HI/O Show: Demers, Nilan talk Habs vs. Rangers

The last time the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup in 1993, Jacques Demers was the head coach.

The time before that, in 1986, Chris Nilan was a member of Montreal’s championship team.

This week, Demers and Nilan are the guests on The HI/O Show, joining Gazette sports editor/host Stu Cowan to discuss the Canadiens-Rangers Eastern Conference final series.

Demers, who is now a senator in Ottawa, talks about watching Game 2 of the series beside Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Bell Centre and reveals what he would say in a pregame speech before Game 3 if he was still coaching the Canadiens.

Nilan, who also played for the Rangers during his NHL career, talks about the difference between playing in Montreal and New York.

Other topics of conversation include Canadiens coach Michel Therrien’s decision to start Dustin Tokarski in goal instead of Peter Budaj, whether the Rangers’ Chris Kreider was guilty of a dirty play when he knocked Habs goalie Carey Price out of the series, and the disappointing play of Thomas Vanek during the first two games of the series.

(Photo by Sterling Agres/HI/O Show)

408 Comments

  1. boing007 says:

    The Canadiens flag flying above Boston City Hall looks like it’s at half mast.

    Richard R

  2. 24 Cups says:

    Barry Trotz is known for two things in terms of coaching – a team first approach and a tight, defensive mindset on the ice. I’m not sure how that would go over in Washington with Ovie, Backstrom and Green.

    What about Vancouver? There’s no Rinne is Vancouver (anymore).

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=452735

    24.6 Cups

    • Cal says:

      It’ll be very tough for Trotz no matter where he goes. Despite his longevity in Nashville, they’ve never gone anywhere when they’ve made the playoffs. Since the Cap era began, the Preds haven’t really done much but tread water.

  3. wjc classic says:

    wjc JULY 26, 2012 AT 10:05 AM
    Not sure about that. Think the Canadiens are still ahead.

    Rocket Richard had a couple of off years in a row, he bounced back.
    Beliveau had two 18 goal seasons in a row, he bounced back.
    Who is to say why a player loses confidence, it happens in all sports. Batters go into slumps, why no one knows.

    Card players have streaks where they can’t buy a win.

    The mental aspects of the game cannot be overlooked. Refocus, relax and keep trying. Be frustrated, be nervous, quit.

    Gomez will be back….MARK MY WORDS…..and the Canadiens will be a better team because of it.

    wjc classic

    • Cal says:

      Wow. This post is just as short-sighted and dim now as it was then.
      I’m sure I have some doozies, too!

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Taking the time to re-post wjc’s comment from 2 years ago is worse than the comment itself, IMO.

    • franco says:

      You could have found many that hit the nail on the head, but you choose one that missed the mark.

      Very Don Cherry of you, pick you spots.

      Pick out only ones that might have missed and ignore the rest.

      You still don’t kick a player with glee when he is down, even if he is a mult-millionaire.

      You could have even dug out a couple of your gems or your cronies and had a good laugh. I said what I believed, it didn’t work out, move on.

  4. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    We need some luck.
    I say go get Elmer fly him down, have him sit on the end of the bench.
    Doesn’t have to say anything. Just stares at the boyz.
    Go Habs GO!!!

  5. habsfan0 says:

    Habs 5 Rangers 1.

    A team that was extended to 7 games by a very average Philadelphia squad and to 7 games by a Penguins team that has obvious problems besides in goal,is not as good as everybody seems to think they are.

  6. CJ says:

    Good morning folks.

    Not much to say. Huge game and I fully expect a huge win. We can’t give up now. If our best players show up we can make a game of this. There’s still more juice in the lemon….

    Markov, Gionta, Pleks and Vanek, this is your night. Step forward gentlemen. Centre stage…..

    Jim, enjoy the game!

    Go Habs Go!

    Cheers, CJ

    • Captain aHab says:

      Pretty much have to win tonight.

      I think PK will come out large tonight.

      —————-
      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  7. Captain aHab says:

    People already throwing McCarron under the bus?

    Wow…that didn’t take long.

    I have no issue with him being picked near the end of the first round…the reality is that, after the first few picks in round 1, you are then looking at crapshoots and projects. So why not take a chance on a big guy whose main issue seems to be skating?

    If Boston picks this guy in the second everyone here would go ballistic on the Habs for letting him drop.

    Give the kid some time. Let’s see if Hunter plays him at C next year with some solid wingers.

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Not sure who or why anyone would throw him under the bus! Firs off, big kids take time to get used to their bodies and it is his first year transitioning to Canadian junior and a new “home”

      I think he did pretty well for a first year.

      Habfan17

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      They were throwing him under the bus two seconds after he was drafted because … they’re experts.

      • Habfan17 says:

        That is why they make the big money working for an NHL club….not
        Should all the other teams fire their scouts for not taking PK?

        Habfan17

        • Captain aHab says:

          What, you mean they haven’t?

          —————-
          Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

          • Habfan17 says:

            I understand the other 30 teams are going to start interviewing certain MIO posters to replace the head scouts for their teams!
            Big changes this off season. lol

            Habfan17

    • BJ says:

      18 years old? I’d say he has 3-4 more years before we get concerned.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      No one is throwing him under the bus. Many people are questioning the selection however.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • Captain aHab says:

        Which is pretty much throwing him under the bus.

        Or is it a way to keep your future options open? So if he sucks, you can say you had questioned the pick and if he plays well, you can say you never questioned his ability?

        Again, give the kid another year or two before questioning anything….

        —————-
        Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  8. BJ says:

    My brother just sent me this. I guess its a consolation for the McDonagh trade.
    http://jblarghcards.blogspot.ca/2013/07/imagine-if.html?m=1

  9. BJ says:

    Also how about finding out who this guy is and signing him up next year after Parros is let go:
    http://www.break.com/video/baseball-bats-don-t-win-fights-2611867

  10. BJ says:

    Glad to see we are going back to Tokarski. Its still one game at a time. I hope the Habs watched the Chicago-LA game to see how its done to come back from a 2-0 score. If Crawford can have 6 go by him, I guess Tokarski did not do badly. We win tonight.

  11. PrimeTime says:

    I would love to see Vanek rise to the occasion and Tokarsky to play well if only just to shut everybody up!! The media just feeds off itself, and fans gobble up all the morsoles.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      This is exactly the kind of player Vanek is. He’s as streaky as any hockey player in the league. He’s could possibly catch fire and carry the team on his back or disappear for a few games. Tough to figure out. Surely the talent doesn’t disappear and reappear. It’s gotta be between the ears, no? A weird dude.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I can buy that during the regular season, not in the playoffs. You don’t get many chances to win the cup, that should motivate any player to raise their game and play their best, every playoff game!
        Especially when you will be selling yourself to the highest bidder or want your “home town team” to want to sign you! You need to show them the character it takes to win when it counts the most! Vanek is not doing that!
        Habfan17

    • Cal says:

      “morsoles” . Is that a combo of morsel and a-hole? ;)

    • Paz says:

      So I think your post actually deserves a reply.

      For the past few seasons, as a fan, I was under the impression that we had a QUALITY back up in Budaj, a goalie who could be counted on more than most back ups in the NHL. That impression was certainly discussed in the “media”, and here at HIO, but it was also based on results; games that Budaj would step in and win for us.

      I was also told by the media, and by the Habs players during interviews with the media, that Budaj was a big part of the team, that he was an inspiration, a leader.

      Prior to game 2, I was one of the people who opposed the decision to sit Budaj in favor of Tokarski. My reasoning is basically stated above.

      All year Therrien has favored veterans over youth, leaders over inexperience.

      I hope Tokarski STEALS the freakin game tonight and shuts out the Rangers. That would be great!

      But unless Budaj is hurt, out of respect for his position on this team, and the wins he has given us, he should have made the start in game 2 and he should be starting tonight.

