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Poll: Who should the Habs start in Game 3?

May 20, 2014, 12:17 AM EDT

Michel Therrien AP

In the aftermath of Monday’s 3-1 loss in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final, Habs head coach Michel Therrien was non-committal about his starting goalie for Game 3, refusing to say if Dustin Tokarski would be back in net on Thursday.

Tokarski, who made his NHL postseason debut tonight, did about as well as could be expected given the circumstances. He was hardly at fault for the loss — Montreal provided him with just a single goal of offense — but looked a little slow and a step behind the pace of the game, understandable given he had just 10 previous NHL starts and hadn’t played since Apr. 19 (with AHL Hamilton).

But since Therrien wouldn’t commit to Tokarski beyond Game 2, there could be other options at play.

Specifically, backup netminder Peter Budaj. The 31-year-old Slovak has a boatload of experience — nearly 300 games over nine years in the NHL — and has played seven postseason games, including a relief appearance of Carey Price in a Game 1 loss to the Rangers.

There are issues with Budaj, though. Once is that he’s clearly a backup — a trusty, veteran guy meant to provide spot duty during an 82-game grind. There’s also the trust issue — if the Habs didn’t have enough to turn to Budaj in Game 2, why would they for Game 3? One would also have to wonder about Budaj’s mindset after being passed over in favor of Tokarski. Budaj has been with the organization for a while, serving as Carey Price’s trusty backup for the last three years.

“We did talk to Peter this morning, and he really reacted as a pro, and he’s a good teammate to understand our decision,” Therrien said. “We let him know the reason why [we started Tokarski].”

The other option, the longest of the longshots, is to give ex-Edmonton No. 1 Devan Dubnyk a whirl. Problem there is that Dubnyk was buried behind Tokarski with the Bulldogs and had an awful year in the NHL, both with the Oilers and Predators. He’s a virtual non-factor but warrants a mention here, if only to illustrate how bleak Montreal’s goaltending situation is.

With all that in mind, feel free to vote in our poll!

  1. cordellanderson - May 20, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    Dubnyk. He has a lot to prove, and I still believe in him.

    • pepper2011 - May 20, 2014 at 9:26 AM

      Doesn’t matter. Montreal are nothing but scumbags

      • avscup - May 20, 2014 at 9:37 AM

        Sour bytch! It’s Ovah. Let it go!

      • pepper2011 - May 20, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        Not sour. Your team lost too. I did let it go. as I mentioned before. it’s the hypocrisy.

        again… so cute with the “ovah”. You are very original. At some point you may want to contribute to a conversation, not just attempt to insult people. You literally said nothing. nothing.

        more on the “Boston” accent.
        It’s not an insult. There are people who talk like that and they don’t care. There are people who don’t have an accent and think the people who think that everyone from MA does- are idiots.

        your a tool khed!

      • avscup - May 20, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        I did contribute about as much as you did with your whining, except I had fun with it. I know all about the marble mouth accent, spent plenty of time there.

        You are an overly sensitive douche!

      • pepper2011 - May 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        @ avscup – Good effort.

        why don’t you go back to telling me to ‘pick up my shovel’ as some form of elitist attitude that people who work manual labor jobs are lesser than you. You know the people who make it so you can: drive on roads, have running water, electricity – you know all the creature comforts you take for granted, but don’t take the time to appreciate where they came from cause they are below you. A HOLE.

        Like I said. I am not offended because you are clearly an a hole. I just pointing out how much of a fool/tool you sound like.

      • avscup - May 20, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        Not sure where you are coming from dude but clearly you are very butthurt about the Bruins getting abused yet again by MTL. The only ahole is someone who would come onto a website and pretend to be a tough guy or call another team scumbags. Your team dives as much, cheapshots more and plays the same way. Therefore, it is easy for the rest of us normal people to see through you.

        You are not very tough or bright.

        Back to your shovel!

      • pepper2011 - May 20, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        Thank you.

        The Bruins had won 7/10 previous series against Montreal. Although, I Appreciate history – I am not so concerned with how Montreal handled the Bruins 20+ years ago.

        The Bruins won the Cup in 2011. Made it to a Game 6 of the SCF last year. If memory serves the Habs haven’t been to a Cup since the last time they won in 1993.

        Lol – are you not on this site enough to get the scumbag reference. Please see my note a little further down the page.

        You really do keep making an a$$ of yourself. with the Shovel thing. Again, for someone to tell me I am a hard worker is not an insult.

        I am not “Butthurt” at all. You can’t win it every year… Unless maybe you are the Blackhawks. Although I think the Rangers have something this year. Feels like the 2011 Bruins.


