Shootouts “Priority No. 1″ Price says

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With training camp looming, most Canadiens players skated Thursday morning in Brossard at the team’s practice facility, including goalie Carey Price and forward Scott Gomez. The few absentees included defencemen Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban.

Gomez, who played for the Alaska Aces in the East Coast Hockey League during the lockout, wasn’t one of the players made available to the media.

Price spent time during the labour dispute skating with his former major-junior team, the Tri-City Americans, in Washington state –an experience he called a lot of fun.

“It was rejuvenating to be able to go back to a place where, obviously, I learned a lot,” he said. “I spent four years in Tri-Cities and had really enjoyed my time there.”

Price couldn’t say how many games he’ll be able to play in the 48-game season, noting it was something he and the club would have to judge as they go along.

“If we’re playing every other day we’re going to have to rest,” Price said. “There’s no question about it.”

Price, who is 6-foot-3, weighed in at 209 pounds on Thursday morning.

Knowing the season would be a sprint, Price said: “I just wanted to lean out and try and give myself the best opportunity as I could to play as many games as I can.”

Shootouts are something Price said he wants to improve upon from last year.

“That was something that, obviously, if we would have won more shootouts last year we probably would have been sitting in a playoff spot.

“That’s going to be priority No. 1.”

He wanted to make all his weaknesses his strengths this year, Price said. “So I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Price said he never really thought he was very good at shootouts. “Everybody thinks I was good at shootouts. But you look at that U.S. game, I got scored on five times or something like that,” he said, alluding to the semi-final game at the 2007 World Junior Hockey Championship.

The Canadiens were 5-12 in shootouts last season.

Forward Colby Armstrong also spoke with reporters on Thursday. You can hear what he had to say below:

132 Comments

  1. habs1965 says:

    Easy answer to the Habs shootout trouble,

    Have Price remove the pads and use Gorges Stick, gloves and helmet and he can shoot first

    Can’t be much worse than the others last year!

  2. HNS says:

    If Price won 1/2 of the shoot outs he lost, Habs would have made the playoffs, just saying.

  3. Bill says:

    I was bored, so I went through the stats.

    Through January, Price went 1-6 in shootouts. That obviously created the perception that he was bad in shootouts last year. I would actually point specifically to early December, the first four games of the month, when the Habs went to a shootout three times our of the four games and lost them all. At that point, we were all saying how bad he was in shootouts.

    Over the second half, however, Price went 4-2 in shootouts. We just didn’t really notice because the Habs were basically done.

    FTR, Budaj went 0-4 in shootouts over the season. Price went 5-8 overall. So the Habs went 5-12, not Price, as someone suggested below.

    Again, he wasn’t great in shootouts, but if we’re looking at shootouts, I think the stat to look at is shooting percentage, where the Habs were 26th. That’s yer trouble.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • savethepuck says:

      With regards to SO’s, I hate to be a guy who quotes Burke, but I am sure
      It was him that said deciding a hockey game by SO’s is like deciding a football game by having the QBs throw footballs through tires. That is my opinion on them too.
      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • habaholic68NJ says:

      Bill. As poor as the goaltending was in shootouts last year, our lack of success was compounded by the fact that few of our shooters could actually score and the poor decisions by the Count and his replacement on who to use for shooting.

      *Listen to my instrumental tribute entitled “Habs at War” at http://petertoliasmusic.site11.com/Music_Site/OtherOriginalMusic.html

  4. savethepuck says:

    Anyone else watch That’s Hockey tonight? They said the Sports Illustrated power rankings are out and they have the Oilers ranked 3rd behind the Pens and Rangers, which means they actually think they are the best team in the West. Even Oiler’s DMan Ryan Whitney thought it was funny.
    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • Phil C says:

      Vegas has the Oilers at 40-1 for the Stanley Cup (only 4 teams have worse odds) and 20-1 to win the West. I guess those SI writers are all running out to put money on the Oilers.

