Habs vs. Panthers in rare Sunday night game at Bell Centre

The Canadiens, coming off a 1-0 overtime win over the Islanders Saturday night in New York, didn’t hold a morning skate or have any media availability Sunday morning before facing the Florida Panthers in a rare Sunday night game at the Bell Centre (6 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

That gave the Canadiens players a chance to sleep in a bit on a very snowy Sunday morning in Montreal.

Max Pacioretty’s goal at 1:51 of OT Saturday night ended a two-game losing streak for the Canadiens.

“Both teams shut it down pretty well and both teams played outstanding, but in a game like that, all it takes is one bounce and that’s what we got,” Pacioretty told reporters after the game. “We’re struggling to score goals, but we’ve got to stick to our defensive plan and that’s what we were able to do tonight. Both teams did a good job of shutting down any chances, and that’s what happened in a tight game all the way to the end.”

Former Canadien Scott Gomez will be a healthy scratch for the Panthers against the Canadiens. It will be the seventh straight game that he has beena healthy scratch. Gomez, who signed a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Panthers, has only played in 19 games this season, posting 1-4-5 totals with a minus-7.

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Habs vs. Panthers preview, NHL.com

Price paves way for OT win, by Pat Hickey

Habs grind out a win, Canadiens.com

Habs vs. Islanders photo gallery, montrealgazette.com

Canadiens’ Christmas party (video), Canadiens.com

Hockey Night in Florida a real bargain, Stu on Sports blog

Q&A with Panthers owner Viola, floridapanthers.com

Latest Panthers news, Florida Sun-Sentinel

NHL’s 24/7 series makes Canadian debut Sunday night, Stu on Sports blog

 

214 Comments

  1. Stevie.Ray says:

    Florida is floundering. Going nowhere fast. When Tallon took over I was expecting Florida to put together a decent squad. It looked like Tallon was trying to get his hands on as many “solid” players as he could because the big names wouldn’t go there.

    He went and got Versteeg, Kopecky, Upshall, Fleischmann, Boyes, and they drafted Bjugstad and Huberdeau. It’s basically a team of second line guys.

    They have Barkov and Huberdeau, and a few other decent prospects but nothing really spectacular.

    What would it take to get Huberdeau from Florida. A fair trade for both sides that will help Florida in the short term and long term, while not hurting Montreal short term or long term?

    • SmartDog says:

      We might get him cheaper if we let them throw in Gomez!
      The guys on a $900k contract on one of the worst teams in the league and STILL a healthy scratch. Wow. That’s suckitude.
      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  2. CH Marshall says:

    I have adblock which rubs out the tweet widget on the right. But checking my twitter app, I can’t help but notice Stubbs engaging in some nice little twitter skirmishes. Fun stuff

  3. Ron says:

    Stubbs says GP is to see the team doc this evening..

  4. Seps says:

    Not much of a surprise but Budaj confirmed as the starter today.

    • jols101 says:

      I’m a little surprised. Always let it ride when a goalie gets a shutout. It was only a 21 shot shutout as well, how tired could Price possibly be.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Funny thing is Jols some of the teams best games have come with Budaj in the nets. Hope tonight is another one. Keeping Price fresh while still getting points is nice, eh?

        • jols101 says:

          Not knocking Budaj. I love what he brings. I just think when a goalie puts up a shutout you ride the shutout streak till it ends. Will always believe that.

        • Seps says:

          Yeah that’s weird… Happened sometimes to me in minor hockey, with our better goalie he’d stand on his head and we’d lose 2-1, then you throw in our other goalie who wasn’t bad but clearly inferior, and we’d win 6-4. Goal support can be a strange thing.

      • Seps says:

        That’s what I was kind of thinking since he did have a weak workload last night, but 3 tough games coming up this week which he’ll rightfully get all 3.

        Also Budaj could get a regular start against Florida even if it wasn’t on a back-to-back just because Florida is so bad. Good night off for Price.

    • Et le but says:

      His first start at home this season.

  5. SmartDog says:

    If anyone happened to be listening to TSN 690 just before the game last night you might’ve heard Sean Campbell replying to a Twitter comment that he needs to learn how to say “Saturday” properly.
    That was me. My brother also says “Sourday” or “Sayerday”. Drives me crazy!

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

    • Psycho29 says:

      Agree 100%….Also when people say “Wennesday”….

      Marinaro drives me to change the channel with his “At the end of the day” and “It is what it is”…

      • SmartDog says:

        It’s too bad Marinaro repeats the same thing over and over… and his long intros drive me crazy. Because sometimes he’s actually pretty good. He’s a good interviewer (when he’s not talking about himself) and pretty good at being a welcoming host.

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

        • Psycho29 says:

          …talking about himself….OR SINGING !!! ;-(

          • SmartDog says:

            A little Italian singing now and then… that’s an okay schtick. But when he sings in English. Man, get a grip.

            Another thing that really bugs me about 690 (I have it on the car most days) is the commercial for the Sat morning soccer show. When the guy says “this is the stuff of legends” all I can think is ‘that’s the stuff of corny sports announcers – get off my radio’.

