Weary Habs get day off after loss in Phoenix

Coming off a 5-2 loss to the Coyotes Thursday night in Phoenix, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien decided to give his players a day off Friday in San Jose as they prepare to face the Sharks Saturday night (10 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690) in the final game of their four-game West Coast road trip.  The Canadiens also announced there would be no media availability on Friday.

Fatigue seemed to catch up with the Canadiens Thursday night in Phoenix.

“We started the game like a team that had played last night (in Anaheim), travelled and got in here at 3 a.m.,” Therrien told reporters after the game in Phoenix. “We looked like a team that was playing its sixth game in nine nights. By the time we got our legs under us, we were playing catch-up.”

Thomas Vanek, who was acquired from the New York Islanders at Wednesday’s trade deadline, made his Canadiens debut in Phoenix, playing on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta. Vanek had 15:34 of ice time, including 4:11 on the power play, produced one shot on goal and was minus-1.

“They’re two great players but it doesn’t happen in one night. Practice will be important tomorrow,” Vanek told reporters in Phoenix about his linemates after the game and before Friday’s scheduled practice was cancelled. “Gio found me a couple of times out there. For me it’s just about studying their habits and getting to know their routes so I can contribute with them better.”

Defenceman Mike Weaver, acquired from the Florida Panthers this week, also made his Habs debut, getting 15:22 of ice time and finishing minus-1.

The Canadiens will return home after Saturday’s game and face the Boston Bruins Wednesday night at the Bell Centre.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Habs vs. Sharks preview, NHL.com

Habs’ Stanley Cup odds get a boost, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Habs get day off in San Jose, by Pat Hickey

Fellow Habs fan found in India, Letter to the Sports Editor

Canadiens run out of steam in Phoenix, by Pat Hickey

Habs rue ‘mental mistakes’ in loss, by Pat Hickey

Habs vs. Coyotes photo gallery, montrealgazette.com

Mix and match for Habs, Canadiens.com

Wounded rearguard Gorges heads home, by Pat Hickey

Good first day on job for Tokarski, Canadiens.com

Sabres fan club growing in Greenfield Park, by The Gazette’s Stu Cowan



  1. theox_8 says:

    Some can dream on here , however I highly doubt Eller centers Vanek on a line . If it does happen I’m a for it .

    • Wintercount says:

      When Bergevin had that closed door team meeting a few weeks ago with the players, he also had a singular meeting with MT and warned him to get an attitude change quick, that’s why he has taken a road less bullish during his game pressers. I’ll give him that much…
      I would also like to see 20 play with 81 along with someone with speed who is strong on the forecheck, maybe 49, but knowing MT I ain’t keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. SmartDog says:

    Bold Prediction: Vanek ends up on a line WITHOUT Plekanec and Gionta.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • habstrinifan says:

      Maybe getting Vanek provides the opportunity to settle the argument ‘once and for all’.

      Is Eller Stellar? Is Briere still a player?

      I say you put Eller Vanek and Briere on a line and unleash them.

      You have skill, talent, exerience, left and right shooters, some size, etc etc.

      Are you listening MT?

      • BJ says:

        Anything to get two scoring lines.

      • SmartDog says:

        I’d like to see Vanek – Eller – Galchenyuk
        That’s a line with size and skill.

        But I doubt it will happen. Therrien seems to think age is the key to all good things.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • habstrinifan says:

          I’m ok with that too. My inkling re Briere is this:

          Galchenyuk is young and skilled and while he will be a factor in the playoffs, it would be less of a disappointment if he is not ‘ready’ for prime time yet.

          Briere on the other hand needs to be hands down an experienced offensive force in the playoffs. If Briere’s ‘niche’ is still up in the air or a diminished one come playoffs… then I think the HABS wil suffer more than if Galchenyuk is still being used ‘in spots’

          Time for HABS to find out how much of ‘a big time OFFENSIVE weapon are Eller and Briere. And with Vanek it should be doable.

  3. Psycho29 says:

    Interesting photo of …ummm…Seguin last night:


  4. rhino514 says:

    When you are 38 years old I understand St.louis wanting to play out his last 2 or 3 close to his family.

    • D Mex says:

      Then please explain why it was necessary for him to handcuff Yzerman by limiting the trade destination to one (1) option.

      Aren’t NYI, NJ and PHI are all within shooting distance of NYC ?

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  5. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …very curious WHY ??? Martin St Louis wanted out of Tampa Bay

    …all previously seemed Marty and the Lightening were a match made in Heaven

    …yet, they’re saying St Louis had requested out of TB before his Olympic slight

    …I mean it’s definitely none of My bloody business …BUT I’m verrry curious

    …I just can’t help it …so shoot Me

  6. habstrinifan says:

    ***** UNRELATED UNRELATED UNRELATED **** (but pls give your 2 cents worth at my crazy idea).

    The West cannot with a straight face ‘denounce’ the ‘sentiment’ and ‘wishes’ of the Crimean majority who wants to be ‘part’ of Mother Russia.

    But the West should be playing the same kind of ethnic politics that Putin is banking on. Instead of standing on some historically ‘untrue’ foundation that ‘all’ of Ukraine is a ‘soveregn state of long standing’, the WEST should step up and engineer a referendum vote on the West portion of the country re aligning with NATO.

    This would get a resounding YES. And then do the ‘PUTIN’ thing and send troops into the Western half of the country to ‘protect’ those people. In other words start some real kick-arse engineering.. forget this sanction crap.

    That’s the problem with ‘liberals’ (of which I am one). We are so freakin open-minded that we dont know when it’s time to get the freakin 12-gauge out and start-a-shooting.

    Which is why, despite my ‘liberalism’, I likey Ronnie (as in kick-arse Reagan.. and oh yeah in this regards too ‘the iron lady’).

    Habs are tired after what 4 games in 6 nights… imagine having to perform for the iron lady.

  7. GL says:

    IMO I think Vanek would be better on a line with Galchenyuk And Briere Put Bourque with Pleks & Gionta.

  8. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Tinordi OR Beaulieu ?

    …both makes more sense to Me

  9. johnnylarue says:

    Ramblings on the Vanek Puzzle

    Therrien is Line Matching Incarnate.

    Plekanec is the team’s de facto shut-down centre-guy, and Gionta is also, increasingly, a natural in the role of shutdown winger–moreso than in that of a 1st/2nd line scoring winger, with all due respect to his still-respectable offensive ability.

    Simply put, I don’t think the Plekanec/Gionta combo can result in a line which is a consistent scoring threat, because they take too many D-zone face-offs, are too responsible to go all-in with the offence, and not especially great at winning battles on the forecheck. (As I mentioned earlier, Larry actually sticks out like a sore thumb on this team for being virtually the only guy who can come out of a scrum with the puck in the offensive zone.)

    Moreover Therrien’s 5-man defensive system simply doesn’t yield the number of 2-on-1 chances that, say, Carbonneau’s system used to when Pleky was in his scoring prime with Kovy on RW. (Gross generalization: If Carbo were coaching this team, Vanek and Pleky would light it up regularly on odd-man rushes.)

    On the flip side of this conundrum, Therrien’s propensity for line matching means Plekanec’s line sees A LOT of ice time–i.e. against the opponent’s best line. This means keeping Vanek off that line would result in reduced ice time for him, which does us no favours.

    This leaves two possibilities:

    1. Turn the Plekanec line into a genuine offence-first trio with Vanek on LW and either of Brière or Chucky on RW, or

    2. Go full shut-down with the Pleky line with Gionta and Bourque/Bournival and sacrifice Vanek to an EGG-like offensive 3rd line with Brière or Eller and Chucky.

    I know Vanek is capable of playing defensively responsible hockey, but his points totals will almost certainly suffer for it.

    Oh, and bonus inflammatory comment for any poor soul who made it this far: Pacioretty > Vanek.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      It was easy to read it to the end,
      Smart and brilliant posts are always a treat to read

    • BJ says:

      I like your take on the lines. It would be worth a try. Good evaluation..

