Canadiens Pull It Out, Barely

Brian Gionta’s shootout goal gave the Habs a win in Carolina, and regardless of the fact that the team played fairly lousy, we’ll take the two points and get out of Dodge. But this certainly won’t be included in the next DVD box set of Canadiens Memorable Games.

It began with Carey Price allowing a weak wrist shot from the point to fool him, although it’s possible it was slightly re-directed by an Alexei Emelin glove. Even so, he should’ve had it. And it was only 34 seconds into the game for gawd’s sakes,

It’s not the first time Price hasn’t been focused in allowing a goal, and I wish he wouldn’t do that.

Then, with his teammates caught standing around, it was suddenly a 2-0 Carolina lead, and those Storm Squad cheerleaders at the Raleigh RBC Centre wiggled and smiled and looked lovely. They were nice to gawk at, probably even better in person, even though I think cheerleaders at hockey games look a bit silly.

It wasn’t to be, lovely Storm Squad’ers. (Squadron?) Lars Eller put Montreal on the scoreboard with a shorthanded marker in the second period, then Josh Gorges tied it in the third. Carolina managed to go ahead but Travis Moen tied it again, and eventually, to make a long story short, the Habs nailed it in the shootout when Gionta did what Mike Cammalleri and Max Pacioretty didn’t – beat Cam Ward and give the team the two points.

Of course, the Canadiens were lucky to win this game. They didn’t play well, and their power play was laughable. And I mean literally. After seeing them look like the Keystone Kops, tripping and sliding, giving the puck away and almost getting scored on a couple of times, all on one particular power play, I laughed out loud.

It’s cheaper than throwing a brick at my television.

Scott Gomez suffered some sort of injury, but that’s neither here nor there. He wasn’t doing anything anyway, and the team actually started to have some flow late in the game and with him nowhere to be seen.

Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty skated hard and came close on several occasions, and Eller, along with his shorthanded goal, assisted on Moen’s tying goal. So it seems that Eller is moving along nicely again, but in general, it wasn’t a complete team effort. It was often sloppy and head-shaking, and again, this game will not be on any upcoming DVD box sets.

Random Notes:

There were a whack of posts hit on this night, by both teams. And how much is a whack? It’s a boatload. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s a shitload.

Montreal outshot the Canes 34-33.

Next game – a 3 p.m. Eastern start in Philadelphia. Then it’s back home the next night to meet Sidney Crosby and those flightless birds. Gonna be a tough couple of days.

39 thoughts on “Canadiens Pull It Out, Barely”

  1. See what happens when Gomez is gone and Eller is back in his proper position? He scores and sets up Moen perfectly for a goal. He plays a lot better. Sadly we are not the Coach so what do we know? 🙁

    Some scary news: apparently on AC last night they were complaining about Subban. Francois Gagnon on the radio said that Subban should be traded. Gagnon is close friends with Martin. If they trade Subban, it will be one of the stupidest things they have done since trading Chelios. Unbelievable.

    The guy is going to be a Norris Trophy winner someday and you want to trade him? I hope and pray that Molson doesn’t let it happen.

    One piece of good news is that Markov may actually play on Saturday.

  2. Hey Dennis,I missed the game but saw the highlites,I thought the first goal got deflected into Price and then he pushed into vhis own net,they won anyways thats all that counts.One more day of work and then off to Vancouver for the Grey Cup.

  3. @Darth
    Please don’t listen to AC more than 2 minutes (time to find your remote).
    Nobody deserve that. (maybe Gomez)

    I really think that posts in Carolina are two times bigger, so everything is normal.

    Looks like Gomez like to be looking at the game while being touch by some sort of therapist. Good for him. Good for Eller.

    With those points, its really a game to put behind. Hope Philly and Crosby will give us better games.

  4. For most of the game I thought it was very “lack luster”… really flat.

    3rd period they seemed to turn it on a bit.

    I can’t stop being an optimist when it comes to Gomez… although, that’s so very hard.

    But I have to say that giving more of Gomez’s minutes to Eller is just a good thing. Eller looks like he’s gonna be a solid NHLer.

  5. Vanhouse, I watch it very rarely. Sometimes they are spot on but other times they’re just crazy. Last night they were crazy beyond belief.

    It was a flat game and I wish they’d stop doing this. For the last three years every time we go against a lesser team we always phone it in. We should go for the kill so down the line if we happen to lose one at least we have points in the bank. We were lucky last night. I’m glad that we came back to win it but we really shouldn’t have been in that position to begin with.

