Habs’ Plekanec earns praise from coach Therrien

The Canadiens practised Monday morning in Brossard as they prepare to face the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Not surprisingly, coming off Saturday’s 2-1 overtime win over the Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks, coach Michel Therrien made no changes to his line combinations at practice. The coach also announced that Carey Price will start in goal against the Devils.

Therrien also had words of praise for Canadiens centreman Tomas Plekanec, who has 14-14-28 totals in 46 games this season and is plus-9.

“According to me, Tomas Plekanec is a serious candidate for the Frank Selke Trophy,” Therrien told reporters in Brossard about the award that is presented to the NHL’s top defensive forward.

Against the Blackhawks, Plekanec had a team-leading 11 shots on goal in 19:36 of ice time while he and linemates Brian Gionta and Travis Moen limited Chicago’s top line of Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp to one goal by Hossa in the third period.

No Canadiens player has won the Selke Trophy since Guy Carbonneau in 1992. The Blackhawks’ Toews won it last year. For a complete list of Selke Trophy winners, click here.

Ryan White, who is still listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury, skated alone before the Habs practised on Monday.

Martin Brodeur will start in goal for the Devils.

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

Moen-Plekanec-Gionta
Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher
Briere-Eller-Bourque
Bournival-Prust-Parros

Gorges-Subban
Markov-Emelin
Murray-Diaz
Bouillon

(Photo by Phil Carpenter/The Gazette)

Habs hope win over Hawks start of something special, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Markov says he’s like to stay a Hab, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Habs’ Moen a two-way guy, Canadiens.com

Post-practice interviews, Canadiens.com

Hysteria is the norm with Habs fans, by Jack Todd

Devils’ Brodeur not approaching Tuesday as his last game in Montreal, NorthJersey.com

Devils drop shootout to Leafs, newjerseydevils.com

Pierre McGuire gives his take on Devils’ shootout woes, The Star-Ledger

Former Hab Colby Armstrong adjusting to life in Sweden, Canada.com

Interview with former Habs coach Jacques Demers, Websports Media Network

Kingston’s Bennett No. 1 in Central Scouting rankings, NHL.com

A Gordie Howe Hat Trick for Bulldogs’ Beaulieu, Hamiltonbulldogs.com

515 Comments

  1. keithmacv says:

    Moen has played decently this season but should he really be on the 1st line???

  2. Lafleurguy says:

    Welcome to newbie habsfan2014. Your link to the Devils blogger sparked interest and was re-posted in the thread upstairs. And, for the record, LAST!

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  3. frontenac1 says:

    @adamkenelly. Just read your earlier post about Anthony Paluso. He has a good win % north of 60% but would like to see more fights against some of the bigger boys out there. He handled himself well last night against Bissonette but also got tuned by Sestito last month. The A-Train has had only 5 fights this season. When he takes on guys like McGratton then we will know. Saludos!

  4. Psycho29 says:

    Good day all….A letter written to the Gazette about the PK “situation”….

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Letter+Canadiens+treating+Subban+like+second+class+citizen/9380788/story.html

    Talk amongst yourselves. I will run for cover! ;-)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Written by a Halakite?

      • Luke says:

        Who writes letters to the editor like that any more?

        Seriously. Someone sat down at their desk, by the soft glow of their lamp and put pen to paper (probably) and wrote that out and folded it and put it in an envelope and put on shoes and a coat and got in their car and drove to the post office and waited in line and bought a stamp and licked a stamp and put it on an envelope and handed it back to the Post Master and then went left the post office and then drove home. (Perhaps they stopped and ran other errands, but I’m not sure).

        And, despite the fact that Gazette runs a website on the internet for hockey chatter (can’t find a link, sorry) that probably featured a brief discussion about at least one of the two points this person made (Halak being traded or PK being benched) the paper still found the need to publish this letter.

        It’s all very odd to me.

        • Bripro says:

          Luke…. who “writes” letters anymore?
          That letter was typed and emailed by a disgruntled fan (short for fanatic). I’m sure Canada Post is grateful.
          She obviously hasn’t seen MT and PK doing yesterday’s manhug at practice.
          I was going to reply to the letter this morning by issuing my own, but I figured it would be easier to get into an argument on this site, so I changed my mind.

    • Cal says:

      Exactly what is “smoothen”? And another one who doesn’t know that lose is spelled like this and not loose (as in Burke’s tie).

      Shonette should realize that pro hockey players aren’t thin-skinned babies. They take the criticism they receive from the coach and IMPROVE their game.

    • CH Marshall says:

      I keep telling my friends that he’s going to bolt for the Leafs eventually, who will open their wallets gladly

  5. Abyssmal says:

    Is it just me or does anyone care about Tony Marinara’s sauce soccer bable???

  6. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    WJC… Was Brière a featured player in your lucid dream? You must tell us! Will he score The Goal?

