Habs going for fifth straight win against Sabres

The Canadiens hit the ice for a morning skate Saturday in Brossard as they prepare to face the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Rene Bourque, who is still recovering from an upper-body injury, did not take part in the skate.

The Canadiens will be going for their fifth straight win when the face the Sabres, who have one win in their last eight games. The Canadiens are 8-0-1 in their last nine games, earning 17 of a possible 18 points.

The Canadiens beat the Sabres 3-1 on Nov. 27 in Buffalo in the first meeting between the teams this season. After Saturday’s game, they won’t meet again until March.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien would not confirm his game lineup after the morning skate. Carey Price will start in goal for the Canadiens and Jhonas Enroth will be in the Sabres net.

“For us, our main focus is the way we play, and there is still room to improve,” Therrien told reporters after the morning skate. “There are still things I believe we can work on with our team and we want to get better. It’s not about the Buffalo Sabres; it’s about us and making sure we’re a good team.”

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at the morning skate:

Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher
Galchenyuk-Eller-Briere
Bournival-Plekanec-Gionta
Moen-Prust-Parros/White

Emelin-Markov
Bouillon-Subban
Gorges-Diaz/Murray

Fans of the 24CH show will have three chances to watch the latest episode on Saturday, which will air at 4:30 p.m. on CTV in English, and 6:30 p.m. on Canal D and 10:30 p.m. on RDS in French. You can also watch the Hamilton Bulldogs take on the Toronto Marlies in AHL action at 5 p.m. on TVA Sports.

(Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)

Habs vs. Sabres preview, NHL.com

Game notes, buffalosabres.com

Morning skate interviews (video), Canadiens.com

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

Sportsnet’s Kypreos likes Subban for Olympic team, Stu on Sports blog

Subban focus of new documentary-style film, Stu on Sports blog

Eller an unsung hero for Habs, by Pat Hickey

Behind the scenes of the Muray-Scott fight (video), Canadiens.com

Chris Nilan offers tips for fighting Sabres’ Scott on HIO Show

Sabres Notebook, Buffalo News

Beyond Blue & Gold (video), buffalosabres.com

Dryden talks about pressure of playing for Habs, Stu on Sports blog

Gretzky needs to find right role in NHL, by Pat Hickey

Kypreos stepping into big spotlight with Sportsnet, by Stu Cowan

Bruins’ Boychuk sidelined with back sprain, NHL.com

 

141 Comments

  1. munch17 says:

    Bill: I was merely stating that it is entertaining reading all HIO posters playing GM and coach.
    In fact you do that rather often.
    And I agree that the only trade that would make sense is Pacs for Kane – although I would throw in DD.
    I think we would be a better team without DD – I would have no problem with him as a 3rd line center ( although he is not the prototypical third line center). The problem is he can function only with the top wingers and eats up top PP play time – where he is not very effective. In fact since his resurrection our PP has gone south.

    • twilighthours says:

      Since desharnais’ resurrection, the team has won 8 of 9, patches has 9 goals in that span, and the team has taken over first spot. But the big thing to notice is that the PP has gone south?

  2. Jed says:

    Gotta love our depth, we’ve easily got 10-11 top 9 forwards. I’ve actually liked what I’ve seen from Bourque this year, but his injury doesn’t really slow us down at all with Bournival fitting so easily into any of the top 3 lines. And while Prust is probably best suited to the 4th line, he could figure into the top 9 on any given day as well.

  3. JarryPark says:

    Just left the Irish Embassy. Who is hosting the pre game show? Tim the bartender did not know.

    Toss up between The Cage or Irish Embassy for the pre game drink fest.

  4. Bill says:

    Just read that Globe Sports story about how there aren’t good Canadian goalies anymore.

    Hey, I know a pretty good Canadian goalie!

    • The Jackal says:

      On the bright side, at least they didn’t anoint Bernier and Reimer as the great Canadian goalies of our time.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Bill

      The story had nothing to do with your statement ” There aren’t good Canadian goalies anymore” yet had everything to do with how Canada has fallen behind for a multitude of reasons – some being cost and actual awareness and development

  5. Bill says:

    Naweed: you would rather play Bournival than Jagr?

  6. Maritime Ronn says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  7. CynicalHabsfan says:

    Hoping it’ll be Murray again tonight instead of Bouillon. I like Frankie B but Murray is clearly the better all-around defenseman, and honestly I’d rather see Tinordi or Beaulieu get another shot than continue rotating Murray and Bouillon. I know the kids are getting a lot more minutes in Hamilton, but wouldn’t they also benefit from playing against nhl competition?

