Penguins look to sweep season series with Habs; White suspended five games

The Penguins will be looking to sweep their season series against the Canadiens when the teams meet Wednesday night in Pittsburgh (7 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

The Penguins beat the Canadiens 7-6 in overtime on March 2 at the Bell Centre and 1-0 in Pittsburgh on March 26.

The Canadiens – coming off back-to-back losses to Toronto and Philadelphia – risk losing home-ice advantage in the playoffs if they can’t turn things around in their last six regular-season games. Heading into Wednesday’s game, the Canadiens (26-11-5) had a one-point lead on the Boston Bruins (26-11-4) atop the Northeast Division standings and were four points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs (24-14-5).

Peter Budaj will start in goal for the Canadiens against the Penguins after Carey Price was pulled in each of the last two games. Michael Ryder is sidelined with an upper-body injury and didn’t make the trip to Pittsburgh. He’s listed as day-to-day. Brandon Prust will return to the lineup after sitting out Monday’s game to rest his ailing shoulder.

Coach Michel Therrien said after Wednesday’s morning skate in Pittsburgh that defenceman Nathan Beaulieu won’t play against the Penguins, replaced by Yannick Weber, who has dressed for only two games this season and hasn’t played since March 7. Therrien added that it would be a game-time decision on whether Michael Blunden or Gabriel Dumont will take Ryan White’s spot in the lineup and added that defenceman Raphael Diaz might be ready to return on Saturday when the Washington Capitals visit the Bell Centre. Diaz has been sidelined since Feb. 25 with a concussion.

White faced an NHL disciplinary hearing on Wednesday in New York for an illegal check to the head of Flyers defenceman Kent Huskins and has been suspended for five games. Under the terms of the CBA, and based on his average annual salary, White will forfeit $18,581.10. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Watch the video of NHL Director of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan announcing White’s suspension.

Rene Bourque was on a line with Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec for several drills during Wednesday’s morning skate.

Therrien said on Tuesday that home ice “is something we want to have and we’re in position to have.”

The coach added: ”We just have to refocus. We caused a lot of surprise this year. We played with desperation this season, but we don’t have that same desperation since we made the playoffs. We have to bring it back as soon as we can. We didn’t respond (Monday) night, but we have to look ahead. Pittsburgh is a new challenge. They’re the best team in the East.”

The Penguins, who have won 19 of their last 21 games, will be without Sidney Crosby and James Neal, who are still recovering from injuries. During a pregame ceremony, Mark Recchi and Dr. Charles (Chip) Burke will be named to the Penguins’ All-Time Team. During three different stints in Pittsburgh, Recchi – who also played for the Canadiens – had 154 goals and 385 points in 389 games with the Penguins.

April 16 marked the 60th anniversary of the Canadiens’ 1953 Stanley Cup victory. Check out the video below courtesy of  HIO fan Francis Bouchard of Hearst, Ont.

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Game Preview: Canadiens vs. Penguins, canadiens.com

Penguins Report: Game Day vs. Montreal, pittsburghpenguins.com

Canadiens risk losing home-ice advantage with late slump, by Pat Hickey

Carey Price on the hotseat with Habs, by Stu Cowan

Canadiens try to cool off red-hot Penguins, NHL.com

For Penguins, Boston bombs shatter good memories, too, by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Winning Eastern Conference would be cause for celebration in Pittsburgh, by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Capitals beat leafs for eighth straight win, montrealgazette.com

“The Dream is alive” in Toronto with Leafs, by Stu Cowan

Bruins hope to help Boston region heal, nhl.com

261 Comments

  1. Mr. Biter says:

    I find some of the posters here really short sighted. Gionta’s to small get rid of him. Max is to soft, DD’s to small and Ryder won’t be re-signed as he ‘s going to be expensive. So in the posting of these hockey experts we would lose 49 goals (rest of Habs forwards have scored a total of 57) who would replace them? And yes I want a truchelent forward and d-man with size and not for scoring.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  2. So… do I watch the game tonight or do I venture onto the computer midway to see if I bring my bad luck (Sorry HIB!)?

    Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

  3. HNS says:

    Oh yea I’d blame MT. How’s about the fact your goalie is a sieve.

  4. rhino514 says:

    To me it sounds like the majority of posters here want bigger, more physical, and grittier players. This is preached daily on this site. It is constantly said that we are a small team, that we won´t cut it in the playoffs (despite the fact that 3 years we made the semis, and we were one shot away away two years ago from beating the eventual Stanley Cup champs playing with key injuries)
    What I see when I look at the league is this; physical players actually tend to get injured more often, because they are engaging in physical play. You can look at Bourque and Emelin as examples on our team, but I see a pattern throughout the league with these types of players.
    Secondly, bang ´em type players tend to lose their hockey skills due to chronic injury earlier than skilled players. White, Moen, Armstrong are examples.
    So basically, I don´t believe in physical players with limited hockey skills. I appreciate that the NHL is a physical league, and that skilled players who have a physical component to their game are valuable. But it´s almost impossible to get these types of players; teams don´t want to part with them.
    I like the team we have. The team the way it was playing up to a couple of games ago could play and beat anybody. I don´t think our forwards are too small, simply put. I DO think our D should is about borderline physical for a contending team, with Emelin on it, and problematic without him.
    But the forwards everyone goes on about who we could be REALISTICALLY getting; I think it´s a big mirage that any of these guys would help. The thing about “you can´t have more than two small forwards on the team, we have to dump one of them”, it just becomes so tiresome.
    And lest we forget, it´s not the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog, that counts.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Please don’t mention Moen and Armstrong as Physical players.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

    • HAB-PROFESSOR says:

      its about finding the right balance of finesse and grit…

      we don’t have the correct balance, but we are moving in the right direction…just need to move more.


