Game 61, Home Game 31 | Thursday February 23, 2017 
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.




New York

(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)


Forward lines and defense pairings 

Pacioretty – Danault – Radulov
Byron – Galchenyuk – Gallagher
Lehkonen – Plekanec – Shaw
Flynn – McCarron – Mitchell

Emelin – Weber
Markov – Petry
Beaulieu – Pateryn




David Desharnais, Sven Andrighetto, Nikita Nesterov

Injured Reserve


Game Report

Well, at least the post-game pressers have improved. Moving on from a head coach who was inarticulate in both languages has been refreshing.

When asked if his team had followed the game plan, Claude Julien said, “I sure hope not, not with a result like that.”

So this team is not following the game plan. Julien added that poor execution meant that the Habs didn’t create any offence. And when the team isn’t scoring, it undermines their confidence.

Playing without confidence leads to a lack of consistency. That would explain the wild swings of performance from the Rangers game to tonight’s mess. And without consistency, the team can have no identity.

Just has diagnosed by Carey Price.

What to do? The prevailing opinion on social media had two recommended courses of action for general manager Marc Bergevin. According to the Twitter/Facebook brain trust, Bergevin should either engineer a blockbuster trade or tank the season.

So, blow it up, trade away as many players as possible, and do a nose dive from first in the Atlantic to out of the playoffs. Or, trade the future — Mikhail Sergachev, Noah Juulsen, Alex Galchenyuk — for a Matt Duchene or a Kevin Shattenkirk.

Now under the spotlight, a legitimate fear is that Bergevin, to save his job, could be tempted to follow one of those paths.

A more prudent course might be to acknowledge that the polar extremes are not going to happen this season: the Canadiens are not going to win the Stanley Cup nor are they going to get the number one draft slot.

Once that is understood, it’s also fair to state that coach Julien is a few weeks away from getting the team back on track. Playing to their potential, the Canadiens are a playoff team who probably won’t go very deep. If there is a deal that will help the club well beyond this Spring, then Bergevin should make it without sacrificing key players of the future.

Now that he has a proper coach in place, the general manager take a big picture view of any moves.


▲     Carey Price, Shea Weber, Artturi Lehkonen, Tomas Plekanec

▼     Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk, Paul Byron

24 Shots 24
54% Face-offs 46%
0 for 1 Power Play 0 for 2
6 Penalty Minutes 4
32 Hits 36
61 Corsi For 46
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (32-21-8) 0 0 0 0
 Islanders (29-21-10) 1 1 1 3
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: no scoring
  • NYI: Beauvillier (6), Lee (23), Tavares (23)
  • MTL: Price (L) 25-16-5
  • NYI: Greiss (W) 20-11-3
 NHL Three Stars

  1.  Anthony Beauvillier  NYI
  2.  Thomas Greiss  NYI
  3.  Nick Leddy  NYI

 Video Highlights 
 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Claude Julien

  • “I sure hope not — not with a result like that. I’m not going to say I like the way we played tonight. We look like two different teams at home and on the road — we weren’t even close to playing the way we played in New York [on Tuesday]. I understand that we’re having trouble scoring, but it begins with execution, and the drive to go to the net — two things we started doing in the third period, but not enough to give us a chance to win.”
  • “When you’re not scoring, guys get frustrated, and confidence becomes an issue. It’s important that we find our confidence, and the best way to do so is by simplifying our game, putting pucks on net, and not being afraid of getting into the dirty areas. It was a tough night for everyone.”
  • “I still feel positive, even though there’s work to be done. Tomorrow, we’ll wake up and get back to work, because we play in Toronto on Saturday and need to be ready. We have some things left to sort out, but in order to have an identity, you need to be consistent, and that’s something we haven’t been in the three games since I arrived here.”

Max Pacioretty

  • “We haven’t been playing good enough, and the fans pay good money to come watch us — they deserve better than that. We’ve got to make a stronger play coming out of our zone. And then when we do come out with control, we’ve got to make a stronger play on entry. It’s all areas of our game. It seems like at times when we don’t have confidence, we’re content to go out there and make it look like we’re working hard, but we’ve got to want to be difference makers. Every time we’re on the ice, we’ve got to want to change the game — everybody’s got to have that mindset.”
  • “The difference between changing the game and working hard is so slim. You don’t want to just go out there and kill the clock. You can’t be satisfied with getting the puck out and in. You’ve got to want to score goals and be the difference maker — that goes for everyone up and down our lineup, myself included.”

Quotes courtesy of

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