Loss to Kings wasn’t a moral victory, Gionta says

The first time the Canadiens faced the Los Angeles Kings this season they were beaten 6-0 at the Bell Centre on Dec. 10.

In their second and final regular-season meeting, the Canadiens lost 2-1 to the Kings Monday night in Los Angeles.

A moral victory?

“No,” captain Brian Gionta told reporters in the Habs’ locker room after the game.

“We need points and we didn’t get any.” Gionta added after the Canadiens failed to gain any ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Canadiens remain second in the Atlantic Division with 75 points, two up on Tampa and three ahead of Toronto. The Lightning has two games in hand.

Said coach Michel Therrien: “Tonight we played against the best defensive team in the league and they showed it. They played a solid defensive game, and we ended up losing the battle of special teams.”

The Kings went 1-for-4 with the extra man while the Canadiens were 0-for-3 and had only two shots on goal.

The Canadiens continue their four-game West Coast road trip Wednesday night when they visit the Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690). They then travel to Phoenix to face the Coyotes on Thursday (9 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690) before wrappingup the trip Saturday in San Jose against the Sharks (10 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Kings edge Canadiens 2-1, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Habs’ loss to Kings not a moral victory, by Pat Hickey

Habs vs. Kings photo gallery, montrealgazette.com

Habs’ Price placed on injured reserve, NHL.com

Budaj a busy guy as the reliever, Canadiens.com

Habs’ postgame interviews (video), Canadiens.com

Fifth straight win for Kings, L.A. Times

Players in play at trade deadline, TSN.ca

How it feels to be traded, Sportsnet.ca

 

486 Comments

  1. Habcouver says:

    How’s MW’s francais?

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  2. Harditya says:

    What a waste. I am losing faith in Bergevin, that’s two god damn 5th round picks for Drewiske and a 5’9” defenseman.

  3. BJ says:

    Weaver 5’9????? Is thatto make the rest of our guys feel taller????? Or is one of our D’s getting traded?

  4. Sportfan says:

    If we get freaking Weaver can we send down or get rid of Bouillon

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  5. Mattyleg says:

    Weaver to replace the boys coming up from Hamilton.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • shiram says:

      He was obtained for a 5th round pick (2015), seems pricey for an old guy going to Hamilton.

    • Habcouver says:

      That hasn’t been suggested yet… but I like that idea.

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

    • The_Truth says:

      I agree, has to be a Bulldog depth move. He is a UFA though, so getting a rental for Hamilton is a useless move in the grand scheme. It’s only a 5th rounder, but basically we just threw that pick out the window. Not great.

  6. Stevie.Ray says:

    Montreal acquired Mike Weaver. You were worried MB would make the team worse by trading Markov? He found a way to do it with Markov. Expect Tinordi to be sent down?

  7. SmartDog says:

    Weaver is a Hab

    Small, 35 years old 7 goals in 530 games
    WTF?
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  8. Un Canadien errant says:

    When the Ottawa Senators traded away Ben Bishop to Tampa for Corey Conacher, I wasn’t impressed with their return. I know the kid had entered the league with a bit of a splash, but his pedigree didn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Sure, he’d had a couple of seasons in his career where he picked up more than a point a game, but I didn’t see a player who had one or two great skills, like a great shot or blinding speed.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=104827

    I thought I was being uncharitable, and that my bias against smaller players due to the Canadiens’ current situation coloured my perception of the trade. The Senators had given up a big rangy goalie, the flavour of the week in the NHL, for an undersized player. How would Mr. Conacher fit into the Sens’ scheme, did a heady guy with the puck have a role on a roster like that? Don’t everyone of their forwards have to scowl and mug like Chris Neil?

    Not every small player needs to be Marcel Dionne or Pavel Bure to contribute. The Canucks had some very good seasons out of Cliff Ronning, a smart quick player with great hands who was passed over by multiple teams at every level, but found a home in Vancouver, notably on a line with Sergio Momesso and Jim Sandlak. Maybe Corey Conacher could be similarly used in Ottawa.

    So in a way I’m not shocked that Corey Conacher was placed on waivers today by the Senators, but it’s a fair indication that they got meager returns for a goalie who is showing All-Star potential this season. I know there were roster considerations when they made the deal, they flipped him so as to not lose him, but the trade had landed with a thud in my mind, kind of like the Danny Kristo for Steve Thomas deal, one where you scratch your head and wonder why of all options would you choose this one.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • krob1000 says:

      I am bafled by botht he Corv o and Conacher moves….both are useful for the palyoffs IMO…a vet Rh pp capable dman? who the hell gives those away? A small bodied sparkplufg who creates havoc in opposing creases and can contribute offensively and still ahs room to grow his game and makes under a mill pers eason….on waivers??

    • CJ says:

      I think this is a fairly clear indication that these are the first two of what is likely to be multiple moves in Ottawa over the next 26 hours. The executive spoke very openly during the Business luncheon I attended last week that they were ready to go all in, with Melnyk giving Murray the green light to swing deals of his choosing.

      Murray, with two years remaining before leaving the GM post, is in a win now mode. Expect something big.

  9. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Dreger is saying Fla is closing in on a deal “involving” Weaver.

    Perhaps he’s a piece, but there is more involved that Dreger hasn’t been able to suss out?

    Otherwise, as I said before, has to be a minor league deal. No way he fits in.

  10. krob1000 says:

    Cory Conacher and Joe Corvo on waivers? at their contracts? why in the world would Ottawa do that? nobody would trade them a mid round pick for those guys? wow…that is surprising. COnacher on al ine with a couple of big bodies could be a spark and Corvo is still av et d who can help out either as a top pp pairing support guy or as your 2nd unit pp guy. He needs managed minuts at this point but he is not done IMO…very strange. I am guessing the rumours Sens are going to land Chris Stewart now hae a little more support.

