Habs recall Palushaj; AK46, Gomez both on trip west

Palushajmarch21

Stubbs column: Cammalleri confident goals will come

The Canadiens this morning recalled forward Aaron Palushaj from the Hamilton Bulldogs. Head coach Jacques Martin hinted that he’ll be insurance, at least, on the team’s road trip to Phoenix, where they’ll play Thursday, and back to Nashville, with a game in Music City on Saturday.

Andrei Kostitsyn, who missed Tuesday’s game with an unspecified lower-body injury, will make the trip. His status, and that of centreman Scott Gomez, is described by head coach Jacques Martin as “day to day.” Either or both could see action in Phoenix or Saturday in Nashville.

Andrei Markov also will make the trip, but hasn’t yet been cleared to practise with the team.

• EARLY MORNING UPDATE –> Markov skated alone at the Bell Centre. Defenceman Chris Campoli, who played 11:05 of the season’s first game before going down with a hamstring injury, was also skating alone under the watchful eye of head athletic therapist Graham Rynbend. Campoli also took a few laps at Tuesday’s morning skate in Brossard.

482 Comments

  1. Hicktownboy says:

    Where is White? Our 4th line really needs him. Put him and Moen together, get Markov on the ice and if he can’t play shoot him or something and get a real defenseman back there who can take care of the backend and Price. Perhaps Pheneuf, Pronger type….

  2. The Pickle says:

    Did I seriously read that Edmonton wouldn’t trade Hall or Nugent-Hopkins for both Subban and Price? The only reason is because Tambellini would be so speechless he would be unable to actually accept the trade. 1 forward for the best young goalie in the league and an absolute top notch defenseman prospect? Please, Edmonton does this in a heartbeat.

    • ffenliv says:

      Edmonton would be insane to take that deal. Price has yet to put together back-to-back good seasons, and Subban is mired in a miserable sophomore year.

      Hall and Nugent-Hopkins, while unproven, need time to prove that they can be part of the core of a very young, talented team whose resurgence as a legit contender could ne here in a year or two.

      Add to that: Khabibulin has a sub-1 GAA. I know he’s old, and won’t play now for nearly as long as Price will, but who tinkers with what they’ve got going on?

  3. AceMagnum says:

    Get a new stock photo of Palushaj already.

  4. usaref says:

    What is the status of the player the Habs picked up from Philly before the season but was injured

  5. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I remember not too long ago when the Oilers tried getting rid of Sheldon Souray, he listed the Habs as one of the teams he would like to join. Gainey and/or PG said no. The stud has 4 goals, 9 assists and is a +11 through 14 games. How good will he look in our lineup? Not only does he score but can also add much needed muscle/toughness which we desperately lack.
    Once again, thanks BG/PG.

    “Hate Bruins like a sickness”

    • Propwash says:

      IIRC, the Habs wouldn’t have been able to afford his contract anyway.

      _____________________
      Dooooooooooooooomed!™

    • HabCez says:

      Souray.. he is prone to injuries..
      and when it comes to defencemen in this hab JM system..
      they get injured frequently..
      not sure if Souray blocks shots too..

      Jagr on the other hand.. i’d go for

  6. Neutral says:

    So I guess palushaj will be on the 3rd line and Darche on the 4th tomorrow night – wow – what an improvement.

  7. punkster says:

    Miles with an appropriate tune for tonight: Agitation
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jFL1KuvSyo&feature=related

    (Stunning Wayne Shorter solo)

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  8. Our game exhibits flashes of brilliance, plekanac’s rookie mistake was a huge turning point…i would highlight emelin’s hipcheck, frustrated with the lacklustred powerplay…..finally a push for a goal with a handful of moments left……too little to late… grrrr Such is life of this westcoast Canadiens hockey fan…hell bent to wait for the next matchup….hope and pray for more positive result. When will the puck dance our way…when them crossbars and goalposts ring in our favour….its like waiting for a bus…zzz

    Sure hope JM doesn’t think Gomez is the answer to our prayers…Sure hope Markov isn’t a joke for much longer…Sure hope we can stay out of the box, yet hit somebody cleanly on a regular basis…AK make it back soon…We need to score more, we need confidence…consistency….creativity….

    • HabsfanoftheHabs says:

      Well said. I’m very interested to see the ‘lineups’, I guess the starting ones when Gomez is back. Eller has cleary earned the 2 spot and who knows maybe Scotty’s fits well in the #4.

      What is with the penalties? The disciplined system is very undisciplined.

  9. JohnBellyful says:

    How, exactly, is Markov earning his pay cheque these days? There have been reports of his skating but I’ll believe that when I see it. He can prove me wrong at the next Habs’ home game, by being first on the ice before the pre-game skate and circling the rink tossing Hab T-shirts into the crowd. When he’s done he can go back to the dressing room, change into his civvies and then go around collecting money for the souvenirs.

  10. Mark C says:

    From Darren Dreger:

    “Tampa’s 1-3-1 forecheck will very likely make the agenda for next weeks NHL gm meetings. Will be interesting to see what comes out of it.

    League did speak to officiating staff in Tampa Bay, but advised they shouldn’t interfere with coaching tactics.”

    This is the system that everyone wants???

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Before the end of the season we’ll see the Red Rover system in use: Five players lined up 20 feet in front of their own net. Without the holding hands part (unless they play for the Leafs).

  11. Bill says:

    What a shoot-out goal by Beaulieu!

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  12. Gerry H says:

    In spite of the fact that I have yet to finish packing for a business trip South (and have to get up at 3:30 to make a 6:00 am flight) I have just spent the better part of an hour reading through the very intriguing exchanges on this thread about this very disappointing and more than a little puzzling start to the season. Confirmation bias be damned, but I find myself comforted to know that the resident statistician, Mr. Berkshire, detects evidence that the Habs have indeed be under-rewarded for their efforts so far. Having spent a good part of my early career immersed in multivariate analyses and senisitivity tests, I know full well that sometimes the “obvious” numbers obscure far more pertinent truths. I don’t have the time to slice and dice hockey numbers they way I do consumer research and clinical trials, but it’s good to know that that slogging is being done and – yippee! – suggests that my puck-crazy but comparatively reptilian instincts may not be too far off the mark. Maybe they DON’T suck!!!

    Seriously, I have been watching this team play hockey for more than forty years and have never been afraid to admit to my easily disappointed self that they have often sucked, often been very mediocre and, for more than two decades now, only rarely been pretty damned good. Despite the record, I still have a strong sense that this team, especially once it finally takes on it’s intended and fully Markovian form, will prove to be one of the best editions of le Club de Hockey Canadien in a very long time.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    For now.

  13. JasonM says:

    I’ve been transfixed by what I was watching in the Bolts/Flyers game. Bolts are playing a 1-3-1 trap and the Flyers stand in their zone…. for half a minute… then multiple plays get whistled… this is UNREAL.

    Hilarious!

  14. Mike Milbury just stormed of the set of TSN 2 during the second intermission of the Flyers/Lightning game….don’t know why, but they said he left the building.

