Habs’ Brière will be a healthy scratch against Blues

Saying he wasn’t happy with Daniel Brière’s intensity, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien told reporters after an optional morning skate in St. Louis that the veteran forward will be a healthy scratch Thursday night against the Blues (8 p.m., RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Ryan White will take Brière’s spot on the fourth line with  Michael Bournival and Travis Moen. The other three lines should look like this:

Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gionta
Bourque – Eller – Prust

In 26 games this season, Brière has five goals and five assists and is minus-2. The 36-year-old signed a two-year, $8-million free-agent contract with the Canadiens before this season.

“I’m not the first veteran (to be a healthy scratch) and I won’t be the last. It happens,” Brière told reporters in St. Louis. “I can’t control what happens today; all I can control is my attitude going forward and how I work to get back in the lineup when I get the chance.

“Honestly, it’s not a question of confidence,”  Brière added. “The confidence is there. I feel good on the ice. At the beginning of the season, my confidence wasn’t there and things weren’t going great. I wasn’t feeling comfortable, but that’s normal when you come into a new team and a new system. I feel good on the ice now. It has nothing to do with confidence.”

Therrien also confirmed that Carey Price will start in goal for the Canadiens. Former Hab Jaroslav Halak will be in goal for the Blues.

Price has a 16-10-2 record with two shutouts, a 1.96 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage. Halak has a 16-6-2 record with two shutouts, a 2.35 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage.

(Photo by Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Habs vs. Blues preview, NHL.com

Game Day Report, Canadiens.com

Michel Therrien morning-skate interview (video), Canadiens.com

Canadiens face big challenge in St. Louis, by Brenda Branswell

Galchenyuk proud of his lucky sweater, by Brenda Branswell

Markov’s reputation outstrips his play, Sportsnet.ca

First-round pick McCarron gets in the groove in junior, London Free Press

Blues coach Hitchcock’s pre-game press conference (video), bluesnhl.com

Payroll up, attendance down for Blues, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Latest Blues news, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Thirty years later, Ken Dryden updates The Game, N.Y. Times

229 Comments

  1. Bun E. Laroque says:

    “Most over rated player on the roster possibly even in the league. The guy has never made a tight turn, his specialty is long sweeping circles? He has never taken a pass while heading in the right direction. He has size and he doesn’t even use it. This kid has ZERO hockey smarts. It frustrates me so much to watch him play. Trade him for a bag of pucks.”

  2. filincal says:

    If Briere signs for $2.5mil/yr, is there still this controversy with his playing time?
    After getting well over 6 million in a buy-out months earlier, why not take a substantial pay cut and play with a lot less pressure, or did his greed do him in?

  3. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Swiped from SlovakHab below:

    “this team is definitely not average, but plays like one.”

    Would be an excellent essay question. “Discuss being careful to support your point of view with reference to the Montreal Canadiens’ hockey season to date.”

  4. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Whatever happened to “No excuses” posted outside or inside the Habs dressing room? MT sure dished out a bunch after our loss to the LA Kings.

  5. CHicoHab says:

    In 2010 from 12/15-12/31 we went 3-6. In 2011 from 12/15-12/31 we went 1-7. So far from 12-15 this year we are 1-1 going into next 5 games. Blues, Predators,Lightning,Panthers, Hurricanes. Would be pleased after 12/31 to have gone 4-3 this stretch. 5-2 is possible too and break the jinx of last 2 weeks of a year playing poorly.

  6. mjames says:

    I understand and agree that DD has been given every chance succeed and Briere has not. Having said that I agree with the decision to sit Briere. Although the stats of both players are similar the compete level is really what separates the two. DD ‘s compete level is far and away better than Briere. Briere gets beaten constantly on the boards and loses most puck battles. If Briere put forth the same effort as DD then I think Briere would be justified in complaining. Briere asks for defined role on the team. Someone should ask Briere what role he deserves based on his effort. This team cannot afford to carry 5 smallish players ( Gally, Gionta, Pleks, DD, and Briere) if they do not give out the effort. Of the 5 players, Briere has not demonstrated an ability or willingness to work.

    mjames

  7. The Juice says:

    This article is ludicrous:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/andrei-markovs-reputation-outstrips-his-play/

    The guy is trying way too hard to prove a point about Markov not improving the play of his D-partners. He must still be bitter about Komisarek ;)

    __________________________________________________________________________

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

  8. SlovakHab says:

    A poster below (B) has written that he noticed that Douglas Murray hasn’t had a plus game yet this season.

