Habs players enjoying rest after series sweep

The Canadiens enjoyed their second straight day off Thursday following their first-round sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Canadiens will play the winner of the Boston-Detroit series in the Eastern Conference semifinals. If that series goes the full seven games it won’t end until April 30, meaning the Habs could be in for a long break between games. The Bruins led that series 2-1 going into Game 4 Thursday night (8 p.m., TSN, RDS).

An NHL spokesman told The Canadian Press on Thursday that the Habs’ next series would not start early if the Boston-Detroit series goes only five games. The Canadiens could be looking at a 10- or 11-day break between games, depending on when all the first-round series wrap up.

“Personally, it’s good to have the time off,” Max Pacioretty told reporters after scoring the winning goal in Game 4 against the Lightning Tuesday night. “We had a lot of battles in this series and the time off will be good. We’re all professionals in this room and we’ll handle it right.”

Said Lars Eller: “Rest is a weapon right now. I don’t see it as a disadvantage. Boston or Detroit, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to have to beat one of them — or any other team — to keep advancing, so we’ll just sit back and see what happens.”

The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs reached Habs forward Brandon Prust Wednesday afternoon. He was still in bed resting.

“The next couple of days are about recovering,” Prust (photo above) told Stubbs. “I haven’t gotten out of bed too much, except to grab some food and watch some TV. I’ve slept the day away. No plans. I doubt we’ll move far from the bed today.”

Prust will be watching the Boston-Detroit series.

“We’re just watching those teams punish each other and hope that they continue to punish each other more,” he told Stubbs. “The rest now will be great for a lot of guys who have bumps and bruises.

“Rest is a positive and it can be a negative — you kind of lose a little momentum and that game-feel if you’re not playing for many days. But it’s our job in the days ahead to make sure we’re really focused in practice.”

The Canadiens’ mini-vacation will end Friday when they practise at 11 a.m. in Brossard. 

Meanwhile, the Canadiens announced Thursday afternoon that they have signed forwards Daniel Carr and Connor Crisp to NHL entry-level contracts.

Carr, who signed a two year deal, helped Union College win the NCAA championship this season, posting 22-28-50 totals and 28 penalty minutes in 39 games. Crisp, who signed a three-year deal, posted 28-27-55 totals and 120 penalty minutes with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves. He then played seven games with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, scoring two goals. Carr is an undrafted 22-year-old, while Crisp, 20, was selected by the Canadiens in the third round (71st overall) at last year’s NHL entry draft.

(Photo by Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Habs face long wait for next playoff round, montrealgazette.com

Five key factors to Canadiens’ sweep, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Banged-up Habs can use the extra days rest, by Pat Hickey

Habs’ Prust enjoying some well-deserved R&R, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Habs’ Bouillon continues to beat odds, by Pat Hickey

Get a taste of Habs’ series sweep through Dale Weise’s mic, The Hockey News

Playoff blueprint, Canadiens.com

Habs’ first-round playoff stats, NHL.com

Canadiens sign forwards Carr, Crisp, hamiltonbulldogs.com

Lightning point to great season, not playoff sweep, montrealgazette.com

Lightning goalie Bishop to undergo wrist surgery, NHL.com

Opinion: Ron MacLean was wrong, by Jack Todd

Opinion: Ron MacLean was right, by Cam Cole

 

 

692 Comments

  1. johnnylarue says:

    As much as it behooves me to give the Bruins any form of credit, I wouldn’t kick guys like Bergeron and Rask out of the locker room for eating crackers.

  2. punkster says:

    Excellent…Chara distracted trying to punch someone and can’t get in front of the net…goal.

    Release the Subbang!!!

  3. 1010 says:

    Here`s hoping this, `nobody has come back in any game in this series, `holds up.

    GO HABS…

  4. Mattyleg says:

    Starting to enjoy this Abdelkader kid’s moxy.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  5. Psycho29 says:

    They better protect “the Monster” tonight:

    Bob Duff‏ @asktheduffer ·11m
    Howard not even on redwings bench and team did not call up 3rd goalie for playoffs. Grand Rapids currently in Abbotsford for #AHL playoffs.

  6. johnnylarue says:

    Wings looking good. Vintage Wings. If “Monster” can hold up his end of the bargain, this could be good game.

    I’ve decided I want the Bruins to lose in 7. The pleasure of seeing them bounced in the first round would be too sweet for words. And I think a Wings/Habs series would be a hell of a lot of fun, if somewhat less intense than a BOS/MTL bout.

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      I agree, except I think the intensity would come soon enough. There are fans over 65 out there, and they know what the Red Wings meant to the Habs , back when the Bruins were a joke.
      Original Six, and one of the only four that mattered – Montreal, Chicago, Detroit and Toronto. It’s been awhile, but these things don’t die.
      You want to see the Forum ghosts in the Bell centre? They’ll be chugging stubbies and sharpening their elbows on the way down Ste Catherine Street if the Red Wings come in for a meaningful series.

  7. johnnylarue says:

    Okay, seriously guys: Zetterberg is on beard steroids, right?

  8. Butterface says:

    Q: What is the difference between Milan Lucic and the Planters Nut Company ?

    Wait for it….

    Wait for it….

    Wait for it….

    A: One sticks nuts in a jar and the other jars nuts with a stick.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

  9. C-Sword says:

    Howard not playing, got the flu, Gustavson…

  10. punkster says:

    Go Wings Go!
    (just for tonight)

    Release the Subbang!!!

  11. D Man says:

    Re: MT’s line juggling throughout the regular season. A positive? Doesn’t the juggling foster awareness of each other so when it becomes necessary (injury etc) the changes are more easily done? Wasn’t Scotty Bowman considered a master a “line juggling”? I see it as long term preparation which so far in the play-offs seems to have paid off.
    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

    • Mattyleg says:

      That’s a good point; four set lines can end up creating an ‘us-and-them’ attitude in the dressing room, where players get precious about their positions.

      Mix it up enough, and you have vets playing on the 4th line with a rookie and a grinder, and nobody bats an eyelid.

      It’s prettyd damn smart when you think of it that way!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  12. 1010 says:

    Have to weigh in on the MacLean story. Over the years I have commented on this site that MacLean has a hate on for the Habs that goes far deeper than most suspect. I have accused him on several occasions of picking the stones and getting Don Cherry to throw them. I remember the ass MacLean stating a few years ago that the entire Habs team was a bunch of divers. Two weekends ago, when Don was talking about the only Canadian team that made the playoffs, MacLean, twice within a few seconds, interrupted Don and tried to get him talking about the leafs. And on, and on, and on. I`m quite certain that the dufus wasn`t questioning the background of the ref when Ottawa kicked a goal in last year. Or when the ref blew the whistle on a loose puck against Boston a couple years back. Or, perhaps the biggest screw up in recent years against our team, the phantom high stick on Koivu that turned the whole series around against Carolina. Countless calls have been made in favor of leaf and Ottawa teams made by Ontario refs. Which, by the way, are by far the largest demographic area represented in the referee community. That being from the greater GTA. (and of course these same refs have made many calls against Ontario teams over the years, as have refs from Quebec against the Habs.) But he said it about refs from Quebec. Plain and simple. So I now believe that Rons contempt for the Canadiens may very well run a little deeper than just a dislike for a hockey team.
    And once again, that great money pit called the CBC has done us proud and brought us a little closer. Pathetic.

    • peiKC says:

      very well said, I totally agree

      PEIKC

    • Psycho29 says:

      Awesome post!!!!

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      I have noted the exact same thing 1010! I believe that Ron MacLean is very sly and that he has a strong contempt for the Habs and for Montreal in general. I have seen him slip the stones to Don Cherry for throwing. Yet MacLean acts all proper and gentlemanly to the casual viewer. Can’t wait for him and the other HNIC pukes to be gone from hockey period. Can’t wait….

      24 cups and counting….

