“This is the tightest group we’ve ever had,” Price says of Habs (Video)

(Photo: Peter McCabe/The Gazette)

The Canadiens cleared out their lockers on Saturday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard and fielded questions about their season and playoff run.

For some players, like unrestricted free agent Thomas Vanek, the questions were also about the future.

The Canadiens finished the season with an impressive 100 points and made it to the Eastern Conference final, losing the series in Game 6 on Thursday to the New York Rangers.

Canadiens goaltender Carey Price spoke to the media for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final when Rangers forward Chris Kreider lost his balance and crashed into him.

“I don’t think it was on purpose,” Price said.

“Hockey is a rough sport. Injuries happen all the time. Sometimes they’re intentional, sometimes it’s just bad luck. I don’t think he did it on purpose.”

“I actually got really lucky. It could have been a lot worse than it was,” he said of the injury which won’t require surgery.

Price said he would have been pushing his luck to come back really quickly. But he thought he would have been able to return to play in the Stanley Cup final if the Habs had made it there.

When Price got injured the Canadiens opted to go with rookie Dustin Tokarski instead of back-up goaltender Peter Budaj.

“Peter is one of the genuinely nicest human beings I’ve ever met,” Price said.

“He’s an unbelievable back-up. He’s a really good friend of mine. He’s one of the best friends I have on this team. He showed a lot of character. He never hung his head. He never pouted. And he showed the utmost support for everybody including Dustin. It takes a special person to do that.”

Tokarski did a great job, Price said.

“That’s probably one of the hardest situations you could ever throw a guy into. And he really excelled. He showed why he’s won at different levels.”

Price had an excellent season and won a goal medal backstopping Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics.

“During this playoff run it was really fun to play with these guys in this locker-room. I think this is the tightest group we’ve ever had. Obviously it’s sad to have it come to an end right now. But we’ve got to look forward to next year,” Price said.

Vanek struggled during the playoffs, but suggested he wasn’t suffering from a serious injury.

“Nothing big. In playoffs I think every player has bumps and bruises. I had a few, but overall that was not a reason (for) what happened,” Vanek said.

“It wasn’t great obviously,” Vanek said of his playoff performance. “Yesterday was tough waking up because I know I could have made a difference and it just–it wasn’t there.”

“When I first got moved here, I played a few games, struggled. Then I got moved with (David Desharnais) and (Max Pacioretty). I really found myself. I think I was put in a position to do well. And then once I got moved, I struggled to find chemistry. This game is all about chemistry and confidence. I slowly lost it. I thought the later part in the Rangers series, I played with Lars (Eller) a little bit and Danny (Brière) and I slowly found my game and I thought I was better.”

Asked he would have liked to stay playing with Desharnais and Pacioretty, Vanek said: “No, I mean, changes happen. I’m not ignorant to that…I’m not blaming anyone but myself. Chemistry doesn’t just happen overnight. Sometimes it does when you play with players that you feel right with. I think it happens quicker. But again, I just didn’t find it.”

You can watch what Price had to say here:

You can listen to what Vanek said here:

You can watch Canadiens captain Brian Gionta here:

You can watch P.K. Subban here:

You can watch what Mike Weaver had to say here:

You can watch what Max Pacioretty had to say here:

You can watch what rookie goaltender Dustin Tokarski had to say here about his playoff experience and future:

You can watch Budaj here:

You can listen to Lars Eller here: (I hit ‘focus’ a second into the video.)

You can watch Francis Bouillon here:

(Video: Brenda Branswell)

984 Comments

  1. Steeltown Hab says:

    Is there any denying Eller’s value to this squad? Should be the #2C next year while Galchenyuk eases into a spot centering Pacioretty
    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  2. boonie says:

    @ Maritime Ronn
    I think Picasso dated a girl “28-32-26-20-27”. Didn’t realize he had so much in common with Vanenk.

  3. Cal says:

    Funniest headline I have read in years: Bernard Landry to teach business in English in Shanghai.

    Think he’s moved into the “can’t beat them why not join them” group?

    • habstrinifan says:

      Another example of a ‘politician’ who made his name on the narrow-mindedness of an issue and now reaps the benefits. His contribution to Quebec society… none except that he was a ‘separatist’. The hidden costs to the common good of the ordinary Quebecer.. much.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      And Jacques Parizeau graduated with a PhD from the London School of Economics in England.
      Orwell wasn’t far off.
      “Ignorance is Strength”

  4. 21 AND WAITING says:

    Proves a point I guess, get in the playoffs and anything can happen. LA was 6th in the western conference, now they are playing for the Cup.
    we’re almost there, made it to 3-rds one more to go, maybe next year.

  5. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Today’s main headline in the Gazette is a good argument for adopting the word “autumn” for the season between summer and winter.

  6. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Good morning to all.

    Two random thoughts.

    1. LA-Yikes.

    2. Of all the long-serving veteran Habs who may be gone this year or next, I’ve come to feel that the one I will miss most — are you listening in Calgary?! — is Cube.

    I realise that the time has come, that in pragmatic terms the team needs to move on. But he is an inspiration, and must be a wonderful team-mate, for the way that he ignores factors of size and now age and just brings whatever he has in 100% service to the team. Never, ever backs down, never panics, fears no one, and is neither as slow nor as valueless on offense as some extrapolate merely from noting his age. No one loves the Habs more, and I am delighted that the memories he will go on to enjoy post-hockey will include some big goals and plays in this, our best playoff run since the ’93 Cup.

    No retired number for you Frankie, but a special place in at least one heart. Yes, this time round he was sometimes part of our difficulties clearing the zone. But when hockey boils down to the sheer enjoyment of watching guys play, he has been someone — this time and last time — that I always loved watching on the ice.

    Cheers Cube!

    • habstrinifan says:

      Great great post. As we are often reminded, the players do not read one word of what’s written here in HIO.

      In this case, it would have been gratifying to the Cube to know that his play and conduct for the team was highly appreciated and respected.

      Nice job.

      Edit: And I haven’t read the Gazette’s headline but love the word Autumn and all it conjures up.

      • Cal says:

        I think a player would go a lot nuts reading the comments here regarding performance. The ones that would drive them over the edge of the cliff would be the ones that state how that player feels and thinks.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Agreed, even if there be some slight instances of that in my post. Possibly the worst and most baseless of all projections is that a player made no effort, or didn’t want it, or mailed it in. I reckon that 99 times out of 100 it’s a preposterous suggestion.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi Ireland

      I wouldn’t write of Bouillon just yet.
      OK – so he turns 39 in October, yet he could end up being useful if things don’t go well in the off season for the Habs.

      There is absolutely no guarantee that Markov-Weaver-Murray will be back.
      Being UFAs, they can go wherever they wish…even if the Habs want 1 or 2 of them back.
      The player will decide what’s be$t for them.

      If the Habs can’t sign a UFA Dman or can’t trade for 1, the Habs are left with a Top 7 D that looks like this:
      Subban-Emelin-Gorges-Beaulieu-Tinordi-Pateryn-Drewiske.
      Scary, isn’t it?

      There will always be injuries and Marc Bergevin is on record saying a team never has enough Dmen.

      It wouldn’t surprise at all if Cube is offered a 1 year deal at the NHL minimum (possibly 2 way-with a high AHL salary) if the Habs can’t fill the roster properly.
      If not the Habs, possibly some other team.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Cheers, Martimes. Was aware that the fat lady hadn’t yet sung, but wanted to record thoughts in advance.

        He could be perfect in the role you describe, and I see that he himself believes he still has hockey to play, preferably in Montreal.