    Well, it’s kinda difficult if you haven’t been on ice when your team scored (goal for) yet.

    He’s good on PK, and pretty bad 5-on-5.

    • B says:

      Have they really not scored while Murray’s been on the ice at even strength? I thought it might be that in games where they do score with him on the ice, the other team has also scored at least as many with him on the ice. I don’t know which is the case, but I would still like to see him finish a plus tonight.

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • SlovakHab says:

        Yup, we haven’t scored with him on ice yet.

        • B says:

          Thanks for clearing that up. Hopefully it will change tonight. How about a Murray stretch pass to streaking Gallagher who puts it home under the crossbar to give the Habs an early 1-0 lead?

          –Go Habs Go!–

        • NCRhabsfan says:

          Is that all on Murray or could it be that he is often on the ice with the 4th line, who couldn’t score on an empty net unopposed. In the history of all NHL 4th lines, this one might be the most inoffensive ever. I particularly like it when we have Parros/White/Moen on that line, one goal between the three of them all year. Other teams could pull their goalie and go with 6 forwards without concern.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Agreed. Love his heart and the occasional energy shift but you can’t possibly tell me that he’s a better option than Tinordi?

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Say what you like about Murray but I think with him being our biggest body out there & not too bad clearing the crease in front of our goalies & steady on the pk, I think he should be playing every game.

      • SlovakHab says:

        Sure sure. It’s just that hockey is a game of goals, not just clearing the crease. If he can’t move the puck at all, it’s like we are on PK every time he’s on ice – which is not great.
        He’s been getting better though and as a stopgap, he should do for this season.
        Next season though, no Murray or Bouillon please.

        • NCRhabsfan says:

          There are 4 other guys on the ice too, maybe one of them could make an offensive play?

        • frontenac1 says:

          Yikes! Chirping Crankshaft for not scoring goals? That’s not what he is being PAID to do amigo! That’s what our multi million dollar snipers are supposed to do. And Diaz? He is supposed to rack up points as an offensive D man because he can’t do anything else. He is playing better paired with Murray.

  9. Hobie Hansen says:

    They way it should be:

    MAX PACIORETTY – TOMAS PLEKANEC – BRIAN GIONTA
    MICHAEL BOURNIVAL – ALEX GALCHENYUK – BRENDAN GALLAGHER
    BRANDON PRUST – LARS ELLER – RENE BOURQUE
    TRAVIS MOEN – RYAN WHITE – LOUIS LEBLANC

    PK SUBBAN – ANDREI MARKOV
    JOSH GORGES – ALEXEI EMELIN
    JARRED TINORDI – RAPHAEL DIAZ

    CAREY PRICE

    • The Jackal says:

      No DD? No cup!

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • FlyAngler says:

        Jarred Tinordi looked completely clueless and unprepared at the beginning of the season and had to have a turnover rate of better than %75 percent per puck possession.

        “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          He did have some tough games for sure! But seriously, There is no possible way he is any worse that Murray.

          • FlyAngler says:

            I think he will be a solid #3 or #4 defenseman Hobie. I just don’t think he’s ready yet and while he does hit, he does not “punish” the way that Murray does. I realize Murray has his flaws, but he does do a good job on the P K and brings a veteran physicality that Tinordi does not have as of yet, at least in my opinion- which of course is very fallible!

            “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • SlovakHab says:

      I like your lines Hobie, but I liked Therrien’s defence lines shakeup from the end of last game better.

      Subban – Gorges
      Emelin – Markov
      Tinordi – Diaz

      or even

      Emelin – Diaz as an excellent 3rd pair, while Tinordi is supported by Markov and plays a comfortable 20 minutes a night. Not this season, but should be plausible next year as Marky gets older and Tinordi gets more seasoned.

    • Lagerhab says:

      Maybe next year! I hope.

    • doc359 says:

      Gally has struggled at center so far (just too young for how tough it is defensively), so why make him our #2 center with other inexperienced players?

      Prust has struggled in Top-9 minutes with Eller as well.

      DD being in at center just makes a lot of sense.

    • CH Marshall says:

      You’re making way too much sense for HIO

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Why Gionta? He scores less than Briere. Sniper with no snipe and no other attributes. Not sure why he keeps getting a free pass. He’s logging a lot of ice time with our “scorers” and producing next to nothing.

  10. Castor says:

    So who should be more embarrassed? Briere or bergevin?

    • FlyAngler says:

      Therrien.

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • Habilis says:

      There’s a lot of talk in the twitterverse about how signing Briere was not MB’s call at all. He was “ordered” to do it by Monsieur Molson.

