Game 3 Coming Fast

There’s not a lot I can add to the Montreal Canadiens situation after  what’s being bandied about on radio, TV, the internet, morse code, and around the potbelly stove where grandpa sits.

The Canadiens almost went up two games to none over the powerhouse Boston Bruins, but settled instead for a win and a horrifying loss after blowing the lead late in game two. It was enough to drive someone to drink.

But instead of dwelling on what could have been, I’d rather talk about Rene Bourque, the Man Who Wasn’t Helping.

He is now though. For whatever reason.

I find it mind-blowing to see how Rene Bourque has played in the playoffs so far. The guy we wanted gone. The guy who looked uninterested and unmotivated and often half-asleep. Now transformed into a force to be reckoned with.

What happened? Did the thought of being bought out finally sink in? Did he have some sort of awakening while sitting on the couch at home, that maybe if he tried harder he could be a strong and incredibly key guy on the team?

Did a teammate call him out in front of others, which is what I was hoping for?

Or do the Canadiens have a terrific head doctor who made Bourque his pet project?

Whatever it is, I like it, because one can never have enough great skating, great shooting power forwards. It’s what Bourque was supposed to be in the first place when he came here in the Mike Cammalleri trade in the winter of 2012.

But as good as Bourque has been playing, and ditto for Lars Eller – another who many of us were truly disappointed in because we’d seen glimpses of greatness – we now need the DD, Max, Vanek line to stop spinning their wheels and lend a hand.

Vanek scored two the other night, but they were merely tip-ins on the power play, which is great but also one-dimensional. We need these three to dangle and pass the puck around like a pinball, like we saw when Vanek showed up in the first place when the line gelled and we were overcome with giddiness.

Vanek has 5 points in 6 games, which is decent, but his overall play is hesitant at best. DD has 3 points in 6 games and Max also has 3 in 6. All three seem invisible for long stretches, and we know absolutely that they can be much better than that.

But no one knows it better than them. The question is, can they do something about it, like Bourque and Eller somehow managed to do?

Against the Bruins, we need all hands on deck, which isn’t rocket science.

For some reason, whatever the DD line was doing in the regular season seems to be gone at this stage. They look tentative and unwilling. They seem nervous. Their passes aren’t of the pinball variety, they’re more like the kind I make.

And about others, is Brandon Prust (1 point in 6 games and often a non-factor in all aspects) playing at 90%, or 70% or 50%, and is his nagging shoulder the reason his play lacks pizzazz? Almost definitely, to answer my own question.

Should Ryan White replace him and maybe add a spark?

Should Douglas Murray replace Francis Bouillon and help calm down the Brad Marchand, Jarome Iginla, Kevan Miller, Milan Lucic feistiness?

Kudos to Brendan Gallagher, who continues to be a whirling dervish. Kudos to so many, Carey Price and PK Subban especially.

The team’s in the thick of the hunt and it’s all we can ask, except for some great players to pick it up a bit.

Just need some tweaking and three more wins in the next week or so. And again, all hands on deck.


I just heard from two different sources, Marjo and TSN 690, that Rene Bourque has the flu and may not play in game 3. Gawd.




29 thoughts on “Game 3 Coming Fast”

  1. This may be one of the few times I’m glad not to live in Canada! The Habs, that team missing the playoffs and to be eliminated in the first round if the did make it, won a game in Boston. Our guys are facing a goaltender with a 4-14 record when seeing the Bleu Blanc Rouge. Montreal had a winning record against Boston in the regular season. Boston had their backs against the wall and had to win. Here in the States, it’s all gravy as far as Les Glorieux is concerned. Guess this what happens when the media’s beloved Make Believes are golfing…

    Yes! Murray over Frankie B (but I take that pylon over him)! Some folks need a swift kick, but that’s been the case all year.

    Positives? We’re 180 minutes from send Lurch and Company home! No one expected a four game sweep, and the last time we left Boston up 2-0, it didn’t turn out well. This is a 6 or seven game series, and as long as my team has four wins, I don’t care how many games it goes!


  2. * I hear Bourque might have the flu
    * I like White a lot. I likes whe he played with Moen and Weise
    The DD line is struggling for sure. And I agree that there passes are bad and that they are playing scared. I also think the Bruins are not letting them do much.
    Murray is a good fit to face the B’s in my opinion however his slowness scares me. So we got a tough guy who can’t skate. What do we want?

    There seems to be a lack in the fluidity moving the puck up. We were spoiled with Tampa, always in there zone, now it’s hard to get there and stay there. We need to create more scoring opportunities for the 5 on 5.

    I like our team (duh), they don’t give up like the last few years and that makes all the difference.

  3. Honestly, I think the new father should be at home comforting the mother and the new baby! It’s much more important than hockey! 😆

  4. First things first, sharp observations as always here and good writing. Secondly , I got a bit carried away the day after their loss, and had one too many; so apologies for the excessive remarks.

    I’ll venture a guess that MaxP is wary of Chara & their past history and it’s spooked him. No Bourque tomorrow night right, I suspect there’s more to that than flu. The Habs fell into the old habit of laying back after being ahead, a fatal error. Gotta play to the last second. No more no less.