  15. slamtherimtim says:

    so markov skated all week , all be it on his own but at least he is still skating. if he and campoli , who i think played well what little he did, can come back , the D will be solid.Cole has been the biggest surprise for me as he has been doing his job well , hes so fast at turning the D.with a healthy lineup i am worried what JM will do with the players , who gets to play when , we will have too many players and it will be interesting to see who stays and goes, as we never really know what PG will do , but i do expect a big move as PG must put his stamp on the team which Cole is not enough ,
    thanks again for the markov update

  16. habs001 says:

    right now we have a very low scoring d group..we must be near the bottom of goals scored by the d…Nokelainen,blunden,darche,moen,dd,eller,gomez are 7 players that look like will not score too many goals this year , some of these players will never be goal scorers..some may but probably not this year..that really leaves us 6 forwards who have demonstrated they can score in the nhl and maxpac is recent..gion and camm are not producing…again with no offense from the d and 7 players who may not scote more than 6-7 goals this year it should be no suprise that this time will not score much this year…

  17. CHasman says:

    I sure hope Kostitsyn is back Thursday. Losing him screwed up the Eller line and the fourth line which is much better when Darche is on it. One player, even an Andre Kostitsyn can rally have an impact on the lines, which is saying a lot for JM.

  18. saskhabfan says:

    Anybody else watching the flyers/bolts? Now that is boring assed hockey right there if i ever saw it. Boucher is one uping jacques lemaire in trap hockey.

  19. JohnBellyful says:

    I could be wrong, but as I understand it, summit-goers can set up tables Friday night at Hurley’s to sell stuff (excluding baked goods and new identities). I plan to take advantage of this trade fair for diehard Hab fans by introducing the newest line of exclusive JB merchandise – GUARANTEED to appeal to BOTH sides of the great debate that divides the HIO community.

    Let’s face it, two camps dominate discussion here at HIO: The posters who see the Canadiens doing more right than wrong and are hopeful about the team’s playoff prospects, and those who see nothing but bad with the way the team is playing and long for a wholesale regime change.

    Will the two sides ever get along? Not a chance.
    Not until now.
    For just $119.95, John BelleView bifocals will let wearers see life with two points of view. One half of the lens is rose-coloured, the other half is tinted yellow (for those whose outlook is jaundiced).
    Developed by teams of optimisticians and oppositemologists, BelleView bifocals will never leave you at a loss in an argument. There’s no grey area. It’s either/or and you got both of them covered.

    BelleView bifocals: Helping HIO posters see eye to eye.

    P.S. Be sure to ask about our pince-nez, monocles and lorgnettes.

    • Bripro says:

      …..AND CUT!

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I think I double-blinked at the end.
        Was my hair okay?
        You can make my yellow teeth look white, right?
        Are you sure you want me to do a French version? Je suis no good en francais.

        • Bripro says:

          Il n’y a pas de problème. I’ll do the french translation.
          Next time, maybe loosen your tie a little.
          If I show up friday night, I was thinking of bringing a couple of poles,
          and a young lady on each arm.
          We could charge viewing admission.

        • Bash says:

          In fact you made a complete spectacle of yourself …

          “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

    • punkster says:

      Just when I think you’ve reached the end of your rabbit you manage to pull another tether out of your hat.

      Excellent. I’ll take two pair, one for me and the other for my alter ego.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • HardHabits says:

      I feel like Mr. Spock having a good laugh after reading that.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Hey, HH, is it true you’re going to be selling tankards?
        I’ve got a line of glasses I’ll be debuting: A special insert makes it possible for them to be half-full or half-empty.

    • gloveside says:

      Yes some are over-optimistic and while we should support our team, we should have it in us to say something where we think things are going amiss.

      Yes, some are over-pessimistic and the sky falls for them whenever there is a loss or trade.

      I fall in between, as I’m sure most here do. It’s is frustrating to be a fan of any team as there are ups and downs and rebuilding, etc.

      I’ve been a rabid fan for 40-some years but it is becoming increasingly difficult to shut my mouth and just root for the team as I have for decades – my reasons?

      1. We don’t have management with balls anymore, the kind that is willing to take a risk or take on the difficult task of managing a group of personalities in the locker room. These days if you don’t fit the mold, we dump him for whatever we can get and in our case, we have jettisoned some very useful pieces, in most cases for next to nothing in return, so generally, we have not traded well.

      2. We have not drafted well for a couple of decades now. I realize it’s a crapshoot, but besides Price [and that was not a given until recently], we have squandered most of our picks and our depth is questionable [God, do we need a real sniper!]

      3. Since the lockout, we’ve finished 7th, 10th, 1st, 8th, 8th and tied for 6th/7th. Not exactly stellar. I know Toronto hasn’t seen the playoffs since the lockout, but we have been 3, 1, 1 and 2 points away from missing the playoffs ourselves 5 of the past 6 years. For most teams, this would be a warning sign. Some point to the playoff run of a couple of years ago, and yes it was great, but it was an anomaly – even Ottawa had one good run to the cup since the lockout.

      Anyway, not sure exactly what I wanted to say, just felt like venting a bit. Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear others comments on the above.

      • HardHabits says:

        1- I agree with most of this. The one trade I laud is the Rivet for Gorges and a 1st rounder that got Pacioretty. In retrospect the trade for Tanguay, a 1st and 2nd was excessive especially that the Habs later traded 2 more 2nds for players that weren’t signed. This is not the way to go IMO because in each case the trades had zero impact on the play-off picture and only got the Habs in. Halak for Eller was bold and IMO a good one considering Halak’s FA status.

        2- Losing one 1st rounder and three 2nd’s is huge IMO. I don’t believe a team can become elite using this methodology and it is one of my major points of contention with the Habs. My belief is that the Habs need to rebuild via the draft and have to stop mortgaging the farm on 1st round play-off exits or worse 10th place finishes. Building via free agency is a short term stop gap to nothingness. To me that it is all about saving face, selling seats and merchandise and hoping for a 6/49 championship. The thing is the Habs are in one lottery while other teams are in both. Philly just picked up Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn plus extras for two players. The Habs rarely flip players for profit like that. Rivet is the only one I can think of and it still pales by comparison to Carter and Richards for the smorgasbord they got in return.

        3- Enough people are convinced that once you make the play-offs anything can happen but history shows that more often than not a top 5 team wins it all and if not a top 5 team than is at the very least a top 10 team. The Habs have had one top ten finish since 1997. Their average is 16th for the last 14 years.

    • G-Man says:

      Merci, Uncle Tom….Merci!

      _____________________________________________________

      When in doubt, blame PP.

  20. twilighthours says:

    Alright boys, I’m out. Thanks for the debate, as always.

  21. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Last 8 or so minutes of the 1st period in the tampa/ flyers games was amazing, Love it!!

    “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
    – Sean Bonjovi

  22. ManApart says:

    Anyone notice both MAB and Jagr have 15 points? Max-Pac leads the team with 11. Another example of smart GMs like Yzerman, and Holmgren knowing what they are doing and incompetents like Gainey/Gauthier showing why, well why they are so incompetent. Wake the hell up people, we’ve already wasted many years with these Bozo’s and this team is going nowhere fast. Can we please just fire their asses? How many more years do we have to waste?

  23. Old Bald Bird says:

    Let’s assume that the team continues to flounder and it becomes increasingly apparent that they won’t make the playoffs.

    (1) How do you think this will affect JM’s coaching. Would he turn the page in terms of both style and personnel usage?

    (2) Will the team make trades with the future in mind?

    (3) Will JM last the year? Should he last the year? Is there any point in replacing him now?

    • Captain aHab says:

      They will have to be TOTALLY out of it to trade with the future in mind. If they’re remotely close to the playoffs, they’ll try to make trades with the current year in mind. I’m hoping beyond hope that they won’t trade huge assets for short term gains.

