Thomas Vanek and Wild up next for Canadiens

Minnesota Wild v Philadelphia Flyers

On Monday night, the Canadiens faced former teammate Daniel Brière and the Colorado Avalanche, leaving Denver with a 4-3 victory.

Brière, who was traded to Colorado during the off-season in exchange for P.A. Parenteau, scored a goal against his former teammates while logging 14:40 of ice time. In 18 games this season, Brière has 6-1-7 totals and is minus-3.

On Wednesday night, the Canadiens will face Thomas Vanek, another former teammate from last season, and the Wild in Minnesota. Vanek, who signed a three-year, $19.5-million free-agent contract with the Wild during the off-season, has two goals and 12 assists in 23 games this season while averaging 16:36 of ice time and is plus-2.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien was pleased with his leadership group after Monday’s win in Colorado as his four assistant captains — Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban, Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov — combined for six points. Markov, Subban and Pacioretty all scored goals, while rookie Jiri Sekac was the other goal-scorer.

“That was a great performance (by our leaders),” Therrien told reporters in Denver after the game. “Pacioretty scored a big goal in the third period. We gave him good opportunities, but I liked the way he created his own chances with his intensity and his relentless puck pursuit.

“P.K. had a great game, too. He and Andrei Markov have a lot of responsibility,” Therrien added. “(Sergei) Gonchar and (Alexei) Emelin, too. Those four guys had a big job tonight and they responded really well.”

Wednesday’s game will be a homecoming for Canadiens defenceman Tom Gilbert, who grew up in Minnesota.

“It’s always fun to play here when family and friends can come watch,” Gilbert told reporters in Minnesota after practice on Tuesday. “I have my parents coming, my brother and my little nephew — who I haven’t seen in a while — which is always exciting. I think it’s his first live hockey game, which is really fun. And I have a bunch of buddies coming tomorrow, too.”

Gilbert played youth hockey with Zach Parise, who is now the leading scorer for the Wild.

“My dad coached us in baseball and his dad (former NHL star J.P. Parise) coached us in hockey,” Gilbert said.

If practice was any indication, Mike Weaver will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season and Bryan Allen will return to the lineup Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, Canadiens prospect Michael McCarron on Tuesday received an invitation to Team USA’s final selection camp for the World Junior Hockey Championship. In 17 games this season with the OHL’s London Knights, McCarron had 13-13-26 totals with 44 penalty minutes and a plus-10. McCarron was selected by the Canadiens in the first round (25th overall) at the 2013 NHL entry draft.

Zach Fucale, the Canadiens’ second-round pick (36th overall) in 2013, is expected to be the No. 1 goalie for Team Canada at the junior tournament. In 22 games this season with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads, Fucale has a 12-8-2 record with a 3.35 goals-against average and .886 save percentage.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Homecoming game for Canadiens’ Gilbert, by Montreal Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Montreal native Scandella finds home on Minnesota blue line, by Pat Hickey

Keeping it local for Gilbert,

Dec. 2 marks 19th anniversary of Patrick Roy’s final game with Habs, Stu on Sports blog

Carey Price wins Molson Cup for November,

Pacioretty lifts Canadiens over Avalanche, by Montreal Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Decision to shoot paid off for Pacioretty, by Pat Hickey

Canadiens vs. Avalanche photo gallery,

Leaders gonna lead,

Pacioretty scores winner for Habs,

Game management costly for Avalanche,

Avalanche outnumbered too often, Denver Post

Canadiens vs. Wild preview

Wednesday at Minnesota’s Xcel Center, 7 p.m., SN, RDS, TSN Radio 690


ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Canadiens opened their four-game road trip with a 4-3 win in Colorado Monday night and they’ll be facing a Minnesota team that is challenging for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Wild has a 6-3-1 record in its last 10 games and is 13-9-1 overall. This is the second and last meeting for these teams this season — the Canadiens were 4-1 winners at the Bell Centre on Nov. 8.

Best players step up: Canadiens defencemen Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban each had a goal and an assist against Colorado and Max Pacioretty scored his team-leading 12th goal to provide the winning margin. Carey Price made big saves down the stretch and might have had an easier time if Brandon Prust hadn’t scored on his own goal.

The other guys: Zach Parise leads the Wild in scoring with nine goals and nine assists for 18 points, while Repentigny native Jason Pominville has four goals and 15 points. Former Canadien Thomas Vanek, who was signed by Minnesota as a free agent for his goal-scoring ability, has only two goals but has 12 assists, while Nino Niederreiter is the Wild’s top sniper with 11 goals. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper has cooled off after starting the season with three shutouts, but Niklas Backstrom checks in with a 2.01 goals-against average.

No power here: It’s difficult to find a team with a worse power play than the Canadiens, but the Wild fits that description. Montreal went 1-for-2 in Colorado and improved to 24th in the NHL on the power play with a success rate of 14.2 per cent, while the Wild is 29th at 9.6 per cent. Minnesota does have the second-best penalty kill with an 88.7 per cent success rate, while the Canadiens are 10th at 84.1 per cent.

Facing off: The Canadiens have been dominant in the faceoff circle, winning 55.8 per cent of their draws to rank No. 1 in the league. And it’s not just Manny Malhotra, who has won 63.4 per cent of his draws to lead the NHL. Lars Eller ranks fourth at 58.3 per cent, David Desharnais is 17th at 55.3 per cent, and Tomas Plekanec is 41st at 50.8 per cent.

