Therrien tinkers with lines; no NHL discipline for Leafs’ Grabovski

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien tinkered with his lines again at practice on Monday morning in Brossard after Saturday’s embarrassing 6-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Desharnais-Pacioretty-Cole line that led the Canadiens in offence last season has been re-jigged. Forward Brandon Prust played with David Desharnais and Erik Cole at practice, while Max Pacioretty was paired up with rookies Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher.

“Obviously with Desharnais’s line we don’t have the result that we’re looking for,” Therrien said after practice.

“We gave those guys a lot of chances. We spoke to those guys and they know where we’re (coming from),” Therrien said, adding he hadn’t seen much chemistry on that line during the last game.

It’s one of the reasons why they tried to make some changes and will hopefully get better results, he said.

Galchenyuk and Gallagher have a lot of speed, Therrien said. “And having a guy like Pacioretty will be tough to contain with their speed. He’s got size.”

Prust did a great job with the two rookies, Therrien said. “He’s a tough guy to play against and maybe this is what Desharnais and Cole need – you know, a true leader on the ice.”

After the loss to the Leafs, Cole sent a text message to his teammates on a group chat that he set up during the National Hockey League lockout. He wrote that all teams will face a difficult time. The Canadiens are in the midst of one right now and it’s up to them to get themselves out of it. 

Cole said he also told his teammates that he plans on being a lot better and to help be part of the solution.

Pacioretty said he wasn’t looking at the line change as a demotion but rather as a change of scenery.

“It’s not working,” Paciorettey said. “The team needs something different. I’ve been under-achieving. My linemates have been under-achieving. The chemistry didn’t seem like it’s there right now. We haven’t helped the team win.

“I can just speak for myself personally: I’ve got to be better,” Pacioretty added.

After practice, the Canadiens headed to Florida, where they’ll play the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (7:30 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio) and the Panthers on Thursday.

At this juncture of the season, Therrien wishes the Canadiens had a slightly better record because of how they’ve played.

“I thought we played a solid game against the Bruins. I thought we played a decent game against Buffalo. We were in a great position to win that hockey game,” he said, referring to last week’s games. “And obviously (Saturday’s match)…was a tough one.”

The team is still in a good position, Therrien said. “It’s going to be tight until the end of the year and…we all understand that.”

“We’ve got to get back to the winning streak tomorrow,” he added. “That’s the way we see it.”

The NHL announced on Monday afternoon that the Maple Leafs’ Mikhail Grabovski would not face supplemental discipline for allegedly biting Pacioretty on the arm during Saturday’s fight-filled game. Here’s the official statement:

“Following a telephone hearing conducted this morning, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety has decided not to assess Supplemental Discipline to Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Gravovski for an incident that occurred during NHL Game No. 160 Saturday night in Montreal.

“After interviewing both players involved in the incident and reviewing all of the available video and medical reports, the League could not determine conclusively that Grabovski bit Montreal forward Max Pacioretty.

“The Department of Player Safety has concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to support imposing Supplemental Discipline.”

For a photo gallery of Biting in Sports, click here.

1,018 Comments

  1. OMG says:

    Forget about the patch work. We’ve done that far too long. Keep rebuilding with the kids and someday we’ll have a good team like the three guys in the picture.

  2. Strummer says:

    Brendan, Alex and Max-

    “BAM Line”

    Love it!

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

  3. pete says:

    good day everyone well lets hope that the beating was enough to wake everyone up. i hope by putting patches withe the kids the get more ice time we need to be hungrey every game moen needs to get physical MT needs to stand up for the players. Thats somthing JM did not do and we cant keep doing it i think bringing up stiordihow ever you say his name he dont seem that bad from the few dogs games i saw. But alot ofs shoulds coulds and did nots well lets hope we sweep the 2 florida games

  4. commandant says:

    The Wrestling thing in the Olympics is really strange.

    This is one of the foundation sports of the games (along with track and field events like sprints, marathon, javelin, etc) and swimming. These events are things that were part of the ancient olympics and bring it forward to today.

    I’m really disappointed in the removal of Olympic wrestling. It was one of the events that was a cornerstone to the Olympics being what they are IMO.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  5. Old Bald Bird says:

    Had a dream last night, maybe more of a nightmare, that they traded Price for two guys. Wish I could remember who they were.

  6. Mattyleg says:

    What are we going to do with all the biting?
    Stop marinating our arms?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  7. SteverenO says:

    I wonder if Gomez is still playing on the power play.In 26 minutes of PP ice time the Sharks have scored one pp goal.

    While he has zero goals he has managed two assists and is only a minus 3 overall.

    Perhaps the Sharks are losing regularly because the players don,t understand why the Gomer is getting PP minutes?

    On the other hand there are some her who would like to have him back on the Habs, because he is stellar on the faceoffs this year with an amazing 64% average.

    One of the things that bothers me most is people who think that faceoff percentage is so important. In reality, very few faceoffs actually impact a game. It is far more important what the team does with the puck AFTER they win the faceoff, or how they defend AFTER they lose the faceoff.

    I havent seem any numbers but I would doubt VERY highly that there is any correlation between a teams faceoff success and their winning percentage.

    regards,

    Steve O..

    regards,

    Steve O.

  8. mike3131 says:

    I’ve gotta say it would be pretty sweet if we brought John Erskine to Montreal. He might not be the best skater, but he can hit, fight, and most importantly, he can defend. I checked his THN bio and he’s a plus player averaging 19 minutes per game with Washington! http://forecaster.thehockeynews.com/hockeynews/hockey/player.php?1782
    He would be perfect as a bridge d-man until Tinordi is ready. And imagine he plays with Diaz! Then you could put PK and Gorges back together no problem…

    Gorges – Subban
    Emelin – Markov
    Erskine – Diaz

    Make it happen MB!

    https://twitter.com/mikelangerr

    • Loonie says:

      You make a very good point.

      Not necessarily with Erskine himself but most seem to be pining for the 30 goal scorer or defensively responsible forward who can fight with anyone.

      Just so happens that there are plenty of good defensemen in the league who can play well and fight. They’re much easier to find than a Lucic, Malone or Clowe.

    • Sportfan says:

      You aren’t the only one who has mentioned Erskine, and frankly I wouldn’t have a problem with him or someone like him as long as he can play D properly and effectively

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Kooch7800 says:

      If used right I agree he would be an asset. Don’t think it would take that much to get him out of the caps organization but who would we give up? Weber? Would that be enough?

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Luke says:

      The problem isn’t a lack of Erskine… and I don’t think acquiring him is a bad idea… the problem is super obvious (in my opinion) and is the first thing you typed.

      Gorges.

      Gorges is great. He’s a team guy & a shot blocker. On a good team he is a 5 or a 6. He’s not top 3. Markov and Subban are top 3. Then we have a few 5,6’s. The defense is really lacking the #3 & 4 defensemen.

      I don’t think Gorges brings enough to really be considered a #4. His offense is non-existant and I think you need to contribute at least a good outlet pass or be able to physically pound people to creep up into that #4 spot.

      Gorges is basically Hal Gill but three feet shorter.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        That has been addressed in the drafting I think. We have some really solid D prospects but they are still a couple years away. this teams D in three years should be really solid if everything stays on the right development track. I don’t see MB giving up anything major for a D man as they are always looking at a 5 year plan not just this season.