  7. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Volchenkov. Another left-shooting D. Do the Habs REALLY need another left-shooting D? How about Zidlicky? But really… Would the Devils really want Brière? REALLY?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      just a blogger man. No substance to it. I would be ok with that deal but in the same sense I would rather just add Murray for another year and let one of the kids in the farm get some NHL ice time. Anton has two years left on his deal

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        TSN never misses a chance to stir the Sh*t pot with Montreal. Given Bell’s close relationship with the Habs you would think there would be a little less sensationalism from them. But they are what they are.

        • wjc says:

          Ya gotta talk about something. If you were in their shoes and at the programing meeting and they want some idea’s for stories to get people to listen, what would you do?

          You might say something like “lets stir the Subban pot, get people stirred up and phoning in, keep the advertisers happy. Win, win.

          wjc

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Yah, I get why they do it. I just sometimes get frustrated as a Habs fan. I suppose my biggest issue is that they do far more critical reporting on the Habs than they do with their own crappy team in Toronto.

            But I suppose jealousy is the greatest form of flattery, so that is how I normally view their reporting.

            CHeers wjc!

        • Bripro says:

          Burly, this wasn’t TSN. This was from a N.J. Blog link.
          I’ll try and find it again.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I know I saw it, but TSN essentially reprinted the story on their website as a lead story.

          • wjc says:

            Burlington, getting you agitated serves the same purpose. It gets your attention, and that is the name of the game.

            People do not like ‘fluff’ they like criticism, they like rumors, they want to get a reaction, bad, good but not indifferent.

            An annoying ad gets your attention, you hate it, but you notice it.

            wjc

    • 44har48 says:

      Not for nothing but my brother has been a Devils fan since Glenn “Chico” Resch was their goalie, not their color guy :)

      They have some real defensive talent coming, not like our Tinordi, Beaulieu, etc. where we are hoping they eventually make it and he has been very vocal that Volchenkov and Zidlicki are useless and they cant wait for the kids. I think he said 2 of them are playing right now as 21 and 22 yr. olds – Merrill and Gelinas ring a bell without having time to look it up.

      Anyway, you don’t want any defensemen Jersey is willing to part with.

  8. jols101 says:

    TSN psyching me out. I clicked on their site and a big picture of Briere popped up. I thought Bergevin pulled the trigger but it was just a story about some beat writer in New Jersey thinking Briere might be a good fit there. Why do they toy with my emotions like that?

  9. Bripro says:

    So who’s in agreement that tonight’s game is a showcase for a straight swap?
    Brière straight up for Anton Volchenkov?
    That’s the rumour out of New Jersey.

  10. shiram says:

    Someone posted a bunch of gifs on reddit from the 1960 playoffs between the Leafs and Habs, it makes for very interesting viewing.

    http://imgur.com/a/TY6td#0

    enjoy

    • HabinBurlington says:

      THat was awesome! Thanks Shiram.

    • sprague cleghorn says:

      Very cool.

      … ‘ow could we forget that?

    • sprague cleghorn says:

      Doug Harvey. Wow.

      … ‘ow could we forget that?

    • Mattyleg says:

      Awesome!!

      Just goes to show how chippy players have been throughout the years, and that today’s increased TV coverage just illustrates stuff that’s been there for years.

      Béliveau’s elbow goes against the common belief that someone of his reputation would never do something like that!

      Thanks for sharing that!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Bripro says:

      Opposing teams sharing a penalty box. I never knew that.
      That must have made for some interesting altercations.
      “A two minute penalty for fighting in the penalty box, following the two minute penalty for fighting, sent to the box!
      So who got the penalty?
      The guy in the penalty box.
      But ref, there are two in there.”
      Wow…. I have to sit down.

    • wjc says:

      I did enjoy it. some tidbits…..hockey was rough back then, no helmets, Bower was classy, I hint of what Beliveau had to put up with before Ferguson, Harvey could hit and shoot, just like Subban, Richard was tough and he got back at Baun, players charged back then but look where Plante was, did you notice the defenceman on the left side let up.

      wjc

    • Peter Young says:

      Thank you so much for posting this link. It made my day to see some clips from Maurice Richard’s last NHL game. He takes a pass from brother Henri, crosses the blueline, cuts inside as Henri rushes to the net and feeds a return pass straight down the middle to Henri, who scores. A classic goal.

      Re Maurice standing still while Henri tussles with a Leaf in the faceoff circle. From the very start of Henri’s career, when he was a 19-year-old rookie in 1955-56, Maurice let Henri fight his own battles. There had been a lot of talk from media pundits about the danger that the Rocket would lose his temper if anyone picked on Henri, but it became clear right away that Henri was quite capable of defending himself.

      Re opposing players sharing the penalty box, sometimes a fight did break out in the box. Sometimes the attendant would get caught up in it simply because there was little space in there.