      “fans gobble up all the morsoles”. (morsels is the word you’re looking for)

      • PrimeTime says:

        As stated, Budaj is a great team player. Therrien credited him for supporting the decision to start Tokarsky. That is his strength to the team. I’m sure he would have loved to take Price’s place. What goalie wouldn’t?? But Tokarsky has more championship winning experience giving him an edge over the “good guy” everyone likes. I don’t believe the decision was based on disrespect for Budaj. The staff felt Tokarsky was the better choice to win….and I think they have a better feel than we fans have.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        I am not sure where you get the idea that Budaj is a leader and a big part of the team.

        As back up goalie he can’t – by definition – be a big part of the team.

        I always got the idea he was a good guy, nice chap, who cheered on his teammates and did his best when called on.

        I never heard of him as a leader.

        —–
        Moving. Forward.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I for one, think Tokarsky played well. Vanek though, has not. He needs to pull up his socks and raise the level of his game. He coasted way too much In the first two games. This has nothing to do with the media or posts on here. It has everything to do with what I have seen watching both games.

      Habfan17

    • boing007 says:

      Morsoles deserves to be right up there with Yvon Lambert hassoles.
      That’s a whole lot of sole, man.

      Richard R

  12. twilighthours says:

    More sadness: Chris’ scouting report on Mike Mccarron.

    • Cal says:

      Hire a skating coach. No biggie. He’s a long term project anyways, so he has time.
      Hell, I’m a million percent more concerned with tonight’s game than a prospect. Game 3 will either be a turning point or the beginning of the funeral dirge.
      If this is the end for the Habs this season, it’s been a blast to get to the Conference Final. Losing Price to yet another “hockey play” is disheartening (and it’s starting to look like his right leg is seriously effed up.) This top 4 finish amply demonstrates what character can do. If the Habs had a smidgeon more talent up front, I’d be more optimistic. I’ll be watching and CHeering anyway, because this has been all good. No one expected the Habs to go this far.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Morning Cal. Yep. There will be a lot of time for “hand wringing” over a draft pick during the off season. Chrisadiens and I will be at the game tonight cheering the boys on but I must admit I’m not optimistic without Price.

        Sometimes its as simple as your best players being your best players. For whatever reason that hasn’t happened in this series. Perhaps the “Habs Stanley Cup” was getting by the Bruins.

        Still a step forward but…….

        • Cal says:

          Hope you have a great time at the game, Jim. Lift a glass for us poor slobs who have to watch it on tv. I am expecting a big turnaround by the Habs tonight because I am insanely optimistic this playoff season. It’s the “no expectations” thing.

        • Paz says:

          Wow Jim, that’s very exciting!! Here’s hoping you see a great Habs’ win!

    • Paz says:

      You watch McCarron and you are left wondering, why in the first round?

      Yes, he’s big. But the other very big junior players are drafted later for a reason; they are long term “projects” who usually don’t make it.

      He has not shown me anything that looks like a first round pick.

      • 24 Cups says:

        McCarron was projected to go around the 40th spot in the draft. Maybe a bit higher because of his size. Montreal selected him in the 25th spot.

        It really doesn’t matter when it’s all said and done because the Habs picked up De La Rose and Facale in the 34th and 36th spots and both players were projected to go near the bottom of the 1st round. As well, Montreal grabbed Lehkonen with their 55th pick and he was viewed as a top 40 pick.

        When it’s all said and done, the Habs did OK with their first four selections. It’s just the order that seems a bit screwy.

        24.6 Cups

        • Paz says:

          True enough. I’m not suggesting in this post that the entire draft was screwed up by the Mccarron pick.

          I like De La Rose more than McCarron, in fact, much more.

          De La Rose has a big enough frame but he can move his feet like a pro player. He is a significant prospect and we’re lucky he was still around when we got him.

          • 24 Cups says:

            De La Rose was the 2nd highest rated prospect in Future Watch who wasn’t a 1st round pick. The only other guy ahead of him was Sami Vatanen who is four years older and was drafted in 2009.

            Flip De La Rose (34th) and McCarron (25th) and I don’t think there would even be a discussion.

            24.6 Cups

    • CJ says:

      I enjoyed Chris’ take.

      My only comment is that at 25, we gambled. I have no issue with that. Mac won’t be a bust. IMO, a bust occurs when you draft a player in the top five and they don’t make it. Look at the Capitals draft in (I think) 2008. Not a single guy has played a game in the nhl. Further, personally, if MacCarron could one day be a Bickell type player with 10 goals, 10 assists who plays all three zones and is physical, I’d be very happy. I’m not expecting a 30 goal scorer or the next Keith Tkachuk.

      Lastly, keep in mind we are now drafting players at 18 were as in the past it was 20. It’s not a perfect science.

  13. scamorza says:

    Just woke up from dreaming that the habs win tonight either 2-1 or 3-2 but it was in OT and Plekanec scores off a rebound. Who would have thunk that – Plekanec driving to the net? Just watched the Nilan Demers talk before going to bed so that may explain it . I’ll take any part of that dream coming true. Flying back home so will not be watching live but would be nice to see it envelop as it did in the dream!
    come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

  14. Un Canadien errant says:

    I wonder why some media heads or fans don’t like the Canadiens, hate them in fact. I know why Don Cherry doesn’t, or P.J. Stock, but why the odd average fan? The Canadiens don’t have a Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand triumverate of evil, they don’t have any Steve Otts or Matt Cooks. They divested themselves of Maxim Lapierres and Mike Ribeiros. So with the Habs, you have a decent, hard-working team with lots of good personalities, mostly populated with nice guys like Brendan Gallagher and Francis Bouillon and P.K. Subban.

    And then I run across this article from Pension Plan Puppets, who can be quite funny when they’re tearing apart their own team. This one however, is so over-the-top irrational, it doesn’t serve to illuminate the reasons, but does give us a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

    Maple Leaf fans, you would think, after decades of Harold Ballard and Carlo Colaiacovo and John Brophy, would be able to recognize a quality organization by contrast, and give credit when it’s due a team that’s playing well and having success. You would think that they’d be able to tip their hat to a team that managed to do what they couldn’t last season, which is beat the Bruins, in a seven game series, and not choke it away.

    You would be wrong. And to twist the facts for their purposes, they don’t stop at merely stating that the Chris Kreider job on Carey Price wasn’t voluntary or reckless, but merely a good hockey play gone wrong. Rather, they conflate this incident with how savagely Brian Gionta brushed by James Reimer outside his crease, and offer that up as proof that the Canadiens fans don’t think clearly and are hypocritical.

    So yeah, maybe Leafs fans are a lost cause. The Stockholm Syndrome set in during the Borje Salming years and hasn’t dissipated, but only grown stronger, deeper, more twisted.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • The Cat says:

      I hate to tell you but hab fans are considered annoying to most, except other habs fans. This is why others dont like to see the habs do well, its cause itll cause the fans to be even more annoying. Its like its an automatic that Kreider had bad intentions, but someone like Gallagher does not (when crashing the net)… Hab fans create a ‘us vs them’ mentality toward the rest of the NHL that is a little over the top.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

      • PrimeTime says:

        Not true. Other Hab fans can get annoyed by Hab fans too. I post so daily!! LOL

        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

    • PrimeTime says:

      I’m a huge Hab fan and have been my whole life, however I do subscribe to any fanatical conspiracy theories posted here daily. IMO Krieder did NOT intentionally hurt Price. I know most here won’t agree with me, but then again, I’m not “nuts”. Why do other fans hate The Habs?? Because of the fans that are “nuts”…. The same reason Hab fans hate other teams. However, the “nuts” are a minority to the fans that respect the game for all that it is, but they are the loudest. This explains why Gallagher or Subban are “hated” until they play for their own team. It’s not the players, it’s the “NUTS”!!!

  15. habstrinifan says:

    Chris: “and I just don’t like the team’s energy right now.”

    This is just about the simplest and most accurate comment on the HABS right now in this series.

    And Chris watches a lot of hockey so he knows this ‘intangible’ aspect of a team. Maybe as in Johnny LaRue’s case, the boys spent all their mental energy for the playoffs in the Bruins series.

