Friday, March 25, 2011

Moving On Day: Bruins 7, Habs 0

Move on.  Pack up all the Valentine's Day Beatdown, Pacioretty/Chara, Marchand's big mouth, Recchi's medical diagnosis, last night's embarrassment stuff in boxes, shove it into the back of the truck, and move on.  Because if the Habs don't, they are in serious jeopardy of free falling right out of the playoffs, let alone out of sixth place and a first-round date with the Bruins. 

This team is broken.  They battled through injuries, questions about their size, "The System", the beat down in Boston, lack of respect from the pundits and league.  They battled despite minimal contributions from high-priced Cammy and Gomez, the fits and starts of guys like Pouliot and Kostitsyn, the rookie mistakes and struggles of PK and DDD and the crippling of an entire defence corps.  But the cloud that is the Pacioretty incident has shaken this team to pieces.  They are broken.  The record since Pacioretty's injury?  Lacklustre effort the next game in St. Louis.  Shut out Pittsburgh.  Lacklustre effort versus Washington.  Barely escape in the shootout versus Tampa.  Pounded by the Rangers.  A freakshow against a horrible Wild team, and consecutive embarrassments against Buffalo and Boston.  3 wins, 5 losses.  Looking worse with each loss. 

There is only so much crap a team can take before breaking.  Three weeks ago, were any of us disappointed in how this team full of Bulldogs had fought?  Why, we were even praising the coaches for the way the myriad of call-ups performed.  The development of Lars Eller.  The resurrection of Andrei Kostitsyn as a useful player (not the scorer we all hoped, but certainly a viable option as a Canadien moving forward).  But the Pacioretty hit seems to have cast a pall over everything this team does.  Talking about it, and reading about it, and hearing the debate on all sides 24-7 was crazy enough as a fan - I can't imagine what it would be like inside the fishbowl of the Canadien's dressing room.  Every time someone else threw an elbow TSN showed Chara smashing Pacioretty into the stanchion.  Every week there was more anticipation for last night's game (will the Habs go after Chara?  will there be a gang war at centre ice?). Then Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi opened the barely healing wounds again with their idiotic comments.  Getting this game in the rear view mirror couldn't come fast enough. 

But is it enough?  There were moments in last night's game that it looked like there were thirty Bruins on the ice.  Take nothing away from Boston; they looked like a terrific combo of speed and size and skill at times.  But the Habs looked beaten before the puck even dropped and save for some spurts, never once did I think they were coming back to make a game of it.  Not once.  The fact that the game only ended 7-0 is a testament to Carey Price, who must have felt like shit for all of his 45 minutes of action.  The Bruins broke the Canadiens spirit early and often last night.  All the fight this team normally displays disappeared.

The pollyannas aren't going to want to hear it, but here it comes:  This is not a very good hockey team as it is presently constituted.  They take a ridiculous amount of penalties.  Do you know how bad you have to be to be 30th in the league in penalties?  They are too small.  They have very little offensive push.  The talent that should be leading that charge is disinterested, injured, or just not good enough to do it on a consistent basis.  They are unable to, or unwilling to adapt to change their game when things aren't working.  Shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic won't fix the massive hole in the hull any more than flipping Halpern and Darche around on the wings will stop the Bruins train from smashing you to pieces.  This team misses Max Pacioretty's combo of size, speed and skill far more than I ever thought they would, but it's true.  In hindsight, he might be the second most important forward on this roster, because everything has fallen apart since he went down and it can't all be attributed to the mental aspect of his injury. 

There is something very wrong with Michael Cammalleri.  I don't know if he's hurt, or too wrapped up in "being Michael Cammalleri" or what, but he looks terrible.  The defence without Markov, Gorges and Spacek is too slow and offers very little offensive support.  The fact that the Habs can't even find two pairs of defencemen to man a powerplay speaks volumes.  Too many players are wildly inconsistent, from Pouliot and PK to Cammy and the captain.  I love much of what Brian Gionta brings to this team, but he is paid to lead and score goals.  I don't need him to be a shutdown defender or penalty killer.  I don't need him to fight, or lay big hits, or even be good in the community.  I need him to score when we need a goal.

