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. Fant-HAB-ulous says:

    Totally off-topic, but does anyone have any information on adult hockey clinics or camps in or around the Montreal area? Send me a note if so.


  2. twocents says:

    Which two Pens’ rookies are you referring too?

  3. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Pyatt is fast. Pouliot and Eller have potential, but it’s better to move softly. The team doesn’t need to anoint top six forwards – the places have to be earned. Pyatt is a young player, like Eller and Pouliot, and should have a crack at seeing if he can raise his game. I expect the job will, in the end, go to Eller or Pouliot, and I expect both can be good players. That being said, Pyatt is one hell of a young player to have around.

    For those ready to throw Pouliot under the bus – He’s the same draft year as Price, with flashes of brilliance and long stretches of less than brilliance. He’s a young player who, if I remember correctly, had some AHL time last year. He’s not an old vet not panning out, but a kid with potential. Give him some slack. Eller is out of the minors – he too will take some time. Ditto for Pyatt. Good players all, but not as good as we hope they’ll become.

  4. joeybarrie says:

    Actually, We have room to make a move. Whomever we DEMOTE or trade will come off the cap and we have an extra 750k to put into it… For instance. Trading Benny at the deadline for someone will enable us to take on a 2.1 million dollar salary like Drew Stafford from Buffalo…

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

  5. joeybarrie says:

    It’s tough for me to consider a guy who will be 26 in a few months a Rookie. But he has done well. Wonder why he never got called up before?

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

  6. B says:

    I think the key is having some cheap players. These days, a player does not have to be young to be cheap. Many experienced players are signing for cheaper than a lot of ELCs.

  7. SeriousFan09 says:

    Pens will take anyone with hockey equipment who can find their way to the Consol Energy Center when it comes to taking applications for their team Triple, their wing support for Evgeni Malkin has been a farce for years and it’s barely better for Crosby since they’ve got Dupuis on his wing a fair bit and signed head-case Comrie because no one would have him. They have 35.4 million locked up in their 1-2-3 centers, their top 2 defencemen and Fleury, they need anyone cheap to fill the holes on their roster, the only winger they have making north of 2 million is Chris Kunitz.

    One of those rookies will be getting less time as well the second Jordan Staal is cleared for action as well.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  8. samTHEman says:

    I thought Eller was the obvious back-up incase AK or Pouliot choke. What’s with JM? Why hasn’t he tried Eller with G-G yet? Moen…now Pyatt…when will he understand that these guys, although posess great characteristics, grit and size for Moen and speed for Pyatt, do not belong on the top 6. Play Eller with G-G if Pouliot doesn’t break through. Period.


    Trade: Hamr, Spacek. Free up cap space and pick up a D like Bieksa would be great.


    Ideally i’d like to see these lines:


    Pouliot – G – G

    Lapierre – Eller – Boyd

    Moen – Halpern – Pyatt


    If pouliot isn’t scoring, bring up Eller to take his spot, bring down Pouliot on the 3rd with Boyd in between them (or halpern)

  9. adamkennelly says:

    this is the same guy who was scratched last game right?????   I like Pyatt – no way I play Darche instead of him ever but he is not a top 6 F.

    its obvious this team does not have a player who should be in that role – and PG needs to go out and get one.  Only way to do that is to move CAP space – prolly in the form of a Spacek or Hammer and only way to do that is to toss in some serious prospects and/or draft picks.




  10. B says:

    We all know that Gomez is overpaid, a setup guy, and not a goal scorer. Nothing new there. Yes he is a good 2nd line center, but I think his ability for assists has been a bit over rated lately. His .63 assists per game last playoffs were certainly helpful, but I don’t know about being “GREAT”. He was ranked him 36th in that stat last playoffs. I would say good, but not great. Indeed I have seen him often fly through the neutral zone, but you are correct, he is not perfect and he is just as likely to hang on too long and loose it (or force a bad pass) than he is to set up and make a play. Still, his speed with the puck can be a very useful weapon, arguably his best one. I have not noticed him flying through the neutral zone that much in these first few games though. Gomez is a slow starter and perhaps reducing his ice time would have no impact on that, he may just be that way and one has to just put up with it to get to the times when he has more of an impact.