Road trip continues: After Wednesday’s game, the Canadiens head to Chicago, where they will face the Blackhawks Friday night, before the road trip wraps up Saturday night in Dallas against the Stars.


  1. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Rip jean.

  2. Beaco says:

    Not old enough to have seen him play but for me, he was and always will be The Montreal Canadiens personified. He embodied the class and dignity that the organization strives for. A real gentleman. A really sad day.

  3. habcertain says:

    First started watching hockey with Beliveau, Road Runner, and Fergie riding shot gun……… Great memories, was hooked for life….. Adieu Jean.

  4. D Mex says:

    Extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Jean Béliveau. He was a wonderful man, great player, and true ambassador of the game.

    I did have opportunities to see him play, both live and on TV, and will always treasure them. He was everything people describe, and more. A big man, he was powerful and graceful when in motion, and when the puck was on his stick, his stick cradled it with speed and precision to be exactly where he wanted it to be.

    Always classy, never flashy. This was a man of immense achievement who portrayed nothing but humility when receiving the Stanley Cup, while being interviewed, or during interactions in any other situation. The very first time that my dad tied skates to my feet, he referred to a photo of Jean Béliveau from the shiny section of the old Montreal Star to get it just right. And he did.

    The rare combination of achievement and Monsieur Tout le monde attitude of this man, and other Habs legends, is why this team has always been, and will very likely always be, so special to me.

    Restez en paix, Monsieur Béliveau. Vous l’avez bien mérité.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  5. bellcentre hotdog says:

    My Grandpa was a huge Jean Beliveau fan. ‘Always a gentleman’ he used to say. This is how many of us become fans of one team or another … Through our parents or others with influence.

    I became a Habs fan with a little guidance from my Grandpa, even though it was easy to love the team I grew up with in the 70s led by Lafleur and Robinson and many other great players.

    But number 4 always remained special. It always will.

    I had the great privilege to meet Jean Beliveau about 10 years ago. My buddy and I used to record a radio feature on Team 990 called Habtalk. Jean Beliveau recorded with us one day, and he had a terrific sense of humor. Before he left, we asked, ‘Jean … Why do they only drink from glasses in Toronto?’ and without missing a beat he smiled and said, ‘Because all the cups are in Montreal!’

    He knew that old joke well. Jean Beliveau epitomized the CH. Always classy. Always dignified. Always a winner. He was loyal to the end to both his family and team.
    The world is a sadder place without him, and I’ve got a very heavy heart tonight.

  6. jols says:

    RIP Le Gros Bill. A true legend on and off the ice. You will be missed but never forgotten.

  7. habsfan0 says:

    On May 1,1965 I witnessed the 1st of what would be, up until now, 12 Stanley Cup victories by the Habs.
    Jean Beliveau scored the winning goal of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final that night, tallying at the 14 second mark of the 1st period, in an eventual 4-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
    Big Jean would later in the evening be the 1st recipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy.

    Thanks for the memories, M. Beliveau.

  8. ClutchNGrab says:

    So much talk about Gordie Howe during the last few days, this was unexpected.

    My thoughts go to the Beliveau family. Mr Jean Beliveau was the synonym of class.

  9. Arnou Ruelle says:

    I just surfed the net and opened TSN website. Then I found out that Jean Beliveau passed away. Sad and sorry to hear that.

  10. johnnylarue says:

    “It was a question of personal pride, team spirit and, of course, all the predictions that the Bruins would undoubtedly dominate the Canadiens with ease,” [Béliveau] was quoted in the April 25, 1971 edition of the La Patrie newspaper.

    Game 2, Habs/Bruins quarterfinal, 1971:

  11. Just A Guy says:

    Too young to have watched him play, but when you read about him, it’s hard not to feel that he was a class act, especially the quiet reverence and smile almost anyone who spoke about him took on. RIP le gros Bill!

  12. NightRyder says:

    “Le drapeau de Mtl sera en berne et en autant que je suis concerné c’est tout le Québec/Canada et le monde du Hockey qui est en deuil ce soir”

    -Denis Coderre

  13. Was lucky enough to have him reply to a letter I wrote him ten years ago. He loved his soldiers, and thanked me for my service. He became an instant favourite and I never even seen him play.

    Shane Oliver
    Custom Sports Figures
    Please Vote for my Meagan’s Blizzard Blue, thank you

  14. PitMartin says:

    Godspeed Jean Beliveau.

  15. NightRyder says:

    No home games until next Tuesday.

    That will be some tribute, I’m sure.

    I’ll be interested in Coach’s Corner on Saturday as well (for the first time in a long time).

  16. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Elegant on the ice, classy off the ice.

    R.I.P. #4 One of the greatest.

  17. NightRyder says:

    Very sad news indeed. Beliveau always epitomized to me what the Montreal Canadiens stood for on and off the ice.

  18. Habitant in Surrey says:

    I never met the man, I only watched Him from afar as a child and into My early adulthood. He is a core reason I can not nor ever will equate the Montreal Canadiens as just another hockey Team.

    He was so amazingly elegant yet humble and One of Us.

    He was so perfect a role-model that His essence of class and sophistication transferred seamlessly to Our perceptions of Ourselves, the Fans of the Montreal Canadiens, even though most of Us could not compare.