      The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…
      GALLAGHER = FUTURE HAB CAPTAIN

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Just watched the White hit and it looks like as it says in the vidio his timing was off. No elbow (as per hit on Halprin vs Bruins in playoffs with elbow to head and no penalty what so ever). Shoulder hits the head but I’ve seen way more vicious hits this year with no penalty or suspensions handed out. I realize hits to the head have to be stopped, so not arguing about the hit as head shots have to be stopped. But certain posters defiantly don’t like him but I’d rather have a 4th line of White’s than Moen”s or Armstrong”s.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

  5. Hobie Hansen says:

    Alright, Prust is back tonight, all will be good. We might be small but when Prust is in the lineup, we play a couple inches taller.

    • kbhab4ever says:

      Therrien same as martin, { bench rookies even if vets suck}
      Weber plays and Beaulieu sits. c’mon

      • HAB-PROFESSOR says:

        Weber hasn’t really played this season has he? so your observation, although correct in some situations, doesn’t apply here.


        The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…
        GALLAGHER = FUTURE HAB CAPTAIN

  6. RazzleDazzle says:

    Price for Taylor Hall

  7. Bill says:

    Just checking in, I see this place is still ground zero for whiners and trolls.

    Two bad games does not define the team, its goalie, or its skaters. Two bad games is an utterly ordinary occurrence in the season of any good team in any league in any sport. It just doesn’t mean anything.

    The entire team has spent most of this season being really, really good, win or lose. You don’t blow up the lines, change the system, or anoint a 30 year old journeyman your number one goalie because of two bad games. I don’t wish to be offensive, so I will not call these ideas stupid, but I will say they would be panicky and ill-advised.

    • kbhab4ever says:

      2 games do not make a season you are right, But almost for a month now the HABS are barely a .500 team. WHY?

      I think Therrion is mishandling the rookies & Eller.
      And not maximizing the assets of our skilled offensive players and
      instead of worrying about the grunts or players who are not producing.

    • vancouverite says:

      Those are wise words !

      This team is not as bad is its two last games. I’d like to see the following d-pairings going into the playoffs :
      Markov (23min) – Subban (25 min)
      Gorges (23 min) – Drewiskie (16 min)
      Bouillon (17 min) – Diaz (16 min)
      Tinordi Beaulieu – Weber (Pressbox Pair)

  8. The Dude says:

    To the N.R.A. and it’s members …good guy’s with guns didn’t protect Boston ! And again to the Great City of Boston and the good folks there ,lot’s of love from me and mine! PEACE.

  9. Ignore all who don’t get it!

    Go Habs Go

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

  10. The Dude says:

    Again I applaud the Habs organization and the Players with what has happened this year but ‘THE BUBBLE HAS BURST’ ,STILL for an undersized and with some way overpaid players as-well as a soft team who has no HEAVYWEIGHTS AND ONLY TWO pugilist athlete’s who have truculence ‘one being a psychopath :) ‘ not a bad showing.
    And with the Pens injury list this should be a good game cause if they had a full line-up the Habs would look like a broom-ball team. As entertaining as this has become compared too last season the best thing that could of happened is happening to MB in his journey to right this ship and “man does he have some work to do and some fat cat contracts trade ‘in order to get BALANCE ON THIS TEAM….Go Habs

  11. frontenac1 says:

    Did we sign an Enforcer yet?

  12. BrownHabFan says:

    Not really sure what all of you expected from the Habs this year? Are they over achieving?? Possibly? Will they play perfectly every again? Absolutly not…Don’t any of you posters and Price bashers watch CH24? This season was a prototype season, they went from last place last season to fighting for home ice advantage…win or lose it don’t matter to me. The team is doing well and I’d rather have them be a bit shaky going into the playoffs to figure it out when we get in…seriously there’s no need for a panic button…they WERE LAST PLACE last year lol

    “I couldn’t really hear the words that Jeremy was saying because I got my 2 stanley cup rings plug in my ear”
    Patrick Roy

    • knob says:

      This team is on the right track and what they have done this year, to date, has been amazing. With that said, they need to be tougher, intimidating (not to the extent of Toronto or Boston), and bigger on D. The D can not withstand the constant forecheck of the bigger teams like Toronto, Philly, Boston, even Pitts. They also lack the fortitude to drive the net and penetrate collapsing defences and traps (Gally and Prust excluded). I was 100% against the hiring of MT but I have significantly changed my position…I enjoy watching the the relentless dogging of the puck and transition game.

  13. ed says:

    the only time in the last 20 games that Desharnais was a 1st line PP man, was when Plekanec had just finished a shift when the penalty took place.

    Desharnais plays 2nd line power play center.

    That’s a fact.

    • knob says:

      Desharnais can play 10 min tonight and watch Eller run a power play and play line 2 minutes. Problem solved.

      Also glad to see Weber in the line-up tonight.

      • ed says:

        I love Eller. I’m a huge fan. I just don’t like the Desharnais bashing, and I don’t think there is such a “huge problem” regarding Desharnais either.

        When I read that based on this year’s performance Desharnais is clearly a “flash in the pan”, I think that’s wrong.

        • Loonie says:

          Next season will be the tell tale year for Desharnais Ed. If his 2013-2014 campaign is closer to this season than last season, he should be viewed as expendable in my opinion.

        • knob says:

          Desharnais is a NHLer, for sure. I just think that he is “in the way” of Eller. Eller, imho, has earned a top-six spot on this team.

    • kbhab4ever says:

      and has 2nd line PP done? Sit Beaulien and play weber??? habs cannot sit a vet

  14. HardHabits says:

    Can we call a truce tonight. If the Habs lose can we not collective use them as our virtual toilet paper all night long ad nauseum and if they win can we not fall to the temptation of mounting them on the highest yet most precarious peak possible.

