Quick hits


Let’s keep this short and to the point.

This is what we learned about the 2010-’11 Montreal Canadiens:

• They have to play 60 minutes of hockey or 65, as the case may be

• They can’t take any team lightly.

• Carey Price may be the best goaltender in the NHL, but on this night, Devan Dubnyk was better.

In the words of Roman Hamrlik, whose milestone evening – 600th NHL point, 150th NHL goal – was ruined:

“When we play selfish, we don’t win.”

Jacques Martin thought his team got up 3-1 and stopped playing the style that had delivered the two-goal lead.

Up till the midway point of the second period, the coach said, the Canadiens were rolling four lines and playing solid 5-on-5 hockey.

“Penalties took away our momentum,” Martin said.


Martin listed several disappointing aspects of his team’s play:

• Too much individual play (echoing Hamrlik’s analysis)

• Too many turnovers in the opponent’s end and at their blueline

• Too many odd-man rushes yielded

“There’s a balance between team play and individual play,” Martin said. “It got out of balance, and it cost us a point.

“Against any team in this league,” he added, “if you play with fire you get burned.”

The Canadiens won’t have time to mope. As the few players who bothered showing up in the room answered questions, equipment bags were being loaded for the trip to New Jersey and a Thursday night dance with the Devils.

There’s more talent in NJ than Edmonton.

But probably not more enthusiasm.

The Oilers are not going to make the playoffs. A long rebuild continues.

But as that great hockey writer Bob Dylan pointed out, when you ain’t got nothin’ you got nothin’ to lose.

The visitors were fast and they were hungry. Down 3-1, they did not quit but kept forechecking aggressively, pouncing on Canadiens’ errors and creating odd-man rushes.

Carey Price was not at his best on the Sam Gagner shortie that tied the game or the Dustin Penner shot from close in that won it.

But Price made many heroic saves as his teammates carelessness opened the door for Edmonton to keep pressing.

And the goaltender at the other end of the ice – inelegant, looking like a beer league guy who won a contest to play an NHL game – stopped 36 Canadiens’ shots and was as a wall as his teammates fashioned their comeback.

For all that, it was a very winnable game for the home team.

They let it slip away in the most disheartening late-game collapse of the season.

More tomorrow.



  1. rocketsglare says:

    Who is Taco Bell?


    Go Habs Go!

  2. Mike Boone says:

    And if you hung around journalists you might learn the difference between “to” and “too”.

  3. twilighthours says:

    To be fair, you’ve bitched about everything since you joined HIO.  You’re bound to be correct in some of your bitching.

  4. G-Man says:

    Can’t win every game, but the Oilers are a team that’s “made” for the Habs.

    Young and fast, while Habs are experienced and fast. This should have been a 4-2 victory, but brain-dead plays by Subban and Cammi cost big time. Not to worry; I think both will play much smarter tonight.

  5. rocketsglare says:

    It’s not the loss, but how this team lost that is both troublesome and maddening. The team’s inability to play with

    intensity and focus from beginning to end is troubling while losing often to weaker clubs is simply maddening.

    The Habs will be given a second chance against another weak team tonight and hopefully will come out with great-

    er intensity and focus from start to finish. This team will have to be disciplined, patient, and opportunistic against

    the Devils and play a solid team game from end to end if they are to prevail tonight.

    Here’s hoping to redemption and a win against Marty and the Devils.


    Go Habs Go!

  6. rocketsglare says:

    The team must develop Pacioretty slowly and bring him up gradually as they did with P.K.


    Go Habs Go!

  7. MikeMcLaren says:

    I knew when he was in nets the Habs would have to score 6 to win.  Luckily I was at the games when they did!  (A nice win against Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh that I traveled to and of course the return of Theodore and Brisebois).

    He was truly awful though.


  8. usversusthem says:

    Thank you, Robert L, for your facts. Basically a perfect response to a post like that. 

  9. shootdapuck says:

    DEBACLE-  a sudden and ignominious failure; a fiasco.


    Blowing a two goal lead to the 28th place team in the league at home sound like a fiasco or ignominious failure?


    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3”

  10. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Relax.  Take a breath.  Relax.

  11. SeriousFan09 says:

    Agree, love Pacioretty’s hot streak but his playing next to Desharnais on the top line is definitely aiding his production, I’m unsure of Desharnais’s NHL future but he’s a Top AHL player. Need to see this continue for at least a couple of months to make sure it’s not going to dry up and we call him up for nothing and leave him vulnerable to waivers if he needs to go back to Hamilton.


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

  12. mbplekfan says:

    Pacioretty pots two more in Hamilton. If this continues for another month we may be looking at a late season trade to make space for him.

    I favour giving him at least all of december and most of January in the minors to make sure this isnt just a hot streak. It certainly bodes well for the future.

    Benny is using his size more and starting to come into his own and with Eller we could have a third line with all three players over 6″2. That would partially solve our size problem.

  13. Cape Breton says:

    Sad way to lose. Looked to me as if Camy was more concerned with getting levelled by their big 27 than taking control of the puck, thus the brutal play.

    It seemed to me, too, that Les Boys gave the Oilers way too much respect, especially after going up 3-1.

    Question: Can the team buy out Gomez and be rid of him, take the financial loss and move on? The guy does not deserve to be in the NHL.

    Perhaps Max is ready. 

  14. thorandresson says:

    holy crap, he just had another 2 goal night, so that’s 13 goals, 27 points in 22 games

  15. Robert L says:

    Worst goalie I ever saw in Montreal by a longshot!

  16. andrewberkshire says:

    Oh, Aebischer… How I DON’T miss you at all.

  17. Robert L says:

    The camera angle from above is not the same as the shot angle from the ground up. He threaded it, and all Price could do was hold up straight and hope it hit him.

