Habs get day off Sunday in drive to playoffs; Plekanec to rejoin team

The Canadiens were given the day off Sunday after picking up their fifth straight victory with a 4-1 win over the Panthers Saturday night in Florida. The Habs have won eight of their last night games and according to the website sportsclubstats.com have a 100-per-cent chance of clinching a playoff spot. Five of those eight wins have come on the road.

While a playoff spot hasn’t officially been clinched, things are looking good for the Canadiens who appear headed for a first-round series with Tampa Bay. The Habs’ next game will be against the Lightning Tuesday night in Tampa (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

The Detroit Red Wings did the Canadiens a favour on Sunday night, beating the Lightning 3-2. The Canadiens (43-26-7) are in second place in the Atlantic Division and remain two points ahead of the third-place Lightning (41-25-9) with Tampa Bay holding one game in hand. The Boston Bruins (52-17-6), who are 17 points ahead of the Canadiens, have already clinched first place in the division.

The Canadiens No. 1 line of Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Thomas Vanek accounted for all the scoring in Saturday’s win. Pacioretty scored his 34th and 35th goals of the season, while Vanek scored his 27th and Desharnais potted his 15th.

“I thought he was just a scorer, but he’s an unbelievable playmaker,” Pacioretty told reporters after the game about Vanek, who was acquired at the NHL trade deadline. “Not only does he make the right plays, but he makes it easier on the guys he’s setting up. When he gives the puck, he makes sure he drives the defender so he’s taking him away from you. He’s an easy player to play with.

“When you start making plays based on instinct, it shows the chemistry is building,” Pacioretty added. “We want to clean up some defensive plays we made late in the game, but you can’t get too picky. We’ll take everything in stride and hope to get better with every game.”

Tomas Plekanec, who missed Saturday’s game to return to Montreal for family reasons, was to rejoin the Canadiens Sunday night in Florida and be at practice Monday.

Meanwhile, Josh Gorges, who has been sidelined for almost a month with a broken hand, is hoping to return on April 9 when the Canadiens visit the Chicago Blackhawks. That would give the defenceman three games of action before the playoffs begin.

Pacioretty leads Habs over Panthers, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Pacioretty praises Vanek, by Pat Hickey

Pacioretty a lamp lighter, Canadiens.com

Gorges taking his time with rehab, Canadiens.com

Matchups if NHL playoffs started Sunday, NHL.com



  1. 24 Cups says:

    How good is MaxPac? Even though he has missed 9 games, he still has 10 PPGs and an astonishing 10 GWGs so far this season.

    • Chris says:

      Pacioretty has been fantastic for the past three seasons now. He has established himself as an elite goal-scorer in the NHL. Over his past 190 games, he has scored 93 goals.

      Or, to put it better, he has averaged a 40-goal pace over his past 3 seasons based on 82 game schedules.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      6th in goals, 2nd in goals scored per 60 minutes. That´s how good he is. He´s so good, most Habs fans even have stopped complaining about him.

  2. 24 Cups says:

    New Jersey is 0-10 in the shootout as they have only scored once in 30 attempts. If they win half of those games then they are tied for a playoff spot instead of being out of the race.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think I heard that no player on their current roster has scored in the shootout. Not sure who got their only goal in shootout but evidently he is no longer on roster.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I thought Ryder used to be decent in the shootout?

        • Hstands4Hockey says:

          There’s been a lot of ludicrous things said on this board over the years, but this takes the cake.

          No – Ryder was/is one of the worst shoot out players I’ve ever seen and it still blows me away Habs used him in the shoot-out as often as they did

          P.S. I’m sure someone can find the stats that show he wasn’t actually quite as bad as I recall.

          Edit: Looked it up, he’s 6/36 all time or 16.6%. Never scored more than 2 SOG in a year. League average is 32%. Conclusion: Instinct was correct, he was pretty bad.

          Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Really? An innocuous post like Kooch’s and you call it the most ludicrous posts ever? He says clearly, “He Thought” He isn’t stating a fact, isn’t telling anyone to adhere to his views, and on top of he just thought, he said “Decent” not excellent…..

            Wow, of all posts to take the cake for ludicrous, I find this odd.

          • Hstands4Hockey says:

            That’s because your taking it literally instead of in the hyperbolic context it was intended. Relax.

            Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            🙂 Okay, I am crawling back into my hyperbolic chamber/cave now and will be better prepared for the next one.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Thanks for looking into the stats but like Burly said I thought ….never actually looked into it.

            I would bet there is a lot of habs with currently under 16% accept for Davey! That guy is money in the shootout

      • CJ says:

        If memory serves, was it not the kid from Sarnia who used to play with Chucky? It was his first NHL game and he scored on his first shoot out attempt, beating Budaj. It was the crazy game in NJ, when PK gave up a gift with less than a minute to play, before Montreal tied it (was it a DD deflection?). In any event, we won the shoot out, but I think the kid (sorry, I can’t recall his name) scored on his first attempt.

      • JF says:

        I forget his name but it was a young player who was up and down from the AHL. I remember his goal and the commentators saying it was his first NHL goal but it wouldn’t count.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      The NJ Devil shootout move consists of dumping the puck behind the net and retreating to the blue line to set up the trap.

      Moving. Forward.

  3. 24 Cups says:

    The top ten “active” playoff scorers. There’s a couple of names that will be of interest to you.


  4. Cal says:

    1- The first point of contact Orpik makes is to Toews’ head.
    2- Orpik left his feet at the same time as he was delivering the hit.
    He should be suspended for 5.

    • Steven Snell says:

      I don’t think this is suspendible. Contact to the head was minimal and incidental, this was primarily a body check. The head was not targeted. Definitely an argument to be made regarding the feet leaving the ice. I would point out that the feet leave the ice AFTER contact as a result of Orpik leveraging his body into Toews. You see this on almost every big hit. But there’s an argument there for sure.
      So while I don’t think it’s suspendible, I do think it’s a little cheap. Hitting their captain as hard as you can when he doesn’t see you coming? I suppose I’d expect no less of Emelin. Tough call. That’s why you always keep your head up.

      • Cal says:

        Not a question of whether or not the head was “targeted”. It was the first point of contact. Orpik did leave his feet. Definitely suspension worthy. Probably won’t happen in what owner Mario Lemieux calls a “garage league”. (Oh, the irony!)

  5. punkster says:

    How does anyone say that hit wasn’t a charge and a head shot?

    Release the Subbang!!!

  6. Bash says:

    Interesting reading the comments by all the lawyers on here who would defend Orpik’s hit on “technicalities”, stretching every nuance of rule semantics and of course blaming it on the victim.

    Intent to injure, charging, hit to the head, repeat offender…all of the above.

    The fact that there is any debate at all speaks volumes about the state of the game.

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

  7. SmartDog says:

    Ha ha.

    From the G&M:
    “Since a luck-driven 10-4 start to the season, the Leafs have actually been the sixth-worst team in the NHL, posting a better record than only Buffalo, Florida, Edmonton, the Islanders and Calgary.

    In that span, they have won just 18 of 62 games in regulation or overtime – essentially once every 3.5 games – fewer than all but the Sabres and Panthers.”

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  8. DipsyDoodler says:

    I hate the fact that players are getting brain damage and I think hockey needs to change fundamentally.

    But that hit by Orpiks was not bad. Yes, in a new and improved kind of hockey that took into consideration what we now know about traumatic brain injury, it would disappear, but it was not a dirty hit. That he came from far is irrelevant as he was gliding. He didn’t charge. He also hit the shoulder. The only slight issue is the boarding aspect.

