Habs get a well-deserved day off

How about those Habs?

Thursday’s 2-1 win over Boston at the Bell Centre improved the Canadiens’ record to 8-0-1 in their last nine games, earning 17 of a possible 18 points to move into first place in the Atlantic Division with an 18-9-3 record, one point ahead of the Bruins (18-8-2).

After playing three games in four nights – all wins – coach Michel Therrien gave his players the day off Friday as they prepare to face the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

“I’m proud of my players,” Therrien told reporters after Thursday’s game. “Even if we had a slow start, we adjusted well in the second period. My players emptied the tank and they were rewarded.”

Carey Price made 32 saves to record his sixth straight win Thursday night and has now allowed two or less goals in nine consecutive games, lowering his goals-against average to 1.95 and improving his save percentage to .938. He ranks sixth in the NHL in goals-against average and second in save percentage.

“There’s a lot of character in this room and we all know we have a lot more to give,” Max Pacioretty, who scored against the Bruins and now has nine goals in his last nine games, told reporters after the game. “Certain guys are stepping up, like Carey tonight.”

(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Sabres vs. Canadiens preview, NHL.com

Subban could be one of nine Habs in Sochi, by Pat Hickey

Pacioretty, Plekanec lead the charge, by Pat Hickey

Pacioretty feels terrible about Boychuk hit, by Pat Hickey

Boychuk flies home with Bruins, bostonbruins.com

Habs put exclamation point on tilt with Bruins, by Dave Stubbs

Habs rope-a-dope Bruins, Canadiens.com

Canadiens vs. Bruins photo gallery, montrealgazette.com

Bulldogs showing some bite, Canadiens.com


  1. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ JF re your concern about potential Olympic fatigue factor for the Habs players

    After Olympic Gold back in 2010, Chicago won the Cup and had Keith-Seabrook-Toews playing for Team Canada, Patrick Kane for Team USA, Marian Hossa for Slovakia.

    It didn’t seem to hurt them in that 22 playoff game run to the Cup.

    As for the schedule this year, the Habs play their last game on Feb 8th

    Team Canada guys Price and Subban’s first games are on the 13th, 14th, 16th against Norway-Austria and Finland….not exactly the Bruins-Blues- or the goony Leafs.

    Price will not play in all of those games – perhaps 1 or 2, and it would be surprising if Subban has huge minutes games

    After it’s playoffs on the 19th and 21st.
    Then either a Bronze medal game on the 22nd or a Gold on the 24th – but not both.

    The Habs resume play on the 26th

  2. jeffhabfan says:

    Well tonight we can not take the sabres lightly. We still have to play the game and beat them. My only thing is to not to slump badly when we do lose a game. We have to stay winning after but we have set us up for a great year with this recent run.GO HABS GO.

  3. JUST ME says:

    Tricked poll question. Of course we do not know for sure but it looks like we are getting there step by step.

    One must continue to work hard day by day to achieve results. Being where we are in the standings is a totally different ball game (hockey game if you want…) . You do not look forward or backward with the same pressure as you do when you are in a race to make the playoffs. When your faith is in your hand you do not need another team to win or lose to change the situation it is entirely up to you .

    Still we are far from being in total control of our destiny but if the guys work hard as they did since day one of the season results will be there.

  4. FlyAngler says:

    A few thoughts in the aftermath of the last game…….

    Very little discussion, it seems to me, of the fact that the initial contact between Pacioretty and Boychuk was side to side. As they got closer to the boards, Boychuk clearly turned to face the boards. Some have pointed out that some players are actually turning on purpose in those scenarios in order to try to draw a boarding penalty….. of course no Bruin would ever do such a thing, let alone the one who was headhunting for Jonathan Toews in the Stanley Cup Finals last year……………..

    Pundits on different media outlets pointing out that the Habs started strong last year and then fizzled with an early exit in the playoffs after finishing the season with a 9-9 record in their last 18 games. Not much discussion of the fact that they were missing Emelin for the last half or that the new Carey Price is now working with arguably the best Goaltending coach in the league……

    Same pundits extolling the Bruins as a powerhouse in the East….. personally, I think it is pretty clear that so far this edition of the Bruins sans Horton, Seguin and Ferrence is not as strong as the 2011 Cup team or even as strong as last year’s team. This year’s Bear is vulnerable and hitting the aging Bear on the back end again and again and again is a great strategy. Loved the Gallagher hit on Thursday night! Some of the Bruins D are relatively young and inexperienced, albeit talented- Krug, Hamilton, Bartkowski- putting lots of pressure on their kids in their own end is crucial.

    DD was not effective against the bigger Bruins. While he has been playing very well of late, MT and MB need to pay close attention to how he performs against the bigger more physical teams like Boston, Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Jose etc- teams that are built for the playoffs…..

