Gionta, Pacioretty skate with Black Aces

Coming off a 3-1 win in Game 2 Friday night to even their first-round playoff series with the Senators, only the players who weren’t in the lineup for the Canadiens skated in Brossard at 1 p.m. Saturday ahead of Game 3 Sunday night in Ottawa (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Brian Gionta and Max Pacioretty, who missed Game 2 with upper-body injuries, skated with the Black Aces. They are both listed as day-to-day and will make the trip to Ottawa.

The Canadiens headed to Ottawa Saturday afternoon.

(Photo by Pierre Obendrauf/The Gazette)

Habs – and Tinordi – step up in Game 2, by Pat Hickey

Stepping up for Game 3,

Saturday practice video,

Price bounces back as Habs tie series, by Pat Hickey

Canadiens show character, by Pat Hickey

Two-game suspension for Senators’ Gryba, by Pat Hickey

Therrien keeps his cool in wake of MacLean’s comments, by Dave Stubbs

Game 2 photo gallery

Series tied 1-1,

Is Habs’ Gallagher the next Martin St. Louis? by Stu Cowan

Why Brandon Prust deserves a big, fat fine, by Ottawa Citizen

Senators should be happy with a split, by Ottawa Citizen

Cherry should visit an NHL dressing room, by Pat Hickey


  1. neumann103 says:

    Larry Brooks’ column

    makes a lot of good points. But one of them, speaking of injuries due to cheap shots to big revenue teams:

    “Imagine the impact on overall league revenue and on the players’ ultimate escrow losses if the Rangers, Toronto, Montreal. Vancouver and Los Angeles should all go out in the first round.”

    echoes a thought I had during the lockout. It is one of the things that most offends me about the stupidity of the current Bettman regime, dominated by a clique of the worst Luddite owners. It is bizarre that in this bizarre oligopoly that the interests of the big revenue generators are ignored.

    No one gets more disrespect from the league than Dolan or Molson, and at some level I wonder if part of the new Leafs ownership firing Burke was related to his slavish fealty to Bettman even as he destroyed Toronto revenues in pursuit of a better deal for Nashville and Phoenix.

    While I recoil at the blind nationalism that says that the league ought to cater to Canadian franchises because it is “our game” I have no end of astonishment that the NHL disregards the interests of the franchises that actually make all them money (which are essentially the original six plus Vancouver and Philly) in favour of whatever crony crowd is kissing Bettmans lower regions.

    “Et le but!”

  2. Danno says:

    New thread…


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  3. Jimmy9Toes says:

    I can’t think of another comment more annoying in Hockey than, “The player left his feet.”If you were to leave your feet, there would be lots of blood on the ice. The players feet left the ice. I cringe everytime i hear that stupid statement, I almost puke when i hear that idiot Don Cherry use it.

    • Mike D says:

      Jimmy, I never would have pegged you for a grammar Nazi. 😀

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • TheKarl says:

      never thought of that, that’s hilarious haha

    • habstrinifan says:

      While the phrasing literally translates to an action which is ordinarily anatomically impossible or undesirable, I think there is also an incongruity in the alternative, “the player’s feet left the ice”. Did they leave on the hit while his ‘hands of stone’ confidently remained or were they in fact ‘soft hands’ which chose to not leave the ice since they were indeed sufficiently elevated above the fray. Or did the feet in fact pass judgement and left the ice straight for the penalty box.

      I understand your angst and cant decide how ‘right you are’. But as an analyst I would be ‘besides myself’ trying to determine which is more grammatically correct.. and as such would probably end up using the phrase “left his feet” which still conveys some control over said limbs and thus carry some culpability.

      But then I could be putting my foot in my mouth on this.

      I think the literal translation is ‘left his footing’ but think of the poor ‘play by play’ (another anomaly???) guy.

