Re-Hab Halpern set to face Penguins

Jeff Halpern, claimed off waivers from the New York Rangers on Saturday, will be in the Canadiens lineup when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night (7 p.m., RDS, TSN-HABS, TSN Radio 690).

“We’re really happy to have him in our lineup,” coach Michel Therrien told reporters in Brossard after Monday’s practice. “He’s going to add some depth to our club. He’s good on faceoffs, he’s good killing penalties. He’s blocking shots. Experience is always a big part of that second half — that stretch to finishing the year.”

Therrien called the game against the Penguins, who have won 12 straight, a “huge challenge.”

“Right now, this is the hottest team in the NHL,” the coach said.

The Canadiens will be in Boston on Wednesday night to face the Bruins in a challenging back-to-back part of the schedule.

“We’ll worry about the Bruins after we worry about the Penguins,” defenceman Josh Gorges said.

The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs caught up with Halpern, who discussed his return to the Canadiens – a team he played for during the 2010-11 season – and his new business, Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken, which recently opened its doors in Washington, D.C.

“We love losing our money in restaurants,” Halpern joked of hockey players, the taverns/brasseries of Canadiens legends Butch Bouchard, Henri Richard, Yvan Cournoyer and coach Toe Blake preceding former Habs Sheldon Souray and Saku Koivu into the pizza business.

The Canadiens held an optional skate Tuesday morning in Pittsburgh. The only players who didn’t skate were Brian Gionta and Michael Ryder. Therrien confirmed Carey Price will start in goal, while Halpern will play centre on a line between Gabriel Dumont and Travis Moen.

At the Penguins morning skate, Evgeni Malkin did not work with a line and Kris Letang worked on the fourth defence pair, meaning they both most likely won’t play against the Canadiens. Newcomer Brenden Morrow skated on the second line with Dustin Jeffrey and James Neal and worked on the second power-play unit.

(Photo by Pierre Obendrauf/The Gazette)

Game Preview: Canadiens vs. Penguins

Canadiens-Penguins Preview, by The Associated Press

 Halpern happy to be a re-Hab, by Dave Stubbs

“Huge challenge” for Habs this week, by Brenda Branswell

Habs practice photo gallery

Demers special guest on second HIO show, by Stu Cowan

Morrow boosts Cup chances with trade to Penguins, by The Associated Press

Penguins, GM Shero, make another deal, by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins’ win streak started vs. Montreal, by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

All eyes now on Bruins’ next move, by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com

Iginla trade rumours heat up, by Postmedia News

Another Stanley Cup parade in Toronto? by Stu Cowan

354 Comments

  1. habfan53 says:

    It is amazing how Montreal can win any games. The Toronto Sports Network just updated their Player Rankings and Montreal has 3 in the top 100, P.K. at number 10, Plks at number 32 Gallager at 81 and Ryder at 89.
    Gallagher is still the top rookie

  2. Say Ash says:

    How come we’re ahead of Boston with one less win?

  3. Strummer says:

    I can’t believe TSN is not showing tonight’s game on the national network- they’re showing NYR/PHI

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      They chose to show tomorrow’s game (Mtl-Bos) instead.

      Which is fine by me.

      Edit: Now, if they had chosen to show Leafs vs. Panthers instead of Habs vs. Pens, then I would have questioned their judgement.

  4. Cal says:

    Okay, this one is all on Dunboyne Mike. It’s his fault. Really! (No offense to anyone is intended, especially our American friends- I’ve heard they can be touchy about these things)
    Check it out at: http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Been out for five hours, just in now, haven’t even checked the Liveblog yet. Art trumps sport.

      The completed masterpiece brings a tear to my eye. A thing of beauty.
      Thank you for “Manson, Dave”
      Also loved “Robinson-Schultz fight”!

      (Secret — I stole all of my mine from James Joyce).

  5. Hstands4Hockey says:

    The guy we should be bringing back is Hal Gill. The guy is the best PK defenseman in the history of the league (albeit he doesn’t do much else exceptionally well) , a greta leader and single-handedly shut down Crosby in 2010 playoffs. Wouldn’t be an expensive addition but would fill some HUGE holes.

    Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
    @Hstands4Hockey

  6. Prairienewf says:

    3 on 3 is extremely exciting. More exciting than shootout actually.

    • Strummer says:

      My favorite Mike Komisarek moment was when he scored during 3 on 3 on a breakaway in O/T against the Leafs.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • johnnylarue says:

      I agree about 3-on-3. For one, it still plays like a hockey game rather than a skills competition, but it’s a constant barrage of 2-on-1, breakaway passes, etc. Infinitely more exciting.

      Of course, that might just be because teams/coaches don’t practice 3-on-3s very much and haven’t developed the appropriate “systems” to suck the life out of them the way they have for all other on-ice scenarios.

  7. Prairienewf says:

    Halpern acquisition – “if you think like a fan you’ll soon become one” – MB

  8. pmaraw says:

    I’m just glad Miller plays for Buffalo, not Pittsburg, would rather he were in the west tho…. stupid american olympians….

    • Mattyleg says:

      I was at the Buffalo game.
      He wasn’t that good.
      We just didn’t have enough people in his kitchen early on.
      Loads of loose pucks sliding around his crease.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  9. Chris says:

    Right around the time that I muse about Montreal trying to trade for the struggling Alex Ovechkin, he goes on a hot streak (7 goals and 11 points in his last 7 games).

    When I mused about acquiring Malkin when he hurt his knee, he responded by winning the Art Ross Trophy the following season.

    Clearly, it is my musing that is responsible for these mediocre players suddenly turning it on and becoming superstars… So without further ado, I shall muse that Montreal should sign Lars Eller to a 10 year contract. :)

    • johnnylarue says:

      This is dangerous. In the event that you’ve misinterpreted the nature of your powers, you may have just doomed Lars to a nasty knee-sprain and/or weeks of mediocre play.

      Reckless move, Chris.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      But what if your musings only apply to Russian superstar players?

      This musing about a young Dane could have the opposite effect! You may have doomed his career…

    • Cal says:

      Habs announce the trade of Lars Eller to…..kidding!

      • Chris says:

        Way back on February 9, 1995, I was in line at the Quinte Mall in Belleville to get a brand spanking new Montreal Canadiens jersey that was going to be customized in honour of Eric Desjardins.

        I looked up at the television in the sports store to see a report announcing that the Montreal Canadiens had acquired Mark Recchi in exchange for John LeClair, Gilbert Dionne, and….oh, fuddleduddle.

        Well, fool me once, shame on me. Fool me…you can’t get fooled again. ;)

        So I was smart, and waited until 2008-09 to get myself a nice spiffy customized Saku Koivu vintage Habs jersey. No way I was going to get burned again.

        Oops.

  10. showey47 says:

    Chris F Lee. Faak

    • Cal says:

      Wonder if he’ll be as bad as the one Saturday night?
      Oh yeah, he will.

      • johnnylarue says:

        The nice thing about this season so far is that you can safely work from the assumption that ANY ref on any given night will be just as clued out as Chris Lee. In this optic, actual Lee-reffed games don’t seem quite so shockingly bad as they have in the past.

        Maybe his signature “legally blind man on LSD” officiating style is catching on?

  11. donmarco says:

    Eklund is reporting that the Penguins and Stars are talking. He keeps hearing Morrow’s name mentioned. A lot!! More to come……..

  12. blu3chip says:

    Jussi Jokinen on waivers… @@

  13. Bigdawg says:

    Easy – you have twelve defensemen there. Do you think 100% all will make it to the show? Probably not. Can you tell 100% which will make it and which won’t? Probably not.

