Tokarski will start for Habs again in Game 3 vs. Rangers (with practice video)

The Canadiens practised Wednesday morning in Brossard before heading to New York for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference final against the Rangers Thursday night (8 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

After practice, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said that Dustin Tokarski would get his second straight start in goal for Game 3. Tokarski stopped 27 of 30 shots in Game 2, which the Canadiens lost 3-1, after getting the start ahead of Peter Budaj after Carey Price went down with a knee injury in Game 1.

“It goes without saying that Carey is disappointed,” Therrien told reporters in Brossard, with Price sidelined for the rest of the series. “He wanted to be there for his teammates. But there’s nothing we can do.”

The coach added: “We’re in the Eastern Conference Final. It took everyone’s contributions to get here. That’s important to me.”

Price did make the trip to New York with his teammates.

Therrien mixed up his lines at practice Wednesday, putting Alex Galchenyuk with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta, while Thomas Vanek was with Brandon Prust and Daniel Briere with Michael Bournival rotating in on that line.

Vanek had only one shot on goal in the first two games against the Rangers and is minus-3 for the series.

“He’s a veteran, he doesn’t need (a pep talk),” Max Pacioretty told reporters after practice. “He’s contributed to this team’s success in the playoffs, he knows it. We all talk, behind closed doors we’re all having a good time, we all want to help this team win, we all like where we stand now with the team. He’s  going to be fine. It seems like there’s always got to be a story when you lose, that’s the story right now. He’s a tremendous player who has helped us a lot in these playoffs and he’ll continue to do that.”

Added captain Brian Gionta about the line changes: “Every day you come here and you’re not sure. It may be different tomorrow. Who knows? It’s just how things work. Obviously, we lost the first two games. We’ve got to do something different. But at the same time we had a pretty good game in Game 2. We’ve just got to find ways to get more goals and get to them a little more offensively.”

You can listen to audio of Therrien’s post-practice press conference by clicking here.

In New York on Wednesday, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault was asked how his first NHL coaching job with the Canadiens shaped the rest of his coaching career.

“Well,  that  could be a really long answer,” Vigneault said. “I’ll give  you  the Reader’s Digest version of it.  Montreal is a great place to coach.  It’s one of the original six teams, as a coach you have to make sure your team is ready, you’re ready.  So  I  think it brings out the best in people.  As we all know, a lot of  the  attention  in Canadian markets on a 24/7 basis is on your team, so it’s a good place to coach and a good place to play.”

Vigneault added that his team should get a boost from the Madison Square Garden crowd in Game 3.

“Well, having fan support is obviously huge at this time of the year,” he said. “Unconditional  love,  it’s  something  that’s really beneficial to a team.  I mean, it’s so demanding on the ice.  They could really help you energy-wise.  It’s a fun time.  I’m sure it’s fun for them, and it’s definitely fun for us.”

This week’s HI/O Show will be available later this afternoon with Jacques Demers – the last coach to win a Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1993 – and Chris Nilan – who was part of the Habs’ 1986 Cup team – joining Gazette sports editor/host Stu Cowan to discuss the Habs-Rangers series.

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at practice:

Gallagher–Desharnais–Pacioretty
Gionta–Plekanec–Galchenyuk
Weise –Eller–Bourque
Prust–Briere–Vanek–Bournival
Moen-White-Parros

Weaver–Beaulieu
Subban–Gorges
Markov–Emelin
Murray-Tinordi

(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)

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

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

Rangers winning key matchups vs. Habs, by Jack Todd for The Gazette

Canadiens could sit Vanek for Game 3, NHL.com

Playoff notebook, canadiens.com

Post-practice interviews (video), canadiens.com

Habs need a few breaks, by Pat Hickey

Cheering for the Habs can be exhausting, by The Gazette’s Peggy Curran

Habs see 2-0 hole as another rallying point, NHL.com

Postseason struggles continue for Vanek, NHL.com

Does Vanek have a sprained Minnesota or a broken Wild? Stu on Sports blog

Briere living out fantasy in twilight of his career, New York Times

Lost opportunity for rookie Tokarski, New York Times

New pads working well for Lundqvist, Stu on Sports blog

Bull market, canadiens.com

Nash resurgence good sign for Rangers, NHL.com

Richards, St. Louis lend Cup know-how to Rangers, NHL.com

Nash picks the right time for a reawakening, New York Post

Ranger Rick is on a roll, New York Daily News

Rangers’ Kreider could have been a Hab, Stu on Sports blog

194 Comments

  1. LMHabs says:

    I look at the line sheet and see that Thomas Plekanek is a whopping Minus – 7 !! That is brutal.