  6. Darth, is it true. Possibly Markov on Saturday? Good news for sure. And about Anti-Chambre and Subban. As much as I’d dearly love to be fluent in French, I think it’s good for my blog that I’m not influenced in any way by what these guys talk about. I know they go on and on, and I’m not sure at all if they just blow smoke to be interesting or if they should be taken deadly serious. I don’t know. Subban should not be traded, that’s for sure. He’s a young thorougbred, and hasn’t found his game just yet. I agree that he hasn’t been playing as well as we’d like, but he’s he’s still learning, and because of all the injuries, he’s been thrown into the fire. I wish he was still partners with Gill. He learned a lot from the veteran, and they seemed to have excellent chemistry. So what does Martin do? He takes away the chemistry.

  7. Vanhouse, if they play that way against Philly and Pittsburgh, they’re going to get embarrassed. The Habs are a hard team to figure out. They can suck and they can look really good. Gomez can suck, and he can also suck.

  8. Hey Yves, I agree, Eller’s going to be a good one. He lapsed a little but seems to have come back to the great season he was having. I’m very much a pessimist about Gomez. He plays a soft game, is predictable, doesn’t like to get his nose dirty, and gives the puck up most of the time. This was a guy who won Rookie of the Year and it’s hard to imagine. Must have been a thin crop that year. Hope the family’s doing great, Yves.

  9. Darth, they didn’t look great last night except for maybe in the third. If they would’ve lost, which they almost did, they would have found themselves near the bottom. It would also have been maybe the beginning of the end for Martin. But once again, the coach dodges a bullet.

  10. Scott Gomez is not on the ice for today’s practice and some are speculating he may have a torn ACL – although this is unconfirmed chatter on Twitter. If true, he would be out indefinitely. Could be someone just blowing smoke but we’ll see…

  11. martin is not going anywhere, NO MATTER WHAT…………. unfortunately………. as for my previous #11 prediction, i stick to it.

  12. Hi Guys,

    About the Subban/Gomez thing: when they brought it up on AntiChambre I almost fell off my chair. I almost fell off my chair when Francois Gagnon mentioned the same proposition on Team 990 (maybe a week ago?).

    But for me, I didn’t fall off my chair for the same reason(s) as you. Back in the winter/spring, when Gomez was not doing well, I daydreamed about ways to get him off the team. One of my ideas was precisely the same one mentioned above ~ piggy back Gomez to a star. Sorta like a two for one special. I had even teamed up Subban to Gomez for my fantasy deal of the century.

    I don’t know much about wheeling and dealing when it comes to this sport or anything else for that matter but at the time, I figured EVERYONE would want Subban and that yes, letting him go would be a pity but getting another superstar forward for trade wouldn’t make it so back.

    Maybe the AntiChambre has a bug in my house….

    Have a great day!

  13. Hi Marjo,
    That would definitely be a way to get rid of Gomez, but to see PK gone would really hurt. It would have to somebody sensational, like Nugent-Hopkins, to make this deal, in my mind. We have such great hopes for PK and it would be a shame,

  14. Believe me, I don’t want to see him go either. I think people are just trying to find ways to get rid of Gomez and it’s not easy hence the wild brainstorm…

    The idea of hooking up PK to this deal just shows how great they think he is, so if anything, I’m sure it’s a huge compliment for him. Who else would any other team accept en lieu of Subban for in this deal from our team?

  15. There’d be no other, I think, Marjo. PK would be attractive to many and you’re right, it would be the only deal other teams might make. I say just eat the Gomez salary and be done with it. We’d just have to drink more Molsons to help out I guess.

  16. I think if they do ship PK, they are incredibly stupid. Even if it gets Gomez off our hands I think it’s stupid. PK is one of the most dynamic players in the NHL and one of the most dynamic players we’ve had in many years. To get rid of him would alienate the fanbase to an incredible degree. The fans would be livid and if PG thinks he has critics now, watch out.

    It would need to be someone like Ovechkin or Stamkos or Crosby that we’d get back in order to make this one a “good trade”.

  17. there are 2 easy ways to rid ourselves of the dreaded # 11. wave him and send him down or out and out fire him and buy him out…… if he must be packaged with an asset to trade him which would ONLY be done to save face, hire “slats” to do the deal.

  18. The only problem with buying him out is that it extends the cap hit against us till 2016 I think (or is it 2017?). It’s not a 7 million hit but I think it’s still fairly high. I will never understand why Gainey did this. Sigh.

