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. Dudley the Dog says:

    This is too good a team to play poorly for a long period of time.
    The next three games look like an excellent opportunity to get back in the hunt. Line changes are always a good thing when a line gets a little stale. I do think Lars Eller deserves more time on an offensive line. Go Habs Go — starting tonight

  2. rhino514 says:

    I´ve never been a fan of Moen, but I wouldn´t be surprised if he is playing injured or just really out of shape to start the season (it´s funny, people are quick to label players as unommited when they don´t spend the whole summer working out, but Moen drives a tractor during the summer and he´s just a good ol´Canadian boy, never quite understood such things) He and Cole have been playing well under par. I don´t expect Moen to do much but he should at least be physical and have mnore than one assist after 10 games.

  3. HabFanSince72 says:

    This is odd. Game day and we haven’t had the usual four new threads started.

    Are the parents away?

  4. habs001 says:

    If the Habs lineup was any of the other teams in the NHL and you had to rate them based on that only where would you put them?…I believe expectations would be much lower based on talent only…

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Good point. Really, just based on last year, expectations should be lower. As sad as it sounds, I’d be satisfied with an improvement from 15th to 10th.
      Ok, no I wouldn’t, but we should be thrilled if the team makes the playoffs in 8th place. I know that screws up our draft pick, but that would be a significant improvement and a step towards even better seasons to come.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Luke says:

      If the Habs were any other team, or I cheered for another team, I would say this about the Habs lineup:

      They have a few good players & a great goalie, but the mix is incorrect. Their defense is a mess. They don’t have a top centre. They have too many complimentary players or plugs, but non of those plugs are tough.

      Good players: Price, Max, Galchenyuk, Plekanec (as a 2nd liner on a good team), PK

      Decent but nothing special: Cole, Gionta, Gorges, Bourque, DD, Prust, Emelin, Markov (? – maybe a good, but maybe not).

      Unsure: Eller, Gallagher

      Crap: Moen, Armstrong, Budaj, White, Boullion, Kaberle, Diaz (maybe a decent, but only Habs fans think that).

      That’s what I think my honest opinion would be of the Habs. If all things click, they squeek into the playoffs.

      • Mattyleg says:

        That’s a pretty poor evaluation of our team.
        I have a feeling it’s just because you’re a bit down on our fellows and you feel sad about that.

        Why don’t you give an evaluation of another team in our division, and we’ll see how astute your observations are.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Luke says:

          The question wasn’t what’s my opinion, it was what would a non-fan say or think about the Habs roster. I tried to picture what a Rangers fan would say when looking at the Habs roster… hence the Diaz comment. But aside from maybe bumping Diaz up into the decent category I think it’s a pretty fair evaluation.

          Now, to your request…I’m not as familiar but:
          Buffalo:

          Good (on any team in the league): Vanek, Pominville, Miller, Maybe Hodgson.

          Decent (BNS) (Can contribute to good teams, but by no means make or break the roster): Ennis, Ehrhoff, Ott, Stafford, Leopold, Gerbe, Sulzer

          Unsure (prospects, rookies): Myers (Derailed!!!!), Foligno, Grigs

          Crap (see below): Hecht, Sekera, Regher, Weber, Pardy, McCormick, Kaleta, Scott.

          (PS: By Crap I really mean… depth players that fill out any roster… nothing special, kinda just generic faceless players).

          Your turn. How would you evaluate the roster?