  11. GuyDoon says:

    I believe the name’s Letestu. He has as many goals on the year as Crosby (4). He’s the kid who scored the second Pen’s goal in Pitts; the one more commonly known in these parts as “the softly”.

  12. TomNickle says:

    That highstick was 100% intentional.

    I know through a former junior teammate of Williams’.

  13. SeriousFan09 says:

    They have the defence for most years, but lack the offensive firepower to do so IMO. It’s nothing against NSH I just don’t think any team can reasonably contend unless they are free to spend to the cap and NSH most years is short on scoring forwards. Weber won’t command Kovalchuk-level cash but in terms of impact blue liners, he’s as big a name at the back end as Kovalchuk is at the front.

    If Koivu hadn’t gotten a stick in his eye, MTL could’ve knocked off the 2006 Cup champs as well, but we didn’t.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  14. pic1983 says:

    I get the sense that you’re not so familiar with Shea weber, so let me break it down for you.  Shea Weber vs. Andrei Markov straight up:

    Younger? Check.

    Stronger? Double Check

    Mobile? Equally

    Physical? Quadruple Check! (and thats probably still an understatement)

    If he played anywhere other than nashville. where hockey actually matters, everyone would know who he is.  Thats how good he is.

  15. TomNickle says:

    Stop it Joey.  You’re going to make all of the haters heads explode.

  16. joeybarrie says:

    Which 2 rookies are you talking about? I haven’t been watching their games, but i only know of Tangradi.

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

  17. bwoar says:

    1. Price bashers are out of ammo for now.

    2. AK46 bashers are out of ammo for now.

    3. Coach is always the goat when things are going well otherwise.  Look at all the hate for Carbo during his one great season.

  18. pic1983 says:

    Is that really a thought? because I thought it was obvious hahah

    Dude, Shea Weber is exactly what the habs are missing.  A right-hand shot, bruising, two-way defensemen that can pound the opposition forwards into submission with a bonecrushing hit or blast a bomb right through the opposing teams net (literally).  Not to mention that when the game is on the line, he’s your guy. 

    I love Markov, hes an unbelieveable talent, and probably the most underrated defenseman in the NHL, but Shea Weber is probably, in my opinion at least, one of the best defenders in the NHL. 

    They would never trade markov straight up for Shea weber, and I would say that the odds of markov signing in nashville are slim to none.  Im sure Nashville will break the bank for shea weber, as defensemen of his caliber and skill-set are the rarest commodity in the NHL. 

  19. joeybarrie says:


    JM not giving younsters a chance on the lines…. IS PYATT 39????

    Is it possible that maybe Pyatt has done good things to earn himself a promotion?

    We keep going on about Eller, Pouliot etc etc… WHAT ABOUT PYATT?

    As for youth not getting a chance????? We have SIX players playing GOOD minutes on our team.

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

  20. TomNickle says:

    Would you call the tying goal in game one against the Capitals a big time play?

    How about the two assists he got in game two of the Pittsburgh series that evened things up on the road?

    How about two points on our only two goals against the Flyers in an elimination game?

    Two assists in the final game of the season where we needed a point to clinch a playoff spot?


  21. TomNickle says:

    I love everything about Habs management?

    You have a lot of growing up to do.

    Apparently you haven’t read that I wanted Henry to start the season with the Habs, that I wanted Pacioretty to start with the Habs or that I wanted to see Turco signed instead of Auld.

    I guess you didn’t read that I wanted Rick Dudley as our new General Manager back before Gauthier was hired or that I wanted Dave Tippet as our head coach prior to Martin being hired.

    Does Gauthier have room to send players to the AHL?  Yep.  Cap room is something you can make with roster moves.  If he chooses not to, it’s because of consequences and player development.  This team currently has just shy of $800k in cap room.