    • Mattyleg says:

      Yep.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • frontenac1 says:

      Like I said this morning. McLean is Howdy Doody with his “aw shucks” corny and boring schtick. At least Grapes as Clarabell is entertaining in a train wreck kind of way. I say snuff McLean and put Andi Petrillo with Grapes.Yeah,thats the ticket. I don’t care how many feet or other body parts she puts in her mouth. I would like it.
      Saludos!

  13. HabFab says:

    More scoop on Carr. 6′ 195 lb from Alberta.

    Mike Obrand – College expert on Daniel Carr: MT @JoeMeloni Great two-way forward. Led national title team in scoring+voted best D forward in his league

  14. Habitant in Surrey says:

    NCAA Division 1 Scoring Leader:

    1 Johnny Gaudreau, Jr, F, Boston College 40 games; 36 goals

    …drafted by Calgary

    …o well

  15. Ian Cobb says:

    For the best overall player on the Hab’s , he sure does not get much love or votes.
    But Thomas Plekanic is by far the KEEL of this hockey club!

    Yes we all love Price, Galagher, PK, and more. But #14 is by far and away the guy who steadies the ship.

  16. naweed235 says:

    Here’s a great little 5 min video remix of the first round to keep you pumped:
    http://video.canadiens.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=66&id=609150&lang=en

  17. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Jason Kay; Hockey News: ‘Highly anticipated Red Army documentary to make its debut at Cannes.’ …Watch the trailer here

    http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/highly-anticipated-red-army-documentary-to-make-its-debut-at-cannes-watch-the-trailer-here/

    “The movie, made by director Gabe Polsky (The Motel Life) and co-produced by Hollywood heavy hitters Jerry Weintraub and Werner Herzog, chronicles the dominant Soviet machine and sets it against the changing socio-political backdrop.”

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    He could just tip the scale! Go Detroit Go.!

    #‎RedWings‬ pencil Zetterberg into lineup –
    http://redwings.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=716308

  19. CynicalHabsfan says:

    To everyone defending Maclean:
    If you want to debate whether a ref from the South Shore should be assigned to habs games, or if an official from the GTA should do leafs games, that’s one thing. Although Maclean backtracked and said his comments were merely in reference to local referees, they weren’t.
    The ref in game three was from just outside Gatineau. His “local” team would actually be Ottawa, not Montreal. By saying that the nhl shouldn’t have assigned a French referee, Maclean essentially said that an entire ethnic group was unsuitable to officiate a game because of their supposed bias towards a team.
    If Maclean had said that Asians shouldn’t be assigned to games in Vancouver, or Hispanics to games in Miami, he would be out of a job today. But for some reason, in this country it’s okay for the Anglophones and Francophones alike to make comments about the other linguistic group that would be entirely unacceptable if they were in reference to other demographic groupings.
    Sorry for the long post, but this has been really bugging me. It’s 2014, for crying out loud, and hockey is one of the few things in this country that has the power to truly unite us. Let’s gather with our neighbors, no matter what language they speak at home, and cheer on the habs. On RDS, of course.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      You have it right my friend. Hockey people will unite at the end of the rivalry! Bigots have an agenda!

      • HabFan in Edmonton says:

        I hardly think Ron Mclean is a bigot.

        • Habitant in Surrey says:

          …I think the words ‘bigot’ and ‘racist’ gets amplified way out of context and reality

          …We are all bigoted and racist to some extent

          …if I was in MacLean’s position I would not say what I am sure He was thinking, because if You had half-a-brain in Your head, You KNOW there will be serious political blow-back

          …It was a stupid remark to make …do I think He should be fired, no I don’t because Ron MacLean is a talented MC, that has one outstanding flaw …a Weedabator

          …You dish out crap, he better sure in Hell be man enough to take crap back

          • HabFan in Edmonton says:

            Ron Mclean apologized like a man. He is not a bigot, time to move forward.

          • peiKC says:

            He was a great MC but has slipped big time lately in my opinion, there was no need whatsoever to even bring that subject up. In the Olympics, we had canadian or canadien refs officiating and that wasn’t an isue, in fact we all embraces that as well as MacLean. Why would a Professional English or French speaking referee favour any team? they are paid by the league, not the local team.

            MacLean has lost my respect>

            PEIKC

          • Mattyleg says:

            How do you guys explain his claim that there were no Canadian teams in the playoffs.

            Another ‘slip’, but as I’ve said, he would never have made that ‘mistake’ if Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Winnipeg or… God forbid, Toronto were in the playoffs.

            Then the ref thing.

            Coincidence? Not on your life.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            …You ‘missed’ My point Matty

          • Mattyleg says:

            Sorry, HiS, I was unclear.
            That post was aimed at HFiE.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • HabFan in Edmonton says:

            Did Ron Mclean say something stupid? Absolutely. It just enjoys annoys me when people start calling other people bigots. Those words are way over used. I think Hab fans are a little over sensitive sometimes.

          • Mattyleg says:

            This goes beyond Habs fans.
            It has more to do with Maclean having something against Quebec and Francophones. That is the problem.

            If Maclean was saying that rednecks shouldn’t be allowed to referee games in Alberta because of their bias, there’d be riots.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      Wow, nothing you said even relates to anything Mclean said at all. Listen to what he said, it is crystal clear. He asked if there was a controversial call for the second straight game, would other people blame a french ref.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Not really.
        He said that the NHL should not have used a French ref in order to avoid controversy.
        This means that in his mind all French-speaking refs are biased towards Montreal.
        In his retraction/apology, he says that he was ‘misunderstood’ and that he should have said ‘local’, despite Charron being from Gatineau.

        Would Maclean have spoken out about GTA refs in a game involving Toronto?
        Nope.

        It’s just the kind of casual discrimination that Quebecers get all the time from the ROC. Check out the comments section of any CBC story concerning Quebec and you’ll see it nicely spelled out in bad English.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Loop_Garoo says:

          I agree that Quebec is mis-understood by the ROC. I do a lot of work in federal politics and there are a lot of misguided assumptions made without any real attempt to understand. What Mclean said is not one of those things. Mclean was worried that the same people who made unfair assumptions about Quebec would make the same unfair assumptions if there was a controversial call.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Hmm.
            As I said before, I would be more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt if he hadn’t made the ‘no Canadian teams in the playoffs’ “slip”.

            And the other stupid things he’s said don’t help his case either.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Loop_Garoo says:

          I dont see it that way. Him saying that french ref’s could cause a controversy means that in his mind, other people in the ROC are biased and might accuse the ref of favoritism, and not accusing the refs of being biased. I believe he was expressing his thoughts about other people and not his own bias against the french. In the ROC, french people are often misunderstood, but I hear pretty much zero as far as racism or prejudice against them goes. You could argue that the misunderstanding has a foundation in a fundamental racism, but I think it’s mostly just laziness.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      There is no question that what he said was stupid, and he is a lousy host, but to call someone a racist for making an offhand comment about how other people might react is wrong. Mclean is a ref and knows first hand that you can be an unbiased ref no matter the circumstances, and know full well the kind of insults and blame that is thrown at them. He did not say that French ref’s favor Montreal, he wondered how other people would react.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      Mclean was simply talking about optics, and despite everything you claim to say cynical, it’s people like you that prove him right. He at no point every said that French people were not capable or lesser, or biased, he said it might look bad if there was a controversial call.

  20. Say Ash says:

    Uhh, so where’s the game day post?

  21. ProHabs says:

    Hey Commandant,
    You seem to know alot about prospects. Do you know anything about a defenceman named Brandon Prophet that plays for the Saginaw Spirit. Have you ever seen him play. What are his chances of getting drafted in the NHL draft.
    Has anyone else seen this guy play.

  22. B says:

    Daniel Carr is an Alberta born kid who played in the BCHL before going to Union. He finished 8th in NCAA scoring this season:

    http://www.uscho.com/stats/overall/division-i-men/2013-2014/

    –Go Habs Go!–

  23. Habitant in Surrey says:

    @Commandant

    Ben, Daniel Carr is a new one for Me

    …is He a Rick Dudley find ? …is He a Quebecer originally (i.e.; Daniel)

    …He led Union to NCAA 1 Championship as leading team scorer …but what was His rank over-all among NCAA 1 teams ?