      • habs9 - May 20, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        i think it’ll be hilarious to watch, because all these rangers fans high on their team RIGHT NOW, even if you handle mtl 4 straight you’re gonna get schooled by EITHER of the teams in the west

        and the fact that you guys need Henrik to stop 40+ vs the Habs to win is enough of an indication….so enjoy it!

        for now

      • pepper2011 - May 20, 2014 at 11:37 AM

        I remember hearing that about the Bruins in 2011.

        Chicago has played a lot of hockey in the last year +
        LA as well. Those two are going to wear each other down.

        Are you getting a little nervous that you may have lost your shot?

        also – that was pretty much the consensus belief of the Bruins vs Habs. 99% of the people thought the B’s would take that, and we all saw what happened.

        Rangers are playing real well right now. Also 40 saves is deceiving. The Habs are getting a lot of outside chances, and when they do have an actual scoring chance Lunqvist has come up big.

      • pepper2011 - May 20, 2014 at 11:38 AM

        Also – so if by some chance the Habs come back; you won’t be happy? because they would have no chance against the west, right?

        why bother trying against Boston then?

      • habs9 - May 23, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        well since you seem to know me so well including my other aliases apparently why do you bother asking questions

        assume away…ffs some ppl’s kids

    • habs9 - May 20, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      Mike Condon….at this point as a Habs fan i feel like it really wont matter if Lundvist is this hot, this is starting to feel like that Ottawa series where we peppered Anderson for like 40 shots a game and still lost badly sooo….i dunno start whoever i guess

      • hawkeedawg - May 20, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        Well done Pepper, you post “Doesn’t matter. Montreal are nothing but scumbags”, then 3 posts later you complain that someone else insults you by calling you names.

      • pepper2011 - May 20, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        @hawkeedawg – if you read the posts on here regularly you would realize that Hasbman/habs9/Montrealbr – call every player in the league a scumbag if there is a penalty against their team. It was a joke of sorts because when their guys do it; there is always a reason.

        Look at the Kreider blogs. I am sure they all made reference to him being a scumbag at least twice.

      • habs9 - May 23, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        what the hell are you talking about, stop accusing ppl randomly of being the same ppl thats absolutely ridiculous and you have no basis for your comments i’ve been on this site for the last year or so and only comment occasionally, i would prefer you keep your idiotic assumptions to yourself

        but thanks for your input

      • habs9 - May 23, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        and when the hell did i call anyone dirty? seriously who are you to go around accusing ppl with nothing to back up your bs

    • puckluckpost - May 20, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      Bunny Larocque should be well rested!

  2. puckluckpost - May 20, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    How about Steve Penney?

    • drewzducks - May 20, 2014 at 2:33 AM

      Ha, I was thinking Richard Sevigny.

  3. hockeyornothing - May 20, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    Go with Tokarski. Heard from Therrien interview that he told Budaj they were going with a winner! So there you have it. If the rookie lets in two softies out in B. Therrien said he played well so again there you have it. Play him again. Budaj was already lit up in Game 1. IMO although the Habs looked better and Lundquist stood on his head there’s something missing with the Habs and it doesn’t matter who’s in net. In other words I don’t think it would have made a difference in Price had played. No offensive output either game and stupid penalties.

  4. blomfeld - May 20, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    MITSOU !!!


    • r8rbhawk - May 20, 2014 at 2:28 AM

      Is this Canada’s answer to Madonna?

  5. canucks30 - May 20, 2014 at 1:55 AM

    What’s Jocelyn Thibault up to these days?

  6. Windmiller4 - May 20, 2014 at 2:40 AM

    I cant believe the number of votes Dubnyk has received so far

  7. 950003cups - May 20, 2014 at 2:52 AM

    They should start my ass! Montreal has nothing on the rangers. They already surrendered the series. They’ve been out scored 10-3 in two games. It’s called “mailing it in”.

    • DED - May 20, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      How is 41 SOG mailing it in?

  8. 19to77 - May 20, 2014 at 2:56 AM

    I’d say “Call Patrick Roy and beg” but I suspect he’d just laugh at them and give sarcastic advice regarding genitalia and furniture.

    • canucks30 - May 20, 2014 at 5:00 AM

      I don’t know if Roy is such a good option. He tends to go rogue when playing at MSG:

      • broadstreetsbaddest88 - May 20, 2014 at 5:21 AM

        Haha that was awesome. I remember him doin that. I wish goalies were aloud to do that. It would make for some interesting games

      • 19to77 - May 20, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        Hey, they need help on the power play too, and with moves like that…

  9. broadstreetsbaddest88 - May 20, 2014 at 5:36 AM

    They should start budaj, he’s a decent goalie an I think can carry the load til price gets back. Tokarski wasn’t the problem but I’d go with the veteran. Montreal can’t afford to gamble on this game. They don’t look the same as they did all postseason they look slow an stale. Henrik dominated that game though.