    Just my thoughts…….

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  5. JF says:

    I was tempted to answer yes to the poll question, but in the end decided it’s too soon to say. But if the Habs can remain healthy and keep playing the way they are, why not? The other unknown apart from health, of course, is the letdown and fatigue effect of participating in the Olympics.

    The top two teams in the Conference have to be the Penguins and Bruins, but we’ve beaten both in the past couple of weeks. Pittsburgh without Crosby and the Malkin-Neal paring is quite ordinary, and they have a goaltender who can absolutely lose it in the playoffs. As for the Bruins, we’ve now beaten them four straight times, and I’m not sure that their off-season additions have quite made up for losing Nathan Horton.

    Ironically, the team I’m most afraid of is one that isn’t even in the playoff picture yet but almost certainly will be – the Philadelphia Flyers. That team has destroyed us twice in the playoffs and I could see them doing it again. We play them on Thursday in Philly, where we almost never win, so we’ll get a more accurate picture of how our lineup, which was missing Emelin, Murray, and Parros in the earlier game, stacks up against theirs now that they’ve started to play hockey.

  6. Bill says:

    I for one am not settled in for a five year rebuild. Perhaps this is because I have been going through one for about fifteen years.

    The team Bergevin inherited did not need to be “rebuilt”. It had a lot of good pieces, especially young, developing players. It needed to be improved, yes, augmented, sure.

    But I don’t see the Habs slowly building a contender, draft by draft. That’s a terrible philosophy, as the last fifteen years have proved. If you’re always looking to the future, you will never win in the now.

    This team is as close to a Cup winner as any other Eastern team. There is no obviously superior team that they can’t beat in the first three rounds.

    When you have a lane like that opened up, you don’t trade Gionta or Markov for picks. You trade a pick and a prospect or two and load for bear. These chances don’t come along very often. Carpe Diem and all that.

    • FlyAngler says:

      Spot on Bill. The rebuild becomes perpetual if you allow it to……

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      I don’t think building through the draft is a bad philosphy unless that’s all you do. I think MB doesn’t want us to be a one and done team. He wants this team to be a contender now as well as 5 years from now. That being said we need a few more pieces and I don’t know if he’s waiting for the trade deadline or what.

      I get where you’re coming from though, 20 years is a hell of a long time to go without a cup let alone any playoff sucess with the exception of one year when we went to the ECF. I don’t think our window of opportunity it closing for a number of years though.

    • ffenliv says:

      Well, I may have called you a terrible human being, but I think you’re spot on here.

      ‘Building through the draft’ has become the phrase that fans of oft-losing teams live by. For some it worked; those teams got really lucky. Not everyone gets a draft with a Crosby or a Toewes.

      The habs have a solid foundation of players they can keep. Adding to that now through trades and maybe a bit of a dabble in the free agent waters makes sense.

      The Habs appear to have a good team this year (totally ignoring the good team we had through most of last year here, of course). Anyone they draft now will be 2 or 3 years away. I’m not saying they should trade away every pick, but a draft pick this summer won’t do a hell of a lot for the team in the next 3 years, when they may have a legitimate shot.

  7. Caesar says:

    Fear less prediction after the holidays teams will be compared to the habs. As in do the Pens have what it takes to beat the Habs in 7 games, or can Boston match Montreal’s speed in a long series…

    Ok ok rose colored glasses but it’s been a long time since we have heard or read things like that

  8. Caesar says:

    First question why is the comment box at the bottom of the page? Not the best place to put it in my opinion. Remember Boone’s quote “you are always always looking to improve your website” or something like that.

    nextHas anyone else noticed that Emelin being back has forced the opposition to dump and chase? I’ve seen about 5 guys bail out of going up his side of the boards–including some big bad Bruins.
    Watch for it tonight if you are looking for it you will definitely see it.
    And the video on Murray after his fight is great. He took on one of the biggest goons to ever play in the NHL at the end of a long shift when Scott was fresh. I missed that the first time around, it was great watching it thanks for posting.

  9. Maritime Ronn says:

    @JohnLuTSNMtl: #Habs back end vs. Buffalo: Markov – Subban Gorges – Emelin Murray – Diaz Price starting Budaj

    9 minutes ago
    @JohnLuTSNMtl: #Habs lines vs. Buffalo: Bournival – Plekanec – Gionta Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher Galchenyuk – Eller – Brière Moen – Prust – Parros

  10. Sportfan says:

    So Drouin last night gets knocked out by a guy who could be a future teammate in Tampa, that could be an awkward meeting.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  11. Habfan10912 says:

    Multiple twitter reports that Parros, Murray in, Frankie B, White out. Bouque still not practicing. Upper body.

