Quick hits

Now that the gala celebration of Chris Nilan’s birthday is history, circle this date on your calendars:

March 8.

Boston at the Bell Centre.

There will be blood.

By then, the trading deadline will have come and gone.

Will the Canadiens beef up before Feb. 28?

Strip away all the nonsense – and there was a lot of it in that 8-6 goon show – and the bottom line is what’s it been for a long time.

Two words: Too small.

Michel Bergeron convulsed his fellow Antichambre panelists with a length rant about Hal Gill: “Six feet-22 … and he has to go to the bench so the trainer can help him get his gloves off” when the game gets rough.

Funny stuff – but Gill wasn’t the worst of the Canadiens. That dubious honour was a three-way split among Scott Gomez and his linemates: Lars Eller and Andrei Kostitsyn.

They were each minus-four on the game.


They played their last shift three minutes into the third period.

Gomez was 0-7 on faceoffs. How does an experienced Top Six centre – and we won’t even talk about the salary – win NOT ONE FACEOFF?

Eller played 7:21. How are you on for four goals in 11 shifts?

Well, at least the kid’s benching saved Eller from getting punched out in the waning seconds of an 8-6 game.

Tom Pyatt wasn’t as lucky.

The Canadiens’ fourth-liner was cut to ribbons in a fight with Gregory Campbell because the Bruin had an elbow pad loose. So the plastic cut into Pyatt’s face as the son of the NHL’s chief disciplinarian rained punches on him.


Tomas Plekanec managed to win 12 of 25 faceoffs. But the Canadiens’ best forward was on against Zdeno Chara more often than not, and he struggled against the Boston colossus.

Weird stat: Chara was minus-1 on a n ight his team won big. 

David Krejci and Nathan Horton were plus-5 and Milan Lucic was plus-4. They are big forwards, and no one in a white jersey could handle them (at least until Benoit Pouliot KOed Krejci).

The Bruins spent the night in Carey Price’s kitchen. The Canadiens’ goaltender has had better games, but he didn’t get much help from his teammates.

James Wisniewski had two assists and brought the power play back to life. But Wiz has issues in his end of the ice, and maybe 24 minutes was a bit much for a guy who’d missed the previous two games with strep throat.

It was a stupid game, with all the goonery hugely appreciated by the crowd at TD Garden. 

I bet you didn’t know The Departed was a documentary.

Not much time to lick wounds. 

The Islanders are at the Bell Centre Thursday night.

More once I’ve slept on a disappointing game.


  1. andrewberkshire says:

    We didn’t win though, and Boston is now the only non-expansion team in the east that hasn’t been in the conference finals since 1993.

  2. light_n_tasty says:

    Thankful?  If the Bruins win that series we are in the cup finals!

  3. king ddd says:

    for f**k sakes can people cut down on the get neil to montreal ASAP. yes i myself wanted him with the habs, but c’mon niel is one guy. ok so in a match like today say he goes against thornton, then what, who goes against mcquaid,  hortoon , lucic, boychuck? can niel clone himself to fight them all. if you want the habs to toughen up, it would  another makeover. one guy isnt going to change the team.

  4. Stooof says:

    Someone explain how Campbell made it through that game with 0 PIM.  

  5. Chuck says:

    Photo of the night:


    Too many good captions come to mind.


  6. RGM says:

    You know, usually after a Habs loss I tend to be pretty gloomy for the rest of the evening. This game? Not so much. It reached a point in the second period where it wasn’t about the W and the two points so much as it was about establishing dominance. In the first period the Bruins imposed their will on the Canadiens. When 5’7″ Brian Gionta went flying after that puke Marchand and incited a brawl, that intimidation stuff stopped. It ended. The rest of the game was a war between two teams that are both primed to prove a point this season. They won some of the scraps. We won some of the scraps. With the exception of three guys that were stapled to the bench, this team came together in a big way tonight. They all had each other’s backs, they all stepped up to defend one another. After the ridiculous Subban/Gill stuff in the media the last couple days, we saw exactly what Hal and PK think of one another out on the ice tonight when they engaged in Bruins that were messing with them. The team lost the game but it showed a ton of pride and character in the defeat. They don’t, right now, have the personnel to go to war and be successful every night against a team of thugs & goons like those on the Bruins and Flyers rosters. But they showed that they have the fire to be willing and able to step up to the plate. It’ll be up to the general manager to get some extra bodies to ensure that they can get on an even keel and go in there night in and night out and emerge on top.

    Go Habs Go!