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

  6. WAR72 says:

    Not a big fan of fighting in hockey.
    However, if habs absolutely need one of these fighting types, can they draft for it?
    Seems habs pick up fighters on their last legs. As a last minute reach for help in that category…
    Odjick, laraque, now parros…too little too late for all those guys.
    We need a rick tocchet type…drafted…

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      We drafted McCarron and Crisp this year. Problem is neither are going to be good enough to play in the NHL.

      • SmartDog says:

        Both will play. The question is for how long and on what line.
        It’s way too early to tell with both of these guys and there’s no reason to be so negative on either.

        McCarron looked fine in preseason but has had injury issues. He may be back on track when he gets past that… assuming he gets past it.

        Crisp has really picked it up – you have to be happy about his numbers so far this year. Nothing bad there.
        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • WAR72 says:

        Well, considering that parros isnt good enough either, i would take a young scrapper over an old one. Particularly if the minutes played are less than five.

    • AceTen says:

      They also have Thrower in the works who’s having a pretty good bounce back year. Crisp and McCarron will make it eventually. McCarron needs a few years to work on his fighting because what I’ve seen out of him so far is not impressive at all.

  7. goaliehabsfan says:

    Hi all,
    Long time reader, first time poster. A little about myself; I’m originally from the maritimes but living in Vancouver, finishing my last year at UBC (studying kinesiology and nutrition).

    Overall impressed with Bergevins work so far, but I think the last few games have shown that we are still too small to compete in the playoffs. Hopefully we can start to see some of his longer term plan in the next year or two. In the mean time I think we have an entertaining team with a few special players (price, subban, galchenyuk) entering their primes, or in galchenyuk’s case, finding his way in the league. I see a pretty good supporting cast in place, but I think this week exposed our lack of balance on the team. Despite their best efforts, our smaller forwards were unable to control the puck and the play against larger teams. Bergevin seems to realize this, but has made moves that seem to contradict his intention to get bigger (signing DD and briere).

    This offseason should give us a good idea of where the team will be going with a lot of contracts ending, and the cap going up, he’ll have more freedom to make this “his” team.

    Last nights game was a bit of a snoozer, nice to see price get a shutout, and I think it bodes well for the team to have patches and DD producing. I’d like to see bournival on the other wing with them, and gally back with the other kids. That could give 2 dangerous forward lines, with a third line centered by pleks providing great 2 way play.

    Hopefully today’s game is a little more exciting, looking forward to it!

  8. Grabbed The Cup says:

    If I live to be a thousand years old I’ll never get tired of this feel-good hockey story;

    “Leading up to SportsCentre’s Year In Review on Christmas Eve, TSN and TSN.ca look back at each of the Top 10 stories of 2013.

    Today, we look back at one of the biggest comebacks – or collapses – in National Hockey League history: Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.

    When Nazem Kadri scored at the 5:29 mark of the third period to increase the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Game 7 lead over the Boston Bruins to 4-1, it sent a city and long-suffering fan base into rapture.

    The area outside of the Air Canada Centre – dubbed Maple Leafs Square – was packed with fans that were celebrating not only participating in their first playoff series in nine years, but possibly the first step towards breaking a Stanley Cup drought that has plagued them since 1967.

    And there was a lot of reason for celebration. After trailing in the series 3-1, the Leafs fought back against elimination to capture a pair of 2-1 victories to force the deciding Game 7.

    Head coach Randy Carlyle, who took over from the fired Ron Wilson late in the previous season, was responsible for turning the team around and propelling them into their first playoff series since 2004.

    After many close (and not-so-close) misses, the team was finally able to hold things together – albeit in a lockout shortened season – to finish the job and qualify for the postseason. While most pre-season predictions had the Leafs once again on the outside looking in, solid campaigns from players like Phil Kessel, Kadri, James van Riemsdyk and James Reimer helped the team to overcome those odds.

    Unfortunately for Leafs Nation, the highly-improbable happened with 11 minutes left in regulation and one foot firmly planted in the second round.

    With dejected Boston fans slowly filing out of TD Garden, Bruins forward Nathan Horton cut the lead to two at the 9:18 mark of the third.

    Then came Milan Lucic’s goal to pull them within one.

    And with with less than two minutes left and goaltender Tuukka Rask on the bench for an extra attacker, Patrice Bergeron tied it up to send the game to an unlikely extra frame.

    Shocked yet? The best (or worst, if you’re a Leaf fan) was yet to come.

    In overtime, the suddenly struggling Maple Leafs found themselves pinned in their own end when Bergeron intercepted a clearing attempt and fired the puck past a sprawling Reimer to complete the comeback and send TD Garden into a wild celebration. The Bruins became the first team in NHL history to win a Game 7 after trailing by three goals in the third period. And it came at the expense of a Leafs team that – just a half-hour earlier – was already printing up tickets for Round 2.

    It was a year of progress for a Maple Leafs franchise that had been mired in the non-playoff wilderness for almost a decade. But on this night, all those fans outside the Air Canada Centre (not to mention watching at home) were left with was the image of Reimer lying face down in the crease with the puck just out of his reach.”

    You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can’t stand little notes on my pillow. “We’re all out of cornflakes. F.U.” Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Unger!

  9. jols101 says:

    Parros – I love him. I really don’t want to see him take a 3rd KO in a Habs jersey this year though. He didn’t fight the toughest or biggest of heavy weights last night. He should have dominated that fight. If he does come back and fights Scott or McLaren it could be ugly.