Scott Gomez needs to go.  This is not news.  But the reality is very different this morning than it has been in the past.  I've been on Gomez for years because I thought he was better.  That he was lazy, or didn't compete, or didn't care enough, and that infuriated me.  Last night was different.  For all his faults last night, Scott Gomez was working his ass off.  If he didn't care, he would have packed it in after getting his nose broken.  He didn't.  He got pissed off and went back out there.  Admirable.  But here's the rub:  Scott Gomez appeared to be busting his ass last night and he still was an ineffective albatross.  And it hit me:  Scott Gomez has regressed so far as a hockey player that it doesn't matter if he tries or not.  He's just not good enough to do what he's supposed to.  There is no cure for this.  Gomez is finished as a viable first or second line centre unless, at age 31, he can totally reinvent himself.  I don't believe he can.

This team has done a fantastic job of keeping its head above water with all its injuries.  The emergence of Lars Eller is a great thing to watch.  Ryan White is rapidly becoming one of my favourite players - there was a moment late in last night's game before a face-off where the camera focused on White, who had the look of a man who wanted to murder anyone in black and gold.  He, among precious few others last night, did not quit. David Desharnais continues to defy the odds.  Carey Price might be the best goaltender in hockey already and has probably kept this team alive for far longer than it deserved.  Tomas Plekanec is worth every penny when healthy.  When healthy and clicking, this team can give anyone in the league a run for their money, and I would feel confident taking them versus the Bruins in the first round if that were the case.  There is a faint glimmer of hope that people will get healthy for the playoffs and things will improve, and that's what I'm hoping for.  But will it be enough to push away the cloud this team is under?  Unless they have reserves they can call on, this is not the year.  Not without Markov, Gorges, Pacioretty, Spacek, the Cammy they thought they were paying for, and Price standing on his head.  That is fact.  This is not their year.  They are broken.

61 comments:

Steve said...

@Habs 10 "I cant handle the truth"

The only point I would argue is the to small. DDD proves that size is not all that matters.

Mr Molson has to ride this pony until it falls apart. Hopefully Choucla throws away the fucking pads, and works at offense. If Price has to stand on his head when the team has a defense focus, what difference would it make if they gambled all the time?

Steve said...

@GG I was laughing at the Graphic I am sure 10 asked for a mushroom cloud.

Jaybird said...

I was feeling terrible for Price last night. There were times when the camera would focus on him after a big save and his face was just begging the skaters for help.

That was certainly the type of loss that can destroy a team before playoffs. We went from pround to extremely fragile in less than a week's time. The question that remains is if they can put to gether something positive before the end of the season...a monstrous task.

Tyler R. said...

Toronto is the greatest city on Earth! Just look at its skyline! The buildings and architecture alone are worth marveling at.

2 years ago was the worst though cause we had to put up with Habs' 100 year BS at our Tronna Museum: the HHOF.

iRiRi said...

Well said, 10 and I couldn't agree more with all of it. Clever pic, GG. Man, reading this was sobering.

Can you imagine where they would be if not for Carey? Yikes.

HabsFan29 said...

that's good solid analysis 10! what are you doing on FHF?

many heh's on the pic

the Maritimer said...

@10, excellent review. It never occured to me that the Pacioretty hit could have inflicted that much damage to the team's psyche. it may be that the NHL's refusal to act against Chara has them thinking they are on an island, hated by all except their own fans. Anyone want to bet that Bettman and C. Campbell were high-fiving after the game?

Re: Paragraph 5, you are correct they are not very good as constituted. You can get by with some smaller players but there has to be a sprinkling of larger bodies throughout the line-up. Losing Pacioretty may have caused more problems than we could have ever imagined. Travis Moen just cannot fill that void as a legitimate scorer. Nor can Darche.