        On D, it’s interesting also to see how publicly unhappy Murray was with not playing more. He is really SO limited, but SO effective within his strengths (and I include his adventurous pinches there, even though it takes a week for him to get back in position). With self-belief like that he will no doubt get picked up and contribute somewhere. Just wish he was even a little bit more rounded.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I hope he doesnt return. There is a time to exit from a job well done. This is a good time for him. He can still be of use in a less scrutinized environment and where he would be less called upon.

        His reputation would suffer too much if he plays another year here.

        Just my humble opinion.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I will be grateful to hand you the shotgun, Trini, because I couldn’t pull the trigger. I’d say a tearful farewell to Old Yeller and then send him ’round the back of the barn to find you…. sigh.

    • ebk says:

      Frankie the Bull gave it his all every time he was on the ice. Hard not to like a guy like that.

  7. BJ says:

    My take on the LA-NYR series. LA in 5. The Rangers will see that they will be up against a team with speed (us Habs had that) and size with probably the most grit in the NHL (that we didn’t have). It will take the Rangers at least two or three games to get somewhat used to that but it will be too late.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Look at the Kings Top 9:

      Gaborik-Kopitar-Dustin Brown
      Tanner Pearson-Jeff Carter-Toffoli
      Dwight King-Mike Richards-Justin Williams

      Their smallest Dman is Slava Voynov at 6′-195 and gets as big as Matt Greene 6’3″-234.

      Rangers are happy to be there.
      The Kings are there to win.

      If one wants to know how close or far away the Habs are to being truly elite, just plot in the Habs players into the Kings roster and lines up front and on D and see where they fit…

      • BJ says:

        We are still a number of players away. One guy available as UFA is Matt Greene. He would fit in well as one of our needs. Big, strong, decent skater and hits like Murray and right hander.

      • rhino514 says:

        That doesn´t take into account character.
        How many of you are already forgetting we beat the best team in the NHL in a seven game series just a couple of weeks ago.
        This team could beat anybody (not saying would, but could)
        It´s too bad Pricey got steamrolled otherwise we would be in the Finals and have a chance to prove it.
        You think a player playing in Hollywood, surrounded by beaches and fake breasts, is going to want the Cup as much as a player who dons a CH sweater?

  8. plum says:

    Who’d have thought, after the first couple months of the regular season, that the team to come out of the East would be from the Metro Division?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Pittsburgh would not have been a huge surprise.
      Then again, goaltending…and another non-performance from Sid Crosby.
      It’s hard to believe that Crosby has scored only 1 goal in his last 18 playoff games dating back to last year where he did not record 1 single point when his Pens were swept in 4 by Boston.

      • Cal says:

        Crosby since the concussions simply isn’t the same. Unfortunately for the Pens, he and Malkin both signed that BIG contract, hobbling the GMs chances to improve the club.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          We know the NHL was happy with the minimal fallout from the highest-profile concussion in hockey.

          Alas, the NHLPA seems happy with the status quo, too.

          (Ptoooh)

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Good points Cal.

          Next year those monster contracts:
          Malkin $9.5M Cap Hit
          Crosby $8.7M Cap Hit

          If the Cap Ceiling gets to $69M, those 2 represent 26% of the Pitt Cap.
          Add Letang’s $7.25M that takes effect next season and that’s 3 players eating up 37% of the total Pitt Cap.

          Something has to give.
          The Pens only have 14 guys signed and about $14M left.

          • Cal says:

            That’s why I wondered aloud yesterday what it might take to land Malkin or Crosby. I believe there is an opportunity there. (Malkin here would be treated like a demi-god, wonky knee and all).

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Aloud you wondered,
            And a poo-storm thundered.

  9. Maritime Ronn says:

    Reading a lot of stuff about Vanek, yet what exactly did people think the Habs were getting?

    A Cournoyer type skater?
    Nope.
    A 35-40 goal scorer?
    Nope
    His goals scored in the last 5 years looks like this:
    28-32-26-20-27.

    Vanek also mentioned chemistry issues – included himself, and what’s wrong with telling it like it is?
    When he came to the Habs, wasn’t he on a line with Plex and Gionta for 3-4 or 5 games? (can’t remember the exact number)
    His first 5 games showed 0 goals 1 assist.

    If it didn’t work then, did Coach Therrien believe it would work in the playoffs?

    This was Vanek’s 3rd team this year, and bouncing around with a wife from Minnesota and 3 young children living in a Hotel probably wasn’t the easiest thing, and may have been an off ice distraction.

    Vanek does appear to be somewhat ‘high maintenance,’ yet playing with John Tavares and Okposo on the Island perhaps better suited his style…or Miko Koivu and Zack Parise next year.

    • He should have stayed with the top line, the Habs should have played the guts out of him, and we’d be sitting in the finals right now (maybe). Then swept in 4 :lol:

      OT- the Rags did us a favor, after watching the West final, I’m happy we aren’t being slowly tortured next this week.

      Shane Oliver
      @sholi2000
      http://www.sholi2000.com
      A Little fun during the Intermission
      Don’t Poke The Bear

    • boonie says:

      It’s hard to blame a coach who delivers a trip to the ECF. But… many here (me included) pointed out the flaw in The Count’s terribly defensive approach and, after a downturn, he was gone. Some people here didn’t like hiring Mr. Green —the recycled coach (me included).Not playing youngsters and oddball line combinations highlighted the concerns.

      Vanek scored on a line with DD and Max. He didn’t score on other lines. I don’t care if was chemistry or puck luck or divine intervention. That line worked. Together, three players were productive. Apart, meh. That’s basic stats. Not the advanced kind that are way above my head.

      And, notwithstanding our TEAM’s accomplishments, I still don’t think that Bergy and Mr. Green work well together.

      MB committed to youth. MT plays vets. Tinordi played in last year’s playoff. No post-season games this year. Now, we have decisions to make on D with a gaggle of UFAs. Are Beaulieu and Tinordi ready — who knows?

      MB signs Briere for $4m and must presume he’ll make an impact. I mean he’s not Clarkson – right? Right? MT plays him sporadically on the fourth line. Umm…

      Eller starts and finishes the season playing big minutes and scoring with line-mates that work. The 60+ games in between were a virtual zero. Greeny staples Subban to the bench for spurts. PK will be a $8-$9m player in the coming weeks and carried the team for key stretches in the regular season and playoffs.

      We could go one. Feel free to contribute your faves — if you care to. I’ll enjoy the memories of my second favorite playoff run in recent memory. Don’t kill me, but somehow the 2010 version was even more special. Maybe it had been longer between lengthy playoff runs or the unlikelihood of it all. Anyway I’m getting off topic.

      To summarize, yeah us.

      With a little more perfection (say 1% to 10% more), we can add one more round to our run soon. Maybe Price referred to The Green One’s lack of perfection….

  10. DipsyDoodler says:

    Re: Brady Vail

    If you’re a 3rd line checker in the OHL as a 19 year old, you’re a very long shot to make it. Even the NHL grinders were scorers in junior.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      He was a bit more than that. Third line at the start of the year, moved up well. Really good OHL’er, but yeah, a long shot. The fact of the matter is unless you are top 10 type draft pick, you are always a long shot.

    • boonie says:

      Someone must have seen something in him to think he fill a role. We drafted in the fourth round. The US under-20 team brought him to camp.

      I didn’t work out. Most don’t.

