‘You’ll see tonight,’ Therrien says of possible lineup changes for Habs (with audio and video)

The Canadiens held their morning skate at 11:30 a.m. at Madison Square Garden as they prepared for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers Thursday night (8 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

P.K. Subban was the first player on the ice for the Habs and goaltending coach Stephane Waite took a few shots at  goalie Dustin Tokarski to warm him up. Tokarski will get his second straight start in place of the injured Carey Price with the Canadiens trailing the series 2-0. There were no line drills during the skate and the only player who didn’t take part was Brandon Prust.

After the skate, coach Michel Therrien was asked if Prust would be available to play in Game 3.

“Yeah,  yeah, it was an optional practice this morning,” Therrien said.

When asked if there would be any lineup changes for Game 3, the coach said: “You’ll see tonight. Might be, though”

Therrien was also asked about the pressure Tokarski has been facing since getting the call to replace Price, who made the trip to New York with the team and is wearing a brace on his right knee. The Canadiens have said Price will not play again in this series after being injured in Game 1.

“I  thought he handled it very well,” Therrien said about Tokarski. “We understand that with the loss of Carey Price we put the young kid in a tough spot. But you look at his background, and he’s a winner, and that was the No. 1 priority for us. I thought he handled really well for the first game, especially at the Bell Centre. It’s a different pressure when you’re on the road.  He played really well on the road for us this year every time we asked him to play. But the young man did a great job.”

Minor-league goalie Mike Condon is also with the Canadiens in New York, along with backup Peter Budaj, in case of an emergency.

Therrien was asked if he would use a different strategy on the road with a rookie goaltender in net.

“One thing we know, we know the Rangers are going to play – right now they’re playing with a lot of confidence,” Therrien said. “Honestly, this is the best team that we’ve played in the playoffs so far. So we all understand the challenge that we’re facing tonight. Yes, we’ve  got a young guy in the goalie position, but for us we’ve got to make sure we play the way we play, to play the right way, to play the way with confidence.  We can’t start thinking about changing things because of the goalie. We have to make sure we play the right way. We all know if we play the way (we) play, we give our team a chance to win, and this is what we want to do tonight.”

You can listen to audio of Therrien’s morning press conference by clicking here. (Interview starts nine seconds into tape.)

The Rangers skated before the Canadiens and New York coach Alain Vigneault met with the media afterwards.

When asked to describe the mood of his team, Vigneault said: “Well, we’re a confident  group  (and) our total attention is on tonight’s  game and what we need to do to have success. Since we’ve had a longer stretch here in between Game 2 and Game 3 tonight, we’ve been able to go through a couple of areas that we feel we must be better tonight, and we’ve gone through areas that we need to continue to do well. We know that they’re going to be ready. They’re going to want to play a good game, and we’re definitely going to be ready also.”

Vigneault was also asked about the status of centre Derick Brassard, who suffered a suspected shoulder injury early in Game 1 when he was hit by Canadiens defenceman Mike Weaver and didn’t play in Game 2.

“Well,  he’s still day-to-day,” Vigneault said, “and he’s been a big part of our offensive success, so we’re a better team when he’s in our lineup.”

Vigneault added that Benoit Pouliot, who sat out practice Wednesday, will be ready for Game 3.

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(Video by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell)

Game 3 Preview, NHL.com

Game Notes

Five Keys to Game 3, canadiens.com

Habs aren’t on life support yet, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Rangers winning all the key matchups, by Jack Todd for The Gazette

Tokarski gets the call for Game 3, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Madison Square Garden a special place for Pacioretty, by Dave Stubbs

Five ways Habs can get back in series, NHL.com

Habs could sit Vanek, NHL.com

Rangers’ McDonagh finding elite level, NHL.com

Rangers surge through playoffs without a captain, New York Times

Rangers have shot to be next Dream Team in New York, New York Post

Vigneault calls for ‘unconditional love’ from Rangers fans, New York Daily News

Habs’ charity street-hockey event on Sunday, canadiens.com

 

271 Comments

  1. on2ndthought says:

    I like Vanek, Briere, Weiss
    but I would have put Vanek back with Patches and DD, reunite the EGG line

    “a cannonading drive”

  2. D Mex says:

    Dear hockey gods :
    Just checking on my wish for an error code 403 tonight.
    So far so good : no sign of the pessimist – wonderful !
    If he shows at Bob Birnie Arena, please keep him there until after the game.
    OK ? Thanks !

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  3. BriPro says:

    I think the team should forfeit the game.

    What with the lousy coach who’s taken the team to the division final, the lack of scoring, DD (..although admittedly playing very well by the poster who thinks he should be…) replaced by Eller, demoting Gio to the third line, or (in following the polls) having Vanek sit.

    I mean, why bother encouraging them? Bunch of bums.

    Oh, what’s this hand-drawing by my grandson? “Go Habs Go!!!!!!”
    (there are over 40 exclamation marks, but who’s counting)

    So, dismiss my idea. I’ll go with the little guy.

    GO HABS GO!

    ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
    That is some of the most Free-range, Organically-grown, Disingenuous,
    Idealogically-marinated, Un-Self-awareness I’ve ever seen in the wild.

    – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

    • D Mex says:

      Great idea Bri :
      Sounds like he has more hockey sense than any of the goofs who contributed material to your little pree-zen-tation.
      :-D

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  4. Habilis says:

    Anyone else see a slight disconnect between the fact that Carey won’t play for the rest of the series and the fact that he’s travelling with the team? I guess it’s just because of the magnitude of the games? Standard procedure in this case would seem to be leaving him at home in Montreal, receiving treatments. Obviously he can still do that on the road, but it makes me wonder a bit. Maybe, just maybe, he’s not as far as they’re saying.

    Also, I’ve seen a few posts about Budaj coming back next season. Personally, I just don’t see how that’s possible. In going with Tokarski here, you’ve told Budaj in plain language that you have zero faith in him to win important games. I know that Budaj is a consummate pro, but he’s still an athlete. I just can’t see how he comes back into that locker room next year, especially given that there will be zero turnover in management.

    In fact, I don’t even think he’ll be the backup if and when Carey comes back this season. I think Toker has fully passed him on the depth chart now.

    • FlyAngler says:

      This is Carey Price’s team at this point. I think that traveling with the team is definitely the right call. Having him there hopefully provides the Habs with some additional motivation against the Rags and maybe he gets a chance to deliver another motivational speech. It seemed to help against the Evil Empire in game 7- Why not use it against Gotham City in game 3?

      “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

  5. chanchilla says:

    Keep the faith boys(and gals)*, we can come back against the rangers, we’ve come back from bigger deficits before!!

    A little something to pump you guys up
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zACGht3qfXA

  6. habstrinifan says:

    Least I started a discussion.

    Enough with he talk about reprisal for Price.
    Enough with the talk about Vanek playing to not get injured or was injured by P.K.

    All poppycock.

    Face it folks. Habs are NOT scoring. No HAB is a real threat right now. So something needs be done.

    • FlyAngler says:

      The most successful coaches in sports are able to make adjustments and adapt to game situations and opponents tactics and strategy. M T should get high marks for games 6 & 7 against Boston. Let’s see what he has up his sleeve for this one. It is interesting that there were no lines in the morning skate today. I think that he is trying to screw with Vigneault’s head more than anything else while trying to mitigate a little bit AV’s home ice last change advantage. Why not make it a little harder for the Rangers to prepare?

      “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

    • The Jackal says:

      Eh, we’ve been here before. The Habs will bounce back or they won’t, but the situation is not so different from the game 4 vs. Boston or game 5 vs. Boston – in one we did not score any goals and in the other we did not score enough. Habs bounced back and won two in a row scoring 7 goals in two games.

      Game 1 of this series was very unfortunate but a blow out is still only one loss. Game 2 was the typical not getting the bounces game, but if we keep playing well we will get some more goals. It’s that simple. Maybe Lundqvist stones us, so what? It happens. Doesn’t mean the team needs to panic and change the formula for success that got then to the conference finals. Sometimes hot goalies steal games and series, that’s no reason to dismantle a successful team. Still, Habs have what it takes to crack Lundqvist and the Rangers and they will hopefully start tonight.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  7. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    Now I have to have poutine tonight.