    Being a Habs fan is increasingly becoming like venturing into an amusement park, rife with roller-coaster rides, freak shows, houses of horror, jolts, twists and turns at break neck speeds and many more rides that leave many an embarked journeyer queasy. I’m still looking for the big orchestral celebration at the end of the night with fireworks and all to announce the winning of Hockey’s Holy Grail.

    Now excuse me, I am next in line for the bumper cars.

    • Loonie says:

      Admirable. But do you really think that a win is going to produce better results here?

      This place will be overwhelmed with Price/Budaj debates if the Habs win tonight.

      If they lose, it’ll mean Markov’s career is over.

      • ed says:

        Markov’s career is almost over. He has virtually no speed left and he can not pivot quickly enough. It’s tough to watch.

        • Stuck_in_To. says:

          Almost isn’t is. He is still a marvel of puck control and hockey sense. It is unfortunate, as it was a couple of years back when Hammerlik and Spacek had too play too many minutes, that Markov is having to play over his head but there it is. I can only assume management is aware of it and will move to address it next year. In the meantime, all they can do is shuffle who they have and I, for one, prefer Beaulieau over Weber. The kid can use every game before round one to get better.

        • kbhab4ever says:

          I agree with you, he should be basically a PP guy .BUT he is a vet and the habs don’t sit vets

    • nunacanadien says:

      If we lose tonight even with Price as backup, can we call up Tokarski and sit Price out for the season?

  15. Skeptical says:

    Peguins Looking to sweep series and I have a feeling they’ll do just that ….

  16. Ian Cobb says:

    They just arrested the SOB that bombed in Boston.

  17. AllHailTheFlower says:

    Odd – CBC’s pre-game report says that Ryder didn’t skate in practise today, but is expected to play tonight. I thought he didn’t even make the trip? Is CBC out to lunch?

  18. Habilis says:

    Completely off topic:

    With MacTavish taking the reins in Edmonton, there’s a ton of buzz about big changes in Oil Town this summer.

    So I ask ye, oh faithful commentariat, what would it take to pry Eberle out of there?

    I would LOVE to see him in a Habs jersey.

    • I woud have to believe that the young guns are off the block and that the Oil will be after defense.

      To answer your question.

      PK for Eberle and I wouldn’t do it.

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

    • Loonie says:

      Subban.

      Eberle’s their captain in waiting.

    • HabsWinn-ipeg says:

      Josh Gorges?
      Plus…?

      • MauriceMaxwell says:

        I highly doubt the Oilers would consider trading Eberle. If any of the kids are going to be traded from the Oilers I´d say it´s Yakopov, just because I don´t think he fits in as well with the mold of a Craig MacTavish style team.

        OLE OLE OLE OLE!

    • B says:

      I would love to see Eberle a Hab too, but it could be difficult to fit his $6M cap hit on the Habs next season.

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • Timo says:

      Do the have a #8 defenseman we can snatch? We already have #7 but #8 would be fantastic.

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      Friedman reported that the only one of the young guns they might part with would be Yakupov, but the asking price would be astronomical.

    • jo_maka says:

      None of Eberle – Hall – Nuge would move. Paajarvi is a maybe, and Yak is mostly the bait.

      Yak can be had with a Gorges plus. They look to stabilize their back end. Then again, Lowe is liable to go crazy as he is wont to do and call Gillis for Bobby Lou. They know MB will ask for the whole farm for Subban. You guys think that it’ll take Subban to get Eberle but if you look to build a winning franchise, it’s actually the other way around in my opinion. My fear is that Lowe will call Wang to give a Visnovsky or a Streit to get him another top tier forward as if they didn’t have any of those.
      _________________________________
      Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

      • Ghosts of the Forum says:

        From Elliotte Friedman:

        Yakupov: This is purely my opinion, but I think Edmonton would listen to a massive offer. It’s nothing against the player, it’s more about circumstance. To get quality, you have to give up quality. If MacTavish really wants to make a bold, aggressive move, this is the name on the roster that fits. But the trade would have to be spectacular.

        Love Gorges and what he brings. But he’s hardly spectacular. Subban would get Yakupov. Not a price the Habs should pay.

  19. habs-fan-84 says:

    Big win tonight and all will be forgotten!

    1st seed vs. 2nd seed, in the regular season it doesn’t get much better than that!

    GO HABS GO

  20. Phil C says:

    Talking about DD vs Eller, or team toughness instead of the state of the defense without Emelin is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Unless they can find someone to play reliable top-four minutes with Markov, we’ll soon be talking about who’s available with the 22th overall pick.

    • Loonie says:

      I agree to an extent. I think they can survive if Markov, Subban and Diaz are near elite in puck movement through the playoffs.

      They need to control the game and avoid punishment from forecheckers.

      • Phil C says:

        Good point about adding Diaz and avoiding the forecheck. This is where Price with his puck handling skills could be very important.

      • MauriceMaxwell says:

        It´s all about getting to the puck first something that has not happened the past couple of games. If they can do that then they will be in control most games, no matter how ferocious the forecheck .

        OLE OLE OLE OLE!

  21. rhino514 says:

    Good decision to play Webber. Beaulieu is very green and Webber has played with the team in high pressure situations. If he has a good game, which I think is possible, it will be interesting to see who gets the the 6th spot heading into the playoffs.
    I think the egde goes to Drewiske, because of his size, and because with Diaz coming back we don´t need another offensively-minded defenseman. Still, I´d love to see Webber have a solid game.

  22. Ozmodiar says:

    Desharnais has NOT done well on the 2nd line power play that is clearly struggling AS A UNIT, mostly because we are missing a 2nd line power play quarterback.

