Pacioretty back on top line

AUDIO: Max Pacioretty (nice props to David Desharnais) | Jacques Martin

Max Pacioretty was on a top line as he went through his first practice since being recalled from Hamilton.

Pacioretty was at left wing on a line with Tom Pyatt and Brian Gionta. That’s the spot usually occupied by Andrei Kostitstyn. As for Pyatt, he was probably keeping the spot warm for Scott Gomez, who worked on his own with strength coach Pierre Allard.

Kostitsyn was teamed with Jeff Halpern and Max Lapierre.

The other lines were Tomas Plekanec-Mike Cammalleri-Travis Moen and Lars Eller-Benoit Pouliot-Mathieu Darche.

Josh Gorges did not practice. His partner, Hal Gill, skated with Dustin Boyd. The other D pairings were Roman Hamrlik-P.K. Subban and Alexandre Picard-Yannick Weber.

No sign of defenceman Jaroslav Spacek who left Saturday night’s game in Toronto with an upper-body injury.   


  1. Kooch7800 says:

    I am not talking about his contract I am talking about his play. 

  2. Kooch7800 says:

    Hey,I like Gomez but seriously what the heck.  If you prefer you can use the straight statistic of 9 points in 29 games which would be the equivalent of a 4th line player. Call it absurd but I wouldn’t be surprised if gomez doesn’t break 40 points this year which is brutal.

    They need to get him going in a big way.

    One line teams don’t make it in the playoffs.

    I think in a couple years Eller will be an awesome 2nd line centre.  He is so quick and smart with the puck.  He also is not afraid to get his nose dirty.

  3. HardHabits says:

    The Habs are 1-5-0 without Gomez in the line-up. How much more proof do you need?

    What’s inexcusable is you and others here going on and on with your simplistic calculation points/salary=value.

    Read this article if you can and you’d see just how much of an impact Gomez makes on the only stat that matters, WINS!

    If Gomez was a liability I’d be the first to say it. He isn’t. On the contrary he is a valuable asset to the team. In fact his absence has created a huge gap down the middle. The sooner he returns the better, for us Habs fans that is.

  4. FormalWare says:

    Uhhh… Mentioning “SATHER” in the same list with all those other names kinda devalues the entire list.

    However, point taken. Gomez has proven himself a character guy and a playoff performer–no question.

  5. LA Loyalist says:

    Gomez $ cost per point is inexcusable and speaks for itself. Call me whatever names you wish doesn’t change the numbers – sorry.

  6. HabsFanInTampa says:

    True Lavie. Same thing down here. People aren’t too happy about Vinny Lecavalier’s points production. Especially since he hasn’t been lighting up the Goal Lamp the last two seasons. But, when he’s in the lineup, the team wins. The team struggles or loses when he sits due his numerous injuries. The one difference is that the fans down here don’t repeatedly harp on his overpaid salary of over $7M+.

  7. punkster says:

    “On pace for” looks shocking, that is until you throw up the stats from other players around the league. How many goals are Kovalchuk and Crosby on pace for? Kind of absurd either way, isn’t it?

  8. mbplekfan says:

    The leafs suck because they have lousy players not because they are young.

    Finger was a bad signing. Komisarek was a bad signing. They gave up too much for Kessel and way too much for Phaneuf.

    The leafs havent got a good young core of players.

  9. Lazarus_taxa says:

    WAIT, WAIT, you lost me.  Serious was FACTUALLY WRONG in the previous post, wasn’t he?  Now you were wrong? HAHAHAAHAHA, embarrassing.  Can someone provide a link to current coaches records?  How about JM’s season last year?  How about comparing JM to all the Habs coaches since Jacques Demers?  Why are these points not in your FACTUALLY INCORRECT analysis of JM?  You are just putting a negative SPIN on anything to desperately, but ineffectively prove your opinion.

  10. Julie H says:

    Yeah shootouts are not worth it.

    ♪Your cares and troubles are gone. There’ll be no more from now on. From now on happy days are here again, the skies above are so clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer again. Happy times, happy nights, happy days are here again♪

  11. petefleet says:

    Looks more like an Albatross to me.  Maybe that could be the name.  “Alby”

    ”’Price is a pleasant suprise”’

  12. Kooch7800 says:

    Based on the last two games? We should have won the game in Detroit…..the Ref’s blew that one with B.s. calls and the game in Toronto the whole team didn’t show up.  If price was in net we would have got a point out of it though.  Can’t blame Auld though it was his 3rd start all year and the rust was quite a bit.