  11. Old Bald Bird says:

    Just a thought wrt Vanek. As a teacher I was once redundant to my school and moved into a difficult spot in a different school. It was really tough sledding in that first year. TV has been moved twice this year and once seemingly settled on a line was moved off it. In trying to figure out how to mesh with Pleks etc, he could have been unsure of himself. Not only that but he was playing RW instead of LW. That could have been addressed since I understand that Bork is a RW playing LW. Habs seem to have trouble getting people into their natural spots.

  12. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Vanek played for Vanek (and didn’t do that well) – a hired gun who seemed to have a take it or leave it approach to the series. His passion was not the Cup, but the next contract. Tons of talent, buckets of potential, but a businessman on skates first, and a grown man getting to play a fun kids’ game last.
    They paired him with a centre who respects his defensive responsibilities, and he sulked. I was convinced he was injured from watching him.
    I also think Therrien made a mistake there – he was a temporary asset (not a lot of “et” in him) and they could have made use of what he had without appearing to reward him for the ego. I can see why you’d handle him as MT did – the Habs’ only hope was as a team, and that guy was not joining in. I would have done it differently, but with me at the helm, the Habs would never have made the playoffs.
    Hockey’s a soap opera sometimes, and guys like Vanek are just temporary characters. Yeah, he could have been an incredible part of things, but he arsed it up and should be gone.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good post Charlie. Isn’t this the Vanek they saw in Buffalo and the Island? I think he’s just one of those streaky players who when isn’t contributing on the score sheet looks like he doesn’t care. Weird.

    • JUST ME says:

      Vanek came as advertised. A very gifted athlete that tends to be invisible for short stints. Thing is that he was not here for long for when he did have problems with the first line for a few games he was removed from there cause we did not have any spare games.
      We needed to be as ready as possible for the playoffs as a team .

      If not for Bergevin hiring him i firmly believe that the team would not have had the belief that they could go deep like we did so i think it was a good move having him in the bleu blanc rouge. Did not seem like a guy who really wanted to test the water seriously in MTL. I am not questionning his involvment and maybe it`s just me….

    • Nailed it.

      I can’t remember which game it was, possibly Tokarski’s frst playoff win, once the Habs scored the entire bench erupted, and skated onto the ice, Vanek, although happy, calmly got up and skated onto the ice as the others raced to the player who scored. Budja and Gorges went to Tokarski (which was so classy in my opinion).

      I read so many things into him. But even after all that, he was awesome in the regular season. I hope he goes west, but I’ll be shocked if the Wild pay his monies, they learned a valuable lesson picking up high priced talent (Heater). Looking at Vanek’s numbers, it appears when I team isn’t in the hunt, then either is he.

      Shane Oliver
      @sholi2000
      http://www.sholi2000.com
      A Little fun during the Intermission
      Don’t Poke The Bear

  13. Bash says:

    We are two years away.

    Trade Pleks, Gorges now for a solid RW
    Let Markov, Gionta walk with all due respect.

    Sign an enforcer.

    Let the merging “big three” on D play regular shift. Give Nygren a long look.

    Pac Des ?
    Prust (or similar) Galchen Gallagher
    Borque Eller Weiss
    Briere Moen Enforcer etc etc etc for next season only.

    PK Emelin Tinordi Beaulieu Pateryn Nygren Weaver (yes rookies galore but Tiny and Beau are ready and the others need to play now)

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

    • Cal says:

      If you replace all the veteran D with rookies, the Habs will be at least 3 or 4 years away.
      Rookie Dmen, and it seems you want 3 or 4 of them, make too many mistakes for any team to contend. Look at Ottawa just this past season.

      • Bash says:

        The tinkering (add an “experienced” D, add a winger etc) can only occur when we know exactly what we have with this young D group. That means they have to play, and not just a few shifts with the fear of one mistake back to the minors eating your confidence.

        I can accept adding one D and sending one of those guys to the minors for further development.

        But if losing a rapidly aging Markov and a small shot blocking 5/6 d man puts us out of contention, we are going nowhere anyway.

        I wish that Tinordi had seen some ice during this run.

        “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

        • Cal says:

          Agree with wanting to see Tiny on D this run, but all the experienced D was playing too well for anyone to lose their spot. I expected Weaver to wilt, but he rose to the challenge and we got the best hockey we could get out of him.
          Beaulieu in game 6 was nervous and couldn’t make any plays.
          The young D will get their shot, but we’ll have to see what MB does first on draft day and then on UFA day.

          I am expecting Pleks to be moved. I am not expecting Markov to be re-signed. Change is in the air.

        • Loop_Garoo says:

          Assuming you mean Weaver when you say small shot blocking defenceman, but I would bring him back as a 6th or 7th d. You may have been talking about Gorges, but as he is 6ft 1 and over 200 lbs, I don’t think he qualifies as small.

          Your plan is not a bad one, but it would probably mean no playoffs for a year or two, or at best a 8th place finish and 1st round exit, which will be tough for a lot of habs fans to deal with.

          • Bash says:

            I meant Gorges. He may be 6’ 200, but he plays 5’8 175. In fact I wonder how he has not sustained more injuries. It seems that at least once a game he gets run over.

            “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      If both Markov and Gorges are not part of the D corps next year, what are the D pairings going to be for not only Even Strength, yet also PP and PK.

      And please don’t assume Mike Weaver will automatically be back if the Habs want him.
      He has only earned about $6M in his almost 10 year career.
      At 36, he will go for the best money and term.
      There were a lot of NHL GM eyeballs on him during these playoffs, and he could fill a 3rd pairing and PK role for many teams.

    • JUST ME says:

      Agree with Cal. You might not even make it in the playoffs with a d-squad that young.
      I would have Pateryn have so stints in the NHL but play lots of games in Hamilton. I am far from being convinced that we will ever see Nygren in a Habs jersey . After he left Hamilton for fancy reasons i do not think that Bergevin will give him a free pass nor did he for anyone else. Nygren would have to be an exceptionnaly gifted player to make it direct to the NHL.

    • Landof10000lakesHab says:

      No upper tier NHL would willingly play 3-4 rookies and expect success. Ownership might have something to add when there is no playoff $$ as well. MB will continue to sign larger sized players, but I doubt will waste a roster spot on an enforcer again.

      Ok with moving Pleks for either a big top six RW or a top three Dman. Gorges is not going anywhere.

    • Habfan17 says:

      My thoughts, some posted yesterday.

      let Markov, Gionta, Parros, Murray, and Boullion go.
      Sign Eller Weaver Weise and of course PK.
      Forget about Vanek

      UFA signings, Statsny, Raymond and Gaborik

      Trade Pleks, Gorges, LeBalnc and Ellis for McGinn, Bordeleau and Jo hn s on.

      Trade DD for pic or prospect. New look;
      Patches, Statsny, Gaborik
      Raymond, Galchenyk, Gallagher
      McGinn, Eller, Bourque
      Bordeleau/Prust, Bournival, Weise

      Emelin, PK
      Beaulieu, Jo hn s on
      Tinordi, Weaver
      Drewiskie, Pateryn.

      Habfan17

  14. Cal says:

    Does Bettman’s dream final still mean that more Canadians than Americans will watch?
    The answer is a very likely yes.
    Kings in 6 or 7. They do everything the hard way.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Cal. Although the NHL has a large number of highly dedicated fans in the US, they are far from being as popular a sport in Canada and may I guess some European countries. I suspect that many US fans after their teams were eliminated, move on to other sports or hobbies.

      I know many NY fans and I can tell you that very few follow the Cup after their team has been eliminated. So the final matchup of LA and NY will have a strong showing (for US) in those two cities but will probably be a slightly higher rating then the “test pattern”.

      Kings look to be the better of the two teams but I think the Rangers off a lackluster regular season are very underrated. They’ll give LA more then they can handle and then some. Rangers in 7.

