Practice, charter to Atlanta

Fresh off their impressive 4-1 win over Los Angeles last night, the Canadiens return to practice ice this morning at the Bell Centre – one day off Brossard for good behaviour – then charter to Atlanta this afternoon for tomorrow’s game against the Thrashers.

Updates and video to come here later. Keep an eye on Twitter for late-breaking news and nonsense.

• Arpon Basu’s game story

‘Been waiting for that goal,’ Habs Eller says

Kings get F for effort: L.A. Times’ Helene Elliott

Frankie G’s blog at cyberpresse

Habs’ first trip to West Coast in ’67 was one for the books: Stubbs

• Pierre Durocher on Scott Gomez


  1. Hobie Hansen says:

    Please keep us updated!  Your stomach flu is right there with Markov’s knee injury on our list!

  2. JustSomeguy says:

    The link to the LA Times story was a nice touch — it’s good to get a feel of the game from the other team’s beat writer(s).

  3. HardHabits says:

    Holy crap, that’s funny!

  4. HabFab says:

    It’s funny how music is taken differently by the listener. Now my take on Shore to Shore was that it was about the Team he built in Vancouver and the one he is now building in Boston.


    PS thanks for the LLSJ reference, screwed that pooch yesterday!

  5. JohnBellyful says:

    No, this would be verboten


    (and they’re of different players; you have to guess which ones they belong to. I haven’t a clue myself. … That happens a lot, come to think of it.)

  6. Psycho29 says:

    I used to say it was “stomach flu” when I was hungover also….


  7. OneTimer says:

    Let’s hope it’s not the last one…that one is verboten.

  8. OneTimer says:

    What does that tell ya

  9. krob1000 says:

    geez Timo it’s only the flu….besides with all this gellin’ I thought you’d be wellin’  soon anyway

  10. Timo says:

    Thanks for all the ‘get better soon’ well wishes.

  11. SLONCOLD says:

    you should watch more games involving LA. Bernier was light out last year in the AHL and showed some pretty good flashes last year when called up. he’s a very good goaltending prospect.

  12. JD_ says:

    There’s also…

    Break For You: A song havin’ somethin’ to do with Ron Wilson, Kaberle’s dad, and wind. 

    Bartender: A deeply, deeply poignant ballad sung by an 86ed Phaneuf.

    Little Things: A lyrical, introspective look at the two reasons the truculence is fleetin’.

    And Shore to Shore, but he played for Boston, and badly ended Bailey’s career, so I’m leavin’ that one alone.

  13. SLONCOLD says:

    well, one of us had to:-p

  14. Say Ash says:

    ha! yeah, I wasn’t sure if I should go there either

  15. SLONCOLD says:

    a few years ago he would have given you a stamp and not a signature:-p

  16. SeriousFan09 says:

    Carey should be the Bell Centre man, you’re right but looking at December’s schedule, I think Mr. Big and Bald needs to get at least a couple of games there as well so Carey can get some rest in. I’d like to see the Habs stack the wins now so it’s safer to play Auld later and get Price more rested up for the playoffs.


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

  17. krob1000 says:

    when systems collide ….

  18. punkster says:

    Outstanding find re: the new BBB release. I checked out the tunes and they’re heartfelt odes to his hand-picked team:

    Just Me and You – A happy. bouncy little ditty penned to acknowledge his close and heartfelt relationship with Ron Wilson

    Country Girl – Burkie’s tip ‘o the helmet to his fav western tough guy, Dyin’ Phaneuf

    Hope You’re Gonna Be Mine – A musical retrospective of past Leaf draft day picks

    Near My Bed – A poignant and moving balled sung by Mike “I Made My Bed and I’ll Lay In It” Komisarik


    Did I miss anything?

  19. lavie says:

    Jacques Demers was giving a speech in Casino du Lac-Leamy in Gatineau this morning. Couldn’t go there due to work but asked my friend to request a signature from Jacques.

    Now I was just told that I have the signature from Jacques!

  20. CERF says:

    amen HH


    iv been waitting since 5am! always enjoy my first cup of coffee with a side of Quick hits and ALN

  21. Say Ash says:

    Love the avatar.

  22. HardHabits says:

    One of the clearest indications of team play is that for most of the game, especially when in their defensive zone, you can see 5 skaters on your TV screen at all times.

  23. kool-aid says:

    Stay thirsty my friends!!

  24. twocents says:

    Your body is just purging all the negativity you’ve built up over the past 16 years or so.

    Oh, and that’s a very premature call on Bernier.

  25. Montrealhypocrites says:

    People are way too tough on young goalies, there aren’t all expected to jump in like Steve Mason and Carey Price at age 19, how can anyone expect Bernier to come in and be Vezina like, we forget the immense jump in talent from Manchester in the AHL where he has spent the last coupe of years.