        Our offense is a bigger issue long term.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  9. Loonie says:

    Galchenyuk, Gallagher and Pacioretty is a line that can score with a clean shot from anywhere in the offensive zone.

    And it’s our only line that can do that.

    My question regarding that line is, will Therrien play them more if the Habs fall behind? In my opinion he should.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      This could be an important line in the future of the team, but I wonder if MT will give them enough ice time at present.

      • geo_habsgo says:

        I think that they will get more ice time today if they come out with jump. I think Therrien has been a bit reluctant to use them but they have been scoring at a good clip with average minutes. Now that they have a winger like MaxPac on their line they can potentially explode.

        I’d personally like to see Chucky pot a couple of goals this week!

    • Habfan17 says:

      I agree, no matter how the game is going, keep putting them out for their regular shift

      Habfan17

  10. nek25plus says:

    DD down to third line, Eller up with Patches and Cole. If DD can’t turn it around, time to make a decision. He was great last year, but it was probably a career year.

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    Given Stubbs has put some tweets out regarding the IOC’s recent decision to remove wrestling from Olympics, what idiots indeed this group of bribed slimeballs they are.

    I may not personally be a big fan of Olympic wrestling, but it is a sport which has passed the test of time and is a true man vs. man competition.

    GIven all the other Kife sports they have added to the Olympics, I can’t believe they are removing wrestling. Oh well, no surprise as the IOC stands for Incompetent Organized Crime.

  12. Hobie Hansen says:

    Ok, so the the nerves have cooled after Saturday’s humiliation. I apologize to my fellow HIO posters for flying off the handle yesterday. I hate seeing my favourite team beat up and embarrassed.

    Anyhow, really looking forward to seeing how the club responds tonight. Anxious to see Pacioretty playing alongside Gallagher and Galchenyuk. If Pacioretty and Galchenyuk get their speed going and use their size to their advantage it could work out really well.

    If we could get two lines going I’d be ecstatic. Hopefully Bourque and Plekanec keep this solid playing going.

    Markov has been the topic of discussion as he has looked very ordinary on even strength. I agree with other posters that his ice time should be managed carefully and they should obviously load him up on the PP. It would be nice if Subban and Gorges were the top unit and Markov’s minutes stayed below 20.

    Hoping for a big bounce back game tonight!

    Go Habs Go!

    • shiram says:

      Here’s hoping Bourque keeps playing his game, I’m a bit worried about his reputation for inconsistency, and with Gio not exactly lighting it up it could be a problem soon.
      But I think the Gallys with Patches is a good move, that line can be all attack and Patches is a great improvement over Prust in the scoring department.

      Wish you all a great game tonight!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Welcome back Hobie! Lets hope tonight brings us more pleasant discussions.

      CHeers bud.

    • veryhabby says:

      I think we need to remember that Patches did have a minor surgery done in which he was still supose to be recovery from. We all know he took 1 week off. It’s nice to see that dedication, but maybe he’s still not at 100%. Or even if he is now, the last few games he wasn’t. I know when you are in a slump you want to play asap to get out of it. But trying to get out of a slump while recovering from sugery can’t be the ideal thing. It may have hindered him and now he’s still in a funk. Hopefully this change helps.

      Funny how yesterday he said he didn’t see this as a demotion to 3rd line, while we are all saying DD is now 3rd line. I hope coach gives them equal ice time in first, and then goes with the line that is clicking more as the 2nd for the rest of game.

      As for Markov. I think it’s a matter of team trying to not overuse PK in his first games. He needed time to catch up to “game shape” to everyone else who had been playing for weeks. But looks to me like he has now, I hope this means his ice time goes up and Markov down a little. Even if he stays playing with Bouillion, coach has no issue using Bouillon lots (whether we agree or not).

      So we don’t need to switch up pairings yet. Let the frwd line changes play out and see if it helps. If our GA goes up a lot, then I think you may see D pairing changes. Right now I feel all 3 pairings are equal. There is none that stands out as our #1- #3 pairing. He’s taken our 3 best dmen and paired them with our #4-6 dmen.

    • Habfan17 says:

      @ Hobie Hansen – Did you fly off the handle? …lol We all are guilty of getting over passionate from time to time.

      I do not hold your views of getting an enforcer, but I do think we share the same view that the Habs need at least two, maybe three players with sandpaper and size , that when the Ref’s do not apply the rules, can step up. I am thinking players like Robinson, McPhee, and Lapointe. The type that other teams did not want to piss off.

      I am not sure how far back you go, however, back in the 70’s I went to an exhibition game at the forum between the Habs and Bruins. A bench clearing brawl broke out and eevn Dryden was involved. What really surprised me was Guy Lapointe taking it to Terry O’Reilly. Here was a quiet player, very good defenceman who most did not know could fight when pushed.

      Moen is supposed to be kind of like that. Big, skilled and gritty!!
      It was nice jabbing with you yesterday!

      Habfan17

  13. mrhabby says:

    it will be interesting to see going forward if the teams that we face will be deploying the same style of play against us that caused the habs so much problems last week….pressure the puck carrier , heavy forecheck and keep players to the outside.

  14. Dunboyne Mike says:

    La Presse article on the MT’s new lines features that pic from the Gs’ first game. I looked at it closer than previously. OMG, but they are BOYS. Esp Gallagher. Simultaneously terrifying and wonderful.

  15. bleedhabs81 says:

    As it stands now, Gomez is on pace for a worse season in terms of pts, but he could have more hits.

    I guess one big game would change the projections…. bwhahahaha.

  16. Mothstoflame says:

    I find it funny that St Louis has gone 0-5-1 and the sharks lots 5 straight. The only 2 teams to acquire bought out players..

    • Loonie says:

      Habs signed Colby Armstrong – a bought out player.

    • Clay says:

      I believe St. Louis is winless since Halak went down. Not that he had great numbers this season so far, but he was winning games.

      __________________________
      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I heard one of the talking heads on a network mention that Hitchcock prefers Elliot over Halak, or that he trusts him more. Have to believe once Halak gets back, Hitch will no longer feel that way.

        The St. Louis defensive pressure helps make goalies nights easier, but I believe so far this year and last years playoffs, that Elliot has shown he is just a product of the St. Louis defensive system. Halak on the other hand is a very good goalie, he just needs to find a way to stay healthy.

        • Loonie says:

          And consistent. He throws up stinkers regularly.

          If he could eliminate that one game out of every three or four where he’s an absolute dumpster fire he’d be a Vezina candidate.

        • Phil C says:

          After watching Elliott’s last season in Ottawa, I am shocked he is still in the league. Getting to play for Hitchcock was like winning the lottery.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I have a grand theory on that below. (Reply to CCL)
      Fire at will.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Was that around the same time PK rejoined the Habs, if were going on conspiracy theories. ;-)

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Was that to me? No, no conspiracy theory (not this time; am in quiet, thoughtful mode today). I just think teams are succeeding more out of adapting well to weird season circumstances than to actually being better teams. Hopefully it’s temporary.

  17. Big Buffy Boat Club says:

    Sharks have loss 5 in a row, so have the Blues and the Lightning have dropped their last 4. Let’s keep perspective, as someone here pointed out earlier we are likely going to finish between 6th and 12th, there will be more winning and losing streaks for us. Bottom line for me is our goaltender will give us a chance to win every night.

