What They’re Saying: Canadiens pack their bags and meet with media for last time this season

STU COWAN and PAT HICKEY

The Canadiens met with the media for the last time this season Monday in Brossard following their elimination by the New York Rangers in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final series Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Here’s what some of the key players were saying. You can also the news conference with general manager Marc Bergevin and coach Claude Julien on the HIO Facebook page.

(Photo: Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Carey Price

The all-star goalie has only one season remaining on his six-year, US$39-million contract and can become an unrestricted free agent next summer. GM Marc Bergevin will either have to re-sign Price or look into trading him before he can leave for nothing in return. Price finished the regular season with a 37-20-5 record, a 2.23 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. His numbers were even better in the playoffs with a 1.86 GAA and .933 save percentage, but they weren’t good enough to beat the Rangers as the Canadiens scored only four goals in their four losses.

On losing to the Rangers: “You got to give that team credit on the other side, too. They played pretty well defensively, Hank (goalie Henrik Lundqvist) played well. I think we all just needed to just find a little more to give and that would have been the difference.”

On his contract situation: “I don’t have any worries about it. I’m sure it will all take care of itself. I love playing here and I’m sure we’ll figure something out.”

Would he be willing to take a hometown discount so the GM can sign other key players: “That’s part of the business, right? That’s a tough question to ask me right now. Put me on the spot, huh? Like I said, I want to stay here. I know we’ll figure out a way to make all the pieces fit and bring a championship here.”

Does he expect management to make moves this summer? “I don’t know. I feel like we have a lot of the right pieces here. It’s a tough job (Bergevin’s) got. Whenever you don’t win, you want to take a step back and re-evaluate what you got. But I feel like we have a lot of really good pieces here.”

On the small margin of error he has as a goalie on an offensively-challenged team: “It would be great if we could score five goals every night. In reality, it’s a hard league to score goals in. A lot of teams play really well defensively and that’s the nature of the game. It would be great if we could score a lot of goals, but they’re not going to expect that very night.”

On the makeup of this year’s team: “We had a lot of character on this team. We got great chemistry here. It’s one of the most fun years I’ve had here with this group of guys. That’s kind of one of the most disappointing parts is when you know you had a group in here that could have done it and you just fell short. It’s really disappointing.”

On the future of this team: “We got a lot of guys that played well in the playoffs. A lot of the young players … like Lehky (Artturi Lehkonen) played so well in the playoffs. We got a bright future. Guys are gaining experience … every year you gain experience is great.”

On Shea Weber and Claude Julien: “Obviously, we all know what Shea brings … that steadiness, that leadership. The style of coaching that Claude brings is going to benefit me, too.”

On Alexander Radulov: “Everybody knows how he plays. He plays hard and he’s a fun guy to hang out with. He’s a character. He made it fun to come to the rink every day.”

On Alex Galchenyuk: “He’s a really good hockey player. He’s got all the tools. He’s also gaining experience. He’s still a really young player. He’s been here for a while, but he’s still a young player. He’s got some things to learn and I’m sure, no doubt, he’ll make the proper strides next season.”

On deciding not to play for Team Canada at the upcoming world championship: “I’m not going to be going. It was a pretty long season for this guy. We already did the Team Canada thing once this year (at the World Cup of  Hockey). I just really wanted to spend some time with my family.”

On his plans for this summer: “Decompress, go golfing, spend some time with my daughter, my wife. It’s going to be her first birthday coming up soon, so just enjoy the time being Dad.”

Is he planning to keep his playoff beard? “Well, yeah, my wife likes it so that helps. I’ll probably keep it for a little while anyway.”

Alexander Radulov

He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 after completing a one-year, US$5.75-million deal he signed with the Canadiens as a free agent last summer. Radulov will earn even more on a new long-term deal after producing 18-36-54 totals in 76 regular-season games and then 2-5-7 totals in six playoff games. But will his new deal be with the Canadiens?

Did he work out a new contract in his exit meeting with Bergevin Monday? “Yeah, I just did (smiles, laughs). No, we didn’t mention it much. We understand each other and I am really thankful to Marc, who brought me here (from the KHL) to give me the opportunity to be back in the NHL and play in the best league. I like Montreal and I like it a lot. But it’s not like I can tell you more. We have to take it step by step … eventually I’m going to talk with my agent and we’ll go from there.”

Is he looking for a long-term deal? “I want to have more than one year, obviously. But it is what it is. We’ll see how it’s going to go and where it’s going to go in a matter of time.”

Is Montreal his first choice? “Right now, yeah, it’s my team. We’re going to go from there. Give Marc time.”

On this season: “Obviously it’s not the (way) we wanted to end it. We would have loved to play more, but it is what it is. It’s hard. But like I said before, you got to learn from it and go on. Everyone gave their best, everyone was trying, but like I said there were little details, little mistakes cost us games and the series.”

Max Pacioretty

The captain led the team offensively during the regular season with 35-32-67 totals, finishing first in goals and points But he could only produce one assist in the six playoff games.

On losing to the Rangers: “It hasn’t really sunk in because we feel we could have won that series and it’s a tough pill to swallow. There are things that we have to learn from it and get better from. But I feel like the process was there, we had the right mindset. We worked until the end and it could have gone in our favour. But you still have to not make excuses and own up to the fact that we fell short and as a group we have to be able to rebound from this and handle this adversity the right way. And hopefully we can do that. … We have to own up to the fact that we fell short and our goal was to do much better than we did results wise in the playoffs. I understand that we have to look in the mirror and learn from this and be better from this. But I truly believe that this adversity will make us better and that’s kind of how I’ve based my whole career is off trying to be better from situations like this and trying to overcome adversity and prove people wrong, and this is no different from that.”

On the disappointment of an early end to the playoffs: “It’s disappointing because we had such high expectations. Even right before the buzzer, we still felt that we were going to pull it out. It’s disappointing, but this is life and it’s how you handle this. I’m motivated to come back, just as I am every year when we don’t achieve our ultimate goal. Ready to come back and try and be a better player, a better teammate, a better captain. Because we saw how special it is to win games in the playoffs in this city. To be able to bring happiness to the fans’ lives. We didn’t see it last year, but we got a glimpse of it this year. That’s our main goal and we plan on working as hard as we can to get better from this and achieve that next year.”

On getting 28 shots against the Rangers — the most in the first round — but not scoring a goal: “I know that everyone will have their own opinion on it, so it’s kind of a tough thing to talk about. But I have to take ownership for obviously not producing offensively. Whenever the puck doesn’t go in people tell me to worry about the process and the result will take care of itself, and I did that. I think I did a really good job of that, just worrying about what I can control and worry about my game. I feel the process was there, but I still have to do a better job of achieving the result that I want and our team wants. It’s only one of these situations that I can learn from and get better from.”

Alex Galchenyuk

The 23-year-old forward, who can become a restricted free agent on July 1, finished the season with 17-27-44 totals in 61 regular-season games and had 0-3-3 totals in six playoff games. He says he wants to stay in Montreal.

On coming into the season as the No. 1 centre and finishing mostly as a winger: “I think I answered this question way too many times and you’re asking me again. So I’ll have the same response. I don’t know what you’re trying to get out of me.”

When asked to assess his season: “It was an up and down year. By the end of the day, we as a team we lost in the first round and that’s definitely disappointing. But we can stand here and talk about what went wrong, but I’m already focused about next year.”

On his progress under coach Claude Julien: “Since Day 1, he was always positive with me and we had a lot of great discussions.  He spoke well and he’s been great.”

On becoming a restricted free agent this summer: “Honestly I don’t think about contract stuff too much. I focused on what I had to do on the ice and let my agent take care of the contract part. Trying not to think about it too much. Get some rest and refresh and keep working hard for next year.”

On suffering two knee injuries this season, which limited him to 61 games: “It was a tough thing to deal with, but it’s part of the game. You can’t really find that many players that go through a season like they wanted to go through … no injuries, no nothing. Everybody hopes for it and wishes for it, but things like that don’t happen and inuries are a big part of the game. It’s unfortunate but it is what it is and I had to deal with it. … It was tough coming back from injury. But I’m not going to stand here and make excuses about injury or not. It was tough and I’m going to leave it there. You wish it didn’t happen, but it did … it’s part of the game.”

Does he want to be back in Montreal next season? “I love this team, I love the city, I love the fans. Everything about Montreal I love. It’s an exciting place to play.”

Is he hoping for a long-term deal with the Canadiens? “Our season just ended a couple of days ago. I honestly didn’t give it too much of a thought yet.”

On his plans for this summer: “Every summer I try to work on some new things. It sounds cliché, but you want to get bigger, stronger, faster. Of course, it sucks that it’s going to be another pretty long summer. But we all got to dig in and work hard and give us a chance to not have a long summer again.”

On what went wrong against the Rangers: “I really don’t know. I think everybody’s shocked and disappointed. We can stand here all day and talk about what went wrong, but at the end of the day right now it really doesn’t matter. We’re out … we’re out in the first round and that’s not where we worked all year to be in the position we are right now. It sucks, but we got to learn from our mistakes and bounce back.”

Did the Canadiens use him in the best way possible this season? “I think everybody has their job. Coach’s coach and players got to play. Of course, I wanted to do some things differently on the ice, but you can’t always get what you want. Everybody competed, but things didn’t go our way. It’s frustrating, but it is what it is.”

On starting the playoffs as a fourth-line winger: “You got to go out there and play your best and that’s where my mindset was. I never complained, never had a bad attitude about it. I was always positive and I wanted to go out there and help the team win. That’s the end of it.”

What was the biggest lesson learned this season? “I don’t know. It’s tough … it’s very tough to answer that right now when really the feeling of the season’s done didn’t really sink in yet. You’re still personally in shock and disbelief. You got such big hopes and dreams and now you’re standing talking to you guys this early in April. It’s weird, disappointing. We got to bounce back.”

What part of his game needs the most improvement? “I think everywhere. Obviously, I’m not going to lie .. I feel really comfortable in my offensive abilities. But I just want to be a better, complete player and I’m going to work on that with coaches and I want to bring my game to the next level, for sure.”

Does he still have a big future with the Canadiens? “Of course. Looking back at the year, it’s my fifth year. I definitely think that.”

Andrei Markov

The 38-year-old defenceman, who has spent his entire NHL career with the Canadiens, can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 but wants to stay in Montreal. He’d also like to have a new contract with the Canadiens before July 1. Markov posted 6-30-36 totals in 62 regular-season games and had one assist in the playoffs.

Looking back on this season: “It’s too bad we didn’t go long enough. But at the same time, it’s a positive note in the (regular) season and I’m looking forward for the next season.”

On his intentions for next season: “My first option’s going to be in Montreal … I’d like to stay here. I’ve always been here and most probably I’d like to finish my career here. So we’ll see what’s going to happen in the summer. … My family likes the city and I love the city.”

Will he be looking for a contract longer than one season? “I’d like to stay for the rest of my life. We didn’t talk about any details … we didn’t talk about contract situation yet. We’ll see.”

On how much longer he wants to play: “I’m going to keep that answer for myself.”

On the team’s future: “I think we still have lots of room to improve ourselves … many guys a little bit better next year and the team a little bit better next year. There’s lots of positives for the future and hopefully we’re going to keep working and going to be better.”

On possible off-season moves by management: “It’s not about me … it’s about them. I’m sure they’re going to do their best to make our team better and we’ll see.”

On what he likes about playing in a tough market like Montreal: “Every time you step on the ice it’s a great feeling … the crowd, the fans and the city, you can see how passionate they are. That’s something special. You guys (in the media), it’s something special, too. Not every city have media like you. That’s a special city and everybody knows it’s a special place to play hockey.”

Shea Weber

Acquired in the blockbuster trade last summer that sent P.K. Subban to Nashville, Weber posted 17-25-42 totals in 78 regular-season games and had 1-2-3 totals in the playoffs. The 31-year-old has nine seasons left on a nine-year, US$110-million contract.

On the season in general: “I had a great time here my first year. I enjoyed every minute of it and I think we have a good future ahead of us. It’s tough to sit and look at the future, but I think it’s bright. We have good pieces here and we’re just going to get better moving forward.”

On adjusting to Montreal: “The adjustment was made quickly. It was easier than I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be difficult after being in one place for 11 years. Looking back now, I love it here and I’m looking forward to  moving ahead.”

On possible off-season changes: “It’s tough. It’s not going to be the same  group of guys. You don’t know who’s going to be here. That’s part of pro sports. Even during the year, pieces are moving all the time. It’s hard, but you have to adapt and adjust and be ready to go.”

On convincing Radulov to stay in Montreal: “I think he wants to stay. He likes it here and he’s a big part of our team. We don’t know what the summer’s going to hold, but we’ll continue to talk during the summer and I’ll see what I can do. If he doesn’t come back, it’s on me. … He generates a lot from nothing. You think nothing is going on and he’s got the puck for 10, 15 seconds, shielding guys off, drawing one or two guys to him and opening it for someone else. He has the ability to get the puck to them and he can score himself.”

On the need to add more offence: “It’s easy to say that now that we didn’t score in the playoffs, but we’ve got to take ownership in this locker room. We didn’t get it done here. (Management) tried to give us the pieces and made deals at the deadline to  make us a good team, and we had a good team, but unfortunately we didn’t get it done.”

On a missed opportunity in playoffs: “I have eight years left on my contract (it’s actually nine) so I have eight more chances. It’s hard to get into the playoffs and once you get in the playoffs, you never know. Anyone can win it. That’s the hardest part to sit here, and it’s not wasted. We gave it our best, but we missed an opportunity. You never know. Last year, the team missed the playoffs and you never know when you’re going to get back. I believe we have the group that can do it and we can make more noise next year.” 

