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 Game Within the Game: Beaulieu provides a breath of fresh air on Habs’ blue line (2015-01-18 12:17:29)
    A couple of quick responses and an opinion: 1. Price's injury is real; bop over to EOTP and they have a short clip showing the Columbus guy crashing into him and the upper right part of his back near his spine squarely catches the post. You can see it bothered him. That said, wouldn't hurt to miss the All Star game but I think he'll show up. 2. Part of the reason the game seemed 'boring' perhaps was the abysmal play by play announcer. Sounded like he didn't want to wake up the kids. Tepid announcing at its best. Hey one person noted earlier today that he had laryngitis; if so the network should've gotten a replacement. Did appreciate though how we get used to good announcers even if we like to nail them as homers. I was surprised whey the Habs played at Pittsburgh how root-for-the-home team they were, but it's hard to believe anyone's worse than Jack Edwards(?) for the Bruins. My opinion. I'm old and have enjoyed playing sports my whole life. But by 40 you do slow down and don't recover so quickly. Gonchar slipped and stumbled a few times last night. Weaver played well and it's a long half season ahead; why not rotate him, Gilbert, and Gonchar to keep them fresh. And finally, funniest moment last night. Prust makes two sweet moves and then zings one off the post, then goes over to the boards and falls down. Bet he's getting razzed about that.
  • Comment on About last night … (2015-01-18 05:12:06)
    I get Center Ice in the states, along with NHL Network and though I've given up trying to figure out which 'network' is carrying the game on my Time Warner server, and though almost none of the games come through in HD, I'm basically satisfied that I've been able to get all the Canadiens' games this year. That said, the announcers last night; well, lets say I've heard high school kids doing a local broadcast do better than their play by play guy. Hockey is a great sport to broadcast if done right; someone here mentioned the late, great Danny Gallivan, in a class by himself. Listening to games in French; ofttimes you don't need to understand the words because the inflections and emotions of their voices let you know what's happening. Whomever is responsible for evaluating the performance of these announcers and assigning them to the Canadiens' games needs to be assessed themselves. For such a class organization to have such amateurish announcers is inexcusable.
  • Comment on Emelin could be odd man out for Habs against Blue Jackets (2015-01-14 05:18:39)
    I know the mere mention of EOTP(not to mention Andrew Berkshire) on here causes some of you to start throwing things, but if you're kind of bored waiting for the second half of the season to begin, he wrote a nice piece about whether the Canadiens are true contenders for the big prize, using all the trendy analytic tools. I'm not a big Corsi(etc.) guy, and have a nice big cup of coffee handy to wade through the mind-numbing stats--as in scan--but I think he helps make some pertinent points about the team, both the players, whom aside from the top 3 might not be as good as we'd hope, to the Coach. And without frothing at the mouth like many here tend to do, he almost causally questions Therrien's 'tactics' re the style of play he coaches. Puck possession, shots on goal, and where they're coming from, etc., it's all there if you want to reaffirm your gut feelings as a Habs fan. It isn't just the power play that's the problem, but the PP is like an exclamation point relative to this team's difficulty in scoring goals. It seems to me, especially after the strange meet with the media, where MT seemed to be holding a mini-pity party for himself, that he is transforming into the next coming of Jacques Martin. His style he imposes on this team, and every coach has a style depending on his system, seems to never be leaning forward and taking the play to the opponents, but always to be back on their heels. Hence the graphs and the lines and the circles show the Habs main offense seems to depend on counterattack and to never, ever go in deep and take a chance because that might give the other team an odd man rush, which the players quickly pick up to mean you're on a slippery slope to the 4th line and then the press box and if you're eligible onwards to Hamilton. Anyway, I think it's worth a look-see at the article; for you who condemn EOTP no matter what they do, fine, just ignore it. I think both it and HIO are both nice to have around.
  • Comment on Jarred Tinordi knockout brings up questions about fighting (2015-01-13 13:26:23)
    EOTP, in their weekly review of Bulldogs' players, said of Magnus Nygren that he'd 'be out indefinitely' after suffering 'a setback in his recovery'. Can anyone here offer any details? I had hoped that this year he would emerge as a better player ready to move up next season. Now he seems to be running out of time. But, as possibly with Tinordi's situation, concussions can be a nasty situation. And while I think in the NHL the added scrutiny new policies have helped reduce concussions and improved the treatment, in the minors there seems to be no lessening of them.
