Quick hits

At least watching Detroit wheel and deal was entertaining.

Tonight the Canadiens lost to a terrible hockey team.

They may be able to win without Andrei Markov, but the team is 0-2 without Scott Gomez.

The Canadiens’ worst game of the season?

The Antichambre gang thought so, and I’m inclined to agree.

Toronto is not Nashville or Atlanta.

The Canadiens played a horrid first period. They didn’t skate, were outshot 11-4, were consistently second on the puck, lacked energy, gave up two weak goals and that, basically, was the ballgame.

Were the Canadiens tired on the second night of a back-to-backer?

Did they prepare badly for a poor team?

Should Carey Price have started?

Dustin Boyd?

David Desharnais?

Let the second-guessing begin … and continue for four days, until the Flyers and Bruins – ouch! – visit the Bell Centre.

With two Eastern Conference powerhouses coming to town, the Canadiens have Jeff Halpern centring their second line and a depleted D corps.

Any optimists out there?

•  •  •

What we’ll hear all through the beginning of the week is how Jacques Martin has broken P.K. Subban’s confidence.


Subban is not the first young Canadien to watch games from the pressbox.

And with the Canadiens pressing and Alex Auld on the bench, P.K. pulled one of his classic, pre-benching moves:

The long wind-up, the ill-advised slapper right at a defender, with plenty of time to make a play.

Puck squirts out, 3-1 and goodnight, nurse.

The kid is going to be a terrific player. P.K. moved the puck effectively and with speed as the Canadiens climbed out of their 0-2 hole and back into the game.

But Subban is a work in progress. He ended the game minus-3. He still takes himself out of position in his own zone. 

And Mike Richards is coming to town.

•  •  •

Encouraging signs?

• Mike Cammalleri was elevated to the Tomas Plekanec line and was a threat throughout the game.

• Benoit Pouliot used his size and skill to befuddle the Toronto D … not that it’s difficult.

• Josh Gorges played 20 strong minutes and was more physical than usual.

• The Canadiens blocked 25 shots.

Enough Polyanna nonsense.

Your Montreal Canadiens lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and that does not augur well for the rest of the December schedule.

•  •  • 

One lousy power play against a terrible team that includes cheap-shot artists Mikhail Grabovski and Colby Armstrong?

Tom Kowal is this season’s Chris Lee.

•  •  •

Lars Eller on faceoffs:

2-7 in Detroit, 2-10 in Toronto.

The Danish Yanic Perreault he isn’t.

•  •  •

What the heck did Jaro Spacek do to make Clarke MacArthur, a former Buffalo teammate, attack him?

•  •  •

Classic moment on L’Antichambre:

While Mario Tremblay is taking a sip froma water bottle, Tony Marinaro asks him why Tom yatt played tonight.

Mario does a Danny Thomas spit take, and Michel Bergeron pisses himself laughing.


  1. Big Ted says:

    Very good post. I agree with respect to Subban, DD, and Cammalleri, and have been saying the same thing. PK is getting a lot of attention but \a lot of the veterans have not bene playing with veteran attitudes, and Cammalleri is at the top of that list. As I’ve said, he’s putting in efforts like he’s Alex Kovalev, showing up one night and then sailing around as it pleases him for 3-4 games, only skating once in a while to get a chance for himself. That has to get better.

  2. JVF says:

    I don’t think JM messed up PK’s confidence by benching him, but for a few (crucial) games, he has made him more tentative and less efficient.

    I doubt that’s what he intended to do, but that’s the final result.

    For now.

    What intrigues me, though, is benching one your finest young defenders after having played him 25 minutes in the game, more than any other defenseman, if I’m not mistaken.

    That’s odd.

    He goes from being your finest player on the ice to being persona non grata for 3 games. Never mind thoses 25 minutes, almost from the day he was called up, PK has often been our most utilized Dman, the only one (with Markov out) who can skate the puck out of our D-zone and cross the opponent’s blue line with speed and maybe even some creativity.