      • savethepuck says:

        If you want to know about baseball, football, basketball, or major US college sports, got to SI. If you are looking for expert hockey analysis, don’t go there.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

  5. Mattyleg says:

    Hmm, my second-to-last Thursday night with nothing to do.
    My PS3 is going to get some much-needed rest, methinks.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  6. Bill says:

    Shootouts are not priority number one. I hate shootouts, they’re not hockey, and while they are relevant to points and standings, I would say they are mainly dependent on chance and will even out over the long haul.

    It’s nice of Carey to shoulder the blame there, but the reality is that the Habs have zero problems in goal. If it were all about goaltending … well, the Habs were 11th best in the NHL in goals against per game last year. That’s comfortably within the top 16.

    By contrast they were 19th in goals scored per game. The goalie can’t do much about that.

    I think the Habs’ worst stats last year can be found in their ability to hold a lead. They were the second worst team in the league when leading after the first period, and 3rd worst when leading after two.

    When you consider those numbers in light of their good goaltending and just mediocre offence, it reflects what we all always complained about: the Habs would get a one-goal lead and then batten down the hatches and hold on for dear life. And they failed just about every time.

    So basically, they played like crap all over the ice. Except in net. Thanks anyway Carey.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • HabFab says:

      Collapsing in the 3rd period occasionally could be the fault of the players. As much as the Habs did it, also had to be the fault of the coaching.

    • Mattyleg says:

      That’s fair enough, but he wasn’t great in shootouts.
      It’s an area he can improve in, and is useful especially if we come back from a deficit, in order to steal the full points.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      If I recall correctly, I’m often wrong though, towards the beginning of last season we were on the wrong end of the large majority of shootouts. If we were even .500 in the shootouts the first few months I think a lot of the atmosphere around the team would have been different, mainly because of more wins.

      • savethepuck says:

        I remember the first 6 or 7 games that went to a SO, Prices #’s were not good at all. The thing is, that for the rest of the season, his #’s were great. I remember him only letting in 1 or 0 goals in every SO after those first 6 or 7 games. People who say he was terrible in SO’s last yr are only looking at season stats, the truth is he was not good early in the year but great after that. Btw I agree with what you said.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

        • Bripro says:

          You’re right. I think they lost 7 in a row and 8 of 9.
          He was much better after that.
          He started to play like the cocky player he was in his rookie season.
          If you remember, he was great in shootouts his first year.

    • Viruk42 says:

      While I agree that there are many areas the team can improve other than shootouts, it is an area they do need to improve. The team was 21st in the league in shootout SV% (.618), and 26th in shootout SH% (22.0). If you add SV% and SH%, the league average will be 100%, so that is the minimum a team should aim for. We hit 83.8%, which simply isn’t good enough. Indeed, only Carolina (74%) and Calgary (82.8%) were worse than us.

      Obviously this is not entirely Carey’s fault, because our shooters were 5th worst in the league and his .650 SV% was higher than our overall. But we lost 12 shootouts, and thus 12 points, and his .650 is still below the league average of ~.661. Carey is an elite goalie, so one should expect him to be above average there.

      So all praise upon Carey, he deserved it for his preformances last year. But the one area he can improve is the shootout, so I’m glad he’s working on it.

      • Bill says:

        I doubt the difference between Price’s shootout SV% and the league average is statistically significant, but I’ll accept your point that he’s not an average goalie and should be judged by a higher standard.

        That said, we need to accept it, because Price is not the kind of goalie who is going to excel in shootouts. He’s a technique guy, not a reflex guy. He is probably the best in the NHL at reading a play and knowing where to place himself, but he’s not great in the scramble. Just average, I’d say. This is why he lets in some goals on deflections or broken plays that a reflex goalie might stop. And I believe it’s also why he’s not great in shootouts, where you have to react fast to the very tricky moves of the league’s best shooters.