    • rhino514 says:

      I agree. Play Eller with Vanek. Watch Whitey get his confidence back after Vanek converts on some second chances.
      Plekanec is one of the few centres in the league who can create goals in a shutdown role. And Gionta can, to some extent, as well. It´s very hard to do. Plus a makeshift shutdown third line at this point wouldn´t be nearly as solid as one led by Pleks.
      If Eller were only playing at 75% capability, we´d have a heck of team with 3 valuable lines.
      Heck, if Eller picked it up where he left off last year, we probably wouldn´t even have needed Vanek.

    • FANHABULOUS says:

      A few of us have been saying the exact same thing the past couple of days… as soon as Vanek was signed, I figured putting him with Plek would not be the best fit.

      But then again, I’m no MT…

      “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

  10. rhino514 says:

    As it stands now, Tinordi or Beaulieu?

  11. habs001 says:

    All teams that the Habs are fighting with for playoffs or position in the standings have 1 or 3 games in hand…

  12. EnemyTerritory says:

    I am not sure that I buy the Thomas Vanek – Michael Ryder equivalency arguments I have been reading on HIO.

    Although both were/are UFAs after the season in which they were acquired, in the case of Ryder – MB was able to shed Erik Cole’s large multi-year contract and create important cap space. Hence it wasn’t a “give up prospects/draft choices for a rental.” (In fact I think we also received a 3rd rounder.) IMHO, that was a very strong trade by MB and had little to do with getting a rental for the playoffs.

    I am thrilled to get Vanek, and there are times when you need to push your chips onto the table. I personally have faith in MB’s talent evaluation – both of our Habs and the other Eastern Conference players. With a few breaks and a some top-flight goal-tending this team could very well be in ECF or Finals. I plan on enjoying the ride!

    PS – Counting down the days to March 24th. Have the Corporate Box for the Bruins-Habs game! Yes!

  13. rhino514 says:

    Ít may be 96% approval rating and adjectives such as “grand larceny”, but I don´t like giving up Collberg and a second for a player who will only be here for 18 more regular season games.
    If he gets the team to the conference finals, though, I suppose the extra revenue generated will benefit the club in some way; I could call it a wash.
    Tell you guys what, though, Vanek or no Vanek, they better get Price back real fast.

  14. rhino514 says:

    they need Price back fast. Buday is good when he is spotted; back-to-backs, for example. The more games he plays, the more soft goals he lets in.
    He really needs to be back fast or we are in trouble.

  15. 24 Cups says:

    St Louis can spin it anyway he wants but to me he still quit on his team at the worst possible time. And after getting his cherished gold medal.


    • Da Hema says:

      I always liked St. Louis, but I agree with you. I am surprised there’s any space left for St. Louis’ teammates in the Rangers’ locker room once he and his inflated sense of self-importance enter it.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Hurt feelings came first.

    • New says:

      The Olympic medals have always eluded St. Louis. I think they came last or something the first time he played, then he was a spare “in case” player in 2010. When you hear him speak he is pretty proud of his accomplishments. He mentions the team in Tampa, the fun playing with Stamkos, and infers he can work with Yzerman. I hope he does well in NY but I really think he is going to find it isn’t the coaching, or the team, but only age.

    • HabsWin-nipeg says:

      If you or I don’t like our job, we find another one, then quit the one that we have. Hockey players don’t have that luxury – if they don’t like they’re job, they have to ask for a trade. We’ll never know all the details about what went down in Tampa Bay. In the end, St. Louis wanted out, and the only way to get out is to ask for a trade. Tampa Bay gave him the no movement clause, which gave him all the leverage. Before we throw St. Louis under the bus, we should remember that they can be moved at the whim of the GM (unless they have NTC/NMC). In the end it’s a business. St. Louis did what he thought was right for him and his family. In my mind, he gave Tampa Bay lots of good years, got paid well for it, and then moved on when he thought it was time.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Points well made.

        I wonder what would happen on this site if MaxPac, Subban or Price walked in to MB and said trade me right now – and btw, I’ll only go to one team. All of this with less than twenty games to go and playoff fever just around the corner.

        St. Louis could have at least sucked it up and finished the season. He is the captain after all. I guess 70M doesn’t buy a lot of loyalty these days.

        • D Mex says:

          It’s exactly what Roy did, isn’t it ?

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

          • 24 Cups says:

            For sure, although it was much more public. That’s why I will never consider Roy a Hab legend like some of the other players. So glad he’s not the coach here.

          • D Mex says:

            Fair enough. BTW – your summary of St. Louis’ ‘ behaviour ‘ strikes me as entirely on target : adult sulking > nothing more, nothing less IMO …

            ALWAYS Habs –
            D Mex

  16. The Jackal says:

    Well whether or not Vanek does not re-sign here I still think it’s a good trade.
    I hope we can keep him our sign Moulson.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  17. 24 Cups says:

    If I’m Dale Tallon I’d take Luongo aside and tell him to close his Twitter account and shut his big fat mouth. Gloating and then rubbing it in isn’t very cool.

    • Habilis says:

      Respectfully, I disagree. The Panthers are in a situation where any publicity is good publicity. Having the most entertaining NHL Twitter personality on their team is actually valuable to them.

      If I were Tallon, I would tell Luongo (off the record, of course) to tweet away.

    • D Mex says:

      Given the manner in which Luongo conducted himself during ‘ the situation ‘ in Vancouver, those messages seemed to come a bit out of left field. On the other hand, he did put up with a fair amount of BS, and probably couldn’t resist taking a couple of shots at Gillis and possibly Tortorella.
      That doesn’t excuse the gloating and you’re right – it isn’t cool, but it’s probably a safe bet he’ll regain his balance.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • Gerry H says:

      Strombone rules.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Vancouver made a huge mess out it all. But Luongo better take a look in the mirror and come real quick to the realiziation, that, like Tiger Woods now, his game isnt ‘all there’ and he needs to recalibrate.

      If it aint broke dont fix, but if it don’t look fixed then best it be broked and rebuilt.

  18. dorvalhabsfan says:

    Hey I just think i missed something where Vanek said he’s going to minnesota? I know he said he wanted to hit FA no matter… But that could be for dollars rather than Minny right?
    Go Habs Go

    • D Mex says:

      You were listening !
      The media questions put to him in PHX almost smacked of desperation on whether he will sign here going forward, but you’re correct that he responded by saying he wants to try free agency. He also left an out (speaking with Pierre Houde I believe) in a comment that was a bit more ‘ Hab friendly ‘. Time will tell …

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  19. Luke says:

    Austria seems like a pony country.
    I bet it is.
    I bet Vanek had a pony growing up.
    He sure seems like a guy who’d have had a pony as a kid.
    Is Minnesota a pony state?
    That’s the question I think we need to be asking.

  20. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Another day at Eller Inside/Out

    Let’s face it, Eller is just a fair bottom 6 right now and it has nothing to do with MT, it’s all on him.. He is not a precise passer, decent on FO, should be on a dump and chase line.

    A list of forwards better than Eller: Galchenyuk, Plekanek, Vanek, Gionta, Gallagher, Pacioretty, DD (yes I went there) ….

    Let’s give it a rest.. Eller is a plugger at the moment… And hey, for all you Eller fanatics, if he’s as good as you profess then thank MT for driving his value down so we’ll have this Danish 120 point all star center for 1.25 million per.

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Gerry H says:

      I think Boone has it nailed. Eller has many virtues, including a few in short supply on this team (size and toughness), but his hockey IQ is questionable.

      I still think he has a place, but not as a major offensive threat. If he can rein in his penchant for dumb penalties, he would make a very serviceable 3rd line/PK defensive specialist a la Carbonneau.

      • johnnylarue says:

        It’s true that offensive-zone hockey IQ tends to be something players are born with, rather than something that’s easily coachable, but I’m still hesitant to give up on Eller in this regard.

        What I saw from him last night was some rather beastly, powerful forechecking–he is, without exaggerating, possibly the only forward on our entire squad who wins ANY battles along the boards in the o-zone.

        If he could just learn how to get his head up and look for his teammates when he’s charging around the end boards with the puck like a spooked billy goat, he could be deadly.

  21. Kappy says:

    Did Briere and Vanek play on the same line together in Buffalo? I just think having Vanek playing on a third line with two highly skilled players would cause some fits for other teams trying to match up. I like Pleks line as a shut down line playing against other teams top lines.


