Thank you, Santa

You too, Andrei Kostitsyn

And the birthday boy, Scott Gomez.

A HUGE win.


  1. Exit716 says:

    “I don’t know anything. I never did know anything, but now I know, that I don’t know…all on a Christmas Morning…”

    Alastair Sim as Scrooge..

  2. Robert L says:

    The problem is not JM. He just wants his player to perform. If it becomes an authority problem, that’s the player’s fault. Mickelson, I don’t know if that fits, he didn’t play a team sport

  3. Chris says:

    I watched Subban a fair number of times in the OHL and this was always my complaint:  he relies far too heavily on his speed (which is not the same advantage that it was in the OHL as NHL players are all significantly faster than junior players) to make up for his poor positioning and questionable judgement.

    People don’t realize it, but Subban remains a diamond in the rough…he has a lot of potential, but he needs to be coached a lot.  Everyone likes to point to Doughty in Los Angeles…it is not a fair comparison, as Doughty was a much more defensively responsible player all through junior than Subban was.  There really is no comparison on that side of the puck. 

    Subban will be good, but he needs to learn to pick his spots and to play within the team’s framework.  Any time a player goes “rogue” on the gameplan, you are in for some trouble.  You can get away with it sometimes when you produce at an elite level and/or have earned that leeway as a veteran.  Subban has neither of those “Get out of jail free!” cards yet.

  4. Yeats says:

    Yep, and Paul Maurice is no Shemp.

  5. showey47 says:

    Very true. This game is huge since i feel only carolina has a reasonable chance at knocking out a team already in the top 8.

  6. JIMVINNY says:

    Darche gets mugged, no call.  Thanks, Chris Lee.

  7. Yeats says:

    Tortorella picks anyone but Jokinen in the final game last year and we’re in the finals against the Hawks!

  8. Yeats says:

    He’s a hell of a long way from his Conn.

  9. Yeats says:

    The key is to stay ahead of the Bruins. Fail to do that and they are on the bubble.

  10. Yeats says:

    “The greater the odds, the greater the glory!” George Armstrong Custer

  11. Robert L says:

    If you think everything you’ve done is right, it probably is. Sometimes it just takes a couple of logouts to pop back up. I once had the same thing happen. It took a day.

  12. SPATS says:

    Don’t forget JM’s ego too. Old school, out of touch with today’s youth. They are each others nemesis.

    PK reminds me of Phil Mickelson early in his career. Explosive, charismatic, and a fan favorite because of his gambling style. Fans like PK for the same reasons, but hockey is a team sport. No “I” in team but there is and “m” and and “e”

    As we all know, Phil eventually turned it around and enjoyed success by playing percentages. PK will eventually do the same, but I doubt he and JM will work it out before one of them is gone.


  13. Born in a Bad Year says:

    Barring big time injuries, we don’t really need to be worrying what our third slotted goalie is doing, unlike the Lightning who really need someone who can stop a puck.

  14. Yeats says:

    “Habs better get their shit together tonight!”  Jacob Marley

  15. showey47 says:

    Not crazy about the lineup. Would have liked to see pyatt and picard sitting. But if gorges does really have a bad knee(which would explain his not so great performance against the stars). Then why is he playing? Give his spot to subban so gorges can get healthy. Thats why you carry 7 dmen on a road trip.

  16. Jbird says:

    Can Larry Smith please become the laughing stock he should be.  That video should help. 

    I predict the Habs go into X Mas in third.

  17. keepthefaith says:

    Who cares where a 26 year old who was never gonna start for our team is playing?

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    So we slipped a little as we progress to the cup, so what!. It just makes winning that much sweeter.

    are a better than last year at this time by far, and yes we have a lot
    of work to do before we get there. Just a couple of pieces to put
    together before we get to the next level. But they are keeping me
    interested and entertained this year, unlike years before Gainey &

    Lets just see if they can get it together enough tonight.

    to work on.  face offs, tape to tape passing, (penalty) discipline in
    the offensive end, and our power play, puck control. And skate like
    hell. !!

  19. C3P1 says:

    former hab farmhand cedrick desjardins makes his NHL debut tonight in New York. and karri rammo is…where? KHL?