  7. BeachHabFan says:

    we need a mean streak or we’re playoff qualifiers and not much more.  i freakin hate seeing our goalie get smacked in the head without a really nasty retribution. they tried, but shoving ain’t responding. without a mean streak we’re not goin far in the playoffs (besides Bos and Phil, wash has chimera, erskine, ovie’s hits; the pens have cooke, talbot, rupp, orkpik…) i love what pyatt brings in terms of speed and pk, and he was great in playoffs, but we need a tootoo/umberger/arnott type to, shall we say, ‘multi-task’ more effectively. Weber has shown a lot of potential, but i’d feel much better would with a guy like carkner back there to smack people around once in awhile

    i’ve defended gomez a bunch of times but man, he was brutal. he drew one penalty, and that was it. that’s two games in a row he’s stank up the joint.

    in terms of the rough and tumble, the boys held their own – price was fine, pouliot did great, nobody backed down, moen whipped ference – and those last three fights (spacek, hamr, pyatt) were bulls–t — WHY DID MARTIN HAVE THEM ON THE ICE???? you’re down by three – you’re gonna lose, so lose hard. moen did his job protecting pleks after the slash, but fer cryn out loud jacques, throw on some guys who can at least hold their own out there. darche, gill, halpern, moen and hamr would have been my choice – none of them killers but none of them a-list talent and all of them could have defended themselves a bit better.


  8. ooder says:

    wonder what will come of gomez and ak46

    i feel bad for eller being stuck with those 2 bums.

    they were just sitting there laughing and talking while the rest of the team was working there asses off and fighting back.

    and scott gomez has an “A” on his shirt?!?!? this is an insult to gill, gionta, pleks, gorges, markov

    you name it.

    Gomez a leader… would a leader play this badly in a 4 point game? would a leader sit back on the bench and joke around with another underperforming underacheiving player…

    name me one time when koivu, gionta, markov, gill were sitting on the bench laughing it up in a game like this after playing so poorly?

    is there any professional pride left in thsoe 2…

    i would be humiliated sitting on the bench watching teammate after teammate being involved and fighting for every inch of ice or against someone else..

    pathetic… i said earlier that unless Gomez has an amazing playoff run.. this season is a failure of epic proprtions for him… even ignoring the paycheck… he is brought in for a purpose and all too many times he has underachieved and not answered the bell

    as for ak46.. well when one of your supposed assistant captain’s and top centers is joking around with you, well not much of an example is being set.

    although at his stage ak46 should know what is expected of him and shouldn’t beed constant motivation

    sorry for the rant guys


    GWG = game winning gionta!

  9. light_n_tasty says:

    So, were we too small to play the Bruins for the previous 5 games?  We lose by 2 goals to our bitches.  We’ll still win 5 of 6 against them.  I mean, they need 8 goals to beat us.  How often is that gonna happen?

    Oh, and Gomez is useless.

  10. Robert L says:

    One very important point made by Bergeron on L’Antichambre had to do with the Martin going into the third period, knowing much of what would happen, and using only three lines. No doubt that Gomez and his mates deserved some punishment. Myself, I’d have thrown them out for the final two minutes of the game.

  11. Black Snake Moen says:

    For the love of god, trade for Chris Neil and give the Sens AK and whatever draft picks they’d need to take him off our hands.  He has got to go.  Call up Ryan White, I love Tommy, but he’s in been in a real slump 5-on-5 for a whole year and others guys should get a look.  He showed balls tonight, but of course that clown Campbell won’t hear a peep about smashing a guy with an elbow pad.  What a coward.  Same goes for boychuk and Thornton.  Classic bully/mob mentality syndrome.  They hear all those idiot in the crowd start yelling and they decide that means they can go after a clearly defenseless Spacek.  They are so lucky Wiz is forced not to go anybody because of our depth issues.  Seriously have you ever seen this guy chuck em? Boychuck would be flat on his ass right now.  

  12. habs001 says:

    are we keeping ak46 because he may produce with another team? it is a pretty good bet he will not produce in the playoffs for us…eller after a slow start played well for a while but now he just looks like he is out of gas..right now even a moore or lupul type player would help the team more than eller…eller will be much better next year..while pyatt gives effort he has no scoring abilities and his d play has dropped..pouliot has to produce more in big games and in the playoffs…but we still have to give this team a lot of credit as it has performed way above its overall talent level…again i ask if our forward line up was the leafs,flyers or bruins would not most hab fans have very few positive comments about that roster…but than this shows you dont win games on paper…

  13. SUMO says:

    Emotional game tonite. Appreaciate all the contributors who tried to keep it pos+ and non-antagonistic in here. Hard to do when emotions run hot.