    lam

  2. rogieshan says:

    Frankly, it’s Gionta who should be dropped to the fourth line. Eller and Bourque have been playing like top-six forwards, cycling and winning some puck battles, but they’ve been hamstrung by the captain’s weak game since the Tampa series.

  3. habstrinifan says:

    @Bripro.

    Yep.. you are right I jumped the gun (although I think the dispsy doodle guy edited while I was typing). Anyways I am grasping for anything to get really really mad at the Rangers… so I am ‘pretending’ Vigneault is a ‘prick’.

    Which I think he is kinda…

  4. frontenac1 says:

    Party moved next door amigos. No free booze and I already got tossed.

    • BriPro says:

      That’s because you’re not allowed to go in with a big stogie in your hand.
      That only happens in Chats!
      Cheers amigo!

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

      – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

  5. 100HABS says:

    Vanek – Eller – Bourque

  6. Ncognito says:

    Here’s your winning line-up.

    Maxpac-DD-Vanek
    Galchenyuk-Plekanec–Gionta
    Bourque-Eller-Gallagher
    Bournival-Briere-Weise

    Subban/Markov 30 mins
    Weaver/Bealieu 18 mins
    Jorges/Emelin 12 mins

  7. montreal ace says:

    Tomorrow will be the first game, I emotionally get involved against the Rangers. I know its wrong but I’m still elated that we beat Boston, I am however starting to realize that NY Rangers are a bunch of scum bags also, they just wear different colours

  8. Habshire says:

    At the Olympics when Slovakia lost faith in Halak they bypassed Budaj in favour of Laco so for him it’s déjà vu all over again.

  9. Danno says:

    Step into the time machine…

    Habs vs Rangers playoff action – 1932

    ________________________________________

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

  10. montreal ace says:

    It’s going to be interesting seeing what kind of mettle, some of our players have when the chips are down. The fear of losing, can sometimes generate quite a bit of energy, especially in Montreal where some people never get over a bad series, and can hold it against a player forever

  11. alfieturcotte says:

    The problem with Budaj and management’s decision to make him the back up is that it was centered on Price. Make Price the clear cut n#1, no challenges to him as n#1, get a good team guy as back up.

    The risk with this approach was apparent last year vs Sens in the playoffs, this season after the Olympics, and of course now. MT has such little faith in Budaj that he is prepared to go with an untested, short, and minor league goalie over him.

    I blame Bergevin for not having a true back up. I certainly hope that whoever we sign for 2015 is a solid and viable n#2.

  12. Steeltown Hab says:

    Notes:

    – Should’ve went with Budaj, don’t think this move killed us though
    – Can’t understand in what universe Prust over Bournival makes sense
    – Pacioretty isn’t playing well, he’s contributed, same way Vanek has, both haven’t played well. (Both have 8 pts as well).
    – Desharnais is doing his best, which is great but Eller Plekanec get lines going DD needs Gallagher which hurts.
    – EGG line. Boun – Plek – Vanek. Figure out the rest

    ———————————

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

    • Cal says:

      Habs in the semis. Down 2, but doing fine. EGG line didn’t work. Eller with Bourque and Gionta doing ok. Sit Gionta for Bournival.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Sit Gionta??

        How did EGG not work?

        ———————————

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

        • Cal says:

          Gionta has been failing big time on the back check, letting his man in for scoring chance after scoring chance. After the first 5 games, the EGG line dried up like sand.
          Let you in on something: the Habs coaching staff has done a damned good job this season, even if the fan base thinks they’re smarter.

  13. punkster says:

    Does anyone else find the negative attitudes and doom and gloom predictions here eerily similar to those we read before games 6 and 7 against the br00nz?

