Pyatt joins No. 2 line

The search for someone to play with Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez continued today as the Canadiens returned to practice after two days off. Tom Pyatt and Mathieu Darche alternated at left wing on the line and it appears Pyatt will get a look when the Canadiens play the New Jersey Devils Thursday night at the Bell Centre.

Coach Jacques Martin has used Benoit Pouliot and Travis Moen in that spot this season and neither has been particularly effective. Pouliot lined up yesterday on the No. 3 line with Jeff Halpern and Maxim Lapierre while Moen was with Dustin Boyd and Lars Eller.

The only news to come out of the practice is that defenceman Andrei Markov will not play against the Devils. When asked when fans might expect to see him in the lineup. Markov said: “I’ll let you know.”

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Brian Gionta | Mike Cammalleri | Tom Pyatt


  1. B says:

    if they are not going to play either pouliot or eller with gomez and gionta they should be looking at a top 6 forward in hamilton instead of a bottom 6 forward here.

    The top 6 guys in Hamilton (except perhaps Desharnais as noted earlier) are currently not a better option for Montreal’s top 2 lines than the bottom 6 guys in Montreal are.

    Point is,the players i listed from hamilton have more skill thendarche…

    Darche is certainly not a top 6 NHL forward, but he IS a top line AHL scorer and they don’t have a better option in Hamilton right now. There is not a guy down there who averaged more goals in the NHL or AHL last season than Darche (or one who has proven to be ready to do it right now yet). If they guys currently in Hamilton can’t do any better than Darche then I just don’t see a solution down there right now. They would be better off with trying Pouliot or Eller.

  2. showey47 says:

    Perhaps i worded it a little wrong. My point was if they are not going to play either pouliot or eller with gomez and gionta they should be looking at a top 6  forward in hamilton instead of a bottom 6 forward here. Putting guys like pyatt and moen are setting them up to fail,boyd could be an interesting choice though. As for candidates from the hammer maxwell could play wing so he could be the first place i would look,if this team wasn’t small in our top 6 already desharnais would probably be playing in the nhl. I want maxpac to play a full injury free year in hamilton. Point is,the players i listed from hamilton have more skill thendarche, pyatt,moen or laps. Top 6 players from the hammer should only be brought up to play top 6 roles here,not 5 minutes a night 4th line roles. 

  3. LA Loyalist says:

    On a side bar, Monsieur Breezer, don’t start tossing Shakespeare references around here on HIO unless you log on wearing your cup. The HIO natives are a tad sensitive about looking dumb.


    “To failing hands we’ve passed the torch.”

  4. LA Loyalist says:

    Yes. Any guy with such a major injury at his age is a risk, but he’s been great, and is inexpensive.

    I also think his signing is a realization by our brain trust that they should have re-signed Moore but that’s no criticism of Halpern.


    “To failing hands we’ve passed the torch.”

  5. LA Loyalist says:

    I totally agree, we should play Eller and Poo early and often and in every situation. We need to know what’s up with those two, even if it costs us pain.

    I don’t want to be wondering about them in March and their “potential”.


    P.S. I won’t mention that Latendresse scored a pair last night in a win over Vancouver. I don’t want to get flamed.

    “insert tagline here”




  6. LA Loyalist says:

    Don’t you know that the Smurf(tm) is a genius “puck distributor” and none of the other players would ever score if Gomez wasn’t out there on the periphery avoiding the boards and the front of the net and the other teams players, making terrific rushes nearly 2/3 of the way up the ice.

    Don’t you know anything?



    “test tagline: now that Price is playing well, I can get back to my main job, which is being pissed about Gomez”

  7. SUMO says:

    The problem on Gomez’s line isn’t Gionta or the winger its the $7million albatross wearing #11. Why doesn’t JM put Eller in between Pouliot and Gionta or even pair up Eller with Pouiliot and Lapierre on the 3rd line. Sounds like some politics going on behind the scenes. 

    When was the last time you saw Gomez win a race for a loose puck or win a battle along boards. Heck even hobbit-sized Gionta wins more battles along the boards than Gomer. Gomer doesn’t play a very gritty game, I wonder why no one ever calls him on it.

  8. Chips says:

    I like those lines. I think Lappy may surprise us.