    It is not being negative. Something… someone, some remark needs to happen to excite the ‘nerves’ and ‘emotion’ again.

    I hope it happens for game 3.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Yeah, they’ve had to fight the emotional letdown of coming off a big win over the Bruins and trying to re-focus on the Rangers, and then of losing Carey Price. I don’t like their energy either, but it’s not hard to understand how they’re reacting.

      The Bruins with their physical style neutered the Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek line. Now against the Rangers, and deep in a hole, I’d put those guys together again, see if they work well against this opponent.

      • habstrinifan says:

        What do you think about bringing in White.

        My ‘crazy’ line for next game would be Gallagher,Eller,Pacioretty yes..i said it.

        Then Bournival,White, DD. I really like this line… it’s got speed and White will make room for DD.

        Then Pleanec,Gionta,Vanek.

        I would be sitting Prust.

  16. Un Canadien errant says:

    Memorial Cup: Guelph Storm 7, London Knights 2

    This game got out of hand early, the Guelph Storm being as predicted too much for the stalled London Knights. The Storm won relatively easily by a 7-2 score, and my thumb got a workout on the remote control, hitting the ‘Skip’ button early and often.

    I decided to concentrate on Canadiens prospect Michael McCarron, and noticed that he was in the roster as the right wing on the third line to start the game, as opposed to centering the fourth line as we’ve seen previously in this tournament. Despite this bit of good news, things didn’t start well for Mike, getting scored on twice in the first period, although one goal was on a penalty kill.

    Generally, Mike has okay hands, he’s not just a big strong guy with no skill like a Derek Boogard or John Scott, certainly. He can take a pass and make one, but he’s definitely not nifty, he benefits by playing it simple, shooting the puck, putting it on net, or failing that, just off the boards and deep in the zone, and then going after it. He works hard, he definitely tries, effort is not an issue. He finishes his checks, he gets in there, he’s very willing.

    His skating will definitely need to improve. He needs a few strides to get up to speed, and then he’s loath to lose the speed he generated, so he cruises around looking for a pass, a loose puck, a chance for a big hit. He backchecks and protects his net, his positioning may need work, but that will come with experience. He’s definitely not floating, it’s just that he’s not a quick stop-and-start skater, and at his size that’s understandable.

    One player I noticed in the game is Bo Horvat, since I read a couple of articles in Vancouver papers that claim he will be in the Canucks’ lineup in the fall, it’s all but guaranteed. The thinking is that the team isn’t deep in forwards, they had a patchworked fourth line this year, kind of like when the Canadiens would work in a Frédéric St. Denis or a Yannick Weber, an Aaron Palushaj, a Mike Blunden on their fourth line two seasons ago. So you may as well bring up a youngster, one who’ll play a big role in the future, and let him learn the ropes on the job, to play him lots at a young age since he’s not taking a better player’s spot, he’s not taking shifts away from players who give you a better chance to win.

    Which is fine if the player you’re targeting for such duty seems to have nothing left to learn in Junior, seems to be beyond that level, and appears NHL ready. To make an easy example, Nathan McKinnon last season in the Memorial Cup seemed very ready, it didn’t take a great leap to envision him in the NHL. Meanwhile, that’s not the case for Bo Horvat. I didn’t see a player who couldn’t benefit from a season or two in the AHL. Especially when applying the Marc Bergevin standard, that a young player has to make the decision for you, to force you to keep him on your big league roster, I didn’t see that in this tournament.

    So yeah, the Canucks don’t have a Michaël Bournival or a Gabriel Dumont on their farm team, a kid who chomping at the bit for a bigger role, who are ready for a bottom 6 role immediately, but I still don’t see that they should plop Bo Horvat in their lineup as a result. They should think about getting a couple of very cheap veterans on short-term contracts in free agency this summer, and let their prospect fight his way up, earn his role. Just because they have a hole in their roster, because they need bodies, shouldn’t mean they parachute a kid in their roster, especially in light of a so-so Memorial Cup tournament.

    The Sportsnet crew, while watching the debacle unfold, suggested that maybe the Knights’ young pros, the guys who’ve been on an NHL path for a long time and were taking a third straight kick at the Memorial Cup, may have been ‘over it’, already looking forward to this summer’s rookie camps with their respective teams, more preoccupied with the NHL rather than the CHL, and it got me thinking too. There certainly didn’t seem to be the fire, the emotion, the desperation in their performance. Had the novelty, the meaningfulness of a Memorial Cup worn off for them? It’s certainly food for thought, although we might want to look at more proximate causes for their quick exit, like poor goaltending, for example, and the deflating effect that might have had.

    One player who caught one’s eye was Josh Anderson, the big winger who’s a property of the Columbus Blue Jackets. His game went a little more like what we’d have liked from Michael McCarron this season. On one sequence, he skated into the Guelph zone with his teammates, and he carried the puck, got into position to make a good shot on net, then picked up the rebound and roofed it on a nifty backhand. Later on, during a third period powerplay, he got off a few good shots on net, including a laser off the crossbar. He showed great agility and fluidity on his skates, and good ability to create chances with the puck.

    Of course, he has had one more development year than Michael has, it’s his third season in the OHL, and he played on the World Junior team for Canada this January, so we can’t make a direct comparison. At 6’3″ and 212 lbs, he’s also not as gigantic, he’s further removed from his growth spurt, so he’s got that advantage, no wonder he’s more ballerina less offensive tackle.

    Mike had some up and down moments in the second. He failed to clear his zone a couple of times on one sequence, which means he was bottled up with his teammates for a long, long shift before they could finally change. On the very next one though, he entered the zone on a rush and he headed straight for the net, waiting for a pass or deflection, and caused a traffic jam in front of the goalie, as the Storm defencemen panicked and tried to contain him.

    In the third, with Dale Hunter feeling the game and the tournament getting away, he again was juggling his lines, and Mike played at centre for a couple of shifts, but really came close to scoring when partnered with Bo Horvat. On one shift he fought for the puck in a corner and passed to Mr. Horvat in the slot for a great chance to score. Most shifts in the third, Mike would be around the net, sticking his nose in for a rebound, batting at them, making a couple of dekes to try to slide it by the goalie or through a scrum. He’d get multiple scoring opportunities in one brief scramble, that he helped create by drawing the defencemen’s attention.

    And this is what gives me more hope, that he seems to play better when partnered with better players. That seems like a truism, everyone plays better with better linemates obviously, but in his case, his size and strength and effort might be better used with a couple of linemates who can do the fancy work with the puck, do something with it after Mike digs it out of the corner, or cash it in when he’s causing mayhem in front of the net. There’s a synergy there, a chance for complementary skills to feed off each other.

    It’s like the Canucks envisioned when the traded for big right winger Zach Kassian, he’d be the big winger who clicked with the Sedins, with his ‘very particular set of skills’. Not that he’s necessarily a better player than Alex Burrows or Jannik Hansen, but that he might be a better fit on that line, his weaknesses would be offset by their strengths, and vice-versa. Now, this hasn’t yet come to pass in Vancouver, but that’s the long-term strategy, the grand design.

    And that’s what we can hope for Michael. He didn’t have an easy adaptation to the OHL, he certainly didn’t have an Anthony Mantha kind of season, but we can hope that in our organization, with the prospect mix we currently have, and with the troglodytic opponents we regularly face, that he’ll mesh well in our organization and thrive. We’ve had success using skills and abilities of players more effectively than their previous teams with guys like Mike Weaver and Dale Weise. Conversely, we’ve seen players who used to be comfortable and productive in one system lose their mojo in another, with Dave Clarkson as an obvious example.

    So all in all, not a great year for Michael McCarron, we could have and did hope for more, but he’s a big kid who’s still growing and learning, and has a long summer ahead of him to work hard and improve, and then another season in the OHL to polish up his skills, work his way up a roster and acquire more responsibility. His calling card, the reason he was drafted by the Canadiens, his great size, that’s not going away, that wasn’t a mirage. We now get to be patient and wait for him to arrive, and see how we can fit him in our lineups in the AHL and eventually the NHL, with good linemates who’ll feed off him and benefit him in return.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  17. Timo says:

    So, next year are Habs going to have same #1 and #2 centers? Watching LA and Hawks I just can’t help buy envy. What two great teams.