    ———————————————————————————-
    “Crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of the women.”

  18. Habsrule1 says:

    Looking forward to a big win tonight!

    I really hope Eller gets a fair chance soon. Love to see how he’d do with really good linemates for 5 games at least. That said, it’s not easy to demote players who did so well last year. You don’t erase 82 games because of 11 games. I like the shake-up but that had to be a tough decision. DD proved himself for a full season. Eller has not gotten the same chances, but he has also displayed inconsistentcy in the effort department. He’s still young and I think he’ll have a great career in the NHL. I’d be fine with the Habs making trades to move Eller up if he shows the work effort they are looking for, followed by consistent play.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Habfan17 says:

      That would make sense. I would argue that DD has not proven much yet. Cole was new to the Habs last year and wanted to prove he was worth the big contract. Patches was making a comeback and was looking to prove himself. I would say Cole overachieved, scoring the most goals in one season.

      Now DD doesn’t win faceoffs, and is outmuscled consistently. He is not making room for himself using his smarts. Some say his skating is average at best.
      If Eller continues playing the way he has since the time in the press box, he should get the quality linemates and a top 6 spot.

      Habfan17

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Last year what impressed me the most about DD was how he went to the boards and ALWAYS came out with the puck. The kid never lost a battle. He doesn’t seem to want to do that as much anymore. Maybe he realizes that it takes a toll!
        I’m all for giving Eller every chance to prove he’s the better player, but we can’t trade anyone until we’re sure Eller can do the job.
        If I’m coach, I’m putting Eller in the best place to succeed and riding it for at least 5 games. I know that’s not a lot, but it’s so hard to stick with things if they don’t work fast in a short season.
        Really tough calls for the coach. That’s kinda why I don’t agree with all the coach bashing that goes on here. Our jobs don’t depend on wins.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

  19. boottspurr says:

    “there was not sufficient evidence to support imposing Supplemental Discipline”… Wow, this means that Grabovski straight up lied to the league in his disciplinary hearing. “no I didn’t bite him, patches is lying! He got a tetanus shot just to screw with me.”

    • Loonie says:

      If there wasn’t sufficient video evidence the league never would have scheduled a meeting with him.

      It was all done with optics in mind.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      What bugs me is why can they not just go by what the ref saw? Did Max not show the ref? Was it not obvious? How about medical records? Doctor must have been fairly sure the broken skin was caused by a bite do give him a tetanus shot.
      The NHL is a joke. Biting? Really? Let him get away with that?

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Luke says:

        This is the grey (gray?) area.

        Were the marks caused by a bite or because Max crammed his forearm in Grabovski’s mouth and pressed against his teeth.

        I hate the Leafs. I hate the goon stuff. This is the proper call by the league. Why are we not chirping aboyut Max neck-cranking a much smaller player from behind?

        The league is a joke, but it’s not the ‘bite’ that makes it one. Its the nonsense that they allow that led to the bite.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Not sure I agree. Max jumped Grab after Grab jumped in on another 2 players. The video looks really clear to me that he actually bit down. There’s no way that was at all necessary. I don’t think he was the first player in history to get grabbed from behind. There’s no defending what he did. I think that makes the NHL a joke, along with countless other things.
          Cramming your arm to someone’s mouth would not break the skin. You don’t have to be Dr. Recchi to know that.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

  20. Loonie says:

    Two Habs scouts at the Flyers/Leafs game last night.

    They could have been there to see the Flyers before the Habs play them later this week, could have been there to see the Leafs post-debacle.

    But maybe, just maybe those Flyers are interested in Kaberle. They have reportedly been high on him for quite some time(god knows why).

    So, with that in mind who off of their roster can Kaberle get you?

    Gonna take a stab…..

    Kaberle and Kristo for Read and a mid-late round draft pick.

  21. CCL says:

    The lines for tonight is as good as it gets for Montreal. As for Tampa Bay. I don’t understand that team. Their top six can pretty much match anybody’s and their on a loosing streak. That’s hockey I guess. It’ll probably come down to goal tending again tonight. Kinda like Saturday. Hope the Habs win.

    Would like to see them make the playoffs. Who knows what could happen.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      CCL, I wonder if there are a lot of similar mysteries around the league. There’s Tampa Bay, as you say, and there are other surprises, and there’s us — not so much losing to the Leafs, but getting annihilated and shut out on our own ice.

      Everyone in the league will have been selling the idea that it’s all business as usual and that “we’re all professionals”. But the fact of the matter is that the lock-out, playing in Europe, the uncertainty about when or whether the season would happen, the 1-week training camp etc etc were as terrible a preparation the resumption of competition as you could imagine. And for some reason, a handful of teams are just coping better with it. Perhaps the relaunch will just take longer than we want (or the League is prepared to admit to) and we fans have to be more realistic. If it doesn’t take too long, the curve might straighten out and the quality will start rising to the surface. I’m not saying Montreal wins the division. However, I was excited about our prospects this year, and still am because there’s no way we are actually as bad as we looked on Saturday (or the Leafs are as good as we made them look!). Hopefully Tampa didn’t find its mojo this afternoon. And we have.
      Cheers

  22. Loonie says:

    Time to settle in and hope for the best.

    With all of the no trade clauses on this roster, the makeup of this team won’t be changing much until the summer of 2014.

    • Clay says:

      A lot of players might want to jump off the sinking ship, and have a chance at the Cup.

      __________________________
      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

  23. Mavid says:

    Gally’s B day today..nice present if he pots a couple

  24. otisfxu says:

    Leafs win again. Imagine Leafs in playoffs, Habs out. That would be nasty.
    I thought teams like Philly and Washington would be waking up and moving up the standings knocking teams like the Leafs out of top 8.
    May not happen this year. – Washington sucks bad, and Flyers miss Hartnell and Pronger. Sabres – probably not. Only team to improve over rest of season will be the Rangers. They will start climbing.

    I’ve seen Habs on these beach trips – haven’t always been great outcomes. they really need at least 3 points in sunshine state.

  25. The Jackal says:

    @Matty – my thoughts exacty. We are all just pissed it was the Laffs.

  26. Mattyleg says:

    We’ve got a totally nutty season on our hands.
    In how many games has at least one team scored more than five goals? Tons!

    This goes to show that not even the best teams can keep their intensity level going for three-plus games a week. There are few teams that seem consistent, with results swinging wildly from night to night.

    Anybody who says ‘such-and-such-a-team has no chance to make the playoffs looking like that’ only needs to wait a few nights for them to look like shoo-ins for the Cup. We were looking unbeatable for a few games there, as were the Sharks, and then we got a couple of close decisions against us and a hammering. People who are saying that we got an easy start are wrong, because so-called ‘good’ teams have been on the receiving end of as much butt-whupping as we have. With, as I’ve said, a few exceptions.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habfan10912 says:

      It is beginning to resemble the NFL in a way you have described it. One week a team will look like a Super Bowl Contender, the next a high draft pick team. Perhaps the shortened season with no training camp has something to do with it.