  8. habcertain says:

    Gary Bettman…Sports Exec of Year, ok now everyone duck!

  9. Tomi says:

    “You’ll see tonight” Translation= “I don’t have an effing clue what I’m doing.”
    At least Bob Hartley with my Flames is a good coach.

    I hate this effing crap team. Hopefully they lose the 2 in New York so Molson doesn’t get an extra game at home to line his pockets.

    Then he can fire Michael F Therrien.

  10. Habitant in Surrey says:

    @Trini

    …DD-Patch-Bournival
    …Eller-Galchenyuk-Gallagher
    …Plek-Gionta-Andrighetto
    …Briere-Weise-Bourque

    …PK-Markov
    …Gorges-Beaulieu
    …Emelin-Tinordi

    put THAT in Your pipe …and smoke it ! :)

    • habstrinifan says:

      Let’s see what PrimeTime thinks of that one! LOL!

      I like it though. Only question is can we get Andrigheetto’s parents to NY in time. They should be there to see their son play his first NHL game. Maybe his last witht he HABS.

      See how I got that hint it… Addrighetto.. I dont see wearing the CH for any significant time.

  11. habs001 says:

    Before ever game the same posters pick the Habs to win…Is it not easier next year just to say Habs will be 82-0 in regular season and 16-0 in the playoffs…

  12. habs001 says:

    Shots on goal Canada 38 Finland 26….A proven goalie vs a limited experienced goalie….Playing well but giving up bad goals makes it difficult to win….The Habs have to do this 4 times not once…Unless you believe that goaltending makes no difference this task of having one of the best goaltenders in the league playing vs a goalie who probably not be ranked in the top 35 in the NHL makes this task very very difficult…

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Goalie are a huge part of the team. Tokarski isn’t a bad goalie though. I have seen him play quite a bit in the AHL and he is better than you think.

      He wasn’t the reason why we lost last game. If Price was in we probably still would have lost

      • Chris says:

        I would be shocked if Price gave up that goal 17 seconds after the Habs took the 1-0 lead. That goal was an absolute back-breaker.

        He certainly would not have given up the 2-1 goal.

        One thing that doesn’t get mentioned is that the team plays differently in front of Price: they are more confident and they take more chances. Now, they play very conservatively because they don’t have that same faith that Tokarski can save them.

        That is the effect of losing Price. Tokarski is probably no better or worse than Budaj in that department…neither guy instills confidence in the skaters in front of him, so they are turtling more in the defensive zone.

        • FlyAngler says:

          Don’t forget Chris, the first one deflected off of Gorge’s butt before going into the net. I am not saying that Carey would not have stopped it, but it would have been a tough save. The second one he would have stopped for sure, I do believe.

          “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

        • Le Jadester says:

          Perhaps?
          But the Toker is way better than Budaj IMO.
          Price would of definitely let in their first goal from game 2. I’ve seen those kinda goals go past him all the time. I thnk Price woulda ate St. Louis goal too?
          I think the Toker made some big saves before we scored (2 at least) and it woulda been worse than 3-1 if it wasn’t for his play.

          I do agree with what yer saying for the most part though.
          Habs, OLE !

  13. Colombiahabs says:

    Hope you got that Timo

  14. habstrinifan says:

    Prime Time in his usual targeted derision at EVERY DAMN thing I post scoffed mightily at one of my line up suggestions. Before I egotistically repost them, crazy as they were, here are some observations.

    A)I was the first HIO poster to forecast that Galchenyuk will be replacing Bournival last game.
    B)I am pleased to see that the poll is saying that Thomas Vanek CANNOT be benched tonight.

    OK! Here are some thoughts. Actually one thought. The HABS need as much scoring/speed ‘ability’ in the lineup. Without PRICE, HABS have NO OTHER ‘intimidation factor’ UNLESS they pepper HR with goals and shake his confidence. And HABS have no single individual on what may be called a ‘HOT’ streak offensively….. So you need to pepper your lineup with as much offense as possible. That means that both Galchenyuk and Bournival MUST PLAY tonight. You need to score by committee for the duration of this series.

    So Vanek must play; Briere must play; Galchenyuk must play and Bournival must play!!

    Who does that leave out…. Prust. Nice fellow but not performing right now. If Therrien could think ‘outside’ the box and use Toker instead of the Budaj… then he’s can do the same and sit Prust.

    One other consideration is DD! Even Boone in his blog expressed how hard working DD has been in this series. But alas he hasnt gotten the results to match that hard work…

    So here’s my lineup…stupid as Primetime may think it is. Don’t have to start the game with thise two lines but if HABS are ‘NOT’ scoring then I say try them.

    Gallagher,Eller,Pacioretty.

    I do not have to detail the talent that would be on this line. And it’s got some of everything you would want on a forward line.

    Bournival,White, DD.
    DD is working his butt of. White would give him space. And since no other player is using DD’S hardwork effectively… put these three youthful, energetic, speedy players together and let them do their stuff.

    So how do you gt White; Galchenyuk;Bournival all in and only sit Prust. This is where I agree with Primtime e my know how. How the F do I know. Maybe sit Weise? or Briere?

    I hate to do iit but I say it would be Briere…since he gets such small TOI anyways.

    Bottom line:

    Prust has to sit.
    HABS need a #1 looking line (eller/pacs/Gallagher).
    Do something to get DD’s hard work to pay off..else he too will get discouraged.

    Over and Out!!!

    • Chris says:

      Trini: I don’t know if you’ve been watching the Memorial Cup, but Tyler Bertuzzi, a player you asked me about, has been driving his stock sky-high. He’s now leading all goal-scorers with 5 goals in 3 games played, while driving his opponents batty.

      I’m not sure they expected him to have the hands that he’s displayed this season, and his skating has really improved. The fact that he is a first-class agitator that is willing to dive in front of shots and always finishes his checks must have the Red Wings feeling pretty giddy. The kid has tons of heart.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Thanks Chris. I havent been able to watch here in Switzerland. But I have been reading your reports.

        I read with concern for him your poor grade for HABS first round pick on the Knights. The only posititive you had on that front was either he be traded away from Knights or with graduation of other juniors, he will become more used by the Hunters.

        • Chris says:

          I think a lot of people mistook that post.

          I’m not giving McCarron a poor grade. I think his offence came along very nicely at the end of the season, especially when you consider that he was getting no power play time whatsoever and his ice time was limited.

          I wish he had played more physical, but that will probably become a bigger part of his game next season now that he is comfortable with the OHL and its officiating standards.

          I will give the Knights’ handling of his development a poor grade, but that was my worry when he signed with them. Wrong team in the wrong year.

          His skating can be improved, and he can develop a meaner streak. What a lot of people don’t realize is that he actually can go to the AHL next season as he was drafted and signed a pro contract before playing in the OHL. So that is some leverage that Bergevin can use with the Hunters this summer to secure ice time assurances next season.

      • New says:

        Bertuzzi is also doing remarkably well for a man on the edge of death from a blatant knee, then back in a couple moments to score :-)

        • Chris says:

          I laughed at that one…that was pure Bertuzzi. It absolutely was a penalty…Zadorov pretty blatantly kneed him.

          But Bertuzzi definitely sold it for all it was worth. With any other team, I would have been embarrassed to be a Guelph fan. But against the Knights, who are the Bruins of the OHL, all is fair game. :)

    • Colombiahabs says:

      Ya those are the dumbest lines I have ever seen.

    • habcertain says:

      if it is all about offensive, why would you sit Briere to insert White, a plugger? How about “hey MT, why not play Briere a little more, in light of the fact, when he does see ice time with the appropriate line mates he gets points?” easy peasy, as they say.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I know I know. And as you see I am torn as to how to get White in. You ‘need’ a little muscle dont you? And Prust isnt playing well.

        You tell me though. How do we get DD’s hardwork to pay off. He is working his butt off.

        • FlyAngler says:

          Prust will bring everything he has to MSG because the Rangers let him walk. I think that he will have a good game tonight and you never know what you are going to get with Whitey………

          “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

        • habcertain says:

          I think Bourney, who yes has speed, energy, but still lacks finish would be the guy I would sit. I think White has as much energy, will do a little more banging and could create more chaos that could lead to turnovers. I think increasing our ability to create turnovers would be a key to success.