    Ok so let’s talk 8-10 more realistically.

    6 in the line up
    1-2 as your 7th and possibly 8th defenseman
    then 1-2 in Hamilton – good enough for the show, leading the bulldogs to victory and to a winning culture in Hamilton, ready if we get blasted with more than 2 injuries or to act as posssible trade bait.

    Defensemen ready for the show are worth more than prospects with no pro experience. Let them mature like wine and they will be worth more to us.

    same goes for the forwards.

    whoops – posted in the wrong place – this was aimed at Loonie

    • donmarco says:

      It’s an interesting enough topic to start a new thread. This time next year we’ll have a much better idea of the potential of most of these guys, and with 6 picks in the first three rounds who knows if another name or two will be added to the mix. No matter what, it is extremely positive to have seen this team go from a very shallow one in terms of prospects, to a very deep one, at least on the d-line, in so short a period of time. Last time I checked a third of the teams in the NHL, or more, are critically short of defense both at the NHL level as well as in the minors. Looking at you Flyers.

    • Loonie says:

      Our prospects on defense are of similar age and because of that will be playing pro hockey at the same time.

      You can’t keep them all.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        I’d just be more worried that the defensive prospects would be considered spare parts in a deal instead of a piece of value since the Bulldogs as a team haven’t really matured yet.

        Guys like Stekjal (however you spell it), Pateryn and Ellis could be dealt, but I tend to assume that other teams will go for the Habs’ best prospects even in a rental deal, which are the very ones that the Habs should keep and develop.

  14. Propwash says:

    Speaking of microbrewery restaurants, this place is down the street from where I work. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I’m seeing a lot of positive reviews on it. http://www.brasseurdemontreal.ca/

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • shiram says:

      Dieux du ciel makes a kickass sammich, and their beers are not too shabby either.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I went there a few years back for my staff Xmas party.
      Nice place.
      I’m not overy crazy about their beers, though. I find it a bit watery.
      I’ve bought a few 6 packs and not been too excited.

      There’s a fantastic microbrewery that just opened around the corner from me in Hochelaga called L’Espace Public. They’re really good, and have tons of microbrewery beer from around the province.

      Also the Broue Pub Brouhaha on De Lorimier corner Carrières is really great too. An incredible selection of Belgian beers too.

      Microbreweries are really kicking off in Montreal.

      Going to start my own brewing in the basement soon too, once I get it in order…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  15. Timo says:

    Penner’s tweet re visit to the White House.

    “After careful consideration I’ve decided not to visit the White House today for political reasons LOL JK I’m not an idiot!Free trip? I’m in!”

  16. Hobie Hansen says:

    So it’s time to see what Mr. Halpern can do I guess? I’m not thrilled about the signing but I hope he proves me wrong, which does happen more than I’d like to admit :-).

    I’m going to trust management that Halpern is the best they could do at the moment at that position. Lets see if those few extra % points in the faceoff circle and his penalty killing abilities take us to the promise land?

    Good luck Jefferey Halpern!

    • donmarco says:

      Not sure if management ever said he was “the best they could do at the moment”, but to pick up a guy off waivers who is 55% on face offs and a responsible penalty killer, not to mention familiar with the team and some players, its a no brainer to me. It’s not like we’d be losing much by sitting White or Moen.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        We’ll have to wait and see what happens. When White and Prust are healthy again I’m sure he’s in the press box. He’ll be thrown right into the fire on the PK against Boston and Pittsburgh the next couple nights. That is if he’s able to play in back-to-back game under his current condition?

        • donmarco says:

          Depending on how long Bourque’s setback will be, Prust could be looking at 4th line minutes when he gets back, I think. And I don’t expect much from Halpern, just play a simple positional game and don’t make mistakes. I am very encouraged to know Malkin, Letang and Murray will not be in the lineup tonight.

      • anotherhab says:

        or Armstrong!!

  17. Chris1138 says:

    I asked this yesterday, but since I’m still looking for the answer I thought I would try again:

    Does anybody know which Habs game this season featured a lengthy 3-on-3 sequence? It was pretty exciting and I’m trying to find video of it, but need the game first!

    –| Brad Marchand | Starley Cup Chanpiar 2011 |–

    • Mattyleg says:

      Isn’t that the one where Gorges scored?
      Or was that 4-on-4?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Chris1138 says:

        From my memory, no one scored on the 3-on-3 but it was ridiculous up and down action with breakaways and 2 on 1s.

        It’s really frustrating that I can’t remember the game!

        –| Brad Marchand | Starley Cup Chanpiar 2011 |–

        • ratboy1968 says:

          I think it was the game against Buffalo on Feb 2. There was a prolonged sequence in the third period where there were 4 different minor penalties given (2 to each team) in a 1:24 interval.

          • Chris1138 says:

            Thanks! That’s really helpful. Now I need to find some video of the 3-on3.

            –| Brad Marchand | Starley Cup Chanpiar 2011 |–

        • J Haul says:

          Hah.. I was just talking about this in the locker room last night…. unfortunately I can’t remember either!

        • showey47 says:

          Blows my mind why the league doesn’t go to a 3 on 3 after a 4 on 4. It wouldn’t take any longer to do then the shootout,once you consider the commercial break,ice scrapping and going through at least 3 rounds of shooters. I found that 3 on 3 way more exciting then any shootout i’ve seen.

  18. Loonie says:

    Because trades are the hot topic again I’m wondering if somebody can provide me a scenario where Subban, Emelin, Diaz, Gorges, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Dietz, Nygren, Patreyn, Ellis, Thrower and Bennett all play for the Habs in a three to five year period.

    And in addition, how if such a scenario could be worked out it could be considered a good thing?

    In addition to that. I’d like to know of a way to get Gallagher, Kristo, Leblanc, Holland, Collberg and Bourque onto the roster on the right wing at the same time.

    Thanks.

    • twilighthours says:

      Easy! Move some of them to centre and left wing.

    • mdp2011 says:

      Easy, hire Carbo as coach again, he’ll get all those defensemen in the lineup.

    • donmarco says:

      To me the obvious answer would be that they want to wait to see how the majority of them continue to develop before deciding on who would be available to trade away. It’s way too early, for example, to know if Thrower or Dietz will continue to develop or stall? Not to mention the risk of trading away another McDonaugh. Although we might not like it, MB is not going to trade away many assets this year. Next year? All bets are off.

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      Points very well taken but I would argue that it could easily be three to five yeard before the bottom 6 demen are ready for the NHL, if they actually make it, given how long it takes for a dman to learn his craft.

      For the forwards, Bourque will be gone (health or trade) and Leblanc is really a centre (and of course we don’t have a log-jam there :-)) …

      I do agree with you Loonie and Krob that we have plenty to offer for the right rental, but i suspect it will be a minor nibble in the grand scheme of things, maybe Obyrne, Brewer.

      In the off-season, I expect a LOT of activity from the Habs to leverage all the picks, prospects with teams that are deep in cap trouble and really upgrade the top 9.

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • Cal says:

      6 of ‘em play D and the rest of those Dmen are the Habs bottom 6?
      Then, the Habs trade all six players on the top two lines for picks only. That’s how we get all those youngsters in. There, all done. ;)

  19. Stretch says:

    Looking at the moves the Pens made over the last few days, and knowing the Bruins will follow suit, most probably going after Iginla and a shut down defenseman, I was playing armchair GM and came up with 3 potentially valuable players I believe the Habs could reasonably acquire for the playoff run and not mortgage the future. Players who could fit right in and make an impact: Ryane Clowe, Jaromir Jagr, and Ryan O’Byrne. Looking at what Morrow and Murray cost, the total should be no more than a couple second round picks, LeBlanc, and Weber.