  22. ZepFan2 says:

    “In the new NHL it is all about effective cap management.”

    So it’s not just the Habs then!?


    “Analyst: And I will say things you already know, five seconds after you yell them at your television.”

  23. pic1983 says:

    Scott Gomez had 12 points in 19 playoff games (which i guess is half decent), but he only scored 2 goals, and was a minus-6 throughout those 19 games.  I would hardly call that a big game player. 

  24. TripleX says:

    Does PG have any cap room to make roster changes?  Nope.

    Does PG have the ability to send down roster players who are under performing and bring up a player?  Nope.

    When a GM has put himself into a position where he has zero maneuver room I don’t call that great cap management.

    I know you love everything about Hab’s management Tom and that is great.  I just happen to disagree.


    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  25. TripleX says:

    I think it has more to do with the particular culture of the Habs than JM. 

    As far as the players not doing well on other clubs. Bad drafting?


    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  26. TomNickle says:

    But the Penguins have to give their rookies significant roles because of the money they have tied up in Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Martin, Michalek, Letang and Fleury.

    Do you mean effective cap management like adding Boyd and Halpern at $100k less annually than Moore?

    Or did you mean signing Plekanec long term and trading a goalie who now makes $4 million annually for a player who makes $850 annually for the next two years instead of trading the cheaper goalie?

    Nah, Gauthier don’t know nothing bout cap management.

  27. pic1983 says:

    Agree on all counts.  But than again, I never liked Martin from the day he was hired, and I never liked the way he handled young players.  Young players need to know that they can make mistakes.  If you bench them every time they make a mistake, all your doing is ruining their confidence, and making them grip the stick too tight which results in, you guessed it, more mistakes!  A huge part in being a succesful athlete is confidence, and Martin isnt very good at instilling confidence in his younger players. 

  28. TripleX says:

    Exactly!  Having young cheap players playing key roles on the roster is essential for cap management.


    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  29. LNev says:

    Do I trade Markov for Weber?  Yes.  In a heartbeat. 

    Would I trade Weber for Markov? Not a chance.

  30. TripleX says:

    Pens have two rookies playing key roles on their roster.  Seems only the Habs are reluctant to give youth a chance.  Yes, I know about PK Suban.  But really what veteran does JM have to take his spot? 

    It makes sense to have young players develop into key roles.  Why?  because they are cheap and that leaves more cap space to fill holes in the roster.  In the new NHL it is all about effective cap management.


    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  31. rocketsglare says:

    Perhaps JM wants to use the jam and speed of Pyatt to get Gionta and Gomez going. But what that line really

    needs is a big, strong, and physical forward you can both skate and shoot the puck and provide the necessary

    time and space for Gionta and Gomez to play their game. So far no one has been able to provide a real power

    game to that line. There still hoping that Pouliot will eventually be that player.


    Go Habs Go!

  32. joeybarrie says:

    Is this based on JM’s ONE YEAR with our team or is this something that is based in the last 5 years of the Habs?

    What are we basing it on? How great have any of our young guys on OTHER teams done this year that they didn’t do on our team?

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

  33. TomNickle says:

    If I were to sit down and teach a child from age 5 through 15 how to play defense.  It would be three hours per day of Shea Weber video.

  34. TomNickle says:

    The young players on other teams are given mountains of responsibility and how do their teams fair in the early years of that project?

    Tavares and the Islanders?

    Toronto and Bozak?

    Atlanta and Little?

    Tampa and Stamkos?

    Chicago and Toews?

    Columbus and Brassard?

    Los Angeles and Kopitar?

    Phoenix and Boedker?

    Colorado and Statsny?

    Those teams all struggled for more than one season after handing the reigns to their young players.  Why would we give all of the responsibility to kids when we have veterans?