    Our young nucleaus is going to be pretty special; Price, Subban, Weber, Pacioretty, Eller, Deharnais and Pouliot. These guys were not intimidated and they battle. 

    Gomez is untradable; AHL? It almost looks like hes quit on the team. Something is not right with him.

  14. Naveed says:

    The Habs need to beef up because every other team especially our rivals understand how to defeat the Habs…Beat them down! Philly & Boston will continue their show of force and the NHL will condone any act these two teams in order to continue filling up seats in the U.S.
    Our defense was exposed. Our forwards were hammered without retribution. Subban and Price were targeted throughout the game and no one could really defend them.

    In my humble opinion, I believe the Habs need to make major changes to their 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines. You need to bring in grity players like Jason Arnott, Chris Neil, Jarko Ruutu, RJ Umberger, David Clarkson, Mike Grier, Anthony Stewart etc…Gomez needs to be put in the pressbox or buried on the 4th line… We need a true big time center like Arnott. Our defense needs big, strong and experienced bodies. Defenseman who are willing to play dirty and mix it up. I know we have a limited cap space but I think Gauthier really needs to make some major moves and bring in some energy.

  15. Robert L says:

    The score is an illusion and past wins don’t much matter now. The Canadiens never led in the game. All that Montreal proved was that it needs more size and toughness.

  16. BeachHabFan says:

    i feel better reading your response. they did indeed stand up for each other, i just wish they had at least one other guy who was a proven fighter besides moen. now, back to the jamesons…

  17. Habscore says:

    On ‘l’Antichambre’, they showed JM having a deep discussion with the Refs on their way to the locker room. The discussion seemed very serious!! About time he spitted some words about the unfair officiating.


  18. Robert L says:

    Game’s over by then.

  19. SeriousFan09 says:

    If there was a campaign to get Umberger to the Habs, I’d be all over it, after Nash he’s the best player in Columbus right now and a resolute player who doesn’t seem to be slowed down by anything but Neil is hardly a game-breaking force. He’s one of three guys you line up on a checking group to really cause chaos.


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

  20. Naveed says:

    True… But the addition of two big bodies would make an impact. I hope a culture change would be considered in the summer

  21. sidhu says:

    Big character game tonight.  We didn’t give up, even at the end we scored on the PP and didn’t back down from the goons. 

    It was painful — in such an emotional game, against a big rival, a 4-pointer — that Gomez and AK46 were so lax on the backcheck.  They didn’t seem to care at all. 

    I’ve knocked Pyatt, but he at least showed some heart tonight, which Gomez and AK46 failed to do. 

    As for Eller, the guy rarely quits, but he may be a fish out of water at this point — he should be in the AHL where he can truly develop and gain some confidence offensively.  (If he to ever produce, it won’t be through some magical miracle in the NHL, it will be through development in the AHL.)

    The Habs needed to bulk up even before tonight — but tonight should be the final evidence necessary to convince PG that we are too small. 

    Forget Philips (he has a terrible +/-) and forget Kaberle (he will cost us our youth).  We need to get tougher (see Ryan White, David Clarkson, David Backes). 

    Can’t wait for March 8.

    Go Habs Go!

  22. Naveed says:

    I’ve been a fan of Umberger ever since he dismantled the Habs in the playoffs a couple of years ago. I think he can be a great addition to the team. If you bring in Umberger & Neil along with a top 4 defenseman… The Habs would be better for it.

  23. king ddd says:

    if they can throw in jared boll it would be sweet, but our coach isnt the type of coach who uses his toughies well

  24. SeriousFan09 says:

    Boll probably wouldn’t get much time from JM but he’d like Umberger, solid two-way player who’s a leader on the ice. Tough but talented is the key, JM doesn’t like the first without the other really.


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

  25. Timo says:

    To sum it up. Great game, lots of positive. 

    Good night all and may Gomez never ever see ice again.

  26. Naveed says:

    I think Martin now understands what his team is facing… When his favorite player Pyatt gets destroyed by Gregory Campbell without any punitive damage from the officials. It must make him think… He did say he will never forget what the Bruins did tonight. Expect some major moves by the Habs during the next two weeks

  27. WestHab says:

    Bazzar game. I just whish Carey wouldn’t have been so nice to tt.

    – Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  28. king ddd says:

    i ve never seen the guy play but but boll is young, big and is a decent scorer for a fourth line player . with all due respect to pyatt( i just have more respect for him after tonight) boll would be an upgrade over him.

  29. RJB says:

    Short memory ladies and gents, Isles tomorrow and the good ol’ make me laughs on Saturday. Good chance to get 4 points and back on track.