    And pretty well from the same small group of people.

    Go figure.

    Release the Subbang!!!

  14. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Thomas Vanek on the 4th? He deserves it!

  15. Danno says:

    I beg to differ with Max Pacioretty’s assessment.

    Maybe Vanek could use a little pep talk.

    ________________________________________

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

  16. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    Why don’t the Habs have one of these for Carey to live in.

  17. alfieturcotte says:

    Terrible line combinations by MT. I would have opted for the following:

    Pacioretty / DD / Vanek
    Galchenyuk / Eller / Gallagher
    Bourque / Pleks / Bournival
    Weise or White / Briere / Gionta

    I would also seriously consider Dubnyk. You cannot teach size – Dubnyk at a minimum takes up considerable room at 6″6…..

    • habsfan0 says:

      MT’s line combinations can be somewhat puzzling.

    • Lafrich says:

      Although I normally don’t agree with AlfieTurcotte, added to the fact that line combinations are rarely what makes the difference in a game , I do agree that Eller and the two Gallys would be a good line right now.

      • alfieturcotte says:

        Had it not been for that incredible pic of the Flower, I would have taken offense to your comments. Hard to be upset w/a guy who at a minimum, demonstrates good taste.

  18. montreal ace says:

    Mayer a goaltender with the Bulldogs contract has been terminated, one contract offer has just opened

  19. Steeltown Hab says:

    Why the f does Prust still have a roster spot, just embarassing.

    ———————————

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

    • Strummer says:

      Game 7 against the Bruins earned him a roster spot.

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

      • alfieturcotte says:

        Only room for one of Prust or Weise. Bournival’s speed and tenacity are more useful.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Game 7 was his only game where he wasn’t awful. His best is still significantly below Bournivals average game.

        ———————————

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

  20. habsfan0 says:

    If Habs win Game 3,they’ll win the series.
    If they drop it,they’ll be in more trouble than Pauline Marois on election night.

  21. SnowManHabs85 says:

    If you see how much Budaj talks to players on 24CH, he helps the team by giving advices to team and tells what he sees. Budaj knows the backup duty well while being on the bench and I think this is why MT decided to keep Budaj in the bench with the players.

  22. habs001 says:

    The Habs will need offensive support from the D …Markov and Emelin have to raise their game…Posters forget that the Bruins had many scoring chances and Price made some great saves but he also stopped shots and chances purely because of his size…The Rangers will be fired up for this game and they will generate a lot of scoring chances..the question is can the goaltending stand up to it…

  23. Danno says:

    What is the nature of Price’s injury?

    I’m hearing two stories. One is it’s his right knee. The other is a groin injury.

    ________________________________________

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

    • habsfan0 says:

      One rumour is that it’s a fractured patella(kneecap).
      If that’s true, that would have long term implications.

      • CH Marshall says:

        Man. Just proves that random sh#t happens to all of us when you least expect it. Hope we’ll win a Cup with Carey one day

        • theflukester says:

          Random, that’s a good way of looking at it. Guaranteed it was anything but random. Multiple felon here. It was intentional all the way and we are lucky his injury is not worse, given what we know. I’m sure it’s more a groin injury. If he actually damaged his kneecap, I doubt he would have stayed in net. It looked like he twisted his ankle on the goalpost as well, we’re lucky he didn’t break it.

          Play every game as if it is your last one. Guy Lafleur

          • CH Marshall says:

            I know. I say random because I can’t bring myself to admit that our phenom goalie was taken out by such a dirty hit

      • Danno says:

        This is so wrong.

        Wrong! WRONG!! WRONG!!!

        ________________________________________

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

  24. CHicoHab says:

    Get ready for the PK show on Broadway!! Have a feeling this will be his best game of these playoffs.

  25. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If MT is going to piss off veterans like Budaj, then put Bournival back in. We need that speed and fore-check ability. I would even take out Prust as he is useless so far. The Rangers don’t want to engage with him and he is too slow to play them. All he does is take dumb penalties anyways. Put Vanek back with DD_Max and the reunite the kid line. Go for broke…you have already with Tokarski in the net.

