Pacioretty, Gionta join Eller on sidelines; two-game suspension for Sens’ Gryba

Only the Canadiens players who didn’t play in Game 1 against the Ottawa Senators took part in Friday’s 10:30 a.m. morning skate in Brossard with a team meeting at 11:30 a.m. as the Habs prepare for Game 2 Friday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

And Michel Therrien delivered bad news when he met with the media, saying that Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta will join Lars Eller on the sidelines for Game 2 due to injuries. Colby Armstrong, Gabriel Dumont and Jeff Halpern will take their spots.

After a disciplinary hearing, the NHL suspended Senators defenceman Eric Gryba for two games on Friday afternoon for his hit on Eller in Game 1 that left the Canadiens foward in a pool of blood on the ice. Eller was taken to hospital with a concussion, facial fractures and broken teeth after the open-ice hit at 13:28 of the second period. Gryba received a major for interference and a game misconduct.

You can watch the NHL video with Brendan Shanahan explaining his decision for the two-game suspension by clicking here.

Eller was released from hospital on Friday morning.

 Gryba maintained the hit was clean after seeing it on replay.

“I stepped up to make a hit,” he told reporters after the game. “I kept my shoulder down. He received the puck by the time I hit him. My elbow was down and there was no intent to hurt him whatsoever and I hope that he’s OK.

 “I’m not out here to hurt anybody and it’s never good to seeing anything like that. I hope he makes a full and speedy recovery.”

Senators coach Paul MacLean called it a “hockey play”.

“(If I’m Eller), I’m really mad at player 61 (Raphael Diaz), whoever he is, because he passed me the puck in the middle of the rink when I wasn’t looking,” MacLean told reporters after the game. “That’s always been a dangerous place as far as I know. Ever since I’ve been playing this game, that’s a dangerous place to be — bad things happen.

“I think it’s a hockey play that ended up going badly for Lars Eller.”

On Friday morning, the Canadiens’ Brandon Prust said: “Trust is too big a word that the NHL will do the right thing.”

He then added: “Actually, I hope (Gryba’s) not suspended.”

As for MacLean, Prust said: “He’s already showed enough disrespect. We don’t care what that bug-eyed, fat walrus has to say.”

Hear what else Prust had to say Friday morning by clicking here.

Hear what Therrien had to say by clicking here.

(Photo by Pierre Obendrauf/The Gazette)

Game 2 preview,

Five keys to Game 2,

Canadiens failed to capitalize on chances, by Pat Hickey

Heat turned up on rivalry after Eller hit, by Dave Stubbs

Fans soak up atmosphere outside Bell Centre, by Brenda Branswell

Game 1 photo gallery

Senators steal one in Montreal, by Ottawa Citizen

Electric start to series, by Ottawa Citizen

Sens draw first blood, by Ottawa Sun

Senators lead series 1-0,


  1. The Juice says:

    How the TSN clowns cannot see that the principal point of contact is to the head is mind boggling…are they not watching their own video???


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

  2. icky pop says:

    Very funny habgrowsinbrookland. I swear people come on here just to be negative and try to rip on people because they are so miserable with their own lives that they must spread some of that misery around. Take what you want out of my comment and spin it how you please, but I have twice now clarified what I meant, so I assume you wish not to understand, and want to make fun of people on the Internet. I guess that’s what it’s for. It’s no not like I ever see a positive attitude on this site.

  3. sgmcfarlane says:

    Blaming the ice for Eller’s injury is directly analogous to blaming the stanchion for Paccioretty’s broken neck. And indeed some did blame an inanimate piece of metal and plastic for that debacle. The real villain here is the guy in charge of ice at the Bell Centre — why does it have to be so hard?

    Ca sente la coupe!

  4. sgmcfarlane says:

    Seems like this might help clarify the dirty/clean hit issue: The player (Eller) was vulnerable. Fact. Primary contact was to the head. Fact. It’s physically impossible to fall flat on your face, unprotected, if you’re conscious. Fact. Therefore the contact to the head knocked him unconscious. Unnmistakeable conclusion. So, should a hit that makes primary contact with a vulnerable players head, of sufficient force to cause him to lose consciousness, be a suspendable offense? Disregard the blood and the injury and hospitalization: the suspension was earned before Eller’s head hit the ice.