          For DD, put Vanek back on that line and try to get their magic back, if he isn’t hurt of course.

      • FlyAngler says:

        Seems so simple habscertain doesn’t it. It sure isn’t rocket science and the plays that Briere has made in the playoffs are among the biggest- setting up the GWG against TB in OT of game 1. Setting up the winning goal in OT by P K on the PP in game 1 against Boston. And last but not least- a goal and an assist in game 7 against the Bruins. All this despite only averaging 10 minutes a game. Give him a few more shifts and some time on the PP and put Vanek back where he belongs with Patches and DD and you have at least a CHANCE to turn this thing around. If DD and Pleks continue to get the amount of ice time that they have been seeing to date including on the PP the Habs will be toast and it does not have to be!

        “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

        • habcertain says:

          it seems to me, and have stated in the past, Therrien makes up his mind about how to play a player, and there is no turning back. All season when Briere has got it going, it goes back to the same BS, 6 min of 4th line TOI. He just isn’t going to play the guy, doesn’t like him for whatever reason. Why sign a guy to perform in the playoffs, then sit him.

          • FlyAngler says:

            I hear you brother- soooooooo frustrating…………………..

            “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

  15. SteverenO says:

    Lots of hate directed at Vanek, these days,

    Seems to me that he is playing hurt and therefore not able to shoot.

    Bith Vanek nad Pacioretty havce been on the ice for a total of 4 Habs Even Strength goals in the 13 playoff games. Pacioretty having played 197 minutes to Vanek’s 168.

    Both have been on the ice for 6 powerplay goals

    I say put them back together on the same line, or play Vanek on the left wing on another line.

    Its a shme that Therrien is not aware that our BEST two way line BY FAR the entire season was Briere/Plekanec/Gionta. They played as a unit for 180 minutes even strength regular season and the team scored 11 goals while allowing just 1. Getting knocked out of the playoffs without ever having played the best trio from the regular season would be a shame.

    Both Plek and Gionta seem to be floundering when split apart. Briere is doing fine, as he has all season, but unfortunately, gets little ice time.

    With the first goal of the game being so important one would think that the coach would want to have his best two way line out there as much as possible at the beginning of the game.
    regards,

    Steve O.

  16. PK says:

    Looking forward to the game!!

    Habs 4
    Rangers 2
    (Empty net goal to seal the deal)

    >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

  17. habfan100 says:

    Predictions tonight?
    4-3 MTL (1OT)

    Vanek
    Pacioretty
    Gallagher
    Briere

  18. Timo says:

    “You’ll see tonight”. Oooh, Rangers must be shaking in their little boots anticipating with great deal of fear the changes Michael Therrien will make to his lineup. I mean, the choices he can make… whooo-eeee!

  19. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …this is a game I do not want to miss …the faint, but distinct possibility of turning this around, and win the series will create a fire-storm of admiration among hockey fans, not only Habs fans

    …We know how Our Team have consistently proved the improbable possible, the doubters into believers …I feel They will do Us proud again

    …so, missing tonight’s game is painful

    …but, it’s My Son’s high school grad ceremony tonight, and We both will be following Y’all/HIO on Our Kindle Fire and Ipod as We enjoy this other important moment of His Life

    …I leave Our Habbies fate in Your supportive hands

    …hold the Flame high ! :) …Go Habs GO !!!

  20. Prop says:

    Just a little pick me up…
    http://imgur.com/a/i7VYb

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  21. Hobie says:

    Dave Stubbs: Love his knowledge of the history of the Habs.
    Stu Cowen: Puts together a great website and sports section.
    Mike Boone: Hilarious on the live blog!
    Pat Hickey: Classic old sports reporter. Love his articles.
    Ron Maclean: Way too pro Toronto. Hates the Habs. His bias makes me dislike his opinion.
    Bob Cole: Legend, awesome, I don’t care if he’s old and makes mistakes. People are crazy to think he is pro Toronto. He has always done a great job calling Habs games. Especially the 93 finals!
    PJ Stock: He worked in radio in Montreal, knows how sensitive Habs fans can be, takes shots at the team because of it, can’t stand him.
    Glen Healy: I don’t find him anti Habs. He just gets way to excited and says a lot of dumb things that seem to be wrong.
    Don Cherry: He doesn’t hide the fact he’s pro Boston and Toronto. I don’t agree with everything he says be he’s generally right about hockey plays. I like him.
    Darren Dreger: Blah, blah, blah
    Bob MacKenzie: Has more substance to his reports than Dreger. Seems to have good sources and inside scoops.
    Aaron Ward: Delivers a good analysis from a players perspective.
    Doug Maclean: Energetic, fun to listen to, not always right but not afraid to admit it. makes fun of himself. Good man.
    Nick Kypreos: Again, extremely pro Toronto. Purposely tries to enrage Habs fans by being overly negative about the team.
    Pierre McGuire: He can be annoying with his over complementing everyone but has a good heart, loves the game and provides good info.
    Mitch Melnick: Best radio guy in Montreal. Good understanding on how the game of hockey should be played.
    Tony Marinaro: Knows the players, current happenings with the team, has no idea on how hockey should be played.
    Conor Mckenna: Very articulate, great personality, his hourly anti fighting rants and friendship with Andrew Berkshire make him an idiot.

    • FlyAngler says:

      Hobie,
      My only issue would be that McGuire seemed to be doing a lot of bear blowing in the last series. I realize that he works for NBC, but he is a Montrealer.

      “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

    • habcertain says:

      Hobie… a lone voice of reason in the distance… thank you sir, well done. Enjoy the game.

    • Cal says:

      I don’t find PJ Stock to be stupid. I think the people that hired him are.
      I’ll be glad when an idiot owner finally hires McGuire so he’s off the air.
      Melnick is too much baseball. It’s dead in Montreal, ffs, no matter how hard Cromartie works he’s not a billionaire so it ain’t happening.
      In fact, I find it very hard to listen to TSN690. The morning show tries to be funny. They ain’t, ever since the only guy who knows what comedy is was let go. Elliot Price is annoying.
      If Price is annoying, Marinaro is a hemorrhoid.
      McKenna should look up from his calculator once in a while and actually watch what players do. So should all of ‘em at Eyes up their a..
      Finally, Cherry and MacLean: Dumb and Dumber.
      See, I’d like to watch a game without all those idiots trying to throw inane chatter at me. Just the sound of the game and the crowd. Replays on good stops or goals, and the penalties called. Most of what they say is filler anyway.

  22. BJ says:

    Sweden 2 Belarus 2 ten minutes left in the third. Funny to see the Kostitsyn brothers. Sergei playing really well.

  23. Prince Edward Island Habs fan says:

    according to tsn690 Dustin Tokarski was getting lit up by everyone in practice. including Ryan white who was beating him high glove. Yikes!!!

    Just heard someone pronounce the H in wheel so I’m gonna need a minute

  24. shiram says:

    Arthur StapleVerified account ‏@StapeNewsday

    #Isles sign G Jaroslav Halak to 4-year, $18-million contract.

    Isles are also keeping their 1st round pick this year, giving next year’s 1st round pick to Buffalo, as per the Vanek trade.

  25. BJ says:

    Scrivens chokes on a couple of weak shots. Two bad mistakes by Canada. Five years in a row not getting past the 1/4 finals.

  26. habcertain says:

    with this Dreger talk thought I would get a bit of a list together:

    RDS- good, even though many can’t understand what they are saying.
    Stubbs- good
    Cowen- good
    Boone- trending downward quickly, sorry Mike, pollsters are speaking.
    Maclean- idiot
    Cole- old idiot
    PJ- bigger idiot
    Healy- trying hard to be a bigger idiot
    Cherry- biggest idiot
    Dreger- outsider, idiot
    MacKenzie- farther outside, idiot
    Ward- ex-player idiot
    Maclean- wannabe idiot
    Kypreous- achieved idiot
    NBC and staff- American idiots
    NHL and staff- used to be Canadian, but now American idiots
    Timo- lovable idiot

    Many more to add….I think I see a trend here.

