Habs get day off Sunday to lick their wounds

The Canadiens were given the day off Sunday to lick their wounds following Saturday’s embarrassing 5-0 loss to the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre.

It was the fourth straight loss for the Canadiens, who have only four wins in their last 13 games (4-7-2), and they have fallen to fourth place in the Atlantic Division, one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Canadiens have now given up four or more goals in six straight games. The Canadiens pulled goaltender Carey Price just past the halfway point of the second period Saturday with the Capitals holding a 4-0 lead. It marked the second time in three games that Price has been pulled and the goaltender now ranks 13th in the NHL in save percentage (.918) and 19th in goals-against average (2.50) with a 22-16-4 record.

The Capitals snapped a seven-game losing streak with the one-sided victory.

The Habs will practise at 11 a.m. Monday in Brossard as they begin preparations for Tuesday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., RDS, TSN Radio 690). The Canadiens will then travel to Boston to face the Bruins Thursday night and then play back-to-back Super Bowl weekend afternoon games at the Bell Centre against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday and the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday. Both of those games are 1 p.m. starts.

There was a team meeting held after Saturday’s loss and coach Michel Therrien confirmed it was management’s decision to have all the players available to the media after the game.

There’s “nothing good to take from that game,” Therrien told reporters.

“We’ve got to move on. We’re facing adversity and we all know it,” the coach added, noting all teams face it, as do players through the course of their careers. “It’s how we’re going to react facing adversity.”

Said captain Brian Gionta: “Obviously, we’re not playing good hockey and we need to find a way to turn things around.

“We had three shots through almost the whole second period. Forty minutes of play, we have three shots. We’re off our game. We’ve got to find a way to keep supporting each other and find a way out of this.”

(Photo by Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press) 

Habs come up empty against Caps, by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell

In the Habs’ Room, by Brenda Branswell

Habs are playing like alien zombies, by Jack Todd for The Gazette

The heat is on after Habs’ worst game of season, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

No shortage of resolve, Therrien says, Canadiens.com

Capital punishment, TSN.ca

Caps blank Habs, washingtoncapitals.com

Ovechkin, Capitals snap slide, Washington Post

Ovechkin the magnificent magician, The Hockey News

799 Comments

  1. strunzo says:

    What came first the chicken or the egg? Bergevin inherited a team and mad several changes. Signed Briere, Parros and Murray. I believe Briere and Parros were damaged goods when they got here (concussions). Murray is not a bad signing, although he is a minus 11 he provides some much needed toughness and meanness in the defensive zone as well as kills penalties. Did Therrien ask for these players, did he have any input at all? Therrien inherits a team and has to make hay with what he has.
    He has an undersized team and even the sizeable players are soft.
    So I ask, what came first the chicken or the egg? Is it Bergevin’s fault for not getting the “right” players or Therrien’s fault for not directing, coaching these players properly? I say advantage Bergevin because he can fire the coach and live on as GM for a while longer at least. If Brian Burke had fired Ron Wilson two years earlier, he may still be with the Leafs. Unless Habs get out of this funk and soon, Bergevin will have to replace Therrien. If he takes the high-road and perseveres with Therrien, it may cost him his job as well. Terrible dilemma. I don’t think a coaching change will do much. The team is still undersized with or without Therrien.
    A Volkswagen with a Ferrari motor is still a volkswagen with a ferrari motor.

  2. edtheh says:

    Firing Therrien won’t change what we have up front. Bourque although big offers nothing, Briere neither. For $5MM Gio is only decent on the PK, another waste. The coach doesn’t have a lot of options nor depth to work with.

  3. Strummer says:

    The last time Therrein was fired in-season the team that fired him won the Stanley Cup.

    There’s a precedent!

    ____________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  4. frontenac1 says:

    I think Habs have enough Horses on D with the club and on the farm to compete. Woefully lacking up front. 2 goals in 3 games? Yikes. Gio deserves a sit after his display last game. Bring up Tarnasky. Veteran with size, scoring ability and will drop his mitts to back up a team mate. Send a message to the team.

  5. Hobie Hansen says:

    jo_maka makes a very interesting observation below. One of which I’ve been pondering over for a couple weeks.

    The LA Kings have a terrible power play! I’ve heard Pierre Lebrun state that the Kings are actively searching for a defenceman to help Doughty on the PP. I’ve also heard several on air personalities (a couple weeks ago) state there has been a Kings scout at the Habs games for an extended period of time.

    Maybe just maybe could we trade Andrei Markov Markov for Tyler Toffoli? Would the Kings trade a pretty big piece of the future away to win now? God that would be amazing! Maybe throw in a pick with Markov, even a 1st I’d probably do it.

    Have a great day folks!

  6. Habfan17 says:

    As far as the standings go, the team is a little ahead of where I thought they would be. I figured they would be a 7th place, maybe 6th place team.

    We all know they are lacking in some key positions. Losing streak aside, not out of panic, I do believe that Bergevin needs to move the UFA’s out at the deadline. I now include Markov in this group. I felt this way before the season started.

    The Sharks want depth players for the play off run, hello Mr. Moen. The Kings rank 25th on the power play, Markov for Tanner Pearson, or for Kyle Clifford and their first round pick.