  4. Mike D says:

    So Gio and Bourque at morning skate. No Max, but he is on the trip. Since no official word yet, I’d speculate Max isn’t playing tonight, with Gio and Bourque being game-time decisions.

    I’m thinking Bourque plays and am on the fence about Gio.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • jols101 says:

      Why are you adding to our problems by throwing Bourque in the mix?
      Therrien was asked about Bourque is his presser yesterday and said that Bourgue felt great. No problems.

      • Mike D says:

        Lots of posts in my Twitter feed mentioning Bourque at morning skate…..which tells me there was reason to believe he might have been injured, despite MT’s comments yesterday.

        Just sharing the info I have available to me.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

        • jols101 says:

          Oh really??? Well that sucks. So Bourque wasn’t at the morning skate?

          • Mike D says:

            Bourque WAS at morning skate. It was the fact that the reporters mentioned it in the first place that gave me reason to believe his availability for tonight was somewhat in question.

            For example, nobody specifically mentioned Pleks was at morning skate because there’s no reason why he wouldn’t be.

            – Honestly yours
            Twitter: @de_benny

  5. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Anybody who thinks refereeing in the playoffs is not different than in the regular season should look at Justin Abdelkader’s hit on Lydman. Abdelkader launches his shoulder into the head from the blindside RIGHT IN FRONT of the ref….and NO call. He only gets ejected after Lydman doesn’t get up…and they wonder why players dive?

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • shootdapuck says:

      Tim Peel, Chris Lee, Kevin Pollock, Eric Furlatt

      The detritus of NHL officials are still working!

      Clear Enough?

      The cranial flatulence of PJ Stock:

      “On peut play cette game tres simplement”
      “Le game est tous de hard work”
      ” I have a pet peeve”

  6. frontenac1 says:

    Injuries are part of the game amigos. We have depth and CHaracter. Proved it last game. Habs in 6.

  7. Bill says:

    So Gionta skated this morning, but no Max. What happened to him??

  8. TheKarl says:

    Don’t know if anyone else has already seen this but Eller’s dad (who works as a commentator for TV3 Denmark covering the WC) said that Eller was feeling better, no headaches and HOPES TO BE BACK ON THE BIKE SOON?!?!

    He said this last night during coverage of the Denmark – Canada game –

    The last sentence of the quote states specifically: “He hopes to be ready in not too long” – I have no idea what he is referring to in the last sentence (probably just biking) but this seems shockingly positive.

    I’m not putting too much weight on this, but it looks promising as his dad says he is speaking to him daily and I’ve seen this on another blog as well. Pacioretty genes??

    • Timo says:

      No headaches is very important. I think the rule of thumb is that you have to be headache free for at least a week before resuming any kind of workout. Maybe I am talking out of my ass but I thought I heart it somewhere.

      • TheKarl says:

        I think that was the rule a doctor of theirs mentioned on a weekly clip of 24CH, could also have been 7 days symptom free before exercise

  9. Marcus10 says:

    Haven’t heard too much about Pacioretty.
    I’m guessing his injury isn’t as severe as Gionta (?).

  10. Bill says:

    @punkster: to be precise, we are down our biggest and highest scoring centre of the last quarter of the season, our captain and second highest goal scorer, and our leading scorer in both goals and points.

    People who are dismissing the scoring, leadership, and playoff experience of Gionta really have me shaking my head.

    • punkster says:

      Freakin’ teachers…gotta be precise.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

    • joeybarrie says:

      Not speaking of your comment to Punkster, but to butt in….
      Eller did very well to the end of the season. So excited about him. BUT Gio hasn’t scored in awhile….
      With or without him, MB has given us enough to beat the Sens.
      The thing is, the guys who are playing have to make it happen.
      Now is when Ryder, Bourque and Pleks have to carry us.
      It goes in streaks, and I’m not bashing Gio. I know how valuable he is, but while he is not scoring, someone needs to. Eller is down, so someone else needs to step up.
      Markov, Pk, Price, Pleks, Ryder and Bourque need to be productive and solid. If so, and the rest of the team does their job, we will be in the next round.
      We have been relying on Goaltending and special teams for the last 5 years or so, and if any of that falters we fail.
      Now we have to just simply be good all around, and produce.
      we won’t win this series scoring 2 goals a game.