    • Paz says:

      They’re dumping salary.

      • Paz says:

        And looking to make an expensive acquisition.

      • krob1000 says:

        Those guys make peanuts though…two roster guys that each make under a million per…both useful guys. They have to be confidentt they are making a significant addition or even two. I would nab both of those guys with the expanded rosters. Conacher gets his hands dirty like Gallagher. He could be the Gio replacement for very cheap. I know he is small but he is like Glly in his fearlessness around the net…I would be all over that.

  11. shiram says:

    John Shannon ‏@JSportsnet

    As @SNHockeyCentral at noon reported…good chance the cap next year doesnt get to 70 mil…for 1 simple reason…the 90 cent Cdn dollar.

  12. Paz says:

    Can’t wait for the new thread!

    ” Habs acquire Weaver in an effort to get older, smaller, and slower”

    • CJ says:

      The only and I mean ONLY possible thing about a potential deal that would make sense is if Bouilion was going the other way. Both UFA. Bouilion makes more ($1.5 vs $1.1 million). We could save $400k in cap space, prorated.

      Maybe enough to buy a new snowmobile.

      There is just no way we give up a draft pick for Weaver when we have a right handed defencemen (Pateryn) in Hamilton.

  13. mr_jmac says:

    I don’t understand all this talk of trading Eller. He is a RFA next year and his stats this year will allow Montreal to re-sign him at a very fair price for perhaps short term contract. This far outweighs what they could potential get for him by trading.

    Besides it is too early to give up on him.

  14. billylove says:

    Going to the game in San Jose on Sat. At this point just hoping it won’t be too ugly. Sad fact is that Habs simply don’t have the horses to compete at the top level. Yeah, they can hang around in lots of games with teams that have far superior talent and even steal a win now and then, but they are not a true contender as the vast majority here realize. Trades? Go for it! Really, how many guys in this group are too valuable NOT to be considered as trade prospects? Not many. That’s the good news. We have plenty of names to toss about in any trade discussion. The bad news? Any team with so few “too valuable to trade” assets is in need of way too much.

  15. joeybarrie says:

    “boing007 says:
    March 4, 2014 at 12:27 pm If MT and MB think that they have a good team, they are delusional.

    Richard R”

    Take a look at the standings. Take a look at how many games we have won. We are not a terrible team. What possible move can we make to instantly make this team considerably better?????

    We need to continue to move forward with our young talent. Giving away players for other problems and rentals make no sense.
    Do you think we can get Kesler for Bourque and Gionta?

    No moves is better than useless and hurtful moves.
    Relax, we have a good team and are moving forward.

  16. HabsPooch says:

    Things are awfully quiet in Leaf land. I have a feeling something big will happen soon…they’re not playing well enough for Nonis just to sit back and do nothing.

  17. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I like Eller and feel he has been “short-changed” but if we’re going to criticize DD (justifiably) then he has to get it to. He’s done NOTHING for three months now. I don’t care about the line-mate argument. No excuse for 3 months of ineptitude. If there is not a place for him, then deal him.

    • Paz says:

      Don’t worry, he’s top of the list.

      Then we can sit back and watch Desharnais try and pass to Max in the playoffs.

      Since that’s all we’ve got, it’s 4 and out. Good plan!

      Maybe a better plan would be to build a second scoring line?

  18. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    If the Habs are getting Weaver, it has to be for Hamilton. A veteran to help develop the young D down there. And also, perhaps because some of those young D are going to be moving up to Montreal, so they need to fill their spots.

  19. Paz says:

    Is Mike Weaver Earl Weaver’s son? They’re kind of built similarly.

  20. Sportfan says:

    Scott Gomez, Clemensen, Corey Conacher and Joe Corvo are going through waivers. Wow what happened to Conacher?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  21. Paz says:

    Mike Weaver!!! Hahaha!!

  22. Habitforming says:

    Holy Crap!!!

    Gomez on waivers from Florida!! Hurry and act on this MB!!!

    yep that was just being a tool

  23. Je ne comprends pas says:

    Ok Ok, I figured it out.
    MB is our version of the Manchurian Candidate.
    It’s why he hired MT to coach.
    It’s why he resigns damaged players before actual stars.
    It’s why while saying we need to get tougher he signs Briere.
    And it’s why he won’t make a trade that would actually improves the team.
    Damn Chicago.

  24. boing007 says:

    If MT and MB think that they have a good team, they are delusional.

    Richard R

  25. Paz says:

    So there will certainly be a Quebec election this spring, and the Separatists are looking at a majority government.

    It’s going to be fun trying to attract free agents during the years leading up to the next referendum, which will not happen until the 2 nd or even 3 rd term.

    • Je ne comprends pas says:

      The way I look at is:
      It doesn’t matter who’s in power.
      They are supposed to be the best and the brightest but then why is every thing so fu**ed up.
      I’d vote for the Zombie candidate. He/she/it is very focused.

  26. Maksimir says:

    Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger 5m
    Florida closing in on a trade involving d-man Mike Weaver. Canadiens are among teams with interest in Weaver. Draft pick likely return.

    Mike Weaver
    Defense — shoots R
    Born May 2 1978 — Bramalea, ONT
    [35 yrs. ago]
    Height 5.09 — Weight 186 [175 cm/84 kg]

  27. mark-ID says:

    Dreger tweeted that Panthers are closing in on trading dman Mike Weaver. He says he believes Habs are one of the teams looking at him.

    Just checked out who this Weaver guy is:

    5’9, 185lbs
    Right handed shot.
    6 assists in 55 games

    So why would Habs want this guy? anyone know anything about him?

