Views you can use

While we wait for Big Ben to suit up, a few takes on last night’s win:

Quotes from the room

Arpon Basu

Last season, Price would have lost this game – François Gagnon

Pierre Ladouceur


• Larry Brooks on the uselessness of enforcers

And from the Commentariat, some interestng observations by JF:

That was a far more exciting game than Friday
night against Buffalo and, with the exception of a brief lapse in the
second period, the Habs were full value.  But, as the RDS guys pointed
out, the two quick Ottawa goals were the result of individual errors
rather than of poor team play.  For the most part we dominated the
Senators, outshooting and outworking them in the second and third
periods and, suddenly facing a deficit of two goals, the team showed no
quit.  Nor did Price wilt as he certainly would have last year.

love what I’m seeing so far from this team.  I think that as a group
they learned a great deal from the playoff run.  That experience showed
them how to play for each other, how to overcome obstacles, and how to
believe in themselves.  They don’t quit, they stand up for each other,
and they never stop believing they can win.


Two facets of the game
that so far look vastly improved from last year: faceoffs and defensive
zone play. Last year we were usually under 50% on faceoffs, but the
addition of Halpern has pushed us well over that, and I think Plekanec
is also doing better on faceoffs this year.  Winning more faceoffs makes
quite a difference in terms of puck possession.  Also, we no longer
seem to be spending long stretches hemmed in our own zone.  There are
still turnovers and mistakes of course, but for the most part we clear
the zone more efficiently than last year and move the puck up-ice more
purposefully.  I’m seeing less dump-and-chase, more well-constructed
attacking.  Jacques Martin said at the beginning of the season that last
year he concentrated heavily on defence because it was his first year
with the team and he wanted to ensure the players learned the system
thoroughly and were able to execute it well.  It took a year, but it
might have worked.  Our defence looks quite solid and the team is
playing a lot less passively than last year, particularly when
protecting a 1-goal lead.  We no longer turn into a shell and let our
opponents pound our goaltender.  This should translate into more
victories, particularly in close games, than last year.  We started
2009-2010 with two OT wins. then, after the blowout in Vancouver, four
1-goal losses.  I think that over the season we were among the league
leaders in 1-goal losses.  Turning some of those into wins will
certainly help our playoff hopes.

AK46’s goal was the highlight of
the night but Plekanec’s, which he set up by driving hard to the net,
ran it a close second.  We’ve only ever seen glimpses of the Kostitsyn
we’re seeing now – strong, intense, physical, going to the net, and
shooting the puck.  Not only is he in better shape than last year, but
he must have done a lot of work on his defensive game.  He backchecks
well and he is not beaten so regularly along the boards.  It was great
to see him get the first star and then skate around offering pucks to
the fans.

I’m glad Gionta got a goal, and such a spectacular one, but we need to see more from that line.



  1. Ian Cobb says:

    In a 30 team league, this is where our tem places after the 1st week of the season.

    I will put these stats up each week as our team as a whole progresses in these 3 areas.



    1st— Goals Against,—13, –we are in 19th place out of 30 teams.

    2nd– Total Points——  7, –we are in  6th  place out of 30 teams.

    3rd– Goals For———-14, –we are in 11th place out of 30 teams.


  2. observer says:

    On SportsInteraction today – of the 30 NHL teams Habs ranked as the 11th favorite to win the Stanley Cup. The Leaves are next as 12th.

  3. observer says:

    For what I see, it will not be long and Subban will be the captain and leader of this team.

  4. lefreak says:


    not habs related…and as much as i adore making fun of everything toronto, i really really like what the fans did in their last soccer game of the year.

  5. bertuzzisucks says:

    A few Habs ramblings:


       Are you kidding me about worried if we lose Hamrlik next year. The guy is so bad. Watch him out there. His              defensive zone coverage is awful. He just skates around with out taking any bodies. He’s consistently pinching offensively and getting caught up the ice. Good riddance and his plain awful cap hit of 5.5 mil. He has completely lost it since last December 2009.  

       Get moen off that line. Its not a long term solution so why bother. Travis is a 3rd liner player at best. Put Benoit back on there or call up somebody offensive. Desharnais. 

