lakechamplain - (Thomas Harley)

Member since August 10, 2009


Habs fan since: 1969
Favorite current player: Brian Gionta
All-time favorite player:


Recent Comments

  • Comment on About last night … (2014-12-06 05:29:48)
    When the Canadiens play the western teams--and more are on the way--it usually strikes me how fast these teams are compared to most of the eastern teams. Last night the Canadiens, especially the forwards, showed they can play at this accelerated pace, and the result was an entertaining and fast-paced hockey game. But, as a coach I recall used to tell us after a 'moral victory' but a real loss, would've, could've, and should've don't count. This team's mediocrity of late is creeping into our assessments more and more, like all the talk about 'bad bounces'. (and thank you Boonie for reminding us of the 'good' bounces that we've enjoyed earlier this year). At this time, in a long and grinding schedule of 80 games, the Habs seem to be treading water, with the problems that have emerged early in the season, problems that all teams have, NOT being dealt with in an effective way. And whom to blame, which after all is what we here love to do? I think the talent on this year's team is superior to what we brought to the ice last year, yet there have been more, not less, games this year where said players just haven't showed up. Hey, in the long(it is about making money folks) season with long road trips, down games are going to happen, but the times it's happened this year are beginning to emerge as a big problem. Next, the whole philosophy of experience vs. youth has always been a challenge for this conservative hockey club. I, rather along in years myself, think we got caught up in our early facade of success--We Are in First Place Overall!!--and in turn started thinking more and more to maintain, not develop emerging talent. Be it should Galchenyuk be at centre but to me even more egregiously should NB and JT be in the lineup every night, we seem to jump on any and all mistakes made and not enough on aspects exposed in recent games of teams with quicker, faster forwards darting through our D like skiers working the glades. And what about two glaring weaknesses on display again and again, not scoring on the power play(yeah, I know, PK has blasted a couple in of late but you can't have your point men be the only scorers and expect to succeed) and of course why can't we score in the first 20 minutes? Maybe Eller's injury will force the plodding management to make some changes. At this point it seems realistically the team should put first-place thoughts aside and work on making the playoffs with a better team in March and beyond than it's been so far this year and a hoped-for glorious run in the playoffs. But they need to let young talent develop and tolerate the inevitable errors and mistakes that make experience the best teacher. Whew, enough said.
  • Comment on About last night … (2014-11-30 05:33:40)
    Nice summary as usual Boonie; perhaps not as negative as it might have been if not for the festive occasion you attended. Panic button? No, but cause for concern, and it starts at the top. Let's face it, the Habs have been riding a false high: 3 wins over the Bruins, all when they were on the downside of back-to-backs. We love to whine about those situations, or when we're 'rusty'. MB: He's made far more good moves than bad ones, but the team's early success seems to have pushed him into an impatient, we want it now attitude, where instead of letting YOUNG players develop, he seems to be reacting to their mistakes the way, well, WE do on here. Trade them, send them down, do something! Meanwhile, go out and see if we can get some more aging, oops, I mean experienced, D-men, even if they can't keep up with the ever-quicker, ever-faster forwards in the NHL these days. But as several posters have noted, the real problem this team has is on the attacking side. Hey, MT, all hockey fans love to suggest line changes and lineup adjustments. But You are the coach, and are acting more and more like Jacques Martin. Conservative, and then more conservative. I don't want to use DD as a whipping boy(Timo has been known to do that) but is there a #1 centre in the league with fewer goals? Will you try Galchenyuk at centre, where he belongs, for more than a few shifts, when you shake your head and say he's just not ready? As Boonie and others have suggested oft times, how about Sekac on a line with him? And how about an offensive style that doesn't get obsessed with not taking risks? My God, the offense is not working(and hey, I won't even mention the 'power' Play). What are you being paid the big bucks for? We are slip sliding down the standings, heading south, and getting some more aged defencemen might not be the answer.