      Notice how clean the rink is without those ads on the boards and the huge lettering on the ice. The game is so much more attractive and so much easier to follow without those distractions. The rink also looks bigger because of that (although the relative size of the players also plays a part in that).

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    A preview from a Jersey Blogger, he seems to think very highly of Murray and Parros.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Todd-Cordell/Game-48-New-Jersey-Devils–Montreal-Canadiens/159/57181

  12. SteverenO says:

    Moen may be a player that the Habs can trade with.

    he has a reputation for being a gritty “character” player and perceived to be a good penalty killer (although the numbers prove otherwise), and there may be a few teams that would be willing to add him to their roster.

    He has been playing his best hockey recently, but his absence would not hurt the team much, in my opinion .

    Losing Moen would free up a roster spot for a player like Leblanc, or someone else that may score the occasional goal while being responsible defensively. It would also prevent Therrien from turning our best two way line ( xxxxxxx/plek/gionta) xxxx= Briere or Bournival into a one way, defensive line, Moen/Plek/Gionta.

    regards,

    Steve O.

  13. Dear Coach
    Please, I am begging you, do not play down to their level, I want skate out there, let the Habs attack!
    Ok thanks

    Signed
    PK Subban

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 1.29.31.33

    • wjc says:

      What if New Jersey has other idea’s. What if New Jersey comes in with a plan to slow Montreal down. What if Brodeur is hot. New Jersey is desperate and need a win badly.

      wjc

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    What is wrong with Dallas recently? Perhaps they need a bit more veteran leadership, wonder if Mr. Gainey could advise them of Gionta’s leadership qualities.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/dallas-stars/headlines/20140113-stars-being-dragged-down-by-best-players-during-historic-six-game-losing-streak.ece

    • Timo says:

      I also hear that Gorges, Bourque, DD, Briere Bouillon and Diaz all have fantastic leadership qualities. Unfortunately, they cannot apply their leadership individually without… they have to stay as a group. I hope Gainey sees/knows that

      • wjc says:

        Timo, have ya ever actually played this game called hockey. You have lots of answers to questions that were never asked. Can you accept some advise.

        Please let me know if you will accept advice, before I waste my time and offer it.

        wjc

  15. shiram says:

    The Czech has a nice way of displaying their hockey jerseys for the Olympics.
    http://imgur.com/a/kJ6m7

  16. Sportfan says:

    God I hate advanced Stats!

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

    • shiram says:

      For me, it’s the people that use them as if they were absolute truths and encompass all the contextualization needed.
      They often sound very pedantic.

      • Sportfan says:

        Its leagues like MLB that are starting to rely on them and then people in hockey who just use the numbers to burst everyone bubble while thinking is fun, which I hate. I hope the NHL never becomes like the MLB when it comes to the advanced stats. My friend who’s in that world tells me its not for the fans, which is fine, but why constantly talk about it on TV if its not for us. -_-

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

      • bwoar says:

        Yes. I’m ambivalent towards the actual stats, and a little bored by them, but the people who try using stats to make hockey arguments usually rub me the wrong way. Especially people with only a vague notion of sample size, etc. etc. I hope I never have to hear how unlucky Scott Gomez is/was ever again.

        “thoroughbred”

    • wjc says:

      What are advanced stats and why should I hate them?

      wjc

  17. shiram says:

    Devils uh? Well this is bound to be the epitome of intense exciting hockey!
    Did you know alot Devils fans feels their team has left behind their boring defensive first, trap system?
    They get angry when they read or hear or someone mentioning they have a boring team.

    • Sportfan says:

      But…but… their team is boring, its been boring ever since Scott Stevens retired!

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

      • shiram says:

        I’d be in denial too if I was a Devils fan.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Heh heh.
          I have to admit that I don’t see them as the same boring team, as I mentioned below.

          Still not run-and-gun, but not stultifyingly awful to watch as in the past, I find.

          …add to that the Michael Ryder effect (against Montreal, at least) and they are hardly the DeadbeatDevs of old!

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • shiram says:

            27th for goals
            last in shots fired
            they allow the fewest shots against them in the league
            least penalized team in the league
            25th in hits

            They might not play the Lemaire trap, but they still are a mostly boring team.
            Here’s hoping Ryder is off tonight…

          • Mattyleg says:

            Wow.
            Okay, I take back my comment!
            Undone by stats again…
            I guess the bits and pieces I’ve seen of them haven’t been representative!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • shiram says:

            Well if you find them exciting, more power to you!

            I’m just glad to have stats agree with what my eyes see once in a while!

          • Mattyleg says:

            It’s probably just subconscious wishful thinking on my part, as I’ll be watching them live tonight. Willing them to be exciting!!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • wjc says:

            If it is ‘awful’ watch, I don’t. Does that make me odd in some eyes.

            wjc

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    Who will Bergevin move first?
    Briere,
    Bourke or
    Therrien

    • frontenac1 says:

      Hey Ian! So Frontenac centre Sam Bennett is Ranked #1 by central scouting! Check him out next time the Fronts are up in Belleville. He is fun to watch. Saludos!

