Quick hits

Michel Bergeron’s manchette on L’Antichambre:

“Where are the veterans?”

Did Tomas Plekanec play against the Flyers tonight?

Did Scott Gomez?

Mike Cammalleri? Brian Gionta?

Hey, we all love Maxim Lapierre. And it’s great that he answered Jody Shelley’s challenge by scoring twice.

But against a team as good as Philadelphia – and let’s face it: with any kind of goaltending, they’re a Cup contender – your best have to play their best.

Carey Price was at his best.

So were Josh Gorges and P.K. Subban.

To be fair to Pleks, he had five shots on goal.

And to be fair to Gomez … well, any suggestions?

A career slow starter?

Yes, but this has gone beyond a slow start.

Here’s an amazing stat: When Gomez plays 18:40 or more, Canadiens are 1-6-0. When he plays 18:39 or less they’re 12-1-1.

Gomez played 19:59 against Philadelphia tonight.

More numbers:

15: Canadiens who had more SoG against the Flyers than Gomez, who had none

3:23: Gomez minutes on the PP, which was 0-for again

7: Canadiens who have more goals this season than Gomez’ two

10: Teammates who have more than his four assists

4: Defencemen who have more assists than Gomez

0: Canadiens who are making more money than Gomez this season

3: Seasons on his contract, after this one

Less than zero: Possibility Gomez could be traded

 

Gomez was not the worst player against the Flyers. 

Roman Hamrlik and Jaro Spacek were brutal. AK46 didn’t do much.

But Gomez is in a 21-game slump.

He’s skating, he’s working .. and nothing is happening.

If the NHL kept stats on passes with no chance of being completed, Gomez would be the league leader. 

He plays like a guy whose hockey sense has deserted him.

And there isn’t much to be done.

He’s untradeable.

The L’Antichambre guys are lobbying for a David Desharnais call-up.

Please.

Jacques Martin can’t put Gomez on the fourth line or in the pressbox. Treating a veteran that way is asking for problems in the room.

Maybe it’s time for Bob Gainey, who still fills an undedined role with the club, to take his acquisition for a nice stroll in the Old Port.

•  •  •

The much-anticipated physical fireworks failed to ignite.

Canadiens had a 22-21 advantage in hits, and there were no big thumps.

There was no post-whistle nonsense.

P.K. Subban was booed and took a few hits, but nothing dirty.

As usual, when all was said and done, a lot more was said than done.

111 Comments

  1. twilighthours says:

    NFL players are great athletes, but until their sport requires learning a whole new mode of transportation, then I’d put them behind NHL players in terms of required skill.  

    Skating is what makes hockey unique, challenging, and the most skilled sport in the world.  

  2. VancouverHab says:

    Ha ha!

  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    The general pace of hockey I say makes it a much more impressive display of tlaent, these players don’t get to stop every fifteen seconds and figure out their next move, most of the game must be created on the fly and that requires a solid execution mixed in with a number of attributes that aren’t found in other sports, the ability to be mobile on skates and participate in such a skilled game I find makes it the best sport around. No other sport presents so many constant challenges to an athlete.

     

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

  4. Beefington says:

    i agree that hockey requires more endurance, but comon, you cant discount the NFL. if you try to argue that talent, speed, decision-making and endurance arent part of football than you dont watch/play it. i mean, look at running backs: darren sproles is 5’6 and 180 lbs and gets hammered play after play by guys twice his size. he gets back up and gets right back in the game without even hesitating.

    hockey is a better spectator sport, but football is equally demanding, albeit in a different way.

  5. SeriousFan09 says:

    Please, NHL players actually play for 60 minutes, not the 8-12 minutes of actual action that is an NFL game. It requires more talent, the ability to skate, the lateral movement, the endurance, handling the puck, decision making at speed and capacity to keep up with the game makes it the best sport in the world not to mention enduring the grind that is the 82-game season and then the playoffs.