  24. HardHabits says:

    The problem IMO is Jacques Martin. The man has not won anything at any level in his entire career. His method of coaching is as outdated as his haircut and clothing.

    JM loves over-playing a few players. He loathes rolling four lines. He doesn’t like fore-checking. He prefers to sit on and protect a lead rather than take it to the opponent. His idea of pressure is the 0-1-4.

    It is my view that this team will not just stagnate but will plummet which each and every game that Martin coaches. Furthermore the Habs are not built for the play-offs. They’re not even built for the regular season.

    Gainey’s experiment failed and the Habs are regressing. It is still too early in the season to write them off I’ll admit but my perception is that they have played beyond their abilities for the past two seasons and are now regressing towards the mean (thanks twilight). They have a 2-6 record at home for the love of mercy.

    I admire all of you fans who hope for a turn around but I have watched this team every year since 1973 and nothing in my experience tells me that this group of players with the managerial staff they have is anything other than a bubble team and play-off cannon fodder (in the unlikely event that they make the play-offs this year).

    The next two months will be telling. I will however reserve judgement for what transpires from now until the trade deadline but my apprehension is that the Habs will make a huge blunder between now and then that will make the Roy trade and the Gomez deal pale by comparison.

    • twilighthours says:

      It might be too late… .610 winning percentage here on out to get 95 points.

      Chris raised a valid point that we here on HIO have a tendency to overvalue our players (your little Price Subban Hall NugentH experiment proved that), but I think we all genuinely and correctly feel that this team with these players should be better than 28th overall. That speaks to coaching, if nothing else.

      I’ve been a backer of JM, but he probably should go.

    • Bill J says:

      Nothing personal, you are far from being the only one posting “sky is falling ” posts.

      What kills me though, is the far to easy opinion many of you choose to live by.

      Imagine the worst, make it your opinion… And if by chance, you are wrong… You can say, boy am I glad to be wrong. And if by lack of chance you are right, I told you so’s for all.

      Do I agree that JM must go in order for this team to improve ? Absolutely.

      Do I agree that the BG experiment failed ? Absolutely not. Because it is my opinion that the BG experiment includes people like Timmins. The reluctance to throw away CP31 is another.

      Trading Rivet for Gorges and a pick took balls. It paid off tenfold.

      PG has not failed miserably either. JM… Has to go.


      If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

      Go Habs Go!

      • HardHabits says:

        I think Timmins should be considered as a serious candidate to be GM. There is also a rumour that he was against trading McDonaugh away.

        Gainey’s experiment is failing then. It hasn’t failed yet but it looks like it will.

        Trading Rivet for Gorges and a 1st is the one move by Gainey that I laud and I have said it many times and more so have said that those are the types of moves that need to be made more often. The Habs did that once. Now weigh that against trading a first and 3 seconds for rentals that were never resigned.

        PG IMO opinion needs to be replaced. The only person in management that gets my vote of confidence is Timmins.

        • Bill J says:

          I think that ridding this team of JM will be a huge step.

          On paper this team is not bad, certainly not as bad as the standings imply.

          A new coach and a playoff appearance despite the lame start ? Redeems IMO what was long overdue.

          Also it’s not a rumor that Timmins was upset about losing McDonagh (proper spelling btw) … BG was also very high on McD. It is my opinion that PK overtook McD, and was deemed an acceptable loss. Kind of like Halak V. Price.


          If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

          Go Habs Go!

    • SmartDog says:

      It’s obvious where the real fault lies. With Jaroslav Halak. If he didn’t play lights-out 2 playoffs ago, Martin wouldn’t have that on his resume, and the truth of where this team has been and is (a play-off question mark) would be obvious. More change would have happened, the fantasy that this is a contender wouldn’t be keeping things at (generally) status quo.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Indeed, they are a bubble team, and it appears that the bubble has burst. I had hoped for better, but those hopes rested on a healthy Markov and a Yemelin who would be used and who would, therefore, contribute.

    • The Dude says:

      the only veteran other teams would be interested is Cole ,Cammy ,AK,Plecs,maybe Gill and maybe Gointa…..We all know what they want and that’s Price , Subban and Max Pax and maybe Eller down the road.And no one wants Gomez and Spach=11 mil per. This is a disaster and no good could come from gambling or riding a stat sheet.To boot the up and comers are a long way away and still have to prove themselves.It’s the worst case of Canadiens mismanagement ever and may take another 20 years to correct! Please don’t bring up Markov!

    • Habs Notes says:

      I agree with you but I also believe, as many here do, that with the right coach and a healthy Markov, this is a playoff team. And, as we all know, a hot goalie can take a team a long way and, lucky for us, Price can win games on his own. Trouble is, we let the two guys who could make a difference as coach, Boucher and Muller, get away. And, we let Julien Briesbois go to Tampa. He could have been our Theo Epstein.

      Short of trading Price or Subban, who really are the only untouchables on the roster (or in the system) in my view, I am not sure there is anything the Habs could do that anyone would consider to be a worse move than either the Roy or Gomez trades. The problem here is that the Habs have for years shown they lack the cojones to make the bold moves (free agent signings or trades) necessary to build a contender, not to mention baffling ineptitude at the draft (which of course limits our ability to make those impactful deals).

      The bottom line is that ownership should be embarrassed that we haven’t even sniffed the Cup in almost 20 years. None of the other great major league franchises (Yankees, Packers, Lakers) have tolerated this kind of mediocrity this long.

      • HardHabits says:

        The Roy trade would be hard to beat and no way Price or Subban is going to get traded. The Gomez deal though was bad but not so much for the albatross contract or even that Gomez’ points production is deteriorating by the minute but that the Habs gave up McDonagh when Sather was probably drooling just at the thought of dumping salary and would’ve done so at any cost IMO. It looks to me that Sather scorched Gainey there (unless of course Gomez comes back and scores at a point per game pace and is integral to the Habs winning a Stanley Cup). I was exaggerating.

  25. J_P says:

    I would like to address the lovely debate on stats going on. I tend to find Andrew Berskhire to be a great poster on this site, and very often appreciate his use of statistics. HOWEVER, in my opinion, statistics in hockey are used for illustration, because very often, there are just too many factors involved or too small of a sample size for them to be used as a legible argument.

    You can say that the habs are just unlucky, and should they continue to play like they are, they will win, but over what time frame? Maybe over 1000 games, but 82 games is a very small sample size in this case. They could outshoot and outchance their opponents by the same margin every single night for the rest of the season but still lose. There’s no rule that says that cammy WILL convert those missed attempts more often than not. Even if you can pull statistics to show that he has in the past does not guarantee that trend will continue in the future.

    Ask any investor, and they will certainly tell you that past performance does not necessarily indicate future performance.

    Its like you can tell me that AA is a heavily favored hand in poker, and that I should win with them most of the time, but in my personal experience that is not the case. I dont take solace in the face that my hand should have won. I am just left with the fact that it did not win and Im out, which is where I agree with the poster who referenced that we are 28th in the league. You can say all the stats you want, but it doesnt change the fact that the habs sit in 28th. Even if they are statistically playing well, they clearly arent playing well enough to win night in and night out, and their record reflects that.

    • twilighthours says:

      Berky’s a great poster. He relies on his stats, that’s his thing. Me? I’m more old-school – I’d rather just watch. Some of these stats are interesting – Corsi in particular – while others I find misleading and not indicative of useful stuff (even shot distance).