    • habs_54321 says:

      max DD gally
      chucky briere vanek
      eller plex gionta
      white and weise with soup of the day bourque, moen, or prust

      thinking behind this is briere and DD would center our two scoring lines, while eller plex gionta are more of a shutdown tandem which is what eller is suited for with his 6’2 220 lbs frame he can go into the corners and hunt pucks.

  22. The Jackal says:

    Hey guys so if Vanek was set on Minny why waste assets on Moulson when they can trade for Vanek and re-sign him. It makes no sense to trade for Moulson then let him walk and then sign Vanek.

    • D Mex says:

      My take is that the teams would exchange negotiating rights – this usually happens at a cost (eg : pick ?) that would be negated in this kind of ‘ trade ‘ scenario.
      I am not aware of UFA rights having been swapped before, but others here are much better versed on these things than I am.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Snow was probably asking for too much and Minn grabbed Moulson instead. Supposedly Snow was adamant about a 1st rounder. Snow got caught and probably had to unload Vanek at the last minute. Supposedly, MB told him from the start that if Snow stopped asking for a 1st, he would be interested in making a deal…and the rest is history.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Jackal – I thought the same thing. It has been stated that the NYI didn’t trade with Minnesota because the Wild wanted them to take back salary. When I checked CapGeek the Wild seemed to have the room. Apparently, the Wild’s offer was better than Montreal’s. Same goes for Toronto but the laffs don’t have as much room and have Bolland coming back.

      Vanek and Moulson are both LWs. Moulson has ties to LA which also brings up the question why they didn’t go after Moulson instead of Gaborik. As we know, Vanek has major ties to Minnesota. They also have the envious position of being able to take Heatley’s 7.5M cap hit and give it to Vanek. The Wild have the cap space and the guy allegedly wants to go there. Why would they give Montreal a pick to “negotiate with Vanek?

      I’m a team player so I’m all in on the Vanek move. However, come July 1st the Habs will be looking at an UFA winger and I’m sure they are going to have to settle for second best.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Well, you see, despite what “everybody knows”, actually everybody knows squat. Que sera sera.

      Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  23. Thomas Le Fan says:

    What? No bag skate? Therrien’s a pussy. 😉

    Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  24. shiram says:

    Isles fans are taking up the torches and pitchforks


    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Ownership doesn’t care, they’re moving to Brooklyn where, never mind pitchforks, even large sodas are illegal.

      Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  25. Luke says:

    It’s almost Beer Water O’clock on Beer Water Day!

  26. LEAF KILLERS says:

    if Vanek doesn’t sign ,maybe he will be traded to Minnesota near the draft for a pick or rights to Moulson, i don’t think Minny can sign both

    • Strummer says:

      Why would Minny surrender a single asset for Vanek when he will come crawling (so to speak) to them

      A point was raised by Hockey Central at Noon today on Sportsnet/Fan 590- will Minny have the cap space for Tommy V.?

      Parise, Suter, Koivu, Pomenville Granlund coming up plus they are going to need a high-price goalie.

      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  27. Alex says:

    My friends at HIO,
    My hometown of Richmond, Ontario is in contention to become Kraft Hockeyville. A very small village out in the country near Ottawa. Tomorrow they announce the 16 towns that will move on and have a chance to win, and it really seems like Richmond is moving on. Unfortunately Richmond has such a small population, and the way to towns move on is a voting system (whoever gets the most votes), and this affects their chances. I really think they deserve to win because the winner gets $100000 towards renovations at the arena, and the arena really is in poor shape. It was deemed the coldest rink in Ottawa by the media in the city, has had floods recently and even water dripping into the stands from the roof. I would be forever grateful to those of you willing to take a minute out of your day, starting tomorrow night when they announce it on Hockey Night In Canada, and vote for the Richmond Memorial Centre. This morning there was a feature on CTV morning news. http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=302718&fb_action_ids=10151846152681653&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B1504763833078094%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.recommends%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

    Thank you all for a minute of your time!
    Go Habs Go!

  28. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    You can not argue against breaking a line that works and propose Gally back with Eller and Chucky. Two wrongs do not make a right. Have to leave Gall with Max and DD.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Yeah, if it ain’t broke right? But I think David and Max have found their groove, let’s see if we can get the other two lines going. So we’re not so much messing with the top line as we’re fixing the other two?

      I don’t know, it might only upset the apple cart, but I get a sense that’s what we should do. If we’re going to win in the playoffs, we can’t just rely on one line scoring, we need to have our three top lines chipping in.

      • shiram says:

        Those 2 were able to play with Ryder and put up a good year, they should be able to keep on producing with another winger than Gally.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        That is why MB got Vanek. Pleks-Gionta-Vanek should be a scoring line. What worries me is that the Habs do not have a real shut down line. The first three lines have defensive weaknesses. I think MT will have to change up his strategy going in to the playoffs. If he thinks he can win 1-0 games with this line-up, he’s mistaken.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      DDO I agree but isn’t that exactly what MT did early in the season with the EGG line in order to get DD going?

      This team desperately needs more balance in its scoring. Bergevin knows this and that’s exactly why he went out and got Vanak. Someone besides Patches needs to start putting pucks in the net, especially 5 on 5.

      There seems to be a mutual affection between Max and DD and I wouldn’t be quick to separate them. However if I’m Therien my priority would be to find scoring somewhere and if that means putting the Eller-Galchenyuk-Gallagher trio together I’d do it.

  29. shiram says:

    Man this day is dragging on and on.
    Looks to a warm and sunny day out too.
    Can’t wait for 5pm to come.

  30. Un Canadien errant says:

    Post from Timo from previous thread:

    MARCH 7, 2014 AT 10:49 AM
    This team inspires very little confidence going into playoffs. Therrien cannot make in-game adjustments to save his life and only one line shows up to play.

    Timo, you couldn’t bring yourself to give David Desharnais credit? You were so close!

    I’ll consider it progress.

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


  31. Maritime Ronn says:


    I’m not Mr. Boone or Stu that you requested….so you can take this answer any way you wish.

    The easiest answer to your question is that coach’s coach, and GMs do the GM thing.

    In the NHL world, GMs are more big picture ( Present-Future-Cap World-Managing total hockey department- PR- *** Managing Up …), while coaches are all about ‘The Now’ and their win-loss record – the reasons why the 2 roles are separate, and almost have to be separate.

    Rest assured that GMMB and Coach MT are in constant contact every single day… and the day that good communication stops, or they find each other on a different hockey philosophical page, the relationship is OVER.
    ( See Ted Nolan past Buffalo-Islanders)

    A good GM will do everything possible – with owner’s approval if there happens to be ‘self imposed’ budget restrictions, to secure the best players possible for the organization, considering their own evaluation of talent and overall character (off ice behaviour-room considerations included…)

    Once identified or traded for ( Vanek) , it’s the Coach’s responsibility to find the right mix.
    In almost all circumstances, the Coach controls and makes the decisions of who plays – who sits – and line combos…and the very smart ones always keep their GMs in the loop…
    That’s why they are hired, and that’s what they are paid to do.
    There must be a sense of Trust between the two.

    What is never talked about is ownership intervention.
    A GM will always protect his owner (or he won’t ever have a job) yet that doesn’t mean moves are not made because of ownership or their whims.

    While Geoff Molson is considered an Ace in that area, other supposed leaders were not.
    Some tough, recent, brutal Habs history includes Ronald Corey (Patrick Roy and others)…or look no further than Mr. Wang of the Islanders.

    The NFL/MLB/NBA also have their own issues in that area with the Cowboys Jerry Jones – Dan Snyder of the Redskins – Marc Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks – James Dolan in New York….and the list goes on and on…and never forget Jeffrey Loria.

    • FANHABULOUS says:

      Thanks MRonn, great points as usual. I agree that coaches should coach and managers manage… I just hope that MB isn’t sitting up in the rafters, watching the game and going “why the hell do the coaches have our new offensive weapon on the wrong line?”. And if he did think that, is it simply a case of telling MT “hey man, put TV on another line” or does he just shut up and hope his coach figures things out.

      “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

      • ffenliv says:

        If the movie Moneyball is any guide, no self-respecting coach takes orders from a GM about how/where/when to play a guy. That said … Hollywood, right?