     

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

  6. Beefington says:

    NFL players who are more athletic than anyone in the NHL will ever be:

    mike vick, chad ochocinco, antonio gates, ray lewis, ed reed, champ bailey, darelle revis…. thats just the tip of the iceberg

    also dont diss on the o-line. i’d like to see any NHL player bench 225lbs 35+ times

    fun fact: Ndamukong Suh (6’4, 307lbs) runs a 4.98 in a 40-yrd dash. not an athlete my a**

  7. SeriousFan09 says:

    NFL’s system is that much more impressive? They just have a looser CBA that lets them cheat more.

    I’ll take a professional league with athletes, not obese blockers who need oxygen if they run 50 metres.

     

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

  8. Timo says:

    I see… so NHL is great all of a sudden. I am talking about how the league is being especially when it comes to contracts and administ… argh… nevermind.

  9. SeriousFan09 says:

    Nothing says professional like dogfight promoters, sexual deviants and guys shooting themselves in the leg with their own guns.

     

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

  10. Chuck says:

    True, but that’s absolutely anemic.

    Centre Hice: puttin’ on the foil

  11. Timo says:

    Should be like in the NFL – the real professional league

  12. PrimeTime says:

    So as history repeats itself, Hab fans have found this years player to lean on. Before the season, many thought it would be Price. Mr. Gomez, please step forward. There is only one way to escape….find your game, put points on the board, in wins and loses, and you will find relief. Continue to work hard, be wiser in your decisions, and the rest will follow. Your game is not lost but it is missing and you know it more than anyone. Find it and all will be forgiven. Please do so quickly so we fans do not have to put up with the BS from the “experts” that we will be subjected to read and listen to until then. Maybe then we can go back to “the trade” ugh…..oh, never mind….just keep winning. That works too. 

  13. Exit716 says:

    One can only hope in the next CBA there is a provision to allow teams a one-time buyout of cruddy contracts that won’t count against the cap.

     

  14. HardHabits says:

    I always hate when the Habs lose to the Flyers.

    2-0 games. Even Don Cherry knows they are killers. The Habs got out-coached and they got outplayed in the last 2 periods.

    It was a team loss. Gomez is just a lightning rod for everybody’s bad mood tonight.

    I always felt that the Habs are 1-2 years away from really being a contender. Anything this year is gravy.

    The beauty with this team is this. Regardless of the loss tonight they are giving us the feeling that they can go all the way.

    That’s much different than all those years of hoping the would simply just make the playoffs in the hopes that once there anything could happen. Baby steps. They’re taking big ones.

    It’s a long season.

  15. OneTimer says:

    Yup that’s the story of the game.

  16. OneTimer says:

    That’s usually how it goes when you lose, you don’t score a lot of goals.

  17. SeriousFan09 says:

    I agree that the Habs need some more depth before they’re really considered a top team  (At least a couple of farmhands need to graduate for that) but on nights like this, while we’re still waiting for Gomez to break out, it’s just… you keep waiting to see someone make that brilliant, individual effort but you just don’t have any faith it’ll be him. I’ve honestly been writing posts to the Liveblog and exchanging Twitter traffic in the last stretch when Gomez has the puck because I don’t expect to miss anything.

     

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

  18. Olay Olay Olay says:

    Before this becomes the Gomez show, I’d like to point out that MC hasn’t been himself all year either. Our D looked confused, and Eller and Webber on a PP??? are you kidding me???

  19. Chuck says:

    In their last seven regulation losses, they’ve scored seven goals.

    I’m not specifically blaming anyone, but that just isn’t good enough. They’re wasting fantastic goaltending and opportunities to win, regardless of how well Price plays.

    Centre Hice: puttin’ on the foil

  20. SeriousFan09 says:

    HH, you know I’m generally an optimist about the Habs but the losses I just can’t take are the ones where the games are right within the hands of the team and they float away because they stop playing the way they were when the score was on their side.

    I know some nights they’ll go out and get smacked around for all 60, but when they’re winning and let it float away… I can’t stand it.

     

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

  21. Olay Olay Olay says:

    Gomez is playing a grinder style hockey, he busts his ass to get puck but when he gets, he just throws it away. How many chances does this “momentum killer” get?

  22. HardHabits says:

    Thank heaven’s we have a whinning record, wait a minute, no… that’s what I meant.

  23. Wayne says:

    Good post.