    If he decides to hang ‘em up, with his education, I am sure he can stay in the NHL as an executive somewhere if that is what he wants. He could also make a boat load more money on Wall Street. This man has options and great options at that.

    • Bill says:

      For his own good I hope he takes those options. He seems to have a great family and – and yeah, I know a lot of guys who post here think this makes me some kind of less of a man or something – I would hate to see him have serious health problems after hockey. He’s got tons of potential with that mind and that education. I don’t think another contract is worth another concussion for him. He’s not Colton Orr. There are tons of things he could do.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • scavanau says:

        Was there any basis for that fight that I’m unaware of? It had nothing to do with motivating either team.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Bill, We usually disagree about fighting in hockey, but I do agree with you that I don’t want to see GP have serious health issues later in life or any player except for the odd Bruin. However, when your a Pro athlete it’s very hard to tell yourself that your time to retire has come and only GP can make that decision.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

    • HH says:

      Parros to me seems like a great Guy and being a smart individual he should pack it in for the sake of his family and himself. With his education he has a lot of options don’t let Hockey fighting ruin him for life. just because he’s not a real skilled hockey player he’s skilled for a great job on the outside.
      Mr. Parros I hope you listen to the fans on here. You’re a great guy as well as being smart. The NHL is not worth ruining your Health.

  10. jols101 says:

    Hoping for a mini offensive explosion tonight. We have a lot of guys who can light the lamp but everyone is slumping at the same time. 4 or 5 goals tonight is just what the doctor ordered.

    Watching the new 24CH last night and Therrien’s – we are grinders and dump and chase routine – I wonder if it’s a systematic problem. With the personnel this team has it should be a puck possession team. I guess Therrien knows best. Maybe.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      They might be dump and chase, but they seldom retrieve. When I see them dump it to the corner on a pp, I know what’s coming 9/10 times.

      • jols101 says:

        Agreed. That is why I found Therrien’s speech so baffling. The LA Kings are a perfect example of a grinding, chip and chase team, not the Montreal Canadiens.

    • Habfan17 says:

      No, you are right, Therrien is contradicting himself. When he was hired, he said they would be an aggressive forecheck, puck possession team and play to their strengths, speed and skill. Even though the skill is not always evident. I think that is a result of the system they are playing, the numerous line combinations and personnel changes on the pk and pp. Earlier on, the Habs were a threat to score every game on the PK, now Therrien has changed up the players on the pk. Why? maybe there is some truth that Briere and Patches are not happy!

      Habfan17

  11. Grimmly says:

    Since Price got a shutout last night and is having a career year with swiss cheese defense this year, i have to post a gem of a post from TSN, since we all know only trolls come here…

    samthemacman
    1 hour ago
    I am a lifetime Hab fan. But the Habs will never ever win with Carey Price. You cannot depend on him to make a needed save. Without a stellar D in front of him, and offensive punch, he rarely can be counted on to win the big game. It doesn’t matter one wit what he does in the regular season. He just can’t win in the playoffs. Trading Halak was the worst thing the Habs ever did. The current GM is trying to give Price the benefit of the doubt and got him an outstanding coach. For insurance he drafted a stellar goalie from junior in the last draft. I predict that Price will choke again, like he always does, when it matters most, and this time the GM will trade Price, and then the Habs can progress toward winning the Cup again.

    • jols101 says:

      I tell ya, those Halakalites will be bitter until hell freezes over.

    • naweed235 says:

      Swiss cheese defense?!!?!?! Are you freaking kidding me? A 2.06 GA/G (good for 2nd best in the league after LA) and arguably the best defensive paring this season hardly qualifies as swiss cheese defense. You want swiss cheese defense, go take a look at Edmonton!

    • Propwash says:

      I call B.S on him calling himself a lifelong Habs fan. If he is, he hasn’t been paying much attention.

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • Bill says:

      No shortage of guys on HIO last night saying Price had a bad game. True story.

      As for the D, I would say the Habs D is basically average. Two very good players in Subban and Markov, one very solid guy in Emelin, then guys with serious limitations in Diaz, Gorges, and Murray.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • naweed235 says:

        Just curious, what is Gorges’ serious limitation? He is very consistent and leaves it all on the ice every night… Not sure why everybody is so quick to take a crap on the guy since his contract extension. He is a solid #4 d-man on any team

        • Bill says:

          You really think so? I think he’s a really solid 5-6 d-man on any team. He certainly is all heart and he absolutely does leave it all on the ice. But he has definite limitations both offensively and defensively.

          Offensively, he’s not mobile, has a very so-so first pass, has difficulty holding the line in the o-zone, and has a weak shot.

          Defensively, he doesn’t read the play terribly well, is caught out of position a lot, loses his man quite regularly, and isn’t physically strong enough to defend the crease. Can’t count how many goals I’ve seen scored with Gorges basically lying on top of Price.

          Again, no one would ever question Gorges’s heart, desire, and compete level. That’s why he’s in the NHL. But he is a lower-tier talent on D and doesn’t have size, and that’s why I don’t see him as top four guy.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

          • naweed235 says:

            Ok Bill fair enough. Which team do you think possesses an above average D-corp?

          • Bill says:

            I would say Chicago, St. Louis, LA, Detroit, Minnesota, Anaheim?