    Also, the notion that hitting serves to separate the player from the puck is bizarre. You can’t have been watching NHL hockey and not realize that hitting is there to intimidate and wear down the opposition. Like bluffing in poker, hitting is not only designed to gain an immediate advantage, but also to induce a certain fear in the opponent.

    When we all praise(d) Emelin’s hitting, it is because we think it forces the opposition to rush a play or have less time to think about what to do because they’re worried about getting crushed.

    Moving. Forward.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      ^^^^ he gets it!

    • Chris says:

      This is a more recent invention, the notion of intimidating and wearing down the opponent. You can trace it back to the start of video coaching, as coaches were now emphasizing that players “finish their check”. There was nothing like the obsession with finishing checks in the early before ~ 1990. You rarely heard that expression.

      I was reading a biography of a player (can’t remember which one) and he opined that the fringe players were the guys affected. Every coach was now looking at game tape after the game and would show each player all the hits he passed up. Now, you see guys hitting their peers many seconds after the puck is long gone.

      Remember the Broad Street Bullies? They didn’t intimidate by hitting (although Doernhoefer was one of the hardest hitters in NHL history). Every team had some heavy hitters. Instead, they gooned the opposition after every whistle, before every whistle and in between the whistle. It wasn’t intimidation by hitting, it was intimidation by punching.

      As for the charging bit, you can still be gliding and be hit with charging.

      42.1 Charging – A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any manner.

      Charging shall mean the actions of a player who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner. A “charge” may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice.

      Orpik does jump into Toews, as he ends up leaving his feet after the hit. You can certainly argue that Orpik travelled a long way to deliver a violent check into the boards. Orpik had locked onto that hit out past the faceoff dot.

      41.1 Boarding – A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently in the boards. The severity of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee.

      There is an enormous amount of judgment involved in the application of this rule by the Referees. The onus is on the player applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a defenseless position and if so, he must avoid or minimize the contact. However, in determining whether such contact could have been avoided, the circumstances of the check, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the check or whether the check was unavoidable can be considered. This balance must be considered by the Referees when applying this rule.

      The boarding is actually the less clear case than the charging. Was Toews in a vulnerable or defenceless position? Hard to say. He had his head down as had just finished kicking the puck ahead to his stick. The rule says that the onus is on the checker to hold up if the player is vulnerable, but it does give leeway if the player has put himself into a vulnerable position immediately prior to the hit as Toews did.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Actually, everything changed when Scott Stevens won the Conn Smythe the year he knocked Lindros out of the playoffs.

        But even earlier, when Larry Robinson checked Gary Dornhoffer into the boards, no one said well done Larry, good job gaining the puck. They said, hmm… the Broad St Bullies have met their match.

        Here it is:


        Moving. Forward.

        • Chris says:

          And was that not an anomalous play in the 1970’s? For the record, that one was just as bad as the Orpik hit: Robinson certainly left his feet so it was definitely charging. Doerhoefer wasn’t vulnerable or defenceless, so you probably shouldn’t get boarding.

          I agree that much changed after Stevens’ head shot on Lindros. But the “finishing your check” business (which could easily be labelled interference as the puck is gone) started in the 1980’s.

  9. Chris says:

    Watching the replay of the Toews-Orpik hit, it represents everything that is wrong with hockey right now.

    First of all, that hit was both charging (Orpik skated a long way over to make a very violent hit) and boarding (Toews was a foot or two out from the boards, and therefore in a very vulnerable spot). Neither penalty was called.

    But most annoyingly, it is yet another example of the way that kids are taught to hit in junior hockey in North America. His feet are on the ice at the point of contact, but Orpik was “exploding upwards” into the hit. I have no idea why players are taught to hit like this: the only possible explanation is that you are hitting to hurt. Otherwise, you would stay compact to keep your centre of gravity low and maintain your own balance so that you don’t end up on your rear end. In so many cases now, both the hitter and the hittee end up out of the play. To my mind, this goes against the fundamental reason for physical contact in the NHL, separating the puck from the player and, ideally, getting that puck.

    I see this kind of hit every OHL game. One of Guelph’s top players is 6’0″ 180 pound Brock McGinn, who is also one of the hardest hitters in the league. McGinn was the player whose hit caused McCarron’s shoulder injury before Christmas. McGinn always explodes into his hits, and unfortunately a slight movement by the player he is targeting can throw his timing off. Instead of having his skates on the ice, he is now in the air. McGinn just picked up his third head-checking suspension of his OHL career in the playoffs.

    Orpik is known to be a somewhat reckless player that hits to hurt. If I’m the commissioner, he’s gone for 10 games for that hit based on the intent, his personal history and the injury that it caused. The only way you are cleaning up the concussion issue that is plaguing hockey is by finally getting serious on guys who are out there trying to hurt their peers. OHL commissioner David Branch gets that, but Brendan Shanahan does not.

    My solution to the injury problem is to force players to make an attempt on the puck during a bodycheck. At the very least, force the blade of their stick to be on the ice during the hit. If you do that, there is instantly a massive reduction in the number of injuries suffered.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yup on all counts. As you say though the NHL seems to love this hit.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      Fabulous post. I love good hard hitting, tough, fight for the puck hockey, but there is just no place for this kind of hit.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      The check was not either boarding or charging.
      Of course it was a borderline play, but this isn’t ballet.
      The game is also lightning quick and not played in slow motion or on a computer screen.
      I wonder if Emelin made that hit….would there be the same outcry and reaction?

      • Phil C says:

        Emelin rarely hurts people like Orpik hurts people. Emelin is one of the best hitters in the game, most of his hits knock guys down but they almost always bounce right back up and stay in the game. In other words, Emelin usually does not cross the line.

      • Chris says:

        You know, the “This isn’t ballet” line has always been a hoot. Nobody said it was ballet. I quoted the rules above. It was absolutely a charge, and an argument can be made for boarding. Given Orpik’s dubious history, I was not giving him the benefit of the doubt. He never even glanced at the puck. Not once. Tell me that was a hockey play and not just an attempt to lay a licking on another player. I don’t particularly care if it was Toews or a non-star player. Truth be told, I find Toews to be a very dirty player as well. I just hate that style of hitting.

        The problem with physical hockey is that so many of its adherents don’t actually know the rules as written. Hockey is a violent game, but it is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a DANGEROUS game. That only occurs when we allow people to run around the ice looking to hurt their peers.

        How we got to the point that we tacitly and/or actively cheer injury attempts is beyond me. People will say that they love the physical play but that they would never wish harm on the other player. This is cant. One cannot support a dangerous form of hitting, jumping into a player at the point of contact in clear violation of the rules as written, and simultaneously regret the outcome. The effect is a direct result of the cause. Until you remove that mentality from the offenders using heavy suspensions, you will always have guys running around the ice like Orpik did on that play.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Actually, I think it’s a hoot when people want to change the NHL to the Swedish Hockey League

          • Loop_Garoo says:

            Umm, no, we want to keep it the NHL, just get rid of this juvenile stuff. Let’s just watch good old tough hard hockey.

          • Chris says:

            Actually, the two leagues have similar rules when it comes to those two. If anything, the NHL is less forgiving on charging while the IIHF rules are less forgiving on boarding (it absolutely would be boarding in international rules).

