Non-Olympic Habs get back on the ice in Brossard (with video)

While Team Canada was wrapping up its heart-stopping 2-1 Olympic quarterfinal win over Latvia Wednesday in Sochi, the Olympic vacation was coming to an end for Canadiens players who weren’t at the Games.

The non-Olympic Canadiens hit the ice in Brossard Wednesday afternoon for the first time since a 4-1 victory over the Hurricanes on Feb. 8 in Carolina that extended their winning streak to three games.

Alex Galchenyuk (photo above), who had been sidelined since breaking his hand on Jan. 6, was on the ice Wednesday and looks ready to play, as does Travis Moen, who was sidelined with a lower-body injury. Davis Drewiske, who has yet to play this season while recovering from a shoulder injury, was absent from the practice for family reasons, while Michael Bournival didn’t skate because he is still suffering from concussion-like symptoms.

“It’s my first practice with the team and I feel that I’m on the right path,” Galchenyuk told reporters in Brossard after practice. “I am still looking to get more speed and flexibility back into my hand, which would help me on moves like toe-drags, since I was in a cast for three weeks. The movements have to become natural again.”

With seven players in Sochi – Carey Price, P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty, Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin, Tomas Plekanec and Peter Budaj – the Canadiens needed to recruit some players for the practice. The goalies were former Hab Jocelyn Thibault and former minor-leaguer Martin Houle, while former Habs defenceman Patrice Brisebois laced up his skates along with strength-and-conditioning coach Pierre Allard.

“I’d really like to thank (general manager Marc Bergevin) for giving me this opportunity,” Brisebois, who was part of the Canadiens’ last Stanley Cup winner in 1993 and now works in player development for the Habs, told reporters after practice.

The Canadiens will continue to practise in Brossard with a depleted lineup through Saturday. They will enjoy a day off Sunday and the entire team should be on hand by next Tuesday at the latest.

The Canadiens will play their first post-Olympic game next Wednesday, when the Detroit Red Wings visit the Bell Centre. The Habs will be in Pittsburgh the next night to face the Penguins.

If you’re in need of a non-Olympic hockey fix, the Hamilton Bulldogs will be at the Bell Centre Friday night to play the Binghamton Senators in a 7:30 p.m. start.

The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell spent some time in Hamilton during the Olympic break. Below is a link to her article on Hamilton’s Big Three on defence – Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn – as well as a video shot during a Bulldogs practice.

(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)

Habs enlist Thibault, Brisebois to fill out practice roster, by Pat Hickey

Hamilton’s Big Three developing on blue line for Habs, by Brenda Branswell

Habs Notebook, Canadiens.com

Mike Boone’s take on Canada vs. Latvia game, Postmedia News

Complete Olympic hockey coverage, Postmedia News

975 Comments

  1. Plekasuares says:

    Just wondering about Shootout stats because this game against the US will be very very close. Price needs to be great, I have full confidence he will be.

  2. Timo says:

    So did babcock share any wisdom with us yet?

  3. Plekasuares says:

    What is Price’s records in shootouts?

    • HabinBurlington is Canadian says:

      With Habs shooters or with Team Canada shooting? I suspect that part of a goalies shootout record may have to do with the ability of shooters to actually score goals.

      In International play I can only recall his victory in the World Juniors.

    • Timo says:

      I don’t remember him ever scoring in a shootout, so I’d say not very good.

  4. Un Canadien errant says:

    We should all refrain from referring to Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu as the “Big Three”, or any trio of defencemen or players other than the one and only Big Three, namely Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe and Larry Robinson. These are three Hall of Fame defencemen who individually could dominate any game and collectively led the Canadiens to four straight Stanley Cup. Any one would have been the #1 defenceman on any team in the NHL which didn’t have Bobby Orr or Brad Park or Denis Potvin. Big Bird was second to only Bobby Orr. Who knows what Serge Savard might have accomplished, above and beyond his many feats, if he hadn’t been subjected to injury and late ’60 orthopaedics.

    One reason I object to the licentious use of this term is the way Leafs broadcasters would refer to any three of their plugs and no-hope prospects as their next Big 3. It devalues the term.

    Maurice Richard was the Rocket, no one else can use that name. Wayne Gretzky is the Great One. And Larry Robinson, Guy Lapointe and Serge Savard were the Big Three.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  5. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Yeah keep playing Mila Kunitz and Hummus…that will get the offense going.

  6. Storman says:

    On another note Teemu Sellanne never seizes to amaze me,, Great Career Great Hockey player and seems like a great character guy as well.. 2 thumbs up way up to Teemu’s career

  7. Marc10 B All About Gold Baby! says:

    Team C has an interesting date coming up against the USA. Right now, which team would you rather watch? I can’t say I’ve been inspired by Canada’s play. The US is much more dynamic and uses its speed to break through the traps. We rely on Doughty.

    We might win by finally getting some offence from our forwards, but for my money, Team USA has been the star of this tournament.

    Not so bold prediction: We play a conservative game, we’ll lose in a shootout to TJ Oshie.

    And I’ll echo my fellow posters: MORE DUCHENE AND MORE PK.

  8. Timo says:

    The worst part of team Canada is an absolute lack of physical play. Like we are talking worse than Habs kind of physical. This team – nada. Babkis.