    …same mold as Pacioretti ? …or, too soon to know ? …(I can dream can’t I ? :) )

    • Commandant says:

      8th in NCAA scoring.

      As for being another Pacioretty, doubtful. The thing you are hoping (and its a hope, not a guarantee) from an NCAA free agent is that you get a 2nd or 3rd liner out of the kid, the top liners who were never drafted are possible (Kunitz amongst others) but are very, very rare.

      Go Habs Go!

      http://lastwordonsports.com/

  24. Psycho29 says:

    Heard Ray Ferraro on TSN690 at 4PM. Very interesting take on Matt Cooke and suspensions in general.
    To paraphrase: He said the NHL discipline dept is in general disarray and will alway be that way as long as there isn’t an independant person running the show (someone not connected to the teams).
    Melnick asked if he really thought that is a problem, and Ferraro said how else do you explain Lucic not getting suspended for the balls-kabab, and he also mentioned another player who didn’t get a suspension (the name escapes me)…
    I will try to find the audio later and will post it.

    • Danno says:

      If PK was going around spearing players in the nuts you can be sure there would have been swift and severe punishment. In the NHL it’s not what you do. It’s who you are and who you know.

      ________________________________________

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

    • habcertain says:

      I agree with his assessment, but it needs to be an individual who has hockey experience and not some white collar lawyer, tough person to find with no pro attachments. What I don’t like is they seem to dole out punishment based on the severity of an injury and not the nature of the infraction.

  25. Da Hema says:

    I too needed some rest after the series. Lifting myself out of my leather recliner chair to get beer and snacks is really hard work.

  26. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Cam Cole ? … Bruce Arthur ? …Ron MacLean ? …CBC/HNIC ? …every Hab-hater that agrees with MacLean ? …every Hab-Fan that agrees with MacLean ?

    …Dick Wads !!!

    …err, well maybe, …not so big a Dick Wad if You are a Habs Fan …but still, a Richard Wad ! :)

    • frontenac1 says:

      Cheap whores, every one them. No point getting upset amigo. The Good journalists get sent to the Back Forty and if the they are lucky, escape the cap in the back of their head.

  27. frontenac1 says:

    I always liked Todd. I liked Dowbiggin and Hodge too. But then again my favourite Journalist since I was a young lad was Hunter S.Thompson. Always. Saludos!

  28. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Hey !!! …I’m praising Jack Todd !

    …Whooodda EVER thunk ?

    …must be gettin’ soff in Me old age

  29. Danno says:

    Wow.

    It’s going to be a long wait until we can watch Habs hockey again.

    ________________________________________

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

  30. DipsyDoodler says:

    MVPs in Series One: Plekanec, Gallagher, Subban.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  31. Commandant says:

    Daniel Carr and Connor Crisp sign ELCs.

    I added my Scouting Reports on each guy to the Habs press release.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/04/24/scouting-reports-habs-signees-daniel-carr-connor-crisp/

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  32. Danno says:

    While We Wait

    ________________________________________

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

  33. shiram says:

    Canadiens sign forwards Connor Crisp and Daniel Carr to contracts

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=716386

  34. Luke says:

    I’ll put this right here:

    http://grantland.com/features/montreal-canadiens-stanley-cup-playoffs-2014/

    Down Goes Brown writes nice things about the Habs…

  35. Habfan10912 says:

    No Galchenyuk until the Eastern Conference Finals.

  36. Mavid says:

    How could you not pick the Honey Badger as the MPV of the first round..sure Rene finally found his game..but there is no other player who brings it every minute of every shift for 60 min..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  37. twilighthours says:

    If you do nothing else today, do this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFZRcmlf-BI

  38. stevieray says:

    Need help !..this ole boot is trying to post a link and don,t know how to do it…
    Ps….make it simple ..remember who your,re talkin to :)

  39. Luke says:

    Hmmm… A playoff series sweep sure does nothing to spur the conversation around here.

    If only we could see how the 10 black aces from hamilton were being line-up during the optional skates.

  40. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Hello. Does anybody on this site agree with me regarding the number of games? I personally think they should take at least 10 games off the schedule not just for the competitive aspect, but also for the rest aspect. These guys play a contact and physically demanding sport for 82 + Playoffs if you play for a team not named Toronto, that is crazy… And yet still some people complain about the habs resting…

    • shiram says:

      I agree the season is long, but cutting games would cut revenues.

      • UKRAINIANhab says:

        Very true

        • shiram says:

          So I can’t see either of the Player’s association or the NHL itself voting to cut the schedule, even though it could have beneficial effects.
          Like having our playoffs at a different time than the NBA.

          • UKRAINIANhab says:

            Or the NBA doing that. The NBA is a league that has really suffered lately. Believe it or Not NHL is growing pretty quickly, and outside of the good NBA teams there is not that much interest. Especially with NCAA ball growing.

          • shiram says:

            Sure but they are still doing a better job on TV ratings than the NHL is.

    • JUST ME says:

      Totally agree .Too many games makes for more injuries and less consistency. Also i would enjoy seeing best of 5 in the first rounds as it used to be. I do not think that it`s a matter of maximum quality though as much as maximum income !

    • Luke says:

      Were the Leafs in or out of the Playoffs at game 72?

      If they were in at 72, then 72 is not enough.

    • Garbo says:

      I completely agree, the game has become much more physical now (as evident by the escalating level of injuries). Players are bigger, faster, and stronger – more now than they have ever been. It’s odd that such a physical sport has so many games in the season. I mean, look at football!

      But if the owners have anything to say about it, it’s never gonna happen. Ten games is a HUGE chunk of revenue they would have to forfeit. This would then necessitate lowering the salary cap. Which in turn would generate significant oppostion from the NHLPA.

      So without either the owners or players on board, this will lilely remain a pipe dream.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Get rid of that Damn Instigator Rule. Let the Lads take care of it on the ice! No more functionaires! Wtf! How many more skilled guys have to go down? Saludos!

      • boing007 says:

        They are all in cahoots.

        The players could all agree-back door of course-to boycott the first ten games. But they wouldn’t. So …
        Status Quo.

        Richard R

  41. SteverenO says:

    @JF ; re: Therrien is not a buffoon and idiot

    Of course he is not a not a buffoon or an idiot, but in my opinion he has made some very questionable decisions over the course of this season (and last),

    One of the biggest criticisms of MT is his constant line juggling/tinkering. Rather than making personnel decisions and line combos based on performance he instead tries to make the lines fit his own interpretation of who should be playing where and how much.

    For most of the season we had only one effective scoring line, it was Pacioretty/DD/Gallagher. He tried almost every combination of forward lines but would not touch his #1 line.
    The reality is that the best line on the team (pre-Vanek) was Briere/Plekanec/Gionta, and yet he refuses to deploy this line despite the success they have had( and the team has had) when they have played together.

    AS was the case last season , a team that at times, during the season had a formidable powerplay is entering the playoffs with a powerplay that is struggling to score. This was the most important facet of the team that needed to be improved during the last half of the season and was pretty much left intact- despite a complete lack of effectiveness; no personnel changes were even tried.

    IS it possible that Vanek, or Briere may be useful on the point, or Briere (or Galchenyuk) who were not trusted to play the center ice position on at 5 on 5 may have the talent to be great centerman on the PP? Unfortrunately we never got the chance to find out, because MT had already decided that his #1 line 5 on 5 must also play the first wave of the PP EVEN THOUGH the team only scored 2 goals in 57 minutes with this line on the PP. ( for comparison the team scored 3 goals in 24 minutes with Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta up front ant 3 goals in 10 minutes with Bournoval-Plekanec-Gionta up front. So despite having the option of utilizing XXXX-Pleakanec-Gionta who were on fro 6 PP goals in 34 minutes MT stubbornly continues to deploy Vanek-DD-Pacioretty who have been for one third as many goals in almost twice as much PP time

    While sweeping the Lightning, MT kept his lines intact, which is a good thing, but its also easy when the team is winning.