    Clowe needs a change a scenery big time (though there is talk he has been playing hurt), and would be able to go toe to toe with ex teammate Murray and Chara in front of the net in playoff match ups.

    Jagr would fit right in with Pleks and Ryder, and be another great veteran influence in the room. Blunden and Dumont could be then sent back down to the Dogs. Moen and Armstrong would end up being the spare forwards.

    O’Byrne, who has really blossomed with the Avs as a physical shut down defenseman, would fit right in with familiar faces, and allow Tinordi to head back down to the Dogs when crunch time hits.

    Just thinking out loud here.

    Who else would make sense to take a look at for a potential long playoff run?

    • veryhabby says:

      Stretch…well seeing how both of MB’s moves in season have been x-hab players, I think that O’Byrne has the biggest chance of coming here from your list!

      I have no idea how well he has developed. MB would definately have seen him first hand last year. I woud think he’d also be the cheapest of your list to trade for. Maybe one of our 2nd picks?

      I do think we can use a depth #6 dman since absolutley no one can tell if Diaz will be back. But if he is, and we traded a 2nd pick for a guy sitting as our #7, then that too would be a huge waste. I have nothing against Kabby, Tinordi filling in as our #6 if Diaz isn’t back YET at the same time I think if we go deep, we need someone who at this point is better then those 2. Is O’Byrne the guy? Haven’t seen him play since he left.

      • Timo says:

        Oh-Bee!!! Oh-Bee!!!

        I’m all for it. Just don’t pull the goalie until the whistle is blown.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Now would be one of the Kerry O’Byrnes?

      • Stretch says:

        I actually think Kaberle has gotten the shaft a bit this season. The times I’ve seen him play he has been steady and unspectacular, exactly what you want from your 6th and 7th D. He is an experienced cup winner, been a total team player even though he hasn’t contributed much, but can jump in and can play the PP point quite capably if needed. Fine, his contract is nuts, he’s totally un-tradeable, and will most likely be the 2nd compliance buy out, but he should have played more so far IMHO.

        I’ve read 3 or 4 articles and blogs on O’Byrne from different sources the last couple of years, and one said point blank that the Habs gave up on him way too early. Basically, everything I’ve read says he’s what everyone hopes Tinordi will be in 3 years time. After the last game it’s obvious Tinordi needs more time on the farm and to play protected minutes in the NHL, however in the playoffs there’s no such thing as protected minutes.

        With Diaz, Bourque, and now White out for a indeterminate time, why not make a bit of a splash and pick up some more character low risk players that could fit right in. Not a huge blow it up splash, but one that would make a tangible difference. One thing’s for sure, there will be more injuries between now and the playoffs. Low cost coverage insurance is not a bad strategy.

    • donmarco says:

      Nice post.
      Of all your scenarios the one I’d like to see, and one I do not think would cost us a fortune, would be to go get Jagr. With Bourque facing a setback, I’d love to see Pleks and the chemistry with Jagr. Which is why I’m hoping for the Stars to free fall this week (7-4 loss last night helps). 2nd rounder and mid level prospect, or Weber, but not both.

      • Stretch says:

        Thanks donmarco… Yeah, Jagr would fit right in, and be relatively cheap, so no real risk with a potential high reward. He played the lock out own the same line as Pleks, and played with Ryder earlier this year.

        Clowe is a real intriguing case right now. Is he hurt? Is it just a funk that he’s in? He really is the whole power forward package. If he’s healthy, I’d grab him before someone else will.

  20. Loonie says:

    The last four Cup winners.

    Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and Pittsburgh.

    What really impresses me the most about those rosters is how they were able to draft and develop guys like Richards, Carter, Stoll, Greene, Thomas, Chara, Seidenberg, Ryder, Wheeler, Horton, Sharp, Ladd, Versteeg, Hossa, Kopecky, Gonchar, Guerin, Kunitz, Orpik and Sykora.

    • Luke says:

      Oh, I see what you did here…

    • Kooch7800 says:

      tricky Loonie

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Ha ha!

      Loonie, assuming we make the playoffs, and supposing we don’t opt for a Cup-quest rental or two, would there be sense in leading with the young players and Ham call-ups, no great expectations, get them to soak up the playoff experience, store it for down the road?

      • Loonie says:

        That’s a really subjective question. In my experience if you have somebody on your team for the playoffs exclusively you want to start the following year with them on your team provided they used it as a learning experience.

        So it could be of benefit for a guy like Tinordi or Kristo and make them much better the following season.

        I think Spezza’s a good example of how it works out well. Silfverberg’s another good one.

        Kreider not so much.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Only Tinordi/Kristo?
          I was wondering about Gal and Gal, Emelin, maybe Leblanc, St Denis, all the kids. Tell em, take this as far as you can, guys. We’re going further next year.

          Alas, can’t recall Spezza breaking in.

          • Loonie says:

            Leblanc needs to get right, St. Denis doesn’t have a long term place with the club and the rest of the kids aren’t ready.

            Kristo might be.

    • B says:

      Orpik, a Pittsburgh 1st round pick and career Penguin.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  21. Dunboyne Mike says:

    And the Moen, Adam Grave(s).

    (phew. can cook the dinner now)

    • Cal says:

      Now you got to put it all together with a link to Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner. Then, you can cook dinner!

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        No Cal! And I cheated, too, left out a whole verse!
        You do it.
        Then forget Jimi and we can be Donnie and Marie or Sonny and Cher or something.
        (But Adam Graves isn’t great, is it?)
        And my kids are hungry and complaining.
        Go on, you know you want to.

        Plus, YOU started it!

  22. habfan53 says:

    Here are a few fun stats.
    Montreal has had 811 players wear the uniform;
    77 Goalies, 221 defencemen and 513 forwards.
    of those 162 defencemen and 409 forwards have at least 1 point.

    Among the goalies Tomas Vokoun has the worst GAA 12.00
    (4 goals in 20 minutes)
    Olivier Michaud has a 0.00 GAA in 18:05 minutes

    Chris Nilan has 907 more penalty minutes than number 2 Shane Corson (2248 vs 1341)

    Tomorrow night will be Alex Emelin’s 100th game

    Carey Price is 9th in all-time wins with 140 1 behind Jose Theodore in 57 less games. He will jump into 7th all time next month passing Bunny Laroque
    Peter Budaj’s next win will be his 10th with Montreal

    Of the current players Andrei Markov is the top scorer all time in 34th place with 390 points, 5 more than Tomas Plekanecs who is next.

  23. frontenac1 says:

    Halpern rehabing?No way! Rehab is for Quitters and Jeff is no Quitter.Saludos!

  24. krob1000 says:

    Ahh the future..the oh so bright future! when our team wil be in contention for tops in the conference and the division…THEN…and ONLY THEN we’ll strike???

    I just don’t get it……we had a bumper crop draft last year, had essentailly two top picks out of nowhere emerge in Diaz/Emelin, Eller a first rounder, Subban may as well have been a top 3 pick, Galchenyuk a top 3, Gallagher playing like a first or second rounder. We still have a productive Markov, Gionta and Pleks,
    The team has health on its side for the most part…

    Wake up people this is the future we all talked about a couple of years ago….we just had our vision clouded by the dark side of the force last year…this is as future as it gets.

    We can absolutely spare a d prosepct and a second rounder if it means a legit addition.

    • Loonie says:

      No friggin kidding. During the days of tanking we pine for a day when the team is ready to compete for a Cup. It shows the next season that it can compete with any of the top teams in the league and the response to that is to avoid improving the team for a run that we wanted during the tanking days.

