Habs recall Palushaj; AK46, Gomez both on trip west

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.


  1. C_exacte says:

    They’re out-shooting almost every team they play, the effort’s definitely there!! Apart from the Cammy-Cole connection and Eller, everyone’s playing for themselves. Once Markov comes back he’ll teach them how to play as a team again, he’ll dish out those pucks to the right people at the right time like Paperboy for the NES.

  2. HabFanSince72 says:

    OK forget Adam Sandler movies. There’s a new idea in in-flight movie entertainment, and it’s worse. Much much worse:


    (I recommend the comments section.)

  3. Habsrule1 says:

    Amazing how everything is so bad in the beginning, then so good, and now so bad again.
    Some fans are ridiculous but I still have faith in MOST Habs fans that don’t get so down on the team so easily. If the Habs had gotten the OT goal against the bruins last year and went on to the Final, for example, would they be getting a bit more slack now? It was 1 goal people…in OT.
    This team is not as bad as some of you think. That said, I do think a different coach could get more out of them.
    And we could really use Markov.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Ya but that team had Pouliot!

    • The Dude says:

      You better give that dead horse your flogging another shot of HGH!

    • twilighthours says:

      Dude regardless of all this feel-good stuff the team needs to play at or better than a .610 clip the rest of the way just to make the playoffs.

      It’s grim.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        If they win 4 or 5 in a row (yes, a big if I suppose), that winning % needed lowers significantly.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

        • HabinBurlington says:

          The key is the first word in your statement.

        • twilighthours says:

          If they win 5 in a row it goes down to .579.


          • HabinBurlington says:

            What if they won say 40 straight, then they could play at their current rate and be okay right?

          • Habsrule1 says:

            I guess you’re right.

            Tank it is!

            Unbelievable. Imagine the players looked at things the way the fans do. 12 games in…5 points out of 5th place. Ok boys, let’s pack it in.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

          • twilighthours says:

            Never once in my life have I ever even suggested the tank option. Just pointing out the grim stats.

    • shiram says:

      I see them as a bubble playoff team, and they are not helping themselves with this start.
      Coaching is an issue for sure.
      Some players are problems as well.

      Moen for powerforward 2011/12!!

    • habfanacrossthed says:

      Wow great story! Just face it it’s a system, the coach, and players. Certain players are grasping it. The coach constantly sheds the blame on the inexperience. I see the young players performing well at times.
      Unfortunately the scoring isn’t there. Jacques is too loyal to certain players. Unless the Molson brothers are happy with this, nothing will change. Tank the season may result in a move. PG has to understand his head could roll too! My lines would be as such:
      Patches Pleks Gionta
      Cole Eller Cammy
      AK/Moen Gomez Palushaj/DD
      Darche Nokelainen Blunden/Weber


      PP 1:
      Cole – Eller – Cammy
      PP 2:
      Patches – Pleks – Gionta
      Gomez/AK – Gorges

      GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

  4. HardHabits says:

    So I was visiting the Habs web site and I was once again hit with their latest marketing gimmick: Rise Together.

    I think they’ll be needing to change that soon. Here are some HH suggestions. Feel free to contribute.

    Of course.

    Tank Together
    Fall Together
    Suck Together
    Lose Together
    Draft High Together
    Turnstiles Together
    Fire the Coach Together

  5. JF says:

    At the moment the playoffs are looking like a distant mirage – and perhaps the more distant the better. While I don’t favour tanking as a strategy, there is no denying that we have been doing little more than spinning our wheels since Gainey took over. He made the team competitive enough to squeak into the playoffs most years, but it’s clear with hindsight that winning the Conference and making it to the Eastern final were anomalies rather than indications of progress. If we finish well back of a playoff spot this year, which is looking increasingly likely, we would have the chance to draft an elite talent who might be all but ready to step in and make a difference right away. Long term, this should help us take that giant step between just making the playoffs and becoming an elite team. To my mind, the very worst scenario would be for us to be within sight of a playoff berth by the trade deadline, and for Gauthier to give away more picks and prospects for the chance of barely making it.

    What is clear at the moment is that unless we can get our powerplay going, we’re not going to win many games. Despite the addition of Cole and the return of Pacioretty, we’re not scoring any more at even strength than we were last year. Most games we score one or two even-strength goals, which is just not enough to win. Price is forced to be nearly perfect every night; but his numbers this year, while creeping up, are nowhere near as good as last year’s. Markov’s return should help, but we don’t know when he’s coming back, and in any case he’s bound to need at least a half-dozen games to get back to somewhere near the level he was at. By then, it will very likely be too late.

    • HardHabits says:

      I am not fan of watching a team play stale-mate chess hockey hoping for specialty teams and goaltending to be the deciding factor. It’s crappy hockey.

      The Habs would be in the play-off hunt if they played the aggressive fore-check that won them games against Philly and Boston and had them leading against Ottawa until JM or whoever decided that it was time to trap. This is all Gainey’s doing as it was he who brought in JM and handed over the reins to PG.

      IMO we need to tank and trade what we can for picks and then dump PG, JM and BG prior to the draft and hire Trevor Timmins as GM.

      • Mattyleg says:

        You seem to be convinced that finishing last will guarantee good players, and that these good players will guarantee a Cup.

        Where do you get this conviction?

        If you use Pittsburgh as a good example, look at it this way: They sucked the royal bag for a number of years, then won A Stanley Cup. ONE. Look at Chicago. They blew chunks for ages, then won ONE Stanley Cup.

        Is being intentionally terrible and driving away your fanbase an acceptable cost to win the Stanley Cup once?

        Then look at the cautionary tales: Ottawa, Washington, Florida, Columbus… These teams were god-awful, and got top picks, and won the Stanley Cup NEVER.

        Is finishing in the bottom two or three and watching revenue dry up an acceptable cost to get good picks and NOT win the Stanley Cup?

        • JF says:

          I agree with you about tanking, that is,deliberate tanking. It’s not an acceptable strategy, and high draft picks certainly don’t guarantee even becoming a good team, let alone winning a Cup. I’m just trying to be objective about this year’s situation, which, at least until Markov comes back, is looking fairly bleak. Despite our 4-game winning streak, we haven’t gained any ground, and it’s difficult to see how we could.

          What this team is missing the most is scoring. The guys on the roster don’t score enough, and none of the prospects except Gallagher, if he can make the jump, look like scoring a lot either. If the chips fall in such a way that we end up drafting another power forward, it would help us in the long term.

        • HardHabits says:

          Try as you might you can’t simplify my theory as tanking alone solves our problems. Drafting high is only one of the 5 pillars of success. Drafting well in late rounds is another. Development is another. Trading properly is another. Coaching is another.

          The Habs used to not do any of thse things right. Now with Trevor Timmins they at least draft well in later rounds. They squander those picks and tend to rush or misuse them.

          If you actually read my arguments rather everybody’s objections you migt actually see what I am getting at.

          The whole crux behind tanking is not finishing last to get high picks alone but recoginzing when a team is not play-off worthy that it is time to sell. The Habs for the past almost 20 years have spent all their resources on just making the play-offs.

          The fact is the Habs plan is not working. This is a team that has played above its ability solely on the backs of superior goal tending the last two season; 96 points last year and the run to the ECF are enough proof for me.

          33 million tied in Markov, Gomez, Cole, Cammy, Gionta and Plekanec means half the cap.

          The biggest problem right now is JM and his wretched system. Replacing him though would only get the Habs to the play-offs which IMO would be waste of time because this is not a team capable of sustaing 4 rounds of NHL play-off competition.

          Only 1 team in 30 wins the Cup. However, every Cup champion since the conference format was introduced was top 10, 90%+ were top 5. The Habs finished once int he top 10 since 1994. The Habs average over that span is 15th. The Habs suck. Plain and simple. The reason. Play-off dollars and a full house.

          Once the fans understand that a final berth is meaningless maybe they’ll stop buying merchandise and stop buying season tickets. Highly unlikely as the waiting line for season tickets alone would replenish the Habs coffers.

          I donèt care either way. The force of nature is too intense for marketing wizards to deny forever. The Habs will tank. Either this year. the next. But soon. Certainly before they ever win a Cup.

          • JF says:

            Overall I don’t disagree with your argument, as I think my post above showed, although I could not support deliberate tanking. What is happening now, which looks an awful lot like tanking to me, even though the team is trying to win, is painful enough. If it continues, I would certainly agree that we should sell off a lot of our free-agent signings at the deadline. And I would like to see a less passive system and a more dynamic coach. The problem is there are no obvious candidates out there who aren’t already coaching other teams. Bob Hartley? Michel Therrien? Patrick Roy? Guy Carbonneau? None of those inspire confidence. Who do you have in mind?

