Leafs 2-Habs 1: Post-game reaction

Gionta_001web

The Toronto Maple Leafs put a damper on the Canadiens season opener on Saturday, with a 2-1 victory at the Bell Centre.

Penalties proved costly to the Habs with the Leafs two goals coming on the power play.

The Leafs got on the scoreboard in the first period with a goal by Nazem Kadri and went up by two in the second period when forward Tyler Bozak scored.

The Habs showed more signs of life in the third period. And coach Michel Therrien said he liked the players reaction. “We tried to push the pace and pushed the play. Toronto played really well, too. You’ve got to give them credit.”

“Every time you lose the battle of the special teams it’s tough to win,” Therrien added. “And tonight we lost that battle.”

The Canadiens season-opener began with a torch-passing ceremony and included Habs legend Jean Béliveau, who suffered a stroke last year.

It was 18-year-old Alex Galchenyuk’s first NHL game and he was greeted with loud cheers from the crowd when he was introduced during the pre-game ceremony.

“I thought he looked good,” Therrien said after the game about the Habs first-round draft pick last June. “He didn’t put himself in trouble. He skated well, tried to make some plays.”

“We saw that he’s got the speed to play,” Therrien added.

“I think a lot of guys were pumped up, amped up ready for this game,” said goaltender Carey Price. “I think the body was there, the mind might not have quite been sharp enough.”

Canadiens captain Brian Gionta, who missed a big chunk of last season because of surgery to repair a torn bicep, scored in the third period.

The Leafs outshot the Canadiens 26 to 22.

The Canadiens next game is on Tuesday at the Bell Centre against the Florida Panthers. With the shortened 48-game season, clubs will only play against teams within their conference.

You can hear what Gionta had to say after the game below:

663 Comments

  1. Habfan10912 says:

    Call me a Johnny come lately, but I’ve thought of this before this weekend just didn’t post it. The quality of hockey has been bad. Would it have killed the league to play a 46 game season and have a couple preseason games?

    ———————————–

  2. SmartDog says:

    Maybe I’m just grumpy today :P but I have to agree with the posts below about the CBC Hotstove. It isn’t even a freakin’ stove anymore. It’s just an over-crowded, boring panel of guys who are saying what everyone else already said.

    And the CBC in general just gets lamer and lamer. Ron McLean – freakin’ retire already. And that into about pond hockey and growing up watching the players and whatever other tired bit of dialogue it included… it’s been done 1,000 times (994 of those on HNIC). Those CBC story meetings must be incredibly lame – hey, let’s do the SAME THING we did last year. Freakin’ unbelievable.

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Compared to NBC’s intermission with Mike Dingleberry it’s quality TV.

      ———————————–

      • SmartDog says:

        I believe that. American coverage of hockey on the big networks is so awful. They think it’s basketball on ice.

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

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Not much better on the local feeds either Doggie. NESN ain’t the only nut cases out there. :)

          ———————————–

        • joeybarrie says:

          Worst thing about NHL CenterIce is it usually gets the feed from the American teams. Something about the way the guy from Buffalo MISpronounces the opponents players drives me crazy.
          The way some of the guys especially from Florida talk about hockey is ridiculous.
          CLUELESS.

    • Strummer says:

      HNIC never having done anything original, copied the Fox NFL panel concept their “panel” in the first place.

      Now like Fox they have gone to all former players plus Friedman.
      Fox went all players/coaches.

      Fox started having their guys stand up and chat (CBS has theirs doing demonstrations)

      Last night – HNIC panel standing up and having a discussion.

      No originality at the CBC!

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  3. 24 Cups says:

    Shoutout to Dave (Hard Habits). Thanks for the tip about the Ad Blocker download on Firefox. It’s really made a difference.

  4. HabinBurlington says:

    Drew Stafford having a fight with Hartnell, foolish or team building. Good on him for sticking up for himself.

  5. 24 Cups says:

    I take it Lupul’s contract extension for five years means that everything is groovy between him and Carlyle.

    • Loonie says:

      That or Nonis has another candidate lined up already.

    • Strummer says:

      I guess the feud from Anaheim is over between Carlyle and Lupul.
      At least Lupul put up numbers last year that deserve $5 million a year as opposed to our players who were paid $5 million and more last year.

      Nonis is merely carrying- on Burke’s blueprint albeit in a quieter manner.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  6. jols101 says:

    Is Grigorenko dressed for the Sabers? If yes, how is he looking?

  7. Prust for PM says:

    Be advised that beer cost more than hockey tix at Florida Panthers’ games…The more telling attendance figures will come from weeks 2 & 3 when we’ve been subjected to an inferior product on multiple occasions. As for Habs’ gear, I’ll spend my next Loonie when they’ve won a Playoff game…Or when all items are 85% off-and I can get Henri Richard to autograph them.

    Cannonading drive!!

  8. Prust for PM says:

    Number of Québécois that I saw participating in the torch ceremony last night: 5 (Yvan C., Henri R., Vincent D., Serge S., and Jean B.). Maybe I missed Guy C. and/or Pierre T.

    Number of Québécois in the Canadiens’ Management team: Countless.

    Number of Québécois playing for the Habs: 1 (David D.)

    Number of guys with “French sounding” connections (from Switzerland, Manitoba & NY, NY): 4 (Francis B., Rene B., Raphael D. & Yannick W.)

    “The New Montreal Math…” I’m not sure how it all “adds up” but the Bottom Line is that David D. must give a LOT of interviews…

    Cannonading drive!!

  9. HabinBurlington says:

    Obviously early in the season, but Tyler Myers looks almost lost on the ice for the Sabres.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      They don’t look much better then our boys did last night. Should be 3-1. Bad disallow by the ref in a marginal goalie interference call.

      Edit: my timing continues to be impeccable.
      ———————————–

  10. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    The loss comes down to one strategic decision, and because of that, I would fire the coach. All he had to do was tell the point men to lie down along the blue line, to block those passes back they couldn’t seem to handle. Then, once the pass was blocked, they could leap to their feet (at the speed everyone was skating) and let go a cannon of a backhand or wrister from the point.

    Six guaranteed goals, right there.

    Coaching in the post lockout, no real training camp NHL calls for creativity.

  11. Psycho29 says:

    They just said on the NBC game that the Sabre’s store had everything 50% off this week. They grossed $2 million.
    So much for massive fan protests……..

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Heard the same thing, and Buffalo isn’t exactly a thriving economic community either. Its almost like the lockout has increased the demand rather than diminished it.

      I looked at the attendance figures, pretty much every barn was filled to capacity yesterday including Florida, Dallas.

      • Loonie says:

        And yet some people think league revenue will decrease and the cap will remain in that $60-$70 million range. Holding in my laughter.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Mrytle wrote an article stating that with a steady growth period (as in the last deal) the high end of the cap could hit $90M by the 8th year. That’s a lot of ifs but still…

          How long before today’s cap of 64.5M will eventually become the floor?

          As for last night’s game, the biggest issue for me was boredom. The only Habs that I remember playing were Emelin and Price.

  12. TorontoHabsFan says:

    I watched HNIC last night, and I sincerely hope they don’t stick with this new Hotstove panel. The thing that made the segment the best part of the program was that for once you had journalists instead of former marginal players. It was actually informative.

    Including Healy, Weekes, and Stock has weakened it dramatically.

    I mean Weekes seems like a nice enough fella, but last night he told us that, in his expert opinion, fitness is important.

  13. habs001 says:

    Well the Habs will be playing a Florida team that played on Monday…But in recent history the Habs have had a tendency to lose to teams when this happens…

  14. deen says:

    I am not happy if it is true that MB is offering PK under $3M for two years . I see this as a disrespectful offer and I truly hope the dollar amount relayed last night is nothing more than CBC BS!