  35. joeybarrie says:

    I gotta suppliment with saying SCOTT GOMEZ is not a goal scorer. NEVER HAS BEEN, NEVER WILL BE… One freak year of 33 goals. Other than that he is payed for his average of 50 assists per season. OVER PAID YES… But we need to get over that. OH YEAH while we are on beating a dead horse topic, Halak’s gone too…

    He flies through the neutral zone and sets up in the offensive zone. He does this very well. NOT PERFECT EVERYTIME like we all expect him to be, but he does a GREAT job of it. Don’t think so? AGAIN 12 assists getting us to the Conf Finals… Not all our goals were stolen from the other team and were un-assisted. The goal scorers need someone to pass it to them in a place where they can score…

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

  36. rdiddy says:

    all true. Maybe Im just dreaming of a day where I can wear my Weber team Canada Olympic jersey to the Bell Centre!

  37. TomNickle says:

    I think we’re all just a little bit bored due to the long layoff Joey.


  38. The Big O says:

     Umm, isn’t it the veterans who are supposed to get the young kids going and help them along and not the other way around?  In other organizations, young players develop because they are left on a line and they go through the ups and downs with the veterans helping them along.  Here it seems, we remove young players from a line after two shifts!  No wonder other young players around the league are having some success and our young players stay in neutral.

  39. joeybarrie says:

    OK, things are starting to get into the CRAZY zone again…

    ‘Gomez should be benched’ ????? What are you talking about? He scored a game winning goal and set up another game winning goal. What’s that? It was an ugly goal??? WHO IN THE F CARES???? Bench guys who don’t play pretty???? Ridiculous. 4 UGLY Tampa goals against us and everyone is dying for their team and Boucher…

    God Forbid we try someone else on the line with Gio and Gomez. We are just trying to get things going. Pouliot has not been effective. Sucks cause he is trying hard, hitting and just seems to be unlucky. Maybe another line will get him going, and Gio and Gomez too.

    Eller not centering Gomez and Gio. It’s ok that we don’t want to do this. We have alot of options and not exploring it right now is ok. Don’t worry. JM is a good coach and knows what he is doing. Don’t think so??? How did we get to the Conf Finals last season? Oh yeah we did it only cause of ONE player. So why are we 3-1-1 without him?

    I liked the idea of Pouliot with Pleks and AK. Cammalleri is streaky and will probably do something on the Gio, Gomer line. But the idea of keeping the Pleks line intact as it has been successful is good too. I don’t want AK slowing down.

    ‘Don’t like the handling of Eller by JM’ Look at what JM did to Hossa, and others. He made them more rounded, better players.  Same thing said about JM with regards to S. Kostitsyn… It is absolutely too early to tell, but 2 games 0 points minus 1…. Different coach on a team doing well and he hasn’t done anything.

    FIVE GAMES PEOPLE… Let’s not go too crazy too quickly… 5 games in and because our 2nd line isnt producing as much as the first line we think we will be behind in December…. Considering AGAIN we are 3-1-1… Whats missing is the Power Play. The second line… OUR MOST CONSISTENT LINE LAST SEASON will be just fine.

    JM is experimenting, and rightly so. Smart coaches prepare for different scenarios. ESPECIALLY ONES WHERE WE GET INJURIES…. KNOW WHAT I MEAN???

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

  40. rocketsglare says:

    I would consider the trading of Markov only if the defensive corp can become younger, stronger, mobile, and physical.

    So, yes I would look into the possibility of trading Markov for Weber if the above requirements are met in such a trade.


    Go Habs Go!

  41. Le_Sportif_De_Salon says:

    I don’t get this move and love for Pyatt’s offense.

    I mean, he’s nothing short of interesting but on the second line?

    We need a winger ASAP!

  42. nunacanadien says:

    I wonder if they are shopping Pyatt in hopes of finding someone that could play with Gionta and Gomez.  Imagine if we could get Gomez scoring, what a bonus that would be.

  43. TomNickle says:

    Weber isn’t going to command Kovalchuk type money.

    And with Barry Trotz, Nashville has just as good of a chance as any to win the Cup.