  6. HabFanSince72 says:

    Can someone explain to me why Adam Sandler is still getting starring roles (or any roles really) in movies?

    Why am I asking this on a hockey blog?

    Because last night I had one of those eureka moments. My wife was watching TV before relinquishing control to me, and the last thing on her channel was an ad for Sandler’s latest film. I immediately switched to RDS only to see Mathieu Darche on the powerplay.

    And I had the same WTF reaction to seeing Darche as I did to seeing Sandler.

    And it struck me: ‘why on earth would anyone put Darche on the PP?’ is a question of the same nature as ‘why on earth would anyone cast Adam Sandler in a film?’

    Nothing against either person – they both seem like good guys. But not on a powerplay or a big screen.

    • twilighthours says:

      He probably has his own production company, and so can afford to produce cr@ppy movies with himself as the star.

      The Darche question is much more complicated. No one on earth except for Jacques Martin could possibly understand or explain why he is still getting PP minutes.

    • Danno says:

      The Waterboy *cringe*


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

    • shiram says:

      What’s more puzzling about Sandler’s movies is that people to go watch them, the guy is bankable.

      Moen for powerforward 2011/12!!

    • adamkennelly says:

      Darche has no business on this team let alone the PP….he simply does not possess enough talent..all this size, grit crap is made up – team would be much better off with a some toughness in his spot…and this Blunden guy – he’s more useless than Darche….if you’re gonna have some 6’4″ guy on the end of your bench – not playing he better be scary and mean.

    • JD_ says:

      Because, like Eddie Murphy who hasn’t quite carried a comedic blockbuster since Beverly Hills Cop some 28 years ago – Christ, I’m gettin’ old – Sandler continues to be a box-office draw.

      Without even readin’ a review of Murphy’s new movie with Ben Stiller, Tower Heist, I just automatically assumed it would get panned. It ended up gettin’ mixed reviews, but was seen to be slightly better than average. Funny shlock.

      Hardly a hit, it still managed #2 at the weekend box office.

      Sandler’s two real comedic hits – Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison – have carried him a long way. His goofy, disarmin’ style appeals to broad audiences and he remains one of the highest-compensated actors workin’ today.

      I’ve been a Sandler fan since his SNL days. Anythin’ he did with Chris “Too Young To Die, Too Fat To Live” Farley was golden. I have, however, never paid to watch a movie of his in the theatre.

      Sandler was on Conan the other night. He’s an engimatic mix of self-conscious tics and easy-goin’ guy who isn’t shy to let you have a peek into his real personality. His funniest story involved blastin’ out a huge fart while tryin’ to put his young daughter to bed.

      What’s there not to like?

      And, damnit, Happy Gilmore is the story of a failed hockey player findin’ redemption. The world needs more of those.

      As for Darche? I have to hope it was more about AK’s absence than anythin’ else.

      • secretdragonfly says:

        Yeah but wasn’t Happy a Boston fan? Suddenly I don’t recall that movie being so funny (except for the Bob Barker scene).

        • JD_ says:

          It was all part of the carefully crafted character development designed to reinforce what a flawed character he was.

          Rumour has it, part of the endin’ has him donnin’ a Habs jersey as he achieves full redemption. The scene was edited out in the interests of brevity.

          Yeah, that’s it.

          That’s the ticket.

    • The Dude says:

      Anger management still makes me laugh out loud when I think about the scenes with Nickelson and Sandler….It makes me feel so pretty,lol

  7. Habitoban says:

    A lot of grumping here about individuals and a bit of praise. In addition to Cole, Cammy, and Patches (what a coast to coast rush that was in the 3rd!) I would like to single out Spacek, who I thought played a very strong game against speedy young opposition. He came to camp trim and in shape and as a result, he clearly has more jump and agility than in years past.

  8. Habsrule1 says:

    Everyone step away from the ledge. t’s a long season and all teams will have ups and downs. The Wings recently lost 6 STRAIGHT!!! For the love of God man!!!
    What happened the last time they had a 6 game losing streak?
    They won the Cup.
    The Habs will be ok but they need to work harder and want it more.
    And they could really use Markov.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • The Dude says:

      Did you just compare the Habs to the Wings??? Good god man sit down quick and slam a whiskey and follow that by going into a fetal position!

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I guess the point of the comment was lost on you. I’m simply stating that any team can lose a few games and that is not a reason to freak out. The season is long and although I know the point is to win, the fact is the Habs have not been dominated very often this year and I think they still can get things together.
        And they could really, really use Markov.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

        • HardHabits says:

          The Wings are not any team. The Habs are not the Wings. The Habs are not even the Islanders. Right now the Habs are 29th over-all. The difference between winning and losing is minute. The problem is the Habs are on the losing side of the equation more often than not this season and they don’t look like a team capable of getting better.

          If anything they have over-achieved the past two seasons all on the back of extra-terrestrial goaltending.

          Why not compare JM to Bowman while you’re at it.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          The season is long?

          Maybe not so much. Remember last year? NJ handed the reins to Jacques Lemaire, unleashed Kovalchuk and won what? 20 out of 21 games (a ridiculous run, I don’t remember the exact number) and did not make the playoffs by a hair because with loser points and parity in the league it is not that easy.

          We are already in a deep, deep hole. It’s already well into November.

          And we can’t score. We can’t even score enough to win 1-0 or 2-1.

          I’m just counting the days until “le system” is “le gone”.

      • HardHabits says:

        Yesterday I proposed a trade:

        Price and Subban for Hall and Nugent Hopkins and could you believe only one person besides me would have made that trade.

        Habs fans are deluded.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          You know…believe it or not that’s not an easy trade to do if you’re Habs management. Defense and goaltending are very important positions. when was the last time we had an offensive-minded defenseman who is 21 years old? What about one of the best goalies in the NHL. You write your message as if that trade is a no-brainer. I think there are many NHL GM’s that would rather have Carey Price than either of those players you mentioned.
          Just because you don’t agree, that doesn’t make you right.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

          • HardHabits says:

            1st of all the Oilers would never make that trade. Subban is not worth either Hall or RNH. Neither is Price considering they have Khabibulin. My point is to illustrate that they two best prospects the Habs have still don’t amount to much.

            Now if somebody offers either player an offer sheet in excess of 5 million dollars I would take the compensatory draft picks. Unfortunately it is doubtful that the Habs would.

            The Habs are stuck between a French Coach and a Last Place.

          • avatar_58 says:

            HH if you think Subban or Price wouldn’t be hot commodities on the trade market you are off your rocker.

            Edmonton wouldn’t make that trade because WHY would any team trade a first round pick that is scoring in bunches? You only ever trade for picks, pluggers for the cup or if a player is not working out. NEVER do you trade players who are on fire and under contract. This isn’t NHL12.

          • Mattyleg says:

            HH, your argument doesn’t really work, unfortunately, and I’m not totally sure what you’re trying to say, apart from the fact that our players are not good – if that’s all you’re saying, I suppose I’m wasting my breath.

            Would the Oilers trade, say, TH and RNH for, say, Ovechkin and Backstrom? For…Iginla and Tanguay? How about for Marchand and Chara?

            You seem to be saying that TH and RNH are both good young players brought into the organization because they finished last, and nobody in the league is as good as them.

            If that IS what you’re saying, I don’t think there’s any argument, I just wonder WHY you’re saying it.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • LA Loyalist says:

          Why would Edmonton make that trade?

          Seriously. As great as Price and PK are, it’s easier to find D and a goalie than high-end, young (as in cheap) scoring.

          Do what you want in your fantasy league but let’s try and keep it close to planet earth on HIO. Please.

    • J_P says:

      The wings also have 3 cup finals appearances and two stanley cups in the last decade. They can lose 10 straight if they really want to. Lets not even count how many playoff rounds the wings have won compared to the habs over the last decade.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Thank you, saved me some typing.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Amazing how things are so hard to understand for some of you. Let’s make this simple….a few losses does not mean that all is lost. es, the wings are a great team, but the Habs are better than their record shows and I still believe they can turn this around.
        And we could really, really, really use Markov.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

        • twilighthours says:

          I think the point made by your detractors was that the Wings are a demonstrably good team with a history of recent success. Montreal? Not so much.