    What an emptiness, what a hole in Our hearts, for We Fans whom lived vicariously thru the Golden Age years of the Montreal Canadiens.

    To You younger Fans, You had to ‘be there’ to understand what a magnificent person and athlete He was.

    No other athlete during My time on this Earth had as much presence, elegance and refinement as an athlete than Jean Beliveau, – more importantly as a man.

    • NightRyder says:

      Very well said.
      He was slightly before my time but my love for the team and the game mean he was still much-admired. I was fortunate enough to shake his hand once, and even though I was in my 30s, it was humbling and I felt like an awestruck little kid.

    • The Jackal says:

      Great words HiS, thanks for sharing. #4 will be forever in our hearts.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  19. PK says:

    Condolences to the Beliveau family and the Montreal Canadiens.
    Sad to see this day.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  20. JarryPark says:

    Very proud and honoured JB#4 wore our colours. He was a true legend of the game.

  21. habsfan0 says:

    RIP…Le Gros Bill.

    A wonderful hockey player, an ambassador for the game, and a gentleman who epitomized the word “class”.

    We shall surely never see the likes of him again.

    Condolences to his family.

  22. joeybarrie says:

    So sad. Mr. Beliveau lived a full and wonderful life, and while this certainly isn’t tragic, it leaves a great sadness and loss for so many.
    Seeing him in his seat at home games always made me smile.

    I cant believe it. This is awful news.

  23. The Gumper says:

    Le Gros Bil is gone…

  24. Habs54 says:

    Those of us old enough to see him play and how he carried himself can only be devastated. I’ve bee dreading this for awhile. It seems like a piece of me has died. I’m not old enough to have solid memories of the Rocket but I sure remember Le Gros Bill. Not many people on this earth had earned the respect that this man did. A dark day indeed.

  25. sprague cleghorn says:

    We shall never, ever see his like again.

    … ‘ow could we forget that?

  26. EL_PRESEDENTE says:

    Damn. I am lost for words right now. RIP JB

    If you are crazy, you can be discharged from the army. But you have to apply for the discharge, and applying demonstrates that you are not crazy. As a result, you will not be discharged.

  27. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    I can’t think of another modern athlete who embodied class and grace, both on and off the playing surface, like Jean Beliveau. This is a very sad night.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • bel33 says:

      Had the honour of sitting a couple seats down from him once at a game. I was so mad at my buddy for making us late back to our seats at the start of the 2nd period as we had to ask him to let us past.
      He was so gracious and chuckled as we kept apologizing to him as we stepped past him.
      Won’t see a gentlemen like him around the game again. RIP.

  28. Shane1313 says:

    Don’t know why it’s hitting me so hard.
    Beliveau was a legend and what a wonderful man.
    He will be so missed

  29. Steven says:

    “Canadiens Montréal ‏@CanadiensMTL 48 seconds ago
    It is with a great deal of sadness that the Canadiens organization learned tonight the passing of Jean Béliveau. He was 83 years old.”

    It’s a sad day. Rest in Peace, Mr Beliveau

  30. FormalWare says:

    The Calgary Flames are for real. It’s weird. But I guess I like it, living in Calgary and being exposed to them as a matter of course. Exciting team; exciting story, this season.

    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

    • stephen says:

      Lived in Calgary for four years, but one day stands out amongst the rest.

      It was mid-September. I was driving home from work, coming off the 4th Avenue flyover into downtown.

      First set of lights off the flyover were just going yellow so I figured I’d be going through.

      The bearded jogger waiting on the sidewalk, earbuds firmly plugged in, obviously misjudged my intentions, as he confidently started off the sidewalk and into the street.

      I don’t think I’ve ever braked so hard in my life. The bearded jogger froze. Like a big, bearded deer.

      As my car came to a screeching halt mere inches from the man, he gaped, wide-eyed at me, and our eyes locked in a primal communication of ‘WTF!’.

      That was when I realized this was no ordinary bearded jogger/petrified deer. This was Olli Jokinen of the Calgary Flames. And I had just nearly killed him.

      I think he swore at me in Finnish. That, or he was simply swallowing his prostate. Hard to tell.

      Anyhow, Calgary is a lovely city.

  31. DirtyD says:

    Just met JJ Daignault outside the hotel. What a gentleman. Took the time to shake my hand, chat about 93, and tomorrow’s game against Minnesota. Andrei Markov said hi as well, which is about half of a full interview. Glad to be a fan of these guys.


  32. jols says:

    Hopefully the Kings can lay a beating on the Bruins.

  33. JF says:

    The Sabres do it again. They beat Tampa 2-1 in a shootout. They’re now only 6 points out of a playoff spot.

  34. jols says:

    I love myself some NightRyder. Please visit more often.

  35. zak says:

    I think DD will be traded. It will free up the center spot for Chucky and also the 3.5 mill he’s making. That could pay for Chucky’s bridge if he decides to go that way, or the first few years of his contract. Who knows maybe we’ll see Eller, Chucky and McCarron as our centers.

  36. MartyC says:

    There is a post below that says MB will trade Hudon for a 38 yo defenseman. I get it that MB didn’t get young bucks, but he gave up Moen and Bourque, not young talents either. Please get a life.

    • NightRyder says:

      Please go on a date with Bill Cosby.

      • D Mex says:

        Not sure I follow your message with the post below – can you clarify what you intended to convey with this ↓ ? Thanks.