     Lets sign Georges now- 5yrs at 17.5 million is totally fair. Dont wait-cant afford too as we will lose the 3 oldies gill, spacek, and Hammerlick at year end.

    Gomez has had a vary dissapointing start to this year.

    Darche is a waste of a roster spot-dumb signing



    Are you going to bark all day little doggy? Or are you going to bite?

  6. No et al says:

    I just had to go back and watch the highlights to see where you’re coming from and have decided you are nuts.

    The goal scored where he tipped it was unfortunate, but could have happened to any defenseman… they all would have done exactly what Hammer did in that situation.

    The other two didn’t involve Hammer at all (he was on the ice, but that’s as much blame as you can assess!).


    So, yes, I think we can absolve Hammer from responsibilty for the other two goals. Or at least state he is as much to blame as five other guys in red jerseys on the ice at the same time as him.

  7. No et al says:

    While I know he’s getting older, one only has to look at the shortened bench the Devils have been icing to explain why Brodeur is facing a lot more quality chances from opposing teams. Rolling four lines against three can wear a team down quickly.

  8. ooder says:

    well i guess we will have to agree to disagree about hammer huh

    i really think that if Hammer’s time was limited better, he ain’t getting any younger, he would be even more effective.

    i think a lot of those mistakes are fatigue related due to him stepping up his game in Markov’s absence


    88 is the new 23

  9. SeriousFan09 says:

    Can’t take Bieksa’s salary back and I don’t get the interest behind this guy, doesn’t seem to add much to VAN and he doesn’t give MTL anything they’re missing.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  10. SeriousFan09 says:

    That’s what ticks me off, no matter how bad your season is, if you’re a Backup or Quebecois you’re having a great night in the Bell Centre.

    I bet anything Elliott won’t make anything like some of those big glove saves for the next 5 games.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  11. TomNickle says:

    It was Spacek.  Honest mistake.  Does that absolve Hamrlik of responsibility on the other two goals?

    This kind of a night has been typical for Hamrlik since last November.  It hasn’t been for Spacek.


  12. SeriousFan09 says:

    Boogaard is a laughingstock around the NHL, a comically bad skater with no hockey instincts at all and if he didn’t have that size he’d be nothing.

    Guys like Boogaard tie down a 4th line from being effective as he’s too slow to actually contribute and leaves the team hemmed up in their zone, just waiting to have a staged brawl that means nothing.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  13. Morenz7 says:

    I’m sure it’s been said elsewhere on this board, but for my money the story of last night’s game was the team stepping up to get the win for Price. Three glove-side goals by Ottawa could have sent the team down a familiar path, where his failure to be perfect results in Carey wearing yet another loss at home. We’d be mired in a debate about whether he’s fatally flawed, weak glove hand la, la, la.

    Instead they got back in, and gave Price another chance. And man, he rallied. That clean trappper save on Regin was a statement.

    Big team win. Lotsa shots. Nice to see.

  14. TripleX says:

    With regards to all these disparaging comments about Brodeur.  Word of advice ” don’t poke the bear”.  Brodeur may be on the decline of his brilliant career, but he can still win a game on his own.  Don’t be surprised if he proves to be the Hab’s nemesis one last time.


    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  15. JIMVINNY says:

    So you think Gauthier, who has no cap space to speak of, should trade Pouliot and his 1.3 million cap hit for Bieksa and his 3.75 million cap hit?  Not trying to be mean here, but have you any concept of how the salary cap works?

  16. Chuck says:

    Do we have any programming geeks on hand that could crack it and roll in back to 1?   🙂

  17. No et al says:

    How about we try your lines, but keep Pouliot… let’s not give up on the kid so quickly. He looked pretty good last night. Just needs to stay interested and get involved in the play… get his nose dirty and stop skating around the perimeter.

    I read a great article on him from, might have been Sports Illustrated, written well before he ever became a Hab (maybe his first year after the draft). He has done this at every level he’s played at… came in with big expectations, stumbled, found his game and excelled.

    I’m not ready to toss him under a bus just yet (nor would I be for another year or two at least!).