          They can turn this around, but the stats and percentages paint a bleak picture. Frankly, I think the playoffs aren’t going to happen.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            That is fair but I think we still need to understand that the Habs do have a decent team and have not been dominated more than once or twice all season. It stands to reason that they will turn this around somewhat unless people actually beleiev this team is as bad as their record. I don’t.
            But we could really use Markov.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

  9. habsperspective says:

    Whos going the replace the coach that lots of you think is the problem?


    All problems start with Markov, and now very likely were headed down a path of self destruction for it.

  10. The Dude says:

    Yes the Habs ship has sprung a big hole and needs a refit for new trade wins and waters! The galley is bare and the crew has scurvy whilst the Capt paces and ticks and the Admiral wonders how the wrong personnel were shanghaied as the Ships owners realize “the boats caught on a reef at the end of the dock!”and won’t be able to go for the gold. And the Villagers who nurturer this ship and looked toward her for inspiration now bow their heads in disbelief and wonder how this could of happened and who can fix it? So sad to see a ship stuck at sea at the foot of the dock and now it’s time to lite a dube…..

  11. The Pickle says:

    The problem with DD is he has zero shot. He has to be in tight to score, not the best recipe when you’re that short (Ive played ball hockey against him, the kid is TINY).

    As for Blunden’s 44 seconds, they were spread over 3 shifts. 14 second avg. shift, how ridiculous is that

  12. habsnyc says:

    whose play can improve?

    players over 30 generally decline, so cole, gomez, gionta, markov spacek, darche and gill are not going to put up better seasons than last year.

    players 25-29 generallly plateau so there is no reason to expect plekanec, campoli, budaj, cammalleri, moen or gorges to have dramatically better seasons than prior.

    high draft picks under age 25 generally improve meaningfully. eller, pacioretty, subban and price can do better than last season. they the engine that will drive better performance.

    lower round draft pick players with less than 100 nhl games experience generally do not add much to the scoresheet. they are getting used to the leagee – diaz, emelin, weber, white, palushaj, desharnais, blunden nokelainen. anything they do is gravy, they are not going to move the needle this year.

    i count five players who can impact the team positively, a big chunk of players who will have little impact, a bunch of players in decline and a half dozen players who should continue to perform at peak level.

    to me it amounts to a team that should do pretty much as well as last year or the prior year – high 80’s to low 90’s points depending on some uncontrollable factors like injuries and a bit of luck.

    the highest talent level player on this team who has not reached his prime is Price. He is most likely to carry this team. At the moment he is not carrying them. This is exposing all the weaknesses that have existed for a bunch of years in all facets of the organization – management, coaching, offense, defense.

    If Price stands on his head, the problems will be forgotten. If he doesn’t the coach will be fired. That is how it has worked for the past 15 years – goalie great, coach safe, goalie average, coach dumped.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  13. munch17 says:

    Last night I kept a close eye on DD , especially with all the discussion of who’s place Gomez will take. On l’antichambre the big concern is that it will be DD who will be replaced. They kept saying how his line was effective. Cole and Cammy were effective. Anyone could have performed better than DD. He lost every battle , can’t keep up with the play, and creates very little.
    He will get most of his points in games that are higher scoring and the game may open up.
    Put Gomez with those two wingers and I would be very surprised if they don’t produce ( then I would say enough of Gomer) – and then I would say move Eller to that spot.
    DD is a great story , a real underdog – but the guy is not an NHL caliber forward. Sorry.

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Does Palushaj get to keep his frequent flyer miles, or would they go to the Montreal Organization. Just trying to find a positive spin for him. Can’t imagine he is too excited to play 44 seconds on the 4th line with Blunden.

  15. pierre lapuck says:

    I’m no hockey expert but it seems to me that DD spent the night being bodied off the puck at every turn. he is the opposite of a puck possession forward and we are and must be a puck possession team to win. Given his size, the fact the we have two or three of him already, he has proven on some levels that he can create and make some plays, why is he not being bundled and traded for the opposite of what he is, a bigger stronger, third line winger?

  16. Barts says:

    Palushaj! Plan the parade!…is there no one else down there?

  17. Sorry guys, but I don’t see how the “Bulin Wall” had anything to do with anything. He allowed a soft goal and made mostly routine saves. The Habs’ good scoring chances either hit the post or missed the net entirely. For instance, Cammy deserves credit for creating three great chances, and blame for missing the net (and the goalie) all three times.

    Also, their passing was godawful — for long stretches last night, it seemed like every pass by either team ended up on an Edmonton stick.

    I’m usually more of a cheerleader on here, but that game was really frustrating to watch…

    Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

  18. kmachabs27 says:

    why would Markov go on the road trip with the team if he isnt ready? wouldnt he just stay in Montreal and keep skating on his own and keep rehabing that knee? because there back home on monday…. sounds pointless to me….just my 2 cents.

  19. rossingnol says:

    Sorry everybody but this road trip will be bad. Maybe next year?

    • Mattyleg says:

      No way.
      Next millenium, maybe.
      It’s never too early to give up on the next millenium, if you’re into the giving-up thing.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  20. adamkennelly says:

    who here actually thinks PG will do something material to improve this team which clearly is not good enough to make the playoffs given the task at hand. and don’t talk to me about injuries – regardless – changes are needed up front and on the back end or this team has no chance of making it…it should be done sooner rather than later.

    • G-Man says:

      PG may do nothing, but losing streaks always change a GMs mind.
      Gionta has to be moved. Cammy has scored in both playoffs he’s been with the Habs, so he should be retained. Gomez probably can’t be moved, so Habs are stuck until the CBA runs out in 2012. Pleks, AK, Cole, Pacs, Eller, Nokia, and Blunden should stay (and in their proper roles).

      The back end needs to lose Diaz or Weber or both. Size without any physical play means other teams cycle in the Habs end without any problems. And, frankly, the offense they produce is not making up for the weak-ass defensive play. If you were heading into the Habs zone, which side would you pick, Gill or Diaz? PK or Weber? Spacek or Emelin?
      Jesus Price has been frustrating as hell to watch this season, but he is the Great Habs Hope (as the love for him around here will attest).


      When in doubt, blame PP.

  21. JD_ says:

    Managed to take in last night’s game.

    Despite the absence of any real hittin’ – the hit count seems a hair generous – the pace of the game was somewhat sluggish and was not the open-ended affair I had anticipated.

    In fact, the best hit of the night was Peckham’s blatant interference on Sooby.


    * The Habs materially outshot and outchanced Edmonton. However, there was no finish around Kabs and some blatantly missed opportunities to put the puck on open sticks. Havin’ an awareness of where every one is on the ice at all times is what separates really elite players – Crosby could probably still make the perfect pass after closin’ his eyes for a few seconds – from the rest. The Habs don’t have no Crosbys.

    * To Edmonton’s credit, its aggressive box on the PK kept the Habs to the perimeter and forced them to overplay the puck. Sooby was puttin’ a ton of mustard into his passes through the O-zone, but at least you knew it was gonna get to its destination. Cammy, on the other hand, seemed obsessed with the perfect play and finessed himself into oblivion. The guy can snipe and has to start firin’ from the half-boards a la Kovy.

    * Admittedly, when the team is forced to the perimeter on the PP, it helps if someone is clutterin’ up the blue paint in order to incent guys to shoot from a distance. AK46’s absence was felt there cause he’s been drivin’ the net fairly consistently on the PP this season.

    * The PP setup is also bein’ hamstrung by the absence of Gomer who, like him or not, has a knack for penetratin’ the blue line better than most of his teammates. And, yes, it’s a different ball game when you apply this skill to a 5-on-4 rather than even strength.

    * Far as Edmonton goes, other than an extended sequence where they bottled up the Habs in their own end at a key point in the third, the Yoot Line – whose presence on the ice always drew my eye – failed to impress.

    * Oh, and La Belle Province still doesn’t know a michigan from a hole in the wall. Absurd.


    * Erik Cole is an effin’ beast. When a guy that big is that fast – he seems to defy gravity – it makes things happen. He’s the kinda player Poolio could be with improved leg strength and a lower jellybean on the brain count. Cole’s penchant for cuttin’ into the slot from the outside harkens back to an era when that was a standard play – D-men couldn’t skate backwards like they do today – where come-hell-or-high-water players like Gainey and McPhee would plow in there like freight trains.

    * Cole is also incredibly deft at forcin’ turnovers and pickin’ pockets. Pleasure to watch.

    * The Habs played disciplined hockey, both in terms of infractions and, in an improvement that has persisted ever since Pearn’s departure, line changes. Not really sure if he had any hand in the previous mess, but there wasn’t one overtly sloppy handover. Bowman would have been satisfied.

