A character game … and maybe a costly one

Refusing to be intimidated in their own building, the Canadiens stood up to Boston thuggery and skated to a 52-shot 7-4 win.

The only cloud in an otherwise bright blue sky is the ankle injury that Christopher Higgins sustained in the first period.

He returned to action but was not in the Canadiens’ dressing room after the game and will undergo a thorough examination on Sunday.

•  •  • 

The two teams may have played like the Hatfields and McCoy’s but First Star Alex Kovalev rejects the notion of a bitter rivalry between the Canadiens and Bruins,.

"You guys keep talking about a rivalry," Kovalev told the media horde in the winning dressing room. "But it was like any other game.

"The most important thing for us, after last night (in Buffalo), was to recover and play like we did at the beginning of the season."

Did he relish the wide-open style of a game that included a whopping 88 shots on goal?

"As long as we’re winning, that’s the kind of game I like," Kovalev said.

Anecdotal evidence sugests it wasn’t the kind of game Kirk Muller liked. When the Bruins fell behind and began to goon it up, Muller – according to CTV Sports’ Brian Wilde – yelled at Claude Julien "you’re a @#$%ing joke."

Not much to laugh at as the Bruins – being blown out of the building – picked fights all over the ice.

Zdeno Chara’s stats say it all: one goal, one assist, five shots, five hits (including a head shot on Kovalev) 25 minutes in penalties.

Professorial demeanour notwithstanding, former Canadiens coach Julien seems deeply in touch with his inner Michel Therrien.

• • •

It was the first time Canadiens have topped 50 shots since April, 1996. Their record is 61, and the record for two teams is 93.

Michael Ryder, back on the top line, had 13 shots – none of which went
in. Canadiens got goals from seven players – including Mike Komisarek
and Roman Hamrlik and non-snipers Tom Kostopoulos and Guillaume

Koivu, Andrei Kostitsyn and Kovalev (with his team-leading 10th) got
the others … on a night when the guys in the red jerseys could have
scored a dozen (at least three by Christopher Higgins.)


Perhaps the most amazing stat: Canadiens had an edge in faceoffs: 38-36.




  1. Naila Jinnah says:

    Eeeeeeexcellent!!! 😀 First line too! 😀

  2. Habsfan39 says:

    C’est la buuuuut

  3. Habsfan39 says:

    Booner, be positive, it’ll rub off. the habs are doin fine.

    PP, here we go


  4. yathehabsrule says:

    Naila: she was off key on th US anthem too… Probably right though it was just nerves

  5. Naila Jinnah says:

    He got hit by a tough Kostitsyn shot in the warmups, but made a nice glove save right after. Still, he left the ice with 7 mins to go, which is earlier than usual, even for a starting goalie.

    I think it’s even earlier, because Price likes to be the last guy off the ice usually…

  6. Naila Jinnah says:

    Yey! Anthems! Looked a bit painful… A good set of pipes, for sure, but she seemed nervous! (who wouldn’t be?)

  7. Bill says:

    And there, I am wrong 🙂

  8. Bill says:

    I find they generally do not. “O Canada” is probably not very PC in the PQ!

  9. Naila Jinnah says:

    Who’s stealing J.T.’s quotes. Seriously. Do they read HIO?

  10. Habsfan39 says:

    I hear ya, going to play squash for 7:40. How gay am i eh? I should only really miss a period… XM to and from the gym.

    NESN replays the game at midnight though so you know where ill be, catching up on what I missed.


  11. Keith says:

    I gotta go to a friends place tonight AAARRRHHHH!! I don’t know if the game will be on or not (sucks). They are casual hockey fans, not a diehard like myself. More interested in stupid ultimate fighting lol! Hopefully it’s a better game than last night. Have a good night people. GO HABS GO!!!

  12. sidhu says:

    Great news that Brisebois is in the press box – IMHO, he hasn’t contributed much offensively and thus hasn’t justified his spot in the lineup. My hope is that Dandy is placed back on the blueline and that someone like Grabovski, S. Kostitsyn, or D’Agostini is inserted to help our scoring woes.