    EDIT: found a link to the story:


  18. JIMVINNY says:

    One weak goal in five games, and you’re already whining.  Unreal.

  19. lavie says:

    I agree with you on the top two lines.

    Based on Habs D situation, I see Webber will be traded soon.


  20. Chris F says:

    I agree, Benching Eller has Latendresse smell to it. He’s a great young player who can play with Gomez and Gionta easily. Moen has done in one sense because he forces the other team’s D to turn and take notice, Eller is not this strong yet. However, Eller has better puck skills and is much faster-which would fit in perfectly with the speedy GG’s.

  21. No et al says:

    A couple of those goals were the result of mistakes that happened long before the puck was anywhere near Hammer.

    No doubt he had a chance to be a hero if he had been able to do something to prevent the goals (he is a “defenceman”), but the team gets put in a tough spot when your forwards turn the puck over leaving the defensive zone.

    So last night wasn’t his best game. Doesn’t mean he’s a crappy d-man. He plays a lot of minutes against the other teams’ top lines.

    Why does he have that responsibility? Because he’s one of our better defencemen who also has great vision and an excellent first pass out of the zone.

    He’s no Markov, but in Markov’s absence, you have to think he’s probably our best all-around defenceman. He does most things pretty well… nothing really bad.

  22. Chuck says:

    I believe it was Spatch.

  23. lavie says:

    Overall, Hammer is the only D who can temporarily stop us from missing Markov so much. Hammer is a veteran, and a few mistakes can’t devalue him.

  24. Chris F says:

    I don’t think Price is the measuring stick here, I think you have to compare Brodeur with himself. He is a stand-up goaltender who is no longer quick enough to stand up. Price plays the butterfly like every other goaltender in the league. If you watched the goals against Brodeur, you will see that two or three weak goals per game will sink any team. Brodeur will still get his wins, don’t get me wrong, but the games that he will win by himself, or the shut-outs he garners after stopping 17-20 shots in a game are history. These Devils don’t have the same D, there will be more shots, and the players are better shooters every year. Brodeur has simply slowed down, and his numbers will eventually force everyone to accept it. 

  25. Propwash says:

    You have to admit it though, these past few games Price has been very Brodeuresque.


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  26. Storm Man says:

    If the Habs do a trade with Vancouver OB would be part of it.

  27. gohabsgo25 says:

    im not sure whats wrong with martin but the lines should look like this


    Gionta Gomez Eller





    in the preseason eller played great with g love and gionta, if he has more ice time i think he will be a fantastic player.

    and for gods sake put eller on the powerplay screw pouliot hes done.


    So trade Suggest

    Pouliot and Webber to Vancouver For Kevin Bieska and prospect.


  28. Xtrahabsfan says:

    I for one would have been more than pleased to see the Boogiemen wearing a C.H. standing beside Gil and O’Bryne with a look of “No you doesn’t!”

  29. ooder says:

    u sure it was Hamrlik, and not Spacek who was out of position on one and then got deked out on the second.

    and i disagree about Gill and Gorges.

    Gill is a gret shot blocker and uses his body, and Gorges will take a hit to get the puck out of the zone.

    but niether read the game like Hammer does


    88 is the new 23

  30. TomNickle says:

    If that’s the case I apologize.  He was the cause of two out of three Senators goals.

    My bad.  I should really lay off Roman Hamrlik for his great play.  He’s nothing but an asset to this team.

    He certainly earns his keep by making it more of a challenge for the Habs to win than normal.

  31. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Dude, Brodeur is still a better goaltender  than Carey Price!And Price would be a better Goaltender if he played like Brodeur!

  32. TomNickle says:

    When he stops being the cause of opposition goals that shouldn’t be scored in the first place.  I’ll stop venting my frustration about his place on this team.

    Gorges and Gill are are much more intelligent on the ice by the way.

    Hamrlik was the root of the Senators’ goals last night…….all three.

    That isn’t just a case of a couple mistakes.

  33. JIMVINNY says:

    FYI, it was Spacek who dives in front of Price on the Karlsson goal. This anti-Hamrlik crusade of yours is getting a little out of hand. Now your blaming the mistakes of others on him.