    Keep in mind that they came closer than anybody to beating out the Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks

  44. SeriousFan09 says:

    Atlanta made Kovalchuk captain… Weber’s approaching his prime years, he may want to go looking for a team that can Contend for Stanley. They gave him the C but it doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to lose his prime years on a team that can’t spend the cap to really contend for the Cup.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  45. TomNickle says:

    If Weber were to hit the market the expected return would be close to what the Kings would want for Doughty.

    Weber’s that good.

  46. ManApart says:

    I think I would do the trade, but why would Nashville not want to sign Weber for 6 mil and then have to sign Markov for that amount. That’s about how much markov would cost.

  47. SeriousFan09 says:

    I love Andrei but factoring age and Weber’s talents, the fact he’s yet to hit his prime years as a D and comparitive injury history, I’d make the deal. It would be an extremely difficult choice but given Weber’s ability to shine at the Olympics and his dominance in Nashville it’s the right long-term move to make.

    It would ****ing suck but it’s one of those things you do, I doubt it would happen, Weber’s value would demand Markov + extra I think, NSH could command a ransom for him.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  48. TomNickle says:

    You do know they made him captain right?

  49. TomNickle says:

    You can attack this and I really have no defense but hear me out even though I’m not certain it’s true myself.

    In Gomez, I see a player who keeps his foot off the gas and stays just above cruise control on a nightly basis.  I think he saves himself for big games and the playoffs.  His understanding of what games are big and the mere mindset of not giving everything may be incorrect but he does show up in those big games and moments.

    This season.  He’s shooting when he would normally pass.  He’s missing the net or having shots blocked quite often but I think he may be setting up his passes by keeping opposing teams honest instead of allowing them to give him his space and wait for him to pass.


  50. TomNickle says:



  51. SeriousFan09 says:

    Cammalleri’s not a defensive player and we pretty much knew that upon his signing, he’s calmed down since the Nino incident and I’ll take that, I think the point was being made aside from the softie through Fleury, Gomez has yet to show he’s worth much of his salary. I wouldn’t bench him but I’d rather he started flying with his speed more and worked on getting out more of this slick passes to set up the open man, a bit too quiet to start the season.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  52. rdiddy says:

    Here is a thought of the day.

    Would you trade Andrei Markov straight up for Shea Weber?

    If Weber doesnt want to sign long term in Nashville he is an RFA at years end, and would command salary in the 6mill range, which Nashville usually doesnt fork out. Markov would be a perfect veteran replacement on that blue line…

  53. rocketsglare says:

    I am not so worried about Gionta or Gomez, as I am of Pouliot. He seems to be unable to get going re–

    gardless of the lines he has been on. To his credit, he continues to skate, check and contribute the odd

    assist, but he seems to be unable to use his big frame to possess and control the puck along the boards,

    and more importantly, around the net.

    I believe that this is more of an issue of will rather than conditioning. Given his history in Minnesota and

    so far with the Habs, one has to question Pouliot’s commitment and dedication when he has been so in–

    consistent in his power game.

    Management will continue to hope that Pouliot will eventually find his game and until then will have to

    wait patiently when that day comes, if it all.


    Go Habs Go!


  54. TomNickle says:

    Had nothing to do with his offensive play.  But defensive play and questionable decisions and penalties have been there.

    Just making a point here Robert.

    If we’re going to bench players for slow starts we can only ice three quarters of a roster.

  55. habs365 says:

    taking into consideration our 2nd line is doing very little scoring there has to be changes or this team is gonna be way behind come December, remember that’s usually when the teams go into slumps and some never recover. you may not agree but myself I would look at which one should do some time with the Bulldogs, Pouliot or Eller. i would than give Desharnais a chance with the big club on the second line with Gomez and Gionta, I know what you’re thinking we have enough small players already. Henry Richard had a very good career with the Habs, why not Desharnais. when it comes to scoring goals size means nothing. whether you’re 5’7″ or 6’7″ if you can’t put the puck in the net, you’re just a body that can push smaller guys around and don’t fare as well against a bigger guy anyway if I was the coach I would try this for maybe 6 games if it doesn’t work out the guy he sent to the Bulldogs bring him back and they’ll have to tinker til they find the right player for the second line, they have nothing to lose without a second scoring line even if they do make the playoffs, it’ll be a short stay.