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          hi ff

          That was a fun movie to watch.
          I have no idea if that was the true relationship between Beane and his manager.
          As for NHL hockey, I have a slightly better idea how it works.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi FAN

        Let’s give it some time.
        It may take several games for Vanek and his line mates to figure it out.

        The above quote was all telling:
        “…For me it’s just about studying their habits and getting to know their routes so I can contribute with them better.”

        I just hope Habs fans don’t expect the 2nd coming of Mario Lemieux.
        This is a guy that should be considered as a 30-35 goal scorer – not 50 or 60.

        The other aspect is his skating, which may come across as ‘lazy’ by some (usual suspects), IF Vanek goes 3-4-5 games without scoring a goal that his history shows.

        Here is just 1 scouting report:

        Assets: Is a natural goal-scorer, with plenty of size to fight through traffic and battle against big NHL defensemen in front of the net. A superior shot tipper, he owns the hands of a true sniper, and is usually in the right place at the right time. Can really shoot the biscuit. Passes well, too.

        Flaws: ISN’T A GREAT SKATER, so he tends to struggle when his positioning leaves him.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Nailed it right on the head Ronn. The good thing about the Canadiens is that Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien have a great relationship. Michel Therrien trusts that he’s not on thin ice, that he has to win now, and thus can take long-term decisions, in terms of icetime and matchups and other factors. Marc Bergevin knows that his general plan, his vision for the team, will be implemented by his coaching staff.

      Compare that to the situation in Vancouver, where it’s rumoured that the Aquilini family was the one who pushed to hire John Tortorella, they felt a new tougher coach might wring more from the roster. Mike Gillis would have gone another way, but acceded to his owner’s wishes. It’s proving to be an awful decision and a poor fit, Mr. Tortorella’s playing style doesn’t match the roster.

      The thing is, he apparently has the ear of the owners now, and he’s the one who stood in the way of the housecleaning Mike Gillis was trying to start. Of course, Mike Gillis and John Tortorella have different goals. Mike Gillis now needs to convert current assets for futures, where John Tortorella wants to retain the veterans to win now. They’re working at cross-purposes, and both have lines of communication with ownership. It’s a mess, it’s dysfunctional, and the results are clear to see on the ice. Compare to the undermanned roster of the Calgary Flames, who work hard and compete under a coach that most thought was a lame-duck. It’s not flattering to the Canucks that they are, conversely, in free fall.

      There is the impression in Vancouver that Francesco Aquilini, who’s a fan, is getting involved in decisions, and has made up his mind that Mike Gillis will be let go this summer. Of course, that will be a plum job, working for an owner who meddles, and having a coach who’s already installed and can do an end-run around you and go straight to the owner. Great, should be easy to get results in that job. Like Garth Snow and Charles Wang.

      The decision by John Tortorella to start Eddie Lack during the Heritage Classic, which blew up the Roberto Luongo situation, is a prime example. I can’t believe that the coach ran this by the GM, even informally, and got the latter’s assent. It was the brick thrown in the mostly quiet pond, just created waves for no reason. If John Tortorella trusted Mike Gillis and vice-versa, they’d have discussed it, the coach would have said he was leaning in the direction of starting Eddie Lack because every point is precious. Mike Gillis would have probably expressed doubts, due to his long relationship with Lou, who is a proud athlete. He’d have explained that it might be a good tactic but the wrong strategy, prevailed on the coach to play his veteran, and that if a loss ensued, it wouldn’t go on Torts’ record, so to speak.

      This conversation should happen between a coach and GM team. We’ve seen David Poile and Barry Trotz work in lockstep for years, as have Ken Holland and Mike Babcock, or Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff. Strong organizations work better when they have clear lines of communication, everyone knows who he reports to, and everyone pulls in the same direction.

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


      • Maritime Ronn says:


        Impossible to add anything to your above astute comment.
        A true 6… on a 5 Star rating! ( and no former East Germany judges considered…)

        It appears we actually do see eye to eye on certain items.
        I won’t do the smiley….

      • FANHABULOUS says:

        The Vancouver situation is a mess indeed. I’m glad our owner-GM-coach setup is solid, it once again shows how important it was for Molson to hire the right guy, and have him in turn hire all of the right people. It’s also great that Bergevin isn’t the type that wants to do it all on his own (hello, Mr Burke), and trusts the opinions of those around him.

        “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Yeah, Brian Burke had a huge supporting cast in Vancouver, and in Toronto, but he was hogging all the spotlight. But then again, he acts all gruff and miserable when he’s on camera, like he hates doing it. Maybe he’s good at it in spite of himself. In any case, his omnipresence in the media makes it hard for us to know how much he delegated.

          You do get the sense that Marc Bergevin got his pick of assistants, and that they work in a collegial atmosphere. Rick Dudley deciding to stay instead of exploring the Buffalo situation is good evidence of that.

  32. Un Canadien errant says:

    Tweets from Roberto Luongo during last night’s shelling of the Canucks by the Stars:

    Strombone ‏@strombone1 17h

    Strombone ‏@strombone1 15h
    If I was still the back up I coulda came in and mopped this game up nicely…..

    Strombone ‏@strombone1 15h
    I’d put Thing 4 in for the 3rd period*

    (*=Corey Schneider and Lou were Thing 1 and Thing 2)

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


    • HabinBurlington says:

      It is funny to read and I enjoy it. But don’t you think his joking of his old team like that shows just how much complete contempt he ended up having for the Canuck Franchise?

      • D Mex says:

        I sure do.

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

      • Habcouver says:

        Absolutely true. Lu has been a true professional in the position he was in. Twitter was his relief valve but yes, albeit entertaining it’s now time to can the comments and messages, Lu.

        We Are (Not) All Canucks.
        Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Luongo is having a great time now.

        He is where he and his family want to be.
        He can go out without getting mobbed, and they can enjoy their lives.
        Golf in December, January, and February after practice isn’t so bad either.

        Roberto has already earned over $60M USD gross.
        He is set to earn another + $31M USD in Florida over the next 8 years…and even if he calls it quits after 5 years, he’ll still collect another $28M.

        Enjoy, Roberto!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        The guys on Team 1040 discussed it, they felt the first tweet was funny and had no problem with beyond a general comment on the sorry state of the Canucks. They had more of a problem with the second, felt it was a direct slap at John Tortorella, who’s down now, and shouldn’t need a kicking. The third is a reference to a running joke with James Duthie, and again the radio guys felt it was not as supportive of Eddie as it could have been.

        Overall, they still think he has a great sense of humour, and hope he got it out of his system, and that he’ll ease off now. I guess I don’t disagree with their take.

    • Habilis says:

      Luongo has overtaken BizNasty as the funniest NHLer on Twitter, and it’s not that close. Dude is hilarious.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree, but I do think he is showing a slight lack of professionalism in this case. Having said that, Gillis and Torterella show no professionalism so perhaps all is fair in love and war.

        • Habilis says:

          Yeah he may have put a toe over the line, but with what they put him through over the last two years, he’s entitled to that.

          Luongo was a very good Canuck soldier through that entire debacle. A lot of established NHLers his age wouldn’t have been. He’s earned some slack, IMO.

  33. Un Canadien errant says:


    These are the top three lines.

    1) We need to jolt René Bourque back to life, let’s see if a couple of seeing-eye passes from David on his stick for tap-ins gets him re-energized. And as we’ve parroted to each other ceaselessly for a couple years now, he has had his best seasons playing on the right wing, even though he shoots left, it’s an Erik Cole situation.

    René would need some very hands-on coaching, with lots of video, telling him where he needs to be. David darts everywhere in the offensive zone, and Max seeks out open spaces so he can unleash a wrister, therefore René’s job is to stand in front of the net, dig for the puck behind the net, generally make himself a nuisance to goalies. He’s not contact-averse, or lazy, he just sometimes seems to be aimless, like he’s not sure what his role is. Let’s narrow it down for him: you’re Brendan Gallagher, but bigger and stronger. And you’ll get goals. Lots of them, if you find your stroke.