    * Sooby gets picked on by fans sometimes, but given his fairly steady play, I suspect it has more to do with expectations rather than execution. The kid is a consistent presence and is far more effective when he doesn’t feel compelled to overcompensate.

    * There were some good-natured Oiler fans sittin’ around. They couldn’t believe Bell Centre fans were booin’ their own team. Oiler fans…they are so adorably wide-eyed and innocent.

    * I nursed one Coke Zero® the entire night.

    • Bripro says:

      100% on your post.
      If I can add one observation, I’ve found that under JM’s rule, even more so this year, as soon as the team blitzes to get the puck out of the zone, instead of playing one forward deep while the other two are changing, they all change at the same time, giving the opponent every opportunity to recover and get it right back down into our end.
      No pressure.

    • J_P says:

      Great post as always.

      Ive also been extremely impressed with Eric Cole. Maybe the stat line doesnt justify his salary, but if you watch him play, the guy truly is a beast. Except for maybe the first couple of games, he has consistently been our best player.

    • punkster says:

      Nice to get a view from a fan who was actually there and not watching on the idiot box. So much more to see from the stands.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  22. Mick says:

    Headline should read “Habs recall Palushaj; Jm will now put Weber back on D and will sit EMelin because if he was not on D last night we would have won.”
    I bet EMelin sits.

  23. Bripro says:

    The Habs have 12 points with 68 games to play.
    In order to make the playoffs, they need at least 92-96 points.
    Let’s say 92.
    Which means that they need to earn another 80 points over 68 games.
    That’s a winning percentage of approx. 60%. Which probably won’t be enough. So let’s say more in the range of 65%.
    That means they have to win 2/3 of their games between now and the end of the year.
    They have to start a winning streak now! And I don’t mean 3-4 games, but rather a respectable stretch of 8 games +.
    It doesn’t look very good right now.

  24. Shane1313 says:

    I’m not a with the fire “Jm’s”(actually dont mind him)..but I think in part when this team is confident and winning, they don’t play as fearful as when theyre losing. I think mentally right now the boys are not in the best place. Jm isn’t exactly the guy who is going to jumpstart them. The leaders do. I’m so glad Pac is back and doing so well along with Eller and AK. We’ll be fine, I hope!
    And even tho Im not huge on Palushaj, put him on a scoring line not the fourth ah!
    I also think its time to move DD to the wing with Eller and Ak. At least when Gomer gets back.

  25. shootdapuck says:

    So now the losses start anew!

    Who will Goatier fire this time to inspire his team? Maybe the equipment managers and the trainers are next in his gun sights!

    Seems Goatier is incapable of making the hard decision to right the ship!

    … the fans of the Boston Bruins now have lost forever any right to complain that “the league” is out to get their team, and that the Montreal Canadiens have some kind of pull inside the NHL home office.

    Charles P. Pierce – Boston Globe

  26. HardHabits says:

    If we compare the Habs season to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest:

    Martin would be Nurse Ratched
    The team would be Billy
    The Aggressive fore-check would be the prostitute
    The System would be Billy’s Mother

  27. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Halak got a shutout last night!

  28. Say Ash says:

    OT: My buddy in a golf bet yesterday won a Team Canada olympic jersey signed by everyone. What do you guys think that’s worth?

  29. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I don’t know about a Stanley Cup potential Team, but in My opinion We have The Players with character, speed and skill to be a Top-10 team in the NHL …and when in the Playoffs, Who knows what can happen
    …A creative, truly bright coach would not be using the talent We have in such a stultifying way
    …there are varying opinions of what Bob Gainey accomplished or did not accomplish …but, obtaining Gomez (except for the obtuse inclusion of Ryan McDonagh in the trade), Gionta and Cammaleri was a base to a successful ‘culture change’ (from the circus-like superficial Kovalev period) especially for a character and speed game for Our Habs …even Gainey’s appointment of the stolid Jacques Martin was an understandable choice at the time to stabilize a period of flux
    …but, WHY someone in Our Habs’ Management or Ownership (people that should be much more plugged-in than I into what Their people-resources are) could not recognize what Guy Boucher meant not only to ‘winning hockey’ but as important for the ‘entertainment-quality’ of the game for it’s Fans, I remain beside-Myself in puzzlement (and frustration)

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    • J_P says:

      TO be honest, it takes a certain amount of stones to fire the coach who just brought your team to the ECF. However, that’s the difference between a good manager and the great managers. The great managers identify top end talent and do whatever they can to lock them up. Would I have kept boucher? Absolutely, but I can also understand why the extremely conservative Pierre Gauthier didnt replace the coach who took his team to the ECF with a first year AHL coach.

  30. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    If Palushaj is on the fourth line again…..arrrrghhhhhh!

    Either way I’d call up Gallagher. Giving him a chance at one or two games in the bigs wouldn’t hurt his development, would enhance it. And if he’s good enough to stick, well….

    • J_P says:

      As far as i know, you cant call up players who have been assigned to junior unless its an absolute emergency. We should have given gallagher his 9 game cup of coffee though. His performance in training camp should have earned him that.

  31. Vladdy Mondavi says:

    Does anybody know or remember the rule of the number of call-ups a team can do? Is it based on the players? Or totals?

    I vaguely remember the reasoning for Maxwell staying with the big club a couple seasons ago was because if the Habs needed a back-up they couldn’t use another call-up because they were at or very near the limit. Or the Flames a couple years ago dressing 14 players.

    Does this ring a bell for anybody else? Or did I forget to take my medication?

    Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

  32. J_P says:

    Say what you want about Khabibulin stealing the game, but the habs just can’t finish, plain and simple. For example, If you watch the replay closely, cammalleri shanked that beauty pass from eric cole. He shot it on the inside of khabibulins pad, and if it didnt hit his pad, the puck would have crossed right through the crease. Cammy is completely snake bitten right now, and I’ve said it before, he is giving us terrible return on investment. I really think he hates every minute of playing under jacques martin.

    This is not a confident hockey team. Even during their 4 game winning streak, you never got the sense that this was a confident bunch who believed they could beat any team on any given night.

    In my opinion, the worst thing about last nights loss was how boring the game was. It was the exact opposite of the type of game i was expecting. Neither team really wanted the puck, constantly giving the puck right back to the opposition. As far as entertainment goes? That was absolutely awful.

    As much as I hate Pierre Mcguire, he raised some interesting strategies the habs should use against a young team like the oilers. He was saying how the habs have to get on them early and break them down, yet last night, we saw no such thing. 2 Shots by the 18 minute mark, and 2 shots total through the first five powerplays? unacceptable. I almost want the habs to go on a losing streak so ownership wont have a choice but to fire Martin. Obviously I want to see the team win, but a team with the type of talent we have shouldnt be a team trying to shut down the game when they go up by a goal or two, or playing tentatively against a young team that they should have been attacking from the get go. No killer instinct from the players. Once they go down, you know they arent coming back. It was the exact same thing last year in the first few months of the season.

  33. C-Sword says:

    DD isn’t strong enough to drive to the net and take a shot, he’s always forced to skate around the net and get rid of the puck as soon as possible when he’s being chased. I wonder when will Eller finally get some PP time? His size might help keep the puck in the offensive zone when under pressure.

  34. savethepuck says:

    Regarding last nights game, a lot of people on here don’t give any credit to the fact that Khabibulin is 7-0-2 with a 0.98 GAA and a 964 sve%. He’s done what he did to us last night to every team he’s played this year. The problem is the common consensus on here is that he did it to us because the Habs suck and can’t score. This 9 game stretch for him is probably the best he’s played in his career. We suffer on here from the double standard. When Price wins us a game like that, people think the team played bad and didn’t deserve to win and were lucky Price played well. When a goalie stands on his head against us, we suck and can’t put the puck in the net.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • Propwash says:

      The game could have been 5-2 if the biggest scoring opportunities were cashed in. Khabi came up huge for the team.


    • Hobie Hansen says:

      There is always an excuse for every side of every argument that one can use.

      Bottom line: When this team is healthy, are they among the league’s elite, middle of the pack or not a playoff team?

    • G-Man says:

      Aren’t you tired of seeing the goalie at the other end of the ice be better than Price consistently this season?


      When in doubt, blame PP.

    • J_P says:

      Any goalie can be beat. He wasnt making SPECTACULAR saves. He was making great saves, but there werent many saves where you were like “wow he really robbed us” or “wow that was highlight of the night material”. I referenced in another post the beauty feed from cole to cammy, but if you watch the replay closely, youll see khabby didnt make a great save, cammy shanked the shot. Ill give Khabibulin tons of credit for what he is doing, but the habs cant keep losing because they encountered “a hot goaltender”. At a given point, they have to cash those opportunities.

