Martin juggles defence without Markov

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Carey Price | Josh Gorges | P.K. Subban | Jaro Spacek | Alexandre Picard

While the Canadiens await word on Andrei Markov’s condition, head coach Jacques Martin has juggled his defence pairings in preparation for Tuesday night’s home game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

P.K. Subban will play with Alexandre Picard, while Hal Gill is teamed with Josh Gorges. The Roman Hamrlik-Jaroslav Spacek duo remains unchanged.

The official word from the Canadiens Monday is that Markov suffered a lower body injury when he collided knee-to-knee with Eric Staal in the latter stages of Saturday’s 7-2 win over Carolina. He is scheduled to undergo further tests and the team says it will be several days before the exact nature of the injury is known.


  1. Drive_For_25 says:

    Stick to flowers Nina.  Not a knee on knee in the traditional sense.  Their knee’s may have touched but clearly incidental.  And I was watching the Habs romping of the Hurricanes to answer your question.

  2. Drive_For_25 says:

    That’s why he didn’t put his knee forward.  If you look at the replay, that leg is not even on the ice so he clearly had no weight on it, anyone trying to hurt someone would make sure that knee would be their strongest point right?  I’m way more angry at Markov for even getting hurt on a play like that, just like the Cooke hit.

  3. Nina76 says:

    What game were you watching???????? CLEAR KNEE ON KNEE & Staal KNOWS IT.

  4. RetroMikey says:


    How the hell do you know how he plays?

    You just go by stats and have no clue and base your opinions on this team by reading what fans say here or you are a net nanny and read every single media release on the team,

    Maybe you should judge yourself before you judge others frosh!

    You have no clue about the team just a girl who goes on the site and criticizes other fan’s comments.


    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  5. saskhabfan says:

    yes,matt carle. The one guy who has probably missed more time over the last 2 years then markov. The guy gets constantly hurt at the ahl level,what happens when he plays against the big boys? For a guy who constantly says he knows everything about the dogs cause you see some live games,you really don’t have much of a clue.




    I think I know more than most about hockey and believe my opinions are almost always reasonable and thought out.-manapart.

  6. habstrinifan says:

    Good question. I think the injury was long enough. Tony Marinaro explained it well on team 990 for this possible absence. But your question re his last absence is certainly valid.

  7. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Holy freakolie Gomer, Markov was back for a little more than a week. That’s a lot of time to analyze patterns in his play, and his injury avoidance tactics. Soft?

    He got cut by a skate. Unavoidable. The he aggravated a knee injury, possibly seriously. Big pattern.


    I like the contortionist thing – I see a nickname. Let’s go to Bob Cole’s voice:

    And Cammerleri gets the puck from Kama-sutra and he scores, just like Mats Sundin used to!


  8. GrimJim says:

    That’s not entirely correct. Markov gets paid regardless (all salaries are guaranteed) but, to the best of my understanding, if Markov goes on LTIR the Habs only get cap relief if the player who replaces him pushes the Habs over the upper limit of the cap, and that cap relief is just for the amount the Habs go over the cap. So, theoretically, if the cap is $59 mil and the Habs with Markov are sitting at $58 mil, the Habs still only have $1 mil of cap space regardless of whether Markov is on LTIR or not. However if the Habs sign a player to replace Markov and pay him $2 mil, the Habs don’t get penalized for the $1 mil they are now over the cap by. BuClear as mud, eh (which explains why capologist is a full-time job).

    What would you be if you were attached to another object by an incline-plan wrapped helically around an axis?

  9. twilighthours says:

    Sounds like there’s still too much swelling on the knee to get an accurate MRI.  This is generally bad news.

  10. Lazarus_taxa says:

    Great post.  I agree with everything you wrote.  Martin has been putting on a coaching clinic since he got to Montreal.  Although a lot of people don’t understand his tactics (shortening the bench, line combinations etc.), this week really showed how his coaching wins us games.  Most notably against Boston.  His match-ups and quick shifts won us the game IMO.  