  5. William, I saw nothing wrong with your comments after last game and I enjoyed them very much. Absolutely fine and I’m serious about that. And yes, they have to play a full 60 minutes for sure.

  6. Well, I have no clue who Crisp is but if he wants to be impressive in his first game –and playoff game on top of that– he needs to watch Subban’s opening performance a few years ago when he was invited to play a playoff game. Hopefully that kid will have fire up his butt.

  7. Paging Mayo!!!! Hello Mayo!!! Mayo are you out there??? I need you to get the burr under your skin to give me some positives for tomorrow nite. Feels like Thornbush is feeding into Brooinz hand and giving them incentive with his comments on their trying to sway refs calls— SHUT UP and just beat the buzzards!!! They want us to stoop to their level of stupidity after the whistles—game 1 we skated away after the whistles—game 2, we hung around after the whistles for a bit and it took us off OUR game & into their game. SKATE!! BE CREATIVE!! STAY IN THEIR END. AND KNOCK ‘EM ON THEIR BUTTS if their in your way.Dick Irwin one pre-game said ” I don’t want Maurice Richard tonight— I WANT THE ROCKET !!! We don’t want the Habs Tues night — we want LES CLUB DE MONTREAL CANADIENS LE GLORIUE!!! My French is crap, sorry, read what I mean, not what I misspelled. See you all Tues nite with new headphones!!!!!

  8. He’s a nice size, eh Danno? 6’3, 226. If he plays, hopefully he’ll be bursting with adrenaline and makes some sort of impact.

  9. Peter, what about me? I give positives all the time. Mr. Positive I like to call myself. Therrien was replying to Julien who has become the biggest whiner in recent history. What a professional complainer Julien is. Such a crybaby. Therrien’s mature compared to this guy. Must be something about the water in Boston. And he said recently that he hates the Habs so he’s far down on my gift list with about a billion people ahead of him.

  10. Dennis ‘it’s like this—Sometimes your too polite too diplomatic too soft— INSERT SMILEY FACE HERE! I’m in a ??? mood and need a KICK in the arse! Of course your attitude is good and positive —let me say it this way— from age 16 to 36, beer was okay, Drambuie was better 4 Aces was quick but add all those to tequila and” what have you” — now THAT’S dynomite. I want a burr up me arm tomorrow. Soldier on as you are Dennis, that’s why I read this site!!!

  11. I (and a few others misread his tweet). Connor said he was Montreal bound and I thought that meant something it didn’t…. My apologies everyone.

  12. I very much hope Murray doesn’t replace Bouillon. Murray makes Hal Gill look like a gazelle. If we need more size lets go with Tinordi, or my preference, lets go for more speed and skill and play Beaulieu.

  13. Who would have ever thought at any point this season that we’d be worried/upset about the fact that Rene Bourque has the flu? A show of hands, anyone?

    I’m okay with Murray replacing Frankie Boo, though I’d much prefer Tinordi. Someone needs to give Price a better sight line on some of those Bruins shots from the point, and if nothing else Murray can move people around (with the possible exception of Chara, who no one can move). I am also hearing that Prust might be out of the lineup. Prust is a true gamer, but he looks like he’s injured. Right now, he’s not helping the team.

  14. Thanks Mister Kane and like everyone else looking forward to the game. By the way, I am reading Dick Irvin’s My 26 Stanley Cups. One other thought, wouldn’t be exciting if Red Fisher were still writing? I wonder what he thinks of the situation as it stands tonight between the Bruins and Habs.

  15. William, I’d like to meet Red Fisher but I’ve heard he’s a tough one when it comes to being overly sociable. Heck, he wouldn’t even talk to rookies when he was covering the team. But I’d love to chat with him and Dick Irvin. I have a feeling it ain’t never gonna happen though. Big game tonight. But I’ve said “big game tonight” for every game the team has played for the past five or six decades. But if they can win this one…….

  16. Ian and Christopher, I think I’m okay with having Murray in the lineup vs. Tinordi and Beaulieu. We need some true muscle and experience right now. These young guys, along with PK, are the future of the blueline, but at this time we need a guy who can go face to face with Lucic and maybe give some not-so-subtle hints to Marchand and a couple of others that their bullshit won’t be tolerated. We just don’t want him to try and get fancy with the puck. Hoping Murray can make a difference in several ways tonight, including the separating of a head or two from shoulders. I’ve already got butterflies, and the game’s still 12 hours away.

  17. Danno, you don’t have to apologize. An honest thing and not a big thing. I just appreciate any news you might hear.

  18. Good point, Mike. The flu. Hell, he’d better play, otherwise I’m going to be pissed at him again.

  19. I’m concerned about Murray not playing for a good while. We all considered that the long break between
    Tampa and The B’s might not play to the Habs advantage, I think Murray’s been out for a good month.

    It’s a bummer Bourque will be out. Maybe he wasn’t up to par the last two games b/c of the flu coming on. What a pity seeing he was on fire prior to that.

    Whatever, we’re still going to crush the bastards.

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