      2 shots on the first five powerplays? You definitely wont beat a hot goalie if you’re only taking 2 shots through the first 5 man advantages.

  35. Hobie Hansen says:

    First off, goaltending saved the Oilers last night. That game could have gone either way but so could have many other games for many other teams in the NHL. That can’t be used as an excuse.

    Eric Cole was the standout for Montreal last night and even though Max Pacioretty has been hot this season on offense, I don’t know if the “power forward” term can be applied. Cole fits the bill of a power forward but Pacioretty isn’t very physical.

    My point is that the team played one of those emotionless, passive, one dimensional games that have become common with this regime. I do actually admire Gauthier’s “don’t panic” and make dumb moves approach but his inability to add some spark to this team mind boggling???

    It sure seemed to me that the team could have used a couple scrappy shifts from a checking line, somebody getting in Khabibulin’s grill, and god forbid… a FIGHT to pump up the bench!

    That must have been the easiest and most care free night that Eberle, Hopkins and Hall have ever played in the NHL?

  36. lukas-joshua says:

    I’m telling you guys right now. When this team has no injuries it’s going to be crazy good.

  37. SPATS says:

    What an interesting year this will be. Gainey’s managment legacy is on the line. Coaching, veterans and youngsters all have something to prove. It may be over before December at this rate. I can count on one hand the number of blown ref calls in our favor and lucky bounces that ended up in the net. For the competition? Too many to count. Goaltending? Carey’s been good and from where I’m watching, he hasn’t had to be good enough to steal any games like some have stolen against us, however, he’s been poor enough to lose a few too many this early in the season. Hopefully, they can keep their optimism because they really have been bringing it most nights and skating circles around the opponents. But, at some point the doubts will creep in if things keep going the way they are. The upcoming stretch of many games in not so many nights will make or break the year. I for one, am optimistic. Keep Eller at center and give him wingers who can convert pls. His line is the key to our year.


  38. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Ian, I remember almost 2 years ago making the same long arguments about Jacques Martin’s limitations as a coach for Us, during that window the Habs had of retaining Boucher or letting Him walk. I remember Your dissing of My opinions at that time.
    …amazing in HIO the munificent generosity of One’s opinions using rear-view mirrors
    …it seems the importance should be to recognize these things BEFORE the fact, than after the fact ?

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  39. montrealtilldeath says:

    We lost because of the PP. Plekanec at the point is like killing the penalty for the other team. As soon as it becomes a one on one against Plekanec he becomes a pylon. He does not have a hard point shot. PUT SOME F&%$%%ING FIREPOWER OUT THERE. Subban-Weber, Subban Diaz (prefer Subban Weber. Every one knows that Pleks is not the main shooter on the PP. He is much better down low. They were laughing at JM’s PP on the antichambre last night. JM when asked if he was going to make a change in the PP on the postgame last night said he was satisfied with the PP. Reminds me of Adoplh Hitler. Stubborn. “I will not leave the Volga” “I will not change the PP. As for Weber when they replaced Emellin in the 3rd period on D he killed our momentum as he cannot get the puck out of our end. It led to the second goal which he deflected in when he reached out his stick. Emelin made one error behing the net on coverage but he is young. As for his game he is stronger than both Weber and Diaz and he is ia pounder. 3 heavy hits in the ist period alone. Much more potential if given a chance. We cannot afford a bunch of JC Tremblays out there in this league as we all know most goals start from losing control of the puck behind your own net. As for those blaming Price I will refrain from commenting on the imbecilic musings of the mentally challenged. I’ve said it for 3 years…We cannot win with JM.

  40. The Pickle says:

    Perhaps Mr. Martin could turn all this around if he adopted the persona of The Count. He could start wearing a cape, makeup on his face to give him pale white skin, big weathered leather-bound notebook that looks like a relic from the 1500’s, adopt a Transylvanian accent… maybe that change in his mindset could finally allow him to adjust his gameplan to modern day hockey. He could even end his press conferences by disappearing in a cloud of smoke…

  41. savethepuck says:

    Don’t know about anyone else but I think the fact that AK and Gomez are day-to-day and are making the trip is positive. The fact the Markov is making the trip with the team lets me think he’ll be practicing with the team soon too because it’s only a 2 game road trip and he could’ve just continued to skate on his own at Brossard for the next 4 or 5 days. Maybe I’m just guilty of being positive though.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  42. Sap Anderson says:

    Can anyone explain to me why PK isn’t on the first powerplay unit? It’s ridiculous to me that a defenceman who regularly leads the team in SoG is sitting on the bench for the first unit of the powerplay while Pleks plays the point (terribly, I might add…). It’s not Plek’s fault, but he should be centre on the first wave of the PP. I was at the game last night and noticed that more than once the coaches were pulling PK off the ice in situations where he could definitely have helped the team out. Bozo the defenceman coach (whatever his name is… Pearn 2.0) spent more time talking to the forwards like Eller than dealing with his defencemen, and when he did it was not even saying anything but grabbing PK by the jersey and pulling him back on the bench.

    Furthermore, why did we ice Pacioretty-Gionta-Darche as the second unit? Why in the name of all that is holy and mighty would we not put a centre on that line? It’s ridiculous that Darche plays on the PP when Eller sits.

    Spacek, Gorges, and Emelin gave all played point on the PP before, so instead of putting a center out there, why not play one of them? It’s not exactly like we have equal-value replacements for Plek’s at forward on the PP in Desharnais and Eller, much as I’m fond of them as players

    In the end, it’s bush-league coaching and terrible player selection by the GM that is making this team so miserable to watch. I love the Habs, and it’s killing me that they are being run into the ground by a bunch of morons

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      The reason PK is not playing the first line PP is because you touch yourself at night…

      Now stop it. Unholy heathen.

      Actually, I have no idea why he was not out there…. I thought he was (for the most part), but I wasn’t paying that close of attention last night.

      He used to be on the first wave PP, no?

  43. JohnnyBEast says:

    Maxwell placed on waivers today

  44. twilighthours says:

    Habs’ preseason was a joke and the players weren’t ready to start the season. They’ve dug themselves a hole that is still possible to get out of, but it aint gonna happe. Habs have to play at a .610 clip the rest of the way (83 pts in 68 games) to reach 95 pts and make the playoffs. Bleak.

    Yes – the coach needs to go, and maybe the GM too. Can’t trade everybody and something needs to be done. This looks like the feasible solution.

    • sevenman says:

      Definitely agree on your comment about preseason being a joke….Habs management/coaching staff wasting time with preseason games watching players ( junior and career AHL’ers ) who were never gonna start the season instead of preparing the team properly for day 1 is mind-bogling….contracts determine who makes the team not players who ” had a good camp ” and with 24 out of 25 players signed going into camp alot of time was wasted

  45. bleedhabs81 says:

    I need some help understanding things here. I didn’t think I had my Rose coloured glasses on but from the comments I have read this morning it would seem last nights game was a miserable display for our hockey team.

    My thoughts:
    1) PP sucked… This is what is casting the giant shadow over last nights game (for me, anyway)
    2) We didn’t score enough goals… A lot of good initial chances but hardly any secondary chances.

    I thought we did a great job of stealing the puck, limiting their offense, and I thought we skated circles around them all night…. why is everyone saying we were horrible. Aside from the PP, I thought we played a great game… and I completely off base?

    • Mattyleg says:

      Not at all.
      It was a close game, and the Oil are very good this year (or right now, at least) and we were a bit unlucky.
      The problem is that when you get the chances like we did, we have to make the most of them. There have been too many games this season where we haven’t capitalized, and that’s the reason we’re so low in the standings.
      The Age Of Parity means that all the games are going to be close. We have to be on the winning side of them, though, rather than the losing side.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • punkster says:

        There is no “i” in party.

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • bleedhabs81 says:

        I understand winning is everything and to win you need to score.

        I will not sugar coat it, we suck at scoring… By my accounts we should have won at least 3 more games this year (Buf, Fl, Edm)…

        However, other than that (which is a big oversight, I realize) I think we are playing solid hockey. We are playing good enough to win (if we could just finish the scoring chances).

        I don’t think blowing this team up is the answer…. I don’t know what the answer is though. Maybe politely asking Gionta to score would be a good start.

    • G-Man says:

      The Habs did not get to any rebounds last night and didn’t sustain any pressure during 6, count ’em, 6 PPs. This 3 shots in 6 kicks at the can powerless play gave up 2 breakaways and the Oilers cashed in on one. I am going to be blunt: the Habs (s)tank.