            Edit: But now that you mention it, when I look around the NHL, Montreal’s d-corps looks better than I thought. Let’s go with high-average!

            Full Breezer 4 Life

        • Mr. Biter says:

          Seems to happen whenever someone gets a contract extension or signs for a big contract. Many posters seem to have “Contract Envy” except the Halekites who are to busy still wailing about his departure.

          Mr. Biter
          No Guts No Glory

    • Signed Allan Walsh!

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

  12. habs1992 says:

    If Parros keeps getting KO’d then he should retire, but his chin hitting the ice was a complete fluke, and everyone who fights eventually takes the wrong end of one, its all part of it.

    I support Carey Price
    “Habs Insider”

    • christophor says:

      I can see how someone who hasn’t watched the clip closely (most people), or pro-Leaf people (CBC, Sportsnet, TSN), can think Parros smashing into the ice was a fluke. But if you’re watching closely, it’s pretty plain that Colton Orr pulls his arm down faster than his body is falling – i.e. it was a ‘yank’. I doubt the result was intended, but yanking Parros to the ice by the front of his collar was intentional.

      Anyway, your point that this kind of thing is part of fighting is uninteresting. The debate is about what we should think about fighting if that’s true.

      • Stevie.Ray says:

        Or, it was a “oh shit, I’m falling better grab onto something to keep me up”

        • christophor says:

          He was already grabbing Parros, and if you watch the way he pulls, it’s over his body and late in the fall. That would be a very unnatural instinctual way to keep yourself up. The slow-mo replay is telling.

        • Mr. Biter says:

          I’m with Stevie. When your falling down you grab for anything to help you stay up or cushion the fall. I’ve posted this numerous times and again I can’t stand Orr, but there is now way he’s thinking as he’s falling down “If I grab Parros I can smash his face into the ice”. I like the “oh shit” reference.

          Mr. Biter
          No Guts No Glory

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        Consider also, that if Orr doesn’t pull Parros’ body towards himself, that gives Parros the perfect opportunity to lay a knock out punch to a defenseless guy on the ice. I don’t think that’s something Parros would do, but Orr is a fighter, and it’s an instinct a fighter has to have, because every one of us has seen a goon at one point in NHL lay a lick or two on a guy who’s already down.

  13. Bill says:

    Was it Princeton Ed? Oh. Well never mind then, that school sucks, haha.

  14. punkster says:

    Gone but not forgotten…RIP.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD_AejDc1fA

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

  15. Bill says:

    Parros is UFA right? I’m going to assume that a guy with an Economics degree from Cornell has managed his money wisely. Hey. Now there’s a guy with a potential TV career. He’s a tough guy, which the networks love, but he’s also intelligent, articulate, and likeable. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him working for Rogers next year.

  16. HABZ24 says:

    Still burns me,the habs dumb it down vs weaker teams,only play hard enough to hang in there and hope to win,but vs big teams like pitt or boston they ramp it up to 110% . Elite teams play all out balls to the wall hockey Every game. How did this become the standard.if habs put the all out effort vs the weaker teams we,d win those eazy games.
    Gomez a scratch,no surprise there,time to call it a career gomer

    GO HABS GO

  17. Bill says:

    Any news on Parros? I’m worried about him. I don’t knowing it’s confirmed that he was concussed by Boulton, but if he was, that’s two in a short time, not good. Who will MB get to replace him if he’s out long-term? Don’t think Tarnasky is the answer btw.

  18. IdleNoMore says:

    Anyone notice Budja’s new helmet when he came in for Pricey?

    “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

  19. Habfan10912 says:

    To those HIO’ers in the US, the NHL Network is showing a 24 CH marathon today starting at 3pm.

  20. The Jackal says:

    I’m not down on MB, I think he’s been very good so far, but a couple of moves perplex me – obviously hind sight in this case is 20/20 and MB should still be commended for the intent of the moves, but at the same time it is clear that he has some choices to make moving forward.

    1) Signing Briere – he took a chance on Briere and the results have been ok, but he seems superfluous on this team – long way away but if he does kill it in the playoffs then that’s another story.

    2) Parros – I do believe he is a deterrent and a welcome presence on the team, but I’ve read that Bordeleau was interested in playing for the Habs but MB did not bite. He would have been a better choice as a more well-rounded player.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  21. petefleet says:

    Here’s what I would like to see as the line up tonite against FLA:
    Bournival-Pleks-Gionta
    Gally-Eller-Chucky
    Max-DD-Briere
    Moen-White-Prust

    Markov-PK
    Diaz-Murray
    Emelin-Gorges

    Can we seriously not win with that? Those combos have been the best this year so far, with Briere and Prust all over the place.

    “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
    Abraham Lincoln

    “I’m sick of those Facking Bullspit comments!”
    Ram_Tough

    ***Go Habs Go***

    • Eddie says:

      If you’re expecting a gush of replies you might want to lower your expectations. This place is a morgue today.

      I like your lines. They seem logical to me.

      Except break up Markv and Subban.

      • IdleNoMore says:

        Yes! Get Prust outta the top 6

        “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

      • petefleet says:

        I would love to have lots of replies but I’ll take yours. I just think certain guys work well together and if you have 1 or 2 lines working the offense isn’t that better than none?