On Alex Galchenyuk: “He’s a huge part. Everyone wants that guy who can make the difference and we have that guy. He just has to find that consistency. He’s a great young player, but you have to do it every night. I’ve seen glimpses of his potential, but I don’t think he’s really tapped into how good he can be. He has unlimited potential, his talent is ridiculous, but he has to realize how good he can be. Some guys take longer than others, some guys it happens right away.”

Paul Byron

Acquired off waivers from Calgary before the start of last season, the 5-foot-9, 160-pound winger posted 22-21-43 totals in 81 regular-season games and had one goal in the playoffs.

Looking back at the season: “It’s hard to take much positive in the year right now. The loss is still pretty disappointing. We were all prepared to be in this rom for a morning skate (today). It’s hurts. We had a lot of faith in this team, a lot of confidence, and we didn’t think we’d be in this position.”

On what part of his game he can improve on: “I think I can improve on consistency. There was a stretch in the year when I had a bit of low time. There was some fatigue, stuff like that. In the off-season, you work on your conditioning, training, to my make sure you’re consistent for 82 games. Staying healthy is important and I’ll work toward staying healthy and getting better.”

What can the team do better? “Scoring goals is the No. 1 thing. We have the offensive talent, the player personnel, it’s just a matter of doing the right things on the ice to get those opportunities. Goals are hard to come by in the playoffs, but I know we have the talent to get the job done. But if everyone plays their own script and deviates from the game plan and you’re not supporting each other as a five-man unit, it gets hard out there.”  

• Bergevin says: “We’re not going to blow up this team,” by Pat Hickey

• Pacioretty must learn to block out the negativity, by Stu Cowan

• Habs-Rangers series decided on a bounce or two, by Jack Todd

488 Comments

  1. veryhabby says:

    Team has a few holes and decisions to make. I want to bring up another thought.

    I don’t think we can win in playoffs with 3 small players like Gally, Shaw, Bryon all on our top6, or top 9. MTL needed more size, so MB found non offensive 4th liners with size. It’s not what a team needs to go far in the playoffs. We need more size on our top 6-9.

    All 3 of these guys I love. But all 3 on the same team, all playing important roles….I am not sure it’s a winning combination. So who to trade?

    Gally: would bring in best return, he is a proven 20+ goal guy, heart and soul. Do we believe he can score 20 again?

    Shaw: After CJ arrived I finally understood what he brings to a team. Loved it. Was a warrior too in playoffs. Least offensive of the 3 small guys. Doesn’t generate offense, and with our lack of C power there was none to play with who set him up. How did he score so many with Toews?

    Bryon: Does anyone think we have a consistant 20 g, 2nd liner here? Will he score 20 playing on the 3rd line with the guys on this roster. Sell high? Cheap cap makes him easy to trade?

    I am sure many of you think no way we can trade these guys, I just listed their great qualities…we need them. But my point is, again, too many of the same in too many key points. We don’t need size on bottom line. We need bigger goal scorers. I honestly don’t see 20 goals in any of these guys in a season moving frwd. And altho not proven, if they decide to keep Hudon he will be another small offense player (altho should be more offensive then the 3 mentioned here).

    So do we use one to package in return for a top 6 winger with size? Do we trade say Bryon to open a spot for Hudon?

    I just see Gally, Shaw, Bryon and think all 3 on the same team’s top 6-9 just won’t cut it.

    IMHO

  2. boing007 says:

    Tavares or Price? Halak vs Price Part Two.

    Richard R

  3. Bash says:

    Time to give the kids a chance! Hudson and Scherbak have really improved; they are both creative offensive players with upside. DLR has matured – a team leader with the Caps and finding some offensive moments. Bringing these kids in now with a coach who it is said CAN develop young players will answer some cap questions. make the playoffs, develop the kids and leave enough cap room for the big addition as necessary or possible.

    Hudon Chuck Rads
    Pac Dan Scherbak/Gallagher
    Lehk Dan Gallagher/Scherbak
    Shaw DLR Mac

    Mitchell, Martinsen

    Gone to Vegas, traded, unsigned etc:
    plecs, king, ott, flynn

    “Damn it Jim I’m not a doctor; I’m a hockey expert.”

  4. Luke says:

    Hey Folks! Happy Tuesday.

    Can I get a confirmation on whether or not Hudon and dlR met the minimum GP for exposure in the expansion draft?

    I don’t think they did. But I am not exactly confident with that conclusion.

    Also, I hope that MB makes a couple illegal Lamoreillo-esque Collusion deals with Radulov and Markov so there are deals in place one millisecond after the expansion draft.

  5. adamkennelly says:

    wonder why no one is asking for answers on WTF happened with Chucky?

    playing injured? damaged goods? off-ice? his play and production dropped off a cliff – important to understand what went wrong so it can be corrected.

    of all the deadline acquisitions Benn and Martinsen stay – King was a disaster and while Ott met expectations – not sure we have room for him if Mac is to be given a shot (i.e. full time job) as the 4th line center.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      My guess: his game requires a lot of confidence. It’s like a high wire act. This is the difference between him and Lehkonen, Gallagher types who just go pedal to the metal.

      Galchenyuk is trying to make difficult plays and if he lost confidence after his knee injury that’s enough to cause him problems.

      —–

      • knob says:

        Further to your point, guys like Lehkonen and Gallagher can virtually play on any line, with any player and still have some level of success. I think that Galchenyuk needs to play with a high skill player. Galchenyuk will never be the guy that makes his linemates better but if playing with another high end player, he will put up great numbers.

        in all thy sons command

    • Dust says:

      Important for the coaching staff and player to know what went wrong.
      Not the media and fans

    • Kylo Ren says:

      Chucky scored at a better PPG pace this season than he did the previous year. The issue was his defensive play (he was a minus player) – and what that might say about his desire, and his ability to play center. My take from the presser was that MB and CJ were trying to help Chucky realize what his role was on the team.

      Let’s not forget it took Steve Yzerman a long time to learn to be a two-way player – and to win a Cup.

    • powdered toastman says:

      Re King…seems unlikely as it appeared as if the coaches loved his play (did he even sit out 1 game?)…btw I agree with your opinion concerning King.

    • New says:

      There is nothing wrong with Beaulieu or Galchenyuk except the Peter Pan Syndrome. Neither wants to grow up, but they love the big money toys and pro attention. Remind you of another former player? Yes, really.

  6. DipsyDoodler says:

    None of the teams left in it are teams I hate.

    Don’t really like Corey Perry. There are a few Rangers I’m not crazy about. Pittsburgh have won enough cups.

    But really I’m OK with any of these teams winning the cup.

    So:

    1. Senators (go ahead, hate me).
    2. Predators (well run team, good fans, PK)
    3. Blues (so Halak can get his name on the cup)
    4. Capitals (Russians will be even more powerful in Washington)
    5. Oilers (yes, they tanked but it wasn’t deliberate)
    6. Pens
    7. Ducks
    8. Rangers

    —–

    • Kylo Ren says:

      My favorites:

      1. Edmonton (for Davey D and McLellan – latter got a raw deal in SJ)
      2. Nashville (for PK and David Poile – the latter always comes across well in interviews)
      3. Caps (for Ovie and Trotz)
      4. Pens (for Sid and Rutherford)
      5. Blues (good team but can’t get excited about them)
      6. Ducks (same as Blues)
      7. Sens (can’t forget the Gryba/MacLean era, even though they aren’t there any more)
      8. Rangers (can’t forget what Kreider did)

      • Ozmodiar says:

        So you don’t want the Sens to win because of the Gryba era, but have the Oilers at #1 on your list …. Gryba’s team?

        • Kylo Ren says:

          I agree it seems inconsistent, but MacLean was part of that with his dismissive treatment of Eller’s injury; moreover, my wanting Davey D and McLellan to win trumps what Gryba did.

          I didn’t want to have CJ as coach, either, because of his association with Lucic and Chara – but he’s winning me over.

          Being a fan isn’t rational, I admit. It’s ok for you to call me out on it.

    • Dust says:

      halak plays for the NYI not the blues

    • knob says:

      Caps, Blues or Preds for me.

      in all thy sons command

  7. Cal says:

    A reminder for all of you in Sholi’s Sportsnet Pool: the 2nd round begins tomorrow and you have until then to make your picks.
    Cheers!

  8. Forum Dog says:

    Habs currently at around $22.5M under the projected $73M cap for 2017-18. They have around 5 ‘key’ positions to fill with that money, either through a direct re-signing or a replacement/upgrade (which will cost at least as much or more in both real dollars and/or assets):

    Radulov ($6M) – Was probably MTL’s best forward this year. He was productive and enthusiastic for most of the regular season, and definitely in the playoff. He’s gonna need at least $6M to stay, and I’m not sure they can let him walk since they don’t have a tonne of assets to trade for a replacement, and the UFA market for forwards is pretty weak (he is near the top already).

    Markov ($5M) – If he wants to play another year, and I think he does, it will likely be in MTL. His game is slowing down, but he is a still a 40-50 point defenceman when healthy and will have value as a mentor for Sergachev. He may play for $5M on a one or two year deal, but I doubt he goes much less than that. A better replacement is not really available, and taking his presence out of the locker room could be disruptive on its own.

    Galchenyuk ($4.5M) – They may trade him for a perceived upgrade, although I’m not sure they will really get that. Is someone like Duchene truly an upgrade, especially over the longer term? He may come in and produce similar numbers and provide more consistent play at centre, but he costs $6M/year and is only signed up for two more. Meaning he could walk for nothing shortly after he arrives. If they are not comfortable giving Galchenyuk term (i.e. 5 years), then try and get him on another two year deal for something like $4-5M. He still has the potential to be more than a guy like Duchene, he would be cheaper on a similar timeframe, and you wouldn’t be trading the asset. But in order for it to work they have to use him as a top offensive player, commit to playing him down the middle, and truly let him develop there. Live with what he is and don’t expect Patrice Bergeron.

    Beaulieu ($0) – He is likely gone. Sergachev is coming for his spot, no question about it, and Beaulieu’s future is almost certainly elsewhere. Even with Sergachev, the Habs will need to add another d-man. Benn is a useful player, but really isn’t enough. Maybe Juulsen is closer than I think, and he would be the long-term answer.

    Top 6 Forward – If you assume all the above is fair, that would leave around $7M to bring on another contract, recognizing that you’ll need to leave some wiggle room going forward to resign Price and Pacioretty. Moving Plekanec may solve some or most of that, and it needs to happen for future development purposes anyway. If it is true that Kovalchuk is interested in coming back, he will probably demand that much. As mentioned, I don’t see any great help coming through the UFA market, and they don’t have a tonne of assets to trade and get real value for, so an international player like Kovalchuk may be their best option. Get him and Radulov on 3-5 year deals worth a combined and go for it. Of course, there would be the cost of getting him out of the swamp, and I’m not sure what that would be. If they could do it for a prospect and a pick, and not a valuable roster player, that would be ideal. Unlikely perhaps, but ideal…..

    • Captain aHab says:

      Habs would have to trade some of these assets we don’t have to NJ to be able to negotiate with Kovalchuk.

      —————-
      Drop da puck already!

      • Forum Dog says:

        That would definitely be the sticking point. But what about Plekanec, a mid-level prospect (i.e. Hudon, Scherbak, DLR) and a 1st rounder? Would that do it? Maybe, since I think Plekanec could help Jersey in the short-term. Possibly not enough though. Depends on how much they value the rights to Kovalchuk, and how many teams would be in real competition (i.e. have better assets and the ability to actually get Kovalchuk under contract). There might not be that many trade partners for him….

      • Ozmodiar says:

        No negotiating rights. NJ would have to sign and trade.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Pacioretty and Beaulieu for Tavares.

      —–

    • chilli says:

      Habs will sign Rads.
      And they should pay him whatever he wants.
      He’s our ‘signing a top line forward’ this off-season… so we can’t let him walk.
      And we can cut corners in the bottom 6 to make up for the cost.
      No more Beaulieu and if needed we trim some of the other fat and just deal with it.
      To let him walk over a million bucks is ridiculous. Give him the money. The MVP of the team in terms of skaters.
      Save it on a lower impact positional player.

      • Forum Dog says:

        Tough to save it on the lower impact positional players when they are on multi-year deals over $1M (and up to almost $4M in Shaw’s case).

        There is also an irony to letting Beaulieu walk, in that they are hitched to Davidson (who I don’t think is any better than Beaulieu) for another year at $300K more than what Nate makes.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Would not want Kovalchuk. He is 34, and as Captain Ahab mentioned, it would also require giving something to the Devils. I would rather they try for Shipachev, Dandanov, or another player with skill who would not cost an asset and is younger.

      Habfan17

      • Forum Dog says:

        Fair enough. Shipachev might be a good option, but he is still 30 years old and has never played an NHL game. A motivated Kovalchuk, who is much bigger, more physical and with 800 NHL games under his belt, could be a an impact player, even at 34.

  9. Cal says:

    If the Habs are going to be a 1st or 2nd round team (and it looks like they will be for the foreseeable future, they may as well be entertaining.
    It’s funny how these days your #1 center has to think defense first from the moment he’s out of junior.
    I remember players developing more of a two way game as they matured. Nowadays, if your Hab center is Lafleurian, he’s not Lemairian enough and vice versa.
    The Habs eff up players development because they want players to be what they aren’t. That’s what happened to PK. Whatever he did, on or off the ice, Habs management wanted the opposite. Flair and flamboyance, meet dull and boring. Well, we Hab fans got our asses kicked in 6 games in the 1st round. So much for winning the division.