      Is it true? Probably not. But to be honest, I don’t even know which one I’d prefer. Is it better if our GM made a bad move or if our owner is meddling in the hockey operations? Either way, not good.

      Regardless of who made the call though, I think the blame ultimately falls on Briere for not performing. He’s had his chances, he just hasn’t taken advantage of them.

      • NCRhabsfan says:

        Maybe he is actually done.

        Mind you, for a guy that is getting so much hate he has as many goals as Gionta for less money and in less ice time and two more than DD. It’s a trio of bad investments that is holding the Habs back; moving one of the three only gets rid of 1/3 of the problem. Trade all three of them to a team for one top 6 forward, don’t even care who as long as he has more grit than these three gnats.

  11. SlovakHab says:

    DD situation on our team reminds me of Bozak situation on the Leafs.
    Because they wanted to keep and overpay him, they bought out much better Grabovski, mainly because of Bozak being mates with Kessel and what not.

    • B says:

      Which Grabovski like center did the Habs buy out last summer?

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • SlovakHab says:

        Not that we bought anyone out, but DD gets preference treatment and the team’s best wingers, while Briere plays on wing and Eller often plays with pluggers.

        • B says:

          I still don’t get the Bozak comparison / reference. Which Leaf centers are suffering from Bozak’s “preferential treatment”?

          –Go Habs Go!–

          • SlovakHab says:

            Both Bozak and Kessel get preferential treatment because their presumed friendship and “chemistry” with the teams’ best wingers.
            In Leafs case, they had to buy out Grabo.
            In Habs case, we have Briere playing on the wing, while Eller plays a defensive role with lesser wingers (Borque, Prust etc.) instead of giving him more offensive role and a chance to shine.

          • B says:

            I don’t think that Eller is getting really hard done by or that “the Desharnais factor” is the root cause for some other players perceived or real struggles. Sorry if it seems like I am picking on your post. I didn’t get where you were going with it.

            –Go Habs Go!–

  12. habs-fan-84 says:

    For the record, I don’t like the way Briere has been used this year.

    Considering the concussion he sustained earlier in the year and the very limited TOI he’s received while bouncing throughout the lineup; his 10 points in 26 games really isn’t as bad as many would have you believe, at least IMO.

  13. habsfan0 says:

    The Price vs Halak sub plot seems to have lost its lustre somewhat.

  14. FlyAngler says:

    I am no mathematician but according to my calculations, DD is averaging 1 point per 42 minutes of playing time. Briere by way of contrast is averaging 1 point per 33 minutes of playing time.

    When you factor in the way that Briere has been shuffled from line to line and consigned not infrequently to the fourth line, it is clear that Briere has not been given anything even approximating a fair shake since he has come to Montreal. He was brand new to the team, suffered a concussion and has played 8 less games than DD and been forced to play in any number of games with talent that predetermined that he would not get on the scoresheet.

    The best coaches, like the best leaders find ways to put their players and subordinates in a position to succeed. So far, MT has failed abysmally at giving Briere anything even approximating a fair opportunity to succeed. At 34 years of age, Briere is not going to turn into a grinder. But neither is DD, despite what his rump swabs might think or say. What Briere will do if given the opportunity is make some big plays for you, even in important games which should not be confused with games in December against the hapless New York Islanders.

    As others have pointed out, if Danny Briere is not playing to his potential right now, Michel Therrien bears part of the blame as far as that goes, a very significant part.

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  15. Bripro says:

    I have to say …. the Sporsnet report on Markov.
    What a load of cr*p!
    You can judge a player strictly on statistics.
    Funny how they don’t mention Mike Komisarek in their report.
    He quarterbacks the PP like few others in the NHL. Period.
    Is PK currently the better defenceman without Markov on his line?
    Hmmm.. not sure.
    I love PK. And he will be one of the great ones. No question.
    But this year, although improved on the maturity front, I find he’s not as sure of himself. Lately, he makes mental mistakes.
    Markov makes very few. Never really has.
    His vision, tape-to-tape passes, and hockey IQ are among the best in the NHL. It’s unfortunate that his knees have slowed him down.
    We would have had a much different team had he never gone down.

  16. Timo says:

    Briere on decision to sit him: “It would be good to have a more defined role on this team”

  17. mrhabby says:

    Speaking of players who are struggling….Brian G..0 goals in 20 games..yikes.

  18. Habfan10912 says:

    Kudos to MT for having the jewels to sit Briere for lack of intensity. A performance based decision.

