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And then there were three: Canadiens eliminated

May 29, 2014, 11:04 PM EDT

Carey Price AP

For more entries in this series, click here.

The Montreal Canadiens¬†can’t feel great about the way they ended their 2013-14 season. The New York Rangers only beat them 1-0 in Game 6, but it was a thorough domination; the Habs only managed five shots on goal with their season on the line in the third period.

Maybe the Canadiens ran out of gas or maybe the Rangers were just that much better. Still, the good news is that Montreal can take this disappointment and potentially build something promising going forward. Let’s look back at their season overall.

  • Aside from some hiccups and maybe some evidence that his style might not hold up under long-term scrutiny, Dustin Tokarski played well enough that the storyline of Carey Price‘s injury gets knocked down a paragraph or two. The Habs can still be allowed to ask “What if?” mainly because Price is just that good. If there was any doubt about Price as a No. 1 goalie, he eliminated most of it by playing great hockey and winning gold as Canada’s top netminder.
  • P.K. Subban might be a lightning rod for criticism, but he showed that he can be a big-minute, big-game defenseman in a big way. Just look at the time on ice from Games 4 (33:16), Game 5 (30:25) and Game 6 (27:04). The Canadiens face a challenge in re-signing the restricted free agent this summer, yet he’ll likely be worth the money (assuming something doesn’t go wrong in negotiations, naturally).
  • In case you didn’t keep up with incessant commentary on social media, Thomas Vanek‘s rental with Montreal finished on a sour note. It would be surprising to see him come back, but GM Marc Bergevin deserves credit for giving his team a shot with a top-six forward for a reasonable price.
  • Michel Therrien made a lot of headlines by bickering with Alain Vigneault, yet he also managed to guide Montreal within two wins of a Stanley Cup Final appearance. He’s likely to get a chance (if not a few more chances) to bring the Habs even further after some nice work this season.
  • The Canadiens beat the hated Boston Bruins, which is probably some great solace for Habs fans who are especially invested in that rivalry.
  • This is a young team with a ton of cap space. If Bergevin presses the right buttons, Montreal could be a perennial East contender.

  1. justinhbhb - May 29, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Vanek or Gionta is the way I see it. Lol

    • bwayblueshirt - May 29, 2014 at 11:22 PM

      No doubt that Vanek will be heavily criticized, but he back-checked well. The reason they lost was quite simple: Therrien misused his defense. Losing Emelin was tough, but rolling (essentially) two defensive pairs and using Bouleau and Bouillon sparingly was a mistake. He should have shaken things up, spread around the less experienced, less responsible d-men, and rolled three pairs like usual.

      • joey4id - May 29, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        Who is Bouleau?

      • arrow43050 - May 30, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        Losing Emelin was tough? He was beaten more often than a pinata at a 9-year old’s birthday party! He was single-handedly responsible for the key goal in the series–Martin St. Louis’ OT game winner when he was lost in space on the other side of the ice, on the boards even with the faceoff dots, from the player he should have been guarding. I think Emelin’s “body injury” was to keep from embarrassing him and if the Habs had advanced, to keep their opponent from targeting him in the Finals.

  2. McFaddensPulledHammy - May 29, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    Did I read that right? 5 shots?

    • James O'Brien - May 29, 2014 at 11:14 PM

      Left out important context (in the third period). Fixed now, thanks.

    • stepanup - May 30, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      Felt like 5 shots total.

  3. lowenni - May 29, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    This team still has a bright future with some good young players coming up. Alex Galchenyuk definitely deserves more playing time next season, the kid is crazy talented. The defense needs a little remodeling in my opinion. Let Gionta, Vanek, go. The fact that they made it to the Conference Final is a testament to their ability however and they’ve got some good years ahead of them. Also world class diving. Best in the league.

  4. gbart22 - May 29, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    Considering they got it to six games without price was mighty impressive.

    • nhlfan14 - May 30, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      It was indeed. I hope the rangers realize they advanced only because they injured Price and cheated.

      • matt14gg - May 31, 2014 at 8:11 AM

        Nothing says “…I have no idea what the hell I’m talking about…” quite as much as using the term “cheated” when referring to a sporting event. You sir are indeed a great example of what Habs Nation is all about.

      • cofran2004 - May 31, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        you mean the rangers hired emelin to trip up kreider and send him sprawling into the goalie? You’re right! that’s awful! They should be immediately disqualified!