    • shiram says:

      Therrien’s not going anywhere, why would Bergevin move him? Who would replace him? As much as I dislike Therrien, one cannot argue that he had led the team to a respectable record.
      His faults are not enough to warrant a sacking.

      Bourque could be moved, maybe. But who would want him, and for what return? Unless someone comes calling for Bourque he likely stays put. If some kid in Hamilton was setting the world on fire it might put pressure on Bourque, but that’s just not the case.

      Brière is Therrien’s big acquisition, and I could see him being moved, but the return would probably be meagre. The likeliest of scenario for a Brière move is if he asks for a trade, I think.
      But he always wanted to play in MTL, grew up a Habs fans etc…

      Bergevin is taking it slow, not taking many risks and going for the long run. It does not make for exciting management, but it is what it is.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Briere I think.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • wjc says:

      None of the above, unless a deal that is helpful to the team comes along. Why break up a team that is playing so well.

      wjc

  19. DipsyDoodler says:

    If we make any trades it should be with the hope of ripping off the other team. With Nieuwendyk gone in Dallas, that leaves Garth Snow and Brian Burke as the likely targets.

    Garth Snow is plain silly (Cal Clutterbuck?). Burke is not so much dumb as blinded by his ego and an incorrect and antiquated view of the modern game.

    So…. trade suggestions with the Isles and Flames?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I have suggested my trade with the Islanders in the past, I don’t think I dare mention which defenceman for John Tavares again. ;-)

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Seriously one guy Burke might like is Ryan White. Don’t get me wrong, I like him too, but I’d try to sell his truculence to Burkie to do something like trade draft positions with the Flames (obviously not in round one but maybe round two?).

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Your line of thinking is correct in my opinion, Burke absolutely would like a player like White. Presently he is dressing multiple goons who can’t skate thus leaving his coach with 3 lines to play every game. Seems White just hasn’t caught a break the whole time in Montreal, every time he is about to seize a regular spot in the lineup an injury pops up.

        We still need that type of player and would hate to give up on him, but your concept makes sense.

        If indeed the Habs felt that Prust has destroyed his shoulder to the point that he couldn’t be as effective as we saw last year, I wonder if moving him (hoping he clears medical test) could land something significant.

        I love Prust and don’t want him gone, but I really wonder if he hasn’t destroyed his shoulders to the point that every season from here on out is going to be patchwork to get him to playoffs only to see that by then there is nothing left.

    • Sportfan says:

      The flames don’t have anything that is very intriguing atm, I say we take Clutterbuck!

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

  20. Mattyleg says:

    Put your helmets on, HI/Oers!
    ..or your tinfoil hats, whichever you prefer…

    I’m going to the game again tonight.

    Hoping to improve my record to 3-5!

    Will it happen, or will my personal jinx reassert itself after the victory against Florida?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  21. adamkennelly says:

    when the Habs end up making a trade w/ the Peg – hopefully they can grab Anthony Peluso – beast of an enforcer.

  22. Lafleurguy says:

    That “You Might Also Like” link about IQ-challenged athletes seems to be a set-up for a libel lawsuit.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  23. jimmy shaker says:

    Hate Taranna, hate the cubs…..who do we want to win? I think I actually want the cubs to win tonight, provided the boys get the 2 points too.

    Shaker out!

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Please!

      Leafs are only annoying because of the media bias.

      Bruins are evil incarnate.

      It’s like asking who do you hate more: a guy who designed a bridge that collapsed or Hitler.

  24. habsfan2014 says:

    If Therrien has learnt from his past mistakes elsewhere, he should do more praising….check out this interesting article out from a NJ journalist, that may shed some light on what truly is happening in locker room and not what 24CH would like us all to believe.

    Go Habs Go!

    http://www.nj.com/devils/index.ssf/2014/01/3_reasons_why_canadiens_daniel_briere_could_be_traded_to_devils.html

    • CJ says:

      I could have written that. Interesting article? With all due respect what was said was simply what we’ve all heard already.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        The poster is just a blogger and has no more insight than you and I. I really don’t think that would be a bad trade for Montreal though but you Anton is not the same D man he was a few years ago and the other major issue the guy is forgetting is the habs are without Galchenyuk for 6 weeks and struggle to score goals. Although Briere hasn’t exactly been an offensive threat regularly there is always that hope one day he will break out of it

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Phil C says:

      When he was using another blogger’s opinion article as a reference to support a ridiculous claim like the coach is losing the room, the writer loses credibility.

    • Luke says:

      I wonder where the “apparently promised to play top-6 centre” came from. I don’t buy it. Maybe switch ‘promised’ to ‘hoped’…

      Seriously, looking at the roster when DB was signed there was no chance he was a top-6 centre. There was no chance he was a regular centre at all.

