Price to face Isles as Habs look to end slump

The Canadiens will be looking to end a two-game losing streak when they visit the New York Islanders Saturday night (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

The Islanders would appear to be a good team to break a slump against since they are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games, while the Canadiens are 7-2-1 during that span.

The Canadiens held an optional skate Saturday morning and coach Michel Therrien said he hadn’t decided if he would make any lineup changes from Thursday’s game in Philadelphia. Carey Price will definitely start in goal against the Islanders.

After Saturday’s game, the Canadiens return home to face the Florida Panthers Sunday at the Bell Centre (6 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Here’s how the lines looked at Friday’s practice:

Gionta – Plekanec – Galchenyuk
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Briere
Gallagher – Eller – Bournival
Parros – Prust – Moen

Subban – Markov
Murray – Diaz
Emelin – Gorges

Canadiens vs. Islanders preview,

Game Day Report,

Game notes,

Morning skate updates,

Morning skate interviews (video),

Canadiens need to find identity, by Pat Hickey

GM Bergevin will have more money to spend next season, by Pat Hickey

TSN’s Dreger has one cool backyard rink, by Stu Cowan

NHL suspends Bruins’ Thornton for 15 games,


  1. Habs_101 says:

    I wonder if Winnipeg slips out of playoff contention soon enough if they really will deal Kane. The only way it would make sense for the habs would be if they did NOT trade Patches or Gallagher, otherwise it would be a sideways move I think.

    I wonder if they would consider any of the following packages however;

    – Bourque + Collberg + Fucale + 4th
    – Bourque + Beaulieu + 2nd
    – Bourque + Leblanc + 1st

    It looks like fairly substantial offers, not sure if it would get it done though, the habs and jets might not be great trading partners.



    • PeterD says:

      To add Kane we need to get rid of a current roster spot or two…we currently have 14 forwards…maybe include Bourque and Briere with a prospect and the deal would work for us.

  2. Bill says:

    Timo: Jury is out. Some people are acting like the Briere signing is an unmitigated disaster. In fact he is producing about the same as most of the Habs players in terms of points per minutes of ice time. Granted, we could like to see more in terms of production/cap hit. But I am very sure that Bergevin signed Briere for his playoff production: he’s one of the absolute top playoff performers in the NHL during his career, compares well to anyone else in the league. I get that. If Briere craps out in the playoffs, then I’ll say it was a terrible signing. In the meantime, we have to wait.

  3. Bill says:

    Matty, I disagree with basically everything wjc said, however, I don’t know if it’s fair to say that the CBC has substandard programming because they have to “pump money” into HNIC. Unless I completely misunderstand, HNIC is highly profitable, and actually pumps money into other CBC programming. Am I wrong about this? I read a few articles after the Rogers deal that suggested that losing HNIC could be the death blow to the CBC: they simply won’t have the money anymore to find original programming. Have I been misled? Does HNIC actually cost more money than it takes in? I actually hate HNIC and I’m happy to watch it burn … but is it not true that losing HNIC’s revenue is a big problem for the CBC in general?

  4. Timo says:

    It will be interesting to see new Eller line. 3 young guys who play hard every game.

  5. Bill says:

    Read Hickey’s article in the Habs needing to “find an identity”, and while he doesn’t really go in depth, the title piqued my interest.

    This is a team that does not really have a set persona. I mean, you know what you’re gonna get when you the Leafs – tough, defensively inept – or the Wings – finesse, speed – or the Kings – hard-hitting, gritty, skilled … but you can’t say that for the Habs. This is a tiny, skilled team, that ranks second in the league in fighting majors, thanks largely to Prust and Parros. You have three small, skilled lines, and one that tries to beat you up. It’s a team with four finesse defencemen, plus Murray and Emelin, who are trying to Knox you out. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s a versatile team, or a multidimensional team … it’s very much a schizophrenic team. And yeah, I know I am misusing the term schizophrenic, but I’m using the common understanding of it to make a point. Basically, I think sometimes that the Habs are a small finesse team pretending to be tough because they have a handful of very tough players. The problem is, they lose most of the games where they dress a “tough lineup”, probably because they don’t have enough of those guys to actually play the “tough” game. Prediction here is that Bergevin makes some moves that will balance the roster and allow the Habs to compete in the tough games. I could see him moving a significant player, perhaps Paciorety or even Subban, to substantially change the character of the team. Something is gonna give, before the deadline, mark my words.