    That’s what Markov brought us and it made us that much more efficient as a team.

    That’s what PK brings.

    Not even Weber, whom I think is going to be a fine defenceman and whom I like very much, can do that.

    So, yeah, PK is going to make mistakes, maybe even a lot of them. He’ll miss a slap pass to a wide open Cammalleri on the PP, use an inordinate windup to sell his slapshot to the whole world, dangle a little too much, yap a whole lot, but couldn’t all of that be controlled by simply limiting his ToI and talking to the guy rather than just sitting him in the stands?


    My two cents about last nights’ game: A silly lineup produced silly results. I would have put Desharnais in there, just to see what he can do at this level and most of all, because if there’s one thing this team sorely lacks, it’s O-F-F-E-N-S-E!

    Maybe, just maybe, the little guy could provide us with some. He’s done it everywhere else in his career, against all odds, so why not here?

    Final point: Some people don’t like PK’s attitude, I’m having a little problem with Cammalleri. He loses the puck too often in our D-zone and misses the net too often at the other end of the ice. There’s something different about him this year, he’s not the same player.

    Is it being taken off the Plekanec line? Is it personal problems? Is it because PK has taken a little bit of the spotlight away from him?

    Whatever it is, I’d like him to become the same lethal sniper he was when he joined us.

    That breakaway last night?

    No way he misses that a year

    ago. And if he scores that goal, it could have been a whole different ballgame…

  3. shootdapuck says:


    Quote: Tom Kowal is this season’s Chris Lee.  Unquote


    Tom Kowal is just ANOTHER Chris Lee in the NHLOA’s roster of incompetents.


    “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”

  4. rocketsglare says:

    Agree. You would think that the Habs should be able to score more than one goal against a bad Toronto team.

    P.K. seems to prefer the slap shot and unfortunately is allowing the D to get into position to block his shot. He

    is going to have to learn that a quck wrist shot is often better than a booming slap shot, especially that his is

    slow to develop. But, the kid will quickly learn.

    Go Habs Go!

  5. VancouverHab says:

    Well, definitely Gomez takes serious heat off Pleks, who has been invisible since Gomez has been out: just too easy for teams to focus on him and shut him down.

    Again, all credit to Halpern who is a great3rd line guy, but nobody ever needed a coaching strategy to shut his line down. Whatever the haters say, Gomez draws serious coaching attention — leave him alone with a bad match-up and he’ll kill you, and every coach knows that and has to expend vital line-change resources to deal with the threat that he represents. 

    And that’s only one reason why commentors who obsess over his production numbers simply don’t know hockey well enough–or have let their hockey knowledge get bypassed by their Gomophobia.

  6. VancouverHab says:

    If Moen was signed to be an enforcer, we’re really in trouble…. (Moen is a golden plugger and grinder who can answer the bell if needed, but he doesn’t serve to intimidate.)

  7. VancouverHab says:

    Boy, I thought the same thing about the ceremony. I was smiling at the ordinary (but honest journeymen) players they were bringing out (“and he scored the winning goal to reach the Stanley Cup SEMI FINALS!!!!), and then when Johnny Bower came out it just made the rest disappear in comparison–then it seemed a bit more like a Habs ceremony. (Sittler was good to see though.)

    And I’ll retain a dignified silence about the obvious crucial missing *coughGomezcough* element…

  8. Matt_in_TO says:

    I’ve had 2 hours to decompress.  I think what helped a little as the fact that I wasn’t surrounded by assholes like I normally am at the ACC.  Everyone was in a good mood even after the loss it seemed.  It was bizarre.  Also Union Station was empty, I guess all the mouth breathers as Boone calls them headed straight for bars to watch the fight.

