‘Momentum can change quick,’ Habs coach Therrien says

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien gave his players the day off Tuesday following their 3-1 loss to New York in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final Monday night at the Bell Centre as the Rangers took a 2-0 series lead.

Game 3 in the best-of-seven series will be Thursday night in New York (8 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Therrien did hold a noon-hour conference call with the media.

“Today, I think it’s good for us mentally to get a day off for the players,” the coach said. “I’m anxious to see my guys tomorrow and going to New York, because you know what, we’re looking for one win. Momentum can change quick in the playoffs, so I’m really optimistic. The reason why is because of the way we were capable to compete and get engaged in our game yesterday.”

Therrien admitted that the quick turnaround from a Game 7 win over the Boston Bruins in the conference semifinals and Game 1 against the Rangers was tough for his team.

“Yes, the first game was tough for us, emotionally it was tough for us, physically it was tough for us,” he said. “We didn’t get much time between Game 7 and Game 1 and it was an afternoon game and, obviously, it showed with the result. But I thought we regrouped really well from the first game. I thought yesterday we were a team that played with a lot of energy, I thought we were a team that was pushing the pace. We played a solid game.”

Therrien also had praise for the Rangers.

“Obviously, this is a good hockey team,” he said.

The coach added: “They got world-class players. They’re in the Eastern Conference final because they’re a good team and right now this is the best team that we’re meeting. But, you know what, I liked the way we played yesterday and that gave us confidence to approach Game 3. But definitely with the leadership of Martin St. Louis, for sure, this is a guy that won (the) gold medal at the Olympics, won (the) Stanley Cup, and he’s doing a helluva job for the Rangers.”

Therrien said his team “did a lot of good things” in the Game 2 loss, but there are other things the Canadiens need to improve on.

“One reason why that we end up losing that game is that (Rangers goalie Henrik) Lundqvist had a phenomenal game last night. But there’s things that we need to get better. I believe we gave up a little bit too many odd-man rushes. Those are the little details that we’re capable to fix. But I like the way that we were engaged in the game, I like the way that we approached the game.

“And you know what,” Therrien added, “to win hockey games, like I said yesterday, you need some breaks and we didn’t have any breaks yesterday. Right now the Rangers got their breaks and they capitalized on their breaks.”

Therrien continued: “Momentum changes very quick in the playoffs and this is by experience. You get one win and after that the momentum could change really quick. That’s our focus right now.”

You can listen to Therrien’s entire conference call by clicking here.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault met with the media in Montreal Tuesday morning before his team returned to New York and praised the Canadiens for their performance in Game 2, in which they had 41 shots on goal.

“Give Montreal full marks, they came at us real hard,” Vigneault said. ” But at the end of the day, we need to play better than we did.  We can’t rely on our goaltending the way we did last night, and we’re not going to next game.”

When asked if he had an inkling which goalie the Canadiens would start in Game 3 – Dustin Tokarski or Peter Budaj – Vigneault said: “I do, but I’m not willing to share it with you.”

The Canadiens will practise at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Brossard before heading to New York.

(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)

(Video by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell)

Habs need a few breaks, Therrien says, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Lundqvist outduels Tokarski in Game 2, by Pat Hickey

Price’s absence a monstrous hurdle for Habs, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Therrien had nothing to lose going with Tokarski, by Jack Todd for The Gazette

Lundqvist was the difference, by Pat Hickey

Game 2 photo gallery, montrealgazette.com

Lundqvist regains world-class form, NHL.com

Rangers leave Montreal with 2-0 series lead, NHL.com

Bull market, canadiens.com

‘We’re still in this,’ Habs’ Subban says, canadiens.com

Unfazed by boos, Rangers pad lead, New York Times

Canadiens roll dice – and lose – with youngster, New York Post

Lundqvist lifts his game, New York Daily News

‘He’s getting a little bit lucky,’ Subban says of Lundqvist, The Hockey News

How do the Habs come back? The Hockey News

 

132 Comments

  1. SnowManHabs85 says:

    Vanek looks like he is trying to stay as healthy as possible for a new contract instead of playing for a new contract. Make sense? Anyways, either way, he’s gonna be paid big $$$ no matter who’s offering it…

    I’ve really disliked how Gorges has been playing in these playoff games, offensively, he just dumps the puck along the boards and what happens? It results in scoring chance against Habs and/or another shot block stat into his stats sheet…

    Defensively, he gets on all fours in and gets knocked down too easily. Can’t defend when your on the ice trying to stay balanced and your head on the ice.. What good does a defensive defencemen do when he can’t defend? Nothing… And he seemed to be on every single goal against.

    If it’s his trade value is higher than it ever was after the playoffs, i say trade him for player with offense and speed. Call up Pateryn.

  2. The Prustean Age says:

    Alright, kids. I’ve had a day to decompress and distract myself with food and books and so forth. And now I’m drawing on some good memories of past Habs teams… I’ll just steamroll ahead, even though I anticipate some groans from disbelievers or self-proclaimed “realists” or hidden Rag-Trolls: don’t forget ’93!

    Okay, to begin with, we don’t currently have our “Roy.” -But! Don’t stop reading. We have a competent team system that has already proven itself capable of handling much more pressure than we’ve seen from the Rags.

    Why ’93? First off, I wasn’t an infant at the time, I was a teenager who felt that 7 years was enough to wait for a cup (and four years was enough for another cup final series). I REMEMBER in-game shit, man – sloppy defensive play, star players, such as Bellows, playing like dog-shit, well into the playoffs (Bellows was deep, deep in Demers’ doghouse around game 3 of the Habs-Kings series). I remember poor play from most of the team, in fact, in the first two games against LA – but what coach would fall for the ol’ illegal stick NOW?