  18. boing007 says:

    LA Kings are looking dangerous again.

    Richard R

    • PK says:

      Lemieux complemented the Habs team and how it was being built
      (after the Shero firing). Maybe the GM’s should look at how the Kings
      are managed … Hawks have a fight on their hands now.
      May not be a given that Hawks end up in the SCF …

      >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

    • Timo says:

      They are a scary team.

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    So the mayor of Momtreal sent the smallest Habs flag he could find to Boston?

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/05/14/bruins-exit-from-playoffs-painful/PBpcVg9ufjc8n5yd3M7CeJ/story.html

  20. C-Sword says:

    Great comeback by the Kings! I thought they were toast after trailing behind 2-0. It’s the first time the Hawks got blown up.

  21. Psycho29 says:

    On a non-hockey related note, it’s recommended that if you have an EBAY account, change your password.
    Seems that there was a “cyber attack”…

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/ebay-tells-users-change-passwords-hack-attack/story?id=23809703

  22. punkster says:

    So one by one the seats on the band wagon start to empty.

    More room for those of us remaining…we can put our feet up on those empty seats and make ourselves comfortable for the show.

    Don’t sweat it…we’ll keep those seats warm for you during the comeback…because you will be back…you know you will.

    Release the Subbang!!!

    • johnnylarue says:

      I admittedly did my “mourning” for the Habs’ season after Game 5… well, after the Bruins’ second goal in Game 5, to be exact.

      I’m still going to watch the games as dutifully as I can, but I’m definitely pretty detached from it now… partly because Price = Hope, and his absence leaves a rather gaping hole where hope once resided, but also because the Boston series was SOUL-WRENCHINGLY EMOTIONAL and I honestly don’t have much left to give.

      I know that sounds like hyperbole, or a bit of a cop-out maybe, but as a fan I think I genuinely “left it all on the ice” in Game 7 at the Gahden.

      I’m repeating myself here, but I mean it when I say that I don’t think it’s possible that a Stanley Cup win could possibly feel more satisfying or euphoric than kicking the Bruins to the curb in such an epic, hard-fought series. That was a serious, serious high, and I’m still reeling in its wake. I suspect I’m not alone.

    • chanchilla says:

      it’s not like we haven’t come back from a hole against the rangers before right punkster??!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zACGht3qfXA

  23. FlyAngler says:

    Wow, Kings take the lead on the PP after a very marginal too many men penalty…………..

    “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

  24. CH Marshall says:

    Uh oh momentum just shifted to LA

  25. JF says:

    It sucks that Price is out, and his injury probably deprives us of any rational hope of winning the series, but I’m far from convinced we would win it even with Price. I know the consensus here before the series began was that the Rangers wouldn’t be much of a problem and we’d be going to the Cup Final because we’re a much better team than they are.

    Suddenly it doesn’t look like that any more. I think the Rangers are a team that has been under-estimated all season long. Their terrible start both meant that they were chasing the pack all season and disguised the fact that they’re a very good team. They finished four points behind us, but would have been ahead had it not been for their start. So, even without the injury to Price, there is a sense in which we are underdogs in this series. Without Price, this is even more true.

    The Rangers clearly have the advantage in goal. Just as clearly, their defence is better than ours. Up front, I’d say it’s pretty much a wash except that some of our players, who contributed to the previous two series, have been rather invisible in this one, whereas a couple of Rangers who hadn’t done much are starting to do it now. The Rangers are also getting offensive contributions from their defence; Ryan McDonagh alone has six points against us. Finally, their special teams have been good; ours have not.

    Game two was a decent effort from us, but still nowhere near good enough. We had about forty shots on goal, but hardly any of them were dangerous. We played our best hockey in the first five minutes and took the lead, only to blow it 17 seconds later. If we’re to have any chance of climbing back into the series, we have to play with the desperation, intensity and aggression we showed against the Bruins in Game six. I’m hoping the extra day’s rest will make it possible to summon the necessary energy. Otherwise we’re toast.

  26. Chris says:

    Alright, with the Storm up 6-2 and only 3:44 to go in London’s season here’s my take on the 2013-14 season for Michael McCarron.

    I got to see him a number of times live, both in the regular season and throughout the playoffs. Also got to see him on television in most of London’s games during this Memorial Cup.

    The positives:

    You can definitely see that he has some decent hands for a big man, particularly from the offensive zone hash-marks down towards the net. He’s shown some passing that I’m not sure people thought he had, and his top speed has improved significantly during the season.

    He got on a fairly nice run after being placed with veteran OHL wingers Brett Welychka and Gemel Smith on the Knights’ 3rd line, potting 8 goals and 17 points in his last 23 regular season games. He was also decent in the playoffs, scoring 3 goals and 5 points in 9 games. This was particularly encouraging because the offensive production came largely in spite of limited ice time and no power play time, as evidenced by his 1 power play goal all season.

    The negatives:

    His acceleration and lateral quickness is far below average for the Ontario Hockey League and certainly a long way from what I’m used to seeing among the guys that ultimately make the NHL. It’s not necessarily going to doom him, as he will undoubtedly improve in those categories as he gets stronger.

    More disconcerting is that he is a power forward that doesn’t really play with much jam for the most part. When McCarron joined the OHL, a big part of the decision was supposedly that he would get to develop his physical game better in the OHL. If that was one of his primary goals, this season was a dismal failure. McCarron, largely because of his complete lack of acceleration, is usually so far out of optimal position that his only choice is a late hit if he’s going to get a lick in on somebody. His shoulder injury in the fall definitely derailed the development of his physical game until early January.

    What annoyed me most this season was that he was always the guy that got demoted when somebody comes back. He gets no special teams ice time, and he is rarely out there in key situations. His shifts through the Memorial Cup and much of the playoffs were few and far between, making it hard for him to get any momentum going.

    Overall, I don’t think that Marc Bergevin will be even remotely happy with Dale Hunter and the Knights for how they’ve dealt with McCarron this season. Nonetheless, the promise shown by McCarron’s finish to the season was a silver lining on what had been a disappointingly dark cloud. He will get a much bigger role next year with the Knights, and I think we could see him take a giant leap forwards. If Montreal is smart, they will get McCarron a skating coach for the summer, as that is the single greatest flaw in his game and it could be a fatal flaw to his NHL aspirations if he doesn’t get the acceleration issues minimized.

    McCarron himself perhaps needs to change his mentality: I got the feeling sometimes that he sees himself as a skill player and not a power forward, but he hasn’t got the wheels to pull that off. Justin Augur, the 6’7″ winger for the Guelph Storm and LA Kings draft pick, has had that problem throughout his career. It is REALLY tough for big guys to dangle in traffic.

    Instead, McCarron has got to learn how to better use his size and strength. At 6’6″ and 238 pounds, he was a man-child in the OHL this season, but he played pretty small.

    • CH Marshall says:

      I’d say that the outlook on McCarron, judging from your evalution, doesn’t look good for him at all. Maybe Dion Phaneuf can get away with bad skating, but i’d say even 4th line guys need to have good wheels now to make it

      • Chris says:

        I wouldn’t write him off completely, but he is what a lot of scouts said he would be when he was drafted, a long-term project. I don’t expect to see McCarron in Montreal for another 3-5 seasons. He’s going to have to contend with the ‘bust’ label quite a bit, but if he works hard and continues to improve his skating, he could easily be a late NHL bloomer.

        He desperately needs some ice time, and hopefully the Hunters will reward him next season with some time on a line with Marner and Dvorak, who look likely to be the top Knights forwards next season.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Thanks for the detailed write-up, Chris. Hard for us non-Junior-hockey-nuts to form a cohesive impression of a guy like McCarron given the limited exposure.