        NightRyder DECEMBER 2, 2014 AT 9:44 PM
        It’s important to have somewhere to train mediocre, French-speaking coaches.

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

        • The Jackal says:

          Probablemente es otro comentario bobo sobre la “necesidad” de tener técnicos franceses. More of the same old bollocks, essentially, mi amigo. 😉

          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • NightRyder says:

          I guess I have to work on my delivery.
          A veiled jab at Therrien.
          Meaning, at least we have the perfunctory tepid replacement waiting in Hammy Beach to replace the current retread.
          I accept the need for the Habs head coach to speak French, but given his record, it appears to be Lefebvre’s primary qualification at this point, thus the reference.
          Can I explain anything else for you?

          • Marc10 says:

            What’s Therrien done in his second stint with the Habs that deserves a jab? He’s done a very good job.

      • MartyC says:

        Cosby likes them young, I’m older than Gonchar so that wouldn’t do…

  37. SUMO says:

    Elliot Friedman’s 30 thoughts. Some comments about Gallagher’s contract and Galchenyuk’s up coming negotiations.

    Points 10 -13 are about the Habs;

    • PK says:

      Jordon Nolan’s name comes up again.
      He was a topic of discussion, several threads ago.

      As for AG27, I suspect that he will get a bridge contract like Subban.

      With Gallagher, we all know what we are getting. Meanwhile Galchenyuk has untapped potential (an unknown ceiling, if you will)

      _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

      “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

      – Nostradamus, 1552

  38. Habitant in Surrey says:

    In the category and spirit of ‘Stirring The Pot’:

    According to At 5v5 Weiss is first on the team on points produced per 60 minutes @ 2.32/60:00,

    …second is Pacioretty @ 2.28 pts/60:00,

    …Desharnais is 10th @ 1.49/60:00,

    …Parenteau 11th @ 1.42/60:00.

    • NightRyder says:

      Stirring some myself:
      I get sick of hearing Desharnais has such good chemistry with Pacioretty.
      A tree stump would have good chemistry with Pacioretty, because Pacioretty happens to be freaking good.
      Desharnais gets points with Pacioretty because everyone (Weise included) will get points with Pacioretty.
      If you stuck Gilles Lupien at centre with Guy Lafleur, Lupien would suddenly get a bunch of points and be seen as having this magical chemistry.
      Like Gomez before him, Desharnais is seen as much better than he really is. Given ample playing time with good players, plus first-line PP time, many, many players can put up points.
      But, in both cases, because they are unable to create scoring opportunities for themselves, they are much, much easier to defend – which in turn is an eventual drag on the team.
      The same broken-record rant will continue until, like Gomez, DD is finally jettisoned.

  39. Feraco says:

    Mike D! Reading your post about Cole…Cole was very public about the owners and lockout. He said (paraphrasing the quote) that he was debating retirement because of the labour disputes. Sounded to me that he was disgusted and lost some of his passion. It was like a hard reality blow that the league is all about money and business. Then the habs traded him.

  40. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Those Sabres and their Trap can play…

  41. Mavid ® says:

    I will enjoy the loss but I was really hoping for an ass such luck..sigh..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  42. habs001 says:

    Eller has 3 assists …he is not a playmaker

    • Mike D says:

      HEY! He has 4! 😛

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • krob1000 says:

      4 assists…his linemates have a whopping 5 goals between them…he has 4 assists on 5 goals…and has added 7 himself without pp time, ozne,etc Desharnais has 11 assists…his linemates have 18 goals between them.
      Desharnais has 3 of his 13 points on the pp, has 10 even strength points….despite the luxuries he is afforded. Eller…has 10 even strength points as well.
      As has been pointed out here for basically the last 3 years….Eller can produce every bit as much as DD at worst and perhaps and likely better….role is the only difference.

  43. jimmy shaker says:

    Scotty Gomerez…..22 minutes + of ice tonight! This is not a typo folks!

    Shaker out!

      • The Jackal says:

        All jokes aside, Gomez wasn’t and isn’t that bad. He’s a talented player who unfortunately was asked to do way more than he could in what could be described as desperate gamble. Glad he has moved on but also glad he is getting another shot in the NHL. He has the tools but the confidence has not been there, unfortunately for us.

        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • NightRyder says:

          He was and is terrible.
          The two goals in 46 games (-11) didn’t illustrate that last year? What about the two goals in 39 games (-10) the year before that? Not enough? Maybe the two goals in 38 games (-9) the year before that? How about the 638 consecutive games without a goal (-457) before we finally got rid of him?
          He makes Desharnais look like Mario Lemieux.

          • The Jackal says:

            Eh, he has over 700 points and almost 1000 games played. Was and is terrible is not at all applicable. His last good season was in 2010, after that he suffered from a predatory media which also hiked up fans’ expectations of him. Confidence is very important to athletes being shat on by an entire city is not part of a recipe for success, despite that he still put up top-six-quality points during the “decline” of his career. Just because he wasn’t a good fit in MTL doesn’t mean he was a bad player.

            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • FormalWare says:

            That’s quite the Pathetic Ironman streak! Giggling, here.

            WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

          • NightRyder says:

            ‘Is’ terrible is completely applicable.
            ‘Was’ terrible in Florida, San Jose and at the end in Montreal.
            Nice player before that, not his fault Sather threw money at him or Gainey lost his mind and traded for him.