    2) Same with Daniel Brière, give him more of a chance to produce by putting him on the top line and allowing him to be creative. Massage the lineup based on who we’re facing, insert René when the other team is bigger and tougher. Insert Daniel against speedier teams, or when René’s focus flags.

    3) Thomas Vanek prefers the left wing spot, give him a few games to let him acclimate to Tomas and Gio. Unless there’s a fundamental lack of chemistry, he should be fine. The effort should be there, it’s his contract year. If he looks at Michael Ryder’s case this off-season, he’ll figure out it’s not in his best interests to coast for the final twenty games.

    4) Kid line! Let’s attach the Gallagherizer battery to the electrodes on Lars’ neck, see if he can jump-start his game. When Max was injured early this season and underperforming, and David was going through an existential funk/drought, they were given the benefit of the Brendan to get their sync back. If it worked for them, if it was fair and right to do so, let’s do the same for Lars, and Alex, to a lesser degree. While I do remember that this line runs hot and cold, and they were ice-cold when they were broken up, it’s certainly worth a shot to see if they can re-capture the magic. You think Lars won’t get an extra spring in his stride seeing Brendan on his left wing instead of Dale Weise?

    5) The bottom line should normally consist of Ryan White at centre, or sometimes Brandon Prust, with a rotating cast of Travis Moen, Brandon Prust and Dale Weise on the wings. Mix in Michaël Bournival when he’s ready. Deploy the Parrosator when necessary. In very rare circumstances should Daniel Brière centre this line, and again this would only occur when playing an opponent when we need scoring instead of size and toughness.

    I know there have been a lot of suggested line combos since the Thomas Vanek trade, but mine are better. I expect that all posters will now move on to other things, since we’ve settled this matter.

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


    • Mr. Biter says:

      A few wacks with a 2×4 to Bourque’s ass may motivate him.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

    • on2ndthought says:

      Briere- Chucky – TV

      “a cannonading drive”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I have been told countless times here that Eller should be able to score hat tricks every night even with zero linemates. In fact he should be able to score with Frankie the Bull on one side and Crankshaft on the other.

      Therefore I cannot endorse your suggestion of reuniting one of the best lines we have seen this season.

      Nope just can’t……..

      (FYI, did suggest this the minute we got Vanek)

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I buy in to that a little bit. Lars, or any NHL’er for that matter, should seize his opportunity, do the most with his icetime, and force his coaches to move him up in the lineup, get more powerplay time, etc. All players are competing for that precious time, it’s not something that should be deeded to a player based on potential. To a certain extent.

        Having said that, it’s obvious that Lars is confused, his confidence shaken. To manage him, to get him going again, get him pointed in the right direction, we need to try something different, use more carrot than stick maybe. Heck, what if it worked, and everyone benefited?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I am completely for trying that Norm, just a pet peeve I have where other Centers are given the best players on the team to get out of slumps whereas some centers are given the worst players on the team to get out of slumps.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Just bench Bourque already. I can’t believe MB didn’t get rid of him already. Rather see Eller, Chucky, Briere, Bournival, Weise, White, Prust and Moen play over him. With Vanek here now, he’s useless.

      EDIT: he was useless before Vanek came here too…LOL

  34. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I could care less how the team does on this trip. They never do well on the road in the West anyways. Nobody from the East really does as well so it all evens out. I also do not care right now if Vanek is going to sign with the Habs (even though I don’t believe he will). Maybe people should wait until after the season?

    What I am worried about are the injuries and the play of the D. Hopefully everybody gets and stays healthy. The D looks disorganized. Aside from the offense of PK and Markov, the rest looks a little weak. Emelin is still not back to last year’s form which could be troublesome in the playoffs. On a good note PK and Tinordi looked really good. They complement each other well. Hopefully MT gives them a long shot together. They are the future.

  35. HammerHab says:

    Chucky-Pleks-Vanek = The Plevanyuk line! 😀


    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  36. CHicoHab says:

    I don’t follow any other teams and am not aware of how they play their personnel. But it seems to me the Habs have one big huge carousel going with different players on different nights. If course when a regular is injured like Price or Prust it’s necessary to refill spots. But it’s like we are still having try outs with 17 games left. Not to mention the benchings or healthy scratches. Why don’t we have one consistent direction this late in the year.

    • Timo says:

      The gelling was nearly complete, but then Bergevin brought it more depth in Weaver and more scoring in Vanek, so now re-gelling is in process. It’s a process, man… need to be patient.

    • Mattyleg says:

      It would be very easy to create 4 lines at the beginning of the year and leave them that way for the whole season.

      This would require, of course, that all players play the exact same way and with the same intensity, drive, skill, mental state, and productivity every single game.

      The players are, however, unfortunatley human, and will go through slumps, will have off games, and will lose focus or overthink things that should come naturally.

      Thus, with the humanity of our players in mind, the coach needs to be constantly flexible in order to maximise the production of players who are doing well and encourage those who are not.

      It’s not a science, it’s an art.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  37. Habcouver says:

    The big rant about the Canucks on the radio today: “they suck”. No kidding. This organization has messed itself up to a point of needing a complete rebuild to get things at least respectable in the future.

    The radio talking heads mentioned that many Nuck players have to accept the label of “whipping boys” and just rise to the occasion. In contrast, I immediately think of our boys like Briere or DD and how we point our fingers of blame upon them. However they seem to rise to the challenge and contribute to the Hab’s success.

    Life is great in Habsland.

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  38. DickandDanny says:

    Don’t blame the team, the schedule, or base this loss on the easy excuse that the players were ‘tired’. Budaj was awful. That is clearly where the loss belongs, on his shoulders. We were clearly in the game, down by one and pressing for the tying goal with 7-8 minutes left in the third when he lets in a horrid looking 4th goal. Just awful. Make a save already. That goal looked like my goalie back in Tyke days many moons ago. This is why Budaj is and will be a career back-up, 1-2 weak goals every game. Can’t make a timely save. When the heck is Price coming back???
    On another note how does DD interfere with anyone let alone a goalie? He’s 5’5, 150 lbs. If they had called goalie interference on Phoenix second goal (which it clearly was as Budaj’s stick was lifted and he was interfered with by the player going through the crease. Yes it’s a subtle play, but anyone who has played hockey knows how to do that to a goalie to throw him off balance) then I have no problem with our goal being waived off also. However, and as is usual with the refs they can’t get it right. What is a penalty at one end is not called at the other. No consistency. i think that is why MT was so pissed at that call on DD. Call it both ways you morons.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Can you blame a backup for playing like a backup?

      Moving. Forward.

      • DickandDanny says:

        Good one. It is frustrating that the difference between a starter, like Price, and a back-up like Budaj, has to be showcased in just about every game Budaj, or another back-up plays. Can’t we ever have a guy come in for us, and stone the other team like what happens to us at least 10 times a season. Oh, wait a minute we thrived on that situation for years didn’t we, with Dryden, Penny, and then Roy. I guess we’ve used that trick up.

        “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

        • Mattyleg says:

          What you just wrote makes no sense.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • DickandDanny says:

            If you were old enough to remember the context of my comment you would understand.

            “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Ken Dryden had a great backup in Bunny Laroque, Doug Soetart/Brian Hayward were good to above average backups for Roy, Penny didn’t have nearly a long enough career with the Habs to compare too.

            I think his point is somewhat valid as it relates to Dryden / Roy having competent to above average backups.

            Having said that, prior to this stretch with Price actually hurt and not playing, Budaj has played very well.

            Budaj could/should have been much sharper last night, he shouldn’t have been all that tired.

            Edit: After 1990 our backups got much worse, Red Light!

          • bandaide says:

            He means those 3 popped out of NOWHERE as rookies and stoned everyone to win cups just like some AHL dood walks in and stones us from time to time 😛

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Ya that fourth goal was killer, really the only one I felt he should’ve had.
      1st goal, crazy lucky bounce
      2nd goal: disallowed
      3rd goal: great shot
      4th goal: budashe needs to make that save
      5th goal: deflection, hard to fault him

      no legs and no bounces and no big save = loss. forget and move on

      Shaker out

    • ont fan says:

      I blame Price. Oh, that’s not popular here anymore. OK, I blame Georges, he didn’t play? Ah MT, that’s it MT.