      Surely he had to have seen this with a cursory glance at the team’s roster. Plekanec, Eller, DD, White. Add in Galchenyuk and occassionally Prust and he’d have to know there was a logjam at centre. If we were to open the HIO archives, I’d imagine a great number of posters plunked DB directly on the wing.

      Then Bournival stole DB’s roster spot for the early part of the season… and you get where he is.

      If NJ wants him, they can have him. Volchenkov? Sure. He’s not great, but he’s not bad either. and as they said, the cash is pretty even.

      The Therrien “praise” stuff is utter nonsense.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I would do that trade in a heartbeat. If they did it though they would have to move Diaz or someone else out and your wouldn’t resign Murray next year

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Thanks for finding and listing 2014. always if great interest to hear opinions from other cities. Interesting read. CHeers.

    • JUST ME says:

      That is exactly the problem in MTL. Anyone who writes anything on the internet is considered as a reliable source of information and now holds the thruth. This time it`s from a nobody writing from hundreds of miles away who pretends to be able to shed some light on what happens in the Habs locker room ? Come on! Get serious !

    • wjc says:

      What a pile of crap. Nothing of any substance in that waste of words.

      Biere has one more year left on his contract, that is a fact.

      Montreal does not need another defenceman.

      They need experience up front to form a top 9 forward unit.

      Briere is starting to show something, see where it goes.

      Trigger happy, give me some excitement trades that make no sense.

      wjc

  25. HabinBurlington says:

    If you have 5 minutes, here is a neat look at former NHL’er BJ Macdonald who is now a scout with NHL Central Scouting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFo-Kza0BEQ

  26. HabinBurlington says:

    One of the bigger RFA names this upcoming offseason is Ryan O’Reilly, here is a little tidbit on the scenario from Avs beat writer Adrian Dater.

    http://blogs.denverpost.com/avs/2014/01/13/avalanche-and-ryan-oreilly-things-are-good/16427/

    • Lafleurguy says:

      From a link on your nice link:

      Proteau writes that in Sean Avery’s rookie year in 2001-02, when he was coming into the league with the Detroit Red Wings, Avery tried to chirp the Avs’ Joe Sakic before a faceoff in front of the Detroit bench.

      “You do not get to talk to Mr. Sakic,” Brett Hull told Avery, after pulling on the rookie’s sweater and making him sit down on the bench.

    • RFA is such a bad system. You may as well make rookies restricted from outside offers all together. I don’t know for certain but I imagine that GM’s have that unwritten rule that you don’t offer contracts to RFA’s anymore.

      I know if a team tried to steal my talent (say offer PK 12 million/year) I’d be pretty upset with them and then patiently wait for their gem to come up to RFA and then make them pay through the yazooo. I could be wrong but you don’t see high priced talent being offered outside contracts.

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member 1.29.31.33

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I don’t disagree Shane, however, in the case of O’Reilly he did indeed get that RFA offer which he signed from Calgary. Eventually he stayed in Colorado, I just think this particular player will be interesting to watch. Ryan felt Av’s were lowballing him a year ago so he signed the RFA offer, he went on to have a good year and is again this season. Avs may have to break the bank to sign him now.

        • Oh Like the guy too, same with the Justin Schultz, and well, I think the Blues entire team is great. John Davidson built an amazing team there, and he did it in a very short time. Now he’s building the Jackets into a solid team. The man is a hockey guru!

          Shane Oliver
          Twitter @Sholi2000
          http://www.Sholi2000.com
          Custom Sports Figures
          Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  27. Habfan10912 says:

    My thoughts on Ottawa’s rink. Chrisadiens and I went to see the Blues play there after seeing the Blues the night before in Montreal.

    At first we were amazed at the arenas location. There were cows right next to where i parked my car. We enjoyed a laugh at that.

    We entered the building and then our opinion changed completely. I found the building very nice. There was plenty of food and beversge options and our seats were near ice level and had plenty of room for this lard butt. The fans around us were very friendly and hospitable just like we’ve always found Canadian folks.

    We were able to escape the parking lot with ease and were back in the hotel in 20 minutes. Its no Bell Centre or Verizon Center in DC for that matter but its a first class facility just the same. Of course Chris and I are hockey starved do we’d watch a game in a dump and enjoy it just the same. :)

    Mavid, please don’t kick me out of your will. I never said anything nice about the players. ;)

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Being fair is not listed in the Rules in the top right corner of this page.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Phil C says:

      The energy in the building is a lot better when playing a team like the Blues. When it’s the Habs or the Leafs, the fans are split between the home and the visiting team which hurts the atmosphere.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Mornin’ Jim!

      Problem with that arena is that it’s in the middle of nowhere, as you point out!