            But hey, if it makes you feel better, then fire away. I can take it. 🙂

      • Loop_Garoo says:

        Like I mentioned below, just because some people here would defend Emelin for making that hit does not change whether it was right or wrong. I mean seriously, do we really look to A. Emelin as the arbiter of morality in our world (w.w.a.d.?? what would Alexei do?). According to the rules, my take is this is a bit borderline, but again this is not really relevant to anything but suspendability. Again, not willing to say “it must be the right thing to do because hockey rules say its okay”. Here are the facts by my reading; this is intent to injure, intentionally trying to physically hurt another human is wrong (and childish and cowardly), therefore, the play is not ok. He may get suspended, maybe one or two games, maybe not at all, but it is still wrong, and needs be driven out of the game.

  10. Habfan10912 says:

    Looks like I’m in the minority again this morning but this was a hit to the head in addition to Orpik leaving his feet.

    The puck was already cleared around the boards, Orpik’s clear intent was to punish Toews. He left his feet, and made contact to the head. If this isn’t a suspendable hit I don’t know what is anymore.

    Call me Mr. Softie or whatever names you’d like but it was a dangerous, meaningless hit to one of the games stars. It serves no purpose in the game unless of course you are from the Boston school of “take them all out”.

    See it for yourself.


    • Loop_Garoo says:

      I agree with you. It may be just on the edge as far as the rules are concerned, but clearly an intention to injure another player. A few feet from boards, he knew the other player wasn’t expecting it, and launched.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The problem is Jim, is that this exact hit has been lauded, praised etc.. for years and years in the NHL. It goes back to a very simple principle, when is contact legal. By the letter of the law, contact is legal to seperate a player from the puck. Too bad that bathwater was thrown out long long ago.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        He skated halfway across the ice as well. I’m sure we’ll hear from all the tough guys behind a computer today.

        Me? I like to see the games stars play,

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Yah, if I’m being honest I don’t like the play. I am not in any way defending the hit, but unfortunately, I believe this is a hit the fricking NHL loves and will use in advertising commercials showing the tough NHL.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Good morning Jim

      since I’m already out of the will…Here’s respectfully disagreeing.
      Unfortunately, the game isn’t played in slow motion.
      Have a close look again and you’ll see Toews a little low-he slightly turned in to Orpik-and Orpik never left his feet before the hit.
      The contact also appear to be simultaneously shoulder/head.
      Borderline? You bet, but nothing suspendible there.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Respect back at ya Ronn!

      • Loop_Garoo says:

        I think I agree that there will be no suspension, but for me, that’s not really what I dont like. Orpik makes no attempt at any real play, and just launches himself through the hit, 2 feet from the boards, after targeting him 4 or 5 seconds earlier. This feels like an attempt to injure, although we will never know what’s going through Orpik’s mind, so we wont know for sure.

  11. gmur says:

    Orpik’s hit on Toews was clean except that he leaves his feet during the hit. Does a hit like that, clean in terms of shoulder to shoulder contact, bring about a review based on the player leaving his feet during the hit?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think the only way they review is if they determine that the shoulder hits Toews head first, haven’t watched it in slow motion enough to determine.

      Certainly that hit is just on the cusp of legal/illegal. I would guess they call it a hockey play.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Very close to the head being the principle point of contact, but Toews was a little low and it seems both the shoulder and the head were hit simultaneously

    • Maritime Ronn says:


      Several different angles on this clip.

      Looked as though the momentum of the hit had him lift his feet only after the contact and not before.

    • Phil C says:

      Here is the definition, open to interpretation.

      42.1 Charging – A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any manner.

      Charging shall mean the actions of a player who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner. A “charge” may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice.

    • This is the kind of Sheeite that shouldn’t even be debated. We’d be up in arms if Max or Vanek or anyone was “targeted” like that. He wanted to cream Toews. To argue that the momentum had him leave his feet and to not see his shoulder hitting Toews directly at the side of the head is disingenuous.

      The game of hockey is not served well if it’s allowing meatheads like Orpik to head-hunt stars.

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  12. Phil C says:

    To me the Orpik hit looked like he jumped into him, which is charging. He was definitely off his feet right after impact. Jumping through the player is more dangerous than jumping before you hit the player anyway, so it should be considered charging. You generate a lot of instantanous force that way. I doubt the the NHL will see it that way though.

    • gmur says:

      We seem to be watching the same video replay…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think CJ had a pretty good description of the hit down below, when it happens to your guy you don’t like it, when you’re guy dishes it out you think its okay.

      Toews is a tough player, but wow he got rocked indeed. My biggest concern was if his head hit the boards, a couple seasons ago, Toews missed a good chunk of season with a concussion.

      If Toews is out for the first playoff series, this puts the Hawks chances in peril, while Kane is the big point getter, Toews does everything for the Hawks.

      • Phil C says:

        They are also not deep at centre so I agree they would be in trouble.

      • gmur says:

        Agree with CJ… Toews is vulnerable, mostly because he’s a certain distance from the boards.

        Anyways, hate to see a player of his caliber lost for a while. If he’s out in the playoffs that’s a big loss for Chicago and fans of good hockey.

      • Loop_Garoo says:

        We are all guilty of being less judgmental of our own team then someone else’s. The fact that we may like this better if Emelin did it is a psychological point of interest, but is not relevant to whether this is a clean hit or not.

  13. petefleet says:

    Just to recap:

    The experts at TSN (Toronta Sports Network) made the following predictions in Sept, 2013:
    Van 8th
    OTT 10th
    Tor 11th
    MTL 15th

    These guys are so smart!

    Actual standings as of today:
    OTT 23rd
    VaN 20TH
    Tor 19th
    MTL 9th

    I guess this is why I don’t watch TSN for expert analysis. They are as bad or worse than CBC.

    Go Habs!

    “Being on the PP doesn’t make you an offensive threat anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.”
    Henry Ford

    “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
    Abraham Lincoln

    ***Go Habs Go***

    • Marc10 says:

      That’s priceless. What a bunch of d-bags!

      Then again, I always assumed we’d be on the outside looking in for a playoff spot. I never anticipated that Price would turn into Mega-Pricer and hold the fort like he did.

      Still… Suck it TSN… and the bug eyed walrus too.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Many people had Ottawa in the top 8 of the Eastern conference.
      Few believed that Anderson would be awful this year or that Karlsson
      -with all his offensive ability, would become a MABergeron type defensive liability.

      Same goes with Toronto. They were considered a bubble team with Dunit question marks and few predicted the outright disaster of Clarkson.

      Vancouver? Decimated by injuries and dumb management that dealt its #1-2 goaltenders

  14. Slackman says:

    Look, I hate Zac Rinaldo as much as the next guy, but good on him for pounding Iginla. Iginla’s been tainted by the Bruins smash/slash-and-run-behind-Chara/Thornton mentality and it feels good to see him get reasonably knocked around.

    “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro”

  15. DipsyDoodler says:

    This is good news.

    Young Mac Bennett was asked why he signed with the Habs instead of waiting till summer when he could be a free agent.

    He says he never thought about it because of how close he has been with the organization thanks to Martin Lapointe and Patrice Brisebois.

    Good sign that the team is shepherding the youngsters.

    Moving. Forward.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Re: defenceman Bennet is now 23 and just finished his college career as capt of Michigan.

      He will be fighting with Beaulieu, Tinordi and Nygren for a spot on the Montreal roster next year.

      Moving. Forward.

      • Loop_Garoo says:

        I think he’s a good prospect, but the NHL next year is a bit of a stretch for this kid. He’s going to need at least a full year of AHL first. I hope I’m wrong, but look at a kid like Patches, a better talent, still needed time in the minors to get used to the pros.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Great point DD

      One of the major flaws before GMMB took over was a terrible hockey organization setup…not only secretive, yet where power and decision making was concentrated with a few. Guys like Timmins also had a huge work load that was beyond the capabilities of 1 person.

