Therrien shuffles lines; Budaj will face Sabres with new contract

Coming off Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien shuffled his lines at practice Wednesday morning in Brossard and announced that Peter Budaj will start in goal against the Sabres Thursday night in Buffalo (7:30 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin also announced that Budaj has been signed to a two-year contract extension that will take him through the 2014-15 season. Budaj, who is earning a pro-rated $1.2 million during the lockout-shortened season, will get a slight raise to $1.4 million on the two-year, $2.8-million extension.

In eight games this season, the 30-year-old Budaj has a 6-1-1 record with a 2.17 goals-against average and .917 save percentage with one shutout. He joined the Canadiens as a free agent on July 1, 2011.

Rene Bourque, who started Tuesday’s game on the fourth line, was bumped up to join Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta at practice Wednesday, while Michael Ryder was with Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk. The David Desharnais-Max Pacioretty-Brendan Gallagher line was kept intact, while Brandon Prust dropped down to the fourth line with Travis Moen and Jeff Halpern.

The defence pairings were: Josh Gorges-P.K. Subban; Andrei Markov-Francis Bouillon; Nathan Beaulieu-Davis Drewiske; Tomas Kaberle-Yannick Weber.

“We tried something with Bourque yesterday by putting him with Pleky and Gio and we’ll continue with the same lines,” Therrien told reporters after practice.

Below is the video interview The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs did with Therrien before the start of the strike-shortened season:

(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Neuvirth continues dominance over Habs, by Pat Hickey

Red-hot Caps block 34 Canadiens shots, by Pat Hickey

Ovechkin more dangerous from right side, by Dave Stubbs

Capitals add more confidence to their coffers, by Washington Post

Ovechkin stays hot for Capitals, nhl.com

All’s right with Ovechkin, with an assist from Oates, si.com

Canadiens vs. Capitals photo gallery

Habs’ Stanley Cup odds improving, by Stu Cowan

Fight continues to save TSN Radio 690, by Stu Cowan

1,017 Comments

  1. HFL says:

    Well one thing about this line change up that is good, is that we can expect to see an increase in ice time for Chucky and Eller. Those two playing with our top scorer will force MT to play them more. thank god…

  2. Storman says:

    I would have to think when Tinordi was sent back down, Sylvain Lefebvre received particular instructions on working on Tinordi’s stick being more active, and in every practice a session on clearing traffic with toughness, strength and pure meanness, They are probably working on his mind game as much as much as his overall D coverage and decision making process….

    • johnnylarue says:

      I think Tiny could greatly benefit from a few months of soul-crushing tutelage under Ra’s al Ghul.

      And to accelerate the process of filling out his frame, I suggest a subscription to C. Julien’s “Donut of the Minute” club.

  3. B says:

    Montreal is currently 5th in pts%, 5th in G/G, 6th in GA/G, 5th in 5-5 F/A and 5th in PP%.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  4. Bripro says:

    I’ve read so many comments about this one getting more ice time than that one.
    Or this one should be promoted or demoted.
    So far, let’s be honest, the Habs coach and mgmt haven’t given a rats’ behind what the GMs on this site think.
    And it’s a good thing too. We’re in first in the division, contrary to most here having speculated as to whether or not the team would even make the playoffs.
    MT has done a marvellous job of time management with his players, and I think this is very important not only for conditioning, but also to reduce the risk of injuries, or wearing them out before the playoffs.
    I don’t think they view the lines as 1st, 2nd or 3rd. MT has said it… he has his top-3 lines, and his in-your-face line.
    And that’s fine with me. If that means that DD moves from one line to the next, or Eller is paired with different players, that’s fine also.
    MT has done a Jack-Adams-Candidate job so far.
    Who are we to question it?

    …. all the way into June.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Fine. I’ll give MT the benefit of the doubt this time.

      But GOD HELP HIM should the Habs lose another game this season…!!

    • Sportfan says:

      bi-polar Hab fans who are born and view everything with a microscope?

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • punkster says:

      Can you imagine if some of the demands…hell maybe any of them…made on here had been implemented?

      The tank would be on for another lost season.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      All that aside, I think people envision a future with Plekanec, Eller, and Galchenyuk as the teams top 3 centers. As Plekanec ages he moves to a third line role, Galchenyuk developing to elite/all-star status, while Eller is a solid two-way center. In an ideal world this is how things will develop, if that is the case DD is the odd man out in the Habs future at the center position.

      • LizardKing12 says:

        I completely agree, that is the ideal scenario. One of the most important things for a hockey team is to be strong down the middle. When Galchenyuk is ready to be the #1 guy Plekanec will make an excellent 3rd line center because he is one of the best two way guys in the league and has shown he can produce no matter who his linemates are. Galchenyuk should develop into an elite 80-90 point center and Eller with his size and two way play would make the perfect 50-60 point second line center.

    • Mustang says:

      Based strickly on comments here at H I/O, I think that MT should pay lots of attention to this site as many of the participants here seem to think that they know much more about coaching a NHL team than he does.

      • johnnylarue says:

        I can’t think of a single good reason why the Coaching-By-Committee system in place this season couldn’t be extended to include the 100 or so excellent coaches on this forum.

        Imagine: we could have a whole 20-man team of coaches devoted solely to micromanaging DD’s PP time!

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      What do you mean he does listen to us… :lol:

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • SteverenO says:

      You are right that the team has performed well this year and MT had done a great job. Does that mean that we “mere mortals” cannot question any of his moves?

      When we question his distribution of ice time it has nothing to with results or whether we won or lost the game. For example we might win a game 3-2 but go zero for 4 on the PP. If we found out that Gorges ,Moen and White each played 6 minutes on the PP and Ryder, Plekanec SUbban played on 2 minutes we would be correct to say that the coach made mistakes despite the fact that the game was won.

      This coach, in fact all coaches, and pretty much every player, probably make a number of mistakes in almost every game.

      When we lose, especially in a close game the tendency is to look for reasons, or areas where better decisions might have made a difference.

      For some of us , that is what being a fan is all about. Lets call that group the “critical” fans. Other might simply like to cheer for their team and support their “guys” no matter what they do. I call those types of people cheerleaders. Cheerleaders have an attitude that their guy “can do no wrong” . Michel Therrien, Marc Bergevin, and Carey Price seem to have many cheerleaders on this board.

      The “critical” fan will always look for the flaws, the mistakes , the weaknesses no matter how well , or poorly the team is doing. It is in their nature to look for ways to improve their favorite team.

      They would rather believe that their players are good enough to win every game , if only they were managed and coached “properly”, than to believe that their team is just not good enough to win on any given day.

      The “cheerleaders” do not analyze the game, only the results. When they lose they tend to look for excuses, bad reffing, bad bounces, lucky goals, etc. They cannot bear to think that the heroes who manage/coach their team could possibly have done anything wrong , especially something so obviously wrong that even a “layman” fan could spot their mistakes.

      The difference between winning and losing is often a very small margin, especially in hockey. I, for one, would hope and expect that the coaches spend some time analyzing their decisions after every game, in an effort to make more informed and better decisions in the future.

      Coach’s decisions, especially allocation of ice time and deciding who plays on the special team units can easily be the difference between winning and losing a playoff series.

      In the regular season emotion can go a long way, The team that “wants it ” more badlky can beat a less motivated squad. In the playoffs, it is unusual to see a team or even a player “taking it easy” even for a single shift never mind an entire game.
      If “my” team loses because the coach did not know who were his most productive powerplay unit and who were his teams most effective penalty killers that would really really bother me.

      If “my” team loses while productive players are sitting on the bench and the “GOMEZES” are playing on the powerplay, I get angry.

      When we start a period with the powerplay and our coach puts out a line of DD, Gallagher and Pacioretty, while leaving Ryder, Pleck Gionta, and Eller on the bench that is a coaching mistake.

      When we started the season and Diaz was not on the first or second penalty killing unit, that was a coaching mistake.

      When Gallagher is allowed to amass 69 minutes of PP time and with the team only scoring 3 PP goals that is a coaching mistake.

      The coaches and management might not give a rats behind what are the thoughts of those on this site, but that doesnt make our thoughts any less valid.

      The playoffs are soon upon us. I can pretty much guarantee that we won;t go very far if the coaches make the wrong personnel decisions.

      A power play in hockey, is like having runners in scoring position in baseball.,except the manger get to choose his personnel and not follow any batting order. it is incumbent on the coach to know which of his players are more likely to produce based on the available data.

      regards

      Steve O.

  5. Steeltown Hab says:

    I think the Eller / Desharnais debate can be summed up with one question.

    What would be a bigger blow to the team, if we lost Eller or Desharnais to injury for the playoffs?

    ———————————

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

    • Sportfan says:

      Eller I still remember that maroon Glen Healy confused by the great defensive skill against boston a few years back saying how is he doing this HE’S DANISH!

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Lafrich says:

      Although I am a fan of both, and don’t feel the necessity of a debate right now, I think you make an excellent point. I am pretty sure that the majority of posters would agree that the loss of Eller would be more of a blow to the team.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Eller. If you had asked last season, I’d have said DD (assuming we had made the playoffs).

      What I’m more curious about is what the right answer would be NEXT year.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I think the question should be: “Which center do opposing GM’s ask for in trade talk: DD or Eller?”

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  6. pmaraw says:

    I am anglo canadien and I support Carey Price

  7. pmaraw says:

    I feel totally responsible for yesterdays loss! it was my first time being first on the liveblog, I won’t do it again, sorry guys!

  8. twilighthours says:

    Lots of good debates on here.