    • HabinBurlington is Canadian says:

      I agree with this, I find it strange that the Latvians were taking the body to Canada far more than Canada was to Latvia. I actually thought today that Lucic could have helped this team today, never would have thought that prior to the tournament.

    • Chuck is a Canuck, and he is also going to go for the gold medal in the event of "longest nickname ever posted on Hockey Inside-Out, just to see how long of a nickname you can input before the hamsters explode" says:

      I think I saw them throw one hard hit the entire game. That’s not how you handle an exhausted team that had emptied the tank the night before.

  9. Timo says:

    Can’t believe Price didn’t stop that breakaway. That bum.

  10. Habcouver BLEEDS MAPLE SYRUP says:

    How could you possibly believe the Americans will beat us?
    We are Hab fans and loyal HIO’ers…
    wait a minute :-|

    Waiting excitedly for GOLD

  11. the subbanator says:

    Apparently someone at the Canada v Latvia game was wearing a Subban jersey and painted his face black… Idiot! http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/02/19/pk-subban-blackface-sochi-olympics-hockey_n_4818192.html

  12. Phil C says:

    WRT Bournival, I’ve been through a few concussions and I’m not surprised his is not back yet. It took me over three weeks to feel right and probably 4 months before I was feeling 100%. MMA would give Bournival a minimum of a 60 day suspension for a conky like that. I makes me wonder where the NHL gets their “protocol” from.

  13. Plekasuares says:

    We are dogs against the USA. GOLD OR BUST.

    • HabinBurlington is Canadian says:

      Really? Vegas and others have made U.S. the favourite? That is a huge swing of money, can’t believe that much money has come in for the States, I am beyond surprised.

  14. habs001 says:

    This is the most physically dominated team Canada i have ever seen that had the choice of the best players..Maybe a high energy 4th line could have helped…

  15. 24 Cups says:

    ED – I don’t think any Dman got beat on the Latvian breakaway. It was more a case of a once in a thousand pass followed by the best backhander I’ve seen in years.

    I don’t fault any Canadian player including the D and Price. Subban, Keith or Weber wouldn’t have done any better under the circumstance.

  16. habs001 says:

    Keith has not looked that great..The forwards are not able to seperate themselves from their checks..they are missing dynamic wingers..the USA forwards have maintained their play as it is in the NHL..very few Canadian forwards look like they do in the NHL

  17. habs001 says:

    The forwards on Canada looked like they had the hands of Moen…they get into good position but they look like low to mid quality NHL players who cannot finish their chances(the typical 15 to 40 point forwards)..Price is a big body ..he should stand up on breakaways and have the forward beat him with their shot..he has some of the worst akward moments on breakaways..

    • Storman says:

      Even Crosby was holding his stick to tight , he missed a pure tap in at the side of the net,, one that he never misses,, went low on his stick and just fanned on it,, very strange..

  18. HabinBurlington is Canadian says:

    Great effort by Team Canada today, completely dominate play and won the game. Look forward to the U.S. game Friday.

    Nice job Carey!

  19. CJ says:

    IMO, the most concerning news of the day was not team Canada narrowly beating the Latvians, nor was it PK residing in the press box…. IMO, Bournival being unable to return to practice due to concussion like symptoms was the bigger story.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the Olympics, but my primary focus is on an 82 game season and success in the playoffs, not the outcome of a single elimination event contested over two weeks, once every four years. I sincerely hope that team Canada wins a gold, but I will not take the loss personally the way I do (did) when the Bruins, Senators, Leafs beat us.

    I really feel for Bournival. If healthy, I think he would have pressed management into making a move to create room for him on the roster. Perhaps that is a selfish comment as I have made it clear that I would like to see changes occur, however, IMO the team is simply better with Bournival on it.

    Just my two cents….

  20. mark-ID says:

    Sorry if this was already posted…..but here is a fun little article on internet trolls. Calling them sadistic.

    http://www.ottawasun.com/2014/02/18/online-trolls-show-sadistic-traits-study

    “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

  21. mark-ID says:

    As much as I would love to believe that after today’s game, the coaching staff might realize that PK could in fact only add to the offense of this team….I just don’t think it will happen.

    My guess is Babcock will say that he was happy with the way the team played. That they dominated the game, but just didn’t catch the breaks. The lineup will stay the same, with the exception of Duchene replacing the injured Tavares. He had the chance last game to go with a more offensive player in Subban, but didn’t….don’t see them changing their plans.

    I really hope I am wrong. PK is fast, creative, has an excellent outlet pass and shot. It baffles me how he’s still not the number 7 dman.

    PS….i’ve become really sour on Mike Babcock. UGGHH.

    “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

    • adadi says:

      Even if he is played, given the way he has been treated PK will be so nervous not to F up in front of the tools that manage and coach this team that he will not play his game. It’s too late for him in this tournament.

  22. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    King Crimson, another supergroup, on a par with Team Canada made boring pessimistic music, just like team Canada!

  23. Un Canadien errant says:

    Alex Ovechkin will take some flak due to the Russian team’s flop in Sochi, but as Elliotte Friedman states at the end of his interview with him, he at least had the character to stop and answer questions about the unexpected loss, unlike his teammates.

    http://olympics.cbc.ca/news/article/russians-dejected-after-olympic-hockey-loss-finland.html

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  24. Storman says:

    On another note lol some of these woman athletes are absolute gorgeous,, that Lebanese skier topless nude photoshoot of ski champion: Jackie Chamoun wow..