    What else do I remember? That ’93 team had a terrible habit (against the Kings) of getting a decent lead – and losing it (up 3-0 in game 3 and 2-0 in game 4).

    Finally: Roy gave up some STINKY goals against LA in those first few games (were either of the two goals in game 2 “good”?).

    My point??

    Like that team of old, our current team can be SOOO frustrating with its soft play, lazy coasting forwards, “perimeter” play (no, I’m not talking about Max!), and – let’s face it – share of bad luck. But, Jesus, like that old team, have the NEW guys ever found a way to “find their game”! Are you f-in kidding?! Think of how many bad home game streaks we’ve had – and them, whammo, a winning streak on the road.

    Think of the 4-1 lead vs OTT – and then, whammo.

    Think of being down 3-2 to the BROONS – and then, whammo.

    Think of NOW…

    My friends, commentariat, coaches – and YES: Les Habitants!!! I LOVE YOU GUYS! I BELIEVE IN YOU (like a besotted drunk in Dionysus).

    Remember what Pricey said (in his Zen moment): “enjoy the moment.”

    **********

    Screw the “hockey gods”!

    • habulations says:

      Montreal has poor defensive play and a perimeter offense against the Rangers. I like how you put it “perimeter play”. We shoot the puck a lot, but from a distance and most of the time we miss the net. We make Lundqvist look good. Game three, we have to stop the odd man rushes against us and get down and dirty in front of Lundqvist. Goalkeeping is not the problem….our defensive and offensive play is. Rangers dominated game one and two. It’s our turn to go into their rink and dominate…..or this will be over fast.
      Get to the net at the other end of the rink…..and stop the odd man rushes!

  3. nek25plus says:

    Let’s put it this way…it mind over matter. Budaj enjoyed great success against Boston, and his mates knew it and bought into the Buds is a Bruin killer! Tokarsky stoned The Ducks this year and team could capitalize on that. As long as the team believes in the goalie and goalie believes the teams is behind him-anyone can win! Pick one- and win these next two games. Hell,!the Rangers have very sadly latched on to a newbie teammate and his mother! With no disrespect to France St Louis and her family, it is really classless to use this very sad family moment as a rally cry.

  4. nek25plus says:

    Let the macdonaugh deal go! The fact is he didn’t want to come to Montreal, he didn’t want to go to play for Bulldogs. He dragged his heels and resisted. Gainey did what he needed to do at the time. Picked up a centre, (who was well received the first year) and traded a young D that none of you knew about until after the fact! Whinning now would be pointless…no? If they forced him to come to Hamilton/ Montreal and played like he felt…you’d hate anyway! Move on!

  5. tab says:

    Habs should have a closed door session and let players decide which goalie they want to play in front of. It’s a toss up either way, but at least if players have a say they might by into solution. Something tells me MT didn’t consult players as it’s not easy situation. Needs to be a total team effort even by the goalie not playing as budaj has displayed most if the year, positive fibs brings good things.

  6. nek25plus says:

    It’s pretty simple people…Habs had to play first game at 1:00, not our most sparkling time to play a game, as witnessed in early Bruins game. Losing Price isn’t anybody’s first choice, that said the Team needs to put on their big boy pants, get over it and help the goaltender win a game. Feeling sorry for themselves didn’t work so well yesterday. Budaj and Tokarsky need their buy in. They need to know that they are as valuable to the success of this Team as Price is. He is a “very nice to have” element , but not a “need to have !” The players need to know they are all valued for their specific role! As my grandmother used to say “every man to his job!” If they don’t believe and understand that this is true, and they believe Carey is the “only piece” that can move them forward then yes the are doomed. Personally I don’t think they should collapse because of Price going down. They need to believe in the team concept that has been the coaches team mantra. They should be reminded that everyone contributed and picked it up when others were hurt or injured. This team should be able to rally around this as they are a right group, or so they say. The Rangers, bless them have rallied around MSL and his mother. They barley know their teammate(with a few exceptions) and so therefor don’t know his mother. And even tho I personally think it is classless to use the death of a guys mother to win a hockey game, especially when they barely know each other… The Montreal Canadiens should be able to rally around their team and mates and do this for all of them and not just for one individual. Just my opinion, but I have like the chemistry these guys have shown this year! Am I wrong!? BUCK up boys! And, for my final thoughts…put the damned lines back together!!!

    DD-Patches-Vanek
    Plecky- Gally -Galchenyuk
    Eller-Bourke – Gio
    Prust-Weise -Briere

    GO HABS GO!!!

    And stop whinning!!!

  7. RoySubbanPrice says:

    Momentum can change quick, by getting in Lundqvist’s kitchen, by winning battles 1on1 in the corners, but not making those long stretch passes that worked vs Boston, so that they don’t result in neutral zone TOs.

    Days off in the playoffs, after a 40 shot performance, k fine, they played better than Gm2 but 40 shots on net, none that really struck fear into the Rangers or Lundqvist, so isn’t that a wasted 40 shot performance. I’d be better to see more crash the net play, more chances for rebounds, Rangers D scrambling to find the puck, and maybe maybe an accidental injury to lundqvist. I hope Danny Briere is used more productively, he’s been a momentum changer and might spark something in Vanek, if at all possible. Good luck to the boys for Game 3, it’s a challenging situation, but if experience is the best teacher than (last yr’s vs Ottawa) than we get back in this series one puck battle at time. otw Happy Gilmore itT

    No one remembers those who play average – PK Subban

  8. habstrinifan says:

    You guys can criticise me all you want… I just read the Therrien cpmments from the game… and I am not impressed.