  27. FlyAngler says:

    “you’ll see tonight”

    What I hope I am going to see….

    Patches DD Vanek
    Chucky Eller Bourque
    Gally Plek Gionta
    Prust Briere Weise

    Nothing here that others have not brought up any number of times- given past history these lines give us the best chance of scoring some goals. Also need to play Eller and Briere on the PP as the first and 2nd wave centremen. DD and Pleks are not getting it done there and Eller and Briere are both better playmakers at this point.

    The PP often fails because the opposition pressures both of the points and there is no forward who can be relied upon to take a pass from the point and then make something happen. DD and Pleks each have only 2 points on the PP in the playoffs despite averaging over 5 minutes per game on the PP between them. That is just killing us! We need playmakers on the PP if we are going to score goals! This is not a revolutionary or radical concept!

    “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

  28. BJ says:

    Tyler Myers turns it over 3-2 Finland 3 minutes left.

  29. Danno says:

    Will the King finally run out of luck tonight?

    Henrik Luck-vist.

    ________________________________________

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

  30. SteverenO says:

    some notable statistics- of Habs playoff performance:

    top ranked defensive players ; (Minutes of ice time per goal allowed even strength) :

    1. Desharnais– 67 MpGA
    2. Weise_– 61 MpGA
    3. Weaver — 55 MpGA
    4. Briere – 51 MpGA
    5. Pacioretty – 49 MpGA
    ******* Beaulieu 35 Minutes – Zero Goals Allowed ****
    6. Moen – 34 MpGA
    7. Markov – 30 MpGA
    8: Bouillon; 28 Mpga
    9. Emelin- 24 MpGA
    9: Vanek; 24 Mpga
    9: Prust: 24 MpGA
    12: Bourque; 23 MpGA
    12. Gallagher; 23 MpGa
    14. Subban: 22 MpGA
    15: Gionta: 20 MpGA
    15: Eller: 20 MpGA
    15: Gorges 20 MpGA
    18: Bournival; 17 MpGA
    19: Murray: 16 MpGA
    20: Plekanec: 15 MpGA

    Top ranked Offensive Players:
    Minutes of TOI per team goal scored

    1. Bouillon: 12 MpGF
    2. Weaver ; 15 MpGF
    ** EDIT_ oops I left out Eller_ 15 MpGF ******
    3. Beaulieu: 18 MpGF
    4. Gorges: 19 MpGF
    5: Gionta: 20 MpGF
    5: Bournival: 20 MpGF
    5: Prust : 20 MpGF
    8: Gallagher: 21 MpGF
    8: Bourque: 21 MpGF
    10. Subban ; 24 MpGF
    10. Weise- 24 MpGF
    12: Briere- 26 MpGF
    13 Plekanec- 29 MpGF
    14: Moen: 34 MpGF
    14: Desharnais: 34 MpGF
    14: Murray : 34 MpGF
    17: Emelin: 37 MpGF
    18: Vanek: 42 MpGF
    19. Pacioretty: 49 MpGF
    20: Markov: 53 MpGF

    Keep these numbers in mind when you see which players Therrien gives more, or less, ice time to when the team is either trailing and needs goals, or leading and needs to protect the lead.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • montreal ace says:

      STEVE O Thanks for the stats, they are very useful

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      Nice. Why no Eller in the second list?

      ~~ You’ve been spun ~~

    • JohnBellyful says:

      If I understood this right, the Habs should go with two lines and three defencemen?

      And where’s the stats on the goalies? :)
      (Let’s see, Toharski’s 60 MpGF would put him at the bottom of the list but his 20 MpGA ties him with Gionta, Eller and Gorges, and ahead of Bournival, Murray and Plekanec. Hmmm, a few players not looking so good here.)

    • Forum Dog says:

      If Therrien puts Bouillion, Weaver, Gorges, Gionta, Bournival and Prust out there to generate offense, I will cry. Just as I will cry if he puts Desharnais, Pacioretty, Briere and/or Beaulieu out there to protect a lead.

      Proof positive of why stats can be misleading. From my perspective, they just need guys like Plekanec, Vanek and Pacioretty to put it all on the table (to paraphrase P. Roy). No more dancing around on the perimeter. Get to the effing net, no matter how much it hurts or who is in the way. If they play in NY’s crease, they can win. If they stand around and wait for the perfect goal, they will go down 0-3. MTL’s main skaters have to drive this bus now. Time to push the Rangers hard.

      • SteverenO says:

        @Forum Dog ;;

        it seems obvious that Gorges offensive numbers have a lot to do with the fact that he plays mostly with Subban.

        Prust”s offensive numbers are good partly because of who because of who he played with .

        You should also be crying when Plekanec is out there trying to protect a lead. The habs have allowed 29 ES goals in the playoffs this season. Plekanec ahs been on the ice for 14 of them, Desharnais for 3, in roughly the same amount of ice time. Briere has been on for two goals against in roughly half the minutes.

        In last years playoff debacle Plekanec was on for 6 Goal against (even strength) Desharnias was on for just one in the same number of minutes.

        The time when you should be crying when he double shifts Markov, late in a game when we need goals, or benches Briere when we are leading

        regards,

        Steve O.

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    Paul Stewart chimes in on the Kreider hit on Price…. sees nothing wrong with the play. I generally like these pieces that Stewart writes. But I am fully ensconced in my Hab Coloured Glasses and believe Kreider should be sentenced and punished via the Guillotine.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Paul-Stewart/The-Bigger-Picture-of-Kreider-Price-Incident/196/60190

    • johnnylarue says:

      Yeah… it’s not the act, so much as the outcome–and the astronomical scale of the significance of said outcome–that account for the outrage surrounding this incident.

      It’s like someone sped up at a yellow light and broadsided a car in the turning lane… only to discover that the car belonged to the President of the United States, or David Suzuki or Alf or whatever…

  32. shiram says:

    I think Budaj will play his last year of his contract with the Habs, and Tokarski gets another year of being an AHL starter.

    Sure Budaj has weak games, he is a backup and not a starter, that’s their lot.
    Buyout is ridiculous, and I don’t think he’d garner much in a trade and the team would have to look for another starter in Hamilton.

    • habfan100 says:

      Agreed. I still think Budaj is the best guy to have when we have a set of back to backs and there’s no pressure on him when Price needs a break. Having Toker play full time in Hamilton for one more season will help him a lot, especially after this playoff experience.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I agree with you shiram, many strong opinions on this site regarding this matter. I think there is an understanding between the team, coaches, exec. etc.. and Budaj about what is going on in this series.

    • careysubban3176 says:

      In two years Budaj will be gone and Tokarski will be the back up and Fucale will be in nets for the Bulldogs. Then in another 2 years Fucale will be Price’s backup. After that things will get very interesting.

      Stop blaming the goaltender! He can only do so much.

  33. habfan100 says:

    The Rangers are due for a stinker and/or a loss. If we continue playing the solid road game we have played over the last 6 road games we will win tonight.

  34. Furk says:

    Wouldn’t it be awesome when Therrien says “You’ll see tonight” and Carey Price jumps on to the ice, pulling a stunt like the WWE. That would sure throw the Rags off, and we might just win four straight. Doesn’t hurt to live in a fantasy world.

  35. NCRhabsfan says:

    No matter what happens tonight in terms of winning or losing, it would be a terrible shame if Mr Krieder is healthy enough to play hockey again this season after the game.

  36. Strummer says:

    After 5 wins in a row King Henrik is due to suck.
    So is McDonagh who had Zero points in his first 10 playoff games.

    Law of averages also says the guys that brought offense to Habs in the first 2 rounds – Vanek, Briere, Subban, Plek, Bourque, Gally are due tonight as well
    ____________________________________________________
    “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

    • SPATS says:

      Yep, things have a way of evening out. Like the way the Bruins couldn’t keep coming back. It’s like expecting to birdie the 18th at Augusta over and over again in the final round. The pressure to keep performing at that level is unrealistic and when the lapse inevitably arrives, we must be at our best to not only capitalize, but to take the Mo and run with it. No pressure Toker, spark one up and enjoy the ride…

  37. Max says:

    They’ll probably get Dusty Tokarski in as Price’s backup next season and give Condon the keys to the Hamilton net with a guy like Delmas backing him up.That all depends on Budaj’s fate of course. I reckon that ufa Dubnyk,Mayer and our friend Mr.Budaj will be given their walking papers.I think Budaj should be made as a team ambassador or something.He seems well liked and is always upbeat. lol Good kid.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Isn’t Budaj signed through next season?

      edit….nevermind went to capgeek and he is a UFA.

