Quick hits

By popular demand – OK, eight people asked for it – About Last Night … is becoming – well, About Last Night …

It will appear on the morning after Canadiens games and hopefully will reflect some sober, dispassionate analysis and a good night’s sleep.

As its title suggests, the new post-game feature will be a few observations of what has transpired.

Ça va, mes chers amis?

Let’s go:

• The Canadiens are winless in November, winless on Tuesdays and winless with Andrei Markov in the lineup.

• Veterans deserve respect. Cavalier treatment of veterans does not play well in the room. That said, Jaro Spacek has to sit for Alexandre Picard.

• Jacques Martin can’t sit Scott Gomez. Or the Canadiens’ captain. But man, they’re struggling. The C on Gionta’s jersey is beginning to stand for “Curse”.

• If the Tomas Plekanec line doesn’t score, this team has no chance.

• Your best have to be your best: Rick Nash, Derick Brassard and Jakub Voracek were excellent for Columbus.

• What is with Québécois goaltenders against the Canadiens?

• The PP took another 0-for. On the season, 3-for-42. Hitting on 7.1 per cent of their chances. I did better when I was single.

• Bertrand Raymond made a good point on L’Antichambre: the Canadiens had a four-day break last month. Did they practice the power-play.

• Then Bert started lobbying for MAB … and I switched channels.

• The insertion of Dustin Boyd affected the game as much as the colour of socks I wore to watch it.

• One bright spot: Carey Price. Blameless on the goals. But his best save of the night was on Spacek.

• Another positive note: There were several flashes of vintage Markov.

• The scoresheet says the Canadiens committed two giveaways. Yeah, on the first wave of the first power-play. Then they stopped counting.

• An indicator of the will to win: Six Canadiens blocked eight shots, 11 Blue Jackets blocked 24. Kris Russell and Rostislav Kresla each blocked five.

• The fat shirtless dancer had more energy than the Canadiens’ forecheck.

• No Canadien had more than two hits. Some guy named Jan Hejda had five and the tough Derek Dorsett had four.

• Tomas Plekanec was 6-11 on faceoffs, took a bad penalty and generally did not play with the zip and smarts we saw in October.

• How significant is SoG? Columbus was outshot 29-24 and won easily. As did Florida, outshot 41-31. maybe we should be talking about quality shots and second shots. Canadiens are getting few and none, respectively.

• I love the kid, but Lars Eller is looking a bit lost.

• The game in a nutshell: Canadiens’ last shot was Hamrlik’s 80-footer. For the first time this season, the team mailed one in.

More tomorrow in ALN.



  1. Chuck says:

    I guess that there’s not enough time to use spell check, eh?


    Centre Hice: Major blackout hits Montreal

  2. Will Longlade says:

    The Habs were flat for the second game in a row, but they generated some chances – the problem was that they couldn’t convert them. Who would have thought the team would be 0-2 with Markov in the line-up.

  3. Shiloh says:

    Gainey bailed out Glen Sather by taking on Gomez’ horrific contract – a boneheaded call at the time which looks even worse now. 7.4 million – ridiculous for a guy who has virtually no impact on the play.

  4. topher5468 says:

    Hal Gill was awful last night, I know how important he is to this team but man he sucked last night. I’ve said enough about Scott Gomez, He is an noose around this teams neck.

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  5. nightmare_49 says:


        Here is more to bite on before the Primo ALN …  Daily Hab-it:  http://bit.ly/9FepJb

  6. andrewberkshire says:

    Agreed with almost everything you said here, except Gomez playing well. I’m not sure what you saw that I didn’t but I thought he was the worst player on either team by a very very wide margin.

  7. Propwash says:

    Pretty much sums it up right there.


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  8. Mr.Hazard says:

    Good for you! Can’t stand people like that.

  9. Exit716 says:

    Damn, I got called a jerk by a commentator on the Globe site for pointing out a glaring error in their Leafs story. The commentator said that in the new age of journalism, spelling and grammar don’t count. It’s about getting the story out FAST! The hell with standards. Mind you, his criticism was filled with errors as well. I guess I’m a cranky old fart.


  10. habfan1969 says:

    Excellent post, pretty much all the points I’d have made if I was a more lucid drunk.

    I’d go a bit further though– the Markov hype was too much for a player coming off 2 serious injuries in a year; I miss the days when an important player like him could be
    expected to ease back into the lineup after that hardship gradually esp. since our team was doing super well before that.