    PK Please Sign

    • Sportfan says:

      Trust me its probably CBC bs never trust those idiots anymore

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • K-hab25 says:

      A 2 year 3mill deal is not disrespectful. Price and Pacioretty took less than that on their bridge contracts, while contemporaries were getting long term deals. Three is plenty for a guy with a whole 2 seasons under his belt.

      • deen says:

        I see the PK situation differently as his first two years in the league have proven to us the value he immediately brings both directly and indirectly to the Habs. He is arguably one of the league’s most exciting players with star level attributes and this should be taken into careful consideration. There are not too many players in the world that can suppress Crosby’ s forechecking and yet PK does it with confidence. it is a given he has the skills and no excuse attitude we need on our team. The value of PK in my opinion is higher than $3M/yr and I think his team mates with the sincere goal of winning would agree.

        PK Please Sign

  15. Psycho29 says:

    The only thing worse than being a Habs fan this morning is being a Canuck fan.
    A 7-3 loss and Luongo had to relieve Schneider….

  16. ed lopaz says:

    so who are these players that don’t like PK in the room?

    Price? absolutely not. He shows after every win that he and PK are working together with that low five stuff they do.

    Who then?

    Gionta, Cole, Gorges? I don’t think so.

    So haters out there, I’m asking YOU to let us in on your secret information.

    Who, in the Habs room, has a problem with Subban??

    • Psycho29 says:

      Sorry…all the people with the inside scoop are sworn to secrecy…
      It usually comes from the sister of a friends best friends’ brother-in-law’s plumber….

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If your referring to me Ed, I am not a hater in the least. But seems there is something going in that room. When I saw Gio and Gorges interviewed a few days back, I was surprised they didn’t say more in defence of PK. I could be way off base how I am reading that.

      • deen says:

        Then it is Gio and George’s role as our captains to clean up the locker room situation fast! For bloody sakes they make it sound like our team is made up of a bunch of jealous high school girls!

        PK Please Sign

    • Loonie says:

      There’s usually a few guys on each team that don’t necessarily like each other but this has been blown WAY out of proportion.

      I’m sure there are guys in the room who don’t like Therrien, guess he shouldn’t have been hired. There’s probably a couple of players who don’t really like Max Pacioretty, let’s get rid of em.

      They need to get along and pick each other up, that’s all.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        So then why haven’t they settled on a contract yet? It is way too obvious how skilled PK is, the team can easily justify an exception for PK and avoid the much ballyhooed “bridge” contract and get a deal done.

        I find it hard to believe money is even remotely the issue here. Don Meehan isnt stupid, he knows that Montreal has cap issues and it doesn’t help PK’s career if the new contract handicaps Montreal from having cap space in the future.

        • Loonie says:

          Montreal’s future financial flexibility isn’t Meehan’s responsibility though. His job is to get his clients the most money possible when the opportunities present themselves as it’s Bergevin’s responsibility to be the best team possible on the ice at the lowest possible cost.

          Presuming that there’s a mutiny against Subban in the room is no less ridiculous than the possibility that Bergevin is stonewalling Meehan in an effort to paint Subban as a problem so that he can trade him without backlash.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            At this point I suppose anything is possible.

          • Loonie says:

            Fair enough I suppose. What I do know is without a deal right now, both sides deserve blame and accountability, not just one. And if no deal is struck in the near future it will again be the fault of both sides. The character assassination on Subban to this point has been awful.

    • Habs_4_ever says:

      I don’t claim to have any inside information but from what I can observe as a fan I would say that Markov and Plekanec are not big fans. It may just be that he is a lot more popular with the/some fans (myself included) than with his teammates.

      ————————
      “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    Completely off topic, I really like the new Nike golf commercial with Tiger and Rory. Well done.

  18. Strummer says:

    Kovalev and Theodore were outstanding last night.

    What year is this???

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  19. gumper says:

    Here are a couple of things I believe to be as plain as the nose on your face.
    1. It is unrealistic for Habs fans to believe that this year’s version of the team will be much better than last year”s. If you consider the additions, (Boo, Prust and Armstrong) and the subtractions (Darche, Campoli), and put that together with the promotions (the Gallys) it does not add up to a major step forward. If things go well (first line continues at same pace as last year, new kids perform to, or beyond expectations, team stays healthy) a modest improvement might be expected.
    2. Without PK this defence rises to the level of ordinary. With him it rises to the level of above average. Getting him on the ice as soon as possible should be a priority of the team is to make the playoffs. If Bergevin is truly looking at this as day two of the next five year plan, he must remain open to the possibility of either signing or trading PK.
    3. The team, as is, is not even in the same area code as the true Stanley Cup contenders, and may even be further removed than the hated Leafs. While this is a bitter pill to swallow, it is what it is.
    4. The team we saw last night is pretty much the team we will be watching all year, and we could possibly be looking at a team that is as bad as any in recent (past two decades) history. Again, a bitter pill to swallow, but it is what it is.

    Having said all this, if everything falls into place, we could be pleasantly surprised….just not betting the farm, that’s all.

    • Loonie says:

      I’m not sure this group of defensemen is above average with Subban. I have the opinion that this defense group is among the bottom five in the NHL without him though.

  20. Sal from the Hammer says:

    Look, this team is not winning anything this year, PK or no PK. That being said, let’s be clear, in a short season they could make some noise. I just think that with a line and a half, and some sandpaper in the line-up, and the defense with Kaberle as a top four, it’s a long shot at best. BTW, sign PK, short term, long term, I don’t care, SIGN HIM, NOW!!!

    The future of the Habs is playing in Hamilton., and elsewhere. Beallieu, Tinordi, Gallager, who might play on Tuesday, but, should be returned to Hamilton asap, Galchenyuk, should be returned to Junior after five games. Ellis, Holland, Bournival, Colberg, Kristo, Pateryne, the list goes on. They MUST be allowed to develop. Development and patience, is just commonsense. LA, St. Louis, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and possibly Edmonton come to mind as teams that were very bad for many years. They built from the draft, and now they are all in a position to be contenders for years.

    There are exceptions, the Islanders come to mind, Edmonton struggles despite three straight first picks, but, it could be argued that they lack strength in key areas that still must be addressed, such as defense, and/or, goaltending. The Leafs, and Burkie, are proof that trying to circumvent the draft and build winners, because “the fans DEMAND it”, or, the “fans won’t wait”, is a fools game.

    There are teams, that defy the odds. One team that comes to mind is Philly. However, their struggles with goalkeeping, since the unfortunate loss of Lindgren, are legendary. Obviously, Detroit was/is an elite team, but, I think we can all agree that they built a winner through excellent drafting ,and, they are still reaping the benefits of a core group that is/was the envy of the league. In addition, because they built that core, they have had the luxury of developing their prospects in the right manner. To this point, he Habs have the benefit of having Carey Price, Team Canada’s next number one choice. and I would argue, PK, a possible Norris trophy in waiting. BG’s legacy picks. Trevor Timmins and staff, have done their homework, and, as a result, the cupboard is full of potential.

    Therefore, this year is what it is, a team in a holding pattern that needs to stay the course, or find themselves in a perennial list of losers, and also-rans. Despite some successes, BG and PG did a ton of damage to this team in a short period to time. We don’t have to litigate that nightmare again. BG completely miscalculated of direction of the league. The Bruins win in 2010-11 put an end to the prospect of a league of skill and speed. Plus, the NHL endorsed that style, (Goon Hockey), to support it’s ambitions in the US. It will take time and above all patience to undo that damage. So MB, et al, pulease, do not succumb to the temptation to jump the gun. The Leafs/Laffs, are a joke for a reason.

    Nevertheless, even this team should be better prepared to beat the Laffs in a home opener. Do not want to jump the gun quite this early. MT said he learned a thing or two since he last coached. Prove it, MT, prove it!!

  21. frontenac1 says:

    Hey anybody see that laser of shot from the point by Souray last night? Sigh………..