    And while I am at it… I would ask Subban to shut the F up now.

    “They (Rangers) are getting lucky.” WTF does that mean. Remember that is the same crap people were saying when we supposedly outshot Ottawa and they hauled our asses off to the woodshed and gave us the lashing of a righteous pilgrim.

    I want to see a blunt ‘we have to analyse our game and concretely break the game into 5 mins slices and aim for ‘x number’ of scoring chances per 5 min.”

    Only then would the team/coaches know if they are following a game plan…victoriously or not.

    • Corporate says:

      1) Have you ever played hockey?
      2) Did you ever try to play hockey in Montreal under the spotlight.

      Subban will be Subban. I like the fire in him and I rather have him personally than a player that doesn’t say a word.

      As for Therrien, he’s not going to say what he will do with the practices and behind closed doors? Come on dude, use your head.

      I know that I will get some flack for my comment but in the end, we were not expected to get to the second round. Hell we weren’t supposed to make the playoffs. Even if we beat Rangers, we do not have the team yet to win the cup. if we do it will be a miracle.

  9. LMHabs says:

    Every time I see Ryan McDounough play I am reminded of Scott Gomez and I get a migraine.

    lam

  10. FlyAngler says:

    Interesting column by Paul Stewart. The thesis is correct but he did spin the details a bit IMO. He wrote that Hagelin “fell over Galchenyuk’s stick” when quite clearly Hagelin launched himself into the air such that he appeared to be doing his very best impression of Bobby Orr after scoring the Cup winning goal in 1970.

    Now think for a moment what the uproar would have been if it had been a Ranger who was sent off for tripping a Hab in that instance- Cherry, Healey, Milbury, Stock et al would have gone ballistic – and yet there was no outrage at Hagelin for doing the old dipsy do….

    The most that McKenzie would say was that the call was “questionable” when in fact what was clear was that Hagelin leapt in the air and was the only player who most certainly was deserving of a penalty. At worst, they both should have gone for 2 minutes, but even that would not have been a just verdict.

    So yes, Mr. Steward you are correct, good teams overcome bad breaks and do not wait for calls, but the call in question was a travesty and a joke- especially given the experience of the 2 Referees who were working the game Dan O’Halloran and Wes McCauley. Both by now should be able to recognize a leap into mid air when they see it.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Paul-Stewart/Recipe-for-Losing-Waiting-for-Breaks-and-Calls/196/60152

    “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

  11. LMHabs says:

    Every time I see McDounough play I am reminded of Scott Gomez and I get a migraine

    lam

  12. Pierre Maguire says:

    New Monster thread! El Kabongo !!!!!!

    ——————————————————————
    Me loves everything Scotty and Mario.

  13. habs001 says:

    Prust looks very slow …Weaver and Gorges are better suited to play Boston type teams..

  14. hockeyrealist says:

    I hate to say it, but can’t help but think that had the B’s won game 7 vs Mtl they would be fairing much better in this round than the Habs are. I think the series vs B’s took too big of a toll emotionally/physically.

    I have to add that I firmly believe Mtl can come back to at least make the series interesting and quite possibly win. 60 minutes of one-on-one battle wins regardless of score is what we need once again. This team plays far better than the sum of its parts, 5 man gang!

    “One defends when his strength is inadequate, he attacks when it is abundant”
    Sun Tzu

    • Corporate says:

      That may be true, but we were not supposed to make it to this point. Honestly, even if we lose in 4, I know the future is bright. We had a great season under the circumstances and I think great things are to come.

  15. habs001 says:

    It is time to move on with Gion..he has been a very good performer with the Habs while he was here but it is time to give the youth a chance…Plecks has performed well for the Habs in the regular season in his career but frankly he has not been able to raise his intensity and play in the playoffs..A plus player in his regular season career but a poor minus 21 in his playoff career…I dont think he is the type of player you win with in the playoffs

    • shiram says:

      Would Eller be supposed to fill in with a departed Pleks?
      Cause I think that might be a recipe for disaster unless there’s a good proven 2-way center in the Habs I’m not aware of.

      • habs001 says:

        Sometimes a team has to look for other options if the present options have been around for a long time and show no indications that they will perform in the playoffs…These options can come in a trade or free agents…Fans and management fall in love with their players and cant see them being traded…Bringing in the same quality type of player may not seem it will make a difference on paper but it could change team dynamics by a lot….Sometimes changing the same stale veterans help both the team and player..

    • UKRAINIANhab says:

      Duplicate comment detected it appears you’ve already said that!

  16. montrealtilldeath says:

    I know I will offend people waiting for Vanek to break out. Every one but one put it all in last night. The exception was number 20. He cost us momentum with his silly penalty annulling our PP and followed it up by a blown coverage on McDonough’s goal. The real playoffs started with Boston and his lack of presence and effortfrom that point is very noticeable in fact it is outstanding. Folks put out the candle in the window he is not coming. Play someone who will at least fore check and back check. To me in the playoffs a Ryan White or a Bournival are more valuable assets. A playoff team cannot afford players who are just passengers.

    • JUST ME says:

      I am not taking anything away from Vanek and no doubt that his carreer stats talk by themselves as for his offensive talent but to me he just does not fit in the mold of that team. Could he bring something needed to this squad exactly because he is different ? Of course he can but just not at the price people say he will be asking.