      EVERYONE has to drive there (or take a long bus-ride) so there’s not much buildup of anticipation before the game, like there is in Montreal, where all the bars and restaurants in the area are full of Habs fans, and most people walk there – even for just a short distance – or take the metro with tons of other fans in their get-up, so the atmosphere is great before you even get into the building.

      In Ottawa, everyone drives there in their little bubble, and there’s a bit of buzz as you walk across the parking-lot, and at the end of the game, it’s the same – you’re back in your car before you know it.

      Not crazy about that setup. Should have built the arena closer to the town centre – it also ensures that on slow nights, you might get some drop-ins, which you’d never get with an arena on the outskirts of town.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • frontenac1 says:

      Hey Jim, I feel the same about the Ottawa rink. Living a half hour North of Kingston it takes me only an Hour and a half to get there. Been there many times with my son when he was younger, he also got to play there once. I also agree the layout is excellent.
      I understand why the local fans don’t like the location but screw them! They’re Sens Fans. Saludos!

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I like the location. Ottawa is not a huge city, and it’s very accessible via the 417. It’s not exactly the same as if Toronto’s arena were located in Oshawa or Milton. I am sorry to say that I’ve never seen cows in the vicinity.

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    Only a couple games last including Eastern teams and the results were beneficial to the Habs with Tampa and Carolina losing. Still find it weird that Columbus is an eastern team, but hopefully we are not in a battle with them for playoffs.

    Looking forward to the game tonight, dare I say I have a good feeling about the game?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning bud. Was able to catch the Bolts game last night. Another disallowed goal in the game. This one by the Bluejackets. Unlike ALL the disallowed goals called on our Habs this season, this one was the right call. :)
      No bias here. No sir ree.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Jim since you started really pointing out the disallowed goal thing, I have been noticing virtually every game has them now. And I really think the NHL has to take some time to clarify to the officials and the teams what the directive will be. I hate to side with the Leafs, but their disallowed goal against New Jersey the other night appeared to be a terrible call.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Hey G., maybe a Head Office directive to prepare for the playoffs, and lessen the chance for controversial goals? Kicking the puck in seems OK these days, as long as you stop the kicking motion 0.5 seconds before contact with the puck.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Not only the kicking (which I see your point completely), but I am starting to see where contact isn’t the issue but standing in the bluepaint is. I am not even sure what the rule is anymore on crease violations etc…. Very blurred lines (at the risk of quoting Alan Thicke’s son who evidently was quoting musically from Marvin Gaye illegally ;-) )

          • Lafleurguy says:

            You’re a hipster, dude!

            “May you live in interesting times.”

  29. Habsrule1 says:

    Looking forward to see if the Habs can actually manage to carry over momentum from one game to the next. As most of you know, I’m the biggest “rose-coloured glasses wearer” on the site, but I just don’t get their lack of consistentcy. Some might say that they are only good enough to play really well every few games, and that might be right. I’m not sure what comes into play when they are not able to play hard for a full 60 minutes….lack of desire? Heart? Passion? Size? Athleticism? All of the above?
    That being said, they are still doing better than even I predicted and most thought I was out to lunch when I figured they would finish 6th in the conference (which they could still fall to, or worse).

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  30. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Quick smack talk about Chicago, as I used to live there. Team was founded in 1926, and was one of the Original 6. Despite their increased chances of success, they only managed to win the Cup three times in their first 84 seasons. The last five years have seen glory and ignominy in equal amounts, with 2 Cups and 2 first-round exits. So, a good team, but not a great franchise. The Habs will raise the Cup again — just ask WJC — and it will be glorious.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Not to mention getting where they are by finishing terrible for a few seasons and getting very good draft position.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  31. John Q Public says:

    When the moon hits your eye like a big-a pizza pie
    That’s amore !

    –. — / …. .- -… … / –. —
    ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤

  32. Blade says:

    Looking at the poll question…I don’t think PK will be given enough ice time at Sochi to earn “best defenceman” consideration. Crossing my fingers that I am wrong, but I doubt his role will be as big as some people might think

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I voted for Keith because I think the staff intends on using him the most and on the pp from the get-go.

      I think PK will be used sparingly to start and by the time they see what he can do, Keith will have already produced a lot. I do think PK will open some eyes and play top minutes going into the last couple games.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  33. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    My 5¢: Plekanec is the most important forward on the Canadiens. He is amazingly responsible with the puck and without, is asked to shut down the opposition’s top lines, and still manages to score goals. He’s a +9 with all of his defensive responsibilities, and is fast enough on his skates to score short-handed. (Second in the league, as it happens.) In the big playoff push a couple of years ago, Cammalleri scored the goals, Halak stopped the perimeter shots, the D corps limited the opposition to the perimeter, and Plekanec was Gallagher-like in his energy level. He kept pressure on opposition forwards and still accumulated 11 pts in those 19 games. Those who think Plekanec is invisible are clearly not watching complete games.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I think Pleks could be one of the best 2nd line centres in the NHL given the right linemates. 2nd line minutes, pk & pp time would make him really valuable. I also think people expect too much of him. He’s one of the best 2-way centres in the league.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Lafleurguy says:

