Habs facing hot goalie in Wild’s Harding

The Canadiens held an optional practice Tuesday morning before facing the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., RDS, TSN Radio 690).

The only players who didn’t take part in the practice were Rene Bourque, Travis Moen, Ryan White and P.K. Subban.

The Canadiens have been struggling offensively this season, ranking 22nd in goals per game at 2.43. Last season, the Habs ranked fourth in goals per game with 3.04.

The Canadiens will be facing Wild goaltender Josh Harding, who was named one of the NHL’s three stars of the week on Monday after going 3-0-0 with a 1.38 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage last week. He ranks second in the NHL in GAA (1.25) and save percentage (.946), behind the Los Angeles Kings’ Ben Scrivens in both marks. The Canadiens’ Carey Price ranks ninth in GAA (2.05) and eighth in save percentage (.936).

The Canadiens lead the NHL this season in blocked shots with 404 (Calgary is second with 372) and have the third-best goals-against average in the league at 2.05. However, they rank 22nd in goals with 2.43 per game and have scored only 18 times in their last 11 games.

“Saying we’re playing great defence isn’t exactly a compliment because it means you don’t have the puck and that means you can’t play offence,” Max Pacioretty told reporters on Monday. “You can talk about offensive D-men not playing well defensively, but they don’t have to because they’re always on offence, that’s my view.

“We’re in our zone too much, sitting on our heels worrying about guys on the other team when we should be attacking,” he added. “We’re caught up trying to shut down stars, but stars take chances and they cheat so I think it’s an opportunity to attack and we’re not doing it.”

Forward George Parros and defenceman Douglas Murray will be healthy scratches against the Wild, while Rene Bourque will be sidelined with a lower-body injury.

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at Monday’s practice:

Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta;
Galchenyuk-Eller-Prust;
Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher; 
Bournival-Briere-Moen.

Subban-Markov; 
Gorges-Emelin; 
Bouillon-Diaz.

(Photo by Jim Prisching/The Associated Press)

Habs vs. Wild preview, NHL.com

Game Day Report, Canadiens.com

Wild goalie Harding an inspiration while battling MS, by Dave Stubbs

Habs shake up lines looking for offence, by Pat Hickey

Harding among first-quarter breakout stars, NHL.com

Latest Minnesota Wild news, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Wild’s Sutter loves all the ice time, NHL.com

Homecoming for Wild defenceman Scandella, minnesotawild.com

Mitchell, Konopka the odd couple for Wild, minnesotawild.com

Habs prospect Hudon leads QMJHL over Russian squad, montrealgazette.com

Habs prospect McCarron finds net and his game, London Free Press

Which Koivu will captain Finnish Olympic team? NHL.com

NHL first quarter winners and losers, SI.com

NHL announces new reality TV show, montrealgazette.com

 

276 Comments

  1. Sal from the Hammer says:

    Sure sounds like Max Pac is taking a shot at MT’s system. Even JM let them play for the lead before he made them take their foot off the petal, then, once they got a lead, we all remember, meant they were hanging on for dear life by the end of most games. Seems to me if you have a speed and skill team, you should use that speed and skill from beginning to the end! Otherwise, they go back on their heals, lose momentum, then they can’t get it back! Ridiculous!!

  2. SteverenO says:

    Moen should be kept off the penalty kill starting immediately. Here,s why:

    Team total Short handed time= 127:50 PP Goals allowed = 14.

    The average is one goal allowed every 9.1 minutes of PK time.

    Here are the Habs forwards SH TOI and GA stats for this season:

    Eller: 29 mins. SHTOI – 1 PP GA = AVG: 29 mins per PPGA
    Pacioretty: 20 mins SH TOI- 1 PP GA = AVG: 20 mins per PPGA
    White: 32 mins SH TOI- 2 PP GA = AVG: 16 mins per PPGA
    Gionta: 26 mins SH TOI – 2 PPGA = AVG: 13 mins per PPGA
    Prust: 24 mins SH TOI – 2 PPGA= AVG 12 mins per PPGA
    Plekanec: 57 mins SH TOI – 6 PPGA = AVG 9.5 mins per PPGA
    MOEN: 38 mins SH TOI – 6 PPGA = AVG 6.3 mins per PPGA

    So the team as a whole allows a PP goal every 9.1 minutes:
    when MOEN is NOT killing the penalties the team allows a PP goal
    on average every 11.25 minutes;

    When MOEN IS on the penalty kill a goal is allowed every 6.3 minutes.

    So the penalty kill has been nearly twice as effective when Moen is absent, It is no wonder that Moen has the second most short handed TOI among forwards this year.

    Plekanec has produced much more on the PP than Eller,
    (plek one PPG every 4.9 mins , Eller one PPG every 9.3) Eller has, in turn, been considerably more effective than Plekanec on the penalty kill.

    Therrien has given more PP time to Eller, and more PK time to Plekanec.

    It surprises me that people still defend this man as a competent coach.
    He is either A) extremely arrogant ; ( he knows the statistics yet chooses to ignore them because he thinks he has a “gift” for sensing who should be playing in different situations) or B) He is an imbecile for either not doing the research and analytics himself, or at least getting one of his assistants to do it for him.

    I also find it incredible that Bergevin would hire so many front office assistants, assistant coaches, and scouts, yet nobody is assigned the task of analyzing their own personnel’s productivity, efficiency and overall performance.

    regards,

    Steve O.

  3. silverfox says:

    Find nest and eliminate

  4. Sportfan says:

    Anyone got a trick, or know of a way to get rid of wasps or a poison like the ant traps they have? My parents have a bad wasp problem and they are starting to get the really big ones now.

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

    • punkster says:

      Old world Serbian recipe for ridding households of wasps nests…wrap said nest in bruised cabbage leaves and apply heat.

      Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
      but…
      ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

    • GrimJim says:

      Wait until evening, wasps are cold-blooded so the colder the temperature the more sluggish they are. Identify the opening to the nest. Find high pressure, wasp specific insecticide that foams. It should have a small plastic straw that fits on the nozzle. From about 15 feet away, spray the opening making sure it’s completely covered (be prepared to run if you miss or if some wasps are outside the nest and see you attacking it). Once the opening is well covered, move in and insert the straw through the foam and the opening and spray until the foam starts coming out the opening. Be prepared to repeat this for a couple of nights to get all the wasps. When you don’t have any more flying critters, seal the opening with caulking, stucco or whatever it takes, otherwise a new queen will move into the old nest.

  5. Bill says:

    So the Habs get shut out tonight for sure, right? Hottest goalie in the league versus a lower-third offence. They have to get shut out.

    Just getting the reverse-jinx out there early.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  6. HabFab says:

    A bloggers look at what happened to the Habs offense;
    http://www.allaboutthehabs.ca/sitting-snipers/

  7. donmarco says:

    OK, that’s it!!

    They’d better win tonight or else………….

    Or else what?

    Exactly.

  8. Luke says:

    Enjoy the game tonight folks!

    Watching it on recording after 10pm or so… I’ll make sure I shelve the Cursed Lafleur jersey before I go out though.

  9. silverfox says:

    Most of the griping about Therrien is coming from the show. As far as mixing up the lines, it makes sense to do it at this point of the season rather than later. If the lines aren’t producing then they need a shakeup. Many pairings are maintained: like gionta plekanec and Gallagher played a fair bit with pacioretti in the past. It makes more sense to me though to have white as 4th center at this point.

    • KR says:

      He can change up the line combos all he wants, but I don’t think he’ll find the right chemistry until MB goes out and gets a big RW that can score. That’s a tall order as most of what we can afford to trade is 2nd tier quality. Wayne Simmonds, maybe Drew Stafford (not physical, but good size) . Find out what it would take and make a deal. Otherwise, we’re going nowhere with so many tiny wingers.

  10. Sportfan says:

    Oiler Fearless prediction Bryz turns it around for the Oilers and they make it to the first round then they over pay to extend him.

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

  11. Sportfan says:

    This isn’t hockey related, but I’m blown away by all the people buying a PS4 and selling it for 600-1000 dollars. Seriously are people not patient enough? Can they not wait for more PS4 to come to the store and pay retail price instead of 800.

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

  12. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Therrien shakes up lines at practice & during games. What else is new. How is a player supposed to develop any kind of chemistry with other players if he never knows who he’s playing with? Another example of the ineptitude that is Therrien. He couldn’t coach or win with the best player in the league(Crosby), how can he be expected to lead this team?

    Writing’s on the wall. MT will not make it until the end of this season. Save the season by getting rid of him & his stinky attitude now.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      The team isn’t scoring so the coach changes the lines.

      Hang on, why is this inept?

    • Luke says:

      Interestingly enough, McCarron was talking in the paper about how Dale Hunter switches lines all the time and how he likes it because he can be used at any time in any situation.

      McCarron has grown fond of head coach Dale Hunter’s mixing and switching of lines throughout a game.

      “I like what the coaches do,” he said. “You get to play with everybody. In that pressure moment, you could be out there with anybody . . . I enjoy it.”

      I think it’s a bigger deal for the fans than the players.

      • krob1000 says:

        It keeps players honest, you play simple, you hustle, you go to the net, you get pucks deep..it forces hockey 101 to happen and then you grow from there.While anticipating players tendencies is sometimes a good thing at other times you start expecting things to happen and not making them happen yourself and someone often becomes a spectator and the ine loses functionality. All the while other teams arre also noticing your tendencies,etc.

      • frontenac1 says:

        The Hunters will get McCarron ready amigos. No doubt in my mind at all.

    • krob1000 says:

      chemistry? he is basically reuniting 3 lines…three lines that had wway more success last year than the 3 lines are this year. Pleks-Gio-Bourque played together, Eller-Glah-Prust have played together and Dd with Patches and Gallagher I think will be ideal and they too have played together before. A 4th line of Briere-Bournival and Moen is pretty solid. This is the first step in the right direction and I would not be surprised to see PK/MArkov split by weeks end and that that point you will have about the best possible lineup the team can ice.

    • sims says:

      You should go look at his record w the pens before saying he couldnt win. Getting to the cup final requires quite a few wins.

  13. galchenyuk27 says:

    Canadiens scouts at past 3 avs games interested in Stastny or Mitchell

  14. shiram says:

    Good words on Martin St-Louis, as he gets set to play his 1000th game tonight.

    http://www.tampabay.com/sports/hockey/lightning/st-louis-as-great-as-ever-at-game-no-1000/2153087

  15. ron181 says:

    can anyone tell me why Parros was signed ? he has not played including tonite for 6 games. Is he hurting ? if not how long will it be before his agent will complain to MB .

  16. Timo says:

    Wow… I can understand Bournival’s french as much as I could Stephan Richer’s.

  17. Habsolutely says:

    ░░░░░░███████]▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄
    ▂▄▅█████████▅▄▃▂
    l███████████████████].
    ◥⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙◤

  18. Eddie says:

    A lot of offence is initiated in the defensive zone, and then having defenceman join the rush up the ice.

    Do we do that?

    A lot of offence is initiated by establishing control of the puck in the offensive zone, maintaining that control, and then moving the puck to the net with a power move, or with a shot from someone left uncovered.

    Do we do that?

    Are we a team that is likely to score on the rush, or a team more likely to score by establishing puck control?

    What are we?

    I think we need to ake advantage of some of our skill, and in particular, Subban and Markov need to take more chances offensively.

    Subban especially has unique, elite offensive skills, and those need to be unleashed on a regular basis. Subban can and should be joining the rush.

    Markov has great offensive instincts in the offensive zone, going to the net on weak side behind the coverage, for example.