      I’d rather have Sami Salo for the next two years than Greg Pateryn for the next ten.

    • mdp2011 says:

      100% agree.

    • junyab says:

      Why sell any part of our future to “go for it” this year?!!? Our strength is in our youth, and we’ll only get better each year.

      • Loonie says:

        People have different views on who will be part of the future. You can only have 23 players on your roster. The turnover rate for your personnel at the pro level isn’t dictated completely by the amount of prospects you have in the system.

        The Habs currently have around 40 prospects in their system and an additional 23 players on their NHL roster.

        And around seven draft picks each year, plus the pool of free agents in the NHL.

        Trading from positions of high volume and strength is the idea, not just saying “I’m not trading a prospect because he’s part of the future”.

        • junyab says:

          Take a look at the last 10 cup winning teams, and count how many of them bought a very good rental. Not as many as you would think.

          • Loonie says:

            Why don’t you have a look above at the noteworthy players on teams that won the Cup over the last four years.

            There’s a balance between players that were home grown and players who were acquired from other teams.

            It isn’t like teams win the Cup with 23 drafted players. You can’t keep everybody and it’s good business to use prospects you aren’t going to need to acquire players that your current team does.

    • JUST ME says:

      We do not have much in Hamilton and do not have any spare parts yet . If someone wants Kaberle or Weber maybe but a prospect ? What do you have on hand to replace him ? What are your views long term ?
      We are still years away from being able to gamble and trade away youngsters at this stage of the season if need be. The big team has done much better than expected by everyone so we tend to forget that in the minors there is still lots of work to be done and only time will help.

    • adamkennelly says:

      totally agree…MB needs to seize the opportunity this shortened season and expectation exceeding team has afforded…tons of D prospects, 2nd round picks and even roster players (White, Moen, Gorges, Weber) we can move to improve in areas we are clearly not as strong as we could be.

      Size and scoring Winger, size and toughness up front and on back end.

    • JF says:

      Agree that we could spare a d prospect and a second rounder. My guess is Bergevin is waiting to see how we do against the Pens and Bruins and also perhaps to clarify the status of our injured players. By the end of the week we should know how much longer for Prust and maybe whether Diaz is within sight of skating. I’m guessing Bourque is likely done for the year; or at any rate won’t be completely back to himself until next season.

  25. junyab says:

    Thanks for the line combo update for Morrow…but no line combo update for Halpern?!?! Thought this was a Habs website.

  26. Luke says:

    Dear Restaurants that are also “Micro-Breweries”,

    Most of you do not make good beer. Please stop making beer. Decide if you are a restaurant or brewery. Then do that. Perhaps you should partner with a real brewery and use their stuff exclusively. Just stop making your own.
    Calling it ‘craft’ beer does not give you permission to leave it tasting like sweat.
    Also, a concept called filtration was invented, and improved, in recent years. You may like to apply this marvel of modern science to many of your sweat tasting beers.

    Thanks,

    Almost Everyone who likes beer.

    PS: I understand that there will be exceptions to the rule, but C’mon guys… half of you are making stuff worse than home-brew.

  27. Skeptical says:

    There’s no gloom and doom on here. Some people think that way. The honest one’s know the Habs are a good team and we pretty much know what teams they can beat and which one’s they can’t.

    Sometimes they’ll beat a team they are not suppose to and they’ll lose to a team they shouldn’t lose to. That’s Hockey. but to think this team with what they have right now can win a Stanley cup you haven’t been following the top teams in the league.

    If no trades take place between now and trade deadline. We will be lucky to make it pass the 1st round. Remember playoff Hockey is a new season everything goes and we don’t have everything.

    Bottom line “ROUGH” and “TUMBLE” our small players give it their all. Our so called big players with the exception of a couple are soft. Lots of luck could win us a cup. They make the playoffs. I for one will be more than happy with that …. A cup. I would dance in the street.

    • shiram says:

      “… but to think this team with what they have right now can win a Stanley cup…”
      Well they can, as long as they make the playoffs, which seems quite likely right now.
      Now as to how likely they are to win the Stanley Cup, well that’s up for debate!

    • Loonie says:

      The people who think this team has a chance are out to lunch but the guy who thinks they’d be lucky to get by one of the bubble teams in the first round is right on the money.

      K.

    • junyab says:

      “If no trades take place between now and trade deadline. We will be lucky to make it pass the 1st round. ”

      Really?!!? The Habs are a stronger team than any Eastern team not named the Bruins or Pens.

      What’s with the extreme pessimism in this thread today?!?!

    • Phil C says:

      Haven’t been following the top teams? Montreal IS one of the top teams. What have you been watching?

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Just out to lunch here,
      With fond memories of being written off by all and sundry in 2010, insurmountable objects ahead of us in the Caps and Pens.
      Unlikely, yes. Worth savouring the remote possibility? Oh yeah.
      Now I’ll just have another sandwich.

  28. H.Upmann says:

    if we can beat the Pens tonight, that’ make Shero’s recent moves look questionable

  29. habsmandes says:

    People have got to stop trying to sell the future this year. I don’t believe we are strong enough to win it this year. Face it with Prust out we just don’t have enough punch to go all the way. We would have to bring in someone like Jagr and a younger high level skill/guts player to get even close to the finals. I’m not satisfied with just getting to the level of winning the conference championship.
    Next year the rookies will have a year under their belt, and we can probably sign another impact player to make a real run at it.
    If we make it all the way I’ll be happier than anyone, but I’ve difficulty seeing it.

    • krob1000 says:

      what is the future we are wiating for? A team contending for the top of the conference and/or edivision..then we’ll try and win??? waht is thsi future everyone talks about?

  30. byrneoNL says:

    With Diaz and Bourque most likely gone for the year (lets face it, Diaz isn’t even skating and Bourque is regressing, not progressing) and with Prust still having no imminent return timetable, this team needs to make adjustments. Halpern won’t hurt most 4th lines in the league (including ours) but it doesn’t address our missing power forwards, nor the absence of one of our best D-men. Nor does it address any holes we had *before* any of those guys went down.

    If the prognosis on Diaz and Bourque is “maybe back for playoffs” that’s not something we can sit on. If they’re even back for playoffs, how many games before back in game shape? I don’t know if Clowe is the answer.. I don’t know if Boumeister is an answer.. maybe either one of those guys could help us, tho. We have to do something imo. I think the Pens are gonna wear out the red light tonight, and I fear we’re gonna get steamrolled in boston, and possibly lose someone else to injury.

  31. Mattyleg says:

    Who gets the Joker?
    Putcher money down!

    Only one team per poster, only one poster per team.
    I’ll go 5th.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  32. otter649 says:

    Michel Therrein first trip to Pittsburg since being fired as coach by Pens so do coaches put money on the board ?

  33. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay Dreger just confirms Jussi Jokinen on waivers, so is Daugivins from Ottawa

  34. DorvalTony says:

    Metro was better. Blunden is better. White too. Skeptical.

  35. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I just want a win in Pittsburgh. Go Habs!!!

  36. shiram says:

    Is Jussi Jokinen big enough for people around here to want the Habs to claim him from waivers? He’s still got this year and next at 3 millions.

    • Loonie says:

      He’s on waivers?

      That won’t last long. One year left at $3 million for a guy who can score and is very creative with the puck.

      His shootout value alone is enough to pick him up

      • shiram says:

        According to this guy, yes :

        ‏@tsnscottcullen
        Jussi Jokinen 5 G, 5 A, -7 in 30 GP ($3.0M cap hit through next season) RT @ice_chip Hearing Jokinen, Wallace to go on waivers at noon.