    I think there are teams that would take Boullion and Gionta, not sure about Murray! Then again, look what the Penguins gave up to get him. Same for Gaustad. Buffalo got a great return for him.

    I would love to see Pateryn up as well. Pleks is Mr. everything, however, if you look into the not too distant future, Galchnyuk will be at centre, Eller should be, either 2nd or 3rd line and Bournival is a centre. Pleks would fetch a nice return and Chicago again is said to be looking for a 2nd line centre. Ask for Morin and Hayden.

    Habfan17

    • JUST ME says:

      The only thing that makes me doubt is not the ranking they have in the standings cause they do exceed most expectations but it`s the way they are playing that gets me mad.
      Making millions and not being mad because you lose is something i will never understand.

      Ideally i would like our kids to follow the same route as the Red Wings kids do in the farm team. Stay there at least three years no matter what. But i know that in Montreal …

    • frontenac1 says:

      Bringing in a veteran sometimes works. Laffs lost 7 in a row, picked up Gleason and have been on a 6 or 7 game win streak.

  7. JUST ME says:

    Time heals all wounds they say. It`s more a gap than a wound but i see that the process is well under way and here are the best suggestions posted on HIO in the last 24 hours in no particular order.

    1-Hire Pierre Mcguire as G.M.
    2-trade Price for maximum return value.
    3-Hire Gerard Gallant as interim coach.
    4-Fire Stephane Waite.
    5-Trade Markov for anyone and offer to continue to pay his salary…
    6-Fire Jean Jacques Daigneault
    7-Trade P.K. for maximum return value.
    8-Hire Clement Jodoin as coach.
    9-Trade Markov and sign him back during the off season
    10-Hire Pierre McGuire as head coach
    11-Transfer Marc Bergevin as head coach.

    Those are only the most original ones posted in since the game on saturday night. There are many others but nothing that we do not see here as trade ideas every week.
    The funny thing about them is that nothing will happen other than what was originally planned. Therrien will stay on , they will not hire a non francophone coach, they will make a few trades before next season to renew the veteran`s team and they will struggle to make it in the playoffs. Nothing that we did not already know. But still …

  8. habsguru says:

    i don’t get the idea of rebuild through draft when all year the CH have comfortable been in a playoff spot. forgetting about the last two weeks, would it not make more sense to make a creative trade? surely PHI or NYR are looking to do something stupid.

    he would be missed, but could there be a good return for Budaj? he’s still got the game to be a starter, and some teams are really hurting for goalies. bundle him with one of our many dogs, make the trading partner feel good about it, and see if they can’t build from it, THOUGHTS????

    oh yeah, and fire MT. couldn’t resist.

    • JUST ME says:

      Building through the draft is an ongoing process but obviously Hamilton needed a coaching structure and new blood. That being started i think it`s veteran`s time ! We need a few trades to get us to the next level to wich the present group cannot get us to .

      Do not think we would get anything worth anything for a Budaj however good we think he is. His 10 to 12 games a year is not a very attractive stat…I think he will stay and even sign another deal until Fucale is ready in 3 or 4 years. Furthermore, do not trade away your players in Hamilton unless of course you want to stay with Gionta,Moen,White,Briere and so on… We need new blood ,young promissing athletes that have been growing in the farm team.

      Therrien is not going anywhere. Do not know if he will get a new deal but would not be surprised. Do not think that he will be the guy to lead once that team has finished the building process though…

  9. Ian Cobb says:

    Sportsfan just put up this RINGING ENDORSEMENT link for Guy Boucher. Check it out.
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    1st

  10. habstrinifan says:

    I wanna be a better person today. Show some resolve against winter’s adversity.

    Do I crank up the noisy stinky snowblower or grab the shovel and sweat out my frustrations?

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    So I wonder if Jacques Lemaire is bored these days in retirement?

  12. adadi says:

    A couple of posts blaming the media this morning. After MT I blame the media the most for sugarcoating and hiding (or refusing to address) issues. Not one reporter even addressing the possibility that something may not be working with MT except for Francois Gagnon. I’m talking French and English reporters. Even our beloved Booner, called it like he saw it during the game “either this is the worst team in the NHL or they have quit on their coach”. In the follow up blogs he backed away from that position.

    I’m not sure about the timing of MT’s firing because I am not privy to what MB is planning, but make no mistake, it has been clear early on that his system, lines, motivational capabalities are at a minimum obviously suspect.

    C’mon you hacks put down your complimentary hot dogs and start doing your jobs.

    • Cal says:

      Reporters who keep asking the “tough questions” find themselves out of the loop and out in the cold when it comes to getting privileged info.
      The multinational that runs the team is often affiliated with the multinational “covering” the team. You really don’t want to piss off your bosses while covering a hockey team.
      So, no, the hard questions don’t get asked, unless it’s someone naive like Jessica from TSN. I wonder if she’s asked any “tough” questions since.