  10. pugsley927 - May 20, 2014 at 6:06 AM

    Maybe Price can finally man up and get back out there. if his injury is only bad enough to keep him out for the series (10 days), then he needs to toughen up and take the ice and battle through it.


    • avfanforlife - May 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM


    • hawkeedawg - May 20, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      And the quitter beat Lundqvist for the Gold Medal.

      • nyrnashty - May 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        Lundqvist was missing like half his real team in that game lol.

      • pugsley927 - May 20, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        price didn’t win that medal, team canada won the medal. nice try.

  11. papajack1259 - May 20, 2014 at 7:44 AM

    They were hoping to catch fire in a goalie, it did not flame The veteran Slav will get the call to no avail, the Habs are done Price was their only chance they won their cup in Boston

  12. bills4 - May 20, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    Who cares about their goaltending situation….. Watching Suban slam his stick on the ice for the puck only to get denied by Lundquist is “Price”less!

  13. tlndma - May 20, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    Rangers took a couple bad penalties in the 3rd period. Montreal’s hope is that their pests start getting in NY’s heads. So far NY has mostly ignored Montreal’s pre and post whistle BS. Vigneault deserves credit for having his team ready for it.

    • chip56 - May 20, 2014 at 9:22 AM

      Rangers just came off long series with the Flyers and Pens – they’re used to pre and post whistle BS

    • stakex - May 20, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      Over the last few years the Rangers have been one of the least penalized teams. That’s part of the legacy Torts left behind…. very good discipline.

      I’d also point out that Montreal took a few really bad penalties themselves. If anything, the Rangers are the ones getting to the Canadians.

  14. arbruins - May 20, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Throw Suban or Gallagher in there. They can flop and dive all over the crease maybe they can stop a few.

  15. joey4id - May 20, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Carey Price

  16. chip56 - May 20, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Montreal’s goalie problem is Henrik Lundqvist not the loss of Carey Price. I don’t think Price would have stopped any of the goals the Rangers scored last night.

    • hawkeedawg - May 20, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      Price is much bigger than Tokarski so yes, he would have stopped St. Louis and Nash, not he first one though.

  17. icrew29 - May 20, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    No Perry, no finals!

  18. DED - May 20, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    I don’t think that Tokarski did a bad job at all. He faced 30 shots and stopped 27 of them. 90% save %. That isn’t bad, but obviously it isn’t enough for the playoffs. However, he wasn’t the problem for the Canadiens; Lundqvist was. He had an outstanding game.

  19. c1md6 - May 20, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    How about Jose three or four, I mean Theodore haha

  20. stakex - May 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    It doesn’t matter who you have in net if you can’t score.

    Though, there really is only one possible choice: Tokarski. I just don’t see it as a realistic option to go back to Budaj after snubbing him last game. Everyone now knows, including Budaj, that the Canadians have no faith/confidence in him and it could end up being a serious disaster to start him at this point. The players might be tight in front of him, and whatever shred of confidence Budaj might have had left after game one is long gone.

    As for Tokarski, he didn’t play awful last night, and its pretty unlikely the outcome would have been different no matter who was in net. Its almost certain he will be between the pipes on Thursday.

  21. nyrnashty - May 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Budaj should refuse to play…fake an injury in practice. They had their chance to play him yesterday and skipped him for some random kid who played a total of 10 whole games in the NHL. I guess you have to go back to the kid now, it’s pretty insulting for Budaj though, he’s the one going to the practices etc. and his turn comes and gets skipped for a random. I would just tell coach to keep playing the kid because I’m not playing.

    • joey4id - May 20, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      This says a lot about the type of person you are?

      Yeah! Budaj is upset. He’s a backup and if he pulls a nyrnashty, then his NHL career is over (no 1.4 million next year). BTW, it wasn’t a random kid. He’s their AHL goalie, so that means a full fledged member of the Montreal Canadiens.

  22. JerseyGirl - May 20, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    OK, so Dubby’s not a popular option — what about Zach Fucale? [The Canadiens own him right? ] If we’re just going to pick names out of a hat here — I say include the youngster — it’s not like the Rangers would have a scouting report on the guy. And maybe he’ll have a bit of ‘John Gibson’ [Sans Game 7] effect. He’ll be pumped on the adrenaline alone, would take the Rangers by surprise — give the Habs something to keep them on toes defensively.

    It’s a long shot — but then again just about anything besides a 100% Carey Price is a longshot at this point. I think the surprise factor is about all they’ve got going for them at this point. That or letting Dubby put everything on the line for what could likely be his last opportunity to show he’s got what it takes.

    As for Budaj — One has to wonder why his own country had him as a third stringer instead of dressing him as backup during the Olympics — they didn’t even seen to have that much faith in him.

    I’m going with the write in vote for Fucale on this one.

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