    • adamkennelly says:

      I agree. I take out Briere and Prust and put in White and Bournival. Our 4th line is completely ineffective because Prust and Briere are too slow – there won’t be any rough stuff and if there is White can take care of it. with some help from ?????? ok – maybe not.

      I do it anyways.

    • habcertain says:

      I like that also DDO

    • JUST ME says:

      I wonder if there isn`t an untold injury in Budaj`s case cause i cannot explain that decision. O.k. it`s not the first time and most time we have been tought a lesson but even if we admit that Budaj had his share of difficulties still it`s not as if he had the plague ! He came through for us in the recent months .

    • habsfan0 says:

      Putting in a rookie like Torsky does appear to be going against the grain as far as MT is concerned.
      I suspect MB had a great deal of say in this.

  26. Dru says:

    Vanek: lookin’ California, but feelin’ Minnesota.

  27. Walmyr says:

    IMO a line with Briere and Vanek is not a fourth line. Add Weise to that line and you have an interesting mix. Put Bournival/Prust with Plekanec and Gionta (what we like to call shutdown line). Galchenyuk-Eller-Bourque and Mak Pac-DD-Gallagher.

    (Ok, as you know I am not the coach. I’m only a habs fan who always believe to know what is the best for his beloved Canadiens and I believe the easiest way to do that is generating line combos.)

    CHeers

    EDIT: BTW I support every choice that Therrien will make until the end of the playoffs…

  28. bjmmn says:

    For whatever it’s worth, Boston’s mayor held his end of the bargain up…

    pic.twitter.com/F4PhUCB0sV

  29. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I still don’t understand not playing Budaj last game. He won a lot of key games for the Habs during the season. Even though I like Tokarski better, Budaj deserved a shot. Now, he might as well just go home.

  30. Timo says:

    Tokarski, Budaj… doesn’t matter. The team stinks and a) can’t score b) can’t defend c) doesn’t have leadership

    • Cal says:

      Looks to me like 26 other teams out there are a lot worse then.
      Much better than last season.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      “The team stinks”…c’mon man that’s harsh. They beat the f’n Bruins so they have improved. One thing for sure: a great goalie can hide a lot of flaws. The leadership question is a fair one as they hung out Price to dry in the first game and gave the Rangers the opportunity to take him out. They should have been ready…no excuse.

      • Timo says:

        That’s my point. They were ok last week when playing the Bruins. But now, as of Wed, May 21 they stink. All of a sudden every aspect of their game is falling apart.

        • JUST ME says:

          So,they stink,can’t score and can’t defend. No reason to continue coming here ah. Your Calgary Flames must sound tempting now don`t they ? Try it and come back in 10 years to tell us how it went !

        • Just a Habs Fan says:

          Hey Timo…yoju are right but don’t forget they may turn it around any day now……then they won’t stink…but wait they will again eventually…Timo is always right.

          • MontrealAtheist says:

            Well, Timo is probably the first one to abandon ship when the going gets tough … I can still remember his speech after game 5 in the Boston series (or was it game 4) how the meltdown towards the end of game 2 was the “turning point” of the series. Well, turns out he was dead wrong about that.

            I can’t say I’m too pleased either with the way things are going right now, but god damn it, we’re still very much alive in this series and there are 26 teams out there who would jump at the opportunity of coming back from their golf course and taking our place in order to have a shot at making it to the Stanley Cup finals.

            We owe it to Lord Stanley to do our very best to bring his Cup back to Canada. If not us, who will?

      • The Jackal says:

        Leadership question is a fair one? What team have you been watching?
        The torch has been passed this playoffs to Subban, Patch, and Price and it’s a great coming of age. Win or lose, this team has taken a huge step forward. But of course, that’s not apparent because f— reason and logic.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Tomi says:

      You got it right there, my brother!

      Is Michael Therrien still the coach of this team?

    • frontenac1 says:

      So,they stink,can’t score and can’t defend. No reason for you to be negative. Look at the bright side amigo! Habs in 6. Saludos!

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

    Vanek’s last 9 games: 11 shots on goal, with 6 misses and 8 blocked.