  13. habsguru says:

    a large part of the D problems are the forwards. when using the type of system MT has deployed, take your pick, dump and chase/swarm… the forwards have to be engaged starting from the O zone and back. there is a huge duress being placed on the D because the forwards are often in the wrong place, and/or not picking up, or slowing down their man.

    if you look at most of the recent goals, it isn’t a case of the D failing, but more so broken plays and lack of structure. the forwards job is to control how the opponents enter the zone, and the D is to react accordingly. if the opponents are permitted to easily gain the zone and scramble, there is no structure to the defence. example, imagine the face of was behind the net, who would know what the hell to do?

    Not saying the D is stellar, but they are being set up for failure from 200 feet away.

  14. habstrinifan says:

    My non-sequitur of the day.

    I remember being excited about destroyers and ‘depth chargers’.
    I would read everything in Reader’s digest on these mighty ships and their ‘powerful’ weapon against submarines.

    Then I found out a depth charge is nothing more than a bomb in a big barrel.

    Such a purty warship to deliver essentially an underwater scud.

  15. adadi says:

    Guy Boucher just took a head coach job in Switzerland. MB has to go for an English coach now!

  16. jo_maka says:

    I think if MB trade Markov, it will be to a bona fide contender, which means that the 1st rounder won’t be that interesting, but just a part of the package. So we need to look at some serious prospects from them instead of just focusing on draft picks
    _________________________________
    Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      The West is so competitive that someone will give up prospects. For example, the Kings have the 25th PP in the league. They have no chance if this continues in the playoffs.

      • jo_maka says:

        for Linden Vey and Tyler Toffoli, do you do it ?
        _________________________________
        Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

        • CJ says:

          I watched Toffoli in Ottawa with the 67′s. He is really good. He does it all. I’m not familiar with Vey, but if was anything like Toffoli, I’d take that deal and run.

          • jo_maka says:

            Vey is currently leading the A in points if I’m not mistaken, I think he can be a 2 or 3 winger with an edge, a rightie. He makes Pearson look good down there, but I don’t know what his ceiling might really be. He’s 5’11 though. One inch taller and we will collectively exhale a sigh of relief. Number is a funny isn’t it ?
            _________________________________
            Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

          • CJ says:

            In that case, we would likely need to sweeten the deal. As Hobbie said, I’d be inclined to make that trade if only for Toffoli straight up.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I’d do it straight up for Toffoli in a heartbeat but it look like he’s going to be a clear cut scoring/power forward. So I doubt LA would do it. Then sign I’d Dan Girardi in the off season as a UFA.

  17. habsfan0 says:

    Tomorrow night’s contest is a measuring stick game.

    For Michel Therrien.

  18. Dust says:

    A lot of talk for guy boucher here.
    I for one don’t want him as coach.
    I don’t want his 1-3-1 system.
    I still remember when philly embarrased him and his stupid system with zero….i repeat zero forechecking.
    Oh please can we bring in a coach who doesn’t believe in forechecking, because that’s the kind of hockey i want to see

  19. Mustang says:

    I guess what bothers me more than the losing, is the way they are losing. I played hockey for many years but I am not a pro scout or coach so I know the pro game only as a fan. My problem is that I don’t seem to be able to understand what the Habs are doing lately. I don’t see what system they are playing. 2 months ago when their scoring went down hill, the defence and goaltending was bailing them out. Now they are still not scoring (hell, they could hardly get a shot on goal in the 2nd period on Saturday night) and the defence has gone AWOL. Price will make a few great saves then he is either left out to dry or is out of position and the opposition pops one in followed by another and another.

    I thought that one of the better players on Saturday was Leblanc. He may not have been great but he was making an effort. How much ice time did he get? About 6 minutes? He was working, he was making an effort, why wasn’t he getting as much ice time as he could handle?

    I’m tired now, I’m getting off of my soapbox.

  20. secretdragonfly says:

    I blame the Olympics.

  21. GL says:

    MB can say what he wants to these Guys remember they are millionaires and couldn’t give a you know what. So you get rid of them. They’ll just move on to another team and collect some more millions. These guys play when they wanna play. If you bench em they’re still getting paid and that’s all that counts. They’ll come back and play 3-4 good games and back to square-1 I’ve seen it all year and we will most likely see it again.

    • Mustang says:

      They always tend to play better when it is contract re-negotiation time.

      • Sportfan says:

        The the NHL should make a rule that every year is re-negotiating time. THEY GET OVER PAID FOR 1 OR 2 good seasons and then are locked up for years play like crap. Its not money they earn its money they are rewarded with, maybe its time to change how you pay players.

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

        • nickster13 says:

          remove guaranteed contracts like the NFL. What other profession on earth has a high-priced guaranteed contract anyways besides a NHL, MLB, NBA player? It’s a joke! You start to fail, bye bye contract, or contract renegotiation like the NFL. Then watch people actually earn their pay.

          “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the Rocket!”

        • Mustang says:

          The following idea will never happen but I have tossed it around in my head for years. Each player should have a base salary plus a game bonus for winning. So for example, a star player would get $1M base plus $100K per win = a maximum of $9.2M for that player. In other words the team wins, the players get their bonus, the team loses, tough, try harder the next time. As I said this will never happen but we can dream.

          The poor guy up in the nose bleed section taking his kid(s) to see a game only gets paid if he performs at his job, why should it be different for the players?