    See Burly and L? I said something nice about MT. I am no Timo! :)

  19. spos080808 says:

    1) I just cannot get onboard with MT consistently putting Prust on a top 9 role when there are better options for that offensive spot. Eller has been getting the short end of the stick when being stuck with a Prust on the line. Of course we all love Prust and what he brings, but what he brings is a 4th line role, not a role in which he is out there with a creative offensive center. When Prust needs to be put there because of injuries, I can understand that, same with Moen, but It just makes no sense to not have a Briere or Bournival out there, especially since Eller has shown he is more than solid in all 3 zones.

    2) What I would like to see from MT with regards to Briere, other than the obvious put him in a top 9 role with offensive players. I want Briere on the 1st PP unit on the left dot looking for a cross ice one timer from Markov or a slide pass from PK when PK has no clear shot at the net. Briere made his name on the PP and sitting him in that spot, kind of like where Stamkos stands would be great for him and the PP, I think. It just makes sense that this is not a top option on the PP. If teams are going to pressure PK/Markov at the point you need a right handed shot off to the side that can blast one timers while you have a guy in the slot/front of the net. And what can Briere do? He can shoot right handed and blast one timers. Not the difficult to put two and two together right there.

    • shiram says:

      Good points, and with Prust getting the top 9 role, it means Bournival is stuck playing under 10 minutes per game, wouldn’t he better off getting alot of TOI in Hamilton’s top 6?

      Hopefully it is something that management has thought of.

      • krob1000 says:

        I definitely thin Prsut deserves more minutes than Bournival. Bournival has been a surprise and that is great but Prust has been one of the most spirited and important habs IMO for a season and a half. How anyone can bail on a shot block or taking of a hit and then have to share a locker room with Brandon Purst is a mystery. I love PRust getting top 9 minutes…he is exactly the type of plyer that HAbs have needed for years. He reminds me of Chris Nilan actually…closest thing team has had since…

        • shiram says:

          Those are all fair points, and Prust is certainly not going to bring down the 3rd line, by being on it.
          But I do think Bournival could be a more offensive player for that line, and he is all energy too.
          And the question remains if this is the best path for Bournival, 4th line and under 8 mins TOI.

          • krob1000 says:

            HAbs have been very healthy of late…at some point Bournival will get more time…still think it is more beneficial than the AHL….AHL can be stifling for offensvie players (especially habsprospects as team is not deep offesnively). I miss haveingt6he Nigel Dawes, Brock Trotter,etc types down there to keep the kids playing creative. I think personally LL would be better served in the NHL somewhere else other than Montreal…important defelopmental years are being lost…he should be asking for a trade…or his agent should be. He is probably being told he’;ll have a shot at that RW apot when Gio goes…but Bournival, Thomas, Collberg and the entire trade/free agency market are all lurking in the background..and guys like Setoguchi,etc will have a leg up on him. He should try to go to a bottom sdweller team and see if he can get some NHL minutes

  20. Maritime Ronn says:

    I’m just wondering if I’m allowed to post a comment in defense of Coach Therrien on HIO?
    :-)

    Several have questioned his moves and ToI about certain players ( Mea Culpa) yet as one great Super Bowl winning coach Bill Parcells has stated in the past:
    ” You Are What You Record Says You Are”

    Therrien season record with the Habs so far:
    2012-13: 29-14-5
    2013-14: 21-12-3
    Total…..: 50-26-8.

    Now we should all remember that last year, all the ‘eggspurts” had the Habs choosing a Top 5-10 Draft choice, and this year, a Top 14 Draft choice.
    Few had the Habs making the playloffs this year, and NONE last year.

    Other naysayers will point to the past Ottawa playoff series 5 game loss…where the Habs did not have Eller-Emelin-a wounded, tired Markov, and other wounded warriors such as Max-Gio-Prust, and a D that had Diaz playing 3rd top minutes, and a rookie Tinordi playing 6th minutes including #3 minutes for the PK.
    And not to forget, Carey could not stop a beachball…

    Is an NHL Coach’s ability/greatness determined by a Cup(s) Win and how his goalies stood on their head, or by a Coach that gets the most out of a wanting team?
    (NFL Football is so different)

    Before you answer, a few Cup Winning Coaches… and are they, or were they, THE best:

    1986: Jean Perron- Montreal Canadiens.
    2001: Bob Hartley – Colorado
    2006: Peter Laviolette – Carolina
    1996: Marc Crawford – Colorado
    1989: Terry Crisp – Calgary
    1971: Al McNeil – Montreal Canadiens
    1969: Claude Ruel – Montreal Canadiens

    • B says:

      Therrien ranks 15th all time among coach’s in play off points% (4th among active).