    Ca sente la coupe!

    • SEnshead says:

      It was a clean,hockey hit. These guys aren’t figure skating out there.
      Very unfortunate what happened to Eller but Gryba had no intent to injure based on his body position during the hit and his reaction to what happened. In a fast checking game with body contact and 230lb players you will never eliminate this type of injury unless you change the game so much it resembles a women’s game.

  5. icky pop says:

    Bill, it would appear that my medical consultant is the saw person that taught you to read. I clarified what I said. Maybe it wasn’t a shot to the head. To me it looked like he caught it in the jaw. It’s hard to tell from the replay. This seems very clear to me.

    • aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

      I just looked in the mirror for 5 minutes, and asked my wife for a second opinion, and we both concluded that my jaw is part of my head. We talked about whether we thought Lars Eller’s jaw is also part of his head, and decided that, while he is Danish, and there are some fundamental physical differences between Scandinavians and North Americans, that his jaw is indeed part of his head.

  6. Whatever says:

    I’m not seeing what the “experts” see. The principle point of contact was the face. I looked as hard and as long as I could. It’s a hit to the head. A hockey play, but a hit to the head.

    The other team has heads too. PK stop leading into hits with your ass.

  7. jols101 says:

    Terrible developments today. Eller being injured is terrible. Patches and Gio being out is disheartening. What is worse though is the Sens are in our heads and with Prust’s comments, it is clear the Habs are thinking about revenge rather than winning this game tonight.

    This team is not built for revenge. What is Prust going to do. Fight Neil. Neil won’t care and he will give Prust more than he can handle. Trust me, I wish we had some players that can exact a measure of revenge but we don’t. We should be thinking about nothing more than how can we get a few pucks past Anderson.

    I love Prust’s attitude, unfortunately, we don’t have the personnel to back it up.

    • ross says:

      I disagree. I think this is in the Sens’ heads as much as in our guys’, and while it was a clean-ish hit, it *was* to the head, and then their own coach’s comments exacerbated everything, so in the back of their minds I think they know they are “in the wrong”. Prust and Therrien came across as steamed, but in a focused, ninja-assassin kind of way. I don’t see them head-hunting tonight, I see them just playing highly-motivated hockey with a lot of intensity.

      • danp says:

        Interesting perspective – I never looked at it this way but it is a good point. After the hit last night you could see the energy leave both teams, the crowd. I was suddenly not interested in the outcome myself.

        It has to be felt by every player there.


  8. Dave Jones says:

    Wow, just listened to MT’s comments. Never been so proud to be a Habs fan. Pure class, all heart. (I realize “class” is not always associated with Therrien, but it should be now). I don’t know how the Habs will fare without three top forwards tonight. But it’s never been more apparent to me that this season’s version of the Habs are special. Win or lose, I know we’re on the right side of history ( 🙂 ). Go Habs Go!

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      His comments were special.

    • Mattyleg says:


      More of this please.

      I’m with you, Dave.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Can you summarize his comments or write them here please?

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • Dave Jones says:

        I wish my French was better. Therrien was asked to give his own English translation though, and to sum up, he said he could not comment on the hit and would defer to the league that he respects. However, he could comment on Paul McLean. He said McLean showed no respect for Eller, no respect for his family in the stands; he said McLean’s comparison of this hit to any old “hockey play gone bad” is a 1970s, 80s, 90s mentality, that goes against the current league’s effort to curb hits to vulnerable players. Later, he said Eller is not only an important player, but a really great kid. When the reporters quoted Prust’s comments to him, which similarly condemned McLean for his lack of respect, Therrien said it was evidence of just how close this group is. Therrien said everyone is hurting, management, coaches, players, to see what happened to their teammate. He said the Habs will have the right attitude in game two.

        He said all of this as if he were on the verge of tears. He had to compose himself when he was asked to repeat what he said in English. There was palpable tension and hurt and passion in his voice and words. I have a new level of respect for our coach!

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Wow, thanks Dave. Nice summary…feel like I heard him myself.


          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

          • Dave Jones says:

            No problem! Obviously I was very impressed with MT. Like I said, I don’t know if we’ll have the horses to get it done tonight. But it’s very, very clear that a loss tonight would hardly be the series. They have great leadership and they’re determined. This series has just started.