      They probably will bring up toker to save a little

    • CJ says:

      Delmas is not strong enough to back up in the AHL. We need to take a step forward next year in Hamilton. IMO, we will see Condon with an experienced goalie (ie Nathan Lawson, Drew McIntyre, Devon Dubnyk).

  38. Strummer says:

    Peter Bujaj at $1.4 million annually is the highest paid high-fiver/back-slapper in the NHL.

    ____________________________________________________
    “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

  39. Habfan10912 says:

    Getting ready to head out to the train in a bit. Chrisadiens and I will be sitting in the Madison Club featuring free food and beverage and TV’s. The son-in-law had an offer of $5,000 for the 4 tickets but turned it down. He’s not very smart but he’s in the will. :)

    It will be my first visit to MSG for a hockey game since the late 70’s when I saw the Ranger play the Cleveland Barons. I’ll try to post some live updates tonight if I’m not shaking too much.

    You may hear a faint “Go Habs Go” chant tonight. If you do you can bet that Chris and I are involved. CHeers all and enjoy the game.

  40. habcertain says:

    some interesting facts concerning Vanek…. only twice this year has he gone past 3 games without scoring a point, once when he was traded, and the other was after the Ole break, only 8 other players was have more goals in the playoffs, only 2 players have scored more goals in the same amount of games, and 1 player has scored more in less.

    finally in game 6 vs the Bruins, where the Habs had far more pressure than game 7, he scored 2 big goals.

    I heartily agree that this guy deserves to be the whipping boy, and definitely merits being singled out by his coach, demoted to the fourth line, or better yet, be the subject of endless polls to be sat out.

    Because the guy doesn’t run around banging his stick screaming and yelling, does not mean he doesn’t care, it is just his style.

    He shall have no problem, as many have suggested, that he does not merit a big contract, there are/will be many suitors. We love to eat our own here, and it is no surprise why many UFAs have little appetite to play here. This correlates to the buffoons who have criticized the homeboys (i.e. Vinny/Briere), who would not sign here when the opportunity presented itself. Who in their right mind would want to subject themselves, and their families, to the endless bombardment. Oh, and he have a coach who is like mind, yeah!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      You’ve hit the nail on the head I think HC. Vanek needs to get on the scorecard for most of us to see value. The treatment you refer to is so very true. I’ve even heard (and read) someone refer to Galchenyuk as a beer leaguer and the abuse Price has taken the last few seasons is legendary.

      A very passionate fan base indeed and a lot of us can say/type things that are based on emotion and tough on the players.

    • habfan100 says:

      I’m sorry I don’t buy it, Vanek’s body language spews laziness.

      Sure he scores goals and gets points. He scored 2 goals against the Bruins, tip in’s on the road, on the PP, but otherwise he played a brutal game. He had a good game 6 as did the whole team. Vanek has been soft on the puck, and has had what 1 shot in 2 games at home against the Rangers? How many times has Vanek scored on a breakaway this postseason? or stuffed in a one timer beauty? How many times has he turned the puck over, or was seen floating on the ice?

      That’s a joke from a guy who wants over $50M.

      Thomas Vanek is a very skilled player. He is a guy that will get you to the playoffs and put up damn good numbers. In the playoffs he will chip in here and there. However, he is not clutch, and is not a complete player. Vanek will show up once every three games in the playoffs, therefore he is not worth $7M+

      Give me Jarome Iginla over Thomas Vanek for this playoff run. Because I know in Overtime who I trust to score a goal when needed.

      • habcertain says:

        his play off performance is identical to his regular season… .41ppg over his career.

        De-bunk another myth.

        • habfan100 says:

          How many of his goals are tip ins on the PP?

          How many times has he turned the puck over or given up on a play? Honestly you have not seen Vanek’s laziness over certain games this postseason? He shows up once every 3 games.

          1 shot on goal in 2 games in this series. Come on. This is the 3rd game tonight, he will probably have a good game points wise tonight.

          Anyway you cut it, Vanek is a one dimensional player. Excellent in the Regular Season, and someone who shows up once in awhile in the playoffs. There is no way you can argue Thomas Vanek is worth $50M+ over 7 years for being a one dimensional player.

          Alex Kovalev 2.0 = Thomas Vanek

          • habcertain says:

            again, his career playoff stats are the same as his reg. season, he is a model of consistency .41ppg, no one is accusing him of being a defensive wizard, just like I don’t expect Pleks to have a break out offensive season. No one has to argue what he is worth they will prove it to you after the season.

            Not sure how old you are but many accused the Big M of being lazy also, and we rode on his back to a Cup.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Agreed. A One-dimensional Sniper who doesn’t Snipe deserves to get the gears. Hope he snaps out of it tonight.habs in 6.

  41. habfan100 says:

    In a hostile TD Garden where we played 4 games, against the President’s Trophy winners, this lineup averaged to score 3 goals per game. If we can score 3 against them in their barn, in that intimidating atmosphere, against the best team, we can score 3-4 at the Mausoleum Square Garden.

    No Excuses.

  42. CHicoHab says:

    With our 8-5 playoff record there is no reason we can’t win tonite. (Ok so no Price) but we still in my mind have a better offense. Just get me a game back to Montreal Tuesday night!!! That’s all I ask. GHG

  43. Ozmodiar says:

    I hope Vanek scores so we don’t have to read or hear “Thomas Vanish” anymore. It’s weak.

  44. BleedsTri-colour says:

    I’m a bit confused here. Is BUDAJ hurt? Is he injured in some way? He is dressed as the back-up, so he must be able to play. Why are we starting a ‘little better than average’ AHL goalie when we have one of the best backups in the league. I am dumbfounded.
    I don’t have much confidence in the young Tokarski at this point; and he is playing against one of the top three goalies in the world. Wouldn’t Budaj be our best chance to win???

    • Cal says:

      In a word, um, no.
      Game 1 3rd period should have told you all you needed to know.

    • habfan100 says:

      Because Budaj has shown time and time again that he cannot gulp down the pressure. He is a great regular season backup when there is no pressure, when Price needs an off night. In that regard, Peter Budaj is the best backup in the league. Last year against Ottawa, Budaj was brutal. Post Olympics, Budaj wasn’t good. Relieving Price in Game 1, Budaj was brutal.

      Tokarski has a resume of playing well in big time situations. Therrien went with his gut. 3-1 score in Game 2, 27 saves on 30 shots. I honestly don’t think Budaj would have done any better.

      Therrien went with his gut, and although they didn’t win, I think he has made the right choice.

    • C-Sword says:

      Budaj is known for crumbling when under pressure, his playoff stats are horrible, his poor performances as a no.1 after Price was injured at the Olympics also didn’t help.

      I think the Habs management is trying to see what Tokarski is capable of, he could be our no.2 next season or be traded.

  45. Un Canadien errant says:

    Comedy during the Michel Therrien presser: a reporter asks him a “technical question”, wondering what the reason is behind having Mike Condon in New York, and on the ice as a third goalie during the morning skate.

    He answered “We have the right to have a third goalie for emergencies, and our options were either Patrick Langlois, the assistant equipment manager, or Mike Condon, so we decided to go with Mike.”

    The case of Devan Dubnyk was also raised, why he wasn’t in the mix with Carey injured, and Michel Therrien explained that he decided to go home rather than stick with the Black Aces, so the team decided not to bring him back. There was a hint of a smirk as he explained that, so we can probably deduce that Mr. Dubnyk didn’t win himself any brownie points with that decision, and that he won’t be back next season.

    It does make me wonder again though, how do these guys get paid? The Black Aces are not playing AHL any more, they’re not earning a salary, and I don’t think they’re eligible for the playoff bonuses that the Canadiens players will get. Are these guys practicing for free right now? If you’re a kid trying to claw your way up to the bigs, maybe that flies, but I understand Devan Dubnyk, with a newborn at home, choosing to go home.