  25. DoopsyDiddler says:

    Choose one:

    a) Holy Moly, the Americans are going to kill us!

    b) It’ll be close but we’ll win by one goal, maybe in OT.

  26. WindsorHab-10 says:

    First thing Canada needs to do when facing the U.S. is seek out Kessel & beat the living crap out of him. That’s my gold medal.

  27. DoopsyDiddler says:

    I realize that the people equating boring sports with soccer are speaking out of ignorance, but what the hey, I’ll have a go.

    Yes, in soccer scoring is low. Partly that is because it is easy to defend in soccer.

    But the point is that to score you need a bit of genius (unless you’re playing a crappy team of course).

    There are few goals in the world cup but most of them are the result of creativity and sometimes even artistry. You cannot score just by putting the ball on net and crashing the crease. Doesn’t exist. You need to outwit the defence.

    (This used to be the case in hockey in the 70s and 80s. )

    This is why so many people love the sport by the way.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Actually, I don’t find soccer boring. The field is large and players need to cver a lot of ground.

      I don’t mind close scoring games in hockey either, when they are played with speed and creativity as opposed to playing in a shell and hoping not to make a mistake.

      It is hard to fathom why both the Habs and team Canada don’t employ a more speed, aggressive, creative system. Price has proven he can keep them in games and it would make the games more fun and entertaining. Since that is what the NHL has supposedly become, another entertainment company, they should be pushing the game in that direction.

      Habfan17

    • habcertain says:

      silly me, I thought it was boring to facilitate the beer swilling.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      That many people love soccer is not an endorsement or proof of its intrinsic beauty or worth.

      Lots of people love McDonald’s, Madonna, Fox News.

      The fans of soccer are probably like us hockey fans, slaves to an addiction, to memories of a more perfect time, to a dream of what the sport could be.

      I could fix soccer. I’d get rid of the imbecilic offside rule. Video replay would ferret out divers and fakers and cheap shot artists, mama mia, and red cards would ensue. There wouldn’t be swishy satin shorts anymore.

      But they don’t listen, it’s the ‘beautiful game’. 1-0 is an insurmountable lead. You win games in a shootout by kicking at a barn door, against a goalie who’s not allowed to move. Somehow, some of these divas still fail to score. Somehow, that’s high drama.

      • DoopsyDiddler says:

        McDonald’s: not many adults love McDonalds. WHat they love, if anything, is calories, which we’re wired to desire.

        Madonna had some fine dance records early on.

        Fox News… OK you’ve got me there.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        But yet somehow we’re wrong to perceive the “beautiful game” that way. I don’t want drama, heck I’d go to a play. I want excitement. Go figure!

        Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

    • adadi says:

      Used to think the same way until my son started playing. Since then I actually pay attention to what is going on. Sorry hockey players, the skill level that some of the soccer players in Europe and South America have is far superior to any one hockey player. Soccer is far more exciting than hockey especially the crap hockey that is in play today.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Again, the FACT is that for those that find soccer boring … soccer IS boring and despite all the “you don’t get it” comments in the universe, it will remain boring to us. Hockey when played the same way is boring too. I, for one, appreciate a good game over the mere fact of winning. Long periods of extended pressure on goal, with lots of shots and amazing goaltending is what makes hockey the most exciting game on earth … when it is played that way. The fear of losing by NHL coaches who coach not to lose is what’s wrecking the game. Just my humble opinion. Plus all the rolling around on … the pitch by grown men who’ve been barely touched is tiring, to say the least.
      I like playing chess but I’d rather have teeth extracted without freezing than watch others play.

      Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  28. Danno says:

    PK must be chomping at the bit.

    If Babcock is smart, he’ll have him play against the US Friday.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  29. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Great day at the Saloon and great day for Canada! We won right? Saludos!

  30. habcertain says:

    hilarious to read all the posts now about the soccer tourney etc. after a plethora of pre-tourney posts proclaiming real hockey was arriving, not the dreaded NHL, despised for it’s awful product, goon hockey played by unskilled players. not much talk of that now.

    • johnnylarue says:

      This is the first Olympics I can remember where every underpowered national hockey team has demonstrated an absolute mastery of Tai Chi/defense-first/”Mickey Mouse” system popularized in the 90s by the New Jersey Devils.

      You could make the ice a mile-wide and it wouldn’t make an ounce of difference when you effectively have 6 players on the ice all playing goal at the same time.

  31. jrshabs1 says:

    Canada had 57 shots today..to paraphrase our Olympic goaltender..”chill out”
    Every team, Canada has played so far has trapped and collapsed around their net causing near impossible shooting lanes and mad scrambles instead of rebound opportunities. U.S. is next..back to our game!
    The U.S. has played mostly NHL dominated teams who play more of the N.A. style game. Canada has had to play small nations who only don’t want to lose 10-0. There’s a big difference in the game when one team doesn’t have to worry about offense, the U.S. would have been as hard pressed to score as the Canadians in the same situations.

    MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

    • Habfan17 says:

      Price had good reason to say chill out, it was preseason. The fact that the Canadian team hasn’t been able to score is reason for concern. The Americans have figured it out. If the Canadian forwards don’t wake up, it is very possible Team Canada will lose.
      I am not worried about Price, Doughty or Weber. But Bouwmeester, Pietrangelo, Vlasic and Hamhuis will not be facing AHL caliber players against the US. Nash and Kunitz need to speed it up too. They seem slow out there which may be why they come close, but don’t score.

      Habfan17

  32. Bald Canadensis says:

    Two series of tweets from Engels that might get you all going … or not.

    ——-

    I really gotta say, all the animosity towards Mike Babcock regarding PK Subban is misdirected. Point it at Michel Therrien.

    It’s Michel Therrien who exacerbated the myth that Subban is more of a defensive liability than his Canada counterparts

    It’s Therrien who refused to play Subban on the penalty kill; refused to give him benefit of the doubt on a couple of mistakes.

    Therrien refused to credit Subban’s great defensive play until everyone and their mother jammed it down his throat.

    And if Subban’s been less predictable on the ice, it has everything to do with how he’s been coached in Montreal.

    ——-

    The 1 chance Subban got, he looked unpredictable. That’s not his fault. I’d say it’s pretty normal considering circumstances of his audition

    And I think Subban deserves another chance, because I know what Subban can do. I know.

    If Babcock knew, if he could predict what he’d see out of Subban, Subban would be playing. And he might play anyways.

    You know who’s predictable: Hamhuis. In 3:00 you know he’s not going to try to put it on the line to prove a pt. He’s not in Subban’s league

    there’s a guy named Erik Karlsson who makes infinitely more mistakes, and he’s been the main reason Sweden is in the semis.

    You know who’s killing it? Karlsson, and he makes so many more mistakes than Subban does. He’d be sitting on Canada’s bench too.

    ——–

  33. scarboro_habitant says:

    listening to bob mccown ealier and bob nicolson was on saying tavares is in pretty bad shape.

  34. Lopaz is Canadian says:

    How about the play of young Zemgus Girgensons for Latvia? I thought he was outstanding.

  35. Storman says:

    Besides The Americans this whole Olympic Soccer tourney sucks balls so far, smaller room from blue line in is just a clogged mess,, NHL rinks are actually suited to more exciting play believe it or not

  36. Lopaz is Canadian says:

    This was like a “career” thread for me!

    • Chuck is a Canuck, and he is also going to go for the gold medal in the event of "longest nickname ever posted on Hockey Inside-Out, just to see how long of a nickname you can input before the hamsters explode" says:

      It’s not often that one person sweeps the podium!

    • Lopaz is Canadian says:

      I know. Now I know what people mean when they say, ” I’m beside myself”

  37. PsyCONADIAN29 says:

    Was in training all day and I wasn’t able to watch the game or check the score. Just read all the comments here in HI/O though.

    I cannot believe that Canada lost to Latvia. Oh My God!
    I guess they will all be on the flights back tomorrow and there will have to be a lot of answers when the management and players get back.
    Losing to Latvia is a disgrace. They should all hang their heads in shame.

  38. Strummer says:

    How about that Sid “The Kid” Crosby?
    1 shot on goal today (out of 57 by Canada)

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

  39. johnnylarue says:

    I think Canada’s lack of physicality in this tournament has been its near-fatal flaw.

    Either they’re afraid to take penalties from overly eager refs, or Canada’s best scorers are simply used to teammates doing the dirty work for them… the fact remains that Canada has no business being outhit by Latvia in a 2-1 game.

    • Storman says:

      Milan Lucic would have been a great on this team IMO

      • mrhabby says:

        Lucic the big doap skating on bigger ice surface I would like to see that.

        • Storman says:

          Lucic can skate very very well and has skill to go along with his skating ability and physicality, sorry to tell you that he is not a Bruin with team Canada on his back

      • johnnylarue says:

        I can’t disagree with that.

        IMO, the team could have benefited from *ANY* regular, defensively responsible 3rd/4th line grinder with wheels to add a little more authentic “Canadianness” to Canada’s game.

        Sounds crazy, but it turns out it might actually be too much to ask of a natural scoring star to forget about scoring and simply set the tone with a few punishing body checks…

        I do expect the US/Canada game to have a drastically different complexion, though.

        • Lopaz is Canadian says:

          The USA vs Canada game will be great I think. I’m really pumped for that one!

          • johnnylarue says:

            Suffice to say, if we see another lazy trapping/left-wing locking/five-man collapse defense-fest in the Semifinal, I’m officially off international hockey!!

    • ont fan says:

      6o shots on net and they need physicality? PK playing forward defense and in net. Defense is a problem? Listen to yourselves.

    • savethepuck says:

      If Latvia didn’t outhit Canada 2 to 1, something would be definitely wrong. There is a rule that you are only allowed to hit someone who has the puck, and Canada probably had the puck for 80% of the game.

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

  40. Storman says:

    Cant wait to watch PK make the rest of the NHL eat sh.t when he gets back on the ice for the habs,, Cant wait to watch Carey dominate the league even more,, and a fresh Galchenyuk back in action.. Olympic Soccer has been a big let down..

  41. Strummer says:

    Blake Wheeler of Team USA gets the “Benchwarmer of the day” award- 1:309 TOI

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

  42. Cal says:

    So, everyone happy with the big ice of the Olympics that will “open up the game”? The coaches have soccerized hockey, turning it into a dull affair.