    • Timo says:

      I am dismissing and I am shaking my head. Doh… just like you said.

  11. Bash says:

    Brooks got it exactly right. Gryba targeted the head but was not malicious so that is okay. What a load of crap! And the references to Ferrence call him out for being one of the dirtiest cheap shot artists in the league. One game for his latest transgression is a joke.

    How can all this be so obvious? How can the NHL deliberately ignore threats to the long term health of its players? And why does the players’ union refuse to step up and demand immediate long term suspensions for hits to the head and, longer terms for the second incident and lifetime bans for the third?

    It’s been said before: It will take a murder for the rules to change. And a deliberate hit to the head which causes death would be just that.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  12. Mavid says:

    wow that is quite a lineup at the worlds..i would think it would be 8-1 by now…

  13. Danno says:

    Is Gionta officially out or is this still a rumour?


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  14. thorandresson says:

    So according to this article:

    Alfredsson says his club took too many penalties, they only took 4 and 2 of those were at the very end of the game by Latendresse, so really they took 2 penalties, did he mean they took “2 many” penalties?

  15. jols101 says:

    The injury bug is really going to hurt us down the road. I think we can get by the Sens even with these injuries but it looks like we will meet the Caps in the 2nd round, unless the Isle pull off a minor miracle, and it will really hurt us then.

    I think we still have enough talent in the lineup to get by the Sens but our boy Carey Price is going to have to play like he did in game 2 and avoid playing like he did in game 1.

  16. SteverenO says:

    Gionta will be missed the most for his strong two-way play at even strength and even more for his contribution to the PowerPlay. Even before he was injured he was missed on the PP for game 1, due to a gross error by the coaching staff.

    Game 2 was a gutsy effort and showed that this team has strong character throughout the lineup.

    I am afraid that we will need some consistency and production from the PP in order to advance.


    Steve O.

  17. petefleet says:

    I’m watching the World’s and there a #3 on the point PP for Canada and all I can think is it’s Phenouf. There’s something supernatural about TO being in the playoffs and Phenouf not helping Canada stay out of the medal round of the worlds. The hockey gods will figure this out.

    I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

    ***Go Habs Go***

  18. gerrybell says:

    i love how the TSN people ]Leafts/Bruins] keep giving the stat of hits in a hockey game, like that means anything. let me put that stat into perspective — you cant throw a hit if your team has the puck!

    no wonder the leafs keep leading in hits!

    with that being said, i would suggest a puck possession stat and SOG stat are more telling of how a game goes as opposed to hits. dummies.


  19. Mavid says:

    am I losing my mind? I could have swore the live blog was up..

  20. frontenac1 says:

    When did wearing hockey jerseys to the Saloon on Saturday night become acceptable attire? Growing up in Quebec on Saturday night,we wore our best safari suits and dancing shoes to the Taverne to watch the Habs and drink cheap Quarts. Then after the game it was off to the Disco to bust some moves and get lucky.

  21. Skip Davidson says:

    I hope we come out with the same jump an intensity as we did on Friday night. I really liked how Michel Therrien spread toughness out over four lines.

    Missing Eller and Pacioretty really hurts because they’re big and talented bodies but I really don’t think Gionta is that big of a loss. In the playoffs, I’m happy with Moen jumping up and taking his spot because he hits and creates space for his line mates.

    Gionta pops in the odd goal but he’s otherwise unnoticeable. That type of player is easily replaceable.

    • neumann103 says:

      Gionta forechecks and drives possession and plays tough minutes against top lines. Even when not scoring he has positive impact.