    Video: Go to three-minute mark of

    http://www.rds.ca/vid%C3%A9os/tokarski-est-un-gagnant-3.980741

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Cal says:

      Dubnyk is UFA come July. He was regular season insurance for Tokarski. Didn’t cost the Habs a penny.

    • JUST ME says:

      It`s probably a more fruitfull experience for Condon to be there rather than having Dubnyk who already went through these new experiences.
      I do not know either about their paycheck but am convinced that they are more afraid of the end of the world than the end of the month…May i guess that the Black aces are paid like anyone else every 2 weeks like us and that their deal is not the same as the NHL guys ?

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        That’s my question though. NHL and I believe AHL guys get paid their contract amount during the regular season. Pre-season and playoffs they don’t get a paycheque. So, our Black Aces, with the AHL season over, and no post-season bonus coming, how are they getting paid, if at all? I can’t imagine the Canadiens can float them a few grand, that would have salary cap implications.

        • johnnylarue says:

          I have it on good authority that 5% of all hotdog sales at the Bell is set aside to pay the Black Aces as part of the under-publicized “Buy a Wiener, Feed an Ace” initiative.

  46. mdp2011 says:

    Wow Dreger really going out on a limb here.

    Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger 7m
    Subject to change, but expect same lineups for Habs-Rangers in game 3.

    • habfan100 says:

      Dreger also said Price would start Game 2.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        That was also subject to change, apparently.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Dave Nonis wasn’t sure, so Darren-boy had to add the ‘subject to change’.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            He should change his twitter handle to @SubjectToChange, or maybe @LeafLeak.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            It is my understanding in the off season he works with a Fence Post company, apparantly once the post holes are dug, posts placed and concreted in, he can sit directly on that fence post and determine if perfectly straight in the air.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Can’t stand that guy. I wonder what he gets paid to do his job. We can all be just as good at being an insider as he is.

      Complete goof

      • HabinBurlington says:

        He has worn on me to the point I now hold him in the same esteem as the greatest gate opening Asst. Coach in the history of hockey, so great no one could ever land him to a pure hockey contract ever again, but rather he has had to settle in with the media, Ladies and Gentlemen, Pierre McGuire!

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I echo that sentiment. They just seem like they are trying to hard.

          I have little use for either. There isn’t too many of the talking heads I like though. I do like Elliot Friendman though.

  47. habfan100 says:

    Food for thought:

    Our goals for and against this postseason. Pretty even, 4-2 on the road. I honestly like the way we have played on the road so far.

    We are scoring an average of 4 goals per game on the road, hopefully it continues.

    Road
    GF: 21
    GA: 18

    Home
    GF: 18
    GA: 18

  48. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    gio needs to play on the third line.
    you cant play him with pleks, they are too defensive and dotn score enough 5×5.

    pleks need gallagher and galchenyuk.

    vanek abck on top with dd and patch,

  49. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Been away from these parts since the Carey injury.. Just tragic.

    I just want to say this…

    A 5-1 win this evening will restore all faith, and the message board will be filled with wonder about Carey’s return…

    Here’s hoping.

    Have to thank the franchise for providing a hell of a season thus far, let’s keep it going!

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • SPATS says:

      It’s like we are losing the game 2-0 midway through the second and anything can happen to swing the Mo back our way. Keep skating, hitting, shooting and going to the net for rebounds boys. This is far from over if we can get a win tonight. I may even spark one up for the first time in years and join Toker in smoken em ;)

  50. habfan100 says:

    If we win tonight, I can see us going on a roll with a pair of wins or more. If we lose, it’s over.

    Bottom line, need to win tonight. This is the season. We are playing in one of the least intimidating environments in the NHL. Winning tonight throws the whole playing for the late mother of Marty St. Louis mentality out of the Rangers room.

    Every game we have gotten better, but our offense needs a spark. Need to score 3-4 goals tonight and get in Lundqvist’s kitchen. One game at a time, but this is our season boys.

    No Excuses.

  51. WindsorHab-10 says:

    What will it take for Moen or White to crack this lineup? Obviously Prust is not bringing. Only good game he had in the playoffs was may be game 6 of the Boston series as he stunk in the others. For a tough guy to let a dirty player like Kreider get away with intentionally injuring Price & not make him pay for it is pathetic. I know Moen & White would’ve gone after him.

    • JUST ME says:

      I tought Whitey would make a difference against the Bruins but we finally did not need him but i still feel that this guy has a heart as big if not bigger than anyone on that team and in his own way can take the lead. We need that push to bring us back on the right frame of mind.

  52. habfan100 says:

    Well, I honestly thought we would win Game 2 for Carey but I guess not. Had some of our players got in front of the net and got in Lundqvist’s kitchen we may have scored more than one goal.

    Bottom line is we need our offense to show up. I was at Game 2 and Tokarski played a good game for a first playoff game. Sure you can say he would like one goal back but other than that, I think he played well.

    If they don’t crowd the net and let Lundqvist see everything, we will probably score one goal and lose tonight.

    Habs are still in this series but they need to win tonight. MSG is not TD Garden, the Rangers are so so there, it’s not the most intimidating environment. Habs are 4-2 on the road this postseason, and have scored many goals on the road.

    Tonight’s game is the season. Offense needs to show up big time and get some support for Tokarski. If we win tonight, we got a series. Gionta, Plekanec, Vanek, Markov, all these veterans need to show some leadership and step up tonight.

    Stay out of the box, get in Lundqvist’s kitchen, and play sound defense, and we will win this game.

  53. HUDSONHAB says:

    Last game I seen flashes of the shoddy play by the Rags that they displayed vs the Flyers. They are not perfect. They are just on a high. When we jump ahead of them quickly the will start to run around. Go Habs Go!

  54. D Mex says:

    My first wish for tonight’s game :
    error code 403
    Take a night off, double-oh B- -ne :!:

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  55. HUDSONHAB says:

    Plekanic Eller Pacs DD Subban Markov Yemelin Gallagher Galchenyuk
    That otta do it.
    Go Habs Go!

  56. Rad says:

    I think the Habs can win tonight. They need to take the crowd out of the game, like they did against Boston. If they do that, the Rangers will get demoralized and we can take this game. Going to be difficult to win this series now, but we can extend it to 6 with a win tonight. Subban was first on the ice this morning. He will be a force in tonight’s game, and the rest of the team will rally around him. We’re due for a win.

  57. habsfan0 says:

    Jacques Demers is of the opinion that Peter Budaj is not coming back with the Habs,and I tend to concur.
    Budaj filled in admirably when he was called upon for the most part,especially in Boston,where his perfect 5-0 record will attest to.
    Budaj’s career in Montreal basically was determined to be expendable as the result of 2 playoff games: Game 5 vs Ottawa last year where he was lit up, and Game 1 vs the Rangers this year where he suffered the same fate.

    • mdp2011 says:

      I think you can add the stretch of games after the Olympics when Price was hurt where Budaj didn’t play very well and the Habs were falling fast.

      • johnnylarue says:

        Aye. Pete seems incapable of delivering the goods when the stakes are high. Which is too bad… but now is obviously not the time of year when you can risk a couple of flaky goals against, especially with King Handsome holding down the fort at the other end of the ice.

      • D Mex says:

        Good point. Budaj seems like a good guy and valued teammate, but his job is to stop pucks when called upon and, as noted above, he has come up short at key times in the past year.

        Question is : who is the viable backup replacement ?

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

      • SPATS says:

        You can also add his Olympic performance into the equation. He had his chance when Halak got pulled, but if memory serves, both Buds and Halak were passed over for a 3rd string KHL’r

      • HabinBurlington says:

        But that doesn’t fit with the story being told, so those games are excluded. :)

    • JUST ME says:

      I just do not understand when,why and where he fell off the cliff. Did not get the chance to prove much in the last months but when the pressure was on he answered the call and was considered not so long ago as the best number 2 goaler. Demers sometimes tend to be a bit too much like a real fan, like us and takes things he wants for granted…

      • johnnylarue says:

        I disagree, JM.