      Compared to other teams in the past decade, the Gainey/Gauthier Habs were in prehistoric times.

      This new organization will take a few more years of catch up, yet we can trust this regime not to let players such as a present Rangers star Dman, to ever get away again because the GM didn’t either know him or thought he knew so much more than the very few people working with him.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      That is good news, no Great news! This is exactly part of the culture which I think has changed. Lets go back to the great barefoot scandal of Danny Kristo, is he a player that the organization never made feel at home? Bergevin had one season to get him under the team umbrella, something tells me Kristo had already made up his mind that he would wait until summer and go UFA. I suspect MB and Kristo made a deal wherein Mtl signed him, but granted Kristo his wish to go wherever he wanted to via trade.

      That is my speculation, but something smelled funny as it related to Kristo all along. No disrespect to Kristo, but rather I worry the previous regime did little to help foster a relationship.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I hope you’re right but in my viewing of Bennet’s play I’d be shocked if he was viewed in the same class as Tinordi and Beaulieu next season.

      I haven’t seen enough of Nygren to have an educated opinion.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Soon MB is going to have trade a few of these guys, as some of them will believe they should be in the NHL and no way all can come up. MB may have some cards available to his poker game soon.

  16. Maritime Ronn says:

    WAR72 writes

    Does harding of minnesota really deserve to be ‘leading’ the nhl in gaa avg? With only 29 games played, is there not a minimum of ‘at-bats’ needed to lead a statistical category? Kinda lame.
    For consideration of any of the 3 goaltending awards (Vezina-Jennings-Crozier) the NHL has established the minimum games played threshold to be 25 games.

    That number does appear low.
    Perhaps the better threshold would be at least 41, or possibly even as many as 50.
    A low number of 25 does not take into consideration the physical and mental toughness required to be a consistent # 1 performer.

    In the last full 82 game schedule, 22 goalies started at least 51 games.
    Jonas Hillier lead everyone with an incredible 73 starts.
    Habs workhorse Price finished 9th with 65 starts.

  17. Danno says:

    Habs prospect Tim Bozon makes an appearance on the ice. Tim was in the hospital and under an induced coma for three weeks while he battled meningitis.

    Tim’s Looking Good


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

  18. Storman says:

    I know we are 99.9997% in all ready but just for 100% sake,,Washington only picked a a loser point tonight,, which now means Montreal 100% clinches a berth in the show with a win on Tuesday in Tampa, and at the same time a win in Tampa would go along way to securing 2nd in Atlantic and home ice advantage.
    More importantly a win on Tuesday sets the table and continues the winning attitude and drive to the playoffs,, allows us to start limiting minutes,, also looking good with some pretty decent playoff additions available like Gorges for Cube,, and a healthy Prust something he has not been in a very long time,,actually looking very good and if the weather ever changes to Spring , we will be enjoying spring playoff hockey..

    • Timo says:

      THey said Moen out for a week, so he should be ready sometime this week, no? Weise also should be ready for the playoffs (I really hope)

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The initial report on Moen was that he would be out for a minimum of one week. There is no way to predict how long a concussion will keep a player out. I don’t expect to see Moen back this season, hope he is recovering for his healths sake.

  19. Timo says:

    With Wings’ win is the tuesday night a 4 pointer or what? 🙂

    A true measuring stick game. A game that will set the tone for the playoffs. Habs will need a 200 ft game from all of their players. (Did I cover all the cliches?)

    So Wash, Wings and Columbus are all ahead of the laffs now and all have games in hand. That is nice. I like it that way although laffs have to beat Calgary on Tue. Come on, it’s the Flames…

  20. CH Marshall says:

    Everytime I see CH24 with the boys in the video room and MT talking, I think of the scene from Star Wars where the pilots are briefed on a target 2 metres wide.

  21. Sportfan says:

    I wonder if we”ll be tired of seeing the Lightning by mid april lol

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

    • Timo says:

      Probably. Won’t be an easy opponent for sure. But not unbeatable either. I think Habs will need to have meaningful contribution from all 4 lines and not just rely on the 1st line for scoring. And of course they will have to block a ton of shots.

  22. frontenac1 says:

    Rosehill is pretty good too CJ. McGratton, Rosehill,Gadzic are all top tier. Young up and comers Pierre Luc Lelblond,
    And Brett Gallant I’d go for. After that, Yablonski, and Gillies are both back here in the ECHL. They are old but can still do serious damage and both rode shotgun for Markov with Vityaz during the lockout.

    • CJ says:

      I like all those names Front. I’d like to see a young guy get the nod. I’ve seen Gallant live. Pound for pound he’s the toughest IMO.

      Anthony Peluso would be a very cheap alternative. He’d be my pick if Gadzic is not available.

      • ProHabs says:

        Gallant only weights 190 pounds. Could he take on the real heavyweights of the league.

        • CJ says:

          No. Not with sustained success. He would try though. He’s unreal.

          IMO, Gadzic is option A, Peluso is option B. Both would be a major upgrade over Parros. Gadzic is top three, arguably number one, Peluso is top ten, arguably top six in the league. Both can hit and skate, Peluso a bit better IMO.

          • ProHabs says:

            Interesting. Know of both players but haven’t seen much of either. Interesting that both were claimed on waivers by their respective teams so Oilers and Jets got both for nothing.

          • Timo says:

            Mike Peluso? Who’s the Peluso guy?

        • frontenac1 says:

          The guy is the toughest pound for pound in the AHL. He has a 61% career win rate and has taken on just about every Heavy weight out there. Picture Prust but with harder punches.

      • frontenac1 says:

        How could I forget about Peluso CJ! He has real KO power eh? Fought my homeboy Kip Brennan to draws a couple of years ago.Saludos!

        • CJ says:

          He is a beauty. He could break into the top five next year. As the old guard changes, he could be next in line. This is the kind of guy we want. Young and hungry. Not at the end of their career warriors with nothing to prove and little left to give.

          • frontenac1 says:

            Hey CJ,what’s your take on Pierre Luc Leblond down in Wilkes-Barre? He’s 28 yrs with quite an impressive portfolio. I like the guy. He is more of a technical fighter with excellent stamina.
            Being a lad from Levis is a plus too.

  23. Habcouver says:

    I’m just waiting to see if Oilers can break the shutout… otherwise, I would turn off the tube.

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  24. Say Ash says:

    Anybody know the latest east versus west record? I bet it’s turned around considerably.

  25. CJ says:

    My two cents on the Orpik hit on Toews;

    It was an opportunistic hit against a player in a vulnerable position. If Emelin made the hit on an opponent (say, Ryan Malone) I’d love it, but if someone did it to one of our players I’d hate it. It was clean, but vicious all at once.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Agree CJ. Brutal hit but clean.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      It was clean but he was hitting to hurt for sure and there was a lack of respect there. I have never been an Orpik fan cause as he is an opportunistic hitter similar to what Armstrong was like in his early nhl career

    • Marc10 says:

      I hate it when stars get taken out. We all lose when that happens. I seem to recall in the 93 series Mike Keane hit Wayner at one point and the Forum crowd got on his case. Lay off the Wayne!

      I wouldn’t make exceptions for everybody, but a guy like Toews, Crosby, Datsyuk or Stamkos… They should be hands off. You can play them tight, but you shouldn’t go out of your way to injure them… and that’s what Orpik did right there. If a guy like Kronwall or Yemmy did that to Crosby, I’d feel the same way. It’s just not cool to give your team an edge by injuring the skilled players. It’s piss weak really (and yeah he should be forced to throw them against the biggest goon they can throw at him too!)