      None of these things are statistics, by the way. Something “MathMan” should have known.

      Listen, I’d love to see my favourite team dominate every aspect of the game and win 5-0 every night. Right about now, I’d take a win, as ugly and statistically unlikely as can be.

    • This is a very legitimate argument that really has no good response. However all statistics (including goals, assists and wins) are equally flawed.

      No matter what situation you’re in, there’s always going to be variation and it’s hard to predict, but if your team is hitting all the right trends that predict future success in hockey, it’s hard to say that’s a bad thing. Last year the Habs played better than their record, and way better than their even strength production, whereas in 09-10 they played way worse than their record.

      However I’m much more comfortable with this team than the 2009-10 version because I see a much better chance to win every night, regardless of the opponent.

      “Even if they are statistically playing well, they clearly arent playing well enough to win night in and night out, and their record reflects that.”

      This however, I disagree with. All teams lose games they should win. Unfortunately that’s happening a lot early this year, but every stat you can track suggests it shouldn’t continue.

      ______________________________
      Seriousfan09 has started a Movember team named McPhee’s Irregulars. Donate to him, or me or the team to raise money for a great cause!
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  26. Captain aHab says:

    The problem with the concept that poor shooting percentages will tend to go up while high ones will tend to come down is that you are making an assumption that all players have an equal shooting ability. They don’t. The other problem is that even if it’s true, it might be totally irrelevant if the law of shooting averages requires a sample season size of 160 games when seasons are 82 games long. It’s also possible for guys to go up or down 7-10 percentage points in shooting year to year. So the law of averages may not help a team at all with their low shooting percentages. You can say as much as you want that it should, there is zero % guarantee that it will.

    • “The problem with the concept that poor shooting percentages will tend to go up while high ones will tend to come down is that you are making an assumption that all players have an equal shooting ability”

      No one makes that assumption. When you’re talking about shooting ability in a player by player breakdown you use their individual career shooting percentages, not league averages.

      ______________________________
      Seriousfan09 has started a Movember team named McPhee’s Irregulars. Donate to him, or me or the team to raise money for a great cause!
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      • Captain aHab says:

        Then your assumption is that their shooting percentages should be roughly the same year to year and I don’t know that this is a valid assumption. Cole for instance has been as high as 17-18% and as low as 10-11%.

        • You picked a bad example to bring up that point, his shooting percentage has been between 10-13% the last 4 years. Expecting it to stay in that range is entirely reasonable.

          ______________________________
          Seriousfan09 has started a Movember team named McPhee’s Irregulars. Donate to him, or me or the team to raise money for a great cause!
          http://mobro.co/AndrewBerkshire

          • Captain aHab says:

            My point is that – year to year – a player’s shooting percentage can fluctuate widely. And you cannot predict when it will do so.

          • 3% isn’t wildly. How likely do you think it is that Cole puts 250 shots on net this year and only scores the 17 he’s on pace for? Seriously.

            ______________________________
            Seriousfan09 has started a Movember team named McPhee’s Irregulars. Donate to him, or me or the team to raise money for a great cause!
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  27. RiverviewCanadien says:

    I wonder if Gomez and Kostitsyn are on the trip out west, because they are going to stay out west…

    Kidding.

    Seriously though, if things don’t turn around soon, this team will be on the outside looking in come April. I really don’t want to watch TOR and BOS in the playoffs without MTL in the mix. Ugh!

  28. twilighthours says:

    I know that Berkshire, MathMan (where has he gone? far away, I hope), and other posters like to cite “new” stats like corsi, shot location, etc, and then cite that the Habs – statistically – are just unlucky right now and eventually the shooting percentage will regress towards the mean and the Habs will score more and the Habs will win more, but… here’s a thought… what if the Habs’ forwards aren’t actually that good at shooting, and it’s not luck that’s keeping the puck out of the net but an actual lack of talent?

    • HardHabits says:

      There you you go with your solid logic again.

      regress towards the mean

      hahahahaha. Thanks for reminding me. I wondered where MathMan went to. Too funny.

      • twilighthours says:

        MathMan didn’t even understand his own stats. He had no clue.

        • Disagree, MathMan is an excellent commenter and HIO is poorer for losing him.

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          • Propwash says:

            I’ve seen him post on the odd occasion here and there.

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          • twilighthours says:

            HIO being better or worse for losing him is not my concern. This is: he told me – in no uncertain terms – that the Habs were just unlucky at that eventually their scoring would return and that it was all based on percentages. I said, “so it’s all just luck?” and he said yes. Then he sent me to a website that apparently backed his claim (Behind the net, maybe?). However, this same website said – as clear as day – that shooting % is actually a function of shot distance. Shot distance (according to behindthenet) is the best predictor of shooting %, and not luck.

            As I said, he didn’t get it.

            The problem with “regress to the mean” is that, by definition, some teams have to be below the mean. Maybe the Habs are that team.

          • I think there was a misunderstanding in that conversation, because MathMan has schooled my ass in debates several times about hockey. The big misunderstanding was probably that he neglected to mention that Montreal was outchancing their opponents (ie their shooting distance would predict a better shooting % than they were getting) and that’s why he was saying luck.

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          • HardHabits says:

            I liked MathMan as a commenter because he was learned and articulate. However I rarely if ever agreed with his conclusions because I don’t believe in luck or law of averages. In sports you make your own luck. That’s why we play the games.

            One telling stat that I think is significant is that the Habs are almost top 10 scoring 5 on 5 which actually paints a picture that this team could be better than it is. Unfortunately they are not close to top 10 in other significant categories. If the Habs were top 10 in scoring, goals against, power play and penalty kill we wouldn’t be having this debate and they’d be in 5th or 6th spot in the East.

            That isn’t the case though. For every strength the Habs have the appear to have two weaknesses.

            The bottom line IMO is that the team is not performing well because Martin is lackluster.

            The one glaring thing that makes me think Martin is out of touch is his penchant for writing stuff down on his notepad. That goes back to the rift between Muller and Pearn. Martin writes stuff down to talk about it tomorrow. By then it’s too late.

          • twilighthours says:

            Then I would use this info as another indicator that these stats aren’t all that valuable. MTL’s shot distance *should have* lead to better shoot%, but it didn’t…. hmm…….. maybe shot distance isn’t even that good an indicator, and other things are (like talent, which is hard to quantify).

          • @HH You’re biggest problem with JM is that he writes things down? That shows he’s analytical and has attention for detail. How do you know he doesn’t discuss those things during intermissions?

            @TH Using one season by one team to disregard something that’s predicted success extremely well for about a decade is pretty spurious, no offense. Just because something trends one way doesn’t mean it’s 100% right all the time, the current Habs are proof of that. But it’s still the best predictor.

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          • Bill says:

            Mmm, I thought he made occasional good points but in a pretty obnoxious – I would go so far as to say supercilious – manner. Also, his belief that the Habs poor offense was due entirely to luck was mind-boggling. I think he’s still waiting for that luck to turn around.

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    • That’s a good thing to bring up, but it doesn’t really apply to this situation. The Habs have a lot of good shooters who are shooting far below their career averages.

      Cammalleri is 4% below his career average
      Cole is 5% below his career average
      Plekanec is 2% below his career average
      Subban is still at 0% and shot at 7.11% last year

      Meanwhile Pacioretty is shooting a very sustainable 11% on a high volume of shots.