    Despite doing an excellent coaching job of preparing the team in the first round, I for one, still believe that MT is the weakest link in our line up. I hope that I am wrong but I fear that as soon as the team loses a playoff game or two, MT will start tinkering again, and the team will not recover from any setbacks.

    The line of Prust , Plekanec, Gallagher, is not, in my opinion, a very effective line. They have, and will, give up as many goals as they will score.

    While the new line combos ( 3 of 4 had never played together during the reg season )MT utilized for the playoffs were effective enough to beat the Lightning 4 straight games, I personally, do not believe that they will be good enough to carry us through the subsequent rounds.

    I would prefer to see:

    Pacioretty-DD -Vanek
    Briere-Plekanec-Gionta
    Bourque- Eller- Gallagher
    Prust-Bournival-Weise

    some tinkering can be done to the bottom two lines. if necessary

    A questions I would like to get an answer for is why Gorges is on the 2nd wave of the PP? Why not Weaver, Boullion, or better yet a forward?

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • Le Jadester says:

      I would try Plex on the 2nd PP at the point if I was MT.
      I think even JM tried that back in his day for quite a stretch and it worked?
      I guess that would make a 2nd PP:

      Gallagher-Brier-Gionta
      Plex-Emelin

      Not bad IMO

      Habs, OLE !

      PS – JM still drives me even after two years ? MT has been just fine in my books ? Most of my die hard Habs fan buddies ’round here can’t stand him and I find myself saying he’s not bad ?

      • krob1000 says:

        Except that is 3 right handers up fron and two lefties on the back. I f anything you could deploy that same personnel unit but put Briere on the point and pleks up front and problem solved.

    • JUST ME says:

      Name me one perfect coach. One.
      Second guessing is so easy to do with no pressure behind a computer screen.
      He managed to get 100 points, take dozens of decisions that hit the bullseye and drove his team towards the playoffs while making as sure as possible that they would be at the top of their game at the right time.

      Easy to criticize his decisions but that`s exactly what we wanted the coaches before him to do. Make changes,try things and take decisions. Damned if you do…

      You will be happy to learn that he will lose his job eventually because they all do with no exceptions. After him a brand new coach will be there for you to second guess and maybe then you will say that maybe you should have enjoyed the present season and that M.T. was not after all the weakest link.

    • Garbo says:

      “Rather than making personnel decisions and line combos based on performance he instead tries to make the lines fit his own interpretation of who should be playing where and how much.”

      So what in your opinion is a coach’s job if not to put players together based on where he thinks they will fit and excel? Is he to just put them on the ice and say, figure it out yourselves and whoever looks good, we’ll go with that?

      And, to state the obvious, the lines worked well in the playoffs. He put them together beforehand and didn’t juggle them. For the most part, these lines were new and based on his own interpretation.

      I’m just really not sure what most people expect in a coach? He took a bottom place team to the top of the division last year and just blew through the first round of the playoffs, which his coaching directly contributed to. Is it Cup or nothing? Is that ALL that defines a good coach?

    • JF says:

      You have many objections to the way Therrien uses his players and you think the combinations you propose would be more effective. I don’t know. Gionta, Bourque, and Eller form an excellent line, so I don’t see why anyone would take Gionta off that line to put him with Plekanec, a pairing that was tried earlier but didn’t work too well. Similarly, Brière is contributing with Weise and Bournival. Why change it?

      As for the line-juggling during the season, I know people have ridiculed it; but Therrien juggled lines when things weren’t working. What was he supposed to do?

      I grant you the powerplay has been mostly awful since about the middle of the season, but it did score the series-clinching goal with less than a minute on the clock. And it has looked more dangerous, with better puck-movement and decision-making, the last few games.

      If you haven’t already done so, you should read Eric Engels’s piece on Hockeybuzz, which offers a very insightful analysis of what Therrien meant by his now-famous insistence that the Habs are a “grinding” team and of the effect of this style of play on their playoff performance.

  42. tyshow89 says:

    For those that may look at this long break as a bad thing:
    This playoffs is a lot different then those of the past, Being done on a 4 game sweep coaches/players/ fans were left to wonder which team would possibly play, depending on which Seeds wins/loses/ it was only really more certain if you were a # 1 team in the concert or # 8.
    Now we sit with an extended break knowing we are playing the winner of the Boston/ Detroit game. We are able to study the game footage from that Single series, for strengths/weakness.
    While we are able to develop and practice our game plan well in advance, Boston and Detroit best not get caught looking ahead at us or they will likely find themselves losing their current series.

    So hopefully the habs start Rd 2 as hungry as they were in the last, but as structured as they were as well. (keep in mind it was fairly evident we were going to play Tampa well in advance)

    Ps
    I as well have criticized Therrien from time to time (usually due to the treatment of the kids/ice time) But he seems to really be bringing it all together at the right time.
    Good Job Michel Therrien, Credit where Credit is due

    • krob1000 says:

      Pleks, PRice, Subban, Markov, Emelin, Eller…..all pretty imporitant players IMO ….all already might as well have been done round 2 if you factor in the Olympics. Now factor in nagging injuries some guys, the guys currently injured, the guys who may not have been in game shape and rshed back….this is great for all of them. I don;t wish injyr on anyone but other teams every night are at risk of losing their star players (losing Bishop was a factor already in 1st round victory), so this rest can only be viewed as a good thing. I can see a period or two to get going…but it is still better than the alternative.

  43. montreal ace says:

    I really like the fact MB, shows his emotions when we win. I really got tired of PG and his poker face, it just did not work for me.

  44. Prop says:

    Prust will be on the air with Knuckles Nylan at 2:05

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  45. adamkennelly says:

    the sweep was awesome but now we could be without playoff hockey till 5/2 – WTF am I posed to do while drinking beer every night?

  46. Butterface says:

    Awesome… I got my wish for a best of nine series…. TSN is showing a Habs Tampa Bay game for a 7pm start tonight on their scoreboard.

    Excited.

    Wonder if they found that Florida ref yet.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

  47. Captain aHab says:

    Looks like Zetterberg is coming back….anything that might extend that series is fine by me.

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  48. zephyr says:

    I still don’t like mt. the habs played against tb the way they should have been playing all year – skating & forechecking. the habs are a skilled team and not a bunch of grinders. thank goodness the team didn’t lapse into a defensive shell ‘let’s not give them anything’ approach.
    the fact that eller & bourque have played so well together caused all kinds of probs for tb. both are power fwds with elite speed (max is the only other one). tb just couldn’t match up. even our 4th line was too much. notive that tb didn’t play gudas & salo in game 4. gudas is physical but he is too slow. I think we can go deep if price manages to play like he can for 60 mins..
    when galchenyuk goes in, I think either briere or bournival sits. my guess is that mt sits bournival.

    • Butterface says:

      Yeah I can see why you don’t like MT. All he has done is win.

      I will admit I did not like MT as the choice when he was hired, but I can admit I was wrong and he was a good fit.

      Why can’t everybody else ?

      As for his benching of certain players, I don’t like it….but if it was an issue MB would quell it.

      As for Galchenyuk that is a more purplexing question. Why don’t you see if he can replace Therrien since you are so miffed with the coach.

      If I had to replace a player in our line up vs the Red Wings, it would be Prust… against Boston that might prove to be dangerous.

      I am thinking Weise or Bournival, but funny enough, I am going to leave a decision like that up to the excellent coach who has guided us here so far.

      Although if he doesn’t switch out Boullion for Murray versus Boston I will be asking for his head.

      ***********************
      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
      ***********************

      • zephyr says:

        if the habs lose a series, mt will be an idiot again. he’ll have to have a deep run to convince me.

      • krob1000 says:

        Well MT took the Penguins to the Stanley Cup finals….that is a lot of winning…yet they still felt someone esle could do better…and won more. It is a common story throughout coaching history in all sports. Even coaches who win Cups get fired and someone alsways thinks they can do better. I get frustrated but I feel I have a decent understanding or like to think I do of his rationale for some his thought processes and they are sound…not what everyone else what do necessarily but every coach or person for that matter has their own opinion. I still maintain Eller, briere or Pleks could and would put up DD numbers or greater in his role, I still believe MT did not get as much out of the regular season as perhaps he could have from some palyers, I think his insistance of using the 1st line as the 1st pp despite a severe lack of results is crazy,didn;t like the confidecne sucking of Subban, Eller,etc.