  26. Max says:

    Edmonton are awful.Another top three pick this year I reckon.They don’t deserve anymore top picks.

  27. Say Ash says:

    I’d say the oilers are only three more first picks away from contending

  28. Mattyleg says:

    Holy cripes.

    Edmonton just gave up the weakest SH goal ever.

    This team blows.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  29. Caesar says:

    I have the same worry about our team as I always do for the playoffs. We are getting bigger and that’s helping but we are not a team built for 7 games of fighting not playing hockey. I have heard numerous comments about Gallagher having a reputation so the refs call him more often. Or when he was hit repeatedly by a goalie in plain view of everyone it was his fault somehow. it’s the face washes after every whistle and the need to defend yourself because you just made an amazing hit on some guy and he feels ok to defend himself. What about PK he was bleeding but apparently not enough to to send a guy in the box for 4 minutes.
    Why don’t the refs call a penalty regardless of reputation of the player or time of the game or the score or any out side influence? Base your call on the play you just witnessed nothing else. This is one of the reasons hockey is a 3rd-4th tier sport in the US because you can’t really bet on the games when the ref has such a big say in how the games can go.
    The model sport in north America is the NFL and their refs call everything they see. Sure they blow calls everyone is human but they call a penalty at any point in the game and on any player they see warrant one. I just wish the NHL would adopt this mindset and not have a different set of rules for the regular season and for the playoffs. I am a bit alone in the regard that I enjoy speed and skill against speed and skill. And let the hockey players decide the games not the refs.

    • ProHabs says:

      NHL referees are a joke. Even today, watching the Bruins-Philly game they let everything go in the first period. The second period starts and they start calling every little thing (the hooking call on Hartnell is still a mystery). IT was pathetic.

  30. WAR72 says:

    Does harding of minnesota really deserve to be ‘leading’ the nhl in gaa avg? With only 29 games played, is there not a minimum of ‘at-bats’ needed to lead a statistical category? Kinda lame.

  31. ProHabs says:

    Any guesses on who Bergevin gets this summer either through trade or free agency to take the place of George Parros as lead goon for the team.

  32. Habcouver says:

    As of this moment, Ovechkin has the worse +/- in the league -34.

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      At this moment Ovechkin doesn’t make the top 50 in players I’d like to see live.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Habcouver says:

        Live or live? 🙂

        I saw Ovie live at the Bell – the 5-0 Habs loss in January.
        He was 1st star but yah, nothing overly spectacular about him.

        We Are (Not) All Canucks.
        Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          I saw him at the Bell, I came away thinking less of him.. Unlike Plek, Koivu, Palfy, Kovalev, Bergeron, Markov, E Kane, Malkin, Crosby, Girouz, Hartnell, and Subban.. All of whom I came away with a greater appreciation of.

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • WAR72 says:

      Playing on a solid defensive minded team he would be plus a bunch. And still many goals.

  33. Habs_Norway says:

    Totally off-topic, but anyone here on the xbox live? NHL, Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat? 🙂
    Say no to visors and sign Emelin for 10 years

  34. frontenac1 says:

    Orpik just Crushed Toews.

  35. HabinBurlington says:

    Dan Shulman doing ESPN baseball opening night, perhaps the best voice on TV sports broadcasting under 50 yrs of age. So good and so enjoyable to listen to.

  36. HabinBurlington says:

    Watched the Bruin game at the pub this afternoon with a buddy who is a die hard Bruin fan. He made a very interesting point today, he said he thinks Julien picked up something from Olympics (Babcock, maybe Hitch) and he feels the Bruins are playing different but better since then.

    He did have his finger on what, but given the first few games after break Bruins were struggling, they have since taken off.

    No idea if true or not, but found the observation interesting.

  37. habbernack says:

    Emelin hits Lucic with a clean hipcheck in the first period
    Lucic spears Emelin between the legs from behind and calls Emelin a chicken

  38. hansolo says:

    Mike Babcock and team, good on ya, mates! Thanks for helping us out.

    I’m glad they’re in after hearing Don Cherry mock them last night during Coach’s Corner as a team no-one’s afraid of. The Don called out Nyquist specifically, who’s having a good season, for not “completing” a check.

    The sooner we get rid of the old school in hockey, the quicker we’ll get to seeing the return of fast paced, skilled hockey, and the safer the game will be, without “Rock-em, sock-em” headshots, post whistle scrums and needless violence to “send a message.”

    • D Mex says:

      In the portion I saw while flipping back & forth to RDS last night, Cherry appeared to be floundering / struggling to get words – any words – out. The irrelevance of his ideas becomes increasingly evident …

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • kalevine says:

      I had not seen him in months when I caught Coach’s corner last night. I admit I wasn’t expecting much, but I was still utterly shocked by how often he mentioned the Bruins and how they are so great, as if they have been the dominant team for 25 year. On a Nacandian National Telecast, talking up the Bruins to way higher than the status they deserve. Ridiculous!

      Also, he was whining about some minor incident not going the Leaf’s way, and blaming it for their now 8 game losing streak and likely missing the playoffs. The whole act with McLean is lame at this point. He mentioned how “we all” want the Leafs to make the playoffs, to which McLean said, well, “you do”. McLean and the whole network is complicit in the homerism. It normally bothers me when people take so much interest in the Leafs failures here, but now I think I understand.

  39. B says:

    Desharnais now ranks 27th in scoring among NHL centers (and climbing). He ranks 28th in +/- and 21st in assists.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  40. HabFab says:

    Thanks Detroit! You’re on deck Nashville… kick some butt!
    Washington, you can pick up points another day.

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Why Nashville? We want taranna out. Therefore a caps win is what the doctor ordered. The further and more teams the leafs fall behind the better.

      Shaker out!

      • dr. schmutzdeker says:

        Makes sense 2 me.

      • HabFab says:

        Washington is the only team that can mathematically catch us. A loss by them and a win from the Habs clinches a play-off spot.

        • jimmy shaker says:

          The only thing the boys will be worrying about is who gets home ice to start vs the bots. For a team to win and out and another to lose out is basically impossible. I’ll put the math away and always cheer against taranna no matter what! I want this collapse almost as bad as I want the boys to win! It’s great hearing HNIC, TSN and sports net talking and whining while they virtually say nothing about the habs. To all them: I fart in your general direction!

          shaker out!

  41. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    I wish I knew what SlovakHab is going on about with outchancing stuff, ’cause I like any reason to dump on the Leafs. Habs’ top line is only going to get better. I couldn’t believe how gung-ho they were last night. They all looked like they wanted desperately to score on every shift.

  42. Habcouver says:

    Interviewing Fred Sasakamoose on TSN.
    Pretty cool guy ! 🙂

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  43. BramptonHab says:

    Hey HIO members in Quebec. My daughter is majoring in French in university. She is currently working on a project for her Aspects of French Canada course. Part of her project is to find out what Quebecers think of notorious English Canadian individuals. The person she chose is Don Cherry. Since this is a hockey related website, I’m sure most if not all members know who he is however I’d still like to invite the Quebec HIO member to tell me if they know who this individual is and what they think of him.

    • billylove says:

      Hope you are prepared for what you’ll get re: Cherry.

    • Habs_Norway says:

      Greatest man in hockey. Living and breathing for not f….. things up in the great game of hockey, like they do in all the other major sports.
      Some hate him, some love him.
      A quick look at youtube will give you a clue about what he stands for.
      Rock’em, sock’em.

      Say no to visors and sign Emelin for 10 years

  44. SlovakHab says:

    Toronto have been bleeding scoring chances against the whole season, and the regression has finally come to them.