        The best goalies in shootouts are reflex guys, like a Marc Andre Fleury. I will take Price over Fleury though. Unless the Pens want to trade Malkin and Fleury for Pleks and Price.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I think the forwards need to work on their shootout moves. Seemed like the only guys who could deke were Eller and Desharnais. The rest could only pray and shoot: their lack of stickhandling skills was painful to watch.

    • neumann103 says:

      I agree that shootouts are a sad way to end a game. I also hate the extra “loser point” added to the portion of games. But it is a skill that can be practiced and given the outsized impact it can have on the season, it should be.

      It is unfortunate to have a game determined by a skills competition that is not representative of the game. But it is not random.

      “Et le but!”

  7. HabsFanMTL says:

    is it just me or does next saturday’s start not seem soon enuf? i feel like a junkie ……i need my habs fix man!

    • savethepuck says:

      Just reordered my RDSHD subscription today, l’m ready to go. Even looking forward to the 1 or 2 preseason games they may have. Rosters won’t be as watered down as the last few yrs with only close to 30 players in most camps.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • HabsFanMTL says:

        i believe there will not be any pre-season games……only training camps

        • savethepuck says:

          Heard rumors of maybe 1 or 2, the owners need the extra revenue. If there are any we should know as soon as the CBA is ratified because the arrangements have probably already been made.

          “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
          Carey Price

  8. jols101 says:

    Bobby Mac just did his preview on the Habs and when discussing Subban he implied that contract negotiations might take a while. Not sure if he knows something the rest of us don’t but he usually does.

  9. jols101 says:

    Nail Yakapov looks like a happy young man in Edmonton.
    I can’t get an accurate read on this kid for the life of me…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Bourque certainly has quite a set of Trapezoids. Guy should be a physical force on the ice. I hope he can bounce back and more importantly feel at home here in Montreal and play to his potential.

      • HabsFanMTL says:

        i believe with the addition of prust and armstrong and bouillon…..that Bourque will start to show his physical side knowing he will be backed up. I had a feeling he was insecure about that last year

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          A lot of players were insecure about that over the past few seasons. But according to a good chunk of the posters here, that doesn’t factor into winning hockey games.

          Those people have quieted right down lately though? I wonder if it’s because the GM and Coach mentioned that toughness was one of the biggest things lacking on the team and it must be corrected?

          • Bill says:

            I haven’t quieted down. And I still think fighting doesn’t translate into winning hockey games.

            I will admit that it is certainly annoying to watch the Habs get pushed around after whistles. I will agree that it will be gratifying to watch Prust reorganize some goon’s nose the next time that happens. I will be the first to stand and applaud if the Habs ever have somebody who can and does put Lucik or Chara on the DL.

            But they’re not going to win any more hockey games because of it.

            As for toughness in general … I believe pro hockey is the most physically demanding and dangerous of pro sports. Nobody ever made it to the NHL without being a hell of a lot tougher than you or me.

            Full Breezer 4 Life

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            @ Bill – I can’t get into that argument again. I was about to start hammering away at the keyboard but didn’t want to beat a dead horse.

            I’ll wait until we see something in a game this season to debate, my good man. :-).

            Enjoy the season!

          • Bill says:

            @ Hobie: Oh, you know it will come up again, haha!

            Like I said, I’m not opposed to seeing someone on the Habs get a little vengeance. Everybody likes it, deep down. We just shouldn’t.

            Enjoy the season yourself! Maybe the Habs will surprise us.

            Full Breezer 4 Life

        • Phil C says:

          Getting suspended probably messed with his head as well, as he may have been more tentative to play physically. But his biggest problem was he didn’t move his feet and did not skate hard enough. If that can be attributed to the injury, then maybe there is a chance he can have a better season.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Bourque does look ripped!

      • Bripro says:

        I think Bourque’s key comment came right at the end.
        “We’re gonna surprise some people.”
        That’s key. That shows a willingness to show up.
        That’s the first time I’ve heard a positive answer from him, and it’s a good one.