    -Great signing! We locked up our #1 for a couple years at a great price

    -No need to trade DD or Plex anytime soon. Just send a centre to the wing. I don’t care which one. Some coach will figure out how to get that player to buy in – if it’s Galchenyuk, great. Unlike some of us, I believe he can be just as effective on LW as at centre. I like this group of forwards and am in no rush to see it dismantled.

  9. Mr_MacDougall says:

    All this talk about Eller not getting adequate PP time based on his production can be easily explained.

    The Habs current philosophy is 2 PP centers and 2 Pk centers. They do not want Plek getting burnt out on the PK anymore so he is not an option. Halpren is a PK center, Eller HAS to be the second PK center because DD can not succeed at that role.

    For Eller to get PP time it appears as if he’ll have to swap with Plek.

    • twilighthours says:

      There’s always room for improvement, but the 5th best PP (I believe) seems to be doing something right, regardless of DD’s scoring rate. Too much emotional energy being invested in this topic right now.

      Like someone else said, the D is the biggest area of concern for this team.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I would think that Eller could play more PP on some nights. I’m sure he can deal with more than 13 minutes ice time. Of course, we do get plenty of penalties sometimes, so he would be busier then.

  10. HABSsince92 says:

    Good news about the Budaj extension…………always liked him from back when he was in Colorado tending with Theo, seems like he and Price get along great too and Budaj knows his role as backup.

    Disappointed though b/c I’m going to the game tomorrow night and wanted to see Price play since Budaj played the other game here back in Feb…………. hope to at least see the Habs win for a change against the Sabres.

    _________________________________________________

    PK please sign.

  11. HFL says:

    I would like to see these lines
    Gio – Pleks – ryder
    Gally – Eller – Pac
    Bourque – Chucky – Prust
    DD – Halpern – Moen
    I dont see why MT would mess with a good thing and move ryder off the top line. The guy has been gold since being acquired and I dont see why you would want to mess with a good thing.
    I think Eller deserves more ice time, and would look good with Gally and Pac. And I just dont like seeinf Prust on the fourth line. He makes people better around him, and plays well with Chucky.
    And of course having DD on the fourth just seems right. The guy is not very effective as many people are posting

  12. Propwash says:

    I guess Tokarski isn’t really in the plans for the next couple of years.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I wouldn’t yet say that. I’m thinking MB is getting ready to get rid of that no good for nothing over paid average at best goalie.

      • savethepuck says:

        You are on a roll Jim. But who would be stupid enough to take on that absurd 6.5 Mil CAP hit that MB shelled out to the bum. ;)

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

    • 24 Cups says:

      Too small for today’s prototype goalie. I think he’s strictly an emergency third stringer. The team needs to draft a goalie with their late 2nd rounder or early 3rd rounder this summer.

  13. 24 Cups says:

    1.4M a season strikes me as being a bit high for a back-up goalie.

    EDIT: I just quickly checked out other experienced back-ups and the average is around 1.33M. I guess I’m being picky!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Probably so but MB needed to show him some love, no? Plus as some have pointed out its only a matter of time before he takes over for “what’s his name”.

    • johnnylarue says:

      My initial reaction was similar. I thought 1.2 would be the sweet spot… Then I realized I was splitting hairs.

      ‘Cuz hey, after all, what’s another $200K a year, really! Peanuts, right?

    • Jocko says:

      Wonder how much Luongo drags up that number? Hmm….

      I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

  14. kerrgte says:

    So smart for MB to reward players with contract extensions during the season – as compared to the previous regime. Budaj will continue to play well with this vote of confidence.

    And MT – what a positive rapport he has with the players to bring out their best.

    Prospects being given a chance to experience NHL play – a super learning experience that will improve their abilities in their eventual full-time place in the NHL.

    Of the Cdn teams, Mtl is considered to have the best draft pick position with 1 1st rounder and 3 2nd rounders.

    This is a winning management.

    cheers

  15. Maritime Ron says:

    I challenge anybody on this site to name me 1 team where Desharnais would be a top 2 center and play top PP center minutes. Give me just 1 team and how he would be better than what they have? I await your answers.

  16. twilighthours says:

    This isn’t really funny, and it doesn’t make any sense, either.

  17. SteverenO says:

    Yannick Weber is the forgotten man. He has over 100 games of NHL experience- 111 GP 5 goals 25 assists – 30 Points – 52 PIM

    He has also played in 6 playoff games and contributed 3 playoff goals plus one assists.

    Drewiske has quite similar numbers – 130 NHL games played;

    130 GP —4 goals – 18 assists – 22 points- 67 PIM.

    The thing I like about Weber is that he shoots right handed. Also he is still quite young (only 24 years old).

    I would have like to get O’byrne back as well, He also shoots right.

    While Drewiske hasn’t “looked” bad. He is a minus 4 in 4 games played. having been on for two goals against with Bouillion and 2 with Markov, and he has yet to be on the ice when the HAbshave scored a goal.

    Interesting is that in 10 game this year, Kaberle was on for the same number of goals against (4) howver the team scored 8 times with Kaberle on the ice.

    Heres a breakdown of our available D-men:

    Name: GP/ GA / GF /

    Drewiske: 4 GP – 4 GA 0 GF
    Tinordi: 6 GP – 1 GA 3 GF
    Beaulieu: 3 GP – 0 GA – 4 GF
    Pateryn: 3 GP – 1 GA – 1 GF
    Weber: 2 GP – 1 GA – 0 GF
    Kaberle: 10 GP – 4 GA – 8 GF

    Admittedly this is a very small sample size , but interesting none the less.

    was Drewiske “handed” the job?

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • knob says:

      Weber gives them a power play option as well. He has certainly been the scapegoat.

    • shiram says:

      O’byrne is part of a select group of players having played over 300 NHL games and yet have not scored more than 5 goals.

      • jeu_de_puissance says:

        Drewiskie looked outstanding in the Bruins game stepping in for Emelin. I say bring in Kaberle or Weber for the second powerplay unit. Beaulieu is too easily knocked off the puck he needs to mature a bit more. Weber has that great right handed shot we could use on the PP.

        Can\’t F#*k with history!!!

      • DAVE. N says:

        6 goals…they always forget the one he scored in Montreal while playing for them.

    • Luke says:

      Weber is injured.
      Drewiske fills a different role than Weber does.
      I’d rather have Drewiske on the ice when Ovechkin has the puck andis charging the net than have Weber on the ice when Ovechkin has the puck and is charging the net.

    • Storman says:

      Exactly what I am saying about Drewiske, how long will MT play him, seems he is getting TOI for the sake of the acquisition, he is just not that good, there are better options , I have been saying this from the time of the acquisition..

  18. Storman says:

    You have to wonder with DD’s weak play, and yet consistently very high ice time, maybe MT feels he has to use him or risk MB looking bad on handing out a totally unnecessary exorbitant extension, on salary and term. Same can be said about acquiring Drewiske, he will be given every option to succeed, even though, I say MT realizes soon Tinordi brings way more to the table and wil be up to replace him on depth chart by season’s end.

    • Loonie says:

      What’s wrong with Drewiske?

      His first two games were fantastic in my opinion.

      • Storman says:

        I would say fantastic is an overstatement, Drewiske I hope still may prove me wrong , I have never been overly impressed with his D coverage or closing in on attacking forwards,, in NCAA or the few games i have watched him with the Habs, he does make a good first pass, and tries to keep things very simple, but for someone with size and from the 5th or 6th dman spot, if you have no offensive upside, I would like to see a little more physicality and meanness using that Dman spot on the depth chart.

        I really believe we had better options as trade deadline approached that is my main issue, and i still think Tinordi now is a better option than Drewiske.

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      Tinordi is a season or two away from being a regular in the NHL in my mind. No sense in rushing him. Drewiske has looked good. Good first passes, which has surprised me.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      DD’s on pace for about 50 points. Not great but probably about right for his contract. I also think he’s slumping more than showing what he really is, but time will tell what he really is.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • LizardKing12 says:

        His whole season has been a slump! He had 5 points in his first 13 games, then Patches got really hot and was unstoppable for 9 games in which DD benefited and picked up 10 points. Since that stretch DD has 7 points in 17 games. His season thus far has been one hot streak sandwiched between two very long slumps…

        • The Jackal says:

          Cool story bro, is that a sequel to that other story about DD, you know, the one that is a favourite here? :D

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Again…on pace for 50 points. 50 point guys get about 3.5M per season.

          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

          • LizardKing12 says:

            On pace for 46 actually but yeah I agree it is on par for what is expected for the contract he signed. I just don’t agree that he is on some little slump right now. Big chunks of his season can be described as slumps IMO. In 30 of the 39 games he has played he has averaged 0.4 ppg that constitutes a bad season thus far.

      • KenD29 says:

        47pts based on a 82 game schedule. As of today he has 22 pts…
        but who’s counting.

        All About Work Ethic

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      Some group think starting to happen here for DD. I see no egregious errors, no missed assignments. I have seen a guy capable of playing 4 – 6 and doing it well.

      In the games that he has played, show me the errors that are worse than anyone else. He is here ahead of Tinordi because of his age and experience.

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

  19. Sportfan says:

    Also forgot to add for Budaj two more years of Ned Flanders!

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  20. KenD29 says:

    I would have moved DD to the 4th line and bumped up Halpern to start the game. A wake up call to DD may do some good.

    All About Work Ethic

  21. shiram says:

    Budaj really grew on me, I liked him last season, even with the struggles, he seems like a great guy to be around and a great team-mate, important stuff for a guy that’s not playing on most games.
    He’s been given a bigger load of work this season, and he is rising up to the challenge.
    Price seems to enjoy having him around, so that’s bonus and it gives the team some stability.