    I’m not sure if we could get anything for FB and I know MT is in love with him, but I really don’t think he’s worth keeping around.

    Although if we did get rid of him at least 3 of our dmen would get hurt within a week.

  8. Ton says:

    amazing people’s expectations of players……trade him to here there and everywhere……its a long season folks>not one player can game in and game out make an impact……….Borque is the type of player you want for a long playoff run! Big size that can skate…………on pace for a 20 goal season! Just wait >Gallager plays like a young Gionta….at this pace he will be beat up by the time he is 25…….think he will pace himself for a long NHL career soon…absolutely he will! There’s the early years….usually you are green at this time and will do anything to make a team and than there is the comfort level years where you do what is necessary to keep you in the NHL..sad but true!

  9. Bill says:

    Our top-three RW spots are currently held by Gallagher, Gionta, and Briere.

    I would have no trouble slotting in Jagr for Gionta. He would have to play with Pleks.

    Bournival and Bourque sit. Bourque is usually injured anyhow.

    The Habs are incredibly tiny at RW. I’d love to see Jagr out there. He’s still a moose and still has skills. He’s hard to handle.

  10. Caesar says:

    I will be stuck in Edmonton until the 20th anyone know any good bars that would show the Habs? Or any good watering holes altogether?

  11. montreal ace says:

    I would like to know if Ryan White, is going to score a goal this year. I am going to look at his game closely tonight, as it seems he gets good ice time with no production. I like the guy but his improvement has been limited to taking less penalties, just a touch more offence from him please.

  12. slyCH says:

    Can this MT quote be used for fodder by the Sabres coach?

    It’s not about the Buffalo Sabres; it’s about us and making sure we’re a good team.”

    Kinda says the Sabres are an insignificant opponent on the way to sure victory while fine tuning our game. Not worthy of worry. Naaaa, it’s just the Sabres. Carry on.

    • D Mex says:

      Doesn’t say that at all :
      Coaches preach that their players / teams can only control what they do in games – they don’t control the opposition, and they sure don’t control the officials.
      Anyone with experience in team sports knows this – especially a Coach of Ted Nolan’s calibre.

      ALWAYS Habs -
      D Mex

    • Adidess says:

      Does not say that in the least. We should worry about our game, not focus on the opponent is something coaches say in one way or another before basically every game.

  13. Bill says:

    Munch: That’s funny, there three kinds of posts that drive me crazy, and they are line combinations, trade proposals, and relentlessly negative posts about a single player by the same guy over and over.

    The line combinations drive me because it seems like some people think hockey is as simple as the xBox version. Like a simple HIO poster has some insight that would completely elude professional coaches.

    The trade proposals are almost always transparently moronic and laughable. The only realistic one I’ve seen lately is Pacioretty for Kane. Which I wouldn’t do. But usually, the proposal is more like Gorges and Moen for Kane. Oh, I forgot to throw in a 6th round pick there.

    The negative posts are self-explanatory.

  14. twocents says:

    Regarding Jagr, I tend to agree with Steve. I don’t think he’d be a great fit. His presence would demand someone sit and in the event that we are healthy come playoff time, I don’t see that as a good thing, given current team chemistry.

    Looking at obvious sellers and focusing on rental types, I’d prefer a player like a Ryan Smyth, Matt Stajan, Brad Boyes, or Marcel Goc. Basically a player who can pot some goals, not add to our vertically challenged ranks, play a role, but who can be sat without causing a fuss.

    On D, a solid third paring guy who can move up to second pair when needed would be ideal. Someone again with decent size, but no need for a giant. Tallinder would be nice or Shultz would do.

    I would prefer to lose a second tier prospect or 2nd-3rd rounder for these players rather than mess with the Nhl lineup.

    However, I would consider getting a slighter better forward, in the 28-32 year old range, with a mind to a few years service, and give up more, including a roster player, if the price was reasonable. I could see some need to change our forwards up a bit next year, but on D I think long term investments would be a mistake given the need to graduate some of our prospects next year.

    This might be the time to use or organizational depth in a productive way, instead of some desperate attempt to simply make the playoffs.

    And, I’d make the move soon or in early January to avoid last minute prices.

  15. John Q Public says:

    101!!!

  16. DipsyDoodler says:

    I’m probably going to get killed for this, but I’m very disappointed in Brandon Prust this season.

    He was awesome last year – a real presence, stood up for his teammates, but he also played hockey. He was terrific on the PK and was credible when he moved up to the top 6.