    That’s only 2.7 shot attempts per game since the beginning of the Boston series! And two of those shots on goal were tip-in goals against Boston. It’s like he’s decided not to shoot the puck.

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

  32. habs001 says:

    Bournival put up some points in the beginning of the season but he got those points on most of his chances…Is his role going forward to be a shut down defensive forward?…He does not generate too much offense and does not look like a finisher when he gets a scoring chance…

    • 123456 says:

      I think it hurt vanek to have bourny on his line – just not ready yet.

      But I do see Bourny as a solid NHL player – just not top 6 scorer yet

  33. Say Ash says:

    Prust–Briere–Vanek

    Gotta be the most expensive fourth line of all time!

    • 123456 says:

      I like the line – briere and vanek have both put up decent numbers considering playing time (and I like bourny but he’s not exactly the feeder or finisher you want to play with vanek).

      If the rags don’t match up well I can see this line doing some damage. Plus you have to consider last change for the rangers – VBP line will not be up again the shut down defense

    • Kooch7800 says:

      That is hilarious. I had never thought about that but it is true

  34. PrimeTime says:

    The computer screen coaches disagree with MT who not is only exponentially more qualified than a common fan, but has consulted with a qualified staff, used their combined intelligence breaking down previous game tapes, and applied his knowledge of his own team and players, injuries et al, to ice the lines what he believes is the best way to start game 3. But fans want to bench Vanek because he is useless?? Because he won’t sign next year?? Or because fans love to knock stars off a podium when they underperform. Sure glad MT looks at the team as a whole and does not consider personal feelings. The lines may or might not work but at least he knows he is accountable to ice the best chance of winning.

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

    • The Jackal says:

      Vanek has been “disappointing” so far but again, people like to shit on players for whatever reason. I’ll go with what Max on the subject.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  35. careysubban3176 says:

    Trade Budaj for another player like Parros for next year or a low end pick put he so inconsistent you can’t trust them.

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

  36. 123456 says:

    Anyone know who is tied for 4th with Patches in Canadiens scoring thus far in the playoff???????????????

  37. HUDSONHAB says:

    I’ve seen Vanek put in “Gallagher” effort.
    I’ve seen him try things on the ice that look like he is just trying to outsmart guys and it looks like he’s not trying.
    This is different. He looks like he can’t be bothered to put in the effort. You don’t score on every attempt or even on every excellent chance but you have to try to put yourself in that position again and again.
    Is Vanek really trying harder and harder to succeed? Ummm….

    • habcertain says:

      I think it is ridiculous to say he isn’t trying, no reason on earth not to, he is a step away from a cup series, it is one thing to say he is not getting the desired results, but not trying, please.

  38. HabinBurlington says:

    Anybody have any thoughts on Vanek?

  39. PeterD says:

    Either put Vanek with DD and Max or put him in the press box and bring in Bournival.

    After what I’m seeing so far I’d let him watch from the press box.

    He is playing heartless and gutless…if he can’t find the passion to at least compete at this point in thd seadon then we don’t want him…not the kind of character guy MB wants to build this team with.

    • SPATS says:

      Solid post (something Vanek hasn’t rung in a while)

    • Strummer says:

      That’s cutting off your nose to spite your face.
      He’s one of the top 2 offensively skilled forwards along with Patch. Gotta break out sooner or later. Hopefully sooner.

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

  40. The Teacher says:

    vanek has vanished. Don’t say he is fine.

    • ont fan says:

      He’s a UFA. He’s doing what he does. Disappears for some games and reappears again. It’s maddening. There are these guys all over the place but when they play for your team, well we’ve seen it before. We need goals. 4th line would be useless. You live and die with him up top and reevaluate later.

  41. habcertain says:

    OK, is Therrien just throwing darts on a board to determine line combos, I mean really, at the very least go back to the best line you had all season, Vanek/Max/DD.

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

      Therrien won’t have the last line change for the next two games. Having one really good line plus three average ones will just make the team easier to defend against. His problem isn’t getting one line going, it’s getting more than one line going to spread out their best checkers.