    25 in 2011

  9. Lafrich says:

    Ridiculous. It’s more like a punishment to be on Gomez’z line right now. It’s not like G and G are lighting it up. I would put Eller with Pouliot and Pyatt, and let G and G work out their own issues with either Moen or Darche. They are bringing Pouliot down, and Poulito respects them too much. You can see it in his game.. he is giving up the puck to them all the time when it is not necessarily the right play.

  10. Storm Man says:

    I see you’re posting about yourself again. You’re better off laying by your dish.

  11. punkster says:

    Interesting angle. re: pluggers.

  12. rocketsglare says:

    Halpern’s face-off efficiency will be key late in the season when puck possession and control can be the

    difference between a one goal win or loss. Adding to his upside is his jam and occasional scoring.


    Go Habs Go!

  13. Bill says:

    I am. The faceoffs are really helpful.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  14. Bill says:

    I love Pyatt’s game, and don’t mind the tryout on the 2nd line, but … he’s roughly the size of me, and his best pro total is 15 goals in a year with the Wolfpack of the AHL. What that line needs is size and finish, and Pyatt doesn’t really bring either of those things.

    Pouliot and Eller have much better track records as scorers, and both are bigger. Neither has really been given a chance this year to play a solid 18 minutes a night for five games in a row with Gomez and Gionta and thus really get anything going. My questions is, why wasn’t this done?

    In the case of Pouliot, he had a crack at it last year, and obviously the results were mixed. I would give him a fresh start though. As for Eller, with his talent I would love to see him get a legitimate chance, and this has not happened.

    With all due respect to Martin – yes, I know, he’s forgotten more about hockey than any of us will ever know, and his critics are “know-nothing” imbeciles for daring to have an opinion, message received – his solution to scoring woes on the top line always seems to be to add a grinder. Well, I may know nothing, but I also know that this never works.

    Pyatt is a fantastic role player: speedy, honest, hard-working, gritty. He should be a fixture in Montreal. On the third or fourth lines. It’s like casting a play: you’ve got to go with your horses. The leading actors need to be the most talented actors. There’s no-one I love more than the totally committed, hard-working types, but I’m not gonna make one of them Lady Macbeth if they don’t have the chops. They’re awesome to have as a nurse or lady-in-waiting or whatever though.

    Now, obviously, sometimes you have your ultra-talented yet totally useless flakes: your Yashins, or your Malakhovs. But that’s not Eller, and not Pouliot (I think). Those guys have the skill, and JM needs to find a way to tap into it, instead of plugging holes with pluggers.



    Full Breezer 4 Life

  15. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Halpern has been a good pick-up. Anyone else impressed by his play?

  16. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    There’s no wrong in waving at Darche, but to waive him would not be wise. Let the young guys get the ice time they need to develop. Darche’s role is a twilight of a career one – he’s the extra wheel. He’s a veteran slotted for very little ice time to save a younger player from sitting on the bench or getting 3 minutes a game instead of 15 in Hamilton.

    White’s a good player but at a few minutes per game, his toughness won’t matter. If his toughness added to experience transforms him into a third liner, then we’re cooking. The team can’t rush these guys, any more than they can give up on the young guys already up after only five games. Pyatt, Pouliot and Eller have more upside to them than White at this moment.

    We’ll see White when he’s ready, unless we want a repeat of the early Price/Pacioretty ‘rush them to their doom’ scenario.



  17. samTHEman says:

    PG, please wave Darche. He has his moments but he could be replaced with better, faster and younger talent : Ryan White to boost our bottom 6.


    Dress Henry and White vs the Islanders. They`re going to try a few things 😛


  18. TripleX says:

    If intelligence, hockey knowledge, maturity and class, were prerequisites for posting on HIO, well just say you would be shite out of luck dude.


    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  19. B says:

    Darche’s one way contract means they pay him the same amount whether his is in Montreal or Hamilton. He can still be sent down, but would have to clear waivers. If a team took him on waivers being sent down, then he would be completely off Montreal’s roster and cap. If he were to be claimed on re-call waivers, then Montreal would pay half his salary and keep half his cap hit.

  20. B says:

    Gomez and Gionta need a scorer IMO, preferably one with some size. Who are you suggesting they bring up from Hamilton for the 2nd line? There is not a guy down there who averaged more goals in the NHL or AHL last season than Darche (or one who has proven to be ready to do it right now yet). There are a couple guys down there that I would not have a big problem with trying on the bottom two lines, but they have only played 2 games down there so far and I don’t see a pressing need to bring one up right now.

