Habs hold optional skate before facing Canucks, acquire Czarnik from Kings

The Canadiens held an optional skate on Thursday morning in Brossard before facing the Vancouver Canucks Thursday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Fourteen players and both goalies took part in the skate. Joining Carey Price and Peter Budaj on the ice were forwards Daniel Briere, Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Lars Eller, Michael Bournival, Ryan White, Dale Weise and George Parros, along with defencemen Josh Gorges, P.K. Subban, Davis Drewiske, Nathan Beaulieu, Francis Bouillon and Douglas Murray.

The Canadiens announced Thursday afternoon that they have acquired centreman Robert Czarnik from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Steve Quailer. Czarnik, a 6-foot, 188-pound centre, has 1-4-5 totals in 29 games this season with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs. Quailer had 1-4-5 totals in 12 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs. Czarnik will report to the Bulldogs.

Coach Michel Therrien is planning to use the same lineup against the Canucks as the one that beat the Calgary Flames 2-0 on Tuesday night. The coach added after Wednesday’s practice that he’s pleased with his team’s defence and isn’t worried about the offence because the team is getting chances and the goals will come. 

Thursday’s game will be a showdown between Team Canada Olympic goalies as Carey Price faces the Canucks’ Roberto Luongo. Price told reporters in Brossard he’s not focusing on the goalie showdown or the Olympics, instead simply concentrating on the Habs’ last two games before the Olympic break.

After Thursday’s game, the Habs visit the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday night before the Olympic break begins.

“It’s not something I’m thinking about and the game tomorrow won’t have any bearing on what happens in Sochi,” Price told reporters in Brossard after practice Wednesday. “I’m concentrating on these last two games and I’ll starting thinking about Sochi when I get there.”

Tuesday’s shutout was Price’s fourth of the season and his second in the last four games. He has allowed only three goals in regulation time during that span.

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings are expected to look against the Canucks:

Briere-Plekanec-Gionta
Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher
Prust-Eller-Bourque
Bournival-White-Weise

Gorges-Subban
Markov-Emelin
Murray-Beaulieu

(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)

A goalie showdown between Price and Luongo, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

‘Little buckaroo’ gets prize from his hero, Carey Price, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Canadiens vs. Canucks preview, NHL.com

Game Day Report, Canadiens.com

St. Louis replaces Stamkos on Team Canada, Postmedia News

Team Canada’s Babcock will choose goalie who shows edge in practice, Vancouver Province

Ken Dryden calls Carey price “tough-minded” (video), CBC.ca

Henrik Sedin questionable for Sweden at Olympics, Vancouver Sun

Team Canada to bunk in dorm-style rooms in Sochi, Postmedia News

Russian Olympic hockey team hidden from media, Postmedia News

 

 

220 Comments

  1. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I voted for Smith, not because I don’t want Carey to be Canada’s number one …but out of sympathy knowing the HIO votes for Smith to be so infinitesimal that My innate sympathy had to throw him a bone

    …that, being said, whether it’s Luongo or Carey, I believe our Achilles Heel in Sochi will be our goaltending

  2. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    I always wondered how these minor trades happen.

    Did Bergevin or Lombardi actually phone up the other to say, “Hey, I want to swap minor leaguers?”

    It just seems like something that wouldn’t really be on the radar, particularly right now with the freeze tomorrow and deadline shortly after.

  3. FanSince1969 says:

    Minor trade. Steve Qualier 6’4 to LA for 6’0 Robert

  4. Timo says:

    I see that franky boo is permanently out of the lineup until there is an injury. That is good.

  5. Puckdoc says:

    When Chuck comes back there will be a logjam at forward, hope we can dump someone at the deadline. Weiss/White/Prust/Moen. Only 2 of those are really needed on one team, max 3 with one rotating in but 4 is redundant.

  6. AceTen says:

    Did Diaz score his first of the season last night? Yes
    Did he play the most minutes out of any player for Vancouver? Yes
    Did Vancouver lose 3-1 to a team we beat 4-1 a week ago? Yes

    Great strategy Torts keep it up

  7. JohnBellyful says:

    Oops, wrong thread …

  8. nova scotia vees says:

    Many of our players look out of shape. Too many therapy days. We fans look forward to 2 weeks of therapy while watching the Olympics, where hockey is played on an adult-sized rink.

    • D Mex says:

      I enjoy watching skilled players compete on the big ice, but referring to it as ” adult-sized ” seems a bit inappropriate to me.
      WHAT is your descriptor for the NHL-sized rinks that serve as the stage for Stanley Cup victories and all meaningful records in the game ?

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  9. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Renaud Lavoie ‏@LavoieRenaud 22 mins
    Heard last week that their was a good chance that Martin St-Louis will be in Sochi.