    Bernier has potential, no one should make a judgement after one quarter of a year, if that was the case Carey Price would have been ran out of town last year.


    Peace true believers

  26. twocents says:

    I also agree with JD’d read of the new Jersey situation, but I doubt Lou will work for any other organization. He’ll likely just hang up his skates.

    If he did work for any organization, I bet you half a bushel of garlic it would be here. He has long admired the Canadiens. Could the rest of the heads in Mtl. handle having big Lou around? I don’t know, but I’d welcome it. 

  27. Harani says:

    True but the thing is rather than have Price take a break at home, I’d rather do it on the road. The fans and kids who come to the Bell deserve to watch Carey in action. So, looking at the next month, road games against NJ, Wings, Toronto, Avs, Stars, I think it’s a smart move to start Auld tomorrow.

    “It must be love!”

  28. HardHabits says:

    Boone seriously needs to get his priorities straight. Personal business on the same night of of a hockey game!!!!!! If personal business meant a date with Chantale Machabée then he gets a by, otherwise somebody needs to remind Boone that there are droves of drooling Habs fans in a serious state of withdrawal without their after game Quick Hits and the following day’s ALN.

    Now I know the cause of Timo’s stomach flu.

  29. light_n_tasty says:

    So, what’s going on with Markov?  Aren’t we supposed to know by now?

  30. Timo says:

    ok… WTF is with the stomach flu. Watched the game on PVR last night between trips to the can and it wasn’t cause I drank too much tequila. Holy crap it was terrible (the flu, not the game).


    Anyway, from what I was able to actually absorb and comprehend it was a pretty good tilt. I thought they paid very solid D game except for some occasional lapses. LA won’t go far with Bernier, that’s for sure.


    Oh, and is it just me or was this one of the best officiated games so far? Yes, refs let a bunch of stuff go but they were very very consistant. I thought for once the officiating was great.


    I am going to take some more pepto now.

  31. JohnBellyful says:

    No need to echo what’s been said so eloquently this morning about how well the Canadiens, as a whole, are playing, and how great some of them, individually, are doing. The team is showing more poise in its end, and not succumbing to late game collapses that marred many of its matches last year.

    The defence is solid and as long as veterans Gill, Spacek and Hammer don’t get overworked, they should be able to maintain their level of compete for the remainder of the season and into the post-season. Picard, as has been mentioned, has been a source of unexpected strength.

    The only concern one might have is how well the team will finish Movember. Here’s a progress report:

    A.)      iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    B.)          iiiii

    C.)   (((((IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII))))

    D.)     “”“”“”“”“”“”“”“”“”“”“

    E.)     ############
    F.)     <<<<<>>>>>>>

    G.)            …


  32. SeriousFan09 says:

    Atlanta’s picked up 3 straight, they might give us some trouble, although it’s best to save Carey for this week’s Divisional game, he needs a night off here and there. Always hate road games with ATL, their sight lines for the camera are terrible and their ice is crap.


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

  33. FormalWare says:

    Wow… another mention of “team defense”! HI/Oers are drinking the JM Kool-Aid. (Tasty!)

  34. aemarchand11 says:

    It’s just the way things go around here, if we win we praise “the system”. But if we lose, its because of “the system”.

    Can’t win em all, but its good to see the team rebound for an embarrassing 2/3 against Philly.

    Go Habs Go!

  35. FormalWare says:

    “Defensive team mentality” – +1.

    Although a team ices “forwards” and “defensemen”, defense is Everyone’s responsibility. Jacques Martin is relentlessly on message, regarding that truth–and that is now paying dividends.

  36. Harani says:

    Alex Auld will get the start on Friday. Good call by JM. Price will be back at home against the Sabres and he gets a night-off.

    “It must be love!”

  37. TheDagger says:

    I like the spots Picard picks to jump up in the rush or go to the net. He picks them good are rarely gets caught.

  38. Rugger says:

    I do agree on Lou being forced on Kovy II and think the way he handled it was his way of giving the owner his notice.  He’s going elsewhere by next year, leaving NJ sinking into the swamp.

  39. Montrealhypocrites says:

    Before last night, Eller was the best player in the league without a goal, now I have a feeling the bounces are going to start coming his way. Picard was a great under the radar signing, it’s strange how unless your a Point machine or a hulking bruiser, good and consistent defenseman usually go unnoticed.
    Bring on the Thrashers, I think Friday would be the right time to play Auld and let Carey and his epic moustache take a breather.
    Peace true believers

  40. TheDagger says:

    What I am noticing a lot this year is their patience. They aren’t trying to force passes on the breakout. If they don’t like what they see they are quick to turn back, regroup, and try it again. Hard to get scored on when you have the puck.