  10. frontenac1 says:

    I”m Still confused with the Coors Saltpeter Beer. Doesn”t that stuff do strange things to your Man Unit?

  11. 24 Cups says:

    I quickly went through the other teams’ rosters trying to find a contract equivalent for Subban in terms of ability, age and upside. Best comparisons seem to be Carlson in Washington, Hedman in Tampa or maybe Fowler in Anaheim (but he’s two years younger). All three came in at 4M.

    The Myers contract is a gross overpayment and Subban isn’t close to being in Doughty’s class.

    4M for two years seems about right to me. Gives Subban time to build his profile while giving the Habs time to clear out cap space and truly evaluate Subban’s real worth. Should be a win-win situation for both parties involved.

    • punkster says:

      You, sir, are a s*** disturber.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • savethepuck says:

      I like the 4 mil for 2 yrs. It depends how good a salesman Bergevin is, it is up to him to relay thru his agent that he will get his payday after the 2013-2014 if he continues to improve as did Price and others. The 64.3 mil cap is a problem next year, but if HRR is as hoped in 2013-14, there will be lots of cap room for a lucrative salary. He will only be getting about 59 percent of this yrs salary anyway based on a 48 game schedule.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • Phil C says:

      Erik Johnson is another good comparable at $3.7M/yr.

    • twilighthours says:

      I think subban is quite close to being in doughtys class.

      • 24 Cups says:

        I guy who I think is getting close to being in Doughty’s class is Doughty. Maybe another case of too much, too soon.

        I love Subban. He’s the number two man on the Habs behind Price. Not right this second, but he will be. A building block in the making. It was a tough gig having to step in for Markov right out of the gate – two years running to boot. He’s a bit too big for his skates right now and pisses people off. That can be a good and bad thing as I worry a bit about the headhunters, especially the assholes in Boston and Philly. I also worry that Subban’s skating style can make his susceptible to open ice hits, whether they be clean or dirty.

        PK, take the two year deal, refine your craft, learn that sometimes less can be more (both on the ice and verbally) and get prepared to truly shine as the fans of Montreal get ready to embrace you for your actions, not your words or promise. Greatness awaits you if you just trust the pathway that is before you.

  12. savethepuck says:

    Maybe one of the hockey encyclopedias on here could answer a question for me. I was confused during the WJHC when TSN announcers several times said Galchenyuk had the choice to play for either Russia or the USA and he chose the USA. The problem is that everything I’ve read says he has US and Belarusian nationality. Do the Belarusian jrs play for the Russians at the WJHC or do they have their own jr team that I assumed would of played in the B pool this year? Belarus has their own team at the Worlds and the Olympics.
    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • HabFab says:

      Mother was Russian and a large number of Russians or part Russians lived in all the Former SU republics, hence a lot of post SU problems. So his father may actually be of some Russian nationality also. And like Israel with all Jews having automatic right of citizenship, Russia has the same policy towards ethnic Russians.

      • savethepuck says:

        Thank you, but wouldn’t that mean that a top Belarusian player would have the option of playing for Russia instead of Belarus at the Olympics where you would think he would have a better chance of winning a gold medal.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

        • savethepuck says:

          Forget what I said here, I think the main reason was his mother was or is Russian.

          “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
          Carey Price

        • HabFab says:

          Only if he had already switched to Russian citizenship.
          Andropov and Perezhogin, both born in Kazakhstan claim Russian citizenship and have played for Russia.

    • RTC says:

      Belarus has it’s own team. Galchenyuk’s father was born in Belarus. His mother was born in Russia. Therefore, he was eligible to play for Russia, Belarus or the US (where he was born) on international stage.

  13. HabsFanMTL says:

    having MT back is certainly a refreshing change from poker face “anti fighting” JM . JM had no emotion whatsoever. Yeah sure he won games but certainly questionable line changes not to mention all those too many men penalties under his watch. Welcome back MT!! can’t wait to see u charge these guys up and make them play to thier full potential and get every ounce of talent out of each and every player! woooohoooo game on !!!