    Bournival with Pleks and Gio. Breire with Galchenyuk and Eller. Parros with Prust and Moen. Patches with Gallagher and DD.

  12. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    To answer the question, “Could the Habs beat the Pens or Bruins in a playoff series?”…

    Based on the games played against those two teams thus season: yes.

    Go Habs!

  13. Danno says:

    The good old Scientific Habs Information Tracking System


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

  14. Ian Cobb says:

    Boston Bruins/Montreal Canadiens “The Rivalry”
    A short highlight film of the long lasting rivalry between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins. The video features moments from the 2011 unforgettab…

    New Pictures and video of our Summit, click onto the Photo button once you get to the site below.


  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Hadn’t heard this, but apparantly after the Penguins beat the Sharks 5-1 some of the Sharks players decided to comment on how shaky Marc Andre Fleury was in net for the Pens. Why would they do that?


  16. HabinBurlington says:

    Last nights Detroit / New Jersey game featured a scintillating 32 shots on net in total. 21 – 11 for Detroit…… pure entertainment in that game I am sure.

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    Guessing we see Murray and Parros in the lineup tonight?

  18. HabinNorth says:

    Playoffs as of today as I understand.
    Pitt vs Laffs 1 vs 6
    Car vs Caps 7 vs 8
    2nd Round
    Winners above play each other

    Habs vs Bolts 2 vs 5
    Bruins vs Wings 3 vs 4

    2nd Round
    Winners vs each other

    3rd round
    Metro winner vs Atlantic

    In this scenario a Laffs upset in first round get them to an easier second round opponent. Then assuming they can beat the 7th/8th seed they go against the Atlantic winner who would be coming out of two tough series.

    In the West based on the current seedings there is no imbalance.

  19. Hobie Hansen says:

    A couple weeks back people were throwing their two cents on on Douglas Murray’s decision to fight John Scott. Murray got his clock cleaned pretty good and people had all kinds of opinions on what went down.
    It’s funny how pretty much every journalist that covers the Habs missed the fact that Murray was stuck on the ice at the end of a VERY long shift while Scott had just jumped over the boards. I posted it here, I replied to a bunch of their tweets, Murray was exhausted before the fight even started and there would have been a totally different outcome had Murray been fresh.
    Scott is a big man and has won his share of fights but he’s not all he’s cracked up to be. Anyhow, what made me think of this again is this clip from 24CH of Murray immediately after the fight that the Canadiens posted this morning. Murray admits that he was exhausted and had no energy.

    New 24CH Flash: Behind the scenes of the Douglas Murray-John Scott fight.
    Web -> http://goha.bs/IPzAwc
    App -> http://www.canadiens.com/app

  20. JohnBellyful says:

    I’m late to the party on this whole gaming stuff which is why I’m been working feverishly the past few nights on a video game for release this week, in order to capture the Christmas market.
    The working title is Slay Ride (I’ll have to come up with another, seeing as this one is already taken, for a movie that might still be in production).
    Anyways, the story line is simple: fake Santa is a terrorist whose goal is to enter every house he can by whatever means, starting with the chimney, of course, and leave behind ‘presents’ for the kiddies (the next generation of infidels).
    You, the player, are the parent whose mission is to distinguish between good and bad Santas and repel the one with malevolent intent. Defensive measures include booby-trapped Christmas bulbs (ornamental grenades) and razor wire tinsel on the tree, and land mines on the roof.
    The nog has been tampered with, of course, and the cookies are deadly (even more than the stale kind usually left out, which only induce cramps).
    The bad Claus can match that with his bag of goodies – games (snakes and adders – the real kind; Kaboom Kaboom Balloon), dolls (Barbie Suicide Terrorista with explosive belt), toys (Utterly Despicable Me minions; they’re not very cuddly), and action figures (Jihad Joe).
    There are numerous fake Santas invading homes around the world, the most notorious being Sinnerklass and his evil sidekick, Black Pete. Others include Krazed Kringle, and Pere Do-ill.
    You win if the family survives Christmas Eve – and another showing of It’s A Wonderful Life.

  21. Maritime Ronn says:

    Looking at some of the “Hit” stats for Habs Dmen, the level of physicality that both Emelin and Murray bring is off the charts.

    Most hits Habs Dmen – Gorges 38 hits in 30 games
    Least hits by Habs Dmen – Diaz 12 hits in 30 games.

    Murray:36 hits in 14 games.
    Emelin: 36 hits in 10 games.

    Those 36 hits each already have Murray and Emelin ranked 83rd in the NHL for all Dmen and climbing fast….and as Chris Nilan says, ” Alexei Emelin makes players cry for their mamas.”

    The Hits stat is only 1 factor.
    Opposing forwards had their way with the Habs Dman unit when Emelin and Murray were not there.

