Smart, passionate and somewhat biased commentary about the Montreal Canadiens (HABS) from a lifelong fan now living in Toronto (LeafLand).
Oct
26
2014
Depth scoring helped the Canadiens early, and it can help them again.

Habby Times in Montreal

[caption id="attachment_1283" align="aligncenter" width="586"] "Hmm, it's true what they say about Montreal." Dale Weise showed that his input in last year's playoffs was no fluke, potting two assists against his former squad in last night's 3-1 win against the Rangers. Montreal is undefeated at home so far this year.[/caption] It was a relatively slow week for the Montreal Canadiens. They had a solid outing against Patrick Roy's Colorado Avalanche squad, beating them 3-2. Then they beat the Red Wings in comeback fashion, tying it late and winning in OT 2-1. So they could have brought their 6-1, 3-0 home record…
Aug
24
2014
Lars Eller is helping Habs fans forget Jaroslav Halak. (Photo: Andy Martin Jr)

The “Gars” That Is “Lars”

This past July centre Lars Eller and the Montreal Canadiens agreed to a four-year, $14 million contract avoiding arbitration and in the process, further solidified the fact that the acquisition of Lars Eller for Jaroslav Halak back in the summer of 2010 -- though unpopular at the time -- was a win by the Montreal Canadiens and most notably, one of former GM Pierre Gauthier's savviest moves. Eller is now locked in with the Habs as he enters his prime, while Halak is on his fourth team since, after signing with the Brooklyn New York Islanders this summer. Here's my…
Oct
02
2013
Habs Brendan Gallagher scores against Leafs' James Reimer in 4-3 loss to Toronto. AP

Habs Lose Season Opener to Leafs… AGAIN!!!

Canadiens play decent but not good enough to win season opener; fall to opportunistic Leafs 4-3 and lose tough guy Parros in the process [caption id="attachment_1179" align="aligncenter" width="512"] Habs Brendan Gallagher scores against Leafs' James Reimer in 4-3 loss to Toronto. AP[/caption] Yes, yes. Habs Fan in LeafLand is back. Where was he you ask? Well he's been hanging out at The Hockey Writers all summer, where he covers the Montreal Canadiens. But now that real hockey is back, Habs Fan in LeafLand likes to continue the conversation in the more intimate confines of this space to break down the…
Apr
26
2013
Carey Price

Habs Home Ice Confirmed

[caption id="attachment_1174" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Carey Price was back to his truer form in the Habs 4-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets were eliminated from the playoffs. CP[/caption] Habs clinch at least 4th in East and home ice with 3rd period comeback against dead-in-the-water Jets ----------------------------------- For the first two periods, it looked like another night of futility. Another night which has become all too common of late, one where the Canadiens fall to a team they shoulda coulda beat. However there were a few differences from what has become a recent pattern in the Habs 4-2 win in…
Apr
10
2013
Next on Carey Price's agenda is to take regular season success and build upon it to rise to even greater heights in the playoffs.

Caps Finding Their Way

Habs fall 3-2 against completely different Washington Capitals in Montreal It was a good test for the Canadiens. Late in the season, playing at home against a team that's been red hot of late, desperate to get enough points to stamp their ticket to the playoffs. [caption id="attachment_1118" align="alignleft" width="300"] Carey Price makes the save but couldn't stop enough in a 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals in Montreal. CP[/caption] Yes, a good test. Could the Canadiens who, barring a Maple Leafs-style end-of-season collapse will not finish lower than 4th in the Eastern Conference, still take it to the Washington…
Mar
14
2013
Lars Eller scores on shootout

Take Two and Call Me in the Morning

Habs shake off dust from the road to beat Ottawa Senators 4-3 in shootout. It goes that way sometimes. Teams are aware of it. You're on a road trip. You get into a groove and routine. Then suddenly you're back home. Happy to sleep in your own bed, catch up on your mail, see your family, whatever. But wait! There's a game tonight. As it stands that first game back at home after a long road trip always seems to give the home side trouble and the Canadiens weren't immune to it last night against the Sens. But as it…
Feb
20
2013

Habs Knock Off Rangers at MSG

Canadiens extend winning streak to five games downing New York Rangers 3-1 for their first win in NYC in five tries------------------------Remember last week when the Habs kept blowing third period leads?Remember last week when the Habs kept losing third periods?Remember last week when after those games, Michel Therrien said that his team needed to learn how to win!?Well after some tight, one goal games and a few nailbiters thrown in, it appears as if the 2013 Montreal Canadiens will win the Stanley Cup have learned how to win. Or better yet, they're finding ways to win.Carey Price celebrates Raphael Diaz's…
Jan
23
2013