  13. RS says:

    Unless MaxPac is playing with Plek, he isn’t on the top line! Plek is clearly the no. 1 centre.

    Speaking of which, please please please put AK, Plek and Cammi back together and keep them there. When Gomez comes back put him with Gionta and MaxPac.

  14. joshua94k says:

    Damien Cox of Toronto Star says fans shouldn’t complain too much about the Leafs. They are the youngest team in NHL etc…. Last week Team 590 in Toronto asked why fans in New York and Montreal will not support a losing team while Toronto does.

    The fact is Colorado Avalanche are the youngest team in the league. The Canadiens avg, age is about 27. The Leafs about 26. The Leafs have the fifth highest cap hit with 62.33 million while the Canadiens have a cap hit of 59.1 and are ranked 14th.

    The difference is Montreal has played without (arguably their best player) Markov almost the whole season and are first in their division. Only four teams have more points in the over-all NHL standings.

    The Canadiens are a young team and play as a team. The reason for their success is that the team does not suger-coat their shortcomings. The fans. media and the players themselves will criicize when something needs to be improved. They will not allow 5+ consecutive years without making the play-offs.

    When the team is doing badly, the GM, coach, the players will be replaced. A losing team caanot survive in Montreal.

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  15. mbplekfan says:

    Some people just want to argue…

    Martin has to realize that this team is still a year away from being truly competitive against the best teams. The way to get there is to develop the young guns and do some teaching.

    He must resist the temptation to win at all ccsts this year and that means giving the rookies leeway.

    LA was terrible a few years ago. But they played through it and let the young guys grow. They could have played journeymen and third liners and stayed mediocre while their youth stagnated on the bench but they didnt.

    We arent that bad but we could be really good next year when our guys are a little bit more experienced and we have the money to retool our aging defence.

  16. Mats Naslund says:

    c’mon maaaaan!


  17. thorandresson says:

    just read that Boyd is on waivers again, I think this time they want to send him down to Hamilton and keep Paccioretty for the long term.

  18. lavie says:

    Some people might look it in another way: when Gomez is in the team plays good.

  19. HabFanSince72 says:

    You tell him!

  20. notbigbird says:

    Do you seriously think that’s what he said in 4 paragraphs?

  21. Kooch7800 says:

    He is not the only player you can say that about on our current roster.  The halpern signing basically made Boyd Obsolete.  Halpern has been great.

  22. thorandresson says:

    so if MaxPac fails or any young player fails, is it the coach’s fault?

  23. thorandresson says:

    i don’t know about you guys, but I’m very excited to see MaxPac, he looked like he was in great shape coming into training camp (remember his 57″ jump and he’s been ripping it up in the AHL.

  24. Kooch7800 says:

    Here is a stat for you…..Scott Gomez is on pace for a 25 point season…

    Gomez’s contract is a joke but he is a decent player but this stat really shows how he has been playing this year and it is a problem.  That is insanity

  25. JF says:

    Good post.  I agree with your views on Gomez, and I think we saw in the last two games how much the team missed him, particularly on the powerplay.  I’m not sure I would agree that Gainey got him for a song.  I guess it depends how MacDonagh develops, but so far we’ve certainly done better out of the deal than the Rangers. Gomez is an important part of our lineup, and Pyatt’s speed and penalty-killing are valuable; the Rangers, on the other hand, lost no time in dumping Chris Higgins, and they failed to make the playoffs.  You’re also right about Gomez’s value during the playoffs.  But I guess we’ll go on hearing about how few points he puts up and how worthless he therefore is until the end of his contract.

  26. habaddict_andy says:

    Had the same problem.

  27. habaholic68NJ says:

    Anyone else other than me having problems with the audio links above?

  28. ctony says:

    Dear god, we generally agree on your post.  That might be a first.  

    I only included Lou and Slats based on the prior post as people who endorse(d) Gomez.We can’t like their opinion when they agree with us and consider them dolts other times.