    When either of those 2 are on the ice, it’s rare that any opposing forward takes up squatting rights in Carey’s blue paint, or waltzes over the blueline or out of the corner.
    Now, they have to be totally aware when those 2 are on the ice.

    All those factors become exponentially more important during the playoffs. One just has to remember what Ottawa did to the Habs Dman group last year….

    • Mark C says:

      What? There are other stats beside the amount of goals scored while a player is on the ice?

      Good point. Murray, and even more so Emelin has altered the mix of player types on D, in a good way.

  22. 24 Cups says:

    I agree with the poll results. The East is obviously weaker than the West with only two real contenders – Boston and Pittsburgh. That means the rest of the field are in contention for the next spot. Right now I don’t see any other eastern team that might be stronger than the Habs.

    Could the Habs beat Boston or Pittsburgh in a playoff series? Why not! If Price is hot you just never know.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Yes. It’s only the first week of December. The only fans who should be thinking Stanley cup are fans of the Hawks (and they should be thinking about last season) and Leafs (because they always do at thus time of year).

      • 24 Cups says:

        Assuming Quick recovers, I would add LA’s name to the list along with Chicago. Those two would be the front runners.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          One of these years St. Louis has to make a deep run no? They seem like such a balanced, deep and strong physical team.

        • 24 Cups says:

          I think lack of experience in the final four, as well as good but ordinary goaltending, will once again hold St Louis back. A lot depends on the match-ups. Sometimes a team catches a break that way which means they might face one less stellar opponent such as Chicago.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      It will all come down to Carey – the health of the Top 4, and the health of the Top 9.

  23. 24 Cups says:

    There was lots of Jagr talk this week. All things considered, I wonder if he should be in the top ten of all time. If he picked up 55 points a season for the three years he was in the KHL, Jagr would presently have 1875 points. Messier sits 2nd at 1887 which means Jagr could have possibility finished 2nd overall to Gretzky (2857)

    1.Wayne Gretzky
    2.Bobby Orr
    3.Gordie Howe
    4.Mario Lemieux
    5.Maurice Richard
    6.Doug Harvey
    7.Jean Beliveau
    8.Bobby Hull
    9. Mark Messier
    10. Jaromir Jagr

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I feel we can play this game endlessly, with recursive speculation curling in on itself until it collapses into a black hole of fan fiction.

      What if Maurice Richard hadn’t suffered all the injuries, the broken legs?

      What if Wayne Gretzky hadn’t been traded, but kept terrorizing the league with Mark Messier, Jarri Kurri, Paul Coffey, Glenn Anderson, …

      What if the Wirtz family had paid Bobby Hull properly, treated him like the supernova star that he was, and he hadn’t jumped to the WHA?

      What if Jaromir Jagr had exhibited the reported great work habits and even better attitude for the final season(s) in Pittsburgh, and all of his tenure in Washington and New York?

      What if Bobby Orr hadn’t suffered the knee injuries, or what if surgical techniques at the time didn’t involved scraping off all the cartilage in the joint?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree it gets endless, I can only judge rationally based on players I have seen be it on TV or live. And when I judge based on that, I put Lafleur ahead of Jagr, he controlled entire games with his every touch of the puck.

        I know the stats may not support it, but Lafleur and Perrault were two of the greatest of all time, for how they could grab that puck and will a scoring chance or a goal.

    • habfan01 says:

      You need to move Gretzky to 3rd, and put Orr and Howe as 1-2.

    • monmick says:

      The only non-Canadian in the Top Ten…

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  24. 24 Cups says:

    The New York Rangers picked up forward Kyle Beach from the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday in exchange for Brandon Mashinter. I wonder if the Hab should have given this guy a look.

    BTW, raise your hand if you have ever heard of Brandon Mashinter. Didn’t think so.

  25. habs001 says:

    The Habs were tired by the third vs the Bruins so the following comment may not apply to this game…The last 3 games it seemed to me that when the opposition teams activated their d and their forwards forechecked the Habs had major problems moving out of their zone… Now the Habs won but i just dont think you can spend so much in your zone and eventually not get burned..this scenario has been the downfall of the Habs over the last few years ..especially in the playoffs where the opposition d pinches even more and the forwards forechecking is way more intense and aggressive than in the regular season…

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I actually think they enjoy the challenge of playing this way and shutting the other team down. I am not convinced, however, that this is a good idea.