  44. jimmy shaker says:

    Just finished watching the Islanders vs Sens. Besides Tavares, who would be impossible to get…..bailey and okposo are great players that I would love to see in a Habs uni. They have a good team to watch and are missing boychuck and visnovsky on the back end. Also Jaro just tied the franchise record with his 10th straight win. It’s always nice to see ottawa lose, and what the H E double hockey sticks is taranna doing winning? C’mon Dallas wake up!

    Shaker out!

  45. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Hamilton Bulldogs 21 points in 22 games. 3rd in their division.

    Even a Lefevre coached Team will not be able to completely suck with the talent the ‘Dogs have this season.

    Although, a Lefevre-less Team ? Calder Cup ?

  46. NightRyder says:

    Jaro Halak has 10 straight wins.

  47. habs001 says:

    While it may not sound much but i believe if the Habs had a 4th line where each player scored 8-12 goals this year that would make a huge difference….But since the Gainey era Habs love their no scoring ability 4th liners…This is why the Leafs will be dangerous if they make the playoffs as their roster has many options on forward that have scored in the NHL before…

  48. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Hudon 23 points in 21 games.

    As Frank (HabFab) noted below, tied for first overall among all scorers in AHL, not only the AHL’s top-rookie points producer.

  49. HabinBurlington says:

    Jagr got rocked tonight, another classic finish your check hit. Of course because he is Jagr Dreger now says hit is late, of course anyone else and Dreger praises the cleanliness of the hit.

  50. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Andrighetto, Beaulieu, and ? among 3 stars

    ? is a strange name.

  51. The Jackal says:

    I don’t get the dismissal/mocking of some Leafs players. I can’t stand the Leafs as a team and the organization is real bad, but their best players are excellent guys that any team would be lucky to have, including Phaneuf. He’s not an elite D-man but he is a very good D-man who does everything and still plays a good game even though he is asked to be better than he is by an organization that has no clue. Kessel – what can you say about the guy? He looks like he loves donuts, beer, burgers, and playing Halo with his buddy Bozak more than he loves playing hockey, yet he is an elite sniper and is always at a ppg or really close to that – don’t know what else people want from the guy. Those are really the two that get the most poop but JVR, Bozak, and Franson are three other guys who get crapped on.

    I dislike the Leafs as much as any other Habs fan but those five players? I’d take them on the Habs any day. I don’t really get why they are ridiculed… We hate the Bruins but give Bergeron and Rask their due respect. Not saying we shouldn’t chirp them but I’m always confused when someone belittles those Leaf players.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      Wearing da Weeds sweater is akin to wearing an ISIS keffiyeh. Character assassination by association.

    • Mike D says:

      Allow me to explain (rightly or wrongly)
      The Canadian media, especially here in Ontario where I reside, think the Leafs are the center of the hockey universe. Because of that, we get Leaf-crap stuffed down our throat all the time while hoping for some Habs coverage. When we do get some Habs coverage, its often biased negatively. I think Habs fans can sometimes be overly harsh in our criticisms of the Leafs, but maybe that’s our way of counter-balancing all the leaf-blowing we are subjected to.

      I don’t agree at all that Phaneuf is a good player and I honestly wouldn’t want him on my team. Not at any salary, and certainly not at the salary and term he was given on his last contract. I do agree though that Kessel is an excellent goal scorer, and that JVR, Franson, and to a slightly lesser extent Bozack, are quality players.

      Here’s the thing though, as soon as they start doing well, or some of their players go on a hot streak, they are suddenly anointed a great team and/or top echelon players, respectively. We know better of course, so it’s only natural when we poke fun at Kessel’s fitness or Dion’s buffoonery. They seem to be a franchise that just can’t ever get it all the way right, yet their fans and media would have everyone believe they are the 2nd coming.

      Oh, and they hate and chirp the Habs every chance they get, so F**K them!

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • Habitant in Surrey says:


      • The Jackal says:

        Living in TO, I know very well what you refer to, and that is what makes me find the Leafs extremely annoying. But that’s just the media and some crazy fans. Objectively speaking, I don’t get the criticism of those players – they’re basically keeping that team afloat and if anything they are the ones who are beyond reproach or in protected positions. Phaneuf is not a do-it-all D-man and won’t be in the same breath as Doughty or PK but he is a very good player who does pretty much everything except perhaps defend well. He puts up points and plays a hard-nosed game, and is not a liability in his own zone. I think he is exposed because the Leafs D is terrible and the rest of their forwards are not very good either, so he is easily left hung out to dry.

        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  52. jols says:

    Sabres and Bolts scoreless after two periods. Maybe last weekend wasn’t as big a debacle as we first thought. Sabres aren’t doing themselves any favors becoming competitive like this. They really need McDavid or Eichle(sp)?

    • The Jackal says:

      Sabres are not as terrible as they are made out to be and they are also playing for pride. They’ve been on a hot streak and are not to be taken for granted. Still, they are probably gonna be in the lottery this year, but they will upset a few teams on the way there.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • CJ says:

      Not surprising when you get goaltending like they got this past weekend.

  53. Habitant in Surrey says:

    5-3 Bulldogs vs Flames

    Bowman, empty net.