  39. Caesar says:

    A quick comment to all the lady hockey fans from Buffalo Boston Detroit and Philadelphia. Please look at all the female fans behind the benches or near the glass when your team play out west. Please take your example of how to dress from them or Montreal only.
    No feathered hair unwashed parted in the middle please. And unless you are totally hot enough no caps with your team’s logo. A little more make up and cleavage would not hurt–please see LA game for tips. No jerseys, ever, they do not flatter, instead try a nice t-shirt with the team logo or something.

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      For the men, no combovers, and lose the pot belly. If you have let yourself go, spend your ticket money on a treadmill. No man cleavage, ever. Shave, or trim the beard – duck dynasties are for the birds. No t-shirts – have a collar even if there’s a jersey over it.
      Take off the cap, you are indoors. And if you look like a walrus, don’t sit behind the sens’ bench.
      In fact, if you don’t look like you are auditioning for a beer ad, don’t go to the game. Be eye candy.

  40. Un Canadien errant says:

    @ Luke, re: Rule #3)

    I believe Cliff Claven said it better when he put it this way: “Dames is grief.”

    I can’t find a link to video, but here’s the exchange:

    Sam Malone: Hey, Cliffy. How ya doin’?
    Cliff Clavin: Not well, Sam. Boy am I mad. I’ve never been this upset! Three words, fellas. Three words… “Dames is grief”!
    Norm Peterson: Fighting with ma, huh?
    Cliff Clavin: Oh and how.

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


  41. jimmy shaker says:

    Bring back weazy with moen and white for saturday and get frankie boo in there for weaver. Sit bourque, let eller, gally and danny b have a go on the third line and if carey cannot go, get budashe another shot. One nice goal, one he should’ve had, one should’ve been disallowed, one deflection where IMO the goalie is never to blame and that huge bouncing looper that started the yotes off in a positive note. Just didn’t have the legs at the beginning or the bounces. Shake it off and bring on sharknado.

    Shaker out

  42. GL says:

    The Guys are tired. Cut them a break even if they should lose tomorrow …. This is not a bad team to watch when they are rested. They have beaten some of the best along the way in the last few weeks.

    • Habcouver says:

      I have no problems with Habs losing if they are putting out the effort as a team. Positive night in and out: Gally. I am concerned about Bourque and hope there are no underlying issues with his performance that don’t meet the eye.

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  43. GL says:

    Everyone coming up with ideas of whom Vanek should play with. Leave that up to the coaches. If you think Vanek is gonna score every game. I feel sorry for your upcoming disappointments. Vanek was brought in to try and get us a big goal when we need it but it’s not gonna happen every game. like every other player He’ll have his good games and bad ones so don’t be idiots and throw him under the bus. Should this Guy sign with the Habs in the off season he’ll help the team. He has provin it with other teams!!

    • dano58 says:

      Not worried about him scoring every game just worried about M/T suffocating him with his useless dumb(p) and chase system this season. Hopefully as some have supposed they go back to their old system in the playoffs as control of the puck is critical to scoring. Blocking shots only means you play way too much in your own zone.

      GO HABS GO!!!

      “Always looking to better my team.”-M/B

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I thought we make the decisions around here, since when do the coaches have a say?

  44. bwoar says:

    Definitely need to keep Vanek-Plekanec-Gionta together to see if it can gel. A couple more practices, 4-5 more games at least to get an idea if it’s a trio that works well together. It’s safe to ignore last their efforts last night given the circumstances under which the game was played.

    It was nice to see Vanek first to a few loose pucks in the O-zone, I can tell yuzz all, very nice indeed.

    • Habfan17 says:

      One thing I would like to know, on which wing does Vanek produce better from?


      • Habilis says:

        From everything I’ve read, he prefers the left side. No clue what the stats are though.

      • bwoar says:

        He prefers left, Ruff insisted he liked him better on the right. But production-wise I really don’t know. I’m sick of us trying to play wingers in places they don’t succeed. If he’s happy on the left, I’d play him there. He may even one day re-sign with us and remember that the coach didn’t try to put him in the obvious RW spot.

  45. Un Canadien errant says:

    Regarding whether to play Dustin Tokarski on Saturday in San Jose, I vote no, emphatically.

    I usually can’t tell if a goalie is doing well unless it’s by referring to their save percentage. If they stopped pucks, as Devan Dubnyk would say, then they did their job. But unless I can see a goalie flub a couple of easy shots, let one go through his glove, or Bernier a zone clear, and know he had an off-night, or conversely, make a series of highlight-reel worthy saves and know that he deserves to be awarded a star, I have a hard time analyzing their performance.

    In Mr. Tokarski’s case on Tuesday though, I think even I could tell there were huge flaws and mistakes in his game.

    1) As described by many, he does look small in his net, there were acreages available for the shooters to targets. He’s a smaller than average goalie compared to the current standard. He seemed to hunch down, get all compact, maybe getting ready to spring out a pad or stab at a puck with a glove, but until he did, boy could I see a lot of net. I wonder how Teemu Selanne felt watching the game, he must have been kicking himself, thinking he would have buried five or six if he hadn’t been ill.

    2) I would think that a smaller goalie would be quick like a cat, agile, a whirling dervish making impossible saves, like Rogatien Vachon or John Van Biesbrouck, compared to a bigger goalie like Ben Bishop or Pekka Rinne, who would rely on his size to cover as much of the net as possible, cut down angles, and basically let the puck hit him. Yet Dustin didn’t look too graceful or coordinated, epitomized by the play on which Ryan Getzlaf hit the post on a wrist shot. As the Duck cut across the crease, Dustin went from his right to his left to track his movement, except he seemed to catch an edge, and he tripped and fell down awkwardly on his keister/back, and then flailed ineffectually with his leg pads at a shot he guessed would be targeted top shelf. Inelegant, and not confidence-inspiring.

    3) During the shootout, in the camera shots from the shooter’s perspective, you could see a lot of room between the legs, which a couple of Ducks went for. Usually, a goalie shows very little room between the pads, as his weight is balanced and he remains ready to move in either direction. The opening is slim, and I marvel that some shooters can fire a puck through there. “He went five-hole!”, the announcer will say, and I’ll ask myself “What hole?” And when they drop to their knees in the butterfly, then the giant pads do their job, and there’s nothing to shoot at.

    In Dustin’s case, he seemed to have a pause as the shooter made up his mind, when he’d be frozen in an asymmetrical stance, with one knee closer to the ice than the other. It looked kind of unsteady, and left a lot of room in the five-hole. Now I’m not sure if it was a trick, if he was baiting the shooters to go there and knowing he could shut the door, but it looked odd, at least.

    Now I know Dustin has had to battle the perception that he’s too small to succeed his entire career, and prove skeptics wrong at every level. He battled against the Ducks, overcame some bad luck, got some good luck later on, and ultimately came up with the win, which is what counts.


    In terms of who should start on Saturday against the Sharks though, I’m going with the surer bet. Peter Budaj had an off-night in Glendale, but we can ascribe it to the fact that the team got in at 0300 hr the night before, didn’t get a morning skate, and just looked listless in the first. They fought back in the second, but eventually capitulated when the Coyotes scored their fourth goal. They can regroup on Saturday, and the Canadiens should give themselves their best chance to win by putting their more accomplished goalie in nets.

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


    • DickandDanny says:

      Don’t blame the team, the schedule, or base the loss on the easy excuse that the players were ‘tired’. Budaj was awful. That is clearly where the loss belongs, on his shoulders. We were clearly in the game, down by one and pressing for the tying goal with 7-8 minutes left when he lets in a horrid looking 4th goal. Just awful. Make a save already. That goal looked like my goalie back in Tyke days many moons ago. This is why Budaj is and will be a career back-up, 1-2 weak goals every game. When the heck is Price coming back??? On another note how does DD interfere with anyone? He’s 5’5, 150 lbs. If they had called goalie interference on Phoenix second goal (which it clearly was as Budaj’s stick was lifted and he was interfered with by the player going through the crease. Yes it’s a subtle play, but anyone who has played hockey knows how to do that to a goalie to throw him off balance) then I have no problem with our goal being waived off also. However, and as is usual with the refs they can’t get it right. What is a penalty at one end is not called at the other. No consistency. i think that is why MT was so pissed at that call on DD. Call it both ways you morons.