        However,
        he did instill a system that allows for players to be interchangeable and teh roles are quite evident and obvious for everyone. He did manage to maintain a certain harmony and keep a group very much likeing each other and interested….that is as much his job as hockey related paly. HE does have a reasoning for his things like the 1st pp, so he can have a line ready to face other teams superstar when penalty over,etc. He also realizes there is something to be said for the personalites of players meshing. His defense first system and interior house defending style while frustrating make ssense with is lineup,etc. His constant resting of players that upset many was a great idea given the Olympic year and the rotating of guys in and out of the lineup and around diff't lines ensures everyone knows everyone, everyone feels they belong and everyone feels they are all part of something special. It all adds up….would a different coach do diff't? absolutely. Would they do better? possibly. Would we think any coach in the world…even Scotty Bowman was perfect in this day and age of dynasties being impossible? not a chance.

        There is nothing wrong with people idsagreeing with his decisions…they wouldn't be on here every day if they were not diehard fans. I see no difference between those offering criticism and those offering undue praise at times….if it weren't for differing opinions HIO would not exist.

  49. Luke says:

    Hey Chris,

    What the heck happened to the North Bay Battalion?

    Who are these guys? Did they sneak in an entirely different team?

    My woeful Icedogs had them on the brink. They looked terrible. Had Perlini showed any touch around the net during that series, they wouldn’t have made it to round two.

    Then they beat Barrie.
    Now they stomp Oshawa?

    It’s somewhat similar, actually, to the Leafs pushing the Bruins to the edge and then the Bruins cruising to the finals…

    • Chris says:

      In the only game I saw North Bay, they were not very good. But you have to take that with a grain of salt, because they were playing the Storm, who have made a lot of good teams look really bad.

      This has been a very odd playoff year. Kingston blew a 4-0 lead in Game 4 when up 3 games to none, only to lose the series. Guelph easily knocked off London, while Erie swept a very good Greyhounds team. Then Guelph has been laying the boots to the Otters, taking the first 3 games of that series before Erie showed signs of life.

      North Bay was a pretty good team all season long, but they really struggled in that first round series. Since then, they’ve been on fire.

      Still, I think they are going to have their hands full in the finals. The East was just pitiful this season…none of the teams had the depth to match the top Western Conference teams. Guelph and Erie both have depth in spades, and they score goals by the bucket.

  50. gumper says:

    There are a few things I take issue with in Cam Cole’s opinion piece, though I do agree that the media have, in typical fashion, overblown Ron MacLean’s malapropism. My quibbles are as such:

    1. “The contact was pretty plainly initiated (and milked) by Habs netminder Carey Price, long before the puck entered the net.” Anyone who even tries to take a dispassionate look at the disallowed goal states categorically that there was goaltender interference. The ref signalled it early, therefore the ensuing sequence which resulted in the puck entering the net was invalidated. The rule plainly states that even if the interference is initiated by the goaltender in the crease area, the goal will be disallowed.

    2. “Another time, the officials allowed Price to skate to the bench to have an edge honed on his skate blade, giving his exhausted teammates time to recover after an icing call.” I think we were all a little surprised that the ref would allow that to happen, however, if the same thing had happened to Martin Brodeur, many of the same HNIC pundits who disparaged the situation would be commending the goalie for a savvy, veteran move.

    3. “There were several other missed calls in the game, including an open-and-shut interference foul by Montreal backchecker Brandon Prust on Tampa’s Steve Stamkos that led, indirectly, to Stamkos being concussed…” The implication in this statement that all of the missed calls in the game went Tampa’s way is offensive and insulting. Secondly, how could Stamkos have been concussed on the play since he came back to finish the game, then stated prior to game 4 that he was 100%? Is Mr. Cole impugning the training/medical staff of the Tampa Bay Lightning?

    Sadly, I’m left asking myself if it had been the Maple Leafs instead of the Canadiens who were the recipients of all this refereeing largesse, whether the tenor of the conversation about all of this would be the same. As a Habs fan who grew up 50 miles from Hogtown, I believe I have somewhat of a handle on how deep the anti-Habs sentiment runs in southern Ontario. And yes, sometimes it takes on a robust anti-French flavour, sometimes from very surprising sources. So yes, I do believe some of that is spilling over into the conversation about Quebec-born referees, and how many favourable calls went the way of the Canadiens. How could it possibly just suddenly disappear? Why would we expect anything else? And for those waiting for some sort of miraculous transformation when Sportsnet takes over, I can only say I hope you’re right…but don’t hold your breath. After all, they’ve already confirmed that Don Cherry, the greatest of all Toronto homers will remain on the payroll.

    The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
    Mark Twain

    • Cal says:

      It’s tough when Todd writes the rebuttal. I know. I won’t bother with either. I don’t know about you, but I feel better already.

    • habcertain says:

      If the roles were reversed and the Habs got bounced under the same circumstances, this site would be a washed with the exact same complaints. It isn’t hockey unless you can complain about the ref’s calls. We take it one step further, we win, then complain about the complaining from the other team.

  51. Black Horse says:

    The Habs will be well rested and healed of their ailments. There will be no reason or excuses as to why Montreal will not take the series in 4 or 5 at the most!

    ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

  52. mdp2011 says:

    Oh wow. I heard these guys from Boston 98.5 the Hub were idiots, but I never heard or seen them until now. Wow, talk about clueless and dumb.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nbc-yahoo-sports/-there-s-something-really-wrong–with-canadiens–fans-132918093.html

  53. Sportfan says:

    So when do the Habs start to practice?

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

  54. billylove says:

    A final thought on the ole, ole thing. I realize that people are simply having fun and people want to have fun when watching the home team play well. However, there’s no doubt in my mind that opposing players interpret the chant to be scornful of their play and it often turns out to be very motivational. I know the chanting won’t end but it’s not coincidental that opposing teams rally frequently after the chant echoes through the building. I’m sure that opposing players don’t like hearing it and whether they know it or not, the fans are actually helping motivate the opposition.

  55. JF says:

    Michel Therrien is not a buffoon. He is not an idiot. Like it or not, he is a good coach. He won the Memorial Cup in Junior, he had success with Pittsburgh’s farm team, and he took the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Final.

    In 2005-06, Therrien won 90% of his games with the Wilkes-Barrie team before being called up to coach the basement-dwelling Penguins. That year he won only .353 of the games. But he turned the team around in the space of just one year, with a winning percentage of .640 and a playoff berth in 2007. The Cup Final came the following year. That makes two years from basement to Cup Final.

    Maybe it’s time these facts were recognized.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Good one JF—
      I had my doubts about him when I thought he was coming down on the PK to much. But I have come to the opinion that PK needed his butt kicked a little.

      Yes indeed, we are on our WAY to the CUP! If not this year, which is possible, next year for sure, we get to the parade.!!!

      • Wintercount says:

        MT needed his butt kicked and MB obliged after he did the closed door with the team after the caps game. MT quickly lost his arrogant bully side and became much more sensible in his after game comments from thereon and even more so with his players. But lets wait and see how the 2nd rd plays out.

    • Paz says:

      Every coach who makes it to the NHL is top 30 in the world. Of course he’s not a buffoon or an idiot. It’s all relative, however, and I would not consider him to be on the top 15 in the league. Just my simple opinion of course.

    • Psycho29 says:

      Great post JF…
      Most fans have come to the same conclusion.
      There’s a select few “fans” who come here only to bash the team and management, especially after a loss, but when the team is winning, are nowhere to be found
      You can be sure if and when the Habs lose a series, they will be back here in full force.

      • The Jackal says:

        They popped their ugly heads in when TB tied it up in game 4 but quickly vanished after Max vanquished the Bolts and trolls

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Paz says:

        Yes just like the cheerleaders who only post when we win.