  10. Captain aHab says:

    I still don’t get it.

    He can’t comment on contracts but puts it out there that there is no way that Price is traded or not signed. Unless he has a deal in place already, that is some of the worst negotiation I have ever seen.

    And once and for all, to all the folks saying he can’t be traded because we would not get the value back, I give you Plekanec. For years I said he should be traded while he still had value and for years folks came on here saying you can’t trade him because we wouldn’t get the value back. That worked out just swell with him now having a boat anchor contract for the last couple of years. If we re-sign Price to a 5 year, $6M per contract then fine. But puhlease don’t pay him a huge amount of the cap. We have really good goalie prospects. Are they sure things? Nope. Neither are Sergachev or Juulsen. Neither is Price. His knees might give out or his game might fall a couple of notches like Pleks’. No matter how much people want to believe that it would not happen to Price, it still might. And the trouble is that when you pay a guy huge dollars, the team cannot afford for that player’s game to falter as it will become an anchor – at that point, you have to count on a career-ending injury so you can IR his ass off of the payroll. Not so with guys who are paid far less. And, with the Canadian dollar in the crapper, the cap might not be going up that much in future years so you can’t necessarily count on that either.

    If he loses Radulov and gives Price the keys to the franchise, you better hope he has a plan to get some sort of offense because this will start to look a lot like the NJ Devils of old without the ability to clutch and grab as much.

    I think that Radulov’s year makes it tougher to sign Shipachev to a reasonable deal. There will be more GMs willing to give him more $$ and term as they will see that it paid off on Radulov.

    And what was that about a team not needing a #1 C? Or that there are different definitions of a #1 C? The question that should have been asked to MB when he was dancing on that issue is “do you think that any of your current centers is a number 1?”. And WTF has Hudon done to Bergevin? The guy is playing really well in the AHL and never gets a sniff and MB said in the presser that there are no C ready in the AHL. I’m hoping that this is to get LV off of thinking of taking him. And before people get their knickers in a bunch, no I don’t necessarily think Hudon is a #1 C, but we already know that none of the guys in the NHL are either so it might not hurt to check just in case he lights it up. Can you imagine if LV takes him and he becomes an offensive dynamo?

    Oh well….
    —————-
    Drop da puck already!

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I couldn’t believe how nobody in the media didn’t ask about Pleks’s performance and contract yesterday. Blah blah about Chucky’s defense when he had the 2nd best point per game on the team. I thought when you pay guys 6 million they are supposed to score. Whatever…

      • Ozmodiar says:

        Bergevin did comment on Pleks performance.

        ~ disappointing regular season, got his ‘mojo’ back late season, and playoffs.

        Folks around here will be surprised when he gets protected in the draft. They resigned Terry mid-season for a reason. He meets unprotected criteria, along with Mitchell.

        • Captain aHab says:

          If we protect Pleks and lose Hudon, that will be the final nail in the dumbcoffin. Pleks did play better near the end but dear lord he was still a minus player in the playoffs.

          —————-
          Drop da puck already!

          • Ozmodiar says:

            the plus minus stat is one that shouldn’t be looked at in isolation.

            2 missed assignments by Byron on the face-offs ended up in the net. Another, an empty net goal. There’s 3 minuses right there.

            Hudon isn’t even an NHLer (yet). Won’t be a centerman next season. MB said they had none ready in the minors. At best, he’s 4th line LW behind: Max, Lehk, Byron …. unless there’s changes.

            As yourself what Hudon and Pleks would return in a trade at the deadline. Consider recent Vermette and Hanzal deals. Hudon would get you ~ a 5th rd pick.

          • Captain aHab says:

            Ask yourself how much cap space you would save by having Pleks plucked off of your team. And why does Hudon not get any love despite playing real well in the AHL and doing pretty good in limited NHL exposure? Is it that he has friends who, GASP!, drink beer?

            And ask yourself if, on a team that lacks top end offense and whose manager claims you cannot trade for it, get it as a UFA or generally draft it where the team drafts, if it makes a whole lot of sense to expose a young guy who might still be an offensive dynamo instead of an overpaid guy who has already gone passed his offensive days?

            —————-
            Drop da puck already!

          • Ozmodiar says:

            Hudon isn’t top end offensive talent. The Habs don’t see him as a centerman next year, so he wouldn’t be the replacement. There’s no room @ LW for this ‘offensive dynamo’.

            Hudon would get very little in a trade. He’s approaching an age where they’re going to have to cut him loose.

            You’re overrating this prospect, relative to what the Habs see in him.

            Habs are tight on the cap, but not in cap trouble. They can afford to keep Pleks.

  11. jacquesthemonkey says:

    It’s too bady that Pleky is making so much money. I would love to see him finish his years as a defensive specialist on a checking fourth line like the good ole days à la Doug Jarvis.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Yes, it would be nice if he were making less. Since he is not, then I think it best he is moved if it is possible.

      I would like to see Markov back, in a and or 3rd pairing/mentoring role. Then, only if he would sign for one year and for $4 million. If he truly wants to remain a Hab, then he would do it. I do think that I read that either Alfredson or Lidstrom signed a series of one year contracts towards the end of their careers. That is fair for both sides.

      Habfan17

  12. Praj12 says:

    Every year it is like a broken record. They just keep repeating the same worn out lines “cliches” year after year. Man I feel like a leafs fan feels.

    HABS fan since ’68

  13. Praj12 says:

    Gees with all this “learning” and “gaining experience” BS these players should have doctorates!

    HABS fan since ’68

  14. on2ndthought says:

    I had a disturbing thought last night. What if Beaulieu is the Benoit Pouliot of defensemen? Big, skilled, but unable to consistently put it together in game situations.

    Answer: so what? He becomes an inconsistent bottom pairing player with a mean streak and skills that amaze from time to time.

  15. Mavid says:

    165

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

    Weed Wacker – and Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

    • on2ndthought says:

      Rome conquers Parthia. The returning Roman soldiers bring a plague (smallpox?, measles?) to the empire, wiping out the emperor and 25% of the general population.

      • Mavid says:

        excellent…at least the countdown will be educational..

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

        Weed Wacker – and Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

  16. HabFab says:

    Zachary Fucale is a hard prospect to get a read on. Inconsistency seems to be his middle name but put him into a play-off environment and look out. Habs loan him to Team Canada for the Spengler Cup and suddenly 2.00 GAA, .934 SAV% with the Cup. Brampton gets into the ECHL play-offs and a 1.20 GAA, .959 SAV% first round victory.

    • Coach K says:

      There’s an easy explanation. Like with Price, Fucale had a better team in front of him when playing for Canada than the one assembles by Bergevin’s team. I would fully expect his numbers to be better…

      -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
      (James Lane Allen)

  17. charmenian says:

    carey price: “It’s one of the most fun years I’ve had here with this group of guys.”
    i guess one has to say something positive during the exit interviews with the media even in a year where the head coach of several yrs was fired so late in the season…
    maybe it wasn’t as turbulent of a period as i remembered it to be when it was happening…

  18. Danno says:

    Pacioretty is a dud but still has value because of his 35-goal season. He disappeared in the playoffs and did nothing when it mattered the most. MB should take advantage of this fact and move him to some team for a decent centre who plays with heart and desire. Then Gallagher can be named captain because he deserves it and would be one which he other players would respect instead of saying “Are you kidding me?” whenever he says “Let’s all give it 100% guys!”

    ________________________________________

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

    • on2ndthought says:

      I’m on the opposite side of that coin. It’s time to trade Gally and get bigger on the wing. To insulate Plek next year, and Bitten down the road.

      • Coach K says:

        I would offer both Max and Gallagher up in a trade (let’s be honest, both have reached their repective ceiling) to get bigger and more skilled up the middle and pick up some insurance for the back end or in goal.

        -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
        (James Lane Allen)

    • BensontheButler says:

      I don’t mean to be rude, but I have no idea how a fan base can consider Pacioretty a ‘dud’. The last three seasons he’s sixth in the league in scoring behind only Crosby, Tarasenko, Ovechkin, Kane, and Pavelski. He’s scored 30 how many times again? In this NHL? What are you going to replace him with? How about getting him a true centre? Right, MB doesn’t think you need one to win a Cup. Habs fans should be extremely happy to have one of the league’s top consistent scorer. Playoff performance, because it’s such a short season, depends and relies on the totality of team play and a player’s individual performance is tied to that. We ask Pacioretty, it seems to me – a winger – to be both a centre and winger. We don’t really insulate players well and then wonder why they *suck*. Danault is not the answer. To compare to another sport, we hear the same thing about Messi and (less so now) Ronaldo. We seem to penalize them fro not scoring or dominating a World Cup; which is absurd. Just my take. Cheers.

      http://www.quanthockey.com/nhl/seasons/last-3-nhl-seasons-players-stats.html

      Benson

      • Habsbill24 says:

        Good post. If the Habs traded Max for a number one center, then the team would be looking for a potential 35 goal scorer that the center can feed, exactly what they had and let go. I don’t get most of the posts on this site. The team needs goal scoring and many on this site suggest that the solution is to trade the only guy on the team that is a goal scorer. Radulov for all his skill only had 18 goals, basically half that Max scored. Yes, Max had a bad playoff, but so did Toews and Kane with one goal each, should Chicago trade them as well?

      • The_Rocket_Returns says:

        Yup. If Jean Beliveau was playing now half the people here would be whining about how he doesn’t fight or hit enough and is a terrible leader.

        … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • Dust says:

      Yep he also has a good contract so he should fetch more than what the leafs got for Kessel.

      I think Weber would be named captain though

  19. The_Truth says:

    Price isn’t going anywhere and neither is Chucky. Montreal has enough of a talent shortage as it is. Beaulieu won’t make it here however.

    Price is 8 years at 8.5-9 million and there just isn’t a way around that.

    You will have to give Radulov 6 million for 4 or 5 years to have a chance

  20. Cal says:

    I’d like it if Markov has played his last game as a Hab. Ditto for Plekanec.
    It’s been time for the Habs to move on for a few seasons now.
    However, Bergevin likes his team.
    Expect the same kind of first round exit next season minus Beaulieu and, very likely, Galchenyuk.

    • The_Truth says:

      I keep Markov for 2 years at 10 million. Pleks has to go unfortunately, at a 6mil cap hit. Danault replaces him, but who replaces Danault?

      • Cal says:

        After 2 years in the AHL, Hudon.

        • The_Truth says:

          Danault replaces Pleks as the #2 center (even though he is a 3), but I meant who is the other top 6 center? It won’t be Hudon. That is the tough question.

          If Rads is resigned, you have Patches, Chucky, Rads, Gally, Lekky and Danualt as your top 6. You need 1 and really 2 other legit top 6 guys, to be a force. Duschene and Landeskog would be nice, but Habs don’t have the pieces to get them without creating equally big holes. Tough offseason for MB.

    • boing007 says:

      The Marc Bergevin Canadiens. That explains everything.
      You could send the Canadiens to New Jersey and the New Jersey Devils to Montreal and no one would notice the difference.

      Richard R

  21. ooder says:

    The reason MB is downplaying Chucky is because he is an RFA
    He pulled the same stunt with PK
    Let’s hope it ends differently this time

    ——————
    It’s nice that MB got players who hate to lose.
    If only he also got some that could do something about it

  22. billylove says:

    So many questions about this team. Who stays, who goes, who’s to blame, who’s on what line, and the biggest of all – what will it cost to keep Price (easy to answer for those who don’t want to keep him). Let me suggest that there’s another question out there worthy of consideration. Everyone here, with a few exceptions, really wants to win the Cup. Can the same be said for the organization? Sure, Mr. Molson and every single one of his employees will firmly declare their clear mission to return the Cup back to Montreal. What else would they say? Mr. Molson can easily handle the sorrow of another playoff defeat by reviewing his team’s profit and loss sheet. As a business owner, first, foremost and always, the bottom line determines whether success is achieved. In that regard, Mr. Molson is popping the bubbly in private because by the only measurement that really matters, HIS team is unquestionably successful. So, where is the motivation to actually win a Cup? If, as currently run, the organization is producing a healthy profit there’s nothing that really needs to be fixed. Especially what it comes to profit, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Maybe I’m just too cynical, maybe ………

    • Mmmich says:

      I don’t agree. Even if all factors are ignored and ownership’s prime motivation is limited only to dollars and cents your argument doesn’t stand up. Assuming the average price of tickets is $200 apiece (it’s more), ticket sales alone result in more than $4 million in revenue per game. 3 home games per series on average means $12 million. A cup finalist can see revenues of $48 million+, and that doesn’t include concessions, merchandise, 50/50 etc. And best of all, most players don’t cost a penny more to have them play an extra 2 months. If all ownership cares about is money, the best way to make more is to go far in the playoffs.

  23. Arnold 56-79 says:

    In a manner of speaking, the series isn’t over.

    How the Rangers and Lundquist in particular play from now on will retrospectively factor into a fuller perspective. If they play well and go far it will illustrate the real tough challenge the Habs faced. Especially if they have an easy time at least to the next round. If Ottawa handles them easily then maybe it reflects poorly on the Montreal performance.

    So far, we don’t have the bigger picture and fuller context for a deeper comparative analysis.