      The guys that I’m worried about are Desharnais, who’s on pace for just 58 shots this year. And Gionta, who’s shooting literally half as often as he was last year, although his shots are going in at a good pace.

      Desharnais just isn’t able to get shots off because a) he’s too slow and b) he passes too much. But I think there’s real concern that Gionta could be beginning to decline, which gives credence to TwoCents idea to trade him this year.

      Basically my point is that players don’t just stop being good shooters when they become Habs.

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      • twilighthours says:

        (I’m assuming you’re talking 5 percentage points and not actually 5%)

        But they actually might. These shooting % numbers might hide things – important things – like how open or how much time a player had when he made the shot. These new shot-location stats don’t indicate if it was a shot taken while well-covered or while wide-open.

        I’m glad there is some statistical indication that the Habs are playing competitively, but HH’s point is valid and urgent: where are the wins? Ask Washington and Pittsburg in 2010 how good their shots were, how far below their shooting %s they were, or whatever you want to ask. Then ask if they won their series.

        Here’s my thing – and I know this is going to sound pretentious, but it’s not meant to be – I’ve played a lot of hockey at a fairly high level. I’ve coached fairly high level 17-18 year olds. I watch a lot of hockey at the NHL and other levels. I know that a team that has trouble scoring sometimes can’t score because they’re unlucky, and sometimes because they have lost confidence and the belief in themselves, and sometimes the team just can’t score because the players aren’t good at it.

        Right now, I don’t know which category the Habs fall into.

        • Mark C says:

          If the issue is timing and space, how do you explain how Montreal has the 12th most 5-on-5 goals, whereas the PP is ranked 25th? Wouldn’t the inverse be true if Montreal was struggling with creating high quality shots due to a lack of time and space?

          • twilighthours says:

            Firstly, I merely suggested that shot% / shot location stats might hide the true nature of the type of shot taken.

            Secondly, I might explain those stats as a result of small number of high-scoring games skewing MTL’s 5-5 scoring. Someone below already crunched those numbers. Or I might suggest – as we all know – that simply having a powerplay doesn’t guarantee the players on the PP a good shooting location or a lot of time for the shot. The Habs’ PP has demonstrated that time and time again this season.

        • TH by bringing up Washington you’re accidentally proving my point. They shot way above average all year in the 09-10 season, and the series against Montreal was a rapid regression to the mean that killed them. Meanwhile the Habs got insanely lucky that year.

          The stats are ever evolving, and you’re right that they’re flawed. Every stat is flawed. Sometimes on a goal the player who made the play that created the goal was the 4th last guy to touch the puck and won’t get a point.

          The point of advanced stats is to compile as much data as possible, in context, compare and contrast and see what it tells you and how you can make predictions.

          No one is going to say that, for example, Corsi alone determines games. All Corsi is, is a compiling of all shot attempts for and against. It tells us one thing specifically, and that’s which team had better puck possession.

          In the end every individual statistic will have flaws, especially wins and losses. But more focused statistics tell us more about the game.

          As for which team the Habs are, if they weren’t thoroughly outchancing the competition I would lean towards them being not very good, but they are outchancing.

          And you don’t sound pretentious, you’re using your own experience to form an opinion, that’s cool with me.

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          • twilighthours says:

            So was Washington just lucky all that year because their shoot% was so far above the mean? Or did they just have a lot of world-class talent who knows how to put the puck in the net? I’m inclined to believe the latter.

            And I guess maybe we’re arguing the same point, but in different ways. My thing is this: I’m sure Washington felt that eventually the goals would come in that series because hey they are a good shooting team. But they didn’t – mostly because they ran into the hottest goalie in the world. But ultimately, who cares? Washington lost, MTL won, and that’s what we’ll all remember. Maybe, statistically, if the two teams played a best of 21 instead, Washington would have pulled it off. BUt it’s all about results.

            I hope your stats lead to a MTL turnaround. I fear it won’t, and regardless it will take a big turnaround to make the playoffs anyway.

          • “So was Washington just lucky all that year because their shoot% was so far above the mean? Or did they just have a lot of world-class talent who knows how to put the puck in the net? I’m inclined to believe the latter.”

            It was both. They were a great team that shot even better than their combined skill. Last year (I believe, I haven’t checked recently) they shot below their career averages.

            You’re right that in a short series there’s not much room for error. And I’m guessing in a series of 21 games that year Washington would have won about 15, but that’s not the reality.

            Playoffs are largely about who gets hot (luck) and staying healthy. That’s why teams shouldn’t sign players who have a single great playoff year to big contracts (Leino).

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          • HardHabits says:

            Washington got stoned. They ran into a goaltender that was playing lights out in front of a team that was sacrificing their bodies by blocking shots. But the bottom line is that Washington got stoned by Halak. Nothing about mean or averages. Halak was the difference not shooting percentages.

      • twocents says:

        By the way, despite all the chatter below, I agree with your stats. I really think this team is playing better than its record, without crunching numbers.

        I think part of it is a missing ingredient that JM just doesn’t bring. A LITTLE fire, a Little intensity, a little emotion, a little visible thirst for success.

        I never really liked him, but I’ve been willing to give him time, especially since the playoff performance two years ago, but times up for me now.

        This team has some really good talent and there is latent fire in them that needs to be harnessed. His contract is coming up. I really hope it is at least not renewed, but I’d prefer see action now.

        And yes, I agree that you can be totally happy with any coach. I also agree, and have mentioned that Martin does good things. But fresh air is needed.

        Thanks for remembering my Gionta suggestion. I said the same thing after Kovalev had his big year. Sell high!

        • RiverviewCanadien says:

          Great points. I feel the same way, but I would never expect them to trade Gionta, not the Captain which management named (even though I always believed he was not the right person).

          That would be like the Halak trade. A big, gusty move. But in the end, would it be the right move, again?

          Does PG really have it in him? I figure Cammalleri would be the best trade asset, but holy smokes he is wicked come playoffs!

        • Who would you replace JM with though? That’s my biggest/only problem with it. I don’t see many good candidates out there.

          Man, if the Habs listened to you about Kovalev that year the team really would have benefited long term.

          My only resistance to trading Gionta is an emotional flashback to the Houle era where captains are traded willy nilly for little return. But as my great and good pal JD always tells me, no one is untouchable, the only thing that matters is return.

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  29. Chuck says:

    Once again, (opportunistic) goal scoring is the problem for this team with just 35 goals in 14 games, or an average of 2.5 goals/game… with 23 of those goals scored in just 5 of their games.

    Considering their 39 goals against, including empty-netters, they’re allowing slightly more than they score, but the inability to spread out their scoring is what’s pushing them down in the standings.

    Spread out the scoring, and they’d easily have two more wins, and be sitting in 7th place in the conference and tied with Tampa Bay.