  41. JD_ says:

    * Funny how, put together, 4-1 and L.A. Kings brings back such great memories. Yeah. I like that. Have to say I’m almost surprised at the Kings’ lack of pushback last night. Almost. I’d blame exhaustion except for the fact that it was reminiscent of the 4-2 drubbin’ the Habs laid on L.A. – in L.A. – back on March 6th. I say drubbin’ cause the Habs were all over the Kings that night and, after the game, I noted that somethin’ was missin’ from L.A.’s chemistry. It was a pride thing. It was the kinda thing that a 2-nil first period awoke in that putrid beast in Philly the other night and somethin’ the Kings org is goin’ to have to find if it has any hope of fightin’ through the real season, as opposed to what the LLSJ sometimes calls the silly season.

    * Amazin’ what one goal can do for a player’s aura. If you have any doubt how badly Eller wanted it, watch as his eyes rise to the sky after it sinks in that he’s just popped one. Shades of Gionta against the Sens. Lars is still a kid and has a lot of work ahead of him, but I like his mojo. I like the way he tossed Gruyere’s stick aside the other night, without breakin’ eye contact with the l’il weasel. Now, off to the weight room to put some meat on those bones.

    * Not suggestin’ anythin’, really, but the sequence of penalties handed out in the game was LAK, MTL, LAK, MTL, LAK, MTL, LAK, MTL. How neat ‘n’ tidy is that?

    * Man, is AK46 ever a beast when he’s interested, which, for the most part, he seems to be. Both his puck possession and defensive play have shifted all the way to the other end of the spectrum. I can’t truly express how hopeful I am that this is about the permanent absence of a big distraction for the guy, or some other intangible, and not somethin’ to do with his contract status. He was one of the three guys who had to bring it this year if the Habs were gonna go anywhere. And he has. And they are.

    * The hardest evidence how important leadership, one of my pet topics, can be? Tampa Bay. A recently convicted felon as head coach? Really? Vinik’s a smart guy who knows his weaknesses and surrounds himself accordingly. And when ostensibly good leadership falters? NJ. I still think Vanderbeek forced Lou’s hand on the Kovy II file and it has stunk up the joint. Somethin’s gonna give. Lou ain’t leavin’ on a low note.

    * The Brian Burke Band has just released its new CD entitled, “Unraveled”. Art imitatin’ the NHL.

  42. Rugger says:

    To me, the biggest difference/improvement from last year is the forechecking.  The Habs are not allowing other teams to easily get the puck out of their own end, leading to many more turnovers, scoring chances and a heck of a lot less shots on Carey.  If the puck stays in the other end of the rink, it is very hard to get scored on.

  43. matraque says:

    Picard is awesome.  Way ahead of O’Byrne.  Great to see him play.  Most of the shot he took last night produced a scoring chance.


    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard

  44. Harani says:

    Who said JM can’t develop young players?

    Personally, I see the progress in Lars Eller. The way he’s handling the kid, his ice-time, his responsibilities. It’s putting him in a situation where he can gain confidence and at the same time not giving the kid too much pressure. The occasionally PK time, PP time, I like it. Hopefully he keeps going and you see that he’s happy. Btw, the person who called him Euro Staal, that’s GOLD! 

    Also, a guy who I think hasn’t gotten enough credit from the fans is Alexandre Picard. PK and him have a established a really good chemistry. He’s a big guy and doesn’t try to do too much. A solid average of 15-16 minutes per game and I can’t find many cases where he was out of place. Good Signing PG! 

    “It must be love!”

  45. DearyLeary says:

    The most important stat we need to look to, in order to maintain a place atop the division/conference, is our 5 on 5 play.  We’re still clicking at 1.27 goals for, for every goal against.  That rates #5 in the league (a smidgen better than the dreaded Red Wings). 

    I think everyone expected the Canadiens to be disciplined on the penalty kill (din’t think we’d be clicking around an obscene 90% though), and that our power play would be able to score timely goals from time to time (still working on this one).  It was always our 5 on 5 play that dogged us; lots of chasing the puck, poor breakouts (I think this has been one of our biggest improvements over the past year, I think the addition of PK gives the defence a lot more poise with the puck in our own end), and timid work in the opponent’s zone.  When we’re winning games, these flaws seem non-existant, when we’re losing they’re glaringly obvious.

    The good thing, is that these flaws are rearing their ugly head less and less these days.  This team bounces back from a loss as well as anyone in the league right now.  Also to be noted, we’ve played tight games against top quality opposition (we have beaten Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Boston), and even when we lose games we never seem to be totally out of reach thanks to an incredible season from Price thus far.  After 22 games we have yet to allow more than 3 goals a game, that’s stupid good; even when a team outplays us, they have to fear playing the team.  That’s every bit as valuable as physical intimidation.