          • habsguru says:

            sounds like Iginla’s contract, low base/cap hit and heavily target based. he’s going to make lots of coin for a guy everybody said was done.

  22. Eddie says:

    Since that first period in Pittsburgh I have never seen Markov and Subban play worse. They were absolutely brutal these past 3 games.

    Why that has happened I have no clue?

    But there is the key for tomorrow nights game and going forward, as Subban and Markov are huge contributors to the team both defensively and offensively.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The defence as a whole Eddie is just plain weak in their own end. Markov can’t pivot or skate backwards very well and that’s a large problem. Talented forwards just blow right by him. Are we sure we want to sign this guy for $6 mill a year for 3-4 more years?

      I won’t even get started on Gorges, Bouillon, Diaz, Murray and even Emelin has been bad this year.

    • CJ says:

      I agree Eddie. Especially Subban. He really has been terrible. When your best players are not your best players, we are in huge trouble. No chance all the media scrutiny regarding the jersey grab has gotten to the kid? I personally think he has a steal resolve, but you can’t help but wonder….

    • Sakukoivumc11 says:

      Simple solution to the problem; waive or trade Bouillon, Murray, Diaz and play Tinordi, Beaulieu and Pateryn. This will give us more speed, toughness and offence from the backend. Trade Markov for a prospect/forward, trade Gionta and Bourque for 2nd and 3rd rounder and keep Leblanc up. When this is done look forward to next year !

      paolo merenda

      • CJ says:

        Me too. I think it’s going to be a slow process. I’m curious to see if the Habs sign a few college/CHL free agents to further our minor league depth. As it stands now, I’m not sure who would fill in for Tinordi and Pateryn, now that Ellis is hurt. I think at the end of the year, similar to last year, you might see thrower sign a contract and the organization sign a few PTO AHL contracts to assess the prospect.

  23. habstrinifan says:

    One of the unscathed accomplices to the decline of the Canadiens brand?

    The Media which follows the Canadiens.

    Maybe it is understandable. If you are a sport journalist in Montreal, you and your organization need access to the dressing room of the Montreal Canadiens. You cannot be on the outside looking in.

    Hail Anthony Calvillo for all his accomplishments, on and off the field. At the end of the day, the Alouettes are an afterthought in Mtl. And so is every other sport. Heck every other aspect of life. Except perhaps the enzyme of the Quebecois metabolism… Sovereignty. Write with some inside insight about HABS hockey or Quebec Sovereignty and YOU will be read.

    It was quite revealing to hear on TSN690 Habs breakfast this morning, that fear publicly admitted. One of the voices on the show talked about a picture of the room he had surreptitiously taken after Saturday’s game. His reporting instinct urged him to make it available via twitter. But he consulted with all his colleagues who said in grave tones “Don’t don’t”. Another voice on the TSN show echoed the wisdom of succumbing to the constraint of the underlying fear….not having access to the Montreal Canadien’s dressing room.

    It is why I listened with interest to their(TSN690) discussion re the breakdown in the relationship between last years ‘MVP’ addition, Brandon Prust and last years anointed coach Michel Therrien. To hear them tell it, there were an incident or two between the two.

    Hardly covered as it would have been in any other city.

    Hardly questioned, as it would have been in any other city, is the decline in Team standing and TOI of Brandon Prust based on the respect and playing time doled out to him by Michel Therrien.

    Hardly covered, as it would have been in any other city, is the measure to which this diseased relationship has contributed to the noticeably lacklustre and unmotivated play of Brandon Prust.

    An this is why, the telling change in what was one of the most binding and important player coach relationships on the team garners nary a whisper by most of the commentariat. It was hardly covered as it would have been in any other city.

    I profess no superior intellect in stating that it had NOT escaped me. I have wondered in many posts how could a player who became the face of the team’s grit and determination and togetherness last year could so deteriorate in both performance and stature this year.

    Maybe if someone in the HABS media or the HABS coaching staff had askd that honest question, Michel Therrien would have re-examined his methods.

    Maybe some of this “adversity”, which he condescendingly assures us is going to prove how much resolve he has, wouldn’t have come his way.

    • Eddie says:

      One of your best posts, for sure. I have not been listening to the radio for a few years now, and all of my information comes from my own contacts and te Internet.

      Well done.

    • Ron says:

      I would say you have made a correct assessment of the local media when covering the Habs. Tongue in check would describe it in my view of what I see, read and listen too. This paper is included in that group. Nothing to critical comes from it. Read some of the tweetts that are posted by them. Alot of useless stuff. Nobody wants to be on the outside looking in so tread lightly appears to be the norm.

  24. Ian Cobb says:

    Oh! for the good old days of Jacques Martin!

    • Strabo says:

      Ian get to the hospital quick! It’s obvious you’ve hit your head and have a concussion.

      “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

  25. boing007 says:

    Sounds like MT was channeling Winston Churchill. Good luck with that.

    Richard R

  26. wjc says:

    Some people talk about losing assets for nothing.

    What they seem to forget is if you are close to getting into the playoffs and you have players that are going to UFA’s, you have a tough decision.

    Quit and let the free agents go or hope they get the team into the playoffs. You roll the dice, remembering that making the playoffs makes your team richer. As a coach or a manager I would think your job is always to make the playoffs if possible.