THE NEW ALEX IN TOWN

GAME NUMERO 2: PK WHO? & GALCHENYUK POTS FIRST OF BEAUCOUP TO COME AS HABS DOWN PANTHERSOne game does not a season make. Err, or something like that.Maybe it's only a 48 game season this year but it's going to be intense and concentrated. Teams are going to play multiple games in multiple nights. That means there will be hockey on the tube practically every night.I like that.First goal for Alex Galchenyuk, first point for Brendan Gallagher and first win for the second coming of head coach Michel Therrien. Habs beat Florida Panthers 4-1 in Montreal. APSo the Habs who…
Feb
16
2012

Give ‘Em Credit

I'm proud of myself.Yes. Proud of myself for not getting sucked into the hoopla and faux-hope of the Canadiens making the playoffs this year after they won four straight last week. Reality... it crashes right into your face. How's that for "...just the perfect amount of pepper?"  And now that I'm approaching the season with this new-found attitude, I'm actually enjoying it more. So back to that draft pick...And maybe some trades? One point out of four is certainly not enough -- even if the Habs currently sit 6 points out of a playoff spot as I write this (Toronto…
Feb
08
2012

Shootout Win!? Oh Joy…

I enjoyed last night's game for once.  Not just because the Habs got 2 points against the Penguins. It was a good entertaining game regardless.Both teams got good scoring chances and both goalies made great saves yet also let in ones they'd like back. There was good back and forth action and I liked the pace overall.Of course entering the shootout, I expected the Habs to lose as has been the familiar refrain this year. All I asked for was for someone, anyone, to get at least one past Marc-Andre Fleury in defeat.Tommy Plekanec scored the shootout winner and was…
Jan
21
2012

A Familiar Refrain

Everyone all together now:One-two-three, Habs take the lead.Four-five-six, their opponents tie it late.Seven-eight-nine, nothing in overtime.Ten-eleven-twelve, Habs in shootout hell.Scotty Gomez getting rubbed out along the boards. He's good at that.Peter Budaj made the start in Pittsburgh last night and even with two separate two goal leads, the result was the same. The Penguins tied the game with less than 3 minutes left and we could all predict the final result from there.I for one was hoping the team would press hard in the five minute OT period to do anything to avoid going to a shootout.Another shorthanded goal allowed,…
Jan
05
2012

ELLER-IFIC

Finally a fun game to watch!!Four goals for Lars "do you want me to sign your jersey" Eller!!! You have to read my posts from last year to get that one...Eller's first career hat trick was the result of being reunited with Moen and Kostitsyn and the line had 10 points!!!Lars Eller is congratulated by his permanent linemate Travis Moen after scoring in the Canadiens' 7-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell Centre. Which makes me wonder: why the hell was this line broken up in the first place!?We first saw the threesome play together last year with strong…
Dec
28
2011

Hard Reboot

After losing five straight games, four with Randy Cunneyworth as Head Coach, the Canadiens to a man could go home and take some time during the Xmas break to recharge, refocus and think about what they need to do to get back to winning ways and try to give themselves a chance at playing in the 2012 postseason.Erik Cole celebrates his powerplay goal with Tomas Plekanec last night in Ottawa. The Habs won the game 6-2. Photo by: Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images. So starting off their first game back from the break against the Senators in Kanata, what did the team…
Dec
04
2011

500 Hockey = No Playoffs

The Habs picked up a big two points yesterday afternoon in Los Angeles with a 2-1 win over the Kings.That's good.Louis Leblanc picked up his first point in the NHL on a sweet play with Kostitsyn and Eller, and now has more points than Aaron Palushaj -- who was sent back to Hamilton today.That was really good.The Habs ended their western swing with 3 out of a possible 6 points.That's not good enough.The team averted a total disaster by winning yesterday but threw away valuable points in San Jose the previous game. The late 3rd period tying goal by the…
Nov
24
2011

Start Weak Finish Strong?

Start weak finish strong? A metaphor for the Canadiens' 2011-2012 season?Perhaps.But it was exactly just that with last night's 4-3 shootout win in Carolina over the struggling Hurricanes.Carey Price and his team started slow, fell behind early 2-0 but fought back to tie the game on two separate occasions to eventually win in a shootout. A few positives from this game:a) Nice to see the team come back from behind to win, especially in the third period;b) The team finally won a shootout on Brian Gionta's goal (even if he was -3 on the night);c) The team won a game when Carey Price didn't…