      And that goes without saying that knowing the Habs fans when he disappears for too long as he does usually he will become our new scapegoat…

  17. FormalWare says:

    Tokarski played well enough in Game 2 to justify starting him in Game 3. If he plays just a little bit better, each game, the Habs will get the goaltending they need to win this series… provided they make the guy at the other end look progressively worse.


    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  18. dsturge10 says:

    Let’s remember 1993: Trailing the Nordiques 2 games to 0 in the first round, Kirk Muller slides one by Ron Hextall in OT. Habs win 3-2 (…if I recall correctly) and shift momentum for 4 straight wins. The Habs looked beaten, tired and frustrated after those first 2 games and ultimately moved on and then swept Buffalo.

    I agree with Therrien. This team can respond in the same manner. Although it hurts that Carey is not in the lineup, the play that I saw from Dustin makes me beleive this can happen. Budaj is also capable of making this happen.

    GHG!

    “We don’t feel the pressure. We apply the pressure.” – Michel Therrien

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    My understanding is that when Toker plays a game with the munchies he is in the zone. Let’s hope we see a pregame shot with him snacking on some Doritos for Game 3!

    • BriPro says:

      Someone give the man a joint!

      ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
      That is some of the most Free-range, Organically-grown, Disingenuous,
      Idealogically-marinated, Un-Self-awareness I’ve ever seen in the wild.

      – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

  20. Timo says:

    Coaches too. Coaches can change quickly.

  21. habsfan0 says:

    Last year’s playoffs vs Ottawa:Price gets injured.
    This year’s Olympics:Price gets injured.
    This year’s playoffs vs Rangers:Price gets injured.
    Now,I’m no Columbo,but I’m beginning to detect a trend.

  22. Jimmy Page says:

    Things can change fast in team sports.

    Everyone looks good when then are winning.

    So much blah blah about the NYR. Just win game 3 and then see what happens. It is not impossible to win the next game.

  23. JUST ME says:

    Have not given up yet ! I do believe that things can turn around as they unfortunately just did against the Habs! Would put Budaj in goals though . Not to be seen as a judgement call on Tokarski but still being a veteran is a proof that you did the job on the long haul and Budaj did come through for us in the past.

    What worried me yesterday was not our guy in goals but more the way we reacted when the game was tied by the Rangers a few seconds after we took the lead. It felt like a deja vu scene that we really did not get to suffer this season. Felt like catch up hockey and running around behind the opponent. So far this season even when trailing , the feeling of confidence was overwhelming but yesterday ?…

    That`s another reason why i feel we can do better and have not said our last word. So far though my last word before i go would probably be..Vanek ?…

  24. CHicoHab says:

    What an idiot Markov is for riling up Lucic in the handshake line. According to Cock Roaches Corner.

  25. mdp2011 says:

    I have a theory, the Habs are playing possum with Price. My prediction is that Price will be back for game 3 and the Habs will win the next 4 games to eliminate the NYR and move onto the Stanley Cup finals.

  26. JohnBellyful says:

    How’s this for bold? The Canadiens start Game 3 by pulling their goalie and playing an extra attacker!
    It’s so crazy it just might work!
    (You might have a hard time selling it to Budaj, though.
    ‘You’re saying the team is better without me, without ANYONE, in net? I am SO gone after next season when my contract’s over.’)

  27. 44har48 says:

    I couldn’t agree more. We here in the commentariat all have the experience to know that this series can change on a dime, one game, one period, one play can swing it back and the Rangers could lose control for the remainder. Also, outplaying them the rest of the way and losing in not as uncommon as some would think :). Goaltenders have been carrying teams to the Stanley Cup promised land for years, there’s a team up in Montreal that knows a thing or two about that. You just have to give it your all and tip your cap if you get beat by great goaltending and solid enough play in front.

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    I wonder if the Habs Thoroughbreds just need some nose strips? Then they would be scoring at will!

  29. FlyAngler says:

    Galchenyuk Eller Bourque
    Pacioretty DD Vanek
    Prust Briere Weise
    Gallagher Plek Gionta

    I think that realistically these lines give the Habs the best chance to come back and have a chance to win this series. Prust will give 1000% at MSG just because he will want to stick it to the Rangers on their home ice and of course he is very comfortable playing there. Briere is one of the few Habs that actually has a track record of some success against Lundqvist and it is simply time for the failed Vanek-Plek experiment to end. Tomas Plekanec has simply never been a reliable offensive performer for the Habs in the playoffs- great on the PK and on D- mediocre at best on offense and that is being charitable IMO. Make the Briere line the 3rd line and play them with P K and Gorges.

    “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

  30. JohnBellyful says:

    What really would be disappointing would be to see the Canadiens work so hard to dispose of the Bruins and then have the Rangers slide into the Stanley Cup final.

  31. Wintercount says:

    This story is as old as the language of smoke. Start leaning on St. Louis. The route to the 4th round, forget Kreider and Lundquist, goes through St. Louis, dress White and make him stick to Martin like glue, hound the crap out of him, make him pay even if he gets near a puck, hit him on every shift.
    He has a short fuse and by extension this will piss them all off.

    The rest will follow…

  32. JF says:

    This series is not over. We could still win it. It’s not as though other teams haven’t come back from losing the first two games; it’s happened already half a dozen times in these playoffs (although, oddly enough, only in the west). But we do have some major problems. Our defence has been heroic in the post-season, but Price’s absence is starting to expose some of its weaknesses. We get pinned in our own end, we turn over the puck, and, without Price to cover for mistakes, too many of them end up in the back of our net.

    Up front, we need to be firing on all cylinders, which we’re not doing at the moment. The Plekanec line is contributing nothing offensively, Vanek is invisible, and our fourth line is not creating the chances it was in the earlier series. Speed is certainly an issue, at least for Danny Brière.