        Either that, or you’re a bitter, sad tool bag who is looking for excuses why the better team advanced. one of these options is more likely than the other…. but i’ll leave it to you to figure out which.

  5. billiam55 - May 29, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    AMEN

    -entire Hockey World

    • nhlfan14 - May 30, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      How does it feel to advance by cheating?

      • bmy0913 - May 30, 2014 at 4:05 PM

        You are truly an idiot.

      • peepeehead - May 30, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        How does it feel to post without a brain?

  6. sharksfan754 - May 29, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    Love to see Montreal fail. Something about their French only attitude turns me 100% against them.

    • joey4id - May 29, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      Ah! Another racist. Are you Donald Sterling?

      • nflnhlrulznbasux - May 29, 2014 at 11:58 PM

        Ah, another door knob poster such as miggatwit and blimfold.

        “their French only attitude ”

        He’s talking about laws in Quebec that ban English or Greek or Russian. It’s those laws that are racist and anti-human rights, not some commenter who is disgusted by the province who passes these laws and expresses that displeasure through not cheering for “their” team.
        Save your racist tag on something real; you and others of the PC ilk are just fading the real meaning of racism by wrongly claiming and applying it to others.

      • joey4id - May 30, 2014 at 7:31 AM

        You’re ignorant because laws banning other languages don’t exist. They are the fabrication of an ignorant mind.

      • jimthebear - May 30, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        No, insisting on French only is the racist approach.

      • joey4id - May 30, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        jimbo, you’re another ignorant commenter. No one is insisting French only. Get your facts straight.

      • bmy0913 - May 30, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        Eh I have to disagree with you Joey…I played music professionally for many years. I played in Quebec more times than I can count, and I cannot describe to you the type of rude treatment I have received simply because I spoke english. Even more so, the blatant refusal to communicate in english by people who I verified could speak it fluently, even after I went out of my way to at least try to communicate my question in French.

        Im not stereotyping or saying that every French Canadian is that way, but I did encounter quite a bit of it. But to be fair, I do live in ‘merica, land of the “free” (except health care) and home of the ignorant.

      • joey4id - May 30, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        Hmm! What you described also happens in France if you don’t speak their language. Sometimes in ‘merica people are rude to muslims or blacks. Sometimes people are rude to Americans just because they are from the US when they travel just about anywhere. Isn’t that true? My question is, is it something unique to Quebec or is it actually a global reality?

      • bmy0913 - May 30, 2014 at 4:33 PM

        Thats a very good point man. To a degree, I’ve encountered it across several continents. But, to be completely fair, it was very minor in Europe. Most places I have been traveled to play have all had no issues at all speaking english. However, to be fair, I’m sure that common interests go a long way. Dealing with guys who had a hand in bringing the bands from the US there in the first place have a vested interest. Overall, I’ve still dealt with it more in French speaking portions of Canada.

        No disrespect intended man, just an objective point of view based on personal experience and not some ridiculous hab hating homer opinion, your point is very valid.

      • joey4id - May 30, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        bmy0913, if you go to San Jose, Costa Rica you’ll have no problem communicating your needs speaking English. However, if you go to the smaller non tourist towns you’ll have a much more difficult time if you don’t speak the local language. Anyway! I think people with limited experience and/or education are unreasonably prejudice. Cheers!

      • bmy0913 - May 30, 2014 at 5:11 PM

        That is another very valid point. But to speak to the other side, I didn’t have many issues in other parts of the world. France actually was one of the warmest welcomes that we received, and even in smaller villages and towns in commutes to bigger areas to play, we were treated very well. Europe overall is very accomodating in that context. But, again, its not like that in every part of Quebec I have been.

        I remember playing Metropolis in Montreal and Imperial in Quebec City on back to back nights, for instance, and everywhere within walking distance of the venues were super laid back and very respectable. But, venture out onto the outskirts to say, stop for gas or a bite to eat, and we were treated like plebeians. So I see it from both sides.

        On the other hand, you’re absolutely right. If some sweet southern kid from Alabama walks into a bar in Brooklyn he’s going to catch some greif for sure, and thats not even a difference in language, just dialect.

        Whatever, its all relative. Back to hockey talk. Cheers! (by the way, that guy with the Moulsons joke can suck one, its a hell of a lot better than PBR.)

    • charlie24zz - May 29, 2014 at 11:52 PM

      http://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/850826265.gif?w=1000

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 30, 2014 at 1:11 AM

      Hey morons, Montreal is not like the rest of Quebec. Business is Montreal is constantly fighting that law.