    • Sal from the Hammer says:

      I saw it. Guys got an abolute cannon for a shot!! BG lost him one year, and Striet the next because, he doesn’t negotiate contracts during the season. The guy is a dinosaur. See my comments above. BG did a ton of damage over his tenure.

  22. TorontoHabsFan says:

    I watched parts of five games yesterday, and man..did they ALL look awful.

    Maybe preseason isn’t completely useless!

  23. CanadienBoy says:

    So Edler sign for 6 year at 30 mil.. now where that put PK at

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    Gomez travels with San Jose to Calgary no contract yet.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=414055

  25. Stevie.Ray says:

    Are the Habs practicing today? I think they should be. Not going to find their legs sitting at home.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Some one posted earlier Mike gave them the day off?! WTF! Unless of course it is to watch some Football at Chez Paree, to get their precious bodily fluids going.

  26. joeybarrie says:

    WOW.
    Lose 2-1 to the Leafs in the first game after a lockout.
    Very impressive we already know how the season will go. We will end up in last place.
    Top line is already useless, trade em all.
    PK would have saved the game and the season already.

    We took stupid penalties, it takes time to get back in to NHL game mode.
    They got lucky on Kadri’s goal IMO, as Price misjudged it. But Price played great.
    We had a hard time creating offense, just like last season. We do have a new coach who has had a WEEK to prepare.
    We need more offense and our top line didnt click like it did last season. BUT ITS THE FIRST GAME.
    This sprint season will be our challenge, as we have kinks to work out, and no time to do it.
    BUT HOCKEY IS BACK, AND IT WAS ONLY THE FIRST GAME.
    Lets see where it goes.

  27. Mark C says:

    5 years @ $5.25M AAV for Lupul, that is a ton of term and coin, for a player who has had only one 70+ game season since 2006-07. He’s got a really checkered injury history and last season is the only season he’s been likely worth $5M+. Some things haven’t changed in Laff land…

  28. HardHabits says:

    The game was lost on speciality teams. Plain and simple. 2 goals against and 1 goal for was the difference. During their power plays the Habs couldn’t set up in the Leafs zone because whoever was holding the blueline couldn’t handle the back pass. Habs got out hit but dominated the face-off circle.

    No need to panic. It’ll be a lot easier to Tank™ a 48 game season than an 82 game one. It’s not a last place team will make the jump to the play-offs in one season with a few tweaks here and there.

    As for the so-called top line. The Habs have never had a top line play two seasons with the same numbers. I don’t see that changing this year either. Time to break up the DD-Patches-Cole line.

  29. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Can I coin the phrase “Losin’ for Drouin”?

  30. Chrisadiens says:

    Twitter rumor:

    Detroit putting in offer sheet for PK. 5yrs for 30million.

    Grain of salt required…

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  31. Strummer says:

    In the words of C. Price- “CHILL!”

    Everyone take a breath.
    Of the Habs top six forwards last night Cole hasn’t played since last April, Gionta for a year, and MaxPac played all of 5 games in the Swiss League.

    Half your top six are a tad rusty.

    Is Plecs fully recovered form his lockout injury?

    Add to that a new coach and no training camp or pre-season tune-up matches the team did well to lose by one goal to a team that dominated them for most of the game.

    They also missed PK but he hasn’t played since last April either so I’m not convinced he wouldn’t also have shown some rust.

    _____________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  32. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Got tickets – Wed. March 13th vs. Ottawa…c’mon March Break!

  33. Bim says:

    Are there any restrictions on how long a restricted free agent can sit at home without a contract? If not..it may not be a bad idea at all to leave PK there for this year (not that he’s going to make that much of a difference anway). This way you can deal with the salary cap issue next season without pissing PK off by not giving him the number of years he wants for a contract. There’s obviously going to be some big changes in the off season here which will affect their salary cap and once all of the teams have gone thru another year they will have some time to talk trade in the off season.

  34. frontenac1 says:

    Where’s nuna?

    • HabFab says:

      Poor Nuna, he will be back…
      Shows up for a month or 2…
      Then disappears for a couple or so…
      Then back again.
      This has been repeating like clockwork for about 4 years.
      Where he goes…only the shadow knows!
      Why…all subjective ;)

  35. SmartDog says:

    I hope PK really enjoyed watching the game with his mom and dad from Toronto. Ironic after having just gone through a battle with the ‘greedy’ owners, PK is at home holding out for more money.

    The Subban family should go over to the Lindros’s to watch the game together.

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

  36. ooder says:

    given the fact Therrien has not had alot of time with the team this is what I think…
    there was absolutley not strategy to their game, the leafs it was obvious how they get out of the zone and relieve the pressure. the habs were sluggish to get out of their zone, unable to sustain any type of pressure in the o zone and looked lost all night. they might have had about 3 scoring oppurtunities…
    not impressed :s
    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  37. Bim says:

    I guess I was very naive thinking things were going to be different this year after the lockout…wrong! That game was woefully boring. Leafs dominated whenever it counted which does not bode well for the bleu blanc et rouge. Galley does derserve a shot but I thought he did not set the world on fire last night. More time developing as a pro would be the best for him and habs. Therefore I cannot see him staying past the 5 games. This team is a bad team at best and if I were MB I would be concerned about destroying his confidence because they lose all the time. The best thing about this year is that its only 48 games and then its draft time…and #1.

  38. Habfan10912 says:

    This is a bit of a rant due to my PK bias so I apologize in advance. Some recent post suggest that PK may not be well liked in the locker room. I’d ask people to remember the Chara attempted murder incident (OK I blemished a bit) and the teams lack of response. How bout the number of games last season where most of the team didn’t show up showing clearly a lack of effort. Perhaps some are being critical of the wrong person here. Maybe the issue is the “others” in the room. You know, the underachieving, under performing, floaters in the room. Maybe Cammy was right when he talked of a losing environment in the room. I doubt he was talking about PK. I can understand how they might resent PK and his come to play every night attitude.

    I have no idea if he is or isn’t or what is going on in the negotiations. Is he asking too much? Is MB low balling him? I don’t think any of us know for sure but it’s interesting reading everyone’s opinions. My opinion, we are a better team with him in the lineup.
    End rant.
    ———————————–

    • ooder says:

      if people don’t like PK in the room then they need to look themselves in the mirror.. the kid has raw skill and brings it every game

      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      I agree we are a better team with him. That’s tough to dispute. I can’t believe that MB is low balling him though. When I think back to players who held out and missed games during negotiations they wanted absurd money (Doughty) or wanted to be traded (Turris). That isn’t to say I think PK is considering a trade, but I think it’s him and his agent responsible for the hold out.

  39. doug19 says:

    The tourch thing was touching but out of place. Henri Richard has very good reasons for moving slow, why did the team on the ice emulate his speed and navigation? There are too many old habs now with fat salaries on the ice,the simple truth.

  40. commandant says:

    I think we all need some humor in our lives this morning….. my memos to hockey fans after game one.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/01/20/memo-to-hockey-fans-after-game-one/

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  41. lakechamplain says:

    Now for my rant on HNIC.
    First up, their A-team announcers were fine. Maybe trying to squeeze in too many player-interest stories during play but nice terse play by play and good analysis. Only cheap shot I noted was when he said that maybe Emelin couldn’t see the puck(that skipped over his stick) because he was wearing a face mask.
    Now as for DON CHERRY. Does anyone, from Ron McClean(sp?) to the producers of Coach’s Corner, have the balls to tell him no? I read a piece on TSN.com that HNIC was going to visit every city to spread it out, if you will. Of course the same article mentioned that there would be more of Cherry. So when his segment came on my friends and I were hoping, hey, maybe he’s changed. Yeah, right. It’s GroundHog Day.
    Same old, Same old. Opening day/night of hockey for a hockey-starved nation, so many good story lines to pursue, and what do they have. Over a fricken minute and a half of massaging his EGO with his game? Do we need this crap? McClain lost his spine and another part of his anatomy to Cherry long ago, but it still hurts to see him afraid to stand up to Cherry’s bully-boy tactics. And dammit, it had been so long that I’d forgotten that this segment is really called Coach’s Corner in Toronto. Let’s spend over half the time on kicking Brian Burke when he’s gone down. Oh yeah, he brought in all those “Americans, Finns, and Swedes”, not the good Canadian boys that are the best in hockey everywhere. If Canada had won the WJC’s they would’ve had the jingo bells out trumpeting that our programs are the best(without I’m sure noting the ‘lockout’ players Canada had). But 4th? Oh, it’s because we groom players for the NHL(including fighting which those wimps over there don’t do enough). And finally a dig on all those good Canadian men who play in the NHL and should’ve waved the white flag and given into the owners from the gitgo. He’s probably just ticked off that he missed his network-star time all those Sat. nights. If it weren’t for Donal Fehr the player’s union would’ve pretty well be rendered useless.
    You know, it’s really sad. If the people who produce this show had the courage to stand up to this guy and keep him under control, the show could actually be good. And if you keep giving into a bully his behavior only get’s worse. Don Cherry is pathetic.