        • Dave Jones says:

          P.S. in case you missed McLean’s initial comments, or were actually asking for these, McLean had spoken dismissively of the hit and injury immediately after the game. He seemed to have no idea who it was that was injured and referred to Diaz only by his number (“number 61, whoever that is”), and suggested that Diaz was solely responsible for Eller’s injury.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            I heard that part last night, yes….after having watched the games with a couple sens fans in Ottawa.


            Go Habs Go!!

            “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • Jocko says:

          And for our GM. Did you see him sprinting to the ambulance, clearly getting frustated at the curtains, going through them like a madman! Good to see a good level of caring and compassion by coaches and management alike.

          I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

    • danp says:

      I was not a fan of MT when he was selected as the new coach. I developed respect over the course of the season. Now I like him. A lot.


  9. Sportfan says:

    Wasn’t there another thread?

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

  10. Mattyleg says:

    Maybe it’s the sun.
    Maybe people are getting too much sun.

    Just trying to explain the asinine nature of the majority of posts on here today.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  11. habs-fan-84 says:

    Now that everyone is counting us out and fans are throwing in the towel, I feel more confident.

  12. johnnylarue says:

    This is probably not the time for a philosophical discussion on this topic, but I will pose the question anyway:

    If you could hit the reset button on the culture of hockey as we know it, and remove the concept of “hitting to hurt” entirely from the genetic makeup of the sport, would you do it?

    As a self-admitted and unrepentant ‘pussy’, when I see a 23-year-old kid passed out in a pool of his own blood for my entertainment, it makes me wonder if there might not be something critically wrong with the sport I love.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:


    • Phil C says:

      There is something wrong with a sport for sure if it is “legal” to hit someone in the head with your shoulder at 30 km/hr. IMO, it is one of the biggest barriers to growing the game. No informed parent in their right mind would let their boys play contact hockey.

      The OHL and the IIHF have already removed headshots from the game. You still get lots of physical play, but if you hit someone in the head, even on a clean hit, it is not tolerated.

      The NFL removed headshots from their game and physicality is way more integral to american football than it is to hockey. The NHL is on an island now in the sports world by tolerating these types of hits.

      The solution is simple: any hit to the head is illegal, accidental or not. It just puts a little more responsibility on the hitter.

    • issie74 says:

      I am that same pussy having a 16 yr.old g-son playing hockey,I don’t want this for him,why would I think otherwise for someone else’s kid.

      I am watching the L.A/Blues games very hard hitting along the boards,but none of those Blindside hits,you can still have hitting in hockey,no need to annihilate the other person.In the game
      you are trying to gain control of the puck and the play.I didn’t see Gryba do either of those things.


  13. icky pop says:

    I understand that the jaw is part of the head. Maybe he didn’t hit his head. I think he hit his jaw. It’s not clear. Does this not strike you as me saying that its possible its a hit to the head, but not too sure. Thanks teacher. What would I do without you?

  14. hab fan in leaf jungle says:

    This team is toast because I have said since April this is a team of frauds with the exception of Prust, Gally, PK, Pleks, Chucky. Everyone else is there to take home their big paycheques and float. The ‘good guys’ I mentioned will be the same once they get their big contracts with NTC. It’s the way the NHL is. We need to stick with players on their ELCs and then their bridge contract and trade them before they become UFAs or RFAs.

  15. icky pop says:

    About the Eller hit, maybe he didn’t hit his head. I think it caught his jaw to be honest. But it’s not clear. But he extended the shoulder to make the hit. He wasn’t going to make contact. It was a blind side hit. Blaming the passer for the hitter not taking responsibility of such a blind side hit? That just doesn’t make sense. Maybe gryba should have let up when he realized that he was about to hit a very vulnerable player. To me, it’s this kind of play that should be removed from the game. If you see that the guy has no idea that your coming, don’t hit him. This wasn’t being caught with your head down, this was taking advantage of a player looking the other way on a play, and levelling him. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, but gryba should be suspended anyways. Isn’t the point of a suspension to teach a player to use his head? I don’t think suspensions should be handed out solely for intentional injuries. High sticks are called regardless of intention. Same with goaltender interference and tripping. A bad play is a bad play. Gryba could have let up. Catching him off guard like that, all he would have had to do was give him a shove, and Eller would have been off the puck. Gryba better get at least a game on the play. This should not be considered a hockey play. And anyone who blames Diaz knows that the hit should not have happened. If its a good hit, there is no one to blame but Eller.