    This year he seems slow and unskilled. He cannot keep up with Eller and Chucky. He fights too much – I wonder if he is always playing slightly injured.

    He needs to stop fighting and concentrate on hockey.

  17. The Jackal says:

    Just finished writing the LSAT. What a slog! So glad it’s done. Picked up my Xbone on the way back so that was awesome. All in all, a good day. Now time to hit the LCBO and do my best front impression. Cheers HIO.

  18. Prairienewf says:

    -30 something here in Red Deer. + 27 in Miami today. WIMPS!!

  19. Hobie Hansen says:

    Nice little treat the the Dogs game is on @ 5:30 P.M.
    Good excuse to crack the beer early!

  20. DipsyDoodler says:

    Rene Bourque: 6 goals in 23 games = 21 goals / season.

    For a 3rd liner who doesn’t see any PP time that is very good.

  21. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ ooder

    Perhaps another way to look at the concern of the Markov big minutes being played this year, and the worry about being burned out come playoff time.

    Markov will turn 35 in 13 days, yet the bigger question may be: How old is Markov’s ‘Hockey Body’?

    Even though Markov had major surgeries, he ended up not having the hockey ‘wear and tear’ against his body for the past 4 years.

    During the past 4 years not counting this year, Markov played 113 NHL games, which was a huge 181 games less than a full schedule during those 4 years.

    That is the equivalent of 2 full 82 game seasons + 17 games.
    If some are counting his 21 KHL games last year before the lockout ended, it is still equivalent to NOT playing for 2 full NHL season of games.

    In terms of the tough playoff hockey, Markov has only played 13 playoff games over the past 4 seasons.

    Put in perspective, the Bruins soon to be (3 months) 37 year old Chara, has played 66 playoff games + 288 NHL season games and 25 KHL games in that same period of time.

    In the past 4 regular seasons, Chara has logged + 25 minutes per game, and during the past 4 years of playoffs, has logged between 27:21-29:42 average minutes per game.

    Markov will be just fine.
    Not to worry, as his knees look great.

    • ooder says:

      thanks maritime!
      that’s a super positive way to look at it..
      let’s hope you are right, because we will need him come playoff time for sure.

      • CynicalHabsfan says:

        Markov has played fewer games over the past four years because he’s been INJURED REPEATEDLY. I’m not a doctor and I won’t pretend to know anything about reconstructive knee surgery, but I cringe every time he gets hit. It’s definitely a “glass half full” type of argument to say that all that time he missed because of injuries makes him less prone to injury now.

  22. munch17 says:

    The most fun part of this blog is to read speculations re lines and trades.
    Of course now that the team is doing so well the thinking is- why trade anyone.
    Of course when the team is doing badly and everyone is slumping the values go down.
    So this would be a perfect time to look at trades that could improve the team in the long run.
    For instance two weeks ago no one would consider trading for DD……..

  23. JF says:

    Can’t remember the last time the Habs had a five-game winning streak. No matter how well the team is playing, they always seem to stop at four.

    But the game this week that worries me is Philly, where we play on Thursday and where we almost never win.

  24. Curtoph says:

    Anyone have a link for 24 CH (english or french) from last weekend? episode 9 I think it was?

  25. Bill says:

    24 Cups: Jagr has always been a good playoff producer. Last year not so much, but I just don’t think he was a good fit on that team.

    Who would sit? Whomever is injured I guess.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Bill – It’s not so much that I’m against Jagr, it’s just that I think the team should make other moves.

      Jagr is lighting it up in Jersey because he’s basically the front tier of the team’s offense. He could be worn out by the time April rolls around.

  26. ooder says:

    dunno about you guys but i am a little worried about Markov’s ice time. He isn’t a spring chicken anymore and he will be playing top minutes in the olympics. I hope he doesn’t burn out by the time the playoffs roll around

  27. punkster says:

    Why split the D pairings in practice?
    - give them practice at something different, challenge them to keep them sharp
    - give them practice with alternatives for PK and PP duties just in case
    - for shits and giggles

    Whatever the reason it’s practice…I mean it is practice, you know…one practice, you know…we talkin’ about practice…

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

  28. FANHABULOUS says:

    Some posters who say “MB does not need to make any trades… the team is playing sooo well” are both right, and wrong. Just because the team is playing well, doesn’t mean that he’s relieved from having to secure the team’s assets. Here’s an example:

    What if, in preliminary talks with Markov, he finds out that Markov is looking for a 4 year deal at 6.5M a year. MB offers 3years at 6M, but Markov refuses and suggests to MB that he’s gonna test the free market. In this scenario, there’s no way MB would just hold onto him for a playoff run and lose him for absolutely nothing (nor should he…imagine the furor if he doesn’t get something for such a valuable player…isn’t that exactly what we derided the Goat about?!).