        There was a time about 2 months ago when several here, including some posting on this page, were asking for Therrien to be removed. And they had every right to be concerned.

        We all root for the team in our own way.

        Live and let live.

        • Psycho29 says:

          C’mon, look what he did for Subban, turned him into a Norris winner!

          • Paz says:

            Ya. I see that. Subban and Eller are two of my favourites. It was not a pleasant regular season, for sure.

            But these are top notch athletes who have great character, and I would bet that Subban and Eller could play for any type of coach. They are very good, hard working players.

          • The Jackal says:

            So glad to see Eller play the way he has shown he can. Very good stuff from him (and the rest of the team) so far. Sometimes you just need a fresh start or a shake-up to get refocused and get your confidence building up again – the playoffs are basically a new season and the new “start” has rejuvenated Eller’s game.

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • The Jackal says:

          Well, several is not MOST posters/fans, and MT was not the only guy on the team whose effectiveness was being questioned. I think the point psycho was making is that while a lot of posters do get down when things are tough, they don’t focus entirely on the negative as some troll-like posters do… people who tend to chime in only after a loss have a different tone/attitude than posters who get frustrated with a coach or player but who don’t just beat that horse to death.

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          “like the cheerleaders who only post when we win.”

          Name one.

          —–
          Moving. Forward.

    • Hobie says:

      People just need to take a big breath, suck it up, and admit…I was wrong about Michel Therrien!!!

      Sure the big and nasty coach was mean to your favourite players like Subban and Eller but it was for their own good. Subban just played one hell of series because of Therrien’s coaching all season.

      So again, people are wrong sometimes in life, if your were one of the people who thought Therrien wasn’t a fantastic coach, this is one of those times.

      Admit you were wrong and move on.

      Let all say it together at once now: I WAS WRONG AND MICHEL THERRIEN IS A GOOD COACH!!!!

      • The Jackal says:

        Screw that, how do we know he is still the coach? Is MT still the coach of the Montreal Canadiens?? Is he?!

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Paz says:

        Hobie, dude, you supported Jacques Martin until the bitter end. That’s just the type of fan you are. You are loyal to the coach, loyal to management.

        And good for you! I respect your point of view and especially your loyalty.

        I can’t stand Therrien. I don’t know why. He just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it was the Carolia series meltdown, but I have trouble with him.

        Live and let live.

    • JUST ME says:

      I have had the time of my life this season seeing dozens and dozens eating crow or simply dissapear gradually never to be seen again.

      I do understand that everybody is entitled to their opinion but find it difficult to respect when driven by bad intentions…

      I found it unfair to judge M.T. for his past accomplishments. In life everybody wants and deserves a second chance and should not be judged for their past . We have murderers and crook that get an easier pardon that M.T. got. Still if Therrien looks good it still is because the team acts as a tight knit familly. I just did not understand why he was blamed for making changes and coaching when the former coaches were blamed for not trying everything they could to change things around..Damned if you do…

      Now shall we talk about D.D. ?

  56. Stuck_in_To. says:

    I’m looking for help from the savvy internet navigators on this site. I am in hockey a pool (predicting series winners) with my hockey teammates here in Toronto and, obviously, more than a few of them are reluctant to put their money behind the Habs. But the most acerbic of them is a staunch believer in the Bruins’ supremacy and the resulting email trash talk is voluminous. I’m looking for any and all links to things lampooning the Bruins … at least until the Habs send them packing. Thanks!

  57. C-Sword says:

    The Hawks sacrificed game no.2 to take down the Blues’ leader, that was a strategy of war.

  58. Timo says:

    I didn’t quite get from the article above… so the Habs are resting? Rest is what they do now?

  59. JUST ME says:

    Whoever we meet in round two will have to deal with a very hungry Max Pac . He was interviewed right after his 1st star salute after game 4 and seemed relieved that he scored but still concerned about what he should be bringing to that team. This guy cares and wants to take things in his own hands and be held responsible. I am impressed by his attitude since the day he prefered to go play with the Bulldogs on the first line instead of getting a secondary role in Mtl. He knows what he can do and his expectations are very high.

    Fot those who are superstitious a bit of bad news confirmed today although i warned you a few days ago. In a nice article in la Presse.ca Madame Reno said she will probably not be able to come and sing the national anthem when round 2 begins since she will be on stage begining a new show . I guess we will have to do as the Flyers do with Kate Smith and run a recorded re-run on the big screen…

  60. Chris says:

    After waiting a few days to see how the voting would go, I’m a little surprised to be one of only 1.22% of HIO fans to vote for Brian Gionta as the team’s MVP. I thought he was the team’s best player: he was generating chances for himself and his linemates, and his defensive coverage disrupted so many rushes in the neutral zone, allowing Eller and Bourque to do their thing knowing that Gionta would be there to cover for them.

    Gionta led the team in short-handed time on ice, chipping in a key short-handed goal. He and Plekanec set the tone for the Habs in this series, working their tails off in all three zones.

    Bourque is a worthy choice for MVP because he was generating all sorts of chances. But I felt the other top candidates were Gionta, Plekanec, Gorges, Subban and Markov.

    Can’t take it too seriously, I suppose, with Ginette Reno earning 11% of the votes…I guess she had a huge intimidation factor in Games 1 and 2 for the Lightning players who didn’t even know she existed! :)

    I just wish Gionta got a little more praise for his performance, which certainly showed why he is the team’s captain.

    • JF says:

      Yes. Gionta is seriously under-appreciated by many fans. I hope Bergevin can sign him to a couple more years to play the kind of third-line role he’s playing now. And I think Gionta would give serious consideration to such an offer, even if another team were willing to give him more money. He said recently he absolutely loves the team we have this year. With a player like Gionta, that counts for a lot.

      • Chris says:

        I’ve long felt that keeping Gionta for the third line on a 2-3 year deal would be a great idea, as the Habs don’t really have any forwards ready to make the jump any time soon.

        With Eller and possibly a rejuvenated Bourque, there is enough offensive talent on that line that they could actually be a significant threat (providing that Bourque can parlay his fine play into a whole season again, something he hasn’t done for a few years, and Eller can rebound from his horrific 2013-14 season). Gionta complements those players very well: they all have terrific speed, and it gives Eller players to pass to: both Gionta and Bourque are shoot-first players, while Eller is generally looking to pass first and foremost. Part of the reason I didn’t like Plekanec with Gionta is that Plekanec, while a fine passer, is often looking to shoot. Having him with Bourque and Gionta was perhaps an ill-conceived line, but the Canadiens kept rolling it the past couple of seasons because they lacked depth.

        The question is going to be money. With a big-money deal due to Subban and the Habs needing to find somebody who can replace Vanek if he doesn’t re-sign with the team, they might have to significantly low-ball Gionta if they want to keep him. The term could be a sticking point too…at 35, Bergevin might be hesitant to sign Gionta to a 3-year deal, which is what I think he would be looking for as a possible last contract in the NHL.

        • JF says:

          For both Eller and Bourque, this is a first series victory. The experience, which Bourque qualified as “awesome,” could be a powerful motivating factor for next season.

        • 24 Cups says:

          In a perfect world it would be great to bring Markov and Gionta back on two year deals. However, history proves that guys like these two will get three year offers.

          I’m elated with Bourque’s play but his track record scares me. He can come back next year but has to be slated only as 3rd line material.

          The main issue will still be trying to find a #1 right winger. The secondary issue will be signing a natural RD.

          24.4 Cups

    • shiram says:

      Gionta’s contribution is not “showey” so it does not register with all.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        He had a good series, but a non “showey” performance like that doesn’t translate to MVP. I can see a good argument being made for Pleks, because of the Stamkos match-up, but not Gio.

        Gio might have been 3rd best on his line. Eller played great in both ends, and drove possession, while Bourque was a beast all series long.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Only allowed one vote. Impossible for me to rank him above Bourque and PK. He’d be in my top 3 just not #1.