  16. hab fan in leaf jungle says:

    WTF Sit Price out for the next game and let’s see what Budaj can do. This team is going nowhere so let the kids from Hamilton play in the series and show us what they can do.

  17. Hammer says:

    Too bad that Patches and Gio are out , but the way Patches has decided to earn his living on the perimeter it is time they put someone in there that will get their nose dirty!! I would sit Diaz down and bring in Drewskie to clear the front of the net. They need size on the back end and #61 is not going to scare anybody either. Dress Dumont for Patches ( at least he hits) and Halpern for Gio.

  18. Fansincebirth says:

    No Eller, no Gionta, no Patches….we’re officially screwed!!!!!

  19. bel33 says:

    Patches and Gionta out tonight!?!? Upper body injuries as per TSN 690.


  20. jctremblay says:

    Can’t wait…for the draft. Habs had a great year considering their talent level and all the changes made. They have to put out enormous effort on the forecheck to overcome a relative lack of size and top end skill. They were burnt out by the third and the rest played out in predicatable fashion. Price isn’t making the key stops. That doesn’t mean he should be traded or exiled to Siberia, it just means he’s not making the key stops this time around. You put in Budaj and you are throwing in the towel on the playoffs. I expect them to play out the string with Carey and they’ll probably extend but not win this series. Why? BEcause they aren’t that Sens are more experienced and deeper and probably better coached.

  21. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Say what you want about how well Anderson played, they still had a 2-1 lead going into the third. No excuse to lose that one. The whole team shat the bed in the defensive end in the third, led by Price.

    No question that I start him tonight, but he better step up or it’s Budaj for me. If it’s going to take 50 shots to get two goals on Anderson, there is no room for error.

    Diaz was pretty effective in the first two periods…whole team was. But he stank as much as Price in the third. Wonder if he was thinking about the Eller play? Feel bad for him being singled out on that, but man, what was he thinking? 20/20 hindsight, I guess. Hope Larry is OK. The hit wasn’t dirty. Body to body contact and the momentum carried him up to the head, so there is a chance that he could be suspended. But it wasn’t a “head shot”.

    Hard to fault the offense…those 50 shots weren’t all perimeter ones. But we really need to get to the net more (Captain Obvious, here). I was really impressed with Bourque last night..he had a great game. Gallagher and Galchenyuk were fantastic, especially given their experience.

    Whither DD?

  22. Un Canadien errant says:

    Who really wants to dwell on this game? I guess even Ottawa fans will want to move on.

    Briefly, Carey Price needs to be better. He made some good saves last night, but again failed in his mission. We can argue about which goal was weak and which he couldn’t have stopped, but the save percentage he finished the game (.871) with is not acceptable. If this was a one-game blip we’d understand, but his cumulative season save percentage had been falling precipitously in April, and the trend may not be over.

    Some people argue that save percentage isn’t an accurate stat, in that some goalies face mostly floaters from the periphery and their defence does a good job of clearing out rebounds, so they would have a higher percentage than goalies who are constantly under siege. I’d agree with that statement as a thought experiment, but practically, it’s a number that’s very useful in determining who’s doing a better job of stopping pucks. Eventually, it’s like a salesman’s monthly totals or a waitress’ total sales. You can argue that you have a poor territory or that you had a bad section with the old ladies from the church group, but in the end, your sales tell the story.

    The powerplay had a chance to seal this win in the second, with a five-minute advantage which included a 5-on-3, and didn’t get the job done. We see it too often, when a team has a four or five-minute powerplay, there’s a lack of urgency in gaining the offensive zone, you think you have a lot of time to work with and it leads to lazy skates down to your zone to pick up the puck, and then a lazy skate back up ice with tricky little dekes and drop passes, and before you know it you’ve wasted half the penalty and lost your rhythm. The Canadiens aren’t the only team to fall victim to this, but last night it cost them.

