Brière expected to return to Habs’ lineup against Predators

The Canadiens, coming off a 5-1 loss to the Blues Thursday night in St. Louis, practised Friday afternoon in Nashville as they prepared to face the Predators Saturday night (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Defenceman Josh Gorges didn’t join his teammates on the ice for practice, taking a “therapy day” instead. Andrei Markov celebrated his 35th birthday on the ice with his teammates.

After practice, coach Michel Therrien announced that defenceman Francis Bouillon will play against the Predators and forward Daniel Brière is also likely to play after both were healthy scratches in St. Louis. Bouillon has been a healthy scratch for the last five games, while Brière only sat out one game.

Carey Price will start in goal against the Predators.

Saturday will mark the first time the Canadiens have played in Nashville, the country-music capital of the world, since Nov. 12, 2011.

This will be the second and final meeting between the teams this season. The Predators beat the Canadiens 2-1 at the Bell Centre on Oct. 19 with rookie defenceman Seth Jones scoring the winning goal. In 35 games this season, Jones has 3-7-10 totals and is minus-10 while averaging 21:57 of ice time.

Here’s how the Canadiens’ lines and defence pairings looked at practice:



After Saturday’s game, the Canadiens will have a full week off for Christmas before visiting the Tampa Bay Lighting on Saturday, Dec. 28.

(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette) 

Bouillon gets spot back in lineup, by Pat Hickey

Markov the man of the year for Canadiens, by Dave Stubbs

Canadiens showed signs of progress in 2013, by Pat Hickey

Habs reach new TV deal with RDS, Hickey on Hockey Notebook

Habs vs. Predators preview,

Habs will have to hit high note in Nashville,

Slow start dooms Habs in St. Louis, by Pat Hickey

Penalty-kill the only good thing in St. Louis, by Pat Hickey

Ex-Hab Roberge arrested after defying driving ban,

Habs vs. Blues photo gallery,

30th anniversary of Guy Lafleur’s 500th career goal, Stu on Sports blog

Hockey and Honky Tonk in Nashville, Stu on Sports blog



  1. CH Marshall says:

    “19. Another interesting rule is what happens when a scout decides he doesn’t like a player. “We tell him to stop,” Kelley said. “Don’t go see him. We’re never not going to draft a player because a scout doesn’t like him … Go see guys you like. That’s how we build our board.”

    From Fried man’s 30 thoughts.. Could have been useful in regards to Mcdonaugh

  2. Eddie says:

    As long as our number one center is a defensive player, Plekanec, this team will always have long term issues scoring consistently.

    There is no way, none, that Desharnais can carry the offensive load long term, and especially in the playoffs. If he could, he would be the first 5’7 center in 50 years to do so.

    And Eller is not being given top line talent like Paccioretty, Galchenyuk, or Gallagher, our 3 best scoring forwards.

    Conclusion: Plekanec’s role on this team must be modified to bring more offence, or, Eller or Galchenyuk must assume the role of # 1 offensive center and Plekanec continues to play a defence first role.

    This is at the core of why the Habs always have trouble scoring.

    • habstrinifan says:


      I almost posted similar thoughts re Plekanec a few games ago. Not to ‘blame’ the player but to draw attention to your exact observation. Our number 1 forward in terms of TOI is Plekanec. I compared Plekanec’s TOI with that of Sidney Crosby mabe three games ago. (Was not a Pittsburgh vs Mtl but they were playing same nights at same time.) Plekanec had approximately the SAME TOI as Sidney Crosby… maybe a few minutes short. And I also noted that even if you consider Plekanec ‘has’ to be on the ice during PK kill… that game had maybe two or three PK’s that the HABS had to kill off. Meanwhile ALL other forwards on our team had at least 6:00 minutes less TOI than Plekanec.

      I held my observations/thoughts to myself for fear of the dreaded T WORD. While I attribute our scoring woes to many more issues, I agree that the fact that Plekanec, playing in the fashion he does and accepting the ‘level of production’ that he does is indicative of how little we value real offense.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Agree completely. Great post.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      removed, re-posted on new thread. 🙂

    • rogieshan says:

      Not only Plekanec, but, in essence, his linemate Gionta has also become a 5-million-dollar checking forward.

      I’ve always felt that Plekanec was more suited at a wing position, where he actually spent a bulk of his playing time while developing in Hamilton. We have four natural centers of this team: Eller, Briere, Galcehnyuk and Bournival.

  3. SPATS says:

    Preds are the lowest scoring team in the Power Packed west yet still have a half decent record at 16-16-3. Not too late for them to make a push with the right pieces.

    Who would you move/acquire?

    They seem like viable trading partners.