        “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
        Abraham Lincoln

        “I’m sick of those Facking Bullspit comments!”
        Ram_Tough

        ***Go Habs Go***

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Can we spot Galchenyuk at center somewhere? :)

          • Eddie says:

            Yup. Forgot about that too. But we’ve been fed so much propaganda from the Therrien police that Galchenyuk can’t play center, I was afraid to speak openly about it.

          • petefleet says:

            I think there is lots of time to get Chucky at centre. When Briere and DD are no longer relavent, sooner than later, he will be our #1 or #2 centre.

            “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
            Abraham Lincoln

            “I’m sick of those Facking Bullspit comments!”
            Ram_Tough

            ***Go Habs Go***

    • habstrinifan says:

      Max/DD/Briere I dont like.

      • petefleet says:

        It’s all that’s left. The alternative would be Prust but that would put Briere on the fourth and that just doesn’t work.

        “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
        Abraham Lincoln

        “I’m sick of those Facking Bullspit comments!”
        Ram_Tough

        ***Go Habs Go***

      • aroma says:

        Me neither. I’d give that line less minutes and fourth line more. Double shift Pacioretty at times on either of the first two lines.

    • vegas says:

      i’d like to see Bourque in there. and have desharanis and Briere share the center spot until 1 gets traded

      One of the 2 has to go and eventually Gionta too

  22. Eddie says:

    Habfab, it’s me a you dude. We’ve won! Everyone else has run for the hills!

  23. Ian Cobb says:

    Here is where we place in this 30 team league, compared to last week and without our two points that we will earn tonight against Florida!

    League points—43, For 10th place. Last week 41 For 7th.

    Conference——-43. For 3rd place. Last week 41 For 1st.

    Division ———–43. For 2nd place. Last week 41 For 1st.

    Goals For———-87. For 19th place. Last week 85 For 10th.

    Goals Against—–73. For 5th place. Last week 65 For 3rd.

    Goal differential+14. For 10th place. Last week +20 For 6th.

    We are falling back big time with few goal for.

  24. Eddie says:

    So if you won the 550 million Mega Millions jackpot what would you do?

    I would buy the CBC and fire Don Cherry and PJ Stock. They would sell for sure because that brand is in a death spiral.

    Next I would buy the Gazette. I would put Boone in charge of sports, sorry Stu it’s been a good run but thems the breaks, and I’d fix the edit function on HIO.

  25. HabFab says:

    Bulldogs do some personnel moves again. I would take it to mean at least 2 of the 4 forwards on the IR are ready to return;
    http://hamiltonbulldogs.com/pressbox/news/?article_id=562

  26. Eddie says:

    I was real happy with the offensive team we had last year. And we were dominant until we got injured for the playoffs.

    I may be a different kind of Habs fan than most of you.

    I watch the games because I like good hockey, and whether the Habs win or lose during the regular season does not bother me as much.

    I like to see talent like Subban and Galchenyuk flying up the ice and creating plays.

    I’m not a fan of coaches who reign in offensive talent and force the game to slow down.

    • punkster says:

      One of the many reason I enjoy junior even at C level (or D before it changed a few years ago). Let them play.

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

    • The Jackal says:

      Okay, that’s understandable, but they can’t do much or fly around the ice with the roster we have. Teams need to play to their strengths and we don’t have the horses to play run and gun hockey nor can we even establish a cycle with net presence. Habs are good defensively, to an extent, at least good enough to let their goaltending do a lot of the work. The offense has dried up but I wouldn’t hang that on “not letting them play.”

      Look, PK is great, but many of his rushes end up anti-climactically. I’d say the biggest reason for that is twofold – one, the team is missing players that will be there to finish the play, and two, PK is still learning when to best make those rushes and how to proceed once at the O zone.

      Galchenyuk is coming along nicely but he’s just one player and he is not yet dominant enough to go out there and just create something out of nothing a la Malkin.

      I’d love it if this was not true, but you can’t just ask to let them play when nothing would come of it. We lack true scorers to finish plays and forwards who go to the net. You can’t just have a guy dangle in the zone then lose the puck.

      The system may not be the most dynamic one, but it has gotten results. Last year we scored lots of goals but I’d argue that that was primarily due to the novelty of the coaching staff’s approach with the team, and the unfamiliarity that other teams had with our budding stars like Chucky and Gally. At the end of the season, they not only figured out how to score on us but also how to prevent us from scoring. On top of that, the previous system was very high energy and by the end of the short season many of the older players seemed to be worn out.

      It makes no sense to play such a system for an 82 game season when by the time you reach the playoffs, your players are all tired. Look at Calgary this year. They came flying out of the gate and now they have run out of gas. Not a perfect comparison but they too have good young players that can be compared adequately enough.

      I’d love to see the Habs become an offensive juggernaut, and even though we have some of the pieces, we lack natural scorers and power forwards, not to mention one more elite puck moving D.

      For now, the Habs are doing well. They are an above average team but like I said, they are in transition. Let MT get the most out of the players – he has been doing so since he came in and it is obvious that they buy into what he says. “Letting them play” is a recipe for disaster. The team will learn better with a more structured game plan that ultimately protects the goalies and teaches discipline.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  27. The Dude says:

    Great hit by Eller and luckly Traveres didn’t crack his yolk on the ice and die.And as for Patches putting his weapon of goal scoring away and fans not liking it SHUT -UP,lol.The way the Habs been playing last 5 games could use a lil swagger ffs!