    • Danno says:

      Don Cherry is a lot like Stephen Harper.

      Maybe that’s why the CBC won’t touch him.

      ________________________________________

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

    • doug19 says:

      We are trying to teach our children and grand children not to be bullies. What does the CBC do for hockey but glorify a bully who’s hockey skills were zip. He should zip his mouth and just sit there like a mascot to past mistakes so I can turn the sound back up!

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      You guys and your hate for Cherry are just ridiculous. You AND your friends thought he might have changed? Holy Hell, did you expect the habs to push for first place too? If McClean stood up to Cherry, who do you think would be the first to be fired? I know you folks hate this guy, but the rest of the country seems to love him, and watch coaches corner for his personality. Not for being an all-star player or coach. And finally I think you’re misinterpreting his comments. He’s not saying they should have given up from the get-go. Cherry was behind the players but he was taking a shot at the guys who left to let the others fight their battle. I can agree with that. Not like they were negotiating while playing in the SEL or KHL. I think he disliked the fact that the players didn’t win anything in the negotiations but the owners won several small battles.

  42. The Dude says:

    First game of the year for St Lou and a shut out for Halak :)

  43. sherburnehabfan says:

    I think Galley would be better with linemates with some more size. This is not a knock on Pleks or Gio. How about Galley with Eller and Bourque?

    ____

  44. Timo says:

    Yawn. I preferred it when there was no NHL hockey. I am weak.

  45. lakechamplain says:

    300+ comments in here; now here is my take:
    First, we need to step back and take a breath; our high, unrealistic hopes crashed into reality. It’s gonna take time.
    OK, IMHO, the good news:
    1) Price was excellent; he earned his pay last night. Can’t judge consistency and shootout performances yet of course but that was a positive, confident performance.
    2)Emelin is good. He delivers hits, and they’re heavy and clean and
    is quietly effective.
    3)I thought Rene Bourque played better last night than he played all last year. When he was moved to the 2nd line they started to make things happen.

    Now a few constructive criticisms:
    1)Our forwards cannot create space in the offensive zone. Stickhandling, moves, quickness, strength; for whatever reasons they can’t get around or by opposing players to create good shooting opportunities. Even when they had a territorial edge last night in the 3rd period it was all perimiter stuff. And how many odd man rushes did they generate from the neutral zone? Raise one hand and start counting. Simply put, they need better forwards.
    2)Our centremen cannot Win Faceoffs! Nice stat the play by play guy noted last night: Plekanac led the Habs in FO’s last yr. with a 50% win ratio. That’s pathetic. These cost them so many chances.
    3)Speaking of centres and why not of Galchenyuk at the same time.
    Deharnais is the epitome of class, hard work, and achievment; his quickness and unselfishness generate opportunities. BUT, his size simply can’t be overlooked; he’s simply not a #1 center. Time and again last night he was either stopped or checked off the puck in the offensive zone. Plekanac is good but there’re quite a few #2 centers better than he is. For Eller it’s time to deliver or be delivered to another team. You know what; even Kovalev at his age could control with stickhandling better than these 3. Segue to Galchenyuk: this organization needs to be grooming him to play center. Our offense will always be seriously lacking until this issue is addressed. Oh yeah, he should be sent down; yes he had some nice moments last night but was clearly overwhelmed much of the time. I don’t know if he’d have to go back to Sarnia or could go to Hamilton but let him succeed. Yes, he could play at this level but we want him to shine, and that won’t happen up in the bigs yet. Remember when Pacioretty first came up and lit it up? When he was sent down he matured and developed skills and confidence to become the player he is today.
    4)PK needs to be signed or traded within 2 weeks. He’s a potential star of course but not significantly better than others at his level who’ve taken the ‘bridge’ contract. I’ll bet his teammates wish him all the money he can get, but with this season the longer this squabble continues it’ll be costing them money by not making the playoffs. I say give Edmonton a call and see if they’d trade either Eberle, Hall, or Nugent-Hopkins straight up. Probably they’d say no in about a minute but at least it could send a message to you know who.

    And let’s not jump the gun but for those of you mentioning draft and lottery already(!), remember the system is supposed to radically change this year.
    Looking forward to Tuesday night.

    • JF says:

      I agree with much of what you’re saying here, but I think it’s a bit soon to dismiss our forwards as not good enough. They seemed to have no space last night; they have to find ways to create it. All of them looked rusty; let’s see what happens on Tuesday.

      About Galchenyuk: if he could be sent to Hamilton, that might be best, but unfortunately he can’t be; it’s either Sarnia or Montreal. I’m not sure that he has anything left to learn in Sarnia or that he could further his development there. Bergevin will have to see how he looks after a couple more games and make a decision.

      I wouldn’t trade Subban for any of those Oilers you mention. The only one who would tempt me is Taylor Hall, and he has so far in his career looked injury-prone. But our defence absolutely needs Subban.

    • rhino514 says:

      Agree with most of your post. Price was great. That bodes well. Bourque showed some life so that is a good sign. And, yes, Galchenyuk has to play at centre if he is going to stay on the team. P.S. I think, however, that Plekanec is a decent top six centre. I like DD as well, but if the kid stays i´d rather see him or even eller on the wing and the Kid at centre. Playing an extended time on wing doesn´t help the team and doesn´t really help him.

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    So there is that old adage out there about Where there is smoke, there is usually fire.

    None of us know what really is the deal with PK as it relates to him in the room with the players. I have heard all kinds of stories, in fact a friend of mine is coaching a hockey team here in the GTA and PK has been helping out for a few months. So the stories I heard from him were first hand, of course that really doesnt mean anything.

    What really matters is if this team as a whole can find a way to all get along, they don’t all have to be best friends away from the rink, but they all have to have enough respect for each other that no one is on the ice in a scenario where there backs aren’t covered.

    I wonder if perhaps there needs to be an informal get together. My list of people invited would be, PK Subban, Brian Gionta, Mr. Beliveau and Marc Bergevin.

    These 4 people need to have a closed door meeting where all the air is cleared and all things talked about. After this meeting is over MB and PK need to look at each and decide if they want to play together or not. To me it is really this simple.

    Nobody can deny the incredible talent which PK brings to this team and what he is capable of bringing in the future. What really seems to matter is if they can all truly understand where each side is coming from and find out whether they can all respect each other and most importantly respect the CH.

    • Timo says:

      “I wonder if perhaps there needs to be an informal get together. My list of people invited would be, PK Subban, Brian Gionta, Mr. Beliveau and Marc Bergevin.”

      Are you thinking what I am thinking? Bowling?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        haha, touche Timo.

        • Ron says:

          Burly, from your talk with your friend and your comments about a pow wow with a few Habs people, one including Big Jean, it would appear you are leaning to wards dressingroom problems and abit of should I say not as much respect for the CH as one would think he should. Since you did post it can you elaborate more ?