      • Cal says:

        It should be a decent final. The LA junkyard dog style against the speedy Rangers. Lundqvist will blink first most nights.
        Hopefully, the ratings will be over 3 million viewers in both NY and LA.
        Many casual hockey fans are into the summer. In eight weeks, they’ll be thinking it’s time for hockey again.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      I think the Kings in 6 at best. Hats off to the Rangers, they’ve played great hockey, but I think they get smoked here, unless King Frederick is over-the-top brilliant.

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      I think that they will see four games. Kings in a sweep is what I expect.

    • boing007 says:

      Kings are relentless.

      Richard R

  15. Bash says:

    Justin Williams
    Mike Richards

    Go NY!

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  16. 21 AND WAITING says:

    Nothing against the Habs, IMO Boston should be playing LA for the cup.

    • Really? Didn’t they play a best of 7 series to see who was better?

      We won. The Bruins lost. They didn’t deserve to move on. The problem is that it took too much to overcome them.

      If they had pulled off even one of the first two against NY, it would be the Habs playing for the cup.

      Defense wins championships

      “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” St. Thomas Aquinas

    • Marc10 says:

      Damn you reality!

    • Cal says:

      Is the regular season more important than the playoffs? Otherwise…

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      That’s odd, I thought they lost that series against Montreal, but, what do I know?

  17. C-Sword says:

    Regehr is coming back for the Kings , those extra minutes given to Mitchell were hurting the team.

    People underestimate the Rangers, McDonaugh and Girardi are great defensively, especially at home, their blue line won’t be as open as the Hawks’.

    The Kings need to hit St-Louis and take him off his game, I thought he was wearing a no-contact jersey against the Habs most nights.

    The Kings beat a defense based team (The Devils) to win the cup 2 years ago. There’s a chance they can do the same this year.

    Quick will have to be much better though.

  18. habcertain says:

    Also about Vanek,when you are playing with line mates that are not as gifted offensively, you are always going to be the first in, last out of the o zone which can jade the perspective, he is always looking to score

    • Cal says:

      If he has said that he wasn’t injured, Vanek’s lack of effort- despite his talent and where have we seen that before (think AK as in Kovalev and Kostitsyn)- means he is not a team first guy. I don’t see how any team can pay him north of $5 mil/season. He just isn’t worth it.
      Too bad, too, because of all that talent. He behaved like a lazy, sulking child on the ice.

  19. habcertain says:

    @timo.. Congrats on putting out a no want list ( which except for Max) I agree with, then having it turn into the Timo show, very impressive, but this whole lack of effort spew about Vanek, is as subjective as Eller’s hockey IQ babble, I think whatever your slant is you can make a case on a game that is dependent on a bounce of a puck that makes heroes and zeros. Vanek style is comparable to the Big M who faced the same criticism, and we rode his back to a Cup.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …Vanek comparable to Mahovlich ?

      …I don’t think so

      …Vanek was overwhelmed by the intensity, …great addition as a ‘regular season’ Player …but what You saw of Vanek is what You get for the post-season

      …I would not pay Vanek more than $ 5 to $6 million

      …if Big M was still playing today, I wouldn’t blink to pay Him $ 7 to $ 8 million …maybe more

  20. Say Ash says:

    When is the Habs/Hawks bronze medal game?

  21. Un Canadien errant says:

    Last season we looked at the drafted players the Canadiens had to sign by the June 1 deadline or relinquish their draft rights. We advocated that they sign Daniel Prybil but cut Dustin Walsh and Olivier Archambault loose.

    This season, pre-occupied with the Canadiens’ playoff run, we didn’t get a chance to predict what would happen until we were right up to the deadline. There are four players who still needed to be signed this year else we lose their rights. They are Dalton Thrower, Brady Vail, Erik Nystrom, and Mike Cichy.

    The deadline has now come and gone, and we know how it turned out. The Canadiens chose to sign Dalton Thrower, but not Brady Vail and Erik Nystrom.

    Mike Cichy, being a NCAA player, has an August 15 2014 deadline attached to him, but it is a technicality. He is not a viable prospect, having not developed in his time in college. He had issues at North Dakota and transferred to Western Michigan, where he fared no better.

    Dalton Thrower was signed to a contract before the deadline, and will try to earn a spot on the Hamilton Bulldogs next season. Failing that, he could see some time in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers. While it could be a long road for him, he does have the benefit of a strong final season with the Vancouver Giants under Don Hay, we can hope that he progresses and eventually makes the Grand Club.

    Erik Nystrom was a player Trevor Timmins described himself as a longshot, picked in the sixth round of the 2012 draft. He did come over last fall and played for the Bulldogs under a Professional Try-Out contract, but evidently things did not work out for him. The try out ended early in the season and Mr. Nystrom returned to Europe and finished the year in the KHL. It’s apparent the team no longer had any designs on him.

    This brings us to the main discussion topic here, which is the decision by the team to not sign Brady Vail, and allow him to re-enter the draft. This decision will puzzle most fans who follow the Canadiens’ prospects closely. He was a player who in his time with the Windsor Spitfires earned praise from his coaches for his dedication and hard work. He was used in all situations, even as a defenceman when injuries struck, and seemed destined for a career as a checking forward in the NHL. He reportedly did well when playing for the Bulldogs as an end of season reinforcement, both this year and the last.

    But it hasn’t been a wholly positive picture. Last summer, he was the first player sent home from the U.S. World Junior Championship Team training camp. Similarly, he was among the first players cut from the Canadiens training camp in September, before even getting a chance to play a pre-season game. The blogosphere keeps mentioning issues with his conditioning, but I haven’t found a direct quote or even a statement in the mainstream press.

    So it’s a little puzzling that he wasn’t given a contract and a chance to improve. With players who don’t produce and are attitude cases like Olivier Archambault, you can easily understand the team’s decision to walk away, but there was enough promise in Mr. Vail to tantalize.

    Again, we have to look at the 50-contract limit rule for our answer to this mystery. If the Canadiens had no such limit to worry about, they could have taken a flyer despite their misgivings, and hope that the kid quells the doubts and develops into a player. But since the limit is in place, you have to be judicious with who you give contracts to, how many you keep in reserve.

    The Canadiens brain trust had to weight their facts and project what the chances were that he would progress, go from prospect to player, and that these odds were high enough that it wouldn’t mean closing off an opportunity for another player who’s more likely to make it. The managers of the team know this player best, much better than I do. So we have to concede that they’re not making a decision inexplicably, but rather rationally, sensibly.

    And it brings up again the topic of how much the draft process is an inexact science. During the 2012 draft, Serge Boisvert was advocating the team choose Charles Hudon starting in the second round. By the fourth round he was ever more strident, but the team went with Brady Vail instead.

    At this point, Mr. Boisvert looked at RDS’ Stéphane Leroux and shrugged, indicating that he had failed in convincing the team to pick the young Saguenéens forward. Somehow, the Canadiens’ turn came around again in the fifth, and Mr. Hudon was still available, and Serge Boisvert got the opportunity to announce the selection. Now Mr. Hudon has made two Team Canada WJC rosters, and has a contract with the team.

    So, too bad that the pick didn’t work out, that Mr. Vail didn’t develop as we might have hoped, but we have to defer to the judgment of the team. Unless he comes back to haunt us, then we’ll be merciless.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Marc10 says:

      Ultimately it takes a special skill set to make it as a pro. Time will tell if Brady Vail had what it takes.