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • shiram says:

      I won’t question Therrien’s ability to coach, the record does indeed speak for itself.
      But to me it just points to 2011-12 being an aberration.

    • Bripro says:

      LOL
      Good of you to include some decent coaches there…. wow.
      Not-a-one! Well, maybe one.
      What about our Habs’ history of great coaches:

      40-55 Dick Irvin (431-313)
      55-68 Toe Blake (500-255)
      Note: MacNeil had a decent record … 31-15
      71-79 (my personal favourite) Scotty Bowman (419-110)
      88-92 Pat Burns 174-104

      We could question whether Lemaire, Demers (even though the team squeaked a cup out of that ragtag crew, with St Patrick at the helm) or Carbonneau. All had some success but their departures were more controversial.
      I’m hoping we can add the current version of Therrien to that list. His average % is certainly up there.

    • SlovakHab says:

      His record is not bad, but look at Carey Price’s and Peter Budaj SV% numbers.
      They are 2 good goalies that carry the team.
      Had we have an average duo with about .910 SV% (like Halak), his record wouldn’t be as flattering.

      A good coach doesn’t have his team outshoot in most games, while playing a passive defensive hockey, relying on goalies and streaky scorers.

      Show me a team that constantly outshoots opponents 30-20 and I’ll show you a good coach.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi slovak

        Randy Carlyle won a lucky CUp with the Ducks back in 2007.
        How’s he doing with the Leafs in those stats?

        • Bripro says:

          Giguère played the best hockey of his career that year. He stole that series.

        • SlovakHab says:

          Randy Carlyle seems to be a pretty bad coach (I’m a frequent reader of PPP, so I know how Leafs fans dislike him), which also has an average team.
          Bad example.

          Good coach will play a strong possession system and even if his goalies are not world class, he will outplay opponents on regular basis. Hitchcock for example.
          Or a coach that can win with half his team injured (Dan Bylsma – just look at Pittsburgh lineup last week – half their defence and many important forwards (Malkin, Neal) were missing).

          Therrien has an absolutely healthy team that’s fairly deep, a Norris trophy winner and a potential Vezina candidate on his team, and he can’t get his team outplay the opponents. We cannot score 5-5 at all.

          We are where we are thanks to
          - absolutely healthy team
          - power play,
          - penalty kill and
          - goalies.

          Hence I don’t think he is that good.

          • Bripro says:

            I don’t agree.
            They’re second in their division.
            Price, for the first time, is playing like an elite goalie. Given.
            But face it, there is currently, aside from him, a fully-matured superstar on the team. Some very healthy grinders like the EGG boys, but until Chucky becomes the 210 lbs now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t elite player, this team is outperforming expectations.
            And you have to give credit to coaching. A good coach takes an average team and brings out the best in them.
            His approach seems to be working, because there are a lot of teams looking up at them, and unless they completely tank, they’re a shoe-in for the playoffs.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            hi slovak

            Standings Eastern Conference:
            Habs: 2nd
            Division: 2nd

            9th place team chasing Habs for playoffs:
            11 points behind,

          • SlovakHab says:

            Bnipro – I disagree with you, because this team is definitely not average, but plays like one. We had a nice winning streak and health luck, but in my opinion we play worse than last year. The puck is too much time in our zone. This team is a skilled team and Therrien has them playing dump and chase.

            Ronn – I reckon we got nowhere here, as you just incorrectly stated our position (we are 3rd in the east, not second) and didn’t react on my arguments that while our record is decent (not great, as we are 10th overall in the league), our play 5 on 5 (which is what most of playoff hockey is about) is below average.

            This is when the head coach comes in and has our outshooting and outplaying opponents. It hasn’t happened yet.

  21. jimmy shaker says:

    Scratched, fine. But for how long? Is it a one gamer like DD? Or is he the odd man out now? If it’s only for one game, does MT give him a real chance to succeed by playing top 6 minutes with pp time, stable line mates and maybe a shot playing centre when he comes back? Or does MT give him the scraps as per the usual?

    Shaker out!

  22. 24 Cups says:

    Here’s a bit of Hab-Blues trivia. Coal will be in the stocking of any poster who uses Google and the internet to find out the answer. We’ll do it the old fashioned way be using the enclosure inside our craniums.

    Of all the Hab players to have their numbers retired, four played for the Blues after leaving Montreal. Can you name them?

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    A good positive read on McCarron linked above. Hope he does get hot like Max Domi thinks he will.