  6. DipsyDoodler says:

    I’d like to see Briere at centre wit two competent wingers. Good suggestion whoever made it. See if he can still get the job done.

  7. Hobie Hansen says:

    One thing I’ve noticed is that Alex Galchenyuk is starting to feel comfortable enough to make that extra move. He’s not quite ready to be able to dangle around people consistently but we’re starting to see signs of it. He will get there for sure. The kid is still only 19-years-old. Imagine him when he’s 23-24?

    He’s going to toughen up a bit more. He’s eventually going to be able to absorb hits a bit better as well as put his shoulder down and drive to the net with more power.

    The kid is a beauty!

  8. wjc says:

    Do you remember Homer Simpson talking to Bart:

    He had just had a huge fight, and Bart said “dad can you teach me to fight like that”

    Homer said, “sure son, ” You cry like a baby and when he takes pity on you, you let him have it.”

    The code, always get the first punch in, if you are smaller, use your sitck. Do like Nilan did, one of his team mates pinned against the boards and being threatened with getting his face punched in. Nilan simply ‘sucker punched the guy’ end of disagreement.

    Nesterinko (who? who?) played for Chicago, he was always playing with his stick high, he high sticked Feguson, Ferguson beat him up with no questions or appologies.

    Ferguson fought Bobby Hull with a full broken jaw and was very tempted to hit him but held back.

    Ferguson pulled Ted Greens sweater over his head and pounded on him over and over. Should have stopped, but, didn’t.

    Other teams will notice that you do not take liberaties with the Bruins as they do or used to do with Montreal and maybe think better of doing things that they cannot talk their way out of.

    Orr attacks Pletanic…remember. Lucis attacks Miller, remember….Price gets pushed around in his crease….remember. Parros and Murray make that unwise to do now.

    Sometimes a little frontier justice has to prevail, to remind other teams that you stick together.


  9. ooder says:

    Nichushkin just scored a sick goal! what a kid

  10. Strummer says:

    Tonigt’s match should be a “shooting fish in a barrel” opportunity.

    No Parros required-

    All offensive guns- a -blazin’

    Robin: Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed.”
    Batman: “Ready to move out.”

    Batmobile speeds off …
    “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

  11. Bill says:

    Need a win tonight. Don’t think I can handle the bellyaching that accompanies a Habs loss, even in the middle of a good season. Surprised HIO isn’t filled with ads for Thorazine and Midol.

  12. habstrinifan says:

    It is 3:30pm Ottawa time as I sign on and type this. And there are 76(I repeat 76 comments). Booyah! The Subbanator shall be kicking arse tonite.

  13. Shackles says:

    I think what most folks take exception with is the fact that it was a blatant, predatory attack on a non consenting participant. This accentuates how respect is deteriorating in the NHL and should have been used to send a stronger message and be a voice for change. Even the so called “goons” extend an invitation prior to squaring off.

  14. CH Marshall says:

    Re Briere. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not happy with his playing time. The roster is kinda odd in some ways. As Brian Wilde said- we need a power forward a la Cole, instead we got Briere. He’s used to playing as a 2nd – 3rd line centre with lots of minutes. Now he plays wing or wherever they can plug him, and somebody has to sit to make space on the 4th line.

  15. Propwash says:

    So, the Kings pretty much beat everybody in the east so far. Gotta hand it to them, they’re a well run team.


  16. Bill says:

    It’s a substantial suspension by NHL standards. I’d give him more, but it makes sense within the history of NHL discipline.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Gerry H says:

      I have to moderate my earlier comments. I mistakenly thought Thornton was a repeat offender. Fifteen for a first offence is more in line with my thinking, after all.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I agree. 15 games is a big statement. If only they could go back and give Emery at least 5. I hope somehow the players, especially the so-called ‘fighters’ get the message that a fight ENDS.. I say ENDS the minute someone is on the ice. And also I hope the referee get the message in conjunction with players, when a fight looks as unevenly dangerous, the officials must step in and the player with the upperhand must take that as a cue to cease and desist immediately.

      I mean even in boxing or martial arts the referee would have intervened and waved Thornton or Emery off.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      Yeah Bill I bet you would….maybe a ban for life would do

  17. Garbo says:

    Thornton suspension is pathetic. I am actually surprised such a light sentence was handed to him, particularly in light of the recent lawsuit.

    Shannahan needs to be replaced.