    So you keep the UFA’s and miss the playoffs, then forever, the silly fans say you let them go for nothing. The forget that you get UFA’s and pay nothing in players/futures yourself.

    So it is not cut and dry, you lose some players and get some in return and it costs you no assets, and you do your job and try to make the playoffs.

    wjc

    • Strabo says:

      I agree very tough decision to make. I’m glad I’m not making that decision. The teams position in the standings may help make that choice. Knowing the Habs they’ll either be just in or just out, making it even more difficult to decide what to do. I know anything can happen in the playoffs, but I would rather have a team that has a great shot at winning the SC, not going in on a wing and a prayer and being a long shot. If that means trading certain players, than so be it.

      “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

  27. Sportfan says:

    So with boucher gone who replaces MT? Marc Crawford?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  28. Ian Cobb says:

    Where is Guy Boucher today ?
    Has Cunnyworth been keeping up with his french lesson’s ?

    • Chrisadiens says:

      He just signed with a Swiss club Ian. I wonder if he has an out clause in case an NHL team comes calling.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • Dust says:

      well he’s not coaching in the nhl. Seems no one else wants to hire him. Hey, Where is Guy? Lets get him. No one else wanted to hire him as coach either after he was fired.

      2 things will either happen

      1)they will turn it around and all will be good
      2)they will continue to stink it up for the rest of the year. MT will get fired after the season is done and MB will be happy with a high draft pick

  29. wjc says:

    Montreal will have at least 65 points by Sunday.

    The sky will still be falling for some, but then it is always falling for them.

    Montreal will make the playoffs, will they get on a roll in the playoffs remains to seen.

    Subban was bad on Saturday night along with everyone else.

    When you get in a game like that the coach is pretty well in a no win situation.

    People can be fans for 30 years and still not know what it is like to play in front of a National audience and have everything go wrong.

    Jim Bouton (author of ball four) pitcher for the New York Yankees, said, the main thing he worried about when he was pitching in the World Series was not making a fool of himself.

    When the spotlight is on you, and you are expected to perform, it divides the haves from the have nots.

    Everyone imagines scoring the winning goal or scoring in overtime, but what about swishing on a perfect set up in front of the net….Gallagher, or missing an assignment and realizing it a second later and it is too late, playing a one on one wrong, in a split second looking at the puck and deked around, having a dribbler go between your legs as you watch helplessly, missing a big body check and ending on your face.

    When it goes wrong it sometimes mushrooms into something of a nightmare and then you have to try and explain it.

    Now imagine you try to explain it in French and the translation is fumbled and it comes out as something you never meant.

    Hockey is simple to play and complicated as it gets faster and faster. From up high or on Television it looks so obvious, until you get at ice level.

    They will bounce back…..guaranteed…..they want this to go away as well.

    wjc

  30. Strabo says:

    I’m glad that MB isn’t going to panic, that’s a good thing. I would like to think that he evaluates the team daily, and sees the product on the ice is dismal, plus he knows what is actually going on in the locker room. If he can find a willing trading partner I’m sure some player(s) will be gone. I’ve been on the fence about trading Markov, but I’m all for it now. I hope he has a great Olympics and drives his trading price higher. He will never get any better, he is just slowly going to fade. Hopefully we don’t lose anymore assests for nothing.

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

  31. Sportfan says:

    Rumors on twitter saying that Guy Boucher has signed………. in Switzerland with Bern

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  32. Chrisadiens says:

    Guy Boucher hired!!!

    …..by SC Bern of the Swiss league.

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  33. Ian Cobb says:

    Woke up to the most snow that I have seen here “ever” this morning. Big wind out there making big drifts!! Today Belleville is in Newfoundland! Just like our HAB’S !

  34. JF says:

    This is the first inexplicably bad stretch the Habs have had since Therrien became coach. Their problems at the end of last season and in the playoffs can be attributed largely to injuries, to Price’s poor play, and to lack of grit. Earlier this season they had a sequence in which they were playing well defensively and goaltending was solid, but they struggled to score goals – the kind of drought that I think hits most teams at some point in the season.

    This stretch is different. Play all over the ice (except in goal) is unacceptably bad, so bad it’s almost funny. But this is the first stretch like this, and I can’t see Bergevin not giving Therrien a little time to work it out. He has said he’s a patient man and he’s shown it. He talks about the need for stability in the organization.

    When I think about the coaching changes the Habs have undergone over roughly the last decade, it seems that in no case was the change really justified, and in no case did it produce much in the way of results. Alan Vigneault and Claude Julien were both fired at the first sign of real trouble; both are excellent coaches elsewhere. Guy Carbonneau had a winning record when he was fired. Jacques Martin was keeping an under-manned team more or less afloat when he was fired; the team afterwards plummeted to the basement. Even Therrien in his first incarnation as coach here did quite well with a rather weak team; he afterwards went on to take the Penguins to the Cup final.

    I’m not saying Saturday’s game is not grounds for firing the coach. If Bergevin were having doubts about Therrien, it certainly would be grounds. But unless we see more performances like that, I’m almost willing to bet Bergevin will be patient at least until the end of the season. Therrien was hand-picked by him less than two years ago. Despite the team’s recent problems, he still has a winning record. I think Bergevin will give him a chance to turn things around, and fire him only if it becomes apparent he can’t.