  19. All that “bundle PK in with Gomez” trade talk has to be a bunch of horse puckey.

    I would have to think it helps them drum up ratings. If those people were running the team, the roster would be %80 different every year…. and the lines would likely change as often as they’ve ever changed.

    The Gomez deal was a risky one. Gainey gambled that Gomez could return to form along side Gionta…. so far a gamble which we’ve been on the losing end.

  20. Danno, about that Gomez groin injury. Surely there has to be an excellent joke in there somewhere but I’m drawing a blank. I need to think about this a bit.

  21. hobo I think it goes like this:

    If we bought him out today it would go like this:

    They would have to pay him about 6.6 Million dollars a year for the next 4 years.

    The hit against our cap would be:

    2012-2013 3.5 Million
    2013-2014 4.5 Million
    2014-2015 1.6 Million
    2015-2016 1.6 Million

    Our best bet is to trade him (sigh, if only) or send him to the minors. We could put him on waivers and hope and pray some team picks him up but we’d have to pay half his salary.

    This was one bad gamble.

  22. I think in exchange for Subban we would need a similar puck moving defenceman. I suspect a low budget team would give up a pending UFA, e.g. Ryan Suter in Nashville. And I can imagine both teams going for it if Gomez wasn’t eating up all that cap space.

    Darth, you’re very close, except its $6.7M total buyout salary, not every year. CapGeek.com has the details
    http://www.capgeek.com/buyout_calculator.php?player_id=624&buyout_y=2012&buyout_m=06&buyout_d=15

    That’s a total cap hit of almost $11.4M, not much less than the $14.5M left, only saving 22% and prolongs the suffering so I don’t see it happening.

  23. Thanks Yves. I still don’t know what Gainey was thinking because i know Rangers fans wanted this guy gone almost as much as we do. For me he’s too soft, not effective in the least. I simply can’t remember in all the years of following this team, of another player so unpopular in Montreal. He really needs to go.

  24. Danno, when Gomez was hurt the first time, and now again, both times I silently thought that maybe he’s just not into it anymore and found a bit of an excuse. This is one of the most disastrous Habs stories in a long time.

  25. Chris, if PK was allowed to freewheel, he’d be more effective. I’m just hoping that when all the defence dust gets settled, he’ll become the PK of last year again.

  26. I personally think PK has done a bang up job. He’s got nine points (tied for 7th on the team), his differential sits at 0, and he’s still racking up nearly 25 minutes a game. He’s consistent, and while less exciting to watch, he’s making much more reasonable plays and making fewer stupid mistakes. Right now the habs need consistency and maturity to anchor their defense while so many vets are sitting out (glad to have Gill back though).

    If we got Campoli, Markov and Spacek back at work, PK could be tradable with Gomez, but I agree with Dennis about it needing to be a big gun. I sincerely doubt the Oilers will trade Nugent-Hopkins though. They’re practically building the team’s future around him. It would be like the Habs not re-signing Price.

    I think Moen is looking sharp too. He may need to be bumped up a line, he is showing a great ability to knock the puck in the net.

    Gionta may not be pulling in big numbers yet, but he’s definitely on an upward trend, I see more goals from him in the coming weeks.

    Price may not be perfect, but he’s fantastic, and he is the most consistently amazing part of the Habs.

    I too am among the ranks of those missing tomorrow’s Philly game. Stupid American Thanksgiving.

  27. i agree with david. pk has done a bang up job. it seems, and unfortunately so, that once we’ve seen the backside of # 11, pk and cammy will be top candidates for whipping boy.

  28. Thanks Chris. I had a feeling I messed up the numbers.

    If PG sends him (PK) packing, he better have a car starter because he’ll need it for the rest of his days in Montreal. People will kill him. One of the most dynamic players we’ve had in years being sent away? Ouch, I wouldn’t want to make that call unless I got something great in return and not some 4th line guy who’ll spend all his time in Hamilton with our luck.

  29. Dennis you are correct, when I was setting up my PVR box I went to the guide and RDS had it set for 6:PM. I use the guide to setup recording for future games. When I read the sports page they said 3:PM, I checked again on RDS and it now said 3:PM, I’ve now made the change. Sorry for the misinformation!
    Cheers from the East!!!!

  30. No problem, Mike. I’ve done the same thing and even announced the wrong time to games a few times. Sometimes it happens with me when it’s an odd time and I’m 3 hours diffferent here. It’s easy to do. But thanks for the correction and hope you and Diana have a tremendous weekend.

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