      • Chris says:

        If I had to rank them:

        1. Gionta
        2. Bourque
        3. Plekanec
        4. Gorges
        5. Subban (punished for a terrible Game 1)
        6. Markov (punished for a terrible Game 1)
        7. Eller
        8. Gallagher
        9. Price
        10. Pacioretty (dangerous all series)

        It’s fun when the team is winning. You can put a goalie who won 4 straight games and who had a very nice stretch in the middle of the series down in 9th place for MVP voting. I’m sure some would argue it, but it is awesome that you can make cases for all the other guys ahead of him!

        • Phil C says:

          Plekanec’s -1 is a little off-putting. He was on the ice for 7 out of Tampa’s 10 goals. Probably not all his fault, but that’s a big number. He did score some key goals though.

          • Chris says:

            It is, but Plekanec was going head-to-head with the second best player on the planet (Steven Stamkos) for most of that. To come out almost even is pretty impressive, especially given the way that Stamkos was flying in this series.

            In the past, Plekanec has basically given up all his offence to shut down the other team’s superstars. This time, he was still able to contribute offensively while largely keeping Stamkos in check: Stamkos’ only goals in the series were in Game 1, with bad positioning by Price to blame for the first one and a comedy of errors (Weaver, Gallagher, Gallagher again, Markov) on the second one. After that, Stamkos was held goalless, and only managed 9 shots on goal in the final 3 games.

          • shiram says:

            Who do you think got all the tough assignments

            Pleky’s stick lift on Stamkos was a beauty.

        • Walmyr says:

          It’s hard to vote in just one play when you have four lines that played so good and smart hockey during a playoff series.

          I chose Plekanec as my MVP but the best line (IMO) was Bourque-Eller-Gionta. Again it’s hard to pick just one player.

          About Price…he would be our first choice if we really needed him during the series. It’s another good sign of how good we played when you (or any habs fan) don’t rank him in the Top…

          CHeers

        • Butterface says:

          No Weaver or Boullion in your top 10 ?

          They were both plus 5 and that means they played like heroes considering their skill set (no offence… big fan of that kind of girt and determination).

          ***********************
          If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
          ***********************

      • Phil C says:

        I’m with you on PK. Led the team in points, second in TOI. He was on the ice for 7 of the 16 goals scored. He is a huge part of the offense.

    • Cal says:

      It’s a lighthearted poll question to reply to.
      I thought the whole team, including the management and coaching staff, did a great job. All the players rose to the occasion.

    • JUST ME says:

      I thought that Dale Weise deserved to be on that list. I think that everything was played that night and his goal in overtime was huge. Would probably not be the favorite but still…

      Bourque deserves the recognition not only for the attitude he had but probably also because it came at a clutch time.
      Gio also deserves it but had been shining for a while before the playoffs so i guess we do tend to take his contribution for granted…

    • Timo says:

      Umm… aren’t you forgetting little somebody name Francis Bouillon. Here is the MVP if there ever was one.

    • bwoar says:

      I voted Gionta!!! His shorty was the real turning point in the series.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      Gionta would definitely have been a deserving choice. It is very easy to vote based on points, and forget the whole picture. I voted Bourque though, more than anything because of that goal 11 seconds into game 3. The Tampa must have been so pumped up and ready to fight back, and that goal would have just knocked the wind out of them. I think for all intents and purposes, the series was won right there.

  61. 24AW says:

    as long as they don’t take time off in games the next series, that’s fine with me. Rest all you want just be ready to play 60-minutes every game the next round if you want to advance!

    Congrats on the 1st round, a job well done.

  62. TPT Petes says:

    Not sure if the majority of HIO posters like the Ole…,ole,ole,ole chant at games or not, but would like go on record as saying that, far too often this occurs far too early and when the game is not really in hand. My case in point, game 4 vs Tampa, only a few minutes into the 3rd period, Habs up 3 – 1 and the chant starts. I would’ve bet my paycheck that Tampa was going to score and shut the crowd up – they did. Then they scored again and i had no one else to blame but the chanters.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t the scoreboard start the chant? Or is it a bunch of fans that don’t know that a 2 goal lead is very rarely safe? I’ve even heard it sung when we’re up by 1. It drives me crazy and it seems to make our boys lose focus while inspiring the opposition to dig a little harder.

    I live in a world of Leaf fans and if there’s one thing I can’t blame them for, is hating Hab fans for the arrogance that we sometimes show. I know we can all say that it’s justified because of our supreme dominance in the game since the beginning of time, but shouldn’t we be a tad more gracious when we’re winning?

    • Chris says:

      I don’t really care for the Ole chant because a team with the Habs’ history could do SO much better. It isn’t all that historical…I honestly don’t remember hearing that chant much as a kid watching games in the 1980’s or early 1990’s. It seemed to gain prominence after the French won the 1998 World Cup, and it has really blown up around the sporting world.

      But the Ole chant is often confused with the “Goodbye” song that the Habs faithful sing when the team is about to beat a rival. The Ole is imported from soccer, where it is generally sung when a team or individual performers are doing well or have impressed the crowd with their creativity.

      I would be surprised if the chant has anything to do with what happens on the ice. It is the fans having some fun. Good for them.

    • shiram says:

      People are really overstating this thing about the Olé chant.
      Think of it as an pump up, energizing encouragement chant.

      • sprague cleghorn says:

        I’ve heard it sung during the first period when the game was tied 1-1. It is not a case of “singing that victory song rather early” as Bob Cole once said. It’s more a celebration of the team, a pump up, not a declaration of victory like “Hey Hey Goodbye”. And I do recall it having a real effect when the fans sang it all way through a TV time-out when the Habs took out the Penguins four years ago. It’s just one of the many things that makes the game experience in Montreal so amazing.

        Personally, I’d rather the fans sang “les Canadiens sont la”, which is as old as the team itself and belongs to no one else, but I love the idea that we have a rink where the fans sing.

        … ‘ow could we forget that?

      • TPT Petes says:

        Maybe I’m associating this chant with the Na,na…na,na chant to much. It does feel a bit like rubbing dirt into to other guy’s faces though. And you certainly don’t hear it when the other team scores to tie it up or make it close.

      • habcertain says:

        Ya think!

    • Cal says:

      Singing in the stands affects the game as much as Ginette Reno singing the anthem. It sounds nice and adds to the ambience, but doesn’t count on the scoreboard.

    • JUST ME says:

      With all due respect did you or your friends ever listen to TSN or Sportsnet ? Now THIS is arrogance. Talking leafs 24 hours a day as if no other team existed even though the Leafs are mediocre and have been for close to 50 years ?

      Arrogance is pretending to be and acting as someone your are not. When we chant and celebrate it`s usually because things are good ,team is playing good either tied or in front and just for the sake of celebrating that the $200 spent fot the ticket is not completely wasted..

      • Loop_Garoo says:

        TSN talks about the leafs more because the majority of their viewers are leaf fans. They are under no obligation to be fair, or equitable, as this is sports, and not journalism. Sports is a game, standard rules of real journalism do not apply. Want habs talk, listen to tsn 690, or go to their website.

    • likehoy says:

      it’s surreal and intimidating to play in a rink where all the fans are singing in unison and having a great time.. it definitely pumps up everyone on the ice, but other players crumble under that pressure.

      All in all, we as fans try our best to be the 7th man out there.. but only the players get to play the game on the ice.

  63. Mavid says:

    mmmmmmm Prust :evil:

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  64. Caesar is along for the ride for 25 says:

    guessing we will see alot of variations on this type of article over thenext few days. Maybe some light reading on the Habs dogs or something coming up next.

  65. CJ says:

    Watching Prust live, I have no doubt that he is in serious discomfort. The time off will benefit him as much, or more than anyone else.

  66. Butterface says:

    “Wakey, wakey.”

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

  67. slyCH says:

    Here’s a bunch of chicks doing a great job of the same song.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH-_9cwdLug

    MT doing a great job by the way.

  68. Donkey Hoat says:

    Idiotic article by Cam Cole.
    Habs are the only Canadian team in the playoffs, but CBC is doing its best to make it seem like a bad thing.