  • Comment on Galchenyuk dropped from Canadiens’ first line as Therrien mixes things up at practice (2015-01-12 14:18:17)
    Wow; for once I agree with all the negative nellies on here. Every hockey fan loves to play with line combinations, but for the coaches, that's their job and they get paid in large part due to their expertise. So are these combos supposed to remedy one of the Habs huge problems this season: as in we can't sustain offensive pressure and thus cannot score many goals! Well, duh. Thomas Plekanac; great guy, best on the penalty killing unit, but who here remembers when this centreman has controlled the puck in the offensive zone with his speed and/or stick handling skills? Prust and Weise: hustlers, grinders, will dig the puck out and set up people but lack the speed and moves to be top 6. Manny Maholtra, great character, great at face-offs, but his legs are gone; like Plekanac, can anyone remember when he 'beat' someone in the offensive zone to set up, what are they called, oh yeah, a goal? If it weren't for his Shootout goals, PA would be the brunt of more well-deserved criticism here. If I tweaked the former first line, it would be Gallagher replaced by Sekac, but hey, we've all got confidence in Therrien's choices, right. Coach, I know you eat, drink and probably dream defense, your nightmares are about odd-man rushes by the opponent. But earth to Therrien: you can't keep this team winning by averaging 2 goals a game. Creating 4 'mucker' lines is NOT the solution.
  • Comment on About last night … (2015-01-11 10:23:12)
    Well it's on 12 hours since the last high-scoring game ended, and loads & loads of free advice and rants here so here's my take: Do any of you believe that anyone in the management reads anything on here, especially the sage advice we offer for no charge? That said, I wish if there was one selection they made it would be About Last Night by Boonie. Time after time he hits pertinent nails on the head and spotlights weaknesses along with strengths. IMHO, Mr. Therrien you would benefit from reading ALN just to give you some thoughts. Here are my random gripes about the game. Maybe this team just doesn't have many snipers that can beat NHL goalies more often than not. But that's hard to tell because for the most part this team doesn't seem--at least with the line combos it has--to have skaters and stickhandlers that can possess and wait for openings to happen. Let's have two good skating lines. Brandon Prust gives his all for this team, works in parts of the rink where the other 'skaters' won't. But he can't skate with Eller and Sekac, and I think that makes a huge difference in what this line can do. He's a grinder of sorts that should be on the 3rd o4 4th lines where his lack of speed and hands are countered by his hard physical work. Hey, let's face it; we love to Subban unload that howitzer of his--BOOM!--but as Boonie pointed out other teams have adjusted to be able to nullify it on the power play. I think his slap shot is more dangerous in a 5 on 5 situation because there isn't a structure set to negate his shot. Another radical thought from Boonie I suggest should be tried. Change Subban's role in the power play completely. Either use other players OR send him squarely in front of the goaltender where his size, strength and good hands would reap benefits. If he doesn't want to take the sticks to the back of the neck, fine, rest him. But think, among the tall trees he could trash talk and fart all he wanted to. But as many of you have noted already, stats in this case don't lie: the power play sucks. Use Sekac(he'd go in front of the net & also has good hands) and Eller. Guess you have to use SniperMaxPac) but damn, just once you'd like to see him go to the net? But most of all, try a new system. I mean after all, if it doesn't work how much worse can the power play get from where it is not? And no, Therrien is not going to ever change his defense first, second and third and only in the shootout will we even think offensively but Michel, sometimes the best defense starts with a good offense.
  • Comment on Canadiens vs. Devils preview (2015-01-01 14:12:51)
    Good Defense vs. Good Offense. I remember thinking a few seasons ago, which would be the better cure for insomnia, watching the Habs play the Sabres or the Devils. Watching the Florida game, did anyone else think that the 4th line had more of a presence during the game than the third did? That said, I wonder if anyone else pondered what the 2nd line(tho they did start the game) would be like if Andrighetto took Prust's place? Yeah, I know, Brandon is 'sandpaper' and knows his defensive responsibilities more that Sven does, but I also think this reflects the soul of Therrien when he sees the game of hockey. World Series: good pitching trumps good hitting Super Bowl: good defense wins more championships than good O. And yes, when the Stanley Cup playoffs start the whole way the games are played is much tighter and defensively oriented. But Therrien seems so averse to a forward leaning, go in deep approach that I sometimes feel the Habs keep stifling the offensive capabilities of some of our top skill players. Heaven forbid those forwards don't back check; do you notice how few odd-man rushes we give up? That's good, and I consider Therrien to be a good coach but man, how many more of these no-goals-in-the-first-period games can we get away with? These 2-1, 3-1 games; anyone like to see a few more 5-2(which is what the Rangers beat the Panthers by last night) games with some, dare I say it, flair and puck control in the opponents end, among other things? Oh well, I'll go bark at the moon tonight too for all the angst about Therrien's coaching style. At least, tho it took longer than it should have, he's leaning a tiny bit more towards youth(aka as the mistake makers) by playing Sekac, Beaulieu, and Andrighetto more. Let's use the Pittsburgh game, without any whining about back to backs and a long road trip, as a gauge for what we could be. Style and winning, wonder it it could ever happen here?
  • 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.