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  28. SmartDog says:

    MY PREDICTIONS:
    1. I boldly predict MB will do nothing surprising or substantial! (Unless there is another has-been French player to pick up… but that would not be surprising really would it?)
    2. I predict Markov will NOT get traded OR signed. I mean, why put ourselves in a good position strategically when we can handcuff the team and give all the power to the player?
    3. I predict Lars Eller will move. Why? Because his value is at its lowest and smarter GM-coach pairs will come looking to trade a 3rd round drift pick and a depth prospect for him.
    4. I predict Brian Gionta will NOT get traded because how are we POSSIBLY going to replace the 15 goals he’ll score this season?
    5. I predict a minor move will be made just to look like we’re doing something. Don’t be fooled. Different GM, same lack of vision.

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

    • twilighthours says:

      Timo? That you?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      1) Robidas may be available and he played in Montreal the last time Therrien coached here.

      • Forum Dog says:

        I like this one actually. Wouldn’t cost much and could help the right-side of the d-corps. Only problem is that he would add yet another body to a group that already has about one-too-many.

    • Harditya says:

      I consider myself a pessimist, but I’ll admit it’s a little discouraging to see a very knowledgeable person like you have little faith in the management as well. The Habs conservative approach is definitely worrisome at times, but I think we’ll be fine in the long run.

      • Harditya says:

        Okay nevermind, we just traded for god darn Mike Weaver. I have lost faith as well.

      • SmartDog says:

        In the long run we do look like we’re getting better.
        But even the long run needs some smart moves in realtime. It’s like we’re just drifting. Bergevin needs to make a really smart move at SOME point. Haven’t seen it yet.

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

  29. Maritime Ronn says:

    @DarrenDreger: Some interest in Flyers d-man Kimmo Timonen, but, told he wants to stay in Philadelphia.
    Meanwhile, asking price for Meszaros…2nd rnder.
    ——

    If true.

    Andej Maszaros – 28 year old 6’2″-223 former Ottawa 1st round pick injury prone the past couple of years.
    Plays 20 minutes. Shoots left.
    Moves the puck well and not afraid to play the body
    Cap Hit $4M – status UFA this summer.

    1) Is that Dman a good fit for the Habs moving forward?
    2) Is yes, is he worth a precious 2nd rounder which may be a short term gamble if he cannot be re-signed? (They usually have a good idea in advance)

  30. Je ne comprends pas says:

    Quite funny :)
    Kinda sums it all up.

  31. Rad says:

    Cory Conacher also placed on waivers, by Ottawa. They gave up Ben Bishop for this guy.

    • shiram says:

      Probably the most interesting player sent on waivers today, but at 5’8” he would not be a fit here.

    • twilighthours says:

      And he scored *that* goal against us.

    • CJ says:

      Terrible, terrible trade. Conacher’s value was very high, after getting off to a great start. He carried momemtum from the AHL and capitalized on his opportunity playing with Stamkos and getting first line PP time.

      Looking back, I can’t believe St Louis gave up on Bishop for a second round pick. If they would have effectively evaluated their goaltenders, it would not have forced them to trade for Miller now.

      Ottawa should have traded Anderson and retained Bishop and Lehner.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      He would be an excellent pickup for the Leafs.

  32. Rad says:

    Ah, what do you know, our old friend Scott Gomez, put on waivers.

  33. HabsPooch says:

    Larry Brooks reporting the Wild are very close to a deal with the Sabres for Halak…

  34. bellcentre hotdog says:

    Eller is obviously struggling.

    Can someone please explain to me why Therrien does not reunite Eller-Gallager-Galchenyuk … arguably the Habs’ best line at the beginning of the season?

    • shiram says:

      Cause Gally is used to spark DD and Max, and they are carrying our meager offense as of now.

      • bellcentre hotdog says:

        Exactly.

        So let me ask this … who is more important to the Habs’ future …

        Eller or DD?

        • shiram says:

          I don’t really care about DD, but realistically, right now, Habs need DD more than they do Eller.

          • bellcentre hotdog says:

            I disagree.

            I think Eller is being wasted. MT is using him like he does Plekanec … with different linemates every game.

            The difference is Eller is not as good/experienced/developed as Plekanec, and therefore is struggling. I believe Eller needs consistent linemates to be effective, preferably Galchenyuk and Gallagher.

          • shiram says:

            Well the question then becomes how committed to Therrien is Bergevin?
            Does he try to re-shape the team to fit the mould Therrien likes for his player, or his Therrien a temp coach.

            I don’t the answer to that, but I know right now DD is driving our offense.

          • bellcentre hotdog says:

            39 points in 60 games … playing on the 1st line with 1st line PP time is ‘driving the offense’?

          • shiram says:

            Yes, look at our other forwards.
            He is indeed driving our pea shooter of offense, it’s weak, but he is driving it.
            He actually turned it around really well after his first 20 games of nothing.

          • bellcentre hotdog says:

            Ok … I will say this … the DD-Max-Gallagher line is indeed driving the Habs’ low productivity offense. This line is the Habs’ best line right now, but I don’t think it’s because of DD.

            Meanwhile back at the beginning of the season the Eller-Galchenyuck-Gallagher line was arguably the Habs’ most productive line.

            The commonality in it all is Gallagher. He’s the sparkplug. Which gets me back to my origianl point … if we agree that Eller is more important to the future of the club, why not reunite him with linemates that give him the best chance to succeed?

            Eller is only 24! He’s 6’2” and plays centre! But I think because of Bergevin’s signing of DD, the pressure has been put on MT to help him succeed … at the expense of Eller.