      • Luke says:

        Look at the Ol’ Leafs, they hate the shootout so much that they whine and complain about it being a side show and a skills competition… but they keep playing goons.

        Drop Orr or McLaren… keep one if you reallllllllly have to, and add Jussi. Y’know a guy who may be able to directly help you win one of those 5 games you lost this year.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I would take him, but I doubt he will make it through to the Habs. Then Bergevin would probably have to cut someone loose, or demote someone.

      Habfan17

  37. Hstands4Hockey says:

    What’s the latest on Prust? He was expected to be back by now but I haven’t heard a thing.

    Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
    @Hstands4Hockey

  38. Ian Cobb says:

    Play 4 lines, safe rope-a-dope with the puck on our sticks tonight, stay out of the box and someone glued to Crosby all night, frustrating him!
    And we have a shot of taking two points in their barn!
    Going to be a fun game to watch for sure. We are in need of a positive game again!

  39. mark-ID says:

    No Letang or Malkin tonight, as confirmed by John Lu on twitter.

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  40. billylove says:

    The Pens winning streak ends tonight. It started against us and ends against us.

  41. kempie says:

    So, measuring stick tonight I guess.

  42. christophor says:

    No way the Habs can win this without Blunden, I say.

  43. SteverenO says:

    I wonder who will be playing up front on the PP units tonight.

    Here are the Habs forwards and their PP stats to date :

    Player – PP TOI – PPGscored(team) – Minutes of ice time per goal

    Plekanec – 90 – 17 – 5.3
    Gionta – 92 – 16 – 5.7
    Ryder – 91 – 17 -5.4

    Desharnias: 90 -10 – 9
    Pacioretty: 81- 8 -10

    Gallagher; 60 -3 – 20

    Eller ; 19 – 3 – 6.5
    Galchenyuk: 40 – 4 – 10

    Others:
    Moen, Armstrong, Dumont, Halpern have yet to play any significant time on the PP this year.

    Unfortunately, Therrien will likely go with Gallagher , again, and hope that his Gomez-like productivity on the PowerPlay will magically improve.

    I find it ironic that a coach who is so big on highlighting mistakes and making players accountable for their mistakes can continue to make the same mistake over and over with impunity.

    There was talk about meritocracy this year, I would like to see it in action.
    Take Gallagher OFF the PP for one game, try someone else.
    Eller is the obvious choice, Galchenyuk second, But to be honest Moen, Dumont, Armstrong or Halpern would NOT be a worse choice than Gallagher on the PP right now.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • Loonie says:

      I find it interesting that you have such high regard for a line’s productivity even when an individual doesn’t contribute.

      You’re essentially blaming Gallagher for his powerplay unit not scoring but have recently been attributing the powerplay success of Pacioretty, Plekanec and the defensemen to Gionta and Desharnais.

      You can’t have it both ways Steve, unless of course you’re willing to point to things that Desharnais and Gionta do that Gallagher doesn’t.

      Gionta has accrued a point on 25% of his powerplay unit’s goals. Desharnais is at a slightly better 40%.

      Those two players are #1 and #4 in powerplay ice-time among forwards.

      You’re right about Eller though, he has scored on 100% of his powerplay unit’s points on the powerplay and scores a powerplay point for every six minutes played on the powerplay. As opposed to Desharnais’ one point for every twenty-two minutes played and Gionta’s one for every twenty-two and a half minutes played.

      Gallagher has obviously had less production than those two, but it doesn’t mean they should remain unscathed.

      Edit: Perhaps the following would better illustrate that team pp goals for measured on an individual basis means next to nothing without context.

      Francis Bouillon is on the ice for a powerplay goal every 12.5 minutes. Kaberle in 23 minutes had none. I think it’s still safe to say that Kaberle would be a better option on the powerplay than Bouillon even though the stat you’re using and twisting to suit your opinion would dictate otherwise.

      • SteverenO says:

        The only thing I am doing , Loonie ,is pointing out the facts. It is obvious that Desharnais and Pacioretty were more productive on the power play when they are playing with anyone other than Gallagher.

        Offensively,Gallagher is arguably our most productive and consistent forward all season long ,at EVEN STRENGTH. There can be NO argument that he is the least productive forward on the PP. we can try to analyze why thi sis so, (perhaps he does better in the two-way game at even strength creating turnovers, quick transitions, chasing down loose pucks, etc.) but it realy does not matter what the reason .
        DD and Patches were pretty much equal in productivity with Pleks’ line on the PP before Gallagher was added to the DD line.

        Also I am not trying to “scathe” anyone (other than the coach). We have one line that is effective on the PP and one that is not. Its the coaches job to do something to try and improve. So far he has either not done anything or perhaps even worse, he has not even recognized that there is a problem. In our last game the “ineffective” PP unit played almost twice as many PP minutes as the effective unit. In my opinion it was perhaps the reason why we lost the game.

        I am hoping that he does not make the same mistake tonight.
        There is NO acceptable excuse for continuing to put this line (Desharnais Pacioretty and Gallagher) on the PP.

        The thing you are missing, Loonie, is that Gionta’s lack of contribution (one point for every 22 minutes) has not impacted the teams effectiveness on the PP. Gallaghers’ has.

        I don;t care about who gets the points, If Eller had no points and was simply on the ice for 3 PP goals in 20 minutes, he would still be a better option than Gallagher who has been on the ice for 3 PP goals in 60 minutes even if Gallagher had SCORED all 3 of those goals himself.

        This is a team game. We win ,and lose , as a team. It is the coaches job to pay attention to what is happening on the ice and make adjustments when things are not working.

        The second PP line is NOT working. If nothing is done about it it is cause for concern about the competency of those in charge.

        regards,

        Steve O.

        • Loonie says:

          Steve. You’re saying that Gallagher is bringing his unit down due to his lack of production but make no mention of Desharnais or Gionta bringing their units down from lack of production.

          You realize of course the difference between Gallagher and Desharnais’ production is three points right?

          Hard to argue that Desharnais is an offensive revelation in comparison to the useless Gallagher when the difference is three points. By the way, Gallagher could tally two points in one game to Desharnais’ none and the stats would approximately reflect…..

          Gallagher – 3 powerplay points in 62-64 minutes played.
          Desharnais – 4 powerplay points in 92-94 minutes played.

          But because Desharnais’ been on the ice when his line scored he’s not holding his unit back? What’s he doing when they don’t score? And why is it Gallagher’s fault that the unit has dipped in production since Cole was traded? Perhaps it’s that Desharnais and Pacioretty don’t trust Gallagher like they did Cole and have become easier to read offensively because of it? Maybe this is due to their lack of trust in Gallagher and as such maybe one of them should be removed from the powerplay and replaced with others who are willing to use Gallagher.

          Please. If you’re going to criticize the coach for not addressing a player who’s holding the team back, be fair and do it with Gionta and Desharnais like you are with Gallagher.

          You’re pointing to a stat for one player and saying he’s the reason his unit isn’t scoring. But you’re ignoring the FACT that Desharnais and Gionta crap the bed on the powerplay but get bailed out routinely by Plekanec, Ryder, Subban, Markov and Pacioretty.

    • Luke says:

      Great Numbers.
      Can you do that now with:
      PP-TOI when matched against the top PK unit for each team?
      PP-TOI when against a tired PK unit?
      PP-TOI when starting the PP?
      What about PP-TOI facing top PK unit that have been adjusted to compensate for injuries/Penalties?
      PP-TOI based on ice conditions (early/late in periods, crappy arenas)?