    As far as the Lars Eller injury, a lot of analysis and commentary has been generated by experts in the field, so I don’t know how much I have to add, except that scary incidents like this aren’t necessarily ‘accidents’, a cumulative chain of events with an unhappy outcome that couldn’t have been foreseen. If we look at Eric Gryba’s page, we find that he’s 6’4″, 220 lbs, but has never, at any level, had more than five goals in a season or more than 20 points. His penalty minutes totals are very healthy however.

    And this is where the game is headed. Clueless, mendacious shill Gary Bettman bleats constantly that the “product” has never been better, and that player safety is primordial, but the players get bigger and stronger and faster, the ice surface gets smaller and more crowded, the collisions grow more violent, and there is no concerted effort to shift the game in a new direction.

    Players like Eric Gryba should be fringe players who barely get a sniff of the NHL, but the trend is for big regardless of talent. The Canadiens were shopping for such players at the deadline, predicting that their smaller, more mobile defenceman weren’t going to cut it in the playoffs. Every team was looking for a big, tough defenceman with a mean streak for a potential Cup run, nobody seemed to be in the market for a puck mover or powerplay quarterback.

    Now this is a reasonable reaction to the state of NHL rule-making and officiating. If the big player who is constantly a step behind the action and can’t do much with the puck was penalized for every transgression, he would find himself as rare as a dodo bird, and the focus of teams would be on skill instead of size at all costs. The game would be radically different, much more fan-friendly, and safer for the players.

    An incident which caught my eye last night was in the third when Chris Phillips drove Brendan Gallagher maxilla-first into the crossbar for the sin of being near the net and trying to score a goal. The net was dislodged, the puck was immobilized by Craig Anderson, the refs blew the whistle, the play was over. Then, completely unrelated to this play, in defiance of twenty-five or so sections of the NHL rulebook, Chris Neil approached Brendan from the side and put his smelly glove in his face and his other hand on the back of his neck and, … I’m not sure. He was holding his head like it was the Holy Grail or something, like it was something valuable that he wanted to take home, if he could find a way to detach it from this other bigger part he wasn’t so keen on. The linesmen swooped in and squawked like the ineffectual seagulls they are, and intervened bodily, and separated Chris Neil from his prize after a few seconds. And that was that. There was no infraction on the play according to the officials, “Play on!” they enjoined the players. And that is how Chris Neil is allowed to infest the NHL, and to attempt to nullify a talented player because he outweighs him by fifty pounds and scowls a lot. From Neil to Gryba to Lars Eller to Marc Savard in a couple of easy steps.

    Watching the Kings play the Blues, I was struck by how both teams have huge players who crash and bang each other, and how they have gone all in with this trend, like Bob Gainey went all in with speed and skill in 2009. They sensed the way the wind was shifting and were proven right, whereas Mr. Gainey lost his job as a GM.

    We’re often driven to exclaim, as Canadiens fans, involved as we so often are in a navel-gazing exercise in our insular little world, that Trevor Timmins is a genius, and we hold up his “steals” in the fifth round as proof of this. It’s much more clear to me now that other teams weren’t blind to how good Brendan Gallagher or Charles Hudon were, or didn’t wrongly evaluate whether they could be successful as pros. Rather, they are making the very deliberate decision to make do with a much less talented player with greater size. They’re comfortable in the knowledge that the Brian Burkes and Mike Milburys and Colin Campbells who control the league will not change their world view, will not be convinced by medical research or regrettable incidents like last night, and will pay lip service to the concept of player safety but mash the accelerator down a little harder to get to the rock wall a little faster.


    • The Gonk says:

      These are depressing thoughts but I agree. I’m tired of our guys getting maimed, especially Eller who may not ever be the same.

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      I could not have stated it any better myself. That photo of Eller’s face smeared with blood, teeth knocked out, should be hanging in the NHL head office because that is just the image they apparently want for this game.

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  23. Bouleau noir says:

    Hockey makes me sick, as it is hot players can get anihilated by a nobody while series get derailed without any meaningfull consequences to the perpetuating teams… first there should be a ” Hit the body or Dont ” rule,… second, steel’ like shoulder padding should be prohibited, as it is hockey is a contact sport gone wrong and just plain stupid.