      • BJ says:

        They need to find a guy like Gallagher (easier said than done) to place on the DD line and re-assemble the EGG line. Its been a mess on that line since Therrien broke the EGG.

    • twilighthours says:

      Possibly because Gallagher and Galchenyuk would be wasted with Eller as their centre, because Eller doesn’t yet know how to use his wingers.

      Just a thought.

      • Paz says:

        What was Eller doing last year?

        playing by himself.

        You guys put out positions as though you’ve never seen Eller play well.

        He proved last year that he can succeed at this level, and he proved last year that he could use his wingers.

        How can you just ignore that?

    • Forum Dog says:

      Eller needs aggressive wingers and a defined role. I thought his best game in a while was playing with Bourque and Weise the other night. Bourque is not consistently aggressive, but Weise is and the three of them together were a great forechecking unit. They got on the opposing D, turned pucks over and had a few chances. Big bodies that can skate with a common goal.

      Briere brings nothing to that line. His unwillingness to engage physically (and perhaps mentally) throws linemates off.

      Give Eller a defined role and let him go at it. The skill will come through when his confidence returns. As long as he has a revolving door of wingers and job assignment, he will struggle to find his game.

    • SmartDog says:

      Cause if you’re not French, there is not much effort to “get you going”. I mean, why bother? Where’s the payoff?

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

    • The_Truth says:

      Eller had Chucky after the Olympic break and it lasted what a game? Eller was terrible for Chucky, so they moved him with Pleks and Gio and immediately he started to play better.

      It’s time to realise what Eller is and that is not an offensive center. Do we put top wingers with White? No. Same with Eller. It just doesn’t work.

  35. shiram says:

    Ottawa is reportedly asking for a first round pick for Chris Phillips, if that’s within the realm of possibility it makes me wonder what we could get for some of our D.

    https://twitter.com/DarrenDreger/status/440873388358111232

  36. Jocko says:

    Have not posted in a while but have been reading a lot and Eller being traded has come up quite often. I was never a fan of what the Habs got for Halak. He was a hot commodity and I thought they could have done a better sell job. Over the last few years, I’ve liked what I have seen of Eller, he has often been our best forward against teams like the Booins. I think trading him makes no sense. I do not believe he is being used effectively. The guy is clearly trying too hard to be whatever the coaches want from him, and in the end, what they want is confusing me as well. He and the Gally boys were doing great, then that chemistry got messed up as they were split up. Coaches should get the most out of player’s abilities, not try to fit them in a roll. I am just not sure Therrian is a good coach for younger players. We finally have decent prospects, wish we nurtured the skills they posess, instead of trying to make them fit in a roll they are not suited to. For example, Leblanc is not an offensive dynamo, but he could be a Brent Gilchrist type of player.

    • bellcentre hotdog says:

      I think putting Gallagher on the first line with DD and Max was an effort to get DD playing better … or at least contributing something. Remember how DD was struggling mightily at the beginning of the season. And moving Gallagher worked … but seemingly at the expense of both Eller and Galchenyuk.

      Neither Eller nor Galchenyuk have been as effective since the dissolution of their line. MT needs to find DD and Max another RW and restore the EGG line.

  37. Je ne comprends pas says:

    Is there collusion in NHL among players and management to never see the Habs win another cup?
    What else explains are inability to sign players or make a substantial trade.
    I mean to resign Gionta who has shown he is damaged goods after 2 muscle tears is laughable unless you know there is no better options.

    I say then a covert PED and bionic program to enhance are players is necessary. As for Therrien we could interface him with a computer so he could play PK in all situations.

  38. on2ndthought says:

    posted on last thread:
    I watched a good game last night. Predicted 2-1 Habs, but this was the game I expected.

    White took his last bad penalty of the year.

    Gio was gassed on the PK, Carter scores. Gio is losing his on-ice value; it’s a shame. EDIT: don’t sign him. He’s not done, but there is no real role on this team except as a third line winger at 1.5 to 2 M per year.

    I said Eller is going to score on this trip: he got on the scoreboard twice. Otherwise he, Bourque, Moen, Weiss, and even White, were effective at getting their big bodies in the play so LA did not steamroll us again. EDIT: don’t trade Eller, and stop comparing him to PK! Power forward is like goaltender; few are drafted NHL ready. It’s a role he will grow into (it’s a tough league)

    The D played strong and as MountRoyal stated, Murray is making a believer of me.

    Doughty gets a free reign and a free pass compared to PK; he coughed up the puck a couple of times, leading to a scoring chance for Moen, lost a battle to Chuky, but doesn’t get benched or derided by commentators. PK and MT better figure this out, or one will have to go (better be the coach, MB!) EDIT: this is not a criticism of unDoughtydly the premier defenceman right now. Just saying that PK is in the same mold and needs to be allowed to play that way.

    We miss Diaz (when behind or 2nd half of PP), but I still like the trade. Weiss looks comfortable and plays hard.

    Best story: Krob1000 and the Gallagher burger!!!

    The now have great organizational depth in bottom 6 forwards and L side D. Can we get a big top 6 winger who (unlike Patches) can crash through the collapsed D most teams use (I know this is one of the most coveted packages in the NHL, I’m just asking. No disrespect to Max, he is what he is, he would have to be lucky to score on LA last night). We also need to balance our L D with some R. Pateryn may be ready for a third pairing, can we trade for a second pairing D, even at great cost. I’ve been proposing signing Markov for two more years, maybe I’m wrong.

    If we do: D pairs
    Beaulieu / PK (coaches hair turns grey)
    Marky / R-side
    Tinordi/ Pateryn (Murray)
    That leaves Gorges, Emelin as trade bait.