        • dorvalhabsfan says:

          If Plekanec is considered good, Gionta and Bourque should be on the good list too no? i mean personal preference aside, their current play is not that far off from each other

          Go Habs Go

          • Luke says:

            Not their play, but the player. For game one of a new season:

            I think Plekanec plays for every team in the elague (ideally as a second line centre); Gionta or Bourque… I don’t think every team would go out of their way to get those specific players. I think they either have similar type players. They’re guys like Versteeg or Ladd. They are definitely second line NHLers, but they aren’t the foundation of any franchise. Having a hard time describing it…

          • dorvalhabsfan says:

            Luke, it’s just… I don’t remember Ottawa winning the cup with spezza alfredsson and heatley… but i do remember teams winning the cup with all lines, classifying players as “don’t stand out on day one” is a mistake, as their play throughout the season sets their value to any team.. Bourque was useless on the habs last season, so day one this season ppl thought he was a shmuck.. he has proved plenty of us wrong with strong play and desire

            Go Habs Go

  5. Sportfan says:

    Game day any word on anything related to tonight’s game?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  6. Ferg says:

    Tonight is the game where we see what character this team has. They sh.. the bed for 3 games now and if that trend continues tonight, two things need to happen.

    1. Therrien needs to go Samuel L. Jackson on the room, and
    2. Therrien and Bergevin needs to shake up some personnel.

    My current annoyance on this team is Moen. Not sure what he brings anymore and how he gets to fly under the radar. He should be embarrassed that character guys like Prust, Gorges, White and Gallagher are sticking up for this team, while he floats up and down the ice and occasionally throws his ass at someone along the boards. Bergevin should be looking for a chance to move him because he brings no value.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      There’s enough veteran leadership on this team to overcome their current woes. Tonight they get back to their winning ways.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Moen is definitely having issues getting going. He is at his best playing a role similar to Prust with the two rookies. He doesn’t do well buried on the 4th line.
      He needs to be with two offensive minded players, creating space and so on.
      People would complain when he was on a scoring line but I always thought he was pretty good in that role.

      • Chris says:

        He was terrible in that role.

        Moen was brought in to be an energy line player and penalty killer. His best season came with Samuel Pahlsson and Rob Niedermayer, fellow journeymen grinders/checkers.

        Montreal’s use of Moen on anything approaching a scoring line is a sure indication that Montreal is heading for the lottery.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I seem to remember him being at his best playing with Eller and kostitsyn?

          He’s scored some big goals in the playoffs as well. I know he’s not from Sweden so you don’t like him but let’s be realistic?

          • Chris says:

            Like I mentioned…his best season was with Samuel Pahlsson and Rob Niedermayer. And he was good.

            He had a hot-streak to start last season, scoring 4 goals in his first 7 games. But after that, he largely disappeared. Eller and Kostitsyn played relatively well together. Moen was largely a non-factor in that with the exception of a few games. He quite simply isn’t fast enough nor talented enough to be a factor in most games.

            I like tons of non Swedish players. But just take a look at his career and tell me you are being realistic. The guy scored 5-10 goals per season despite heavy minutes. He has no offensive talent whatsoever.

    • Chris says:

      Moen has been a “contract year” player most of his career.

      2006-07: His best season, also the end of his entry-level deal.
      2007-08: Stunk out the joint
      2008-09: End of his two-year bridge contract, posts his third best season
      2009-10: Second best year, the only time he’s actually earned his contract in a non-contract year.
      2010-11: Floated through the entire season, largely invisible
      2011-12: Hey, look who it is! Travis Moen is having the third best season of his career…must be contract time!

      I was very, very disappointed when the Habs re-signed Moen for four years, because I worry that that means he’s going to stink for the next three.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Nah, he can be pretty effective. Something is up this year. points don’t mean everything. He’s a good penalty killer and Marc Bergevin knows a player like him can play an important role in the dressing room.

        If his name was Travis Moenberg or he dated Mats Sundin’s sister you’d be allover him.

        If it were up to you we’d bring in a 5′”8″ 165 LBS Swede and the team would be left with zero physical presence.

        We’d get knocked off the puck, beat up all night and lose 6-0 every other game.

        And then you’d be saying, we’ll get the on the scoreboard next game guys!

        ;-).

        • Chris says:

          Nope. I’ve disliked Moen for years now. I just don’t think he’s that effective.

          If you’re going to be a checking line player, you should at least be able to check. Moen throws some of the most ineffective hits for a Western Canadian that I’ve ever seen.

          I love the Swedish dig, though. Let me help you out, as it seems to be hard for you to comprehend.