        He was given the reins of the team when Price called in sick following the Olympics, and the team immediately began to s(t)ink accordingly. I’m not saying those losses were all on him, but let the record show that he was not the same Budaj in the role of de facto #1 as the guy who subbed in admirably throughout the season and got us two big Ws against Boston.

        He started to let in bad goals, too many of them, and in his impromptu start in Game 1/Period 3 gave us more of the same.

        I’m not saying it’s fair, but this is not the time for letting a backup goalie “work through his issues” on the ice.

        • CJ says:

          Agreed completely. The play of Budaj (bad) and Condon/Tokarski (good) appear to be reshaping our depth going forward.

        • JUST ME says:

          I guess you are right about the timeline johnnylarue but still it`s such an unfair treatment because they do not get much chances to prove their worth.
          And the make so little money !!!

          But still i am not convinced that Tokarski is the best choice in the circumstances. I guess it`s up to M.T. to prove me wrong…again.

  58. JUST ME says:

    So far this season they never gave up. I do not expect them to be an easy prey tonight either. They came out flat in game one and mentally not solid in game 2 because of the Price injury.

    Still we saw them fighting and coming out with their game until the Rangers scored to tie the score, Then they looked like they were doing catch up hockey wich they never did this season. Even when trailing we never had any doubts that they could catch up so far this season.

    Whatever the weak fans say ,whether they are right or not, i do not expect the Habs to give up i shall be there to cheer them.
    Go Habs Go !

  59. CJ says:

    Good afternoon folks.

    Sitting in a conference room this morning, I’ve had time to take some, um, vacations if you will.

    Basically, here’s what I’ve taken away;

    We are one of four finalists, competing for the greatest, most difficult, trophy in the sporting world. This is a significant accomplishment. Keep in mind, two very good teams will advance to the finals, while two will have their season ended. Only one team can ultimately hoist the Cup. 29 other teams will be disappointed, to varying degrees.

    We, all fans, should be pleased and proud with the accomplishments. Further, what is significantly pleasing is the direction this organization is headed going forward. Respectfully though, and nobody is more guilty than myself, we focus too much on the past and future and not enough on the present. Personally, I don’t care if guys have their professional pride damaged, but you ice the line up that provides the best chance to win. Simple as that. To this end, I’m behind the coach 100% in dressing Tokarski. Budaj had an extended audition and could not get the job done. Yes, Budaj could have won a game or two, but it was very, VERY unlikely that he could play, consistently, over two solid weeks and win four. Tokarski might not be the guy, but he gave us the best chance for sustained success.

    I don’t know Therien personally, but I’m sure it was very difficult to remove Frankie, a trusted ally, in favor of Murray, than Beaulieu. IMO, it’s the maturation of a coach, and it deserves recognition. To this end, I’ll state publicly, good job. Now, let’s go one step further. Play the guys tonight who are going. I’m for placing guys in positions to succeed. If however we see that Vanek or Gionta are not contributing, lessen their role and responsibility. This is the Stanley Cup playoffs, not house league.

    Again, lots to like right now. Me, I’m not giving up. We can win tonight. I believe that in my heart. I can’t wait to go to game five. A win tonight, and we will test the Rangers’ resolve. We will test their character. I don’t know how they respond, but I’d like to see the issue pressed.

    Let it be pressed! Go Habs Go!

    Cheers, CJ

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      “Keep in mind, two very good teams will advance to the finals, ”

      OK so you think we’re coming back in the series?

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • CJ says:

        I’m not giving up. We still haven’t seen Montreal’s best game. I’m confident in saying we’ve seen the best of the Rangers. I’m not giving up. A win tonight and we are right back in the series.

    • SPATS says:

      Solid post CJ, something Vanek can’t claim to have heard ringing lately let alone popping one that matters but I digress… I remain very optimistic as well. Toker was by far the only choice when one considers that Budaj had played 20 poor minutes in 40+ days and hasn’t played well over a long haul in years. Care to come by Stittsville tonite? Text me if interested

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Good points CJ…thanks for sharing.

      24 cups and counting….

  60. nickster13 says:

    Habs in 6! Happening!

    “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the Rocket!”

  61. Un Canadien errant says:

    Book Review: “Future Greats and Heartbreaks” by Gare Joyce

    “Future Greats and Heartbreaks: A Year Undercover in the Secret World of NHL Scouts” by Gare Joyce is a terrific read for an NHL fan, especially those interested in the NHL Draft, and revisiting them years after they occur.

    And that is a big reason for the pleasure I had reading this book, that it was written in 2006 and 2007, and centres on the NHL drafts of these seasons. When I first picked it up, I thought that it might be dated, stale, but in fact it’s the complete opposite. Had I read it when it was published, it still would have been entertaining and informative, but doing so a half-dozen years afterward gives the reader the benefit of hindsight, a filter through which to digest what was reported at the time.

    The author is a journalist who covered hockey for the Globe and Mail, and professes to have always been fascinated by the world of scouting, the fraternity of hockey men who don’t get the spotlight but on who the fortunes of an NHL franchise are founded. He decides that he wants to follow NHL scouts throughout a whole season, from one draft to another, and puts out feelers to various NHL teams that he’d like to have access to their boardrooms as they draw up their ‘list’ of draftable prospects and generally do their work.

    He is mostly rebuffed by every team he approaches. They are obviously leery of divulging trade secrets, some inside information, and breaching confidentiality with respect to certain issues, certain players. He does luck out eventually though, and is given the green light by the Columbus Blue Jackets and their General Manager Doug McLean.

    Mr. McLean is described as not shying away from the limelight, as gregarious rather than secretive, and it’s observed that he sees as part of his duties as GM that he should sell the game, so he spends a lot of time doing interviews with the media. Years later, with hockey fans familiar with his work as an analyst on Sportsnet, we can see that the author hit this one out of the park.

    So very quickly we’re inside the Blue Jackets’ war room as they discuss their list for the 2006 draft, at the draft combine appraising cattle, in the interview room as they meet with potential draft picks. And it’s fascinating. The players who are being considered, the names that are floated, are huge stars now, or well-known busts, or players who never really made it on the radar, and it’s engrossing.

    One quick hit: Erik John son is accepted as being the best player, the unquestioned #1 choice overall. Jordan Staal is almost universally seen as the #2 prospect. Jonathan Toews is the consensus #3. There is a lot of discussion about the remaining prospects, but aside from a perfunctory discussion, how Jordan Staal at 18 is already physically stronger than his 20 year old brother Eric is currently, how young Mr. Toews could surprise you even though he’s not a ‘gamebreaker’, the Top 3 are set. They’re no-brainers. No one seriously considers anyone but Erik John son as the #1 overall pick. They think St. Louis is leaning towards John son, but if the Jackets were picking first, they wouldn’t think twice.

    Another: We’re told that the previous year, the Columbus team “got a draft-day present” when Montréal decided to select Carey Price at #5, opening the way for the Blue Jackets to select Gilbert Brulé, who they “snap up”, in their haste to not miss out on such a promising player. The Canadiens’ decision is even more of a headscratcher, since they are described as being “set for years in nets” with the emergence of goalie José Théodore.

    It’s all endlessly entertaining. The interviews give insight into how some prospects are already becoming the players we now know, how others still have to develop a lot to do so.

    Of special interest is all the questions regarding Phil Kessel, about his talent, but also his mental makeup, the way he interacts with his teammates, his conditioning. I knew the bare bones of his story, his reticence with the media, his struggle with cancer, but lots of the whispers and allusions we hear now about Mr. Kessel are more openly discussed in this book. There are lots of questions about his dedication to his career, his professionalism, about how good a teammate he is and will be.

    Reading along, I understood why the Bruins might have been inclined to sell so soon after picking him, and why the trade to the Leafs happened. Boston historically has not hesitated to trade away talented players who didn’t fit in with their team philosphy, with examples like Joe Thornton and Tyler Séguin. Phil Kessel might have been too talented to pass up when the Bruins were choosing, but after a couple of seasons they must have realized that he would never be a Bruin, so, like in ‘The Germans’ episode of the Simpsons, you had one side desperate to buy, one side desperate to sell. But the way the poker hand played out, advantage Bruins.