  11. Mike says:

    not exactly sure… I asked the same thing. I think it is becase his injury wasn’t for long enough to be considered long term.

  12. punkster says:

    Good one Mark and welcome to the funny farm 🙂

  13. punkster says:

    Good stuff David, thanks!

  14. HardHabits says:

    Philadelphia are very much for real. Solid defense. They’re scoring goals. Big up the middle. Solid goaltending from an undrafted unknown. Biggest test of the season for the Habs, so far.

    They need to get to this guy.

    Sergei Bobrovsky
    Born Sep 20 1988 — Novokuznetsk, Russia
    Height 6.02 — Weight 190

    He’s 22 years old. Has decent stats considering he was on one of the KHL’s worse teams the Novokuznetsk Metallurg for two years.

    2008-09 Novokuznetsk Metallurg [KHL]

    2009-10 Novokuznetsk Metallurg [KHL]


    More on Bobrovsky at Hockey’s Future.

  15. Mike says:

    only if we put him on ltir (long term injury reserve), which we didn’t for his first injury hence hwy we didn’t any cap relief.

  16. voyageur9 says:


    — is it correct that Markov get’s paid but his salary doesn’t count against the cap while he is injured.

    — if so, and say he misses 40 games, does that free up roughly half his salary?

    thanks in advance


  17. HardHabits says:

    Excellent first post. Welcome aboard!!!

  18. habaddict_andy says:

    Well, maybe I’ll give Stall a benefit of the doubt.  It’s true he is not a malisious player.  And I guess the steam I had in me is started to die off.  But still %$&@ Stall for this unfortunate accident.


    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  19. TommyB says:

    Doesn’t look that way to me, that he put his knee forward.  It all happens very quickly, and I don’t see anything intentional about it, sorry.  From reading the posts the last few days, I know I am in the minority on this one, but I will not be swayed.

  20. AH says:

    You make very valid points, I agree; after it happened I also didn’t think it was intentional, and felt Markov is obviously lacking  in the “luck” department, which sucks for us!

  21. JohnBellyful says:

    With Markov gone, more responsibility will fall on Subban’s shoulders and the rookie is easily up to the challenge. However, that will make him even more of a target than he already is.
    Markov at his best didn’t seem to attract the same kind of attention that PK does from forwards eager to slam him any way they can. But then Subban plays with much more exuberance than Markov does and is certainly more vocal in getting in the other players’ faces.
    He would benefit in the long run if we were to adjust his on-ice attitude which seems to have a knack for inciting others to try to foul him. They appear to make an extra effort to ‘finish their check’ when coming up against him.
    Star players, I realize, get that sort of treatment but the wiser ones are adept at not adding to the frequency of the attacks by their volubility and chippiness, especially after the whistle has blown.
    Subban at this stage is far from being a Scott Niedermayer, whose superior skating ability and hockey savvy translated into a long and productive career. His play, in retrospection, seemed relatively free of generating undue friction with opposing players. Subban has the makings of being every bit as accomplished as Niedermayer, but he needs to show consistently that he can remain level-headed in the face of provocation.
    No doubt PK will be tested often tomorrow night against the Flyers, just as he was in the playoffs last season. He can demonstrate how much he has grown as a player by sticking to his game and not getting sidetracked by the Carcillos of the world.

  22. habaddict_andy says:

    If you are avoiding a player you don’t put your knee forward.


    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  23. ckckckc says:

    i agree. now or never for webber. he’s been in the system for awhile. give the kid a shot!