      Sounds like it was a year of baby-steps for the kid: dealing with a serious injury, limited ice-time, zero PP time… hardly the All-Star treatment, but then again it sounds like his mobility issues were a major hinderance in terms of earning the coaches’ trust.

      All told, perhaps this season was more about character-building than skill development. Here’s hoping he’s ready for a more pronounced role on the squad next year.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Good to see your writeup on the same subject Chris. Glad to see I’m not way out in left field, even though I was working off video.

      I did have a semi-joking, mostly serious thought too about Dale Hunter, and why we’d ever trust that guy, in my previous post on the Memorial Cup.

      Mike McCarron, who has been banging and winning scrums along the boards in his few shifts, gets put on a super-line by coach Dale Hunter for a late-period shift. He’s on the wing with Bo Horvat and Max Domi.
      This was the putative line that got us all excited last summer when Michael decided to forego his commitment to Western Michigan in the NCAA, and go to London instead. This was what Dale Hunter promised us. I’ll ask again, why did we ever trust this putrid ex-Nordique?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2014/05/memorial-cup-edmonton-oil-kings-5.html

      Now, when we were told that Mike would play on the first line with Bo Horvat and Max Domi, that he’d get lots of powerplay time, be the guy who bangs in the corners on that line and mucks it up in front of the net, pots in rebounds, that sounded good. We thought of a possible selection to the US World Junior squad, and a guaranteed trip to the Memorial Cup, and the London Knights made sense, they were just as propitious a destination as any other really.

      It’s early in a long, long season, and we shouldn’t panic just yet, but really, were we astoundingly stupid to trust Dale Hunter? Shouldn’t that guy be in jail anyway, for crimes perpetrated against humanity, hockey, and Pierre Turgeon?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2013/09/mike-mccarron-not-on-first-line-with.html

      So yeah, I mostly accepted that he shouldn’t be ‘gifted’ Top 6 minutes if he wasn’t playing well, and that the Knights were in a win-now situation, but you wonder how much this season might have been better for his development if he’d been playing the role of Brian Bickell or Clarke Gillies on a scoring line instead a checking centre on a fourth line.

  27. Sportfan says:

    On a scale from 1-10 how freaking stupid is Sergakis I mean really going after the Bell Center, really he thinks they will show more live games there and his bars will be empty give me a break.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  28. CJ says:

    Sorry for the delayed reply, just back from dinner.

    I’m calling out Vanek, Pleks and Gionta because A, they are among the highest paid players on the team B, are veterans and C because they are our leaders. I’m not laying blame with a 22 year old Gally. Respectfully, IMO, he’s working every shift. Watching the game live you simply can not hide or mask poor performance.

    No, I don’t know this wonderful game better than anyone else on this forum, but I’m telling you what I’m seeing at the game.

    Regarding our goaltending, two quick things;

    Price’s injury and Budaj’s play during his absence has had a primary impact on the position and depth going forward. Secondly, the play of Mike Condon has forced their hand going forward. I said last month that Robert Mayer would not make the Bulldogs next year. I see today he was placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of being bought out of his contract. Again, not surprising.

  29. nads67 says:

    I think Moen should be in for Prust he can play more physical and provide a spark

  30. CH Marshall says:

    Poor Vanek, all he wanted to do was ride with the Islanders to the bottom of the basement, clear his locker out, and spend his summer grilling meat on his Minnesota deck. Maybe even play some floor hockey with potential future Wild teamates.

  31. twilighthours says:

    I have emotionally disconnected myself from this team for this season. I’ll still watch, but I’m numbing myself for the impending sadness of defeat.

    I don’t know what kind of fan that makes me. But I’m sort of out of hope.

    Go…. Habs.

    • CH Marshall says:

      Yeah I’m with you. I’m glad I didn’t watch game 1. Was already starting to come down off the incredible high of the last series. But hey you never know.

    • UKRAINIANhab says:

      Thats fine, just don’t drag down other fans as well!

    • lesboys says:

      I hear you – in some ways, this feels like the series with Ottawa last year. But I think that we have at least one (if not more) win(s) left in us. And even if it’s one, it matters: for next season, for the team culture, and for us…call me silly, but I don’t think they’ll leave us with a sweep elimination. They’ve got more than that in them.

    • Chris says:

      I’ve sort of adopted the same mentality. The loss of Price is an awfully big hurdle, and I just don’t like the team’s energy right now.

  32. BriPro says:

    How come I can’t find the game?

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

    – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

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

    Every team in the final four has come back from an 0-2 series deficit this year… except one. I guess that now it’s our turn!

  34. Chris says:

    2-1 Guelph after one…I am REALLY hoping that they knock the Knights out of the Memorial Cup. The only team I hate more than the Knights are the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Zack Mitchell has been tossed for a kneeing major, so it will be interesting to see if he gets suspended for the final. Neither Kypreos or Damien Cox felt like he will, but you never know with David Branch.

  35. SlovakHab says:

    In Martin Reway, we have another very promising prospect.

    In recent weeks he has shown that he already can play against men. He only had 3 assists in 7 games for Slovakia at the World Championships, but he was one of the top-5 rated forwards on our young team.

    They say he needs to improve one on one and needs to distribute puck faster.

    But all signs point that he already can play against top competition and apparently has very good offensive instincts, especially playmaking. Not a big winger at 5’10, but clearly has the skill. I was very disappointed we didn’t draft Jordan Subban but I am now pretty happy with this pick (yes, I know Subban went 1 spot ahead of Reway, but it was in the 4th round)

    • twilighthours says:

      Reway has unbelievable skill. To me, he has the most skill of any Habs prospect. As we all know, that doesn’t necessarily translate to the NHL game. But I like that kid a lot.

      • johnnylarue says:

        He’s flashy as hell and I like it! Here’s hoping he finds a way to make the transition ’cause our cupboard isn’t exactly overflowing with players possessing that sort of playmaking acumen…

        • SlovakHab says:

          Here is what Oto Hascak said about Reway.
          (Hascak is an ex-Slovakia team captain, now works as a scout for New York Rangers)

          “His stickhandling is a gift from God, lat time we saw this was when Ziggy Palffy was his age. Reway needs to put on weight and get stronger, even though he is pretty dynamic for his size. However, if he played in a game like the Rangers are playing now, I’m afraid someone would kill him with a hit.
          But Ziggy also wasn’t a physical monster when he was 20. He worked his way up.”

          • johnnylarue says:

            Cheers, Slovie! I agree re: his hands. The kid is slick.

            I’ll keep my fingers crossed–I’m all for players with weaknesses who are fun to watch, more so than those who are closer to the generic “complete package” mould.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        So what ? If he makes it someone will knee him, elbow him in the head, etc… Lackeys like Bob McKenzie will call for a 2 game suspension for the officially non-repeat offender ( even though he is a repeat offender) and the league will give a 2 game suspension.

        —–
        Moving. Forward.

  36. lesboys says:

    Dear fellow Hab fans,

    I’m a longtime reader of this blog, and have been reluctant to chime in – you have such an established conversational culture here!

    But I think that our boys need a few more positive voices at this juncture, so I’m adding mine. My initial contribution is to the pregame soundtrack.

    Since our newly-minted backup is called “Toker” by his teammates, I think that it’s important that we all affirm that Every Ranger Must Get Stoned.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7Xo2uiE7Js#t=113

    Cheers!

  37. Mustang says:

    I have always said that the 3rd game in a best of 7 playoff round is the most important game. Tomorrow night certainly is a very important game for the Habs. Win and we are right back in it, lose and it all but over. GO HABS GO.

    • PK says:

      I think Scotty Bowman made a similar comment years ago:
      Third game being the crucial one in a seven game series.
      I always have that at the back of my mind.
      I think that this rule of thumb is applicable no matter what
      has happened in the first two games of a series.
      In this series, it will be close to “being over” if the Habs go down
      3-0.

      Hope Tokarski can provide solid but not necessarily spectacular goaltending, tomorrow. He was “OK” in Game 2.