  24. The Teacher says:

    The definition. Of “Hockey Play” went out the window when max pax got suspended for hitti g letang. This league is a joke and I am really starting to tire of it

  25. The Teacher says:

    Listen. If max pax gets three farking games for hitting letang. Which was Far less “bad” than this one. Gryba or whatever this guys name is should get 15. Anything less is a goddamn joke

  26. KevinT says:

    Kerry Fraser’s analysis is quite compelling…and it seems that most “experts” are leaning towards a legal hit.
    What I find particularly troublesome is the fact that no one from the Ottawa Senators seemed particularly concerned for Eller’s health.
    Coach MacLean was blatantly unsympathetic. Fine, he was making his case against Diaz but he could have at least added in that it was unfortunate, hope he’s OK, yadda yadda.
    I watched the interviews with Gryba last night and I didn’t hear any concern for Eller that is quoted in this article (Did he say it on subsequent interviews?). Latendresse, Methot both answered similarly although not quite as harshly as MacLean.

    I find this bothering me more than the hit itself.

    • The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

      Fraser pretty much settles the issue as far as I’m concerned.

      The real problem is, as you imply, one of decency and basic sportsmanship rather than legality. Players should have enough fundamental humanity to pull up when they have a guy in that kind of life-threateningly vulnerable position. At the end of the day, it’s just a sport…the kind of attitude represented by that hit leads directly to young men being killed or permanent handicapped. Players used to have something called “respect” for their opponents, meaning that they played hard but (generally) did not take every opening to try to literally destroy their health. Not anymore.

    • VintageFan says:

      This is typical Ottawa behavior and McLean has learned it well. Deny everything. IF anything bad happened, blame the victim and everyone around him/her. Ignore what you don’t like and maybe it will go away. Dishonesty rules. I’ve lived here for over 20 years (seems like hundreds) and that’s the way it is from politicians to salesclerks.

    • 100HABS says:

      Fraser’s full of crap. He says it was not blindside in his opinion. That’s just stupid, Eller was not looking in that direction at all and had no idea.
      He says the head was incidental, but clearly the initial point of contact was the head.

      Sorry, this is a suspension.

      • zephyr says:

        i agree. it’s even an illegal hit in the nfl. the nfl! helpless player or shot to the head. both are nfl infractions. fines & suspensions apply.
        the refs & linesmen were brutal again last nite. the nhl is the worst officiated pro league i’ve ever seen (unless u count the cfl as pro). that crap the neil pulled with gally was obnoxious. thats 2 mins & a 10 min misconduct. u’d be ejected from the game for that in the nfl.
        nhl refs can’t get their heads out of their asses long enough to see what’s going on.

  27. Dust says:

    No Matter what happens today at 12. The Habs have to accept it and move on. If He gets 3 games or none they have to accept it. Move on. Focus on playing the ful 60 minutes tonight the way we played the first 40 mins last night. The habs will win if we do this.

    I am hoping Galchenyuk steps up big while Eller is out.

    • Timo says:

      There won’t be a suspension. I agree that while Gryba could have let up, it was not an illegal hit.

      As far as stepping up – how about Plekanec, Gionta, Pacioretty, Bourque, Ryder? Aren’t they the ones that need to step up? Lets pin hopes on a 19 year old rookie to lead that sorry bunch of perimeter pu$$ies.

      • Mavid says:

        it was however reckless, dangerous, and unnecessary..the hit knocked him out cold and then his face was damaged hitting the ice..not a hockey play..

      • imafogdevil says:

        Haven’t been here in a while, but felt compelled to comment……

        I totally agree with Timo. How many times did the Habs go to the net last night and make life uncomfortable for Anderson? Probably count on my right hand, which is missing a finger! I have always been a big fan of Ryder and Desharnais, but guys, my beer league team plays heavier and tougher than you guys. Step it up or get off the ice!

        Speaking of Desharnais, how many times was he tossed out of the faceoff circle last night? I counted 5, and that’s 5 too many. He has to set himself at the dots and adapt to the linesman, or he’s going to continue to get tossed.

        The habs let Karlsson through the neutral zone and the defensive zone to score,and Latendresse went through and scored. For god sakes, hit someone. Take a man and do something there. Don’t let them through, don’t wave your stick at them…HIT THEM!!