  22. Storman says:

    What can you say about Budaj, accepts a very team oriented manageable contract,, full props, great teammate , prototypical backup, he could have 3 shutouts in a row and still would not complain if he did not get another start for 10 games thereafter.. From what I see teammates like him big time and seem to play very hard and very disciplined in front of him. Great extension ,,

    There definitely have been some really great moves for MB since taking over,, from building staff and onto building a tight team atmosphere,, Two head scratchers though would have to be DD extension, and Drewiske as his option for D depth as trade deadline approached and past..

  23. Sportfan says:

    Lol saw a thing on facebook asking where Jordan Subban will end up at the draft. I say Montreal in the second round haha

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  24. Danno says:

    Budaj Gets Some Security

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  25. piper says:

    The DD contract extension at that kind of money and term was the worst move by managenment so far. Now the Habs have to make the best of it because he is untradable.

    • habs12 says:

      He is not untradeable; he is still a decent play-making center and the habs can retain some salary in a trade.

      • KenD29 says:

        haven’t seen much play making since he signed the contract.

        All About Work Ethic

        • habs12 says:

          not my favorite, but I think it also has a little to do with how patches has been playing — as much ‘play making skill’ as desharnais showed last year, he is not good enough to make others around him better. in other words, when his wingers are playing well, so does he, and when they are not — like right now — neither is he.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            the games I’ve watched patch and Gally have been very good.

          • LizardKing12 says:

            Unfortunately a center whose production is absolutely dependent on the performance of his wingers is not fit to be a top 6 center. Look at Plekanec last season he had 8 less points than DD despite playing with a revolving door of mediocre wingers while DD spent the entire year between the teams best wingers.

    • shiram says:

      Moen’s deal is not great either probably worst than DD’s.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      That contract is very tradeable. If you’re only looking at a few games slump, you’re not a very good GM.

      He’s a very good player and goes to the boards and the front of the net regularly. He’s worth his contract and MB would not have an issue if he were to try to trade him.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  26. Prairienewf says:

    Lizardking12, you’re right. Stats don’t always tell the tale but it does in this case. Well, in last night’s case anyway, you have to play the good or lucky hand, you have too. If only for that game and that situation. It can’t always be about matching lines for defensive purposes. matching lines wasn’t working for 2 periods vs caps. It’s the 3rd, you’re down one, play the hand that’s Most effective. Pleks and DD line wasn’t bad but it was obvious they weren’t going to score last night. Aside from that MT is doing great.

    • LizardKing12 says:

      I agree Prairienewf. I mentioned below that I don’t understand why Galchenyuk and Eller arguably the two most effective forwards last night played 11 and 13 minutes and Pacs and DD played 20 and 19 minutes.

      I like the job that Therrien has done so far, in fact I would give him the Jack Adams. However, he preaches that this team works on a meritocracy but he has not held DD to that standard. It is not acceptable for a top 6 center playing top PP minutes and playing alongside the teams best winger to only have one more point than the 3rd line center who has played 100 less minutes and gets no PP time.

      • Luke says:

        Were they effective because they played 11 & 13 minutes or in spite of it?

        • LizardKing12 says:

          Any answer to that question would be purely speculative. However, here’s something to think about out of the 37 games that Eller has played he has played 15+ minutes in 20 of them. In those 20 games where he has played 15+ minutes he has 15 points (0.75 points per game). In the 17 games where he has played less than 15 min he has 7 points (0.4 ppg). So it seems to me that when Eller is given more ice time he steps up to the plate and produces more.

  27. habs001 says:

    DD best role would be secondary scoring(3rd line) that teams need in the playoffs..The Habs right now dont have 80/75 point scorers..If some of the young talent can develop into that type of production than DD would be very valuable as a third line player…

  28. Habsrule1 says:

    To be clear, I love eller…probably one of my fave players, but….saying he would do this if this and if that is just ridiculous. I agree he should play more and with better linemates, but until he does, and then produces REGULARLY, he hasn’t done it.

    That said, he is 23 years old! He’ll get his chance to prove what he can do. Hell, he’s already proving it now, but I want to see him do it on a consistent basis, and I don’t mean 20 games. I mean a full season or more.

    Let’s wait and see how good he gets. There’s plenty of time with the team we have.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Loonie says:

      He’s producing at a better rate than Desharnais today, without what ifs.

      I don’t care how old he is, if he’s earned it like Desharnais did two years ago then he should be getting the time.

      This situation is very similar to Couture and Pavelski in San Jose. Couture took the reigns, Pavelski then took them from him.

      If this is to be a true meritocracy it should be applicable to all players, not 22 of 23.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I agree 100% that he should get the time. What I don’t agree with is saying he is this great player that is our #2 centre of the future. He may very well be, but I want to see him contribute for more than 20 games before I make that decision. I hope he gets #2 ice time for the next 50 games so we can actually start making that determination.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • LizardKing12 says:

          I’m not sure that anyone is saying he is this fantastic #2 center. What a lot of us are saying is that he is outperforming Desharnais and has earned his opportunity to show what he can do when given top 6 minutes.

          Like Loonie has already mentioned DD got his opportunity to be a top 6 center because he was centering the 3rd line and outperformed the top 6 guys. Now it is Eller that is the 3rd line center who is outperforming one of the top 6 guys so shouldn’t he get the same opportunity?

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Yes he should….and I hope he shows that he can produce on a regular basis. The team would be better if Eller produced like a top 6 centre for years to come.
            If and when that happens, we could trade DD.

            Go Habs Go!!

            “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • LizardKing12 says:

      Obviously there is no guarantee that he will put up the big numbers with more minutes until we see him do it. However, right now Eller is putting up excellent numbers for the amount of minutes he is playing. He has been very consistent this season, Therrien has praised him for his consistent compete level and he hasn’t gone more than 4 games without a point which is great considering his is a 3rd line center getting essentially no PP time.

      DD on the other hand has put up only 1 more point than Eller despite the fact that he has played 100 more minutes than him and has played 105 PP minutes compared to 21 for Eller. I think a lot of us feel that Eller is playing very well and is deserving of an opportunity to show what he can do with DD’s minutes. Whereas DD has been very underwhelming despite getting the big minutes and we feel like he should be held accountable.

    • shiram says:

      I’m sorry, but Eller is already producing at a better clip than DD is.
      He’s played 2 less games, not to mention the lesser TOI he gets, and he is only 1 point behind DD.

  29. Small_Town_Boy says:

    Good for Budaj. Great guy.
    Trade Price for a big name scorer. See what budaj can do playing 60 -70 game a season plus playoffs!

  30. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting take on the latest Bryzgalov story in Philly.

    http://nhl.si.com/2013/04/10/ilya-bryzgalov-wronged-by-courier-post/

  31. Sportfan says:

    I don’t want to start a whole baseball debat (although I do enjoy it), but Bud Selig is leaving after the 2014 season, so Expos odds get much higher!

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  32. Prairienewf says:

    Great in the room?……hmmm…My wife…..never mind.

  33. Prairienewf says:

    Great re-signing

  34. habs-fan-84 says:

    Damn I’ll be at the game, was looking forward to seeing Pricey.
    Oh well, good for Budaj! Seems like he’s really well liked by his teammates and he’s been rock solid all year.

  35. HabinBurlington says:

    It is my understanding that DD is great in the room.

  36. H.Upmann says:

    Dont mean to sound incredulous, but i hope DD will score us some huge goals in the playoffs and never once cough up the puck or blow D coverage….

  37. Loonie says:

    If you reverse Eller and Desharnais’ ice-time on the powerplay and at even strength and calculate their point totals using their own production on a per minute basis in those situations it results in the following…..

    Eller – 42 points
    Desharnais – 16 points

    Some people will point to the low minute totals for Eller on the powerplay and justifiably say that might be skewing the numbers. So for the sake of argument let’s use Subban’s production on the powerplay which is around 7 minutes played on the PP per point scored.

    At that level Eller would have 33 points to Desharnais’ 16.

    • krob1000 says:

      shhh….he’ll get those minutes mid way through next season AFTER his extension is signed…you are blowing the cover…and he’ll sign for 4 years at 3 million per as D will be better statistically.

    • johnnylarue says:

      From a strictly anecdotal standpoint, the kids (Eller + Chucky) often seem panicked on the PP and less effective at maintaining pressure/puck possession in the O-zone.

      Not disputing the stats. But I know Therrien has said that he wants every PP to be a momentum builder, which is harder to accomplish if you’re constantly skating back to your own zone to collect the puck.

      Which isn’t to say this is right or accurate, but it might have some bearing on the coaches’ insistence on (over-)using the DD line on the PP.

      • Loonie says:

        If a player scores a powerplay point for every four minutes he’s on the ice for it he can look as panicked as he wants in my opinion.

        He’s still getting the job done at an elite level with those numbers.

      • The Jackal says:

        That and the assumption that Eller would produce like that is wrong. It’s not an equation where you just substitute X for Y and get Z result. Maybe Eller would produce more, maybe he’d be a bit shaky. He deserves more PP time but we can’t say if he would be better until that actually happens.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • LizardKing12 says:

          I agree giving him more ice time does not necessarily guarantee more points, it isn’t a mathematical equation. However, Eller is producing at pretty much exactly the same rate as Desharnais right now despite playing 100 less minutes with little to no PP time! So one can assume that if he was getting more minutes odds are he would likely have more points. Not saying he’d suddenly be a PPG player but the way things are shaping up this season it seems likely he’d have more points than DD.

