About last night …

For 52 minutes, Guy Carbonneau was a genius.

Before the game, the coach’s newly-minted line combinations had the denizens of the pressbox scratching our heads and speculating as to who his connection was for weed that great.

But then the puck dropped.

And strange things happened.

Cristobal Huet stood on his head, stopping 16 Nashville shots – plus two that dinged off posts – in the first period.

At the other end of the ice, Chris Mason gave up two soft goals and was done less than 14 minutes into the game.

And with 7:34 to play, Carbo the Nutty Professor had a 4-1 lead and was probably looking forward to bouncing a few droll one-liners off media skeptics.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the coach’s self-congratulatory press conference.

His team collapsed, and everything – including Carbonneau’s mood – turned to crap.

By the time the coach got to the pressroom, he was seething and snappish. And by the time I was driving home, CKAC was playing and replaying Carbo’s astounding assertion that the press had demoted Saku Koivu to the third line.

"(Koivu) was on the first line," Carbonneau said, responding to a question by Pat Hickey.

"Smolinski au premier trio, imaginez ça!" marveled CKAC phone-in host Martin Lemay. Bryan Smolinski, who was in the penalty box when Nashville tied the game, was a favourite whipping boy of the station’s callers. It was noted that the tying goal, his 10th of the season, was scored by Radek Bonk, who’s playing for $1.35 million in Nashville while Smolinski makes $2 million, has two goals and is minus-6 in Montreal.

In describing November as a "tough month", Carbonneau noted that the Canadiens played .500 hockey – "not great, but OK."

Now it’s December, and the coach said "we’ll see over the next couple of weeks what we’re made of."

We also will find out what the coach is made of, because Carbo has to rally a team that Huet describes as "fragile between the ears."

And, my friend Hickey added, "fragile between the pipes." Huet gave up three goals in less than eight minutes of the third period and was beaten twice in the shootout.

I have to think it will be Carey Price against Detroit on Tuesday.

• I hope Josh Gorges plays against the Red Wings. And if I were Carbo, which I’m glad I’m not on this frigid Montreal morning, I’d keep the Tomas Plekanec line, with Kovy and Christopher Higgins, intact.

• I also liked Mikhail Grabovski and Andrei Kostitsyn, but they need a RW who can keep up with them, physically and mentally, better than poor Michael Ryder.

• I like Kyle Chipchura, Guillaume Latendresse and Mathieu Dandenault. Gui! Gui! Gui! had two goals last night and continues to hustle.

• As to Carbo’s "first line" … well, Mark Streit played decent and the Captain had some chances he failed to bury. I’m not a Smolinski basher. That penalty last night was horrible, but it came at the end of a sequence during which he did a good job working the puck and eating up seconds in the Nashville end.

• Roman Hamrlik played great last night. Andrei Markov played hurt.

• Glas half full: Canadiens are so versatile and deep on defence that two of them can play up front.

Glass half-empty: Canadiens are so pathetic up front that two defencemen have to play as forwards.

• Team D has gone south over the last while. The Canadiens gave up 44 shots to Nashville, 46 to Toronto, 45 to the Islanders. It’s rarely fewer than 30; New Jersey had 29, but they were winning so easily the Devils just played shut-down, a game the Canadiens could have used last night.

• Carbonneau spoke of fatigue (26 games into the season!!!!), and the first three weeks of December will be an easier Saturday/Tuesday/Thursday schedule. But then comes two back-to-backers – Atlanta-Dallas and Tampa Bay-Florida – on the road, the latter followed, a day later, by a visit to New York City.

We’ll know a lot about this team by Jan. 1.

But let’s be honest: right now, the portents are not promising.


  1. Chorske says:

    I think the point is that even a losing Ottawa is a sure-fire playoff bet. An iffy, fragile Montreal squad might find itself on the outside looking in come April / May. As fans, we have the right to express some frustration when a team performs poorly, regardless of expectations.