Re: paragraph 6, I believe Cammalleri's left shoulder injury is not fully healed. He shoots left and his shot does not seem to have the same velocity as last year when he could score from 30' out no problem. I'm willing to cut him some slack for the time being. I will say his durability may be questionable as he has been hurt twice in the last two years by big hits. I won't call him a china doll but it bears watching.

Re: paragraph 7, our friend Senor Gomez. Not much they can do with him I'm afraid. Cap hit to big to trade, too long a time span for a buyout. Let's look ahead a little.
Say Plekanec is your number 1 center next season, he needs at least one winger with size so give him Max and Gionta. You have to figure Eller will be the number 2 guy, he has the size so give him Cammy and AK (if he's still around). Let Gomez be the 3rd center with some checkers on his wings. His offense has dried up but he is an effective skater, so let that be your energy line. Maybe in his last year you buy him out.

Essentially you are buying time for your new core to develop, Price, Subban, Eller and Pacioretty, maybe throw LeBlanc in the mix as well, to eventually replace Gomez as that seems to be what the pundits say Leblanc's forte will be.

I like Ryan White as well, reminds me of a young Shayne Corson, he will eventually produce more offense has his confidence grows.

Apologies for the long winded post but I felt inspired by HF10's thoughtfulness and had to respond to it.

Let's hope they can find their pride and at least go down swinging into the playoffs and battle those motherfuckers (bruins) to the bitter end.

Bill 101 said...

Brain thinks HF10 is right again

Heart cant help but Go Habs Go

so confusing

Anonymous said...

Regarding Senor Gomez, the two prospects whom we traded to the Rangers for, Ryan McDonough and Pavel Valentenko, are looking to be NHL'ers. Especially McDonough who has become a top 4 D-Man on their blue line.

b said...

Gomez was a very good third line center in NJ. He is still a very good third line center. But at what a cost, what an incredible cost. And he has one mode, he can't do the system pivot thing. The system utilizes pivots so that they can exploit the space behind them, instead of making space in front. Once the other side figures it out, they can pounce and create odd man rushes. How many last night? It looked like 3 on 2 and 2 on 1 drills in a practice that needed to end with meatgrinders. Big and slow on D, forwards looking behind them. No sparkplug. He got traded. Not enough ice time for the creative Desharnais. And of course, not enough French guys. Remember coming back against the Bruins from 5-0 to win 7-5 in the playoffs. I do. Beliveau, Richard, Tremblay, Lemaire, Cournoyer, Tremblay, Laperriere ... get the point.

lawyergirl77 said...

Heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking.

Excellent analysis, 10. And GG - the graphic made me laugh through my tears.

It may just be "one" game, but it's more than just the loss of the 2 points that made this painful to watch. it was the way shit went down and the look of utter defeat on everyone's face.

I used to praise this team and think that they could do the impossible because of how much heart that they have. The fact that I'm even questioning that for many of the players, including Gio, is the part that worries me the most.

Very tough day to be a Habs fan...

Steve said...

@Tyler R - you dont kick a blog when its down, classless.
I would never flame a Leaf blog, not because I have class, its just pointless.

HabsFan29 said...

childish homophobic name-calling will get you deleted anonymous

bea.habs.fan said...

good analysis t10.

guess we'll get to hear the "they-only-went-far-last year-because-their-goalie-stood-on-his-head" shtik.
I'm beginning to think as sad as it may be to admit that this is a fact for this team.
I thought to myself at the beginning of the year that they would be lucky to repeat winning 2 rounds; then they impressed and I thought maybe I (to my shame) along with many others underestimated. Now I'm not so sure.
a heartbreaking realization !

WV: "shyte" need I say more?

the Maritimer said...