          • habstrinifan says:

            “abit of should I say not as much respect for the CH”.

            WOW!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            To me it seems obvious that PK is not popular in the room with the guys. I think he personality is different than hockey players are used to, and what coaches are used too. I don’t say this in a bad way, but PK brings a brash style, a cockiness and a chatter to his game that perhpas others are uncomfortable with.

            I think both sides or at least one side (other players) are misreading PK as arrogant rather than cocky. There is a difference, and I don’t think PK has enough empathy for the others in the room to understand why they are getting rubbed the wrong way.

            I actually think PK has faced challenges his whole life in hockey and has dealt with it head on, by saying to himself and the world, that I am better than you. And he has done so at virtually every level he has played.

            But he is now on the biggest stage and both sides need to understand each other.

      • doug19 says:

        You have the answer bowling again,it worked before!

    • habstrinifan says:

      “What really matters is if this team as a whole can find a way to all get along, they don’t all have to be best friends away from the rink, but they all have to have enough respect for each other that no one is on the ice in a scenario where there backs aren’t covered.”

      I wonder if perhaps there needs to be an informal get together. My list of people invited would be, PK Subban, Brian Gionta, Mr. Beliveau and Marc Bergevin.”

      So W(hy)TF have I been getting the vibes that you think I am full of BS with my posts. One hundred percent I agree with you and think that this team NEEDS that meeting. One hundred percent. And they need it if P.K stays with the team OR NOT! There is (from all that’s apparent in my humble but firm opinion) a real need to have this team look and act like the country song about the NHL “you touch one of us, you touch us ALL”.

      As you kindly always say to me CHeers!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I am not sure I disagree with you, perhaps I have just not always been clear with what your point was. I do think you and I are on the same wavelength as it relates to PK though.

  47. Mike Bone says:

    It’s strange to me to hear people slagging Markov and saying he’s lost it. The guy was the only one with a smooth breakout pass, and he looked like he might actually revive Kaberle on the power play. Sure he’s not the fastest guy on the ice, but he’s never been one for blazing speed. He’s got smarts and good positioning and experience. He has a lot of value.

  48. CCL says:

    It’s the same team as last year. They brought in two so called tough guys that’s not going to help on the score board and a 18 year old Kid. the only difference right now. we’re healthy. wait till we start getting injuries. we’ll be looking at 13 spot in the eastern division for the rest of the season. I agree with IAN. this is our training camp for 2013-2014 and we have nowhere to go but up from there …..

  49. wjc says:

    Things I noticed: Boycott of hockey was dismal failure, the joint was rocking.

    The cry to pay ‘Subban’ whatever he wants, seems the opposite of what fans were saying during lockout….’ it is the owners fault, they don’t have to sign these big contracts’….truly a head scratcher.

    You will not be able to draw any conclusions about the Canadiens until the first 10 games are played, if they are 6 and 4 or 5 and 5, they will be in the thick of things.

    Price was sharp, the game was sloppy, no other player for Montreal stood out.

    Gomez will start his comeback, somewhere else, just admit you were wrong (not likely)

    Price was kept, so maybe it wasn’t a mistake.

    Sad fact of life, the more good players you get, the less chance you have of affording them, the more they will leave to sign somewhere else, the more you will have to fight to maintain a high position because good players will leave for the dollar and higher your standing the less chance you have of drafting high, so you come down to earth…….thud.

    Doan said ‘the league has to be strong in order for the players to have security.

    Gulleit (previous Montreal owner) said, he does not expect Quebec to get a team because of lack of corporate sponsors (buying up the corporate boxes) for the year.

    Montreal will have a hard time attracting free agents in the future.

    Reason’s, the country thing, language issues, taxes, crazy fans, crappy winters, frenzied media (always looking for a scandal) and the way previous free agents treated. Traded in middle of season (Gainy would not do this) ran out of town, boo birds (booing Price in pre-season game)…remember chill out. If you try to shrug off a slump, you are accused of not trying. If you cry, you are accused of not being tough enough….ugly place sometimes.

    wjc

    • ooder says:

      I agree with a lot of what you said… the habs will not be succesful until they start looking for the best available coach and not the best available coach who also speaks french

      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  50. Prust for PM says:

    The NHL Network announces the reduction of The Original Six to The Original Four; 41 minutes into their daily game recap broadcast before the Leafs-Canadiens game is mentioned. You know the Habs are in for a long night when Markov plays 24:08 and has 0 shots on goal. Whereas the official game scoresheet had Montreal winning 62% of face-offs we are left to wonder why it looked like the Leafs had the puck 62% on all NON-face-off play.

    The Canadiens’ Marketing team ought to be looking for sponsorship from a manufacturer of “Low T” elixirs. Lack of truculence, lack of testosterone. If the 3 “new” guys are sandpaper they must be fine grit. Unfortunately the Habs need course grade sandpaper. Query of the night: Is it good or BAD when Rene Bourque is your hardest working skater…?!

    The Least Dane gave us 12:33 of Worst in Show performance though it must be said that the Canadiens’ Fitness staff saw a widespread outbreak of Kennel Cough at the Bell last night. Worse, there was bleu-blanc-rouge bark-let alone bite. Can we mail-in the rest of this season and take another 9 months off? Better yet, let’s have 23 more Habs Legend ceremonies…with free hot dogs, chips, and soda every night. Call the post-ceremony activities Dog Shows. “Twenty years. Twenty LONG years…and counting.”

    Cannonading drive!!

  51. Timo says:

    I am going to start “Bring Gomer back!” campaign.

    After a game like last night you need a good guy in the dressing room.

    • wjc says:

      Timo, or to at least get the blueline using skating and speed with the puck, to back up defenders. It could have worked, if not for the ‘M’ word and the CBA forcing Bergevin to make the move early.

      wjc

  52. habs001 says:

    Hey the Habs are 9th in the conference and 19th in the league per tsn standings lol…still in the playoff hunt…The DD line last year had a great unexpected year yet the team struggled to score…I dont believe Plecks will equal his best scoring years but will settle into a 50 point player….Eller is going to be 24 in may and has had some great games but has never been able to maintain consistent play and seems to lack the scoring instincts that couldn elevate his goal scoring beyond a 15-18 goal scorer that he has been at every level of hockey the last 6 years..

    • Timo says:

      I’ve maintained it all along about Eller… he will NOT be nearly as good as some people think he is. He really reminds me of Pouliot – some flashes of talent but nothing to show for it. And it is not because he is not being given first line center ice time. He hasn’t been showing much of anything in most of the games. Yesterday he was completely invisible, like so many other night.

      Pleks just seems full of himself… smooth talking, saying all the right words but does very little on the ice, a-la Cammalleri. And again, it’s not the linemates. Being paid 5 mil per you are supposed to make your linemates better, not the other way around.

    • Loonie says:

      Again with this 15-18 goal thing. I’m curious how you’re quantifying his potential. Any advanced metrics or is this just a gut feeling based on his early production as a fourth and third line centreman with almost no powerplay opportunities and a logjam at centre during his time here?

      You can point to his point totals. That’s fine, but it’s short sighted and quite frankly silly to cap his potential for production based on two years in checking roles without much situational ice-time like the powerplay to evaluate from. And let’s not forget that he hasn’t had linemates better than Kostitsyn and Moen for any noteworthy period of time while in the NHL.

      Again, I believe this is your eye test for his ceiling. Funny thing about development at the pro level is that finding consistency is what it’s all about. And two years in a checking role doesn’t exactly nurture the ability to develop offensive consistency.

      • habs001 says:

        I hope you are right…Eller has looked good in making moves and getting himself into good scoring position many times last year but he looks lost 10 feet from the net and most times makes the wrong decision…After his 4 goal game i believed maybe he figured it out how not to just get into scoring position but finish but has no been the case so far…

        • Loonie says:

          I’m not right about Eller because I’m not making predictions for him. If I were to make a prediction for him it would be that he’s currently ready to take Plekanec’s role or that it would be fair to evaluate his offensive game this season if he’s given offensively capable wingers.