    Tickets aren’t cheap but it depends on who they’re playing.  Scalpers / brokers will sell tickets close to face value except for certain teams and never for the Habs where there seems to be about a 150-300% mark-up.  It’s the risk I take.  I didn’t decide to go till about 3 this afternoon and I got a decent deal.  I’m not too thrilled but I try to not think about it like that. 


    – In Price We Trust

  9. RJB says:

    In other news, GSP “fought” an awful head of hair, and dominated. 

    “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

  10. Timo says:

    So… did you enjoy your evening? 🙂 You are keeping it pretty cool. I don’t know how much tickets cost to see a game in TO, but I paid money to see these… whatever… and they  played the way they did, I would be pretty upset.

  11. HardHabits says:

    I have to disagree. Gomez adds another centre to the mix, gives the Habs the ability to roll 4 lines, Gomez out there means big responsible minutes chewed up against the opponents top guns. Yes his lines are snake bit, but they are producing chances, and limiting chances against, those pitched battles cause the opponent to weaken like chinks in the armour, so what of it if it’s the shot by Plex, Cammy or Gionta that finally pierces, the groundwork had already been laid. This aspect of Gomez’ game is forgotten, he is not a checking forward, he is a quint-essential assist man who can score but is always out there playing responsibly defensively against the other teams better players. The Habs miss him because he is one of only 4 bona-fide top 6 forwards they have on the current roster. His opening space when he’s out there means the other team needs to spend energy on him. The Habs might have not needed to spend all that energy in the 3rd against the Wings and could have come out better against the Leafs. Some people call it intangibles because it’s beyond their grasp, so they belittle it. It’s like someone who can barely grasp simple arithmetic laughing at some one explaining algebra. Gomez’ absence is major.

  12. Matt_in_TO says:

    Just got in.  I was too lazy and pissed to type on my iPhone or else I could have killed time on the train. 

    I feel sorry for Alex Auld.  I’m sure the poor guy would like to get more starts and then when he does the team in front of him stinks out the joint.  Not as bad as the Atlanta game but still pretty bad and magnified considering the circumstances.  I wasn’t too pleased when I heard he was getting the start but this loss can’t be pinned on him.  Yes, he’s not Carey Price and maybe Carey would have stopped one or both of the goals but who knows.  Other than the first period, Auld really wasn’t that busy except for a few close chances in the third.  The fact that the team couldn’t muster more than 2 shots on JSG before being down 2-0 is unacceptable.  I can come up with a crap load of excuses as to why they didn’t show up for the first but what’s the point.  The fact is they didn’t play 60 minutes for the second night in row and it cost them points.  They only good that will hopefully come out of this is that they will have 2 days of good solid practice and be ready and pumped for a huge back to back.

    Hopefully Gomez will be back.  He’s been ragged on a lot by the group here and yes his production doesn’t reflect his salary but it’s the little things that he does that we were missing the last few nights.  As I was watching the lone PP (btw how the f*ck did we only get one PP?) this is where we miss Gomez probably the most.  As much as I like Halpern and Darche, the second wave of the PP isn’t quite the same with them.

    P.K.  He’s a rookie that’s going to have growing pains and we’re going to have to live with that.  There are several parts of his game that need work and hopefully Perry and maybe even Kirk can help him.  He’s got to show more patience and lose the Prime Time backswing.  One thing I do love however is the fact that he’s getting under the skin of guys.  He really got to Fauxhawk tonight.  It’ll come and he’s going to be great, in time.

    I don’t know how much was shown on TV, probably the whole thing, but the leafs can’t put together a pre-game ceremony to save their lives.  To bring out all these ex-leafs, some of whom would be the equivalent of us bringing out Brent Gilchrist and Gilbert Dionne, and then have them stand there with poor old Bower not knowing what the hell to do next.  I have no idea why they didn’t bring out the two teams first like they normally do.  It was hilarious watching them all look around confused.  The leafs also had a new pre-game video tonight.  I don’t know if these was just for tonight or not but I was happy to not hear that stupid “this is Canada’s dream, Canada’s team” crapfest of a song.  Instead we were treated to a video montage set to the Michael Buble version of The Maple Leaf Forever.  Nothing get’s the crowd pumped up quite like lounge jazz whatever you want to call that crap.  It got zero response from the usually dead ACC.  I guess us Habs fans are just spoiled when it comes to that sort of thing.