    Here’s a sobering stat (borrowed from another blog):
    The Pacioretty – Desharnais – Vanek line has-been out-chanced 39-35
    This line has scored on 31% of their chances, and conceded a goal on 3% of the chances they give up.

    The regression is coming hard for us too. We will either start out-playing and out-chancing our opponents, or we can also expect a 4-5 game skid once our luck disappears.

    That’s why I reckon MT’s B- at best. We do get out-chanced way too often.
    Carlyle’s record was decent 16 days ago too. Look at them now, once they came back to earth.

    • JUST ME says:

      Just hopeless. You see what you would like to see and even confused yourself with stats. Once our luck runs out. 8 wins in the last 9 games is not luck. If you have seen the games .
      After reading your comment`s history i just have one question: what`s your point exactly ? Without us having to read between the lines of course…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I’m going to trust what I see watching a game rather than a “judged” stat provided by an anonymous person. The Vanek line is looking stronger by the game, this isn’t to say they are infallible but they look pretty good to me.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      That I’ll depends, perhaps Patch and Vanek are all world scorers and if they get the same amount of chances as they give up they’ll come out on top. Also, the collection of scoring chance data fails to scale high end vs low end.. So it all depends how you interpret the data.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • CJ says:

      This isn’t meant to be pointy stick, but in what world do statisticians calculate luck? I see this term thrown around at EOTP all the time.

      It’s not luck, it’s called trending.

      • SlovakHab says:

        Luck is when you score on 31% of your chances, and concede on 3%.
        NHL average is somewhere in between (roughly 15%).
        Not to harp on this quality line, because they are capable of carrying the play and hemming opponents in their zone, but this is not sustainable. Against Florida or Buffalo – maybe. But we were lucky vs Boston. They certainly brought it to us and we just hung in there 5 on 5.

        This is an area where I would love to see a bit of improvement.

        • CJ says:

          It’s not called luck. Sorry to be so matter of fact. However between my brother and I we have degrees from Waterloo, MBA from U of T and masters in engineering from MIT. I’ve never calculated luck in my life.

          • SlovakHab says:

            Sweet. So it is sustainable. That’s what I wanted to know. Good news to start off my week.
            Say thanks to your brother for explaining this to me.

          • UKRAINIANhab says:

            You went to MIT?

          • CJ says:

            You’ve shifted gears completely. I didn’t say it was sustainable, I’m contesting the use of term luck. I’ve read the articles you are referencing at EOTP.

            Yes, statistics will normally regress to a mean, however, using the term luck within the statistical community, of which they profess to belong, is the equivalent of a doctor referencing the board game operation while discussing human kinetics.

          • CJ says:

            My brother just graduated from MIT in February. Did his masters in engineering. He is the guy I’ve discussed here a few times who lives in Brookline MA.

            I did an executive MBA through Rotman school of business, U of T.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Okay now that analogy is perfect, oh I am smiling. No disrespect to either side of this discussion, but CJ that was brilliant.

          • UKRAINIANhab says:

            Cool. He must be a genious at Math. That subject almost screwed me from getting into medicine…I still hate it lol

          • SlovakHab says:

            No worries, CJ. Call it luck or trending, I don’t really care. It’s just what term you use. It wasn’t my point.

            My point was that yes, they are very likely to regress to the mean. Score a little less, and concede more goals. That’s all.

            HIO isn’t exactly a statistical community, so I didn’t really feel to use scientific terms.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            The statistics you are using for analysis are unreliable as there are too many variables unaccounted for. There is a judgement on whether a play is a scoring chance or not, let’s assume the stat collectors correctly determined every scoring chance. Each recorded scoring chance is deemed just that, a scoring chance; this stat fails to differentiate high quality from low quality scoring chances. Are we to assume that the quality of scoring chances rendered are equal to scoring chances produced?

            It is possible (and likely) that the Vanek-DD-Patch line is generating high quality scoring chances while surrendering low quality scoring chances which would explain the higher execution percentage on their part. There is just not enough relevant data to make profound analysis using the statistics you have mentioned, there is far too much assumption.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • kalevine says:

            CJ! I am living just a few miles from your brother, in Jamaica Plain. Both great areas!

          • CJ says:

            Hi Kalevine, that’s awesome. We visited in the summer, the week of the US Amateur golf tournament, and caught the Yankees against the Sox the night A Rod was beaned. I ate Pizzeria Rigeno (sp), three times that week lol. Love that place! I’ve been to the city maybe 15 times. I just love it.

            I was shocked to learn how much daycare costs though. My brother was saying it would be $2500-$3500 a month in his area. Mind you it’s high end, but I’m in Ottawa and it’s still only $50-$75 a day, per child.

            Spoke to him the other day and he said it was 12 degrees and no snow….lucky guys! Cheers, CJ

      • Phil C says:

        I think when stats geeks use the term luck, they are trying to explain things in a way that the lay person would understand. I don’t think it implies that they have a poor understanding of the stats behind it necessarily. Using the term “luck” to decribe a short term deviation from the expected value of a random experiment is valid IMO.  One of the problems with advancd stats is that it’s language and terms create a barrier for the average fan to understand, making them seem more complicated than they often are.

        I would agree that they often dismiss an error in their model or data as a temporary deviation from the mean rather than admit that the data is flawed or statistically insignificant.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          The problem with advanced stats is that the base statistics that are being put into advanced formulas are flawed.

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • CJ says:

            Agreed. You can not isolate these variables, therefore it’s a imperfect science. It’s like building a puzzle, without having all the pieces.

            In any event, I’m sorry to be so sour. I hate disagreeing, vehemently, especially when I haven’t the courtesy of doing so in person.

            In the case of the first line, statististically the unit is scoring at an above average rate, in relation to career shooting percentages and league averages. Although this may not be sustainable long term, it could conceivably, scientifically, continue all year.

            Funny thing is, I hold similar concerns regarding the team’s success going forward. I try to align statistical data with what I consider to be a better than average understanding of the game and players. And my conclusion, I haven’t a clue….. I might think I know what’s going to happen, but there are simply too many variables to qualify and quantify. As a result, I’ve come to the realization that the best thing to do is sit back and watch.

            Fact is, when the Red Sox came back from 0-3 to the Yankees in 2003 I decided right then and there that I could not put my finger on any outcome in professional sports. You know what, I’m glad. Sometimes it’s best to turn off your brain and just enjoy the game.

            Food for thought. Cheers, CJ

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            The most simple stats are the ones that matter. Five on five team scoring.. Team PP and PK.. After that it’s all on coaching to develop a style that best suits their players.. Good,coaches have a successful style, and great coaches find a style that suits their players.

            There has never been a team miss the playoffs with both a top 5 PP and top 5 PK.. That is one way to simplify things. Get a lethal group of 5 for your first wave of PP and an awesome PK.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • SlovakHab says:

            Phil, CJ, Mr_Mac

            you all make good points and make it sound really intelligent.
            English is not my first language so I can’t write as precisely and use vocab as good as you, but I reckon we are on the same page here.

          • CJ says:

            Agreed. I regard Phil, Mr Mac and yourself, based on everyone’s contributions, as very intelligent individuals. It’s my pleasure engaging everyone in respectful debate. Lastly, I agree, IMO we are all on the same page. Best wishes, CJ

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Your English is better than most my Facebook friends! So no worries, nice to have more of a conversation with idea as opposed to some of the “I’m right you’re wrong” type of exchanges that are often on here.

            Cheers guys!

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • zdog says:

          Phil is correct and “luck” is a perfectly reasonable lay term. (Qualifications: MIT PhD, tell your brother I feel sorry for him, its not a fun place).