    If we don’t:
    beau / PK
    Tiny / R-side
    Gorges?Emelin/Murray / Pateryn

    Who goes, who stays? This is predicated on the L / R D being important.

    “a cannonading drive”

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Hey 2nd.
      I read this on the old thread five minutes ago in a brief dash to catch up. Nice post. Gionta’s right of course — the aim is points. But in the midst of a less than scintillating road game, I think the Habs did a number of good things as you describe.

  39. boonie says:

    Just curious — how did Ryan Kessler become the IT player of the 2014 Trade Deadline?

    I don’t see many Vancouver games. To me, he looks like a solid #2 center, good for 25 goals and 50 points, who may or may not be entering the downside of his career.

    Is it just marketing to create buzz that might get a nice return or is he really that good? Can someone who knows more about this guy shed some light?

    • krob1000 says:

      Perennial Selke candidate, Olympian and tough as nails big, Right handed two way center Basically everything that most teams need in one player, has term at reasonable rate on contract.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Kesler when healthy can be a very productive two way centerman who can play physical. He also has a fairly attractive contract associated with him. He will be a very good addition to a team, problem is how much it takes to get him and will he stay healthy.

      I know that sounds like a lot of cliche’s but he is an excellent player to have.

    • Phil C says:

      Big right- handed centre who plays the game with speed and a nasty edge. Selke trophy winner, scored over 40 goals 3 years ago, was having a Conn Smythe type of dominating performance in the 2011 playoffs until he blew out his hip.

      He is definitely the type of player any playoff team would want as long as you think he has something left in the tank.

    • on2ndthought says:

      He plays for Canadian team and is trade bait. He also has the size/skill/grit skill set everyone (especially the Habs and HIO ) covet, when he’s healthy.

      “a cannonading drive”

  40. boing007 says:

    It looks like every once in awhile the Habs decide to hell with the coach we’re going to play our way. That’s usually when we see their best hockey.

    Richard R

  41. boonie says:

    We’re not going to pick up players in the next 48 hours that make us appreciably better than we are now. If MB moves players for picks and prospects, we won’t be able to evaluate those moves for years.

    The deadline for a middling team like ours with a fairly new GM is about exposing more of MB’s blueprint for the team.

    If he resigns players like Markov and Gionta, he believes in the core; or thinks our current core is better than signing vets until the next generation can take the wheel.

    If he intends to resign our vets in the offseason, he believes in the team enough to win a couple of rounds or maybe surprise beyond that.

    Frankly, I think it’s time to let the next generation lead and see what we have. Plecs captained the Czech team. He can certainly shoulder the load here. PK and Price lead in their own ways. Gallagher is a dynamo. Max is our current scorer. Chucky is a true talent. Beaulieu showed us that he might become something. Tinordi is holding his own. Much maligned DD seems to part of the current mix. Emelin fills a fourth D role.

    I hope my blueprint and MB’s mesh somewhere.

  42. boing007 says:

    I don’t care how well DD is playing, we would be better off with a bigger player that had equal, or better, talent. He gets knocked off the puck much more often than he holds onto it. Besides that, Gallagher is stuck with most of the heavy lifting. Bigger centre, bigger foward. That would be a much more productive line than the one Habs have now.

    Richard R

  43. twilighthours says:

    There should be no discussion of re-signing Gionta. It is definitely time to move in a new direction.

    • shiram says:

      On a year deal under 3 millions, I would not mind.
      But I doubt he settles for something like that.

    • Luke says:

      A discussion based on keeping one of Markov or Gionta, perhaps. But I concur, ‘Twi. Gionta’s still a useful player, but by no means necessary and his salary may be better served elsewhere, or held onto for a rainy day.

  44. DipsyDoodler says:

    We all agree that barring tanking for three seasons or more, success will come to the smart teams.

    So, thinking outside the box, how is this for a plan?

    We are all worried at how good Buffalo will be in a few years with all their draft picks, right?

    Well, I have a strategy to prevent them from supplanting our division (what is it called by the way? – I know it’s not metrosexual), based on the great Miller’s Crossing by the Coen Bros.

    Trevor Timmins has a nasty and public breakup with Bergevin. Maybe storms out of the Bell Ctr during a game. That Buffalo GM knows Timmons, so he hires him as his chief of scouting.

    But Trevor’s not there to help, see? After a couple of years of picking Minnesota’s Mr Hockey the Sabres are still in the doldrums. And then TT is fired and comes sheepishly back to the Canadiens. Or he retires to marry a red haired Irish beauty whose generous bosom is only outdone by her ability to pour a good glass of whisky or something (I forget how the movie ends).

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      (I’m not talking to you til I completely get over your Gauthier/HIO joke. My family keep asking me why I keep blushing, apparently spontaneously.)

  45. Rad says:

    Re: Lars Eller, one trade I would approve of is if he was sent to Edmonton as a key piece in acquiring Nail Yakupov. The Habs are starved for a star player, and Yak has the potential to be a star. When he matures he will be a great player in this league. I think that’s a trade the Oilers would make. They desperately want a 2nd line Center with size.

  46. JUST ME says:

    Funny how everyone and anyone is a reliable source now and that we take for granted everything we hear,read and see. Even what should be a reliable source, the team itself uses the medias sometimes to go fishing as do the agents at this time of the year so there ain`t nothing signed ,sealed and delivered as far as i am concerned.

    The one and only thing i can rely on is the usual scenario that has been offered to me through the years. I can only hope that Bergevin acts and thinks differently but until proven otherwise, i do not expect much.

  47. habsfan0 says:

    Last night’s game was the last one before the trading deadline.
    I wonder if the Habs’ performance will cause MB to get some scoring prowess.

