Quick Hits

Accepted NHL wisdom has 2-0 as the worst lead in hockey.

But maybe it should be safe in a Shootout.

The Canadiens managed to blow two-goal leads in both regulation time and a 10-round SO.

Apprarently, that’s never happened before.

And seven goals in a Shootout tied a league record.

When the dust had settled and a disappointed crowd had filed out of the Bell Centre, the team was tied with Boston at 69 points but relegated to second in the Northeast Division because the Bruins – who got better with the addition of Chris Kelly – have played fewer games.

I’ll have more thoughts on the game in the morning.

But the game turned during its first 20 minutes. The Canadiens should have had more to show for an 18-7 shot advantage than a 1-0 lead.

You knew the Sabres weren’t going to quit. Lindy Ruff teams don’t.

And you knew that late power-play goal by Drew Stafford would swing momentum to the visitors.

Yannick Weber was off for interference. That meant after Roman Hamrlik and P.K. Subban had played first pairing on the penalty-kill, James Wisniewski and Alexandre Picard were out  – and both on one side of Carey Price when Tomas Vanek passed the puck to an unmarked Stafford.

The Sabres needed it more, wanted it more and – against a lineup that included three rookie defenceman – they got the two points they needed to edge closer to eighth place.

The Canadiens head west haunted, perhaps, by the memory of another job unfinished.

Bottom line: At a critical time of the season, they let a point slip away.

More tomorrow.



  1. andrewberkshire says:

    I didn’t know that! I wasn’t around for the actual liveblog, just read it after the game.

  2. RJB says:

    Tough loss, but hey took a point. Lets go in to Edmonton and start this road trip off in a great way!!! So pumped for sundays rumble!!!

    “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

  3. Da Hema says:

    There just never seems a solution for Kostitsyn. He doesn’t score consistently enough to warrant being a top six forward. Yet he will not play physical enough (which he can) to assume some useful role on the third or fourth lines. He cannot, to my knowledge, kill penalties. Even if he plays modestly consistent (i.e., doesn’t fall inexplicably, or gets quality shots off) there really is no place nor clearly defined role for him on this team. He doesn’t appear to add anything that a 1000 other forwards couldn’t provide. It’s too bad, but Gauthier should simply move him now because I just can’t see the Habs re-signing him when his current contract ends and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

  4. kempie says:

    Agreed on the separation of the comments issue. However, I remember reading somewhere that you could mute the comments so that only Boone’s comments were visible but was too lazy to pursue it.

  5. kempie says:

    Count me as one of the thumbs-down crowd regarding the new game blog. I surely appreciate the effort to improve, but I’ve grown quite fond of the old format. It’s easier to follow along with the play and I’ve become dependent on the old format that allows me to easily check Boone’s thoughts on what I’m seeing just to make sure I’m seeing what I think I’m seeing. Some nights it’s just that unbelievable. It may have helped on a night like this one.

  6. andrewberkshire says:

    3-0-2 this season?

  7. HardHabits says:

    JM’s coaching record versus Lindy Ruff says it all.

  8. andrewberkshire says:

    The different pages for the liveblog kind of messes you up. And I think it’s too cluttered with all the comments from the peanut gallery. If I want to read comments from the HIO faithful (which I often do) I’ll read the comment section. Boone’s section should be for HIS thoughts only. That’s my opinion for what it’s worth.

  9. Propwash says:

    Great 1st period, then the Sabres woke up, and started dumping the puck, and outworking the D in our zone. Thats how they came back.

    Wanna blame Price for the loss? That’s all fine and good, but he did save the team’s arse in regulation, and overtime. Shootouts are a crapshoot at best.

  10. SeriousFan09 says:

    You know what’s really disturbing about Andrei Kostitsyn’s play lately? His shot is worse than ever. Seriously, he can’t even seem to get off that laser of a wrister anymore and if he does shoot, well we know it’s hitting the back of the net.


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

  11. bigdave says:

    Inability to keep the pedal to the metal.

    Poor finish around the net 4 on 3!

    Inexplicable use of Pyatt (hands of cement) in the shootout. Who could conceive of that?

    Great night all over the Habs room!

    ANOTHER squandered point which will no doubt come back to haunt later.




    “The Allo Police Media – a collection of bitter ex-coaches, players and wannabees whose collective lack of success accounts for their present positions in Sports’ equivalent of a Jerry Springer Show”

  12. Mats Naslund says:

    what a silly thing to say.

  13. sidhu says:

    An amazing first period by the boys — if we played that way for 40 or 60, there’s no way the Sabres would have been around.  The potential is there, the consistency (or killer mentality) is not. 

    Hammer dropped the ball (again) — this time he did not have his check on the second goal.  He seems to lack the ability or will to contest players hard in front of the net.  He’s played admirably for us overall during his time in MTL, especially last year when Marky was out, but I can’t wait for his contract to be off the books.

    On the bright side, Max Power and DD continue to b awesome.  Nash had an impressive opening night. He looked more solid and reliable than Spacek (though Spacek of course plays more mins).

    Go Habs Go!

  14. sidhu says:

    Agree, why not use Darche instead?? Pyatt can’t put the puck into the ocean.  Darche has 9 goals!