  • Comment on Canadiens now worth $1 billion, according to Forbes; Eric Tangradi called up from Hamilton (2014-11-25 15:12:17)
    Whoa guys; I posted earlier and 'mentioned' EOTP and what I thought was a pertinent statistic about, with the addition of Allen, our now having the oldest D in the NHL. Some of you it seems, liken the mere reference of that site as a red cape is to a bull. I prefer this site to them, but I don't hate them either. They do have some segments, like a weekly update on how our future prospects are doing on their various farm teams, that I enjoy checking out. They also have some clunkers as well, and to me the best writing on the Habs is 'About Last Night...' by Mike Boone. Take what you can get but I don't see any real purpose in total dismissing them as a group of negative hacks. There are plenty of negative nellies on this site as well. As to the age and experience thing and the benefits of learning how to play the game by spending years in Hamilton, yes, it is the route to the bigs that many take, But wonder if the Canadiens had treated Galchenyuk and Gallagher in the same way? Correct me if I'm wrong, but did they play a single minute at Hamilton? They're great players and get better every year, but let''s admit that they made plenty of rookie-type mistakes up here in the bigs and weren't treated like they were on a yo-yo.
  • Comment on Canadiens now worth $1 billion, according to Forbes; Eric Tangradi called up from Hamilton (2014-11-25 13:53:01)
    The passion of Candiens fans, accentuated by the media, both regular and social media, helps bond the wide range of people in Canada and the US that love their Habs. On the other hand these intense feelings can lead to negative aspects as well, and one of the biggies is the existence of this desire, from Bergeron down to the base(that's us folks) to have the perfect team that never, ever makes a mistake. That said, between offense, defense, and goaltending, defensemen's mistakes are often glaring and costly and easier to spot, let's say, compared to the forward who doesn't finish a check or back check their man, and thus easier for commentators and fans to spotlight. What I'm getting at is this constant and continuing juggling of the defensive corps, especially the up and down, here and back trails that Beaulieu and Tinordi keep getting subjected to. Yes, they are inexperienced and going to make some mistakes. But, my god, why can't this team show some patience and let them develop the confidence and experience to play at this level? What this team is doing to both of them, and who knows whom in the future, is shredding their ability to hit the ice and play the situation and the moments without always nagging in the back of their mind: DON'T MAKE ANY MISTAKES, or it's back to Hamilton again? Meanwhile MB is combing the rosters, picking up another 5 or 6 or 7 defensemen who has EXPERIENCE. Some of you on here like to diss EOTP regularly but they sometimes hit nails on the head. Today they noted that we now have the oldest average-aged defense in the league, at 32.7 years. (Next is Carolina at 29.3). Think long run here(remember we don't put up division championship banners here); the long grind of the season, simple fact is, no matter how good a shape you're in, your legs wear down. Two images from last year's Cup run stand out in regards to this. Remember Chara in game 7? He was SPENT; his mind was willing but his 37(?) year old body couldn't recharge. Then recall the next round, when numerous NY Rangers darted around our defensive zone with reckless abandon as the weary Canadiens lunged at them. In other words, I'd rather give up some goals during the regular season if it helped young, talented players like Beaulieu and Tinordi(and wishfully Nygren) learn how to compete with confidence during the regular season. It would help the Canadiens not satisfy their perfectionist fans perhaps but would help wing the big prize with a solid defensive corps.
  • Comment on Beaulieu brings some punch to Habs’ lineup (2014-11-15 04:55:45)
    There's a short but pertinent piece on EOTP about the way things are going in Hamilton, which if we can get by the 'Tinordi really bashed this guy' type of stories, isn't good. Developing young talent is priority #1 of course but along with that goes winning games and neither seems to be happening with the Bulldogs, whom most observers note has more talent aboard than in recent years. Maybe MB, now that the situation up here seems to be settled and moving in the right direction, should cast more of his attention to the farm team that seems to be treading water. Some of you on here follow the Dogs more closely than I do, what do you think about the team and their coaching staff???