  34. No et al says:

    1200 plus games in the NHL… schools a lot of the young guns when they come into his corner. Yes, he’s earning too much (which NHL player isn’t!?), but yeah – great d-man and would be top 4 on many, many NHL clubs… maybe all of them.

  35. No et al says:

    Just a comment on the Larry Brooks piece about the “uselessness of enforcers”. 

    I think an enforcer (who can also at least keep up with the play) can play a valuable role on an NHL team, but not by lining up against the other team’s tough guy and duking it out.

    The most effective enforcers intimidate all players – including and especially the stars of the other team – so they don’t perform at the highest levels. It’s about intimidation.

    Is there a place for intimidation in hockey? That can be debated all day (whether it belongs or not, it’s there). But there’s no denying that when opposing players heard the skates of a John Kordic creeping up behind them about to deliver a thunderous check, guys often coughed up the puck and braced for impact.

    In situations like the one above, the opposing team usually sends out their tough guy (most often in this case Jay Miller) to show the “enforcer” that his bullying won’t be tolerated.

    The role has evolved (if you can use the term) to a point where tough guys now usually only fight each other. In this case – what is the point?

    Look at Sean Avery, Chris Neal, Ruutu, even long retired Matthew Barnaby… these are/were agitators who pick/ed on the other team’s top players and have/had the spunk to stand up and fight when the other team sends their tough guy to send a message.

    These guys don’t necessarily hurt your team (who wouldn’t like a Chris Neal on their club?), unlike your BGLs or Boogiemen of today (and BGL was an awesome bully/enforcer when he was in shape and with Edmonton).

    There might be a place for tough guy agitators who can keep up (or even actually play at this level), but the days of teams lining up their two gladiators seem to quickly be fading.

  36. ooder says:

    ok really.. can people stop complaining about hamrlik.

    unless i am watching a different game he looks like the perfect 2nd pairing d man to me.

    obviously he makes a few mistakes (‘cuz he’s human right) but i love having this guy on my team.

    he’s big, not intimidated and smart. i think behind markov he’s the smartest d-man on our team.

    yes he is a bit overpaid, but considering that for 3 out of his 4 years he has played as a mentor to other defence men and pretty much covered both defensive zones im happy with his play


    88 is the new 23

  37. Puck Bard says:

    Well said, Brodeur can’t stand on his head forever. I wouldn’t be expecting anything spectacular from him on Thursday. Anyone predicting the Devils to compete this year is in for a rude awakening… a shadow of their former selves. 

  38. Chris F says:

    A few points:

    Brodeur is done. Period. He was finished two years ago in the playoffs. He has continued to play for the regular season records.

    More importantly: We would have lost this game last year against the sens. No doubt being down by two goals. I was asking myself after Ottawa scored the third goal, “Have we shown enough offensive output to score four goals in this game? Or do we simply try to tie it up?” Last year you have to think JM would have been happy to push this game into overtime. We settled for overtime way to often last year. The third goal on Price was horrible, too similar to game one, this has to stop. His glove hand is weak on the softer shots, can this be fixed, or is it simply a weakness in the same vein as Gill not having a shot like Bergeron?

    Kostitsyn was flying on several shifts last night. As in soccer lingo, he won the majority of 50-50 pucks, and many times won the battle when the sens were in better position, his overwhelming strength is showing, and is much needed on a team that has very little in the way of “over-whelming” strength. I realise it’s his contract year, and he realises it too. He is playing for his living, and without Sergei around, he can focus on his game, instead of babysitting and listening to Sergei complain. In life (or in your office) we call it a cancer, or a cancerous personality- they simply bring you down. Remove the cancer, and you will reap the rewards of positive thinking.

    Plekenacs is worth every penny. I really like this guy and love the way he plays. He was our best player last year, and he is proving it again. Faceoffs, PK, PP, he has the entire package.

    3-1-1, a great start. Go Habs Go!!


  39. Puck Bard says:

    Yup, cap factor. For a similar situation (past is prologue), check out the Times piece on why the Texas Rangers struggled along with 10 years of futility all because of the bloated A-Rod contract:  Rangers Emerge From A-Rod’s Shadow

  40. TomNickle says:

    First goal, Hamrlik tips it in while screening Price.