  18. Robert L says:

    One game doesn’t constitute a debacle in itself and there is no annual December swoon.

    The last 4 Decembers:

    2009-10: 8-7-2

    2008-09: 9-3-2

    2007-08: 7-4-4

    2006-07: 9-4-2

    This so-called swoon is a myth, based on what happened after December 2006. On the 23rd of December, Montreal were 21-8-5 after 34 games. Over the next 34 games, up until March 3, 2007, the Habs went 12-21-1.

    Events conspiring to to wreck that season were the Gainey family tragedy, a flu virus that inflicted the entire lineup at one point or another, and David `Swiss Cheese`Aebischer taking over for the injured Huet.

    They missed the playoffs that season, but otherwise December`s since have been decent to fair.

  19. pmaraw says:

    4 back to back series and a 7 game road trip in 13 days, just sayin’

  20. 134 says:

    So Tony Marinaro from the team 990 just tweeted that Markov will undergo surgery for his injured knee next week in Birmingham Alabama, and could be out as long as 1 year… hmm… wonder if we’d see him again in a Canadiens jersey… Personally I’m not very optimistic about it.

  21. shootdapuck says:

    It’s December! Has this debacle marked the start of the annual December swoon?


    I certainly hope not!



    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3”

  22. habs001 says:

    very important game  s jersey as a loss could parlay into 3 game losing streak as san jose next….it does look like there will be very few games where we score more than 3 goals…too many forwards that really cannot finish no matter how many chances they get each game…

  23. ooder says:

    but Timo you always bitch 😉

    haha jk jk man.. ya cammy is not playing like he did last year.. dunno whatsup with that


    88 is the new 23

  24. diehardhab says:

    Max Pacioretty. Enough said.

    The torch be yours to hold it high!

  25. Timo says:

    I’ve been b!tching about Cammilleri for over a month now. I see no effort from him. He and Gomer are becoming very alike.

  26. ooder says:

    i just saw teh replay of the GWG, and man that was pathetic by Cammalleri.. no effort at all..

    he should be able to catch up to penner or at least try.

    imagine if ak46 did that


    88 is the new 23

  27. ProHabs says:

    I don’t think JM likes to call time outs anyway. He just wants the games to finish as quickly as possible so that he can make his way to the strip clubs.

  28. Malreg says:

    He had already used his timeout.  I believe it was about 5 minutes into the 3rd, when it was still 3-1.  The Canadiens were caught battling in their end for over a minute before finally getting the puck out and icing it.  The line was completely exhausted, so JM used his timeout.

  29. Timo says:

    I don’t think they were too rattled to start… didn’t look like they cared whole lot. So what’s to calm down? 

  30. ooder says:

    hey guys.. im not a jm basher.. far from it

    but did he call a time out when the oilers made it 3-2 to calm teh guys down.

    i had class so i didn’t catch the game


    88 is the new 23

  31. Timo says:

    … and you will have to see one for your obsession with me obsessing about professional athletes making more money than me and why you just can’t ignore my post about professional athletes making money and liking strippers and move on to the next a lot more valuable contributor to this site. 

  32. SeriousFan09 says:

    You know, some day you’re going to need to see a therapist about this obsession with professional athletes making more money than you do. You hate it that much, stop watching and endorsing the game in any way.


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

  33. Propwash says:

    Habs pulled a Maple Leafs there…..


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  34. SeriousFan09 says:

    The Russian front tallied to over 30 million dead, which makes that reference even more moronic.

    Ugh, hyperbole is not a weapon to be used by those who don’t understand context.


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

  35. Timo says:

    Hey, no time to think about stuff like that when strippers are wiggling their behinds in their faces. Too much more important stuff’s going on to worry about some fans working some lousy 40 hr/week jobs. Suckas!

  36. yathehabsrule says:

    Looked like a bit more than 3″.



    Note the new digs! but yeah I’m still on Twitter!

  37. yathehabsrule says:

    I don’t think comparing a hockey game to an event in history, that saw close to 1,000,000 people killed, is a smart thing.

    Go sit in a corner


    Note the new digs! but yeah I’m still on Twitter!

  38. JasonM says:

    There’s something about this team unable to play 60 minutes against an inferior opponent. It’s an insult to those who paid tickets to watch them sit back after 30 minutes and deplorable to fans who watched them take their ball and go home after 1/2 a game.


    This isn’t the first time it happened this season. We have lost repeatedly against inferior teams. Most of the time, get shut out by them.

  39. Samovich says:

    That was a bigger loss than Operation Barbarossa! 

  40. habaholic68NJ says:

    Stupid penalties, calling it a night after 30 min and a 3-1 lead, selfish plays, a mortal looking Price on the last 2 goals and the inability of Martin to make changes within a game. Total team suck-fest tonight.  With all this, we still would have lost, even without the brutal officiating.  I have $250 tickets for tomorrow night’s game – another suck-fest and I will ask for a refund.

  41. Wamsley01 says:

    Boone, a goaltending coach you are not.

    Price played the Gagner break perfectly. He didn’t bite on the look off and he didn’t commit early on the shot and drop to the butterfly. He held his ground and left 3 inches over his glove and Gagner made a perfect shot.

    On the Penner breakaway, well, it was a breakaway. Penner made a slick move and beat him 5-hole. End of story.

  42. Timo says:

    Is it me only or does Cammilleri look like he is stooping down to Gomez level. Yes, he scored a fluke bla-bla… but i am not seeing an effort. The guy floats. 

  43. BC HAB says:

    Boone, call it like it was. Subban effed up big time. I like the guy buy he messed up. What was he thinking diving like that. He tryed to be too cute instead of making the easy play and just skate back.

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