  14. 69HABS says:

    Don’t beat yourself up Carey. Your players couldn’t score in the shootouts …..

    • habsnyc says:

      If the team won every shootout, they would still have missed the playoffs by a mile. Carey is hiding the fact that he was equally poor in regulation as he was in the shootout. Teams do not finish last because of shootout losses. Montreal finished last because 71% of the time they were not ahead after 60 minutes.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  15. Hobie Hansen says:

    Pierre Lebrun on Melnick in the afternoon is projecting the Habs to make make the playoffs.

    Also stating that he admires Therrien and thinks he’s a great coach for whipping the Penquins into shape and getting them within two wins of the Stanley Cup.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      But I have read here that MT has been an abject failure in the NHL.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        People on this site, many of them, have their own little rosy opinion of how exactly things are and should be.

        So when you have a guy like Therrien who’s cocky, outspoken and wears his emotions on his sleeve, people start insulting him. You’ll rarely hear someone criticize him on a coaching decision or anything relating to hockey.

        • Ozmodiar says:

          “You’ll rarely hear someone criticize him on a coaching decision or anything relating to hockey.”

          Can we revisit this quote 10 days from now? ;)

          • HabinBurlington says:

            In defence of Hobie, seems to me most of the criticism typically put towards MT has been around his handling of his own emotions and his personality towards the players.

            Seems to me the X’s and O’s of his coaching have been above average.

            But you do as usual bring up and excellent question.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            Yeah, you’re both right. Current criticisms are general and vague.

            …but, MT is about to go under the HiO microscope. :)

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I’m a bit biased because I’ve always liked players and coaches who apply the “Damn the torpedoes” philosophy.

            I agree it doesn’t apply to the GM position as Mr. Burke found out yesterday. But on the ice, behind the bench and in the dressing room – the more exuberance and emotion the better!

    • habsnyc says:

      I respect Lebrun’s opinion. He knows the other teams in the conference better than I do. However, it would take dramatic improvement in every phase of the game for the to go from last place to above average with essentially the same team. If goaltending carries the team or if Markov wins the Norris, they will make the playoffs.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        He mainly said that Price will have a better season and Markov and Gionta will be back. He also stated that they massively underachieved due to all the chaos surrounding the team.

  16. Timo says:

    So if Galchenyuk plays 5 or whatever games… who do they sit?
    You know it can’t be Scotty.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      they’ll sit whoever’s hurt, so probably Armstrong.

      • Timo says:

        yeah, but they are not going to keep him around just waiting for someone else to go down… i thought if they wanted to give him a shot, put him in for 5 games in a row and then either keep him or send him down.

        Or just send him down. I doubt they will be shuttling him back and forth throughout the season.

      • Habilis says:

        I know I might be alone on this island, but if he does manage to stay healthy, I have a gut feeling that Armstrong is going to have a suprisingly good year. The guy has to be motivated, knowing he’ll have 48 games or less to earn another NHL contract. Add the chip on his shoulder from being bought out by the Leafs, as well as Therrien having familiarity with him and I feel like he is primed for success.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          There are so many “what ifs” on this team. Our season comes down to how many “what ifs” fall in the right direction.

          If that makes any sense?

          • Habilis says:

            It does make sense, but isn’t that true of most teams?

            Pittsburgh will be good if MAF can regain his form and if Crosby is healthy and if they can effectively replace Jordan Staal’s minutes.

            Vancouver will be good if the Sedins stay healthy, if they get can replace Kessler’s minutes, if they get an impact player for Luongo.

            Ottawa will be good if Karlsson stays red hot, if Alfredsson has some gas left in the tank, if Craig Anderson returns to form.

            Toronto will be good if… I got nothing.

    • jols101 says:

      What happens if he plays all 48 games. Oh Boy someone will have to put on their thinking caps. I’m sure they can figure it out.