  • Comment on Sergei Gonchar will be in lineup for Canadiens against Bruins (2014-11-13 11:47:28)
    I've said it before and after reading about today's practice with two units, I'll say it again. Has this coaching staff ever given any thought to having the forwards on the PP be made up of skilled players, be they snipers, stickhandlers, stand-in-front-of-the-net types, from DIFFERENT lines? The best example I recall is Kovalev, who was put on the right wing and was deadly, this whether the other two on his line were out there or not. It just seems to make sense to have your best offensive players that can control the puck to hit the open man who can shoot well enough to score, out there to take advantage of the extra man. Of course this means juggling the lines for a few shifts, but is this beyond the bench managing capabilities of Therrien? Our power play is pathetic for a team with this much talent.
  • Comment on About last night … (2014-11-12 11:04:01)
    Agree with what you note with a minor exception. I think he's one of the best skating forwards on the team, can we call him 'sneaky fast'? Lo and behold, to see a Canadiens winger actually skate around a defenseman to set up a shot? What a joy. And if you have that ability it's like adding another dimension to the total offensive threats that line can generate. It's been said here before but really Coach, you sat this kid for 7 straight games when some of your starters sputtered? That is a major question mark about how you handle young players.
  • Comment on About last night … (2014-11-12 10:58:42)
    Nice post. My wonderment about the power play is that Therrien apparently thinks it's a league rule or something that he has to have a set line, usually the first, out for the power play and that he can't mix up his puck handlers and snipers from different lines. Oh dear, that would mean he(MT) would have to be able to juggle lines for a few shifts. I mean, this is the top level of the game we're talking about here; you--Canadiens coaches--can't figure out a system that uses the talent you've got on the team?
  • Comment on About last night … (2014-11-12 08:58:07)
    I have no idea who makes up the 'Polls' that are on here occasionally but I resent the one that's on today. First of all, an almost identical poll was put up about a month ago, something like 'who should be kept on the team and who should be sent down'. But what I resent about this poll is that it frames the whole aspect of these two young defensemen in an 'either/or' format. Sure, they are competing for a starting position but why does it have to be viewed as either Tinordi or Beaulieu? Why not have a poll about which of the six defencemen--I'll exclude Subban and Markov--should be in the top six? These two have been brought up through the system and are ready to play on a regular basis, IMHO. Now it is managment's task to raise their games to higher levels as they mature. I know it's not a gimme that they are better than Gilbert, Emelin, Weaver, and Gonchar right now but I do know that this whole process of start them, don't start them, send them down, bring them up is certainly not going to help their confidence and their growth. Of course they're going to make mistakes, and they might be costly but ofttimes, as the saying goes, experience is the best teacher. Playing defence in hockey is so difficult because it demands so many skill levels, among them the constant decision making. You can't get better at this if always lurking in the back of your mind is 'don't mess up'. And it's up to the coaching staff to realize they're raw talents and help them develop. So why don't you have a poll with the bottom six defensemen and see how that comes out?
  • Comment on Rene Bourque will be healthy scratch for Canadiens vs. Sabres (2014-11-05 16:39:10)
    I wonder if Therrien understands what his in-and-out methods due to the young players trying to prove their worth as starters. So Beaulieu is sitting again after a 2-game stint. Did he light up the place, did he play error-free hockey? No, but if you want to compare his play to the $8 Milliion Man or other defensemen he didn't stand out. But yanking him out of the lineup will of course make him wonder what mistakes did he make that got him pulled. And my fellow commentators, this should NOT be a Tinordi vs. Beaulieu thing as too many are characterizing it. These two guys are our future base, and helping them to gain confidence is essential to that happening sooner rather than later. And of course Bournival and Sekac(at last) are well aware that they, unlike most of the other starters, better deliver now, or else they too will be on the merry go round back to the press box. You want young players to develop? Coach them, encourage them, let them learn from mistakes, and let them play and gain experience!