      • LizardKing12 says:

        Not sure where you are getting that Eller and Galchenyuk look panicked on the PP we don’t get to see them in that situation enough to say that haha. Eller has 5 points in 21 PP minutes which comes out to a point for roughly every 4 minutes of PP time which is extremely impressive, he has barely gotten any PP time but in the minutes he’s gotten he consistently produces which tells me he is comfortable in that situation.

        DD on the other hand has 5 points in 105 PP min! That comes out to a point every 21 PP minutes…that’s absolutely brutal…I really don’t understand why he continues to get top unit PP min. At the very least Therrien should always send Pleks out first since he has 1 PP point for every 7:28 min of pp time.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        Your points are valid.

        I also think that if they were given any sort of meaningful experience on the PP that that panicky-ness would quickly vanish.

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      That’s assuming that Eller could maintain his points/minute pace while playing more though.

      Perhaps (not saying I necessarily believe) part of the reason for Eller’s growth is that his playing time is being managed well. So giving him top line minutes might actually be detrimental to his growth. I’d rather have a young guy producing and feeling like he can contribute more in the way of minutes than struggling under the burden of playing more with more responsibility.

      • Loonie says:

        That’s fair, but until he gets more ice-time that would level out those numbers we won’t know.

        But at this point in time Eller’s outplaying Desharnais by a wide margin and finding out would be justified. It would also have a strong likelihood of being best for the team.

        • Ghosts of the Forum says:

          Point taken and agreed upon.

          Though I’m not throwing in the towel on DD yet. 10 goals (though not as many lately) still isn’t that terrible!

  38. Danno says:

    Glad we signed Budaj who has done really well after a bit of a rough start this season. Hope he continues to be solid whenever he gets the call – beginning tomorrow night.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  39. Sportfan says:

    Wow I didn’t even realize it was a 2 year deal I like the Budaj move!

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  40. jedimyrmidon says:

    Two perspectives of DD: DD as a player & DD in the context of this Habs team

    DD as a player:
    1) a great center’s vision & hockey IQ trapped in a body that isn’t optimal for the role
    2) small size, leading to poor ability to defend and in conjunction with 3) means he gets knocked off the puck quite often
    3) limited skating ability and speed, average shot mean his game isn’t optimal for the wing
    4) hard worker, classy, has demonstrated great perseverance throughout his career

    Question: Is he a 50-60 point guy? (implying he’s almost a lock for that production)

    Let’s look at DD in the context of the team:
    1) last year: paired with the best LW on the team and RW, both guys having size and speed, playing a power forward’s game
    2) this year: paired with the same LW and a sparkplug RW (in Gallagher who never gives up, and is almost always in the thick of things)
    3) gets top minutes on the PP
    4) used in an exploitation role against easier competition than Pleks or even Eller
    5) on a team that has an emerging Eller and Galchenyuk, both centers with ‘ideal’ traits
    6) isn’t really outproducing either Eller or Galchenyuk by a wide margin this season despite enjoying the most favourable conditions in which to do so

    My conclusion:
    DD is exemplary in his character and attitude, certainly has a high level of vision and skill, enjoys the best types of minutes on the team conducive to offensive success, has had very good linemates in the past two seasons and, yet, the Habs organization now has two young centers with better physical traits combined with an equal (or greater) amount of skill rising in prominence and currently playing with zero PP time and tougher minutes, and yet putting up similar production.

    So is DD a 50-60pt guy? Take away the currently favourable conditions under which he is playing, and that may not be the case. And by that, I don’t even mean giving him Pleks-like minutes either.

    • Loonie says:

      I think everything you said is 100% fair.

      At the very least Desharnais MUST be a 50-60 player to maintain this role.

      As things stand today he’s a 46 point player on a prorated basis this season. Gallagher projects at 45 points and Pacioretty at 75 points.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Well said, but microphones explaining losses to the home Province linguistic majority doesn’t win games.
      He cannot take Plex minutes because he is a defensive liability and cannot kill penalties

    • munch17 says:

      Excellent post and summary.
      I have not been a big DD supporter – primarily because there is this sense with some media that he does no wrong.
      He certainly gets top line power minutes but clearly is not producing as much as Pleks.
      I would love to see Lars or Gally in that role.

  41. habs001 says:

    While i believe the Habs would beat the Leafs in a playoff series i think the series will be very tough and would not rule out a Leaf win….right now the point difference is 3 regulation wins and one o/t win..series 2-1 Leafs…goals for… one more for the Habs…pk Leafs 3rd…Habs 14th…pp Habs 6th…Leafs 13th….Biggest advantage Habs have is giving up 15 less goals…..The pressure would be on Montreal…I would rather start on the road vs the Leafs…Price would be in a no win situation as if the Habs win he would not get much credit but if the Leafs goaltending outplays him ..what would be his future in MontreaL?…Way better scenario to win the division…

  42. habfan53 says:

    So after all is said and done last nights loss to Washington is the FIRST to a southeast division team. Did everybody think we were going to go thru the season even if it is shortened undefeated.

  43. ed says:

    david desharnais signed a 4 year 3.5 million per season contract extension which kicks in next season.

    I believe that our astute GM knows what he’s doing.

    Galchenyuk will be this team’s #1 centreman – he is capable of scoring 80, 90, 100 points in this league.

    Eller is quickly emerging as the replacement for Plekanec – not yet – but eventually, and maybe sooner than many of you would hope.

    Eller is too young and too talented already, to be traded. He is big, he is fast, he is a hard worker and he is a great teammate. He is being groomed defensively to take over Plekanec’s role, and his offence is improving game in and game out.

    Desharnais at 3.5 brings excellent value, brings 40-55 points of offence, to the 3rd line, as he becomes the 3rd line center.

    Plekanec will be traded. We will get a boat load for Plekanec and it’s the right move to make.

    That’s why Desharnais was signed for 4 years, so I suggest you guys start cheering for him, cuz he “ain’t going no where”.

    Now I will duck for cover and pray that no one knows where I live.

    hahaha!!

    • The Jackal says:

      Well that is actually a possibility.
      The thing is, you can’t have too many centres like Plekanec. I’d say that having Eller and Plekanec would be the better situation, but we’ll see what happens.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Loonie says:

      I’m not attacking Desharnais personally. I believe he gives everything he has. Whether what that is fluctuates doesn’t matter.

      My issue is that there are better options currently suited to play in his role and in my opinion they would make the team better right now. That could change too. But until it does I won’t be pleased with somebody being on the powerplay who produces a point for every 23 minutes of time with the extra man.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        It’s not an anti Desharnais thing, best player should play period.

        ———————————

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

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Eller is a very good player right now, but he has yet to show consistently strong stats at any level.

      DD has beaten the odds at every level and has showed he is better than average everywhere he has gone. He may have slowed a bit this year, as have his linemates, but I still have more confidence in him than in Eller long term, until Lars shows he can bring it regularly.

      Granted, Eller is still very young, but let’s see him play like he has lately for a bigger sample size before we write him in as or 2nd line centre.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        At Eller’s age DD wasn’t in the NHL

        DD produced like an animal in the ECHL…so what like cmon, most players bypass it and would’ve produced the same.

        Ya he was a great AHL scorer so are a lot of people, Corey Locke.

        What do you expect Eller to do more stats wise with the linemates, ice time he gets, matchups, and lack of PP time? He’s already 1 pt back of Desharnais and worlds better defensively.

        ———————————

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

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Again, I like Eller…one of my favorite players, and I know he has not been given the same linemates as DD, but the fact is, until Eller does it, he hasn’t done it.

          I don’t buy into the bs that if you just reverse their ice time, Eller has X points. If something hasn’t happened you can calculate the probability of it happening all you want, but that’s just assuming the player will keep the same pace. It’s like saying after Eller’s 4 goal game, if he never played again…..
          If Eller had played the rest of the season at that pace, he’d have 147 goals, or whatever.

          Stats do not work that way in the real world.

          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

          • Loonie says:

            Desharnais’ elevation into a top six role was based on production with a third line and having outproduced the players ahead of him.

            Eller’s doing that now.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Loonie, to be even more clear, I think Eller should be given more ice time than DD right now, and until he slows down or stops producing, which I hope does not happen. That said, only after a decent sample size can we truly decide how good Eller really is.

            Go Habs Go!!

            “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • Loonie says:

        If you reverse Eller and Desharnais’ ice-time on the powerplay and at even strength and calculate their point totals using their own production on a per minute basis in those situations it results in the following…..

        Eller – 42 points
        Desharnais – 16 points

      • LizardKing12 says:

        Eller has played 100 less minutes than DD and has 1 less point. He is tied with DD in PP points (5) yet he has only played 21 minutes on the PP compared to DD’s 105…

        Eller and DD are both on pace for 46 points in an 82 game schedule but one guy is doing it playing 3rd line minutes and no PP time while the other is projected for the same # of points while playing alongside the team’s best winger and being on the top PP unit. Not to mention that Eller is very reliable in his own end and is 3rd on the team in hits whereas DD is a liability in the defensive zone.

    • LizardKing12 says:

      Desharnais would make a piss poor 3rd line center. He is extremely weak defensively and cannot be counted on to match up against other teams top lines. I doubt he would be able to produce 40-55 points on a 3rd line. He is currently on pace for 46 points (prorated over 82 games) while playing top line minutes alongside arguably the best winger on the team and getting first unit PP time. Eller who has played 100 less minutes than DD has only 1 less point. Eller also has the same number of PP points as DD (5) but has played only 21 PP min to DD’s 105! If DD was getting Eller’s ice time with what amounts to 35 seconds of PP time a game do you think he would be on pace for 40-55 points? I highly doubt it.