          My avatar is Mats Naslund, who was Montreal’s best player when I was growing up in the mid-1980′s. I chose to use one with his Swedish jersey as it makes it very easy to find my posts.

          But it also helps identify the people who base their opinions on nationality. As for Moen, he might as well be a 5’8″ Swede for all the physicality he brings. Which is pretty much zero.

          At least that 5’7″ Swede (Naslund) could score. Moen, if he’s not hitting, is largely useless outside of the penalty kill. And penalty killers are a dime per dozen if that’s all you want them to do.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I think that’s a convenient way to evaluate someone Chris. You gave 6 years and Moen played well in 3 of them. I think you’re using the coincidence that out of 6 years, he performed well twice at contract years just to raise your agenda against him. Moen is what he is. He’s had some good and some bad seasons. He does his job fairly well, all things considered. Unless you’re supremely talented, not all seasons are going to be works of art.
        As far as resigning him, I would have been very nervous just because of his style, when he’s at his best, is hard to keep up year after year. I’d be more of a 2 years at a time with that type of player.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

        • Chris says:

          People evaluate players on this very criteria all the time. Moen has his best seasons when he’s up for contracts. That was the whisper about him out of Anaheim, and I certainly have seen evidence of the same in Montreal.

          Moen is probably my second least favourite Hab right now, behind our resident cheap-shot artist and head-hunter. But I freely admit he is a very good fourth line player. Unfortunately, he is out of his element when he gets elevated to the second or third lines. This is very reminiscent of Maxim Lapierre, who was an elite fourth line player that Habs fans talked up into being a third line player, where he was largely ineffective.

  7. SteverenO says:

    Faceoffs: are they important?

    Mike Ribeiro ;
    face off percentage 38% pus-minus (even strength) + 4
    plus-minus overall (including PPs and penalty kills + 10

    Nicolas Backstrom ;
    face off percentage 47% pus-minus (even strength) +0 even
    plus-minus overall (including PPs and penalty kills + 3

    Matt Hendricks;
    face off percentage 64% pus-minus (even strength) – 2
    plus-minus overall (including PPs and penalty kills – 6

    So three players on the same team and their success ( goals scored versus goals against) is inversely related to their face off win percentage.

    Does anyone still think that face off win percentage is a factor in a teams success?

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • chanchilla says:

      my guess is matt hendricks takes a lot more faceoffs on the penalty kill than either ribeiro or backstrom.

      * and also probably plays against teams top line away from home.

      • Bill says:

        Check his Fenwick.

        Kidding.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

      • SteverenO says:

        why guess?

        Even strength Faceoff Won-Lost +/- TOI
        Ribeiro 51-83 +/- + 4 164 minutes
        Hendricks 24-16 +/- -2 107 minutes
        baclstrom 81-83 +/- +0 171 minutes

        Power Play Faceoffs Won-Lost Team PP Goals TOI

        Ribeiro 6 -3 Team PPGFs 9 44 minutes
        Hendricks 1-0 team PPGFs 0 1 minute
        backstrom 11-18 team PPGfs 8 50 Minutes

        Sort handed Faceoffs Won-Lost Team PP Goals Allowed TOI

        Ribeiro 2 -7 Team PPGAs 3 8 minutes
        Hendricks 14-6 team PPGAs 4 28 minutes
        Baclstrom 7-10 team PPGAs 5 18 minutes

        What is to be learned?

        1.Ribeiro should never be on the penalty kill
        2. Face-offs ARE important when killing penalties
        3. Face-off winning percentage on even strength situations are pretty much irrelevant?

        regards,

        Steve O.

    • habs001 says:

      Face off win percentage counts the most in your zone and oppostion zone especially on the pp and pk and in tight games…Some of the Habs players seem to win draws in the neutral zone much easier than in their zone or opposition zone…Would be nice to have percentages based on where the draw takes place…

    • Luke says:

      It’s easier to play the game when you have the puck.

      Faceoffs are extremely important. Habs have been terrible at them for 20years.