    – In Price We Trust

  13. Mr.Hazard says:


    This is hands-down the site with the most tech-problems I’ve ever experienced.

  14. bel33 says:

    Thank you very much!!!  After that horrible game against the Leafs… let’s hope GSP does us proud!!!

  15. twocents says:

    Damn, your reply keeps me from fixing a mistake above.

    …regressing TO the sad mean…. not “for”

  16. twocents says:

    I use to enjoy him when he did the late game or handled the secondary telecasts. He was better than Bob Cole, that’s for sure. But he’s becoming more and more formulaic and homerish.

  17. SeriousFan09 says:

    Worst Part of it: They wasted so much time prepping their 3D broadcast their SD/HD and Web broadcasts were subpar, I get better quality on the average websteam.

    Anyone at the Gazette planning to call out a gimmick that benefitted maybe a couple thousand viewers with 3DTVs and kind of ruined it for a couple miillion?


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

  18. twocents says:

    As I said below, I don’t think he would have made a difference tonight, the stink on the team was too thick and he’s isn’t in what I would call game changer form lately. But, last night I bet he could have, when they were really playing in the second and especially the third, he could have made a difference. 

  19. twilighthours says:

    Hughson is horrible. I hate the way he calls players by their abbreviated first names: “and it’s PAT Kane, breaking in…” uh, Jim, his name is “Patrick.”

  20. twilighthours says:

    Nice! This is a shot at smart dog (who apparently knows his poop), isn’t it?

    Gomer is so underapprciated

  21. HardHabits says:

    I really wish that Gomez get’s un-injured. Not because I like Gomez personally. Nothing for the PERSON. Just for the good of the team.

  22. twocents says:

    There’s a silver lining.

    But that cloud is getting thicker and darker with every passing week. Glenn Healy is awful. Maclean has become a caricature of himself, which leaves me with nothing to describe Cherry. Mike Milbury!!! Yikes!

    Even Jim Hughson who used to be good when he handled the regional games, is regressing on the sad mean of the national(read torontonian) broadcast.    

  23. habs001 says:

    the teams that have no name forwards mostly gives us the most problems..why i am not sure…

  24. mbplekfan says:

    Pacioretty is playing well in Hamilton but that is a relatively new development. He probably isnt ready for the NHL yet and we wouldnt want to burn up his eligibility for a short term fix.

    And considering that he slagged Martin in the press he probably isnt top of mind right now.

  25. twilighthours says:

    Didn’t see a minute of what was surely a frustrating game to watch.  I did google the Spacek-Macarthur fight though.  I also read how some fans were calling for a response to Macarthur hitting Spacek when he was on the ice.  Here’s my take, for the 2 cents that it’s worth:

    Macarthur crossed the line by popping Spacek twice when he was down.  Doesn’t matter if Spacek deserved it for some earlier (and cheap) play.  So now that Macarthur has taken advantage of Jaro, who is going to respond?  I place this squarely on the shoulders of Travis Moen.

    Think about it: he’s the only guy there is on the Habs who could respond in some fashion.  And he’s more than capable of sticking up for himself or a teammate.  Heck, he beat the snot out of a pretty tough Steve Ott a few years back.  

    Maybe it’s unfair to pin it all on Moen, but I don’t think so – he was signed for the purposes of playing a regular shift while still bringing toughness.  In this regard, I feel Moen has been a disappointment.  I do like his game as a 3rd/4th liner in general, but I have often been left wondering why he hasn’t responded with a fight when the team has needed him.  I’ve been left feeling this way on many occasions.  When the game is getting chippy or out of reach and a message needs to be sent, he just never seems to show up.