  30. Chris F says:

    Just some thoughts after watching last night:
    1) Edmonton didnèt look that good. From what I saw, fourteen shots, give me a break. It won’t last this year IMO.
    2) I like the Physical prescence Emelin brings, but he’ll need to show it for three periods if he wants to stay.
    3) Cole is our best player.
    4) Plekanecs cannot run the PP. For the love of god get a D man back there to skate up the ice with some speed. And have another D man backing him up coming up the ice. Pleks carried the puck out of his own end and into the neutral zone slower than many pee-wee hockey teams. It’s brutal. And another SH goal!! THIS IS COACHING!!!!
    5) ****Our team right now just looks all too plain. Nothing stands out, besides maybe Cole’s speed, and the fact we have Carey Price in Net. In past years hearing sports analysts saying we depended on Carey to win each game was just wrong, but now I would say it’s pretty close to fact. We don’t have anyone to mix it up when we can’t break thru, nobody to create excitement with a big hit, no line to hem the other team in it’s own end, there’s just nothing that stands out. Were flat, mechanical.
    6) For years this team won many games due to it’s PP. Going back to Souray, Kovy, Markov, Streit, etc. Now, we can’t. And therefore, were losing. We actually finished first in the conference on the back of a great PP, 104 pts, we were number one in the league on the PP. This year, it’s embarassing. We have no shot from the point, no threat, and therefore our little forwards are being pressed and forced into making bad passes or simply have no time and space to be creative since the opposition realize we can’t hurt them from the point. PK is not getting it done right now, he tries, and has a great shot but his wind-up is very slow, and he misses the net more often than not.
    6) DD and Darche are not getting it done. DD has skill, no doubt, but he’s just too small and not fast enough to make up for it. He loses countless battles on the boards, and even though he battles, his size is simply killing him. Darche is fourth line at best. If we cannot find a better replacement on the third line when we have injury troubles, it negates any chance of having offense. This puts too much pressure on the top two.
    7) I believe Nokelainen is being under utilized. He has some size, can win face-offs, but I have no idea if this guy can play because he doesn’t get the chance. Hey, were 5-7, give the guy a chance. Replace him in DD’s spot and see what he can do.
    8) Our D are having an extremely difficult time hitting the forwards with the first pass, resulting in many broken plays. Other times the D are simply dumping it up to the opp D for safety. Maybe Markov or Camoli will help. Oh right. I forgot. Hurt.

  31. Ian Cobb says:

    I do not have a lot of conversation left to say about the game tomorrow night, other than it will probably end in the same result as most of the games this year.

    Enough talent to win , but a coach that does not understand how to use his players properly to overtake the opposition.

    Until Martin is history, there will be no new exciting history for this club my friends.!

    • Ton says:

      Your right my friend. Very fine line between winning and loosing as you said today. Coaching and utilizing players I think is single most important part of today’s game. Unfortuneately it will get worst before it gets better.

  32. munch17 says:

    JM
    I know you read this regularly to get our input so here are 3 thoughts.
    1. Put Nokeleinen on the PP. He can replace Darche and stand in front of the net – the opposition’s net. Maybe he can win a face-off in the opposing zone to start a pp. Last night DD lost 4 in a row followed by icing. This is not an effective way to start a powerplay.
    2. Since Palushaj is coming up – put him on a 3rd line to see what he can do – we know what Darche and Moen can do ( I like them – I just know what they can do).

    3 Please put PK back on the point on PP and take Pleks off – it didn’t work last year and it is not working now.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Keep Cole in front of the net on PP’s. lots of posters bitched about MAB’s lack of defense but when he was here the PP clcked. Same with Wiz, but PG decieded to go with a gimpy Russian who when he does come back it may be to late for this year and there is no guarentee AM will be the player he was or how long he will play before his next leg injury finishes his career.

      Mr. Biter

  33. Colomb27 says:

    I can’t wait until Gomez is back…

  34. twocents says:

    I agree with those who would be happy to see Martin go, but I don’t feel that Gauthier has proven himself a hindrance to success. The jury’s still out on him in my opinion. He has done some good things and some bad things, like any GM.

    Really, how he handles this year will set my opinion. There are moves to be made and he has to make smart ones. His hand was forced in the case of several past trades and I am willing to acknowledge that. But, he doesn’t have any more disgruntled players to deal with now and he needs to alter the team some. More importantly, how, and if, he deals with Martin and who he appoints as his successor, is key to him proving his competence.

    I also agree that Timmins would be a good choice to replace Gauthier if he refuses to deal with the coaching issue or makes bad player moves.

    • govenah says:

      Palushae again? This guy brings nothing

      • Say Ash says:

        Not true. He brings the regret of losing D’Agostini.

        • Mark C says:

          Ridiculous. Writing off Palushaj at a younger age than D’Agostini was when he was traded.

          • Mark C says:

            People felt the same way about D’ago when he had 4 points in 40 games and 1 point in 11 games before the concussion. It’s way too early to call Palushaj a career AHLer.

          • Mark C says:

            Then he scored 1 goal and 1 point in 11 games, got hurt and finished the season 3 points in 29 games. Palushaj is 22 and has not been given a chance in the NHL, yet. Writing him off now is silly.

            Palushaj has good offensive potential, and has produced AHL numbers that minor what D’ago did in that league.

      • twocents says:

        After graduating as many players as this team has in the last few years, it’s not shocking to find the AHL level a bit bare.

        The good news is that next year there will be a big influx of talent at that level.

        As for Palushaj, I prefer to have a little more patience with any player than 7 games. I don’t have huge expectations for him, but I am not counting him out as a useful player yet. He could end up being a good 3rd line player.

    • I’m not so sure there’s a coaching issue, Eric. Everything that I can see and all the research I do tells me that the Habs continually dominate opponents at even strength, and they’re just not getting the puck luck so far.

      The biggest problem with firing Martin though is who do you get to replace him? There really aren’t any desirable candidates out there.

      As for Gauthier, he earned my trust with the Halak trade. It was ballsy and the right move. He’s made a couple mistakes, most notably Sergei Kostitsyn for nothing, but they’re not big mistakes. He did make the best trade of any GM last year in grabbing Wiz for a 2nd rounder.

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      • twocents says:

        Andrew, I agree that the team isn’t playing nearly as poorly as its record suggests. However, I think that reflects on Martin. He designs a technically sound game, but he greatly lacks in motivation and inspiring that extra bit, which is all that is separating the losses from the wins in my opinions.

        Part of this lies in his bizarre decision making. I could see how players lose a little edge knowing there are better choices than Darche on the PP and Pleks on the point, among others.

        • Darche on the PP is a head scratcher, but I really don’t think we’ll ever be completely happy with any coach. As far as bad decisions go, Darche on the PP is one that annoys but doesn’t kill.

          Now if he’s still getting a ton of PP time with Gomez and Kostitsyn back in the lineup over the next 10 games, it gets a bit worse.

          Pleks on the point btw, has set up almost all our PP goals.
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          • twocents says:

            He’d be setting them up from the half boards too, Andrew, just like he has for years, without risking the defensive liability of having him as last man back. I think the team has more than enough options among the D to play PP. In fact we are overflowing with options with the bunch we have.

            Put Pleks back where he has already shown to be excellent, without a downside.

          • I agree for the most part, but I don’t think he’s been that much of a liability. I’d like to see Emelin take some PP time because I honestly think he’s way better than Diaz with the puck.

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          • VancouverHab says:

            “I really don’t think we’ll ever be completely happy with any coach.”

            Now that’s wisdom. Nor will we ever (apparently) be happy with any prospect not a blue-chipper (moans everywhere about D’Ags when he was here, now he’s gone the GM is an idiot — & now Palushaj gets the same treatment).

          • You’ve gotta love confirmation bias, eh VH?

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      • adamkennelly says:

        those are some rose colored glasses….team is not much better than their record indicates – they routinely get worked in their own end, regularly fail to set up on the PP and have a lot of trouble sustaining any kind of forecheck…..they are what they are – and that is a playoff bubble team at best..too small and too soft…NHL is a big boy game..

        • Those are some dung coloured glasses. I have statistical proof for my claims, where’s your proof?