      The +/- stat you inked to the faceoff is misleading I think. Backstrom and Riberio play in more offensive situations aand are expected to put up points which leads to +’s. Hendricks is not.

      Plus you only used 3 of Washington’s centres. Not exactly a solid sample.

    • Phil C says:

      The only thing to conclude about those stats is that Matt Hendricks would probably not even be in the league if he couldn’t win a faceoff.

  8. Habitant in Surrey says:

    CRIPES !!! …WHAT ??? are We gonna have to disdain and look down upon now ???

    …Turdronto The Not Very Good now have a rocks in their jocks hockey team with Carlyle …the Weeds look like they can splat Our Nos Amours like a bug on a 16 wheel truck’s windshield

    …the Jays seem they will make the Yankees look like the skinny guy on the beach this summer, and Gay has given the Raptors sizzle

    …whenever I became despondent about My long-gone Quebec home, it’s taxes, it’s Pequistes, it’s language nightmares …I had Turdronto to look down the road and laugh at their mediocrity

    …now WHAT ??? :(

  9. junyab says:

    Finally, the Therrien I know is showing himself again…the true juggling line junkie. But this time he doesn’t have Malkin and Crosby to move onto the same line.

    Juggling lines, to me, should be a strategy of last resort, not the first go to experiment.

    Keep Cole, DD, and MaxPac together and let them work it out.

    Put Prust back with the kids. It’s been the most energy inspiring and morale boosting lines we’ve had all year. Their enthusiasm was infectuous.

    Get White back in with Moen and Armstrong. Eller doesn’t belong on this line…and no one else can properly center it. White will learn discipline as he goes, sitting him out isn’t teaching him like Therrien hopes. Experience > punishment.

    Leave Gio, Pleks and Bourque.

    Eller has definitely been playing hard but I just don’t see where he fits. Sell now and you sell high.

    • Luke says:

      Nearly 25% of the season is complete. For 11 games the EC,DD,MP line has not produced.

      There aren’t enough games left to let things work out on their own.

      Any points lost now are going to be that much harder to make up because you are only playing conference opponents and you have fewer games to make them up in.

      Selling Eller is another point entirely, but I’ll just say. “no”

      • montrealtilldeath says:

        Eller seems to be winning more face offs than the rest. Am i correct or in error on this point? He played hard as one of the few effective players against Boston and Toronto. Also in the Sabre game.

  10. 24 Cups says:

    Speaking of line tinkering, Ryan Malone has been placed on Injured Reserve, clearing a roster spot. The Lightning have recalled Richard Panik from the Syracuse Crunch to take his place. Panik, a 2nd rounder from 2009, has 35 points and 79 penalty minutes in 43 AHL games this season.

  11. cynic says:

    The buildup of suspense for tonight’s game is incredible. How will the Habs lose tonight? Will they opt for the blown lead late in the game like against Buffalo and Boston or will they stink out the joint from the get-go like they did against the Toronto Make-beliefs?

    There’s one thing we can definitely count on – that the coach will deliver his explanation of our poor play in perfect french! A year ago that would not have been possible, you’ve come a long way baby!

  12. billylove says:

    Gomez Watch: The Bay Area crowd is getting restless with Scotty. No impact whatsoever. He does however, continue to exhibit the best bench smile in the league.

  13. Ian Cobb says:

    2013 training camp to end tonight.

    The run to the playoffs starts this evening. Our training camp ended last Saturday night against the Leafs. It has taken up to now for the players and coaches to get to know each other and implement the new Bergevin_ Therrien rebuilding philosophy.

    For the months of Oct. Nov. & Dec. the coaches and Bergevin got in many nights watching all talent and the coaching in Hamilton, in order to know who was ready to bring to Montreal once this short season got under way.

    Now that we have had 1 month of playing NHL hockey, or as I refer to it, 1 month of training camp. It is now up to the coaches to put this team into the sprint to the playoffs. Every point in the standings is critical to earn every night, if we are to make an appearance in the first round.