          I also agree that some of these metrics (I prefer to call them “metrics” rather than “advanced statistics”, if only because I have yet to see anyone do any real statistics, advanced or otherwise with the observations) have some risk of being imprecise or poorly defined. There was a recent game where the Leafs got out shot something like 37 to 6 but the Leafs coaches were claiming their own internal tracking had them “out chanced” only 5 to 3….

    • frontenac1 says:

      Sober, Stats. Hate em both

  45. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Gooins with their 9th straight road victory. I usually like to compliment a team for playing well but not these scumbags & their brand of hockey. I have zero respect for that team from players to coaches, owners, fans etc.. Dirtiest sports organization on the face of the planet. I hope they win out the rest of their games & fall flat on their ugly mugs in the first round.

  46. billylove says:

    Have to tip the old cap to the Wings. Making the playoffs this year will be another solid accomplishment for the franchise. Babcock is doing a helluva job.

    • CJ says:

      Agreed. Bonus points for bumping the Leafs.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Babcock is well liked & respected throughout hockey from what I hear. Should definitely get attention for Jack Adams if Wings make playoffs.
      Listening to his postgame after their loss to the Habs Thursday night, a reporter asked him if he knew that Montreal’s 4th goal was offside, he replied by saying that teams create their own breaks during a game & he’ll not use that as a reason for losing. Very professional I thought. Can you imagine Randy Carlyle or the fat one in Boston?

      • dr. schmutzdeker says:

        Always liked da Wings. Kudos for a job well done especially considering all the injuries they’ve dealt with. Nuth’n but respect for that organization.

  47. Danno says:

    Wings win it 3-2 over Tampa in regualtion


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

  48. slapshot777 says:

    Detroit beats Tampa 3-2

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

  49. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Don’t count New Jersey out just yet. They have a very favourable schedule to finish of the season.

  50. Hobie Hansen says:

    Unfortunately the Leafs aren’t dead yet. Columbus has a tough week a head. They have games against Colorado, Philadelphia and Chicago.

    I didn’t look at Washington, hopefully they win tonight though against Nashville. I could easily see Washington go .500 or less over their last eight games.They are simply not a very good hockey team that is made up of a bunch of individuals.

    Toronto could make things interesting if they win at least five of their last six games. They should beat Calgary tomorrow. If they don’t, I think the emotional letdown from that will then end their season.

    I’m just a bit worried cuz I’ve been trashing the Leafs and trash talking every Leafs fan I know today lol.

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      I was in Toronto this weekend talking to some Leaf fans. One guy put it best, he said ” the best thing about being a Leaf fan is you get to learn how to handle disappointment at an early age”.

      Well put!

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Oh absolutely. Can you imagine the frustration being up 4-1 going into the 3rd period in game seven against Boston and losing! One minute you think you’ve got a heck of a good team that could go far in the playoffs after beating one of the best. Next minute your season is over lol.

        A then comes this year. A few weeks ago the Leafs were looking real good. The playoffs were pretty much guaranteed. The team and their fans were feeling pretty cocky. Then the Leafs lose eight in a row and are out of the playoffs. That’s terrible lol. I’d be devastated if that happened to the Habs!

        I’m loving every minute of it though because of the arrogant Leafs fans, the city of Toronto and the stupid broadcasting corporations in this country!

    • habs001 says:

      Wash 3 home games left Dallas,Chicago and Tampa..road Nash,Jersey,Isles, Blues and Carolina

  51. Danno says:

    Tampa scores.

    3-2 Wings with 4:00 to play


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

  52. Mavid says:

    5-3 great..that will be 2 in a row for the turds..this may cause them to come out of their holes…

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  53. Danno says:

    Red Wings are playing really solid hockey considering they have so many key players sidelined.


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

  54. Mavid says:

    Common Calgary…

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  55. 24AW says:

    Habs deserve day off, they have been playing lights out hockey. Team effort every game …

  56. HabinBurlington says:

    Brutal inbound play run by Michigan. Too bad, great tournament though.

  57. HabinBurlington says:

    Big dawgs kid with big 3 pointer to keep Max’s Wolverines in the game.

    Go Blue!

  58. punkster says:

    If you like NCAA March Madness check out this Stauskas kid for Michigan right now…Etobicoke boy with awesome skills.
    Number 11

    Release the Subbang!!!

  59. GGtheHab says:

    OMG…biggest game of the year to possibly decide home ice and they get the day off…no wonder some people voted MT an F… 😉

  60. Dunboyne Mike says:

    UnkleGary! Just saw your linguistics post (previous thread), but I cannot believe your story about watching Habs-Leafs in a Kilkenny pub! That’s incredible! No wonder you stayed put!

    I currently teach English and Religious Studies. Love it.

    • UnkleGary says:

      Thanks DM! It was a great pub, The Field if you’re ever in KK. The walls are covered in sports posters and memorabilia, boxing, hurling, golf, tennis, but upstairs there is one poster with a pair of 1920(ish) skates, stick, and wouldn’t ya know it, Habs jerseys.
      It really became my second home, went to the staff Christmas party, had a few lock ins, celebrated my birthday there. These stories are really making me miss Ireland!


  61. Danno says:

    Is there a livestream for the Wings game?


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

  62. JohnInTruro says:

    Detroit up 3-1 on TB…niiice.

  63. habs001 says:

    Detroit could the most dangerous team playoff time..Good chance they will play Pitts in the first round….Boston may play Washington as Columbus has a brutal sched…

  64. HabsPooch says:

    Calgary on pace for 60 shots against Ottawa. Just brutal team defense for the Sens.

  65. jimmy shaker says:

    keep it up wings……c’mon jaro and the caps and OUCH Lars a team leading -18 and chucky a close second at -14.

    Shaker out!

  66. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    How Therrien could get this team to third in the conference, especially given expectations, and not get anything but an “A” for his performance is beyond me.

    • UnkleGary says:

      Just the way I saw it, A is the best possible grade, and would be near perfection. He’s been good to great, but certainly not near perfect.


    • laGrandeTerreur says:

      All those C’s are courtesy of arrogant know-it-alls who are full of smug and pride for “not drinking the kool-aid.” They know better than us. And Therrien. And Bergevin. And….

    • CF says:

      Certainly, he’s done a good job. However, he’s made some head scratching decisions such as starting Vanek on the second line with Gionta. It has been clear for awhile that Gio is no longer a top six player. Sometimes his loyalty gets in the way of his decisions. Which, I supposed, is not all bad. Thank-god he figured it out when he did. The top line has completely transformed the team.
      Bergevin has too good players to pick from for a seventh defensemen next year–that being Murray and Weaver.

      • OptimystiCH says:

        IMO that’s not the best example. I would not break up my best line, (at the time,) for somebody who had never had at least one practice with the team.

        Repent ye doubters. Our time is near.

    • Da Hema says:

      I think there remain some reasons to have lingering concerns about Therrien. Great goalies tend to make coaches and teams look better than they are. Therrien can hardly take any credit for Price’s play this season — that obviously belongs to Stephane Waite. Price is masking some of the team’s deficiencies.

      To his credit, Therrien rode through Desharnais’s early season funk despite overwhelming dissatisfaction amongst the fan base. I think his loyalty to veteran players has generally been good for him, although his continued (over) reliance on Bouillon is something of a mystery to me. His in-game decision-making still seems to me inconsistent. All the line changing has not helped the development of Eller and Galchenyuk. He should be integrating Tinordi into the lineup on a more consistent basis, in my opinion.