    • Cal says:

      They’re still in denial that Montreal is part of Canada, ffs.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Yeah, read that this morning and emailed him because I actually couldn’t make sense of it. There is certainly a disconnect between the headline and the story, and then he steers it away from the ref being French to the ref working his first playoff game.

      I put it to him that the piece read as though he were defending a media colleague and unable to conceal an aversion to one particular team.

      I guess that’s why he hasn’t answered….

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      It is a bad thing that the Canadiens are the only Canadian team in the playoffs. 1 out of 6 just sucks.

  69. Hobie says:

    Great observation from Eric Engels:

    You can’t defend some of the curious decisions Therrien made throughout the season–at least not in the lens of immediate, minute-by-minute analysis. But, when you take the long view, it’s so painfully obvious that this team was being prepared to play the only style of game that renders a team successful in the post-season.

    Don’t mistake any of that “grinding” talk for a departure from the team playing to its strengths: Speed and skill. It was all about reinforcing work habits that would enable their speed and skill to win the day.

    “That’s a process, and that’s the way I see it,” Therrien said, justifying a mentality he intended to cultivate throughout the season. “For me, hard work is the most important thing. Skill–yes, you need skill. But hard work is always going to beat skill,” the coach surmised in explaining how he wanted his team to interpret that now-famous comment.

    • shiram says:

      I might be off, but it seems to me they are now playing like they did in the shortened season from last year.

      • Hobie says:

        I hope they don’t play like that! Yikes!

        • shiram says:

          Well they played an up tempo skills game last season, and they got good results, though it plummeted near the end of the season and in the playoffs.

          • Hobie says:

            Fast start, not strong enough defensively and not tough enough. Therrien and Bergevin did a good job of fixing that. Up tempo is pretty to watch but defence, toughness and leadership wins games and the offense happens naturally when all those things are in place.

            Therrien and Bergevin deserve a ton of credit.

          • shiram says:

            There was an upgrade in players, but it seems like a similar style of play to me.
            I could be wrong.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      There’s something to be said about sports that involve bumps and grinds.

    • JF says:

      That was a very insightful piece by Engels. Most of us at one point or another during the season condemned the way Therrien was using his players and the kind of hockey we thought the team was playing. We were mystified by his telling the players they were a grinding team. We thought it meant endless dump-and-chase rather than attacking as a five-man unit. When you look at it the way Engels does, as a way of preparing the players for the only kind of hockey that can succeed in the playoffs, many things fall into place, including the apparent sacrifice of a lot of offence in order to firmly implant this style of play. This alone tells us something about the extent to which the players bought into Therrien’s system and were willing to make sacrifices.

    • Cal says:

      The hard work, sheer speed and puck support all over the ice has paid off, especially against the young and undisciplined Lightning.
      Discipline, as well as those three other qualities, will be needed against Boston or Detroit. That, and a better than he was in the Tampa series Price.

  70. shiram says:

    Prust’s gotta be really banged up if he’s barely moving…

  71. krob1000 says:

    are they night fishing though?

  72. johnnylarue says:

    A few goats on that goal. But yes–Nyquist is more lube than sandpaper. (Also still pretty green in his NHL playoff career, for what it’s worth.)

  73. Just A Guy says:

    There’s some folk in Tampa that think that’s worth a bit of consideration.

  74. The Jackal says:

    Nine straight playoff appearances, a cup, and two gold medals.
    I’d say Babcock – the ‘genius’ – knows what he is doing.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  75. johnnylarue says:

    Yeah, they seem completely uninterested in finishing their checks.

    They actually make the Habs D look fairly tough by comparison–which is saying something.

    Still, 23 straight playoffs, even if they wind up making a quick exit, is nothing to sneeze at I suppose.

  76. The Jackal says:

    Wow, that escalated quickly!
    Just saying, it’s not contentious to say that Babcock is one of the best coaches in hockey. He figures out how to win and has done it consistently throughout his career. If all it took was a stacked roster, then many other teams would have won championships and medals. Yet, we see stacked teams fail every year and underdogs succeed – bottom line is, coaching is a factor with any kind of roster, and it’s not accurate at all to say anyone could have won with those rosters.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  77. The Jackal says:

    You know, for all the talk about being physical, etc., it’s worked out for the Wings this game. They can’t muck it up like Boston and why should they? Let the Bruins try to be physical and tire themselves out. Meanwhile, the Wings have been playing great hockey and using their speed to get chances. Sure, they blew a two goal lead, but they are still in the game and they are playing way better than had been – that’s good coaching to get them settled down. Notice how before, the Wings were getting too frustrated and got caught up in the physical BS – Babcock settled them down, they refocused, and they are using their speed and skill to generate chances and score.

    Besides, physical or not physical, the Bruins are still gonna get away with murder. It makes no sense to stoop down to that level and become distracted with physical play. Play disciplined and fast hockey and you can beat the Bruins.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  78. Bob_Sacamano says:

    You´re xenophobic. Their European players overall are pretty decent. Their North American players are not. They don´t need more North Americans, they need better ones.

    Detroit´s drafting which still gets praised here pretty often overall has also been quite underwhelming in the last ten years.

  79. Maritime Ronn says:

    Let’s see.
    Starting goalie Howard has been hurt and is now out.
    Top 4 Dman and Top 2 PK man Jonathan Erickson is also out.
    Datsyuk and Zetterberg are playing hurt and far from 100%.
    Weiss, Cleary, and Alfredson are also injured.
    A healthy Detroit would have been fun to watch.

  80. DipsyDoodler says:

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Maybe you’re just ignorant.

    FYI here is Detroit’s cup winning roster from 2008:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Stanley_Cup_Finals

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  81. Chris says:

    There are a myriad of reasons why the Wings are getting beat. The nationality of their players is not even on the radar.

    It has nothing to do with the fact that their roster is getting pretty long in the tooth.

    It has nothing to do with that their top two players (and two of the top 10 in the NHL) are both playing hurt. Datsyuk and Zetterberg have amazingly overcome their Europeanness to establish themselves as two of the most clutch playoff performers in the league.

    It has nothing to do with the fact that they are playing the best team in the NHL in the first round after fighting all season just to make the playoffs.

    Yep, their durned Europeans are the problem.

    Sorry if this offends the many fans of North American hockey (not really), but the critical thinking skills that can lead one to that conclusion, in the face of all sorts of more important factors, are weak to non-existent.

    I wouldn’t call you xenophobic so much as just question your ability to analyze a hockey team.

  82. Ass in TO, Heart in the Forum says:

    When in doubt, go with the simplistic answer that supports your preconceived notions. Don Cherry must be so proud.

  83. boing007 says:

    Is that you, Drapes?

    Richard R

  84. Loop_Garoo says:

    Well it’s far worse than some comments that have caused quite an outrage on here. Also, I have an issue with the term pc as you used it. Political Correctness is a term used to describe an effort to gloss over the truth by using spin and alternate wordings, what you are saying is, as you said, xenophobic, and you cannnot support your counter argument by saying that those who disagree are just being pc.

  85. rhino514 says:

    A fully healthy Detroit, I suspect, would also beat the habs. But then again, they could beat just about anybody, the Bruins included.

  86. Chris says:

    Unlikely, but possible. Any team can catch lightning in a bottle.

    But Detroit has been fighting all season long just to get to the playoffs. They are in the midst of a rebuilding process that has only really started this season. With their key veterans injured or hobbled, the Red Wings have started a youth movement with kids like Dekeyser, Jurco, Tatar, Sheahan, and Lashoff all seeing major minutes. This probably wouldn’t have happened for Red Wings teams of old.

    I got blasted two summers ago for saying that the Red Wings were poised on the edge of a rebuild…I was just off by a year. The Red Wings had a remarkable run, but their core has so much mileage on it that most hockey analysts have been waiting for the inevitable flop.

    The huge number of injuries this season are tied to this issue. When you run with older players, you have to deal with more injury concerns.

  87. boing007 says:

    Practicing his Johnny Weissmuller imitation.

    Richard R


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