    Let’s hope so!

  10. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Geez just watch Weise’s interview he is quite the character. His dad sounds like an absolute Habs nut, too. I can’t help liking the guy right away….it’s all just for fun anyways so I am happy he’s here!

    24 cups and counting….

  11. The Teacher says:

    Darn. Stamkos ruled out.

  12. frontenac1 says:

    Reports. Lightning announce Stamkos won’t play in Olympics.

  13. Bripro says:

    As for Eklund’s latest rumour, take a look at this first.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/penguins-trade-chatter-pascal-dupuis-39-replacement-may-143700486–nhl.html

    There’s no room in their cap cupboard. If anything, they’ll be looking to shed some salaries, not take on a bad one.

  14. commandant says:

    Stamkos out of the Olympics.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/02/05/steven-stamkos-not-cleared-for-the-olympics/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  15. CJ says:

    Well, no Stamkos at the Olympics. Replacement?

  16. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ johnnylarue

    hi Johnny

    It’s no secret I’m a big (HUGE) Subban fan, yet he’s not playing ‘the right way’ lately.

    The blame?
    Who really knows, but he has not been the same since the
    “Philadelphia Incident” of benching and embarrassment.
    He pre and post numbers tell the story – from terrific to terrible.

    From here, I see a young, somewhat still raw talented guy that has lost his confidence… and with GREAT intensions because of that superb talent and drive, is trying to do way too much to help his team – and it’s backfiring.

    Basically put, A Dman’s job is to move the puck as quick as possible to ‘in-motion’ forwards. (in the old days it was called the Hot Potato drill)

    PK has to learn to better pick his spots in the rush, and he has to cut out the showboating of putting the puck between his legs for no bloody good reason, along with the circling back into zones (losing zones) and spinning almost all the time now.

    As for the Olympics, does anyone believe for 1 second that guys like Crosby and Toews are going to put up with that crap – waiting until PK goes backwards, spins, and leads a rush?
    Then, Teams USA-Russia-Sweden…, are not the Calgary Flames or Winnipeg Jets.

    That’s the kind of stuff that ‘may’ hold Subban back from being a big part of Team Canada, to being a cheerleader from the press box once the preliminary round is over.
    At the moment, there is a much bigger ‘trust’ factor on the Right Side D for Weber-Doughty-Pietrangelo…

    • Buzz Lightbeer says:

      I expect the olympics will be a huge benefit for PK. A chance to play with and be mentored by the best of the best is a huge opportunity. One that someone with such raw talent, eagerness to learn and will to be great will pay off greatly.

      • TheIndian says:

        I totally agree with Buzz on that….having good coaches around him will be beneficial as well…MT is very much if not completely responsible for ruining the confidence of our Norris winner. Having Babcock and all the better coaches around him will only do him lots of good and passing the puck to a guy like Crosby and Toews is not same as passing it to guys like Pacioretty (who is a pure goal scorer but he is a floater on many nights) who couldnt pass the puck if his life depended on it and all the 2nd or 3rd line forwards we have on this team

    • habcertain says:

      1st of all, if PK was playing with Crosby et al, there would be no need to hold on to the puck, these players would be in position and know what to do with it once they got it. that isn’t our team, when scoring 2 goals is reason to celebrate, players with skills that are creative, are looking to enhance scoring opportunities. I sure you can make a case that he is trying to do too much but someone needs to. let’s not compare the Habs to the Ole team. all the players will adapt their styles based upon the enhanced skills of the players in the tourney.

      putting a puck between your legs is not showboating, it is becoming a legit hockey move, this isn’t 1972.

      • Wintercount says:

        Good post. The move(puck between the legs) in itself is great, but he’s done it a few times at the top of the circle when there was no reason to, is what MR was referencing, but I really can’t begrudge PK doing the move. He’s probably bored silly.
        I know I am…

        Yeah!! Go Canada!!!

    • Eddie says:

      Honestly speaking I’m not Subban, I’m Ed Lopaz, for better or worse.

      Just my two cents.

      But if I knew there were 29 other teams ready to pay me 60 million or more, and it was 1 day after i was named to the Olympics, and my coach benched me for punching that first class prick, Couturier, in the face,

      I would probably have some bad to terrible games.
      We fans love to believe that nothing bothers these guys, somehow.
      I think Subban was bothered by the benching.
      He has played TERRIBLE ever since.

      • johnnylarue says:

        That said, ‘terrible’ for PK is still serviceable by league standards… but it’s true that the benching seems to have shaken his confidence.