  54. Mavid ® says:

    And the Sens tie it up..that team has a horseshoe up its butt..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  55. Caesar says:

    Marky has been good so far this year but it seems like the brain is working faster than the body can handle some times. The exact opposite is happening to Chucky. Physically he can do so much more he just needs confidence and a bit of slack to get more creative.

  56. Mavid ® says:

    Huh..guess I was either too harsh..or they did not like my use of the word Sh$%..well at least is wasn’t S-C-O-T-L-A-N-D..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  57. HabinBurlington says:

    Dallas on paper is full of talent, but on paper how much CHaracter do you see with Spezza, Seguin, Cole, Hemsky?

    • monmick says:

      I was sure they would be contenders this year. I don’t even think they’re a fun team to watch…

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

      • Mike D says:

        Goaltending and D will seal their fate. Lehtonen can play very well at times but he’s not really a good goalie, and their D is too young to get the job done at this point. Just my $0.02 on the matter.

        Tons of skill up front though!

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

    • Mike D says:

      It’s amazing to me what has happened to Cole. He was hands-down the brightest spot in that awful season we had a couple years ago – exactly the type of player we needed, and by all accounts an awesome teammate to boot.

      Then the lockout occurs and he seems completely different.

      I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence, or maybe the guy was so (negatively) passionate about the labour ordeal that he wasn’t able to maintain the fire the play the way he did, but it sucks to see a guy like that not be effective anymore.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • Stevie.Ray says:

        I went and watched Colorado host Dallas last Saturday and watching Cole was the biggest surprise. He is certainly showing his age. No for check, always the last guy back, and he threw one hit all game. It was sad.

        • Mike D says:

          I absolutely agree that age is a factor, especially for a player who played the style he did and with the injuries he sustained. But I also think it’s more than just coincidence that the quality of his play depreciated since the lockout.

          Kudos to MB for recognizing that VERY early and trading him while he was still tradeable. Ryder didn’t do that much for us, but at least we got rid of Cole’s contract which would have hindered us on a more long-term basis.

          – Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

    • CJ says:

      I don’t know what the Stars see in Spezza. Sure, 20 points, but he’s now minus 10. That’s an extension of what we saw in Ottawa. I agree with the comment about character. I think Dallas has a serious deficiency.

  58. Habitant in Surrey says:

    I don’t have much free time to spend in HIO as the Kids keep Me busy. So many great reads and alternative opinions on Our Team.

    Since I have ‘downtime’ tonight I just want to give My 2 cents on ‘what I feel’ is the Habs main deficiency right now, aside from not having a Malkin as a centre, or a Crosby, Stamkos or Ovechkin.

    My grievance of what Our Habs Achilles Heal is at this time, besides Pernell Karl and an aging but still difference-maker Markov, Our defence of Weaver, Allen, Gonchar, Emelin and Gilbert are simply too slow-footed to support a fast forward group.

    Emelin is ‘a role’ D-man. A punishing hard-rock presence, so Emi, P.K. and Andrei are the only 3 D-men that I consider are long-term to Our D-core.

    Not only is it important forwards to be responsible in Their defensive zone, but as well in the offensive zone the consistent success of a forward group greatly is dependent on young mobile legs and offensive support skill from the blueliners for the offence to play to it’s potential.

    Until Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi, Magnus Nygren and Greg Pateryn are ready, and these temp-Dmen Bergevin has brought-in are long-gone, We will be bleating about a relatively low-scoring O until that happens.

    Or, until We trade DD for Malkin :)

  59. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I know the Kings owner is rich but nobody can be happy getting fined 100K for something as stupid as letting a suspended player skate with his team. What were they thinking???

  60. monmick says:

    Gomez not looking too bad. I wonder whether he’s been skating….

    ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

    • Mike D says:

      Weird, isn’t it?
      The guy seemed to not give a rat’s behind when he was getting paid 7.3mil, but now he’s putting in some effort while getting paid the league minimum (and just to get a contract in the first place).

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

  61. HabinBurlington says:

    Things I never thought I would hear from an NHL Play by Play guy.

    Phil Kessel after being hit. “Kessel turns and takes a number on Rousel who hit him”

    Just what exactly is Kessel going to do with this number he took?

  62. slapshot777 says:

    Hamilton even though they are winning tonight are being outshot 30-17 by the Flames. I know that this is not a tell tale state of how the game is played but still 30shots after two and Macdonald has to be looking at a 40+ shot count against tonight.

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

    • D Mex says:

      Any observations on Flames new head coach, Ryan Huska ?
      Typically, he was a very composed guy on the bench in the WHL, but I think he has one or two ‘ energy ‘ guys on that Adirondack team, so I’m curious about how that blends with his persona.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

      • slapshot777 says:

        There were a couple of fights in that game so far Nevins / Yonkman and the other was Dowell /Touisgnant. Both fights went well for the Dogs.

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

  63. slapshot777 says:

    Hamilton 4-2 versus the Flames after two periods. Andrighetto 1 goal and 2 assists so far tonight.

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

  64. Kfourn says:

    Watching the OTT vs NYI game, man does Tavares have skill. Not saying it would happen ever, but would anybody do a Tavares for Subban straight trade?

    “It’s sad when our rookies have no NHL experience before they jump up to the NHL.” – nunacanadien

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      Newwww !!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I have said yes to this before and still would. This is not meant to diminish PK, but rather just how great I think Tavares is. Having said all that, keeping PK is all right by me. :) There are only a few players in this league whom PK is tradeable for, Tavares to me is one of those very few. Of course our defence would be a mess then as a result….