      ———————————–

    • 44har48 says:

      We saw it in the NBA last year and now this league this year…it’s just bad hockey and there is no predictability as to who will stay healthy, who is in shape, who will have that lul that will eliminate them even thought they are a playoff caliber team…

      It’s better hockey than the NBA was basketball last year, but not much at this point. I’m just glad to see NHL hockey, it wil get better, next year :).

    • Chuck says:

      Not only will they make the playoffs, but the Laffs will win the Cup.

      ___________________________________________________
      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  27. Habfan17 says:

    I think the NHL has to cap the number of consecutive years a team can draft in the top 5. With the Talent that the Oilers and Islanders have added, they should both be doing much better.
    The odds are against a team adding that much talent and still sucking so much!

    Habfan17

  28. HabFanSince72 says:

    H I/O beefcake-lovers – you’re not alone:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TWwrycK3tkw


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  29. Habfan17 says:

    I just took a gander at the standings and the Penguins anf Leafs have the same record, 13 games played, 8 wins 5 losses. Goals for; Pitts 41 TO 39, goals against; Pitts 32, TO 33. Who would have thought?

    Habfan17

  30. habs_54321 says:

    Id like to see Pacioretty start hitting again tonight he has not thrown his body around nearly enough, and he needs to be less hesitant with his lethal snap shots you can tell he’s thinking to much out there.. just put the puck on net and use your strength and speed to crash

  31. Steeltown Hab says:

    Injuries aside, who will be the first Habs forward not named White or Eller to be scratched?

    ———————————

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

  32. Mavid says:

    Hockey tonight..goody..hoping the boys pull out a big win tonight..on a non hockey note I purchased the new 2013 Ford Escape SE..get it Friday..its a beauty nav system..heated seats..can hardly wait..

  33. HabinBurlington says:

    I have to admit something, a small part of me was worried that Gomez was going to find his reset button in San Jose and while we had to turn the page, I was worried it would be hard to watch.

    So far he hasn’t really been able to do so. Last night a minus 2 with a 2 minute minor and he was 2 for 6 in the faceoff circle.

    I do wish him well, but at the same time I was also kind of hoping that indeed it would prove correct that it was time move on.

    Good luck Scotty.

    • Loonie says:

      I’ve been watching a lot of the Sharks this season and he’s just the most snakebit hockey player I’ve ever seen.

      He’s changed his game and looks like he did with the Devils. He’s moving his feet after making passes instead of standing around. He’s going into corners hard after loose pucks.

      I don’t think the points will come but he could wind up being an important part of their playoff puzzle if he keeps playing the way he has.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Two examples of his lack of vision. Saturday he had a player all alone in the slot. He had the puck unmolested. He circled around, missing the wide open player and skated the puck out of the offensive zone thru the neutral zone and into his own zone with no one on him.
      Last night he had the puck near the circle to the right of the Blue Jacket goalie and passed the puck back to the blueline with no one there. It’s almost as if he sees things no one else sees or better yet doesn’t see what everyone else sees.
      Some describe it as snake bitten. It’s not a lack of effort as he was moving and seemed to be hustling. It’s a total lack of confidence. I remember the Mets had a catcher named Mackey Sasser (sp) who all of a sudden lost the ability to throw the ball back to the pitcher. Remember Rick Ankiel of the Cardinsls suddenly losing the ability to throw anything close to a strike? Chuck Knoblauch ring a bell? I think all those are examples of a player having some sort of a mental breakdown which may be what we see in Gomez.

      ———————————–

  34. ed lopaz says:

    I would put Subban back with Gorges for tonight’s game.

    That would be my #1 d pairing, and my #1 penalty kill pairing.

    Gorges and Subban should play the big minutes; with Subban on the power play as well.

    Markov needs to have his minutes cut back immediately. All of his points have come on the power play, and that’s where he can add great value to this team.

    He misses pivots, he doesn’t have the catch up speed any longer, and his play in front of the net has not been good enough, neither for the penalty kill, nor 5 on 5.

    This is an important coaching decision. It is something that should not take another 3, 5, or 10 games to figure out.

    Anyone watching the tape would see that Subban is ready for more minutes and Markov should be given less.

    As I mentioned yesterday, the power play needed to be adjusted prior to the Leafs game and it wasn’t. That is also a coaching decision.

    As Cal correctly pointed out, the power play needs to work more down low, 2 on 1 against one of the low corner defenceman, and then force the pressuring forward to back off of Markov and Subban enough to give them time and space to make a play or shoot.

    Correcting the penalty kill would also be helpful!! Another important coaching decision. We have some excellent penalty killers but I’m not sure the coaches know their names yet!. Diaz has done a nice job and he deserves a lot of credit; but Markov and Emelin have been slow to react, and overplayed.

    Also, I could care less that Armstrong used to be a good NHL player, and that he has a history with Therrien. His foot work is not quick enough for the penalty kill, and he’s not a very tough player any longer either, so I’m not entirely convinced his spot in the lineup is serving any purpose at all.

    Now that we have lost 3 in a row, it is time to start coaching.

    The adjustments in TOI and personnel will be incredibly important this week.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Valid points all the way throught that post Ed. I really hope MT realizes that Markov cannot be treated as the workhorse, that is what PK, Gorges are for.

    • Cal says:

      It’s going to be a good one to watch tonight. I’ll be looking for some adjustments that MT simply has to make. 11 games in, he should have a pretty good idea of what the team can do. Markov should be at 20 minutes and Emelin a little less. MT has to play Diaz with Boullion and forget PP time for Boullion.
      I’m looking for smarter play from the forwards, who have been caught short the last three games. More intensity and more to the net kind of finish. The Bolts are ready to be taken.

      http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

    • Phil C says:

      Agree 100% on giving Subban more ice-time.

      But I would like to see him with Markov 5-on-5. Markov has zero points at even strength, yet he is producing on the PP. This tells me that Emelin is hurting him offensively. Subban is a natural right D with the wheels to back up Markov and the offensive skill to get more out of Markov. Look at Weber without Suter so far this year. Both Markov and Subban could have big years offensively if they played together.

      I would then put Emelin back on the left side. Cube and Gorges are both better at playing on the right.

      I also think Diaz was better on the PP with Markov than Subban simply because I think puck movement is more important than a big shot. Subban can then give something to the second PP pairing.

  35. Top Corner says:

    Big “W” tonight !!! Go HABS Go !!!

  36. HabFanSince72 says:

    It looks like the Isles and Blue Jackets will be in lottery pick contention again. Are there two worse-managed teams than those two?


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  37. montrealtilldeath says:

    Andre Markov has given outstanding play over the years. I have been commenting for weeks that forcing him to play all those minutes even in back to back games would be disaster as he is old the player and cannot handle the extended ice time. Isthis team being run by neanderthals? Basic physiology tells you it takes an older person a longer rest period to get rid of the lactic acid that builds up in legs when fatigued. Andre will become an object of mockery and derision if management keeps this up. He does not drserve this. Cut back his time and give some strategic days of rest and we will have a fresher Markov for, dare I say, the playoffs.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Only a question of time before he get hurt

    • HabsFanInTampa says:

      If he’s too old to play, then the Habs shouldn’t have resigned him to that bloated contract. If he can’t be any “fresher” than playing a handful of games in the last THREE seasons, then he’s not going to be any “fresher”. It’s plain and simple, we messed up when we resigned him. Now we need to utilize him on the ice, whether you agree with the coaching decisions or not.