  11. Propwash says:

    Now that the honeymoon is over, patience is a virtue, the team is gonna lose games, just like every other team. The end of the season is when the freakout period should start happening if the team is on the bottom of the barrel. Things will turn around, JM is a smart guy.


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  12. joeybarrie says:

    REALLY? Do you really believe all this or are you kidding?

    Halpern… Basically a zero?   7 points and is our best face off man. He is helping our great PK and is leading the team in shot percentage…

    Max P??? 2 goals in 9 games IN THE AHL…

    MAB?????? Cmon man, are you serious? With him tonight it would have been 4-1 but HEY our PP would be 20%…

    Moen a ZERO??????  PURE STUPIDITY.

    Wont even touch the Price idiocy.

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

  13. dleb84 says:

    “Though I don’t love Markov, and I would trade him, it would take Duncan Keith or something like that in return to do it. I just wish Markov could hit the f***ing net!”

    I seriously hope your joking.  If you think we could get Keith for Markov, your hockey knowledge is seriously lacking.  I love Markov and my favorite Hab but he is no where close to Duncan Keith.  Age alone makes that wish ludicris. 

    Markov will be fine.  He is coming back from a major injury and is rusty.

    The real issue is becoming G & G.  Gomez has never been this bad, it’s almost like he doesn’t care anymore. 

    Here is a question, if Scott Gomez was a Free Agent this past summer, what would he have signed for?



  14. smiler2729 says:

    Are you high?

  15. nova scotia vees says:

    So here goes my usual rant…

    Eller for Halak…dreadful!  Price instead of Halak dreadful.. Price was not solely at fault for this mess tonight, but still…have you ever seen another goalie that allows so many “empty-net” goals.  How can anyone say “he had no chance on any of the goals’?  Where was he on the 3rd and back-breaking goal??? Sliding out to the corner.  Other goalies stop 2 on 1’s routinely…But not “our boy”.  the party line is “he had no chance”….

    As for MAB…why not sign him as a forward and use him on the point on the PP?  Moen, Eller, Boyd, Pyatt, White…Halpern…basically zeros.  At least Max P. has the tools to be a real player at the NHL level.  But not if they leave him on the farm.

    Spacek and Gill are absolute dinosaurs.  Get rid of them.

    And let P.K. go all the way on the rush.  When Orr or Robinson got rolling, did they have to bail out and stop themselves?  Even down 3-0, he stopped himself on a great rush.  No doubt afraid to get in trouble with J.M.

  16. MathMan says:

    This all means more Boone. How can this be bad?

  17. ProHabs says:

    No need to read Boone’s ALN in the AM. You wrote it for him.

  18. Mr.Hazard says:


  19. larisalapointe says:

    Good 🙂

  20. twocents says:

    Rob, I agree about Eller, I only saw the last period and about 8 minutes of the second, but I liked what I saw. He’s a strong kid with skills.

    I also agree that the energy guys did not do their job.

    Heck! I pretty much agree with everything you said… I think… maybe I should read again to make sure… nah, I do have to get some sleep tonight.

  21. ProHabs says:

    Mr. Boone, of those 8 people that wanted ALN to appear in the morning, do you know what percentage of them were female, what their yearly income was and where they live?

    I liked the ALN right after the game but this quick hits looks good and I will read ALN in the morning, We should get Trent Hunter for that second line. He has been a healthy scratch on the Island and could be had.

  22. krob1000 says:

    I am a little lost on your comment Boone about Eller.  I thought he played very well considering I think he probably played with every teammate possible tonight.  In the great majority of his shifts the puck was controlled down low.  I actually liked AK with Gomez too…I thought it generated some chances and the 3-0 score gave us an opportunity to experiment…..and on the road too.  I thought the last ten minutes or so were completely dominated by us and I really liked the hints of chemistry betweem Gomez-Gio and Ak and also Eller-Pleks and Cammi.  I have to say though I thought Eller did very well….again…..he is still adjusting to the speed and is holding on sometimes a fraction too long but every time he is out there it seems we control the puck….it has been a  long time since we had someone who could control the  puck down low and also had an offensive mind….put him on a top line for a decent lenght of time and he produces I believe.  Price…..overcommitting a bit again. Right now Cammi, Gomez, Gio, Markov….all struggling to find their offense (cammi has some points but is missing glorious chances and his sense of timing and accuracy are not there yet).  Ths team could easily have had 4 or 5 goals tonight if thigs go different.