  24. Habfan10912 says:

    Anyone that has had the privledge to watch Andre Markov play hockey knows the kind of player he is. Anyone who writes an article spewing otherwise has either not watched this guy perform or knows nothing of the game.

    BTW – I didn’t read the article either on advise from JF and Jackel. Thanks for the heads up friends.

  25. The Jackal says:

    That Markov article (not that I read it – who wants to read that drivel?) and the subsequent Komisarek references reminded me of when he just signed for the laffs, and then the laffs also signed Beauchemin and I think they got Phaneuf around that time too. Anyhow, after those 3 came to town everyone was like “oh wow the Laffs defense is crazy good, those guys are monsters!”
    It’s funny how they all just sucked.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  26. HabinBurlington says:

    I like the lineup we are icing tonight.

  27. CH Marshall says:

    well maybe he can sit in the press box, and think about how good life is…. must be a good feeling to be paid millions by two teams.

  28. JF says:

    I guess you can use statistics to prove anything you want. The Markov article, which I skimmed disgustedly, is a case in point. How about looking at what goes on on the ice instead? But that’s Sportsnet. I have zero respect for that network.

  29. Habcouver says:

    I’m hoping that Danny will be the explosive playoff performer we assumedly brought him here for.

    If he does ever get traded, I believe he will come back to haunt the Habs with renewed goal scoring prowess. Isn’t it always the way?

    Waiting patiently for #25

    • mrhabby says:

      he has a NTC.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      I think his explosiveness have been a thing of the past for awhile now. Have you watched him play lately…he looks like someone prodding a cow in the rear..eh doesn’t put any effort into engaging……drifter big time…no worries abut him haunting anyone….well his contract will haunt MB for another year. Man what was he thinking?

  30. 24 Cups says:

    It has come to my attention that many HI/O posters are either young people who don’t get up before noon, alcoholics who wake up in a morning haze or stoners who can’t remember what they have read. With that in mind, plus the relevancy of the topic at hand, I will re-post my thoughts from earlier this morning at 8AM.

    On July 1st it was obvious that Montreal needed to dip into the free agent pool to replace the departed Ryder/Cole spot on RW. At the time, there were five legitimate candidates: Jagr, MacArthur, Brunner, Stalberg and Frolik (draft picks). I had no interest in Boyes and Raymond really wasn’t on the horizon at the time as most people (including Raymond) thought he would re-sign with Vancouver. I thought Jagr was washed up after watching him play for Boston in the playoffs. Obviously, I was wrong. Let me say that again. I was wrong. As for Stalberg, there was no way in hell I’d be giving him a four year deal. What GM would ever give out four year deals when there is no need to do so? Here’s the lowdown on the above mentioned players. Salary isn’t a consideration in light of Briere’s 4M a season price tag.

    Briere – 5/5/10
    Jagr – 12/17/29
    Brunner – 8/5/13
    MacArthur – 11/14/25
    Frolik – 8/11/19
    Raymond – 11/14/25
    Stalberg – 4/6/10

    To be fair, Briere has missed 10 games so far this year. As well, a player like Jagr is getting top line minutes and PP time. My personal choice was Frolik with MacArthur a close second. Some will say that the Briere signing is only a stop-gap measure but I can’t help but feel that MB failed miserably when it came to filling this need. Not to mention the secondary issues of concussions, player size and a +35 contract.

  31. habs_54321 says:

    Briere is first and foremost a center, everything about his game screams center he could be effective for a team that lacks creativity up the middle. NJ comes to mind, Nashville, phoenix?

  32. Kooch7800 says:

    Against st Louis Briere is probably the right choice to sit. They are a big physical team and skilled team. This game will be an uphill battle I am afraid

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  33. B says:

    Looking through the stats I noticed that Murray has not been a plus yet in any game so far this season. I hope that changes tonight.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8468114&season=20132014&view=log

    –Go Habs Go!–

  34. krob1000 says:

    So if Habs were offered Erat for Briere would you do it?

  35. SteverenO says:

    in the be careful what you wish for column; replacing Briere with White may not be a blessing;

    According to http://www.extraskater.com Ryan White is the 10th worse possession player in teh NHl with a – 8.8% relative Corsi percentage.

    This means that the difference between Shots attempts for versus against the Habs at even strength , are significantly worse when White is on the ice compared to when he is on the bench.

    Replacing Briere with Ryan White on a team that is struggling to score goals should not be considered a “positive” move, in my opinion.

    Looking at the others side of the coin the Habs have two players in the top 10 in that category, Subban and Markov are 8th and 10th best in the NHL with a Rel Corsi % of + 7.2% and + 7.4% respectively.