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

      • habcertain says:

        we will need to get the puck past Henrik to win, why not put your best foot forward in that regard, no one seems to think Vanek is doing anything, he is not a checker.

  42. knob says:

    Vanek to the fourth line eh. I would still like to see him play with Bourque and Eller. At least that way we don’t have to worry about wrist shots from the boards (Gionta) that kill the cycle game that Eller and Bourque have been successful with.

    I think that a Bourque-Eller-Vanek line would give the Habs some good secondary scoring. Also, I might consider putting Weise with DD and Max. Plekanec with Galchenyuk and Gallagher. Briere with Gionta and Bournival.

    I think that 4 offensive lines would really but the Rags on their heels and take their defence out of the Rags offensive game. With that said it is also possible that we get blown out lol.

  43. Good Habits says:

    There’s no way Vanek is not trying. The game is either too fast for him or he’s hurt but I don’t agree that he’s mailing it in.

    Big guys always look sluggish when they aren’t gelling.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Lotsa guys are hurt amigo. Doesn’t stop them from trying. Vanek is floating.

      • Good Habits says:

        I get it. CP tried to play through game 1 hurt and look what happened.

        I can’t believe that he just turned it off. What would his reason be to float?

        It’s so frustrating for us all to watch.

      • 123456 says:

        vanek is know as a bit of a floater – it’s not like MB didn’t know that when he pulled the trigger ion the deal to get him. near the end of the season no one complained when he was on the top line and they were dominating shift after shift.

        i’m still hopeful he will break out just as nash has for the rangers – better yet I want more of a break out. vanek has immense talent.

        mr positivity says if the habs win game 3 there will be a ton of pressure on NY for the next game – let hope it comes to that.

        GO HABS GO

    • Frank2468 says:

      According to MT Vanek isn’t hurt well that’s what he is saying. Putting him on the 4th line gets him away from the Rags top line and top D paring. Maybe it will help who know? I guess Budaj is done in Montreal cause MT goes again with Dustin. Guess Dustin is the new backup next year for Price. You have to admit it is a slap in the face to Budaj whether you like him or not or think he can get to job done or not.

      • habcertain says:

        you have to think that Price is done for the year, and hoping Toker would be the magic man against LA/CHI, but I agree Budaj played well for us and deserved the start in game 2, at the very least.

      • 123456 says:

        it’s no slap in the face – coach thinks toker gives them a better chance to win. I like budd-ahhh a lot – he might just be the best back-up in the league but sometimes a coach has to play a hunch.

        plus he did not have a great year and has horrific post season numbers over his career.

      • Cal says:

        Why is it a slap in the face? Hockey players are passed over and traded or demoted all the time. Budaj is lucky to be a backup here in Montreal where everybody knows his name.
        CHeers!

  44. frontenac1 says:

    Vanek. What’s it going to take to get his skinny arse in gear and give a sh#t? This is the NHL playoffs for chriss#kes! 2 PP goals and 1 empty netter. Whoop de Do! He has cost us a few games with his brain dead floating. Prust should bitch slap him in the room today. If that doesn’t work, Scratch him and put Whitey in. Saludos!

  45. HelluHabbies says:

    Things are not looking good folks. Lunqvist is playing out of his mind. Even with Price (“The greatest goalie in the world” lol) I’d still give the edge to the Rangers. Habs were able to outskate the Bruins, but can’t do so against this incarnation of the Rags. St Louis has finally found his groove and Nash is doing his job of putting the puck in the back of the net.

    I don’t think most observers think the Kreider incident had intent. Just a hockey play gone bad. Obviously, most would be crying foul if it were their #1 goalie getting injured, but all hockey fans are biased toward their team. (fan=fanatic).

    I am surprised they’d throw a kid in there, regardless of his non-NHL success. Budaj must not have much playoff experience.

    Rangers learned a lot from the Bruins-Habs series. Particularly that if you take away Subban on the PP it becomes mostly ineffective. Also, to attack him with speed and numbers in 5-5 play.

    I wonder what Subban will demand as far as salary in his next contract?