      • alfieturcotte says:

        Agree – when they signed Markov for all that $$$ I was one of the few critics of that move. There was no way any other team would have come close to paying that much for Markov. He’s a good defenseman, used to be better, but not a premier (and he is gettign paid like one). Until they prove otherwise, I would make PK and Diaz the top 2 who play the 20-25 minutes a game. Gorges, markov, Boullion, Kaberle et al are all on the wrong side of 30 and a couple of them have major knee surgeries slowing them down even further.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Markov is obviously a premier defenceman.


          Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

          • HabsFanInTampa says:

            Markov is “obviously” being paid like a premier defenceman, But he is NOT a premier defenceman at this point in his career. He WAS a premier defenceman.

          • Clay says:

            He certainly is. Anyone who thinks otherwise, well…I just don’t know what to say about their perception of reality.

            __________________________
            ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

          • Phil C says:

            Tied for fourth in scoring for defensemen. 1st in the league for PP points by a defenseman, 3 points clear of 2nd. Tied for first overall in the league in PP points including forwards. Playing 24 min/game in all situations.

            If that is not premier, what would it take to convince you?

          • bleedhabs81 says:

            @ Phil

            How about his defensive stats? You know, the important ones to a defenseman?

            I don’t know, I am just asking.

        • Cal says:

          Diaz at 25 minutes? You’d leave PK with all the work. And Price just might go pop-eyed.

          http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

        • RTC says:

          At 28 how is Josh Gorges on the wrong side of 30. Get your facts straight.

    • wildwilly says:

      Regarding your comment, I’d agree. It makes sense to manage his minutes elsewhere and maximize his effectiveness for the power play.

      As for “Alfie” and “HabsFan”, I think Montreal is (at least this year) receiving decent value for a defenseman ranked in the top 4 for points. I don’t see why you are critical of his play or his salary. Would you have preferred signing someone like Komisarek, instead?

  38. 24 Cups says:

    Now that Subban has had a five game training camp, it’s time for Therrien to flip Subban’s ATOI with Markov’s. That extra five minutes (on average) could make a difference.

    • montrealtilldeath says:

      Absolutely. Where is St Denis right now? I remember him as not flashy but solid and dependable.

    • 44har48 says:

      I don’t agree … Markov needs his Ice time shaved a touch, but those minutes need to be spread out, not given to PK. I for one, do not want PK on the Ice more than 20 mins a night right now. That’s enough for him to learn and make turnovers.

      • montrealtilldeath says:

        There’s blood in the water and the sharks are on to it. They have been watching our game footage and are going after the perceived weak spot which is a tired Markov. Look at the goals. It is obvious who they are attacking. As for PK learning he ended up being a +9 after spending most of the 1st half of the season in the minuses. He played against the top players and still ended up with very strong numbers. I would say he has learned and needs to be cut some slack. Forget this “better man” BS. Let the “big dog hunt”.

  39. Habfan17 says:

    When we through out ideas of who to trade, we need to take into account when and where they may fit in. Right now the Habs have a lot of right wing prospects and on defence. Some I would say should not be traded. There will be spots for Tinordi and Beaulieu. I like Ellis and then there is Stoner, Dietz, Didier, St. Denis and Pateryn. I am missing a couple.

    I would say that St. Denis could fill the spot that Diaz currently holds, so Diaz could be moved. Weber does not seem to fit into the plans so he could go to, and we all wish someone would take Kaberle.

    At right wing, there is
    Kristo, Collberg, Avtsin, Holland Quailer, Blunden, Vail and depending on the situation at Centre, Leblanc and Bournival.

    Roster players that could be used to bringin a crease clearing defenceman and power left winger are
    Gionta, DD, Cole, and Moen.

    Armstrog and Boullion will be off the books after this season and since it was Bergevin that signed them, I don’t see them trading them and would not get much in return anyway.

    I wonder if the Oilers would trade Whitney and Paajarvi for Diaz,
    Kristo and Dietz?
    Habfan17

    • Mattyleg says:

      The problem with trading for players is that as soon as they become a Hab, their value to Habs fans falls through the floor and they start looking to replace them with other players who aren’t Habs.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • CanadienBoy says:

      I don’t see Diaz being traded ,he has been the most consistent of ours D

    • 44har48 says:

      Kristo is one of our best prospects. I get to watch him nightly play for North Dakota (on TV) and he is having a nice year, albeit NCAA. I think he is ready for a year in AHL and then right to the NHL. Unfortunely, this team was a mess from the owner down for so long, he has decided to sign elswhere or at least explore his options this summer.

    • 24 Cups says:

      H17 – Realistically, I think the Habs have four prospects – Leblanc, Beaulieu, Tinordi and Collberg. Most people would count Kristo as number five but I’m wondering if he will sign. UFA would be a much smarter move for him.

      Every other prospect listed is basically a long shot.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Shoot, just seen you already commented on the contract. You are 100% right. I think he will go UFA personally.

        On your prospect list you are forgetting a couple I think Greg Pateryn should be on there…he is a solid D man who just came back early from a broken Elbow and I think Ellis will become good puck mover as well

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Habfan17 says:

          I had Ellis and Pateryn on my list. I also like Pateryn and think he may a solid 5th, maybe even 4th d-man. I am with most, I think Kristo may opt for free agency like Shultz, but maybe by trading what amounts to his rights to a team like Edmonton, it may work out. With the young guys the Oilers have, Kristo may want to be part of it.

          Habfan17

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I think Pateryn could be a solid 5th D man. He is reminds me of Gorges just bigger.

            Time will tell. I do think MB will make some moves but they will be near the trading deadline and after the season. Other than a couple of key cogs I think he will do what it takes to make the team better

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  40. Habfan10912 says:

    And Halek is having trouble staying on the ice. Can you imagine the uproar we’d hear if he was in Montreal? Soft? Man of glass? Scared?

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=655245

    ———————————–

  41. ONTARIO HAB says:

    Good morning my friends. I dont post often, but I am on this site daily. I feel that I know most of personally lol. I plan on being at the Bell centre on Sat Feb 23 for the Ranger game. This will be my first time at the Bell centre. Hope to get a little info on the seats. Is club Desjardins a good place to watch the game (also is there any perks to sitting in this “club” free beer maybe lol) or will I be better off sitting else where. I would also like directions to Hurleys, it seems like the place to be before and after the game. This will be a trip of a lifetime for me and my wife, as god knows we cant afford to do this very often lol. Also what hotel would be best to stay at ? Thank you one and all in advance for any info.
    p.s. dont worry guys the Habs will be fine. I have been watching them for 45 years, the future is bright.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning. I’ve set in the Desjardins section a few times. Seats are great. The perks, free food, soda and free coat check. Smaller lines for restrooms. No free beer though. They also say there is extra leg room but being a big guy I hardly notice. :) There is also a separate entrance so you can get inside a bit quicker. It’s a matter of personal preference I suppose but there really is not a bad seat in the house.
      I hope you have a great time and post a little more often, will ya? CHeers.