    Second goal, Hamrlik dives directly in front of Price which doesn’t allow him to come out and challenge Karlsson.

    Third goal, Hamrlik gets caught up ice and Michalek skates down his vacant side of the ice and walks in front for the backhander.

    Spacek crapped the bed on Michalek’s second goal and nearly shot the puck into our net off of Hamrlik.  But Hamrlik also had two giveaways into our slot ala Bryan McCabe with the Leafs.

    When do the excuses run out for this guy?

    Throwing the puck into our slot, pinching at the wrong time, diving in front of your goalie and deflecting pucks by him are not mistakes that are a result of too many minutes or a lack of camp time.  Giveaways into the slot can be a result of lack of camp time because of the rust in passing the puck, but not these stupid things that led to goals.

    The truth about Hamrlik is coming out with every passing game.  He is simply not a #3 or #4 defenseman.

  41. SeriousFan09 says:

    Promises aside, whether they can do it is another story, I’m still wagering that LL is going to retire the second Brodeur is and leave the next guy holding the bag on trying to fix the team up. Kovalchuk’s real prime years could be thrown away while they retool.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  42. punkster says:

    We see things differently. So be it.

  43. RGM says:

    There are a lot of things wrong with the Devils – first and foremost among them is the Kovalchuk contract that has pushed them to the brink of the salary cap and forced them to play short-handed for several games. They (both Kovalchuk and Devils ownership) were insistent that he get his $100M contract, and as a consequence they have no room to maneuver to have a solid, credible NHL-level supporting cast dressed every night. Toss in a couple injuries, Broduer off to a brutally slow start, and you have the recipe for a team that looks really bad out of the gates.

    Also, as it relates to the Kings, that all rests on his agent and the $100M contract demand. Lombardi knows that he has a lot of very good young talent on the roster that are going to be due for raises in the not too distant future. They have tons of cap space right now but I believe they do have a self-imposed budget, and that will be strained when they have to re-sign Doughty, Quick, Bernier, and their other key players. Given the choice between an outrageous Kovalchuk contract and thus a marquee name, and keeping several good players, Lombardi did something that many GMs have been hesitant to do: exercise good judgment with an eye towards a long-term strategy.

    Go Habs Go!

  44. habs001 says:

    some people may not like hammer but there is no one in the habs orginization right now who can replace him..obyrne has limited nhl skills..and  our ahl d are also weak

  45. christophor says:

    2356 and counting. 

  46. SeriousFan09 says:

    Sorry but I think you’ve got some unresolved Hamrlik distaste from last year’s playoffs here, go look at the 2nd goal on, Spacek’s the one who Michaelek dances around and notches the goal. He also made other gaffes that might have been goals if Price hadn’t been sharp.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  47. Propwash says:

    It’s Brodeur, he always plays out of his mind when he comes to Montreal.


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  48. TomNickle says:

    Quite possible that the Devils made a promise to build around Kovalchuk.  Gonna be hard to do without draft picks for the next couple of years though.

    They have very little in the pipeline and even less on their current roster.


  49. Jbird says:

    What stuns me is that I have now visited that page twice.  And yeah, it looks even more stupid today than yesterday. 

  50. TomNickle says:

    Yeah I saw.  Hamrlik’s mistakes are costing the team less than O’Byrne’s were.

    O’Byrne might very well be the lesser of two evils right now.

  51. SeriousFan09 says:

    Time is a harsh mistress, Brodeur’s been chasing and padding records for years so he can exit with a wins/SO count that will never be matched and won’t take 1 day off while he does it. Should’ve been managing his starts into the 60s for the last 5 years or so but he won’t.

    I said it was a mistake when he did it, Kings were on the way up and the Devils were on the decline. You sign a lifetime deal, you should do it with the team that’s likely going to be getting closer to the Cup and not farther away from it.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  52. TomNickle says:

    Nothing beyond their first line and their group of defensemen are simply bad.

    That and a new coaching staff and an aging Brodeur make them ripe for the picking.

  53. punkster says:

    FYI I posted my 2 cents below re: Hamr and Spac.