      • TMan1969 says:

        I know I’m the noob here…

        PK Subban is a great player and from what I’ve been watching he’s working more on his defensive role then pushing pucks forward. But he does headman passes they are slick and when he skates into the O zone and dances around he saying, “guys let’s go!”

        Plus as every, talking head in sports has indicated – everyone is keying on him because they know a) he’ll get the puck b) he’s a damn good player…hence the PP has declined. He is rounding out and being as young as he is – he is doing well. That he dance into the O zone and skate, deke or hot dog…well that’s what I want to see because it’s entertaining to see someon with drive – pushing for a win.

        Give the guy a break – he get’s none from the media and none from the fans. Everyone has to tweak their game to improve and I just hope he does all that with the Habs (like my fav D man Larry Robinson, Chris Chelios…)

        He is still leading the Canadiens point wise and he hasn’t had many for awhile…GHG!

        This is nothing against anyone here, because I enjoy reading the posts from everyone. It’s just that sometimes the negativity drowns out the positives here…

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

    • CHicoHab says:

      Ronn……..good points….but watching this guy from junior he’s always played like this and it’s hard to break habits. Obviously he need srealize it doesnt fly to play this way at the NHL level. Hopefully he calms down sooner rather than later…..

      “take your time and hurry up”

    • johnnylarue says:

      I hear everything you’re saying, Ronn–and I largely agree that Subban has been visibly over-thinking his game for a few weeks now. Willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, as I’m sure he’s got a lot on his mind with the Olympics looming and the mild “public shaming” he was subjected to in Phillly.

      My question was more about using PK’s puck-carrying prowess to the team’s advantage. As in, couldn’t the Habs have a sort of alternative break-out formation to allow for PK’s rushes, say, while the opposing team is doing a line change or what have you?

      The Habs can’t play dump and chase, and they have a hard time carrying the puck into the offensive zone–so why not devise a set play to take advantage of PK’s ability to do just that?

    • Lafrich says:

      Not sure if anyone posted this yet, but here are PKs numbers pre and post benching extrapolated to a whole season:

      Games G A Pts +/- Shots Hits
      Pre benching 82 13 49 62 24 255 181
      Post benching 82 7 27 34 -62 164 144

    • B says:

      I have a hard time believing that being sat out for a few shifts would shatter a player like Subban’s confidence and send his game spiraling down the toilet. It’s not that simple and I think Subban is made of better stuff than that.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  17. Chuck says:

    It looks like 26 Americans and/or Russians voted in the poll.

  18. Danno says:

    Some of you who frequent this blog might already know him as JJ of Turku…

    A Fine Finnish Habs Fan

    ________________________________________

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

  19. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Okay the 25 that voted for Luongo, step forward and explain yourselves. Those who voted for Smith take two steps back. Heh.

    Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Maybe some folks have other thoughts.

      Perhaps Luongo has been there-done that, and already has a Gold Medal hanging in his trophy room.
      He also took his team to a Game 7 Cup Final.

      Of course Carey never had a great team in front of him since his NHL debut (neither did Roy or Halak…) yet what has Carey accomplished to date in the playoffs to (mentally) prove he can be the man and overcome the past?

      No one doubts his physical/positioning abilities when he is on, yet when has he ever carried the Habs in the playoffs?

      In the 2011 playoffs, he truly had that chance, yet unfortunately lost 3 of the last 4 games in Overtime against Boston when the dreaded Bruins went on to win the Cup…and that hurt because the Habs won the first 2 games in Boston – then lost 4 of the last 5.
      http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/p/priceca01/gamelog/2011/

  20. rhino514 says:

    You guys are not going to like reading this article:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/habs-bought-into-a-myth-when-they-dealt-diaz/

    The canucks got a fulltime defenseman who is a better than average bottom pairing guy, and Diaz still might turn out to be a not to bad top four. They gave up a fourth liner for him.

    • shiram says:

      I did not like the return, as I felt a younger player or a pick would have been a better fit for the Habs.
      But Diaz is an upcoming UFA, Weise is a RFA, we save on some cap, and gives the Habs some space to maneuver another player if need be.
      It’s not a winning trade for us, but as of now, it’s not a lost trade either.

      Also it was posted before, and most agreed Sportsnets have a long way to go as it relates to hockey articles.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      I like it very much. Dave Tippet´s comments are very interesting, too. Sadly most fans are (still) too stupid to agree with this. That will eventually change.

    • Dave78 says:

      I get what Boyle is saying when he points out that the more time you spend in the offensive zone the less time you spend defending. Makes sense. But he makes it sound like Diaz’s offensive contributions were outweighing his shortcomings in his own end. He had no goals and 11 assists in 46 games for the Habs. I’d argue that Diaz would have to score an awful lot more than that to for Boyle’s argument to ring true.