      I’m not saying Gallagher should be locked in, I gather that MT likes to keep his offensive lines in tact for the most part on the PP so he can play a complete unit directly following the PP (haven’t looked into it, just an assupmtion).

      Numbers and stats are fun, but they rarely tell the full story.
      For example, swapping Gallagher for Eller is taking a 9 goal scorer with 12.3 shooting% and replacing him with a 4 goal scorer with a 6.78%.

      • Loonie says:

        Steve is acknowledging that stats don’t tell the whole story for Desharnais and Gionta, but believes they do for Gallagher.

        Edit: Not unlike the moneyball line “if he’s such a good hitter why doesn’t he hit good”

        • Luke says:

          rescinded (It wasn’t bad, just sorta redundant).

        • SteverenO says:

          I don`t want to fight with you, Loonie., I believe you, as I do , want to see the team do better. Data analytics is what I do (albeit normally in a business scenario)

          It is impossible to predict how other line combinations will do. It is possible that Gallagher is replaced by another winger and the unit does just as poorly on the PP. The they can try something else. Right now the preponderance of evidence shows that Gallagher should NOT be on the PP. I would have no problem trying Eller at center instead of Desharnais and leaving Gallagher in place. The numbers suggest that Gallagher is the “weak link” but more important is that the line is not producing on the PP. Putting the same three guys out there over and over again and hoping that it gets better is the definition of insanity.

          Agian I have nothing against Gallagher. I think he is better suited for the PK than the PP but that is only my opinion. If he is not given the chance we will never know if he can be effective at that role. It is an area where we can stand improvement.

          My whole argument is that the coach should not be judged STRICTLY on the teams record. I want to see a coach that makes changes to try and improve areas that need improvement. Some of the changes may help,others may not. But not even addressing the weaknesses is an indication of incompetence.

          regards,

          Steve O.

          • Loonie says:

            I don’t believe you have anything against Gallagher. Therrien seems to be a different story.

            But again, if team powerplay goals for were an indicator of a player suited for the powerplay then why is it that in 23 minutes Kaberle had none and in 50 minutes Bouillon has four.

            Kaberle’s better suited for the powerplay. Not to insult your vocation but there isn’t a stat in the world that could convince someone who knows their hockey that Bouillon is better offensively than Kaberle.

          • SteverenO says:

            You are showing your immaturity, Loonie.

            Comparing Kaberle to Boullion is a “straw man” argument that does not apply to this discussion.

            If Gallagher had only played 23 minutes and the team not yet scored a PP goal , you can argue that as a rookie he should be given a longer look. But at a certain point you have to try someone else.

            It seems that Kaberle, a veteran, has been relegated to the press box, partly BECAUSE he did NOT contribute on the PP.

            Bouillion`s numbers (one PP goal for every 13 minutes of PP time) are NOT good enough for a defenceman. Diaz, Markov, and Subban are at 8 , 7 and 6 minutes per PP goal scored

            Kaberle is another discussion altogether. IF he was in the lineup and the numbers stayed as they are he would quite similar to Gallagher’s.
            Very effective at even strength one goal every 14 minutes at even strength with Kablerle on the ice, and very poor on the PP. I would be making the exact same argument; that they should not continue to play him on the PP.

            The numbers only show what has happened so far. they don`t take into account players history and “perceived” strengths/weaknesses.

            The Canadiens , this year, have been more successful with Boullion on the PowerPlay than with Kaberle. While Bouillion has not performed well we are still more effective than with Gallagher. Kaberle (in a smaller sample size) has been even worse in his limited PP play appearances this year.

            What exactly is your point?

            regards,

            Steve O.

          • Loonie says:

            You were citing a team statistic and measuring the performance of individuals based on it.

            If pointing that out makes me immature I guess our next discussion should take place in a McDonald’s play area.

      • SteverenO says:

        I can not do (don,t have the time or resources) what you ask but perhaps this will help you understand the problem:

        I will take a few player s and compare productivity at even strength situations versus powerplay situations:

        Player name/ minutes of ice time per goal scored team- even strength/ Minutes of ice time per goal scored by team on the PP

        Gallager ES 13 PP 20
        Gionta : ES 25 PP 5.7
        Ryder ; ES 21 PP 5.4

        Pacioretty: ES 16 PP 10
        Desharnais ES 19 PP 9
        Eller; ES 25 PP 6.5
        Galchenyuk: ES 20 PP 10
        Markov ES 26 PP 6.1
        Subban: ES 20 PP 5.9

        Rene Bourque ES 30 PP 6.2

        Do you notice anything?

        There is only one player that has numbers which reflect that he is NOT an effective member of the power play.

        The coaches should, first of all have noticed this, (it is their job, I am not paid to do this) and secondly they should be sitting with Gallagher in the video room and trying to learn why this (his awful PP numbers) is so and how it can be improved.

        Does anyone disagree? Can anyone disagree?

        regards,

        Steve O.

        • Loonie says:

          It’s easy to disagree when you’re attributing a team stat to an individual’s performance and then in turn attributing poor unit performance to one player.

          You’re also nitpicking at an area of the game that this team has been tremendously successful in.

          You’ve pointed to one player instead of the three who should be addressed because if one player is to blame there’s an easy fix for the coach, but the fact is that three players who see a lot of regular powerplay time have been bad on it, and so personnel is the issue, not the coach.

          But you’d prefer to lash out at Therrien as you’ve been doing for over a week instead of looking at the powerplay objectively and seeing that there’s more than one individual holding it back.

          Edit: I’m just going to ask one question about the individuals we’re discussing and then I’ll leave you to trash Therrien some more.

          If Gionta and Desharnais are so good on the powerplay and their units are so successful, why aren’t they contributing offensively on the scoresheet?

          • SteverenO says:

            I have answered your question Loonie., so here it is again.

            it does not matter to me , or to the team who gets the goals and who gets the assists. It only matters that the TEAM scores as often as possible on the PP. There is an expression “if it ain`t broke, don;t fix it”.

            One line including Gionta is doing very well on the PP. No reason to touch that line. The other line is doing poorly. It should be addressed.

            I have given strong evidence to show that there is a problem with Gallaghers effectiveness on the PP. you can argue all you want that its not his fault, and you may be right. The numbers don;t always prove that there is a causal relationship, but in this case they ABSOLUTELY prove that there is some correlation.

            Gallagher stands out as the least effective PP performer. For most players the team is scores at twice the frequency when they are on the ice with man advantage versus even strength. The ONLY exception is Gallagher, In his case we score at HALF the frequency when he is on the ice with man advantage as we do with him on the ice at even strength.

            If you do not think that is significant, there is no point having a discussion.

            In my opinion, you have zero credibility if you cannot even admit that it is significant.

            regards,

            Steve O.

          • Loonie says:

            We have differing views on what strong evidence is.

            You’re saying that Gallagher’s lack of production matters but Desharnais’ doesn’t.

        • Luke says:

          So what you cannot do is support your point with a more accurate data set.

          The points/minute are one thing… call it an elaborate +/- stat. What you lack is what kind of points those are. Like guys who score early in games or guys who score when the team is leading by 3 goals or more.
          Both score goals… but those goals mean different things.

          Re: Even strength productivity. Same thing goes… who is Gallagher playing against at even strength etc etc

          The need to hyper-analyze is odd… especially when the data set has so many variables that should be, but are not being, included when trying to drill down so deeply.

          • SteverenO says:

            I have supported the stats. The Situations do not impact this data set as it ONLY relates to the PowerPlay. I think it is safe to assume that every powerplay has the same objective which is to score a goal.