    Special teams also have to be better. The penalty kill has to get back on track, and I think the powerplay needs quicker passing and more movement. Passing the puck around a stationary box is not going to do it.

    But the main thing we have to be better at is getting in Lundqvist’s face. He’s going to stop whatever he can see. We need to have bodies in front of him and fight for rebounds and deflections. Maybe Vanek can be parked in the crease and the puck fired at him. He’s a wizard at deflections and he hasn’t been very useful anywhere else.

    But it’s not over yet. Win Game three in New York and it’s a new series.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Don’t think having The Invisible Man stand in front of Lundqvist would work, Jane. Now Crankshaft, there’s a guy you can’t miss. Or see through. Park him in front of the Ranger net on a Habs power play and see who would be be willing to give him a ticket.
      He’s a lumbering sort of fellow and if some of that lumber should happen to fall when he’s ‘pushed’, who knows where it might land. Sweden?

  33. veryhabby says:

    Just wondering if anyone knows…who missed his coverage on the NAsh goal? I know Gio had pinched in and couldn’t get back in time. Was NAsh his guy? So unfortunate that one error…and they score. I think that’s what MT is referring about when he says they are getting all the bounces.

    Bourque was the closest frwd skating back, and you can see him looking around like to see who to cover, but he never showed an attempt to skate back and get to NAsh. Maybe he realized no way he’d get there? Just wondering who’s mistake that was.

  34. veryhabby says:

    Yesterday and today MT is signing the praises of his team…plus saying a few things they need to tighten up.

    but when the game was over, as a fan, I was not impressed by my team. Yup solid 1st period. But as soon as they went down 3-1 it’s like they gave up. There was over a period to play, but you can tell they just didn’t have the same effort. Then with 4 min left and 2 man advantage they start trying again (PK was amazing).

    so am I missing something. Was I the only one who felt MTL didn’t compete the whole game? Coach doesn’t think so, or is he just trying to stay positive cause it’s the smartest thing he can do right now.

    I wanted to see a never die attitude, but we didn’t see that as soon as they were losing by 2. I get you get disappointed, they are human. but I just wasn’t happy at the end of the game with their effort. Some did great, most didn’t for a full game.

  35. JohnBellyful says:

    Re-posted from five minutes ago. Elsewhere.

    It’s getting so I detest Hockey Night in Canada, its commentary is so awful.
    And there IS a predisposition among its personnel to be critical of the Canadiens (or so it seems to this fan’s sensitive ears.)
    A saving grace, however, is that the broadcast and its resident idiots, along with the entire league, would provide ample fodder for programming TSN will need next winter, when Sportsnet will begin ruling the roost.
    Specifically, The Sports Network should take its cue from The Daily Show, a brilliantly scathing look at politics by host Jon Stewart using copious amounts of news clips from all the networks.
    The TSN could call its spoof of all things hockey, Not the Bill Daly Show, holding up to ridicule everything stupid the NHL, its teams, officials, and television partners do with appallingly regularity. There would be no dearth of material to mine and mock.
    TSN could even produce original programming, such as hockey sitcoms (I Loathe Lucy), game shows (Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Rounder?) and reality shows (The Free Agent, where the top player on the market is wooed by several suitors).
    Not the Bill Daly Show would have correspondents in each of the seven NHL cities in Canada – standup comics who would deliver daily reports on the teams they cover. The competition to land the Toronto gig would be fierce among the nation’s top funny folk.
    You put this half-hour show up against hockey games and I guarantee you it would outdraw them during the first period.
    (You could have Ed the Hockey Sock play the part of Don Cherry in the faux intermission that would follow the showing of Not the Bill Daly Show. Call it the Hot Air League.)
    Stay tuned …

  36. HardHabits says:

    Habs fans holding their breath in hopes that Toker stones the Rangers in game 3.

  37. BriPro says:

    While I’m in rant mode …..

    Vanek?
    Who would like to keep this guy at $7MM. or more?

    Oh sure, there was a lot of enthusiasm in his helping us get to the playoffs (guilty as charged), but then, as they say ….

    There are those who get you to the playoffs, and there are those who get you the prize.

    He’s obviously not a prize seeker. If he was, he wouldn’t have made his brain-dead move of trying a set-up pass to Pleks (?) when he had an open alley all the way to Lundquist, with absolutely no one in the same timezone. A full break-away, and he throws it away.

    If my TV wasn’t so damned expensive, I think I would have taken it out on it.

    ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
    That is some of the most Free-range, Organically-grown, Disingenuous,
    Idealogically-marinated, Un-Self-awareness I’ve ever seen in the wild.

    – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

    • HardHabits says:

      Vanek has underwhelmed these play-offs. Unless he’s playing with a broken something not a signing I’d be interested in seeing the Habs making by the looks of things up to now.

    • New says:

      The guys who profit from the Vanek trade are the Islanders. Short term possibility for long term probability. Is Gainey around to take questions about McDonough? Bergeron knows the score. Win now or become a footnote in Club history.

      He’ll have to correct that by getting Crosby for future considerations :-)

      • nellis13 says:

        No true. He helped get us here and we got him for Cloberg who will probably never play n the NHL. He’s just not putting it on the line. He could be a difference maker if he gave a f$%^

    • habcertain says:

      a lot of passengers now, the guy he tried to pass to has done nothing noteworthy ( he is counted on to play offense, he is on the pp) in the playoffs, seems to be a trend but no one will knock him, just Vanek. What about DD? Markov doesn’t look like a $6m man either. Emelin picked it up yesterday, but has been sub sub par.