      I always find it interesting when advanced stats tell you the exact opposite of what your eyes and the score sheet tell you.

      To paraphrase a line from Brad Pitt in Moneyball…If Diaz is such a good player then why doesn’t he play good???

      The Habs weren’t using him. He will be an FA at the end of the year. I have no problem trading him given these circumstances.

    • Habs1962 says:

      The plan of course that Beaulieu replaces Diaz.
      Not sure why the numbers guy is comparing him to Murray.
      Murray is playing good btw though. 5 on 3 PK was great.
      I wonder it numbers guy would rather go to the Habs net against Diaz or Murray ?? or for that matter young Beaulieu ? wonder if he has ever gone to the net in any league? GHG

  21. Eddie says:

    Instead of both Subban and Markov on the point of the power play, why not leave Markov there in the middle with Subban on his left and Pacioretty on his right?

    • stephen says:

      Hi, Eddie,

      Think we’re on a similar wavelength.

      The other day I suggested they could perhaps use Subban as the Caps use Ovechkin, setting up for a shot from around the left dot.

      I’d put a dependable forward on the point (Pleks?) as I’m not sure I like Markov being on his own, not quite having the legs to get back should there be a turnover going the other way.

  22. Strummer says:

    Raf Diaz last night 1 goal +1 2:33 on PP 2:33 on PK 25:26 TOI

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

    • stevieray says:

      not sure what your point is on that Partner …
      I wish him well but I’m happy to have Weezy !…and his dad

    • shiram says:

      That must have felt good for him, to start on a new team with such a good performance, I mean sure they lost as a team, but at least Diaz got to skate and be an important part of his new team.

      • Eddie says:

        Diaz is good player.

        • frontenac1 says:

          We”ll see. I’m with Timo who said last night,”who cares? He did Nothing for us”

          • Eddie says:

            When Subban was not in the lineup last year Diaz played with Markov and they carried the team for several games.

            He also was one of our best penalty killers when he was here.

            Is not true he did nothing to help the team

          • frontenac1 says:

            That was last year amigo. This year he couldn’t score or even hit the net. He was supposed to be an offensive D, but he had no offense Maybe he will pot a few out west, but who cares except Nucks Fans.
            Glad we got something for him though.

          • Eddie says:

            He’s not an offensive defenceman. He’s a defensive player who happens to be quick. He defends well. He positions well.

            What’s the difference? He’s gone.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Who won the game or does that matter? Like I said earlier, nothing against Diaz, but we traded a player the likes of which we have too many of and who is about to become a free agent, for something we needed more. Size and grit. As for who got the best of the trade. Win win? Only time will tell.

      Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

      • Eddie says:

        Last night I saw speed from Weise. I saw a guy who wants to play like a top 9 forward but might not have the skill to pull it off.

        I did not see size and grit.

        I saw speed. I love speed, so don’t misunderstand me. But I did not see a tough, gritty, in your face player.

        I also fell asleep during the game!!

  23. johnnylarue says:

    Re: Subban’s tendency to hold onto the puck (from below)

    One of the most frustrating things about this team at the moment is its inability to make a clean break-out pass. For weeks now, they’ve just been horrid in the neutral zone. Their “transition game” more often than not consists of chipping a sloppy, half-hearted pass up to a forward, followed almost immediately by either a turnover or a dump-in/line change. Second passes are not connecting, odd-man rushes are a rarity.

    PK is one of the few players on the team who can consistently carry the puck through the neutral zone and into the opponents end. He can do so seemingly at will, and he’s on the ice for ~25 minutes a game.

    Hence, to those of you with a greater understanding of hockey’s exes and ohs than mine: why doesn’t Therrien structure a planned breakout around Subban’s ability to carry the puck, rather than setting him up to look selfish or stupid with three forwards parked predictably on the blue line, waiting for one of his late, reluctant passes? Why push PK to play like a normal, conservative D-man when he’s visibly capable of more?

  24. Mavid says:

    to those of you that follow the Bulldogs closely, are they a good team, are they worthy of a night out away from a Habs game? They are playing at the building fun forgot (CTC) saturday night against the Bingo Sens..thinking of going, but its a long drive..trying to decide if its worth the effort
    thanks

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Kooch7800 says:

      They are not an amazing team but can be entertaining and at the AHL price tag it is worth it. It is good to go watch Tinordi and Pateryn. Those guys are decent on the back end. Offensively they are very much like watching the habs but the tickets are much much cheaper

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • CJ says:

      I was thinking of going but I have no interest in supporting Melnyk. Maybe if I find tickets on the secondary market, but otherwise I think I’ll pass.