      Connor Crisp looks like a prototypical NHLer to me. Big and nasty with a bit of skill in high traffic and OK speed. I would hope like Norman Flynn that more of our late rounders are North South beasts in the mold of players the Kings seem to be churning out. Hey, if you can land a Gally or a Marty St Louis, by all means… but if you can’t, gimme a fast North-South guy who will keep the opposition’s faces buried in the glass and force them into making mistakes. I’ll take that to complement our skilled guys.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I suppose there is also the possibility that Vail did not prefer Montreal. Someone will take him, either in the draft or as a FA (wrong term?), so I don’t think he loses if that’s his choice. But, you are probably right: Montreal saw something they didn’t like.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      I was a little surprised and disappointed they didn’t sign Vail, however, we didn’t really hear anything about either side of the story. I’ve heard the habs were close to running out of contracts to offer, and it could be they had to make some hard choices. It is also possible that Vail just said no. He may not want to play in Montreal, he may want to be closer to home, who knows.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        What occurred to me as we were considering this case is that again there are no rumours, no controversy emanating from the Canadiens offices or staff. We saw this many times so far, in how the Carey Price and Max Pacioretty contract extensions were announced without prior rumours or warning. Those guys are a tight team, there’s no leak on the ship from the main figures in the management team. Indicative also is that the former sources that some reporters might have had, the secretaries and the support staff, those sources have all dried up.

        This is good news. We didn’t see the war of words between agent and management, like between Cody Hodgson and Mike Gillis, or Eric Lindros and Bobby Clarke and Ed Snider. The Canadiens are going about their business in a positive, productive environment, with no rumours and distraction.

        So if there’s a problem or issue with Brady Vail, we won’t hear it from a back-channel in an anonymous quote.

  22. Say Ash says:

    Kings in three.

  23. habsfan0 says:

    The Habs and Kings had identical records this year during the regular season.
    It would have been ideal had they met in the final.

  24. DLS HAB says:

    Rangers out in 4. Kings Cup this year.

  25. JF says:

    This was an absolutely great series, so great it should have been the Cup Final. Whatever comes afterwards will almost certainly be an anti-climax.

  26. PK says:

    Wow!!
    We would be absolutely devastated if this happened to our team.
    Game 7 ..OT … Off a Chicago defenceman, I think? Leddy?
    ….The Black Hawks’ very own Josh Gorges.

    I think the Rags are there for the taking.

    I did not see any death threats being made in that post game handshake … admit that my lipreading is not that great.

    Oh, one more thing … reading all the comments about Vanek,
    I hear that he could not find chemistry with Pleky’s line.
    He looked disinterested, tried to stay out of the mix … all throughout the Rangers series … A sharp contrast to a lot of the players in tonight’s game.

    Also, MB must be disappointed by this result.

    >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

  27. Storman says:

    I think the Rangers speed will give the Kings fits,, and LA has played 3 incredibly tough 7 game series,,I think New York has a very good chance at an upset in the finals.

    • JF says:

      Likewise. And the Rangers have been off since last Thursday, which will give them nearly a week’s rest. The Kings have basically been playing since the start of the playoffs.

      I want the Rangers to win. Aside from Kreider, there is no one on that team I dislike, and I like all three former Habs – Dominic Moore, Raphael Diaz, and Benoit Pouliot. Plus it’s time the Cup came back East.

      The Rangers have been working towards this for several years, although it took a shakeup at last year’s trade deadline and a new coach for it to actually happen. But two years ago, while we were languishing in the basement, they went to the Conference Final. So there is some logic in the fact that they take the next step before we do. But for us to go from the afore-mentioned basement to the Conference Final in two years is pretty impressive.

  28. L Elle says:

    Go LA! Your celebrities are better. ;)

  29. JUST ME says:

    Great game .Can`t help but think that this is an unsolved match up but someone had to end up wining . Game 7 overtime makes it exciting but so heartbreaking for one team .

  30. Marc10 says:

    Classic OT bounce for LA. Completely dominated in OT and then they get rewarded.

    Now I won’t know who to cheer for. I despise both equally.

    • hansolo says:

      Why do you despise the Kings? I’ll cheer for them because the enemy (Kings) of my enemy (Rangers) is my friend.

      • Marc10 says:

        Mike Richards

        But hey, LA is going to win. That Game 7 against the Hawks was for the Cup. Unless Kreider gets to Quick and Moore takes out Doughty, I don’t see NYR win more than a game.

        • hansolo says:

          You’re right, I can’t forget what Mike Richards said about PK. But after what NY did to Price and Weise, I want them taken down!

          • Marc10 says:

            Kreider sliding feet first into Price is unforgivable. I trust LA to rub the bastard out before he gets to Quick.

            Mostly, I want to see Lundqvist exposed for the rebound machine that he is. LA is built to do that. They are going to dismantle Pretty Boy Swede like a frustrated dad takes a hammer to an IKEA shelving unit. I look forward to seeing that.

          • boing007 says:

            Crawford was a rebound machine last night. Cost him three goals.

            Richard R

  31. Storman says:

    So if Chucky’s shot goes in off the crossbar in game 4, Montreal would hosting the Kings with home ice advantage,, damn so close..

    • Congrats to Team Canada says:

      Or the goal the Henrik swatted out in Game 6, that would of given the Habs the lead late in Game 6. So many bounces…never mind the dozen crossbars Bruins hit on Price.

  32. hansolo says:

    It’s a shame one team had to lose. What a great series! Reminds me of the Montreal – Boston series in the late 60s and the 70s.

    Good luck to the Kings. Take the Rangers down a notch, please. Blackhawks, you can hold your heads high. You fought well and honorably.

  33. C-Sword says:

    Kings just made history, they came back and tied the game 3 times, they also won their 3 first series in 7 games!

  34. CHicoHab says:

    Fallon versus Kimmel it is.

  35. habcertain says:

    Again, read Boonie’s post, Vanek’s numbers did not make him the invisible man. He had been with the team for only 5 weeks, found chemistry with DD and Max, to the point that they were producing as a top line in the league, and presto, a bad game against the Bruins and MT has him with Bourney and never once put the line back together when they continued to struggle offensively, the coach wears that.

  36. Arnou Ruelle says:

    So its official: The Montreal Canadiens will get the #26th pick for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia.

    LA Kings beated the Chicago Blackhawks at the WCF.

  37. habsfan0 says:

    3 Game 7 victories by the Kings this year, ALL on the road.
    They won’t be denied.

    Bettman has his dream LA New York Final.

  38. CHicoHab says:

    Does Bettman get his wish?? Atlantic Ocean to Pacific Ocean series. We will soon find out. Fallon versus Kimmel??

    • boonie says:

      Forget wish. Bettman got his wet dream. The largest US media market is in. Markets 2 and 3 are playing game 7. One will be in the Final. The other semi-finalist was the only team from Canada that made the playoffs.

      The next four were — Boston and Minnesota, big regional US markets for hockey. Anaheim against cross-town rival LA in the second largest market and Pittsburgh with hockey’s number one star for the national audience.

      Bettman is loving life.

  39. Say Ash says:

    Stanley Cup final game 7 in overtime! Doesn’t get better

  40. JF says:

    It may well have been a mistake on Therrien’s part not to reunite the DD-Patch-Vanek line during the series against the Rangers; but it is still up to Vanek, when asked about his failure to contribute, to take the blame himself for his lack of production and not deflect it onto poor chemistry with his line-mates or any other factor. Besides, it wasn’t just lack of production, it was lack of involvement, lack of compete level.

    An example of a player taking the blame himself is Rene Bourque. Interviewed during the regular season after being scratched for a couple of games, he said bluntly that he hadn’t been playing well enough and so had lost his ice-time. He said, “I have to be better and I will be.” He went out there and was.