          He was better than Plekanec in the real time stats department last season by creating more turnovers per minute played and inflicting more checks per minute played which is an indication that he isn’t out of place as you suggest, unless you believe that Plekanec is out of place more often.

          He was behind Plekanec in points per minute played both at even strength and on the powerplay. But that’s to be expected considering the quality of linemates and the kind of ice-time he was receiving. Plekanec didn’t have the best of the best but he had Gionta early and Bourque late.

          Eller had Kostitsyn and Moen early and was doing very well(funny enough that’s a comparable circumstance that Plekanec had all season). Late in the season he was with Blunden and Darche. That’s a pretty good explanation for offensive decline in my opinion.

          Without the opportunity to produce offensively we can’t judge players’ potential in that aspect of the game. Or rather can’t do it with any hint of accuracy.

  53. Sportfan says:

    So last nights game was interesting there were to many times the puck would go to the blue line and the defender would lose it, thats what I felt anyway. Well like Boone said 47 more games to prove themselves haha.

    So question who started to play the game we coulda used PK there?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Captain aHab says:

      Sure…we could use PK Subban. my guess is that MB realizes that too. The fact he isn’t signed would seem to indicate to me that Team Subban is asking for a LOT of money/term or he would have been signed already.

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

  54. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I wouldn’t be worried, just yet, and I’ll tell you why…

    unless our players have regressed since last season, there is no way what we saw last night will be repeated or become the norm for this season. Not with this veteran group….

    here is a birds eye view of the mishap…

    The Good:
    Armstrongs role could be increased, elevated…kinda like that other leaf player we just had…Gionta was a leader and played fearless….the Prust line was our best line in every category, unlucky on that first goal…
    and thats about it…
    The Bad:
    lets start with Chris Lee, i knee we were in for tilted ice….the #1 line were timid, scared to get hit, scared to take chances…same deal with pleks and eller, played scared. …the D? why is Diaz even here? at least put weber, even the big haired dude from Buffalo…Kaberle is stuck in reverse, and georges has regressed in skill…Price made some good saves but he was very shaky, let out too many rebounds and was flopping around making simple saves into heart stopping events as he rolls back into the net in a panic… amateur

    in fact that kind of sums up our first effort…amateur.
    a remedy that is in the hands of the coach.

    other glaring notables:
    no rocket shot from the point = PK
    no charisma on ice to distract = PK
    no player capable of carrying the puck through Neutral zone=PK/Gom

    special mention to the ‘Prust Effect”… Brown is no punk, and Prust handled him with ease.. shows you what level we have in Prust.

    The N.A.G. effect remains the only path to success…

    • Sportfan says:

      I agree with you on some aspects (mainly the good) but I don’t feel Georges has regressed this is there first game of the season without much practiced they were much flatter than the leafs and yes I feel our d didnt have much of a threat on the point and the leafs knew that. Next game will be 100x beter

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

      • HAB-PROFESSOR says:

        the play when georgy fell over backward…that kind of did it for me, but he is a warrior.

        I agree, the D are no threat (in any category) and the supposed #1 forwards are not playing near potential.


        The N.A.G. effect remains the only path to success…

  55. Ian Cobb says:

    I just hope and wish for well played hockey.
    Even if we lose and play well I’m OK with that, but that performance last night was something else.
    But I really enjoyed watching Koivu play well last night.

  56. HabinBurlington says:

    I know he hasn’t looked great in his comeback attempt with Habs/Bulldogs, but would Commodore have looked better in that lineup last night over Diaz?

  57. Ferg says:

    Price looked very good, as did Gachenyuk, Prust and Markov. Gionta is too small for this league, Eller is too passive. Going to be a painful year but we are what we are, unfortunately. Maybe MacKinnon or Jones will be our reward.

    I want to talk about the annual opening ceremonies. I think the last 2 years have been very weak. God bless Messrs. Cournoyer, Damphousse, Richard and Beliveau, but we need to stop living in the glories of the past and come up with something that respects the great past but does not dwell on it so much. And please, enough with the torch theme! You know how they say if you live beside an airport you stop hearing the planes? Well this torch thing is becoming like that. Too many torch themed ceremonies. And please either bring the honoured guests onto the ice together, or better yet, put them in a private box or premium seats and have them stand and acknowledge the crowd. That’s it. I was sure Henri was going to do a face plant last night. Dangerous, corny and tired. Let’s move on.

    How about some music? And I mean something rousing like you would get at a halftime NCAA game, or some French-Canadian themed music, or some Celtic stuff. Just not so much with the ghosts and memories please!

  58. habstrinifan says:

    “I’m gonna coach the team through Gionta.”

    Another line to remember folks.

  59. SmartDog says:

    5 THOUGHTS:

    1. You can’t judge much about the team as a whole from last night. Timing was off (on both teams); reliable guys like Cole were losing the puck in their feet. Price looked good and to me that’s one of the best things I could hope for.
    2. Galchenyuk (sp?) looked good. He skates well, and took some good shots – almost scored on one. This is good news too.
    3. Kaberle still sucks. He just does. His offensive play is not that good, his defensive play is soft. Buy-out #2… PG’s stamp on this team still needs to be un-stamped. Bourque looked pretty good – let’s hope he at least has a better season.
    4. Offense could be an issue again (we all know this), but by the 3rd period the guys were syncing, the DD line started going, and I believe that the Plekanec line as it is will work. So give it a handful of games at least to see. On the downside, if this is the new era of ‘toughness’, our ‘tough’ line sunk us in the first 2 minutes. Sigh.
    5. The Habs do ceremonies well for sure. But I’d like to see the stats on their record following a long ceremony. My guess is ceremony = loss.

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

    • Danno says:

      Good report

      ________________________________________

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

    • twilighthours says:

      Re 4. If an interference penalty in the first minutes the game loses the game for you, then you really aren’t a good hockey team to begin with.

      • SmartDog says:

        I agree. I almost left this out. And that line did actually sort of score… but after that, they really didn’t have an impact.

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

    • The Cat says:

      Number 3 is so true, man does he suck!

      Number 5 is true of all home teams, ceremonies suck the life out of the crowd and the home team.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • New says:

      You are right. The team does ceremonies very well. They have been practicing for 20 years since they has any reason to celebrate or honor anything. And we cheer as if they did.

    • wjc says:

      Smart dog, 1 and 3 are contradictions, you can’t have it both ways.

      You say in one, timing off, players off Cole, Price a bright spot and 3 you accuse a player you dislike of sucking…are you allowing slack or not. All things being equal everyone was a little off in all area’s except goaltending.
      wjc

      • SmartDog says:

        It’s not a contradiction. What I mean is don’t be judging the season from this one game, or in general individual performances (especially for guys like Cole who have not been playing). But yeah, I’m singling out Kaberle because to me he just looked terrible, well below the other D. For a veteran coming in from playing in Europe that seem like a really bad sign and a legitimate worry. I only wanted him to seem ‘okay’ but he wasn’t.

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

      • SmartDog says:

        moved

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

  60. Timo says:

    Team is given a day off already. Wow. It’s good to be a hockey player.

    There is clearly nothing to work on.

  61. twilighthours says:

    Tom, as senior VP at team Tank, I’d like to thank you for expressing interest in joining our organization. We do have openings in senior management, and we will be in touch with regards to an interview. Your office – should you be a successful candidate – will be right down the hall from mine. The only downside to the job is that you will have to report directly to Hardhabits.

  62. habs001 says:

    It is not easy to generate scoring in the NHL when your backend consists of players who have minimal offensive talent and have real problems winning the blue line battle in the offensive zone…

  63. boing007 says:

    A rickety bridge at that.