    Designing offence around Subban and Markov is a strategy that will work to help generate more offence.

    • krob1000 says:

      Pk beast the forecheck, then passes to Markov who fires a great tape to tape pass to Galchenyuk….Gallagher and Eller are following…markov looks at Pk, Pk looks at Markov…they both take off to join the rush, then they both stoip thinkin gone of them should stay back, then …..they are left behind. I hate the idea of playing them together…for 35 minutes game the HAbs do not have any legoitimate puck moving pairs..and they wonder why no offense? really? At least the 4 lines is a step in the right directiona nd now at least every time PK/Markov is on the ice there is a cjhacne to score…but that still leaves more than half of the game where the other forward lines are playing with offensively challenged d which means no transition, dump ins and off the glass outs instead of making plays or maintaining possession,etc. Ohw well…like I said I expect tonight to be tter than New YOrk…but not optimal until they go with this same idea but with Markov and Pk split.

  19. Bill says:

    Hartley sucks anyway.

  20. Bill says:

    I can’t stand these boring-ass games against teams like Minnesota. I mean it’s way better than playing Phoenix, and I wouldn’t mind if it was the North Stars, but this is gonna be a no-fun game to watch.

    • slyCH says:

      I miss the North star moniker.

    • New says:

      I don’t see much difference between the two teams, except Montreal allows more shots a game. They score at the same rate, allow at the same rate, yet Min is a third better than Montreal points wise. One goal games is what the NHL has become. Blown calls by refs, dumb calls like increasing the number of players during OT (just like you do in regulation when extra penalties happen – shove seven, eight or nine players onto the ice for one team), reluctance to step up by officials, and Montreal’s love for the perimeter are the difference.

      Boring hockey by design.

  21. SteverenO says:

    Minnesota is hard to score against at even strength, but they are not great at killing penalties.

    We will need at least one, maybe even two, PP goals to have a good chance to win tonite’s game.

    Hopefully Therriew will use our most effective 5 man PP unit on the first wave, tonight. (Bournival, Plekanec, Gionta, Subban, Markov).

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • Luke says:

      It should be noted that I do not care about wingers. The “Passer” gets to play his side, shooter on the off wing, but whatever… doesn’t really matter much to me.

      I’d like to see either one of these combos on the first wave of PP:

      Galchenyuk- Eller – Pacioretty
      Bournival – Eller – Galchenyuk

      But yours is sound. I’m just spitballin’ line shuffles here since everyone else keeps proposing new lines and than freaking when MT changes his lines.

  22. DipsyDoodler says:

    Rene Bourque is on pace for a 21 goal season. For a 3rd liner getting $3.3M that isn’t bad.

  23. Bill says:

    Von, Pacioretty is a sniper, high-volume shooter, the guy with the shot. He’s never been a net-crasher, wasn’t drafted for it, never did it, never will do it.

    He’s still the Habs best scorer.

    • von says:

      I don’t think Pacioretty qualifies as a sniper. Maybe on this offensively-handicapped team… I don’t think any other NHL team would see him as one either.

      Cammalleri was the last legit sniper the Habs had IMO.

      _________________________________

      “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

        • von says:

          Good call!

          _________________________________

          “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

      • krob1000 says:

        He was pretty well on apce for 30 last year and got 33 the year before..in todays NHL..that is a sniper. He has had some tough luck so far…he is palying better of late, he had injuries, has been robbed quite a bot but is still beating guys one on one (noone else on Habs can do that like him) and he is still shooting when he should…he just needs a bit of luck and it will come.

  24. Bill says:

    Pacioretty was never a power forward. He has always scored with wrist shots from 10-20 feet out. That’s what he does. Except his year I guess.

  25. CH Marshall says:

    Keep speakin up, Max !

  26. Bill says:

    If both Desharnais and Briere – MB’s two major signings – have less than twenty points this year, will he be forced to fire Therrien to deflect heat from himself?

    It’s only his second year as GM, and people were prepared to give him time to improve the Habs. But they weren’t and aren’t prepared to watch him make a bunch of lousy big-money signings.

    • bwoar says:

      He needs to move to make up for his mistakes, like every other competent NHL GM needs to do.

      “thoroughbred”

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Neither are major signings.

      • Strummer says:

        true- DD’s $3.5 was less significant with a $70 million cap and Briere is only 2 years with a really cap friendly buyout

        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • Strummer says:

      Therrien was never the long term solution so if he’s gone after this his second season, its no surprise to me.
      Signed by the novice GM, he was the best available francophone after the Flames signed Hartley.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

      • slyCH says:

        Did Hartley interview for the job or did he sign with the Flames before getting a chance? I forget.

        • Luke says:

          I want to say the Flames grabbed him before Montreal had begun looking… perhaps was still in process of hiring the GM, or had just.

        • Strummer says:

          In Hartley’s words, what went down in May, 2012

          “With Calgary, I got here on Monday afternoon and by Tuesday morning my decision was set. One dinner with the owners and Ken and Jay and they convinced me that they wanted me, that I was their guy, and that spoke volumes to me. I had a scheduled meeting wtih Montreal on the Friday. By Tuesday morning our deal was set, but we had to get dealing with Zurich on my release and that took quite a bit of town. We finished this early on Thursday morning, Jay called the press conference and I called Marc Bergevin and told him I would obviously not be at the meeting on Friday morning and thanked him for the opportunity.”

          ______________________________________________________
          “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  27. von says:

    I like Patches but I think he needs to start doing a bit less talking these days.

    The longer he goes without putting up any points, the less weight his thoughts carry.

    Let his bf (DD) defend himself with his performance on the ice. And instead of worrying about the strategy, get back to being the power-forward that they signed you for.

    _________________________________

    “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

    • bwoar says:

      Again, he’s not a power forward, and if the club continues to think and say that, they are both wrong and dishonest.