    Anyhow, even though he wouldn’t WANT to, MB might HAVE to make a trade right now if he thinks it’s going to maximize his return. Even if that means making a trade on a winning team. This applies to others as well… imagine Diaz asking for 3.5M for 6 years, or (god forbid) Subban insists on 10M a year for 8. MB might think these are not reasonable, and would be forced to make trades.

    So…stop hating on people who make some trade suggestions… just because the team is winning doesn’t mean changes aren’t coming.

    ____________________________________
    “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

  29. Stevie.Ray says:

    Would you trade for Jagr at the deadline? Good top six guy that would look good with Pleks and Gio. How much would it cost?

    Would you trade for Ott at the deadline? Add some grit and hole down the fourth line. But At what price?

    Would you sign either of them in the off season?

    • Bill says:

      I would certainly trade for Jagr. The price will depend. If several teams are calling for Jagr, the Devils might be able to get a low 1st-round pick, or a 2nd-round pick and a prospect.

      If the universe unfolds as it should, a 2nd rounder ought to do it. Just depends on whose pick they want.

      Remember that Jersey has to forfeit their 1st-rounder this year.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • 24 Cups says:

      As I have said before, Jagr failed to score in 20 playoff games last year. That might just be bad luck or the fact that it’s a different kind of game in the post season. You also have to ask who would sit. It isn’t going to be Briere so that just leaves Gionta of Gallagher. They’re not going to be out of the lineup for Jagr. As well, Bourque can also play both wings.

      I don’t think Jagr is what the team needs in terms of bringing in more depth for the playoffs.

    • SPATS says:

      If I’m MB and Yags has a good deep run in Sochi, and if Pleks is pumping his tires to me … yes

      OOH AAH – ULTRAMAN’S ON THE WARPATH
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc_kqPcRVIo!

  30. thebonscott says:

    Glad we didn’t sign clowe, looks like his career is in jeopardy, and woohhoooo Connor Crisp, 2 more goals last night, that guy is gonna be the steal of the draft.

    For the sake of all that is right, please put the comment box on upper right of page!!!!!

  31. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Why split up Subby and Markov???

  32. Stevie.Ray says:

    Eric Engels reported that Habs and Blue Jackets have been talking trade for weeks. I don’t know how credible he is, but at least he’s not anonymous. Everyone seems to think its Foligno and Bourque that are involved. Seems like a wash to me. I looked at CBJ depth chart and it doesn’t seem to me like they have anyone that would be a boost to our team, and realistically could be had (So no Horton, Murray, or Rychel).

    But I found it nice to hear that these things take weeks to figure out.

    • thebonscott says:

      Engels is reputable, but you are right, a trade with them is probably not a gamechanger…….who knows

      For the sake of all that is right, please put the comment box on upper right of page!!!!!

    • Lazarus_taxa says:

      If we got foligno, he would lead our team in hits (64). Until Emelin eclipses everyone, but still. We would be getting a physical forward with some skill. I would be all for a trade for foligno.

    • JF says:

      If it were Foligno for Bourque straight up, I’d do it. Foligno plays with more of a edge than Bourque and I don’t think he disappears the way Bourque tends to.

      • Ian_Habs4life says:

        Maybe just getting rid of Bourques contract would be good enough. Foligno carries almost the same cap hit but for less term. Foligno is done after 2014-2015 & Bourque is done after 2015-2016. Im also sort of getting fed up of Bourques Ryder-esque play….

  33. adamkennelly says:

    Does Parros skate tonight?

    I’m on the fence – I think he should be won’t be upset if he doesn’t. Scott is useless and we have plenty in the line-up to deal with the rest of the Sabres.

  34. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    38th! Don’t we have better things to be doing on a Saturday afternoon? ;-)

    Go Habs!

  35. montreal ace says:

    I find many people want to just throw Bourque into a trade, as they think he is not a good player. I would like MT to trade him from L to R wing, and see how he would produce. He has a wonderful shot and speed to burn, plus I also think he is just starting to feel comfortable in Montreal.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am worried the upper body injury is still concussion related and not the shoulder. We have not been able to see a healthy Bourque for many extended periods of time. There is something about the guy I like (perhaps that natural shot of his), but I still maintain/worry that he hasn’t been himself since the concussion, a result of that moron in T.O. named Orr. (Can’t believe he is from Winnipeg….)