    Before the series, if you knew in advance that Price would finish with a .933 Save percentage and 1.86 GA. average in six games would you have taken an even bet that the Habs would have won? For a single series those aren’t amazingly gaudy numbers but certainly well within the parameters for most winning teams. Despite the lesser quality of some Ranger goals the goaltending was good enough to allow the rest of the team ample opportunity to win games.

    The frustrating part is that Montreal couldn’t score after the first period in the last three games. They had plenty of time, plenty of desperation and motivation but did not find a way to break through. It wasn’t like New York got the go ahead goals with just a few minutes on the clock. Game one foreshadowed how it would all play out. Credit the Canadiens for elevating their intensity for games two and three. But over the length of the series form usually prevails and the Rangers were just a little bit better and more clutch. Disappointing, but not humiliating.

    I’m not going to jump to a firm opinion about the future just yet. I want to see how the other teams play, who elevates their game team, individual and coaching wise.

    A humiliating four game sweep in the second round may be more damaging to a team psyche than a razor thin close series loss in round one. Context is still in process of being established, and it will take time after the playoffs are done to look at things more detached and rationally than through the prism of immediate emotion.

    • FormalWare says:

      Well-written, but I beg to differ with your premise.

      How far the Rangers go, now, is immaterial. What if they win the Cup? Would we then conclude that the Habs were one or two bounces away from winning the Cup? After all, they lost narrowly to the eventual Cup winner….

      Fallacious, obviously.

      The Habs matched up well against the Rangers, then failed to execute. They lost a series in which they led 2-1. That’s Never good. It doesn’t matter what the victor goes on to do.


      Montréal Canadiens: “Season after season under the same, low ceiling.” – D.M.

      • Arnold 56-79 says:

        Not necessarily the Cup. But even just the Ottawa series. If the Rangers play even better and are dominant then you have to give them credit for peaking st least for a few weeks. And acknowledging Montreal had trouble against a team that was confident and playing well. If they get blown out decisively by Ottawa then you have to wonder why Montreal couldn’t match Ottawa’s performance.

        All three teams in fact had pretty comparable regular seasons, but two of those three won’t survive the second round. If Ottawa loses decisively I doubt they will feel satisfied about just beating Boston.

        If the Ducks lose badly to Edmonton for instance, I doubt they even want to remember their sweep of Calgary with any strong emotion. But if they win the Cup theIr first round will be memorialized as a great first chapter of their winning narrative.

        Everything is hypothetical, but my point is that retrospective revision always takes place factoring in later events. Not to the exclusion of critiquing a team’s own actual performance but more in terms of providing a broader league wide picture.

    • on2ndthought says:

      To me, Lundqvist looked fragile, but we never put the pressure on him early enough to watch him crack. It’ll be interesting to see what Karlsson, Ryan, Turris, Stone, Hoffman and McArthur can accomplish.

  24. Bmon44 says:

    A few observations:

    1) Beaulieu and Galchenyuk have been destroyed by Therrien. You can look at them, their confidence before the season was sky-high; now they look beat down. Beaulieu played very well paired with Weber, had one so-so game and then was thrown under the bus. Galchenyuk was rushed back from injury, and consequently was exposed. I don’t think he’s fully recovered from it tbh, he doesn’t look as explosive skating. I wouldn’t give up on him just yet. Same with Beaulieu, I want to see him in a properly implemented defensive system and get a training camp with Julien, I think he can also be a good player for them.

    2) I think there’s a fair chance we see Beaulieu and Galchenyuk back if Bergevin can’t get a good deal for them. They both emphasized that Julien was positive with them and as Beaulieu put it “he didn’t throw me to the wolves.” I think with Therrien they were thrown to the wolves and then just punished if they didn’t do well. While Julien did sit Beaulieu and demote Galchenyuk, he spent a lot of time talking with both during practice during the playoffs. He clearly was wanting to teach them and stay positive with them, it’s just his hand was forced during the playoffs when the stakes are high. He will be more patient with them at the start of next year. I want Beaulieu protected; he has more upside than Benn and they need puck movers. Juulsen could potentially come in and do the job Benn does. If Beaulieu leaves, I don’t know if Davidson can replace him, and if Markov tails off then they’re really screwed from a puck-moving perspective (Weber does not move the puck well). Sergachev will likely not be ready for full-time duty next year.

    Having said that, Galchenyuk seemed irritated and frosty during his year end presser. He did seem elusive on staying with the team and his usage in the playoffs. But he did say how Julien was positive with him, I think he much prefers to have him than Therrien. I think a training camp with Julien will do him good as well.

    3) If they are not going to keep Galchenyuk, then they absolutely need to package him for a #1 centre. I understand it’s easier said then done, as they will demand a king’s ransom, but they need one to get them there. They have the other pieces to win: top wingers (Pacioretty, Radulov if he resigns), depth scoring (Gallagher, Lehkonen, Byron, and if he stays healthy, Shaw), a number one defenseman (Weber), an overall decent defence core, and of course, the best goalie in the world. They are deficient at centre ice. If they upgrade here, that also helps out on defence, as I think they are good enough at that position. It pushes Danault down who can check any 3rd line in the league.

    4) To pay for a number one centre, most (if not all) chips need to be on the table. The #1 pick for intense, plus a second. Galchenyuk. Juulsen. Beaulieu. Sergachev if it is a top 10 centre (otherwise no). It won’t be Plekanec, Emelin , etc. that people like to propose, teams don’t want the salary if they’re unloading that top player. It has to be mainly prospects and picks. If they’re unloading Plekanec/Emelin, it is likely through the expansion draft (i personally wouldn’t mind holding on to Emelin; Plekanec salary is just WAY too high for his value).

    5) Having that top line centre (or Galchenyuk playing like he did at the start of the year) opens up the ice for Pacioretty. Guaranteed, if Galchenyuk played the way he did at the start of the season, or if they say had a Tavares, no chance in hell does Pacioretty have no goals in the Playoffs. The Rangers would have keyed in on the centre, which opens the ice up for Pacioretty. Also, a true number one centre would do a much better job of setting Pacioretty up with much better looks. Ron Francis told Jeff O’Neill when they played in Carolina “be ready with your stick because I’ll find you.” Good centres set up their trigger men; Danualt (while he is a good player and a good 3rd line centre) cannot be expected to do that.

    6) Anyone proposing a Price trade, I understand the thinking; but you don’t do it. He had a .933 save percentage in the playoffs, and literally only one bad goal in the entire round. True, it didn’t come at a good time, but good teams find a way to bounce back and win. Fleury had way more stinkers in the first series; but everyone says he is playing well because he’s made a bunch of saves and won them the games. Price had a great series; Lundqvist (unfortunately for Montreal) had one that was similar to Halak’s 7 years ago.

    7) The world is not ending! They have Price, Weber, Pacioretty, Gallagher. Good young players in Lehkonen and Byron. They need to resign Radulov and Price. Either keep Galchenyuk and play him on the first line; or get a number one centre for him with some of your blue chip prospects. I know our cupboard is bare, but if you win a Cup wit that centre and our other pieces, you get prospects like Panarin wanting to play here and get good free agents to sign here). Montreal’s window is now.

    8) If it fails in the next two years, then blow it up! Bergevin will be gone in that case and the new GM will be forced to blow it up, a la Shanahan and Lamarillo. But you gotta go for it now, they have too many good pieces not to. If I’m Bergevin, this is what I do. Another GM will be cleaning up the mess regardless; after the Cup win (i.e. contracts, etc.) or if they miss (i.e. blowing it up), he’ll still get his money even if fired.

    • The ice ghost says:

      Your analysis is pretty excellent. But Price is not the best goalie in the world. He may be the best regular season goalie in the world, but he’s the Pacioretty of goalies in the playoffs.

      The sample size is large enough now to prove that.

      • Bmon44 says:

        I would argue though that he’s shown enough the past few playoff series, since his career skyrocketed in 2013-2014. He was .919 in 2014, .920 in 2015 and .933 in 2017 for the playoffs. The recent sample size suggests he’s a good playoff goalie. He also was a .934 in 2011. Jonathan Quick won in 2014 with a .911. Granted, he had a .946 in his Conn Smythe year in 2012. Corey Crawford won with a .925 and a .924. Price has played well enough to win in my opinion.

        His .914 overall career playoffs is thrown off by his AWFUL 2009 playoffs (which, to be fair, the whole team was awful), and the bad 2013 playoffs (in which I think he was playing hurt down the stretch). In 2010 he was brought in for mop-up duty on the games that were over already, so obviously his save percentage is going to be bad that year. Sochi and the world juniors showed he can play in big games.

        I don’t believe the notion that all players are either good or bad in the playoffs. Look at Joe Thornton: everyone said he couldn’t play in the playoffs and he went to a cup final last year and averaged almost a point per game. While Quick has had two cups and two playoffs in which he had a .934 and .946 save percentage, he also had a .886 playoffs last year. Lundqvist was AWFUL last playoffs; this year he’s the best goalie behind Rinne. Rinne’s had a few so-so playoffs and is only slightly better than Price for playoff save percentage (despite being on very good defensive teams) and this year he’s been AMAZING. Holtby literally has the best average playoff save percentage EVER and he’s looked shaky these playoffs, despite a .925 save percentage. Sidney Crosby looked human in the playoffs the past few years until last year, when he was a man-possessed.

        Finally, if they upgrade at centre, that helps Price out, both with offence and defence. Kopitar helped Quick in his own zone. Toews helped Crawford in his own zone. Bergeron helped Thomas in his own zone. Crosby, while not quite a Selke candidate like those other centres, matches up well against the opposing team’s centre and helps shut them down (Crosby does this more by playing in the other team’s zone for most of the game). The Habs don’t have that number one centre to neutralize the other team’s top centre into not scoring (i.e. shutting them down like a Kesler, Toews, or Bergeron, Kopitar; or scoring more points like a Crosby, Thornton, Matthews, or Backstrom).

        • boing007 says:

          The numbers that really count show that he has more losses than wins in the playoffs.

          Richard R

          • Bmon44 says:

            And that indicates the team isn’t good enough, not Price. Braden Holtby is a career .500 in the playoffs, despite having the best numbers in the playoffs EVER. If your team doesn’t score goals, you can’t win games. Lundqvist is below .500 in the playoffs, despite being in more playoff rounds in the past few years than anyone not named Crawford. If you lose a series (which happens every year you don’t win the cup) it’s very hard to be above .500 in the playoffs, as you automatically are below .500 for one series.

    • myron.selby says:

      One problem with your analysis is that Galchenyuk played the best hockey of his career under Therrien up until his knee injury, so claiming that MT destroyed his confidence doesn’t really hold up.

      • Bmon44 says:

        I think he partly destroyed it because he rushed him back from injury. He started him on the top line, it was a tire fire because he was playing with a knee brace so he had limited mobility and he got exposed. Then he gets slotted down the line up and placed on the wing. Yes, Therrien handled him poorly.

        While he was playing good offensively, he hasn’t had enough exposure to playing centre in previous years to learn the defensive side of the game. That is where I think he has ruined him. By not allowing him to grow at that position, he has not learned the nuances. Babcock quite often put Matthews on the ice in the last minute of a game when they were up by a goal. Yes, sometimes they got scored on (in fact, no one blew more leads than the Leafs this year). But he stuck with him because he knew it would benefit him in the long run. For me, I look at the 2014-2015 and last season season. Those times were where Therrien missed an opportunity with Galchenyuk. Two years ago, there was little pressure coming down the end of the regular season. They were going to be headed to the playoffs as they were extremely consistent all year. They should’ve given more opportunities for Galchenyuk to play top line minutes; yet Therrien, the minute a game turned south, would blender his lines and not give him the opportunity. Last year, it was clear the year was done, yet he did not get him back to the number one centre ice position until the games were totally meaningless. They should have stuck with him there as soon as it was clear in January that the team had come off the rails and that Price wasn’t coming back and thus the season was done. But he does not understand the defensive side of the game because he was never put in that position to learn it properly (or when being put in that position, being taken out of it for making the slightest mistake). I understand teams are trying to win, but he had two good opportunities to allow the kid some rope to learn the position for the future. This is the equivalent of having a kid who isn’t very good at math (i.e. like Chucky is in his own end), and instead of giving him extra math problems to practice, you make him sit out recess, and have another kid does his homework for him. He can’t learn this way.

        I think that he did flourish at the beginning of this year when Therrien gave him more rope when the season was young and they had a 13-1-1 start. They should’ve done this in years past. My hope is if he’s back, Julien gives him that opportunity too at the beginning of the season.

  25. Stevie.Ray says:

    Here’s another interesting option Montreal might explore.

    TB has about 18m dollars available to sign Johnson, Palat, Drouin, a couple depth defencemen, a depth forward, and a backup goalie. They’re going to very tight to the cap.

    What if Montreal puts in an offer sheet on Drouin? It might really hurt TB financially if they match, and if they don’t MTL gets Drouin. Anything between 3.6 and 5.4 would cost the Habs a 1st, and a 3rd, and anything between 5.4 and 7.3 would cost them a 1st, 2nd, and a 3rd.

    • The ice ghost says:

      Well, you’re already a better manager than Bargain Bergy. What’s Drouin’s contract look like?

      If the contract works, I’d do that in a heart beat. Our first is not likely to be as good as Drouin.

      i like how you think.