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          • HardHabits says:

            Here’s my proof. 28th over-all. That’s the only stat that matters. The rest is sophistry.

          • That’s not proof, that’s a poor understanding of hockey.

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          • Your frustration and anger are pretty irrelevant. About as relevant as you not believing. Facts are fact, J.

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          • HardHabits says:

            Andrew Berkshire. My understanding of hockey exceeds yours by leaps and bounds young man. You are a dilettante, whereas I have mastered my art.

          • You always like to say that, yet you consistently prove the opposite is true while acting like a luddite.

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          • You guys are entertaining. “I have no response, so I’ll just say I know more than you”. Okay.

            If you’re forgetting so much about hockey, isn’t your current knowledge crap?

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          • HardHabits says:

            Which part of the Habs are in 28th place don’t you understand?

          • The only thing I don’t understand is how someone can be obsessed with hockey and the Habs, post on a message board hundreds of times a day, yet purposely look into hockey on only a surface level. If the statistics I’m using to form this opinion were “pseudostats” as you say, then teams around the NHL wouldn’t be using them more and more each year. Gabe Desjardins wouldn’t be charging $200+/hour for consultations with NHL general managers. Chris Boucher wouldn’t be scouting for junior clubs and national teams to compile data.

            It’s too bad you have this opinion HH because you’re being rapidly left behind.

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      • J_P says:

        Writing it off as puck luck is taking the easy way out. There’s definitely a coaching issue. I dont care if we doubled up on edmonton in shots last night, the offense looked terrible. What were we? 0-7 on the powerplay? We had precisely two shots on goal by the 18 minute mark of the first?

        Thats always been a problem with this team. There’s no 60 minute effort. Its either we get an early lead and hold on for dear life, or we spot the other team an early lead, actually start attacking, but just dont have the pure finishers to capitalize on those shots. The habs also inflate their shot totals with a lot of bad shots.

        The team needs an overall change in culture and philosophy. No way to get that without getting rid of the coach. Ladouceur or Cunneyworth can take over until seasons end. I love the energy and enthusiasm ladouceur brings, and I think the team would welcome a change from the stoic jacques martin, especially Cammy.

        • “I dont care if we doubled up on edmonton in shots last night”

          I care because it says a lot about the flow of play and puck possession.

          “We had precisely two shots on goal by the 18 minute mark of the first?”

          I thought you didn’t care about shots.

          “The habs also inflate their shot totals with a lot of bad shots.”

          This has been thoroughly proven false through scoring chance counts all season that you can find at enattendantlesnordiques.blogspot.com

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    • JF says:

      Agree with you about Gauthier, although I feel he slipped up badly over the summer over the question of a fourth-line centre – he, or whoever thought Andreas Engqvist could do the job. However, he acted fairly quickly to remedy that error, and Nokelainen is looking good. I’d say that overall, he’s made more good decisions than bad ones; and the Halak trade might turn out to have been a stroke of genius.

      But what happens this year will be crucial. If we’re well out of a playoff spot by the deadline, which is looking increasingly likely, he needs to be aggressive in selling off some of our free-agent signings and in addressing the coaching issue. The problem there is that there is a dearth of good candidates. I’m hoping Habs management have their eye on someone in the Q or elsewhere in junior and will grab that person before he gets away; but I admit I have no idea who said person might be. If they’re hoping to lure Guy Boucher back, they’d have to wait another two years – and who even knows if he wants to come?

    • HardHabits says:

      Am I the first to suggest Timmins as GM or has somebody else beat me to the punch? Nevertheless I am greatly flattered by your support for this idea that I have been surmising.

      • The Dude says:

        Timmins scares me and I like to hear his views on whats going on with the club .Ask him bout scouting in the Q “why none” and how he feels about BIG ATHLETES.And ask him about whom he’d replace Cocula with and what style of hockey he like’s?

        • Mark C says:

          1) There is scouting in the Q and at least one full time scout.
          2) Check out the passed few drafts where he took a lot of BIG ATHLETES.

          • Mark C says:

            Beaulieu, Didier, Dietz, Ellis, Gallahger (he “plays big”) and Tinordi and that’s just from the past two drafts.

            “Euros” nice one, Don.

  35. Danno says:

    You’re either winning or losing. There’s nothing in between.

    The Habs should hire a motivational speaker who understands that to talk to the players.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pipTwjwrQYQ

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

    • D Mex says:

      Ryan Walter used to do this before he ran into conflict situations as a result of his stint on the Canucks bench.
      Seems to me that the ability to analyze and motivate big money / high-performance athletes is a skill set that a team owner would want his GM to put in place when hiring a coaching staff. Just sayin’ …

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  36. Bill says:

    As someone said elsewhere, last year the Habs were 20th in offence, this year they are 21st. The difference is in the defence. Oddly, they are not getting outshot badly like last year, but they are still allowing more goals.

    This makes you think goaltending, but my eyes tell me Price has been pretty solid this year. A handful of bad games, and a bunch of really good ones.

    So what’s going on??

    Not that 20th in offence is much of a goal.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Kooch7800 says:

      defense is an issue along with our PP. Price has had a couple of weak games but is not the reason why they are in position we are in. it is mainly the PP and bad D

    • New says:

      The turnovers, bonehead plays, and lack of thought result in red lights. The D gets blamed. If Price hadn’t been outstanding and consistent he would be blamed. I am in a minority but I firmly believe and have always believed that is is rather bad practice to cough up the puck to the opposition 40 feet from the goal, coast to the bench on changes, or be named Scott Gomez. (Yay Gomez is on the trip – finally victory is theirs)

    • piper says:

      the problem is we are too small and soft still and until we get the proper people running this team that can see this as the problem get used to it.

    • Overall the team is playing much better than it has last year or any year recently, but the results aren’t great yet. The PP is generating more scoring chances than any other team’s PP in the league but not completing, while the ES play is vastly improved over the last few years as well. It’s being repeatedly burned by bad luck plays so far. Guys like Cole and Cammalleri get whiffing on sure goals twice a night, it’s only a matter of time until those start going in.

      ______________________________
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      • bleedhabs81 says:

        We hope

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Never have I seen the old dictum that you can prove anything with statistics except the truth confirmed so well.

        It’s like when someone says of a player scoring tons of goals: he isn’t really playing well, it’s just that his shooting percentage is freakishly high.

        • That saying really only works if you’re manipulating statistics to prove something. If you’re using the same criteria for all players and teams at all times, that’s the best way to analyze.

          If you can come up with a better way to understand the game than objective analysis of every play that happens on the ice, I’m all ears. However most of the posters on the site that agree with the notion you just used would rather refer to their “gut”, aka a subjective, biased perspective influenced by media narrative and often times frustration.

          And yes, HFS72, when a player is shooting at 20+% he’s getting lucky. Often times a player can play just as well and be deemed “slumping” because he’s shooting at 5% over a 10 game stretch.

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          • HabFanSince72 says:

            The problem isn’t using objective data, it’s that the data set is too poor to adequately explain the process.

            Franz Gall was right that studying the brain was a way to understand human behaviour. He was just working with very bad data.

          • HF, if you think the data is too poor I would suggest you look into it more, because it’s ever improving and the sheer amount recorded these days is mind boggling. It’s not poor data at all. In fact long term studies from Gabe Desjardins and the guys over at Copper and Blue show that their data is the best way to determine future success in the NHL.