      • Mavid says:

        What do you mean by secondary market CJ? Maybe I can do both, I see the game is at 6 with the Ipad I can catch it during the Dogs game..thanks for the info

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

        • CJ says:

          Kijjiji or used ottawa. I’d rather pay someone else then pay Melnyk twice (once through capital tickets, his company and once for the ticket).

          • Mavid says:

            I had no idea Capital Tickets was his, I was going to buy them at the gate…I am sure there will be lots of seats left…

            Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

          • CJ says:

            Not sure if you caught it, but sportsnet reported today that the Sens will continue to lose money, even with the new broadcasting deal they just signed.

          • CJ says:

            Mavid, I just found a pair of tickets on Kijjii Ottawa for $15 (for the pair). If you are going to go, this is the best route. The building will be empty. You will be able to move around without issue.

          • frontenac1 says:

            And some people think Quebec City can make money? Outside of Quebecor, what big Corps. Do they have for sponsorship?

  25. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Eklund says Brière to Penguins, so that’s guaranteed not to happen. Nobody on that team we’d want anyhow… ;-) Grow Habs Grow!

    • krob1000 says:

      Briere the last two weeks looks like a different player…he no longer looks slow, he looks more confident and is generating chances..I think he is looking more like what they thought he would of late. I still think the plan may be to have Gionta go and Briere to slide into his RW role.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      2 chances of that happening.
      Slim and none – and slim left the building a long time ago…

      If Briere had a 1 year/$2 million contract, even that would be a long shot, yet another year left at $4M?

      GM Shero already has a Cap puzzle to figure out next year and the last thing they need is old expensive dead wood.

    • Strummer says:

      They couldn’t handle his cap hit next season so i don’t see it.

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

  26. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Hahahaha! I hadn’t even seen that Diaz had scored! It was so improbable that it didn’t register on my retinas v

  27. habitunts1 says:

    Any realistic rumors that any other Hab players might get traded before the trade deadline?

    #10

    • Not a rumour, but I’d be surprised if Gionta wasn’t dealt before the deadline. I can’t see how he’s part of the solution going forward, and I’d hate to lose him for nothing. MB seems to favour size/grit, and between Gionta’s size, his age, his UFA status, and the fact that he’ll be way over the hill by the time the Habs’ core enters its prime, I think he’s the safest bet for a deadline move to a contender.


      Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

      • scarboro_habitant says:

        yah, doesnt look like gio will be around after this season. he been alright for the team but the sooner hes gone the better IMO. dont see us getting much for him or what team would want him. maybe back to NJ to play with his brother.

  28. dre1744 says:

    when do we get to see Prices Olympic mask i cant wait

  29. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Nice win last night for the boys.

  30. habitunts1 says:

    Great to see Diaz get the lone goal for Vancouver against our hated rivals. I wish him all the Best

    #10

  31. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    On the Olympic topic:

    Has there been any talk of who will replace NHL players at the Olympics if they, in fact, no longer go?

    It would be a shame to go back to the old “national” teams from the pre-Nagano days.

    In an ideal world, I think that there should be a World Cup before the season begins (September) and that every fourth year the World Juniors should be held at the Olympics. It’s only a month after the traditional WJC tourney, so wouldn’t be a major headache for the CHL et al to adjust to.

    The soccer/football tournament in the Summer Olympics follows this guideline: it’s an U20 championship.

    I think that would be a great way to keep Olympic hockey relevant, but assuage the concerns of the owners. All hinges on there being a World Cup though — have to have an international tournament of the best against the best.

  32. habs-hampton says:

    Has you guys looked at the Olympic Schedule? In Canada, if you work a regular 8-5 job, you’ll see 1 preliminary game and the Gold Medal game if we get that far. It’s not the same watching a replay in the evening.
    Hopefully the boss comes up with some ideas (he’s a hockey fan)!

  33. johnnylarue says:

    What’s with all the ragging on Patches, lately?

    The guy’s had more than his share of injuries, always comes back earlier than expected, and happens to be pretty much the only guy on our team who understands the meaning of the phrase, “put the puck in the net”.

    So he doesn’t especially like the rough stuff–who cares!!

    I suspect if I’d had my neck broken playing hockey I’d also be a smidge leery of playing like Brendan “The Human Pinata” Gallagher, whose spine routinely sees more cross-checks than O’Hare International on a busy day.

    Just seems a bit misguided–if not a touch ungrateful–to pick on the only goal-scorer on a team that otherwise doesn’t score goals.

    • shiram says:

      It’s borne out of people’s expectations, for years Max was sold to us as the power forward we never had, but always wished we did.
      He even looked like it for a short while when playing with Cole.

      But it’s just not his game, he is more a sniper, and that’s ok, we could use more of those too.