    • boing007 says:

      They had a bad stretch at the end of last season and were thumped out of the playoffs in five.

      Richard R

      • JF says:

        If you read my post again, you’ll see that I mention that bad stretch and attribute it largely to Price’s poor play, to injuries, and to lack of grit. This stretch is different. Price is playing well, we have only one injury, we have a bit more muscle than last year. The team is just playing terribly. This is the first really terrible stretch they have had under Therrien. I’m not saying Therrien is the best coach for the Habs; I don’t think he is. I just don’t think Bergevin is going to make a coaching change now.

  35. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    From Bobby Mac and TSN 690 just now…

    MB is sticking with the program — no panic trades or firings. So they’re gonna ride out the storm.

    My sense is that he’s probably right.

  36. boing007 says:

    Too many wide open net goals, hanging CP out to dry.

    Richard R

  37. CJ says:

    Good morning from snowy Ottawa.

    New week, fresh start. Four games, including a huge test in Boston on Thursday night. Will the boys bounce back? Certainly no evidence to suggest so, but that said, stranger things have happened.

    I’ve always been a big baseball fan. After the Yankees blew a 3-0 series lead to the Red Sox on route to their first World Series in 90 years I said to myself anything can happen. The ebbs and flows of professional sports suggests you are only as good as your last game. Call me an optimist, but if they could just get a win, their confidence would be restored. The biggest thing I’m seeing right now is that the team is playing not to lose, instead of playing to win.

  38. adamkennelly says:

    this team needs some addition by subtraction.

    get rid of the players who are doing nothing.

    Its really not possible for call ups from Hammertown to do worse than

    Bourque, Briere, Gionta, Moen, Emelin, Murray – is it?

    I’m sorry but even if you are not scoring – you can still skate hard, play D, finish your checks, start a scrap or two. When you are on the ice – DO SOMETHING – period.

  39. Bogie Man says:

    This how I see the immediate future..

    Gally Eller Chucky
    Leblanc PacMan Bourni
    Pleky Trade Prust
    Moen White Parros

    Subby Jorges
    Tinordi Beaus
    Murray Trade

    Bourque, Gionta, Boulion, Markov trade for a forward and a defence men….

    MT replaced by Boucher

    Note: give the young guys all the ice time….

    • Strummer says:

      Murray and Parros have no business on a legit NHL roster

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

      • Bogie Man says:

        We have so much dead wood, I am confident We will not be trading all of it by trade deadline. We dump Parros and Murray in July and keep adding through draft (young guns).

        • formerly known as the hc says:

          Most of us forget that Murray and Parros were hired to put some badly needed teeth and stones ‘teeth’ in our lineup to protect our hockey players. Now it seems we are in dire need of hockey players.

    • wjc says:

      Bourgue and Markov will bounce back. Remember Bourque last year in the playoffs with Ottawa, best player for Montreal.

      wjc

    • nbsjfan says:

      I assume you mean Gorges with Subby there. Gorges is having trouble now as a #3/#4 guy. As a #1D? In the Q maybe or Midget AAA. Not in the NHL. Bournival and Leblanc on the second line? Good heavens. If that lineup was actually iced, they’d be lucky to get 60 points.

  40. JF says:

    The Blackhawks are 3-4-4 in their last ten – worse than us. I don’t suppose their fans are calling for Quenneville to be fired. However, if he were…. He speaks some French.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Not sure if that’s a fair comparison there. 2 recent cup wins for Quenneville have probably earned the respect of the fans. Not to mention its not always about wins/losses. The Habs have struggled for a month.

      I would love to have Quenneville though…. :)

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • JF says:

        My comment was actually a joke. I don’t think there’s any way Quenneville gets fired at this point. This is the first bad sequence the Hawks have had since I don’t remember when. And as CJ points out, the Olympic announcement could have something to do with it, both in their case and in ours.

    • CJ says:

      I posted yesterday, perhaps it’s a coincidence, but the four teams sending the largest number of players to the Olympics (Detroit, LA, Chicago and Montreal) have 5, 3, 4, 3 wins over their past ten games respectively.

      Montreal’s struggles have not just materialized since the Olympic announcement, however one wonders if there is a new mandate for many of these Olympians. I still can’t help but think it’s having a major impact of Emelin and Markov.

      • rljmartin says:

        True stat but I have watched games that the other teams have played and quite frankly there is no comparison to the level at which the HABS are right now.

        • CJ says:

          They are not playing well. No denying that. It just seems that anytime they make a mistake, the puck ends up in the back of the net.

          Take the penguins game as an example. Montreal scores a late goal to go into the first intermission down 2-1. The play is even five minutes into the second when Galley goes down on an odd man rush and hits the post. Instead of being 2-2, Pittsburgh scores 3 goals and it’s game over.

          The game in Toronto was deflating. The team battles back from a one goal and then a two goal deficit. I was sure the game was going to OT, but a weird bounce and poor coverage give the Leafs a late goal to seal the win.