  24. ckckckc says:

    well webber is one of the top defensemen in the AHL. He’s toughened up his game and he would be a huge asset on the pp if markov is out for a while

  25. TommyB says:

    Habs fans are quick to attack an opposition player when something like this happens.  I didn’t see the incident as a “hit” when it occured.  It looked more like Staal was trying to avoid contact with Markov by sidestepping him and going around him.  There was indeed contact between Staal’s knee and a part of Markov’s leg (could have been the knee, actually hard to see that in the video), but the contact didn’t look intentional to me.  A collision.  Plain and simple.  We assume it was Markov’s knee by the way he reacted, and by the way he would not put weight on it when leaving the ice.  The reaction could have meant “$@*#, not my knee again,  or it could have meant “$@*#, not another injury (period)”.  It could be the ankle was twisted when he went down.  We are all just guessing.  We’ll know when the club makes the official announcement, though  we all fear, and are bracing, for the worst.  The fact that nobody went after Staal kind of solidfies the argument that it was an accidental collision.  The Habs are not gutless, and they don’t need a goon.  We tried that, and it didn’t work out so well.

  26. TommyB says:

    Defence wins championships.  Welcome to the site.

  27. krob1000 says:

    our cyborg is broken……this reminds me of when Superman decided to be human….

  28. CrashTheNetCrashTheNet says:

    Are you high?

    I think just about every team in the NHL would have a looksy if we put Markov on the block. The guy is BLUECHIP with or without a knee injury.

    “When I was a baby I wish my first word had been “QUOTE”, then right before I die I could say “UNQUOTE” – Stephen Wright

  29. RetroMikey says:

    I agree Timo.

    Although Weber played great in juniors, but I don’t see him making the jump in the NHL.

    Great shot but just too small and needs work to brush on his defence.

    I know, seen the kid play many times in Hamilton.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  30. Mark Bellison says:

    I’ve followed the Habs since the mid 70’s and can say that I might miss watching 2 games a season these days… In the past ten years, it would have been healther for me to maybe watch 2 instead of the other way around…


    Here are some observations…

    – we are playing a “team” game

    – we have depth

    – Price is playing closer to his potential

    – Pleks and the other vets seem to enjoy playing here

    – say what you will about Gomez’s contract, but don’t ignore the many great plays he makes (not so much offensively but on the defensive side of the puck)… More games than not, he makes some great plays on the PK and in our own half of center…

    – we are not automatically out of game if we give up the first goal of a game

    – We press even when we have the lead… we don’t “sit back” and try to protect one goal leads for half the game… Carolina game and the Bruins game last week are great examples…

    – we are not completely screwed in one of our top players gets injured…

    – Eller is going to be a good one… And he does not have the weight of the world on his shoulders to prove that… Too many times in the past 15 years, we “rushed” any kid with potential to be the next great Hab…

    – And lastly we are getting solid coaching. I’m surprised how few comments there are about the great job Martin is doing. He has had a calming influence on this team and you can see how it has carried through from last year… People slag Martin because of his “defense first” approach… Funny thing is this team is playing a really nice transition and skating game now…. Regardless, I hope Martin keeps up the great work he is doing…



  31. KenD29 says:

    There is always 1 out there who would be willing to take the chance. 


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  32. KenD29 says:


    As for every team, I do not think given he just came off a serious knee injury and who knows for sure what his status will be plus the fact he is UFA end of this season, that there would be that much interest “right now”.


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  33. SeriousFan09 says:

    He’s spent 7 of the last 13 months recuperating from injuries, I’d be a little ****ing cautious about getting hurt after that, anyone would. In terms of style of play, thinking the game and such, in his last few games he was exactly the same kind defencemen he always was, a skating defencemen.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  34. Drive_For_25 says:

    I agree.  So thankfull for Subban though because now when Markov goes out, it’s really only our PP that takes a hit, not our entire team game.

  35. shiram says:

    Somehow i can still see us keeping a great record without Markov, his absence will definately hurt, but the team has played alot without him recently, and they will have to make it work.

    Losing Plekky would hurt us alot, but i guess we have some center depth, and Eller might get a nod then…

    But if we lost Price, i dont think we could keep a winning record… Auld? Sanford?? I have not seen Auld play much, and i give him the benefit of the doubt, but it’s still a big question mark.

    Poutine, the perfect trio, on any line.

  36. CrashTheNetCrashTheNet says:

    No offense intended but…that’s nonsense.