  13. ColRouléBleu says:

    Just imagine if there WAS something wrong with the 1st line, ouch!

    Anyhow, I hope the ‘real’ 1st line produces again tonight…. GO SUPER PLEKY! http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v662/dannit/superpleki.jpg 😀

  14. FastRonnie says:

    RDS Chantale interviewing Ryder:

    -what’s wrong with the 1st line?

    -nothing, we just need to give each other more space and create more opportunities

    What’s wrong with this picture??????? NOTHING WRONG WITH THE 1ST LINE!!!!!

  15. The Ian Cobb says:

    I’m with you Donovan. You only have to look behind to see how far we have come. WE are getting there!

  16. FastRonnie says:

    RDS guys saying that the #1 line is not only struggling because of Ryder. Demers says Higgins has had way too many missed chances and has to finish! I agree, but I still think Ryder slows Koivu and Higgins.

  17. The Ian Cobb says:

    We will be there soon Bill, when the snippers on the farm learn the defensive part, we will be bringing them up, like Cory Locke and a bunch of them on the farm. By the end of next year we will have 5 or 6 25 goal scorers. Patience, were getting there

  18. teamplayer says:

    its too loud here… couldnt hear what rds was saying about price?

  19. Naila Jinnah says:

    I hope RDS broadcasts the anthems.

  20. Bill says:

    The five on five isn’t entirely lack of talent … though that is an issue. The biggest thing, two years running, is Carbo’s game-plan, which calls for defensive play 5 on 5, and which banks on the PP for the offense.

    It’s actually a good plan. We don’t have any big goal-scorers, or any emerging goal scorers (though every other team seems to have young scorers out the yin-yang; why do I keep hearing how deep our prospect pool is?). Offensively and defensively, the Habs are pretty average, so it makes sense to play a trapping style. I just wish the Habs played it better; thank God for the goalies!

  21. The Ian Cobb says:

    Hope the news is good from the Bell ctr. tonight! Only get ottawa & T.O. game on the tube here, also the Belleville Guelph game on here. So I’ll be checking in here for updates on the only one that matters.

  22. manorrd says:

    Let’s hope The Habs can put that dismal performance behind them for tonight’s game.

    I’m glad to see Carbo is trying to tinker for the better. How about getting Streit off of defense and getting him back on as a forward, where he’ll probably be more effective.

  23. nightmare_49 says:

    Your too much, Ian.

  24. Zoupa says:

    They’ve been struggling 5 on 5 for about 10 years man. =D

  25. The Ian Cobb says:

    Ian say’s— If these young players are going to learn the ropes, they must continue to learn how to untie the Knots first.!
    Beans are on the menu Tonight. GO Les Boys!!

  26. The Ian Cobb says:

    Yeats– Hope you have a great night out. Keep your mind on the Mrs. and the concert, It’s only a hockey game, and you can always catch up to us later. Are you wearing your Blue sparkling suspenders tonight??

  27. nightmare_49 says:

    Great news Ian about P.K.Suban and our 1st rounders seem to be picking up their game ( Fischer, McDonaugh and Pacioretty ) and J.T.Wyman (senior) at Dartmouth is fifth Nationally in points per game as Grabs pointed out previously so the foundation is getting stronger for the future.

  28. Habsfan39 says:

    Montreal is not a struggling team!! (yet)


  29. Habsfan39 says:

    I think Lapierre would be a spark. There is nothing wrong with making a little trade with the bulldogs any time soon. We’ll send them Latendress in return. Its obvious he needs to work on his game.

    Also, where has Begin been? When he was injured the previous two seasons it was huge not having him in the line-up, now it seems as though it wouldnt even matter. Does he need to sit another game out?

    Hmm, I had something else to say but I forget because my girlfriend was just talking in my ear….