      I gave Therrien a B grade to this point. But these grades will matter little if the Habs are unceremoniously bounced out of the playoffs in the first round. The acquisition of Vanek by Bergevin indicates the latter thinks this team can make some noise in the playoffs. So the final grade for Therrien will have to be assigned after the playoffs.

    • Habitforming says:

      I’m one that voted Therrien as a C. Coaching isn’t all about where they are in the standings or how may games were won.

      To me the teams record is great, but its only a small part of his grade overall.

      there are other things hat drop the grade that are just as important for the team in the room and the future. The list is long, but here are some things that drop his grade to me.

      Therrien punishing some players and not others for the same mistakes, then preaching accountability for every player to the media and fans.

      Therrien couldn’t develop young talent if his life depended on it.

      Putting players in position by seniority.

      Desharnais stuggled so bad that the mayor started to chime in and he was given 20 games with top ce time and wingers to sort it out. All other players get one game or sometimes a period with random fill in players to figure it out or they get scratched

      As I said, there is more but these were in part of his grade for me.

  67. naweed235 says:

    Since it is almost a 100% sure that we’ll be facing Tampa in the playoffs, I think it is extremely important to have a shutdown line that can make Stamkos’ life miserable on a consistent basis. I think we all know that nobody is capable of doing that better than Pleky with Gio and Bourni on his wings.
    I think it would be only wise to have these lines rolling when the playoffs start:

    Vanek – DD – Patches

    Bournival – Pleky – Gio

    Chucky – Eller/Briere – Gally

    Moen – Prust – Weise/Bourque

    • naweed235 says:

      If Chucky doesn’t pick up his game, I’d even consider making him a healthy scratch in favor of Eller or Bourque. I think Briere needs to stay in the line up since he is advertised as a “playoff performer”… At least for a couple of games.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Sounds good, especially agree re Briere, PLUS he has started looking good on the PP. Very important so we can stop being a one-trick pony.

        I’ve also really liked Bournival-Pleks-Gio since the first time it was tried. I haven’t checked how scoring is distributed on TB, but I assume a good chunk of it was MSL and now is Stamkos. Shutting him down will be essential.

    • jimmy shaker says:

      I’ve got bourque out and bernie sitting. MT can blend the lines like he does best. Don’t think he will move gio off the third with briere, since they are both playing very well there.

      shaker out!

      • naweed235 says:

        If Therrien wants to absolutely keep Briere and Gio together, he can add Moen instead of Gio on Pleky’s wing. The bottom line is that if we are to have any success vs Tampa, we absolutely have to have a full time line of shutdown players on Stamkos as he can win a series on his own.
        Of course this all depends on who will be healthy when the dance starts.

        • UnkleGary says:

          Completely agree.


        • jimmy shaker says:

          I can see MT doing this…..chucky might get squeezed out if he can’t get his d-zone game figured out. I do think that they will get at least 2 periods with the lines in tact before MT makes his changes. Marky and emelin will also have a lot to do with shutting down SS, oh and Price too!

          shaker out!

  68. reddog24 says:

    When I Die I want the Toronto Maple Laffs to be my Pallbearers. So they can let me down One More Time.
    How Sweet It Is!!!
    Go Habs Go

  69. newbrunswick troy says:

    Okay so it looks like the boys will be the only Canadian team in the show. That means the cbc will have to cover the habs heavily, but we all know that those “leaf lovers” will have to eat crow throughout the habs hopefully long run! So let’s all of us be sure to send our critiques to the head of hockey night in canada! Or maybe sportsmen n as they relatively own cbc next year .
    Or should we all boycott cbc instead?

  70. Clay says:

    This From RiverviewCanadien on the previous thread – just trying to help out a fellow fan…

    RiverviewCanadien March 30, 2014 at 4:36 pm
    Hey everyone,

    I have two seats to the Detroit vs Montreal game this Saturday that I am not going to be able to use.

    Level: White Section
    Section: 330
    Row: FF
    Seats: 5&6

    I am not looking to make money on these, just need to get what I have into them.

    $135 x 2 = $270 (this will include shipping)
    e-transfer preferred

    If interested, email me just_fastcars@yahoo.com and we can exchange details.

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      Thanks Clay, really appreciate it!

      Folks, it’s Bushmills time, and that’ll keep ya warm!

      • Clay says:

        Any time Justin. If I wasn’t stuck here in Alberta, I’d love to take them off your hands. Sucks that you can’t go.

        ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

        • RiverviewCanadien says:

          Yeah we are bummed, but wanted to make the decision today to give someone else the opportunity to make plans. We just can’t take the chance with the weather looking sour from Montreal to Riverview. It is a long enough drive without inclement weather getting in the way.

          Folks, it’s Bushmills time, and that’ll keep ya warm!

          • BriPro says:

            Justin, you’re in Riverview? As in, Howick-way?

          • RiverviewCanadien says:

            I am in Riverview NB, but that Howick-way is throwing me off…I don’t get it, then again I am not always the crispest piece of lettuce…

            Folks, it’s Bushmills time, and that’ll keep ya warm!

    • CJ says:

      As bad as the Leafs defence is, I invite everyone to watch the first Flames goal and tell me what you think. This, IMO, is the worst defence in the league.

      • CH Marshall says:

        Oh I thought you meant Edm for a minute, which is coached by a Leaf product. Too bad we can’t play Ottawa for a first rounder again.

        • CJ says:

          I wish. I can’t wait to redeem that fluke last year.

          • HabsPooch says:

            Calgary outshooting Ottawa 18-1 in second period and we are not even at the half-way mark of that period. WOW.

          • CJ says:

            Yes, I’ve been watching. It’s pathetic. 18 shots in just over 7 minutes. Karlsson on for all three goals against. If not for Lehner this could easily be 5 or 6 to 2.

            It’s pond hockey. No system whatsoever. Sorry, there is a system, it’s called pad my stats. So long as Spezza gets a point, he could care less about the outcome. Same with Karlsson. There selfishness resonates through the television. Amazingly, when I go to the games or chat with people in the community nobody seems to notice. Nobody can figure out what’s wrong. It’s the strangest hockey market in Canada.

          • HabsPooch says:

            CJ, that second Calgary goal was pretty bad as well.

        • CJ says:

          I think it was the second or third game of the season, San Jose outshot them 25-5 in the third. Ottawa didn’t cross the red line for the majority of the period. This is nothing new.

  71. Hobie Hansen says:

    If I’m the coach (lol ya right) I’m dressing the nastiest lineup against Tampa on Tuesday as possible.

    Tinordi, White, Murray and Parros are all in. They’re instructed to grab Stamkos and Callahan and rough them up every chance they get.

    The hard hitters like Subban, Emelin and Murray are instructed to take runs at every Lightening player possible.

    Lets send a message before our playoff series against them. People hate to admit it but teams like the Bruins, Blues and Kings hit to hurt! I guarantee you a player like Gudas or Malone will be trying to lineup Plekanec or Vanek and attempt injure them before the playoffs. I hope we do the same.

    I can see a very nasty game taking place on Tuesday.

    • jimmy shaker says:

      It would be nice….. but only Murray and white will be playing on Tuesday. Tinordi, and Parros will be scratched.

      Shaker out!

    • gmur says:

      Bruins hockey is not what the Habs should be trying to emulate. I hate the whining, the gouging after every whistle, the inability to accept clean hits without mauling opponents, the hitting with intent to injure…

      Habs should play fast-paced, intense, gritty hockey and make the games against Tampa a series worth watching.

  72. Prop says:

    This pretty much sums up my feelings towards winter at this point…



  73. Hobie Hansen says:

    Pleks is back!

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