      “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

      • Alex_425 says:

        “… 1-2 weak goals every game.”

        That’s a good one.

        • DickandDanny says:

          Absolutely. Two weak wrist shot goals from bad angles against Pittsburgh. The terrible 4th goal last night. 1-2 weak ones every game. They cost you and last night his 4th goal allowed cost us 2 pts. The team could not bail him out.

          “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

      • olematelot says:

        I guess I watched a different game.

        • DickandDanny says:

          How so? You didn’t see the Habs dominate the second period. You didn’t watch them have a goal disallowed, while a Phoenix goal was allowed that should have been disallowed. And then Budaj lets in the weakest goal I think I have ever witnessed to take us effectively out of the game when we were down by ONE goal with plenty of time to tie it up. Yup, that’s the game we all watched. Which game was it that you were watching?

          “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

      • boing007 says:

        Right on!

        Richard R

    • Alex_425 says:

      Agree. Budaj should absolutely start against the Sharks.

      The boys were exhausted, plain and simple.

      • DickandDanny says:

        Exhausted? They out shot Phoenix 11-1 in the second. We were down only one goal with 7-8 minutes left in the 3rd, until Budaj lets in one of the stinkiest goals ever. Which effectively took us out of the game. if I am a player on the team I am not happy with my goalie today. Plain and simple. it cost us the game.

        “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

        • olematelot says:

          You seem to be the only one in ALN and here that has put the blame on Budaj.

          • DickandDanny says:

            In a one goal game when your team is busting it’s ass to tie the game late in the game and your goalie gives up a terrible game ending goal which takes all the air out of the tires that is where the game is lost. It was not lost because of the players being tired, two games in two nights, and all that BS. The game is either won or lost usually by bad plays. PK knows that scenario all too well. So lets let the blame lie where it belongs for once, not on PK shoulders, not on the players, how about a weak untimely goal by the goalie. If you can’t admit that then enjoy a life of mediocrity.

            “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • Blondie says:

      Ha! I’ll bring my reply over from ALN too. 🙂 To wit:

      I agree, I’d start Budaj. He’s the better goalie and just had a rough time last night.

      If Tokarski starts and the game goes to a shootout, though, I’d like to see Budaj go in for it.

      I thought wee Dustin looked far out of his league during the shootout. I noticed the weird stance too but with the amount of room it opened up on the glove side, and the way he had his glove tucked in close to his body, I thought he was challenging them to shoot there. But it looked like a *lot* of room, even for a challenge. His reactions looked pretty slow too – did he even stop one? I seem to recall that the ones that didn’t go in missed the net.

  46. habsr4ever says:

    We are EAST contenders no doubt about it. Stanley cup contenders – forget it. Gorges broke his hand by the sounds of things. I know there are a lot of people who want him gone – but I think last night showed how much we miss his 20 + minutes of DEFENSIVE hockey. Tinordi’s rush and turnover on the 4th goal was a killer. At least he tried it but I am just say’in….if Gorges is paired with PK there – we know that fourth goal does NOT happen. Tinordi played a solid game and he is ready for PRIME time. I think he has passed Murray already. Weaver – looks smaller than I thought he was out there…..but don’t expect any offense from him either. 5th rounder for him is ok – but I was hoping we got a steal out of this deal. U get what you pay for. He better play more physical if he is going to find a role/spot on our blue line. I would rather have Beaulieau out there than him then. Price will be back against the Bruins….no sense playing in the Shark tank. FOUR more days of rest will do him wonders. Sharks 6 Habs 2. Budaj is a BACK UP goalie – it has showed more than we want to realize. He has done good for us this year but $1.4 M for a back up goalie – he SHOULD do well. $7.9 M on goalies is quite steep. Thank goodness Budaj only has one year left. when you have a 1 A starting goalie you should not be paying NORTH of a Million bucks on your back-up in a cap world. EVER.

  47. BrownHabFan says:

    For the love of satan please get gio off that line with pleks and Vanek

    “I couldn’t really hear the words that Jeremy was saying because I got my 2 stanley cup rings plug in my ear”
    Patrick Roy

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Actually have been impressed with gio of late……he seems to have picked up his pace out there on the ice and has been playing well with pleks IMO. I’m sure his contract or lack of one is motivating him a bit too.

      shaker out!

  48. Frank2468 says:

    I wasn’t surprised they lost last night they looked tired but I was hoping they would have gotten a point or won cause the Sharks is a tougher team to beat. If they had won last night then Saturdays game is just gravy cause if your 500 on the road your doing good. Watching Eller and Bourque on the same line was like watching Dumb and Dumber. I actually felt bad for Gio and Brière when they were out on the line with them.

  49. FANHABULOUS says:

    I have a general question that maybe some of the posters, and especially if Boone or Stu could comment on this (since they know more about the inner workings of the Habs):

    I don’t want to get into the “which line should Vanek be playing on” debate, as most of us have already spoken out about it. But I’m thinking about this problem from a management standpoint. We know that GMs generally let the coach make up his lines, let him decide who gets PP or PK time etc etc. But let’s think about it from the management’s point of view.

    So MB and his group come up with a vision of how the team should play, and therefore what the composition of the team should be. I’m sure MT and his coaching staff have a say, and must ultimately share in this vision or there would be a big disconnect. Now, MB and Dudley et al watch the team play all year and think to themselves “if we could only get a skilled scorer like Vanek, then we could have a great second offensive line to compliment the DD line”. What I’m saying is, they have a “vision” of what the lines should look like and where he should play (after all, they are the architects of the team).

    They make the trade, but now the coach puts their new goal scorer on a defensive line (I don’t want to get into the argument about whether Pleks can produce offensive etc… just pay attention to the main point I’m trying to make). So what does the GM do in such a case? Does he go to the coaching staff and tell them “Hey guys, we had a vision for how these lines should look, and where our new acquisition should be lining up, and it doesn’t seem like you’re putting him in the same position as we envisioned”… or does he just make the trade and hope his coaches ultimately makes the right choices?

    If I’m the architect of the team, and the guy who is in charge of making my vision come to life is going about it in a different way, shouldn’t I have a major say in how he sets the teams lines?
    “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

    • ont fan says:

      Supposedly the best minds in the game shuffled their lineup for half the Olympics. Lets give the coaches a few games to fit In Vanek

    • Alex says:

      I think they probably suggest something to the coach. Probably “We would like to see X player have more PP time” or “We would like to see Y player play more of this type of role”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I hear what your saying and I think you make a valid point. My only thought here is Gionta has been a decent goal scorer in the past. Perhaps that has entered into the conversation?

      A few more games and we’ll have a better idea of where he fits best.

      • FANHABULOUS says:

        Thanks guys. Again, I’m not so interested in the specifics of which guys should play where… mostly interested in the dynamic between the GMs and the coaches, and how the management’s vision is carried out.

        “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

  50. Alex says:

    I really think Galchenyuk and Vanek should play together, they are both offensive minded players who are not meant to start in their own end. Use them for their strengths and their ability to make plays, not defensive zone starts where they struggle to break out and enter the opposing end. Yes Plekanec is our best two way forward, however he is also very good offensively. If we need a defensive forward line I would put Eller with Gionta and Moen or Prust when he is back. Gionta doesn’t score much anymore anyways and is reliable in his own end. Eller has been cold offensively but still strong defensively. A Plekanec, Vanek, Galcheyuk line would have a lot of potential. Galchenyuk needs a sniper to finish his plays and they would compliment each other well.

  51. billylove says:

    After taking a 2 goal lead in the 1st, the Penquins got steamrolled by the Sharks. Dominating, statement type game by San Jose. I think Price should pass against SJ as it will likely be a real shooting gallery.

  52. Luke says:

    Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn’t make sense! Am I wrong?

  53. crane says:

    Vanek Gally Gally
    patches D.D. Borival(similiar to gally)
    Bierre Plek. Gionta (Moen)
    Wiese Eller Prust(Bork)

  54. theflukester says:

    LOL! New guy(s) on team but practice scrapped? Life’s good in Canadiens land eh? Saturday should prove to be interesting.