      • Stevie.Ray says:

        Well he’s currently on his entry level contract. Would likely take a 5m offer sheet to get him. Might be too steep if TB doesn’t match, and we have to give up a first and third. But if he puts up 60+ points a year we could be laughing. Unfortunately, he’s a winger

  26. BensontheButler says:

    Please allow me to summarize – capture the gist; the zeitgeist if you will – of the presser today. Ahem.

    ‘What, me worry?’

    Benson

  27. The_Rocket_Returns says:

    I’m flabbergasted by the Beaulieu bashing.

    He started they year paired with Weber. The team went 13-1-1. He got demoted.

    When Markov went down, he was given top-four minutes again. He played superb hockey and, for the only time this year, the power play clicked. Then Markov got healthy and Beaulieu got demoted again because Therrien inexplicably preferred to watch Emelin get caved in, night after night. Julien enjoyed that show for a while too.

    Yes, there was a clear message sent to Nate and all Habs fans: it didn’t matter how well he did; he wouldn’t be rewarded. If he made mistakes, though, he’d be punished — and if high-priced veterans made those mistakes, they’d be let off the hook. No wonder he was so dispirited by the season’s end.

    Bergevin, Therrien and now Julien appear to be stuck in the past, unable or unwilling to accept how important a fast, puck-moving defenseman who joins the attack is to winning. By all means, trade Nate. I look forward to seeing him excel on a team with a vision and a future. Meanwhile the Habs can set about screwing up Sergachev and cheering for Jordie Benn as he ignores open men and sends ankle-high rockets through the neutral zone to nobody.

    But, hey, at least he’s big and has a good beard. Apparently that’s what matters.

    … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • FormalWare says:

      Yep.


      Montréal Canadiens: “Season after season under the same, low ceiling.” – D.M.

    • The ice ghost says:

      Good analysis. I’m not ready to throw Julien under the bus just yet. I think he’s smarter than EmT and willing to adjust. I mean he just freaking got here, really.

      Benn was in way over his head. My kid is 14 and plays D and never gets burned like that. Never as in Never.

  28. Stiglitz74 says:

    What I’d really like to hear is GM’s mic’d up around the trade deadline frenzy… now that would be entertaining.

  29. gmur says:

    Well, it’s pretty simple. I’m paraphrasing Umberto Eco from a book he wrote, whose title escapes me this evening, but the idea was this:

    In a relationship, you are either moving closer to the significant other, or you are moving apart. There may be ebb and flow to the relationship, but there will be an overall pattern that is convergent or divergent… that’s essentially what Eco states.

    In the Canadiens’ search for another Stanley Cup, MB has to make a decision now, more than any other time since he has taken over. Is the team moving away from the Cup or closer to it? Clearly, the series with the Rangers makes it quite glaringly obvious. The team is slowly oscillating away from the holy grail. It is time to rebuild from the bottom up and start a real 5-year plan, not one that patches things up with players like Mitchell, Flynn, King, Danault, etc…. God love them, but they’re a dime a dozen in this league. They’re fast (excluding King), but the only thing offensive about them is their hockey bag odor. The players who are supposed to bring offence, other than Radulov, are not, and Radulov is a player who will not likely want to be on a losing team for five years.

    The defence is solid, but that’s it. Anything we’ve seen that is close to a young thoroughbred defenceman is still playing playoff hockey… with another team.

    Price… well, does he want to play through a rebuild? Not likely.

    The players who can get first-round picks are probably limited to Price, Weber, and Pacioretty.

    Second round? Maybe Gallagher, Shaw, Markov, Petry…maybe a first-rounder as a package. I honestly don’t know what Galchenyuk could bring.

    Choose the right time to sell and cash in what you can.

    The best players we have had over the last ten years came from within the organisation. Price, Markov, Pacioretty, Plekanec, Gallagher, Emelin (I think he’s a solid third-line d-man), and the ex-player not to be mentioned here who is still playing playoff hockey.

    That was the core, and it isn’t a core that’s going to win a cup. So, it’s time to put the past behind and move on. Cash in and rebuild for real.

    That said, we have not drafted well for what seems to be years and years and years. If there is a rebuild to be had, it has to be done with different draft personnel. No more third-round talent for first-round picks… especially if we have given up cornerstone players to acquire said picks. If we trade Price and draft another McCarron with the pick, it’s time to start watching dodgeball.

    Well, that’s what I would do. Eco, in an interview around 2010, also said that people are tired of simple things. They want to be challenged… Well, it’s simple to blow up a team, but it’s a heck of a challenge to choose which players to keep and pick the right young players to build a team. Toronto did it, why not us? We’d be starting with a team that has more equity at present than Toronto had when they began to turn things around.

    Next year, Toronto will be tough. We will get spanked by them whether we rebuild or not.

  30. Looking forward to signing Price long term and then reading the 1% cry themselves to Therrien land. 😆

    Career Wins Leaders
    1. Jacques Plante- 314
    2. Patrick Roy-289
    3. Carey Price-270 All playing on teams who can’t score, making Price one of the greatest all time. Hall of Fame here we come. 😆

    Hockey Pool Update
    1. Storminnorman-64 (my neighbor)
    2. st_marys-64
    3. habsinthegap-63
    4. Wilson-63
    5. Sholi2000.com-62

    Get your picks in for round two. Some really great hockey will be played. Preds, Caps, Pens, and Oilers should be really great hockey. I hope the Caps get by the Pens, but I like Crosby over OV so I’m a little torn on that. Rags will destroy the Sens.

    LET’S GO CANADA

    @sholi2000
    Sholi2000.com
    Hockey Is Life, Me and My Boy
    Shane Oliver
    High and Hard Scores Goals

    • BensontheButler says:

      Price is solid but the Habs have decisions to make regarding him. I don’t buy Bergevin’s ‘you don’t need centres to win a cup’ which is demonstrably false. On the other hand, you *can* with non-dominant goalies. Anyway. If you break those numbers down – i.e. wins/games played you find Plante had the best winning % by a large margin, with Price second just above Roy. Statistically, Price’s CAREER numbers are, well, okay measured against his peers. He had a PEAK value that was phenomenal but that doesn’t make a career, right? His playoff numbers even less so. He’s still young and could still improve the numbers but as it stands, he ain’t knocking Hasek off his perch anytime soon. I’m sure some of you are familiar with The Hockey Compendium. In it, there are excellent ratios you can apply for goaltending – particularly the perseverance ratio. It helps contextualize where goalies rank.

      Benson

    • The ice ghost says:

      Sholi you are one of my heros on HIO, even when I disagree with you, but, the only thing that counts in Montreal is Cups.

      Plant has 6 (plus 7 Vezinas)
      Roy has 4 (2 with Avs)
      Dryden has what? 6

      Price has… wait for it… ZERO. 0 Rien, Nada, Squat, NOTHING.
      If Price wants to go to the Hall of Fame he can by a ticket like everyone else.

      He is the Max Pacioretty of the playoffs. Regular season doesn’t mean squat in Montreal. Go cheer for the Leafs.

    • twilighthours says:

      At some point I’ll post exactly why they should trade price.

  31. chilli says:

    I don’t think Beaulieu is well liked on the team.

  32. PK says:

    Enough with the Habs, anyone still going to watch hockey?
    Hockey pools are still active, Oilers are still out there.
    So is Subbie and the Predators.

    I would be happy if one of the Western conference teams won the Cup.
    Preds or Ducks.
    OK, Washington if it has to be an Eastern conference team.

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

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

    – Nostradamus, 1552

    • FormalWare says:

      For sure. I’m enjoying our futuristic (2107) hockey pool; I’m fairly well-positioned for Round 2, just outside the Top 10.

      I’m with you on your picks – except I’d prefer the Oilers beat the Ducks.


      Montréal Canadiens: “Season after season under the same, low ceiling.” – D.M.

  33. Ozmodiar says:

    Heard parts of the presser, and my only question is:

    what year is it???

    It seems like I’ve heard this all before. Not possible to trade for a #1 center …. i won’t trade ‘star player’ …. it’s hard to score in this league …. no centers in the pipeline … i don’t know what type of player Galchenyuk will be …. it’s up to the players ….

  34. dickanddanny says:

    MB ‘bargain bin’ philosophy as GM (to date);

    1) Scour KHL for unsigned superstars or unknowns and sign them (Semin, Radulov, and Vadim Shipachyov will be next) asap.
    2)Trade away average players for second round draft picks (Fleischmann, Weise)
    3)Sign projects and cast offs (Kassian, Fleischmann, Brown, Lessio, Montoya, Holloway)
    4)trade for that ever elusive ‘top’ 4th line player in the League

    That’s the plan in an nut shell. Bringing along rookies who were drafted by the team to play on the big club is not part of the plan. Abysmal.

    “back to you Dick”

    • Strummer says:

      Leafs got Zaitsev and Hawks got Panarin from the KHL.
      Radulov was a good KHL pick-up as well
      It seems like a good strategy to look there for top prospects.

      -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

      • dickanddanny says:

        Yes, all GM’s scour the globe for great players who are unsigned or undrafted, however I think you missed the point of the comment. I don’t know if I could spell it out any clearer than I did, but there were 4 points not just the one you chose to comment on in my post. It is obvious MB plan is based on a hope and a prayer every year. I hope that makes it any clearer for you. I was attempting to show how the actual drafting of players is unimportant in Montreal’s team roster each year. They also never make a big trade for a bi$ name, or go after any of the bi$ name free agents. It is just a haphazard way of building a team imo. Kane and Towes didn’t magically appear on Chicago’s roster. And, yes Panarin was a nice addition for them.
        “back to you Dick”

    • thesenator18 says:

      Semin is 33 this year in the KHL playoffs 18 games he had 0 goals and 2 assists.

  35. Don Carnage says:

    The Great Nate was out on the town till past 3 AM Friday , He sat in the stands on Saturday … say bye bye to the rotten apple

    • D Mex says:

      Is there a credible source for this information ?

      • dickanddanny says:

        I saw him about that time at Dunn’s. He bought one of those giant apple pies in the display case and then sat in the corner and ate the whole thing by himself. I kind of felt sorry for him.

        “back to you Dick”

        • Strummer says:

          Dunns?

          -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

          • D Mex says:

            There’s a Dunn’s in NYC ?

          • dickanddanny says:

            OMG LOL, you are a Habs fan, but you have obviously never been to Montreal. Or, to the Forum? Or, to Dunn’s Deli after a game. Here is the Google description for Dunn’s for you in case you ever decide to take a trip to Montreal.
            Dunns:
            “Dunn’s Famous Deli and Steakhouse is a Montreal-style smoked meat, Pastrami and Cheesecake restaurant chain founded in Montreal, Quebec, Canada by Myer Dunn. Dunn, who immigrated to Canada in 1911, opened his first restaurant in 1927 on Avenue Papineau near Avenue du Mont-Royal. In 1948 he opened his first restaurant to be called “Dunn’s Famous Delicatessen” at the corner of Avenue du Parc and Avenue du Mont-Royal. In 1955 he opened his flagship restaurant at 892 Saint Catherine Street West”

            “back to you Dick”

          • D Mex says:

            Easy there dickanddanny
            No need for the Trip Advisor cut & paste – don’t have the CH travel itinerary and thought the team (with Beaulieu) was in NYC at that time.
            Eating at Dunn’s just doesn’t sound like high crime to me …

      • Don Carnage says:

        Yes you think this is the first time? Remember Smelly ? Remember a Sunday 6 AM police showing up at someone’s home after their GF was pissed at the state he was brought home in by a certain Nate the Great and Smelly? Momo said it on the radio that Nate is done here, would be very surprised he ever plays another game for the CH .

        • D Mex says:

          No idea what you are talking about.
          Guessing there’s no credible source
          to your 3 AM Friday story, tho …

          • Don Carnage says:

            Sorry can’t throw the sources under the bus, they would lose their jobs, so all you can do is wait it out, but it is known that Nat is a rotten apple

          • D Mex says:

            If you’re referring to Galchenyuk and DSP with ladyfriends #1A and 1B, the TKO and a visit from Montréal Police, that’s old news, no ?
            But sure, whatever – let the blockbuster roll when it’s time. 🙄

    • Don Birnam says:

      If he was at Topless Bars, then He should go to the KHL for a couple of years and then come back and sign a $5million contract.
      Rads could give him some guidance on that.

  36. Kylo Ren says:

    I did see all of the press conference. My impressions (FWTW):

    1. I was impressed. I thought MB was as honest as he could be. He said CP was not going anywhere and specifically said he would not trade him to get offence, and that he hoped CP would finish his career in Montreal.

    2. I didn’t think they threw Galchenyuk under the bus. They mentioned playing centre was the hardest position (except perhaps goalie) and that they did not want to set up Chucky to fail. MB acknowledged Chucky’s 30 goals last year indicated talent and that the most important thing was for Chucky to be able to help the team in whatever capacity that best allowed him to do that – be it as a center or as a winger. I didn’t get the impression they were anxious to trade him – unless he didn’t want to stay in Montreal.

    3. CJ was very complimentary about Max, saying he wanted Max to be assured he had the support of management, who realized that failing to score did not suggest lack of effort. I don’t get the feeling Max is about to be traded.

    4. About N8, MB said, in response to a specific question, that the “clock is ticking.”

    5. They like Radulov, and hope they can get a deal done. They suggested the reason for no deal yet is Radulov’s agent, who might want to test free agency.

    6. They confirmed Molson is committed to winning (unlike, perhaps, some other owners). The Habs “do not cut corners” when it comes to trying to win.

    7. MB acknowledged the lack of a #1 center and that there was no-one in the pipeline that could assume that role. He said it would be impossible to trade for one, and that he was on the lookout for anyone that might be able to fill that role.