    Anyone else find it interesting that our 2nd PP unit center (DD) has more PP TOI/G than our 1st PP unit center (Pleks)??

    Sounds like someone’s trying hard to come up with excuses. :)

    The reality is that DD is, quite often, on the 1st unit.

  23. Propwash says:

    Authorities might have I.d’d a suspect in the marathon bombing.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/17/us/boston-blasts/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  24. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    RE: Desharnais power play discussion below. If DD is not getting points on the power play, he is useless to the Habs. He is not on the team to play defense. If he can’t produce, he is not worth the defensive liability that he is. Simple as that.

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Phil C says:

      I think you are grossly undervaluing DD’s contributions. The key to Montreal’s offense is that they have three lines that can hurt you. Without DD, the Habs start to run out of top nine forwards, and they turn into a two-line team, except their two lines are not as lethal as some of the competition. A balanced attack has been one of the keys to success this year. I believe it is one of the reasons DD has been locked up long term.

      Boston won the Cup with a similar format of three scoring lines, whereas LA was more of a two-line team. Both can work.

  25. Phil C says:

    I see Stubbs is wishing Weber well in the game tonight. I think these next few games are very important to Weber’s career, at least in Montreal. He has Beaulieu and Tinordi nipping at his heels in the depth chart, especially with Beaulieu who can also play the PP like Weber can.

    He needs to bring his game to the next level because based on what he did last year, Beaulieu has already passed him in the depth chart.

  26. Mattyleg says:

    Urgh.
    Michael Ryder out tonight.
    Things are looking ropey for our boys.
    Luckily the Pens are as beat up as we are.
    And as Boston.
    And most of the teams in the NHL.
    This short sched is tough.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  27. The Jackal says:

    Got a good feeling about tonight.
    I think the last two losses were my fault. For the laff game, I asked my Bruin friend to watch with me, and for the flyers game, I kicked a buddy out of my place so I could start watching the game.

    I was bad… but I am being good today to build up the karma for the team.

    4-1 Habs.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  28. CHicoHab says:

    Doesn’t matter how many games White gets…….He won’t be playing many more games anyways IMO.

    “take your time and hurry up”

    • Alex_425 says:

      Something tells me we won’t dump him. I dunno why. I’m personally not too sure about what to do with him, but I think one more chance for him is still in the cards.

      But I’m no expert….

  29. MauriceMaxwell says:

    This is my first post after reading this site for years.

    It has been a rough couple of games, but I believe they will get things turned around. A game against a top team is just what the doctor ordered IMO. The Penguins are a team that they are not able to take lightly and I expect to see one of the better games this season from our guys. They have shown a lot of character and resiliency so far this season and this is just another test. I predict the score will be 3-2 for the Habs and then hundreds of posts of why Budaj is better than Price ;)

    OLE OLE OLE OLE!

    • :lol:

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

    • Alex_425 says:

      In the last 8 games or so, my girlfriend predicted four of them, and got all of ‘em right. 2 wins, 2 losses. Simply based on a “good” or “bad” feeling.

      She made a new prediction this morning.

      I have confidence in my team for tonight.

      But I’m no expert….

    • RetroMikey says:

      Budaj, in my opinion, if given the chance could be that magical goalie like Roy and Dryden in the past.
      Sad to say, there will be to too many whiners still thinking Price is the better goalie.
      If I were Therrien, gamble these couple of games and see what Budaj can do.
      Mentally, I think Budaj is up to the challenge, the only draw back is less ice time comapared to Price.

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

  30. ed says:

    I’ve grown so tired of the daily Desharnais bashing on this site; it’s just ridiculous already.

    Desharnais plays 1.5 shifts per game even strength more than Eller.

    Desharnais has scored more points even strength than Plekanec.

    It’s on the power play that Desharnais AND Paciorretty have struggled. No question about it. Desharnais has not been productive on the power play.

    Subban, Markov, and Plekanec, all 1st line, have done very well on the power play,

    but the 2nd unit power play, minus Markov, minus Subban (up until a few games ago) has really struggled.

    Well, if you take Markov off the ice, then who is quarterbacking your second power play unit? Bouillon? Gorges?

    So of course it follows that the forwards who jump on the ice for the 2nd power play unit will struggle. Lately the Habs have kept Subban on the ice for the whole 2 minutes, but that hasn’t worked out too well either.

    Desharnais has done well even strength. Desharnais has NOT done well on the 2nd line power play that is clearly struggling AS A UNIT, mostly because we are missing a 2nd line power play quarterback.

    Maybe when Diaz comes back, Diaz can be that 2nd line power play quarterback, and we can all stop bashing Desharnais here at HIO.

    • Loonie says:

      Through the first half of this shortened season Markov was taking two minute powerplays regularly. They switched to Subban.

      • ed says:

        I saw a lot of Bouillon out there for the 2nd line power play.

        The 2nd line unit has struggled all season. No matter who has been out there.

        There’s no way that the blame for that fall squarely on Desharnais.

        • Loonie says:

          There’s no way that the blame should fall on Desharnais for the second unit not producing. That much I can agree with.

          But you’re suggesting he rarely if ever sees powerplay time with Subban and/or Markov which is completely untrue.

          He’s being outplayed by a better player. But he maintains the overwhelming majority of powerplay time distributed between the two even though his counterpart has significantly better production in that area of the game.

          This obstacle that is clearly having a negative impact on Desharnais that you mention funny enough doesn’t seem to be having a negative impact on Max Pacioretty who has more than double the amount of powerplay points that Desharnais has while playing on the same powerplay unit.

          • ed says:

            Max has indeed been struggling. he is a scorer. and he has not been scoring nearly enough this season. sure he has picked up assists, especially on the power play when they pass the puck around the perimeter.