Since about Christmas when they had the first extended slump I'd watch a period, maybe two, realize there was no comeback and turn it off. Same lately, you can sense it, however last night I watched to the final buzzer, maybe just to see what the reaction was going to be when they left the ice, I dunno. Possibly it was just train wreck syndrome. I couldn't avert my eyes no matter how much I wanted to.

CHuck said...

we lost the game but I for one think that this will spark us. Its one thing for a team to take it from the media and whatnot and get down but to get thumped that hard had to of shaken loose some of the cobwebs. You mark my fucking words all you emotional roller coaster riding fucktard Habs fans we will make it to the playoffs and we will do well. We have one of the best locker room groups in the league and these guys really do care. Last night might make me sound like an idiot but I honestly believe that we needed this more than a win. If Im wrong we all lose. I think I will be vindicated however.

Moey said...

I wonder if the Habs did it on purpose just to piss everyone off. At times I honestly thought they were trying to suck, they were that bad. Maybe there was so much hype and crap surrounding this that they just agreed on a collective "meh" before the game, except they forgot to tell Price until the second period. Those little rascals, yeah, that's the ticket!

*takes another whiff of glue*

HabsFan29 said...

stop bogarting that glue Moey and pass it over here!

Steve Ryan said...

@Tyler R: Leaf fans wish they had as much passion as us Habs fans. Go back to TSN and post with your fellow cum addicted cronies you fuck.

Steve said...

Since we got destroyed by Philly last year I have set my sights on 2013 peak for the Cup. The play of DDD, Lego, Patches and the return of TiTs had me going. I think the defense can be competent when healthy again, and I dont know why Swiss Miss II rides the pine. The Gainey free agents have really gone into early retirement. The only one I would keep is Squid.

Look at the top free agents Thorton and Koviu for Mex and Gio, with Vodkov and Gorgess back ,now thats a fucking cup bound team.

Steve said...

I got a fender stuck to my nose.

Anonymous said...

Ummm...I left what I thought was a nice message and signed it as anon. It was a 'don't give up on our team' message and 'now is the time to stick by them' message and unless I didn't do something right for it to appear here, why are you not showing it?

Gosh, darn, I want our team to crush the hell out of Boston if we ever see them again.

I still have confidence in our team. Go, Habs, go.

My apologies to FHF if you didn't delete my comment.

Thank you

HabsFan29 said...

@315 anon - you see how confusing this can be? you are not the same anon who called us all f-ots. that's what got deleted

M said...

Yes, it must be very confusing to deal with assholes at times.

I love your work, your loyalty, your humour. You guys are a crackup, especially you 29.

Thanks for the good reads, they get me through some tough days.

M. (I"ll now go as "M").

Steve said...

@Anon - The love it or leave it meme does not resonate with me. 10 Has put bravely put it on the line, you disagree with him, nothing wrong with that. In my eyes you sound like a Leaf fan, and the Leafs have been enabled by true blue fans to the point of irrelevance.

GYGHG (get Koviu and Thorton)

HabsFan29 said...

thanks M!

Steve said...

@29, You put a naked man on the masthead and then you wonder why some people are confused?

HabsFan29 said...

NTTAWWT

Steve said...

I think you need a LGBT disclaimer on the masthead, something like If you like Lady Gaga you will like us.

Steve said...

O yes and I think I speak for all FHF male fans who are not part of the LGBT community in pointing out, the naked man slump buster was a total bust last time. Also it would be illogical to think superstition could fix what is clearly a scientific problem.

CHuck said...

Steve are you on here all day long? Literally you should be added to the admin on this site simply based on amount of posts. holey fuck.

Steve said...

Yes its part of my job.

GoldenGirl11 said...

Seriously Steve what do you do? Are you one of my kids?

Steve said...

I have a boring old private sector office job, and need to pass the time.

Steve said...

@Golden Girl, you can believe that or what you read in the Gazette when my secret identity is broadcast across the world and all the people I have put in jail come seeking revenge.

Steve said...