    YES, the Habs need size from somewhere, somehow ’cause we gonna be ditch-slapped by these guys come playoff time.

  24. showey47 says:

    I felt that way early on in the season with the bills also but they ruined me week after week. The cowboys and dolphins also fell into that catergory. Sunday morning i analyzed and thought about that bill/bengals game for about half an hour before making the pick.  I thought i was in good shape in that game when the bengals were up 31-14 at halftime,till the bengals gave up 35 2nd half points and got 0 in return.

  25. SUMO says:

    Thanks as always to Mike for the QH.

    Disappointing to blow a 2-goal lead but Price again was displaying the type of goaltending the Habs need to get back to the conference finals. As long as he continues to play this way, the Habs are a play-off team.

    I really hope Gorges re-signs here. In Markov’s absence he is the heart & soul of our defense.

    I don’t want to pile on the albatross, Gomez  but I think reducing his minutes, to 15-17mins a game, is the way to go. He is more effective and the team plays better when he plays around 17minutes. He wasn’t our worst forward tonight and he is starting to play better; winning batles for loose pucks, taking hits and a bit more elusive in the offensive zone but I think his confidence is really shot. His passing and play-making is absolute horses**t. JM is sticking with him but isn’t it time to give Eller more minutes? Eller played a couple of good games recently, he should be rewarded.

    Yannick Weber looked a little lost out there on the PP. (Unfair to rate him too harshly as a forward because he was playing out of position)

    I realize Tom Pyatt value is in his contribution to our PK but wouldn’t replacing him w/Max on the PK worth considering? In 19 games Pyatt is -3 and has 1 assist. Darche net crashing presence would have helped tonite.

    Emotions run hot whenever the Habs lose but I think ALOT of commentators here hate losing to the Flyers more than other teams for a few reasons;

    a – they knocked the Habs from the ECF last year.

    b – they play a cheapshot style of hockey (Richards, Hartnall and Pronger)

    c – they seem to bully and push around our smaller team.

    d – the Leclair/Desjardins trade and how that fleecing defined both teams in the 90s. 

  26. andrewberkshire says:

    You’re right, my bad. Going to far. Tertiary point on the play is what I’m thinking.

  27. andrewberkshire says:

    Exactly. Gomez last year makes that play, and Gionta either scores or comes close.

  28. andrewberkshire says:

    It’s clear the frustration with Gomez is at a boiling point (for myself and others). He needs to break out of this funk soon, because one line can’t do everything. At some point you have to wonder if Gauthier is forced to make a move.

  29. Chuck says:

    Indeed. It made for a great Monday morning!

    Centre Hice: puttin’ on the foil

  30. andrewberkshire says:

    I’m sure that Gomez will be an impact player by January, but that’s halfway through the season. I was pretty easy on Gomez last year, I think he was effective even when not earning points, and he suffered because Gionta missed 20 games as well. If Gionta didn’t miss those games, with how hot he was, it’s not a stretch that Gomez could have challenged Plekanec for the point lead on the team.

    This year however he hasn’t been doing the little things. As I wrote down the page, both his goals were flukes, 3/4 of his assists were tertiary which means he wasn’t the prime playmaker on the goals. You can only blame luck for so long, because the bottom line right now is that despite “getting chances” he’s messing up every play he’s involved it, and it’s about time he snap out of it and start contributing.

    Calling Gomez out on these boards isn’t going to change anything, it’s just venting frustration. However I think this frustration is VERY justified. When I look around the NHL and see where the Canadiens could have spent 7.3 million dollars to improve this team, I can’t seen any option other than Kovalchuk that would have been worse than Gomez right now.

    The argument that we’re still winning is great, but we’re winning in spite of Gomez, and I don’t think it’ll last much longer if he doesn’t get going, because it’s easy for a team to focus all their checking on our top line, and shut them down.

  31. Chuck says:

    Yeah, it sure seems like Gomez is gripping the stick too tight. A resonable pass in that siuation becomes a great scoring chance.

     

    Centre Hice: puttin’ on the foil

  32. showey47 says:

    Yeah,i was going to mention that also. But i figured there was enough gomez bashing already tonight.