    • nellis13 says:

      I totally agree. Pleks had two guys on him. He should have gone to the net or taken a shot and crashed for the rebound. It felt like a “Here, you take it” pass.

    • CH Marshall says:

      This is going to sound incredibly negative, but Vanek will do what he can to end the series by Saturday

  38. SteverenO says:

    reposted from last thread:

    ****************************
    Some interesting stats on the penalty kill:

    After a great season killing penalties, the team is unable to keep the the opponents PP from depositing the puck in our own net of late.

    We have played shorthanded for a total of 55 minutes and 33 seconds in the post season and have allowed the opponents a total of 9 PP goals. An average of approximately one PP GA every 6 minutes.

    One particular defense pairing that DID NOT play together hardy at all on the penalty kill all season long -have become our number one defense pairing to kill penalties. They have played together for 30:51 of the 55:33 total short handed time. and have been on the ice, together, for 8 of those 9 PP goals allowed.

    The pairing is Gorges and Weaver; They have been abysmal together on the PK with an average of one PP GA every 3.875 minutes.

    When these two are NOT on the ice together killing penalties the team has allowed only one goal in 25 minutes of short handed play.

    As for the forwards: during the regular season, Plekanec and Gionta played together killing penalties for 59 minutes and during that time only 3 PP goals were scored against us. Thtas an average of one PP goal against per 20 minutes of short handed time.

    In the playoffs, the forward pairing of Gionta and Plekanec have played together for ( corrected typo) less than 13 minutes and allowed 5 PP goals against.

    There are many ways that this information can be interpreted;
    Plek and Gionta played together all season along with a dozen different players inserted on their left wing, but have been separated (at even strength) since the playoffs began. Perhaps this has something to do with their inability to kill penalties?

    Or perhaps, it is due to the fact that during the season they never played with Weaver and Gorges?

    regardless of your interpretation of the data, the only thing that is absolutely clear is that this pairings MUST not continue. Gorges, Weaver, Gionta, Plekanec should NEVER be on the ice together to kill penalties together any more.

    Those who have seen my posts for th epoast two seasons knwo that I am NOT a fan of Therrien, especially when it comes to personnel decisions, and ice time management.

    I am starting to feel that it is NOT all Therrien’s fault. there are enough assistant coaches, and assistant managers, at hat someone should be pointing out these things to the coach.

    for example,

    question 1: (answers below)

    Does Therrien, (or you) know
    which has been our most productive and efficient forward line(s) in the regular season (at even strength)?

    question 2: (answers below)
    Does Therrien, (or you) know
    which has been our most productive and efficient forward lines in the playoffs (at even strength)?

    Answers-Question 1:

    Briere/Plekanec/ Gionta were the Habs best forward line during the regular season:

    Briere/Plekanec/Gionta TOI 181:25 +10
    Pacioretty/ Desharnais/Vanek TOI 190:07 +7

    No othe line combo was better than a plus (+) 2 over the course of the regular season.

    Answer- Question 2:
    There have been only 5 line combinations that have a plus rating , meaning that they have been on ice for more goals scored , than allowed.
    Moen/ Briere/ Weise TOI 10:17 +1
    Prust/Briere/Weise TOI 19:34 +1
    Bournival/ Briere/Weise TOI 30:10 +2
    Pacioretty/ Desharnais/ Gallagher TOI 79:56 +2
    Bourque/ Eller/ Gionta TOI 153:09 +1

    It would seem to me that either Briere and Weise should be getting more ice time with anyone on the left wing, or alternatively they should be moved to a spot on of the top three lines.

    The fact that the team won two series despite NOT using their most effective players is a testament to how good a team they are, It is also a testament to a team that lacks the organizational know how to follow and act upon basic performance metrics.

    These are not “advanced” stats. They are the most basic , and the most important of all stats, goals scored, and goals allowed.

    Personally, I don”t believe that the so called advanced, or possession, stats are all that important, or even useful.

    For example a forward line breaks out of their zone three quick passes one shot and a goal. The next line dumps the puck in the opponents zone, fore checks and keeps the puck in mostly along the boards for 45 seconds managing to get 4 weak shots on net from bad angles. According to the advanced stats guys; the line that got 4 weak shots and no goals were much better than the line that got one shot and made it count.

    I am not saying that looking deeper into the stats is a bad thing, but, far and away, the MOST important stats is goals scored and allowed.

    For a coach, and a team, to pay so little attention to who is on the ice when goals are scored, and allowed, is unacceptable.

    Mike Weaver has been on the ice for 11 goals in 164 minutes of even strength play. average a goal every 15 minutes.

    Markov has been on for 5 goals in 267 minutes, an average of one goal every 53 minutes.

    BOUILLON: 7 GF in 84 minutes — average 12 MpGF
    Weaver: 11 GF in 165 minutes– average 15 MpGF
    Beaulieu: 2 GF in 36 minutes-=- average 18 MpGF
    Gorges: 14 GF in 266 minutes –average 19 MpGF
    Subban: 12 GF in 282 minutes– average 24 MpGF
    Murray: 1 GF in 31 minutes — average 31 MpGF
    Emelin: 7 GF in 260 minutes average 37 MpGF
    Markov: 5 GF in 267 minutes- average 53 MpGF

    When the team is trailing and needs to score, the coach has been playing Emelin and Markov more than Weaver, Bouillon, Beaulieu, etc.

    Markov has been rendered almost useless, offensively due to having been drastically overused, both in the. He is regular season and the playoffs. He is good enough, and smart enough to NOT be a defensive liability, but he is unable to contribute to a 5 on 5 offense at this time.