  43. boonie says:

    Why does team Canada have a GM – seriously? GM’s manage assets and oversee senior logistics and operations people.

    Yzerman isn’t signing, drafting or trading players. They are no salary caps. Hockey Canada, the Canadian IOC and operation people handle flights, schedule, facilities and equipment.

    Babcock and coaches decide who they want and who plays. Babcock, Ruff, et al see every player and have scouts within their organizations that feed them scouting reports and video highlights.

    Once Hockey Canada picks the coach, he should pick the team and we should move on. Focus on Yzerman is getting as annoying as the HIO babble about Subban’s playing time and Price starting.

    And, while I am complaining about trivial nonsense…

    where are the advanced stats guys with Fenwicks, reverse Corsi’s and shooting percentage deviations from the mean to explain why Team Canada’s forwards are actually excelling because we outshoot opponents?

    Why do Canada media outlets like TSN subordinate their hockey coverage to CBC?

  44. Storman says:

    Over Managed, no Claude Giroux, Milan Lucic sure would help this team how about Logan Couture over Kunitz, Sharp,, over managed,, and now greatly over coached,, systematic hockey with the best players in the world,, USE Subban blue lines 6 feet closer to the net his shot would be deadly.. Stop the systematic bs play,, also this right left D crap WTF,,,play hockey win or lose going for it not worrying about limiting shots to under 20 against..Like watching soccer, pure bs over coaching,, Look what over coaching and KHL managing did to the Russians.. Man today’s game sucked to watch

  45. DoopsyDiddler says:

    Since we’re criticizing, I’d like to take this little bit of the Internet to point out that the IOC are a bunch of pusillanimous corporate whores.

    Back to Team Canada.

  46. montreal ace says:

    I am not crazy about the one loss your out, when the quarter finals start. I think they should come up with a scenario, that enables a team to work out kinks in their game. Its a shame that Russia is out and that Canada could have suffered the same fate

    • boonie says:

      that’s tournament hockey.

      Teams had three divisional games to work out kinks. Canada could have tried everyone playing wrong handed for a game and still backed in to the elimination round.

      There is no excuse for losing to teams much lower ranked teams at this level.

    • habs-hampton says:

      They had 3 games to work out the kinks, just like the other 11 teams. If they can’t do it, they don’t deserve Gold.

  47. Un Canadien errant says:

    DoopsyDiddlerFEBRUARY 19, 2014 AT 1:39 PM

    I want Pavlovs to score the winning goal so the nhl.com guy can write:

    “Who Latvian dogs out? Who? Who? Pavlov did.”

    _______________________

    Shouldn’t it have been: “Pavlovs answers the bell”?

    “Latvian forward salivates at next opportunity”?

    “Canadians dog it, hounded by Pavlovs”?

    “Pavlovs, in a howler”?

  48. JUST ME says:

    Although frustration is the key word i think that one must not forget that Canada has not lost any game yet even if some will say that they did not meet challenging teams.

    One must not consider Latvia as such an irrelevant hockey country and anyway it has nothing to do with the fact that Gudlevskis had the game of his life at the clutch moment at the olympics. Never heard of him before the games but he already plays in the AHL. Anyway never saw a goaler so exhausted and so left alone…

    Well guys and girls this is it ! Gold or bust ? So friday it`s a do or die game and many players have to wake up and produce. I know that it is typical of a canadian fan to criticize their best line and their most dangerous player but could Cory Perry maybe stick with the basics and stop the fancy schmancy stuff ? I would hire the guy anytime but i do not think that we can afford the hot dog style for now…

    • montrealtilldeath says:

      Really. Latvia has 1200 hockey players in the country. We have more that that in one city.

      • JUST ME says:

        Actually Latvia was part of the former U.S.S.R and have a had a hockey culture for decades. I am not saying that they are a superpower but they are not to be compared with Jamaica in bobsleigh for instance.

    • boonie says:

      Latvia showed the hockey world that a scrappy, well-coached bunch (with a hot goaltender) can scare the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of a shinny obsessed world power. Finland used the same strategy to tie us in regulation and upend the host nation.

      Ted Nolan reminded people the NHL community that they were crazy not to give him a shot at a head-coaching job sooner. Pat Lafontaine deserve commendation for making what should not have been considered a gutsy choice.

      • Strummer says:

        Nolan had chances to coach in the NHL but he turned up his nose at them.
        Buffalo offered him a 1 year deal when original his contract was up. He was insulted and walked away.
        He was offered a chance in Tampa but didn’t want to coach there- team was crap I think so he passed on that opportunity.
        Nolan has made his own bed in the NHL.

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

  49. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Hats off to Carey Price who despite sitting idle most game & facing only 16 shots managed to make a couple of huge saves with the game on the line. As for our Habs that didn’t make it to the semis(Markov, Emelin, Pleks & Budaj), get some much needed rest and be ready for the grind next Wednesday.