    Obviously the Habs are very effective when the two are onthe ice together. My guess is that separating them will make the team better overall. Time will tell, starting tonight I believe.

    regards,

    Steve O.

  36. Steeltown Hab says:

    Weird situation with Briere.

    Line is Pacioretty – Desharnais – Briere. Line is awful as was predicted. Briere gets outed. Bounced around lineup, than put with Pleks and Gio..line does really well. Than he gets bounced again?

    Following that he was given random 3rd line / 4th line shifts than benchings and limited ice.

    I don’t really care that he was scratched but I don’t understand Therrien’s usage of him.

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      Therrien wants a grinding team. Not sure he knows how to use Briere. Not sure there is a proper way to use Briere without usurping Gallagher, Desharnais’s, or Gionta’s role.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        I thought he was great with Plekanec, Why not put him in Galchenyuks spot and have Galchenyuk with Eller and Bourque

        ———————————

        Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

    • adadi says:

      The coach is not very smart. I think we should insist on an IQ test. Prust should be on the 4th line tonight. White, Moen and Prust are a great 4th line. Too bad ou coach is so clued out.

  37. HabsWin-nipeg says:

    Eklund is dumping on Therrien for not playing Briere properly.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      I gotta agree with him. But not with the replacing Gionta.

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  38. frontenac1 says:

    Somebody said Danny Boy was hired for marketing? I believe it.He is one Snappy dresser.
    It makes big difference to dress with class.

  39. D Man says:

    White in, Briere out? At least when White takes a penalty it comes from aggression unlike the lazy, offensive zone momentum killer from Briere against Phoenix. The lines sure look better without DB as well. GHG
    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

  40. montreal ace says:

    I wish there was a mechanism in contracts that would give a team, the right to increase or decrease a players salary. I think it could give a team a tool to reward good play with the opposite for bad play. I am not talking a huge amount, it would be 15% and go to arbitration

  41. frontenac1 says:

    Oh Danny Boy, the pipes,the pipes are calling. From glen to glen and down the montainside.

  42. HabFab says:

    The goaltenders for Team Canada WJ Tournament;
    http://www.tsn.ca/world_jrs/story/?id=439377

    • B says:

      I was a bit surprised to see Paterson’s spot go unchallenged with guys like Altshuller putting up better numbers. Perhaps Saginaw is weaker than they seem defensively and really making it tough for Paterson to put up better numbers?

      –Go Habs Go!–

  43. MikeHabs says:

    Briere’s scratch was coming. Became more clear after he played less than 5 minutes against the Coyotes. He had success when he played with Gionta and Plekanec, however, Galchenyuk is there now and doing quite well. So I don’t see a need to switch that up. Briere needs to take a look at his game tape and pick out his mistakes, what he has done well etc and try to get back into it. Signing him was a mistake, that is certain, but were stuck for now. He needs to wake up.

    Also for Gionta bashers or those who also recognize that the captain is still effective in a Habs jersey, read this: http://www.allaboutthehabs.ca/keep-calm-gios-truth-told/ — Proves how Gio is very important to their success.

  44. Cal says:

    Tyler Deller’s reputation is outstripped by his poor writing and reliance upon bogus stats. There. Someone had to say it.

  45. 24 Cups says:

    I’ll say one thing for Therrien – he’s got stones to bench Briere and his 8M. However, this guy’s rant even outdoes MT’s Pittsburgh meltdown. I wonder if his wife is more than 6’2″/220, shoots right and plays with grit and determination? If she does, Hab jersey #48 is available.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQKbLsoCt28&feature=player_embedded

  46. vegas says:

    maybe a trade in the works

  47. slyCH says:

    Quick, somebody stick his smack heating spoon in his mouth before he bites his tongue.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/rob-ford-gets-his-reggae-jam-on-at-toronto-s-city-hall-170743045.html

  48. arcosenate says:

    Two words for the Markov article:

    Mike Komisarek.

    Anyway, when was the last time we beat the Blues? 1990′s?

    Nope 2007.

    • Strummer says:

      You are partially correct. Komi was never THAT bad when he played for the Habs. Lucic took his mojo.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

  49. mrhabby says:

    I put no blame on MB/MT when is comes to Briere. The player signs a nice contract and has done zip..its all on Briere. All the games i have watched and thats all of them he has lacked motivation and desire. His body language is all off. If Habs make playoffs it might be different.