      Edit: I am worried I have become Darren Dreger….. for this I need to apologize.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:


      • Kooch7800 says:

        I agree on that one Burly. When you are trading special for special it makes sense and I really agree that Tavares is a special player. They are starting to build a good team over there as well and Tavares is the heart and soul

        • johnnylarue says:

          It’s a fair and unemotional response.

          Personally, I don’t think I’d trade PK’s moxie for the much more reserved Tavares, even if there was an even wider gap in skill level. PK makes me like my team more.

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            We are definitely kindred spirits Johnny.

            Fun Fun Fun! vs Dour Determination and Skill.

            I will take Fun Fun Fun! EVERY time :)

    • slapshot777 says:

      We are trying to find ways to improve the defense not weaken it. Right now anything done to try and help a specific area should be done to the back end. PK is a player that other teams covet just as well as we on here covet players on other teams.

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

    • twilighthours says:

      He would be one of the few, the very few, I’d be OK with.

      I believe it’s harder to find a great D man – and more important to have a stud D – than great forward. A defenseman can control the game in more ways.

      We’re lucky that we have one who is there, or nearly there.

    • Max says:

      For that deal,I’d even drive Subban to the airport.

  65. HabFab says:

    Beaulieu doesn’t want to play in Hamilton… good boy!

    So far a goal and 3 assists in 3 games including tonight since going back down.

  66. HabinBurlington says:

    Watching Dallas vs. Toronto, I think I understand why MB wanted Gonchar instead of young kids playing Defence and running a power play. Curious if Dallas wants a do over on that move.

  67. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Not worried about the Habs offense. It will get better. Really worried about the defense. Gilbert was supposed to add 20-25 min/game stability to the right side and it hasn’t happened. The right side of the D after PK is weak. Moving Emelin to the left helped him offensively but not defensively. The Habs number one need is a solid 2nd pairing RH D-man, not another forward.

    • Just A Guy says:

      Statistically speaking Pateryn was the Bulldogs best defenceman last year, he’s big, strong and, more importantly, a righty. I was wondering how the habs were going to handle the turnover of letting 3 young D’s into the league in relative short order, now that question looms even larger with Beau and Tiny going back to the A.

      Anyway, to answer the question with another question and with the acquisition of the geriatric defencemen, are we looking at our D for the rest of the year?

  68. Habilis says:

    Loafs, Wings and Sens are all up 1-0 in their games early. Oh, and the Bolts are playing the Sabres. Awesome. This division should be renamed to Thunderdome.

    Which reminds me, I took a look at the Bolts’ upcoming schedule. Goes like this:

    @ Sabres (tonight)
    Blue Jackets
    @ Caps

    I have a sinking feeling that we (and everyone else) will be chasing them for the rest of the season after that stretch. They could very well run away with the division in the next 2 weeks.

  69. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Another assist for ‘Dogs Charles Hudon. 14 points in 12 games. 22 Total = leading AHL rookie scorer. AHL Rookie Of Month (November). 3 winning goals.

    Who would He replace if called-up ?

    • Alex_425 says:

      Not our beloved DD, THAT’S for sure!

    • CJ says:

      Interesting to note that Nygren isn’t playing tonight. Nice production from our back end in his absence with Beaulieu and Dietz both hitting the scoresheet with first period goals.

      Edit: Nygren is sick

    • Alex_425 says:

      In all seriousness, not counting who I’d WANT to have replaced, only the logical choice, it’d have to be the spot Tangradi is currently occupying.

      • Frozen Village says:

        It’s the Pacioretty thing that he is notoriously correct about though right ?
        How does a player cut his teeth and prove and project in a role that he is not being groomed for. I see Hudon steeping in for someone in the top 9 should an injury occur. DLR I think is more maliable to the 4th, and then move up.

        Bergevin has turned a glaring weakness (depth at forward) to a talking point in which you’ve started guys.

        More Swedes for the Lions in Winter

    • CJ says:

      Dogs up 3-0. Andrighetto just scored on the PP.

      • jols says:

        His 3rd point of the night.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        Thomas makes it 4-0.

        Last year I watched the Flames (in Abbotsford) demolish the ‘Dogs 6-0, completely embarrassing Tokarski and a very unimaginatively coached (Lefevre) Team.

        Life, like hockey teams, never stand still.

        Unless You are the Edmonton Oilers.

        • CJ says:

          Things are starting to click. I don’t mean tonight, although it certainly does apply. Looking at the defence, it’s absolutely stacked by AHL standards. There could be as many as five future NHLers in the lineup on defence. Up front, there’s balance. They are tough, skilled and young.

          The record isn’t there yet, but everything else is pointing toward a breakthrough.

  70. CJ says:

    Good evening. Back home from the boy’s swimming lessons and wanted to expand upon a comment that I believe Mike hinted at below – the other Jordan.

    It has been reported that Peter Karmonas (sp) is shopping the Hurricanes. New ownership might be interested in clearing cap space. In an interview prior to the Canucks game last month, Eric Staal indicated that he wanted to stay, but new ownership might decide otherwise. Although there are lots of moving parts to this theory, I wonder if it could mean both Eric and Jordan Staal end up in play? Carolina, if they haven’t already, are very close to declaring themselves a lottery team. Jordan has yet to play a game, but is reported to have gotten out of his walking boot November 30.