  15. mbplekfan says:

    The habs let one get away tonight. But when you are using Picard and Wiz as your second defence pairing you have trouble.

    The Gomez conundrum continues and now he’s dragging AK down with him.

    Kostitsyn is likely being shopped right now, so we’ll know in 2 weeks if he’s still with us. My guess is not.

    Pouliot and MaxPac are scoring, Cammaleri is coming back and Gionta and DD are working hard. AK is becoming redundant. I expect him to be moved with a pick for either a big forward or another defenceman.

    Given the performance of the D as of late, we should be looking to next year and not chasing band aid solutions. We can sell an asset or two and still make the playoffs.

  16. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Quick Bits:

    Hammer gets more criticism than is warranted… except tonight. His play in the third was, as Booner aptly put it, “comical.” He looked completely out of gas and ready to surrender. Surely the need for another defenseman before the deadline is obvious. The Wiz is wonderful with the puck, but a nightmare without it. We need a big, tough defensive d-man.

    Surely Pierre is on the phones singing the praises of AK46, trying to court buyers. Unfortunately the other GM’s have televisions, and are acutely aware that AK has the heart of a Belorussian wild boar — that is, a wild boar with Rheumatic heart disease, and chronic lethargy. PG is going to have to offer more than just AK straight up. Lars Eller? Pride would likely prevent that, but it might be just enough to secure what we need on the back end. Not to mention suddenly giving some worth to that bizarre off-season deal.

    Question: were you the coach, would you make DD the second-line center, and team him with Pouliot and Cammy when he’s back? I would. I’d let Gomez center Darche and, well, whomever. With every game, DD reminds me more and more of Saku.

    Speaking of line combinations, why the heck did JM break up the Pleks-MaxPac-Gionta line? They are clearly one of the most potent lines in the league now. Why mess with that? It’s not like we were trailing by 3 or something. We were either still leading or at worst tied when he did it. Bizarre! 

    And that rush by P.K. was sensational. Gee, imagine what he’ll do when he gains some confidence. Lol.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  17. Penneywize says:

    Just wanted to comment on the new liveblog system. Hate it. Makes re-reading Boone’s game notes tedious, exacerbated by the fact that I now have to wade through comment after comment from nobodies I have no interest in hearing from. If this system continues, count me out.

    I suggest having the user comments limited to the chat system, and restore Boone’s live blog back to how it was done before. Disable regular comments for liveblogs only (they have the chat system, after all); at least then people won’t constantly refresh, at least not for the sake of reading eachother’s posts.

  18. 24moreCups says:

    Nice post!

  19. Rad says:

    Hammer had a rough game, but it’s not his fault. Martin has over-worked him, and he’s got nothing left. I warned about this earlier when I said they’re going to run this horse into the ground. Either get another defenceman, or live and die with the kids like Weber and Nash. Weber played 19 mins, Hammer played 23 — it should be the other way around. Bring up Festerling or Henry, or anybody else we have down there that wouldn’t have to clear waivers to play. We did give up Lapierre for Festerling, so let’s use him.

    Subban led all skaters with 29:22 TOI, and finished +1 for the night. He needs to learn how to finish on those solo rink-long dashes of his. More often than not, he ends up with a weak shot on net at the end. He has a good shot, he needs to learn how to get it on net with velocity.

    Ryan White was +1, played 14:49, and led the team in hits (4) and enthusiasm. 

  20. G-Man says:

    The Habs salvaged a point with a depleted lineup that played 20 minutes. Should they have had a bigger lead after the 1st? Sure, but these Habs don’t score all that much or that often and Price had a bit of a loosey-goosey game and all that equals an OT loss.

    I refuse to watch the shoot outs. Besides the questionable disciplinary actions of the NHL, it’s the most stupid thing about hockey. How about play the f!cking game? Isn’t that an idea, resolving the outcome of a team game by continuing to play it? The side show that is the shoot out allowed the Flyers to make the playoffs last season and will reward another team or two this season. Throw the SO in the dustbin of stupid ideas.

  21. Exit716 says:

    He’s still a restricted free agent. So if the Habs keep him, they have to offer, I believe, at least a 10 per cent raise over his current $3.25 million salary. I don’t think there are many $3.5 million 15 goal scorers in the league these days.


  22. Jdub1985 says:

    that SO all on Price – he had 3 shots at stopping for the extra point – that point is solely on him.

  23. larisalapointe says:

    I still don’t expect our team to win 82 games. It was a respectable loss. Buffalo is a good team with strong forwards. Most of the games our team play can go either way. They almost never receive a drubbing. (and no 8-6 is not considered a drubbing).

    Our team had a 2 goal lead only because Buffalo was asleep in the 1st period, and some chances were not converted by our veteran forwards.

    Price, PK, Pouliot, Pacioretty, and DD. Wow

    On the other side of wow:   AK, Gomez, the D, JM’s love of Pyatt, certain fans’ inability to see or admit to the huge difference Carey Price makes to this team.

    The veterans are soon going to be edged out totally by the Kids.

  24. showey47 says:

    How many shots did the shooters have to give us the extra point? Alot more then 3. But keep blaming the goalie,who put us in the position to even get the extra point in the first place.

  25. Da Hema says:

    That’s interesting. I thought he is 26, and therefore eligible for unrestricted free agency?

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