  56. SeriousFan09 says:

    Didn’t Cammalleri generate 8 SOG against Ottawa? I think some people are forgetting Cammy is a streaky scorer by nature, sometimes he can’t help but not hit the net, other times he’s always just missing. Relax, the goals will come especially with AK opening up the ice so Cammy can set up in his office at the Right faceoff circle.

    Boyd was with Darche and Darche held back his line from being effective as well, not all his fault.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  57. SLONCOLD says:

    i think gomez has been invisible on the score sheet but not playing badly enough to be benched

  58. TomNickle says:

    Eller isn’t prepared to play through the middle of the ice against elite NHL lines.

    He’s much better served on the wing for now.

  59. db says:

    How about Eller centering Gomez & Gionta?

  60. TomNickle says:

    If they’re going to do that then they need to be prepared to do the same with Spacek, Hamrlik, Cammalleri, Boyd and Darche.

    Those guys might not make $8 million annually but they played equally as poor as Gomez did last game, some of them worse.

  61. punkster says:

    True but I don’t consider Eller at the same level as PK. He’s kind of a special case don’t you think?

  62. Greg says:

    The Pouliot thing bothers me more as well. Maybe Benny just needs a couple goals and they’ll start coming in bunches. He’s got the skill, no one debates that. What was questioned was his work ethic, and this year he seems to be working hard. So what’s with the demotion (also, no nonsense about his 4th line duty NOT being a demotion, please)?


    “I lined up next to him at a faceoff, looked over and said “Hi Rocket”. All he did was growl.”

    -Gordie Howe

  63. Greg says:

    Subban is in a similar position. He makes rookie mistakes too but Martin shows confidence in him by sending him back out. Eller gets to sit.

    I’m not talking about Martin shortening his bench. If that’s why Eller doesn’t play in a one-goal game, fine. But an opportunity on the top line wouldn’t hurt in my opinion. I thought he did well with Pleks and AK46 in Toronto.


    “I lined up next to him at a faceoff, looked over and said “Hi Rocket”. All he did was growl.”

    -Gordie Howe

  64. B says:

    Perhaps they should sit Gomez for a game rather than just rotating guys through his wing to try and get him jump started. That might wake Gomez up and send the message that he has to play a full games worth of effort and not just the odd flash here and there. I don’t know how many times in these first few games I asked out loud “is Gomez playing tonight?”

  65. warriorhockey says:

    so when is it ellers turn ??

  66. mbplekfan says:

    Five games is a pretty short time frame. I dont think time is running out on him until february. His upside is better than the trade return.

    I’d take a mediocre Pouliot over the 3rd round draft pick we could get back.

  67. TomNickle says:

    They gave him a new contract after he played dreadfully for 30 games.  Why would they trade him after five good games?

  68. TomNickle says:

    From where I sit putting Pyatt with Gomez and Gionta is an effort to do two things.

    1. Create a line of forwards that can keep up with each other speed wise.

    2. Get Gomez and Gionta going better by bringing up a guy who is sure to empty his tank on Thursday night.  Martin will look for Gomez and Gionta to match Pyatt’s energy level.

    For now I don’t mind that Eller and Pouliot are in our bottom six.  It makes our bottom six much stronger and allows those specific players to focus on fundamentals instead of worrying about scoring every time they’re on the ice.

  69. punkster says:

    A good minor league coach, maybe. Juniors/AHL etc possibly but those stakes are considerably higher. Pro coaches? Not a snowball’s chance in h-e-double hockey sticks does a pro coach let a rookie work out his problems duting regular season games. Training camps, pre-season, practice, yes. And by the way just exactly what do you think JM or almost any head coach in the NHL can “teach” a pro player. How to skate, make a pass, body check? Not their job.