  44. commandant says:

    People also keep complaining about DD and Patches minutes… I’ll point out that they average over 2 minutes less per game this year vs last.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • kbhab4ever says:

      When Eller and Galchenyuk outplay DD and Pacioretty then the ice time should be adjusted . And it is not ! That is what upsets people .Counting myself in that pissed dept!

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Desharnais on the ice to score the tying goal over Eller, Galchenyuk, or Gallagher is just flat out a brutal call by MT. Shows he honestly believes despite his play Desharnais is a better player than those guys hands down.

        ———————————

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

      • Cal says:

        MT is MATCHING who Eller and company play against, protecting them.
        This is why the TOI is lower. Eller, Chucky and Prust do NOT play against the #2 line. They play against #3 and 4 usually. Could that possibly be why they look good? Inferior competition.

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          Actually, I think it’s the opposite. MT is using the DD line in a purely offensive role. The third line gets a higher quality of competition.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Makes sense based on production, depth vs last year etc.

      ———————————

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

    • LizardKing12 says:

      Yes but last years team was a 1 line team whereas this season we have 3 lines capable of producing. Last night Eller and Galchenyuk were easily the Habs two best forwards but they only played 13 and 11 minutes respectively. DD and Patches on the other hand played 19 and 20 min.

      DD is having a subpar season and has not been held accountable for it. He started off the season terribly and Cole was blamed so he got demoted and DD got to stay in the top 6. He picked up half his points in a 9 game stretch from Feb 16 – Mar 3 when Pacioretty was absolutely on fire, he only has 12 points in the other 30 games (7 points in his last 17 games). He’s also been very ineffective on the PP producing 1 point for every 21:17 min of PP time (only Gally is worse amongst forwards). DD has played 100 more minutes than Eller and Galchenyuk yet only has 1 more points than Eller and 2 more than Chucky. He’s played 105 PP mins to Eller’s 21 and they have the same number of PP points. Desharnais has been given every opportunity to succeed and has not stepped up to the plate it might be time to give Eller a shot in his position and maybe that will get Desharnais to step up his game.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        This DD issue has been obvious for a long time, he’s a complementary guy not someone who leads and makes his linemates better, not every NHLer is. The results this year given all the opportunities he’s had to succeed are so obvious that even his biggest supporters are left without too much to say. Just time to try him out at the wing, or give more capable players more ice, PP time, stronger linemates.

        ———————————

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

  45. Hobie Hansen says:

    I’ve pretty much never weighed in on this ridiculous Carey Price bashing that goes on. But since it seems to be a hot topic, even though he continues to be among the league leaders in wins, I’ll put my two cents in the pot.

    Is the guy the best in the league, not in my opinion. However, he’s solid. So solid, that he’s the best goalie in this town since Patrick Roy left almost 20 years ago.

    We’ve seen what happens in places like Philadelphia and Tampa Bay when you have a very talented team but a half ass goalie. Yzerman has been scrambling trying to find a goalie since he arrived in Tampa and Philadelphia has been trying to find one for 20 years.

    Maybe Price isn’t the best in the league but he’s much better than average. Finding a better than average goalie and getting him under contract is a tough thing to do. Look at Toronto.

    Guaranteed if Price was ever traded it would come back to haunt the Canadiens. the guy is 25-years-old for “F” sakes. The Habs could get bounced in the playoffs the next two years in a row in the first round and he’d still be just entering his prime after that point. He could go deep into the playoffs 5 years in a row and win the Stanley Cup from age 27-32.

    So if you’re bashing Price and think we could find a better goalie, good luck and give your head a shake.

    Just wait and see what he does playing in the Olympics!

  46. philip says:

    Concerning the DD contract an other discussion regarding french-speaking players getting maybe preferential treatment, contract or being picked earlier in draft than maybe they deserve. Keep in mind, win or loose, those guys have microphones in their face, do promotional appearances everywhere and are a link necessary for many fans who speak only french. 25 guys can divide all of this in english, 2 in french. It’s the same with the Als or Impact. It’s a difficulty that no other teams has, but it’s a Montreal reality. For that, I don’t think they deserve to play if they don’t produce, but I think it’s fair that they have sometimes some other preferential treatments. It sucks ( Especially concerning trading contract and cap space), but I still think it’s inevitable and fair.

    • commandant says:

      Look around the league. We locked up DD for 3 UFA years at 3.5 million per season. When we look around the league at what 55+ point centres get as UFAs, we are looking at 4.5 million on the minimum, and 5.5 million on the high end. This deal is in no way an overpayment.

      The complaints about the cap space he takes up are just silly.

      Anyone here want to bet that Tyler Bozak will soon be making far, far more than 3.5 million?

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • Propwash says:

        It’s easier to throw a player under the bus when he’s in a slump. Logic and reason have no place around these parts!

        ____________________
        DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Bozak is a UFA not an RFA so that adds about 1M, do I think he’s a better player than DD, ya probably overall. So if he gets 4.5 I wouldn’t consider that a worse value than Desharnais.

        Plus Desharnais is on pace for 46 pts (over 82) this year playing under the most favorable conditions of any C on the team so I’d hesitate to definitively call him a 55+ centre.

        ———————————

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

      • Maritime Ron says:

        He is not a 55 point center this year

      • LizardKing12 says:

        I agree, in terms of market value getting DD for 3.5 million per season is not necessarily an overpayment. Look at Grabovski in TO, he’s making 5.5 mil a season!

        That being said I’m not sure where DD fits on this team in the long term. Eller is turning into the big center we’ve so desperately needed for the last 2 decades, Plekanec is one of the best two way centers in the game and Galchenyuk is our future #1. Out of those 4 DD has been the least impressive this season IMO and has not been held accountable.

    • habsfan0 says:

      Perhaps.
      But it’s still anathema to a professional sports organization when your on ice personnel is determined to an extent by that particular individual’s cultural background.

      • The Jackal says:

        I doubt MB makes decisions based on what a few idiots in the media would say.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • habsfan0 says:

          One would hope not.

          “Impure” moral suasion, or simply “moral suasion”, is backed by explicit or implicit threats by authorities in order to provide incentives to comply with their wishes.

          Hopefully,this has nothing to do with the Habs in re: to their choice of personnel.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      I can’t recall any examples (post-1967) of Canadiens management giving preferential treatment on the basis of ethnic origins, but I’ve never lived in Montreal. The media is a whole different story. They didn’t like Saku Koivu being chosen captain. They didn’t like Mike Keane being captain. They’ve been tepid with Brian Gionta. Even Patrick Roy was not given preferential treatment when you think of other sports like Lakers’ handling of Kobe Bryant, Bulls and Jordan, and a bunch of fans lifting a rock out of Tiger Woods way at the Phoenix Open.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      P.S. Guy Lafleur was “King” for nine glorious years, but was very unhappy when he left the Habs via retirement. Probably felt he was owed preferential treatment.

    • philip says:

      What I meant was regarding the terms, the fact that they signed him quicker than maybe necessary, no real bridge contract after only one real NHL year and probably a little bit more money than he would have had elsewhere. I don’t think he or Bouillon did deserve to be sign either. And regarding the draft, MB said it himself, if there is a guy from here we have to try everything to get him. He would not do so for a Finn or an American. And again, I think there is nothing wrong with that. It is a particularity of Montreal. That and the bars and the puckbunnies and the tax code.

  47. habsfan0 says:

    Good news on Budaj,he deserves the extension.
    I’m also happy to hear he’ll be starting against the Sabres,he needs the work. CP will start against the Leafs Saturday.

    Anybody know what Budaj’s lifetime numbers are against the Sabres?

  48. commandant says:

    1.4 Million per year, per Pierre Lebrun.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  49. commandant says:

    Once again, all the hand wringing is over forward lines, when it is the defense that should be the most concerning area. This team needs Diaz back.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Loonie says:

      The coach is making the most of what he has on defense, not so much at forward in my opinion.

    • kbhab4ever says:

      The D will turn out ok, I am now worried that Martin is back coaching again because of the ice time the DD line is getting , when DD has 5pts on the PP in 105:58 T.O.I and Eller has 5 pts in ” 21:59 T.O.I. The DD line had double the T.O.I. as the Eller line last game. Eller’s line was the best line for the Habs the last “2 ” games AND while doing it with 3rd line ice time… If I can see that AND I know nothing What is the reason that Therrion & crew is not adjusting the ice time “no excuses” How about no picking favorites

  50. Alex_425 says:

    Cool, I like Budaj, good to see him sticking around a little while longer.

    But I’m no expert….

  51. Habfan10912 says:

    Probably beating a dead horse here. MT says he wants to keep DD and Patches together but is open to anything. He expects them to be better. Is he finally firing a shot over the bow?

    • Loonie says:

      Hard to say, took him close to twenty games of mediocre productivity just to bench him for a half period.

    • The Jackal says:

      Shot over the bow? Sounds like North Korea!
      Joking…

      Hopefully that wakes them up, but I’m sure they know they need to play better and bury their chances.
      I’d put Ryder or Bourque with them, move Gally back to Eller’s line, and put Bourque or Ryder with Plek and Gio. Move Prust to the fourh with Moen and Halpern.