      “thoroughbred”

    • AH says:

      Patches strikes me as a confident guy who talks a big game and has an overinflated belief in his own skill level. Agree, he should just shut up and perform; on Gallagher: ” he might be able to help us”, LOL!

  28. Bill says:

    Pacioretty just needs to keep shooting. He has two goals on 42 shots, that can’t keep up.

  29. John Q Public says:

    Hot goalie and crappy scoring team meet tonight.
    Well in this bizarro world in which we live, reality is the show and reality tv sucks.
    I am anticipating BIG things from DD tonight.
    Soobie Dooby Doo!!!

  30. silverfox says:

    Time to make a trade if I were MB. How about Eller for Lucic?

    • shiram says:

      No reasons for the B’s to do that, they got Bergeron and Krejic in the top 6. They also are a team that does not score much, so they need those top 6 guys on the wings too.

    • bwoar says:

      The first guy I’m trading is Tomas Plekanec, TBH. The second is Gionta, and if I could move DD I’d go there quickly. I think we’re stuck with Rene Bourque but getting fair value, I’d move him as well.

      “thoroughbred”

      • slyCH says:

        According to cap geek we have 2 more seasons on Bourque contract at 2.5 mill and a 3.333 cap hit. He can be moved easily to a minor market such as Florida. I’m down with that.

      • von says:

        Ya, that’s pretty much the deadwood right there.

        _________________________________

        “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    Seems like every week Kerry Fraser is explaining how an NHL official made the wrong call. How bad is reffing in the NHL compared to the other Big 3 sports, (NFL, NBA, MLB) ?

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=436971

    • AH says:

      The only worse reffing is found in World cup soccer, and you have to cuts those guys a bit of a break because they are covering a huge field. In the NHL, the rink has stayed the same size, they added a SECOND ref, and they still can’t get it right, it’s a total farce.

    • Le Jadester says:

      NHL is the worst by far.

      My conspiracy theory is that the NHL or whovever calls the shots knows they can get a way with it becuase American fans are not on top of the NHL as they are other pro leagues like NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS etc. and say let the Canadian fans complain all they want cause they’ll keep watching anyways and all the big money is in American TV markets anyways ?

      Habs, OLE !

  32. 24 Cups says:

    Not trying to beat a dead horse here but if you look at the practice lines you see the crux of the Hab/MB problem.

    DD currently is no longer a viable 3rd line centre. Briere certainly doesn’t fit the 4th line job description – not that he should be expected to just like DD shouldn’t centre a 4th line. This also means that Ryan White, who really isn’t much of a player, can’t even suit up on the 4th line and provide some grit.

    So the team has two square pegs that can’t fit into round holes to the tune of 7.5M for the next two years.

    I’m normally not a glass half empty kind of guy but what has Bergevin done the past two years besides sign Prust? (Sorry, but there are no points for buying out Gomez and Kaberle. Those were no brainer moves).

    • slyCH says:

      MB can sell a tire like nobody’s business. Personally I’m waiting for this off season to see what management does with all the contracts coming off the books. Who they keep and who gets brought in. That’s always been my gauge for this management crop. Let’s wait and see.

    • shiram says:

      He brought in alot of managerial people, added scouts, tried to improve Hamilton this year with some vets to help the kids alone.
      But yeah, not much on the big club.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Here’s the difference.
      Leafs management has jm Liles and his 3.85M contract for 3 more years.
      He doesn’t fit anymore.
      They put him on waivers-he clears and goes down to the Marlies.
      Leafs still have the cap hit less about 950K.

      The guy didn’t work out.
      They made a decision….instead of………

      • bwoar says:

        Bingo!

        “thoroughbred”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Don’t disagree, but it is easier for Nonis to do that, because it was Burke who signed Liles, not Nonis. Having said that, i would respect MB for admitting his mistake and doing the same thing.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Nonis was the right hand of Burke.
          From here, I just don’t see the big issue about cleaning up a mess….as long as it doesn’t happen more often than not

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I think the same, would be curious if MT actually believes in DD or if indeed he is trying to save face for MB. I don’t mind them continuing to try him in the lineup, but not both Briere and DD in the same game. That is just way too much of the same.

  33. RAM_TOUGH says:

    If the Habs don’t get any better scoring chances tonight than they did against the Wild the last time it doesn’t matter who Mini has in net! Harding never broke a sweat last game vs the Habs.

    Time for Max to put his big boy pants on tonight!

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  34. John Q Public says:

    “I’m a power forward and that’s where I have to go to score my goals. Again, by watching tape, going to the net was one of the things I needed to do and I just did it.” – Michael McCarron

    Michael pls forward a text msg to underachieving Habs forwards.

  35. Propwash says:

    Hey gang! Just stepping in!

    http://i.imgur.com/2C7kFNe.gif

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  36. Maritime Ronn says:

    Some nice stories on that Wild team.

    First off, there’s goalie Josh Harding that was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis last year at this time and continues to fight through it.

    Then there is 2nd year old Dman Jonas Brodin that should have been on everyone’s Calder Trophy ballot last year.
    As a 19 year old rookie last year, he was trusted to play over 23 minutes that included 1st unit PK and 2nd unit PP.

    Coupled with Ryan Suter last year, the duo continues this year with now 20 year old Brodin playing over 25 minutes.

    Here is really enjoying watching some young guys play and having the trust of their coach.
    It’s also refreshing to see that these young guys are allowed to make mistakes and play without the fear of being sent to the AHL……..

  37. As much as I agree with many who think that the soft, perimeter play has contributed to the lack of contributing goals, there’s more at work.

    How many of you have been so upset you were nearly (or actually were) screaming at the refs to call the blatant infractions over the last half-dozen or so games for clutchy-grabby offenses? I know I have been.

    We ARE a skill and speed team, but when you hang on and hold as much as I’ve seen lately, especially with TB and the Rangers, you negate a lot of that. Then, the only chance you’ve got is garbage goals, which we’re not currently working hard enough to get.