  70. punkster says:

    Respectfully, I’ll argue two items.

    First, I’m not sure Eller was indeed “benched” in the entirely punitive sense of the word. It’s an assumption here because he didn’t play after his two errors and many here tend to jump to the conclusion that “JM can’t handle kids”. Fact is JM shortened the bench and Eller, Darche and Boyd saw little ice time. Given the roster JM played and the end result I tend to think these 3 players are the logical choice to sit in a tight game.

    Second, if Eller develops a fear of making mistakes because he has been benched then he isn’t pro material. He did, indeed, make two bad errors in his 4+ minutes on the ice. He’s 21 and has a whopping 13 pro games under his belt. I imagine it won’t be the last time he gets benched for errors but he’ll learn from this and become a better player.

  71. Mats Naslund says:

    You don’t trade for Lars Eller to have him on the 4th line. Put him on #2 or #3 where he should be (and can at least be successful) or put him in Hamilton where he can score goals. We’re Sergei-ing this kid. Too soon? We’re Latendressing this kid. We’re busy ruining yet another prospect while 4th liners get shots at the top 6 to do what?? Improve the scoring? Tom Pyatt? Travis Moen? Give me a break. That ALWAYS works right? Kids will make mistakes. The good coaches are the ones who will let them make mistakes while teaching them. Pittsburgh, Washington and Chicago didn’t become elite by relegating their prospects to the fourth line. I wish I could say the same about Ottawa or Florida…..


  72. Lazarus_taxa says:

    Pressure???!!!!  Pressure is being on the ice in the third period to protect a 2-1 lead!!!!  Martin is just easing him into the NHL level game, not putting him into many tough situations all at once where he could fail and cost us the game.  At least thats what I see.  Martin seems to giving him minutes early, then going with the hot lines (mostly our top lines) in the third.  Sounds smart, and I’m ok with that.  We will see what happens in a game where we have a nice lead….

  73. Harani says:

    Benoit Pouliot better take a page out of AK46’s book because time maybe running out. He’s got the goods and I think he can get some confidence from seeing Andrei play his ass off. Benoit has to understand that he’s definitely better than Mathieu Darche or even Tom Pyatt. 

    And if he has after seeing AK46 the last two games, then Martin needs to give him a chance again.

    “It must be love!”

  74. mbplekfan says:

    The handling of Pouliot is as concerning to me as the the treatment of Eller.

    Give the Gomez-Gionta-Pouliot line at least a month to get it going. They arent a defensive liability. JM should leave them together long enough to figure it out for themselves.

    As for Eller. He should be fourth line until xmas. He needs to see the NHL game and practice with the players. Fourth line gives him time to adjust and learn.

    Rookies take time to grow. Too much pressure is not good. A few shifts per period is enough for the first few months.


  75. Greg says:

    I don’t like Martin’s handling of Lars Eller. I’m not an NHL coach and I’m the first to admit that, but playing on a line with Gomez and Gionta not only gives that line size, but it allows Eller to learn how to play with goal scorers. I don’t think he’s effective in a bottom-6 role. I understand why he plays there because Pouliot and AK46 will take the top spots, but if they don’t, Eller has to be the #1 choice right? I thought he’s played VERY well so far, despite a few rookie mistakes.

    Benching a guy every time he makes a defensive mistake doesn’t teach anything except the fear of making mistakes. That being said, why did JM move Pouliot off that line to begin with? He was playing well! When Cammy came back from his knee injury last season and was stuck in a goal scoring drought while playing well, Martin let him play, knowing the goals would come.  With Pouliot, he had 3 games where he played well and then BANG, 4th line. Martin can have talks and “explain” why he did it all day, the reality is anyone would rather play on the 1st line than the 4th, despite what he says to the media.


    “I lined up next to him at a faceoff, looked over and said “Hi Rocket”. All he did was growl.”

    -Gordie Howe

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.