team, over there, in Laval.

  50. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I’m in the camp of most posters & hockey people that say Alex Galchenyuk should be on the #1 line with Max & Drouin. I thought Julien was much smarter than this or could it be that he’s taking direct orders from Bergevin? It’s shameful to have a 30 goal scorer juggled all over the lineup and used as a scapegoat.

    Having said that, Leafs Nation thinks their unfortunate streak against the Habs comes to an end tonight. If Leafs win, perhaps it’s expected but I’ll tell you one thing, if the Habs continue their winning ways against Toronto, Leafs Nation will be in mourning, 5 games into a season.

    “I hate the Leafs like a sickness”

    • whazzzup says:

      The pews are already filled with hab fans

      I may have lived beside ken Dryden once but now I’m in the center of the hockey universe

    • 100HABS says:

      No way the Chucky situation is being called by MB. When MT was here, Chucky was handled completely differently and much better IMO. This is all CJ, just like he was doing in Boston. He doesn’t understand skilled players, doesn’t know how to deal with them.

  51. habs001 says:

    Not sure the Habs can handle the Leafs PP as the PK has not looked that good even when the other team has not scored..Habs scoring has been terrible but even if they get back to what they have been in the last few years that is not good enough…If Habs win today it will be because of Price playing great and Anderson giving up bad goals..

    • on2ndthought says:

      Schlemko should help the second wave PK two ways. Get Benn back on the RD, and by being a decent defender. It’ll be a shame if Davidson sits. He was horrible in pre-season, but has looked solid in the past two starts.

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  52. Forum Dog says:

    Was this an opportunity to put Galchenyuk at centre, instead of holding fast to the 4th line LW? Possibly. Instead we get DLR (-1, 30% on draws) practicing as the 3rd line pivot.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I would put him at center too. Give him a positive reason to be on the 4th line. The Habs are so poor down the middle what do they have to lose??? And if they want him to skate, he will have to move his feet playing center. Lastly, nobody on teh 4th line is good enough to get him the puck to score so you might as well just let him carry it up the ice.

  53. Habnormal says:

    What a dreadful line up. I won’t even talk about thedefence. You may reward a grinder like Gallagher with top line minutes but you can’t place purely offensive players on a defensive line and expect anything good to happen. Same ridiculous tactics that did not work at the end of the season or the playoffs. Hemsky and Galchenyuk in a potential shutdown role is the most nonsensical move I can think of. If you were designing the worst possible combinations this would probably be it or close to it. As if Mitchell is supposed to provide an offensive spark. I would love to see MaxPac play on that line instead of Galchenyuk and see what happens. As if Galchenyuk and Hemsky will suddenly wake up and do something special together withMitchell. Galchenyuk has always worked well with Gallagher. Why not reunite them? The coaches really have to take some of the blame for this mess, not just MB.

  54. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Galchenyuk is a young player with an apparent issue, I would guess it is focus. It is as good a guess as that the coach hates him, or that his character is so weak being demoted has ruined him for life. We all get so High School hallway dramatic about the learning process for a young kid. They are not orchids or video game creations. They are guys who have been coached all their lives.
    They had this prospect a few years back. His name was Subban, and he walked all over an unfortunate Randy Cunneyworth. All eyes were on him, but his play while showy, was flawed. The kid was gold, but he wasn’t Orr. He was playing really immature hockey when he came up. Sadly for us, he went to a team where he wasn’t the superstar – he was not destroyed by playing second pairing in Nashville. It seems to have done him good. We can question the trade and the talent the team lost, but I think it is hard to question he needed a bit of work on his team game early on.
    Galchenyuk’s getting a message about something a lot of people who know him and talk to him seem concerned about. If he has any sense, he’ll learn. He’s talented and possibly intelligent. This is no Beaulieu here.
    I can recall Bowman being a little hard on Lafleur, and fans thinking the kid wouldn’t pan out (I kid you not – the old guys by the bathroom door in the tavern, the 1970s version of HIO – thought he was a bad pick). List them all – they have had their detractors early on (friggin Chelios, that pylon Leclair, that awkward Robinson, Price the thoroughbred sieve…), and if we were lucky, they worked through it here. Galchenyuk will be back in form, and he’ll earn the spot his talent calls for. It’s 4 games in, not even recess time in the Hab high school hall.

    I know, the drama is fun, and Bergevin has germs.

    I fear this evening’s game though. I hope the shooting jinx ends, and the back of the Toronto net does the traditional Leaf dance.