    8. They said several times that while they could provide a player with all the tools he needed to improve, at some point it is also up to a player to participate in realizing his potential. N8 came under scrutiny when this point was raised.

    Those are the salient points I got; perhaps others could add what I missed.

    • dickanddanny says:

      2016 NHL Draft – First Round
      #11 Tyson Jost (C)
      #12 Logan Brown (C)
      #13 Michael McLeod (C)
      #15 Luke Kunin (C)

      These 4 centers were taken after Sergachev. I am not suggesting Segaychev was not a good pick, however MB just said in his presser that no Centers are available in their minor league program. Hello! And why is that Marc? If you don’t draft by position when you know you are sorely lacking at the Center position well then I guess you better be happy with another Russian defenceman. Cuz that is what you chose over 4 really good Center prospects.

      “back to you Dick”

      • Kylo Ren says:

        He said no #1 centers were available in the pipeline.

        I don’t disagree those players were available after we drafted. The first issue is whether they are #1 centers. The second is the age-old question – do you draft for need or the best player available? Drafting for need indicates the player will make a contribution right away – which none of those players has. The Habs must believe in drafting the BPA and thought Serge was the best when they drafted (although reasonable people can disagree on that particular point).

        • dickanddanny says:

          Yes, I tend to go with the “take the best player” philosophy also, however we needed a center. Whether he steps in right away or 1-2 years down the road that is what we needed. Everyone concurred.
          As for Sergachev he did not step in right away this season either, and he will be as unknown as a prospect as say Jost, or Brown will be. So, how can you actually make the assumption that we couldn’t have taken a promising Center over a promising D? I don’t think you can based on where these players are at in their careers today. Suggesting Sergachev will be better than Jost will, who knows? Jost just came off a fantastic season with North Dakota putting up 35 points in 33 games. This kid could be a scoring phenom. The fact is we needed a Center and I would have drafted one of the 4 mentioned, particularly Jost.
          We have set this process back again several years now because we won’t pick that high again for awhile and there won’t be a comparable draft talent wise to that one last year for a long time.

          “back to you Dick”

    • The ice ghost says:

      Thank you for your report.

      The elephant in the room is that Bergy has had FIVE YEARS to find a #1 center.

      Instead he has signed about 20 journeymen D.

      Did he confess to that?

  37. thesenator18 says:

    Galchenyuk is a shooter playing on the wing he can score 35-40 goals,if you want a center Pacioretty is the player you have to trade,his value will never be higher,next off season Pacioretty will only have 1 year left……Trade Pacioretty,Petry, for Hertl and Vlasic now you have a big 6’2 210 lbs center playing his natural position who is good on draws,then you sign Shipachev as a #2 center and Danault as a #3….Pacioretty’s goals will be replaced by Galchenyuk on the wing.

  38. PK says:

    I did not watch or listen to the MB presser because I have heard enough excuses from this management team.

    I think MB manages the media and fans, tries to control the message.
    Probably did the same thing today; looks like I am correct from what I have read on HIO.

    Oilers and Leafs look like they have brighter futures than the Habs.
    That is really disappointing for us Montreal diehards.

    • The Gonk says:

      The only way I see this changing is if the French media finally comes to the conclusion that Bergy is a fraud and goes to war against him. There was an air of incredulity at the presser so its fomenting, Molson might pay attention then. But Molson doesn’t strike me as bright.

  39. SteverenO says:

    OOPS, I forgot to add this little gem:

    When Beaulieu played together with Weber at even strength (171 minutes) the team allowed 2 goals, total.

    The average equals one goal allowed every 85 minutes-

    Thankfully the astute eye of former coach Therrien, and current coach Julien- (and most of the fans on this board) noticed just how many turnovers Beaulieu made and kept them apart for the bulk of the season.

    Imagine if Beaulieu had played more minutes with Weber and his outstanding (League leading) defensive numbers of 47 minutes of ice time per goal allowed. .. We might actually have an asset (first pairing Dman) that we could trade (in Beaulieu) and actually GET SOMETHING of value in return.

    Then again…… had we paired Beaulieu with Weber, compounded with Markov playing less minutes and being more effective alongside Petry, we’d probably be resting now…….. waiting to take on the mighty Senators in round two.

    A real pity that we got a fool for a GM who finally replaced his first choice of a lousy coach with someone only slightly better. Two peas in a pod.

    Too bad the ownership didn’t have the cahones to replace the coach with the Associate coach, (Muller) and spend the summer looking for a replacement IF he did not do a good enough job.

    I doubt that there would have been too big a fuss with Muller as the interim coach,, Its not as if Therrien was eloquent in ANY of the official languages.

    In my world A manager who makes decisions CONTRARY to what the data suggests would be the correct decision, lives , or dies with the results. Based on our early exit, NOT pairing Beaulieu with Weber, despite the compelling data that showed this to be the “obvious” move, turned out to be a MISTAKE.

    Will anyone suffer the consequences?(other than the Habs and their fans when we lose him for nothing of value in return)?

    On that note, anyone think we couldn’t have lost in 6 to the Rangers with Galchenyuk, or Pacioretty, or even Desharnais playing 1st line center between Pacioretty and Radulov?

    regards,

    Steve O.

  40. The Gonk says:

    MB’s presser was surreal, A denial of reality and an inadvertent admission to endless mediocrity. Geoff Molson needs to stop this but won’t. He’s a lightweight and not bright nor wise. The future belongs to the Leafs and the Oilers and their like. The Habs will accomplish nothing for the next decade at that least. It’s hard to care anymore.

  41. D Mex says:

    For the parts that I heard, nothing was said about Pacioretty during the CJ / MB presser today.
    Many here have opined that he or Galchenyuk will be dealt this off-season. Given that Bergevin has a (more) legitimate foothold in expecting value for his goal-leading Captain, I’d rather Max go with Galchenyuk staying put.
    Many times over the course of the season, Lekhonen’s play had me thinking he was the natural and built-in replacement for #67 : good skater, quick release, and arguably more willing to go into dirty areas to score.
    Pacioretty, to me, lacks passion, is too measured, and works best from a script (reciting Habs history, for example). If he really was a ‘ better Captain ‘ this season, my own take is that it’s because Price and Weber were there to prop him up, and there were no villains of consequence in the room to stare down.
    If he’s up for a challenge, let him go to Columbus and redeem himself with Fonzie – he’s got enough fire for both of them !

  42. ProHabs says:

    I agree with Bergevin that getting an established nmber 1 center is very very hard in the NHL. No team is going to want to trade their established number 1 center.

    What Bergevin needs to do is find the non-established number 1 center. The guy who has not blossomed yet but could. The guy with lots of potential that could break out under Julian. The guy who maybe doesn’t fit with his current team. I’m thinking of the Olli Jokenin type guy. I think getting a guy like that is not impossible.

    So he should be looking at those types of guys. The type of guys that could be had without giving up a Pacioretty or a Price. Guys like:
    – Dylan Strome
    – Sam Bennett ( this might take a Galchenyuk)
    – Jakub Vrana
    – Curtis Lazar
    – Jason Dickenson
    – Mickeal Grigorenko
    – Mark Jankowski
    – Ryan Strome
    – Sean Couturier
    – Nick Bjugstad
    – Riley Sheahan

    He might hit a home run with a player like this (kind of like he did with Danault who is a very good but not number 1 center). At the very least, most of these guys would be a lot better than what we have at center now.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      With maybe the exception of Strome, I don’t see any of those guys becoming a legit number one center

    • Stiglitz74 says:

      Bjugstad would be a great addition, but at what cost?

      Danault had a great season but if he can work on his strength to stay on his feet more against the bigger players in the league, he would improve significantly.

    • montreal ace says:

      ProHabs good post as it is likely the Habs, will need to find an under the radar centre that maybe another club has no room for. Jankowski is one such player that I have wondered about, among some of the others

  43. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    Maybe not a popular opinion but this is a team that is on the slow train to Hockey Town. Low draft picks, an aging core but an owner with great faith in the GM.

    Every praise of MB should be more deeply examined. His big moves are just clever nibbles at the edge, picking up waiver wires, slow bottom pairing defencemen and Lucas Lessio/Andreas Martinsen type players. Or massively rewarding a third line winger – 5 more years of Shaw, hope his health (for his sake) is not compromised.

    He purged the malcontents and brought in CJ for 5! years at 5 million per …. after CJ was fired for an expected third straight playoff miss …

    Take off the blinders folks and stop eating the oats … his team doesn’t develop players , doesn’t score and is not fun to watch …

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

    • twilighthours says:

      Harsh, but I agree with a lot of it.

      The team is going to stink, and soon, unless both Price and Rads take major discounts and we sign some horses.

  44. haberoo13 says:

    @Phil:
    None-of these guys are world-beaters but are way more familiar with lighting the lamp more than MB’s assortment of plugs:
    PAP, Stafford, Filpulla, Iginla, Vanek, Stalberg, Burrows, Eaves, Jurco

    I kept Hanzal out because of the price, but he probably would’ve been our #1 center…

    Haberoo13
    MAAAA!!!! THE MEATLOAF!!!!!

  45. SteverenO says:

    So it seems like Beaulieu is a goner,, to bad for us, Lucky for the team that gets him -as I imagine that they will not have to pay very much.

    The second to last post re Beaulieu for me; (this season)

    if we do get rid of Beulieu it seems like Max Pacioretty will be the most affected.

    When Pacioretty was on the ice , at even strength:
    1179 minutes team GF =53 AVG(22.2MpGF)

    Pacioretty and Beaulieu were on the ice together
    350 minutes, team GF = 24 AVG (14.5 MpGF)
    Pacioretty On the ice WITHOUT Beaulieu
    849 minutes team GF = 29 AVG (28.5 MpGF)

    Pacioretty On the ice with Weber:
    438 Minutes – team GF = 17 AVG (25.7 MpGF)
    Pacioretty on the ice WITHOUT Weber
    740 minutes – team GF =36 AVG (20.5 MpGF)

    Pacioretty On the ice with Markov:
    305 Minutes – team GF = 12 AVG (25.4 MpGF)
    Pacioretty on the ice WITHOUT Markov
    873 minutes – team GF =41 AVG (21.3 MpGF)

    Pacioretty On the ice with Petry:
    440 Minutes – team GF = 19 AVG (23.15 MpGF)
    Pacioretty on the ice WITHOUT Petry
    738 minutes – team GF =34 AVG (21.7 MpGF)

    Pacioretty On the ice with Emelin:
    416 Minutes – team GF = 16 AVG (26 MpGF)
    Pacioretty on the ice WITHOUT Emelin
    762 minutes – team GF =37 AVG (20.6 MpGF)

    Pacioretty On the ice with Benn: (Mostly paired with Beaulieu)
    51 Minutes – team GF = 3 AVG (17 MpGF)
    Pacioretty on the ice WITHOUT Benn:
    1127 minutes – team GF =50 AVG (22.5 MpGF)

    Hmmmmm..,I wonder if Beaulieu’s limited minutes in the playoffs had anything to do with Pacioretty (and the team)not scoring……

    Conclusion:
    If we’re going to dump Beaulieu, we may as well package him with Pacioretty

    regards,

    Steve O.

    My next, and final post ,on the subject of Beaulieu will be the minutes per goal scored and allowed, with, and without, each all of the Habs defenseman ;

    Research primarily from http://www.puckalytics.com super WOWY section

  46. habsfan0 says:

    I haven’t seen the press conference as yet, but apparently owner Geoff Molson was AWOL, unlike last year.
    Perhaps he’s just busy drafting ANOTHER Letter of Apology to Habs fans.
    Take your time, Geoff.
    This could become an annual event, so variety in your wording is paramount so as not to be seen as redundant.

  47. habsfan2long says:

    So the well respected Shea Weber, leader who should be captain, sings the praises of Galchenyuk, who he says is a special talent who doesn’t know how talented he really is. He also is careful–if you read the quote–to suggest underhandedly that a bit of consistency might help the kid find his game–consistency from who?

    Perhaps Shea shouldn’t be promoted to captain but to coach and GM because from what I heard from MB the only reason this guys has a job as an NHL GM right now is by accident of birth, the province in which he was born. And to top it all off he further–two years running now–devalues the asset in the eyes of other teams so as to insure he’ll get squat in a trade. Almost makes me hope my crazy theory of Chuck bolting to the KHL becomes reality.

  48. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    Ok MB, here’s a suggestion. You want a top centre and like trading with teams you have a relationship with – go get kuznetszov from the caps. They are going to be hard to the cap and have some holes they need to fill. It will cost cheap controllable talent but you are a smart guy, you’ll figure it out.

    Plus as a bonus, it will bring in a supposedly detestable human so team dirty champions can cheer. Maybe oggie Oglethorpe, ratttco Gudas, and wilf Paiment can be signed or exhumed and the cup is ours… doesn’t that feel good to say?

  49. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    Phil, I think that vanek was available but mb wouldn’t swallow his pride and chose cannon fodder puds instead.

    If he was the “top 5 gm” that habsr4ever claims him to be, he would have called the coyotes at 2:55 and said you have bluffed and lost – Vrbata for a second and made it so

    • Phil C says:

      The Habs were fine on the wing, neither of those guys would have made a big difference. They needed a centre.

      • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

        They needed someone to score or set up other players who could, a winger who already knows the players is much easier to acclimatize.