  18. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    Conspiracy theory:D
    If the Leafs were not so banged up and struggling would Clarkson have got more than 2 games considering he is now a repeat offender and his last suspension was only 20 some games ago?

    • Seps says:

      No, literally exact same hit as Cowen. Should be the same suspension. Clarkie’s past suspension was an automatic, he’s not a repeat offender in terms of hitting.

  19. mrhabby says:

    Merry Xmas thorton here’s 15 games for ya with no pay.

  20. Mattyleg says:

    As I said before, fighting is allowed in the NHL, which is what Thornton did. He fought Orpik. Didn’t even drop his gloves, either. If he’d dropped his gloves would it have been more games or fewer?

    If he’d punched him in the face without pulling him to the ice first, would that have been 20+ games? Or no suspension at all because it was a hockey fight where one participant wasn’t smart enough to drop his gloves and protect himself?

    Be careful about sounding the outrage horn, because plenty of what goes on in the day-to-day NHL (two grown men punching each other in the face in the middle of a hockey rink, for instance) is far worse than what Thornton did.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Gerry H says:

      Sorry, Matt, I don’t get that. Fighting is tolerated in the NHL because it is recognized as a consensual part of the game (even if some of us think that detracts from the game). This was not consensual. This was an ambush. Thornton didn’t give Orpik any opportunity to fight back. Orpik had turned down his challenge to fight earlier in the game.

      Thornton made himself judge, jury and executioner. If the NHL doesn’t address that, they are condoning anarchy on the ice.

      • D Mex says:

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

      • wjc says:

        Is it concentual, is it?

        Example a player challenges Parros, he skates away. Later the player hits Eller (cleanly) but flattens him. Parros is two feet away but skates away. Fans boo him…..he explains that he should not be forced to fight if he does not feel like it.

        Concentual?… he has to fight to save face and his job. If the other guy does not want to fight Parros grabs him and throws him down and whacks him a couple of times. Whoops….lifetime suspension coming up….ya sure.

        People want Larouque to grab Lucic and pummel him and when he didn’t they turned on him and he was evenutally bought out. Wow, how do you figure all this out……..??????????


        • Gerry H says:

          It is what is (laughably) called ‘the code.’ It’s why EVERYONE was disgusted by Scott’s attack on Kessel. Fights have to meet certain criteria.

          Consensual means that both parties have to agree to fight. The examples you cite are ones that, in fact, bear that out. Those fighters may disappoint the fans, but they still get to choose. Orpik didn’t get that choice.

          • D Mex says:

            Agreed. And for wjc – Laraque wasn’t bought out because people turned on him.
            The guy was bought out because he refused to do the job he was brought in to do after finding a higher calling in comedy, which he attempted to dress up as the vegan lifestyle mixed in with 2 parts code, 1 part humanitarianism and a sprinkle of politics.
            Boy, did you pick a lousy example lol !

            ALWAYS Habs –
            D Mex

          • Mattyleg says:

            See what I wrote below about ‘consensual’ fighting.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • 9the rocket says:

            actually Thorton did ask Orpik to drop
            em and he refused. Which makes this situation worse imo

            I am a habs fan, players will come and go but the habs are forever.

    • Bill says:

      It is very true that guys in the NHL sucker-punch each other all the time with not even so much as a penalty. Orr concussed Bourque with a sucker punch … nothing.

      Thornton getting suspended because his looked so bad, but slew-footing and sucker-punching happen every day in the NHL!

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Fighting in the NHL is only tolerated when it is clearly consensual. It’s been like that since when these players were children. That’s why there’s an instigator rule with automatic expulsion. (I personally want to see even consensual fighting lead to immediate expulsion and a minimum 3 game suspension but that’s besides the point).

      It’s like the difference between guys who go to a dojo and do judo or karate and mugging someone on the street. It’s absurd to equate those two because the actual physical acts are similar.

      Thorny should’ve gotten 82 games though.

      • Mattyleg says:

        It’s a foolish double-standard.
        I’ve seen plenty of isntances where a player has, after throwing a hard, legal check, been attacked by some imbecile, and the only thing they can do is drop their gloves and hang on.

        That’s not consensual, but there are no suspensions there.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      Thornton did not drop his gloves but it is fighting?… I am having a hard time following your post.

  21. Ian Cobb says:

    Does anyone out there remember the Rocket being suspended for the rest of the year, for a fraction of what Thorton did in trying to kill another player.
    If the players want to police their own game instead of the league, well, maybe the fans should take our game back and bring our own rifles to the game! Make’s as much cents to me.!