      When in doubt, blame PP.

      • bleedhabs81 says:

        I did say we sucked horribly on the PP. What I was referring to was the overall “we totally suck” sentiment that is wafting around here today.

        The PP is broke… however, our 5 on 5 seemed pretty good to me.

    • Habitoban says:

      We aren’t as bad as people say we are when we lose — like last night — and we aren’t as good as people say we are, when win. And therein lies the tragedy. We are just somewhere in the middle.

  46. DEANDALLEY says:

    Laraque was interviewed on his new book and was asked this question:
    • On not playing very much for head coach Jacques Martin in Montreal:
    “He doesn’t like toughness. Guys would get beat up and he’d have his hands in his pockets, showing no emotion to the other coach. When a coach shows emotion behind the bench, guys love that. You want to play for him, win for him.”

    “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”

  47. JoeC says:

    Anyone else wish we lost the 2 games we started the 4 game win streak instead of these 2? I think JM woulda been gone if we lost those instead…..

    Down with JM!

  48. JoeC says:

    JM has to be replaced today if we want a chance, he does not know how to manage this team, how many times will Plecs play the point?

    People blaming price are dumb, yes he has less shots against, but the shots are in primo scoring locations, and numerious breakaways, 2 yesterDAY! Last year all shots came from the perimiter, this year, they get to do it from the slot over and over. I think ive seen more breakaways this year against montreal so far then all of last year. Our defence is bad, and its not just the players, its JM;s use of them. Diaz and Weber SHOULD NEVER PLAY THE SAME GAME TOGETHER ON D.

    Please stop playing Plecs on the point, hes terrible!!

    Please Mr Molson rid us of the count

    • fuhgawz says:

      about goals on Price. It has to do with the other teams abilitly to finish and it seems NONE of our players can. Or when they do they score 6 in one game and do not score again for 5 games.

  49. Habfan10912 says:

    I wish coach bowel movement was day to day.

  50. HabFanSince72 says:

    – Lots of anger here. Reminds me of the times I used to yell at an imaginary Bill Gates whenever Windows froze on me. (I use a Mac now.)

    – I only saw the second half so missed most of the futility on the PP. However, during what I watched we very clearly outplayed them but just couldn’t get one past the Wall.

    – Price was not strong on either goal.

    – When we beat Philly and Boston almost all our goals were scored by going to the net and getting rebounds and screens. We didn’t do that very much last night.

    – Desharnais is not looking like he will make it in the NHL. He’s still better than Gomez of course.

    – Agreed that Plex has to play less on the PK.

    – Toronto is looking like a non-playoff team again. 2nd most goals allowed. A 5-5 record in their last ten, a rate which will see them slip down the table if it continues.

    – Hope Kirk Muller is coming along with his French lessons. 150 words is all you need mate.

    • JoeC says:

      First goal Price coulda had, but a breakaway is a breakaway, even the best dont stop every one, he did stop the second one.

      The second goal is NOT on price, it deflected off Weber or Georges , how do you expect any goalie to anticipate the puck changing direction 5 feet from him and stop it on time.

    • fuhgawz says:

      the breakaway on price goes either way — you never stop everyone of them and if you would have seen he closed the door right after on another short handed breakaway on Smyth. The other goal, a deflection ….. tell me how you know where to position yourself when something like that happens a milli second before it gets to you???? To say Price was not strong on each goal is bs talk.

    • Vladdy Mondavi says:

      HFS72, a thought on your Kirk Muller comment. While reading E.Friedman’s 30 thoughts, he mentioned the possiblity of Mactavish being hired by CBJ was minimal because few AHL coaching contracts have an in-season switch clause.

      Obviously it’s different if it’s the parent club requesting the services, but it would be interesting to know what Mr.Muller’s contract is with the Admirals (and to a greater extent the Predators).

      Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

    • shiram says:

      Muller already know Merci beaucoup, so that’s only 148 to go.
      Outplaying the opposition and not being able to score has been a leitmotiv this season, it just does not cut it anymore as an excuse.
      Eller needs the ice time of DD, the PP and the even strenght wingers to have a scoring line with size.

      Moen for powerforward 2011/12!!

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      Ahhh, DD. YOu have to love his spirit. I also agree that he probably won’t stick in the NHL (as much as I want him too). He gets pushed around way to easily. He is great on the fly, he is creative, quick… but as soon as you think they have the other team hemmed in, someone pushes DD over and the puck is out of the zone.

      At Price haters (or blamers)

      Seriously? He had two breakaways on the PP.. he stopped one and one went in… 50% is a pretty decent save percentage on those type of plays.

      If it wasn’t for Price, we would lose most nights by even greater margin. The kid is not at fault last night. Not even a little bit.

      …(walks away dropping F-bombs)

  51. Gerry H says:

    It seems inevitable that this road trip will determine JM’s future, given the four-pointer that awaits their return. Losses in Nashville and Phoenix will make this officially a Very Deep Hole and put them in a poor frame of mind for that critical game against Buffalo. If they lose that one, PG really has no choice.

    Even if they split and then lose to the Sabres on Monday, the team’s is, at best, a bubble prospect for the playoffs. But if they win on the road and carry that momentum to a win against the Sabres, they’ll have taken 7 of their last 9 and be right in the mix, with reinforcements on the way.

    If they are going to play this stretch without Markov (certainly the case), Gomez and AK, this thing could easily be over by Monday night. I hate to say that, because I love the way this team plays when all cylinders are firing. I can still see a team with first round home ice potential if they gel and Markov plays a healthy and hearty second half. But that vision is getting a little misty right now and could be gone altogether within the next week or two.

    • Vladdy Mondavi says:

      Since the organization showed very little class in Mr. Pearn’s dismissal, according to the pundits (I use that term loosely), wouldn’t it be classic to leave J.Martin in the dessert.

      Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

  52. Ian Cobb says:

    Pertaining to our Fan Summit folks.
    Get to the Breakfast early before it is all gone! Mike Boone tells me he is going to cash in on the 15% discount!

    Mike wrote: “Yup. My plan is to join y’all at your breakfast. The post-game Hurley’s is a definite maybe.”

  53. The Pickle says:

    Why does Plekanec get a pass on his awful play on the PP. Sure the Count should take him off the point, but it doesn’t absolve Plekanec of any blame.He looks like he’s trying to suck on purpose. He’s a Center, he’s done plenty of zone entry in his life. Why all of a sudden is he skating at Darche like speed while breaking out? He’s such a smart player and he’s making the dumbest moves Ive ever seen out there. I agree he should be playing forward on the PP, but it’s not the Count’s fault he sucks where he is now.

    • Timo says:

      I doubt it’s much of Pleks fault, although I am usually not the one to absolve a player from their responsibility and suckiness. But judging by my own play, for example, I know that there is no way in hell I should ever, I mean EVER play center. If the coach knows it, it’s on him for putting me in that position. Thankful, there are no coaches in the beer league… just crazy goalies.

      • Gerry H says:

        “there are no coaches in the beer league… just crazy goalies.”

        Has a truer statement ever been made? I play D with a particularly vocal (and, I must admit, knowledgeable) GT in a Sunday morning beer league. If I make a mistake, not only will I know it, so will the folks sipping their double-doubles at the Timmies two blocks away.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Check out Ian’s post below.
      Plekanec plays
      (a) his regular shift -lots of ice time
      (b) tons of time on PK
      (c) tons of time on PP including on the point, where he has to backcheck too

      Anyone who plays that much won’t have a lot in the tank, both mentally and physically, and will be bound to make mistakes.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Plek’s is a centre not a point man. It is a completely different look when you are on the PP. He doesn’t look comfortable out there on the point. I don’t blame him though for the PP. Name a player that has been good on the PP for us?

  54. Timo says:

    So when are our biggest $$$ players going to start producing. Don’t tell me Gionta, Cammilleri and Gomez (i know he didn’t play last night) were signed to play checking roles. Bobo has messed up this team for good for a long time to come.

    No playoffs this year.

    • swannyboy says:

      I’ll sleep better tonight with that call-up from Hamilton…what a joke,this team needs a major shake-up ,fire the coach

    • habsnyc says:

      they are not going to produce. they are past their prime. the only young player with demonstrable upside on offense is Pax.
      this is entirely a consequence of squandering young assets to obtain players who were at their ceiling.

      playoffs are still possible though not probable. price can carry the team.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  55. shiram says:

    It took a few games, and a reporter for Martin to realize that not playing Cole on the PP was a mistake.
    But he’s been playing Darche on the PP for how long?
    When does Eller get a shot at some PP time, or even just even strenght time with a line that can score, not just JM’s misfit AK46.
    At this point, I’d try Spacek on the PP, him, Weber, Diaz and Subban could be the 4 D on the PP.