    So as this team prepares itself for the future, through the draft and development of its own talent, which will take many years. They must still put a half decent product on the ice in order they don’t get booed out of town.
    It is all about the coaches for the rest of the year now. The coaches have to put players together that will give each player and the club an opportunity to be successful every shift. They must find ways to motivate and prepare game plans to defeat various styles of opposition clubs each night. If not the trade deadline is fast approaching.

    It has been a revolving door on the coaching staff office over the last to many years. We are about to witness how this new Therrien era, is going to bring this proud franchise back to respectability and competing for the Cup and most importantly, the paying customer, that has been far to patient over the years.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  14. HabFanSince72 says:

    “More grinders. We need more grinders.”


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

  15. jrshabs1 says:

    I’m hoping for a trade or 2 this week….do new Hab coaches get a coaching handbook that says…. ‘when the team is bad and too small the solution is to juggle the lines to fool the opponent into thinking that somehow the team is different’. Seems like it. Carbo and JM followed that section of the handbook to a ‘T’..and now MT has to. Just because you re-arrange the pile..it’s still the same pile. Make some trades MB..you know what you have on your team…you see what other teams can do to yours.

    Go Habs Go!!

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Actually, the handbook says something more like. If your team is not generating much offense or losing, do what you have to do to win.
      Coaches have players to work with. Only GM’s make trades, so until there are new players, coaches have to find solutions with what they have.
      That said, MB is probably thinking about trades and weighing his options. Unfortunately, unlike your fantasy world, GM’s don’t just snap their fingers to make trades become a reality.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • jrshabs1 says:

        I guess I took one on the chin there….I didn’t know JM posted on here as Habsrule1. Anyway, I’m sure most of the league has made some movement with their roster but curiously the Habs have made none. Why do the other GM’s of the league have the magic beans and the Habs don’t?..Make some trades MB..don’t listen to JM..he’d rather juggle his lines to find the answer..he now has a lot of time on his hands.

        Go Habs Go!!

        • Habsrule1 says:

          I’m not sure if every other team has made moves. It just seems to me that it’s not that easy to trade for what you need.
          I’m kinda moving towards the idea of the Habs scouring some leagues to find a really, really good heavyweight, pay him the league minimum (assuming he doesn’t have the hockey skills to get more) and play him when you need him. It seems pretty radical but maybe it makes sense?
          I would prefer the right trade to be made than just one for the sake of it. I also think we have some good assets that could get us a decent return. I’m just not sure we can get a real impact player for what we’re willing to give up. Can we?

          Go Habs Go!!

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

  16. helluva habs fan says:

    I’m excited to see Max and the kids together tonight. Even in the games where I thought Galchenyuk has struggled, he still manages two or three amazing passes in the offensive zone each game. Now he has two wingers who can bury their chances. Max also gives them some much needed strength, agruably the kids’ biggest weakness. They should have the puck more tonight.

  17. Timo says:

    I see Therrien is still the coach. Damn.

  18. Sportfan says:

    Just posted my newest blog article today! Its been a while so I decided to talk hockey check it out!

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/nhl-five-quick-thoughts/

  19. HardHabits says:

    I think Galchenyuk, Gallagher and Pacioretty could be a good line. I’d rather see Prust and Cole with Eller than Desharnais though.

    As far as I am concerned DD and Gallagher should be platooned as the 3rd line right wing.

    • Habfan17 says:

      @ hardhabits I think you are thining of someone else to platoon on the 3rd line. Gallagher is with Patches and Gallchenyuk.
      I would like to see a 3rd line of Eller with Prust and Cole too!

      Habfan17

    • The Jackal says:

      HH – what if they convert DD to a winger, and assuming he produces well, is kept along with Gallagher after Gionta’s contract is up? Not on the same line, but playing wing on the third line.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Not a bad comment HH…congrats. I think it’s time for a better chance for Eller also. He’s earned a better look and should be placed with Cole & Prust for a while.

      Go Habs Go!!

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


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