    “When I was a baby I wish my first word had been “QUOTE”, then right before I die I could say “UNQUOTE” – Stephen Wright

  37. Drive_For_25 says:

    Why is everyone so mad at Staal??  It was a weird play with a freak injury.  Staals leg was up in the air, how did it have enough force to injure Marky like that??  It was Markov who caused the collision, he wasn’t even looking at the puck and it was bouncing away from him off the boards which is why Staal tried to jump around him.  Anyone questioning character on the team beacause no one went after Staal needs to watch the play again.  I know it sucks that he’s out, but no need to start questioning anyone for standing up for teammates or calling to start bringing in some goons.  I think Markov’s play since he’s come back and this injury clearly indicate that he came back wayyyyyy too soon.

  38. Mike D says:

    LOL – I know.  Part of being a Hab fan is being irrational.  That’s what makes us “special”. 😉

    – Honestly yours

  39. Richrebellion says:

    Although Pleks and Price have been stellar all year and prob are just as good as markov and their loss might hurt just as much, I still think markov is the most important player. Markov eats so many mins and helps round out the d, he also runs the pp better than (in my opinion) any other d man in the league. This past week shows why he is so important. Spacek played his 3 best games of the year and so did the team. Our d looked even better and with Markov we are a cup contending team. Without him we are still a good team just aren`t at that elite level of the nhl with washington and those teams. 

  40. Drive_For_25 says:

    Ummmmmm…..EVERYONE!!!  I can think of 29 teams that would give us A LOT for him right now.  It’s only because we have Subban that I say we might think of trading him.  Subban is jumping up into a group of only about 4 or 5 Dmen that can play like that, Markov included, which means a lot of teams want a guy like that.

  41. Richrebellion says:

    Not to compare my story to markov but it may give hope to some. I broke my ankle a couple of years ago pretty badly, I had to have it surgically repaired and had a metal plate put in. Anyways I recovered and everything was fine until this summer I once again somehow messed up the same ankle. Based on the pain and how it felt I was certain I had broken it once again, it was painful and I couldn’t walk. Yet I went in for an x-ray and although the pain was extreme and it felt broken it wasn’t. In fact because the plate it made a small injury feel much worse. Within 2 weeks I was walking fine and within a month it was back to 100%. This may not be the case with markov but you never know, maybe something from his surgery made it hurt a lot more and feel a lot worse but for all we know he could be back in a month. 

    If not then I say bring weber up, he has 7 goals in 11 games in the ahl and has chemistry with PK. He isn’t the best defensive dman but I think him and subban can run a solid pp. If anything put weber on the 4th line and let him play mainly pp time. This can also help limit spacek’s time on the ice and maybe help him out. 

  42. Mike D says:

    I think we all need to take a page from Carey’s book “and just chill out”.  We don’t even know how severe the problem is.  Why not get the info first and go from there?  He might only be out a week or two.  If he’s out long-term, we’ll re-examine the situation at that time.  For now, we have Picard (who played well for us at the begining of the year) to fill in the opending on D.

    – Honestly yours

  43. shiram says:

    On Yahoo sports, they got Don Meehan saying Markov’s knee is too swelled up to know right now how long it will be.

    So much swelling can not be good.


    Poutine, the perfect trio, on any line.

  44. KenD29 says:

    Who would trade a decent prospect for Markov right now?! A bag of pucks maybe…

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  45. habs4_25th says:

    I’m sure we wouldn’t remember either,…lol since he hasn’t been on a winning team his entire career so it would be all new to him.

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be it yours to hold high.”

  46. shiram says:

    That was very nice, but in the best player on the team, i would think Price and Plekanec are giving Markov a run fos his money right now.

    Poutine, the perfect trio, on any line.

  47. Drive_For_25 says:

    I agree completely.  The days of needing Markov to be a contending team are gone, Sid the kid will back me up on that one!  You hate to lose a guy like that but we’ve been losing him a lot lately and managing OK when P.K’s been here.  I’d entertain the thought of trading Markov.  Imagine what you could get for him!!  Could really secure a great future going along with everyone that’s already locked up for long term deals. 