    • CJ says:

      Not to mention he is signed for five more years at $4.5 per, which is approximately half of what Kessel just signed for.

    • The Jackal says:

      Amen!

      Even though he is a sniper in a power forward’s body, his size is still an advantage. It irks me to hear people say that Patches is lazy and soft. He’s the 40 goal scorer we always wanted!

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Cal says:

        He is lazy and soft. His backchecking leaves a lot to be desired. His goalscoring can offset some of that, but he needs to be more involved physically. He also gets his body into the most awkward positions when he’s going into the corners or near the boards. He can be a lot better. But, at $4.5mil, what do we expect, eh?

    • bwoar says:

      He plays a 100 foot game and is personally responsible for us having to keep DD forever.

      But, for 4.5M a year, his goalscoring is a bargain. Overall it’s a push, I admit. But I’d like him more if he worked for the puck once in a while. He’s pretty much a better version of Michael Ryder.

      “thoroughbred”

      • CJ says:

        He also kills penalties, albeit in a limited capacity. The next time you see Kessel or Ryan kill a penalty it will be a first. For $4.5 million for the next five years he represents some of the best value in the league.

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      JLR, consider the posters that disparage Max P, consider their hockey “philosophy” and move on …

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  34. habsguru says:

    it’s very evident that “the system” has denied PK from being the first Hab accross the blue line. we saw about two weeks of him being an offensive machine (ie. vs Dallas) to now, breaking through the N zone and slamming on the brakes to make a ridiculous pass to a forward standing still on the o zone blue line. is it so bad that he can break the blue line and gain the zone?

    • Phil C says:

      He either needs to move it at his own blueline while his forwards are still in full stride, gain the redline and dump it in or gain the zone and hold possession. What he is doing now is no good at all. IMO he would be way more productive if he moved the puck earlier and jumped up in the rush with back support. Everyone loves his big rushes, but they almost always lead to nothing. He has to get better at using his teammates.

      • krob1000 says:

        It is a dman version of Gomez…he too gained the line with ease. If he is going to do it it has to be going somewhere…Either there needs to be more communication and someone joining hm, or he has the green light to go as dep as he wants and someone will cover, etc…but the way it is going lately is extrememly frustrating.

        • Phil C says:

          It is frustrating. I would rather him move it, he is so much better when he does. But if he must rush it, at least teach him how to get to the net or start teeing up the big shot if they give you the top of the circle. His rushes usually end harmlessly in the corner.

      • Just a Habs Fan says:

        You are right on Phil. His play lately is not even close to hw he was playing a few weeks ago. He actually hurts the team now on some nights. I don’t see how many posters can’t see his work and get off this foolish idea that MT is making him play n ways that hurt him. I’ve been a Habs fan for over 50 years and always support them but you have to be honest to yourself when appraising the team. They are not that good and will in a dog fight to make the playoffs, PK better soon come around or MB may decide he isn’t worth the expected dollars many say he will demand.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      When he wasn’t putting guys offside, he’d drive wide to the net, get a lame shot and then retreat to the point. Meanwhile, the other team now has possession of the puck because Subban was way ahead of everyone else (he didn’t have support). Also, these “rushes” have historically lead to NOTHING, i.e. he rarely, if ever scores on them.

      Now we have the forwards virtually standing still at the opposing blue line, all because Subban can’t pass the puck earlier (he holds on to the puck WAY too long).

      • Yep. Love Subban, but forcing the forwards to stop skating, and stand still at the blueline waiting for him to enter the O zone, is a real momentum killer. Sure they gain the zone, but with no speed — and a ton of inertia as they try to build up speed again.


        Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

    • Cal says:

      Headman the puck and support the attack. Don’t slow it down by doing the “Bobby Orr” rush.
      At the end of a forward line’s shift, he should carry it up and go for it. Otherwise, pass the effing puck.

  35. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    Perhaps everyone has moved on from the Sportsnet analytical take on Diaz, but I ask those who are dismissive of the article to take a closer look.

    Yes the premise is flawed (not Murray v Diaz) but that was to make a point – the real crux of the argument is puck movement matters and the Habs have been trying this for years.

    Don’t allow a fondness for seeing timber fall blind us to understanding (as Christopher noted eruditiously (yeah I made that up) ) that you dismiss scientific analysis at your own peril.

    PG noted that in the current game (think bigger goaltenders/shot blocking and bigger players overall) the majority of goals are score in tight – Lafleur like blasting a 40 footer from the wing never happens now. For that reason he brought in Bourque (who scored his goals that way) and likely why they took a flyer on Gallagher.