      If you idiots had any clue what you were talking about you would already know that Montreal is constantly fighting the rest of Quebec on nearly every issue.

      • nflnhlrulznbasux - May 30, 2014 at 4:46 AM

        “Business is Montreal is constantly fighting that law” “Again, try knowing something about the city before yammering like typical ignorant know-nothing fools”

        ……you mean their fighting the law that I posted about ?

        You could have just posted that comment (even though I am familiar with the political situation and demos of MTL/QC, maybe others too as well) without the moronic name calling combined with the arrogant attitude.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 30, 2014 at 9:20 AM

        I was talking to the Sharks fan

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 30, 2014 at 1:18 AM

      Only about 60% of people in the city of Montreal are French and it drops to less than 50% on the island. While it’s over 95% in Quebec city and pretty much the rest of the Province.

      Again, try knowing something about the city before yammering like typical ignorant know-nothing fools.

    • nhlfan14 - May 30, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      First of all, Montreal is not French Only! That just proved your sheltered west coast ignorance. At least the Habs made it to round 3. They had to fight like hell because those jerks in ny intentionally injured the Habs every chance they had. It was not even a fair fight. Something about that arrongant, conceited, entitled ny attitude just sickens me!

      What happened to your precious sharks in round 1??????????

  7. heynyc61 - May 29, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    Everything you said was fine but I lost respect for some of the Habs for the constant diving and embellishment … I would be embarrassed if I was I fan… Also Michel Terrian is a major classless asshole

    • nhlfan14 - May 30, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      What series were you watching? You’re going to tell me that your “king” is gracious and humble?

  8. joey4id - May 29, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    That was an extremely poor performance by the Habs. Subban, Beaulieu, and Markov were absolutely horrendous. As much as Montreal exposed flaws on the Boston team, the Rangers did the same for Montreal. Clearly an over the hill player like Gionta must go, and a floater like Vanek should be let go to FA. Pacioretty is a big question mark. He did not show that he can play playoff hockey on a consistent level. He showed he did not have the intensity needed. Markov is also a question mark. Time to make room for the younger d-men. Parros will probably retire because of the multiple concussions he suffered throughout his career, and Moen should do as much.

    • trueblue2000 - May 30, 2014 at 4:05 AM

      You are wrong about Parros–1 concussion in his entire carreer. Read the ESPN article. He may retire regardless but as a Princeton grad and quite a decent career he would be entitled to it.

      • joey4id - May 30, 2014 at 7:41 AM

        Do you seriously think an enforcer has suffered only one concussion his whole career?

        He had 2 concussions this year alone. One against Toronto when he feel and knocked his chin on the ice and the other against the Islanders during a fight.

  9. djdvd - May 29, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    One thing good I’ll say about Montreal is Torkarski stepped into a crazy situation and gave his team enough to win that series. Props to him for his play.

  10. nyfinest911 - May 29, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    Montreal Le Bye-Bye Lets Go Rangers!!!!!!!

    • nhlfan14 - May 30, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      ??????????

  11. abouv1 - May 29, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    Great series New York! Get the King the Cup!

  12. stakex - May 30, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    You can, and I’m sure people will, get into the details of exactly why… but at the end of the day Montreal lost this series because they were outplayed almost the entire time. Its that simple. They pushed back at times and were able to make things a bit interesting, but there never really was a time when this series felt like it was going to go Montreal’s way.

    I’m also actually glad Tokarski played well so that we don’t have to listen to a flood of “If Price was healthy!!!!” comments. The fact of the matter is Price might have made a marginal difference, but its hard to see things ending any different.

  13. charastein - May 30, 2014 at 12:13 AM

    Awwwww. No more big flame displays in Montreal. All the tears should put out the fire.

    Pretentious lot those Habs. Won’t miss ya.

    NYR – thank you!

    • nhlfan14 - May 30, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      Where are you people getting these ideas that the Habs and their fans are pretentious? They aren’t arrogant nor self-absorbed. If any city thinks that they have the right to the spotlight, it’s ny.

      • cofran2004 - May 31, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        we’re getting that idea because all the habs fans we’ve seen posting on this board have been, erm… pretentious. if you go over to the espn threads, you’ll see the same thing.

  14. hattrk - May 30, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    Is Montreal on fire yet? Any reports of riots?