    We are an impatient lot, though. A player’s only ever as good as his last game. Or last shift, if you’re Smolinski.

  2. Yeats says:

    You are, of course, right. Yet, today it is very hard to keep anything from the public. The look on Koivu’s face last night during close ups last night told you what he thought of Carbo’s line changes. And, I don’t care what Carbo says, putting the Captain with those two guys on his wings was sending a message. At least be up front about it. Heck, if Al MacNeil can bench Henri Richard in the Stanley Cup finals against Chicago, Carbo can come clean as well. Considering how many times we hear the same crap from the players after a crumby game, you would think that some reporter would press them with a string of “whys.” “We have to show up for the full 60 minutes and we didn’t do that.” “You said that last game, why didn’t you do it tonight?” “We have to make the most of our chances.” “You said that last game, why didn’t you do that tonight?” You get my point. The press lets these guys off way too easily. And, we are stuck reading this crap game after game. At least, come up with something novel. I sucked tonight because I had a fight with my girl friend, she pissed me off to holy hell and I got drunk. Something new, please!

  3. ebk says:

    5th in the league in SV%

  4. Ali says:

    Problem: The last time a player questioned the coach openly, he was castrated by the media and people like Demers were saying he should be traded for not keeping it behind closed doors. Kovalev did the right thing, but everyone jumped on him, which is why nobody else will have the stones to do it again.

  5. JasonM says:

    BLAH BLAH BLAH. All I read is Price bandwagon mumbo jumbo. Geez, he let in a softie off an odd bounce after keeping his team in the game, let’s send him to the bench immediately.

    Hey, here’s a stat for you.

    – 3rd period shots 20 to 5 –

    I’ll let you guess which one had 20 and which one had 5.

  6. Vecs says:

    Price is fine with playing every other game or every third game because he’s a rookie. He has to prove himself in the NHL. Huet has proved himself. Countless times. I don’t think we can keep asking and expecting Huet to prove himself as the number one goalie playing at best every other game (or in this case not for a whole week) and then treating him like a 1b goalie. Hopefully Bob trades Huet because I don’t like how this organization has handled him. Fire Carbo and Muller while you’re at it Bob. What a joke.

  7. JasonM says:

    I don’t believe this loss is due to individual mistakes (well Smolinski’s dumbbell penalty was a big one but the game was sliding out of our hands at that point) but much rather due to tactics coming from the bench to let up on our opponents in the final minutes of the game.

    To clarify, instead of going in with solid forechecking we wait for them at the red line and attempt (miserably mind you) to lock down the central zone. Instead of passing the puck up and trying to muster some offense, there’s panic and people try to chip it up the ice the moment they get their stick on it. We’ve seen this in the past when we lost to Florida, when we lost to Toronto, when we lost repeatedly to Ottawa… halfway into the third, there is little attempt to perform any offense. Heck, even 3rd or 4th liners get PP time when they could have put the hurt into the other team and that’s not only this game.

    So far this has cost the team not 1 or 2 points but now well over half a dozen points and it is ALWAYS the same story and has already enough that I’m able to tune off the game without feeling great anger/frustration and now simply feel quiet bitterness knowing that unless that coaching strategy changes, this will happen again and again and will eventually cost this team a chance to the playoffs.

    Carbo had it easy last year, being a rookie and all but now he’s a lot more accountable for his actions.

  8. ColRouléBleu says:

    “Team D has gone south over the last while.” Funny how this happens when Markov is practically out of the picture. Well actually it’s not funny at all. Hard enough to be solid with three good to great D-men out of six, when you’re down to two, you cant expect miracles.

  9. ebk says:

    They have blown leads with those two in the line-up as well, so I’m not sure that is the reason why they blew this one but hey it might be.

  10. howtathor says:

    Like your pic! Chipchura ain’t the greatest skater either but he makes up for it in smarts and hustle. The kid must have been doing something right to pot 71 goals.