    • SPATS says:

      Budaj’s playoff stats have been well covered here in other posts, what has not been mentioned often is: Other than playing 20 minutes on Saturday and giving up 3 on 8 shots, Budaj hadn’t played in something like 45 days (I mention this because so much was made of Toker not playing for 30 days)

      I also believe that if Price was day to day, Budaj would have gotten the start. Knowing Price is out for at least 2 weeks definitely factored into the equation and Budaj has only played once a week at most for many years now and would not be up to that task, and then there was his miserable Olympics in relief of Halak where they were both passed over for a 3rd string KHL’r.

      My bigger concern is the extent of Prices injury and if surgery will be required. A goalie needs his knees more than any other position and if it is a worst case scenario (surgery) how long will the reHab be and will he be the same or better??? As previously stated, it reminds me of Tiger Woods
      A great golfer needs his back
      A great goalie needs his knees

      Will Tiger ever be what he was physically? We know he and Carey have mental toughness, but that’s not enough.

      Therefore, Toker is our best shot at getting a Cup now that Carey has brought us this far.

      We may not get this close again for a while without a healthy CP.

      Then there is the possibility of the best case scenario:

      Toker gets us past the Rags and CP takes us to the Cup. Toker then becomes great trade bait for a solid young power forward to keep us among the elite for many years to come. ,

      I hope for the best and prepare for much less

      OOH AHH TOKERS ON THE WARPATH

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    So there won’t be a royal wedding between Golfer and Tennis star afterall.

    http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/10963160/rory-mcilroy-calls-engagement-caroline-wozniacki

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    I may come across as Anti-Stat, I’m not. I’d like to think of myself as part old school and part sometimes smart enough to understand stats.

    Anyways, Steve Simmons (one of the worst sports journalists in the GTA) has been doing his best to shred the Analytic folks for some time, well one of the them decided to put a full article together shredding him back.

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=7065

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Simmons original column which Dellow is responding to is here:

      http://www.torontosun.com/2014/05/20/why-hockeys-trendy-advanced-stats-are-a-numbers-game

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I don’t mind Steve Simmons, he’s okay, just okay, in the words of Randy Carlyle, but Tyler Dellow’s stuff is great.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          There are times Simmons does do a good job, no doubt, and he isn’t intimidated by strong personalities (Burke, Carlyle etc), but he tends to over sensationalize so often I think.

          I do like what little I have read of Tyler Dellow, and will try remember to check his site more often.

          Have a great day Norm!

          CHeers

      • Cal says:

        Simmons sums it up like this:
        “Why hockey doesn’t lend itself to statistical analysis the way other sports do:

        There is no statistic to accurately quantify neutral-zone play.

        There is no statistic that tell you which wingers gets the puck off the boards and out of their zone and which wingers do not.

        There is no statistic that defines vision and creativity: That is pure subjectivity.

        There is no statistic that measures play without the puck, a most important factor in most games.

        There is no statistic, outside of individual team stats, that measures scoring chances which, again, is a subjective stat.

        There is no statistic that separates a good dump-in from a bad dump-in. There is a difference, just as there is for a good line change and a bad one.

        There is no statistic that indicates individual ability to win loose puck battles, especially in close games or the last minutes of periods or late in shifts.”

        Until the off-ice officials have some sort of standard, the use of your eyes to gauge a player will remain more important than some gently massaged numbers.
        One other thing: when I hear the Corsi numbers were hijacked from a goalie-oriented stat to that of the shooter, the books were suddenly being cooked and it was no longer used for its original purpose. Therefore, it renders those numbers as useless as tits on a bull, so to speak.

  48. FlyAngler says:

    Sorry, but I don’t like Chucky with Gio and Pleks- he will die on the vine with those 2 right now as neither is contributing much of anything on the attack. It would make a lot more sense to put Weise on that line and skate Chucky with Eller and Bourque.

    “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

    • BriPro says:

      Maybe that’s MT’s reasoning.
      Try and get both Pleks and Gio going.
      Besides, for all of the times that we’ve questioned what the coach is doing, he has a very high success rate in his attempts.

      So I won’t question it, unless of course it fails miserably.

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

      – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Great new Avatar Brian, your grandson is really growing up, CHeers bud!