  48. boing007 says:

    True that we can’t blame them for the past twenty years, but it’s beginning to look like the same modus operandi of the past twenty years. Plus ça change…

    Richard R

  49. Phil C says:

    Why are we fans after 20 years of frustration? Especially with little fan loyality from players who are all hired mercenaries, many of us not even living in Montreal nor have any affiliation to the city or the province or the french language. To watch a bunch of entitled millionaires make money for billionaires. It causes me great cognitive dissonance because I think the answer is that I am brainwashed to cheer for the Habs, programmed from a young age to affiliate myself with the tribe’s colours, but I really don’t want to believe it.

    I find it’s best not to think about it too much. Go Habs!!!!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Lol, I agree.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yup, since childhood when I started watching sports and then started following specific teams, I had in ingrained in me that you never, ever switch teams. My first team in the NHL was the Habs and I supect they always will be.

      What is helpful for me is to try and see the positives and take joy from that. Of course that means i enjoyed the points the team got from its last 10 games, therefore it has been easier the past few weeks.

      I couldn’t imagine still being a fan if I absolutely hated this team and everything related to it as others seem to.

      • Phil C says:

        Good advice Burly, just find the joy in it. Last night I enjoyed Tinordi, Emelin, Murray, and Subban splitting some wigs, kickin’ ass, and takin’ names. It was fun to see the Habs capable of physical hockey and the outcome could have gone either way.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      ….much better than reading today’s news headlines.

    • twilighthours says:

      You’d get divorced before switching teams. It makes no sense whatsoever, and can be incredibly frustrating. I just try to enjoy the sport/team/players without getting too worked up over the team’s suckitude.

    • Cliveww says:

      I appreciate your comment. I feel the same way having lived away from Montreal for 50 years but it is seared in my DNA and I can not help it so I endure.

  50. Timo says:

    LOL… so now Euro union will supposedly pay over 2 billion dollars that Ukraine owes to Gazprom… I wonder whether that “uprising” or “coup” was a little bit more planned than previously thought.

  51. Paz says:

    Wow, keeping Gionta for 2 or 3 more years!

    There’s no one to replace him, then got out and sign someone

    Better
    Younger
    Bigger

    Unreal.

    • Phil C says:

      Hard to believe there is no one else out there, a young guy caught in a deep system looking for a chance. Or give a guy like Thomas a real shot.

  52. adamkennelly says:

    Did we trade Markov yet?

    if willing I bet we get a 1st rounder, and a prospect and perhaps more if he re-signs with the team who gets him.

  53. Rad says:

    Here’s a couple of sound bytes showing how the other side viewed last night’s Kings/Habs matchup:

    Justin Williams: “I thought we moved the puck extremely well tonight. I thought our defensemen especially did a great job beating their forecheck.”

    Kings Coach Darryl Sutter: “It was a good win against a tough team … Two real similar teams. It was a well-played game.”

  54. Timo says:

    Oh and btw, have Habs sunk so low that people are now asking whether losing a game feels like a moral victory? That has Therrienism written all over it.

    • Psycho29 says:

      9-1-2 over the previous 10 games.
      2nd in division
      3rd in conference

      Why do you bother following this team if you hate them so much?

      Pathetic.

      • JUST ME says:

        Because people think he`s cute i guess but he never brings anything to the debate. Couldn`t you like spend you energies on something more usefull like on your home team ?

  55. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Looks like there is no room for Eller on this team long term. With the right forwards, he could easily be a 2nd line center on another team. Wouldn’t mind to see him moved to get help in other areas.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Unfortunately Habs management has reached that decision. Since they’re not using him correctly, I wouldn’t mind seeing him dealt. Hopefully what they get in return is used correctly.

    • docketrocket says:

      I wouldn’t mind seeing him succeed with us. We’ll regret trading him for less than a star.

    • Phil C says:

      As long as the Habs get some value back for Eller, I have no problem seeing him traded. It might be easier to trade him in the offseason though. The Habs would need a roster player back.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I have to say I just don’t see it. Like a relationship on the rocks people try to remember the good times. And I like Lars. But a second line centre on a contender is Mike Richards or Patrice Bergeron.

      He was drafted the same year as Max and PK. He’s approaching his 300th NHL game.

      He should be fully formed by now.

      He has size, he skates well, has good hands (based on his shootout performances). But he just isn’t putting it together on the ice.

      He has the worst plus/minus of any forward. He doesn’t score. Can’t think on his skates.

      He was promoted to the Plex line and looked lost. How come Bournival, also a centre, and with 1/10th the experience, can look good in that position. Or Galchenyuk? How come Ryan White can impress as 4th line centre but Eller can’t as 3rd line centre?

      Maybe he is still recovering from that head injury – I think it takes a year to come back.

  56. Timo says:

    Habs wanting to re-sign Gionta tells you everything this team will be in the next 3-5 years.

    • JarryPark says:

      Gio leaving ends the Gainey era and MB era begins.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      There is no way in he#@ they are resigning Gionta. The report is BS…nobody can be that stupid.

      • Timo says:

        After watching Habs for the past 20 years I will never put a limit on how stupid the club’s managers and coaches can be.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          You didn’t include the fans in that sentence?

          • Timo says:

            I know. It’s all the fans’ fault team has sucked. They are the worst.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I just thought while you were explaining that the team has been nothing short of stupid for 20 straight years, that in turn the fans must all be stupid for still being fans. Of course that would then include yourself. :)

            Edit: I don’t deny the past 20 years haven’t been extremely frustrating. But this is a new regime, a new owner etc…. they can’t be blamed for the previous 20 years.

            It is tough and frustrating that the team can’t become a Cup Contender overnight, but it will take time. Hopefully, and I do say hopefully, MB will get us there.