  11. Sbah Reverof says:

    Although it has been a rough ride lately, one thing I’ve noticed about this team this year is that they are pretty good at correcting their mistakes within a game or two. I think these guys hate to lose as much as we hate watching it happen. I honestly believe that within a month or so, they will be much better at protecting and adding to their lead. Last night was such an excellent example of what happens when you stop playing before the buzzer, that we will see less and less of this relaxed attitude as time goes on. This is not my world view through Hab-coloured glasses, rather the ups and downs of watching a young exciting team evolving into a real contender.
    ps-I don’t smoke crack.

  12. Exit716 says:

    So two years of Radek Bonk at around $2.7 million would have been better than say one year of Sergei Smolinski or is it Bryan Samonsov?
    Isn’t it a sign of a declining player when they get dumped three times in one year?

  13. Les-Habitants says:

    I’d rather see Koivu takes Plekanec’s spot in between Kovy and Higgins, then move Kostitsyn onto the RW (like he was in hamilton) with Plek and Lats…for now. Smokes back to centre between Begin and Dandy. Finally, put Ryder next to a smart centre like Chip and Kostopolous, a line where he scored on his first game.

    If Lats can’t keep up with Plek and Tits, then put Grabo there (Plek Grabs Tits?). I don’t think Grabovski can play physically enough (yet) to play centre, but on the wing he’d be able to use his speed a lot better. However, try it first with Lats because he’s actually scoring right now.

    I said it yesterday as well, but last night Gorges demonstrated that he deserves a prolonged try-out on the d-corp.

  14. The Ian Cobb says:

    I know, but they can’t kill anything, Need a gun, or a bigger heart!

  15. The Ian Cobb says:

    Scary thought! but true, ebk

  16. ebk says:

    the general reason players are in the minors, is that they are not better than the players who are in the NHL. Usually it is that simple.

  17. The Ian Cobb says:

    There must be a reason why these players are not playing up with us. I don’t have a clue what it might be. More seasoning maybe, work on some aspect of the game that the club feels nesesary. What ever it is, I sure hope they get it together soon.

    We drafted a lot of pure snippers that we still have on the farm. Corey Locke is another one, and there are more.
    I kind of feel the long term plan is to go this year with what we have on the ice now, and let these other kids get all kinds of ice time on the farm to get them ready for next year.

    What ever it is, i suppose we just have to trust BG and Carbo’s long term plan. Long term i hope is on the squad after training camp next year or we have not drafted well enough.

    They are sure putting us through the ringer right now though

  18. Blitzen says:

    See-low skater from what I’ve heard. Makes Lats look fast.

  19. B says:

    After he went undrafted, Montreal did gave him a chance. He did not make the Habs or Bulldogs roster and is now playing for the Cincinnati Cyclones where his 9 goals in 18 games are not bad but hardly lighting it up in the ECHL. Halak managed to go from the ECHL to the NHL in one season, if Beauregard is the real deal then he will work his way up (but doing it in one season is very rare). He has been given his chance and time will tell if it was worth it.

  20. Yeats says:

    I agree with your points. He had impressive stats in the Q. My question is why is this guy toiling away in the ECHL?

  21. B says:

    Exactly, Ottawa is a top team and Montreal is not. I love it when they over achieve, but I don’t fly into a panic when they come back down to earth. They are still higher in the standings than most predicted or expected. Just being realistic here.

  22. ebk says:

    About three weeks ago, when the Habs were rolling, I made the mistake of stating, that I didn’t think this team was any better than last years. To make a long story short, I got berated by our resident hockey experts, telling me I knew nothing about hockey(they are right) and this team was much improved and I needed to get my head out of my a||.

    Someone with a ton of hockey knowledge even broke it down further
    Smolinski was an upgrade of Bonk
    Kostopoulous was an upgrade of Mike Johnson
    Hamrlik and Brisebois were better than Souray and Rivet

    Today, I would think only the most avid Hab fan with his hab goggles firmly in place would try to make this argument. Hamrlik as an individual, might be more valuable than Souray, but partnered with Brisebios, this comparision isn’t even close.