      • dr. gesundheit says:

        It would be a litlle easier to take (from our perspective) if it hadn’t been an unwarranted “out of the blue” sucker punch when he was moving in to the scrum area to defend Plek.

      • montreal ace says:

        I worry about that hit also and if there are lingering problems from it. I can see him as a replacement for Gionta next year, if he gets physically whole. I really liked what I was seeing in his last two games and his wrist shot is very accurate.

      • Phil C says:

        It looked like a shoulder to me on the hit in question. They were working the shoulder on the bench as well and he didn’t look comfortable. Not that his head is not a concern, but the shoulder seems likely right now.

      • zephyr says:

        pretty sure3 it’s his shoulder. saw the replay of the hit he took in the corner.

  36. Say Ash says:

    This is a hilarious preview of tonight’s game:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/scores/gameday/?hubname=nhl-canadiens

    Check out the “who’s hot” section

  37. calvee123 says:

    I like todays poll question. I had to answer yes, cause I have seen the Canadiens win the cup this year, in my dream about a month and a half ago. So, I think they can.

    I like the way Cary Price has been playing in goal. I thought the last time I watched them play and seen Cary Price play, I thought, man he sure looks to me like Dryden used to look. So poised, confident. I think it looks good.

  38. Rad says:

    After that big win against Boston, Habs need to be careful to not come out flat against the Sabres. Another big game coming up Tuesday night against a very good L.A. Kings team.

  39. 24 Cups says:

    It’s a game like tonight that makes me leery. Montreal is on an unreal winning streak, playing at home against a cellar dwelling team that is starting it’s back-up goalie. All logic dictates a Hab win but…..

    It might be time for the headmaster to invoke his reverse jinx when he posts his game time blog later today. Just to be safe.

  40. Mattyleg says:

    I say we give Winnipeg whatever they want for Evander Kane.

    That way I don’t have to listen to any more foolish unfounded ‘rumours’ (read ‘fabrications’).

    My convenience and peace of mind are of primary importance.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The trade mill is a flying here these days isn’t it? Part of me thinks the only impetus for a trade will be if MB has difficulty signing any of the players needed to be resigned.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Yes.
        Why people want to dismantle a winning team is beyond me.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I understand the temptation to bring in a bonafide scorer/elite talent, but given the patience displayed so far by MB, I suspect he wants to see exactly how this team develops before trading away key parts for an unknown part.

          I think we have one bonafide potential scorer in our farm system, that being Collberg, so again i understand the need to look at getting one. But the timing may not be right to move out what would be required.

          I guess this is why MB is paid to be GM and we are not.

        • sirs81 says:

          Due to last years playoff. And so many UFA coming up a t the end of the season.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Last year’s playoffs was because of injuries, not lack of talent.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • HabinBurlington says:

            @Matty, I think last years playoff was greatly affected by injuries, but I don’t think it was just that. Maclean (like him or not) had his team playing excellent hockey, we completely got off our game and as a result had our asses handed to us.

            Perhaps not the worst thing in the world, so long as much was learned from it. Everyteam is injured going into the playoffs, our team did not have the depth needed to help survive, that is part of being a team ready to make noise in the playoffs.

            We have more depth this season, and hopefully we are healthier going in. But I don’t agree in simply writing off the playoffs to injuries.

          • kalevine says:

            absolutely agreed Burl
            I think there was a lot going on in the Habs camp last playoff besides injuries. Some of that has been addressed, and some of it we won’t know till they get in another playoff series

        • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

          I don’t think Bergevin has any intention of “dismantling a winning team.” He just realizes (I’m guessing here, of course) that we desperately need a shooter from the half-boards. Because once teams become effective at pressuring Markov and Subban at the point, we’ll need someone capable of exploiting that vacated area.

          I don’t believe for an instant that he’ll trade one of our top players. His focus is always long-term. But the East is wide open this year. If he can land another sniper without giving up too much –say a two for one (we currently have a surplus of forwards) — then why not?

          But I don’t want Kane!

          I remember Dec. 31, 1975

          • ont fan says:

            People like to tinker with the roster. I’m afraid it won’t be cheap for a Kane. Someone that young will be a roster player, great prospect and high draft choices. Wouldn’t you want that for your top players?