  26. JohnBellyful says:

    If you’re like me, 30 games into the season and with the Canadiens leading the Atlantic division, the big question that comes to mind is: Why are goalies the only players who get to have designs on their helmets? Why shouldn’t forwards and defencemen be granted the same opportunity to express themselves? Why aren’t they allowed to adorn their headgear with something artistic that sets them apart? Would it really do harm to the game?
    (I’m going to keep asking questions until I get some answers)
    [Lightly taps fingers on keyboard, refreshes web page every few seconds. Nothing.]
    You’re right, there aren’t any good answers. Except for the last one (psst, it’s no).
    To head off any future inclination by hockey players to cover their face and neck with tattoos, which, I confess, I find off-putting in other athletes, I say grant them the means to assert their individuality through the graphic arts by means of their equipment. (Leaving a jersey untucked is … meh.)
    It wouldn’t have to take a lot of a helmet’s real estate, just the top part that’s most visible to fans.
    Players could fill the space with stylized reproductions of cartoon characters. Desharnais, for example, could sport Mighty Mouse on his noggin, Gallagher the Tasmanian Devil, Murray
    Crankshaft (then again, maybe not, although the image would certainly capture Murray’s footspeed).
    Or they could go another route: Eller (Danish), Moen (faucet), Prust (girlfriend).
    Anything that makes them more distinctive than just their style of play.
    But, to be realistic, the NHL isn’t going to pass up a chance to make more money and helmets present a golden opportunity for the league to swell its coffers with advertisers’ dollars.
    I don’t have a problem with that. Better helmets than uniforms, because there would be less space to fill with garish ads – to Cherryify, in other word.
    In fact, putting ads on helmets could be turned into a safety measure. Corporations would take great offence at having their logos and slogans brutally assaulted with deliberate checks to the heads of players, and would soon apprise the commissioner that such behaviour is not to be tolerated.
    I would have to think the league would immediately step up enforcement of its rules governing blows to the head and apply stiffer supplementary discipline.
    Not a bad thing, no?

  27. Alex_425 says:

    Man, Price’s stats in his last 8 games look pretty good on this fine morning.

    But I’m no expert….

    • Maritime Ronn says:


      The whole year looks excellent…so far.

      This year: GAA: 1.95. SP: .938.
      Last year: GAA: 2.59. SP: .905.

      Per every 100 shots Price faces (about 3 games) he is giving up 3.3 goals less that he did last year.
      That’s huge.

  28. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning group! I’m wondering how our friend Twi is feeling this morning.

    Twi, “How do you guys feel about drinking?”
    Front, “Trick question, right?”

    Wonderful. Just wonderful.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Front was staggering along the street late one night in Kingston, home of Queen’s University, when he was stopped by a policeman who asked where he was going at such a late hour.
      “To a lecture,” Front replied.
      “Who would be giving a lecture at this time of night?” the policeman asked.
      “My wife.”
      (Okay, so it’s an old joke. Sorry.)

    • twilighthours says:

      I’m here, with a moderate headache, which is not helped by the fact that I’m sitting in my daughter’s dance studio listening to the hens natter on about car seat placement and “Oooh I like your new coat!”

      To top it off, I found a huge wine stain on the carpet this morning. I’m guessing that was me

  29. John Q Public says:

    Get back to work you bums.
    No let down tonight.
    ❤ • ♥ • ❤ • ♥ • ❤ • ♥ • ❤
    ღ ღ ღ ღ ღ ღ ღ ღ ღ ღ ღ ღ

  30. JohnBellyful says:

    “We would like to announce a new Hockey Inside/Out contest.
    Anyone who can offer documented proof – e.g. a dated Comment or tweet – in which he or she predicted in September the Montreal Canadiens would be playing for first place in the Atlantic Division in December will win a holiday gift basket personally delivered by HIO staff dressed as Santa and his elves …. plus Patrick V. Hickey as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Hockey Writer.”
    – Mike Boone

    Geez, why weren’t we told in September HIO was having a contest and all you had to do was predict the future.
    Missed out on that one so I’m submitting a bunch of entries for the contest to come that starts out : “Anyone who can offer documented proof – e.g. a dated Comment or tweet – in which he or she predicted in December … “
    (NB: I’m using the crystal ball I got from the same place I bought my drinking glasses for interpreting the present; the ball’s half clear, half clouded).

    Here are my fearless prognostications:

    – Montreal will make it to the Stanley Cup finals AND WIN!!!
    – Montreal will defeat the Rangers on the final night of the regular schedule to slip into the playoffs

    – Subban will lead Canada to victory at the Socchi Olympics
    – Subban will use the three weeks off in February to re-energize for a playoff run

    – Bergevin will make a big trade involving five players that includes a veteran Canadien
    – Bergevin will call up Leblanc for the final week of the regular season

    – Desharnais bounces back from terrible start to lead team in scoring
    – Desharnais bounces off Chara

    – Therrien is named a Jack Adams finalist
    – Therrien is given a bottle of Jack Daniel’s for his birthday

    – Pacioretty becomes the first Canadien to score 40 goals since Damphousse in 1993-94.
    – Pacioretty hits the post

    – Bergevin extends Subban’s contract six years $8.25 million per
    – Bergevin resigns Murray for four years $2 million per

    – CBC/Rogers announce Coach’s Corner will end after this season
    – TSN announces Cherry signed for five years to host nightly hour-long show, And That’s The Way It Is (actually the show’s a half-hour but because he keeps repeating himself …)

    So what, exactly, is in one of those gift baskets – and would it be okay to have it couriered?