            Like I said, if you can only counter with “that data sucks” or “I’d rather trust my gut”, it’s not really a counter at all.

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          • HabFanSince72 says:

            You might be right.

            Essentially your model says the Habs are actually playing well. Therefore the model is not predicting the actual outcomes (we should be winning more) for one of two reasons:

            1. The model is wrong.

            2. Bad luck – or more correctly variance (i.e. over the long run if the Habs continue to play this way they will win more often).

            Come on variance.

          • Eventually #2 SHOULD prove to be correct. However, the Habs have had results in the opposite of what should be predicted for the last 2 years. Last year they should have been a top 10 team in the NHL, the year before a lottery team.

            Over the season though teams like Ottawa and Edmonton will regress to the mean and logic would dictate Montreal will too.

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      • piper says:

        This team is not playing well. A good team is able to find a way to put the puck in the other teams net. Habs can’t do it consistently enough to be considered a good team. Plain and simple.

        • That’s a simplistic viewpoint that doesn’t fit with the facts, Piper.

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          • Derek2 says:

            Your citing of regression towards the mean has some problems. To the extent that a score is determined randomly, as opposed to being determined by skill, the phenomenon will have an effect.

            One would hope that the outcome of a game is determined more by skill than luck.

            Our chief weapons are fear and surprise

          • Well the skill is already there, we’re just waiting on the luck. No one said a score is determined randomly, but with a game as fast as hockey there is inherently an element of random variation that isn’t controllable.

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    • Mark C says:

      Montreal actually outshot their opponents last year 31.7 to 30.

      What’s going on is the lack of PP scoring, Montreal has improved their 5-on-5 goals for from 23 to 13 in the league from last season to this season.

    • HardHabits says:

      It’s the nature of the goals. How many goals against were the direct result of a player coughing up the puck? I can count at least 3, two from Subban and 1 from Plekanec. All three goals ended up being major factors those games’ losses.

      I don’t buy into all these pseudo stats. It’s a fancy way of saying I don’t know squat about hockey so let me try and back up my premises with fuzzy math.

      I don’t see a team that is dominating opponents. Domination is what the Capitals and Penguins did to the Habs in their unlikely run when they were miraculously saved by Halak’s heroics.

      The Habs played 3 and 2/3 good games IMO and those were games where they dropped JM”s system and played an aggressive fore-check. I even made an off the cuff remark about how JM would re-institute the System once the Habs were 1 game above .500. It turns out he turned off the fore-check with a 2-1 lead in Ottawa with .500 as the goal then and there.

      Like I said. If the Habs season is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, JM is Nurse Ratched, the Team is Billy, the aggressive fore-check is the prostitute and the System is Billy’s mother.

      The aggressive fore-check gave the Habs the confidence they needed to win. Once JM re-invoked the System the team started stuttering again.

      • “I don’t buy into all these pseudo stats. It’s a fancy way of saying I don’t know squat about hockey so let me try and back up my premises with fuzzy math.”

        Translated: I don’t get it and I’m too lazy to learn about it. Also I have no interest in challenging my own perceptions so I’m going to write off anything that doesn’t confirm my biases.

        Par for the course.

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        • HardHabits says:

          I am uninterested in pouring over meaningless stats Andrew. They mean nothing. The only stats that matter are total points, goal differential and wins versus losses and to a lesser extent GAA and save %, +/-, face-off %, etc. Corsi?? Whatever. The best thing about Olivier is the analyses of his stats and the he does so in a jaunty joual that makes me pee in my pants sometimes.

          At the end of the day you can trot all the reasons why the Habs should have won but all that matters is that they lost.

          But it goes beyond that. I follow my gut and I analyze my hunches. I also call them like I see them. I LMAO at how you pigeon hole Creationists yet you are of the same ilk. You try and bend reality to fit your closed minded beliefs whereas I accept reality for what it is and comment accordingly. If I felt the Habs were just in a little slump but had all the parts in place to make a serious run at the Cup I’d be onboard. I don’t see that. I saw glimpses of what this team could do with a better coaching system but that wont happen with JM, PG and BG at the helm.

          You still haven’t relinquished your pompous demeanor and truth be told most every comment you make only exposes you for the hockey neophyte that you are.

          • I look forward to your continued analysis of hockey at a 1980’s level fan understanding of the game. Meanwhile I’ll stick to the facts while you use your gut and continue being wrong.

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  37. montreal ace says:

    I would like to see the salary cap modified for teams when bidding on free agents. We are not in the same superstar market for top tier free agents because of the take home pay. I also hate the fact that we share revenue to help pay other teams compete against us, when looking for free agents.

  38. HabinBurlington says:

    I have no desire to watch this team tank. I want to watch this team play exciting and winning hockey. At times Yes they will need to be conservative depending on matchups, but this team is capable of winning.

    However, this team is stuck in the mud with a coach who refuses to play his teams to its strengths. I have tried for years to defend the choice my favourite team made in hiring JM. But watching these peculiar decisions game in and game out, and now getting poor results, I am just frustrated to the point of teetering on anger.

    I want this team to win in Phoenix, but if while in the desert JM finds some nice property cheap and decides to open a dude ranch, I am fine with that.

  39. LL says:

    Till now the jury was still out for me regarding DD. But it is painfully clear, after a crucial moment at the end of the 3rd period, when he was overpowered yet again by the opposition, that DD can only play on a team of Giants that go into the 3rd period with a few goals lead.

    Diaz has been spacewalking lately, and if Weber has talent, it’s hard to see, because all I see is him playing Twister on the ice, changing positions ad nauseum. Emelin needs to play and play a lot.

    Funny how Price lets in 2 goals, Khabby lets in one (a real softie, by the way), and Khabby’s the man and Price sucks because of 1 goal differential. ??? Did Khabby face any breakaways? Never mind, The Price Hate is part of the furniture around here.

    And lastly, the PP sucked just as much last season before the arrival of the Wiz. Had he been signed right away, it would’ve been cheaper. BUT, I would prefer to pay a game changing player like Wiz 6 million over Cammy, who really is almost useless during the regular season. Cole just makes him look good.

  40. Cardiac says:

    For those of you who are screaming for Geoff Molson to make changes in the head office and behind the bench, I propose to you the following action plan:

    1. Switch your beer to something, ANYTHING, but Molson.

    2. If you want to watch NHL games on TV, subscribe to Center Ice and check out other teams around the league. Screw Best Buy, Bell, Brault & Martineau and any other entity that profits from the advertising with the Habs.

    3. Instead of paying top dollar for a mediocre product, take a road trip to Ottawa, Buffalo or Quebec to get the experience of a good hockey game live. You will pay less for tickets, gaz and beer combined in comparison to the price of admission at the Phone Booth.

    Bottom line is, Molson will not feel compelled to intervene unless they start losing money. Keep your butts out the seats, your TVs off RDS and drink up, as long as it’s not Ex.

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    – Jerry Maguire

  41. ryan.hayward says:

    they are 2 wins out of a playoff spot and most losses are 1 goal games……

    • HabinBurlington says:

      While I respect your optimism, you realize there are many teams between 8th place and the Habs right? Those teams also get to play games, most of which become 3 point games. The Habs can win 2 straight and still be in the exact same position. Leapfrogging teams in the standing is much harder now. Extended winning streaks like 6+ with minimal losses in between are required to catch up. It is not as simple as 2 wins out of a playoff spot. And goal differential means sweet dick all at end of day.


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