        He and Patrice Bergeron deliver a great skillset. Pavel Datsyuk used to be like these two, but Datsyuk has upped his offensive game, and is now an All-Star.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Hawks tied Bruins with 5 Cup wins. Leafs have 12 or 13 depending on which historian is tabulating and giving credit for a Toronto St. Patricks Cup Win. None in the post-expansion era. Red Wings up around 11. Rangers 2, I think. Even the Seattle Metropolitans, Ottawa Senators, and Kenora Thistles have won Stanley Cups, often in a two-game total goals format. Anyway, I’ll take two Cups in four years, any time.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Significant historical change in the Hawks when Mr. Wirtz passed away and his son took over the team. The senior Wirtz managed the team in a manner eerily similar to the Norris brothers in that results didn’t seem all that important.

      Since the change in ownership, we see a solid mgmt team, good coaching and good players, regardless how they got them. I have no issues praising that organization for what they have done in recent years.

      Edit: This post was supposed to go higher up with regards to the Blackhawks posts. Oops.

  34. wjc says:

    The same dream again…..weird:

    In 1993 I had a strange lucid dream, I will not go into detail, but it told of good fortune for the Habs.

    In 2010 the same lucid dream happened again, I was skeptical, but intrigued. That year the Canadiens went deep into the playoffs lead by Halak, Cammalleri, Gionta, and Gomez scoring timely goals.

    That was Gomez’s finest year with a 59 point season and a 12 point playoff. Little did I know this would be Gomez’s final harrah before he went to the golden Mansion in Alaska.

    Before you all ignore or yell (cyberley at me) I had the same lucid dream last night. Weird or what!

    I predict another deep run into the playoffs. The Bruins will be beaten early in a stunning upset, leaving the way clear to the finals.

    Don’t blame the messenger, I have know control over this physic happenings. Cheers all.

    wjc

  35. HABZ24 says:

    Great game vs the cup champs,which proves one thing, we have the soldiers to properly fight the battles and win,we have the coaching,its a matter of putting in the 100 % effort for 60 mins while not taking all those stupid penaltys. Burns my butt how habs play UP or DOWN to the opponents level.they ramp it up vs good teams,dumb it down vs lesser opponents. Just play 100 % every flippin game,smoke the bumms,compete hard vs the top teams.
    Also floaters gotta go..bourque…
    GO HABS GO

  36. jols101 says:

    I got some nice tickets for the Habs/Sens game on Thursday night for Christmas. When I usually watch the Habs live a friend and I will travel up to Montreal for a weekend and catch a game at the Bell Center. Living in Ottawa, I hate the Sens and their fans so much I am finding myself not too excited about going. Plus the idiots stuck the rink way out in Kanata, all us east enders just hate that. What a mickey mouse organization.

    • CJ says:

      I can’t do it. It’s my least favorite place to watch a hockey game (yes, I’ve been to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum). The fans are terrible and, as you have noted, the arena is in the middle of nowhere. I live in ottawa, but there is no way they will get the satisfaction of having my money this time. If Habs and Leafs fans stopped bailing the Sens out, they would be in major trouble.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I always have a great time….it’s a home game for the Habs. I’ve been about a half dozen times.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

        • CJ says:

          I’m just bitter. They lose more then they win when I go to watch. I’d estimate that I’ve been to at least 50 Ottawa Montreal games going back to the old Landsdown park arena. My parents used to have season tickets beginning in the inaugural season ’92-’93.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      You and Mavid must get along tremendously, huh Jols. :)
      Enjoy the game bud.

    • wjc says:

      Find happiness……give your tickets away!

      wjc

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I’ll take them off your hands if you decide not to go :-)

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  37. frankcasting says:

    Pleks for Selke? When he starts showing up for more than every second or third game, maybe, for now, he shows up only for the big games like Saturday night, but there have been long stretches this year where I wonder if he’s even on the team.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

    • Cal says:

      You do understand that Pleks is a shutdown center, yes?

      • Lafrich says:

        Wow. You could not be more wrong in your post. He is the least streaky player on the team. He has points in 21 games this year, and goals in 13, which means he has picked up his team-leading (amongst forwards) 28 points by playing consistently throughout. This all from an amazingly responsible player who almost never makes a bad play.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Pkeks shows up every night. One of the few Habs players that do. Its a small group that includes Price, PK and Pleks.

      It seems popular to short change Pleks these days. He’s a terrific player.

      • Max says:

        Plekanec is often underrated as he plays a shutdown role most games which isn’t sexy and takes away from his offensive chances but it helps the team win.

        He is also a quintessential Montreal Canadien and one of the few players in recent memory who was drafted and developed completely by the habs from the beginning and has been with the team for his entire career while playing a crucial role every game.