  50. montrealtilldeath says:

    My level of frustration is so high at this BS I am almost ready to go to a walk in clinic. WTF is going on. Latvia! Latvia! 1200 hundred hockey players in the whole country. They held us to 2-1. Immediately on the other sites I am seeing that smug cocky Canadian attitude. We out shot them 57 to whatever. No panic. BS. Shots are not goals. We cannot even score on an AHL goalie. Our winning goal would not have gone in on Quick. We would not have gotten 57 shots on Quick. Our vaunted D coughed up the puck when pressed (Keith, Bowmeister and Pietrangelo in particular). Latvia just did not have the talent to finish. The next game will be Quick in goal and I guarantee you the US will have the talent to finish. For pete`s sake get PK in there to bring the real heat. Hamhius over PK There has to be some extra BS involved here some serious BS. PK can`t even make 7th man,

  51. Un Canadien errant says:

    The Olympic hockey tournament has been an eye-opener for me. I was expecting a much better style of hockey, more fan-friendly and wide-open, based not only on the bigger ice surface, but also the higher talent level of the top teams involved. Who didn’t expect a couple of blowouts from the Russian team, with names like Ovechkin, Malkin, Datsyuk, Kovalchuk among the forwards?

    Instead, we’ve watched boring games, with a stifling brand of hockey played by outclassed teams grimly trying to hang on, hoping that the talent nullification provided by the bad ice will keep the game close and maybe let them get to an overtime period or a shootout when anything can happen. It’s anti-hockey abetted by the international cross-pollination of systems, by aggressive coaching and training tools, by rigourous physical conditioning for players, and by the steady downward spiral of refereeing standards. The trap lives because refs have to let the multitude of little slashes and trips and hooks and holds and obstructions slide, since they have in the past, and slowly their tolerance increases and more gets by and now Norway and Latvia can give Canada a close game, if not a good one.

    Some quick thoughts on today’s ‘victory':

    1) Is Chris Kunitz destined to become the Rob Zamuner or the Kris Draper of this team, the miscast undertalented role player selected to the national team roster for a specific reason but who doesn’t deliver the goods? He was brought on because of his purported chemistry with Sidney Crosby, and the only way he could justify that decision was by picking up at least a point a game on goals scored by his line. Instead he looks ungainly, sluggish. He muffed a perfect setup in the first period, clanging an open look on net off the crossbar. Sure, he came close, but he wasn’t brought on to come close, like Mathieu Darche or Dale Weise. He’s on the team to convert some of Sidney’s magic.

    Equally damning is how, while the Latvians were hitting everything that moved, and ran around unabated mostly during the whole game, he didn’t respond physically. I couldn’t help but notice how on a forecheck in the second period, he was hot on the heels of a Latvian player who managed to clear the puck out of his zone. However, instead of crunching him into the boards and ‘finishing’ his check, like the Latvian team were doing, and how the referees were benignly allowing them to do very late after the puck was gone, Mr. Kunitz breezed by, barely brushing the Latvian player. Based on the standards being set in this game, he would have had plenty of leeway to deliver a good hit and continue on his way.

    If he’s not contributing on the scoreboard, he should at least be trying to chip in some other way, any way. He could have made a few Latvian players take note of him after a good solid check, put their heads on a swivel, make them hurry their play the next time they held the puck. He wasn’t the only one who chose to play a finesse game on the Canadian roster, but I think the coaching staff will pause the video during their game review session, and scratch their heads as to why he didn’t deliver a hit on this specific instance, when the situation cried out for it.

    2) Rick Nash isn’t Rick Nash anymore. He used to be this crazy freak, with huge size and speed and amazing hands who’d dazzle you, but tonight he looked big and lethargic, and I’d say that’s been mostly true the entire tournament so far. I don’t second-guess his inclusion on the roster, he’s kind of impossible to ignore based on his résumé and past production, and his service to Team Canada at multiple World Championships, but I can’t help but think that this slump of a season he’s in isn’t necessarily an anomaly anymore, but maybe the new normal for him.

    3) The Canadian defence is really good. That Duncan Keith-Shea Weber pairing is amazing, and Drew Doughty can carry anyone, he might as well be playing with Josh Gorges, it wouldn’t make a difference.

    I was wondering during the game if Mike Babcock was regretting not having P.K. Subban on his bench as an ace up his sleeve, how in such a tight game he might have made a difference, but I couldn’t convince myself that he was. It’s not like he wasn’t getting an offensive component from his defence corps. They were first on the puck and they moved it up the ice but quick and jumped in the play and got chances. I don’t think he’s concerned with his d-men at all, he’s probably going to focus on his impotent forward group from now until Friday.

    4) Carey Price had a thankless task, being asked to stand idle for big chunks of the game, but then be razor sharp on a few occasions, since he didn’t have any sort of cushion. Good job by him holding the fort.

    Meanwhile, as good as the Latvian goalie was, I got frustrated with his flopping and histrionics really early. Dude, if you want that much attention and have to collapse in exhaustion so often, maybe you should take up soccer, you’d fit right in.

    5) Unfortunate that John Tavares was injured and will not play on Friday, but I don’t think it’s that worrisome. You have Matt Duchene as a reserve, ready to go, there’s no need to cry in our corn flakes, we just plug that guy in the roster and keep rolling.

    Of course, this line of thinking applies to Team Canada and its supporters. If however you’re the New York Islanders, then please, be my guest, go ahead and worry.

    6) Not to beat on Chris Kunitz too much, but I was idly wondering during the game how well a Taylor Hall skating and hitting with abandon might have fared on Sidney’s left wing.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • montreal ace says:

      UCE its always a treat to read your posts, definitely better then most reads on the internet.