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      LOL, Bergevin has germs…

      You’ve got this calm “been there, seen that” thing down, without the preachiness of UCE. I guess it goes to show our human side, when we pile on some kid we think isn’t reaching his potential and disappointing us. I prefer to blame management, but you’re right, Chucky should be strong enough to survive. I’m afraid though, he will be showing his improved game elsewhere, just like PK.

      Yup, drama is fun, and I bet MB trades him eventually. It better be out west.

  55. habs-hampton says:

    What is the deal with hockey players and the flu? Best mediacal care in the country and they still can’t manage it.
    Kindergarten classes do a better job at stopping the spread.

    • on2ndthought says:

      Often parents of young children catch everything going around. They develop immunity with their kids.

      Likely, they’ve all received the latest shots, which means their systems should respond quickly if this bug was in the seasonal injection.

  56. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    It is too bad that the attention has been placed on Chucky when the issue with the team is clearly the defense. On a whole they can’t defend, produce offense, be physical or move the puck well. If you take away Weber and Mete’s puck movement, they have been an abomination.

    But let’s focus on Chucky who they started on the 3rd line and want to get rid of. C’mon…

    • on2ndthought says:

      GA/GP middle of the pack (13th)
      GF/GP dead last

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  57. HNS says:

    HaHa. It’s good to dream.

  58. on2ndthought says:

    The bad news? There’s a flu running through the room. Especially during a losing streak, and on a west coast swing, that could be very bad for the collective blood pressure around here.

    The good news? Maybe we can infect the Leafs. Cough early, cough often, lads.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  59. whazzzup says:

    The habs play their best game.
    Price plays his best game
    The habs get 2 PP goals
    They can beat the leafs.
    Otherwise it’s the best time for the leafs to end 0-14 and babcock 0-10 against the glorieux, CH, blue, blanc et rouge in their own barn. Saweet

    I may have lived beside ken Dryden once but now I’m in the center of the hockey universe

  60. DipsyDoodler says:

    This site reminds me of the salesmen in Glengarry Glen Ross.

    We need Alec Baldwin to come in and give the speech.

    —–

  61. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Glad tidings coming out of Laval this season…maybe some of the prospects are turning corners in their development..hoping for a Habs win tonight as the Leafs have become a measuring stick of sorts. I don’t mind the Leaf team as much as in past years; they seem legit good these days. However, the Leaf media (TSN Sportsnet etc) is a different matter. The coverage they generate is biased and for the most part one sided garbage and very hard to swallow for non Leaf fans. But then we all know that…hopefully this too shall pass…

    24 cups and counting….

  62. Butterface says:

    The Leafs have two Marleaus of two different ages ??

    We better cover both….

    Toronto’s old boys
    The Maple Leafs’ Patrick Marleau (38), Dominic Moore (37) and Patrick Marleau (36) are all old enough to qualify for old-timers hockey but are still performing well in the NHL.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

  63. Bash says:

    The Leafs have two Patrick Marleaus!!
    Born only two years apart and late in their careers on the same team.

    Or maybe he is so fast he just seems like two players and sometimes two years younger?

    “Damn it Jim I’m not a doctor; I’m a hockey expert.”

  64. Seps says:

    Why is Chucky playing on the fourth line with Torrey Mitchell? I hope he gets traded for nothing and puts up 40 goals, I would absolutely love it. F*** MB.

    • Bash says:

      Chucky is simply the latest in a long line of young scapegoats.
      Hey Claude…design a system which plays to your players’ strengths.

      “Damn it Jim I’m not a doctor; I’m a hockey expert.”

    • on2ndthought says:

      Perhaps because Mitchell has the speed to keep up, the hands to bury a goal (not to set one up, though); and the defensive awareness to compensate if Alex and Ales get caught trying to create deep.

      I hope this line works. A little size and snipe ability in Alex, a creative playmaker in Ales, and speed and defensive acumen (as well as decent faceoff ability) in Torrey.

      Then again,I hope every line works.

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

      • 25soonenough says:

        Your hope is both refreshing and admirable, although exceedingly rare these days, still essential to the balance of our delicate little universe.

        –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • TDotHabfan says:

      My sentiments exactly.

      Had the same thought about Subban last year — really wanted him to win the Cup.

  65. BKAK72 says:

    Well. A win against the LEAFS will pacify many here for a while. 4-1 HABS.

  66. arcosenate says:

    The Leaf driven Toronto media are dying for a Leaf win tonight. They are oozing desire.

    Hopefully the Habs can find a way to keep the drive for 15 alive.

    Shut them up for a bit…


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