      >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

      • Mr. Biter says:

        I have confidence in Toker. Watched him play on the bad West coast swing and he shut out either the Kings or Sharks however we have to score more than 1 goal in the remaining games so it’s up to the forwards to start scoring.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

  38. ont fan says:

    21 years since someone has come back 0 and 2 in conference finals.

    • SlovakHab says:

      Philly came back from 0-3 against Bruins a few years back, Bruins came back from 0-2 against us in 2011. Kings came back from 0-3 against Sharks.. I know these were different rounds, but it just shows that big comebacks are common. Even Rangers came back from 1-3 in the last round.

      The true problem is Price injury. Even if we were up 3-0, I would not be very confident.

      We’ll see, maybe Tokarski surprises and makes it a series. We all wish him well.

  39. Chris says:

    I’m getting a pretty good kick out of the (I’m assuming) unintentional comedy associated with the number of people snidely deriding people for expressing opinions about the Montreal Canadiens on a site expressly created for Habs fans to express their opinions about the Montreal Canadiens.

  40. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …can anyOne fill Me in on what west-coast Fans (British Columbia) can expect next season re Rogers

    …will RDS still be broadcasting Habs games, and, if so, will RDS be available as it is now ?

    …or, will TVA be taking over French-language broadcasts ? …and, will TVA be available out west as RDS is now ?

    ..re English-broadcasts; …will the Sportsnet channel be where to find NHL games ? …will there be Sportsnet 1 …Sportsnet 2 …Sportsnet 3, etc., to be split as options to follow specific teams ?

    …most important of all, will I be able to subscribe, specifically, to a Habs channel on My Vancouver provider (Telus) next season ? …and, how will that work ?

    …or, have Rogers explained the options yet ?

    …thanks

    • PK says:

      Great questions HiS.
      I will have to get rid of my RDS subscription.
      The coverage sounds like it will become more fragmented/incomplete

      >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …I have heard only partial and contradicting bits here and there, leaving Me confused what access I will have for My Team next year

  41. Danno says:

    Montreal needs to keep constant pressure on in the Rangers end. They need to score goals and if the play is mostly in their end it will take pressure off Tokarski.

    ________________________________________

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

  42. Curtoph says:

    Posted this on the wrong story :(
    —-
    I see a lot of people on here talking about streaming sites and such for hockey…

    I would recommend looking into VLC Links on reddit’s hockey sub… It will blow your mind! (go to their sub and put into search box VLC links) and follow those steps, they’re a little advanced… nothing sketchy to install but worth a look.

    I have never watched as much hockey on my computer since checking that out.

    Essentially the outcome will have you watching a lot of hockey, through the VLC media player! Cheers! Happy playoffs!

    • Habs_Fan_In_San_Diego says:

      Thanks for the tip.

      Is the VLC streaming better quality than the feed2all.eu streaming? The feed2all is not that great, but hey it’s free.

      I’m gonna see if VLC is better for the Hawks game tonight.

      ——————
      My avatar ==> San Diego in January

  43. habs001 says:

    Goaltending is huge in hockey…If this situation was reversed most posters would say the Rangers have no chance…Hopefully i am wrong but the feeling i have is that the Habs will get scoring chances about the same amount as the Rangers but the difference will be the goaltending..

    • Strummer says:

      It’s the same situation the Lightning were in for the first round when Bishop was out.
      Except now the shoe is on the other foot.

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

      • Habs_Fan_In_San_Diego says:

        Yes, but big difference is that Bishop injured himself while trying to make a play. Nobody laid a hand on him.

        In our case, Price was knocked out by a reckless opponent running into him.

        As such, the opposing team had a big hand in taking out our most important player in the first game of a 7 game series, “accidentally on purpose”.

        Bishop was injured before the Habs-Tampa series even started, so the Habs had nothing to do with that injury in terms of “causing” it.

        —————–
        My avatar ==> San Diego in January

    • franco says:

      People seem to forget that Penny, Plante, Dryden, and Roy were unproven rookies when they were thrown in.

      Montreal has to start scoring and help the rookie out. Nothing will help him out as much as a couple of goals.

      wjc

      • johnnylarue says:

        That’s a sensible point, franco.

        I think the shock of losing Price for the first two games took a psychological toll on the skaters. It has to be said that a hot goalie can infuse the rest of the lineup with confidence in a significant way–and it stands to reason that losing said goalie can have the opposite effect.

        Thursday’s game will show us what this team is really made of, now that they’ve had a chance to adjust to the reality of Life After Price.

  44. habs001 says:

    With the injury to Price the Habs have to outplay the Rangers…Not realistic to expect the Habs to win the goaltending battle if both teams play to a draw on the ice and have the same amount of chances and scoring opportunities… We can hope but again the odds are that the Habs goaltending will give up more bad goal than the Rangers…

  45. Paz says:

    Jacques Demers, “Budaj is definitely not coming back next year”.

    • Prop says:

      I think the situation is overblown.

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • Chris says:

      Kelly Hrudey all but said the same thing. I have yet to see a former player or coach support the idea that Budaj would be okay with the decision or that it isn’t a big deal. Seems to be pretty universally viewed as an insult to Budaj.

      • frontenac1 says:

        So it’s all about making Peter feel good? IMO he is pro enough to know it’s all about winning.

        • Chris says:

          Agreed….but you better win if you do it. The Habs need to get some wins to make that one disappear completely. If they go down 4 straight, you will almost assuredly hear grumbling about that decision down the road.

          • frontenac1 says:

            For sure amigo. Mike rolled the dice and I liked that. I Just hope for 7″s and 11″s and no snake eyes.

      • Ktowner says:

        Sport can be a cut throat kind of thing. If the coach thinks the team has a better chance with Toker then that is just the way it goes. Budaj may feel slighted but he should know that professional hockey is like that. Commentators (and I like Hrudy as one) are paid to make such statements.

    • franco says:

      Perhaps he will not be back, let next year take care of next year. Because next year people will be talking about last year, which of course is this year.

      Stay in the friggen moment, like Demers says concentrate on winning the first period. I would take it a step further and try to win every shift.

      keep the goals small and insight. Maybe that is Vanic’s problem he has his head in next year.

      The moment, the moment….enjoy the moment.

  46. Nina76 says:

    I think that Vanek is playing not to get hurt………….BIG CONTRACT COMING UP FOR HIM NEXT YEAR………….Galchenyuk ,,,,,,He has just come back what can you expect when he was out so long………..I say let the veterans up their game, they have not done that Markov??????…………………… Go Habs!!!!!!

    • Danno says:

      Any team that opens the vault for a player who does what you’re suggesting Vanek is doing is nuts. They can have him. Being in the playoffs should instill motivation NOT floatation.

      ________________________________________

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

    • JUST ME says:

      Totally agree with Danno. It is not at Vanek`s advantage money wise to look like a more than average player .The other G.M s are just waiting for such an occasion to lower the amount they would be willing to offer.
      Of course we all know that the players get what they want at the end but still it is never fun to be told that you were not helpfull cause those things are told to the player while negociating.

      I think Vanek came as advertised. We were warned that he tends to disapear but at the end of the season still manages to get a more that decent amount of points.

  47. Ian Cobb says:

    HIO HELP!!!

    I am on Firefox but I have not been able to click onto the last 3 or 4 Shows.?
    Cannot keep up to this technology.

  48. C-Sword says:

    Will Bergevin finally make room for Galchenyuk next season? Which center is likely to get traded? I highly doubt Vanek is going to resign here, that means we’ll have to shop for a winger that can actually scores.

  49. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Nilan says the Rangers had beer available in the dressing room

    …between periods ? :)

    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    …and, last, but not least: BringBackOurGirls :(

  50. munch17 says:

    Since we are looking at play-off performances – let’s look at the production of our centers?

    Lars 5-6 = 11
    Pleks 3-4 = 7
    Danny 2-4 = 6
    DD 1-4 = 5

    Now is this a logical order?
    Who gets primo PP time?
    Who gets primo wingers?
    Who gets primo ice time and offensive zone face-offs?