    • kalevine says:

      good points. I was really happy for Bourque these playoffs. He was one of the only bright lights in the ottawa series and proved it was no fluke this playoff

    • hansolo says:

      Agreed. He almost seemed to be blaming Plekanec for his lack of production. (Plekanec seemed to feel that way too, when the media asked him about it). I agree with you that whatever the reason for his lack of production, justified or not, it doesn’t excuse his failure to back check, his giveaways and his mysterious reluctance to shoot.

      If he is injured, why not say so?

    • boonie says:

      A number of people (i don’t think you were one of them) on this site commented since Bergevin hired Therrien about MT’s line combinations. A different group of equally loud people (again, not you) complain about pabulum replies to interview questions by players.

      So here comes Vanek wearing a non-descript baseball cap and a reported asks him, “hey, why did you stop producing in the playoffs?” Vanek is a UFA. Bergy ain’t paying the more than anyone else for Tommy V, so Tom is gone.

      Instead of giving us the “aw shucks, gee wilickers, i was too much a spectator out there. i need to give 110%…” he answers politely, respectfully and candidly. He had great chemistry and was producing with Max and DD. They (he) scored key goals in the Tampa series. Against Boston — where he has scored in bunches — MT moves him off the line.

      I’m a nobody. I didn’t play or coach high level hockey. So, I’ll just channel my inner Al Arbor when the Isles drafted Bossy 15th (i think) overall. I can teach a guy to check. I can’t teach a guy to score… 50 goals.

      Arbor won four cups. He’s in the Hall of Fame (i think). Maybe MT should have let scorers score and worry about teaching Vanek or someone else something else at some other time.

      Again, I don’t think we’ll sign TV. I’m not his agent. So, I don’t care. But seriously… the way people turn on and turn off the love for players around here is un-fan-like (again, not you).

  41. habsfan0 says:

    Carter for the Kings.
    Toews for the Blackhawks.

  42. habcertain says:

    @Boonie, excellent synopsis on Vanek, but the naysayers don’t want to hear the facts, playing with line mates that could not match his offensive abilities was a gross oversight by MT. This is clearly a blind spot for our coach, even to a lesser extent with Briere who only produced when given an opportunity.

  43. Vid says:

    Concerning Habs UFAs

    At a minimum Habs will need an offensive forward and a top pairing defenseman. This is essentially to account for the roles played by Vanek and Markov. I see Markov being resigned unless Bergevin sees a free agent out there who is comparable defensively but also younger or cheaper.

    Out of all the UFAs, I see only Weaver being resigned short term for depth. Gionta will be gone for sure but a replacement won’t be immediately needed.

    Concerning Habs RFAs

    Signing Subban is the obviously most important goal. I think Habs will resign all their RFAs and the challenge will be to negotiate reasonable deals.

    I expect these will be the first tasks to be resolved before any sort of trades will be considered for improving the team. Assuming Bergevin does manage to accomplish all the above then whether the Habs will do better next season will be highly dependent on the young guys improving. Mainly Galchenyuk, Beaulieu and Tinordi.

    Regardless of the progress of these youngsters, ideally I see Bergevin acquiring a defensive center with above average faceoff ability. If this occurs it would pave the way for potentially Plekanec to be traded. I doubt Desharnais will be traded.

    I don’t see either Gorges or Emelin being traded because of the exact reason some may want them to be traded and that is their overpaid contracts. Emelin in any case is needed for his physicality. Beaulieu and Tinordi would have to be spectacular for any thought to be given to trading either Gorges or Emelin.

    Possible surprise move: Trading Bourque could happen if the deal is right because his value is higher now and it’s really a crapshoot at his age whether he can play consistently well.

  44. habcertain says:

    Agree Elle, best 2 teams in hockey

  45. habsfan0 says:

    Does anyone know what time MB’s press conference tomorrow is called for?

  46. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    “The tightest group we’ve ever had”?

    You’d think that with all the money they make, at least one of them wouldn’t be too tight to buy Price a beer to help heal his knee. Jeez.

  47. Adidess says:

    @JF

    I agree with you that a player should never blame any outside factor for his lack of success, but I’d make a small exception for Vanek here.

    He was a mid-to-late-season acquisition. He’s probably allowed to analyze his performance in that context, touching on the time it took him to find chemistry with DD and Patches and eventually get going, and then the lack of time to rebuild chemistry with new linemates, Pleks and co. His explanation makes some sense to me, so I give him a pass.

    Now, does that mean I want him back at $7M over 7 years? No. But I’d give him 5.5 and term, easy (remember, Gionta makes 5 mil). He will make more elsewhere, do would never take it.

  48. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Jimmy Fallon certainly is milking Canada for the butt-ends of his comedy lately

    …poor Youppi, they say, has been put on a suicide watch

    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23HabsFallonBet&src=hash

    …well Jimmy-boy, every dog has his day

  49. JF says:

    Listening again to Thomas Vanek’s interview, I really didn’t like his blaming his failure to contribute on lack of chemistry with his line-mates. It seems to me a player should never blame anyone but himself for his lack of production. What Vanek said smacked of excuses. I wouldn’t be surprised if Marc Bargevin, who is so big on character and work ethic, heard it the same way and if his reaction is, “no, thanks.” If this is the case, he’ll make an offer to Vanek for form’s sake, but the offer will be one Vanek would never accept. I think we’ll have to look elsewhere for our big, scoring winger.

    • Timo says:

      I think Vanek blamed it on lack of chemistry with Plekanec rather than Pleks himself. But I see what you;re saying. On the other hand, he was probably as baffled as many of us about being taken off the DD line when that line connected so well together… (and probably was never given a good reason for it)

      • habsfan0 says:

        I still don’t understand why MT was adamant in not wanting to reunite the DD Patches Vanek line even though it was readily apparent the new lines were not scoring enough.

        Based on how successful that line was in the regular season after Vanek was obtained,what could MT have possibly lost if he reunited them,albeit temporarily?

    • boonie says:

      I don’t see MB resigning Vanek. But I’ve haven’t seen a guy go from toasted to toast around here as fast at TV.

      He played so well with DD and Patches when he got here is was remarkable. The “chemistry” or whatever it was — was unmistakable. They were all producing, the line was a joy to watch and we were winning.

      Now, Vanek gets flack (not from you, but a few others) for wearing a non-branded hat during his exit interviews with reporters. He gets dumped on for not producing when playing down the roster without players that sparked each other.

      In the playoffs, TV averaged 14 minutes and change per game. He closed the post season with 5G and 5A for 10 points in 17 games. Pacioretty gets almost no bashing in these parts and finished with 5 and 6 for 11 in 17, playing nearly 4 minutes per game more. Eller gets praised as if he’s the second coming of Bobby Smith for producing 5 and 8 for 13; again, playing more minutes than Vanek.

      I’m not defending Vanek. He didn’t produce in the playoffs the way he did since we acquired him from the Islanders. But wow… HIOers bashed MT for most of the year for odd line combinations. As we struggled to put up points 5-on-5, I wondered (very) aloud why he didn’t play the best line we have had for a long time.

      I failed chemistry. But I even I get that Vanek had some we could have benefited from.

      • kalevine says:

        actually, Ryder was toasted in the regular season last year and roasted afterwards. He wasn’t even at the final day with or without appropriate hat! Until the playoffs there was plenty of discussion about resigning him.