    • wjc says:

      Richard was a repeat offender, he had a column in the newspaper where he criticized the league. He had a hair trigger temper. He was pushed to the edge by Irvin (his coach). Toe Blake was able to reel him in.

      The Rocket was going to kill someone, kept grabbing sticks to go after Lacoe, the refs were punched. Much, much worse.

      That happend almost 60 years ago, there was hardly any T.V. coverage, or video. Rocket Richard had to calmed down, this Thornton thing is not even close.


    • JUST ME says:

      As usual your comments make a lot of sense mister Ian and to compare Thornton`s suspension with the Richard event although far away in the past is the proper angle we should look at to be in the proper frame of mind since we usually think that recent events are never seen before …

      The problem here is that everybody is looking for a fair verdict when actually the word fair should not be used as it was not a fair event. Negative reactions about the verdict are to be expected but for the 2013 `s NHL standards this is a severe punishment and exceeds what was expected of the usual unreasonable and softie verdicts.

  22. PrimeTime says:

    2 game losing streak is a slump? Get real!!

    There are a lot of Hab fans who would have love to have had Thorton on our team the past 5 years. If he was, they would be crying foul about a 15 game suspension. In fact most wouldn’t give a sh*t if he wasn’t a Bruin (or a Leaf). Get real!!

    • D Mex says:

      You may have a point, but I suspect that a player with 5 years exposure to the Habs culture may not have slew-footed an opponent in order to get him on his back before punching him senseless.

      Habs = class / Broons = not so much …

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

      • dr. gesundheit says:

        Disagree with the premise that the Habs have cornered the “Class Market” or that Thornton (if a Hab) would absorb class through exposure (Osmosis?) Habs are no classier than most other teams.

        • D Mex says:

          No such premise is made in my post – try reading it again.
          Only a novice hockey fan would assert that ” Habs are no classier than most other teams ” .
          Stick with it, tho – you’ll get the hang of it – eventually …

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

          • dr. gesundheit says:

            I appreciate one’s loyalty to their team. I guess not all Hab fans are delusional enough to buy into your “osmosis theory”.

            Oh, and btw, I’ve been a Hab fan since the mid /60’s. How about you?

          • D Mex says:

            It might be wise for you to avoid using vocabulary you don’t fully understand : Osmosis is defined as ‘ Diffusion of fluid through a semipermeable membrane ‘, whereas the Tradition conveys ‘ The passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation ‘.

            The Habs have a Tradition of Class, and any assertion that they are ” no classier than most other teams ” is, of course, ludicrous.

            I’ve been a Habs fans for as long as I’ve been a student of the English language. Hang in there dr. g , you have potential and, given enough time, will get your ideas sorted out.

            ALWAYS Habs –
            D Mex

    • JUST ME says:

      Unfortunately Cowan and Boone are going the negative way cause it boosts the number of comments on HIO wich in my book is cheap journalism. To call this a slump is an excellent example of what i mean. Hopefully they read our comments and realize how ridiculous this is….

  23. Psycho29 says:

    Jeff O’Neill‏ @odognine
    The NHL should make players who do bad things drive in a snowstorm with my wife in the passenger seat. Nothing in life is worse.

  24. wjc says:

    If Don Cherry were to go off the air would you miss him?

    The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’ because if you do not want to watch him now you can turn the channel or mute the Television.

    If you want to watch him you keep it on the channel and leave the mute button alone.

    If one person wants to see him and another does not, you can leave the room and have a cold distracting shower, or call your therapist, still your choice.


    • Mattyleg says:

      I would rather my tax dollars don’t go to his salary.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • PrimeTime says:

        They don’t. HNIC funds a lot of CBC programming. Without Cherry MORE of your tax dollars would be needed to fund it.

        • Mattyleg says:

          My money goes into all CBC programming.
          And without HNIC, the Ceeb might actually finally turn its focus to producing watchable television.

          I have tons of friends in the acting and screenwriting community, and the fact that those talented people have to sit on their hands and do commercials while my money pays for Don Cherry and the band of goofs at HNIC bothers me extremely.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • wjc says:

            Mattyleg, you need to pay attention. The ‘goofs’ as you call them on HNIC help CBC pay the bills.

            Have you read any of your friends work, this is a very competive industry, they may have to go to L.A. to prove their worth. The problem the good one’s never come back.