          • Timo says:

            I would not deny that me following this team for that long is an utter stupidity… wish I knew how to fix it. With so many brilliant minds on this site you’d think someone would be able to help me.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            Electroconvulsive therapy?
            just kidding TIMO
            i actually get a kick out of your posts

    • JUST ME says:

      It was to be expected that many would get new deals for all the wrong reasons. We tend to let feelings get in the way of business…
      It is not a matter of it being a good thing or not it`s just that once again we would be wondering about the road not taken.

  57. scrotchland says:

    Rich Chere‏ @Ledger_NJDevils·3m
    Talk that Devils have agreed to trade Brodeur to Minny. Wild deny it

  58. boonie says:

    After watching Doughty at the Olympics and again last night, I think he’s the best D in the league right now — by a lot – and may be the best player as well.

    Still, PK makes moves that no other player can make. I decided that PK is hockey’s equivalent of Barry Sanders.

    Like PK, Barry could do things no one else could do. He was arguably the most electric player of his generation – flashy on the field, humble and mature off the field. He led the league in rushing several times because as SI sportswriter Paul Zimmerman said, “It doesn’t matter where the play is blocked; he’ll find his own soft spot…The scheme doesn’t matter with Sanders. He can run from any alignment.”

    He also leads the NFL with the most negative carries – 336 of them for MINUS 952 yards.

    Sometimes great talent can’t be harnessed in a team sport.

    He retired healthy and early a season away from gaining the most yards ever by a running back, because “the culture of losing was too much to deal with.”

  59. Maritime Ronn says:

    According to TVA sports (take that with however many grains of salt you wish) Habs management will be sitting down with Gionta in 2 weeks to start renegotiations.
    Gionta is looking for 2-3 years..

    Is that a good thing, or is it finally time to pass the leadership reins over to the younger core like SEVERAL other successful NHL teams?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      He’s 35-years-old, small and slowing down. If they resigned him that would mean 25% of the Habs forwards would be tiny on any given night. No good in 2014. Hard to score and drive to the net when you’re small. As we saw last night.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Ronn – Your question should come with a Part 2 – If Gionta leaves who steps in to take his place and his role? I don’t see anyone in the system who can do that so you’re basically dumping Gionta to sign another UFA. If so, then which UFA would you go after?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Very fair question 24Cups.

      • boonie says:

        If you’re talking about production, Gio has 12 goals and on pace for 15-20. Benoit Pouliot has 11 and plays a lot less time. I’m not advocating bring him back, I’m just pointing out that Gio’s production can be had much more cheaply.

        If you’re talking leadership, I respect him. Gionta he brings everything he has. But this is a new era and we need new leaders. The days of Markov, Gorges, Gionta are done.

        Plecs should wear the C. Gallagher is a future leader. PK and Price lead by example.

        • shiram says:

          Replacing Gio means getting a guy that can score a decent amount of goals, but also someone that can skate with Pleky against other teams top line.
          Benny Pou is not that guy.

          • boonie says:

            I don’t suggest we pick up Pouliot. My point is Gio’s production is gone. There’s no point signing him to play top line minutes with Plecs, because he can’t do it.

            It’s time to give that spot to a player who is up and coming. If we don’t have him in our system, and we have a glut of centers – then move a center for a winger.

            As an aside, I always liked Benny Pou. I think he’s a good 3/4th line guy for $1m a year. He has size, enough talent to score occasionally and can step up in pinch.

      • Forum Dog says:

        I can think of a few candidates. Jagr, Vrbata, Setogouchi, Hemsky, Boyes. I mean, I know these guys aren’t known commodities in Montreal and wouldn’t replace Gio’s leadership, but each are younger (other than Jagr), just as skilled (if not more so) and could likely be had for a similar price.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hey Cups.

        If Mr. Molson is willing to pay $1M for the services, I’ll give him a few hints
        :-)

        In all seriousness, if the Habs management team cannot replace a Gionta, then we have bigger problems than meet the eye.

        Gionta has also played the 2nd most total minutes of all Habs forwards this year and is on pace for 15-16 goals.
        Surely a younger tiny bit bigger version can be found out there.

        I like Gionta, yet sometimes the older fellas take up a lot of space in the room and the younger guys have to sit back and respect the pecking order.

    • shiram says:

      Yeah I posted a tweet from the fourth period that alludes to the same thing.
      And with a lack of available free agents RW, I could see it happen.
      It would be another “safe” move from GMMB

      • 24 Cups says:

        Thomas is 5’9″ tall while Leblanc is lost in space. So that ends any chance of a farm hand grabbing the job. Gallagher is fine and Bourque is 3rd line material at best. So that basically leaves UFA or a trade.

        • shiram says:

          Some were mentioning Bournival, and I also think he would be the best “in house” replacement for Gio, but I don’t think he’s an upgrade either.

    • Forum Dog says:

      I hope not. I like Gionta and what he brings, but not at that price and not when Briere is on the roster next year as well. Habs should be looking to upgrade, not maintain the status quo.

      If this is true I really do not understand what they are doing, other than blocking the path for younger players and locking in a roster that already has an overabundance of bottom six talent. Money spent on Gionta would be better going to someone with more skill and younger legs.

    • johnnylarue says:

      I have boatloads of respect for Gionta and he’s still a useful, intelligent player out there… But if Bergevin doesn’t use this expiring contract as a huge opportunity to reshape his roster to his liking, I’d see it as a troubling sign indeed.

    • boonie says:

      Yes, please resign all the players who led to us through the last four and half seasons. During that run we averaged .56 PPGs (or 91.9 points/season prorated for 82 games). The average team averaged 91.8.