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

  55. Timo says:

    That poll question about Habs winning the cup… are you kidding me? Habs still have only one (ONE) line that poses any kind of offensive threat. Their defense has 1-2 dman and the rest are third pair defensemen at best. Their fourth line doesn’t intimidate anyone and at best plays 5 minutes of absolutely brutal hockey. Cup my rear end.

    • Alex says:

      Timo, I don’t think we are a true contender by any means. However If Pacioretty keeps it up in the playoffs, Vanek heats up, and Price comes back and plays like we know he is capable of, who knows. The east is wide open and anything can happen. I don’t think we would be able to beat the team coming out of the west, but I hope we can make some noise so our young guys get some playoff experience.

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      Yet they’re still better than 13 of the 16 teams in the Eastern Conference.

      Price gets hot in the playoffs, our domination of the Bruins lately. Anything can happen.

    • theflukester says:

      Ya I know what you mean, I had a laugh when I saw that poll too.

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

    • Cal says:

      Cupping your rear end may prove to be difficult unless your willing to have it clamped first.

  56. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Also, what did Beaulieau do that’s keeping him in Hamilton? I thought he looked great before the Olympic break, plus it gave us an actual second PP.

    Seems nuts to be keeping him down.

  57. habstrinifan says:

    I miss Bournival!!!!!!!!!

  58. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    I’m not basing this off last night’s game, but I’d really like to see Chucky with Pleks and Vanek.

    Not sure if he can play the right side, but that’d be a better solution to me, if he can.

  59. Commandant says:

    For the first time ever, the full 99-line Wayne Gretzky poem that was written for his jersey retirement night in Edmonton. The Oilers cut out 25 lines when they published it in the game program (the parts about his career in LA and beyond).

    Huge add for the Caps, as Evgeny Kuznetsov has left the KHL and is flying to Washington.

    Go Habs Go!


  60. 24 Cups says:

    I’m still not sure what the real extent of the injury is to Gorges’ hand. Does he have a broken wrist, broken bones in his hand, or a broken or cut thumb?

    The playoffs start in five and half weeks. I trust that is enough time for any hand injury to heal. Of course this also gives Tinordi and Weaver a chance to show their stuff. Plus Carey Price is getting a much needed resbite at the perfect time of the year. The only other question mark now appears to be Prust. His addition for the post season will be perfect timing.

    (I feel Bournival, who won’t be able to crack the present line-up, should be shutdown for the year. Forget sending him to Hamilton, it’s not worth it).

    • Timo says:

      Yeah, that is some line that is hard to crack… what with all the Briere’s, Bouques, Moens, Whites, Giontas and Ellers of the world. I agree that Bournival should just be given the rest of the year off. Can’t mess with that concussions stuff.

  61. Maritime Ronn says:

    February 26, 2014

    BROSSARD, Quebec — Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will miss the team’s next 2 games because of a lower-body injury.
    2 games has now turned into 6 games.

    ” The Canadiens also announced there would be no media availability on Friday.”

    This Sunday will be the 2 week mark since Carey has played a game.
    Habs org. seems to be keeping quite the tight lid on any Carey info updates.
    Here’s hoping for some good news in the next few days…..

  62. dabouz says:

    Lets not freak out about Vanek,
    But is there a reason MT didnt TRY him with anyone else.

    Also, since we’ve never officially had a top 6 guy brought in at deadline. i also find it hard to judge and not to hold myself back from criticizing a guy floating around. Lets give him a chance, just because all eyes are on him doesnt mean eller and bourque didnt suck up the night too

    db out.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      A player like Vanek, who is ultra talented, gets a lot of leeway IMO. I’m not talking about being a defensive liability and costing your team goals but I’m fine with him floating around out there if he consistently swoops in and creates goals.

      • dabouz says:

        All im saying is lets give him that chance before trying to run him out of montreal.

        Kinda sucks his heart will never be here though, one foot out the door.

        db out.

  63. HabinBurlington says:

    On a complete different topic, this concept of a memorial for the horrific shootings in Norway in 2011 seems very well done to me.


    • Hobie Hansen says:

      There is no words to describe that day. What happened in Norway was pure evil. I just skimmed through that article and came accross this:

      “The right-wing extremist was found by the court to be sane and sentenced to the maximum penalty of 21 years in prison. ”

      What the heck happens after 21 years? The guy will be in his 40s or 50s!

      • Alex says:

        I’m not sure it is relevant in this scenario, and this guy is clearly not right, but historically Norway has amazing rehabilitation in their prison systems and it is completely opposite to North America. Although like I said, I don’t think that would apply here

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          This sounds a bit crazy itself…but if I was related to any of the victims and this guy ever got out of prison…it would be very difficult to not take the law into your own hands.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          You bring up a very great point Alex. Agree that this scenario in particular perhaps doesn’t apply, but unfortunately in North America the concept of rehabilitation is extremely limited. My brother spent years work for V.O.R.P. (Victim Offender Reconciliation Program) as a volunteer in both California and Winnipeg. The rewards he was able to witness as alternatives to just simply imprisoning people was astounding.

  64. The Jackal says:

    Hey guys, what happened to the Habs being a contender?
    I thought Vanek was a great addition, but the trade was clearly a bust!
    Fire MB and MT!

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  65. Alex says:

    Vanek will be fine, it was his first game with us, a completely new team to him. He did float a lot last night but I think that is just the type of player he is, but in the opponents end he is dangerous. All I hope is that Therrien plays his strengths and uses him properly and to our advantage. Last night we saw him being started in our end shift after shift, I don’t think he or the team will be successful that way. He’s not a defensive player, never has been, don’t try and make him a better person Michel!

    • Strummer says:

      The guy hasn’t even attended a pratice yet, basically baptism by fire.
      Serenity Now!

      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  66. HabinBurlington says:

    Any chance in the picture above, MT has Gallant writing down the phone number of the cute blonde behind the bench?

  67. Mattyleg says:

    Six games in nine nights.

    Eghhhh… but at least we get that mega-meaningful 82-game schedule in, right?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  68. Garbo says:

    This place is amazing. Before last night’s game, the poll showed over 50% believed the habs could win the cup.

    After ONE loss, that number drops by 6%.

    I believe that is the definition of bandwagon.

  69. Luke says:

    Forget the HI/O show thread. I was still sitting in the ALN thread wondering why the conversation died.

    It is going to be a long day…

  70. boing007 says:

    Ogdred Weary.

    Richard R

  71. Timo says:

    Yeah, poor tired darlings. I’d be tired too if I had to skate for 20 minutes. Brutal. How do they do it?

  72. Cal says:

    I would like a decent showing tomorrow in SJ. However, the whole team is doing much better than I expected this season. Very glad to see MB go for it by acquiring Vanek. Those already ruing the loss of Collberg should just relax. The kid hadn’t progressed like the Habs staff wanted, so he was made available for trade. It’s not like the Habs lost a Patches or a Chucky.
    Giving the Habs a better chance to succeed “right now” is a boost for the whole roster, especially during this arduous road trip.

    When Price gets back between the pipes, the team will be better. The few days off before the Boston game will give them a chance to recharge the batteries and gather some rust.

    • Timo says:

      I saw a lot of floating from Vanek and not much else last night. He will be another Brother Andrei K, but fortunately only for a couple of months.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I’d say it’s because he doesn’t want to show Therrien any of his skills just in case he decides to ruin/undermine/devour them.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Cal says:

        Playing for that BIG contract, I doubt he’ll float around. He looked like a guy trying to adjust to what his linemates were doing and not quite getting it. He will need a couple practices and a lot more talking with Pleks and Gionta to get on the same page.

  73. 24 Cups says:

    Lots of people like to discuss line formations so this is a look at how last night went down.







    5.16% (PP minutes)

  74. krob1000 says:

    Rest up boys

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So following up on Timo’s excellent point of what MT could have done better yesterday. Clearly he should have gone into all the players hotel rooms prior to check in and had the clocks moved back 2 hours. Then in the middle of the night gone back in and moved them back ahead 2 hours. This would then have fooled the players into thinking they had an excellent nights sleep and they wouldn’t have been tired.

    • ProHabs says:

      I’ll second that

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