    There is so much more of interest, especially to Canadiens fans, how David Fischer is not even on their list of draftable players, how highly the Jackets think of Claude Giroux, how Ben Maxwell is often mentioned, but Milan Lucic barely if at all.

    There’s the way Tom Sestito zooms up their list when, despite having been scouted assiduously during the season and given an ‘objective’ grade, one scout speaks up during a free-for-all and says how much he likes him, because he ‘plays the right way’, he’s big, tough, he’s a banger, he’s old-school. As a result, although he was originally given a fourth or fifth-round grade, he’s bumped up to the second round on their list. Whether that says a lot about the inexact science that is scouting, how subjective it is, or more about what kind of an organization Columbus was under Doug McLean, I can’t say.

    Mr. Joyce is at the draft itself and is witness to some of the misdirection and games that are played. He describes how overjoyed the Blue Jackets are, after some manoeuvring, to get Tom Sestito in the third round, 85th overall, how he ‘fell’ to them, and what a ‘steal’ he is. After all, he’s a second rounder, they got him in the late third…

    After the draft, Gare Joyce now goes around the world ‘scouting’ prospects for the 2007 draft, in the CHL, and at the Under-18’s and the World Junior Championships. He’s not actually going to work as a scout for the team, but will touch base with them over the year, at big tournaments, to keep his finger on the pulse. During the year, he develops a plan to do a ‘background check’ on a list of players that Columbus may be interested on, using some of his journalistic skills: calling family members, teachers, coaches, etc. It’s not clear how much the team was interested in this, or to what degree they were placating him.

    The focus of the narrative is on a few players, one being Angelo Esposito. We see how he starts the year as the putative #1 overall choice, but already there are rumblings about ill-defined issues like character, effort, leadership. It’s all very tenuous, and Mr. Joyce makes a point of describing how the draftees know what’s being said about them, how much pressure they’re under their draft year, to perform, and to perform at the right time, when the right scouts are in attendance.

    Another player who gets a lot of coverage is Akim Aliu, who spent some time with the Bulldogs in October 2013 on a Professional Try-Out contract, before being released. In that short time, we learned a few things about this young man, and the book fleshes out a lot of his back story. So much of what we read in the book, where his career seems to be heading at the time, is borne out in hindsight, and it’s hard not to feel badly about the outcome. Not that his career is definitely over, but after getting a chance from the ex-Chicago brain trust of Marc Bergevin and Rick Dudley, and not being able to turn that opportunity into something, his prospects now seem dim.

    Of course, Ryan McDonagh is one of the stars of the 2006-07 draft class, his name comes up numerous times, along with Max Pacioretty. If P.K. Subban was mentioned, it was only once or twice. I kept waiting for the long segment on him, but I guess he fell through the cracks of Gare Joyce’s scouting odyssey.

    Patrick Kane, James Van Riemsdyk, Kyle Turris, etc, etc, they’re all there, in all their glory. They shine, they befuddle, they’re too small, they’re too slow, they’re all tremendous prospects, and the next page they’re tremendously flawed.

    One player who gets a lot of love from the author is Olivier Fortier, who was eventually drafted in the third round by the Habs. I had stopped actively following the Canadiens for a long stretch during this time period, and when I got back into it at the start of the 2009 season, I checked out the team and the farm system. His was a name that I’d see on the roster, with underwhelming stats in the AHL. After a couple of poor seasons, and his contract expiring, I advocated online that we should cut the cord, that he’d probably not pan out, and was surprised at how many defenders he had. Now that I’ve read “Future Greats and Heartbreaks”, I understand why so many fans were in his camp, and I am sorry that he never managed to break through, due to injuries among other factors.

    As the season winds down, we head into the draft process itself, with again interviews and the combine and other such events, but unfortunately by then, with the Blue Jackets finishing out another disappointing season, there’s a shakeup in the management team, and Doug McLean is out. Gare Joyce’s permission to be ‘in the room’ is rescinded by the new régime, and it’s unfortunate that we don’t get to see how the process shakes out once again, with a whole year of scouting and backroom intrigue under our belt.

    Nevertheless, that’s not enough to detract significantly from the book, it’s still a page turner. The author is in attendance at the draft, but not at the Columbus table. He’s close enough to the Columbus crew that he can chat with them, and he gives us another good report of what transpires. Again, the hindsight doesn’t spoil the fun, it adds to it.

    So I have no qualms whatsoever in recommending this book to fans of the Canadiens or hockey fans, especially those who like to follow the draft and pick over the past. It’s a great book on a subject many fans would love to learn more about, but which we are often shut out of. A great read, your only complaint might be that it’s over too quickly.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  62. montreal ace says:

    Canada/Finland starts in 5 minutes, on RDS

  63. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

    Let’s kick some Ranger butt tonight!

    X X X X X X X X 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  64. Walmyr says:

    We have to score first!

    Go Habs Go

  65. Paz says:

    Habs have to get to the net, with or without the puck, and really get down and dirty in and around the blue paint.

    lundquist and the Rangers defence are too comfortable, too in control of loose pucks, of rebounds, and of the crease area.

    the game plan is simple:

    Get the puck to the net, any way you can, and then make sure we have bodies there crashing and banging, and disturbing the peace.

    Lundquist does not like this kind of play and he can be rattled, and he can lose his focus.

    If the Habs are prepared to play out of their own comfort zone, and play hard nosed hockey, they can force a few dirty, garbage goals passed Lunquist and frustrate him.

    This is where veteran leaders must step up and be heard.

    Gionta has to lead the rush to the net, Prust, Eller, Gallagher, Bourque etc have to follow suit.

  66. Cal says:

    This one’s for you, Strummer: Les MiserHabs!

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Well done, Cal. TOO well done. Now I’m depressed, without a sliver of hope.
      If only you could find it in your heart, and rhyming dictionary, to pen something along the lines of Master of the House, to trumpet the fact Les Habs will be triumphant, and by winning tonight they will be master of their demain

  67. Ian Cobb says:

    When we leave N.Y. we will be tied 2 games each!
    We have them right where we want them boys and girls!

    And anyway, I have ordered 40 Cup round tickets 5th, 6th or 7th game for us! Which ever is our home game of the 3 dates.
    Bell Center Policy is, I will have to pay for them as soon as we win two games in this round.

  68. Strummer says:

    “Start spreading the news,
    Habs winnin’ today”

    ____________________________________________________
    “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

  69. Ian Cobb says:

    !THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP FELLAS!
    I will wait until a person with teck knowledge arrives at my door!

  70. habs-fan-84 says:

    GO HABS GO!!

  71. StevieM61 says:

    GHG!!
    Bullet holes in my mirrors . . . .

  72. BJ says:

    First win tonight, book it.

  73. Hobie says:

    Go Habs Go!

  74. Cal says:

    Disregard the fair weather fans, Sly. No team is perfect.

  75. D Mex says:

    They are led by Boone. Screw them all.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  76. HabinBurlington says:

    Ironically enough, the NHL may indeed be scandal free, but of all the major North American Sports, I don’t think any have shown less care for the on ice product than the NHL.

    I can understand Bettman the award for “Getting the most money possible for a league where the league has no concern about how the sport is played”

  77. D Mex says:

    Playing decent hockey for the Rangers, tho.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  78. monmick says:

    Here is a short video showing his training routine…

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=InMJopurNTE

    ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  79. D Mex says:

    I maintain that Buttman is a highly-paid puppet and glorified bean counter.

    He has brought countless new revenue streams to league owners and the NHLPA, and his ” cost certainty ” has been splendid for the bottom line. And when your entire business philosophy is based on piling up the greenback, this is probably as good as it gets for most.

    What he is NOT, however, is a hockey person, a leader, or someone who inspires by example. His limp wrists and overly-rehearsed ” our game ” mantra do my stomach no favours.

    The day he leaves will be a great day for the NHL, and an opportunity for the league to regain its soul. Soon, I hope.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  80. JohnBellyful says:

    I plucked the second pic off the Bruin website, from a regular season game played against the Oilers. The only thing missing are the headlights.

  81. HabinBurlington says:

    Brilliant!


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