            But Max is a SCORER. and he has ONLY 3 POWER PLAY GOALS. That is a terrible result for him.

            I can’t reply below so here’s my reply:

            Desharnais is a passer – who is struggling on the 2nd line power play and out scoring Plekanec 5 on 5.

            Max is a scorer – who is struggling to score goals on the power play and has picked up a lot of power play assists.

            Those are facts.

          • Loonie says:

            Max hasn’t been scoring enough. And that’s not okay.

            Desharnais hasn’t been scoring enough, but it’s everyone else’s fault.

            Got it Ed.

    • Twoonie says:

      My evil twin is always detracting from DD’s success, but as far as I know, he ain’t the coach of the GLORIEUX!

      • Loonie says:

        That’s something you can bet three dollars on. The coach remark.

        If one excellent season is considered success then Scott Gomez is among the best to have ever played the game.

        • Twoonie says:

          Sorry cuz, got carried away.
          DD be playin’ well though foo’, he always tries hard.
          He gots to be better on defensively but he does alright.

        • Timo says:

          Scott Gomez is my personal hero.

        • Alex_425 says:

          I congratulate you, on being the first person to discover the only possible way to put a guy like Scott Gomez in a “best of” category.

          Tales of your knowledge and valor shall be sung by the mightiest warriors, fairest virgins, and of innocent children, for ages.

          But I’m no expert….

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Ed – I agree. It is not just ridiculous but it’s starting to get very tedious. Interesting take re: the 2nd PP wave.

      Desharnais makes $3.3M per year not $8M (Getzlaf) or $12M (Brad Richards), nor even $5M (Gionta).

      He’s paid a modest salary.

      (And yes he has been slumping a bit lately.)

      But in fairness, he did date Loonie and Steeltown Habs’ sisters simultaneously, and it ended badly (obviously) when they found out. He had a cellphone for each one and he forgot to put the other one on mute once. Rookie mistake really.

      • B says:

        Desharnais is making $950,000 this season ($850,000 cap hit), pro rated of course.

        –Go Habs Go!–

      • Loonie says:

        Please.

        He’s allowed to crap the bed but nobody else is. In your eyes anyway.

        Wonder why that is?

        • The Jackal says:

          You make good points most of the time, but it seems you are just too fixated on DD when there are other issues other than how DD has produced.

          DD puts the effort in every game, on and off the ice. Maybe he has not produced much lately but the effort is there. Other players have also been in a bit of a funk, like Max and Moen, but DD seems to be the goat in your eyes. He is still producing at a decent level and makes a modest salary in comparison to other centres of comparable production.

          Eller seems to be the guy that deserves to replace DD but while he has been good with Chucky it is a short season and it is worth getting DD back to form. Maybe Eller can use more ice time and more opportunities but not on at an absolute level where DD is relegated to a lesser role.

          In a full season, there would be time to try these things, but it is almost playoff time and it is important to get DD and Max going. Break them up, try new things, but they still need to be playing their game. Eller is comfortable and effective in his current role. He’ll get more opportunities down the line but this is how things have to roll this season.

          And it’s not even like DD has been bad. You make it sound as if he has been brutal when he has been creating chances every game – the difference is that the line has had trouble converting. They are a good line for us and it’s important to get it going. A few bounces and they’ll be on a roll.

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • Loonie says:

            I’m speaking about the powerplay near exclusively.

          • The Jackal says:

            It seems that you paint DD with a brush that is much broader than just PP production.
            If that is indeed all you are talking about, then that’s fair, but to expand that to 5 on 5 then that is a bit unfounded, specially if it is premised on the French argument.

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          He’s not “allowed to crap the bed”.

          The only time I’ve ever referred to Desharnais’ ethnic origins is to dispute the laughable suggestion that he is only being played because he is French, an assertion you and others have made repeatedly. You’ve decided to conclude that I am some sort of Quebec nationalist. (I’m an Anglo you blithering idiot.)

          • Loonie says:

            I was asking a sincere question and not assuming that you were looking at him through rose coloured glasses due to his birthplace.

    • chanchilla says:

      I have been, and will continue to be an avid desharnais fan, and while i agree with you, i think we have centers that are better suited for the powerplay. Desharnais is one of the hardest workers on the team, but he lacks a little finesse that the powerplay really needs to thrive.

    • B says:

      Despite all the criticism around it here, the Habs PP at 22.3% is currently ranked 4th in the league (up from last season’s 14.3% 28th ranked). Not so bad really.

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • RetroMikey says:

      I love DD as a player and he has more skill and speed than Eller.
      Hopefully next year, we will have two players 5-9 or smaller, one is DD and the other is………?
      Our disadvantage is Pleks and Gionta who should be putting more offensive numbers this year but aren’t.

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

  31. PrashadHabs says:

    Question. I want to try and buy tickets for a playoff game, but it seems like they will fall during the week (home ice). Since there has been a game added on the 28th, do you think the start date will be pushed back now? Possibility of the series starting later?

    • I booked my flights to come in on the 2 May ,Thurs game one. Now if something silly happens and the Habs don’t have home ice then I will be staying a little longer than anticipated….that’s a good thing! :) Nothing is confirmed, and they (Bell) won’t say anything until standings are confirmed. Sucks for us travelers!

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

      • adamkennelly says:

        are you sure game 1 is thursday May 2nd – I figured it would be Tuesday 4/30. Season ends 4/27 – with one game on the 28th – don’t think they’ll wait till Thursday to get started.

        • I am thinking game one will be the Pens on that Tuesday along with sonme teams from the West, and if the Habs are 2nd overall they will start Thurs for the the Saturday HNIC game.

          I looked at the last three years schedules and it always seems they put Canadian teams later in the week.

          Of course this is a late start, and maybe everyone starts Tuesday however the Bell center schedule (which they won’t confirm) has something else on the Tuesday.