  31. Rad says:

    Here’s a piece on Danny Kristo in Hartford. He is their leading scorer.


  32. Maritime Ronn says:

    This past week, the cosmetics/ men’s care company L’oreal signed a 3 year deal with the NHL.

    Part of the promo is to produce a “Life Series” of short videos
    The 1st topic is Life of a Superstar.
    The chosen player is ….not Crosby or Ovechkin, yet PK Subban.

    PK choosing fashion
    PK at the barber shop
    PK at an autograph session


  33. kerrgte says:

    A number of people apparently (Sportsnet, Eklund, others?) have reported rumours of a possible trade. Also, Boone has reported some scouts from the Avs were recently in Mtl.

    But rumours and ongoing scouting are “business as usual” in the league. IT should also be pointed out that Eklund’s accuracy rate is extremely low, at best.

    I do trust MB in always looking to strengthen the team. He believes in the draft first, with other means (trades, free agents) to support the draft process. See the Chicago model.

    On another note: Gallagher has to be inspiring every player on the team to dig a little deeper. I cannot remember any player with such grit. I’m sure every player is saying to himself “If Brendan can work so much on every shift, so can I.” A fifth round pick who most clearly should have been a first rounder. What a player !

    george k

  34. HABZ24 says:

    If any of you havent seen knuckles nilans movie the last gladiators you MUST see it.i bought it off itunes for 9.99$ also available 12.99$ for high def version.its so real,so candid,real life Rocky in a habs jersey,awesome movie !!

  35. Habanero78 says:

    Hey guys, long time hio reader, rarely post comments on any website. Anyways, who would like to see a game with Emelin and Murray playing de together? They would bring the hurt, and I think Emelin has enough speed and puck moving skills to make up for Murray. Plus Murray could keep everyone honest after Emelin tees up the hits.

    • Seps says:

      You’re better off to have compliments then two of the same player. If Pacioretty Carter Kessel was a line, no one would be there to give the puck, it wouldn’t work since they’re all shooters. One big hitting D normally creates enough space for his partner as it is. I feel Emelin and Murray would have troubles in their own end because neither of them is a puck handler.

      • Habilis says:

        ^What he said^

        Also, Emelin plays 2nd pair minutes while Murray plays 3rd. You can’t give Murray 2nd pair minutes unless we’re on the PK half the game, so pairing those two would mean having to move Diaz back up to 2nd pair minutes with Gorges. Not a good idea, IMO.

    • third generation haber says:

      I love it!!!

      For the real season, the one where DD and the other softies hide behind the bench, I’d love to see the following d unit.

      Subban/ Markov
      Gorges/ Emelin
      Murray/ Tinordi

      Price would not be touched and no one would cross the blue line full speed unless they have a death wish.

      Let Diaz and the cube stretcher out the opposing forwards.

      j.p. murray

  36. Habilis says:

    Weird quirk with the new standings. I was looking at them tonight and it’s almost like the Leafs can’t be caught for that 2nd wild card, at least not anytime soon. Every time the team behind them gets close, that team leapfrogs some other mediocre team in the Metro and jumps into one of the top 3 slots. Happened tonight with the Carolina win. Carolina went from being the wild card runner-up to 2nd in the Metro, which (I think) means they’d have a home playoff series if everything started tomorrow. That with the 7th best record in the conference.

    Not a huge fan of this new system. It should be pretty simple. Top 8 teams in each conference make the dance, best 4 play at home. This just seems like over-complicating for the sake of it.

    • Seps says:

      Great post, I thought the same thing that this model is even worse than the last one. Now there’s 6 division spots instead of 3.

      • Habilis says:

        Exactly. The system would be great, if both divisions had exactly equal talent. They obviously don’t. And if this kind of extreme is even possible, something is wrong.

        It would have been fine if they had split the teams up as is, but only guaranteed the top spot in each division. Let everyone else slug it out. That way, the max you can end up with is 1 undeserving team in the entire league from year to year, and that team would still have had to finish ahead of at least 7 other teams, which would mean the 8 worst teams would have to be in one single division. So, not likely.

        • Seps says:

          Yeah I’d like that a lot better. Or at the very least, if you’re a wild card you get whatever seed you earned in the other division (i.e. Leafs would have home ice in second currently), although as I’m saying this I’m realizing that wouldn’t be fair to the fourth place team in the Atlantic, since they’d have more points and no home ice… So you’re way would retain the most integrity for the league.