    I value Murray immensely for the parts of his game that he can control and it is up to his partner and the coach to manage and diminish the gaps – he will make a sound fundamental team better and a weak one worse.

    “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • punkster says:

      Well stated.

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

    • Good post. Murray has a purpose (PK and toughness) and fills it well, but Diaz is more valuable in every way — except the one you can measure with a bathroom scale. Sure size matters, but skill does too.


      Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

  36. Sportfan says:

    I think after bunch of hard days of work we should get our own paid therapy day :P

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

  37. Eddie says:

    Since that game against Philly this past Jan 8th, we have played 13 games and 26 points were available to us.

    We picked up 11 of those 26 available points.

    • shiram says:

      Here’s hoping Therrien is showing a more proactive attitude towards the team and it’s players than his answer up above shows.

    • CJ says:

      Very bad stretch of hockey. No doubt about it. We are 3-1-1 in our last five with two winnable games ahead. In this league you are only as good as your last game. There are going to be ups and downs during the season.

      The optimist would suggest we got the worst of it out of the way and have strengthened our resolve. Others might suggest that we have regressed to the mean and aren’t a very good team at all. I’ve stated, on numerous occasions what I believe to be in this franchise’s best interest long term, but everyone has an opinion on the subject and mine is no better then anyone else’s. The next four weeks will go an long way to shaping our course.

  38. jimmy shaker says:

    P.K. needs to simplify in the back end and stay on his feet! He’s sliding around too much out there taking himself out of position far too often. Easy play out of the zone, take what the opposition gives you, more give and goes vs holding onto the puck, don’t look for the big hit, limit turnovers. Looks like he’s trying too hard out there and that could hurt his chances in sochi. Less is more from PK.

    Shaker out!

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      It looks like he’s simplified too much and being overcoached.

      Needs to free-wheel at full speed more and not worry about dishing it before he breaks the zone. He’ll make a spin and where he’d normally burn it up ice, he’ll now curl back again to set up a pass.
      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I think you’re only seeing what you want. I still think he’s doing fine, but he tends to hold onto the puck a bit too long. There are 4 other guys on the ice to help. When the time is right, he needs to do his thing, but not every time he has the puck.

        That said, he’s my favorite player, but he’s not perfect, and that’s not on the coach.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

      • The Jackal says:

        Looks like he’s been free-wheeling it too much, trying to do too much. Doesn’t sound like simplifying or over coaching at all.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        Subban has been brutal the last couple weeks. Can’t spin it any other way.

      • CJ says:

        Sorry Steeltown, but I agree with the others. The talent is all there, but it’s not coming together right now. Simple is often best.

  39. sCOTT1243 says:

    The reporter in the grey shirt with the beard was probably the funniest thing in the White and Weise interview. I wonder if he likes his job?

  40. frontenac1 says:

    Therapy Day I understand for Crankshaft(He took some zingers blocking shots last night) ,but Max? He was floating like a butterfly.
    Whats up with him and Lars recently?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Did you see Crankshaft stay on the ice for two minutes during the entire 5-3 PK? That was something else!

      • jimmy shaker says:

        That I think was deserving of another contract in my opinion, but somehow tinordi has to get up here too. Maybe he stays here as a 7th D-man. Don’t know why MT never called a T.O. for those guys out there. I know there were a few stoppages but if he wanted those guys out there the whole time, I would’ve called a time out and let them get their wind and legs back. But that was truly heroic by those 3 guys.

        Shaker out!

        • Mattyleg says:

          Signs from Hamilton indicate that Tinordi won’t be up next year.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • jimmy shaker says:

            Really, how come?

            Shaker out!

          • Mattyleg says:

            Heard the TSN 690 Hamilton guy saying that Tiny was struggling at that level.

            Not sure if anyone else on here has seen the same/different things, though…

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • habs-fan-84 says:

            Next year is a whole other story. Tiny could come in next September and have a great training camp and suddenly find himself back with the big club.

        • CJ says:

          Regarding the TO, you raise a good point, however it would also give the offence a breather. Although not exclusively, when a timeout is called on special teams it is almost always called by the team on the PP.

        • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

          No timeout because they weren’t skating so not as tiring except for Prust and he was relieved by Gionta. Also there were a few stoppages.

          “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • shiram says:

      Maybe he got stung by a bee?

    • Luke says:

      26. You can see why the Panthers were excited about Scott Bjugstad, whose size helped him dominate at the University of Minnesota. There were questions about doing that against NHL players. He laughed and agreed he learned some lessons the hard way. “[Doug] Murray from Montreal,” said Bjugstad with a smile, “I tried one of my college moves on him and he put me on my ass.”