  28. The Juice says:

    Clean hit by Eller. If he wanted to be dirty he could have decapitated Tavares.

  29. SmartDog says:

    @sweetmad
    Only the MORONS on HNIC thought it was a dirty hit. They were actually saying “we know he hit his head but did he hit his shoulder first?” ARRGGGHH!!!!! I wanted to put my foot through the TV (can you still do that with flatscreens?). It was so obvious that he hit his shoulder. Man I can’t wait for Rogers to take over. It can’t be that bad.

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

    • Ron says:

      SD, are you on twitter ? If so check out Brian Wilde’s (CTV) pic showing the last frame of the hit. The shoulder made contact with the head..

      • SmartDog says:

        I’m not saying his shoulder didn’t hit have any contact with his head after. But it’s obvious that the core hit was shoulder-to-shoulder. Obvious to everyone but CBC. And in the bigger picture it’s clear this wasn’t in any way a dirty hit. Stamkos was totally stretched out and had not looking even though the hit was front on. If he was paying any attention at all he would’ve righted himself more going into the hit. Guys are allowed to hit face-to-face ya know.

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

  30. The Juice says:

    Not sure who picked the stars last night but Price and Desharnais should have been 1 and 2.

  31. The Teacher says:

    Anyone else totally not expecting a win tonight?

    Anyone know when the team finally got into Montreal?

  32. SmartDog says:

    @HabinBurlington
    That makes perfect sense. I tweeted at the end of the first period that Max looked like he was on valium… he wasn’t pushing it unless it was really worth it and it showed. But man he moves fast when he gives it. Later in the game as things heated up he was giving it – two big strides and he’s caught up with the play or out in the open like he was on the goal. I’d rather he take time off if he’s hurt… but seriously Max injured is still a top 6 on this team.

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

  33. HabinBurlington says:

    Well managed to do my neighbourly thing and snowblowed about 8 driveways this moring, then managed to replace the battery in my truck, now I can enjoy an afternoon of NFL at sports bar. Have a great day folks, see you later during the Habs game.

  34. savethepuck says:

    I would assume Budaj gets the start tonight, but has anyone actually seen that confirmed anywhere?

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

  35. 24 Cups says:

    George Parros should give serious consideration to retiring. The Habs could pay out his salary as a good will gesture seeing that he was injured while at work. That would bring Parros’ NHL earnings to $6,525,000. He could then focus on his second career which was realistically just around the corner before his two hits to the head.

    Who would replace him? Nick Tarnasky. He fits the profile and is already in the system so no assets would be wasted trying to replace Parros. He basically plays LW so that would mean either Moen or Prust would have to move to RW. If Prust centres the line then White becomes an option on the right side. You might say that Tarnasky has no real skills but that basically is the point, seeing that goons cancel each other out on the line-up card. The Habs would also save 240,000 grand on the cap over the course of the remaining season.

    Once the playoffs start, Leblanc could be promoted to take Tarnasky’s spot.

  36. christophor says:

    Continuing the DD vs Eller discussion from the last thread. I said Eller is far more valuable because he’s excellent defensively, especially on the PK. Plus, he’s physical these days.

    That said, I think Desharnais is fine in a third line exploitation role (i.e. mostly offensive zone starts against lower lines and defence pairings). The Habs can afford to have such a third line, as opposed to a checking third line, because their other two centermen are defensively strong. Desharnais has mostly been used this way, and the year his numbers were good (i.e. inflated) it worked. However, the problem is that Pacioretty can handle really tough minutes and is being somewhat wasted in easy minutes carrying that line. I say Bourque, Desharnais, and Briere/Bournival is not a great line, but if you give them weak opposition and offensive zone starts, they should out-produce your expectations of them otherwise.

    You’d be able to get them easy minutes because teams will focus much more on whatever top-6 combinations you come up with out of Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Gionta, Eller, and Plekanec. Also, I think that top-6 is good enough to handle that focus.

  37. sweetmad says:

    Did I imagine it,because I have seen no comments,when Gally was fighting on the boards,for the puck,near their goal,he took the puck away,I don’t know who it was,but the Islanders player punched Gally in the back of the head,it was quite blatant.But I have seen no comments about it anywhere,I watch on RDS,so I don’t even know if the commentators said anything.

    Every body is saying it was a boring game,but I don’t think it was that bad,not a lot of goals,but we fought hard to keep it that way,and anyway we won,our D did a good job,and Price did well.

    A lot of bad comments about Ellers hit on JT,on the other boards,when even JT said it was a good hit.

    Hope the boys managed to get some rest,I expect we will get more of the same tonight,after getting in at that time.
    GO HABS GO

    • Habfan10912 says:

      As far as Lar’s hit, for what it’s worth, the Islander announcers said it was a clean hit. It was so violent that the refs got confused.

      • SmartDog says:

        Great hit, shoulder-to-shouler.

        Tavares wasn’t looking at all and he knows it. Also, he doesn’t strap his helmet on well – they were showing replays of that.

        After that he was more cautious… which is the whole idea.

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

  38. HabinBurlington says:

    Caution: What I am about to point out is not meant to be an excuse, just an observation.