  33. Bob Barker says:

    pretty sure they’re called secondary assists. Tertiary would be a third assist which they obviously don’t give.  

    I agree with your point though. He’s probably in the biggest slump of his career. I still think he can bounce back though. I’ll give him until the mid-december. If he can’t produce by then, it’s pressbox time. 

  34. habs-hampton says:

    You can’t play Hammer 23:16. It’s too much too ask from him.

  35. showey47 says:

    Awesome. There must have been alot of unhappy leaf faces in your part of province this morning.

  36. Wayne says:

    Boone on Gomez: He plays like a guy whose hockey sense has deserted him.

    That just about says it all. But is it that mystifying to us? He didn’t really light it up in NY and we signed him anyway. Is the cash pressure getting to him?

    I know many of us lately are keying on Gomez’s play and watching his every move. More so now than at the 5-10 game mark. The reasons are obvious and to those who are offended when Gomez gets the gears, you might not be seeing it through 7 million dollar lenses. 90% of the time, it’s painful to watch him try something creative, only to see it amount to nothing or worse, a turnover. He is simply NOT justifying his salary right now and though he may not admit it publicly, he has to feel it inside. What to do? Ironically, he should have a heart to heart with Carey. He can tell him to get back to basics and not try to break the sound barrier in 80 feet. Let it happen and go with the flow and have fun. The argument that “he doesn’t have the right players around him” is bunk. If you can’t make it happen with the likes of a Cammy, Pleks or a Gio, there’s something wrong. I’ll even go further to say that in part, he’s a reason why these guys are struggling too as JM is constantly shuffling the deck in an effort find a home for his talent.

     

    That said, I still have faith he’ll do well at some point in the season and might just lead the team in playoff points. I only wish him well.

  37. habs-hampton says:

    Exactly, our speed is our biggest asset, and we didn’r use it after the 1st period. Philly cannot keep up when we do this, but we went into a shell.

  38. Propwash says:

    Flyers are actually a good hockey team when they decide to play hockey. (Minus goaltending)

    The Habs let off the gas, and this is what happens. Flyers got redemption.

     

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  39. andrewberkshire says:

    The play that keeps sticking in my head is Gomez having a clear break to the net, with Gionta trying to get wide to give an option, and instead Gomez acts like the puck is a grenade and fires it way too hard for Gionta to handle, and ends up in our zone, in the net.

  40. SeriousFan09 says:

    Lecavalier is becoming increasingly fragile and hasn’t really expressed an interest beyond general cliches about playing in MTL. It’s more of the same for a longer term but instead of playing poorly it’s watching the decline of Vinny’s career, neither’s any good.

     

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

  41. aemarchand11 says:

    The only team that would take Gomez would be Tampa Bay. Lecavalier’s contract is worse than Gomez’ since its for another decade. With Stamkos about to get a significant pay raise, they’re looking to trading the Big Centerman. (HockeyCentral)

    They take Gomez, for 3 more years or keep Vinny for another 8. Sounds like a no brainer if nobody else wants Vinny?

    I dont really know who I would prefer. I would almost rather Gomez be demoted to the minors next season and then bought out the next year.. The Cap hit is just ridiculous, even if he is a great leader and a good player.

    Go Habs Go!
    2010-2011

  42. punkster says:

    OK, you know I’m not serious Andrew. It’s just the tone of this place and how it starts to look like last season on here when the blame game starts. But I personally find the whole “calling out players” thing immature to the max. Maybe it’s a product of the recent generations and attitudes that I don’t get. I don’t see how “calling out” someone is in any way helpful. The act of “calling out” sounds to me like blame.

    Anyway, this whole Gomez stuff is getting to me. Like the Price crap last year. I imagine he’ll come around and by the end of January we’ll all laugh off the slow start he had and be glad for his contributions.

    Night night!

  43. showey47 says:

    The play the keeps bothering me. Eller putting what should have been a sure goal on pyatt’s stick,which would have made it 3-0.

  44. andrewberkshire says:

    I’ll add, don’t pass on a breakaway!

  45. JF says:

    We were badly outworked after the first period, which we dominated.  The team pretty well hung Price out to dry.