    Richard R
    Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  64. nfldanchor says:

    The Habs always find a way to lose good players. Subban will be gone in a couple of years ,instead he should be a lifetime franchise player. Even Kovalev could have been signed to help in shootouts and the powerplay for a decent price. Patrick Roy left ,Guy Lafleur had to play with Rangers and Nordiques, Robinson went to L.A. , John Leclair , Tucker ,Desjardins ,Chelios ,Langway,Cammy,Theodore etc… The list goes on and on and that will continue to happen due to incompetence and mismanagement . So now you know why they haven’t won a cup since Patrick Roy left. P.K. is a franchise player but the fans and management will drive him away too instead of embracing him and letting him mature as a player and future star.

  65. Ian Cobb says:

    Like I said yesterday, this half season is only our training camp for next year.
    By then the old will be moved on to green pastures and the young will be getting to know which end of the ice Price is playing, under the new coaching style of Therrien and the other coaches, what’s their names?.

    It is going to be the longest half season we have ever witnessed.
    I am not sure if I want to witness the long rise from the ashes every game till spring. But I probably will.

    Oh my, somehow I saw us playing a better brand of hockey than that display last night!! I really don’t think that PK could have changed much around. There wasn’t even any discipline out there from our vets.

    • 69HABS says:

      Changing your tune so soon Ian?

      The other day you said it would be a good Half season for the Habs?

      • Bill J says:

        And weeks before that he said the lockout would cost the entire season, he’s human. Like you and me, he makes mistakes in his opinions.


        Go Habs Go!

        • Ian Cobb says:

          Bill! I never make mistakes my friend, you know that!
          I just hope and wish for well played hockey. Even if we lose and play well I’m OK, but that performance last night was something else my friend.

      • The Cat says:

        The only prediction you need is from me. Habs will make the playoffs.

        [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • Danno says:

      Maybe. And then again maybe not. Maybe PK could have prevented at least one of the Leaf’s goals. Then we would have had a 1-1 game going into overtime and a chance to win. Or PK could have assisted on the anemic power play and we could have won it in regulation. Who knows? But I think his absence was a big factor in our loss.

      ________________________________________

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

    • mrhabby says:

      It was only 1 game. These players have not played together for months. I agree with you about the old moving on. MB has to see what he has and it’s very much about charting a new course. If Habs get a great pic its still all good.
      The pk thing is tough there is only so much dough to go around.

    • wjc says:

      Ian, you are expecting too much, too soon…half the league will lose the first game.

      Get out from under that negative cloud, take a deep breath and repeat after me…..to early to draw any conclusions…..you will feel better it you repeat it 10 times in the mirror and stay off negative hockey sights.

      Keep it all in perspective, the next win will be Stanley cup talk, you got to love it.

      May all the wiggles and squiggles make sense to you. (kidding)

      wjc

  66. HabinBurlington says:

    RIP Stan the Man, from everything i saw, read on this mans career he reminded me of our own Mr. Beliveau. Seemed to be a man of class and elegance.

  67. Loonie says:

    Interesting thought about which defensemen in the NHL are currently better than Subban. My list……

    Chara
    Keith
    Kronwall
    Doughty
    Suter
    Weber
    Karlsson
    Timonen(probably gonna take heat for this one)
    Yandle
    Letang
    Pietrangelo
    Edler

    • Chris says:

      I actually agree with Timonen and pretty much all the guys on your list.

      The key question is whether Subban is appreciably better than guys like Dan Boyle (defensively yes, offensively probably not), Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, Marc Staal, Brent Burns, Brent Seabrook, John Carlson, Marc-Edouard Vlasic or Ryan McDonagh.

      You can make strong arguments either way. I wouldn’t give up Subban, but all of those guys have had equally good seasons offensively and all are as good or better defensively (with perhaps the exception of Carlson).

      • Mike Bone says:

        Tyler Myers could be considered for the list as well.

      • Loonie says:

        I didn’t include Hamhuis because he’s just good at everything, not great in any one area in my opinion. Same for Vlasic and Burns.

        I don’t feel Boyle’s better at this stage of his career and I think Bieksa is very overrated. Marc Staal in my opinion is a one dimensional player who benefits greatly from a defensive system and great goaltender as well as excellent teammates on defense.

        I still think it’s a bit too early on McDonagh. Comparable NHL time but he’s had as many ups and downs as Subban on a team of much better quality.

        Seabrook’s iffy for me because I’d love to have him on this team but I’m also of the opinion that Duncan Keith makes him a lot better ala Markov/Komisarek.

        • Chris says:

          I’m okay with guys that are good at everything.

          I think the thing that many of those guys have is a great understanding of the game. They don’t need to rely on physical gifts or a booming shot or anything like that because they are just so smart on the ice.

          Nicklas Lidstrom is perhaps a great example. Over the past 5 years or so, there weren’t many things in Lidstrom’s physical game that could be considered great: he was below average in the physical game, his speed had diminished, his shot wasn’t particularly hard (although he was other-worldly accurate at getting it through traffic) and he certainly did not block shots or clear the crease.

          But what he did do was think the game on a different level than all his peers. He didn’t need the Chara or Subban slapshot because he was such a heads-up player that his shots got through. I’m not trying to diminish Lidstrom’s greatness here…long-time HI/O folks are probably aware that I think Lidstrom is the greatest player of the past twenty years.

          In terms of Vlasic and Hamhuis, I mention them because I’ve seen numerous discussions as pointing out that those two guys played among the hardest defensive minutes of any NHL defencemen. They regularly see the other team’s top forwards, and they shut them down.

          I honestly don’t see enough of other teams to really form a concrete comparison of Subban vs. Vlasic or Subban vs. McDonagh. I do see enough of Subban to see a very special hockey player in the making that still has some maturation to do on the ice. I think that Bergevin also sees that player: he knows what Subban can do now, and is willing to pay him based on that.

          Paying a guy based on what you think he will do is a shell game. Sometimes it works out, but other times it doesn’t. Can we be absolutely certain that Subban has not peaked? I don’t think he has, but I wouldn’t bet my house on it.

          Bergevin is being asked to bet his house on it. I don’t blame him for being a bit hesitant, even while believing that Subban is a good player to bet on.

    • nfldanchor says:

      Thats your opinion and I don’t agree with you . P.K. can outskate all of those guys. Its the rest of the Habs that have to catch up. He is on one of the worst teams in the league last year unlike those you named. Its a team sport and not an individual sport. All those players have a better supporting cast than P.K . had the last two years . Real hockey fans know that!!

      • Loonie says:

        With as much respect as possible. If you think Subban is a better skater than Duncan Keith, I’m inclined to think you haven’t seen Duncan Kieth skate.

      • Chris says:

        Karlsson, for one, is a better skater than Subban. So is Brian Campbell, not on the above list but one of the most prolific point producers among NHL defencemen pretty much every year.

        Many NHL defencemen can outskate Zdeno Chara or Shea Weber. But they are better than all other defencemen because they are positionally smart (an area that Subban needs to continue to improve, but he’s already MILES ahead of where he was with Belleville in junior so I think he’s a fast learner!), and they know how to manage themselves to have energy for the entire game.

        Subban is a young kid that is obviously a “horse” on the ice. But he’s got to learn to pick his spots to show off his skating so that he does not unnecessarily waste energy on one of the 1 vs. 4 rushes that he so frequently took last season.

        A hockey game, and a hockey season, is better thought of as a marathon than a sprint. Usain Bolt would get clobbered trying to run the 1600 m race, let alone the marathon.

        Subban was as guilty as anybody on the team of running out of gas in the third periods, a big contributor to the team’s dismal showing in the final period of last year’s games.

        Montreal was tied for 8th in goals against in the first period.
        Montreal was 6th in goals against in the second period.
        But in the third period, they slumped to 22nd in the league.

        You can see the same trend in goals for. They were 13th in the first period, tied for 14th in the second period, but only 22nd in the third period.