          Ellen’s penalty against the Caps – instead of going on the PP, the Caps get the advantage and score twice. Pleks short handed breakaway against the Red Wings…. It’s just not going our way. The team is very fragile, figuratively and literally. Their confidence couldn’t be much lower. Tuesday night, let’s create our own breaks and get this thing turned around. Nobody is going to help this team. Not via trade, not the refs, not the opposition. They need to want it bad enough to force the issue. Otherwise, the skid will turn into a slide. It’s really up to the players.

    • wjc says:

      So if Quennville is losing with Chicago, how does he help Montreal.

      wjc

  41. Chrisadiens says:

    Some decent news. I’m grasping at straws I know, but we all need some sort of good news right?

    Danny Kristo .64 PPG -10. 23yrs old
    Christian Thomas .73 PPG +1 21yrs old

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      Sam Pollock would be proud.

      • Chrisadiens says:

        Hah! I’m trying here….

        Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • wjc says:

        Sam Pollock lived off of Frank Selke until he retired in 1978. Pollock did not like a level playing field.

        wjc

        • Just a Habs Fan says:

          WJC….you must be very very old and have great inside info to know this much about Sam Pollock. Man that was a long time ago. It amazes me on here how so many know intricate details of people that were in high positions……give me a break for Gods sake.

          • wjc says:

            Just a Habs fan: First of all you can look it up.

            You will see that Selke built the biggest farm system ever seen in hockey, he copied the baseball blueprint.

            In 1967 when teams were added you could protect so many players and all your juniors were safe.

            Pollock took over in 1964 and by 1969 juniors like Lemaire, Savard, Lapointe, Laperriere, Cournyonia, ect. were coming into their own. These players played well into the seventies.

            Beleveau, Richard, Provost etc were already established.

            Toronto sold their farm systems and Montreal kept theirs and traded and sold off players individually.

            So Canadiens who were finishing first, were getting first round draft choices from trading players….this is where Gainey came from.

            Mahovalich both Pete and Frank came from Montreal players Redmond and Monahan, Danny Grant produced high draft choices.

            By the time 1978 came along the players were retireing, and the extra players were no more. Pollock decided that at 50 something he could never repeat what had been done and he retired.

            New managers never had the advantages that Selke left for Pollock and Montreal was on a level playing field with everyone else, with more and more teams competing for the same players.

            You can look all of this up, I do not rewrite history, these are the facts.

            wjc

    • SmartDog says:

      And
      Christian Thomas: 10 toes
      Danny Kristo: 9.5

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  42. adamkennelly says:

    they should have traded Markov 10 games ago.

    Everyone was so happy to hear about contract negotiations etc – trying to figure out how much he was going to get blah, blah, blah.

    anyone want to sign up to 3 more years now?

  43. OK, it’s 7:48AM… who’s the new coach and who was traded?

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  44. Habfan10912 says:

    Want a list of players who didn’t care Saturday night?

    1) Bourque
    2) Markov
    3) Emelin
    4) Max Pac
    5) Moen
    6) Briere

    You want to know how to lose a game to an inferior opponent at home 5 to nothing? Have 2 defenceman and 4 forwards quit on the team.

    You can have player only meetings until they come out of your wahzoo.

    You can have healthy scratch revolving doors every game.

    You can fire the coach.

    You can switch line ups and juggle lines till kingdom comes.

    None of that will work when you have one-third of your team out on the ice not giving a rats butt. Until Bergevin sends a loud message in the locker room that this type of play will not be tolerated, we’re going to see more of this in the coming weeks.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Oh, and I had Bourque at the top of my list for a reason.

    • That loud message will not be a benching, it will be a trade, but he won’t as his mantra is long term, no share moves. A couple more games like the last four and that may have to change, so we’ll watch over the next 6 before the Olympics and if we only pick up 4 points, the dealing will be done over the two week break. Not only for us, but for all the teams making a playoff push as it is a condensed schedule and the wheeling and dealing will be done because of the Olympics and in spite of them.

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

    • wjc says:

      Temporary set back.

      wjc

  45. TMan1969 says:

    Just watched the greatest trap team NJD get smoked by speed and transition – out manned in front of the net, in the corner – scored on the left/right side…sound familiar…if da Habs play to their speed and push they will get their chances and if they play NJD style off/def…they get burned…the style of their current game is detrimental to their speed…which is why they do better on the PK (its all about pressure and speed)…

    Play-offs or bust!

    “If I knew the answer to that I’d bet $10,000 on the game and retire from coaching.”
    —Montreal Canadiens coach Toe Blake after being asked if his team would win an upcoming game

  46. Habfan10912 says:

    “There’s no one outside this room that cares more than anyone in this room. So we’re trying to figure things out and we’ll be a better team for it in the end.”

    Dear Brian Gionta:
    Did you watch some of your teammates on the ice Saturday?

    • His last few quotes have been insulting to the ears for a Captain and pro-athlete. Duh…! An elite team doesn’t take 20 plus games to “figure it out”. A great team may take a couple of games. A good team let’s a few games hurt them and then turns it around. A fair team goes up and down for a week or so and a bad team, which sadly, I have to agree with Boone here, sinks like a stone for over a month and keeps saying “we have to figure it out”

      Bad Team it is! oh and the coach too! Never liked MT as a hire and now, it’s being born out, since he was supposedly hired to help nurture the youngsters and he plays them less than the stick boy!