    This game was a reality check.  The Habs are good, but not that good.  To win, we have to use our speed and keep the intensity level up.  After the first period, we didn’t do that.  The Flyers looked faster and more determined.  Their domination was so total that I could barely stand to watch.

    All our scorers seem to be streaky, and no one is scoring at the rate they were last year, most notably Cammalleri and Gionta, who tended to produce in bunches with a couple of games between each bunch. 24 Cups above is right in saying this game recalled last spring’s playoffs.  After the first period, we had trouble keeping the Flyers out of our crease, and we couldn’t penetrate theirs. We badly need a big, net-crashing scorer if we are to be competitive against teams like the Flyers.  

    The one positive that I see coming out of this loss is that the team is unlikely to take the L.A. game lightly, as they seemed to do last week against Nashville.  They seem to have trouble getting up against teams they have no rivalry with, but after blowing a 2-0 lead tonight, they’ll be angry and determined to redeem themselves.  At least they’d better be.

  46. EricInStL says:

    Bills are underrated, Cinci suck big time…. What killed me was Oakland I had them teased at +12 and still they couldn’t cover…. IDIOTS….

    ROMANES EUNT DOMUS…..

  47. Chuck says:

    Agreed. Tonight was a case of most of the group sucking… or at the very least not taking the play to the Flyers over that last 2 periods.

    The first period showed what the deeded to do to be successful: get the puck in deep and force the Flyers to chase, and pepper a shaky goalie with shots to create some chances. They did very little of either after the first intermission.

    Centre Hice: puttin’ on the foil

  48. JasonM says:

    When 4 defencemen (one being Gorges, not an ODEF) have more points than you and you’re the highest paid player in team history, you need to step it up a notch and start doing the small things right.

    Get the puck out of the zone, win battles for the puck, win faceoffs, make smart passes, cover your guy, shoot the puck with conviction.

     

  49. BeachHabFan says:

    gomez wasn’t the main problem tonight, but he’s an easy target. if they could have been able to clear their zone in less than four passes that would help. also, the lack of a cohesive 2nd line is still trouble – moen and max have both missed golden setups lately, eller isn’t bad but come on, figure out markov’s LTIR cap space, sign guerin or stick to one guy so they build a bit of chemistry and let’s go. i know i read that the coaching staff are still ‘experimenting’ because it’s the quarter-pole, but i have to believe this loss doesn’t sit well. and i want darche back in, dammit

     

     

  50. SeriousFan09 says:

    When Hamrlik and Spacek will have their good nights and bad nights will define this season I fear.

     

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

  51. Mike Boone says:

    Right. Sorry. It’s late.

  52. JasonM says:

    SNL classic indeed.

  53. andrewberkshire says:

    The hyperbole that calling out Gomez at all means you’re blaming everything bad that ever happens on Gomez is ridiculous and immature, that’s my two cents.

    Calling out players is allowed, especially when they give you every reason in the world to call them out.

  54. Mike Boone says:

    They all look alike. And by the age of 35, they play alike.

  55. Max_a_million says:

     

    Did Hamrlik grow a second chin?

    No two guys swing czech like the Czech brothers Spacek!

  56. punkster says:

    No Steve, according to the majority here you’re wrong. it’s all because of Gomez. I believe those people last season who blamed Price and JM for everything including global warming had it wrong. It was Gomez 😉

     

    (Bang on as usual Steve)

  57. Chuck says:

    I’m in the same predicament as you, Showey. I’ll have one with you.

     

    Centre Hice: puttin’ on the foil

  58. JasonM says:

    “Roman Spacek and Jaro Spacek were brutal.”

     

    LOL

  59. showey47 says:

    Well, i was frustrated with the habs loss. But now i realized with the chargers kicking the crap out of broncos i’m going to go 13-2 in proline picks this week. Just think,wins by the god damn bills and red skins(in overtime) yesterday prevented me from going 15-0 and some serious coin. I think i need a beer. 

  60. 24 Cups says:

    Assuming this was a playoff series, we would be tied at one game apiece.