  29. punkster says:

    Coke is for fools, Mike. And really high paid atheletes 😉

  30. habaddict_andy says:

    It’s good to have coaches commenting here.  If only you could coach the Canadiens.  Don’t know why you don’t.  But we can only dream right?  😉

  31. ctony says:

    When you’re right, you’re right.  Vokoun was traded for one first and two
    seconds.  I was wrong.

    As for JM in Ottawa…

    They finished 1st in
    the Northeast in 1998-99, swept by Buffalo in the first round.  Pathetic. 
    For the record, Rhodes was the starter. 
    Finished 2nd in the Northeast
    1999-2000, lost in six to Toronto in the first round.  Pathetic. 
    He started Barrasso over Lalime for no apparent reason. That was
    Lalime’s first season in the NHL.  JM
    must have used the same reasoning for benching Spezza in the 2003-04 playoffs and
    sitting PK recently. Finished 1st in
    the Northeast in 2000-01, swept by Toronto in the first round.  Pathetic.  He couldn’t get a top team past bottom dweller
    and the best excuse you have his poor goaltending.  This is the same goaltending he had all
    season, so it’s a pretty weak argument. Overall
    this is a piss-poor showing for any coach.

    As for Florida.  They
    have been bad (ok, very bad) for a long time. 
    In his three seasons as head coach, they finished with 85, 86, and 85
    points.  He leaves and they jump to 93.  Same ownership, same market, same
    issues.  Hell JM appoints Peter DeBoer as
    the new coach and team is about 10% better and ties US for the eighth playoff

    Face it.  JM is a
    career AVERAGE coach.  He is not the second coming of Dick Irvin, Toe Blake or Scotty Bowman.  
    He is fallible, his decisions should be second-guessed.  I wish we had better.

  32. habaddict_andy says:

    I have a feeling Jacques is getting ready for Flyers “the try injure when losing” team.

  33. notbigbird says:

    I have never ever misread anything. 😉

  34. avatar_58 says:

    MOEN IS A CHECKER. Say it with my Jacques – MOEN IS A CHECK-ER. Got it?

  35. mbplekfan says:

    This time Martin had better handle a young player a little differently. MaxPac is going to have good shifts and bad shifts. He’s going to screw up a few times as he adjusts to the new league and works through his rookie jitters.

    Martin has to avoid the temptation to staple him to the bench whenever he makes a mistake. If Pacioretty is to succeed at this level he has to be given some leeway. The guy has size, speed and offensive ability, but he is still young.

    With MaxPac this team is young. Price in net,  Subban and Weber on d, and Eller, Pouliot and Pacioretty up front. Those guys are a pretty good core group to bring along. Palushaj is making noises that he is just about ready too.

    Young teams make mistakes as they gain experience. Martin has to live with those mistakes and let them keep playing. Its been forever since we had a group of young players all come up at the same time. The future looks bright if we can develop these players without destroying their confidence.

  36. HardHabits says:

    Nobody’s denying Markov’s value. The people with their heads in the sands are denying Gomez’ value.

  37. HardHabits says:

    His point production skills have tapered off this year but he was never anything more on the ledger sheet than a 60 point man. But he brings more to the game than just assists. Those with limited intellect mock the other things he brings as intangibles because they’re incapable of seeing anything beyond points/salary=value.

    Playing responsible defensively while being a scoring threat is much more valuable than being a one-way forward who can only score.

    You say Lou didn’t resign him. The same Lou who’s team is in the basement after throwing away prospects to Atlanta and then signing KovyII to a ludicrously never-ending contract? Maybe it’s Lou’s skills that have diminished a little.

    The same Sather who tried as he might to build a team via free agency before the salary cap yet always ended up with a team that missed the playoffs or got unceremoniously dumped once they got there? So Sather signed Gaborik. Who cares? I’d rather Gomez than Gaborik any day because come play-off time Gomez leaves it all out on the ice whereas Gaborik is in the infirmary nursing his boo-boos. I think maybe Sather’s skills have diminished a little.

    Scott’s value to the team is huge. It will continue to be for the duration of his contract. Possibly Gomez will be traded in his last year to a team that is looking to reach the salary floor, highly unlikely though.