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

    • Cal says:

      Hey Jim. Lousy style of play for the make up of the team. MT deserves each and every loss he’s getting. Playing the kids so rarely when the team is sliding is about as inept as a coach can get.
      The only response for us fans is to tune that idiot genius out. (He is a genius because he actually convinced someone with real authority that he can coach in this league. He’s an idiot because of how he is making this team play.)

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Hey J., glad the 13 year old fan you took along with Damien, and you to the game could see the “big picture.”

      “Bends but won’t break”

  47. SmartDog says:

    There could be a silver lining here. REALLY. We all know this team was living on a wing and a prayer. If this shows MB that he CAN AND MUST sacrifice a veteran or two to build for the FUTURE, this will be worth it. If he traded Markov AND Gionta to a playoff bound team and got back a top six F or prospect and a role player with size, would that be good or bad for the team? MB needs to be out there waving the “let’s make a deal” sign. Not up in his office counting playoff ticket sales revenue.

    BTW, the “In the Room” article above is pretty good. Interesting to see what the players say. Eller and PK both seem to still have their heads on straight. Gorges talks about not running around “chaotic”. Well yah.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      That’s why a part of me wants to see them really tank. It’s the only way MB will be forced to recognize that the team isn’t a contender and that he has to focus on building for the future. The regular season success of last year screwed that up.

      • SmartDog says:

        For DECADES, even when they weren’t even sure of a playoff position the Habs have failed to make trades because they “didn’t want to lose anyone”. I say lose ‘em! Teams that are sure NOT to make the playoffs for a couple of years can make a lot off of their veterans. If MB wants to show leadership, a break with our sad past, and that his eyes are open to ALL that he can do to build a juggernaut, he’ll sacrifice some veterans by trade deadline.

        And if not… well… more hang-dog, surprised-face Therrien. And IMO, we’ll need to wait and hope (again) for the NEXT GM. Tired of this.

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Habfan17 says:

      I think that would be the best plan of action. I also read the Sharks want to add some depth for the play offs. I would see if they would take Moen since they know him.

      Habfan17

    • piper says:

      by the time MB decides to move out Markov and Gionta they’ll both be out with injuries again.

  48. Lafleurguy says:

    No yo-yo treatment of Beaulieu and Leblanc this call-up. The two should stay and along with Bournival, be given enough TOI to show their best. Two big additions last year were the Gally’s. No such addition(s) this year.

    “Bends but won’t break”

  49. Strabo says:

    On March 6, 2000, Bourque was traded to Colorado with fellow veteran Dave Andreychuk for Brian Rolston, Martin Grenier, Samuel Påhlsson and a first round draft pick. After 21 seasons with the Bruins they traded him. If the Bruins can trade Bourque, if the Oilers can trade Gretzky, then certainly the Habs can and should trade Markov. I wish they could keep him and win a cup with him, but I just don’t see it happening this year or next. Markov’s Best Before Date is about to expire, trade him while he still has value.

    Good morning HIO it’s -13 and snowing in Haneytown, NB enjoy and have a great day.

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

  50. jols101 says:

    The Habs are a well oiled machine, primed for a deep playoff run. Don’t change a thing.

  51. The Jackal says:

    F what this team needs.
    The real question is, what did Paul McCartney mean in the song Jet?

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  52. The Jackal says:

    Grghhrghrg?

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  53. montreal ace says:

    Some people have mentioned Markov as trade material, this is something I can go for. I say MB should look for a cash strapped owner, who needs playoff cash. I can see us keeping a big chunk of Markov’s contract, and getting a young stud

    • Habfan17 says:

      I don’t think they would have to eat any of his salary. It is pro-rated and only for the balance of this season. L.A. is said to be looking for PP help on the blue line. I would see if they would trade Tanner Pearson for Markov, or Kyle Clifford and their first round pick.

      I also read that the Sharks are looking for play off depth. The Habs could then trade Moen to the Sharks for a pick. They know Moen and he would be a solid depth player for a run.

      Habfan17

  54. ClutchNGrab says:

    All these trade suggestions look very good, but keep in mind what Ellliott Friedman wrote a couple of weeks ago in his 30 thoughts:

    Like several other teams, Winnipeg tried to make trades, but the market is incredibly weak right now. (If you had $1 for every time a GM said something along the lines of, “I could make a trade right now, but it won’t make us any better,” you could buy everyone in Brazil a Big Mac).

    It appears likely the Jets (and just about everyone else) will have to wait until the post-season to perform major surgery, when the cap goes up and the 29 teams who don’t win the Cup decide what they want to do.

    • CH Marshall says:

      Btw brazilian girls are haaaawwwwt

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      True but it depends on what your goals are. If you a seller, like the Habs should be, the goal is to unload veteran talent in exchange for draft choices or young players. It won’t make the Habs better now, but it could in 2 years. As soon the playoff picture becomes clearer, trades between buyers (playoff bound) and sellers (no playoffs) will start happening.

  55. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    I’ve been on the road for a few hours. Has Therrien been fired yet?


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