@Golden Girl, can I have a raise on my allowance, the price of beer just went up.

moeman said...

Steve is the ex-PM.

Steve said...

@moeman, yeah this fucking election, imagine the people resenting dictatorship, well fuck them, I can use my position and money to numb them into submission, and still post 100 times a day at FHF

CHunderdownunder said...

I live in Melbourne so I only get to see a couple of Habs games. They start at 10 a.m. over here. I do have a TSN app on my phone to check live scores. How fucking good was it that I didn't have to sit through that shit! Good to be halfway round the world yesterday.

Steve said...

Hunky male with time on his hands, of course I am a male model. One of my Montreal bro just did Halle and found yes you can go back from black.

I am like him but I look like Budda. George was a hand model, a star, I am a cock model, now even though I am in my fifties, with a little grecian, I can look 15. If you have bought any Chinese Viagra, its me on the package.

CHunderdownunder said...

P.S. Anyone know a good streaming site for the games. SEEBEESEE doesn't work here. Once again. How good is it to be halfway 'round the world?! No Milbury! How the fuck do people who ruin franchises end up being commentators? Mike Milbury?! Matt Millen in the NFL?! We are supposed to believe what these fucktards are saying?! Man am I fired up! So many question marks and exclamation points!!!!?????

Der BaruCH said...

nobody protects us and nobody respects us we are the Palestinians of the NHL. We got Soaps playing with his broken hand in a cast, no wonder he can't shoot, I mean really, who's fucking idea was that? Weber that bad? Plexxe might take a couple to get back up to speed, if he isn't really nursing something longer term bad. Halpern has regressed since like game 20 Think he got a knock on the noggin again, he's done. Patches, Spatchko, the rest of the honor guard out. Gomer on safari, Gio ain't no Saku Koivu, Cammy probably injured, maybe in the brain, maybe its his investments, anyway he's a fuck for playing the way he is. This team is too small for today's NHL, they are all beat up, no fault of theirs, they are crushed and mangled. And we Habs fans, eloquent, intellectual, yearning for the stylish hockey we watched as children to return yearn in vain. The game is an industry full of bone-head heavymetal rock music, car ads, viagra ads, and lots and lots of beer. It you watch in the states, most likely its on FOX.

Nevertheless, what can I do. I am a child of the Trudeau era, when the elites had a public conscience and art and creativity were seen as virtues in themselves and not just creative industry.

moeman said...

"Nevertheless, what can I do. I am a child of the Trudeau era,
when the elites had a public conscience and art and creativity
were seen as virtues in themselves and not just creative industry."
~ Der BaruCH

Nicely written.

Steve said...

@Chowder down under.

First can you look for me tooth, I lost it on the Rocks.

And I give you these websites, and If I was PM it would have been illegal, but as those freedom fighters are battling like mad Shelia's, I expect I will not have any good tucker on the plane, and I am coming down there cause my wifes a dyke and my best cabinet ministers are Gay. I think your Shelia is awful hot, and I am a cock model.

http://www.justin.tv/exou09/b/282247209?
http://atdhenet.tv/


http://watchseries.eu/serie/sanctuary

http://www.freemoviecommunity.org/watch-351313-Annihilation-Earth

Steve said...

@momen what is all with this elite shise, what kind of country are we going to have if smart people who are seeking something better than themselves rule?

This election is all about getting what I am due, punching any cocksucker who gets a drink of milk they did not earn, and who is paid for not treating the world like Chara did Patches.

moeman said...

Steve, the real harpo (I know you aren't the actual PM, yet) is a leaf fan, he has to go. Plus, he can't even hug.

Der BaruCH said...

@ moeman thanks

that being said I can't help filling my head with hockey. Got the Whalercane-Blightning game on, Ward vs. Methuselah Roloson tis entertaining rather.

moeman said...

'Now you listen kidz' redefined. Kudos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFtRlf2Y8Zg

Also, fuck don cherry.