    What I don:t understand is why, at the very least, they don”t play Markov on the right side and allow Emelin to lay his natural left side. When is the last time you saw Markov skate with the puck? Why is Emelin forced to be the puck carrier of that duo and yet play on his wrong side?
    This is BAD coaching decisions guys. Blame it on Therrien or blame it on the organization, there is no such thing in sports , or any other business, where an organization that does not monitor AND ACT UPON, performance metrics can achieves its maximum potential.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • BJ says:

      Steve O thanks for the data and all the research, indeed interesting.

    • habcertain says:

      this on-going data further exemplifies MT is just a go with your gut kind of coach, and once he has made up his mind (see Briere) you just wont see the guy on the ice with the right players at the right time. He is not a science guy, old school, or he just doesn’t understand how to interpret data.

      • Cal says:

        He’s just made it to the Conference Finals again, so MT obviously knows SFA compared to these guys watching the game with their calculators. What a heavy load of crap.

        • habcertain says:

          yes, see Price……you actually think without him this year we are in the position we are? look when he was injured, look yesterday.

  39. AllHailTheFlower says:

    I, like many others I’m sure, take lineup suggestions with a grain of salt. However, IMO, having Bournival sit to make room for Galchenyuk was the wrong decision – it should have been Prust or Briere.

    So, heretofore is the recipe for Canadiens success for the remainder of the series:

    Vanek – Desharnais – Pacioretty
    Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher
    Bourque – Eller – Gionta
    Bournival – White – Weise

    Subban – Gorges
    Markov – Emelin
    Bealieu – Weaver

    Simple as that! :)

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I would put Chucky back with Eller and Gionta back with Pleks. Pleks line isn’t creating much offense so they may as well be a full shut down line

  40. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Budaj on Thursday. Therrien was hoping for magic; Tokarski was merely good. He will want to see if maybe Budaj can steal a game and provide some playoff magic allowing the Habs to get on a roll. Also, Budaj has the experience to weather the storm on the road. This way he has given both of his back ups a chance to steal a game and isn’t exposed by those who ask what if… What if Budaj can? What if his team mates want him to have his chance too? Only one way to find out. Put in Budaj. And now Tokarski has been bloodied in a playoff battle and won’t be a deer in the headlights subbing in on the road if the wheels fall off. Oh and the Habs have to start scoring goals too and they might be more confident with Budaj. So that’s decided then….

    24 cups and counting….

    • habcertain says:

      should have thought about that in game 2, to put your number 2 guy in as the 3rd option doesn’t appear to be too smart, we just needed solid goaltending not a miracle. now we are going to need a miracle. the whole move sound desperate, when it wasn’t required and Budaj is a team mate that the boys liked, got to wonder how it played in Peoria, as they say.

  41. BriPro says:

    MT’s MO has been questioned all year. And yet, here is a team that no one ranked higher than a “borderline playoff team” in the division final. And IMO, if not for the fact that we’ve lost Price for the rest of the playoffs, I don’t see how we couldn’t be cheering a Stanley Cup final.

    Putting in Tokarsky instead of Budaj was a crap shoot, and I think it was a smart move. He has pedigree written all over his resume. He’s won everywhere he goes.

    And we saw what happened last year when Budaj was put into a playoff pressure situation. So I don’t think it’s a bad move. And if anyone is hanging this loss on the kid, answer me this:

    Even with Price in nets, would the first (lucky deflection) goal have been stopped? I doubt it.

    So, is it not possible that the team would have lost anyhow, or at least gone to overtime, given that the team could only pot one goal?

    ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
    That is some of the most Free-range, Organically-grown, Disingenuous,
    Idealogically-marinated, Un-Self-awareness I’ve ever seen in the wild.

    – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

  42. We win games 3-5, why? Because PK, Pacioretty, and Vanek are gonna be BEASTS and Henny Lundqvist will suck to high heaven…..

    Prust out, Whitie in, do it Coach.

    Shane Oliver
    @sholi2000
    http://www.sholi2000.com
    A Little fun during the Intermission
    Don’t Poke The Bear

  43. montreal ace says:

    I wonder if the Habs had won, would they have been given a 2 day vacation lol

  44. montreal ace says:

    Lundqvist is taller then Tokarski, but the latter is stockier, I call the size issue a wash.

  45. Maritime Ronn says:

    Coach Therrien said:
    ” “Yes, the first game was tough for us, emotionally it was tough for us, physically it was tough for us,” he said. “We didn’t get much time between Game 7 and Game 1….”
    ——————–
    It would be hard to argue with Coach MT on that point – beating the Bruins was incredibly emotional, almost mini Stanley Cup win for the Habs, yet what about the Rangers?

    This was a team that was losing 3-1 to arch-rival Pittsburgh, then went on to win 3 straight games in 5 nights – where 2 of those games were on the road – Game 5, and the deciding Game 7 was played in Pittsburgh.
    Talk about emotion….
    The Rangers had 1 more extra day off than the Habs, and had to start at the Bell Centre.

    Home Ice advantage?
    Somehow, it would have been better if the Habs had started on the road. ( see Tampa-Boston)
    When a Conference #4 meets a Conference #5 in the Conference Finals, anything can happen.

    IF the Habs get a Game 5, it’s time to go back to Charles Prévost Linton…Ginette has run her course.

  46. nellis13 says:

    Playing Tokarski is an investment and the smart thing to do. I hate to say we’re not going to win the series but the odds are 1 in 6 so we may as well kick Tokarski tiers and showcase him a bit at the same time. There’s really no upside in playing Budja.