          I’ll be screwed if the Habs start at home on Tuesday. I’m not worried about rescheduling flights, but getting a seat would be next to impossible for the Tues.

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

  32. Loonie says:

    Kevin Lowe said the following during MacT’s introductory(how many times has this happened now?) press conference……

    “We have two types of fans. We have paying customers, and we have people that watch the game that we still care about. But certainly the people who go to the games and support, we spend a lot of time talking to them, delivering our message.”

    No wonder he loves the fans who watch the game, they’re contributing more to the Oilers than he as an executive.

  33. habfanacrossthed says:

    No Crosby, No Neal, possibly No Malkin. Habs win 4-2!

    GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      No Martin either. And yeah, would be surprised if they started Malkin. They’ve basically got 1st locked up and are winning without them, so why chance it?

      Imagine…you lose Crosby, Malkin and Neal and still have enough depth to dominate. Yikes.

  34. habsfan0 says:

    Another measuring stick game for the Habs tonight.

    This should tell us what the Habs may do come the post season,even without Price and Ryder.

  35. Thurston says:

    There’s a chance Diaz returns Saturday, per Marc Antoine Godin.

  36. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Nothing to do with this season, but was reading Friedman’s 30 thoughts (always interesting…why does that guy stick with HNIC??) and he says that MacTavish is going to look to shake things up quickly.

    A player who flies under the radar there is Paajarvi. I’d love MB to swing a trade for him. We have solid D prospects, they need solid D prospects. Paajarvi has great offensive upside, but kills penalties too. Not that we’d need him to, but shows he’s a responsible player. He’d fit into our system well and give us some more depth scoring and, depending on how he develops, top level scoring.

    Just a random though :)

  37. habfanacrossthed says:

    Anyone want to venture a guess as to how many games Whitey sits?

    GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

  38. jaymtl514 says:

    About last-last night….

    You might say that “it was just a few idiots” who whistled and yelled go-habs-go during the moment of silence to pay respects to Boston and the USA….

    It was my first game in 5 years, and maybe my last ever….and it has nothing to do with hockey….3 people in 22 thousand embarassed us all, even if you don’t know it….

    How can I love and support a team that’s from THIS province….

    I rememeber that days when I used to think that Montreal was the greatest city; but now sees the light…..

    • mark-ID says:

      A team from THIS province? You do realize fans did the exact same thing at the Leafs game as well…….

      There are always idiots out there….they hardly represent the team or province.

      “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

    • B says:

      It does not make sense to judge a whole province based on a few idiots. Idiots, unfortunately, are a universal phenomenon.

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • The Jackal says:

      Those fools did something disgusting that embarrassed all Habs fans, the city of Montreal, the great province of Quebec, and the wonderful country of Canada.
      They don’t represent Canadians or Quebecers or Habs fans.
      Don’t let those morons give you that view.
      And fortunately but unfortunately, it would have happened outside of “THIS” province too, so let’s not throw accusations and stereotypes.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Let’s stop stereotyping idiots please. I find there is a sort of platonic inculpability to being a sort of episodic idiot.

        My heroes are Homer Simpson; Al Bundy (of married with children fame) and now the entire cast of Duck Dynasty. All outstanding idiots.

        The people who responded badly at the ceremony were insensitive. Idiots on the other hand are too unresponsive to stimulation to express irrational anger as they did.

        Idiots of the world would unite against your put down but that would require mental stimulation which we are firmly against.

        The people who acted out at the game may make a statement by not standing when the fat lady sings the anthem.
        A true idiot would never show such recusance. We would stand dutifully while all along looking and giggling at the heaving bosom of said fat lady.

    • Jocko says:

      There are morons in every part of the world. No need to be embarassed by the actions of so few. The people of Boston are sure not lumping themselves in with the morons who caused this tragedy.

      I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

    • silversnake says:

      I was at the game. There was one loud idiot who started chanting go habs go and pretty much everyone went shhhhhhh. There’s always 1 idiot. There are idiots EVERYWHERE.

  39. Loonie says:

    Just to put the whole Desharnais treatment v. Eller treatment thing into context for a moment.

    Eller had one bad game and was scratched for the next two.

    Desharnais has been well below average for the majority of the season and has had one ten minute benching and one temporary demotion to the fourth line.

    If that doesn’t tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about this situation nothing will.

    • habsfan0 says:

      It is a head scratcher.
      Not.

      I wonder why a reporter doesn’t ask Therrien this question during a press conference.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Not to mention that Eller’s one bad game was the first of the season, and the whole team was lethargic, but for some reason, he apparently stood out.

      • Loonie says:

        He actually did in fairness. He had a combination of five turnovers and missed checks in the defensive zone that night that all lead to scoring chances.

        But as you say it was the first game of the season and he was certainly not the only bad player that night.

    • DorvalTony says:

      Galchenyuk will blossom but it’ll take 3-4 years.

      “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
      William F. Buckley, Jr.

    • bwoar says:

      “Desharnais has been well below average for the majority of the season”

      That’s your context? Dunno man, I can’t agree and the stats don’t either. He’s played pretty much where I would expect him to, a average 2nd line centre. Not great, but not terrible.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Loonie says:

        He’s been a minus player on a first placed team in well over a third of the team’s games this season.

        He’s not scoring at a respectable rate on the powerplay and is given every benefit that is usually afforded to rookies in terms of quality of opposition and quality ice-time.

        Also worth noting that the rookie on his line is neck and neck with him in offensive production and his left winger is miles ahead of him.

        • bwoar says:

          The part we can agree on is that his PP numbers are brutal and he doesn’t belong there.