        And as for Price, I am a fan, but these soft goals have to stop, or put Budaj in there. Tokarski played lights out in the AHL playoffs last year. Perhaps they look at him a la Roy and Dryden.

        Better win tonight boys!!

      • HabsFanInTampa says:

        I agree.

    • Mavid says:

      agree..move on..

  28. Timo says:

    Catching up on L’Antichambre. They are ripping into the usual suspects. Price – for sure. Patrick Roy is a big fan.

    The same shit – Pacioretty, DD, Bourque, Ryder, Plekanec – no one is driving to the net and getting dirty. Of course, I don’t know anything about hockey, but I’ve been saying this since last year, and year before that. Habs have a bunch of perimeter players in their lineup who are not cut out for a playoffs run.

  29. The Dude says:

    Nice looking helmet … GET ON BOARD and help make it MANDATORY!

  30. 100HABS says:

    I can’t understand all the “experts” saying it was a clean hit. First, the head was the first point of contact and that has been established. Second, it was clearly a blind-side hit to the head, and that has been established as illegal.

    I think those who find it ok are still in the 90’s.

    Gryba saw that Eller was going to get by him. He panicked as he was too far out to give a body check, so he did what he could and got the head. He should have held up and turned around and stared skating to catch up.

    • The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

      For pete’s sake, listen to Fraser’s analysis. Look at the stop-motion video. Gryba is laying on a textbook clean bodycheck. The problem is that Eller is leaning forward, and THAT is why Gryba hit his head. This is not an illegal hit. It is a shameful hit – a deliberate attempt to destroy a man in a vulnerable position – but that’s not the same thing as an illegal hit, let alone a suspendable offence.

  31. habs-fan-84 says:

    Time to cowboy up tonight!

  32. Timo says:

    Can’t believe 60% still want Price in nets for the next game. WTF is wrong with you? What is this unbelievable unjustified obsession with Price? Is it just because Bobo Gainey said so?

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      You live and die by the sword.

      He’s our #1 goalie (like it or not). If Price is to be the number 1 for the foreseeable future, you don’t damage the relationship with the player by benching him in game 2.

      He has to be given the opportunity to right the ship, along with the other leaders on the team.

      If Price is shaky early on tonight though, all bets are off.

      • Timo says:

        But why?! What is this holy rule that Price has to be #1? I cannot understand this way of thinking at all. You are number 1 only if you play like one. If your number 2 goalie plays better than your number 1 than he becomes number 1. Why is that so hard to grasp? Enough babysitting Price.

        • habs-fan-84 says:

          I like Budaj. He seems like a great teammate and he’s played extremely well for us this year.

          Though, I’m not sure people would still be singing his praises had he started in the same number of games Price did this year.

          I agree though, if Price is shaky tonight, then some of Price’s most ardent supporters (myself included) will have to seriously begin to question his contract – I hope it doesn’t come to that, cuz as of now I still have confidence in him.

    • Cal says:

      But he’s a thoroughbred, Timo, a thoroughbred!

    • Mattyleg says:

      Get angry, Timo.
      Get good and mad.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  33. Thomas Le Fan says:

    It’s difficult for many of us to be honest but really, what would you be saying about the hit if the sweaters were reversed? Suicide pass and wham! Cherry’s been saying for years that it’s not a good thing to pass to a team mate in that position, hasn’t he? Players who like to hit dream of finding an opponent in that position. It’s unfortunate but it’s hockey, after all. If we don’t allow any hits that can even incidentally cause injury, aren’t we arguing for an NBC league? Why allow contact at all?

    There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

  34. Propwash says:

    The problem with the NHL is they don’t punish hits to the head evenly across the board.


  35. Sportfan says:

    I’m disapointed in a lot of the Sens fans, its fine to feel that it was a clean hit, but they are acting lkke the Bruins fans after the Patches hit really classless. I hope the Habs can knock out the Sens from the playoffs and let them golf till next september.

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

  36. JIMVINNY says:

    Hits where the head is the principle point of contact are no longer hockey plays. Or do you not know the rules, Mr. MacLean?