    Bonk and Johnson formed a fairly decent third line, were effective penalty killers and could be matched up against the other teams best line and would do a good job. The same can’t be said about the new pair. In reality, Kostopoulous is doing exactly what you expect of him, he is a fourth line grinder who generally works hard. It is not his fault he is asked to play a role he can’t handle.

    This is not to place the blame at the above mention players feet. There is plenty of that to go around. Koivu,Ryder and a few others need to pick it up and in a hurry. Brisebois, Streit, Bouillon and Gorges get pushed off the puck way to much in their own end and make horrible outlet passes when pressed by a strong forecheck

    But Hab fans there is light at the end of the tunnel. They sit today in a play-off spot. The conference is so mediocre from top to bottom, that they will be fighting with about 10 teams for the last 4 or 5 play-off spots.
    No team in the eastern conference looks like world beaters. So maybe, just maybe, the light isn’t an oncoming train.

    sorry for the essay and thanks for reading this far.

  23. howtathor says:

    NOTE TO GAINEY: Will somebody please give Thomas Beauregard a chance!

    2006-07 Season: Played in 69 games in his fifth, and final, season with Acadie-Bathurst in the QMJHL…Amassed 124 points on a league-best 71 goals and 53 assists…The 71 goals were 17 more than the next closest goal scorer…Led QMJHL in shots (382), ranked second in power play goals (26), game winning goals (nine) and shooting percentage (18.6%)…Sixth in shorthanded goals (five) and was eighth in plus/minus at +29…First-Team All-QMJHL selection…Set club career goal record with his 102nd tally on Oct. 27…Recorded five hat tricks during the season…Twenty multiple goal games…Nineteen game point scoring streak (23-20-43) from Nov. 29 through Jan. 27…Forty multiple point games, including two five-point efforts, four four-point games and twelve three-point contests…Stretch from Sept. 30 through Nov. 25 that saw him register multiple points in 18 of 21 games (29-16-45)…Holds Titan’s record for goals in a career (154), which shattered the previous mark of 101…Hit the 50 goal mark for the season in just the 39th game on Dec. 29…Twice selected QMJHL ‘Player of the Week’…Named ‘Player of the Month’ in December, registering 14 goals and ten assists for 24 points in ten games…’Academic Player of the Month’ for February…2005-06: Played in 69 games, netting 46 goals and 42 assists for 88 points…Also scored 13 goals in 18 playoff games…Finished tenth in QMJHL with 46 goals, 13th in power play goals (21), 16th in plus/minus at +30 and 23rd in scoring with 88 points…Third on team in scoring…Nine multiple goal games, including a hat trick at Saint John on Dec. 3…Twenty-four multiple point games, including a five assist effort versus Saint John on March 12…Season-best 14 game point scoring streak from Jan. 22 through Feb. 28 (13-11-24)…2004-05: Played in just five games due to injury that sidelined him after Sept. 25…Three goals and three assists in those games…2003-04: Played in 65 games, lighting the lamp 18 times and assisting on 28 others for 46 points…Twelve multiple point games, a two goal game on opening night (v. Moncton on Sept. 12) and a season-best three game point scoring streak…2002-03: Played in 48 games, picking up 16 goals and 14 assists for 30 points…Registered first junior hat trick on Jan. 31 in an 8-3 win vs. Victoriaville…Selected by Acadie-Bathurst in the 2002 QMJHL Draft with its second round (number 27 overall) selection.

    Sounds like what we’re looking for! When I look around and see all the kids excelling in the league and we’re trotting out these horses ready for the glue factory (you know who they are), what have we got to lose???

  24. cmac says:

    One thing that bugs me is that I hear Carbonneau blaming his players alot after games like last night.

    I’ve noticed that the best coaches don’t do that. The best coaches take the blame themselves, and in doing so win the loyalty and respect of their players.