    Avon Old Farms: 2007, 2008 & 2010 New England Division I Hockey Champions – #5

  20. Josh says:

    The Habs will remain in 3rd place tonight no matter what happens tonight as the Habs will still have more wins.

  21. Harani says:

    Really don’t feel it for tonight…hopefully it turns out to be a good game!

    “It must be love!”

  22. the Maritimer says:

    An old saying: water seeks it’s own level.

  23. JVF says:

    Agreed. With the way we’re playing, that ain’t so bad!

  24. MICP says:

    Were an 8th seed team, so whats wrong with being there?

  25. Robert L says:

    Which might be exactly why he is being paired with Picard, so that what he does wrong is exposed, as much as posible to himself, in a third D-pairing that plays less against the top 2 opposing lines.

    Everyone agrees that Subban is a marvelous player package, but without the head to go with it, he’s costing the Habs more goals than he’s creating. Folks think Martin is ruining him, but they might be saving him from ruin.

    Ian’s from Belleville, and has seen P.K. play longer than any of us. I think he’d agree that P.K. wants to be the difference maker a little too often for his own good.

    On the hockey club, there are also vets trying to settle P.K. down, as per this Francois Gagnon article. Everyone wants him to play smarter hockey.

    There are also ego concerns.  I’ll relate an old story from the 1990’s to explain a little bit how the vets feel now.

    It was the 1998-99 season, and enforcer Dave Morisette had been called up. He appeared in a couple of games when the Canadiens had a public practice for fans. Because Morisette had pounded some skull skillfully well, he quickly became a fan favorite. Popular, he got the loudest cheers, his name was called out by fans, and after games the media rushed for his quotes. This didn’t stop when Morisette continued to drop the gloves at badly chosen times, costing his team some games. Looking on in disgust was Mark Recchi, then the leading scorer of the team, who was totally irked by the scene. Veterans and established stars get a bit peeved when a player gets underseved spotlight time, disproportionate to their real contribution to the team.

    Players on the Canadiens feel this is what is going on with Subban at the moment… per the Gagnon article.


  26. Castor says:

    Maybe this slump is a good thing. I think, and it’s just a theory, that the Habs got a little full of themselves with the way they started the season. It seemed like they dropped the intensity when playing the ‘weaker’ teams. As if the weaker teams didn’t deserve a full effort. And it has caught up with the Habs.

    Maybe the slump will teach them that Elite teams NEVER phone it in. Ever.


    Or not.

  27. JVF says:

    You’re (H)absolutely right, it should be said before the game — Happy Holidays everyone!

  28. keepthefaith says:

    And i also agree with most of your points, however a D man is only made better or worse by his partner. And having a partner that is not there to bail you out when you are an offensive minded defenseman cant help. All i am saying is Picard is getting a free pass in all of this. I just cant help to think that Subban would be a better player when paired with another defenseman that we have. 

  29. JasonM says:

    It’s the holiday season.. thus I shall refrain in what I really feel about these absurd changes JM has been doing as of late.

    I’ll not be in to watch the game tonight (Carolina AND Chris Lee… I smell boring screwjob) and have plans.


    I do however wish all of you to have a great holiday and to be careful out on the road!

  30. likehoy says:

    on the contrary to what you think, I believe the Habs handle their youth well, the youth don’t handle the habs well.

    as you mentioned, all these young players blossom or do well in other situations, but who developed them and taught them everything they knew up until that point? the habs did.

    If the players don’t want to apply it while playing for the habs, it’s their perogative

    I think getting traded wakes the player up thinking “wow this organization pampered me, I took things for granted and now if I don’t smarten up, I’ll be playing in europe”

    – Gomez is holding down the suck button

  31. Ian Cobb says:

    Great points Robert, and I am a huge PK fan. But you are correct my friend.!

  32. Robert L says:

    I think you’re going down the wrong track laying Subban’s lapses in responsibility on Picard. A player first task is to take care of his own duties. Picard isn’t great, but he doesn’t overeach. Subban does what he chooses regardless of where everyone else is positioned. You’re right that a vet would be of help to P.K., but he’s been there and played irresponsibly as well.