      Perhaps he really meant, “Daiz from Montreal… he tried to poke check me into the corner”

    • HabFab says:

      #25 has been a major issue that the coaching staff have to come up with a tweak.

  41. Kooch7800 says:

    I wish MB would get a move on with the Subban contract. You would think that would be his biggest priority. It is reported he is asking for a 7 to 8 year deal in around 8 to 8.5. If they could get him locked up for 8 mill and 8 years I would get it done.

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • HabFab says:

      MB has MT playing with PK’s head in order to keep the price down… or something like that.

      PS: what a lazy society we have become with all the initials…rush, rush, rush!!

    • CJ says:

      I don’t think PK is adding value based on his play the past four weeks. The silver lining might be that we save a few dollars with Eller and PK both. Based on their play the first month of the season it would not have been crazy to suggest that Eller was going to command $4 million or more, while PK could have touched the stratosphere around $8.5-$9 million annually.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I agree there. The way Eller is playing he probably will be around the 3 mill per season mark.

        I just hope it gets done after the trade deadline. Maybe he is focused on trying to maximize the current assets. He has a lot of work to do at this point.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • CJ says:

          Regarding Eller, I agree. In fact, based on his recent play, $3 million might be the ceiling. I was sure he was going to breakthrough and we would be on the hook for significantly more.

          Just to be clear, I would much rather him breakthrough then save a few dollars.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I kinda disagree. I don’t think you save money on a player like PK based on a handful of games where he played a little less awesome than usual…hell even if you think he played downright bad for 10 games (which he hasn’t), that will not affect the money he gets from the Habs at all (nor should it). It also would not affect the offers he would potentially receive from, well, any team in the league that could afford him.

        Everyone is well aware of what they would be getting with PK, and everyone would take it in a heartbeat.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

        • CJ says:

          Fair enough. I too agree the larger body of work determines a player’s value.

          I think my original post noted that PK wasn’t adding value. He is still going to get in the ballpark of $8 million annually. Although I won’t completely discount the fact that he may ultimately get $8.5 million or more, I just don’t see it.

  42. monmick says:

    It’s about time Parros gets his chance on the second line…

    ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  43. HabinBurlington says:

    “The coach added after practice that he’s pleased with the team’s defence and isn’t worried about the offence because the team is getting chances and the goals will come.”

    Yikes, not sure I like that comment from MT. Actually I am positive I don’t.

    • krob1000 says:

      Maybe he built it? Will the team now “go the distance”?
      Skateless Joe Jackson and Moonlight Graham are gonna save the day folks….nothing to worry about here

    • Mattyleg says:

      We didn’t get many chances last night, for sure, but we did on Saturday and (especially) Sunday.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Seems like the right comment to me. We have had chances. Do we need to create more? Yes. I don’t think he needs to tell the media even if he is a little worried. He just needs to get back to work with the coaching staff and players and get things going.

      He should be pleased with the defense recently, I feel that we’ve gotten some good chances and even in our loss to the jets, their goals can barely even be considered chances. They were both gifts.
      If nothing else, we are playing better lately than we had been. It’s a slightly above average team for now. Hopefully, Bergevin will make them better by adding some pieces in the off-season.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • oldandslo says:

      So the great plan is to win our games 1-0 from now on?

      What a puny plan…….

      • Luke says:

        Got the Sabres and Hasek to the cup finals…

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Did I write that anywhere? They need to work on offense but they don’t have to be or sound worried about it. They have showed they can score by creating chances…but there is work to be done.

        Did you even read the comment at all?

        Go Habs Go!!

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

  44. Bripro says:

    Ba…
    I got nothin’

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I heard through the grapevine you got a wonderful family. Wished i could have joined you guys a few weeks back. Too bad the game didn’t go better for your guests.

      CHeers

      • Bripro says:

        I was hoping as well, Gerry.
        That or at least making it to your neck of the woods over the holidays.
        I’m sure we’ll have more opportunities.

        They were great company.
        Indeed, their game’s result really sucked.
        I mentioned it the day after …..
        To take out a small mortgage for 2 tickets to suckitude… very disappointing for them, I’m sure.

      • HabFab says:

        Is there any truth to the rumor that 2 of the 3 out of town guests spent the ride over to Brian’s on the floor of the car? And that the only passenger still in his seat… doesn’t post here? I can’t believe it myself.

    • HabFab says:

      I noticed that on the previous thread…. :D

  45. vegas says:

    SO who sits once Galchenyuk and Moen are back
    Bourque has doing well over the last 5-6 games and so has Briere
    We really need a trade to clear some room

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Chucky has to come back into the line up. If someone is struggling replace them with Moen. I 100% agree they need to move out some bodies

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  46. Mattyleg says:

    Bazonk.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—


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