        The third period meltdowns were part of the reason Montreal was in the lottery. As a guy who was playing 25 minutes a night, Subban was a big contributor to that. This is the single biggest area where he has some improvement to make if he wants to be mentioned in the same breath as the guys mentioned in the list above.

        • twilighthours says:

          Alternatively, Montreal brass could just get better defensemen on the roster so pK wouldn’t have to play 25-28 minutes a night.

          • Loonie says:

            Crazy idea.

          • Chris says:

            Agree whole-heartedly.

            But one of the justifications for paying Subban with a long-term deal and big money is that he plays equivalent minutes to the guys that are currently on those contracts.

            He only did that because of a complete lack of depth on the team.

            Fortunately, they do have the makings of a decent defensive core over the next 2-3 years that should relieve some pressure on Subban. If Beaulieu and Tinordi are as good as they seem to be, they can join Subban and Emelin on a defence corps that would have good size, mobility and a nice mix of offensive acumen, physical play and defensive presence. Throw in Gorges and another veteran and I think they will be quite alright.

        • New says:

          Yeah. I like to think he was trying to do too much rather than thinking about the alternative. PK has so much potential and is so great at the PR side but he is not in a class with the better D-men yet and is being surpassed by others. Meehan might be right about doing it now. Two years from now that opportunity might not be there. Which makes the Canadiens right for not biting …sigh.

    • Greg says:

      Two things about your list. You’re wrong about Edler and Timmonen. That leaves a list of 10. Allow Mr. Boone his tenuous inclusion of Tyler Myers (which is suspect Mike) and you have 11. With a 30 team league, if PK is the 12th best defenceman in the NHL, he’s worth big money.

      Second, which of course you know, is that this contract isn’t only paying for how good PK is, it’s paying for how good PK will be. PK has all the skills (puck-handling, offense, defense) to be an elite defenseman in the NHL. That’s what Meehan is focussing on. While Bergevin is likely desperately trying to come up with lists like yours. Unfortunately, neither Meehan nor I put much stock in them.

      • Loonie says:

        It’s a subjective list. In my opinion Timonen and Edler are better right now than Subban. I’d rather have Subban than both of them for different reasons. Timonen’s near retirement and Edler doesn’t bring much of a physical game. But today, I think they’re both better hockey players.

        • Habfan17 says:

          Karlsson has won the Norris and is making $5 million this season, 5.5 next, 6.5, then 7. Maybe he could get more, but this contract was also signed before the new CBA.

          Here is the link to check salaries.
          http://stats.nhlnumbers.com/teams/OTT?year=2013

          You have Marc Staal and Dan Giradi around $3,5 million each. Until Subban puts together a at least one more year where he improves and wins something, something around $4miilion/season for two years is fair. It is hard to compare those other salaries since they were signed before the new CBA and now the teams that gave all those big contracts might have to trade away some players they don’t want to. On top of that, the same guys here that say Subban is worth big money are the same guys that complained during the lockout that the owners were to blame for giving out those huge contracts. Now you want Bergevin to do what you gripped about.

          Habfan17

      • NCRhabsfan says:

        Ah Greg, I wasn’t aware you and Mr Meehan were confidants and that your counsel was so important. I guess that means poor Mr Bergevin had better just throw in the towel and give PK whatever he wants.

  68. CCL says:

    after looking at all the teams last night. The Habs will play 48 games this year. don’t expect anything more.

  69. habsfan0 says:

    Somewhere,somehow,Brian Burke was smiling last night.

  70. CHicoHab says:

    On his last stint on Sportsnet broadcast when lockout was over PK was asked. “what do you look forward to the most when you get back with the team” or something like that. PK’S response was “my first paycheck”…….Now does that tell us anything of what’s going on here?

    “take your time and hurry up”

  71. Loonie says:

    Bergevin and Subban playing chicken.

    Meanwhile, if I’m Bryan Murray with $25 million in cap space for next year and Alfredsson and probably Gonchar set to retire and no big money RFA or UFA players up for new contracts, I’m offering Subban $15 million over three years.

    Bergevin would be all but forced to take the draft picks or clear cap space. It would take the Habs’ best young defenseman off of the roster and it would be easily affordable from his end. The alternative being that Bergevin would be tying up more money than desired in Subban.

    I’m hoping he’s as nice of a guy as everyone says.

    • Chris says:

      If I were an NHL GM (and there a multitude of reasons why that would never happen), I would be very predatory with offer sheets if I’ve got a team that I think can be in the mix for a 20-30 draft pick each year.

      Forcing other teams into bad contracts makes their life hell, and eventually forces them to lose a player they would rather have kept. GM’s aren’t supposed to be nice to one another. They are supposed to be looking for ways to stick it to each other so that their team has the best chance of winning.

      • Bill J says:

        You could only be “predatory” every few years, as you would quickly run out of 1st round picks in order to make said offer sheets.

        You can’t assume the other team will always match.


        Go Habs Go!

        • Loonie says:

          Teams are going to match much more often than not. And anything under $6 million keeps you out of that ridiculous four first round draft picks compensation. Your point’s well taken though.

        • Chris says:

          You have to pick your spots. For example, Philadelphia should absolutely be dropping an offer sheet on Subban. They would be stupid to not do so.

          With their collection of talent, they should be good to go for the next 3-4 years, ensuring low first rounders each year. At that position, they aren’t going to find replacements for Timonen or Pronger, which they desperately need. So offer him a sheet (just below the $6 million mark) and, if he accepts, Montreal has no choice but to match it. You haven’t lost anything but some ill-will with Marc Bergevin, but he knows that it is a business.

          I’m not looking for offer-sheets that I know won’t be matched. I’d make ones that I know WOULD be matched, but forcing the team into a higher cap hit than they wanted to pay. You only send out the big boys for the guys you actually DO want.

          And if I’m Philadelphia, I put an RFA offer sheet in on Subban if this stretches to the summer.

          • NCRhabsfan says:

            It’s an interesting strategy, the problem being that it works both ways. I think the reason most GMs don’t play it that way is that they don’t want the others playing it that way with them. If you spend a lot of time dropping offer sheets on other teams’ guys, you can expect the other teams to be dropping offer sheets on yours.

            In addition it’s also a bit of a gamble that the other team does match your offer sheet; if they don’t you now have a player you really don’t want and don’t have a bunch of draft picks you do.

    • wjc says:

      Looney $15,000.000.00 over 3 seasons….not enough!

      wjc

  72. nfldanchor says:

    The difference is this game was that PK was not there. He has the best shot on the point and is the fastest of all Habs players. Infact he is their best player but yet they won’t pay him accordingly. The problem with the Habs has been they have been managed poorly over the last 10-15 years . I actually thought the Habs played well last night and can’t see why fans are already writing off the season. True fans don’t do that !!!!!! I have watched the great Canadiens for 38 years or more,since I was old enough to remember, and I still stick with them win or lose.Chill out and When Subban comes back they will be much better.

    • Cal says:

      Did you watch a rerun of the 93 Habs last night?

    • Mike Bone says:

      You’re kidding right? Subban could go for lunch in the time it takes him to wind up for a slapper from the point. He’s a very talented kid with lots of room to develop, but he’s not the best player on the team.

      And, if you think the Habs played well, you must have been watching a different game than I was. They barely completed a pass, the defense was overwhelmed by the speed of guys like Kessel and, as usual, there was little zone penetration and nobody in front of the net. When Brandon Prust is one of your most noticeable players, I wouldn’t call that “playing well.”

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      There is a difference between being a loyal fan and being delusional. That was a pitiful effort last night. If Price hadn’t played well they would have been out of it by the third period, the only period where they mounted any opposition at all. That “rally” netted them one goal and maybe two other decent chances. Unless a completely different team steps onto the ice for the rest of the season, Price will need shutouts to get any wins this year. In 48 games it is entirely possible this team will score less than 90 goals. They’re either under-sized or under-skilled.


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