    Going all the way back to his draft year in Belleville, the knock on Subban has always been that he does not know when to pick his spots. He tries too hard to make opportunities happen, rather than wait for them. Now that he’s in a league with the big boys, his faults are being picked apart by savvy players who know he can’t help himself. Like Boone says, often P.K. is exciting for all the wrong reasons.

  33. JVF says:

    It’s just my two cents worth, but I must say I’m getting a little tired of the way the Habs handle their young players. Sitting Subban Weber, Pouliot, plus Pacioretty & Kostytsin last year, isn’t helping them. I don’t care if this is the way you did things in the NHL 25 years ago, it shouldn’t be that way now.

    Do we raise kids today the same way we did a generation ago?


    The kids nowadays come into the league and they feel entitled. They’re brash, skillful, already earning more than their parents ever dreamed of (in most cases, anyway) and they believe they’re better than anything or anyone who’s ever come before them.

    That’s just the way they are.

    Our society makes ’em like that. It gives PK Subban, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paarjavie 800,000 $ to play hockey, pumps millions more into Hannah Montana & Justin Bieber’s bank accounts, consecrates anorexic twins who happen to have a TV show, anoints 13 year-old actors and actresses, turns them into royalty and makes them into stars they’re not. Yet.

    Good? Bad? Who knows?

    Certainly not the healthiest of notions, perhaps, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles in today’s recipe for success. In French, we say that our society presently suffers from “jeunisme” — The cult of youth.

    That the way it is right now, in the early part of the twenty-first century. Period.

    But not in the Habs’ organization.


    In the Habs’ organization, we’re still in the 1950’s.

    While the Bruins & the Oilers let the Tylers (Séguin & Hall) have a regular turn on the ice to shine, while the Sharks rely on the shifty Logan Couture and the Sabres on the rangy Tyler Myers (granted, mostly last year) while the Blues have sturdy David Perron and the Flyers, lightning Giroux & steady Boborovsky, while the Hurricanes let Jeff Skinner skate away and the Ducks enjoy the progress of Cam Fowler, while the Thrashers witness the emergence of Evander Kane and the Bruins ride Brad Marchand’s spunk, we in Montreal prefer to sit our players.

    To teach them a little humility.

    For you see, in Montréal, we like our young ones to be quiet and well-behaved before they’re allowed to shine.

    If they can then remember how to afterwards, that is.

    It must be that Roman-Catholic thing in French-Canadian society that influences the club, I don’t know…

    As far back as I can remember, though, it’s always been like that — Lemaire, Cournoyer, Houle and Tardif had to pay their dues. Guy Lafleur’s first year was “horrible.” So was Larry Robinson’s. Steve Shutt barely played. John Leclair was shafted. Ron Hainsey never got to play. Neither did Stéphane Robidas and François Beauchemin. Sergei Kostytsin was labeled a troublemaker (does Barry Trotz look like a guy you can make fun of? Yet, he’s handling little Sergei…) Grabowski was an ***hole. Latendresse was lazy. Desharnais’ too small.

    And on and on and on…

    And it’s never the Habs’ fault, always the players.

    Never does this organization consider it could maybe use a little psychology with its players… a little positivism, a little guidance, a whole lotta love…

    Their point is always brought across with the use of force — Hell, if I had parents or an organization that behaved like that, I’d want to split too.

    Like JC Tremblay did. Or Marc Tardif. Or Mike Komisarek. Or Grabowski. Or SK74. Or Latendresse.

    And I’m not sure I’d want to play here at all, like Lecavalier, Saint-Louis, Brière, Luongo, Lemieux et al.

    All Quebecers who grew up idolizing the Habs but ultimately, never wanted to play here…

    Question: Do you think even Bobby Orr or Gretzky or Lemieux or Denis Savard would have played here in their rookie years half as much, if at all, as they did with their respective clubs?

    A good stint in Sherbrooke, or Nova Scotia, or Hamilton, or wherever our god-forsaken AHL club was at the time they started out their careers would have probably nipped their creativity in the bud and made ’em wish they’d been drafted by any other organization.

    But true that, it would have certainly made them all into fine, defensive players and upstanding young men who toe the Molson line…


    End of rant.

