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Montreal Canadiens mid-season report

With a little more than half of the season played for the Montreal Canadiens and in the middle of a four-day hiatus, it is a good time to look back at the first half of the 2009-2010 season. Below you will find each player’s individual grade for the first half. Forwards: Tomas Plekanec, A+ 46 points (10G, 36A) in 47 games and is +6 Tomas Plekanec has simply been the Canadiens most consistent forward all season long. He also ranks among the league top scorers as he is currently tied for 12th overall with Patrick Marleau and Zach Parise – Plekanec has been used in every situation – power play, penalty kill, even strength, to defend a lead late in a game, etc. He is truly hit...

Andrei out 6 weeks, Habs not scoring: Where do they go from here?

Up to a few weeks ago, the Canadiens have a legitimate excuse as to why they were struggling. Injuries were plaguing the line-up left and right. Number one defensemen, first line players, roleplayers, no one, except for the goaltending, it seems, was safe. It's safe to say that the Canadiens made the most with what they had. Currently sitting in 8th place in the conference 48 points in 47 games (22-21-4), the Habs are overcoming the expectations that many had when this team was healthy, yet alone for a team that actually played a few games with only half of their regular line-up. With more than half of the schedule complete, many would argue that the Canadiens are still banged ...

Gainey speaks: Halak and Plekanec situations

Last night, before the Montreal Canadiens fell 4-2 to the Washington Capitals (more on that tomorrow), General Manager Bob Gainey met with the media in his ''State of the Union'' type address. The most important topic of the discussion was the situation surrounding impending UFA and mid-season MVP for the Habs, Tomas Plekanec, as well as Jaroslav Halak's status with the club since Gainey admitted that he had asked for a trade. In pure Gainey form, he kept his cards close to his chest and downplayed the situation, but admitted that Plekanec was an important piece to the puzzle. "We would like to keep all our good players and I think you have to mark Tomas Plekanec down on the l...

Habs at Caps Gameday

Most of North America's eyes will be fixated on the World Junior gold medal game tonight, but if you happen to gander towards the NHL's schedule tonight, there is certainly a marquee match-up in the works between the Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals tonight at 7PM EST! The Canadiens roll into the US capital tonight with a slim 20 man roster. With Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn both missing the short 1 game road trip with lower body injuries, expect the Canadiens to go with the same line-up that couldn't solve Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres in Sunday afternoon's 1-0 loss. While the Canadiens didn't come out of that game with any points, they did come out of it with t...

Price or Halak?

It's a question that seemingly won't go away. And it's the question that will haunt the Habs and their fans until, literally, the new year. Last night, the Habs fell 4-2 to an Ottawa Senators team that was missing its two best players (Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza are both out with injuries). Despite dominating the Sens early in the game and holding a 2-1 lead well into the second period, the inability to draw penalties and a couple of flukie goals gave the Sens a 4-2 victory when it was all said and done. While Jaroslav Halak didn't play a bad game, with at least two of the goals coming from bad angles or screen shots, it certainly wasn't the same performance which ...

Habs visit Leafs in Boxing Day Tilt

The Canadiens will try and make it 4 straight tonight as they visit Phil Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Rivalries will be renewed tonight on CBC in this all-Canadian, Original-Six match-up. It has been well documented by myself and others this season that this rivalry has kind of slowed down in the last few years, especially now that the rosters for both teams have changed quite a bit. Anyone will tell you that the Leafs and the Habs need a playoff round to get things going between them again, but with both teams flirting with mediocrity, that is unfortunately easier said than done.Still, when the Leafs visit the Bell Centre, or as it is in this case, the Habs visit the A...

Day of Doom looms for Habs as they prepare to face Canes

First of all, I'd like to wish my readers a Merry Christmas. I may post a holiday blog tomorrow, but if not, you guys have made these few months TCL has been open fun for blogging and participating in some good thread discussions, and I hope we can make it even better in 2010. A new site design is looming, and we're constantly on the lookout for new bloggers and adding new features, so we hope we can help a lot of you kill some more time in 2010! But before we get to 2010, the Canadiens still have 5 more games on the road to close out the year. It starts tonight in Carolina, against a team that has seemed to have the Canadiens number over the years, whether they were good or ...

Pouliot recalled; Halak to face Thrashers

The Canadiens December schedule is finally starting to ease up. After playing 11 games in the first 20 days of the month, the Habs have but 6 left to finish off 2009. It starts tonight with in Atlanta, before they take it to Carolina before a two day Christmas break. Boxing Day brings an all-Canadian tilt in Toronto, and next week sees the Canadiens visiting the Senators before back-to-back games in Tampa Bay and Florida. With most of these teams not that far ahead of the Habs in the standings, or even behind them, you have to think this group of players will be looking to finish 2009 at least 2 or 3 spots ahead of where they currently are in the standings. By no means are any of the...

Breaking News: Markov to return tomorrow night vs. Islanders!

It truly is a time for rejoicing for Habs fans, despite recent struggles on the ice for their favorite team. Despite the uncertain status of his injury, it looks as if Andrei Markov will be returning to action tomorrow night as the Habs visit the New York Islanders. RDS broke the story only a little while ago. This news comes only days after Pat Hickey broke the news that Markov could return this week. RDS has essentially confirmed Pat Hickey's story. (English story here) Markov met with team doctors last night, and it looks as if they gave him the go ahead for tomorrow's game, far ahead of the original return timetable, which was February at the earlier. Markov proved to be re...

Hamrlik injured, Price's soft glove and a boring game

Martin Brodeur reached another milestone, and the New Jersey Devils won another game against the Montreal Canadiens. Brodeur tied Patrick Roy’s NHL record for regular-season appearances by a goalie, and Patrik Elias scored the game-winning goal with 2:36 left in the third period in the Devils’ 2-1 victory over the Habs yesterday evening. The game was the most boring game I have seen all season as the Canadiens only managed 18 shots on Brodeur thanks to great puck pressure and tight checking by a Devils’ team that looked flat and had no emotion at all. Even players like Zajac, Parise and Langenbrunner were invisible throughout the game. “It was kind of boring, but it was ...