  48. JustSomeguy says:

    I was at the game Saturday (so high up we could almost see into the press box 🙂 ), and was totally impressed with Subban’s poise. A couple things stick out: on a 2 on 1, he rode the shooter to the outside, into the boards and calmly scooped up the puck; during a line change, he was killing time in his own end, turned  the forechecker inside out, and drew a penalty as he was just about to build up a head of steam. That’s an awful lot of poise ‘n’ hockey sense for a rookie. And I absolutely LOVE how the fans at the Bell Centre react to him.

    Further … does anyone remember the Nervous Nellie who scored an own goal when his goalie went off on a delayed penalty? For those who think that Martin is death on young players, they should have a look at Subban and Gorges. Montreal has a solid defensive core even without Markov, and much of the growth we’ve seen has been on Martin’s watch.

    Martin’s not my favourite coach. But, at the end of the day, he KNOWS hockey. He doesn’t let his emotions carry him away. He doesn’t rip his players. He doesn’t vent to the press. He has, instead, calmed the team down from the turmoil at the end of 2009. And he’s crafted a team that is far better than the sum of its parts which is, at the end of the day, a reliable indicator of a quality coach.

    Boy, did I ever digress.

  49. punkster says:

    Hey Bugs:

    Mere minutes were left in the contest,
    And the boys were performing with such zest.
    When it suddenly struck
    That damned lousy luck
    And down went the man who is our best.

    So we’ve now lost our number one defence,
    On a play that was just utter nonsense.
    Dear Marky is out
    But we mustn’t pout
    They’ll come through this but not without suspense.

  50. SeriousFan09 says:

    Kaberle is soft on defence and I think he may have spent his best years in Toronto already, people complaining about Markov not showing up in the playoffs… Kaberle isn’t exactly going to be great playing in his own end at any time, if he even remembers how to step it up for the playoffs.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  51. Drive_For_25 says:

    Why are you worried about this team at all?  As good as Halak was in the playoffs last year, it was not all him.  That was just how our healthy team can play.  Don’t worry about beating Washington, we usually do because they don’t play hockey, they have a skills competition every night.  Philly will be on a back to backer tomorrow so I’d say we should win that one.  I’d like to play Boston and Philly where both teams are rested and playing their best, I think we’d stack up pretty good, Philly scares me a little more than the B’s though. 

  52. KenD29 says:

    Doubt Burke would make a trade with the Habs.


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  53. habs4_25th says:

    I know what I’m going to say may offend some Habs fans, but I say we trade off Hammer and a 2nd rounder to the leafs for Kaberle and don’t resign markov.  Kaberle can pass just as well as Markov, but isn’t as injury prone as he is right now.  Kable to set up PK Subban would be awesome.  Plus we would probably have the best player from the leafs.

    Markov 31 yrs old 5.75M

    GP-623  G-81 A -285 PTS -366
    Kaberle 32yrs old Cap hit 4.25M
    GP -836 G-80 A-409 PTS -489

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be it yours to hold high.”

  54. habs-hampton says:

    I wonder what he would have to do to be considered a top 18 goalie in the league, which would get him on the All-Star ballot. lol

    Actually I hope there are no Habs at the game and they can use the time to get ready for the playoff run.

  55. Drive_For_25 says:

    It looks like Webber is pretty much Maxwell on D, which means he’s completely useless to us.  Don’t thing he’ll ever be ready for a steady spot in this league.  I’d rather see Carle called up to see if he can play a little bit like he did at the beginning of last year for us, which was the complete opposite of how he played in preseason where he stunk it up big time.  Anyone been watching the Dogs this year?  How’s he been playing?