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

  50. mrhabby says:

    You can’t expect MB to seriously let the whole hockey world know what his plans are except the obvious like resigning Price. Always holds his cards tight if he did not he would be ripped to shreds in the media. It surely is disappointing as the org approaches 25 yelars since last cup.

  51. Ian Cobb says:

    CONCUSSION-POST; April 24, 2017

    HEADLINE

    “Four junior hockey players diagnosed with CTE”

    Rick Westhead
    TSN Senior Correspondent
    April 21, 2017

    (Courtesy of Dignity After Hockey organization)

    A Sad day for children and youth contact Sports!

    CSG has for the past FOUR years been warning parents, teachers, coaches, and youth sports association administrators about the perils of contact sports for children and youth.

    Dr. McKee’s (Sports Legacy Foundation) findings, to be presented in June at an International Conference, is the key that will open the door to litigation against organizations refusing to make drastic changes in the way contact sports for children are played!

    The best statement of warning comes from Lisa McHale director of family relations at Sports Legacy Foundation:

    “Willful ignorance is an easier tack to take than being concerned about CTE when you’re still making your living as a professional athlete.”

    Parents, your vicarious desires are driving your “star” child athlete to a Life in hell! (CSG)

    The Article

    A researcher at Boston University says she has diagnosed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in the brains of four former junior hockey players.

    Neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee made the diagnoses over the past two years.

    Each of the four former junior players – none of whom advanced to the National Hockey League – committed suicide before the age of 30, she said.

    Dr. McKee said she couldn’t disclose the identities of the players with CTE without the permission of their families, so it’s not known who three of the players are or which leagues they played in – which could be any of dozens of disparate calibre across North America.

    However, the Concussion Legacy Foundation, a Boston-based non-profit that helps to find research subjects for Dr. McKee and her colleagues, received permission from the family of former junior player Drew Mulligan to share his details.

    Mulligan, from Hebron, Conn., killed himself in February 2016 at the age of 22 and was posthumously diagnosed with CTE in November.

    He played during the 2011-12 season with the Tier III Empire Junior Hockey League’s Springfield Pics in West Springfield, Mass. The EmJHL’s teams were scattered through the northeastern U.S. and have since been absorbed into another U.S.-based league.

    Mulligan’s family decided to donate his brain to science a few days after he killed himself, said Karly Mulligan, Drew’s sister.
    “Drew was an enforcer, very protective of his teammates,” she said. “His concussions were a mixture of fighting and being checked.”

    Mulligan said her brother had at least six documented concussions from playing hockey.

    “Even if he bumped his head, his symptoms would come back,” she said. “He had really bad headaches and was very irritable. Light bugged him. Sometimes his speech would get mixed up. I noticed after his last concussion when he played with the Pics that he got a lot meaner. He picked fights over nothing and school became a lot harder for him.”

    “It was a no-brainer to do the testing if it might help someone else,” Karly said. “It was bittersweet to hear your brother, your best friend, had brain damage. But it was also reassuring. He told me something wasn’t right with his brain. So it was almost validation for him.”

    Dr. McKee said she plans to present her junior hockey findings to other researchers at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neuropathologists in June.

    “We are focusing on hockey now,” Dr. McKee said in an interview with TSN. “We’re really trying to put together our experience…

    We’re hoping hockey is not as high a risk as football where there are more impacts every game in a more predictable fashion, but [CTE prevalence] could be just as high in hockey.”

    Dr. McKee has already diagnosed CTE in four former NHL players – Reggie Fleming, Rick Martin, Bob Probert and Derek Boogaard. Former NHL player Steve Montador also had CTE, according to researchers with the Canadian Sports Concussion Project in Toronto.

    Dr. McKee said she is currently examining the brain of another former NHL player and is a month or so away from completing that exam. CTE can only be diagnosed after death.

    Tyler Maland, a spokesman for the Concussion Legacy Foundation, said more than 1,700 people have pledged to donate their brains to B.U. for study of CTE, a brain-withering disease linked to repeated concussions.

    Of those 1,700, five are former NHL players. No current NHL player has pledged his brain. By comparison, three active NFL players and more than 100 former NFL players have pledged their brains to science, Maland said.

    “…To continue to play a sport like hockey or football, you have to turn a blind eye to this,” said Lisa McHale, the foundation’s director of family relations.

    “Willful ignorance is an easier tack to take than being concerned about CTE when you’re still making your living as a professional athlete.”

    Dr. Ann McKee, Boston Globe/Boston Globe/Getty Images

    Rick Westhead
    TSN Senior Correspondent

    Follow|Archive

    A researcher at Boston University says she has diagnosed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in the brains of four former junior hockey players.

    Neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee made the diagnoses over the past two years. Each of the four former junior players – none of whom advanced to the National Hockey League – committed suicide before the age of 30, she said.

    Dr. McKee said she couldn’t disclose the identities of the players with CTE without the permission of their families, so it’s not known who three of the players are or which leagues they played in – which could be any of dozens of disparate calibre across North America.
    However, the Concussion Legacy Foundation, a Boston-based non-profit that helps to find research subjects for Dr. McKee and her colleagues, received permission from the family of former junior player Drew Mulligan to share his details.

    Mulligan, from Hebron, Conn., killed himself in February 2016 at the age of 22 and was posthumously diagnosed with CTE in November.

    He played during the 2011-12 season with the Tier III Empire Junior Hockey League’s Springfield Pics in West Springfield, Mass. The EmJHL’s teams were scattered through the northeastern U.S. and have since been absorbed into another U.S.-based league.

    Mulligan’s family decided to donate his brain to science a few days after he killed himself, said Karly Mulligan, Drew’s sister.
    “Drew was an enforcer, very protective of his teammates,” she said. “His concussions were a mixture of fighting and being checked.”

    Mulligan said her brother had at least six documented concussions from playing hockey.

    “Even if he bumped his head, his symptoms would come back,” she said. “He had really bad headaches and was very irritable. Light bugged him. Sometimes his speech would get mixed up. I noticed after his last concussion when he played with the Pics that he got a lot meaner. He picked fights over nothing and school became a lot harder for him.”

    “It was a no-brainer to do the testing if it might help someone else,” Karly said. “It was bittersweet to hear your brother, your best friend, had brain damage. But it was also reassuring. He told me something wasn’t right with his brain. So it was almost validation for him.”
    Dr. McKee said she plans to present her junior hockey findings to other researchers at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neuropathologists in June.

    “We are focusing on hockey now,” Dr. McKee said in an interview with TSN. “We’re really trying to put together our experience…

    We’re hoping hockey is not as high a risk as football where there are more impacts every game in a more predictable fashion, but [CTE prevalence] could be just as high in hockey.”

    Dr. McKee has already diagnosed CTE in four former NHL players – Reggie Fleming, Rick Martin, Bob Probert and Derek Boogaard. Former NHL player Steve Montador also had CTE, according to researchers with the Canadian Sports Concussion Project in Toronto.

    Dr. McKee said she is currently examining the brain of another former NHL player and is a month or so away from completing that exam. CTE can only be diagnosed after death.

    Tyler Maland, a spokesman for the Concussion Legacy Foundation, said more than 1,700 people have pledged to donate their brains to B.U. for study of CTE, a brain-withering disease linked to repeated concussions.

    Of those 1,700, five are former NHL players. No current NHL player has pledged his brain. By comparison, three active NFL players and more than 100 former NFL players have pledged their brains to science, Maland said.

    “…To continue to play a sport like hockey or football, you have to turn a blind eye to this,” said Lisa McHale, the foundation’s director of family relations. “Willful ignorance is an easier tack to take than being concerned about CTE when you’re still making your living as a professional athlete.”

  52. montreal ace says:

    Pleks for Spezza, who has 3 years left at 7.5 million. Its not a sexy trade, but I think it would help

  53. devhab says:

    So let’s say the Rangers win the Cup.

    Are we still pathetic? Are we still calling for a total blow up/remake?

    Giddy up

  54. haberoo13 says:

    King, Ott, Martinsen, Davidson and Benn…all MB players that brought absolutely zero offense on a goal starved team…was MB asked this?

    Haberoo13
    MAAAA!!!! THE MEATLOAF!!!!!

    • Phil C says:

      I think there was nothing of value available at the deadline. It’s not an issue for the press because there was no one they missed out on.

      Those guys you mention were just cheap depth that would have paid more dividends on a deep playoff run.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      It’s funny how all five defied expectations in different ways

      Benn
      Expectation: Decent third/fourth pair guy.
      Reality: Invaluable number four D that stabilized the D core

      Davidson
      Expectation: Maybe can fit in the number four spot
      Reality: Barely played (although was decent when he did)

      Martinsen
      Expectation: Big, physical, fifth liner.
      Reality: Did almost nothing, but played more than I expected

      King
      Expectation: Big, physical grinder with playoff experience that might pot a couple goals
      Reality: Absolute trainwreck that just couldn’t keep up (still the best player I’ve ever played against)

      Ott
      Expectation: One of the worst players in the NHL with no positive qualities
      Reality: Didn’t do much, but was able to keep up and be part of the play.

  55. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Main points IMO from the press conference:

    1) Price is getting signed 99%. If Price doesn’t sign, MB will re-evaluate then but looks adamant to sign him.
    2) MB and CJ are disappointed in Chucky’s play at center and have him slotted on the wing. They are adamant about the center being defensively responsible. Chucky is good as gone for that center IMO.
    3) The Rads re-signing is going to be difficult as Rads is going to market to look for term. Not coming back IMO (really hope I’m wrong).

    The story to follow this summer IMO is Tavares’s contract. If he doesn’t re-sign with the Isles, MB will go all-in on him. He has got to get that center if he comes back with basically the same core. See ya guys at the draft!

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      As mentioned earlier, I didn’t get the same impression regarding Radulov as you did. I’m more optimistic it will happen. But, lets consider the alternatives in case it doesn’t happen. What other right wingers are available?

      The big one this summer will be Oshie. He’s having a fantastic playoffs and was great down the stretch. He’s just an overall really good player, but he does have the benefit of playing with Ovi and Backstrom. That’s a good line to be on. He will have 30 teams knocking on his door. I expect he’ll sign for 7.5m long term

      Radim Vrbata is another option. He put up 55 points, but he’s 35 and probably not the guy who can put the team on his shoulders.

      Jagr is another old-timer who will be looking for a new contract. Rumours about him and Montreal have swirled before.

      Silfverberg is a really exciting option. 26 years old and scored 23 goals this year. Signed for two more years at 3.75m. ANA might be worried about losing him to expansion so they may be forced to move him. I’m sure plenty of teams would be interested though.

      Marleau is getting older, but he still scored 27 goals this year. May be able to get him at a reasonable price too.

      Kovalchuk’s name is making rounds today too. Would need to be a sign and trade with New Jersey. Does Bergevin take a flyer on another Russian this year?

      • The ice ghost says:

        Living in LA I see Silfverberg. If the price is fair I’d grab him.

        Kovalchuk is the best skater I’ve ever seen in person. I’d take a risk on him in a heartbeat, surely we can do a deal with NJ. I don’t mind doubling down on Russians. At least they can skate.

  56. hvac412 says:

    This organization is going nowhere quick,bargain bin had his 5 years and its still a total mess.Why isn’t he accountable Mr. Molson?He’s even got the players sounding like him,what a total joke.23 years of subscribing to nhl center ice and iv’e had it with this garbage mediocre product.

  57. docketrocket says:

    This “all we need is a center and …” talk is going to be the death of us. So too is “if we had just had some more luck”, “if the other goalie hadn’t stoned us” etc etc etc. Lets get real. We are a mediocre team with a terrible prospect pool. We need to do things differently. Some very good older players have to be moved out. We need to sign 10 new prospects and hope 2 or 3 work out. We need to take the rose coloured glasses off.

  58. LeaveTheCoachAlone says:

    I will never subscribe to the opinion shared by more than a few that Carey Price is the reason Michel Therrien was not fired sooner. That Price camouflaged the deficiencies in his coaching.

    I subscribe to the logic that Carey Price is the most profitable brand this institution has ever had. And even if hes not ever going to be a playoff performer, that they need to protect that investment as long as it can.

    That’s why I was, and still am pissed off they brought Julien to replace Therrien. These guys a virtually identical in philosophy.

    Julien, like Therrien has quickly realised the coaching has to be extremely defensive orientated to protect Price.

    It’s the philosophy of defence first as to why Price has looked better than he really is. And the post season exposes this.

    If you had a goalie you knew that was money in the playoffs, you’re not firing Therrien to bring Julien in.

    The coaching all starts with your goalie.

    We will never win with a goalie that needs so much protection. Never mind leading the league in shot blocking for the last decade of his tenure.

    Coaching branded Price, not the other way around like so many folks believe it to be.

    Shouldn’t it be proof by now, that everything around Carey Price for a decade has been shuffled, changed, modified, over and over again.

    The elephant in the room is Carey Price, he is Mr. Regular Season, and cant get it done like Lundqvist even in the postseason.

    But MAN isn’t he PROFITABLE’.

    OH YA

    • RightNyder says:

      The Habs would be a runaway freight train of profit if John Bellyful strapped on the pads.

      And you do realize that, when you have a stud like Price in goal, why not load up on offence, knowing he’ll erase enough mistakes to win that way?

      Trying to win 0-(-1) is folly. Like every other goalie in the history of the game, Price occasionally lets in a stinker.

      Only problem is, his mistakes are magnified because his own team can’t score and has Phillip Danault as its No. 1 centre.

      • hvac412 says:

        Because we have a gm with a dollar store mentality who feels better if he gets 5 things for a dollar than one good piece for 5 dollars.I think he has the best of intentions but lets face it he’s failed miserabley.