  17. HabFab says:

    Chris Kuc ‏@ChrisKuc – Fun fact from source: #Blackhawks actually added 250 names to their season ticket waiting list during the NHL lockout.

    Bet the Canadian clubs all did the same…
    It was mentioned earlier that out of over 100,000 season ticket holders in Canada, only 200 cancelled during the lock out.

  18. geo_habsgo says:

    I don’t know why but I am feeling optimistic about Gomez. Not that he was stellar in the ECHL but he was just over a PPG. For Gomez it was never a question of ability because he is a good hockey player, it is a question of confidence. If he has regained his mojo he will be a solid player again.

    • Shadows says:

      I’d love to see him have a successful season. I know his salary is huge and all that, yet at the same time, it’s disheartening to hear the trash talk, and even more disheartening for Gomez himself because he must not feel super awesome about having a bad season. (maybe he could care less idk).

      I know.. I know.. money justifies any behavior towards human beings…

      I’ll be cheering for him

    • jols101 says:

      If they picked Galchenyuk I would have been bummed out but if we would have taken him I would have been even more upset. If not Gally, I was hoping Grigorenko. We really needed a big, elite #1 center in our prospect pool.

      • Steven says:

        But we did take Galchenyuk. Do you mean Grigorenko?

        • jols101 says:

          No, I meant if Columbus took Galchenyuk then I was hoping we would take Grigorenko and not Murray. Sorry for the confusion. lol

          • piper says:

            I like Grigorenko too but he’d be too much of a risk to leave for the KHL IMO.

          • Steven says:

            Oooooh, I see it now.

            Yeah, I personally was not fond of the idea of drafting another defenseman, however talented. I’m glad we got who we did. My second choice would have also been Grigorenko at the time, though he still seems like an unsure pick to date.

    • Habilis says:

      I saw that and thought the same thing. The hits just keep on coming for Columbus though. Within 8 months they have finished last in the NHL, lost the first pick to Edmonton, traded the face of their franchise in return for spare parts and lost their top pick for the upcoming season.

      At least the 12 remaining fans will only have to sit through 48 games before the next draft lotto.

  19. Ron says:

    Renaud Lavoie tweeted that Meehan and MB had contract (PK) talks today and plan on further talks.

  20. BJ says:

    AK suspended for two games in the KHL for laying out a player that needed to be carried off on a stretcher (including a 1 game suspension by the team for misconduct). He may play himself out of the KHL as well.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      That man’s a beast plus he’s got incredible hands. A star in the making!

    • rhino514 says:

      Strange….AK was never a dirty player with the habs. I think that AK is one of those guys who needs to be in a healthy environment and then he´s ok.
      I think sometimes people are overly critical of the Mtl organization. There are a lot of “unseen” things that Mtl does well. They do a good job of providing that type of helathy environment. Also the team does not put up or acquire “brats” or jerks.
      Another thing, which is alot more subtle, that the organisation does well is that they never put all their eggs in one basket. Whatever happens in the NHL as far as changes in the CBA, rule changes, draft positioning, it seems that we are never “shafted” and always seem to benefit as much or more than we are penalized.
      Look at the contracts of Gomez, and, to a lesser extent, Kaberle. The buyout option somewhat mitigates the damage those contracts could have done. In the end, the habs end up shafted in three of the five years on Gomez contract. Sounds bad, but remember the club never offers long term contracts and has avoided the truly disastrous situations of Bryzgalov, Redden, Luongo, and others. Gainey was also very smart to let Komi and Kovalev go, which no one ever talks about. Heck, even the Bourque trade, which is seen as the only real boo-boo aside from Gomez, could still work out; don´t forget we saved 2,2 million in cap space on that deal. I like that the organization is able to adapt to changes in the game fairly rapidly. For those who are always going on about more size and grit, you cannot complain about the off-season changes the past summer.
      Even when, by our standards, we have questionable management in place, we still makes many good moves compared to most of the other big market clubs. Look at Toronto and you´ll see what I mean.
      This to me is one of the reasons that the team is a playoff team, or very close to it, most years. I know many on here will disagree, but, realistically, with thirty teams out there and an absurd amount of mechanisms in place to ensure parity, , one´s goal can´t be to win the Stanley Cup every year. Being competitive and making the playoffs is about all one can ask for, and the club has done a good job with that since the Gainey era. Many on here criticize him, but the culture of expecting to win, which has remained with most of the players currently on the team, started with him. Last season is a complete aberration, just like New Jersey had an aberration two seasons ago.
      You could argue that Detroit and New Jersey are consistently more competitive with more success in the playoffs, but that´s two out of thirty teams.
      Also, no one really understands the inherent pressures of playing in Montreal; as many pluses as we have going for us (which I think outweigh the minuses), we do occasionally lose some players who can´t cope with the environment.