      That or I would switch Gally for Chucky, so you have Chucky and DD and Patches, and then the usual lines, maybe putting Bourque in Prust’s place on Eller’s line.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • habsfan0 says:

        I know DD & Patches had an excellent year together last year,and have complimented each other very well in the minors,but it just doesn’t seem to be working out this year. MT must be a very patient man.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Only point I want to emphasize is that Therrien used to use Tortorella’s methods in calling out his players publicly (“The defense is soft….”), and the closest he has come to returning to those methods was giving P.K. puzzlingly small amounts of ice-time after his holdout. I will go out on a limb, and say when MT, and his assistants, along with MB and Dudley analyze the team’s and individuals’ performances, they would be candid without being degrading. Insert Toe Blake quotation here about how “Fans and media are great, but the quickest way……”

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  52. Maksimir says:

    Budaj gets a contract extension!

    PRESS RELEASE

    MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Wednesday a two-year contract extension for goaltender Peter Budaj (2013-14 and 2014-15). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

    This season, Budaj played eight games with the Canadiens. In his eight NHL season, his second as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, he has a record of six wins, one loss and one overtime/shootout loss. The 30-year old netminder displays a 2.17 goals against average. Budaj blocked 187 of the 204 shots he faced so far this season for a .917 saving percentage and blanked his opponents once.

    Since making his NHL debut, the 6’1’’ and 195 lbs goaltender shows a record of 112 wins, 99 losses and 33 losses in overtime/shootout. Budaj totals 10 shutouts, displaying a career 2.79 goals against average and a .903 save percentage.

    Budaj joined the Canadiens organization as a free agent on July 1, 2011.

  53. aemarchand11 says:

    All i want is home ice advantage in the playoffs… Because i am going to montreal opening week of the playoffs….!

  54. knob says:

    Want to shuffle lines? How about this:
    MaxPac-Plekanec-Ryder
    Bourque-Eller-Gallagher
    Prust-Galchenyuk-Gionta
    Moen-Halpern-White

    Subban-Gorges
    Markov-Drewiski
    Bouillon-Beaulieau

    and no I did not forget about DD, his ommission was intentional.

    • aemarchand11 says:

      Eller was benched this season for non-productivity. DD should be treated no differently, a sit in the pressbox may let him snap out of it?

      I agree with those line combinations.

    • Maksimir says:

      actually – those lines look pretty good buut.. I am not throwing Davey out with the bath water yet… he’ll bounce back!

      • LizardKing12 says:

        I think it’s time that Desharnais spends a game or two in the press box. He just is not playing well enough, half his points came in that 9 game stretch where Pacioretty was playing lights out and has only 12 points in the 30 other games. He’s played 100 minutes more than Eller and Galchenyuk and only has 1 more point than them. He’s played 105 min on the PP compared to Eller’s 21 min and they both have 5 PP points. We’ve tried letting him play through his issues it’s time he gets the same treatment that other players who weren’t producing got. Maybe a benching will light a fire under his ass.

    • Mick says:

      Love these lines. Little David needs to take a seat for a few games.
      He is not being held accountable with the same treatment as other players on this team.

  55. Maksimir says:

    MT starting to lose patience with DD & Patches?

    @JohnLuTSNMtl 25s
    #Habs Therrien says he wants to keep Pacioretty and Desharnais together but is open to changes. Outright says he wants more production.

  56. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    If we’re shuffling lines, I’d like to see:

    Bourque – Eller – Patches
    Gally-Pleks-Ryder
    Chucky – DD – Gio
    White/Moen – Halpern – Prust

    Just for kicks :)

  57. Bob_Sacamano says:

    I´m glad our third or fourth best centre still gets to play with our best LW. That would be absolutely impossible anywhere else in this league. Also: Markov and Bouillon, that´s supposed to be funny, right?

  58. Hamayoune says:

    Top 3 lines are lethal:

    Rene Bourque – Tomas Plekanec – Brian Gionta

    Michael Ryder – Lars Eller – Alex Galchenyuk

    Gallagher – Desharnais – Pacioretty
    (Ignore orders)

    This is gonna be fun to watch!

  59. The Cat says:

    Speaking of Stanley cup odds. Even though I believe the habs will make the finals, there was no value to bet them, but the 2 I took with loto quebec was Minny at 13-1 and Washington at 40-1 just 3 weeks ago! Anybody else have cup bets?

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  60. Loonie says:

    Some of you have mentioned that Ryder being put with Eller is a move to reward #81.

    Would it not be more logical to presume that the morning after a game where Ryder was benched for soft defensive play that it is in fact a demotion for Ryder?

    • krob1000 says:

      Don’t much care for the reasoning but excited at the prospect of Galchenyuk with another pure shooter….he was excelling when he had Gallagher who already has an upper end release…Ryder will be gold with Galchenyuk if he is playing with the confidence he has shown of late. Bourque also played well with Pleks before and was in fine form last night.

  61. ed says:

    so today is crap on Desharnais day at HIO.

    Great fans we have here.

    Trade him! He’s so small! He’s a terrible skater! He only succeeds because of his wingers! He’s worse than Eller! He’s a flash in the pan!

    I wish Desharnais could actually respond for himself. He would smile and with great class simply shrug his shoulders.

    His entire career, people have been doubting his talent; and yet he continued to amaze and continued to produce.

    • Loonie says:

      Unless he improves dramatically he’s the odd man out Ed. There’s no doubt he has class but that doesn’t have anything to do with production or his on-ice role with the team.

      Mathieu Darche has class and wasn’t re-signed.

      It’s my opinion that he isn’t as good of a hockey player as Plekanec, Eller or Galchenyuk. That doesn’t mean I dislike him or think he’s without class. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t admire his proving critics wrong. Hopefully he improves because it appears the coach has no intention of demoting him accordingly.

      • ed says:

        Loonie, he’s a streaky player. It’s been a very short season.

        He has helped this team climb to the top of the standings, and played a significant role doing so.

        the criticism against him and his production is therefore unwarranted.

        • Loonie says:

          He’s on a winning team and that justifies how he’s used on that team? I believe very strongly that’s a half truth Ed. It’s easy for the coach to justify Desharnais’ role on the team when it’s winning, but if fortune turns and the team starts losing, it’s the opinion of many that there are better options available on this team to play in Desharnais’ role.

          I agree with those people.

          • ed says:

            Just put yourself in the long line of Desharnais doubters. Its a long, long line of hockey pundits who find themselves shaking their heads each time Desharnais has proven them wrong.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Ed, so you think DD has yet to reach his full potential? Many of us here think he has.. a 50-60 point center-man that is ok.

          • Loonie says:

            Nobody’s saying he’s a bad player Ed. But his productivity both at even strength and on the powerplay this season and in addition his mediocre defensive play create room for improvement.

            There’s absolutely no question with regard to his contributions last season and this season, they’re night and day.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Ed, I’m sorry for butting in here but I’m more concerned with getting Patches going. I think its time to seperate the two.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          The criticism is warranted, much hard work in the offensive zone is thwarted by DD being soft on the puck. It has nothing to do with size, because Gally and Gio are both strong on the puck.

          The natural progression of this team seems to be pushing DD to the outside, that is how many Hab fans are thinking anyway. Looking into the future, most of us would be happy to see Chucky develop into a number 1, Eller into a number 2, and Pleks move to 3rd line center once his skills begin to diminish with age.

          Not many of us expect DD to improve beyond what he has already done. He is what he is, a fringe top 6 forward who lacks the attributes to be useful in a bottom 6 role.

          I like DD, but I definitely would not have him as a key element in a long term Championship plan.

          • ed says:

            once Eller and Chucky are your #1 and #2 centers as you post above how much will you pay plekanec to be your # 3?
            That’s the issue.
            Maybe that’s why Desharnais was signed for 4 years.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Jeez, I think Plek has at least 2 seasons left as the top guy, and Galchenyuk is likely a couple years away from being ready from top line assignments. Keeping Galchenyuk and Plekanec have to be the organizational plan, it just makes sense.

            That leaves a “showdown” between Eller and DD for the 2nd line center role, many people see Eller as the better option of the two, leaving DD the odd man out.

      • The Jackal says:

        Would DD succeed as a winger if he was moved to that spot so Eller and Chucky can take on bigger roles?

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • Loonie says:

          I don’t think his game translates well to the wing but I can’t say. He’s not particularly fast, obviously not big and doesn’t have what most would consider an excellent shot.

          I think those attributes are imperative to being successful on the wing if not collectively than at least having one of them at a well above average level.

          I’m not saying he couldn’t succeed on the wing but I wouldn’t bet on him lighting it up there either.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Thanks for posting this Ed. The team is where it is in the standings because of contributions from a lot of its players. A trend is for the outcome of games to be undecided until late if there is no scoring from the defense. Hence, Habs have one of the highest scoring defense corps. Bad bounces happen for every team, but another fluke goal determined yesterday’s outcome. DD this year is making $950,000 so the large contract he obtained for the next four years has no direct bearing on this year, cap-wise, and individual effort-wise.

      I’m adapting ways to enjoy a great season, in spite of unlucky injuries, and the sour disposition of a lot of folks. Pittsburgh is atop the betting charts at 7-2 to win the Cup. Chicago is 5-1. Montreal is around 10-1. This means that out of this group of three, there’s a 60% chance that one will be champ. There is a 40% chance one of the other 13 playoff qualifiers will be champ, and I believe the low-seeded Kings last year were in the long-shot group.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Mick says:

      The “Little David sit parade” I am on that one.

  62. The Juice says:

    Keep Ryder with Pleks…can’t question their success and chemistry to date.