    • DoopsyDiddler says:

      UCE: Nash being there for his resumé and others because they usually play with other members of the team (Kunitz, Bouwmeester) is exactly the kind of conservative unimaginative decision making some of us have decried.

      Looking at our coaching quartet I can’t help but think they should be performing the Four Yorkshiremen sketch.

      Canada will still win gold in all likelihood. But that’s just because we have lots and lots of good players.

    • Strummer says:

      Well said UCe!

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

    • johnnylarue says:

      Great read as usual, M. Errant.

    • boonie says:

      The NHL’s worst teams (like Buffalo, Edmonton and Calgary) have more talent than certain national teams at the Olympics (like Norway and Latvia). When the Sabres play a top team (say Chicago), they don’t play to hang on and they usually lose – sometimes badly.

      If you coached Latvia or another outclassed team, would you play run and gun against an all-star team? Of course not. Half a dozen or so nations have world class teams. The others are here as fodder and to produce once-a-century Cinderella upsets (see, Placid, Lake 1980). When those elite-ish teams face each other you have an opportunity for stellar games.

      Which brings me to (5)… Tavares getting injured was exactly why I’d have preferred Canada to play without Price and PK; and the Czechs to play without Plecs; Russia to play without Markov and Yemelin; etc…

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I’m not saying teams are ‘wrong’ to use the trap, I understand how it makes sense. I just think that hockey should enact rules to favour offence and creativity instead of defence. Like football and rugby and basketball and curling have done, for example.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Agreed that the bottom feeders at the Olympic tournament can’t compete with an NHL team in terms of talent, I was ignoring them and referring more to the traditional hockey powers like Canada, Russia, Czech, Sweden, etc. I could have been more specific.

    • Bun E. Laroque says:

      Another great piece uce, thanks. Anti hockey indeed. What ever happened to the Firewagon?

  52. D Mex-iCanadian says:

    Coming from an alleged Montreal fanbase, the extent of panic and negativity that populates this site never ceases to amaze. Never is this more evident than when PK Subban is involved.

    PK is a young and emerging hockey talent, no doubt about this and I’m glad to see him with the Habs. But my thoughts could not be more opposite when it comes to the ‘ loyal ‘ fans who, for some reason, feel the need to constantly come to his rescue.

    Wanting to see him play is fine – he’s a Hab, and I think we all get that, but the incessant b!tch!ng and whining that results is absurd. The most recent example of this surfaced during so-called blogging of today’s 2-1 win over Ted Nolan’s Latvian team in Sochi, as below ↓

    ” adadi – (Jim Adams) FEBRUARY 19, 2014 AT 1:38 PM
    Matty I know you always look at the bright side but can you understand how pathetic this is. Latvia (a country with a total of 1200 players) taking Canada to the brink. Does not compute and is what happens when arrogance, incompetence and RACISM, are combined to run a team. I’m pretty sure they could use PK’s “attitude” right about now. ”

    @ adadi – (Jim Adams)
    How about stepping up to defend the term ” RACISM ” here.
    WHO are the racists running Team Canada, and WHAT precisely are the behaviours that merit this adolescent rant ?

    Take your time – give it some ‘ thought ‘ and DO feel free to get the moronic underwear boy from Calgary to lend you a hand. You still get to hide behind your keyboards but, when you wake up and realize there is absolutely nothing to substantiate your (respective) slanderous comments, do the rest of us a favour and just STFU.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  53. duffy says:

    Maybe a few more managers ,I only counted 8 in the stands,and a couple more NHL coachs ,4 behind the bench may be what they need to get these Millionaires to perform better. Bench Crosby and dress PK next Game.

  54. habs_54321 says:

    If PK doesnt play next game i am gonna hold my breath!!

  55. Don’t feed the Trolls!

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 29.31.1.20.33

  56. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Arsenal vs Bayern

    Should be good. Used to like Bayern when Tymoshchuk was on the team :)

  57. 25 Stanley Cups says:

    Against Norway it was 3-1 Canada, with Price in.
    Against Austria it was 6-0 Canada, with Luongo in.
    Against Finland it was 2-1 Canada in OT, with Price in.
    Against Latvia it was 2-1 Canada, with Price in once again.

    People on this board have complained about Babcock so eerily similar, to how i’ve heard complaints, on Therien, Carbonneau, Martin, you name it every coach since TOE BLAKE.

    Put Price in net they have to focus on team defense first. The one game they had flow, put 6 up against Norway when Lou was in net. Different goalie, different strategy. They only scored 7 times in total in the 3 games Price played. Not against Sweden, or US, or Russia either. You think the US is going to only get 20 shots on Price Friday. Yet he hasnt even faced that in any of the 3 games he played.

    It seems the only way you can coach with Price in net, is a defensive shot blocking system first.

    Or is every coach that has had Price in net, wrong. Impossible.

    I promise you, if the league kept track of shot blocking HABS would be tops in the league.

    This is why watching the HABS has been tedious for years. Other than a handful of barn burners.

    Okay call me a troll, tell me my grammar is awful, whatever. This board is about expressing opinions, and not attacking others for their view.

    Try to atleast have some respect if you can’t contribute, so atleast I get my opinion out like everyone else of you. Besides if you go to a couple other boards, afterall this is CANADAs team, you’ll find a lot of similar thinking of Carey Price.