    • HabsPooch says:

      Not a fan of his size and how small he plays in goal. Nash’s goal should have been stopped and is the type of goal that deflates a team…

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        When a team scores 1 goal, it doesn’t usually win.
        With Price in nets this season, the Habs won 2 games and lost 11 when they scored 1 goal.

      • Cal says:

        Actually, if you watch Nash’s goal you’ll see how Gorges didn’t pick him up like he ought to have. He went right, where Subban’s man was. Not on the goalie. Oh, and Gorges deflected the first one, too, in case you were wondering.

        • nellis13 says:

          You can’t fault him on any of the 3 goals. He’s taking a bit of crap over the Nash goal but honestly it would have been a highlight save if he made it. Nash was way out on the wing all alone and it was a rocket pass and an even faster shot.
          I thought he settled down as the game went on so I see no reason to play Budja in game 3.

          • Cal says:

            Gorges should have had Nash. He didn’t and it cost a late period goal.

          • habcertain says:

            Toker should have had that, it went in right under his arm, was a big deflating goal, Nash threw a wrist shot form the dot. also on the St. Louis goal he had almost half the net to shoot at, Toker looks very small in the nets.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            so easy from the cheap sheets to blame Toker.
            How many games have you played in nets beyond a dream?

  47. Slackman says:

    Have faith in the Toker. He’s only going to get better.

  48. 24 Cups says:

    The play of PK Subban is still perplexing to me. At any given time he can fluctuate between heroic highlights and bumbling basics. I hope next year is his “Carey Price” year where is matures and excels in all facets of the game.

    Gorges was our best Dman for a few of those Bruin games. He stumbled last night but I’m giving him a mulligan. The fact that Subban plays out of position at times also puts added heat on Gorges.

    Markov is a sublime passer. He also sees the ice well and plays with lots of smarts. That is counterbalanced by a bit of slowness and a lack of physicality. Emelin’s future is best served as a stay at home defenseman. Guys blow by him when he’s caught up ice.

    Weaver gets a contract for next year and Beaulieu will never play another game in Hamilton. The Habs certainly aren’t losing because of these two guys.

    24.6 Cups

  49. habsfan0 says:

    Therrien says Lundqvist played a “phenomenal game.”
    I disagree.
    Habs let him see EVERYTHING .
    You have to screen this guy to get anything past him.
    For some reason,the Canadiens just didn’t do that.

  50. 24 Cups says:

    I don’t want to sound like TIMO here but I would have held an afternoon practice. The 1st and 2nd defensive units need to work on some issues. Forwards abound up front who need to work on scoring goals. Not to mention the PP and PK. Both goalies need to work to shake off the rust.

    Our best player last night was probably DD. Our steadiest defensive pairing was probably Weaver and Beaulieu in terms of not screwing up. That reality isn’t going to get you to the Cup final.

    There is a two day break between games 2 and 3 as well as games 3 and 4. Travelling to NYC is no big deal. A focussed practice today wouldn’t have hurt anybody.

    24.6 Cups

  51. Tomi says:

    I cannot believe it; another day off for these underachievers?
    This team is an effin joke!!!

    Is Michael Therrien still the coach of this team?

  52. Mr_MacDougall says:

    MT should put PK at forward for Game 3 and insert Murray.

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  53. Darren Dragger says:

    Darren Dragger ‏@DarrenDragger 2h

    Leafs’ Dave Nonis still looking for big #1 center, shutdown dman. Watching Worlds, Kadri, Rielly, Reimer. Oh, Canucks to name Jim Benning GM nex

    Darren Dragger, Insider

    If you’re not inside, you’re outside!

  54. Timooo says:

    Like the habs, I was almost first…

  55. Furk says:

    First..

    On another note, I’m really hoping the Habs can turn it around. I’m thinking they’ll stick with Tokarski. Even though Budaj has played well during the regular season, he doesn’t seem to fare well when the team is counting on him under high pressure scenarios. This is looking like the collapse against the Senators in the first round last year.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Tokarski looks very young and very small. However, he has some history of winning big games. Budaj is a classic backup – good for 15 games and hope for a 9-6 record. Is he going to pull off a miracle? Probably not.

      If one of the two wants to leave this summer, so be it. There is an overstocked goalie market right now so there will be some cheap talent available come August.

      24.6 Cups

      • Furk says:

        I think the problem is Tokarski plays small too. He was aggressive at times, but his rebound control was poor. I’m not blaming the kid, but he’s not ready for the big stage. There were times where he made the saves, but he made them look more difficult than they actually were, and there were times where he had no clue where the puck was. It’s not looking good at this point. It’s happened in the playoffs where goalies have come out of nowhere and stolen games, but I don’t think we have anyone like that in the pipeline.

        • 24 Cups says:

          It’s hard to see through a goalie mask but the kid looked very young and petrified. You could see it in his eyes.

          MT is between a rock and a hard place here. None of the teams in the final four are winning the Cup if they have to depend on their backup for eight more wins.

          24.6 Cups

          • olematelot says:

            This kid has been on the big stage before, doubt very much he was “petrified”

  56. BriPro says:

    This is a good omen…

    ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
    That is some of the most Free-range, Organically-grown, Disingenuous,
    Idealogically-marinated, Un-Self-awareness I’ve ever seen in the wild.

    – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Okay, I will agree with this!

      • BriPro says:

        Thank you for your support! :)

        ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
        That is some of the most Free-range, Organically-grown, Disingenuous,
        Idealogically-marinated, Un-Self-awareness I’ve ever seen in the wild.

        – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT


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