        Re Vanek, he just seemed to lack enthusiasm, but that might just be his style. He never wanted to shoot either, for some reason. Given that DD and Pacs ere not very productive, it sure could not have hurt to reunite them when scoring went south against the rangers

    • Danno says:

      For Vaneck:

      http://www.chemheritage.org/Images/Magazine-Images/28-1-Spring-2010/chemistry-sets.gif

      ________________________________________

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

    • boonie says:

      … wrong spot.

  50. Adidess says:

    That loss to NY will sting for a while, but watching these two teams right now and knowing one of them will not be good enough to play in the finals makes our exit easier to deal with.

    Think about it. The team that loses tonight will have achieved the same level of success as the Habs – pretty good company there, if you ask me.

  51. Timo says:

    Why can’t NHL (and other pro leagues for that matter) have east and west teams play in the playoffs before the final round? Is it only because of the travel? Seems hardly fair that one of the teams like LA and Chicago, both much stronger than Rangers, won’t be in the SCF.

  52. habsfan0 says:

    So,if the Habs do not sign Vanek,and it now appears they won’t,who do they attempt to sign in lieu of him?
    Moulson?Stastny?

  53. 21 AND WAITING says:

    we can’t move Pacioretty or Plekanec, they are our only two 20-Goal scores. we need a lot of Good pieces up front to compete with the western Division like Chicago and LA as an example. Gotta get bigger players especially Centers and bigger players that can score like the two teams mentioned.
    We can make it to the playoffs but we’re not gonna win a Stanley Cup with players like we have. we got by Boston and really that was our Stanley Cup. yes we lost price against the rangers but Goal tending wasn’t the reason the Rangers beat us, it was scoring.
    Gotta Build through the draft with bigger players and players that can score, than and only than will we win a cup. we have a start with five decent players Galchenyuk, Pacioretty, Plekanec a #1 Goalie, a #1 Defenseman and more on the way so keep building through the draft and someday we’ll get there.
    Don’t look forward to winning a cup anytime soon, we don’t have the horses that can match up against the west in a 7-Game series.
    Playoff team, yes.

  54. carolinahab says:

    So who are we ready to move / not resign in order to continue moving forward. Pleks ? Gionta? Moen? Markov possibly….
    Murray and Parros I think are automatic, white is borderline, and then of course Price’s good buddy Budaj appears to be on the outside looking in.

  55. Feraco says:

    I want Thomas plekanecs and Andrei Markov to retire with Montreal. This is a special team with class and dignity. They deserve their chance to win a cup in Montreal

  56. hansolo says:

    Patrick Kane is, by HIO standards, a smurf (less than 6ft, less than 190 lbs). Yet, he doesn’t seem to get hit or knocked down like Sidney Crosby does.

    Anyone care to expound on why? Is he just too fast to get hit a lot? Or does he make decisions quickly and gets rid of the puck before he can get hit? Or am I just plain wrong? (It’s ok if you think I am).

    His play the past few games has been phenomenal. What a pleasure it is to watch him.

  57. boonie says:

    As good as LA and Chicago look —and they look impressive — I have this odd feeling the Rangers will win the Final. I’m not nuts. On paper, the Rangers wouldn’t win. We looked better than New York on paper too. Boston was allegedly better than us.

    Here’s my logic. Quick has looked shaky in every series. Crawford has too. If Lunqvist can play to his top level capabilities the Rangers could steal a win or two. That makes it a 6 or 7 games series.

    After tonight, the Kings will have played 21 games. Chicago almost as many. Those game totals were tough series against St. Louis, Minnesota, Anaheim and San Jose. The Rangers played a bunch of games. But 6 and 7 game series against us and the Pens doesn’t take the same physical toll (Stepan’s jaw, notwithstanding).

    After game 5, it’s anybody’s Cup.

    We would feel better losing to the Cup winner?

    • L Elle says:

      Lundqvist also looked shaky at times, being pulled from 2 key games. When his defense didn’t collapse around his juicy rebounds, he looked pretty bad.

      If Kreider runs over another goalie, well, then that’s a different story.

      Personally, I would feel worse if Rangers won, because with Price we would have beat them, and then….

      Vigneault always a bridesmaid…

      • boonie says:

        Yep, King H looked shaky too. Just saying the Rangers – or either of these teams – can run hot or cold enough to win or lose the Cup. The west coast teams are a little more beaten up; and, the Rangers have been resting for a few days. A longer series begins to hew toward the Rangers.

        For what it’s worth, the Rangers seemed to have some Mojo for the final few games against the Pens and the first 3 1/2 games against us. Somewhere around the 10 minute mark of the second period of the ECF game 4, they lost their spark.

        Before that, Pouliot, Brassard and V…. looked like Lafleur, Shutt and Lemaire. After that point, they were decidedly ordinary.

        If the Rangers don’t recapture that magic, they’re done in 5. And all this is moot.

    • hansolo says:

      After what happened to Price and Weise, I don’t want the Rangers to win, even if it meant we lost to the eventual Cup winner.

      Yes, I know Prust broke Stepan’s jaw, but it doesn’t make up for it. I would rather no-one on either team had gotten hurt.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Both Chicago and la are very shaky at the back.

      I fear the Rangers might win this.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

  58. Adidess says:

    Every time I watch Kane and Toews play, I have another laugh at the ridiculous statement: ‘Crosby is the best player in the world’ … and, wait for it … ‘It’s not even close’.

  59. hitgurl says:

    Habs should sign Vanek if they can. If not package up Plekanec and Gorges and something else for a big scoring winger or near ready prospect. That and another hard hitting guy are what we need.

  60. Arnou Ruelle says:

    I wrote this as of yesterday and I never had the chance to post it. Anyway,

    I don’t feel bad that Carey Price wasn’t able to play after his injury in game 1. What Price needs to understand is that yes, its disappointing, he never get to play more and he was this close to getting in the cup final. But things happen.

    The ‘only’ good thing I can think of with what occurred is that compared to Yaroslav Halak, Price did not lose the ECF due to performance. Halak however, he was there at that moment and he didn’t deliver as the Habs expect him to be when he was facing the Flyers back in 2010 ECF.

    Now for my new post:

    If I were to look at the team again minus the ‘possible’ trades and RFA’s/UFA’s not to be signed, our 2014-2015 Habs lineup should probably be like this right now:

    Forwards: (LW) (C) (RW) respectively

    1st Line:

    #67 Max Pacioretty – #51 David Desharnais – (Player “X”)

    2nd Line:

    (Player “X) – #27 Alex Galchenyuk – #11 Brendan Gallagher

    3rd Line:

    #49 – Michaël Bournival – #81 Lars Eller – #17 Rene Bourque

    4th Line:

    #8 Brandon Prust – #48 Daniel Brière – #22 Dale Weise

    Defencemen: (LD) (RD)

    1st Pair:

    #40 Nathan Beaulieu – #76 PK Subban

    2nd Pair:

    #74 Alexei Emelin – #43 Mike Weaver

    3rd Pair:

    #24 Jarred Tinordi – #64 Greg Pateryn

    Goaltenders:

    Starting Goalie: #31 Carey Price

    Backup Goalie: #35 Dustin Tokarski

    From the looks of it, there are 2 holes that Marc Bergevin would need to plug in this team. The best possible scenario that he might do is sign current UFA’s during the post season. These to me are the two best players that I feel (and of popular consensus) may fill in those vacant positions:

    1st Line: (RW) Radim Vrbata – 20 goals, 31 assists, 51 points – $3 million this season with PHX

    *2nd Line: (LW) Matt Moulson – 23 goals, 28 assists, 51 points – $3.9 million this season with MIN*

    *Accumulated points from BUF, NYI, MIN*

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      EDIT: Just to add up, thankfully Price was not severely injured when Krieder ‘accidentally’ (which I don’t believe) crashed into his crease. That too is also a good thing.