    Max was asked after the game by CBC what was wrong with his leg when he was very slow to get up and skated back to bench slowly late in third period. I don’t have Max’s quote, but he said essentially “Its just something with my leg which has been nagging me for a while and sometimes its worse than others, but it is no excuse as this time of year with compacted schedule everyone is playing various nicks.”

    My point is, I don’t think he has his full explosiveness with his legs right now, I suspect it could be related to that hamstring injury he suffered earlier in season. For this reason, I hope Max does not make Team USA and rather gets a break.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      You might be on to something. If its the hamstring those things can linger for a while. Good observation and I like this theory better than Eddie’s ( Max is unhappy).

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I don’t think his personality is the issue (but who am I to say), but I noticed how slow he was to get up on the one play in particular and we are not seeing the explosive Max we are used to. I suspect trying to get to tough areas with dmen on him is hard for him, thus he is moving out to perimeter more.

        We need Bourque back so that some other players can get some days off.

      • Habfan17 says:

        If that is the case, he should be forced to sit and get it better so he cab play at full strength without possibly making it worse.

        Habfan17

    • PrimeTime says:

      Every team has key players that will play in Sochi. It will have an effect on the remaining games and the standings. As a Hab fan and a Canadian I too hope hope Max rests and Markov as well.

  39. Hobie Hansen says:

    Teams that might or have already fallen out of the race who have players Bergevin should be targeting.

    Calgary: Glencross (injured), Jones.
    Florida: Matthias
    Buffalo: Stafford, Moulson
    Columbus: Dubinsky, Umberger
    Islanders: Okposo
    Winnipeg: Kane, Wheeler

    These are guys I personally like. I’m kinda overlooking contracts. :-).

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Nice list but I’d rather pass on Okposo. If you think some of some of our boys float, wait till you see this guy on an every night basis. He would not be a fan favorite.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      DId you see the interview with Wheeler after the Jets game yesterday? He was some pissed off, talking about how frustrating it has been for 3 years in Wpg with the team not playing well enough. Said we can say the same things over and over, but it is time to show it on the ice.

      I think that whole team is on edge, coach is probably on thin ice, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the GM there looking to make some trades to change things up. Definitely a team MB should be talking with to see if there is a fit.

      I believe Cheveldayoff knows MB from his time in Chicago, there could be an opportunity for a trade there.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I’ll pass on Stafford. He’s been on a downward spiral for quite awhile now.

    • IdleNoMore says:

      Sorry but Wheels won’t be going anywhere.

      “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

  40. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    I have a theory: players are targeting the head in hopes of earning an in-person meeting. Come to NYC, get suspended, go Christmas shopping, start your Christmas break early at home with family and friends. Eller must be pissed that his headshot on Tavares turned into a perfect shoulder/shoulder check.

  41. mksness says:

    Sorry to see parros hurt but happy he won’t be in the line up. He’s not a hockey player. i know people love the fighting and think it keeps the rats away but i think suspensions are up and every team in the east is armed with enforcers….

    This fighting stuff has to go. But how can it because it’s part of the culture? Some times cultures have to adapt. like equal rights for people, no slavery and so on; but hey lets go back to that because it used to be part of our culture. Fighting isn’t needed in any of the other sports so i don’t see why it is needed here. it has to be removed before someone gets seriously hurt. and if you’re a serious fan of hockey, you want to watch hockey and not two 4th line goons scraping for 1 minute. but ofcourse the have to scrap because it will change the dynamics of the game lol if you need a fight to pick you up as a team, you’re in serious trouble…

    how to get rid of fighting? simple:

    1. game misconduct for a hit to the head ( play to be reviewed upstairs)
    1a first hit to the head 2 games
    1b second hit to the head 5 games
    1c third hit 15 games

    this will clean up the game and make players think before they try to take someones head off. and stop this blaming the victim crap. he made himself vulnerable so it’s okay to pop him in the head.

    sorry for the rant but the habs are killing me right now. they are playing lousy hockey. they’re just lucky they have been able to pull out some wins.

  42. mksness says:

    so no triple low fives because subban was being tooo flashy ( had nothing to do with price, he was being forced into it)

    but patches can be a Musketeer when he scores?

  43. HH says:

    when we have a full lineup I’d like to see:

    1. Pacioretty Plekanec Gallagher
    2. Galchenyuk Eller Bournival
    3. Bourque Briere Gionta
    4. Moen white/Desharnais Prust

    Leave the lines this way to have a chance to Gel. I think these lines would be more consistent.

    Not to knock Parros. His fighting days are over and his hockey skills are limited.

    • christophor says:

      I really like these lines, but I think people under-appreciate how much Plekanec AND Gionta together neutralize good opposition. Those two with Pacioretty would be a great possession line against tough opposing lines.

      Gionta has actually produced as well as Gallagher and in tougher minutes, so I think he gets a raw deal sometimes.

      So I like the lines but would switch up the RWs: Gionta with Plek, Gallagher with Eller, and Bournival with Desharnais (at which point you can switch Bourque and Bournival each to their natural sides).

  44. Habilis says:

    For anyone who wants to catch HBO’s 24/7, there is a youtube link up of the first episode. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxpKVWs0_p4

    Watching it now and a couple of things jump out at me.

    1. The HBO crew has more money than the 24CH crew. The production value is awesome. 24CH is amazing but it’s mostly amazing because it’s the Habs. This HBO show is just plain good.