    You need both to be successful, but–like Bwoar stated below–it doesn’t help that the league isn’t doing its part to enforce the rules as written.

    If you’re not going to enforce them, then why have them at all. Play lacrosse instead.

    DDonais

  38. HabinBurlington says:

    Seems to me the last time I recall Max speaking so pointedly was when he was bouncing back and forth between Hamilton and Montreal. Max seems slow to anger, but once prodded enough the anger or frustration comes out.

    Will be interesting indeed to watch the boys efforts tonight. Unfortunately I will miss most of the game as I will be curling tonight. Now that is a real workout!

  39. Timo says:

    Has “You Might Also Like” become self aware?

  40. knob says:

    Is it me or have the Habs gone from a puck possession team to a Jacques Martin team? Bring back the puck possession game…much more exciting hockey.

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    So the question was asked down below, Why are the teams in the West so much better?

    I wonder if perhaps part of the reason, is that many of those teams in the West aren’t in hockey crazed markets, where the ownership/mgmt have been able to be patient in watching their team develop over years. So many teams in the East are traditional hockey markets with the pressure from fans, media etc… being for instant success, thus constant turnover and in turn mediocre results.

    • donmarco says:

      Since I asked the question, I’ll weigh in.

      I think part of it has to do with the balanced schedule and the utter domination of the western teams over the eastern ones so far this year. Eastern teams also, for reasons unclear to me, to really have trouble with the time zone adjustments, with games being played at what would be 10:00 PM local time.

      I agree that the Eastern conference, having 5 of the original 6 teams, have more teams in “traditional” markets, but they also never have to travel out of the Eastern time zone when playing in conference.

      Then again, what do I know?

    • slyCH says:

      Maybe it’s the clean air and living. Yeah. Sunshine makes for better moods.

  42. DickandDanny says:

    By the time the second pp unit hit’s the ice it seems to me they have already thrown in the towel. If they don’t score in the first minute and twenty they just send out the next d pairing to minimize the chance of a short handed goal against. It’s pretty demoralizing seeing Bouillon already standing at center ice when the puck is just being cleared out of the zone and up his boards. Pateryn and Beaulieu would each bring some needed offensive upside to this D corps, but neither can somehow crack this line-up? To me that decision lies clearly with MT, not MB, it is purely a coaching choice who plays, so I think it is fair to cast some blame on MT for the teams present lack of productivity. He puts the players in the line-up and he chooses when they play so that factor cannot be disregarded when looking at our anemic offense.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  43. knob says:

    What MaxPac said^^

    • slyCH says:

      How refreshing is that:

      “That’s where I’ve got to live, I guess,” he said. “I’m a power forward and that’s where I have to go to score my goals. Again, by watching tape, going to the net was one of the things I needed to do and I just did it.”

  44. arcosenate says:

    Bouillon has 7 PP points in is last 388 games played, can there be any other reason that Therrien trots him out for the second half of every PP other than compromising photos? Can there? I didn’t think so.

    I look to see his ass stapled to the bench on every PP if the coach is serious about scoring goals.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Isn’t it Bouillon or Gorges?

      • shiram says:

        I’d throw Emelin on the PP before Bouillon.
        Subban/Markov
        Diaz/Emelin

        • Mattyleg says:

          It’s only his second game back.
          We might see him out there, alright.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • doc359 says:

          I Emelin has a good enough shot and is smart enough to play PP, atleast when the other option is Bouillon. Maybe they just don’t want to have too much ice time coming back so quickly? Keep him working up to a full load. We just signed him for 4 more years, we don’t want to rush him back and cause damage to the knee

          • shiram says:

            Sure, you and Matty bring valid points.
            He looked good last game, and PP is alot easier to play than PK, so I’m sure Emelin would be up for it tonight.

            But it’s something I was mentionning last season too, I hope Therrien and co. give him a chance.

        • Bun E. Laroque says:

          Emelin actually has some offensive ability, unlike Gorges and F. B.

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          Of course, and I’m fairly sure that’s what will happen. But prior to Emelin’s return there weren’t many other options – I guess use a forward on the point which is always risky, especially in the 2nd wave.

      • arcosenate says:

        Does it matter? Put a forward on the point, play PK the whole PP, decline the second half of the PP, whatever, just don’t pretend Frankie’s going to score.

        • Mattyleg says:

          I don’t think anyone’s pretending anything.
          Frankie can move the puck around well.
          I hate the idea of putting a forward on the point.
          Every time a team does that, it’s a SH breakaway waiting to happen.

          Ask Alfredsson how it felt being on the point…

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • arcosenate says:

            Frankie is not going to Hollywood on his offensive play. He has no offensive talent. People on the PP have o be able to help score, especially on team which can’t score.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Hey arcosenate,
            Frankie Says Relax.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Luke says:

            Truthfully Arco, FB is only getting the last 20-40 seconds when AM and PK bail off. Diaz has been out for 50-60s (depending on when he replaced AM).

            Boullion plays a very limited role and part of his gig is to defend once the guy hops out of the box. Hopefully preventing a long pass or breakaway.

            That said: Yes, FB is terrible. He’s a serviceable 6 or 7 and with the return of Emelin, or if Beaulieu had remained, FB could be removed from the PP entirely.

            I think it’s a moot point, now. (moooooooooo)

            Edit: Sometimes this place is what it’s like when two tribes go to war

    • Timo says:

      I think it can be safely concluded now that Michael Therrien 2.0 is as bad as Michael Therrien 1.0. He hasn’t changed at all and he hasn’t improved at all. This and next seasons are lost and then Habs will begin another rebuild. Yay!

    • Sportfan says:

      I will be really annoyed if they extend him after this season.

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

  45. DipsyDoodler says:

    Anyone else getting this? Are they serious?