    GO CANADA, and GO HABS

  58. Chuck is a Canuck, and he is also going to go for the gold medal in the event of "longest nickname ever posted on Hockey Inside-Out, just to see how long of a nickname you can input before the hamsters explode" says:

    OK, we can now agree that the goaltending isn’t the problem, correct? ;)

  59. Danno says:

    Whew!

    Canada Squeaks by Latvia

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  60. Mattyleg Won't Change His Handle For The Olympics says:

    In other news:
    Talk about your lateral career moves…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  61. Stevie.Ray says:

    In regards to playing the puck with your hand the IIHF rule book says “a player shall be permitted to…push [the puck] along the ice”

    And in the case of calling a penalty shot it says, “if any defending player, except for the goaltender, picks up the puck with his hands from the ice in his goal crease, the referee shall award the non-defending team a penalty shot.”

    Smothering the puck with your hand by a player anywhere on the ice is a delay of game penalty, but the Latvian player didn’t smother it, he pushed it under his goalie. So therefore the right call was made.

    But who cares about rules, right?

  62. Danno says:

    After today’s upset, Vladimir Putin is not amused…

    Russians Dismissed

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

    • BJ says:

      For the CIA doing their thing in the Ukraine on behalf of the banksters?

    • ClutchNGrab says:

      Being their biggest star in the KHL, I suspect Kovalchuk may want to take some vacations outside of Russia this year.

    • Le Jadester says:

      Russians were pathetic today.
      Even the xxx movie we saw in Vancouver four years ago featuring Canada has me thinking that they’re all hype ?
      Their defense was soft and slow.
      The team also lacked chemistry amongst their forwards, it’s like they gave up after they went down 1-2. What a $hit show it must be over there?
      They remind me of the Leafs and how bad they’ve been over the last couple years. Too bad, cause I love the rivalry…even more than the CAN-US one.
      I was hoping for a Canada v Russia final but from what I’ve seen thus far the two best teams are Sweden and America IMO.

      Babs is still a donkey for not playing PK.
      Weber should’ve worn the C for Canada
      Syd is not the best in the world anymore.
      Doughty rocks !
      CP 31 has been great and I hope he’s our hero on Friday cause the Americans are gonna be looking for blood.

      I’m glad Chucky is back….I missed him !

      Habs, OLE !

    • Habfan17 says:

      Maybe he should train for the next Olympics. With him in the line up, the other players will be afraid not to win

      Habfan17

  63. Luke is Canadian says:

    I don’t like that CCM gear Galchenyuk wears.

    I’m fine with players wearing the gear of their sponsors (unlike some folks… Richard Peddie). It;s not that. I just that I think it looks terrible. Exceptionally terrible.

    It is part of the reason I stopped watching 24CH regulary.

  64. krob1000 says:

    I really thought the Czechs would make win or at least make a game of it. I guess he days of HAsek are gone…but I didn’t expect a team with those vets to go downt hat easy.

    • Mattyleg Won't Change His Handle For The Olympics says:

      The Czechs were pretty terrible throughout the tournament.
      Glad that Pleky will get some rest.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • krob1000 says:

        4 gols on 12 shots from Pavelec didn;t help…but I thought they had a decent mix of forwards who could play in a big game. Guys like Pelks and Kerjci can match up against anyone…and JAgr, Elias and Hemsky as vets….they had some talent there but it was their experience I thought would make a difference…wrong I guess.

        • Mattyleg Won't Change His Handle For The Olympics says:

          No real depth, I thought.
          They have a few good players, for sure, but they also have Kaberle.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  65. krob1000 says:

    Glad to see Chucky back…..not good news Bournival is still not able to practice? I sure hope he is alright…he is going to be an important player moving forward.

  66. Chuck is a Canuck, and he is also going to go for the gold medal in the event of "longest nickname ever posted on Hockey Inside-Out, just to see how long of a nickname you can input before the hamsters explode" says:

    Is it ok to quit peeking through my fingers? Did we win?

  67. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Well 2-1 against Latvia…ugh…. Ok

  68. Mavid is a Canadian fan and thinks they should free PK says:

    Ian Mendes is a dink..how dare we question the coach of Team Canada…he has a gold metal…

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  69. Mattyleg Won't Change His Handle For The Olympics says:

    I don’t think the US is so much to get worried about.
    We’d have beaten all the teams they beat.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  70. DoopsyDiddler says:

    Two observations.

    1. Curling is like chess on ice. Who knew?

    2. Shouldn’t they be wearing helmets?

  71. bwoar says:

    Down with Lopaz!

    “thoroughbred”

  72. Lopaz is Canadian says:

    One and only!

  73. Lopaz is Canadian says:

    Lopaz rules baby!

  74. Lopaz is Canadian says:

    Could it be?

  75. Lopaz is Canadian says:

    Hello?

  76. jols says:

    12 points back, having played 2 more games than most of their opposition. They are only 1 point ahead of Florida for 14th in the East. Florida has 2 games in hand. The Isles have absolutely no chance of making the playoffs. With Traverse or without.

  77. krob1000 says:

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html

    This site that calculates odds of teams making playoffs currently have the Islanders at 0 percent chance to make it…this was before Tavares injury.

  78. Lopaz is Canadian says:

    Those women play to at least a Midget AAA level, you?


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