    The truth is we’ll hear the pro-Gomez versus the anti-Gomez rants until playoff time or close to it when Gomez finally shows up. And when Gomez hoists that Cup over his head as a Hab I’ll be very happy.

    I’ll paraphrase another of my earlier comments:

    Gomez value is more than his cap hit. Gomez is a team player. This team has been traditionally weak at centre for decades. Finally the Habs have two very decent top 6 forwards at centre, a budding bright young light in Eller and an exceptional journeyman in Halpern and all people can think about is Gomez’ salary and as if that would just disappear everything would be better.

    The Habs are winning with Gomez. The Habs made a deep play-off run with Gomez. Currently there is no-one in the system to replace him. No-one is taking that contract because no-one needs that type of player. Gainey got Gomez for a song, not to mention Pyatt as a decent throw in and everybody claims Sather is some kind of genius.

    It takes years to build the type of team I want to see the Habs become and for the time being Gomez is an important part of that process.

    The Habs are better with Gomez and worse without him. It’s that simple. They looked awful the last two games, except the 3rd period against the Wings. They can’t play a full season like that. Gomez takes a lot of the load of of Plekanec, something neither Halpern or Eller can do.

  38. Mark C says:

    The Gomez killing the cap argument, right now, in season, holds no water. Montreal has almost $1.1M in cap space, plus $4.7M in LTIR space. That is enough cap space to add a D or top-6 at the deadline or before.  

    Send that argument to the press box until the offseason.


  39. DearyLeary says:

    I saw at least two obvious Wings penalties in the last 5 minutes on Friday.  

    We outshot them what, 20-3, something ludicrous in the third period.  Is that a ‘weak’ offence?

  40. shiram says:

    That makes sense to me, and I have a feeling Gomez will be back on wednesday as well.

    No news on Gorges and i kinda worry, he’s been getting therapy days for a long while now.

  41. Propwash says:

    I’d have to say no, because the team is still paying Carbo till the end of his contract, which I forget when it expires. Doesn’t do very well in the books when you have to pay for two fired coaches contracts.

  42. Mark C says:

    It doesn’t matter what line(s) a player is on, they can always pick up their game, it’s all about their level of play and effort, and not what line their on.

    Let’s see what the line look like come Wednesday before we pass too much judgment on practice lines.

    BTW, where’s your outrage on Boyd being paired with Gill? Surely, JM can’t seriously be considering playing him on D.


  43. HardHabits says:

    More like Gomez sure disappoints a lot of small minds at HIO.

  44. samTHEman says:

    Gomez will be ready come wednesday I think.

    Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Cammalleri

    Pacioretty – Gomez – Gionta

    Pouliot – Eller – Darche

    Moen – Halpern – Lapierre

    gomez spacek gorges did not practice.

    Any update on the 3? Gorges seems like he’s nursing a previous injury

  45. Say Ash says:

    The shootout is a gimmick to begin with. I don’t know why people rag on a guy that treats in as so.

  46. Max_a_million says:

    Our team is undefeated everytime a child buys a googly bear gomez doll … stupid is as stupid does, and it’s defintely not stupid.  So there!  I am not going to stoop to making fun of your BJT nickname, because I think we can agree to both respect the googly bear!

  47. HabFanSince72 says:

    A more likely explanation is that our offence is so weak that opposing teams rarely get pressured into taking holding or hooking penalties.


  48. ctony says:

    Just curious.. If we had missed the playoffs or been knocked out earlier, do you think PG would have made the move?

  49. Max_a_million says:

    That Omark kid from Sweden with the Oilers has some amazing and fun shootout goals.  You would think the shooters would start getting more creative like this, seems like he is going to be a trendsetter.

  50. BJT says:

    Hey now, that’s not nice. I’ve been a fan for.. well, I don’t even know. Long enough to know that ‘Googly Bear Gomez’ is a freakin’ stupid nickname.


    Formerly known as Camel_Larry..
    ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  51. mbplekfan says:

    Boyd was given a perfect opportunity to succeed. He had a new team in a new city and a simple assignment. He went on to post terrible plus-minus numbers and can be held responsible for blowing or not even attempting his defensive assignments. The kid cost himself a shot at rebuilding his NHL career. He blew it.

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