    Sorry if I rambled on for so long, but sometimes… côlis!

  34. Robert L says:

    I don’t think I’m giving the coach the benefit of the doubt at all, I’m just saying that often there’s more to it than meets the eye. One side can’t be absloved over the other based simply on what we see. As far as that goes, to tag on your analogy, looks like P.K. isn’t a good student, because his mistake are obvious and repetitive. That said, the coach has to find a better way to reach the player, because the sit out failed.

  35. SeriousFan09 says:

    Chris Lee and it’s Carolina…

    Talk about finding **** in your stocking.


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

  36. Shiloh says:

    I agree with bringing back AK46 and especially agree with getting Weber some play. Benny has been struggling, but so has Travis Moen. I think Picard is due for a game off as opposed to PK.

    MArtin has always been a defensive coach, and it seems clear that he would prefer a team full of Chris Neil’s and Travis Moen’s. It’s not always fun to watch – and he hasn’t been hugely successful in the post-season. One thing I’m thankful for is that Lemaire went back to Jersey – at least we won’t get him as a coach if Martin doesn’t survive the season.

  37. keepthefaith says:

    Even if they do win tonight you cannot say it is because Subban did not play. He need to paired with a veteran D man. Not one that cant cover for his rookie mistakes.

  38. petrov14 says:

    Hahaha nice, made me laugh.

    ______________________________________ Long live Captain Gionta.

  39. petrov14 says:

    Chris Lee? *Faceplam*

    ______________________________________ Long live Captain Gionta.

  40. Robert L says:

    Picard was never mentioned, but since it was brought up, Subban has needed no help making his own bonehead plays. The onus is on Subban to learn and know when to keep things simple. Without him in the lineup tonight, habs will win.

  41. keepthefaith says:

    How can you say he had been worse than Picard? I totally agree with the poster above. He is in a position to fail. Picard is a joke and the pairing was dumb since day one. This falls on the coach.

  42. Habnofear says:

    Aren’t we all asking a lot of Subban? (Replace Markov)… He is an offensive minded young play maker with some size who wants too play,so let him do his thang and play forward for awhile (Byfliegen)spelling?And at the same time he can back check and help out the D.

  43. Greg says:

    I’m sure they’ve had discussions too. As you would expect with a rookie. He already scratched him, and he came back playing nervous, jittery hockey, something he’s never been known for.  I agree that we all have, as you say, an “incomplete analysis”, but you’re doing the same thing I am, just giving the coach the benefit of the doubt, whereas I give it to PK.

    JM is a good boss, and is great with players who can do what he says. I just don’t think he’s a very good coach, which requires teaching ability. A good analogy would be the difference between high school teachers and university professors.  Professors are experts, can’t teach to save their lives.  JM is a professor, and a good coach needs to be half professor, half high school teacher.

    Let the kid make the mistakes that kids make, but guide him along the way. What I disagree with is the “fall in line now or you’re out” mentality.  PK’s a good kid, I’m sure he’s trying. I’m sure he WANTS to win and do what his coach says, he’s just a work in progress.


    “I lined up next to him at a faceoff, looked over and said “Hi Rocket”. All he did was growl.”

    -Gordie Howe

  44. ctony says:

    If JM wanted PK to succeed/develop he would have paired him with someone who could have covered for his gonna-happen defensive shortcomings when Markov went down.  Instead, PK gets a journeyman partner (sorry Picard, but them’s the facts).

    In a way, you could almost say JM was looking for PK to fail so he would have a reason to bench him.


  45. Greg says:

    Agreed. Not sure what the idea is with sitting Subban. I read Francois Gagnon`s article, and I still don`t agree. You don`t teach someone how to play within a system by sitting them. He comes off the ice, and Perry Pearn should go to him and say “PK, don’t do that, do this”.  THAT’S how you TEACH.


    “I lined up next to him at a faceoff, looked over and said “Hi Rocket”. All he did was growl.”