    If there does in fact end up being a housecleaning, would the Canadiens look to Jordan Staal on a long term deal, or Eric as a short term solution?

    • Frozen Village says:

      A 2016 centre ice proposal of Galchenyuk, Staal,Eller, & Gregoire would not be soft.

      Staal’s 6 m till he is 34 isn’t bad either depending on what oil does.

      More Swedes for the Lions in Winter

      • CJ says:

        It’s interesting in that both brothers might be in play and both provide very different options regarding contracts. Short term with a higher cap hit in Eric, and a long term, mid range cap hit with Jordan. At $6 million you’d want him to be the heir replacement for Pleks when his deal expires following next season. That’s too much money for the third line IMO.

        • Frozen Village says:

          Agreed. It’s interesting, Eric, is truly and still a superstar for probably this and 3 more years, his deal is up after next, a bit of a pickle, considering what you would need to give up & forecast

          More Swedes for the Lions in Winter

  71. SteverenO says:

    It seems like everyone os down on poor old David Desharnais,
    People want him traded, or demoted to the 4th line, etc, but looking at the numbers he is actually helping the team , and is contributing MORE than his share, AT EVEN STRENGTH.

    When DD is on the ice the team has scored a goal , on average every 19 minutes. The only player with a better average is Pacioretty, every 17 minutes. If you consider that DD has been OUTSTANDING defensively having only been on for 10 goals allowed on almost 390 minutes of even strength play, there is little reason to complain about this players effectiveness. (at even strength)
    Compare DD to the other centers on theteam:

    player MPGF MPGA Minutes per goal For/Allowed

    DD 19 MPGF 39 MPGA
    Plek 23 MPGA 26 MPGA
    Eller 25 MPGF 18 MPGA
    MM 114 MPGF 46 MPGA

    So DD is almost equal to MM , defensively, while better than everyone offensively. If Therrien could just keep him off the PP, DD would be a great asset to this, or any other team.

    Its Malhotra we should be squawking about,. It does not matter how good he is defensively, if the team (almost) never scores while he is on the ice.

    DD is a great team player , and does everything he can to make his linemates more productive. while being very aware defensively.

    Yes he needs to bury his chances more often, but as long as the team scores two goals for every goal allowed while he is on the ice, it is unfair to call him a “weak link”. (with all due respect to Timo)

    DD cannot be blamed for getting so much PP time, that is the coach”s decision……… and it make no sense, no sense at all.


    Steve O.

    • CJ says:

      Eller played with Bourque for what, 12 games, or almost 50% of the season? That’s enough to greatly impact this statistic IMO.

      I haven’t seen anyone suggesting DD move to the fourth line, but I do think he, Prust and PAP could create match up issues for our opposition on the third line.

    • habcertain says:

      Since he has not scored even strength in 48 games, and plays exclusively with Max…. Well you can draw your own conclusion

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      DD hasn´t scored 5 vs. 5 in nearly 50 games. The stats you mention have a lot to do with the fact that he constantly plays with our best winger while getting a lot of o-zone stats. He´s been outstanding defensively? What a joke.

      He´s a nice guy, he´s a decent playmaker and he tries hard. Everthing else about DD is just underwhelming. Therrien´s usage of DD is holding this team back and everyone knows it. Some just don´t want to admit it yet.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      With all due respect, it would be interesting to watch an entire game or sample of games with you, have zero stats available and discuss what you saw when you watched a game.

      Are people including myself piling on DD right now? Yah, and I will include myself, but I just don’t see this tremendous advantage at present which stats say DD is providing. There are 5 players on the ice for each team 5 on 5 and sometimes 2 or 3 or 4 of them can impact completely the result of the play regardless of one of the members.

      I probably don’t look at stats which you present nearly as closely as you do, actually I know i don’t. But I also know what I see with my eyes when I watch a game.

      DD can be effective, he presently is not. My eyes tell me that, and if I am being truthful I don’t give a rats ass what any stats tell me, whether supportive or against what I see.

    • twilighthours says:

      You’ve really got to start including more context with these numbers, Steve. Until you broaden the analysis to include quality of teammates, quality of competition, and deployment, you’re really not providing much.

      Not trying to be harsh. Just something for you to think about.

    • Phil C says:

      For a stats like goals scored while on the ice, you would have to compare players in the same situation. So play DD for 10 games on the 1st line, then play Eller on the first line and note if there is any statistical difference. Of course this is almost impossible. These stats make it difficult-to-impossible to attribute the performance to one player. Based on DD’s personal production, I would conclude that he is benefiting from having good linemates and playing in good situations more than being the cause of the good results. Edmonton are finding out the hard way with Pouliot that looking at individual stats like corsi without the context of the team he is playing on and his linemates has very little predictive value.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      * Excellent!!

  72. frontenac1 says:

    Yakaputz? Pass.

  73. lizard ranger says:

    Anze Kopitar

    Not exactly lighting it up so far this season (less points than DD.) So I takes me a little a look at a kings blog…. and they’re stealing all our material.

    Kings fans talking points

    – terrible first periods
    – too much line juggling, not enough geling
    – not enough line juggling, player A obvoiusly has no chemistry with player B
    – let’s pick the best pieces from the carcass that is the Oilers
    – Kopitar = bag of pucks


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