  54. TomNickle says:

    Spacek can’t let players walk their way through the slot but Hamrlik was the deciding factor on all three goals that the Senators scored.

  55. TomNickle says:

    Subban isn’t 6’2 and Hamrlik and Spacek were on for all three of the Senators goals.  If you don’t know these things how can you expect people to take your comments seriously?

  56. HardHabits says:

    I know this is off topic but who else here is wondering what’s up with the Devils. They are looking like a lottery team and Brodeur like a shadow of his past.

    On this note I’d like to say that KovyII is an idiot for not signing with the LA Kings.

  57. punkster says:

    I wish they didn’t have to play 20 minutes a night but for now they do. We haven’t a choice and at this point callups wouldn’t be reasonable subs for either player of their experience. I find them a step up from the OB (unfortunately) and no more error prone than PK (at the moment). We’re in the same boat we were in last year in that we still need an experienced number 3 or 4 D man who can shoot and a top 6 forward who can be physical (AK fits if he continues to shine and Pouliot fits if he ever starts to bury the puck).

  58. SeriousFan09 says:

    I’m willing to give him some rope, missed camp with a tweaked knee. I don’t think he was THAT bad all night, if you want to pick on Hammer for errors than you’d better take Spacek to task as well.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  59. TomNickle says:

    Still think Hamrlik’s terrible because of all that icetime last year Robert?

  60. TomNickle says:

    Would you like me to break down how the three Senators goals were Hamrlik’s fault by majority?

  61. SeriousFan09 says:

    Imagine if the Habs griped about this sort of thing.

    Broad Street Babies.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  62. Propwash says:

    Is there even a number that gets so high?


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  63. Malreg says:

    Can we start a counter on how many days its been since the Leafs played a playoff game?

  64. LeGrosBill says:

    O’Byrne is the 6’5″ white guy, #20. Subban is the 6’2″ black guy, #76. If you did not notice that the former was not in last nights lineup nor thatthe latter was, how do you expect people to take your comments seriously? Hamrlik is coming back from time off and no one can say Spacek had a good game but both goals they were on the ice for were scored by the Sens top line. Top lines will do that, score goals.



  65. TomNickle says:

    I love your positive look on things, just remember that the Sens are the laziest team in the NHL.

    Gonchar, Spezza, Ruutu, Campoli, Lee, Karlsson, Kovalev.


  66. Clay4bc says:

    LOL, I forgot all about that.


    Fighting Ignorance since 1970 (It’s taking longer than I thought).

  67. Clay4bc says:

    Yeah, they were not so good, which is why i didn’t get into specifics – trying to stay positive about this team. It’s also why I didn’t mention Gomez or Eller either.

    19 shots against though, man! that’s fracking great, especially for this team.


    Fighting Ignorance since 1970 (It’s taking longer than I thought).

  68. TomNickle says:

    Hamrlik and Spacek were atrocious my friend.

    With a lower case “a” but still atrocious.

  69. Clay4bc says:

    Yeah, I was too lazy to type it all…and instead type this much explaining. There’s some irony for you.


    Fighting Ignorance since 1970 (It’s taking longer than I thought).

  70. Clay4bc says:

    I mean the team D…impressive giving up only 19 shots.


    Fighting Ignorance since 1970 (It’s taking longer than I thought).

  71. TomNickle says:

    Clay, by “the D was solid” do you mean that Gorges, Gill, Picard and O’Byrne were solid?


  72. Clay4bc says:

    Wow…just watched the game (thanks to Very exciting game, especially for how early on in the season it is. Andrei K. has found his game for the time being at least, and Pleks is on fire. The D was solid again, and even though Price looked a little shakey early, he made the big save at the big time (the 2 on 1) – something he was notorious for not doing last season. It was great to see Gionta get on the board as well. This team looks good, and all this without Markov! That’s the best part of it – we have a great player to insert into the lineup soon. No need to rush him back, but I can’t wait to see him on the ice again.


    Fighting Ignorance since 1970 (It’s taking longer than I thought).

  73. Propwash says:

    Looks like it could be a good movie except for the musical part of it.



    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

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