        He’s also a dour Slav at times which doesn’t lend itself to him being a cutesy hockey clique guy with a dumb American smile on his face for no reason.

        Not sure if he’d like to wear a “C” down the road and probably prefers flying under the radar.

        Good guy that Plekanec.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Morning Jim, trust you are well my friend. I would certainly add Markov to that list, and while he never gets statistical results, I do think Gorges puts in a full effort every night.

        Gorges is a player who every game gets forechecked into the boards all night. He doesn’t have the size to punish the forecheckers but he takes his licks game in and game out.

    • CJ says:

      I don’t believe your criticism is warranted. Pleks is one of, if not our most consistent players. He has struggled in the face-off circle, otherwise his game has been very good, if not great. He is an unheralded teammate who does a lot of little things very well. Sometimes it’s not the goals you score, but the goals you prevent. This is where Pleks and, to a lesser degree, Eller have been really strong.

    • formerly known as the hc says:

      Criticism unwarranted.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I guess we watch different games then!
      I see him every game, shutting down the danger-men, killing penalties and going on shorthanded 2-on-1s and breakaways!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Omit says:

      -14

      “Time wounds all heels”. – J.L.

    • wjc says:

      Ya loviing the Habs since 1965, but hating the players.

      You need to pay attention more, put the glass down once in a while, stop talking so much and actually watch the game. You will be impressed and realize how much you have been missing.

      wjc

  38. Lafleurguy says:

    Jets have a lot of size. Skill too.
    Pleks played in 45 other games this year. He’s been solid. His play against the ‘Hawks is one answer to the question, “What can a player contribute in a game in which he doesn’t score?” Pleks played the last game with a turtleneck on. Coincidence? I think not.
    From the PuckDaddy blogger, 1st round pick + Nugent-Hopkins + Eberle for John Tavares. Hope this dampens the “I’ll be Sam Pollock, and you be the California Golden Seals GM” trade proposals that pop up too frequently here.
    Blues are a powerhouse. But in Halak’s first year with them, they were out of the playoffs. The following year, they were swept 4-0 in the first round. Andy McDonald retired. They traded away David Perron. “Rental” players Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner came and departed. They haven’t had a high (top 5) pick recently. Another model of how to turn things around quickly, unlike an Oiler tanking yet about to rehash itself by this season’s end.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • twilighthours says:

      Good summary

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning my friend! Tavares might be the best player in the NHL not named Crosby.

      BTW- I miss the GM’s of the Golden Seals. Good guys, eh?
      CHeers bud.

    • Cal says:

      Blues need Ryan Miller from Buffalo. I don’t know what they’re willing to give up to get him. I see maybe Elliott +, but who and what that + is I have no idea.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        The Blues need PK. :). I think they need help on their special teams. IMHO Elliot and “what’s his name” are good enough on that team to move forward.

        • CJ says:

          Respectfully I don’t see it. I saw Elliot once this year in person and he struggled mightily. He handles the puck like a hand grenade. That defence masks a lot of goaltending deficiencies. St. Louis seldom gives up more then 25 shots, of which a great percentage are from the perimeter. Just my two cents…

    • wjc says:

      First of all St Louis have had many dreadful seasons. They have never won anything….zilch.

      Turtleneck….sorry lost me there.

      They haven’t had a top 5 pick recently, but there not so recent picks have been developing. Draft picks take a few years in most cases.

      Are you saying Edmonton is losing on purpose. Do you not see that they will be a very strong team in the near future.

      If you cannot see that now, then you will.

      St Louis did not turn things around quickly, they have been in the league for since 1968 and are still trying to win the first cup.

      wjc

  39. CJ says:

    Up for an hour with the little guy. Sincerely hope everyone else is sleeping. Looking forward to a win this evening. Team needs to be ready as the Devils will present a very different style of play from Saturday night. Hopefully he dress the same lineup. Go Habs!

  40. Marc10 says:

    Well that article on Big Buff and E-Kane pretty much puts the nail in the coffin in either of those players ever showing up here…

  41. Johnny9 says:

    Hope after reading the article on Markov everyone agrees how invaluable to this team and we need him resigned because no one can take his place and do what he does at his price for this team!

    On another note, how funny was it on 24CH with PK putting a bowling ball with Gorges jersey on it, I think the rest of the team sees his value as I do! Especially the game Gorges didn’t play and PK was making fun of his “here we go now boys” before each period and everyone laughing at it, proves they think hes a joke!

  42. PrimeTime says:

    @DDO. Exactly re Friedman.

  43. Sportfan says:

    Watch the Jets make it to the playoffs this season with Maurice lol

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

  44. PrimeTime says:

    @ Jackel. Agreed. Boone is a FAN who has the privilege of a blog….his posts on Live Blog should not be taken to heart. It’s a wonder why when Habs are losing that he gets more action. His supposed expertise?? Get real


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