    __________________________________________________________________________

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

    • Hamayoune says:

      Remember what Bourque brought to that line? Priceless drive to the net (let’s hope the magic reignites)

      Third line with Ryder might arguably be the best 3rd line in the league :)

  63. The Cat says:

    Its funny how Erik Cole’s best friends on the habs (Gorges, DD, Pax) have all seemingly regressed since Cole’s departure. They mentioned that on RDS the other day, thought it was interesting.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  64. Loonie says:

    Anyone else dreading the day that Desharnais gets put with Galchenyuk just so the team can squeeze some offense out of him?

    :)

    • pottymonster says:

      You know, that is actually something I could see happening.

      Since we’re gonna be stuck with him for the next 4 years, we might as well play him with our best players so that he can get some points too, right?

    • The Jackal says:

      Do you think instead of moving one of our centres that would just move DD to the wing?

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Loonie says:

        I was half-joking but if that move were to happen I believe they’d put Galchenyuk on the wing.

        • The Jackal says:

          What about when they make Chucky a centre and decide that Eller and Pleks are better than DD – do you think they would move DD to the wing, or trade him? And would he be good on the wing?

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • Loonie says:

            I don’t think they’ll trade Desharnais.

          • The Jackal says:

            Right, so do you think he would be moved to wing, and if so, would he be successful?

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  65. The Jackal says:

    Hi HIO faithful.
    So the sun came up this morning, the Habs are still having a great season, and Price is still ice.

    :D

    Tough loss last night, but only because we deserved to win.
    I like our chances in 7 games against any team, except maybe Pittsburgh.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Luke says:

      Sun didn’t come up in Southern Ontario.
      Torrential Downpours and a Winter Storm warning.

      Hopefully its a harbinger of what awaits the Leafs.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good sentiment, J.

      And liking the new sig — except if you’re referring to this site and us posters, you’re going to have to replace “sine” with “cum multus”!

      • The Jackal says:

        Haha! I’m referring to the knuckle-dragger brand of hockey! Glad to see you got my pretentious Latin reference… I just switched one word for hockey, I should have been doing work but I thought it applied well to hockey :D

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  66. Maritime Ron says:

    Can someone help me out here?
    Being a newbie caused me to miss a lot of the past conversations.

    I love everything Bergevin has done with one exception.
    I believe he blinked Big Time with David Desharnais.

    What was the big panic to give DD 4 years/$14M when every future Cap dollar spent becomes precious?
    He was only going to be an RFA this summer. Not a UFA.
    Sure, he had a nice year last year when most teams didn’t take the Habs seriously. And did he make Cole and Max, or did they make him? Teams now have tape on him.

    His points pace is way down from last year, yet he continues to get big Even Strength and PP minutes. He is also only 1 of 2 (Moen) Habs forwards that is in the Minus category. Yes, he has nice vision, but is not a good skater and is far from defensively tough and responsible.

    Why didn’t Bergevin wait out the year for this Center?
    Plex is a known, superb player and if ever traded, how do you replace all his minutes on all sides of the puck?
    Eller and Chucky have all the tools to be #1 and 2-or 3 with Plex for the next 2-3 years and beyond that. DD is not a 4th line energy center.

    Sorry if I don’t get the DD fit and the almost panic to extend.
    No team would have him as a 3rd or 4th liner at that Cap hit, and I don’t see him as a Top 6 on a Cup contending team.
    I also just don’t see him being any type of force in the playoffs either. Sure, he has character, but so do other centers that are 5″ inches taller and 40 pounds bigger. Maybe he will prove me wrong but I don’t think so.

    So help me out here.
    As I don’t live in Montreal and don’t get all the cultural linguistic things, did that play a part?
    I seem to remember Darche playing up to 22 minutes last year and a whole bunch of PP time, yet could not find a 4th line job with any team this year.

    • The Jackal says:

      Good question.
      I don’t know why that contract, but I think DD has been good for us. He may be having an off season or playing hurt.
      That being said, when we have to move a centre, I would say DD should go. At least his contract is tradeable.

      I don’t think MB makes hockey decisions based on what a few zealots in the media would say. It’s always nice to have Quebecers on the team, but winning comes first. DD was one of the bright spots last season and I think he earned that contract. If he does not play up to it, he can be moved, as his cap hit is low and the term is not very long.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Mr Jackal,

        I don’t hate DD. All I ask was why the panic to sign him long term when he was to become an RFA with only 1 full season and the gang of Centers to evaluate?

        Perhaps we can agree to disagree yet that contract may not be as easy to move as you may believe. Cap has a big decrease next year and few know what it will be moving forward.

        • The Jackal says:

          Probably just to get it out of the way. I don’t think it was a panic.
          3.5 is not too bad for a 50-60 point guy. He is small, but he has proven to be effective. If he does not perform well, I think he can and will be moved.

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • pottymonster says:

        I don’t really know that we can talk about him ‘just having an off season’ when this is only his second full season in the NHL. The league is full of players who were good to great for one year and then their game got found out and it was over for them.

        I definitely think the 4 year deal was a mistake, but it’s not such a huge one that we’re screwed indefinitely. 3.5 million isn’t the end of the world. If Galchenyuk and Eller do indeed turn out to be our number 1 and 2 centers, they’ll figure out a way to move Desharnais if necessary.

    • shiram says:

      Darche played alot because of injuries and he was a coach favorite, I doubt it had anything to do with his place of birth.

    • I don’t think there was any panic, and while I’m sure you’re right that language politics were taken into account, $3.5M/yr for a hard-working 26-year old who’s good for about 0.6-0.7 PPG is a touch high but not obscene.

      I wasn’t surprised by the money, but I was surprised by the term, considering that he’s only had one good full NHL season, and that the 4-year deal makes him difficult to trade.

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Thank you for the replys

  67. Dunboyne Mike says:

    1) Is it possible MT is using the remaining games to try and kick-start DD (like coasting a battery-drained car on an incline) but will move Eller up once the playoffs start and all that matters is scoring?

    2) Boone mentioned sociology and middle-class Montreal anglos being the Price-doubting constituency. Fascinating! Any theories? Or, is it just media mischief, deliberately amplifying the already loud voices of a tiny minority?

    3) No hits by D, disappointment in Gorges. I say, observe the hits that he absorbs from incoming forwards in order to control the puck on our bacb boards.

    4) À Philip: bienvenue et bien dit.

    5) Mention of 690 on Greene Ave: is that where the CKGM/CHOM studios are/were?

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      As for 1), seems like DD’s line has been needing a very large amount of kickstarting this whole season… Seems like DD starts putting up points when Max starts putting up points though the reverse doesn’t appear to be true. Gallagher creates opportunities on his own, and I’m not sure how his points correlates with DD’s.

      • Loonie says:

        You make some good points.

        The people who believed that Desharnais was thriving due to having two very big and fast wingers with him may well have been correct.

        Gallagher goes to the right areas and plays a great style of game, but he doesn’t draw two defenders like Cole did and Pacioretty does.

        • Cal says:

          DD with Pac and Ryder and put Gally with Eller and Chucky for a game. See what happens.
          DD needs 2 sizable wingers to help create space.

          • Hamayoune says:

            Gally creates more space than anyone else does on the team :) Ryder is an outstanding sniper, he’ll do fine with Chucky and Eller

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Valuable observations, Jedi and Loonie. But what I was angling for was speculation!

        • Loonie says:

          If you want speculation it looks very much like Desharnais will prove to be a flash in the pan.

          Not a consistent point producer and not worthy of a top six role.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            You see, I can live with that: suspect it might be true, hope it’s not, hope he explodes in the playoffs, disappointed but not gob-smacked if he doesn’t etc.

            What I can’t live with is the bizarre notion that it has anything to do with language.

            Cheers

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        I think that, if ever there was a season that DD needed to prove himself to solidify his role on the team, it is this one.

        With the emergence of both Eller and Galchenyuk, there are now two centers with skill, size and defensive ability who should be able to not only occupy the role DD has currently, but could also potentially become two of the best centers the Habs have had in many, many years.

    • philip says:

      1) I don’t think so, if his plan was to put Eller on a more preeminent line, he would do it now to give him time to gel with new linemates. I think DD plays subpar right now, but he showed moments of brilliance in a couple of (too rare) games.

      2) I listened to plenty of french radio and they are overtly critical of Price too. Shortsightedness as no language barrier when it comes to goalies in Montreal. Just read the comments on TVASport.ca, it’s abysmal.

      3) I think Gorges serve the team better by accepting to get hit by the other team in order to make the simple play than by compromising his positioning and looking to hit himself. That said, when the opportunity comes, he should be knocking.

      4) bonjour a toi et merci

      5) Google. Maps.

  68. If anyone’s looking for a pick-me-up after a tough loss, having a look at our 1999-2000 roster might cheer you up.

    Our top four scorers that year: Rucinsky, Zubrus, Zholtok, Brisebois. Rucinsky led the team with 49 points.

    Other notable forwards: Jesse Belanger, Craig Darby, Trent McCleary, Matt Higgins, Patrick Poulin, Dave Morissette, Juha Lind, Andrei Bashkirov, Jim Cummins, Turner Stevenson and Jason Ward.

    And if you think our D corps is thin now, consider the D-men who suited up for Montreal that year: Patrice Brisebois, Eric Weinrich, Karl Dykhuis, Craig Rivet, Francis Bouillon, Scott Lachance, Igor Ulanov, Sheldon Souray, Miroslav Guren, Barry Richter, Christian Laflamme, Vladimir Malakhov, Stephane Robidas (one game).

    Feel better? : )

    Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • pottymonster says:

      When I look back at that period of our history, all I see are legends.