      With respect, if you think Gionta is unnoticeable you have a gap in recognizing what you are looking at.

      “Et le but!”

      • Habfan17 says:

        I have been a Habs fan for 43 years and I have long ago put away my rose coloured glasses. Gionta is a good player, but if I am being honest, for all he does, he gets knocked off the puck very easily now, he misses way more chances than he capitalizes on. If he were on one of the strong teams like Chicago, he would be on the 3rd line. Yes, he ties opposing players up, but in the end he loses more battles than he wins.


        • neumann103 says:

          I have been a Habs fan for 42 years so you have me beat by a year. 😉

          Is Gionta worth resigning a year from now at $5M? I don’t think so. Is he an ideal first line winger at this point in his career? Possibly not. Would he be a third liner in Chicago? Probably.

          I have never been a big Gionta booster. He is not a particular favourite of mine in the way that Plekanec or Eller or Subban or the Gallys are. But I can see.

          But the “knocked off the puck” meme misses the measurable positive impact Gionta generates on possession stats. My anecdotal response to it would be that he generates a ton of turnovers and drives play to the net.

          Every Player ever “misses way more chances than he capitalizes on”. Gionta puts a ton of pucks on the net, and is not afraid to go to the front of the net, where recently he has been generating most of his goals. You know, his on-pace-for-24-goals over-a-full-season pace entirely consistent with his extremely reliable career like-clockwork reliable scoring?

          While playing against the other teams’ top lines.

          And I realize that you weren’t the original poster, but he said “unnoticeable”. I was trying to be kind initially, but I guess since this topic has attracted so much attention I have to call it what it is. “Unnoticeable” in this context means “I don’t know what I am looking at”.

          “Et le but!”

    • savethepuck says:

      By “pops in the odd goal”, do you mean he scored 14, tied with Plex, and only 1 behind Gally and Max, who were tied with the team lead. That’s not just the odd goal, and the guy does a lot more than just score goals too..

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I don’t agree that Gionta is unnoticeable. He’s a gritty little guy with a good scoring tough. The problem is, we’ve got a younger, grittier and better player in Gallagher. And it’s a problem if you have three forwards (Desharnais, Gionta, Gallagher) that are 5’7″ or whatever.

      With the three of them in the lineup simultaneously the Canadiens are giving up too much size and reach and it prevents them from getting to lose pucks as often as they should.

      Bergevin will definitely let Gionta walk after his contract ends and/or trade him at the deadline next year to fix the issue.

  22. Mavid says:

    stop talking about me when I am not around..
    no I am not going..because I would probably lovingly beat the shit out of someone…not sure who as I am getting old and my skill have diminished somewhat..I am probably better with a gang..

    here is a stupid question…I put sportsnet on and I see there is IIHF hockey on..what tournament is this? How is it that I did not even know it was on…

    • ffenliv says:

      Was it highlights from the World Championships? They’re on every year at this time, and get totally dominated in NA coverage by the NHL playoffs.

      • Mavid says:

        is says its the 2-13 mens worlds?? Shows it on TSN website too??

        • jols101 says:

          I’m watching it. It is the 2013 World Championship. It means a lot to European Nations but since it is during the NHL playoffs every year it means very little in North America. The Canadian Team is made of the best NHL players who didn’t make the playoffs. After the 1st round of the playoffs some other players might be added.

        • ffenliv says:

          I don’t understand the ‘2-‘, but it is definitely the ’13 worlds. I believe the Canadian games are all on TSN, possibly some others as well.

          Like I said, it’s not surprising that it would have escaped your notice. It’s a tournament with some NHL talent (a few super-starts, like Stamkos), and a bunch of people on eliminated NHL teams, and AHLers.

          It gets not too much attention. I don’t even think Canada has managed to advance out of the quarter-finals in recent years.