    -Gordie Howe

  46. ctony says:

    There’s a great line from Bull Durham, when the older sage catcher
    played by Costner is explaining life to upcoming pitcher played by Tim Robbins,
    “Your shower shoes have fungus on them. You’ll never make it to the bigs
    with fungus on your shower shoes. Think classy, you’ll be classy. If you win 20
    in the show, you can let the fungus grow back and the press’ll think you’re
    colorful. Until you win 20 in the show, however, it means you are a slob.”

    JM player management is like fungus on shoes.  If he wins in the show, they’ll think him
    enigmatic genius.  Until he does, he
    seems to be a classless turd.

    Seriously, this isn’t about motivation, it’s about
    management.  Anyone who has managed
    anything from a McDonalds to a Fortune 500 company can tell you that they have
    favorites – for any number of logical, emotional, or irrational reasons – and
    go to war with their chosen peeps. 

    I’m not a fan of JM’s parochial style.  But, I respect the fact, that he needs to play his style with his preferred
    players.  Guys like AK, PK, Pouliot and
    previously guys like OB, SK; and others (we all know who they are) don’t fit –
    for him.  Sure, occasionally, there are
    injuries and out of favour guys move up the rankings (PK in the playoffs last
    year) or go on a tear and maintain their spot (Pouliot when he arrived from
    Minnesota via Hamilton) despite JM’s secret preferences. By and large, JM can
    find excuses to bench them.  It’s his prerogative.

    Ultimately, PG or his successors will judge JM on his record
    in Montreal.  If he wins a lot or has
    continued playoffs successes – his strange line combinations and seemingly
    (frustratingly – to some) inconsistent player management techniques will be
    overlooked.  On the other hand, if he
    doesn’t win then he will be fired based on his record and people can lay the
    blame on his odd “motivational” style.

  47. Robert L says:

    The Subban situation is often analyzed with an incomplete perspective because fans and media aren’t privy to conversations between the player and coach. I’m sure Martin has had discussions with P.K. concerning a wide variety of matters, and the benchings are a response to Subban not giving the coach what he wants.

    Despite Subban making some highlight reel plays, overall he’s been brutal in his last 20 games. He pays no attention to the subtle details of the game, yet he his surrounded by veterans offering advice. It will be the last time he’s sent to the press box. Next time it will be Hamilton. My guess is that it will happen soon as the roster freeze is over.

  48. Greg says:

    I think Jacques Martin is a brilliant hockey mind. I think he has done a great job of instituting a system in this team, and they’re a better team because of it. However, I also don’t think he’s done a great job with PK. The scouting report on this kid was clear. He’s an offensively minded player. Also, more importantly, he’s a rookie. These two things combined will lead to defensive mistakes, something that JM has shown he has no patience for. Unfortunately, patience is a virtue when dealing with young players. JM has repeatedly shown that he will not tolerate certain kinds of mistakes. I’m ok with sitting players if they aren’t skating, or not showing emotion on the ice. But scratching a guy like PK because of rookie mistakes is counterproductive to his development. What is the message to the player? “Do that again and you’ll be in the press box”? That seems to send the message that the coach has no confidence in that player.  Rookies make mistakes. It happens all over the league. The Habs brass took their time with PK, wisely seasoning him in the AHL before making the jump to The Show, but now that he’s here, he needs to play. He’s not learning anything from the press box.  

    Eller makes mistakes, and yet he plays (took him a while too). JM seems to want robots to play the style he wants. Fine. Teach PK the system while playing him, instead of having him sit in the press box promising himself that he’ll never, ever give the puck away again. Until the next time he does.


    “I lined up next to him at a faceoff, looked over and said “Hi Rocket”. All he did was growl.”

    -Gordie Howe

  49. CHasman says:

    I just think JM is sitting two of our more skilled players, certainly players I like to watch.  Now what, we win tonight and they stay in the press box?  I guess if you want to play on this team for Jacques Martin then go out there and skate your ass off and whether you accomplish anything or not you’re good to go.  Would have been nice to see both Weber and Subban playing.  Despite my opinion on the coaching I’m still hoping for the big win tonight.  I don’t want to go through Christmas with another loss hanging over us.

  50. Born in a Bad Year says:

    Lou Lamoriello sitting in his office…

    “Who we playing next?”

    “Islanders, fire everybody! I’m going in!”

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