    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
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  46. Mark C says:

    Haven’t seen this much reading between the lines looking for hidden meanings since the White album.

  47. adamkennelly says:

    I think the players are likely frustrated by having an inept coach calling the shots.

    Prolly pissed some of their buddies get left aside to watch the game so a terrible contract or two can play.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I don’t think so.
      MT certainly wasn’t inept last year.

      I think the players are frustrated that they are having so much trouble getting their offensive mindset back after having been forced into a defensive shell to deal with the injuries they sustained.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Cal says:

        I feel that both MT and, especially, MB were surprised by last season. They expected worse and only got it late in the season and playoffs.
        Habs are still too fragile a team to make the playoffs, but they will have some good nights and will win here and there. I don’t expect them to win with regularity and that’s okay, too. They are just not built for it.

        • Mattyleg says:

          But it was late in the season when we got our injuries.

          And I don’t think we are fragile.
          I don’t buy that myth.
          We are built to play hockey.
          We have had injuries recently, but by the end of the season, I forsee other teams racking up just as many as us.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Cal says:

            The mounting injury toll- Habs lead the league again in man/games lost- tells me they aren’t built to play hockey in today’s NHL. The Habs have had a lot of long term injuries since the move into the no longer new building. It’s not the Forum ghosts, either.

            Ah, well. I cheer them on anyway, but my impatience for a better caliber of team chafes.

      • bwoar says:

        Where we disagree Matty is that I call this a coaching problem, not a mindset/mojo thing. The fact that more than one veteran has brought it up leads me to the suspicion that it’s been openly discussed among the players.

        “thoroughbred”

        • Mattyleg says:

          For sure, but it’s up to the players to make it work.
          The coach knows they need offense, and is trying to coax it out of them, but it’s up to them to take the initiative.
          Therrien can’t go out there and score goals for them.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Therrien does have to come up with a gameplan/strategy whichl allows them to do this, the players have to execute it. I do wonder though if MT isn’t more of a Passionate coach than a technical coach.

      • adamkennelly says:

        what injuries specifically forced them into a defensive shell?

        Emelin? Prust? Pax? Briere? give me a break…

        MT was inept last year – just didn’t have enough games to prove it – Habs were falling fast and got destroyed in the playoffs.

        • Mattyleg says:

          He didn’t have enough games to prove his ineptitude?

          That’s a funny way of looking at a good season.
          Some would even say unfair/negatively-biased!

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  48. krob1000 says:

    Don’t worry…MT had planed for the frist quarter of the season to focus solely on defense. given last year the team could score but ot dprevent goals. now he is going to unleash the four headed mosnter with 4 balanced lines! The kids should all have a pretty good grasp on the defensive basics at this point so now they focus on scoring a bit more.

    As for the BOurnival with BRiere thing….it also isn;t a bad idea….kind of like the BRiere Girouz thing IMO. The fact Moen, Bourque and PK are all sitting out the optional confirms what many suspected that they are nursing some minor injury.

    I like the lines tonight….not sure why people don’t to be honest given their success last season offensively. The d is much tighter this season and also people are not considering the team is just recovering from inujuries…many of them. It takes a while for those guys to get going and for the other guys to get used to them.

    • Eddie says:

      Is the defence so much better, or is Price making several saves a game that easily could have been goals?

      I think it’s Price who has kept this team near .500 hockey.

      Several games Price has definitely been the difference.

      • krob1000 says:

        combo of both but so was last year …he is playing where he should be now(slgihtyl above) but last year whe palyed well too and the goals agaisnt did not get really bad until the injuries all set in.

  49. 100HABS says:

    Last 10:
    Rangers 7-3-0
    Cannucks 4-4-2

    Is the evidence starting to emerge that Vigneault is a better coach than Torts?

  50. Bun E. Laroque says:

    I wish Minnesota would change their name back to the North Stars.
    A very cool hockey name, unlike the “Wild”.

  51. Timo says:

    Apparently Rags are scratching Del Zotto again tonight for the 3rd straight time.

  52. The Jackal says:

    Interesting posts about players possible tuning MT out.
    I don’t know if they are bailing on him but they seem frustrated at that defensive game – and it’s a big change from last season’s offensive style.
    I think we should go back to that but again, try to defend better when we need to. I think Price can bail us out a lot so why not take chances?

    I still think we lack some scoring but unleashing what we have is probably a good idea. Trying to block shots is hit or miss, but then again we are not exactly a team that can break a forecheck with ease. I think the best thing the Habs can do at the moment is get more players to drive to the net and take more shots – play a better offensive game but also try to be solid defensively… how? Well, I’m not the coach!

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • bwoar says:

      We didn’t get on this rope-a-dope thing until the injuries hit and our depth was shown to be lacking or non-existent. The coaches now don’t have the confidence to come around and try the speed game and I kinda agree – the team’s footspeed is wildly overrated and there are many NHL clubs who can match us.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Mattyleg says:

        I’m glad that you pointed this thing out; we had to play defensively because of our injuries (and no team has the depth to properly deal with the injuries we had) and we are struggling to re-find our mojo.

        That’s all.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • New says:

      Or it might be that they are tuning the staff “in” big time and working on what they have been told they need to work on.

  53. kalevine says:

    lately, when the Habs play, every opposing goalie is a “hot” goalie. They help make them look good

  54. 24 Cups says:

    Are blocked shots running the game? Should they be banned in light of the lack of offense and excitement that the league is experiencing right now?

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Just electrify the puck.

    • shiram says:

      how can you ban blocked shots?

      • krob1000 says:

        it is an interesting idea…maybe no going down to block a shot? Still can do the get in lane with two legs thing..could be argued that generates offense if you stop it and you can go forward after it. The idea of banning people from going down to block shots is at least worth discussion in this day and age of gaoal challenged games. I doubt it would stick but it isn’t as crazy as it first sounds.

      • arcosenate says:

        Use a hand grenade instead of a puck?