      Edit: Hurley’s is a great place to go. It’s only a couple blocks from the Bell Centre. Here is a map.

      http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&sugexp=les;&gs_rn=2&gs_ri=serp&pq=nhl+news&cp=11&gs_id=19&xhr=t&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&biw=1366&bih=635&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=hurley's+montreal&fb=1&gl=us&hq=hurley's&hnear=0x4cc91a541c64b70d:0x654e3138211fefef,Montreal,+QC,+Canada&cid=0,0,6931345099062148763&sa=X&ei=VT4aUdHZIOi50QGN9IGABw&sqi=2&ved=0CDQQrwswAA

      ———————————–

      • ONTARIO HAB says:

        Thank you very much !! That sounds good as I’m not the smallest guy either lol.

        • 123456 says:

          Last year wa sonly my second time to see the Habs in Montreal. (I’m in western NY). I stay at Fairmont Queen Elizabeth and it was very nice. Decent pool that my young son enjoyed as well. My seats were in the Molson Family Zone so they were not “great” but I was more than excited to be there.

          On booking the hotel – do check multiple sites. Oddly I checked kayak on a whim and they had a room for $50 less than any other site – mine was $109 which I considered a great rate for a hotel with indoor pool close to the Bell Centre.

          Have fun man….. and if you happen to have a third ticket… you know where to find me!!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good Morning Ont. Hab, enjoy your trip. I am sure the locals online here will provide you the information you ask of. Hurleys is extremely close and a short walk away, google Hurleys and you will see how close it is to the Bell Center.

      Enjoy!

    • Greg says:

      I my humble opinion, the Desjardins section is terrible. There is definitely LESS leg room than in other sections. The free food and coat check is nice, sure, but trust me you can’t eat enough smoked meat sandwiches and steamies to make up that extra hundred or so dollars on the price tag.
      It’s often cheaper to get seats in the reds, which I recommend but they won’t be cheap either. As far as where to sit, I would avoid Sections 417-421, as they are behind the pressbox. You can still see the whole ice surface, but you miss seeing the whole crowd, which is important I think.
      HabFan10912 is right, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.

      Hurley’s is on Crescent St, just above Rene-Levesque. So if you’re walking out of the bell center facing north (towards the mountain), turn left on Rene-Levesque, walk 2 minutes, and turn right on Crescent. Hurley’s will be on your right in about 100 meters.

      Enjoy! Go Habs Go!!

    • Mattyleg says:

      Have a great time OH.
      As they say, you never forget your first time!
      *wink wink etc.*

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • pete says:

      good day another good pub to go and the food is good is the peel pub

  42. Habfan10912 says:

    DiPietro feeling the fans wrath.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/islanders/empty_net_bo9xQutCdRBnOS5axuHSLO

    ———————————–

  43. Exit716 says:

    Cole had to send a text message to his teammates? He couldn’t say that in the dressing room? Imagine the uproar if that had been Price or Subban that went to that tactic to address their subpar play.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Really? We are going to criticize him for using the same method of technology which most of us use daily? The team has had this team chat device setup since the lockout, why is it wrong for him to send a message that now every teammate has in digital print, showing his accountability to his own words.

      I swear if we find out a player wipes hit butt differently than the mainstream we rip them for it.

    • Greg says:

      Why would there be an uproar? You don’t text? Are you over the age of 40?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I had the exact opposite thought. I thought it showed some character from Cole to offer a personal/private message to his teammates. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a turn around for Eric.

      ———————————–

    • Luke says:

      Maybe Cole wasn’t in the dressing room when he thought of what he wanted to say to his teammates…

      I doubt he was sitting in the room typing away only a moment later to have everyone’s Galaxy’s start buzzing. Then moments later, Deharnais’ iPhone starts to buzz.

  44. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning gang! Habfan17 was asking about the trade deadline. Here are some other key dates to watch out for.

    http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2013/1/18/3891368/nhl-important-dates-league-calendar-2013

    ———————————–

  45. HabinBurlington says:

    So tonight two teams in the midst of losing streaks, both of whom were blown out in their last game now faceoff. Hmmmmmm

  46. Rad says:

    Habs had a favorable schedule in the early part of the year, with a lot of home games in front of a rabid home crowd. Now they enter a difficult road portion of the shortened season on a 3 game losing streak. Even if they win tonight, I am not expecting this team to make the playoffs this year. The boys will work hard, but they will fall short due to a lack of firepower up front, and not enough truculence on D. Unless Bergevin can pull off a trade for a crease-clearing defenceman, Habs are looking at a lottery pick this Summer, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

  47. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    There’s some weird streakiness out there – not just the habs. Look at San Jose and Toronto. It’s been a very strange season so far.

    No excuses, hey I’m not a player and I just watch. It’s strange to see though, although it may just be magnified by the shorter schedule.

  48. Habfan17 says:

    Morning fellow Hab fans! Does anyone know when the trade deadline is? I have read that trade talks are starting to pick up now that some teams have a better feel for what they need.

    Habfan17

      • Habfan17 says:

        Thanks Cal! That seems a bit late!

        Habfan17

        • Cal says:

          Lots of time to change parts, but Habs need a solid DMan for two or three puck movers. Any takers out there?

          http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

          • Habfan17 says:

            For some reason the Oilers don’t seem to be too happy with Whitney!

            Habfan17

          • Habfan10912 says:

            Morning Cal and habfan17. That is the question of this season. Buyers or sellers? I’m on the selling team. Unless you believe this team is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender then it would be a mistake to trade any future value for something that will only help you get into the playoffs.
            I am going to enjoy watching the kid develop and grow with more ice time and responsibilities. Plus I hear Louie L may have turned his season around down on the farm plus we can watch the development of future dman, Tinordi and Beaulieu.
            ———————————–

          • Cal says:

            @Habfan,

            Good morning, Jim.
            I am in the trade to build section. Habs core personnel are enough to build a good team around. We all want the superstars, but we can’t get them. Subtracting lack of size for picks looks like the way to go. DD and Gionta and Gallagher= two tiny players too many. Like Weber, Diaz and Kaberle = 3 softie toffee puck movers too many. If no one wants them I hear Hamilton is a good place to visit in the spring.

            http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

          • Habfan17 says:

            I am also on the trade to build side. I don’t think taking a run at a cup this year is wise. I would rather see them build to take runs for many years, not just squeek into the playoffs.

            Habfan17

  49. Clay says:

    The real reason the triple low five was banned:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=386749084754557&set=a.311710905591709.68945.311685675594232&type=1&ref=nf

    __________________________
    ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

  50. Propwash says:

    Holy crow, there’s a game in 13 hours…let’s dwell on the last one for old time sakes!

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  51. drail222 says:

    Habs dont need goons they need big forwards, especially at C. Someone call Ryan Getzlaf!

  52. CHicoHab says:

    If we lose to Tampa, Florida and Philly what happens next???

    “take your time and hurry up”

  53. Habitoba says:

    If Desharnais funks it up this season, I hope management entertains the idea of trading him for Derick Brassard in hopes of hearing the line “Brassard sort de Brossard fort!” at one point.

  54. Clay says:

    The Kings are 89-1-10 their last 100 games when leading after two periods. The Habs could learn something from this.