    • savethepuck says:

      I think you put TSN2 on, and it’s the World Hockey Championships.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  23. Mike D says:

    So, the winner of the MTL-OTT series plays the winner of the WAS-NYR series. I’m not a gypsy BUT The Habs and Caps are the better team in their respective matchups and SHOULD both advance….meaning we would draw the Caps in the next round.

    Ovie and Co. are looking like a mighty dangerous team these days and seem to be getting solid goaltending from Holtby. Hopefully the Rags are just making them look better than they actually are.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • habsinnyc says:

      Habs would play Isles if they upset the Pens.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Love the way you think NYC! CHeers.

      • Mike D says:

        If I’m wrong then my bad. I saw a playoff bracket the other day that showed the winner of MTL-OTT playing the winner of WAS-NYR, and the winner of PIT-NYI playing the winner of BOS-TOR.

        Sounds like of the 4 teams that advance, highest seed plays lowest seed, and the two middle seeds play each other.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

        • ffenliv says:

          That’s exactly how it works, but we won’t know the full details until any upsets are seen. If the Isles manage to beat the Pens, and Montreal advances, we’d get the Isles no matter what, as they’re the 8-seed, and Montreal would be the highest remaining seed in the East.

    • scuba says:

      it gets re-ranked after the first. If Pit and WAS win we get Was no matter what. If Pit and NYR win we get winner of BOS-TOR. If NYI win we get NYI.

      I can’t tell if the Habs are great or terrible because sometimes they win and sometimes they lose.

  24. habsinnyc says:

    Marc10 — nice post of Brooks’s column. Now after last night, there is more of the same with the Abelkader hit. In his post game press conference started with all the “hockey hit” and shoulder-to-shoulder crap. I get that he can’t sell his player under the bus, but to deny the hit was bad is ridiculous.

    And who the heck is referee #40? Hit occurred right in his face and his arm stayed down. How about some accountability with him??

  25. Bill says:

    @Punkster: exactly right about Gionta. He’s a huge part of this team. Without him, Pacioretty and Eller, the Habs are gonna have to try to win on pure guts. This is what you call decimation.

    • punkster says:

      Right on Bill. Losing any single one of those 3 guys is tough…all 3 together is brutal.

      Each brings his own individual strengths and contributes in varying ways, not just with goals or assists.

      We’re down one leader, one top 3 power forward and one top 6 centre.

      Take these 3 guys off the team for the season and the Habs finish in 28th place again.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

      • ed says:

        I agree. The Habs are in very tough now. Ottawa is not a great team, so we could beat them in a 7 game series without those 3 terrific players.

        But I would have serious doubts about us advancing any further if none of Gionta, Max, or Eller came back.

        You can add Prust, who is playing hurt every game for about a month now, to that list. His shoulder is not nearly 100%.

        And Bourque? after his concussion, the hit he took running into another Hab really shocked him – that looked like possibly another concussion.

      • Skip Davidson says:

        I’d have to disagree on Gionta. He doesn’t kill penalties, he’s small and doesn’t hit and the Habs have plenty of leadership from Prust, Moen, Markov, Gorges…

        I’m sure Bergevin is counting down the days on the Gionta contract.

  26. malbert94 says:

    Do the Canadiens have a new goal song?? When they scored vs. Ottawa I didn’t hear the awesome trumpets like usual. Anyone know what it is now?

    • shiram says:

      A song by Locco Locass, it’s called Le but.

      “The game isn’t played on the weight scale and it’s not played in the gym, it’s played on the ice and it’s whoever wanted it more.” #81

    • Habfan17 says:

      Back in the 70’s, a friend of mine had a 45, for those of us that remember what those are. I believe it was called, ” Here come the Canadians, skate shoot and score” Although that may have been the chorus. I have not been able tio find it online, but it was preety cool at the time.


  27. Timo says:

    I hope there will be more Habs fans at the Scotiaplace tonight than sens’ fans. Wonder if Mavid will be there and will she start a brawl.