    • bwoar says:

      I don’t think this is the answer; teams relying too heavily on that strategy are rarely winners.

      Start with calling the rulebook as it was after the previous lockout and go from there. Obstruction and automatic wandering stick infractions. It’s already on the books, just need to enforce it more strictly.

      “thoroughbred”

    • Cal says:

      For myself it’s a combination of the refs not calling penalties mixed in with shot blocking and over-sized goalie pads (yes-still- the chest protectors and blocker and catching glove are waaaay to big). All this combines to lower scoring. That is a big mistake as we all love games that are won 4-3 instead of 2-1 or 1-0 games.

    • slyCH says:

      Next strategy to be implemented is both defensemen sprawl out lenght wise in the goal circle when defending in D-zone. Then stack the tiny forwards on top to form a pyramid type wall in front of the net. Once play stops hope you win the face-off and clear zone or, egad, repeat…

    • frontenac1 says:

      Ban the Soccer Shootouts and The Instigator Rule.

  55. billylove says:

    Hope all realize that Harding was diagnosed with ms last year.

  56. Maritime Ronn says:

    Pacioretty said, “…You can talk about OFFENSIVE defensemen not playing well defensively, but they don, t have to because they’re always on offense.”

    Max certainly doesn’t sound like a happy camper, and the above statement is a hell of a bankhand shot to Therrien concerning Subban.

    Put that together with the rest of the stuff mentioned and the big question needs to be asked:

    Is this Max blowing off some steam, OR is the Max sentiment what the whole Dressing Room is feeling

  57. 24 Cups says:

    Josh Harding has to be the feel good story of the year in the NHL. I wonder how many other guys in the league could show that much courage and perseverance.

  58. habsfan0 says:

    I’m looking forward to both DD and Briere having breakout games tonight.
    They’re both due.
    I’m sure they won’t disappoint me.

  59. donmarco says:

    Interesting statistic.

    If there were no Eastern/Western conference divisions, not a single current Eastern team would make the 8 team playoffs. What are they drinking out there?

    • Sportfan says:

      Size, strength, agility and some of those markets don’t have intense media coverage that gets in the way!

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

    • B says:

      Tampa is 7th in points% and tied for 8th in points. If there were no conferences or divisions, then I think there would be still be 16 teams in the playoffs.

      I have commented before that I would like to see the top 16 overall make the playoffs and be ranked regardless of conference and divisions. Currently, only 6 teams from the East would make it and the Habs ranking 17th would just miss out.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  60. shiram says:

    twilighthours

    I’d have sent you a private message if it was possible, but it’s not so here we are.
    I thought I had worded my post to convey a sense that I agreed on your position, but I still felt that some teacher mail it in, just as much as some student.

    I did not mean to insult or anger you, but just to open a discussion.

    cheers

    edit : I’ll add for Matty who replied on the old thread, that’s a good argument, but I think it needs to nuanced when you say the students pay to be there.
    I’d think that there’s alot of those university students that don’t pay and pass the bill to mom and pop, so the result is the same as high school.
    There’s also a pervasive mentality that alot/most/the majority of people need an university education, and I just don’t think that’s true either.
    DEP’s and cegep and even for some just high school is plenty enough schooling.
    I mean those people sitting looking at facebook all day, they should not be there….

    • twilighthours says:

      Shiram,

      you’re always welcome to send me an email. My address is this username at gmail dot com.

      Things you might want to know:

      -I am a high school teacher. Currently grade 12 math, the kind that the future physicist, engineers, programmers would take

      -I actually agree that there is a fair portion of the burden for teachers to be interesting and inviting. Everyone has had or knows boring, disinterested teachers

      -you really have no idea what kind of teacher I am or to what lengths I go to engage my students. That’s where I take umbrage. And you’ll have to take it on faith that if I’m reached the point where I’m giving it to my students for being lazy, then they definitely deserve it.

      Your post to Matty veers in another direction. In short, I agree – too much emphasis on university.

      I’ll be in and out, so might not be able to respond right away.

      • shiram says:

        Thanks Twi.
        I assure you it was not meant to be a barb in your direction, more so a general comment related to education, as you say I don’t know your ways of teachings, so I’m not commenting on them.

        It’s just a subject that is close to me, as I did not have the easiest route with education and I’ve been burned a few times.
        I’m diplomed and employed now, so there was an happy ending for it to me.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Much like coaches and players, good teachers put students in postions to succeed.
        It’s up to the student to take advantage of that.

        DD is the student that the teacher wants to see succeed because he has shown ability to do it in the past, and is going through a bad patch.

        I’ve never given up on a student who wanted to succeed.
        On the other hand, students who give up… they get let go.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • shiram says:

          Like Twilighthours, I don’t know you much Matty, but you seem like an energitic enthusiasmic positive guy, so from that alone I figure that’s a great start for a teacher.
          And I can only try to empathize with you, knowing just how difficult teenagers can be.

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          So let’s say one had a social group (not a classroom) where there were about 80-90% of serious individuals and a small but very vocal minority (class clowns we’ll call them) who just banged on and on witlessly about shite, and just made the environment … less than it could be.

          Do you teachers have any sort of expertise, tips, strategies to deal with this?

        • slyCH says:

          I took a night writing class at Vanier to improve my English skills. To thank my teacher at the end of the semester, (an old eccentric type lady) I asked what I could do, she asked for a 6 pack. So I got her a 6 pack and shared one with her in the empty classroom. That was fun.

  61. Timo says:

    “We’re in our zone too much, sitting on our heels worrying about guys on the other team when we should be attacking,” he added.

    So Max, are you saying MIchael Therrien is stopping you? Because as far as I am concerned, please, attack away. Maybe even score a goal.