    At the quarter pole, we’ve got a lot to be excited about this year. 

  46. matraque says:

    I agree… The hate on JM is not justified at all.  Especially from bloggers and fans following on Twitter.  It’s funny how much non sense about JM you can read on twitter.


    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard

  47. Harani says:

    Therapy day. He’ll back in Atlanta.

    “It must be love!”

  48. JF says:

    Agree about Philly if their young Russian goaltender is for real.  They have everything – size, strong defence, and incredible offensive depth.  Boston may be slightly better than us or about the same, but I don’t really agree about Washington.  They’re great offensively but not much good defensively, and it’s too soon to say about their goaltending.  Last year it was mediocre, which didn’t matter during the regular season but was a factor in the playoffs.  I actually don’t think the Caps will be a good playoff team until they get a coach who can teach defence.

  49. JF says:

    One more comment from the Kings:  Terry Murray said he was very impressed by how the Habs always knew exactly where each other was on the ice.  Suggests they know JM’s system very well, and our jokes last year about “the System” were misplaced.

  50. matraque says:

    I’ve heard that Gorges did not practice


    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard

  51. HabFanSince72 says:

    After 1/4 of the season I would say there are only two teams in the East that are clearly better than us: Philly and Washington (and by clearly I don’t mean much better  – just that I’m certain they are better). Boston I would rank as slightly better but very close.

  52. joshua94k says:

    One can also add “Heritage” to the list. Few teams can proudly display their tradition of excellence. Whether it is a ceremony to honour former greats, their arena which displays past acheivements with pride, their Hall of Fame etc. We have been fortunate to have Stanley Cup winners in almost every decade.

    The current team can beat anyone when it plays with speed & mobilty, four lines, group defence and top goaltending. With improvements in their special teams they can win the Stanley Cup. 

    “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

  53. habs365 says:

    Great team game…looking good in the win colume…still no second line….I still say  pouliot, Halpern, Gionta…no one is going to agree as long as their winning…I know everyone likes the 3rd line and they work good together…not much on the scoreboard to show for it…their system is team defense…and price keeps them in there long enough to win…when their defense breaks down like they did against philly…with one scoring line no goalie is gonna save them…anyway again… a great game last night and I hope they keep winning..

  54. Psycho29 says:

    Great article by Dave about the Habs western road trip in 1967…From brawling in the stands to a plane crash scare….great reading….

    Also, check out the picture of Claude Provost. Now was that the face of a hockey player or what??  🙂



  55. krob1000 says:

    My favourite part of the whole game last night was the whole game.

    From the opening whistle you could tell there were no passengers. Team game is the best way to define it…and defensively it lessens the burden on individuals so, so much.  As this season has progressed I have noticed the instances of isolation and instances of vulnerability of our dmen has been drastically reduced because of the constant back pressure and positioning/support of our forwards.  Even in the loss to Philly and really the last several games I can hardly think of any “bad games” by any of our dmen….our d men did not magically transform…but the team ids developing a defensive team mentality and it lessens the burden dramatically and puts them as a unit in a position to succeed.  Cases were Hal Gill is isolated are few and far between, same goes for Spacek and Hammer….Gorges has been knocked around the last few games but has had support behind him when it happens….Subban is Subban and is playing a very smart and calculated game and Picard is invisible defensively which is the biggest compliment possible.  The forward support has been great and we are winning races and battles to loose pucks. When pucks do get through Price has been a wall. 

    That was awesome to watch last night….. there is just something magical for someone my age when watching the Habs manhandle the Kings…..

  56. Hobie Hansen says:

    Top Five Reasons to be a Habs Fan



    5) Prospects: Although we’re not the Edmonton Oilers; Lars Eller, Max Pacioretty, Ian Schultz, Louis Leblanc and big Jarrod Tinordi look like they’ll be delivering us fresh talent for years to come.


    4) PK Subban: He may still fall under the rookie/prospect category but when you’re the number one defenseman on the PP and probably the top guy on the blue line your status elevates quickly. He’s so inspired to play for this team and his skating and puck control is just out of this world.


    3) Tomas Plekanec: Be it on the PP, PK, faceoffs or five on five, this guy is one of the best around. He’s elevated his status from a good player to a legitimate star. His heart is in it and he’s the best Habs player on the ice most nights.


    2) Carey Price: He is God. Carey Price has gotten used to the bright lights and night life of Montreal and is now 100% focused on playing goal. His confidence is sky high and because of his skill and size it would be hard to suggest that any goaltender in the NHL is better.


    1) Montreal: Having been to games in Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa, nothing compares to going to a game in Montreal. Between the downtown bars and restaurants, the history and the passionate fans, the Montreal Canadiens are definitely the most nostalgic organization by a long shot.


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