  25. Yeats says:

    Huet should just stay in the net and stop, not play, the puck. Aside from last night’s gaff, which I think was a function of him taking his eyes off the puck for a second, he has had several miscues this year. Most of them appear to be a function of miscommunication with his defensemen. A few seemed to be a lack of awareness as to what was going on around him.

  26. OldGrover says:

    I don’t think you can really call that “Huet’s venturing” – that was a bizarre bounce on what should have been a routine play for Huet. It was just odd.

  27. The Ian Cobb says:

    I want to thank a few posters that picked me up with there steadfast loyality. Since that episode last night i have been trying to figure out why the heck we blow these games. In years past we were the team that could raly back.Oh how i dream for those days again. And yes, we are a work in progress, including the coaching staff. I talk patience and i lost mine for a little while.

    So thanks to Sbah Reverof, Plek Andrew, and others who kept the faith and gave me that picker upper that i needed.

    Oh Oh! I just thought of something Detroit in two days, but were ok, they don’t have Stevie Y anymore! Let’s go GET EM BOYS!!!!!

  28. saskhab says:

    Good for Radek. He’s exactly what we’re missing up front right now. A veteran guy you can lean on down the stretch.

    I’m sorry Mike, but Smolinski has proven that he can’t keep up anymore. Time for him to call up Wes Walz and ask about starting a real estate business. Our last option for Smoke is to have him play RW with Chipchura and Latendresse, and if it doesn’t work there’s nowhere he can play. He was hired to play a role on one of the top 3 lines, and he is proving to be no better, or even worse than Kostopolous, Bégin, Dandenault and Streit.

    Bégin and Kostopolous are 4th liners that we lean on, even though they can’t chase down a loose puck to save their lives. That’s a very important skill in these situations. They can’t do that, and it’s why they’re 4th liners who should only play 4th line minutes.

    And Saku needs to get going. If Higgins-Plex-Kovalev stays together, than I’m guessing a line of Kostitsyn-Koivu-Ryder is something that should be tried. Call one of the lines the “Hot” line and the other the “Not” line.

  29. t1tan5 says:

    That’s because they know Ottawa is a sure-fire, top-seeded playoff team that’s just enduring a slump. We’re upset because we’re worried that this slump is actually the real Canadiens and all those wins before were just us playing over our heads.

  30. Yeats says:

    I was criticizing the players and management of the team, not the posters. The fans deserve better than the same tired responses we get from those guys game after game.

  31. MICP says:

    You are so right in that all teams will have their ups & downs. The main concern is that Ottawa had 1 win around a few loses, that lone win was in Montreal.
    We gave up more goals in the last half of third last night than we scored vs. NJ, Buffalo & Buffalo again.
    What other teams have lost at home to as many bottom feeders as we have. We have to stop flushing points away or we will miss the playoffs by 1 point again. It just seems that these “stars” of ours just dont learn.

  32. showey47 says:

    i think it at the very least effects the defence, price can virtually be a third dman kind of like brodeur as for huet, well his venturing let nashville back in the game and from there you could see he lost his focus. If trotz can pull his goalie after 2 weaks ones, why can’t carbo? I think it is time to see how far price can go with a bunch of starts or at least until he has a bad game.

  33. kevin m says:


    Some of us are just not as analytical as you are.

  34. showey47 says:

    Like i said before 2 of the players who actually play with a killer instinct were in the pressbox.

  35. Yeats says:

    As far as the goaltending is concerned, I really think it’s time to adopt the “you play until you suck” rule. I never thought of this before but, do you think the constant goalie switching adversely effects the rest of the team?

  36. madhabsfan says:

    Demers couldn’t be more right. As a former coach, he knows that, to succeed, a coach must have the basic components required by any team hoping to win. Demers has certainly not been the first to acknowledge that Montreal is simply going without these components, and as a result, it should be no suprise to anyone that the Habs are struggling. The numbers speak for themselves.