  28. ed says:

    answering the posts below:

    Stephan Fournier broke his leg in grade 10, 1st year Midget AAA, and then had a set back with the same leg, same spot, the following year.

    Whether he can develop further and eventually bring NHL speed to his game on that leg, is the issue.

    At the Major Junior level he was a solid player when he broke in, but his points in Halifax have increased because of that lineup they have.

    As everyone knows by now, Drouin and Mackinnon are not only 2 of the best 1995’s in the world, they are both likely to play in the NHL next season.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Still if they sign him to a try out with the Bulldogs, they can see if he has the potential. It costs them very little to see and the fact he can produce with top players is a plus. If he can develop enough speed to make it at the NHL level, he would give the grit and size to a line with some top players.


    • petefleet says:

      Ancient history Ed. The kid is playing at an extremely high level right beside the #2&3 overall picks. I give him credit for being able to do that. Not eveyone in the lineup can play with those two. At some point you have to stand on your own and I believe he’s doing it. Hopefully MB sees it and gives him a tryout.

      I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

      ***Go Habs Go***

      • ed says:

        the entire hockey world has been glued to the Halifax team for the last 12 months, at least.

        Fournier is no secret.

        A prospect has to have more speed in the tank to jump to the AHL, which is a great hockey league by the way, one which most Major Junior players can never make.

        So even if you see Fournier in Junior “keeping up” with the prospects, Drouin and Mackinnon could be 10% faster by July, 20% faster by September of 2013 – just rough numbers – thus allowing them to climb the ranks and make the NHL.

        I believe the scouts see Fournier at or very close to his maximum today. He is 20. He has had 4 years at Major Junior to improve his speed, and they might have concluded that his speed has now peaked.

        The question below centred around why he didn’t make the Pittsburgh or Philly tryouts, and why the Habs would not simply sign him to try out themselves.

        in my opinion, his lack of potential to increase his speed is the answer.

      • Habfan17 says:

        He was the 17th overall pick in the Q draft for a reason.


        • ed says:

          yes. he was slotted to go top 3 in that draft prior to the injuries.

          many drafted in the 1st round in the Q-draft never get signed to pro contracts in North America.

  29. jeffhabfan says:

    I do not know about Gio Day to Day or gone for the season.Already nervous about tonights game but thats play-offs.GO HABS GO

    • Habfan17 says:

      I am not worried having Gio out. I am more concerned about Patches and Eller


      • Timo says:

        I agree. I don’t think Gionta’s absence is a big loss. As long as EVERYONE continues to sacrifice themselves to make a right play, it shouldn’t matter. Last game there were very few passengers. I hope it continues tonight. I hope Moen’s play wasn’t a one off.

        • Habfan17 says:

          I am on the same page. They all did what was necessary. Just like in 93! I hope they can keep it up.


        • punkster says:

          Ya, the loss Gionta is no big deal…Captain of the team, tied for 2nd in goals scored over the season, Stanley Cup ring…ya no big deal.

          ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

          • Habfan17 says:

            Yeah, no big deal. It isn’t like he is not there in the dressing room helping out! They have other players that have won the cup on the ice. If Gionta being out means the Habs are in trouble, then the Habs already were in trouble with him in the lineup.

        • deuce6 says:

          Losing the captain, no matter who it is, is a big loss.. Gionta may have been losing a step, but he is still the captain of this team and the team needs him out there..

          Brandon Prust doesn’t have hair on his testicles, because hair does not grow on steel….

          • Habfan17 says:

            If he hasn’t made an impact by now with the team as far a s passing along his wisdom, he never will. He is still with the team and that should be enough at this point. I personally think it is time to move him. I respect him, but he has given the Habs full value and they need to go have some different players to be compatative from what they have now. There are plenty of quality leaders with experience who would be excellent captains. Let’s not over value one player, whether they are captain or not. Right now I believe that having Subban in the line up is much more important than having Gio.


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