    • zephyr says:

      I think he’s saying just that. they need to have a more aggressive forecheck & take a few chances on offense instead of a retreat first mentality. i think that’s a shot at mt. plus if mt sits murray, then we have 3 undersized dmen trying to win battles on the boards in our own end & 4 midget fwds getting erased when the dman predictably clears it up along the boards. ugh. I thought our strength was speed. we’re certainly not playing to our strengths.

  62. Max_a_million says:

    Brain Wilde is just the best Canadiens reporter analsyt. I really enjoy listening to his analysis a lot. Pretty straightforward and balanced.

  63. bwoar says:

    Let me also opine that Pacioretty is not a power forward, and needs guys like Gallagher to drive the net. He’s actually a lot more like Cammalleri, in point of fact. He’s not the player you can count on to drive inside like Erik Cole, rather, he needs to park himself just inside the dot and get better position in the slot areas to unleash the deadly wrister. He’ll never be the “crash the net” guy scoring greasy goals, he’s got a shot to do the work for him and it’s on him to move his feet, win the battle for open space, and cash in the changes that his linemates generate.

    “thoroughbred”

  64. bwoar says:

    I harken back to Mike Cammalleri and the ‘loser mentality’ for a moment…

    I’m curious to see if MT can come up with an strategy that doesn’t involve blocking 30 shots a night. Pacioretty is already complaining that they can’t go to work enough in the offensive zone, if as a team they are ultimately focussed on blocking shots, and shutting down the other team. In particular that shutting down the other team’s stars is fine, but stars cheat, and the Habs should take advantage. In his view, not controlling the play but passively waiting to defend is the source of the scoring woes for the team.

    http://www.radio-canada.ca/sports/hockey/2013/11/18/003-canadien-tirs-bloques-pacioretty-therrien.shtml

    He’s got a point that the defensemen are hard-pressed to get in good position to make outbound plays if they spend all their time getting in lanes and playing to allow outside shots constantly. This is the loser hockey I think old #13 was talking about. Playing not to lose, rather than taking control of your own fate in the neutral zone and creating turnovers rather than creating positional bliss in your own zone.

    EDIT: I see the HIO crew finally decided to blog about the above.

    “thoroughbred”

    • shiram says:

      I don’t think the Habs are in as bad a situation as they were back then, but still I’m glad Max spoke up, even if it’s a small controversy.

      • Timo says:

        YES!!! MOAR controversy!!!

      • bwoar says:

        We saw the “breath of fresh air” for half a season, and then the second the injury bug hit, the same-old, same-old predictable plays (and excuses!) are back. I do think it’s very much the carbon-copy of the JM Endtimes/Cunnyworth era and it has all the ring of a coach who’s got guys tuning him out. It’s very possible that Therrien’s shelf life was overestimated by the rookie GM, who himself has a lot to answer for with 2 guys of his choice out of the lineup. A few more loses and we’ll get the “we’re actually where we expected to be a team / it’s a tough league / work-in-progress / always looking to improve the team / position of strength” BS excuses that the last two GMs trotted out once their decisions blew up in their faces.

        I was all for the signing of these tougher guys (I still think Murray should play instead of Boullion) and on the fence about Briere, but I’m not paid to be correct, and can own up to my bad judgment without consequence. Bergevin has to account for his job and I’d like to see it with personnel moves that re-shape the team rather than the usual diplomatic non-answers.

        “thoroughbred”

        • shiram says:

          Yeah, I too think Therrien’s stock might not be too high with the players now.
          It’s a difficult thing to gauge.
          Maybe a couple wins would have the boys singing his praise…

    • Phil C says:

      Pacioretty coming out with a slightly different message than the coach. Bouillon was quoted a few days ago about the Habs still playing the same way as last year while everyone else has adjusted. Gionta was talking about how badly they are breaking out, not attacking as a 5 man unit. I wonder if the players are starting to get frustrated with Therrien and the current system.

  65. kalevine says:

    as has been discussed, leading the league in blocked shots is partly an indication of things going very wrong in the puck possession department. It would be ok if they were winning more games by blocking more shots but that does not seem to be the case. Also, do they lead the league in shots going in their own net off their own players, either directly or indirectly?

  66. monmick says:

    Team Canada tryouts for starting goalie position tonight…

    ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  67. bel33 says:

    Man… this is either going to be really good tonight… or really bad.

    Is Josh Harding this year’s Craig Anderson?

    – I’d buy that for a dollar! -

    • Strummer says:

      Is that you Dreger?

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

      • bel33 says:

        Please… I’m not related to anyone in the Laffs organization.

        Just a off-the-cuff remark.. as Josh is now in people’s heads for a spot on Team Canada based on 1.5 months of hot goaltending.

  68. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    First.

    Or second. *Hangs head in shame.

  69. Strummer says:

    Hey Now!!!!!

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Strummer! Nice work, some day I owe you a pint here in Southern Ontario, as per my promise to whomever was first on the next thread. Luke will be very dissappointed.

      CHeers!

      • Luke says:

        I’m not upset. I don’t care. I didn’t want it anyways… I’m trying to, um, cut back. Be all Healthy and stuff…

      • frontenac1 says:

        Take Burly up on that offer amigo! You won”t regret it.

      • monmick says:

        How about me? I was last on the previous thread. Any prize for that?

        ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

      • Strummer says:

        Cheers Burly!

        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

        • VerdunHab says:

          Hey Everyone, I’ve been on the outside looking in with admiration for a couple of years now and decided to join so I could encourage, vent and hopefully add to this already pretty amazing group of posters. Hopefully one year I can make it to a Summit as well…pure jealousy for all of you who attend each year and enjoy the company of all your fellow posters. I already have so much respect and more for Ian and what he’s accomplished in life and continues to provide for everyone here. I’ll warn everyone now that I tend to be a little more negative than even I’d like at times…more of a coping mechanism for me because I care WAY TOO MUCH!! Anyway, looking forward to being a really small part of such an amazing group that has been brought together by our love of this team. Cheers to all!!


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