    Moen for powerforward 2011/12!!

  56. Mick says:

    Anybody else think DD has to sit when all of our forwards are back? I just think Eller would be a better choice for the third line center.

  57. AH says:

    No worries all, it’s going to get turned around right away…Palushaj is back!!!!!

  58. likehoy says:

    when will we see the return of Ryan White?
    if he can bring in his offensive game from junior.. he might be good as a 3rd liner.
    Any chance he’s got some darcy tucker or alexandre burrows in him? Or is he strictly a plugger?

    – Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

  59. Ian Cobb says:

    It took me a hour to write this, and by that time there was a new page up by Dave. So I put it on here as well.

    With parity in the league kicking in big time now, one thing remains the largest difference between winning and losing. And that is the flexibility and the imagination of the coaching staff.

    The Mtl. coaching staff are playing their players the same exact way each and every game. The players are putting their heart and sole into each game with great energy and enthusiasm, but with the same result most nights.

    How easy does that make it for the opposition’s scouting to come up with a counter game plan to implement against us when there is no flexibility in the coaching style.

    Take one of our best players for example, Plekanic!, who is playing with Patches and Gionta on the top line getting top minutes throughout the game. Then Martin uses Plekanic killing of penalties, burning much energy. Martin again calls on him to play the right point on every power play to the point of exhaustion. After the half way point in the game last night he was no longer effective with the puck and even fell on a power play giving Edmonton a short handed goal. As a matter of fact he was on the ice for both goals against us because he was behind the play.

    This is not a players fault, it is a coaching problem. Pleks is not the only player used improperly every game. I just wanted to use him as an example of how easy it is for the opposition to key on players or parts of our game that never changes from night to night. I could go on about it including how consistent we are playing 5 on 5, never any change, we play the same defensive game in and game out. When we need an offensive push, most players are finding it very difficult to switch team play after playing 80% defensive minutes.

    Again the responsibility lies with the coaching staff in what capacity to use players for each of them and the team to be successful. And to not be so predictable with the game plan for the opposition to easily scout and counter. All teams today can be beaten by most other teams. The biggest difference in winning and losing is the coaching in today’s NHL.

    Buffalo and Edmonton’s coaching is fantastic and look at their rosters talent wise. We have just as good of a talent roster.

    • Danno says:

      Good stuff Ian!


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

    • you sir, deserve a standing ovation 🙂


    • habs-hampton says:

      I agree Ian. Early on, I recognized that the Edm PK was not using the standard 4-man box to defend, but were aggresivley pursuing the puck, playing really high on the point men (usually Pleks), and generally being extremely active, moving all the time and pressuring whoever had the puck. It was working very well for them, and our response was to go out PP after PP and try the same thing every time. The result was a crappy PP.
      I have always felt that JM can develop very effective systems and implement them well, but he is TERRIBLE at “reading the oppostion plays and calling an audible at the line”. He cannot adjust to stuff that he has not prepared for before the game.
      That is why he needs to be moved upstairs and a true bench coach needs to run the show during the games.

      Time’s up, JM must go!

    • habsnyc says:

      “The biggest difference in winning and losing is the coaching in today’s NHL.”

      No. Elite teams succeed because of elite players. I agree that average teams can outperform with good coaching. The biggest difference in the NHL is the drafting of mutiple superstars like Crosby and Malkin, Ovechkin and Semin, Kane and Toews, Getzlaf and Perry, Carter and Richards or the Sedin twins. That is the major delta between Montreal and teams that won or might win the Cup.

      Therrien was terrible for montreal but took the Pens to the finals. Vigneault was terrible for montreal but took Vancouver to the finals. Julien was terrible for montreal but won a cup with Boston. The difference was not coaching but personnel.

      There is parity among the middle 16 teams in the league. In that case, it is possible that a variety of factors matter including coaching, injuries, experience and strength of schedule. There are times when a team stops playing for their coach. That may have happened with Carbo, but i do not think is happening with JM.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • Gorges_the_great says:

        The only problem with this post is that Pittsburgh wins even without Crosby and Malkin. The Caps win even when Ovie is off his game. The Flyers seem to be fine without Carter and Richards and Vancouver can struggle even with the twins.

        Elite players help (obviously) but good coaching is too often undervalued.

        • habsnyc says:

          because the pens also have fleury, staal, letang, neal and orpik. the flyers also have pronger, briere, giroux and jagr, the caps also have semin backstrom and green.

          edmonton has a ton of young first roung picks and a very hot goalie. montreal barely has an NHL level roster and their goalie is regressing.

          i am not undervaluing coaching. it matters. but i don’t think montreal has the raw talent to contend, no matter who coaches them. if the team underachieves, coaching is a factor. but it is hard to quantify.

          Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …Ian, I remember almost 2 years ago making the same long arguments about Jacques Martin’s limitations as a coach for Us, during that window the Habs had of retaining Boucher or letting Him walk. I remember Your dissing of My opinions at that time.
      …amazing in HIO the munificent generosity of One’s opinions using rear-view mirrors
      …it seems the importance should be to recognize these things BEFORE the fact, than after the fact ?

      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  60. habsnyc says:

    I posed this on the prior thread, but want to reiterate here.

    The delta this season is in nets. The offense last year was 20th in scoring this year it is 21st. Last year the team was 5th in save percentage and 8th in goals allowed. This year the team is allowing five fewer shots per game, but the save percentage and goals allowed are in the bottom 10 of the league.

    Price carried the team last year. This year, the team is letting fewer shots get through but he is allowing more goals.

    You go from top 10 in nets to bottom 10 in nets, switching fourth line forwards really doesn’t solve the problem, it only indicates you are afraid to confront the problem.
    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Really? I would trade all the shots Montreal had on net for the breakaway’s Edmonton got. You really in your heart think the team should win games when they get 1 goal? Are you JM?

      • habsnyc says:

        Yes really. Totally, completely and entirely.

        The offense this season is ranked the same as the offense last season. That is a fact. The team is scoring goals at the same rate, relative to the league as last year.

        Last year Price was incredible. This year, he is below average.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • +10
        quality over quantity matters bud. fewer shots allowed but when the opposite offense can gain the slot so easily, goalie is in a soccer situation…jump left or right…


        • habsnyc says:

          i don’t see that overall because montreal is blocking two more shots per game this year than last year. you have to prove to me that despite allowing fewer shots and blocking more shots that somehow the quality of shots against has changed dramatically.

          i am giving you objective stats and you are arguing with opinion. either provide me with a stat that supports your opinion or respect mine.

          Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • Timo says:

        Seriously. How many tough stops did Khabibulin had to make last night… I mean those that didn’t hit him squarely in a chest.

        • habsnyc says:

          seriously, what is so hard to understand? the team is scoring at the same rate as last year, allowing fewer shots but more goals. ok the offense is lousy. it was lousy last year as well.

          Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  61. HabinBurlington says:

    So I recognize we don’t have lots of options other than Palushaj, but will JM at least recognize this time that Palush is better on top 3 lines and is not a grinder? Please tell me 4th line will be Darche/Nokia/Blunden. Please tell me that JM actually figures out he is allowed to play his 4th line.

    Take the New Neutral one out of the lineup, keep Spacek/Emelin, Gorges/PK, Gill/Weber as d grouping.

    Okay at least now we know none of that will happen.

    • shiram says:

      Or it will happen for a glorious 41 second shift, after which line will bu shuffled in an effort to confuse and make sure there is no cohesion between players.

      Moen for powerforward 2011/12!!

    • Ian Cobb says:

      I do not think Martin will change his ways my friend. He has little confidence in the kids and plays his vets until they drop. He does not know how to handle players period.

      After all, he never played the game except for being a junior B goal tender.

  62. Captain aHab says:

    Can’t believe the number of injuries. I think we need to fire Rynbend stat! ;-D

    How many more weeks will Markov skate alone? I’m starting to think they should just shut him down for the year. There will be no point in him coming back if the team is out of it by then.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Is it possible Markov is actually suffering from a social disorder or a confidence thing? Maybe he just wants to play by himself.

      • shiram says:

        Markov is not injured, he is just seeing how the game is being playerd, and he would rather spend his time gator hunting down in the Keys.

        Moen for powerforward 2011/12!!