    • hawkeedawg - May 30, 2014 at 2:56 AM

      hattrk, you may want to open that mouth a little wider to get that other foot in it.

      Some of the past US Riots

      Detroit 1984
      Detroit 2004
      LA Lakers 2010
      Chicago 1979
      Cleveland 1974
      Denver 1998
      LA Lakers 2000
      LA Lakers 2010
      Boston 2004 X 2
      Boston 2008
      Kentucky 2012
      NY 1996
      Detroit 2004
      Chicago 1979

      • peepeehead - May 30, 2014 at 9:00 AM

        I saw no indication his comment was anti-Canadian but yours was clearly anti-American.

      • drewsylvania - May 30, 2014 at 12:00 PM

        There’s reverly and then there’s riots. Revelry is when you can’t get anywhere because lots of drunk people are hanging out and causing a small amount of property damage. Riots are when you have to use teargas, riot police, and/or fire trucks (see: Vancouver, 2011).

      • nhlfan14 - May 30, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        Thank you for stating the obvious.

  15. thenorseman817 - May 30, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    Need to hire a better acting coach

  16. letsgopens8771 - May 30, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    Love him or hate him, PK Subban has been the best defenseman in the playoffs. Despite his antics and the embellishment by his teammates, the Habs had a very good run and a healthy Carey Price could carry them the extra step. I was happy to see them take out Boston which nobody thought would happen.

    • ribs108 - May 30, 2014 at 9:16 AM

      Yes, PK is fabulous! Hopefully his constant mishandling by Therrien and Bergevin (for not sticking up for him) will convince him to leave for greener pastures. He could certainly help turn around his home team in Toronto – or maybe join Malcolm in Boston. Wouldn’t the classy and proud Canadiens love that!!

      • doknyc - May 30, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        PK may be the best actor, but clearly, mcdunogh was his superior…

      • arrow43050 - May 30, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        just FYI, the Rangers have McDonagh for 3 more years for $4 million per year. Good luck on signing Subban for anything close to that. Including the contract the player is signed to, there isn’t one defenseman in the league I would take over McDonagh right now. Other defensemen might be slightly, very slightly, better–MIGHT be–but anyone who is better is making nearly or more than double what McDonagh is.

      • nhlfan14 - May 30, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        Why on earth would he join the bruins in that xenophobic setting?

    • arrow43050 - May 30, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      uhhhhhh…you DO realize that Ryan McDonagh had 10 points to his 2 in this series, right? This series being the most important one since it means a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. And there’s a guy named Drew something on the Kings who hasn’t sucked too badly. Oh, that reminds me…..THANKS AGAIN FOR RYAN MCDONAGH CANADIENS!!! the Rangers have reaquired the rights to Scott Gomez, want to trade for him again? :-)

    • drewsylvania - May 30, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      Subban failed to show up in this series.

      • stepanup - May 30, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        Subban is a regular season defenseman. All that flash and razzle-dazzle doesn’t fly in the playoffs when the checking is tighter. The only time he made me nervous during the series was on the PP.

    • nhlfan14 - May 30, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      You are 100% right!

  17. peepeehead - May 30, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Keep your heads high Canadiens. You are making progress. I think you have a great chance of winning the Cup by 2050, or so.

    • jimthebear - May 30, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      But there’s only a 50% chance of that chance.

      • nhlfan14 - May 30, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        And who pray tell do you two scouting experts think is going to succeed?

  18. arrow43050 - May 30, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    If you watched this game you can see that Subban had nothing left. All series he was sucking wind and that is because he was either allowed or chosen to play more than he should have. Seeing him pout and throw a hissy fit when he was taken off the ice for part of the PP, once was just 24 secnds, was ridiculous–you don’t show up your coaches like that right there on the bench . Yes, he is an offensive force, but you can’t make him play the entire time on every Power Play. Those are subtle minutes he can be saving when he has to win a footrace against an oncharging forward in Game 6, which never happened. He got blown by several times. If you want, you can put me on the ice for big minutes in big games, but it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. The Canadians lost 2 of those games, with Subban getting only 2 points, and he had a better +/- than me in only one of the games.

  19. trolltoll11 - May 30, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    les go puck yourselves hab nation ya’ classless bottle throwing bunch! Go Rangers!

  20. nhlfan14 - May 30, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    What an eloquent reflection of yourself and those in ny. I think your expanded vocabulary tells us all we need to know.

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