        • NoTinFoilCups says:

          Would have been more balanced if Carolina had been put in the Atlantic and Boston in the Metro. Everything in hindsight!

    • Beardbaron says:

      It seems we could take it a step further and just say the top 16 teams in the nhl make it and the top 8 play at home. I think the reasoning for allowing the best of each division to make it is sound, as some divisions are easier/harder than others and more games are played within your division. Between the ridiculous 3 point games and wacky standings not based on performance I would be surprised to see this system not change next season.

      • Seps says:

        Only problem with that is travel costs. You can’t group the league as one division and have teams playing different schedules, that’d hardly seem fair.

    • CH Marshall says:

      I don’t really know the math of it, but my feeling is that this new system has a lot to do with gambling. Just my hunch

    • Dave Jones says:

      Good post! I agree, this new system is not coooool. I like having different divisions, with something at stake. It’s fun, fosters rivalries, gives a clear goal–division title–to aim for right from the start of the season. But, this inevitably creates the problem of undeserving playoff appearances! If you’re going to have only 4 divisions, then ya, make it the top team in each is a lock. If you’re going to have 6–and this is the long term plan, I’m sure, once the league gets to 32 teams–then, again, the top team in each can be a lock. But that’s already problematic, as we know from previous seasons. Why would you make it worse by guaranteeing THREE spots to each division?! It’s nonsense.

    • third generation haber says:

      Buttman’s way of artificially promoting the game in more (non-hockey) markets.

      j.p. murray

    • twilighthours says:

      I’m not in a position to judge such things at present, but this seems an astute observation.

  37. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Timo, absoLUTEly not! As a father of a young daughter — hell, as a denizen of NYC — I am often confronted with motherly and otherwise pulchritude. And I am an æsthete, so I look, and I enjoy.

    On some hipster website one can find a baby onesie upon which is printed this phrase: “I’m proof that my mom likes to füčk.” Ha. Ha. But not incorrect…

    I prefer the English “yummy mummy” to the American “MILF”. Subtlety travels further to arrive at the same location.

  38. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Is TIMO an acronym for Timo, I’m Mommy Ogling?

  39. Timo says:

    Was at my kids xmas party… what did I miss? Catch me up, people.
    Speaking of… my kid’s school has some really good mommies.

  40. PrimeTime says:

    EDIT: Mirtle – Globe and Mail.

  41. PrimeTime says:

    So the Leafs want to get a bit smaller and speedier (Mirtle- Glove & Mail). Hmmm. I wonder who they are looking at to model their team???

  42. twilighthours says:

    Were I yzerman, I’d trade Adam Erne tonight.

  43. PrimeTime says:

    This site has become a community of…(fill in the blank)

  44. monmick says:

    Just looking at the boxscores for the six games tonight and noticed that 3 of the games had a 2 min head butting penalty called! Hope this is not a growing trend…

    Lindholm (ANA)
    Smith (CGY)
    Ericsson (DET)

    ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  45. frontenac1 says:

    Robinson Cano signs 10yr $240 million deal. The end of western civilization as we know it.

  46. Un Canadien errant says:

    The Bulldogs lose 4-1 to the Erie Monsters tonight, Maxime Macenauer scoring a meaningless powerplay goal late in the third for the Bulldogs to break the shutout.

    For those of us who reflexively state that Nathan Beaulieu and/or Jarred Tinordi should be ‘given a chance to earn the sixth d-man spot’, which seems reasonable since they are the anointed ones, the first-rounders who should naturally step into important roles, soon, and who we build our succession plans around, watching tonight’s game would have been instructive. The problem is, both players are not excelling or dominating, as the Bulldogs broadcast team peripherally allude to once in a while. These two guys should be the Bulldogs’ best players along with Louis Leblanc, but their results are muted at best.

    Nathan Beaulieu has two goals and five assists in 17 games, and is -4 on the season. Tonight during the third period, he played on the second wave of the powerplay, with Sylvain Lefebvre choosing to send out Greg Pateryn and Patrick Holland as his blueliners on the first wave.

    Jarred Tinordi has 3 assists in 18 games, and granted he’s not on the team to generate offence, but he’s not taking over games. He did have a big spectacular hit tonight, but was also flattened by an opponent late in the third, and chased him soon after to retaliate, with an unconvincing result, and this was while the puck was in his own zone. He should properly have been focused on getting the puck and clearing it out, and worry about getting even at a more appropriate time. Although maybe when the game is already lost there will never be a better time to settle a score.