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” – Bilbo Baggins

  30. anotherhab says:

    It all stems to JM and perhaps and hopefully not PG that we can win with speed and don’t need some toughness and size !!! Pleks, Gionta, Gomez, AK are part of our top 6 and lack toughness — this is hockey not pingpong!!!!

  31. Chuck says:

    It would have been good to see, but Carey was undoubtedly thinking of his team first. Busting up his hand in a meaningless fight would have been the absolute worst thing that could have happened to this team.

  32. FormalWare says:

    I’ve been a Lars Eller booster, all season–but I’ll admit, right now, that he’s got to be moved. Moved off the wing! Moved off a line featuring two floaters! If a centre position isn’t available on the big squad, right now, send him down, for awhile. “Fish out of water,” someone posted. Agreed. It’s too bad!

  33. WestHab says:

    gomez may be the one smurf too many.

    – Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  34. SeriousFan09 says:

    Gotta respect what Pyatt did tonight but he’s not a real grit player and he doesn’t seem to have any offensive talent for the NHL level, any kind of real grit player would be an upgrade for the Habs.


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

  35. king ddd says:

    lmao, lets all hate on AK, but mark my words AK is a trade away from reaching the belarussian superstar status, jus ask his bro and Mr.grabowski

  36. PeterD says:

    After what we all watched tonight…Gomez, and AK and Eller floating around in a game where the other guys were clearly out for blood, Habs blood, it needs to be very clear that we can not afford to carry players whose stock is declining more than it is rising and that don’t seem to give enough of a crap to bother showing up for the team.

    In hockey, players and picks (ultimately players) are considered assets. In the investment world, stocks are considered assets.  In the case of a stock, when a stock continues to perform and has some short term performance issues the investor needs to consider whether to continue to hold them or sell them and cut their losses.  If it is considered that the stock is only suffering a short term set back then they will continue tohold them.  But the successful investor will often cut their losses quickly to prevent a massive slide in overall protfolio performance.  Remember the NOrtel success story and then ultimate colapse a few years ago?   Nortel performed so well everyone bought in and then once Nortel started collapsing a lot of investors hung on thinking the price will come back, but guess what, it didn’t.  Those that saw the stock had seen better days and that it would not again reach it’s high level of performance and sold the stock (even at a loss) locked in value, those that hung on, lost all value that they once had in Nortel.  So what does this have to do witwh Hockey and the current version of the Habs?

    In the case of Gomez, and AK, their stock has dropped and I do not believe the team will see any significant regaining of previous performance or in AK’s case the acheivement of his perceived potential.  Eller, I think has longer term upside and we have not seen enough of him to consider cutting our losses.

    However, In the case of Gomez and AK, these team assests are becoming a drag on the teams performance and need to be moved and dropped from our “portfolio”.  Neither player will again acheive the type of success they once acheived or rise to some mythical dreamed of potential that has been hoped for in AK’s case.  Tonight’s game it was very clear we need more size and toughness up front and on the D.

    I would encourage the team to cut it’s losses, sell the assets that are dragging us down and not helping move us forward and bring in assets that can and will contribute to team success…and at this point I don’t care if we overpay in a swap of Gomez and AK for what we may not think is value for value back…AK is dead to this team and as we see with his brother, he could acheive much higher levels outside of Montreal…but really who cares if he does or doesn’t perform on his next team?  The bottom line is he is not, will not or can not perform for us in Montreal, and with that in mind why would we want to keep him around any longer.  Gomez just does not seem to get that he owes his employer a quality performance to the best of his ability every single night, not just when and if he decides he wants to perform.

  37. badbalance says:

    These kind of games are bound to happen, at least it wasn’t a blowout and it stayed within 2 goals. Could’ve went either way, D and goaltenders were taking an offnight. Hopefully this game is a good team builder, sticking up for each other against the big bad bruins.

  38. Chuck says:

    The ultimate worst thing about tonight’s game is that the NHL will use it to trumpet to all of the mouth-breathers why hockey is the greatest game on the planet.

  39. WestHab says:

    Whenever A bruin player had a Hab in that kinda of position they didn’t stop punching. Carey and Pouilot both took pity when they had the chance to pulverize their oppoent. Does this mean they were afraid of retalition or just classier?

    – Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  40. showey47 says:

    Just throwing another name into the “adding toughness” ring. How about someone like zenon konopka from the islanders? Won’t bring much offensively but leads the league in penalty minutes. What i like is his 58% in the faceoff circle,only taveras took more faceoffs for the islanders. Perhaps another player we could look at from the islanders is big defencman milan jurcina. Has a 0 +/- rating on a team loaded with big minuses.