  51. nickster13 says:

    Habs in 6. Book it. You heard it here first.
    Rick Nash and Brad Richards down the stretch? I dont think so.
    Have a little faith!

    “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the Rocket!”

  52. JF says:

    I’m a bit surprised that both Nilan and Demers said they thought Kreider’s crashing into Price was entirely accidental. Unless Nilan’s joking comment about our accidentally-on-purpose plowing into Lundqvist was intended to hint at the possibility that that’s what happened in Kreider’s case. I thought the fall was accidental, but that he could have made an effort to at least get his skates out of the way.

    • Danno says:

      Could be they were trying to be diplomatic and didn’t want to sound whiny.

      I agree Kreider knew what he was doing. His track record speaks for itself.

      ________________________________________

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

    • kevin says:

      Really, something has to change to protect the goaltenders. Not just ours, but all of them. It’s one thing to have Gallagher skirting the rules, but tale a Lucic doing that. or a Kreider

      PEIKC

    • franco says:

      Go back and this time carefully listen to what Demers and Nilan said.

      They mentioned he is a big man.

      He was skating hard for the puck.

      He was being hounded by Emilin and Markov

      He went back on his skates.

      It was stated it is hard to control your motion at that speed, with that much weight with that little amount of time.

      Coaches always say go hard to the net.

      Can we pay attention, children. He said what he said. You should hear what he said. You should pay attention they both have about 100 years in the game between them both playing and coaching.

      If this is good enough for them, this is good enough for me. Besides I saw the play and I have never doubted it was not on purpose.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        I have to unfortunately agree with you. I really don’t believe he had the time to doing anything but slide into Carey. Not al all like Lucic/ Miller. Watched the video on you tube and he was tripped/hooked lost his balance at a very high speed and slid into Carey.
        Friend of mine suggested that if they went back to the steel 4″ poles they had to secure the nets that forwards may be less inclined to charge the net as there was less give when they ran into the net.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

  53. kevin says:

    My fellow fans, it’s time to stick together, cheer this team on. Yes, it can be frustrating to watch players under-perform for two games. It’s two games. We haven’t been eliminated. Yes, losing the best goalie in the world won’t help, but we’ve won on good defense and timely scoring.

    that timely scoring will come back with a few breaks and the players that haven’t played will will hopefully recognize that and pick it up. Maybe go the the mountain for some inspiration.

    And if in the end it didn’t work the way it was supposed to, it’s been a great ride. We made the playoffs, we made the final four and we have the foundation for a good team for years to come.

    Let’s try to dwell on the positives and enjoy the next game.

    PEIKC

  54. Danno says:

    Loved the show gentlemen.

    Just a suggestion…

    Maybe this should be the pre-game speech before game three.

    ________________________________________

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

  55. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Seriously, we are quick to point out Gionta and Vanek’s poor play (which I think the Gionta criticism is way overblown, because he is who he is) but what about Subban’s poor play this series. Maybe we should blame Gionta or Pleks for that just because! Also, where has Gallagher been? Galchenyuk, I was excited about returning to the lineup but than I realized he is what he is right now, and thats not much at this point in time…Gorges has also regressed to being the Gorges that well, is NOT captain material. Weaver, Markov and Emelin look pretty slow right now…. I could go on and on!!!! Pacioretty has been OK, Lars has been pretty good, DD has been great, but you need a whole team effort to win without Price.

    The whole team is not playing solid hockey right now, No Scapegoats in Vanek, Gionta, or Pleks please. Nonetheless, hopefully les boys can turn it around quickly… Because the future is now. This is the third round fellas! This is our chance, Price or no Price. Wake up!!! Enough Future talk. Third round hockey…

    • piper says:

      They’re the guys we’re paying the big money so they’re expected to be the top players. If they don’t perform they should take the heat.

  56. habcertain says:

    can’t wait to start next year with no bona fide number 1 scoring line, with all the love Vanek is getting, I’m sure we will lure the next UFA whipping boy. no one in the pipe line, Chucky logging his 10 minutes on the 3rd line on a wing, can hardly wait. Max gets the same treatment when he goes into a slump, hey boys, we have no Crosby/Toews/Taveres etc, the best we can do is get someone with offensive upside but will probably be a bit streaky. That would mean MT uses him as the whipping boy who gets jerked around riding the pine or playing 4th line minutes…..yes the future looks bright.

    • Cal says:

      Vanek is being delivered a message. MT wants more intensity from him. It’s the day before the game. Will Vanek show the coach he wants to prove something? Or will he meekly accept being a healthy scratch?
      The only whipping boys are the ones who don’t want it enough.

    • franco says:

      Next year, always next year and when next year comes, you will worry about the year after.

      3rd round his happening NOW! What is wrong with NOW!

  57. Sportfan says:

    Toker in tomorrow good for him!

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  58. Slackman says:

    Suze me folks I had my data papers upside down. Both Chicago an LA won their first 2 but lost 2 or more in a row afterwards

  59. Habshire says:

    Last national TSN broadcast tonight. Next year, for us out west, the new age of hockeystreams begins unless you feel like shelling out for Centre Ice. Damn you Sportsnet. Damn you all to hell.

  60. Slackman says:

    I just wanted point out that in the first round , Minnesota, Chicago, and Anaheim all over came 2 game series deficits, losing the first 2 and winning the series in 7,6, and 6 games respectively

    LA lost its first 3 and won their series in 7, also in the first round.

    As far as the second round is concerned Chicago and LA lost their first 2 but rallied to win their series in 6 and 7 games respectively

    The wretched Rangers won the first one, but lost the next 3 before winning the next 3 to rob that series from the lethargic Pens.

    It would therefore appear that this is the year of the comeback.

    With confidence, Habs in 6

    • JF says:

      You’ve got some of it backwards. In the first round, it was Dallas who lost the first two to Anaheim, then won two. In the second round, Minny lost two to Chicago before tying it, ditto Anaheim to L.A.

      But as for your point that teams can come back, no team that wasn’t set in goal has come back and won. Minny was using Bryzgalov and Kuemper, Anaheim used Hiller, Andersson, and Gibson. If we come back and win the series with Dustin Tokarski, it will be a remarkable feat.

      • kevin says:

        the last game, it wasn’t our goaltending that beat us, it was the other team’s goaltending. until we find a way to beat Lundkuist (sp) we can’t fault our goalie, no matter who he is,.

        PEIKC

        • JF says:

          I’m not faulting Tokarski, although he’d probably like to have that second goal back. I’m just pointing out the trend in this year’s playoffs. None of the teams that came back to tie their series but ended up losing were set in goal.

          I’m not saying we can’t do it with Tokarski. It’s not impossible, but we’ll have to attack a lot more aggressively than we did in Game two.

          • kevin says:

            I agree, we have to “crash the net” like what happened to us and like what fu@king near every commentator on TSN and CBC are saying.

            PEIKC

  61. Gally27 says:

    Vanek benched lmao

  62. CJ says:

    Been in meetings all day….

    Are Gionta and Vanek still on the team? Has Pleks been relegated to the fourth line? Seriously, what’s the deal here? Are these guys hurt?

    Lastly, a quick shout out to the coach. It’s takes balls to insert Beaulieu in a game 6, and now Tokarski. Personally I like it. Yes, of course I understand you can’t scratch the Captain, but I finally think the coach is open to the idea of letting the kids play – if only because they provide the best chance to win.

    IMO, we will look back on this moment in a year or two and it could be a turning point. I don’t believe I can overstate this point as it’s a major change in philosophy. IMO, it’s all about growth.

    We may not win this series, but I am so excited for the future! Of course, tomorrow, my focus will return to the series. We aren’t dead yet….

    Time to shine boys and put the league on notice that we are not just the future, but also the present.

    Go Habs! Cheers, CJ

    • Cal says:

      Top 4, CJ!
      Not shabby, considering everything.
      Really too bad about losing Price, though.