    In any case, our two young princes are still struggling, still learning their craft. They show promise, but they don’t have the experience and professionalism yet to instill confidence that they could step into an NHL lineup and not be overwhelmed. It’s a long season yet, and they could put it together rapidly and improve tremendously from now until April, but if I’m Marc Bergevin, and I see Douglas Murray settling into his role and contributing to the team and improving game by game, maybe I think about extending him for another season, like he did for Francis Bouillon last year. Francis was brought in possibly as a one-year stopgap in July 2012, and proved reliable and cost-effective, so much so that an extra year was tacked on to his contract as a reward for him and an insurance policy for the team.

    The same scenario could play out for Douglas Murray this season, the late-summer free agent acquisition who was widely seen as a band-aid while Alexei Emelin healed and Jarred Tinordi proved himself ready. This is now beginning to look like an inspired decision.

    Nothing wrong with keeping a useful defenceman in the fold to give yourself options while the kids learn their craft. We should hand jobs to rookies not because we have one available, but rather because they show they’re ready and they’re better the veteran incumbent(s).

    We were excited about our pipeline of young defencemen, and were worried about the best-case scenario, whereby we have too many young NHL-ready blueliners that we can’t fit onto our roster. But with Nathan and Jarred still learning, Magnus Nygren choosing to return to Sweden, Morgan Ellis struggling, and Darren Dietz having a tough start to his season in part due to injuries, we’re not at best-case or even ‘better-case’ scenario territory. So instead of leaving roster spots open for the kids to waltz into, let’s be cautious and keep our veteran defencemen and have the youths beat them out of a job at training camp.

    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons


    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good points Normand, also wonder how hard it is for the dmen to excel on a team lacking front end talent at the forward position. Thomas should be helping, but really not a great deal of NHL prospective talent playing at the forward positions there. Collberg and others I would hope help next year.

      Still a little perplexed at the departure of our recent Dman from Hamilton back home to Sweden. Could be all well and good the move, but would like to hear that.

      I do believe the additional people like Mellanby etc… should be helping in the player development but it is easy to be cynical in the speculation, not hearing otherwise.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I don’t know much about Magnus Nygren heading back to Sweden, read an article that explained he didn’t like Hamilton, felt it was a pretty rough town, and also that he’d make more money in Sweden, his contract calls for a $70 000 AHL salary. I was really disappointed at the news, I was hoping he would turn into the player Raphaël Diaz wasn’t turning into, except bigger with a better shot, and crossing my fingers he could be brought up in the spring, what with his greater maturity.

        Anyway, the growth curve isn’t always pointed steeply upwards, it meanders and flatlines. Our kids need to be given the time.

        And we can hope that the game Raphaël just played is a portend of things to come from him, that he’s rounding back into form, into the defenceman he showed he could become his first season.

    • twilighthours says:

      Didn’t read, but on a related note, I dig you normand

    • scarboro_habitant says:

      poor coaching perhaps..carey has excelled under mr waite.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Hopefully all three players (LL,Beaulieu and Tinordi) will develop and have good to great NHL careers. But it is encouraging to know that Habs are doing very nicely with some unheralded picks. I put Connor Crisp into that unheralded category. I see a bona fide NHLér in him.

      Hudon intrigues me. I think skillwise he may be the best pure hockey prospect. But unfortunately I just don’t see any indication that he will be able to develop the physical build (and it doesn’t have to be tall) to play in the NHL.

      Which is so wrong really… cause he has as big a heart as anyone in HABSland.

  47. twilighthours says:

    How do you guys feel about drinking? I’ve done some tonight, and I think I will do some more

  48. JarryPark says:

    I’m in Montreal for the game tomorrow night. Does anyone know what time the team practices tomorrow in Brossard? And is it open to the public?

  49. HardHabits says:

    Nice to see that the opportunists outnumber both the pessimists and the optimists put together.

  50. The Jackal says:

    Just gotta say, it’s really good to see DD back in form.
    The guy is a class act and a really hard worker. He’s earned his spot in the NHL and it’s great to see him find his game again.
    You can see whenever he scores that the team, and in particularly Patches, are so happy for him. He and Patch are really best buds, it’s so good to see those guys have fun – you could tell it was really bothering Max that people were crapping on his pal, and hey, looks like Max was right once more – he’s a good player.

    Glad we did not give up on him and I hope he continues to light it up.
    DD is currently the NHL’s second star!

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  51. Mattyleg says:

    Evening all.
    Lemme give you all a spot of advice: never get a massage in the morning. Effs up your whole day.

    Scheduled the massage for 9:00, and spent the two hours after getting home staring morosely out the window.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  52. jols101 says:

    Tinordi fought again tonight. That is 3 in the last week. I love the scraps but I hope he is working on his skating and positioning as well.

  53. Bill says:

    Hobie, that would be great, but I can see Florida ditching Matthias. I wouldn’t.

  54. Bill says:

    Bun.E: I think it was Soderbergh.

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