        • BriPro says:

          Thanks Gerry.
          Yeah, he’s pretty great. But with that comes a personality.

          Cheers right back at ya!

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

          – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

      • habcertain says:

        how can Chucky get anyone going when he himself is barely in gear, Briere seemed to have played the best with the 2 of them and the stats back it up, but oh yeah, we are not looking at stats, forgot, sorry.

  49. habsfan0 says:

    MT seems to be adamant on not reuniting the Vanek Desharnais Pacioretty line.

  50. SPATS says:

    Happy for Toker
    Happy for Weise (bumped ahead of Vanek)
    Hope we’ve seen the last of Vanek, no room for passengers at this late point.

    He must be really missing his family and thinking about his future while spending a lot of time alone at the hotel where he only has Dream Weaver to keep him company.

    He is not cut out for the Mtl spotlight, where a guy like Weise shines!

    When told there is no I in team, Vanek would reply:
    Maybe no I, but there’s an M & an E

    • HabinBurlington says:

      He and his wife are dreaming about spending time at The Mall of America in Minneapolis, the cultural center of the Twin Cities.

      • habsfan0 says:

        I can’t believe Vanek is mailing it in.
        He’ll cost himself millions if he’s perceived as a quitter.

        • Cal says:

          I am suspecting an injury. There’s millions of reasons for him not to dog it.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I mentioned that to a buddy of mine last night after our baseball game. His response will probably end up being right. He said, by the time UFA period opens up, all the GM’s will see is that he is the top talent player available and they will convince themselves that on their team he will be great, thus he will still get the big bucks.

          I guess time will tell, but something seems amiss about the guy. Perhaps he is injured, or he is just one of those guys who can really play when he wants to, and he just doesn’t always seem to want to.

          • BriPro says:

            Stephane Richer used to peeve me off like that.
            A boatload of talent, with a “Meh” attitude.

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

            – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

  51. DipsyDoodler says:

    When Alain Vignault was asked about the Kreider on Price incident he said:

    “I feel terrible. Not only for Canadiens’ fans and for Carey himself, who was having a career year, but because it would have been a great duel between two top goaltenders. This is really unfortunate for all hockey fans.”

    Actually, I’m joking, he didn’t say that.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • SPATS says:

      He would have were he still in Vancouver

    • habstrinifan says:

      WOW… ” it would have been a great duel between two top goaltenders.”

      Someone sure sounds as if he thinks this is all over. I would be putting this on the board tonite if I were HABS. Maybe it will galvanize a movement to win one for the TOKER.

      • BriPro says:

        Trini….
        I don’t think you read the end of Dipsy’s post.
        Time for a re-read.

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

        – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

  52. yukonhab says:

    Go Tokar Go!

    Price 31

  53. dsturge10 says:

    Assumming Budaj will be dealt over the summer? I think he’s still under contract for
    next season.

    “We don’t feel the pressure. We apply the pressure.” – Michel Therrien

    • D Mex says:

      Believe he has a year to go at 1.4M – chemistry with Price is good.
      Should be interesting to see how this develops.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • shiram says:

      I don’t see it that way, Budaj’s still got a year, and Tokarski will be on a 2-way deal next season.
      I don’t see much market for Budaj, and Tokarski will get a lot more playing time in Hamilton.

    • I think you’re probably right — if Budaj isn’t trusted in big games, I can’t see how it’s good for the team or for him to stick around in September. As much as I like the guy, barring a goaltending switch and some playoff heroics I think he’s headed elsewhere.

      Tokarski’s cap hit is a smidge lower as well, and he doesn’t have much more to learn in Hamilton.

      Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

      • Habs4LifeInTO says:

        Don’t forget that Fleury was held out in last year’s playoffs in favour of Voukun. Fleury came back and resumed his number 1 role in 2013-14 with Pittsburgh. That appears to be an even bigger snub but I guess this kind of thing happens for whatever reason…

        24 cups and counting….

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      The trade market for a back-up goalie will be really low, like one low draft pick, and for that kind of return I don’t see that happening.

  54. habsfaninboston says:

    Distant 2nd.

  55. chanchilla says:

    first!~


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