          “thoroughbred”

        • in habs we trust says:

          I wish some people would turn the page!Loonie nobody is drinking your Kool-Aid.You can post as many times as want it will not change peoples minds.He is a member of the greatest team in history of the N.H.L either your with us for ride or get off bus.

    • The Jackal says:

      If this is part of the DD is French argument then…. you’ve been smoking rockets with Front.

      That argument is played out, dumb, and irresponsible to throw out.

      What about Moen? He has been treated much the same as DD… must be his French roots.

      DD is being given many chances, yes, but that’s because it is important to get him going in this truncated season. Besides, if DD playing below average makes him a .5 ppg guy, then it’s even more important to get him back on his game.
      Move him around, etc., but demotions and benchings won’t help the matter.

      On that note, Eller has been given more chances now and is proving himself, he is not being mishandled – he has a good thing going on with Chucky and whoever else plays on his line. They deserve more ice time and they are earning that but it does follow that DD is being treated better for whatever reason.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • bwoar says:

        Actually, I dislike DD precisely because he is French. How dare he!

        “thoroughbred”

      • Loonie says:

        There’s no comparison to be made between Desharnais and Moen. If they were to take ice-time from Moen he’d be left at under ten minutes per game.

        As for Desharnais, I’m not saying he should be sent to the pressbox, but he’s earned demotion or lesser workload through lack of production under ideal circumstances.

        Eller hasn’t seen an increase in anything that accentuates his talents.

        • The Jackal says:

          There is no comparison, the point is that if you are implying that DD gets preferential treatment or lacks accountability then the same can be said for Moen, who appears to be underperforming just like DD is.

          As for Eller, we always say that he should be given talented linemates to see what he can do. Well, he has played with Chucky and Ryder, and has been on the PP. He is doing well so far but needs to be more consistent IMO – I think he is doing fine with the players he plays with right now. Maybe just more ice time.

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Phil C says:

      I have never seen DD have a poor effort. He has had bad games and not produced, but the hustle and effort has always been there. I think this comes from making it to the NHL the hard way, he knows he can’t take a night off.

      Eller at times looks disinterested and takes some shifts off. As you would know, this is very typical of young players, nothing unique to Eller. If Eller wants to get the trust of the coach, he must earn it like DD did.

      If Eller can find more consistency in his game, he could be an elite player. I hope Therrien keeps dishing out the tough love, Eller will be better for it.

      • Loonie says:

        There isn’t a player or person in the World who has given everything they have every day on their job.

        If that’s what you’ve seen from Desharnais you’re glorifying him.

        • Phil C says:

          I’m not saying he always gives 100%, but his bad games are much better than Eller’s bad games when it comes to effort and hustle. Consistency of effort is what separates many of the elite players from the journeymen, or the NHLers from the career AHLers.

  40. mark-ID says:

    Bergeron and Marchand both back in the Bruins lineup tonight. That’s too bad for us……Bruins were sucking without them.

    “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

    • The Juice says:

      Sucks for the Sens as well as they wouldn’t have been in the lineup had they played on Tuesday as originally scheduled…

      __________________________________________________________________________

      “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

    • DorvalTony says:

      One chirp or slash to Chara and the game is ours.

      “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
      William F. Buckley, Jr.

  41. Timo says:

    So what’s the deal with White’s hearing? He should have had it by now, no?

  42. youngwun says:

    Ryder is out tonight . Weber might be in the lineup . We are not winning tonight but there’s always a chance right.

  43. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Without Ryder and presumably White, who draws in? Blunden and….?

  44. bwoar says:

    @Loonie

    I may regret this, but, you said:

    “Who should have to prove himself more? The first round pick who has displayed the qualities of a complete player or an undrafted, under sized player who’s been sheltered?

    Not trying to take anything away from Desharnais, but does one season qualify as proof?

    And if we’re approaching Desharnais’ third NHL season would it not be reasonable to expect that he improve his skating and strength in order to make himself a better defensive and complete player?”

    1. I prefer Eller, so let that not be a point of contention. It’s agreed.

    2. The “undrafted, under sized player who’s been sheltered” has played more good hockey at the NHL level than Lars Eller. Has had more success powering an offense line than Eller. Has displayed much more heart, more consistently, than Eller. And for pure offensive talent has put up better numbers than Eller during a full season.

    3. No, I don’t expect Desharnais will improve much at all. I think we’ve seen his peak and it looks like a 60-point centre IF he has 2 hard-nosed scoring wingers with him.

    The important thing is, I see Eller surpassing Desharnais, and I think we’re seeing it this (shortened) season. It is up to the kid to keep it up, show some real moxy in the playoffs, and then reap the rewards next year. I can’t fault the coaching staff for MAKING him earn it, even if it’s frustratingly clear that #81 is playing better and not getting rewarded. They were tough on Eller at the start of the season and it worked, so I’m fine giving them the benefit of the doubt right now.

    I hesitate to bring this up, but remember when he got benched at you kinda went off the rails on the coach? I think we ought to lay off and just let these guys handle the DD/Eller thing – so long as the kid keeps getting better it’s all good.

    “thoroughbred”

    • Loonie says:

      With regard to the offensive production it should be clear that Eller hasn’t had the benefit of the linemates and quality ice-time that Desharnais has.

      The second thing I’d like to mention that Eller himself was asked if the benching was needed and said no outright. I don’t think they got anything from Eller due to the healthy scratch that a talking to wouldn’t have.

      The thing is this. The production Desharnais had in an eerily similar time frame elevated him to his current role. Eller’s producing just a clip better than what Desharnais did at that time, under lesser quality circumstances.

      That says it all.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      You can’t preach accountability are your team mantra, and only apply it to select small group of players. DD isn’t held accountable for pathetic play despite optimal circumstances

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

      • habstrinifan says:

        That my friend is the hidden damage. It damages the credibility of the coach; the organization and yes it damages the credibility of the marketplace when preferential treatment is accorded.