    One huuuuge complaint I have is the sparkplug issue…..in these last two games we had little energ, it was obvious early on that we were getting ho hummed and bored into passing the time.  Although we ahd chacnes I felt the game lacked an ontensity and I feel that played into both Florida and Columbus’ hands.  In these type of games…soemone…anyone has to light a fire…be it a fight, a hard drive to the net, some attitude, something….

    Markov is nowhere near himself and that is too be expected…unfortunateyl Spacek isn’t either…that is not.  Hammer tok some chances late in the game and actually made some things happen with his aggressiveness…unfortuantely he doesn’t have the recovery speed to compensate…but Pleks was there. There were two glorious chances missed in the Ozone by Gill where guys were open in the slot and he jsut blindly tossed the puck. 

    Overall I was not as depressed as I should be in a 3-0 loss to CBJ after a 3-1 loss to FLA…..I saw some things to build on…I saw some things that worried me though….the lack of ebergy from the energy guys in  the alst two games when it was very much called for. 

    Pk and Eller are both for real, Pouliot is showing signs of life, Ak is back from the dead, Gomezs played well tonight IMO too..he was really trying hard tonight and competing I thought, Pleks is Pleks…..Price made some big saves when he needed to aside from some overcomitting tonight but he was definitely not to blame for any of those goals.  Gorges has developed nicely.  Halpern loks like a Dom Moore clone in a mirror.  The guys who need to score are generating chances and just not capitalizing….that is alright by me because they are too talented for htat pattern to continue for long.  The PP does worry me though…..we do need a shot on that right point…a left one or try mixing PK and Markov…but something needs to happen there for sure….

    Martin’s experimentation led me to believe he has seen enough of Eller to know he can handle the defensive responisbility and that he ahs the talent to paly with the big  boys…….I know OB has played himself into the press box and I also know that Ryan WHite is a victim of a numbers game but the spunk they add physically to the lineup might have been very, valuable these last two games…..Boyd and Laps had best be looking over their shoulders because they are supposed to be energy guys.

    PS…..why is it that when we go to the net our sticks are always tied up…and why do we always go to the net and stand there for the sake of standing there….have we nobody with a sense of timing…to follow up on  loose pucks? When is as important as where and it seems that concept is lost on many of our guys …. just take a second and think about how many players, both scorers and non scorers alike we see agaist the Habs that seem to be Johnny on the Spot…..then think about how often we have anyone who is Johnny on the Spot……we need a damn Johnny to who can find the Spot.

  23. MathMan says:

    Let me spell it out: I’m not blaming Price for this or any loss.

  24. larisalapointe says:

    Whether he lets in 3 goals or 30 or even 300, if the team in front of him can’t score, what difference does it make? He was the only bright spot on the team tonight.

  25. DearyLeary says:

    That was probably the worst game they’ve played all season.  The lack of effort was palpable tonight.  I saw people coasting in every area of the ice.  The one that really stood out for me, was on the play leading up to the last goal.  If you watch it you’ll see that there were three Canadiens, maybe a foot away from each other trying to break into the Columbus zone.  One guy broke it up, and they turned the puck back up ice for the odd man rush and scored.

    Puck support was non-existent.  Everyone looked slow.  Most of the shots were taken while falling away from the flow of traffic.  Giving up on battles on the boards.  Turnovers at both bluelines.  The defence looked confused and out of sorts, nobody was moving the puck well (PK and Markov included). It was basically an instructional video on how to lose hockey games.

    I had trouble watching it the hockey was so ugly.  I have no idea how this team comes off an anemic effort like the one they had against Florida, and play an even worse game a couple nights later. 

  26. MathMan says:

    Something just occured to me to help illustrate this.

    The Jackets blocked 24 shots. They had 32 either on goal or blocked by Habs.

    32. If the Habs had blocked every shot by the Jackets (not that this is realistic), they would have had 32 blocks to the Jackets’ 24. They might have gone up to 40 if they also went and blocked off-target shots.