      They were the best and the worst… and I loved them.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Wow, Cautious. There was the guts of a decade there — post-Cup, pre-HIO — when it was almost impossible to follow the Habs here in Ireland. The occasional CJAD broadcast. You have names there I never heard of: Lind, Cummins, Bashkirov? Lachance, Guren, Laflamme? Reminds me of how much I missed (or how little, some might say!).
      With that info to hand, you obviously stuck loyal throughout. Fair play to you. Adds extra sweetness now, doesn’t it?!
      Cheers

  69. veryhabby says:

    Like everyone here, I don’t get the love the coach is giving the DD line. Doesn’t sound like the team concept he has been preaching all season. Isn’t it better for the team for them to recieve less ice time till they figure out what they aren’t doing correctly!

    The only way Ryder on Eller line works is if the coach plays this line more minutes. It’s time the coach realizes that Pleks line is the #1 line. Play them a few minutes more, but then the new eller line and the old DD line should play equal minutes. You dont’ score on the first PP chance you had, then the other line plays the next PP (naturally with Pleks line starting the PP). But the coach still plays DD as the top line and I don’t get it. Ryder is our best goal scorer. You can’t have him playing 3rd line minutes when this team can barely score 5 on 5.

  70. johnnylarue says:

    Does anyone else think that stubbornly refusing to play Kaberle (i.e. to keep him healthy and buy-outable) could wind up being detrimental?

    I acknowledge his propensity for looking totally useless some nights, and yes, he’s the first defenseman in NHL history to use a 3-foot long hockey stick. But guys, I’m not sure having Beaulieu and Whiskey for a bottom pair is gonna fly. With all due respect to our blue-chipper and likeable, newly-acquired journeyman AHLer, I can’t see how having an experienced Kabs in the lineup wouldn’t be an upgrade.

    Moreover, what the hell ever happened to Weber???

    • Danno says:

      It might have something to do with the #2 amnesty buyout. Isn’t there something in the CBA about only buying out players if they are not injured?

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
      Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

      • johnnylarue says:

        S’what I’m talkin’ about in the first line–keeping him “healthy and buy-outable.”

        I’m just saying–what if not playing Kaberle is unfairly hurting us in the short-term? Is it worth keeping him out of the lineup just to ensure he can be bought out?

        I’m guessing the answer is still yes, with next year’s major Cap Compromise. Unfortunate circumstance.

        • shiram says:

          I’m not so sure Kaberle would be a true upgrade over Drewiske or anyone else for that matter.
          Sure he could probably help the PP, but his ES time would be a disaster.
          And beyond that, you have to know Bergevin is taking the long route, he’s not looking at short term success but to a long period of success and Cup contention.
          Buying out a healthy Kaberle this summer is all about the long term…

          • I’m not sure he’s as disastrous as all that at even strength. Last year he was a -6 on a terrible team, and still managed 22 points in 43 games. He’s gaffe-prone for sure, but he isn’t exactly MAB. : )

            Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

          • Luke says:

            When he’s played this season, Kaberle hasn’t been a concern at all. He played against the Goon squad Leafs and Bruins and came away with points and was a plus in the wins. He was a plus in the Pittsburgh shootout.

            It’s unfortunate. He’s a 40pt defenseman who’s caught in the Cap game.

        • I just feel bad for the guy. By all accounts he’s taking it like a pro, and he always seems to be out at the optional skates, but it’s gotta be hard for a 15-year NHL vet who’s still good for 0.5 PPG to sit out a season because of cap issues.

          Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

        • Danno says:

          I see. But we may be pleasantly surprised by the Drewiske/Beaulieu pairing. Only time will tell. Plus Diaz may be back and that changes everything.

          ________________________________________

          “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
          Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Drewiske has more NHL games played than Emelin

    • Cal says:

      He will be bought out, period. His days playing for the Habs are over.

  71. Habitoban says:

    I must me missing something, but I’m not sure why we don’t put Gally back with Chuckie and move Ryder to the DD line. The current DD line with Gally is too small. We need to go back to the 2 1/2 man format that worked so well in the past. We know that Gally and Chuckie work well together.

  72. It pains me to say it, but between Beaulieu, Drewiske, Kaberle and Weber, we really don’t have much of a 3rd pairing — and even Bouillon, who I really like, is a real stretch as a 2nd pairing D.

    I know some will shout me down for this, but Kaberle may be part of our (admittedly stopgap) solution. He’s prone to gaffes, but he’s a +4 in 10 games and is probably a better player at this stage than Beaulieu or Weber. Our 2nd PP pairing looks pretty pathetic with guys like Bouillon and Gorges on it, and Kaberle could help.

    Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • mksness says:

      if you can control kaberle’s minutes and match ups he would be okay. but i don’t think we’ll see him back.

      our D isn’t as bad as people are making it out to be. markov and subban are playing at the top of their game and Franky B is working super hard and playing really to the best of his abilities. I would like to see a bit more from josh though.

      • I agree — Gorges is good and plays tough minutes, but has had rough spots this year. Bouillon has impressed me this year too, but on a good defensive corps I think he’s a 3rd pairing guy.

        If we don’t see Kaberle back, I think it’ll have less to do with his ability to contribute on the ice, and more to do with the possibility of an injury spoiling the team’s buyout plans. Which is too bad — he’s a hard worker, a decent player and a team guy — he deserves to play.

        Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • 24 Cups says:

      Totally agree but Kaberle’s cap space is the last demon that needs to be purged from the past.

      The team will be able to save 3M next season in true cap space (K-B=3M) with Kaberle’s amnesty buyout. The difference in play between him and Beaulieu (right now) obviously isn’t worth the risk of injury and the loss of 3M next year.

      • Right now, absolutely. But in a big playoff game, I’m not sure — there’s always a chance of injury, but on any given night it’s pretty low. And on a must-win night, I’d say it’s probably worth it…

        Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

  73. gK_HabsFan says:

    Thoughts:

    -The issue with DD is that he is a one dimensional player. If you split him and Max up, who do you play him with so that he is somewhat valuable?

    -I was reading a stat yesterday that Eller and DD were tied in PP points, but Eller had only played 20 mins on the pp, whereas DD 120 mins…

    -Really liked the way Beaulieu played in the 3rd. Made a good play on the second goal. Like the fact that MT put him out on the ice when we needed a goal. He played 14:00 without any pp time.

    - The practice lines for today had Bourque slip in with pleks and gio. I would have much rather prefer having pleks play with ryder and bourque, and have gionta move in with Eller and Galchenyuk…

    - I would have preferred to have Eller out on the ice in the last minute than DD. He was having a much better game to that point.

    - re: DD and Max struggles. I would rather they struggle now than in the playoffs. Hopefully they get going soon and carry that momentum into the playoffs.

    - Our defensive depth is looking paper thin right now. Hopefully Diaz comes back soon. However, is he the answer?

  74. 24 Cups says:

    Move Eller up the depth chart! It’s a no-brainer.

    Replace Beaulieu with Diaz and you have your opening night playoff line-up.

    • mrhabby says:

      defence looking thin..yikes.

      • 24 Cups says:

        This is when Gauthier’s panic move to bring in Kaberle really comes back to bite the team in the butt.

        Can this D make it through four rounds? Highly unlikely. However, unlike other seasons, this isn’t a team that has stumbled into the playoffs during the last weekend of the schedule. (it’s a Hail Mary pass from the 30 yard line with twenty seconds to go in the game) There is a sense of promise in the air whereby the playoffs will be a stepping stone to the future. I’ll be happy to take whatever comes our way knowing full well that some decent building blocks and secondary pieces are in place.

    • Born in a Bad Year says:

      Speaking as someone who had listed Lars as my profile “Current Favourite Hab” since O’Byrne was traded, there is no further up on this team than being given the teams’s hottest scorer on his proper wing. All the line needs now is the proper amount of power play time.

  75. Mr_MacDougall says:

    I agree, no way you think of moving your best forward.. by a large margin.

  76. Old Bald Bird says:

    People always assume that trading = dumping. You must trade something to get something. Everyone is tradeable for the right return.

  77. Hobie Hansen says:

    Eller is looking like he could replace Plekanec. So I wouldn’t mind if the habs traded Plekenec over the summer if they got something we needed in return.

    Eller has taken a step forward this years thanks to the coaching staff.

    I’d trade Eller and keep Plekanec as well.

  78. Hobie Hansen says:

    I wouldn’t take Vinny for nothing. TB could offer to trade Montreal Vinny for a 5th round pick and Bergevin would say no.

  79. Old Bald Bird says:

    Crosby + Malkin.
    See, I can be silly too.

  80. Timo says:

    Not a backup for long ;)

  81. Mike D says:

    Unfortunately a good backup goalie is largely undervalued by most in the hockey community.

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  82. H.Upmann says:

    I wanna see Tomas JAGR…

  83. Yeah an extra 12 points will be great for us!

    Bruins can lead anything they want, if you can’t beat the Habs, you don’t go far :lol:

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

  84. Adidess says:

    It’s ok and I think not quite over yet. Either way, we should be fine in the first round. In fact, facing a late playoff clincher like Washington could be tougher than playing the Leafs.

  85. They don’t impress me.

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

  86. GGtheHab says:

    gainey believed the rule changes would allow smaller faster players to excel without the clutching ang grabbing..higgins and Dagosini havent really been lighting it up, koivu wasnt traded, and ribero was rushed in and out of the organization…still dont like his smug face

  87. H.Upmann says:

    Oh man… There is an article somewhere about how Gainey was reading a management/business book called The Tipping Point. I think Kovalev, Smurfs, etc etc was meant to create catalytic effects….. And they did. But somewhere along the way there was this crazy playoff run. Anyways I’m happy he changed the culture of the organisation and I don’t think we could be where we are today without him being there..


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