    Anyway, a fairly meaningless loss to a bottom-feeder.  I have a hunch that the Habs will sweep the Phi, Bos games later in the week.  We’ll see… Go Habs!

  26. TheMostCupsPeriod says:

    Lucky for us they’re still a decade away from a playoff appearance 😉

  27. twocents says:

    While I am sure Gomez would have added another element and helped gain their zone more frequently, I don’t think the end result would likely have been much different. That was a team loss, they sucked as a group, and Gomez would not have changed that, not the way he’s been producing.

    They would have played slightly differently, but he couldn’t have extracted the suck from the team tonight.

    I am unfazed by this loss. It’s distasteful, but meaningless on it’s own. They just have to get back on track mid-week.

    Oh, Pouliot confidence with the puck is getting back to where it was when he first arrived. Good to see. And sure, the Great Dane wasn’t good in the circles, but he was one of our better forwards again. The kid is strong on that puck.

    Subban was rough in lots of spots, but it’s all part of the learning curve, if you can’t handle the ups and downs of a young player, maybe you should stick to Xbox.

  28. TheMostCupsPeriod says:

    Thanks Dave, just made me realize I’m not the only one it bothers….

  29. habs001 says:

    i hate the leafs but the last few years we do not match up well with them..they allways gives us trouble…the reason…we dont care vs the leafs is a poor excuse to use…all habs players should know that these games are very important for hab fans ..if we go thru the posts on this site the leafs are the most mentioned team by posters  …i think they would give us way more problems that pitts in a playoff series…

  30. Dave Stubbs says:

    Best part of watching Hockey Night in Canada telecast: Toronto GM Brian Burke was in Vancouver for the interminable Markus Naslund sweater retirement — it might still be going — and HNIC couldn’t show him every 20 seconds during the Habs-Leafs game. (Surprised they didn’t have cutaways to Vancouver.)

    Dave Stubbs
    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
    • On Twitter: twitter.com/habsinsideout1

  31. WestHab says:

    During December I have a thing where I donate $5.00 a game the Habs win to the Sally Ann. This is a bad weekend for the street corner Santa in my neighbourhood.

    – Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  32. Viruk42 says:

    I would suggest that it might be good to call up Pacioretty to face Boston and Philly, since they’re both physical teams and he’s a big strong scorer. If Gomez is still out, he’d probably be more useful than Boyd, but I would be worried on the faceoff front.

  33. Mr.Hazard says:

    PK is the only Hab with a -3.

  34. Chuck says:

    Boone: “What the heck did Jaro Spacek do to make Clarke MacArthur, a former Buffalo teammate, attack him?”

    Spacek is playing for the Habs, while MacArthur is stuck a Leaf. Isn’t that enough justification?


    Centre Hice: Net result: Leafs cheating?

  35. larisalapointe says:

    Our team seemed anemic tonight but it would be worse if they played their best and lost. So when they play their very best, they are almost unbeatable. Detroit lost 3 in a row before last night’s win. It happens to the best of them. Auld was rusty that’s all but our team only scored one goal. We want Price to play every game and yet Auld can’t be at his best playing only once a month. I don’t believe Price should sit for stretches either. So there you have the dilemma.

  36. scrowe21 says:

    Spacek came flying into the zone and took out his legs from behind. I saw it clearly, don’t know how CBC missed it.

  37. notbigbird says:

    When will the Commentariat ever learn not to expect good things against the Leafs? Bad games happen frequently against them: not always but often enough that we should know better. There was so much bravado going into the match. I guess we don’t learn from history.

    Look. These games aren’t normal and are indicative of very little.