    Saku Koivu, who Carbo still credits as our number one center, has ONE even strength goal. ONE! Markov has two, and almost as many assists. For points, our top line center is tied for 57th in the league

    Eight of Kovalev’s 12 goals also came on the power play. As our scoring leader, he ranks 43rd in the league.

    Our overall depth chart has most of our forwards as league average or below league average in terms of offensive output, given their positions and ice time.

    No big deal you say, because we are a defensive team? Try this on for size.

    The Montreal Canadiens, who are supposed to be a stocked with defensive depth and two-way players, allow more shots than every team in the league but Philidephia.

    And, if that’s not enough, we are 12th in the league for most goals allowed.

    We may have depth, we may have youth, we may have speed. Say what you want, but these numbers are, to say the least, unacceptable.

    We are still second in the Northeast, and it is still relatively early, so there is plenty of time to turn things around. But this won’t happen without Bob getting on the horn. Time to shake things up!!! Do it for Guy. Don’t wait!

  37. Yeats says:

    I just get really tired reading the standard cliche quotes from the likes of Higgins, et al, after a game like last night. Of course like any professional sports team, the Habs have younger grade-school fans. But, I would venture to guess that the majority of posters are adults with some education, life experiences or have played the game, some at a high level. Please guys, say something insightful. That we have to show up for the full 60 minutes, have to have that killer instinct, have to do the little things crap just isn’t working for us. If you were pissed about last night’s line combinations Koivu, just say so. You certainly looked like you were none too happy in the close ups I saw last night. If you think Carbo’s sit-back-and-protect-the-lead strategy was crap, come out an say it. Most of us are adults here. Spouting the same nonsense game, after game, after goddamn game, is wearing a little thin, at least with me.

  38. showey47 says:

    Other than the flu there are 2 things in hockey that are contageous, they are confidence and hard work. Price reeks of confidence and it may explain why the team usually plays better in front of him on most nights. Most of our hardwork was sitting in the pressbox last night, if it is smokes and breezer in the pressbox last night instead we probably win. If price plays in net we win easily

  39. likehoy says:

    when the habs go on losing streaks, i stop watching and stop reading up on them cuz it just gets me angry at how terrible they’re playing.

    Stopped watching half-way through the NJ game…and skipped the preds game…maybe i’ll watch detroit cuz it’ll be an entertaining game.

  40. kevin m says:

    Right on yeats!

    This team still doesn’t know what a “killer instinct” is. It has nothing to do with the comfort zone provided by being up by “x” number of goals during a game or the number of minutes left in a period or a game.

    As long as a team believes it can come back from adversity, it usually can. “Killer instinct” comes from the need to break the spirit of the opposition by whatever means available… be it another goal, a crushing hit or a one sided fight.

    It is team mental toughness and this team doesn’t have it!

  41. Yeats says:

    There is no accounting for taste!

  42. doug says:

    he’s LEADING the balloting! holy crap2!

  43. B says:

    Ottawa has lost 6 in a row, yet their fans are not flying off into a hysterical frenzied panic demanding huge scale changes. Montreal looses 4 of 6 and, well, just read most of their comments lately…

  44. NLhabsfan says:

    My thoughts …if this season ends like last season….There will be major coaching changes.I guess I am alone in thinking that this team is fairly good and will make the playoffs.In defense of Ryder he is deadly around the slot.I have seen his positioning off quite a bit.Trying to do too much and not getting a chance to shoot enough….nice to see some support from teammates.He has lost his confidence and I believe he will get it back.I would love to see him play with two grinders( someone not afraid to go to the corners)You might see results for him.Goal keeping.Price is getting better by the game…but has a weak stick side and plays down quite a bit…upstairs.Huet is as good as you get and IS our number one goalie.Defensively the whole teams needs to upgrade from the forwards on down..At centre we have been very weak down the middle. We have had some very poor officiating calls against us, as have other teams.Trade I wouldn’t ..we have some great young fire eaters down in Hamilton and other leagues..Montreal will get through this rough patch…wouldn’t like to be the Sens right now with 6 Straight losses.No one is invincible.