  37. bwoar says:

    I’m totally fine with the hit on Eller, so I must in the minority. I think if the sweaters were reversed we’d be finding all the excuses in the world for an unfortunate hockey play. Diaz fed him a suicide pass and his number came up. Frankly if going deep in the playoffs was hinging on Eller being in the lineup, we were toast before last night.

    Much more concern over Price’s game last night. He seems to be ‘elite’ just like Cujo was an elite goalie for the Leafs. Good ‘tender but there’s only so far he’ll get you on his own. The upside is that he’s still young, but that’s no consolation this Friday morning. By the time he’s 30-31 I imagine he’ll have gone deep in at least one playoff. Maybe with the Habs, maybe not.

    I’m probably lucky in that I watched the game on PVR and wasn’t stuck with a belly full or bourbon & my heart in my mouth during the worst parts of the game last night. But I’m optimistic that a line of Prust-Galchenyuk-Gallagher will work just fine, thanks, and if not I’d put Gabriel Dumont out there and cross my fingers.

    The Habs played 2 good periods, we get a chance to bounce back tonight and show that we’re the better team. Spare me the “let’s goon the other guys” stuff because that will just get us into the penalty box. If last night’s passengers show up, we’ll be tied tomorrow morning and everything will look a helluva lot better.


    • Timo says:

      You can’t deny that Eller has come into a force and sadly team’s playoffs hopes taken a huge hit with him being out. Plekanec played like a little girl we know last night, DD we don’t even mention and Halpern is a 4th line plugger. Eller was one of the key reasons the rookies were playing so well on that line as well. Habs are f#$%ed. That hit probably caused some mental damage to the rest of the team … mind you not greater than the one Carey Price has caused but close.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      “Frankly if going deep in the playoffs was hinging on Eller being in the lineup, we were toast before last night.” What a stupid comment. Eller was the team´s best centre in the last four or five weeks. We wouldn´t miss Desharnais, Moen or the Ryder of the last two weeks but Eller is a huge loss.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      “I’m totally fine with the hit on Eller”

      -The head was the principal point of contact (I thought that was against the rules)

      -Eller was out cold before he hit the ice, proof that again, the head was the principal point of contact

      -The hit was NOT intereference, I agree in this sense that it was not “dirty”

      -Eller’s head, at least in my opinion was not “targeted” by Gryba, i.e. I don’t think Gryba was head hunting. Gryba had committed to the hit, unfortunately the way the play unfolded Eller’s head BECAME the principal point of contact.

      I don’t think it was a dirty hit (in the traditional sense), but I believe it’s still a suspendable hit (for at least 1 game), just like the Patches hit on Letang last year was also suspendable.

      Re: Eller
      I may be wrong but I thought he was our highest scoring Centreman this year (total points). At the very least he had been our best centre over past month and was finally blossoming into that big centre we’ve been waiting for. With Eller centering our 3rd line we are a much deeper team.

  38. Timo says:

    Sure… let them meet. Maybe they can plan a team golf game for next wednesday.

  39. HabFanSince72 says:

    Paul Maclean demonstrated the problem with NHL hockey with his comments.

    Couldn’t he have just said “I hope the kid’s OK, it’s hard to see something like that.”?

    Instead of the weaselly excuses? Instead of publicly blaming Diaz?

    Why not say “we have to find a way for this to stop happening” instead of “it’s part of the game”?

    What a cowardly inhumane dumb thing to say.

    There are so many creeps in this game.

    • bwoar says:

      It’s dressing room stuff & I hope Therrien reminds them of it. Honestly that *IS* playoff hockey like it’s been since I started watching back in 1978. It’s a terrible thing to see for the player, the team, his family, etc. but if I were in Maclean ‘s shoes, I’d be laughing about it and thanking my lucky stars.


    • sCOTT1243 says:

      Agree totally. Insensitive and classless.

    • toneez says:

      I agree wholeheartedly , whether the hit was legal , Illegal or just plain bad luck , we have to get past it and McLean’s comments were rather cold , the best way for the Habs to get over that adversity is a dominating win tonight, and a bit of good news on Eller, that it is not as bad as it looked , one can hope and keep their fingers crossed …

      All Habs all the Time

  40. Hockey Bob says:

    Go Habs Go.

  41. Les-Habitants says:

    Go get them tonight, boys. The Sens need to be humbled.

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