        I think DD is important to the team and the community etc. But there also must be fairness in coaching decisions and fairness in media critique. There hasn’t been in this case.

      • bwoar says:

        It’s way too easy to take a sign in the dressing room, call it a motto, and blindly use it to judge every decision or non-decision.

        If we went strictly on merit, Patches and Gallagher would be playing with Plekanec, and every other week the lines would shuffle in order to maintain “accountability”. It’s not realistic on a hockey team, though.

        Agreed that Eller deserves a better shake, but I’m not exactly ready to throw DD to the 4th line, either.

        “thoroughbred”

      • DorvalTony says:

        What about Saku Gionta?

        “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
        William F. Buckley, Jr.

  45. ed says:

    to answer to the Poll Question on top of the page;

    do you think the Habs should keep Ryan White or let him go?

    answer: BOTH!!

    the Habs should definitely KEEP Ryan White AND Let him GO!!!

    Let him GO!! out there and forecheck, hit people, cause some havoc!!

    Ryan White is to the Habs what pitching “inside” is to an effective pitcher – if the other team knows that you won’t throw inside, they lean over the plate, and they’re too comfortable.

    We could use a little “crazy” inside, “chin music” from our forwards.

    So KEEP Ryan White, and LET HIM GO!!

    • bwoar says:

      Baseball metaphor aside, I agree with you. White ought to stay.

      “thoroughbred”

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I don’t know. That attempt to decapitate a player the other night was fairly reprehensible in my opinion.

      If he had a modicum of hockey skill I’d say keep him. If he was a big thug who can strike fear in the opponents maybe keep him. If he could play in the last minute of a close game and on the PK like Prust (or Moen used to), then obviously keep him.

      But he’s a bit like Cam Janssen.

      More of a joke than a hockey player.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Wow where did you pull that name from.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Watched the hit several times, but still can’t decide:

        reckless?

        injurious intent?

        just a big uncoordinated miscalculated check?

      • adamkennelly says:

        he’s 1000 times better than Cam Janssen. MT has mis-used him this year. If the Habs let him go – he will end up on another NHL team for years to come.

        • habstrinifan says:

          I think Blunden is a better hockey player than White (my opinion of course) but if MT ‘sits’ White because of the hit it would be wrong. Would aslso send a wrong message.
          I think White’s game has deteriorated because of injury. He is also not big enough and consistently energetically aggressive enough to be a pure ‘enforcer type’ ..like a Neil fro instance. If we could get a good return for White in a package next year (and the choice for the team is White or Blunden) I think it would be wiser keeping Blunden because he is an overall better hockey player. If you are afraid of White prospering elsewhere think of Blunden becoming a Higgins elsewhere.

      • Shecky says:

        White has a specific skill set that is not based in finesse, but hard work and being close to the edge. When he goes over the edge, we all crucify him because he’s “being selfish”, “not being a team player” or something similar. When he gets close to the edge, we applaud his team spirit and being popular with his teammates. We can’t really have it both ways, but we can expect him to mature and hopefully be better at picking his spots. It’s also hard to get on him too much when his biggest brain cramps came against Steve Ott and the Flyers.

        Speaking of brain cramps, I’d respectfully suggest that we look back at the “hockey play” that Ference put on Jeff Halpern (first time around) a few years ago. Ference’s action were much more egregious, yet were never penalized. The actual similarities between both hits are interesting to say the least.

        By the way, first time post. Really wanted to put the Ference reference in here as I didn’t see it already made. Enjoy the posters and their passion, even if I don’t necessarily always agree with their content.

    • habtastic74 says:

      I agree with you for the most part. We have to at least give him one more chance in the playoffs. I remember being incredibly impressed with him a couple years ago in the series against Boston, and ever since then I’ve felt like he’s the kind of player who really makes a difference in playoff hockey games. He should get a chance to prove he can still provide that impact.

      That being said…I’m not sure about completely “letting him go.” The hit that he’s going to be suspended for was irresponsible, as was mouthing off to the ref earlier in the year, and flinging his gloves off and attacking a defenseless player. If we just let him do his thing, I’m afraid it’ll be more of that. We cannot afford that in the playoffs (which is my only hesitation on giving him that last chance).

  46. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Did anyone watch Washington-Toronto?

    What kind of game was it?

  47. jedimyrmidon says:

    On RDS’s Antichambre, every single time Carey hits a rough patch, they always start questioning the notion of ‘giving Price the net’ as if he hasn’t earned it. They talk about giving him many starts to try and get him back into a groove as if he were undeserving.

    Funny. They never talk about DD in that context – and it applies so much more to him than Price since he has needed a kickstart for basically the whole season. They want to screw around with the psyche of the #1 goaltender, the single most visible position on the team, by ‘disciplining’ him for poor starts? They basically want him to re-earn the starting job after every single freakin’ rough patch. But the idea that DD should be separated from Pacs or given less ice time/PP time without any mention of his non-existent defensive game is never, ever mentioned once?

    In other words, Price’s status as the netminder of the present and future is more in doubt in their minds than DD as the center given the best of every world on the team (all efforts to kickstart his line, no defensive expectations, best Ozone starts, always given good linemates, most PP time, lack of production apparently isn’t a factor).

  48. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Who do you think won the draw in the picture above? :)

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  49. Sportfan says:

    Crap Ryder is out tonight -_-

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  50. Sportfan says:

    People in the league trust price!

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=420953

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  51. Say Ash says:

    How far away is Diaz from saving the defence corp?

  52. JarryPark says:

    Hello all. In a debate at work with a Laff fan RE: Carey Price

    What is his Save% 5-on-5 and is their a link i can compare him to others?


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