    I’d say “good job by the Habs on giving the Jackets so many shot block opportunities”. 😉

  27. Number31 says:

    Anyone else noticed how the puck just stopped moving whenever they passed it? Can they order the ice at Brossard to be mud so they could maybe learn how to play on bad ice? (BJs must be used to it, since they were flying around). And some aim would be nice. Another game, another case of making Garon look like a Vezina candidate. Easy night for him. Didn’t even know the Habs sents that many pucks that way…a pity vote on the shot clock?

    I think a powerplay for the Habs could officially be called “too many men on the ice”. Terrible.

    CBJs 3, Carey Price 0, Habs -10

    For once, I’d like to see the Habs get about ten breakaways and 2-on-1s…

    So…next is Buffalo. They’re struggling. Who will slump-bust whom?! (dun dun DUN!)

  28. MathMan says:

    I’m not really worried about Price, TBH, more his statistics. Like I said, you can’t point to any goal and call it “soft”, but those low-shot, 3-goal-against games just aren’t making him look good.

    But that’s probably just the luck of the draw. He needs an easy shutout. 😉

  29. Born in a Bad Year says:

    After watching the first two periods, I decided to make a drinking game of whenever one of our defencemen hit someone in our zone.

    Still three years sober.

    Okay that was a slight exaggeration.   But still it was, Subban 1,  Hamrlik 2, but one of those was accidental.

    It is really sad when any forward can gain the zone and skate through untouched.  Towards the end of the third they were initiating contact just for the fun of it.

  30. Willy the bum says:

    It’s still early. I’ll whine when they’re almost at the end of the season.

  31. Mike Boone says:

    I was sort of with you until the bit about Price.

  32. SeriousFan09 says:

    Hasn’t recharged? When he was using it, strenous attempts to build the large-scale paper airplanes Michael Ryder never got around to doing? Boyd’s got no excuse. Had his chance, everything to prove and he didn’t bring much.


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

  33. MathMan says:

    These last few games have been fascinating delves into how the human mind devises explanations and colors its observations of the process based on the end result. Gionta isn’t scoring so he’s playing like crap (nevermind that he racks up four shots a game and umpteen shots). They’re only shooting from the perimeter (NHL.com has shot charts these days, and they disagree). They have no energy and effort when they’re losing, but they’re just flying when they get easy wins.

    70 shots, one goal, and suddenly the story is that the team plays like crap top to bottom. Tonight they launched 65 shot attempts, and Columbus had all of 40. But hey, they got ridiculously outworked. (And no, I don’t care about rumblings about shot quality. Just glance at those spiffy nhl.com shot charts.)

    Then they’ll get 6 on 45 shots some other pair of game and everyone will be ooh-ing and aaah-ing about how well everyone is playing. They won’t have changed a lick, probably, but that’s how humans work. We can’t stand leaving something without an explanation. And “luck” is not one we can tolerate even though that’s a big part of it. So the result colors the process.

    They’re still outshooting teams, getting good possession, getting chances. The 40+ shot against debacles seem to be a thing of the past or an exceedingly rare event. The Habs aren’t going to end the season as the worst PP club in NHL history, Gionta won’t keep being THIS snakebit for 70 more games (3 more shots tonight).

    Frankly, I’m impressed: overall, this is the best the Habs have been in years.

    But please, by all means, don’t let me get in the way of the wailing and gnashing of teeth. 

    (Frankly, and this will seem weird, my one area of semi-concern is Price. He’s not giving up softies but he just doesn’t seem to stop as many pucks as he should. He will, hopefully, need to get used to these sub-25 shot games, they seem to be tough on him.)

  34. Chuck Chuck Goose says:

    I was really hoping Boyd would be a solid presence after a few games in the press box, but seems like his energy hasn’t quite fully recharged

  35. MathMan says:

    “An indicator of the will to win: Six Canadiens blocked eight shots, 11 Blue Jackets blocked 24. Kris Russell and Rostislav Kresla each blocked five.”

    This is actually an indicator of the Habs dominating possession and being in the offensive zone taking shots. The Habs took 65 shot attempts to the Jackets’ 40.

    It used to drive me nuts when the Habs would block tons of shots. LOTS OF BLOCKED SHOTS ARE NOT A GOOD THING, FOLKS. At the micro level a blocked shot may be about the “will to win”. At the macro level, it means your team is stuck in their zone and the other team is blasting away!

    Given the choice, I always, always want to be the guys forcing the other guys to block choice.


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