Bruce F. said...

Watch the London Knights, haha.
What about Winsniewski (sp?) do you guys like him? He has heart.
I agree with your analysis and posted it on FB. I live in London ON and watch every game on RDS and TSN just pisses me off, they are so dismissive of the Habs,as with CBC
sometimes I watch RDS instead for good luck but it didn't work last night. Yeah Cammy looks hurt, Plekanek umm, does not impress, does not execute, Gomez has potential but never shoots which is frustrating,.
Downunder, you'll have to watch streaming on TSN site, ugh.

moeman said...

Sign CHeeze Whiz!

Number31 said...

I got cake. That makes it all better.

Steve said...

@DerBarch, I thought Moeman was quoting some fucking Trudeau elite fucker, but when I read it again it was you. That my friend are the kind of words that used to move mountains, now its nah han ma ba ba go back to Harvard cause you wrote a book.

As for using the Palestinians as a metaphor for the Canadians, I think the Leafs are a better fit, the world offers them everything and they reject if cause you can make way more money losing.

chris nilan said...

ok so really... what do you guys think about resigning hammer?

Melnick says he would for about 2.5 per for 2 years.

i want nothing to do with him. give the loot to cheez.

the Maritimer said...

@chris nilan, I would sign hammer for that. He is playing much more than he should because of all the injuries. 18 minutes a game would be good for him. He is smart and plays the position well for a man his age.

P.S.: I wish you were still playing.

Orangeman said...

I went to Trudeau's funeral. Well, outside. I saw Fidel and others. My mother, a Trudeaumaniac, instucted me to go early and get good pics. I don`t remember why, but I couldn`t get to Richard`s on behalf of my father. He still uses this against me. The fact that it is not normal to ask your son to go to funerals on your behalf escapes them both.

Number31 said...

No. No more Hamr. What, almost 20 years in the NHL and the man still has no idea what to do in a 2-on-1 situation. That and he keeps losing the blueline and giving the other team shorthanded goals or just general breakaways. Time for a change, Hamr. Thank you for your services. Enjoy that lovely house you have. Maybe you'd like to join the team in some other form?

Give the money to Gill, Wiz, Gorges, Markov. Find a way to lose Spacek too. There are younger legs that need to play.

CHunderdownunder said...

I am pretty sure Hammer is gone. I agree, give the lot to CHeezy

der BaroooCH said...

@ Steve, I know, Palestinians is not an apt comparison...we do seem to be more of a pariah than the leafs in the nhl chum club.

and oh, I don't envy your choices this next election, alas, I moved to Germany 8 years ago.

@ Orange strange and poignant memory, you sure your parents weren't working for the RCMP?

Ok Habs-beens! you Hab been and you can been again! Crapitols just got shut out by fucking Senaturds! They will be demoralized and Boudreau-Meatball-berated!! Time to retrieve our foolish optimism dear Habs. Cammy date a stripper! CHallah take an allega or something! CHokula squeeze a petulent pout for victory!!

GYFHG!

All that and a bag of pucks said...

No to Hammer. He was the log that opened the floodgate on Thursday. Instead of clearing the crease so Carey could make the save, he floated out into the high slot, becoming the second screen.

Streaming is best at soccertvlive.net, you can even watch the KHL games there.

Kmaxx said...

the best stream I've had in two years was, unfortunately, the Bostone stream from Thursday night - exou9.com on Justin.TV - ExNordic

Ask anyone - it was superb...result sucked but feed was brill...

b said...

Some interesting stats in Martin Leclerc's column at Rue Frontenac.

http://ruefrontenac.com/mleclerc/35519-martin-leclerc-jacaques-martin

do the math on productivity. Trading Latendresse looks like a huge mistake in terms of points per game played. (.65) Max and Guillaume were just looking for a third (Darche?). Desharnais number in this regard are very heartening. (.59). Factor in ice time and the differentials are even bigger.