    If we get 1 point tonight it will be nice.heres hoping.

    ps..while i think of it…HABS do not need Briere for marketing reasons. Every game is a sell out and hockey stuff flies off the shelf.

  50. Forum Dog says:

    DD sat when he wasn’t contributing. Briere is no different. It’ll be good for him to watch a game from the PB and see what is happening from a macro-perspective. Might even light a fire in him, since that what he needs most.

    On that last point, all smaller players in the NHL need to play with heart to succeed. Unless they have the skills of a Patrick Kane, smaller guys need to get into peoples kitchens and play in the dirty areas. Dancing around on the perimeter does not result in many good opportunities, which is exactly why coaches try and teach a defensive posture that keeps play “outside”. DD is mildly effective when he is making plays in traffic. Plekanec is a good smart player, but when he “plays like a girl” (as he famously said), he is nowhere near as effective as when he is playing tenacious and gritty hockey. Gallagher is the model for all small players. Hell, for all players in general. It’s all about how hard you work and how much you are willing to sacrifice in order to make things happen. Self preservation is important, but if that’s all you care about, you won’t play in the NHL for long.

  51. CHicoHab says:

    Oh well. I guess that torch passing ceremony to Danny all for naught.

  52. DipsyDoodler says:

    ” There has been hitting, fighting and concussions in the NHL for a 100 years. ”

    100 years ago women could not vote, there were no antibiotics, and Don Cherry was still lucid.

  53. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    That article on Markov is stupid.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Yup.

      Leaf fan no doubt.

    • Grimmly says:

      To say otherwise would make them admit the Leafs did do a mistake thinking Komi was actually good when they signed him.

    • CranbrookEd says:

      Interesting none-the-less . . . but of course the ever present danger in living by the numbers alone, is missing out on the non-measurable pieces of the puzzle that have to do with the person’s abilities to deal with pressure and as is continuously pointed out with Markov, his innate ability to see the entire ice surface in order to start a play / make a pass . . .

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

  54. Arnou Ruelle says:

    Not a surprise news for Brière not playing tonight. He’s on Therrien’s radar far too long. Alhough, its an expensive benching (how many, 2-3 games tops?) coming from an $8-million dollar guy.

    • wjc says:

      4 million a year…..4 million a year….2 year contract. Expensive benching, how? Cost the same if he plays or is sitting upstairs.

      Say it ‘I want him to fail”…”I want him to fail”…..makes you so happy doesn’t it. A player starts to fail and you are on it like a fat kid on a smarty.

      You love failure….you love it.

      wjc

  55. DipsyDoodler says:

    “Hockey is like driving a car. You either except the fact that there are car accidents and people are killed and injured or you don’t.”

    Do you believe in traffic lights, looking in your side-view mirror before merging, speed limits, mandatory driving tests before getting your permit, etc etc etc ….?

    • wjc says:

      Getting hit from behind by a drunk driver at 120 km an hour. Do you believe in high speed police chases, do you believe in blow outs at high speeds, bad weather, getting cut off, engine and brake failure, road rage, drunk driving, drugs, cell phones………can be dangerous.

      wjc

  56. Timo says:

    Wow, lots of hate for Briere AND DD on RDS. Perhaps the francophone fan base didn’t get the marketing memo.

  57. theox_8 says:

    Damn I hit post before I was done , oh well lol

  58. jimmy shaker says:

    Rather see him scratched than used sparingly. Maybe Danny should talk to DD to see what he did to get such a long leash from MT, when he was down and out in suckville. In turn, he needs to show a little more urgency out there…….but MT needs to give him a chance to succeed, maybe like playing centre or keeping the same line mates for longer than 1 period.

    Shaker out!

    • wjc says:

      Hint, D.D. avoided getting a concussion, very clever. He already knew the system, Patirocetty has his back, he had a history, so some knew it was just a matter of working through it.

      Briere has to think that split second instead of reacting because he is not as sure of what to do in certain situations. So skating around in urgency might just make it worse.

      wjc

  59. theox_8 says:

    He hasn’t played that bad at all and it must be pretty tough playing under 8 min every game . Just a random thought , I’m wondering if this continues with him

  60. bwoar says:

    About freakin’ time. NO EXCUSES

    “thoroughbred”

  61. Sportfan says:

    O boo hoo poor danny making free money from philly and an added 8 from us. Life is sooooo hard.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  62. Bripro says:

    Numero uno?
    OK so second…. I had to log in.
    I’m never first. (bows head and weeps)
    That’s OK. I’ll feel better tonight, after we’ve upset the Blues.

  63. krob1000 says:

    Eller ..ok maybe not


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