      • piter says:

        I think the club/doctors had to bring him to Florida, to stress test the crap out of his knee just to prove to him that it won’t get it re-injured when he does come back. I think he was scared/worried and that was delaying him in coming back. Management finally had enough and thats why they sent him to Florida. It’s what I think anyways….

  63. sreuel says:

    If this small stretch of a road trip isn’t good there will be changes. It’s hard to make points when near the bottom of the pack and teams ahead are winning

  64. avatar_58 says:

    Can’t they choose someone other than Palushaj/Engqvist? I mean really, throw a dart. Anyone.

  65. Mattyleg says:

    Yay! No longer FORBIDDEN.

    It’s a pretty imposing message. Makes you feel left out. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t cry a little bit.

    Two quick thoughts on last night:
    It’s true, we did make it close, we did have lots of chances, and I’m sure that the stats show it. The only problem with this is that in The Age Of Parity, it’s rare that teams get blown off the ice. It happens, but it’s rare. Now it’s the difference of one or two goals, one or two chances that decides a game. The difference of one or two chances could be the difference between 4th place and 12th place.
    We gotta bury those chances.

    Eric Cole looks awesome. Really. I hated the guy when he was a ‘Cane because of what he’s doing now for us. Driving to the net, taking defencemen on one-on-one, and scaring the crap out of goalies. We need more forwards to do that. Try to deke the d-man! We’re relying a bit too much on passing plays. Go Eric on them!!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  66. fuhgawz says:

    Only players that have been playing well this season. Akost, Eller

    Only player not playing bad but has played better this season. Price

    The rest of this sorry assed squad. BRUTAL

  67. RGM says:

    There are some truly troubling signs about this team that are beginning to emerge.

    The power play is horrible. In addition to being an anemic 12.7% (25th) it has allowed 3 shorties against. On the season to date, the PP is a mere +4.

    The offence in general is once again horrid. They are currently ranked 20th in goals for. The saving grace last year was that we had a top ten D. Unfortunately we rank 20th in goals against.

    Carey Price has often been the second-best goalie out on the ice. He hasn’t been bad but the ‘keeper at the other end of the rink has looked unbeatable on many occasions. Carey needs to be at that level every night.

    Injuries are mounting early. Key players are out or playing hurt. Markov is still weeks away. Gomez, as bad as he has been, is still weeks away and his absence means that guys that aren’t ready for prime time are getting bumped up a spot. Kostitsyn is out for a bit, as evidenced by the call-up of Palushaj today. Gionta is playing hurt. Pacioretty is playing hurt.

    P.K. Subban is officially having a sophomore slump.

    Josh Gorges has more points than Erik Cole, Subban, Lars Eller, power play specialist Mathieu Darche, and Gomez.

    All of this means that 14 games into the season we have 12 points. Over the course of the remaining 68 games we will need to accumulate 84 points to reach 96 points, which was the benchmark for the playoffs last year. The simplest math on this is a 42W-26L balance of the season. Whittle away a few wins to be realistic here and 38W-22L-8OTL is another possibility. In short, this team needs to get hot…fast. Oh, yeah, 35 of the remaining games are on the road.

    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
    RGM’s Movember page: http://mobro.co/RGM81

    • fuhgawz says:

      we make the other goalie look unbeatable because we simply can not socre we have ZERO true gifted goal scorer on this team and haven’t for a LONG LONG time.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Cammy is a goal scorer and would be on most teams. He has shown it in the playoffs but in the regular season has really struggled.

      • RGM says:

        I disagree – while we don’t have any 50-goal phenoms in the pipeline we have plenty of guys that have great hands and a demonstrated ability to put pucks inside of 4’x6′ nets. Cammalleri, Gionta, Kostitsyn, Plekanec, Cole, and Pacioretty are all guys that are easily capable of banging at least 20-25 per year, with a much higher upper ceiling for a couple of them. It’s not that they CAN’T score, it’s just that they AREN’T scoring…and in the case of a couple of those guys, haven’t been for some time now.

        GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
        RGM’s Movember page: http://mobro.co/RGM81

  68. fuhgawz says:

    TANK !!!!!!!!

    • Eric Danis says:

      tanking is not the solution, would you like another alexendre D’aigle. I dont, it doesn’t work hear, what works is hardnosed players with skills, there playing way to concervatively to work in this market.

      • fuhgawz says:

        tell Edmonton it dosen’t work when they win the cup in a couple years. better yet ask the Pens if it doesn’t work, or the Blackhawks

        • Mattyleg says:

          You can see into the future?!
          What happens after they win the cup??
          Do they magically get a ton of money and capspace to re-sign their Free Agents, or do they all just agree to stay on the team for league minimum?
          Ask Washington too! Ask them how their last-place finishes won them the cup!
          Ask Ottawa!! It’s guaranteed, right? Right?

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • CERF says:

            you for got CBJ and Florida … they are such power houses now with their high picks and banners of SC’s

        • HabinBurlington says:

          How does Bulin play in two years? I am thinking of taking him in my fantasy pool for year 2014-15.

  69. Old Bald Bird says:

    For all of the nattering about Pleks on the point, the shorthanded goal had nothing to do with his point play. It was a giveaway going up ice. There was a time when playing four forwards on the PP was just the way things were done, and it worked fine. I’m not saying that Pleks on the point is the solution, but IMO four forwards are not necessarily the problem.

    • Eric Danis says:

      since the beggining of the season it hasn’t worked, we had plecky and kostisyn trying at different intervals, we had success with offencive dMan this year well you have 3 in the line up alternate them. it worked for the last 4 wins thank you very much.

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        I was largely referring to all of the comments on other threads about Pleks on the point causing the giveaway goal. It didn’t. It was his play up the ice. Thank you very much.

        • Mattyleg says:

          I guess the argument would be that if he wasn’t on the point, he wouldn’t have been last man back when starting the rush.
          Forwards aren’t often in that position, and if he’d been playing as a forward, he would have been up the ice looking for the pass rather than giving it.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  70. Old Bald Bird says:

    Repost FWIW: last post on old thread.
    While it was still 0-0 in the 2nd, Mike Johnson (?) on the CTV telecast said, “This is the kind of game that Jacques Martin loves.” He went on to say something like, “Play it tight and wait for the breaks.” Well, sometimes with that philosophy the breaks happen for the other team.

    Say what you like about Bulin or SOG, but I thought they came out flat with little intensity. This is a chronic condition with this team as they only come out with intensity against the big teams such as the Flyers or Bruins, and even then, not always. By the end of the game, they were beginning to find themselves, but it was too little, too late.

    When they showed a clip of Bulin’s heroics, frankly I mostly saw a guy making ordinary saves against ordinary shots into ordinary places. The team was simply out of sync for most of the match.

  71. Eric Danis says:

    you know what really caused our downfall lastnight, it wasn’t the missing kostisyn, it was the fact that for the past 4 wins the habs had 2 dman playing the point on the PP, why in the hoickey gods names is Plecky playing the point… you clearly see he is not confortable there. It did not pan out yet they kept going back and back and back again, why is Eller only playing 19 seconds of PP time and Darch plays 5.20 mins. if you ask me we lost beacuse the big bench boss behind the bench stuck his nose in Rand Ladouceur’s PP alternatives. The powerplay was fine when PK played with Diaz and Weber Played Diaz, give one of them the full 2 minutes, or let Spacek go back to the point. with Weber or PK…

    • fuhgawz says:

      JM inabilitly to notice and change his stupid style of coaching is why we will not make the playoffs this season. Besides i am getting SICK of just making the playoffs lets f’n win something.

      TANK !!! TANK !!! TANK !!! TANK !!! TANK !!!

  72. Kooch7800 says:

    I don’t see the potential in Palushaj. He has never impressed me in the AHL or when he has been up in the big squad. Both the next two games we will be in tough. I see some changes coming very soon to this team

    • habbernack says:

      You were probably saying the same thing about Pac when he was playing the 4th line

      ability is what you’re capable of doing.
      attitude determines how you do it

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Actually no. Max P looked good in the AHL when he played in the same seasons where he was brought up and didn’t look good in the NHL. Max P is a completely different style player. He has a nose for the net and isn’t afraid of the hard areas to score goals.

        I catch a lot of dogs games and Palushaj has never shown anything to impress me. He is soft, is a passer not a shooter and doesn’t drive the net. We have enough play makers on this team. We need shooters.

        Palushaj I don’t think will ever make the NHL as a regular with this club

  73. fuhgawz says:

    great we have another skilled player out and replaced with a plug that belongs in the AHL for life. At least Akost MIGHT socre a goal.

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