      • jacquesthemonkey says:

        How often people forget that St-Patrick Roy got lit up often enough. The difference was the Habs scored more than 1 goal in those games. If you are talkiing about a goalie that gives your team a chance to win every night, Price has been one of the most consistent goalies that I have ever seen.

        • RightNyder says:

          Yup.
          There were many times when I felt like Roy would never give up a goal if they played 12 overtimes.
          Other times when I wondered if Brian Hayward shouldn’t get a turn.
          Times when I knew he was carrying the team, yet other times where the team bailed him out.

          With Price, I always feel like he has to carry the team. Period.

        • mrhabby says:

          Haha . I remember those nights like yesterday.

    • docketrocket says:

      very interesting post.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      I just can’t see how you look at Price’s performance and identify him as the issue? He had a 1.86 GAA, and .933 Sv%. Which one of the twelve goals scored would you suggest he should have had? Not one of them you could classify as being a weak goal. If your expectation is absolute perfection, then I think you might need to reassess your expectations. Price did absolutely everything he needed to do to help this team win in the playoffs. The team, the WHOLE TEAM, simply got beat. That’s how it goes sometimes. Hockey is a game of inches, it’s a game of chances, and sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. And you have to give credit to New York. They played great. We didn’t get beat by a bad team. They showed up, they had the right game plan, and they walked away with the wins.

      • mrhabby says:

        He is not the issue . It’s crazy.

      • dickanddanny says:

        C’mon seriously. Everyone including Price acknowledges that he allowed several weak goals in the NY series. The short handed break away goal fired through the five hole is one; as opposed to Lundquist stopping Pacioretty on a very similar type break-away in game 5. “Make a save Carrie”, one that counts for something other than a routine shot/save that goes on to glorify your goalie stats. The King did just that and he helped his team win. But the two weakest goals allowed by Price were both scored in game 6, and both by the little hacker Zuccarrelo. One was a shot from the face-off dot which should have been caught, yes caught, not just stopped, and on their second goal Price was blatantly way out of position and could not get back in the net in time to cover even just one half of the net which is of course all he needed to do as the shot was going in off the far post until it hits Prices skate and then directs in. Watch the re-plays. You can stop all the peripheral shots, the shots from the points, the wings, but when we needed 2 or 3 good saves to keep the lead we didn’t get them. That was what everyone (lets say the large majority of writers and fans who took time to comment on this) were talking about. Lundquist made the saves that counted. Price didn’t. End of story.

        “back to you Dick”

        • Stiglitz74 says:

          In game 6, the first goal was on a PP so you can argue that had we been more disciplined and not been penalized it would never have occurred. The second goal the defense coverage on Zuke was very weak, so again you can argue Price is not at fault.

          Price is not the reason we lost the series. If Price had a shutout every game we still need the whole team to work together to defend, break out, keep possession, make plays and score in order to win.

          Consistency and execution of scoring opportunities against a fast, tough and skilled hockey team would be a more accurate analysis of why we might have lost, and this is on the team collectively.

      • tophab says:

        price let in 5 weak goals against the rangers.1st was glass in first game,a weak back hander .game 4 two weak goals, fast from behind net,nash from beside net.game 6 two weak goals from #36.Price lost them three games,its on him.

    • Phil C says:

      Therrien was a defensive coach in Montreal and Pittsburgh before he had Price. So was Julien, so your premise is wrong right out of the gate.

      Therrien also mostly failed protecting Price. The Habs were often among the league’s worst in giving up shots and scoring chances. That’s why people say Price made him look good. The Habs were a defensively coached team that were not very successful at being defensive. They were mainly just successful at not being offensive.

    • mrhabby says:

      I think Julien works better with young players then MT ever did.
      I think he is smarter than MT.
      I think Julien employs players better.
      I think Julien has much more optimistic personality than old sour puss.

    • devhab says:

      I think MT’s deficiencies were pretty glaring, and I think a lot of posters would agree, not all. I don’t think many would say Price camouflaged his deficiencies. He may have camouflaged team deficiencies, but that’s another matter.

      Giddy up

    • devhab says:

      “Carey Price is the most profitable brand this institution has ever had”

      Really?!? Any evidence? Just one shred. Don’t mean to sound rude, maybe you’re right, but I can’t see it.

      I would have thought PK was more profitable for the brand. Or maybe any number of the past stars that carried the Cup down St. Catherine’s.

      Giddy up

    • devhab says:

      “That’s why I was, and still am pissed off they brought Julien to replace Therrien. These guys a virtually identical in philosophy.”

      You sound quite upset. If those two guys are virtually the same to you, why are you upset? By your logic, you lost nothing.

      Giddy up

    • toneez says:

      The Elephant in the room is now gone EMPTY … he’s a loser always was and always will be period end of sentence , by the way if he’s so good where’s he coaching now PEE WEE ????

      All Habs all the Time

  59. devhab says:

    Are Chucky and N8 that far gone, that we move them in the summer, OR, do we give Claude the chance to develop them?

    When Claude arrived, we were in a tailspin and he had to do everything he could to keep us from spinning out. He did not have time for coddling, or bringing players along.

    However, in a new season, maybe things are different. Maybe he can be patient and restore the confidence and effectiveness of these two players. Maybe a different defense coach can make a difference with N8. And, maybe a mentor for Chucky.

    Thoughts?

    Giddy up

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      The most important move the Habs made this year is replacing Therrien with Julien. I’m excited to see what he can do with a decent lineup over a full season.

      I still have faith Galchenyuk can develop into a 30+ goal scoring top line center, but I think CJ and especially MB have less faith than I do.

      With Beaulieu, it’s the same thing. The team doesn’t trust him and he is too inconsistent.

      I expect Beaulieu will be traded this summer for sure, because if they don’t they will lose him to expansion.

      If Montreal can acquire a legitimate top line center, I think Galchenyuk may also be traded, but they won’t just give him away.

      • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

        Ask Boston about CJ – they were heading for a third straight no playoff year before he was canned … we should temper our expectations.

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

    • New says:

      I can not think of a Canadiens player who is a problem. Pretty good on any team. Supposed loose canon Radulov turns out instead to be a fine tuned howitzer – who knew?

      Players make mistakes. We got to see a bucket of them. Benn makes mistakes when Beaulieu isn’t there. Beaulieu makes mistakes when Benn is there. Maybe the mistake is thinking mistakes won’t happen. Maybe they happen.

      In this last series, from last season, the Habs made mistakes and the Rangers capitalized. The Rangers made mistakes and the Habs didn’t cash in on them. Maybe the answer is while always trying to eliminate mistakes you make your adversary pay for theirs.

      Price, Weber, Beaulieu, Sergachev, Emelin, Radulov, Markov (this is beginning to sound very Russian), Galchenyuk, Lehkonen, Gallagher, Byron, Pacorietty – that is half the team bien capable there alone. Is there anyone who doesn’t see that as a solid core? Really.

      Fill the rest in with Hudon, Scherbak, McCarron, JDLR, Lindgren, Petry on a good day, Juulsen (maybe), Carr (Maybe), Evans (maybe) and you have a pretty good lineup when Markov steps behind the bench across the river.

      That means of course that placeholders holding down their jobs will leave. There is no future in Montreal for them. Perhaps explaining their enthusiastic playoff performance – they were no problem but they were no part of a solution either.

      Galchenyuk is already ok, maybe work on his release and wrister. The problem with him is he is not meshing with a couple of the other big names. They stand still, or bolt to cover his responsibility. This is a confidence thing.

      Beaulieu would be fine with Brisbois or Robinson or a dozen others as D coach.

    • D Mex says:

      Based on what we heard today, that Galchenyuk recognizes there is work to be done, is willing to do it and has a good attitude etc, my take is that the team is fully prepared to continue forward with him.

      Based on what we also heard today, writing is on the wall for Beaulieu, tho. Let’s not forget that the team delivered a subtle vote of confidence to him by dealing a more seasoned LH D-man in the person of Barber.
      IMO, he should have taken that to heart and focused himself to improving and being the best he could be. Instead, he said goodbye to consistency and his play was punctuated by bouts of brain gas.

      For me, his ” No ” response when asked if he had learned anything by watching from the press box was extremely telling – what could Nate the Great possibly have to learn ? …

      It may be lame to refer to him as Habs #420, but it pretty much has to be that or the brain gas theory. I’d say he’s as good as gone.

  60. chilli says:

    Tony Marinaro cracks me up when he screams into the mic.
    I do like his questions to the GM. Does throw the lob balls that everyone else does.

  61. Stevie.Ray says:

    I wonder what it would take to land Duchene from Colorado?

    Last I heard, Colorado wanted Galchenyuk, Beaulieu, Sergachev, and a 1st, which is clearly too much. I wonder if they will have lowered their asking price. I totally expect Beaulieu to be moved this summer, so would Galchenyuk and Beaulieu be enough? Bergevin is not the type to throw in a first round pick so maybe Juulsen or Scherbak. Probably not McCarron.

  62. LeaveTheCoachAlone says:

    @Right Nyder

    Comparing save percentages of Price in front a very good defensive team, to Andersen in front of a very porous defensive teams is not effective in relaying any point.

    Price is save percentage is blown sky high for the exact reasons stated. Price on the LEAFS would have a far lesser save percentage than Mr. Andersen.

    Andersen, like Lundqvist kept their teams in the game when they were tied or up a goal.

    Price couldn’t preserve a 1 goal lead several times. Unlike Lundqvist did on a few occasions.

    Price was outplayed by both Lundqvist and Andersen in the
    PLAYOFFS hands down.

    Price is a pretty good regular season goalie, nothing more. He disappears like some teams and players do every post season.

    • New says:

      You are comparing apples to bottled fruit juice. Arguments like that always fail. When you go on about Halak is wonderful, ok, maybe he is and maybe he shouldn’t get kicked from team to team, to the minors, whatever. But when you say this goalie on this team is better than this other goalie, well you lose the argument before it starts.

      A goalie has stats. They all reflect how he has failed. But not a single one is accurate. They don’t reflect how or why he failed. The best you can get are shootout attempts and stops. Even then they are against different players, different ploys, different player success or failure to get that shot away clean. The only true measure of a goalie is that of his peers, his co-workers, and his employers. Fan favorite doesn’t count at all.

      If I had a nickel for every person who told me that any given team’s backup goalie was better than the same team’s starter I’d have about $1.95 if memory serves. They were all wrong. But they were convinced that a GAA or Sv% for a dozen games was a true measure. It isn’t and that is why the better goalie starts the tougher games and why the guys always try and play their best for the backup trying to make a career.

      The NHL players, the NHL managers, the NHL coaches, Team Canada, they all think Price is better than you do. Nothing wrong with that but they don’t bother to write it over and over in a need to convince you. Conversely…

    • RightNyder says:

      I’m not disagreeing with you that he needs a signature playoff run.
      I’ve made that argument myself when people want to include him with the Plantes and Drydens and Roys in terms of Habs history.

      But suggesting he’s nothing more than a good regular-season goalie makes it hard to take you seriously. Just using your example, Andersen’s team lost four of six games. Exactly how great was he?

      I go back to my previous examples of the NFL QBs. I always thought John Elway was better than Joe Montana. Every year, he carried lousy, unbalanced Denver teams to 10 wins (same as Marino in Miami). But every year, a balanced team (like Montana’s 49ers) would eventually expose them. When they finally got around to supplementing Elway’s greatness with Terrell Davis, they finally won a pair of titles.

      There is a greater context required here. All you have to do is look at the previous year – Habs were the best team in the league with Price and the worst without him – to see this. Price has carried a significantly flawed team, making it appear much, much better than it really is.

      Come the playoffs, when you face a team every second night and can better exploit them, the Habs get exposed. And playing in goal, thinking you have a pitch a shutout every night to win, has to be difficult. People talk about the intimidation factor of playing against Price.
      Well, it’s not nearly as intimidating when you know you’ve got seven games to beat him, and that his team will never score enough to beat you if you happen to eventually sneak a few shots in there.

      Carey Price is not the problem. Instead of looking at it as “why can’t Carey Price carry us?” we need to focus more on the failings of the general manager to supplement this greatness.

    • dickanddanny says:

      LTCA: Totally agree with your comment and couldn’t have said it better although I did comment similarly on this topic further up the page. When we needed a crucial save we didn’t get it. Carrie is very good at stopping the puck but it was the ones he let in when we had the lead, game 5 and 6 which he didn’t make that hurt us. Two of them were actually fairly routine.

      “back to you Dick”

  63. Luke says:

    So, basically, everyone said today that Galchenyuk could be the centre if he hears down and works hard.
    Even Alex.

    Still… Draft nothing but centres this year.

  64. Stevie.Ray says:

    I’m a bit of a wet blanket today, but I feel this needs to be said so that come July 1st we don’t all start panicking again.

    Bergevin cannot sign Price to an extension until July 1st. They can’t even talk about his next contract until then.

    Early Jul is also super busy for GMs. It’s right after the draft. Obviously free agency is that day and he needs to organize the upcoming season’s team at both the NHL and AHL level. He may need to hire internal positions such as scouts or coaches or trainers. He also needs to plan and organize the rookie camp.

    Not to mention Price’s agent will be busy with his other free agent clients, and Price will probably be in some hunting shack in the middle of nowhere.

    My point is, don’t be surprised if a contract isn’t signed until late summer or even into the hockey season. He has a year to get it done, and I expect it will.


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