            On a powerplay their are only two results, success (score a goal) or failure ( don’t score).

            Besides Gallagher, every other forward has shown that they take advantage of the man advantage. That is: the team scores more frequently when they are on the ice with the extra man than whenthey are on at even strength.

            Why is this so hard to accept?

            Is it possible that at some point in his career Gallagher becomes an effective member of the powerplay? Absolutely.

            Is it possible that starting tonight, and cointinuing to the rest of the season Gallagher becomes an an effective member of the powerplay unit? Yes.

            The fact is that so far this season he has not. The choice is to continue
            and as is and hope it improves or try someone else. I think that others deserve a chance. I would also like to see what Gallagher could do on the penalty kill another area that can use improvement.

            Is the purpose of this site strictly to discuss who we should trade for, or are we allowed to highlight areas where the existing team can improve through more effective deployment of available resources?

            Anyone that can honestly say that Gallagher,s continued presence on the powerplay is the most effective use of available resources is either blind, or ignorant.

            regards,

            Steve O.

    • junyab says:

      What I’d like to see are the PP stats when PK hits the net with a shot as opposed to not hitting the net.

  44. Timo says:

    I have been truly disappointed with Leafs-Bruins games this season. There were no fireworks, no one got hurt, no suspensions were handed out. What does it take to hurt Lucic, Horton, Chara or Marchand? (and Ference)

  45. Sportfan says:

    Here’s my lastest blog which is actually hockey related! NHL Trade deadline enjoy!

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/nhl-trade-deadline-nears-will-big-deals-be-made/

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    Suddenly I feel better about tonight and tomorrows games. The negative attitude towards the team is showing itself, Timo is back to being Timo. All I need to see is a patented Boone Reverse Jinx and we are back in business baby!

    Go Habs Go!

  47. lavie says:

    Tonight Price tomorrow Budaj?

  48. habs-fan-84 says:

    Lots of doom and gloom here the last few days and I’m not entirely sure why…

    The boys can take this one tonight. I’m not going to fool myself into thinking we have the top end talent that Pittsburgh has but if we can play as a team, as we’ve done all season we can keep up with any team in the league.

    Patch, Subban and Gionta score tonight. Gionta’s been buzzing the last couple games…somethings gotta give tonight.

  49. Habitforming says:

    I hope the Canadiens scouts at the CGY – STL game were there looking at Chris Stewart and not Iggy

  50. adamkennelly says:

    shortened season makes the cup more up for grabs – why – because no teams have the wear and tear of the full 82 game season. for a smaller team (like Habs for example) – we should be in a better position than normal, having not been subjected to having to play bigger, stronger teams for an additional 34 games….all that being said – I hope MB goes for it, within reason. We have lots of room for upgrades – I hope he makes some moves.

  51. Timo says:

    Not gonna happen tonight. Neither will it happen tomorrow. Queue a 3 game losing streak. Had to happen at some point.

  52. likehoy says:

    just curious, anyone can tell me who are the best players to come out of college hockey in the last few years?

    I can’t think of any top-end NHL players that went through the College System for some reason.

  53. Rainrocket16 says:

    Pens will be loaded up tonight! The question is, do we stand a chance of winning? I think we can beat them but man do we have to be perfect, and that means you too Price. (Not a price basher but he has to be the man tonight!)

    • Loonie says:

      With Fleury at the other end you don’t ever have to be perfect against the Penguins.

      • Rainrocket16 says:

        I feel ya there, but With Crosby, Neal and Malkin now back Price has to be sharp. Our Defense needs to be Sharp and Les Boys need to be disciplined!

      • petefleet says:

        I’d sooner have Price than Fleury any day. I was witness to the WJC in HFX and have never forgiven him. Go Price.

        ******************************************
        “Backup goalie getting the shut out is like your mistress babysitting your kids. Did a great job but still feels wrong.”

        Mutt

        ***Habs Forever***

        • Luke says:

          I’d rather have Price over Fleury too… I’d just prefer to have Crosby & Malkin than Plekanec and Eller…

          • petefleet says:

            Uh…..yeah.

            ******************************************
            “Backup goalie getting the shut out is like your mistress babysitting your kids. Did a great job but still feels wrong.”

            Mutt

            ***Habs Forever***

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Bingo Loonie!

    • mark-ID says:

      Minus Letang and Malkin……the Pens in my mind are still very beatable. One thing Montreal has done well this year, is come out with a very strong effort after losing a game. Hopefully tonight will be no different.

      “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  54. Mattyleg says:

    So I watched some of the Bos-Tor game last night, and they both looked pretty crappy.

    I can’t imagine Boston going into a game against the Hated Habs with the same pants on that they were wearing against the Laffs (loose, baggy, sloppy) but still, neither team looked like anything special. Granted, I didn’t see the whole game, just most of the 3rd and OT.

    Anyone else see the game and get that idea?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • I stopped after the first period they were both that bad!

      Should beat the Bruins again!

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

    • Gerry H says:

      Two things struck me about both Leafs/Bruins games. One was just how incredibly cautious the Bruins have become. The Lemaire Devils had nothing on these guys when it comes to jamming up the neutral zone, dumping and chasing, etc. They aren’t going to score many goals on the breakout/zone-entry. Seems to me that that bodes well for the Habs’ system, which relies on fairly aggressive play by the D in the offensive zone. (The complete opposite of the situation against tonight’s opponent, whom I fear will keep Carey busy if our D pinches as much as usual.)

      The other thing is that the Leafs suck.

    • reddog24 says:

      Cannot believe how Chicken the Bruins are against the Laughs. In these last 2 games Boston did very little hitting, fighting and their usually brave guys Marchant, Campbell, Ludic, Horton etc kept to themselves no running at or after whistle jabbing and punching which Boston is always doing. The Bruins where scared because Toronto has big boys that well fight and stand up to them. Bruins were like Church Mice against Leafs but watch them turn to Sewer Rats against the Habs who they know they can push around and run at as Montreal has no real heavy weights to stand up for our small guys. Even with Dadddy Campbell calling the shots from NHL head office Montreal can beat them with skill, speed and no retaliation. Go Habs Go. By the way I do hate Toronto but have to give them credit these last couple of games.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Are you kidding me?
        Do you think that Boston doesn’t play hard against the Leafs because they are scared?
        That’s utter nonsense.
        They don’t play hard against the Laffs because they don’t care.
        Against the Habs they will play hard because they hate us.

        Hockey players don’t play less hard because they are afraid of getting in fights.

        And we don’t need ‘heavyweights to stand up for our small guys’. As I’ve said a million times before, Prust fighting Thornton is not going to stop Marchand or Ference or McQuiad from taking runs at Subban or Pacioretty.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

  55. Loonie says:

    Re-post from previous thread…..

    There’s been a lot of talk that there won’t be many sellers at the deadline this season due to the compressed schedule.

    I disagree. There may not be a lot of trades but that won’t lower the number of sellers.

    The league’s teams will have around thirteen games remaining on their schedule come deadline day. Teams at the bottom of the standings could at best hope to make up around six to eight points on at best a couple of teams ahead of them in the standings. As it stands today there are in fairness only four teams who are eight points out of a playoff spot. But the dust will settle this weekend and there could be as many as eight teams who are at least eight points out of a playoff spot come Sunday evening.

    And then you have teams like the Sharks who while in a playoff spot have already started to sell. The Islanders who are within striking distance of a playoff spot but have shown no interest in making the playoffs for quite some time. The Hurricanes who are without Cam Ward, the Stars who have started selling already.

    There could be as many as twelve teams selling at this time next week.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Re-reply from previous thread…

      But what about The New NHL Of Parity?