      • Habitforming says:

        Arpon Basu tweeted the other day about the Habs and Jackets talking for a few weeks about some kind of trade. He didn’t specify who would be involved from either side, but he said it has been ongoing.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Hi Matty. I really enjoyed the ones where we traded Patches for a big forward who would score 30 goals. :)
      Trust babies are well?

  41. Maritime Ronn says:

    A wonderful article in the G&M on the decline of the Canadian goaltender, and how the Swedes/Finns and other European countries devised a plan to surpass Canada.

    What was also interesting is that the CHL – Canadian Major Junior hockey, has bannned the drafting of Europen goalies to allow North American goalies a better opportunity to develop.

    It sounds almost Cherryesque…

    http://tinyurl.com/k7789xy

  42. Habfan10912 says:

    30 games in is a pretty good measure of where a team stands. The biggest suprise for me so far has been Ottawa. After the way they dealt with injuries last season plus their playoff series against the Habs it looked like they were a team on the rise.
    What happened?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Morning Chief! Interesting thing about Ottawa, we hear MB and MT talk about Character, what is different about Ottawa this year? Okay goaltending isn’t as good, but the same goalies. Alfie isn’t there and Spezza is now the captain. Perhaps, there is some leadership in that room missing which hasn’t been replaced. No disrespect meant towards Spezza, but Alfie appeared to be a strong character/leader for that team.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Jim

      The answer may be this.

      Craig Anderson:

      Last year: GAA:1.69. SP: .941
      This year: GAA: 3.42. SP: .897

  43. Maritime Ronn says:

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

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

    It didn’t seem to hurt them in that 22 playoff game run to the Cup.
    Toews actually won the Conn Smythe.

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

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

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

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

    The Habs resume play on the 26th

  44. Danno says:

    If anyone has tickets for tonight’s game to sell – or knows who might have some that don’t cost an arm and a leg – please get in touch with Dennis Kane who is looking for some.

    ________________________________________

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

  45. jamman says:

    hopefully murray keeps his gloves on this time….no need to try and be a hero and get destroyed again

    • John Q Public says:

      He didn’t fight because he wanted to.
      He fought because he had to.
      Not the staged crap we usually see.

    • habsr4ever says:

      Need to get the two points tonight. Worried about a let down from the huge W vs the B’s on Thursday. Throw in 6 games in 9 nights. Geez. Eller and Galchenyuk are the keys to tonights game for the mighty CH. Price will be his usual self. PP needs to come thru as well.
      Rumors of Prust and Leblanc heading to the Peg aren’t going away. Not sure what else has to head their way to land Kane. Xmas trade freeze is coming. Get it done MB.

    • Ton says:

      Scott will get harassed tonight by a pack of confident wolves……i don’t know whom the Alpha will be but just watch…..our team is flying high with alot of confidence and there not going to back down………I think Murray want another shot at him!

  46. Thomas Le Fan says:

    First? Pffft. I have a life. I painted the bathroom ceiling before logging in. :D

    There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk but … there is fighting in hockey.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Painting a ceiling. Now there’s a real Joe job. You’re a better man than I am!

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        The wife’s painting the walls! It’s a division of labour based on height. New house, lots to do. Retirement is not for sissies.

        There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk but … there is fighting in hockey.

  47. John Q Public says:

    Premiere, here’s what you win
    Bubkis!!!!!

  48. Maritime Ronn says:

    Not to worry

    This is what John Lu reported earlier

    @JohnLuTSNMtl: #Habs back end vs. Buffalo:
    Markov – Subban
    Gorges – Emelin
    Murray – Diaz
    Price starting
    —–
    Moving forward with a healthy D unit, Bouillon is at best #6 against less physical teams, unless there are multiple injuries

  49. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Perhaps we have a Dman not feeling frisky today. If the IronMan is moving to 3rd pair for a game, could be the case. No issue with Emelin moving back up with Markov – that was terrific before the Lucic incident last yeaar. Can’t see the Cube playing top four unless an emergency situation. Who knows, MT could just be screwing with us, or perhaps there is a deal in the works, or perhaps MT is responding to a curfew situation, or several other reasons we have zero insight to.

  50. alain58 says:

    Because that stategy has been paying off over the last 12 games.

  51. JUST ME says:

    Why worry and doubt about what the coach wants to do ? Hasn`t he proven many times that this kind of panic is unjustified ? And how about him using his experience from the last game we played against them not so long ago ?

  52. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Sure – now u tell us after all the speculating I just did.

  53. Bill says:

    Maybe, but only if the Habs are thinking about letting Markov walk.

    Full Breezer 4 Life


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