    __________________________
    ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

  55. Sportfan says:

    So If we were to get some injuries on D or Forwards who would we call up would we let Weber or Kaberle play or call up Tinordi? As for the forwards would it be Dumont, LB or BLunden?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  56. JohnBellyful says:

    I’ve been busy the last couple of days brushing up on the NHL rulebook and as far as I can tell, based on an initial reading – I got up to page four – there’s nothing to prevent players from surgical enhancements.
    Pacioretty is often likened to Wolverine thanks to his amazing recuperative powers. He should complete the likeness by having retracting bone claws implanted on each hand. If he had been so equipped, he could have performed some major dental work on Grabowsky and been appropriately reimbursed by the players’ health plan for services rendered.
    Other Canadiens could benefit from knuckle transplants from Nilan, replacement elbows cloned from Howe, artificial knees constructed on the Samuelsson model, and injections of genetic material extracted from Billy Smith, to instill a sense of territory so fierce it results in explosive acts of violence.
    Montreal went down this road a few years ago with one of its prospects but the experiment failed miserably when the modified player contracted feline rabies.
    However, advances in medicine and technology since then suggest the approach warrants another look, especially in view of the Bruins’ success in mastering transformational surgery which has left few on its current roster bearing resemblance to humans.

  57. HardHabits says:

    Wow. How many years did it take for people to realize the Habs needed more size and grit? This concept was bandied about even before the great Konopka debate. It’s bad enough that the Bruins are in the habit of making the Habs their B’s but now it’s the Weeds getting their kicks at the Canadiens can. I guess Emelin was not enough after all. And yes although the Habs are getting bigger, that’s like saying a radical left winger is becoming more right wing because he’s now left of centre.

    So what do people want to do? Trade away all our talent for a couple of over the hill and soon to be overly-priced thugs. Great idea. Let’s really Tank™ then… for like a few years because that’s what’ll happen!!

    The way to build HELLO is via the draft. So hopefully with all those sweet picks and Trevor Timmins at the helm the Habs will pick skilled players with speed as is usual and also start picking big players who are gritty but that can skate and puck handle and get some balance in the line-up. But to think it will happen in a few trades, by virtue of waiver claims or an extra helping of Wheaties every morning is fanciful and entering the realm of wishful thinking, a place too often visited by Habs fans.

    I am fortunate to have been a Habs fan back in the day when they were this ultra awesome dynasty. It was like living in the Garden of Eden but having tasted of the fruit of knowledge, alas I have been cast out and must toil and sweat though successive humiliations endured because it’s more important to sell hot dogs and beer than it is to actually build an elite team, because building that elite team takes tough decisions, tough decisions that can’t be made under the scrutiny of a rabid fan base whose fire is fuelled by a ravenous media apparatus. Out of the tropical paradise and into the frozen pond frying pan.

    Which brings us to the great Gallagher-Desharnais-Gionta line. I know that line hasn’t been put together yet but can anybody in their right mind even consider this a line in the NHL? So what does that mean? It means the Habs are skating 3 NHL lines and 1 AHL line. How many Marty St. Louis’ do the Bolts have? Not 3 that’s for sure. And I think they’d suffer if they did. MSL is a great player, like Mats Naslund and Theoren Fleury were. As great as they all are you put three similar players in size and skill on the same team and you’re getting crunched. The crazy thing is rather than put Eller with Cole and Pacioretty, Therrien deems it wise to put Desharnais and Gallagher on a line together. I can see why Eller with Cole and Pacioretty might not be a good idea as it stacks 3 of the bigger forwards together thus forcing a trickier juggling act with the 3 smallest forwards. Troublesome conundrum and I am going to back off of the DD is French therefore he’s being shown favouritism shtick because of it. I was trolling and I’d like to commend Matty for playing along. The fact is the Habs have little choice at the moment but will eventually have to make a decision moving forward about Gionta, Desharnais and Gallagher. The Habs also have to contend with the Weber, Diaz, Kaberle situation.

    Hockey is a fast game, it’s a skilled game, it’s an intense game. But it is also a very physical game too. There are many weapons in hockey. Speed, intensity, and skill are formidable weapons… but they are trumped by speed, intensity, and skill that bring extra doses of physicality to the table. That’s hockey. It’s the way it’s always been. It’s the way it always will be. The idea that the new skilled and faster post-lockout game of hockey was not also going to be physical was a miscalculation the past regime made. It will take time to correct… my hope as a Habs fans is that it will be corrected under the current management team.

    • The Jackal says:

      I hope so too, and I hope we keep Gallagher out of those three, although I don’t think we should trade Gionta, but keep him until his contract ends, you know, the classy move. And DD, well, he will get more opportunities, but he needs to be insulated to succeed, the book is out on him and I don’t think he will thrive on the top 6 any more, unless he plays with guys that actually make room for him by being physical and stuff…

      • Habfan17 says:

        Wow, very good post!! I say Gionta and DD out. Gallagher is a younger more skilled version of Gionta.

        I would say that the Habs do have a surplus of right wing prospects and possibly a couple of defence as well.

        I do agree, build through the draft, however, if the Habs could trade for a young left wing power forward, without giving up any core players , they should do it.

        The size issue doesn’t just hurt the team on the ice, but in trade possibilities too. I don’t know many GM’s that would give much for DD based on one solid season and his size.

        The Devils may take Gionta, but since they build through the draft, what would they give for him?

        Possibly a team looking to add players for a cup run would take him.

        When the Habs traded Rivet and a 5th for Gorges and a first, Gorges looked like a throw in. Who knew an undrafted, rarely used defenceman, who, by today’s NHL stanrd is undersized for defence, would end up being the player he is.

        Maybe Bergevin and Timmens can find another gem like that!

        Habfan17

    • JohnBellyful says:

      I think history has shown how effective Three Mouseketeers can be as a unit.
      Present-day Canadiens should take to heart the motto of the original line of Athos, Aramis and Porthos: “All for one, one for all.” (“Un pour tous, tous pour un.”)
      Or was it, “All of us add up to one”?

    • The Dude says:

      Here the problem I see…As good a Scout that he is, Trevor Timmons is SHORT! IN FACT Molson is SHORT too! We need BIG DUDE’S in scouting,ownership ,Coaching,Trainers and Fans…ya ,that’s right you short fk’rs and you rah rah-ing for other SHORT HABS”
      thanks for the last twenty years,it felt short” ! DON’T ALL YOU SHORT GUY’S AND GAL’S get it,the Habs are in a Heavy Weight Division and the two toughest short Guys in Hockey”Tie Domi and Stan Jonathon” retired so you all are gonna have to just get use to looking skyward with new BIGGER AND TOUGHER Pugilist that can play the game, so the next time they face the Leaf’s and Boston they BEAT THE LIVING PISS out of them AND then win the game .Then sit back,light up ,crack a cold one and post on HIO WITH A big smile :)

    • wjc says:

      Hardhabits, I agree with everything you say. You saw the dynasties that were the ‘Montreal Canadiens’, just as I did.

      However, this is where it gets sticky. You know how those dynasties were mainly built, not through the draft. They were built when Canadiens stock piled players and had so many that a mistake or two didn’t show.

      Some were used as trade bait….example would be, Redmond for Frank Mahovalich…..Danny Grant for draft choices from Minnesota etc, etc. Savard, Lapointe, Houle, Tardiff, and many more were the last of the protected hand picked players. Some players came via the draft…Robinson, Gainey, Shutt, etc.