      There is so little separating the teams that selling-off of players isn’t such a given anymore, especially considering the effects of injuries on teams. We finished last in the East last year, and didn’t do any huge selling, and look at us now.

      Most of our underperforming came from injuries (and the lack of a decent coach/GM/team vision etcetc) so I think that we’ll see a few UFAs move, but not a lot of movement otherwise from ‘selling’ teams.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Loonie says:

        Re-re-reply from the previous thread….

        Our team last year was without Markov and Gionta for the large majority of the season and was playing two rookies on defense.

        That situation is not unlike that of the Panthers this season but others like the Coyotes, Flames, Lightning, Flyers and many more aren’t operating in like circumstances.

        I’d be surprised if there were twelve sellers and spoke of that number as a ceiling, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing one or two teams selling. I think the number will be higher.

        Teams like Vancouver and Chicago have a cap crunch next off-season and like the Penguins will probably add pieces for a run. Teams like the Bruins and Red Wings are always adding pieces at the deadline and the logjam in the southeast will probably lead to some moves.

        I don’t think this will be a quiet deadline, and I think the summer will be busier.

  56. petefleet says:

    I really like Halpern when he came to the Habs last time. He’s a steady 4th line centre who can elevate his game when called upon. Very good depth player we should never have let go.
    From the list of trade bait I see splashed all over TSN lately, I don’t see any player who would give the Habs an edge without selling the farm. The salaries for these guys are outrageous for the most part. The one guy they mentioned last night who would be good to have for some extra offense is $7 million…Mike Cammalleri. You know he’s going to light it up in the playoffs with some one but that price is too high.
    Lots of time for MB to find a key player who can help but really, if they can just figure out the PK and get it up to snuff that would help immensely.
    If they can get 2/4 or 3/4 points against Pitt and Bos, they will do fine in the playoffs. I expect a hard fought game from each team.

    ******************************************
    “Backup goalie getting the shut out is like your mistress babysitting your kids. Did a great job but still feels wrong.”

    Mutt

    ***Habs Forever***

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      We could also argue that if we are now able to pick him up on waivers at an NHL-minimum salary contract, we were right to not give him a long-term deal.

      • petefleet says:

        That argument implies that he may not have been worth keeping but alot of players end up on waivers for alot of reasons….not always because they are washed up and their career is over but I get your point.

        ******************************************
        “Backup goalie getting the shut out is like your mistress babysitting your kids. Did a great job but still feels wrong.”

        Mutt

        ***Habs Forever***

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Not saying that he’s washed up, just that in general role players like him who fill a specific niche on a team are cheap to obtain. Peterri Nokelainen is another example of a right-handed faceoff specialist we got for cheap. No LT contract necessary for them, let them walk if they want too much and find other players to fill that role on the waiver wire.

          I noticed that Dave Steckel, who caused much gnashing of teeth on here last October, was traded to Anaheim last week for very little.

          • petefleet says:

            10-4 copy that.

            ******************************************
            “Backup goalie getting the shut out is like your mistress babysitting your kids. Did a great job but still feels wrong.”

            Mutt

            ***Habs Forever***

  57. Say Ash says:

    Stu, that picture of Gallagher and Halpern really doesn’t look good, ahem.

  58. HabsWinn-ipeg says:

    Interesting article by Steven Hindle

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Steven-Hindle/Joining-the-Juggernauts/139/50281

    Talks about how these next two games will give MB an idea of what the team still needs – I would agree.

    Also mentions Price’s road record: 9-1-1; 1.88 GAA; .930 Sv%.

    But he sucks and we should trade him!

    • petefleet says:

      Yes, but alot of stating the obvious. I believe the Habs can hang with big boys and really make a splash in the playoffs. I’m not predicting a cup but if they can take their winning pattern into the playoffs, anything can happen.

      ******************************************
      “Backup goalie getting the shut out is like your mistress babysitting your kids. Did a great job but still feels wrong.”

      Mutt

      ***Habs Forever***

  59. JUST ME says:

    I tend to look as much at the results as i look at the way we play but tonight we need results ,we need a win cause many questions will find answers in my book. It should not be a problem to motivate the troops tonight after the loss against the Sabres.

    Will we let the Pens go with first place and settle ?
    Will we celebrate MT`s return to Pittsburgh ?
    Can we stop the Pens streak ?
    Can Carey step up and win this huge game for us ?

    We sure can skate with the Pens and tonight is a big sign of things to come. We may not have everything that we need to be better than them but we can compete and at least help Marc Bergevin decide what he needs for the puzzle to be completed for the immediate and long term future.

  60. Steeltown Hab says:

    Can’t wait to see how Kristo does in the AHL/NHL this year. Feel like he could step in and at least provide a nice Colby Armstrong upgrade on the 3rd line.

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

    • As in Oct 2013?

      Ref Galchenyuk, he, Prust, Gallagher were averaging 10 minutes/game and were successful.

      Now that Gallagher is up and Armstrong is up, Galchenyuk looks average.

      You could see Eller and Galchenyuk not want to play with Armstrong. I see the Hab’s next move, bringing in someone who can play the third line and then when Prust is back, the new guy moves down and Armstrong moves to the press box.

      Armstrong I am sorry to say looks so off it’s not even funny. He has to play better on the boards, and he has to throw people around more.

      Please play better!

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        If he’s eliminated from NCAA and signed to a deal he could play right now.

        He’s also a good amount older than Galchenyuk, Gallagher so stepping up after 4 yrs of college isn’t a huge long-shot. I agree about armstrong, he looks like he has cinder blocks on his feet while skating.

        ———————————

        Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

      • Cal says:

        Wow. Can’t believe we’re watching the same player in Armstrong. He is doing all the right things, like making sure the puck is deep before changing lines. He controls the puck along the boards in the O zone.
        Instead, all you guys seem to see is rookies who aren’t getting the job done and your solution is more rookies. There’s something to be said for veterans who are doing the job. Unfortunately, it seems a lot of posters here are blind to it.

  61. Luke says:

    So Carlyse benched JVR last night in the 3rd and OT.

    Think there’ll be more or less hand wringing PK-esque drama?

    Reimer thinks shootout wins aren’t ‘distinguished’. Maybe so, but Shoot losses can keep you out of the playoffs. You don’t have to like them, Optimus Rhyme, you just have to win the occassional one.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      The real concern for me is how Mike Kostka and Korbinian Holzer were both healthy scratches/sent back down to the Marlies. According to the amount of coverage I was subjected to on those guys, they are the saviours, the solution for the Leafs at the blue line: smart, big, tough, hard-working. The Leafs had unearthed gems, diamonds in the rough. How is it possible the Mike Kostka was in the AHL until the age of 27, available for any team to sign, without an NHL team snapping him up? Mark Masters was boggled. Mr Kostka picked a fight with noted goon Brendan Gallagher! And won! And what about Mr. Holzer? He’s…. tall. When he cross-checks, he does so at ear level.

      But now Randy Carlisle is ruining them, along with Bobby Orr 2.0 Jake Gardiner.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The Leafs have finally awoken to the fact that talent is more important than goons. Gardiner will be in lineup the rest of season (barring injury) and Liles would have been as well, but did get nicked up, so Kostka came back up.

        However, the defense in Toronto is really showing its warts, Phaneuf cost the team multiple 2 on 1′s and 3 and 2′s last night and had terrible coverage on the game tying goal.

        Their Defence and goaltending will be their undoing I think.

        Gardiner however, is a very nice defenceman.

  62. Un Canadien errant says:

    Good depth addition, for free, right in the nick of time. Welcome Jeff.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.