    The Habs won the first contest on home ice by combining great defensive play with a stellar performance by their goalie.  That’s what wins playoff games when you are up against a team that is as good, if not better, than you are.

    Tonight, we were on the road and had command of the game through two periods.  The other team stormed back to tie it up which is to be expected.  Sadly, the Flyers scored the last three goals of the game while we were unable to counter when the game was on the line.  None of our top line forwards were able to rise to the ocaasion when it mattered the most.  In a see-saw battle our star players were left high and dry at the top of the teeter-totter.

    I have been against the Gomez trade since day one.  I was totally shocked when Gainey made the deal.  It was a move of desperation by a man who after six years couldn’t solve the team’s major one problem.  Be that as it may, we lost tonight’s game because all five of our top forwards were unable to score when the game was on the line.  Tonight’s loss was not one man’s fault, but rather a collective guilt that must be borne by all the high priced help.  Five guys making a combined $27M were unable to close out the Flyers after Price and Laps had given them a window of opportunity.

    The team will move on to face another day but the similarities between tonight and last spring will make for a restless sleep for the Hab faithful.

  61. punkster says:

    It’s all Gomez fault.

  62. habaholic68NJ says:

    Boone.  I have Halpern in.  He is the H in PHD.

  63. punkster says:

    Hi. My name’s punkster. Nice of you to join us…again. See ya!

  64. Max_a_million says:

    I think you are spot on here with a dangerous 4th line, killer 1st line, a second line that was working well …  I like it a lot!

    It would be nice to have a big strong young defenceman to throw in there for the old tired czech brothers, too bad we traded him.  

  65. Mr.Hazard says:

    “Roman Spacek and Jaro Spacek”

  66. Ayan_SB says:

    Halpern is the H in PHD.

  67. SeriousFan09 says:

    Pacioretty needs to spend the year in the AHL developing his offensive skills further. We waited out PK for a year while he dominated the AHL and we pulled him for the playoffs when we needed him, results came around from that. No more pulling guys out of the AHL to patch a problem and I can only hope the management sees the wisdom of what went on with Subban.

     

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

  68. habguy says:

    Gomer is a CANCER!!!!!!!!!

    and don’t you think players working theiur butt off ,getting paid $500,000  while Gomer not trying ,

    making 8 million, you think players don’t resent that?

    please! of course they do!!!!!!!!!

    Gomer must go. I just can’t stand him anymore! he sickens me!

  69. Mike Boone says:

    Good ideas, but Halpern is needed for PK and crucial faceoffs.

  70. Chuck says:

    The story from the faceoff circle was a good indication of how this game went. Habs dominated in the first period, winning 12. The rest of the game? The won only 11.

    That translates to a lot of puck-chasing, and not a lot of possession.

     

    Centre Hice: puttin’ on the foil

  71. Number31 says:

    I sarcastically love how there’s no urgency with your goalie pulled for the extra man when you should be gunning to tie the game. Lucky Price was only halfway to the bench…

  72. andrewberkshire says:

    Gomez probably wasn’t the WORST player tonight, but the fact is he hasn’t been the best player in any game this season. Not even close. And for those who keep BSing that he’s getting chances but he isn’t lucky, both his goals this year were unbelievably lucky.

    Of Gomez’s 4 assists, 3 of them were tertiary assists, which means he’s not the guy setting up the goal. His ONLY primary assist was on the SEVENTH goal of a blowout, on the PP after the Hurricanes clearly stopped trying.

    This isn’t a slump, this is a joke. This is a guy who last year was a very big contributer for 2/3 of the season and the entire playoffs, and now he’s not contributing ANYTHING.

  73. habaholic68NJ says:

    JM.  Stop with the experimenting.  Put these lines together and stay with them for 10 games.  You will not be sorry.

     

    AK46-Pleks-Cammi (line was on fire at the start of the season, one of the hottest in the league)

    PHD (our second best line to date – why is Darche siting?)

    Gio-Gomer-MaxPac (No one understands how to play with Gomer more than Gio.  Gio was getting chances with Gomer but was snake bitten.  MaxPac is burning up the AHL and needs to be brought up immediately)

    Laps-Eller-Moen (fourth line bangers with some skill)


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