    Let’s start the trade rumors, I’ll go first – MT for Barry Trotz 😉


  4. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Six Canadian NHL clubs last season accounted for about 33 per cent of the $1.2 billion (U.S.) in league ticket revenue. WOW …

    FKing Buttman need us eh!


  5. 24 Cups says:

    The charges against Varlamov have been dropped. A Denver judge dismissed the case after the district attorney’s office motioned to have it thrown out, citing an inability to prove the case at trial. A spokeswoman for the DA’s office said they could not gather proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

  6. RAM_TOUGH says:

    When the Rogers deal was announced, we were promised no regionalization or blackouts, but since this is a regional deal, and there will indeed be blackouts.

    If I pay for RDS what is the difference? They will still take my $$$.

    Those Fking Rat B@stards. FK Gary Buttman & Rogers. Rogers will never get a penny of my Fking $$$. They can all go FK them selves.

    I guess all Habs fans west of Bellville can all go FK our selves right!


    • SPATS says:

      EZ big fella, it’s a long way off yet. Technology will likely give you internet options that are better


    • JUST ME says:

      Didn`t you see that coming ? On the day it was announced it was obvious that it meant more spending for everyone wherever you live. How can they afford the money they spent if not by taking it from the same one that always pays ?

      Already in Canada we have the highest internet/cable/phone fees and nobody does anything about it so they have a buffet right in front of them. Hockey, Canada, national sport, would do anything would pay anything… Sad but true.

  7. haboholic68NJ says:

    Note to the coach. A degree in rocket science is not required. Go with pairings that have worked pretty well in the past:



    *Listen to my instrumental tribute entitled “Habs at War” at

    • SPATS says:

      First off, nice to see another musician here on HIO

      As for your line combos, I agree on the Pleks line, but disagree on the rest… IMHO Gally stirs the Patches/DD cocktail…

      Dear Santa Therrien, all I want for Christmas:

      Patches DD Gally
      Bourque Briere Eller (DB @ C)
      Bournival Pleks Gio
      Moen Chucky Prust (Chucky @ C)

      Roll all 4 on short shifts and let em play!


  8. DipsyDoodler says:

    Habsolutely –

    ” It’s elitist to think that revenue sharing only benefits the Florida Panthers. ”

    First elitist is the wrong word (look it up) and no it doesn’t only benefit the Panthers. The Panthers were the team being discussed.

    “It wasn’t too long ago that revenue sharing was helping Canadian teams. ”

    Wrong again. Revenue sharing has never brought money to the Canadiens and never will. We have too many fans, irrespective of exchange rates.

    “It’s elitist when you constantly target the Panthers because you’re jealous of the weather. ”

    Who mentioned the weather? I don’t like my hockey dollar propping teams with no fans. And here elitist is the opposite of what you mean. Resentful maybe, but it wouldn’t be elitist to criticize someone for being better than you.

    And FYI I am not remotely envious of Florida weather. Your summers are hellish and I actually like winter (it could be shorter however).

    “Edmonton […] how come none of you elitist habs fans pick on them? ”

    Few teams are ridiculed more than the Oilers on this board.

    “And it’s elitist to think the “we” the “super duper special” Habs, should have first pick of any other teams prospects.”

    No one said that. What we said is we should target Huberdeau as per the agreed upon rules of the NHL.

    “and revenue sharing has nothing whatsover to do with Prices in Montreal. It’s called supply and demand. ”

    You might want to revisit microeconemic theory if you ever studied it. Rev sharing acts as a tax on the clubs, which has the effect of increasing prices. See here for example:

  9. A. Berke says:

    Does anyone know if we (out in BC) can watch Habs games on RDS next season?

    I have RDS in my tv package and have been able to watch all Habs games so far but if RDS is blocked out, what are the alternatives please? Any ideas?


    Ali B.

  10. Alex_425 says:

    I have, literally, ZERO knowledge on how Nashville has been playing so far this season. Are we in for a tough game?

    (Okay, they’re all tough, I mean tough, as in, “St. Louis tough” or “LA tough”)

    But I’m no expert….

    • A. Berke says:

      Probably another “yard-stick” game!

      PS: hope it doesn’t turn out to be one of the “mile-stick” games of late.

      Ali B.

    • Captain Pike says:

      Nashville has a pretty crappy 3-7 record in their last 10 games.
      With that said, I’ve no idea how this one will turn out. However, I’ll be opening up a bottle of Romulan ale and hoping for the best.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Nashville is almost out of the playoff picture. They have two unproven goalies in net and are presently on a losing streak. They also have an offense that is worse that ours. Tonight’s game will probably be a total snore fest in light of Trotz’s game plan seeing that he doesn’t have much talent to work with right now. This team is basically on it’s way to becoming another Buffalo.