    • UKRAINIANhab says:

      Pleks is not there to dangle around 5 players and snipe top corner… Same koivu treatment… Sighhh

    • habcertain says:

      if Pateryn/Tiny/Beaulieu aren’t in the rotation, PK left alone to play his style (assuming he signs), Chucky playing line 1 or 2 center minutes, Eller filling the other hole, Markov signed for no more than 2 years, I won’t be happy. and if Santa is nice, we can sign a Statsny, Moulsen type FA.

      • UKRAINIANhab says:

        As long as MT coaches this team (which will be for a LONG Time) Pleks aint goin anywhere. As it should be.

        • habcertain says:

          3rd line shut down would be fine with me, but no more PP or 1st 2 line minutes. we need to move forward with the other 2.

          • UKRAINIANhab says:

            Agree. I don’t think Galchenyuk has shown us much to warrant 1/2 C yet though. Just my opinion… But you see these other young players come in and tear up the league that were low picks.

  63. Paz says:

    Ok I’ve decided to take a stab at the Vanek file. Here it goes.

    Vanek arrives and is placed on a line with Plekanec. It does NOT work.

    Vanek is shifted to the line with Lttle Davey and Max. That line becomes the most dangerous line in the league.

    When the team falters, Vanek is shifted back to the Plekanec line.

    Vanek is now unhappy, and reacting badly to this line change, and since he’s a free agent July 1, he’s not responding to the coaching.

    Therrien does not want to give in because why should he give Vanek a reward for not trying.

    Vanek will be benched tomorrow night if he doesn’t change his tune.

    • CJ says:

      I’m of a very similar opinion. One quick secondary point, what’s the common denominator, Pleks. He needs to raise his game. I’m not seeing enough from number 14.

      14,21,20 are all being carried through the first two games of this series.

      • FlyAngler says:

        The self-righteous- people who have to be right and win every argument- win lots of battles but lose lots of wars. MT’s focus should be on what line combinations are going to give the Habs the best chance to win an not on winning conflicts over power and control with players. There is oftentimes in almost every sphere of life a heavy price to be paid for being “right’. Is it worth not trying Vanek again with DD and Max just to punish Vanek or to assert the coach’s power and control. I would hope that MT knows better than that and if he is not playing Vanek with DD and Patches it is for a legitimate reason, like an injury.

        “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

    • Danno says:

      But it will make him a better person

      ________________________________________

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

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Interesting.

      I wonder how Bergevin feels about this. After all, he gave up some assets to get Vanek.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • Chris says:

      My two cents on the Vanek situation: reunite Vanek-Desharnais-Pacioretty. They actually played very well in the Tampa Bay series, but the puck wasn’t bouncing the right way.

      They were split up after Game 2 of the Boston series and haven’t played together since. The line was productive in the regular season, and they played well (despite the goals drying up) in the first round. Vanek and Plekanec clearly don’t work together, and Gallagher (3 goals and 6 points in 6 games with Plekanec, 1 goal and 3 points in 7 games without him) has also gone south due to that switch.

      The team isn’t scoring. Instead of demoting Vanek to play with the fourth line, give him, Desharnais and Pacioretty at least one more chance to rekindle their regular season chemistry.

      Now cue the Boots Brigade…

      • Paz says:

        That is certainly an option, a serious option, and one that Therrien and his group are surely considering, because we had the best line in all of hockey.

        • Chris says:

          Who can tell what Therrien and his staff are thinking anymore? Every time that I think I finally see where he’s coming from and where he wants to go, he pulls a U-turn and goes in the opposite direction for a while.

          • Paz says:

            Hahaha! Ya, for sure. It takes guts to be an NHL coach. Its not all logic; there’s a lot of instinct and risk taking associated with “hunches” and “whims”.

          • Chris says:

            Ed: I agree to an extent, but I get the distinct impression that the players do get exasperated with the lack of constancy.

            A great example is Brian Gionta’s comment on the Vanek situation:

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

            When you don’t know from day to day what the situation is going to be, it can really become frustrating. When things are going well, you can overlook it. When the team is struggling, it is just one more hurdle that they have to jump to get going again.

          • Paz says:

            That was not a great endorsement of the coach, I agree. Gionta is a strange captain for a team that has made it to the final 4. His own status on the team is unclear going forward.

            Therrien is a tough coach to read. His juggling has no doubt frustrated some, and they probably include Vanek and Plekanec at this point.

            I think the juggling also frustrated Max earlier in the season, and Markov and Subban in the middle of the season.

            But…..winning cures all ills, and Therrien is off the hook since we took out the Bruins.

            From an emotional standpoint, I was so pleased that Marchand, Lucic and Chara left game 7 stunned, disappointed, and dejected, that Therrien gets a “free pass” from here on in, for the rest of this season.

            Beating the Bruins was huge!!

          • franco says:

            There are two kinds of ‘logic’. Your Logic and his logic.

            He is on the inside looking out with plenty of assistance and help, in making these decisions, they are not made lightly.

            You are on the outside looking in debating things with others on the outside looking in.

            Advice, relax, let the pros do their jobs and enjoy the show.

      • habcertain says:

        been saying that also Chris, but when MT makes a decision he appears to be pig headed about going back on it. To have Vanek on a 4th line, if that is the story, makes no sense and you may as well leave him in the press box.

        • franco says:

          Ya wanta wake up Vanic, put him on the 4th line. You want to wake up the rest of the players, do not show favourtism.

          You want the team to respond, there are no prima donna’s.

          That 4th line stuff could last two shifts, if he elevates his game or he could be benched if he floats…..wait and see.

          • habcertain says:

            you really underestimate a player’s drive to win, do you think Vanek is saying, “oh, I’m in the conf finals, I think I will coast”?

      • FlyAngler says:

        I agree with you Chris. It makes total sense to at least try reuniting Vanek, DD and Patches. Leadership needs to adapt itself to who the target audience is- different people respond differently to different leadership styles and some people do not respond to negative reinforcement at all- it might work with some, but for others it makes things worse instead of better. I don’t think that demoting Tomas Vanek will accomplish anything except making him more resentful and frustrated. To his credit, I think M T has grown as a coach and become more flexible. I guess we will see how flexible in the next few days.

        “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

  64. Cal says:

    I can watch the HIO show all day. Great job, gentlemen!

    Oh, and take a pill, Prohabs! ;)

    • BriPro says:

      I’m disappointed. Their “wide-screen” option isn’t working. I had a watch a miniature version with little men on a 3 x 5 screen.

      Oh… my eyes…..

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

      – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

  65. Slackman says:

    Everything in moderation… especially moderation.

  66. Ron says:

    Apron Basu trying to start the Vanek scratch for game 3 story in his NHL.com story today.

    Might happen by the looks of the practice lines today

  67. frontenac1 says:

    What does”your comment awaits moderation”mean?

  68. habs001 says:

    It will be a very difficult task to win this series unless unexpected things happen..The Habs are not that much better than the Rangers so the odds are most of the games will be tied or one goal affairs in the third…Not realistic to think that the Habs win 4 tight games because their goaltending is better than the Rangers…

  69. Marc10 says:

    Total Vanish. Why even bring him up? He’s either seriously injured or a floater.

    Still, we can win without his contribution. Just another character test in a season that’s had its share.

    GHG

  70. frontenac1 says:

    Screw Lunkhead and his sissy haircut. Run him into the Hudson River. The King is Dead.Long Live The Toker! Saludos!

    • BriPro says:

      Since you put it so mildly….. :)

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

      – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

  71. Ncognito says:

    Here’s your winning line-up.

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

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

  72. Jocko says:

    Prohabs, 19, Larry Robinson would be proud.

    I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

  73. Jocko says:

    I honestly believe that putting a few by Lundqvist will change this series. A 4-1 win, that will change the momentum. I would love to see Vanek play pissed off by all the comments being made, and being on the fourth line.

    I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

  74. habs001 says:

    It is the Hab veterans that have to step up and outplay the Rangers…If everything is even it is unrealistic to expect that the Habs win this series because of better goaltending…

  75. ProHabs says:

    Did I get in first


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