          • IdleNoMore says:

            Mattyleg you sound like a real clown with that comment. Do you even pay taxes?

            “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

          • Mattyleg says:

            wjc, I pay plenty of attention, so don’t worry too much about that, please.

            My friends do very good work in general, and I don’t see anything that’s on the Ceeb that would make it past the conceptual stage on any other network, it’s just that they are hamstrung with the kinds of people they can hire because of the money they have to pump into HNIC.

            And CBC’s bills wouldn’t be nearly so high if they didn’t have to pay for hockey in the first place.

            And Idle, as much as I dig your name, comments like that make you look a heck of a lot worse than me, my friend. Don’t assume. Something about asses, you, and me.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. Mavid says:

    who’s whining..just observing that 15 is not enough..because its not enough..were allowed to debate it

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Gerry H says:

      If I did what Thornton did on the street, I could wind up in jail for more than 15 days. This was NOT a hockey play. It was common assault with intent to injure. Indisputable.

      I’m so pissed, I could spit.

      • ont fan says:

        If you get into a fight on the streets in general you could wind up in jail. Let’s be serious, with fighting allowed this is justice.

      • wjc says:

        You cannot compare the ‘street’ to a NHL hockey game.

        Baseball pitchers throw hard balls at players heads.

        Low blows in boxing, not in the rules.

        Low, late hits in football, not part of the rules.

        Believe me Gordy Howe (Mr. hockey) did a lot worse with his elbows and stick. Pulling guys up off the ice by there nostrils, scarey stuff.

        Eddy Shore hit a guy from behind, just under his back knees and his helmetless head hit the ice and he never played again.


    • wjc says:

      Okay, I will bite, how many should he get? 20, 30 the season, lifetime?

      He has never been suspended, should count for something. I know, I know he plays for Boston. If a player like him played for Montreal how many games would you want for him. What would satisfy you?

      Say it was White, would you say he was only doing his job and got carried away. Pretty good record up til now. I would.


      • Mattyleg says:

        Is this whining?

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Gerry H says:

        There has to be proportionality. Overzealous hockey plays have had guys gone for this long. This was after the whistle and had no purpose other than to injure. It has to be treated as categorically different because it IS categorically different.

        In my book anything less than 20 fails to draw the line between reckless and predatory.

  26. wjc says:

    15 games would be a season in the NFL.

    15 games would be equal to about 8 games in Baseball.

    If you were a boxer it would equal about 3 years.

    If you worked in a factory worker it would equal about 2 weeks.

    It is all realative. If you were a fruit fly it would equal about 5 lifetimes.

    So 15 games seems about right, quit whinning already.


  27. RAM_TOUGH says:

    After the LA game I said I will never make anymore predictions. However, it would be nice if Montreal won 4-0 tonight!

    • wjc says:

      That not a prediction, that is a fantasy. ‘ It would be nice’, that is what you are suppose to think, otherwise you might as well watch Baywatch.

      Now that plot and story line is predictable. The nice part is the running on the beach.


  28. Fansincebirth says:

    15 games for Thornton = not enough.
    Sends a message but not a strong one. When the league starts getting serious about things like this is when the players will as well.

    The mentality has to change.

    • Gerry H says:

      Renaud Lavoie says nothing has been confirmed by Bruins yet. If that’s it, I’m disgusted. After the play, deliberate attempt to injure a prone player, repeat offender… This league does not care about player safety if that’s the call.

  29. Ian Cobb says:

    Thornton suspended for the rest of this year, including play offs!!

    Shannahan is finally getting it right!!!

  30. chrskwn says:

    theres a link going around my facebook feed to a habsolumentfan article claiming that sources close to briere say he wants to be traded because of his lack of ice time and use on the wing .. is there any credibility to this?

  31. JUST ME says:

    15 games for Thornton is o.k. by me. I guess we can debate about it endlessly but at least it is severe, it sends a clear message even though he was a first time offender. Remains to be seen if the next inexcusable gesture gets the same treatment but as far as i am concerned this time the league took the proper decision.

  32. AH says:

    LOL! David Clarkson, 7 yrs, 5MM/ year, 12 games suspended already, 2 goals, what an investment!!

  33. Habfan10912 says:

    I guess we know why the delay. Thorton-15 games.

  34. Strummer says:

    Santa keeps flying across my screen- am I hallucinating?

    It’s egg-nogg’s ‘n rum tonight!

    “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

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