  41. andrewberkshire says:

    I disagree Robert. That same flawed logic brought us Laraque. If anything I think this game showed how mentally weak the Bruins are. It was probably the worst game the Habs played all season, but they kept letting us back in it over and over again. The best way to respond to that kind of goonery is to kill them on the PP, and we did that tonight, and would have won if even half of Boston’s BS was called the way it should be.

  42. sidhu says:

    Getting rid of AK46 is addition by subtraction

  43. phillyhab says:

    I agree.  A bizzare game — and had we won we’d have a good shot at the Division, but I’m not sweating it.

    I don’t think this team needs to be tougher.  We don’t need to win fights, we need to win games.  I like that nobody backed down against a bigger team with way more experience in fisticuffs.  We lost because our defense was GOD AWFUL.  The move Ryder pulled at the end epitomized it — they made a slow D look still.

    GOMEZ SHOULD BE SCRATCHED.  And I’d rotate in Picard and rest Spacek.  He got his ass kicked tonight.

  44. WestHab says:

    Eller reminds me of Max Pac of last year. look what the time in Hamilton did for Max. Eller realy needs time down there, it will make him a better player.

    – Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  45. Habitoba says:

    Great, trade for Umberger! How the hell can the Habs do that? “Yes, here’s Andrei Kostitsyn and Pyatt. They probably won’t do much for your team but we’ll take one of your better players in exchange anyways.” They would need something in return and we can’t keep giving up our top draft picks or we’ll have nothing wating for us in the next few years. They would want a Subban or a Cammellari thrown in there and how many of you would scream if that were to happen. We have no bargaining chips that we can use because of our lack of depth and injuries. We just have to ride this season until the end, I’m afraid.

  46. OneTimer says:

    That may be the case, but unfortunately for us it’s clearly not happening in MTL

  47. andrewberkshire says:

    You know what was hilarious? When Claude Julien got fired by the Devils right before the playoffs.

  48. Chuck says:

    I’d go with ‘smarter’.

  49. Desi says:

    I pity AK.  How’d you like to play on a line with Gomez and Eller?  Ak was playing 3-on-5 hockey all night against a mean Boston team.  I wouldn’t blame him if he refused to report  to the next game the way Little Tits did.

  50. SeriousFan09 says:

    Blowing a 3-0 Playoff series lead remains his most memorable moment in hockey.


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

  51. Naveed says:

    Columbus is a seller this year… They can take some picks and some prospects such as Bournival & Maxwell or even Yemelin. Trades can be made if adequate pieces are put together. The Habs have a great farm system and prospects within their organization. The Bulldogs have been leaders in the AHL for about 5 years now. Other teams look at that…

  52. phillyhab says:

    SIGN ME UP! 

    Smart, skilled forward who can play winger and center.  Proven playoff player.

    Signed at $3,750,000 for two seasons…  maybe if we could move Kostitsyn?

  53. Naveed says:

    That was pretty funny but totally expected from crazy Lou… Coaches are expendable!

  54. andrewberkshire says:

    The one thing I can be thankful to Mike Richards for.

  55. SeriousFan09 says:

    Issue is they’re in the PO race out West, need to likely send them a 1st-rounder or a good prospect as well. Still might not interest them, Umberger is huge for them in what he brings to each game at times.


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

  56. Chuck says:

    To a team with the worst goaltending history in the past 25 years, too.

  57. Wayne says:

    It’s not really a flawed logic. Laraque was a bust pure and simple. Besides, the Bruins didn’t really run amok when he was here, did they? No, they thought twice about it. Tonight was inevitable since we canned Laraque and didn’t replace him. The Bruins wouldn’t have mucked it up like this if they knew we had at least 2 meatheads to their 4. We only have 1/2 a meathead in Moen as it stands. I don’t dispute the Bruins lack of class either, it’s a given.

  58. Habitoba says:

    Right… I keep forgetting about Bournival. It always felt like O’byrne left in the off season, considering the amount of games he played for us this year. I suppose there’s also Gallagher who’s just as small as Desharnais and clearly gifted.

  59. Exit716 says:

    I’m sure Eller will go if and when Gauthier addresses the forward position. Right now it’s about saving face for Gauthier rather than letting the kid develop in the AHL.

  60. Exit716 says:

    He had to review his notes, Robert.


  61. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    MIKE GRIER? Have you ever watched a Sabres game? He is useless… slow, weak, stone hands. I’d laugh if i wasn’t frightened by the thought.

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