  56. Timo says:

    Jeezus, what’s with all these called for Weber? He is a poor man’s version of Mark Streit. Just cause he is in our system doesn’t mean he needs to play for the Habs. Hey, just like OB he was here, he had his chance and he spectacularly failed. Habs need to get tougher on D. If Markov is done for a season or the bigger part of the season then I am sure the current troops including Picard, can hold the fort while PG (gasp) is trying to make a trade.

    On the other hand, they can save time, skip the formalities and just sign MAB. Eventually it’s going to happen anyway, so why all the suspense.

  57. habsfan_61 says:

    time to call up yannick weber. for him its now or never. lets see what he has since potentially the injury is long-term. even if its only for the pp and an occassional shift. cant be any worse than mab. besides mab has knee issues and wont be 100% anyway.

  58. RetroMikey says:

    Markov’s has had it tough with injuries these past couple of years.

    He’ll be back sooner than 3 months IMO. 

    If he is longer than 3 months, we maybe in trouble if another DMan goes down.

    Carle would fit in more nicely than Weber. who is a work in progress.



    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  59. habfan53 says:

    FORGET Bergeron, Dagenais, Regher, Bieksa and all the others for now.  They are either out of shape and not ready to play or will will cost to much to get them  NOW.  Best plan for now is to move Picard in and call up either Carle, Weber or Nash. Play with 7 defencen this will reduce ice time for Hamerlick, Gill and Spacek and keep them effective.  We are not going to replace a top defencemen like Markov with just one player.

    Best case scenario Markov is out 3-4 months that brings him back in time the end of March to finish the season and in time to start the playoffs . Worst case he is out until May and hopefully back for the 2nd round round of playoffs .

    This will give time to evaluate what we have. If we do need to tweak the lineup we can do that as the trade deadline approaches.

    Judging by the play in the last 3/4 games the forwards are working well together and we are getting chances from all 4 lines.

    As for tomorrow against Philly it is not the be all game and with Markov down it will be up to the forwards to take the attack to them.   

  60. Bryan says:

    Think I just read on Twitter (en Francais) that Carey got the 1st star of the week.  Atta boy Pricey!


    The Habs are making me slightly less bi-polar.

  61. ckckckc says:

    lets get webber called up!









  62. KenD29 says:

    Good point re tomorrow night against the Flyers.


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  63. joeybarrie says:

    Vancouver has 10 UFA’s to resign next season, and 20 million in cap space to do it. Including Raffi Torres, Bieksa, Salo, and Ehrhoff. 

    BOSTON, NJD, PHILLY, and the FLAMES all have Cap problems we can take advantage of.

    I think waiting to see what happens with Markov is smart of course, but I do not think we can go 3 months without a replacement.

    Here’s hoping we don’t have to…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  64. habfan53 says:

    Mike like I posted below I agree with you.  But what fun would that be

  65. Iceberg84 says:

    The real test of the season (to date) will be tomorrow night against the Flyers I think. Montreal has played some great hockey over the last month and a bit, but I won’t uncross my fingers until they get some wins against Washington, Philadelphia and maybe a couple of powerhouses in the West. The wins over Vancouver and Boston were great but I’m still anxious about how this season’s gonna go. Still, I’m more optimistic now than I was 6 weeks ago!

  66. uberhabsfan says:

    I personally think that Markov is not the key to this team winning. 
    When we lost him in the past, during regular season, we didn’t have Subban.  Things are different now. We have done without Markov before and we will survive without him now.  Subban is really coming into his own and will certainly be a good pairing with Picard.  I do agree that Spacek has played better since having his ice time reduced.  Bring on the Flyers!

  67. habs365 says:

    picard will work great with subban….don’t jump ship because markov went down….hate to be the bearer of bad news….there’s more injuries to come….happens to every team….you have to work through them….all we have to remember….the stanley cup is not won in november….but we need all the points we can get….they do count come April.

  68. Bob Dobbs says:

    Why did we not put Markov on LTIR at the beginning of the season?

  69. Bob Dobbs says:

    “his body is now vulnerable by being twisted in abnormal positions to avoid a hit.”

    Lol. OK buddy…

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