      Clearly, we’re doing something right. We’re better than average.

      And, that was with guys like Markov and Gionta in their prime.

    • JF says:

      I can’t see Bergevin trading Gionta at the deadline, so if he doesn’t extend him we’ll lose him for nothing this summer. Gionta is still excellent defensively and sometimes scores clutch goals. A two-year deal at reasonable coin would be OK; he could perhaps be traded at some point during that time.

  60. shiram says:

    David Pagnotta ‏@TheFourthPeriod

    Unlikely Canadiens trade captain Gionta. The Habs are expected to have talks with Gionta over a contract extension after the deadline.

    The fourth period, those guys are usualy unreliable, right?

  61. JarryPark says:

    Would you resign Gio for another 2 years @ 3.5 – 4M per?

  62. shiram says:

    Pierre Lebrun ‏@Real_ESPNIebrun

    Trade Done: #canucks Kesler traded to #pens for Sutter, Pouliot, 1st and 3rd round picks #nhl #NHLTradeDeadline

    edit : i got taken for a ride by a fake account.

  63. Hobie Hansen says:

    Eric Engels ‏@EricEngels 3m

    I spoke with 3 scouts who told me Murray was a player that would attract some interest. Love him or hate him, he’s tough.

  64. PrimeTime says:

    MB needs to get a couple of some good young forwards. The team has organization depth with defensemen and a solid goaltending for the foreseeable future. Pac is solid, Gally and Chucky are growing (Eller to a lessor extent this year), Bournival looks to be solid, Pleks should be the next Captain, and everyone else are role players. The organization is not deep enough in young forwards that can have an impact in 2+ years. Solid drafting is always important but fans want a quicker build and we need to replace players such as Gio, Moen, Bourque who are not part of it.

    It wont happen, but would trading PK could get us a 21-25 player and a strong prospect?? If you are a PK fan you probably think I am either crazy (I own a PK jersey btw), or we should get more…..of course every team would want him, right? Dealing good assets properly is how to speed the build. I wonder if MB would have the “pucks” to do it??

  65. shiram says:

    Cammy gives Calgary his list of 7 teams he won’t accept a trade to.
    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2014/03/04/cammalleri-gives-calgary-seven-team-no-trade-list/

    Think he black listed Mtl?
    Not that I would want him back here, just for giggles, I’m wondering.

    • Luke says:

      Sad that a guy with 14 goals is now considered a “scoring winger.”

      The NHL these days is a lot more Jody Hull and a lot less Brett Hull.

      • shiram says:

        He’s still going on his past reputation, but he has not been really good since 08-09

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi Luke

        Not a Cammy fan here, yet those 14 goals were in only 44 games
        He also shows up in the playoffs
        32 games played-17 goals 32 points
        And surely wherever he lands, he will probably have better line mates than Backlund and Jones

  66. HabinBurlington says:

    Boston beat writers are noticing what we have been saying this season, Chara is starting to look tired on the ice.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/03/04/bruins-zdeno-chara-requires-rest-before-playoffs/ZoO8dPq9ElJl5AXWJOn7TL/story.html

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Maybe we need to re-evaluate his entire output.

    • shiram says:

      He’s an health and fitness freak, and should have still some great years in him, but the Bruins won’t be able to rely on him as much as they used to.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        remove “health and fitness”

        and

        “and should have still some great years in him, but the Bruins won’t be able to rely on him as much as they used to.”

        and you’ll have a grammatically incorrect but fair assessment of Big Zee.

  67. ont fan says:

    Just can’t see winning many games when Patch doesn’t get any shots. Will A.G. be a Kessel type player?

    • HabsPooch says:

      Galchenyuk has Anze Kopitar potential…scorer and playmaker. He’s got great vision and playmaking abilities and eventually that laser shot of his will find the back of the net more often than not.

  68. HabsPooch says:

    A report from Philly that the Flyers have made a substantial offer for Kesler…

  69. krob1000 says:

    When the RDS put up the comparitive graphics between LA and Montreal one thing stood out to me….the Kings were the best defensive team in the NHL….and the Habs 8th. However, the KIngs were 28th or 29th in blocked shots and the Habs were 1st. Interesting that they are so good at the possession game that they can be that low on the shot blocking totem pole and still be the best d team in the league.

    • Phil C says:

      Not all coaches believe in shot blocking. I guess it was a big change in Vancouver going from Vigneault to Torts. Luongo was complaining a little at first saying he prefers that the players just let him see the puck. With a goalie like Price, maybe the Habs should be blocking less shots.

      • krob1000 says:

        You have to have the D to clear things out and good support down low as there ends up nbeinga ton of 50/50 pucks near your net with shot blocking. There is no controlling a shot block. This pat of the catch 22…if you are going to shot block you all have to collapsea nd protect the house and be in position ofr losses pucks, hhoever, you are then ont he interior if you do get the puck and with everyoe condensed escaping and attacking at the same time are veruy difficult. Ultimately still better to block shots IMO…but it takes a total team commitment and guys who can win the battles for loose pucks.

  70. boonie says:

    Wow – which genius asked, “was losing a moral victory?” I mean really, is that the best our conduit to the players and coaches can do to fill digital pages?

    I suggest we the fans list questions we would like to hear and hopefully, our good and fearless leader, M Boone can ask (beg?) his journalistic colleagues who travel with the team to ask a few of the better ones.

    I’ll start,

    Does our system allow us to win consistently against the NHL’s better teams?

  71. Prop says:

    ←←←↓↓↓

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  72. FlyingFrenchie says:

    MB -No Guts=No Glory

  73. First?

    Defense wins championships

  74. theflukester says:

    1st

    Play every game as if it is your last one. Guy Lafleur


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