    Other than as an emergency or a very limited shake up, I don’t think Darche is a top 6 forward. Same for Pyatt and Moen. As someone here suggested, I would rather try Lapierre there than Pyatt, but he is not a long term answer either. Pouliot and perhaps Eller are the only other 2 currently on the team that I think have a shot at it. The only player in Hamilton I might be tempted to try as a top 6 forward in Montreal now would be Desharnais, but it does not seem likely they would put him with Gomez and Gionta (it might be interesting to see, but I think Desharnais is more of a set up guy and G & G seem to need more of a shooter).

  21. Hammer says:

    Bring White up from the Dogs, convert him to the wing and then wave either darche or Pyatt. Habs are still too soft and need someone to dig for the other two. I like both Darche and Pyatt but White has an intangible, toughness and grit. This would probably be squashed due to cap issues.


  22. sidhu says:

    From TSN:

    “Martin also said struggling defenceman Jaroslav Spacek will no longer play the right point with the man advantage, but did not say who would replace him.”

    I would have:

    Wave 1: AK46 (front of net), Pleks, Gio, Cammy, Subban (top of umbrella) – 1-3-1 set-up
    Wave 2: Eller (front of net), Halpern, Gomez, Gorges, Hammer – traditional 3-2 set-up

  23. Castor says:

    Darche has a one way contract I believe. Or does that mean he’s simply waiver eligible?

  24. B says:

    I think per game stats are a more realistic means of comparison than your spin, but to each their own.

    I understand that it can sometimes take a while to “click”, but that said, Gomez and Gionta have played together so much that I don’t really buy an excuse that they need that much time to get used to each other again. I do agree that Gomez seems to need some time to get into the swing again, I just hope it does not take much longer. He should have more of an impact and be a lot more noticeable out there IMO.

    It is a good thing that the number 1 line clicked right away again. I am very pleased with the teams results in the standings so far.

  25. showey47 says:

    If history repeats itself then this will be one of those moves that will probably last for about a period. Why not send darche down to hamilton and bring up a player with 2nd line potential instead of inserting a 4th liner who can skate well but has no hands? Sure darche is waiver eligible but would he really be a loss if another team claimed him? I would at least give eller a shot first before putting pyatt there.

  26. TheHumanComa says:

    hopefully this works, i picked gomez third in my draft and he’s doing worse they guys i picked after…

  27. Mattyleg says:

    I wasn’t far off, I said Lapierre.

    Someone to crash the net during Gio’s shots, and someone to tie players up for Gomer’s passing.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  28. samTHEman says:


    although i think gomez should be g-cap….he has a monstrous cap hit 😛


  29. joeybarrie says:

    Per game is a good stat. HOWEVER, in my mind he is number 2 behind Crosby for players who didn’t make it into the Finals. 9th overall for the playoffs.

    I also think that these guys have needed a few games to get back into the swing of things with each other. Clicking isnt done right away, and when they click they are great.

    In the end we are doing very well, and look only to get better…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  30. Storm Man says:

    Do you know what you’re talking about? NOPE.

  31. rocketsglare says:

    No doubt then, that Weber would make a significant impact on this team’s defensive corp, but the big question

    is, would Nashville make the trade. Now, if Nashville can’t resign him and the Habs shed enough salary with the

    departure of Hamrlik and possibly Gill at the end of this season, then yes, the Habs should seriously persue him

    in free agency.

    I have always held the belief that if Markov could upgrade the defensive corp by trading him, then I would look

    into doing such a trade. Apparently Shea is one such player. Hopefully, he will be on the Habs wish list.


    Go Habs Go!





  32. Storm Man says:

    My line-up would be as follows.





    I like Lappy with the G-Crew as he has the speed to stay with them plus open up some space.

  33. GuyDoon says:

    He’s 26!? I didn’t know that. I heard him talked about as a rookie so assumed he was, well, a rookie. Maybe I’m wrong. ALthough I rarely make mistrakes….

  34. twocents says:

    Regardless of how’s he’s doing, it’s pointless to compare this 25 year old with 3 full pro seasons under his belt to a 21 year old Eller with one.

    And, Tangradi is averaging 12 minutes a game. Hardly a key role.

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