  21. habsnyc says:

    The trick is to win games in regulation. Last season, their opponent got at least one point 71% of the time. Montreal won 29% of its games in regulation. That is the numer on which to focus.

    Montreal lost 16 games in overtime/shootout last season. The league average is 8 losses. If Montreal had been average, they would have 8 more points which would still leave them well short of the playoffs. It would have taken a 24-1 in overtime/shootout for them to have made the playoffs.

    Last season, while Montreal finished last in their conference, they had a .500 record against the Western Conference. They have their work cut out for them with an unbalanced schedule.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • nunacanadien says:

      The weakness the habs have shown time and again is being able to play all three periods.

      We have a great first line, but we struggle because of the rest of the team, we just don’t have scorers. We rely on 3 other lines who are so small even the Bulldogs could run them over on a good day.

      Montreal needs to win the 2nd and 3 periods. Someone needs to remind Price as well that winning in the first period does not mean you win the game. You have to win all three periods and keep the lead.

      Our defense is so small it is easy for even Gomez to knock Gorges over accidently.

    • New says:

      There you go. When you leave regulation tied you give the other guys a point. You can’t do that. Playing not to lose is for losers.

      • wjc says:

        New, is it possible to play to win and still end up tied. Do you realize that the other team left a point on the table as well.

        Playing to win and still losing is called “life”.

        wjc

  22. Ron says:

    Brenda, good article and looking forward to see more before the season starts. One question if you read this, in the article you mention Gomez wasn’t one of the players made available to the media. Since there are no coaches or management at these skates yet, who would possibly not make him available to you ? Is this Scotts own choice to not give an interview ? Hope not.

    • wjc says:

      Why would he grant an interview, he is already written off, before the season starts by some.

      What is there left to say….it has all been speculated on and that he is finished by most accounts on here.

      He will say “I will play as hard as I can and let the cards fall where they may. Now take your pound of flesh and leave me be”.

      wjc

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I agree with you wjc. Nothing he can say will help his cause, it is all about how he plays and how MT chooses to use Mr. Gomez.

        • Ron says:

          Well Burly glad you and wjc finally there agree on something. All I wanted to know was why no interview was able to be done and it was Brenda I put the question to not either of you very wise gents. If he was asked and he refused then it would give us a heads up on his attitude to start season. Brenda could have answered that not either of you.

  23. gumper says:

    Gumper bin gone long time. Gumper glad hockey back. Gumper like the cut of Armstrong’s gib.

  24. Habilis says:

    “Dave Stubbs‏@Dave_Stubbs via colleague @JFChaumont: Returning Andrei Markov asked where he sees #Habs this year: “In Montreal. We play at the Bell Centre.””

    The lighter side of Andrei? Or just lost in translation?

    Either way, that’s pretty funny. Stubbs, you rock.

  25. Mattyleg says:

    First of all, I’d like to say that we need to win shootouts if we’re going to succeed as a cusp team.

    Is that ‘s’ intentional, or was it a slip of the digit?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—


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