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      Arnou, well reasoned but one gap I seen is that the first pairing isn’t ready as a unit until 2016.

      Also, bit of a rehash from this afternoon but I would write off LL yet … I could see him earning the third line RW and MT playing mix and match with him and Weise.

      Curiously, his best hockey came against western teams …

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

      • Arnou Ruelle says:

        If that’s the case, then probably he might need to earn his way up. Let this kid play with the Habs. I think its high time we give our first rounders a shot at regular season NHL action.

    • carolinahab says:

      Very similar to how I see the 2014/15 Habs if we are looking to make a bold move for the upcoming season. Alternatively, Bergevin takes the more conservative approach choosing not to move such significant pieces as Gionta and Pleks. Biggest challenge will be to maintain the chemistry that 2013/14 Habs had. When Price says this was the tightest group we have had that explains how they took down the Bruins when nobody thought they would. Glad I don’t have Bergy’s job this off-season.

    • kalevine says:

      Halak was far from the only one who didn’t deliver in that conference final against Philly. They were shutout 3 time in the 4 losses. Halak lost his magic but the whole team stunk in 3 of the 5 games

  61. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    “Guesses”

    So sure there are several among here who want to blow up the team, but, that’s their go to for any problem with the Habs so you can’t change that, logic be dammed.

    If you take MB at his word, Gionta is thanked for his service and allowed to play for say Buffalo for 2 – 3 years to show the kids the way to be an NHL player …. he has a ring and though he may wish for another shot, a chance to play at “home” would be a valid consolation.

    TV is worth what ever he gets in this NHL and he won’t get it from the habs … so thanks for showing us what having a world class right winger can do for a team

    So, if these two RWs are gone who comes in … unless Vrbata (intriguing choice) is inked, consider back to the future – Briere was supposed to be the RW with Max and DD, the early concussion put the kaibosh on that and DB wound up floating about without a tether. The playoffs showed he still has the knack. MB will be cautious and unless something drops in his lap, DB is going back to the wing.

    Of Tomas? Forget trying to trade him to Edmonton … he has a limited NTC which has to mean anywhere but Edmonton. However, given his age, his current cap hit and his skill set, ask yourself which team could use a 2/3 centre who plays the TOUGHEST minutes and is a cup contender and spends to the cap … did you say Philly?

    For Markov, kudos to the thought of letting him go and getting a different number 2 d man but I don’t see him out there … would sooner expect Boyle to replace Markov and that changes things but you still have Gorges/Emelin playing a few too many minutes.

    So the guess here is that between now and November, the team is little changed, save for some more games on D from the kids, MB confident that they will get to the playoffs with the squad they have lets him take the time to asses the young D and if a scorer is available to take another shot at getting to the top.

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

  62. Danno says:

    The Hawks have got to keep the pedal to the metal. Kings are very fast and dangerous and will pounce on any chance they get.

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  63. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Wow! 5 goals already!

  64. Phil C says:

    Player movement is inevitable in the cap era. The Habs have 4 RFAs who will need pay raises, and 7 UFAs who all can’t come back because of those pay raises. The non-returning UFAs will leave holes in the roster that the Habs will fill with NHLers rather than kids, so there will be free agent signings. It is almost impossible to keep a team together in the cap era, you just have to keep the core of your team in tact and build around the edges.

  65. Danno says:

    I say too high but

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  66. UKRAINIANhab says:

    It’s pretty quiet in Chicago.

    Nowhere near the bell centre.

  67. 21 AND WAITING says:

    In regards to some weird comments today, the Habs is a good team that’s it, there’s still three good teams left one of them is gonna be a great team. That’s gonna be the one who wins the cup.

    Till they make some player moves The Habs will be a good team for years to come but don’t expect anymore. with the right moves some day the Habs will be a great team like one of the three remaining teams is gonna be when it’s all said and done.

    • Jimmy Page says:

      Had Vanek skated like a possessed beast and led the team by example with ferocious intensity, big hits, and big goals… the Habs could have gone up a notch.

  68. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Why would we rebuild…

    We made it to the third round. Keep the same team and with price anything can happen!

    • JUST ME says:

      That is basically what i think too . A few adjustements here and there. We know who was not useless but less used than others and who we can do without.

      That being said though, every other team will want to get better and so must we. But that`s where it becomes interresting for us . Our player have taken a bit of a better value for other teams that saw them reach quite far in the playoffs so maybe we will get an offer we can`t refuse!

      Still i say we must be carefull not to change the chemistry of that team and not give away this precious experience we have been stacking .

      • Arnou Ruelle says:

        Like I said before, the rebuilding started the time when MB came back to Montreal and started his job since day one.

        Now, what we’re seeing is an accelerated way of making things work and the we’re seeing the results.

  69. Adidess says:

    What beautiful hockey!

    I hate repeat when it’s not my team but really can’t cheer against Chicago. So much skill!

  70. Ton says:

    Habs and Markov will agree to a three term…….between 4.5 and 5…..watch for it.

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      He’s not going to sign and get less for a 3yr deal. Already, it was reported that the Habs want him to sign a one year deal. Something him and his agent refuse to accept.

  71. Danno says:

    The big sign says “Pas d’excuse. No excuses.”

    Isn’t “chemistry” an excuse?

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  72. punkster says:

    Weird comments today…weird and overly critical in many cases.

    Release the Subbang!!!

    • Cal says:

      The third day after the death of the season is for blame and finger pointing. It’s no longer about how much fun the run was. It’s the time to belittle the accomplishment.

      http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

      • punkster says:

        Funny…a season and playoff run the likes we haven’t seen in over 20 years, a solid core and mix of players both young and experienced, good farm system, good management…yet some want to see 7 to 12 players traded, dumped, not signed or failing that shot at sunrise.

        Release the Subbang!!!

        • Ton says:

          lol………we are still on Timo’s list?

        • boonie says:

          We saw this run… 4 years ago. We dispatched the goalie that carried us. We ditched the scorer with the golden stick between periods. We jettisoned the defensive-minded coach who chalked up wins in his long career.

          At the trade deadline, HIO folks hotly debated trading vets like Markov for future assets or retaining them to enjoy a longer playoff run. Bergy opted for the undisclosed third choice, add a scorer to amp the balance of the regular season. That established for the first time in your referenced 20 years, a league-level top line that played for US this< close to the Cup?” Are we close enough to resign the UFA vets (Markov, Gionta) who helped us get here? Are we close enough to retain vets on longer-term deals (Plecs, Gorges)? Is it time to let the youth mature?

          The Devils danced for the Cup in 2011-12. They missed the playoffs the prior year. They’ve missed the playoffs every year since. I’m not comparing the teams. I’m just pointing out that being a GM means deciding if a particular group of players (or a meaningful subset of said group) overachieved and is unlikely to repeat their accomplishment or if that very same group is the beginning of something special.

          Bergy job is putting us on the (singular) path that leads to success… Cup-level success. I don’t envy him. I just enjoy the ride.

          • Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

            Moves always have to be made. Only with hindsight will you know if they were the right moves. From what I’ve seen of Bergevin, I trust that he’ll make the right ones.

        • boing007 says:

          You got that right. I’m all in with that. At least six or seven.

          Richard R

  73. Danno says:

    Sad day.

    Mr. Danno had a deal with Mrs. Danno that the playoff beard could remain so long as the Habs were still playing.

    The playoff beard is now history.

    Until next year!

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