    OH! Chipchura, I was at the game in Buffalo and I was very impressed with his vision and anticipation, he also seems to be playing with a bunch of confidence. There was a play where the buffalo defenceman had the puck in the corner and Chipchura was the first man in, and he didnt take the body, and took a weird route around the net to get there, and it resulted in the buffalo player chipping it right to kyle. I was pretty impressed as most rookies would have just tried to hit the d-man. He had read the dman perfectly.

    Anyways, cheers, good luck tonight boys.


  30. Zoupa says:

    I always loved Selanne, but I don’t see why he’d want to move here from California, just to help a struggling team.

    The reality is that there is no big name coming here in the near future. The boys will just have to work every night to earn the 2 points. What is better this year is that there are guys in Hamilton on offense, defense and goal that can take over if someone is slacking.

    Should be a powerful incentive for the guys to show up every night.

    Closing comment: I think they should sit Streit for a game, put Gorges in against Ottawa. Streit is not the same guy as last year, a bit too confident.

  31. JMoney says:

    What do you expect?? for 17 and a half games they’ve had our worst forward this year in Ryder on their wing and the half of a game has been Kostopoulos, meaning every time they step onto the ice it’s like they’re playing shorthanded. The opposition has just been ignoring Ryder and focusing on Higgins and Koivu, they need a linemate. TKO is a great 4th liner, but he isn’t a 1st liner… Why was Latendresse only given 1 shift on the powerplay with them?? He’s been playing better lately, give him a shot, he did well with them last year. If all else fails, call up Sergei Kostitsyn. His 2 linemates from last year are doing really well in the NHL this year, there’s no reason to believe he can’t be just as successful.

  32. Will Longlade says:

    I hope Koivu & Higgy find a way to elevate their games. W/o this line clicking on a consistent basis , Montreal could be hard pressed to make the cut at the end of the season. Their recent play is a really big dissapointment.

  33. Chuck says:

    With Price being so deft at handling the paddle, prehaps he should take all of the defensive zone draws tonight. 🙂


    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  34. The Ian Cobb says:

    Thats only cause he’s a tall drink of water, and only 20 yrs old. Just think back a little, how great were you at lifes work at 20 ? did you have any more to learn?

  35. Shawn S says:

    We are winning tonight. Refuse to let the Bruins beat us.

    And somebody please score besides Kovalev!! I want more than 3 goals.

  36. The Ian Cobb says:

    News flash– last night in oshawa with Travarus, belleville 6 oshawa 3. P.K. Suban had a fantastic game for belleville, tonight, bellville home against guelph.

    Looks like we get Ottawa & T O tonight, I will have to get my habs info here tonight, so everyone post well, I’ll be reading!!

  37. Les-Habitants says:

    Although Ryder did score, I counted at least 3-4 times easily when he was reunited on the first line where he made an extra move instead of shooting….SHOOT THE PUCK!!

    Kostopolus: great 4th liner, solid defensively, but he isn’t meant to be an offensive threat and you could tell he was thrown off his game trying to do something he isn’t use to. He’s great at what he does, leave the poor guy alone!! If they do change it up, I think Dandenault would be a better choice…he’s got a decent shot plus he’s a fast skater, but here’s hoping that Ryder starts finishing the plays that Koivu makes..
    (if Ryder or Higgins we’re finishing like they were last year, Koivu would be among the league-leaders in points)

    Gorges subing for Breezer: good choice, Breezer had a pretty bad game and reminding him that he doesn’t have a secure spot in the lineup is good.

    I kinda hope to see Rask in nets: the top 2 goaltending prospects in the world facing off. Both Price and Rask are among the next wave off elite goaltenders, and it’d be cool to see Rask’s first NHL game against the only goaltender ranked higher then him by hockeyfuture.com

    While I know it’s not gonna happen, wouldn’t it be cool if Koivu somehow got Teemu into montreal?
    Koivu: Yo Selanne, so the Ducks are right against the cap wall and I hear you want to play hockey again…
    Selanne: As a matter of fact, I do…I hear you guys need a finisher on your 1st line..

    Ah, to dream….

  38. Bill says:

    Here’s hoping!

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