    2. Dion Phaneuf is one lucky dude. About 10 mins in, they show him picking out a suit for the day and saying goodbye to his wife (Elisha Cuthbert) and dog. Le drool, and I don’t mean the dog.

    • Strummer says:

      24/7 vs. 24CH is like night and day.

      24CH is a fluff piece produced by the team. No controversy, no swearing.
      Not the real deal.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

      • IdleNoMore says:

        The swearing on 24/7 is such a joke.
        “Alright take 2 we need more swearing. People like “JOE” love swearing!”

        “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

  45. Hobie Hansen says:

    What I’ve really noticed the past three games is that the Habs are being kept to the outside. They’re in possession of the puck in the offensive zone but are always beside the net on the goal line, along the boards or at the blue line. They’ve had very few quality scoring chances the last little while. This is where they actually miss Bourque a little bit.

    • Strummer says:

      1 goal in the last 9 regulation periods- I think the “S” (size) word is again rearing its ugly head.

      Even crap teams like the Isles who’s top 4 D-men are 6’1″ plus just use their size to keep our smaller skilled guys from being effective around the net

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I caught a bit of the Stars/Jets game yesterday. Talk about size, That Nichushkin (6’4), Seguin (6’1) and Benn (6’2) line is just deadly. Banging, crashing and slamming pucks in the net.

    • PrimeTime says:

      Aside from a real strong LA team, they have been playing defensive minded teams. We don’t have big strong forwards that can penetrate the systems which is why we also must play defensive hockey and create turnovers. It’s boring when both teams do it well but better than the Habs turning the puck over and defending odd man rushes all game.

  46. parkex says:

    Wow, surprised Habs plane was even able to land. Better 2:25 am than not at all. #sleep-in

  47. parkex says:

    If Habs beat Panthers, they have an all-time winning record against EVERY team in the NHL.

  48. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    This season just keeps coming at you like mosquitoes in July, with teams like the Isles and Florida that only exist to be beaten by the habs, but don’t always cooperate.
    All things considered, it’s a pretty good show so far. Nothing’s won, nothing’s set in cement, and the whole thing could unravel with injuries. But the habs are good, and we’re not turning on the TV ’cause it makes us feel like Timo every night.
    Last night was an awful spectacle – watching the snow fall today is more exciting. Maybe tonight will provide a better show. Hope so. Wins are wonderful but goals are entertaining too. I’d like to see the habs score seven, the spontaneous melting of my walk and all the snow around the car, and a Stanley Cup parade.

  49. Timo says:

    “Both teams played outstanding”… Pacioretty is officially on crack.

  50. HabFab says:

    And poor Gomez gets to be a healthy scratch for the 7th straight game… “sigh”

  51. JohninTruro says:

    Ron, on the previous thread I like your point about “that’s if Patches wants to play with anyone but Davey”. That’s an interesting concern but that could also be a real concern, which in turn could be real concerning (sorry for the confusion). That would not be ideal for this team if he did sook not being with his buddy and he would do that just to keep his buddy around. With the puck distribution of Galchy, and Eller, or even Eller and Gally with him would be great to see on a line.

  52. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    What do you mean, I’m thirteen?

  53. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Great! I’m eight!

  54. SmartDog says:

    Therrien should be happy. He’s got the team playing (and scoring) like grinders.

    What an incredibly stupid thing to say. It’s no coincidence to me that the team hasn’t scored much since.

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

  55. habs001 says:

    Eller scored 5 goals in his first 5 games..in the last 29 he has 3…i still think he is a 3rd line centre on a winning team…he has skills and talent but to me just does not have the ability to be a 60 plus point producer…i have no problem with him being a 45 point player…again he has never been a high point producer at any level of hockey…goal scoring has never come easy for him…

    • SmartDog says:

      He’s still young.

      And trying to find consistency on a team where the only thing consistent about the forward lines is that if your line is working it’s sure to broken up.

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

    • JohninTruro says:

      I think if he distributed the puck more, he would get more chances. I find he tends to spend too long with it on his stick and doesn’t create enough because of that. I think he will figure that aspect out.

    • Habfan17 says:

      He would have more goals if Therrien did not keep giving him different line mates. Give him the same opportunities as DD and he would produce. Not to mention when you do well then get to be the one who continually loses his good line mates, it plays with your confidence. You start to question, what more do I need to do and you regress!

      Habfan17

  56. montreal ace says:

    From the 2nd of this month to today, it will be 8 games in 14 days, I can’t remember a schedule like that in the regular season. I think our lack of scoring lately, just might be due to fatigue.

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      The League has a Christmas break. The reason why the season is busy – The Olympic Games next year.

      The Habs are tired but it can also work to their advantage. It keeps them on their toes and to have 2-3 months of busy hockey will help them prepare for the playoffs (if they get there).

      The hurdles they should encounter are consistency of play and avoiding injuries.

  57. Sportfan says:

    Did the guys make it back to Montreal?

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

  58. Hobie Hansen says:

    This video would be better if the guys were Habs fans instead of Leafs fans, still hilarious none the less.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-glHAzXi_M

  59. montreal ace says:

    You have winners you have losers, we were winners last night and I love wins.

  60. Habfan10912 says:

    I assume 2. They”be shown a few of season 2 a few times already.


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