      A loss tonight by Montreal means the team is officially in a slump.

  11. Ian Cobb says:

    Tim Reynolds donated a pair of Hab’s tickets at our Summit.
    The winner of these two tickets, a young fellow, had them stolen last week.
    I need to get in touch with HIO member Tim Reynolds, to cancel the tickets and I will pick up the replacements at the Bell Center.
    A Boston Hab’s game in March.

    Does anyone out there know how I get in touch with Tim. He works for Wabtec Global Services in Mtl..
    That is the only info I have on him.
    Can anyone help us please.!
    Ian –613-968-9807

  12. Hobie Hansen says:

    Trying to make sense of this TV rights thing next year. I’m really not sure if I’m reading this correctly but anyone west of Belleville will not be able to watch the Habs games on RDS as they will be blacked out?

    I’m in Ottawa so I’d be OK, I think? So it looks like people outside a certain region might be forced to get an expensive hockey package if they want to see all 82 Habs games? Again I’m really not sure?

    Here’s the link to the article Dave Stubbs tweeted:

    Dave Stubbs ‏@Dave_Stubbs 3h

    Colleague @fagstein offers this update on #Habs TV rights:

  13. The Dude says:

    It’s plain and simple,you have to give to get and we have what others want!Patches,Subban,Price,Diaz,Markov,Plecs,Gionta,Prust,Eller and a couple of last place finish should get a great foundation and draft choices for years to come.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Interesting thought. Maybe trading the supposedly untradeables would be a way to really rebuild properly.

    • ont fan says:

      Elliotte Freidman was just saying yesterday that if you have an elite defenseman or goalie it’s almost impossible to trade for them. Phaneuf will get over 50 mil. For 7 years and he is a 2 nd tier defenseman because they can’t replace him.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Not sure if this is tongue-in-cheek, so I’ll just say that the Habs have a solid foundation. They are relatively young, and their best players are still emerging (maybe not Markov or Plekanec). They’ve got an all-star in goal, two all-stars on D, and at least 1 up front; they’ve got a decent supporting cast. They just do not yet have enough top flight players up front, and they lack a bit more size and toughness on D. Some of that may resolve itself in time, particularly with the development of Galchenyuk, but if they want to make an honest to goodness push this year, I think they’re gonna have to make a decision on a few players.

      • The Dude says:

        no tongue,don’t see a team that can compete for the Cup!Not now ,not ever…The new foundation has to be built with ‘Big talented truculent top picks’ and we have to get them 1st and this is the only really proven way.

        • Forum Dog says:

          Really? Even with Price, Subban, Galchenyuk, Gallagher and Pacioretty together in their prime? Those are pretty talented hockey players. I could see trading Diaz, Plekanec, Eller, Gionta and maybe Markov, but Price, Subban and (to a lesser degree) Pacioretty are key building blocks for any team IMO.

  14. Maritime Ronn says:

    Tonight may be a big game for Pacioretty and Galchenyuk, over and above a simple Habs win or loss.

    Both are on the Team USA Olympic hockey team ‘bubble’ for different reasons.

    Preds GM David Poile is the Olympic Team USA GM (Pens Ray Shero is Associate GM)

    Max is far from a ‘shoe-in’ with Parise, James van Riemsdyk, LA Kings captain Dustin Brown, and Blues TJ Oshie (29 points/34 games) on the left side…plus some others from this year such as Stepan, Saad, Okposo, Callaghan, and Stastny.

    Here’s hoping he is a young pick for the future, as would be Seth Jones for the same Preds of GM Poile.

    The Olympic team roster is 25:
    3 goalies
    8 Dmen
    14 forwards

    Depending on the mix Poile/Shero want in terms of futures and experience….from here, it would be great if ‘Chuckie’ made the team.
    There would be little disappointment if Max did not, for multiple reasons that are hopefully evident….

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Max is a shoe-in. Top 3 LW’s will be Parise, JVR, Max.

      The log jam’s on the right side. Oshie and Brown are both RW’ers. 4th line LW will likely be playing on his off wing.

      Does Chucky squeeze into the last spot because of his recent international play and the fact that he speaks Russian? Maybe.

    • habs001 says:

      Galchenyuk i believe will not make the team as he has a lot of work to do on his play in the D zone…right now he is pretty weak in d zone play…

  15. Forum Dog says:

    Alright, here’s hoping that Briere comes back with a bit of jump. I kind of like where they have him playing, and if he shows some intensity and competitiveness he could be a good compliment to Eller. Running Bourque with them is also interesting.

  16. SPATS says:

    Would any buddy else here like to see Briere centering 2 fast power forwards (or reasonable facsimile’s in Eller and Bourque) tonight?

    They are already on the same line for cripe’s sakes.

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