      Players were traded from the excess of players for higher picks.

      Now, that I have bored you possibly with past and the way it really was, the question becomes, do you draft the best players available or the biggest player available. Drafting big does not mean they have the talent to compete in the NHL. So there is the problem, do you take a flyer on Savard and pick 6 foot 3 220 pound high scoring Junior Wekenheiser, we know how that turned out.

      Do you take a pass on Galagher and take 6 foot eight 270 pound Mamonga Osohu. There is your size but he can’t played worth a damn.

      In the nineties as I recall they used there first round draft choices and picked big defensemen Brad Brown, David Wilke, Brent Bilodeau, and somewhere in there Saku Koivu. Koivu was the only one that stuck.

      Montreal has to get bigger to compete, the ‘how’ is the big question
      Probably a bit of trade, waiver and draft is the only hope of that happening.

      wjc

      • HardHabits says:

        I agree that using trades, UFA signings and waiver acquisitions can be useful. However I still see the draft as the best way of stocking shelves. Once a team has enough assets they are in a position to make those trades. Boston is a good example of team that built via UFA signings (Chara, Thornton), the draft (Hamilton, Seguin, Lucic, Marchand, Krejci, Bergeron and trades (Seidenberg, Horton, Peverley, Paille, Campbell, Kelly, Boychuk). The bottom line is they had assets, but also decided to build from Chara out. (I still remember laughing when the Bruins signed Chara because they sucked hard back then. Much different story now).

        The Habs are still way behind Boston in terms of being a complete team.

  58. The Jackal says:

    I hope this week is way better than last.
    Losing the the Laffs and Booins in the same weak was demoralizing!
    The worst part is living in TO when it happens, you can hear the Laff wagon filling up when last week it was half empty. Tsk. tsk….
    Here’s to a 2-0-1 (at least) record this week.
    Cheers!

    • Mattyleg says:

      Well, just look forward to the wagon hitting a pothole and watching everyone fall off.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • wjc says:

      Jackal, I live in Leaf land as well. When they get full of themselves I encourage them, I congratulate them, I laugh with them. If I am disappointed I don’t let it show.

      I know that somewhere down the road the tables will turn and I will act humble and not rub it in. They eventually, for me anyways, back off when they again hit a high spot.

      Being a good sport and enjoying the moment is important. I want the Leafs and Canadiens to both make the playoffs and play each other. It would be a blast.

      Lets face it Leafs have had little to cheer about the last 40 plus years and us Habs fans have rubbed their faces in all the Stanley cups and they grab every opportunity to return the favour.
      wjc

  59. Psycho29 says:

    WOW…..Darren Dutchyshen on TSN just actually called Ben Scrivens:

    “Scri-vezina”

  60. CCL says:

    Message for the Habs tomorrow night. If you can’t Dazzle them with Brilliance, Riddle them with Pucks.

  61. CCL says:

    Grabovski reportedly said. Pacioretty played like a chicken and was finger licking good. Kentucky Fried chicken was unavailable for comment.

  62. habsfan0 says:

    Toronto beats Philadelphia 5-2.
    Joe Bowen is beside himself.

  63. Bill says:

    Can’t believe the calls to trade for Steve MacIntyre. He got waived and is in the minors for a reason … an old warrior whose time has passed, and was never a hockey player.

    Do you think having MacIntyre on the bench is going to stop Orr from throwing out a knee?

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  64. Guy-Guy-Guy says:

    We need a gritty forward, but are deep in defensemen.

    Philly is deep with gritty forwards, but weak on D this year.

    Have to wonder what kind of player we could get for Gorges. Love the guy, but he is not physical, and has little offensive upside. He has good trade value right now, a team that’s in their cup window but has a hole to patch, like Philly, might give us a good return.

    Gorge for Talbot and a 2nd rounder?
    Couturier for Gorges straight up?

  65. Sportfan says:

    So if there was a trade in place for Corey Perry, that sent a decent amount of players on the way to Anaheim and Perry only signs a one year deal the next season, would you do it?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  66. BKAK72 says:

    PrimeTime Sports with Bob McCowan and Stephen Brunt reflected on the current roster trend in the NHL, more specifically the trend for clubs to build along the lines of the Boston Bruins, LA Kings i.e. bigger and tougher as opposed to the speed/finesse game played in Vancouver and what seems to be a young Oilers club.

    If that is indeed the case then where do the HABS rank when it’s own roster (remains) littered with small forwards and defensemen?

    The Bob Gainey & Co. imprint remains. Time will tell what kind of club MB will build for his successor (LOL).
    — HABS INSIDE/OUT R.I.P. –

  67. frontenac1 says:

    Who is Patracetty?

  68. frontenac1 says:

    Hurcs down by 2 in the third ,now up 5-4. Atta boy Kirk!H

  69. habsfan0 says:

    Wow…Leafs are leading the Flyers 5-1.

    Is it possible Toronto has a good hockey team this year?
    Nah…somehow…someway…Laffs will find a way to collapse..as per usual.

  70. wjc says:

    In the game, leafs got off to a fast start when Markov flubbed the puck at the blue line. From then on leafs were on top of them and soon it was 2 zip. Checking became important and the Canadiens could not get enough time to make decent plays.

    Losing faceoffs all night was a major problem and long shots into the belly was another.

    3rd game in 4 nights factored in because playing catchup when you are tired just wears you out.

    No need to panic, one game. If you lose 2-1 or 6-0, it is still just one loss. If the first goal had not have happened it might have gone differently. Canadiens play the leafs at the end of the month and I would think the Canadiens will be ready.

    They usually can play with speed and passing, but when it is not your night and you fall behind bad things happen. Shaking up the lines will be interesting and making D.D. the new ‘whipping boy’ is not fair. It is still early and Canadiens are in the thick of things still.

    wjc

  71. wjc says:

    Bad things usually happen when you wrap your arm around someone’s face from behind and jam it in their mouth.

    Sometimes, it would be wise to put your hand/arm a little lower, say around the neck, like Robinson used to do.

    Avoid the mouth, in the struggle you could end up with teeth marks on your arm. Someone grabs me like that, I would panic and in the struggle to free myself I might accidently chomp you.

    Anyways video was inconclusive so it was ruled a freak accident. If he had of lunged for his arm and bit on it, that would have been different.
    Patracetty offer him his hand/arm and jamed it in his mouth.

    Fair call, sorry just the way I saw it.

    wjc

    • wjc says:

      Pay attention to what I said, Patracetty jammed his arm/hand in his mouth. How do you rule that a bite.

      Yea, you would send him out on a stretcher, sitting on your nice cousy sofa, eating popcorn and drinking a cool one.

      He grabbed him in the wrong place……the neck, the neck, would work better, ask Larry Robinson and keep your damn glove on.

      wjc

  72. frontenac1 says:

    @burly. I already have a bearskin. I lie nekid on it to post.It works nice amigo.

  73. Mattyleg says:

    I have a feeling that this compressed schedule is going to make a lot of one-sided games as certain teams fight fatigue while others take advantage of strategic breaks.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  74. frontenac1 says:

    Erskine. Could have been picked up on waivers last month. He is on his last year of a $1.5mill contract. So $750k and no long term. A steal.


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