  38. punkster says:


    OK, I’m over it now. I’m purposely pushing my rose-coloured glasses back up the bridge of my nose.

    hit a rough patch and no matter who you choose to “blame” that’s all it
    is, a rough patch. The team sucked yesterday and today. The team has to
    figure out how to unsuck. Spacek and Gomez will be back, PK will fix
    his shot, AK will get on track again and someone, sometime, somehow will
    figure out how to get in front of the net. It’s going to be a good

    There, that’s better.

    ***Win or I toss these waffles!***

  39. Da Hema says:

    Gary Bettman lives and works in Bettmanville, a cloistered little town that tolerates neither dissent nor recognition of serious problems and challenges. Regrettably, a man who refuses to acknowledge that his US strategy has been a disaster, and subsequently expects the Canadian teams to subsidize these money-losing southern US teams in perpetuity, is not likely to acknowledge there is a problem with the officiating.


    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  40. Mark C says:

    No way should Price have started, he needs rest if we are to expect anything from him come playoff time. Even counting tonight’s game, Price is on pace to start 74 games!  Montreal needs to be able to win without Price in the nets.  Auld played okay, he was weak on the goals, but still played well enough to only allow 2 goals. This Montreal team should be able to score three goals against the Laffs  8 out of 10 times. 

    P.K., please just take a half windup one-timer next time, we know you can do it.  

  41. Harani says:


    Can we stop freakin out and come back to Earth for a second! On a period of two games, the Habs did not suddenly become the worst team in the league. The morons who suddenly think we have no talent, you can stop reading now because I don’t think you’re heart can take any positivity.

    And people are making it seem like we suck. Yes we just lost to the Leafs and they suck but we did lose to Edmonton as well. In this league, you play 60 minutes at 100%, you always have a chance of winning. Unfortunately, doesn’t happen every night. 

    What sucks for the Habs is the schedule that the NHL smacked on them. Wednesday night against Philly and Thursday night against Boston. The more important game this week will be Boston. Bruins are 2 points behind with 1 game in hand. Habs have to win the division and the only way of assuring that is staying ahead of the Bs. 

    Two reasons why I think Habs will sweep the both games:

    1. Habs always play better against better opponents. 

    2. Wednesday, I’ll be studying hard at the library for my Physical Chemistry final on Thursday morning. (Reminder that the Habs record when I’m studying and not watching the game is currently 9-0)

    3. Thursday, I will be going to the game at the Bell Centre after a long hiatus and you all know how fabulous the Habs play with me in the building. 

    Good night folks!

    “It must be love!”

  42. ProHabs says:

    The refereeing in this league is a friggin joke. Bettman should take some of his salary and invest in into some training for these blowhards. They don’t call anything all game and the Leafs were doing alot that should have been called and then Hamerlik decides to dish some back and they call him at the beginning of the third. And Glen”I look like a toad” Healy says “the refs didn’t call Hammers first 2 crosschecks but they had to call the third”. Well Healy the refs missed the first 5,6,7 Leafs hooks, trips, etc. and didn’t call them.

  43. JF says:

    I was actually glad Price didn’t start tonight because I thought he looked a little tired last night.  I also had a bad feeling about the game in general and thought it very likely that, after our heroic but futile effort last night, we would come out flat.  Auld wasn’t good on either of the goals, but it’s hard to blame the loss on him when we scored only one goal and the entire team was out of sync.  I feel bad for him : in his last two starts, the team in front of him hasn’t given him much support.

    But the prospect of next week is worrying, especially if Spacek and Gomez can’t play.  The Flyers and Bruins will certainly expose our rookie defensemen.  And we move the puck much less smoothly without Gomez.

    The officiating last night and tonight was terrible.  I think the team should make a formal complaint – not that it would have any effect.

  44. Barts says:

    Why not dress Desharnais??? Are you kidding me? Why call him up and not dress him against the Leafs??? Philly and Boston this week, you’re going to throw him in to that fire? That being said, here’s hoping Gomez is back, cause while he may not be scoring, we certainly miss his speed.

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