  45. MICP says:

    It amazes me how when the Habs win it doesnt matter if their giving up 3rd period goals or being outshot by a wide margin but as soon as they lose, like they should, the world comes to an end.
    Just a couple of weeks fans were claiming we were one of the best and now…………

    How many times have we come back when down after the first peruiod?

    0, as in not once.

    Our 5 on 5 play is what, near the top?

    NO. Only if you turn the standings upside down.

    We lost at home to Florida, Atlanta & Buffalo.
    We can not beat Toronto in regulation, look at last years games. Same thing.
    The truth is that we cant close games out. We can not clamp down like a NJ or Buffalo.

    We are the gift that keeps on giving, it is the holidays and we all know that means it is time to lose.

    We see this every year, lets start crossing our fingers & pray for that 8th playoff spot. We joke about the laffs but yet we struggle with them. If nothig else a least they can beat Ottawa & us in regulation.

  46. Yeats says:

    That’s the true irony of last night’s game. The Habs deserved to be blown out of it in the first period. They miraculously go up 3-0 only to watch Huet’s gaff open the Gates of Hell. I think if it were over after one, as it should have been, you’d see a lot less bitching and moaning from all of us on HIO.

  47. Yeats says:

    A dozen water bottles maybe? And, he’s on the All Star ballot. Holy Crap!!!

  48. Will Longlade says:

    Did the Habs make a pact with the Preds to play without any defencemen for the 1st ten minutes of the game? The Preds sure have speed and they finish their checks. Montreal was lucky not to be behind by three goals after two. Boy, this team’s decent to the gates of Hades has not been fun to watch. Let’s hope the rest of December is easier to watch.

  49. doug says:

    huet has zero trade value

  50. showey47 says:

    after coming home from hockey and watching the second and third period which i had recorded on the pvr a few things occured to me. First of all why didn’t i stay out and drink after the game i would of taken a serious hangover over the sickness in my stomach that this ending gave me. Also, will carbo ever learn that you can no longer sit back on any kind of a lead anymore in this league? Will huet ever play a game where he doesn’t give up at least one weak goal?

    Then it came too me. What can price ever learn from huet? We are apparently keeping huet around to tutor price, but price already has better fundamentals than huet. Huet usually caves under pressure when playing on cbc meanwhile price thrives when playing when the entire hockey world is watching (world juniors). Price can face over 40 shots a game and win, huet usually loses. Price is money in the shootout, huet not in the same league.

    Remember last season when abby had a great start. i begged to trade him while his value was high, but most said no because of having that good tandem, even though we had a guy named halak who was tearing it up in the ahl. Then huet gets hurt, abby makes raycroft look like an allstar and we get nothing for abby when we could of gotten something in return.

    I’m not saying huet will flop like abby did but we do need some outside help but it is something to think about. We only have one set of back to back games this month, i say give carey the ball and see how it goes.

  51. Yeats says:

    Once we get a decent lead, we collapse into protect mode. Hasn’t it dawned on Carbo that is precisely what the opposition wants you to do as they try to open it up and take chances. The more time you spend in their end, the lower the probability they will score. It’s just that simple. Plus sitting back and playing d just plain sucks and takes way more effort than forechecking and pressing the other team. Some of you will differ with me on this one, but I play both wing and d and the former is a hell of a lot more fun than the latter.

  52. doug says:

    i agree with your assessment re: coaching being the issue/ pressure test right now. if we don’t come out of it i wouldn’t blame the players.

  53. doug says:

    nicely put; thanks for the voice of reason.

  54. Yeats says:

    One major problem with this team at present is that they are just sooooooo fragile mentally. Brain farts in each of the last two games that resulted in goals sent he Habs right into the crapper. Against the Devils, the Hammer’s cross-point pass to the Breezer that was muffed and resulted in a breakaway and goal was the iceberg that evening. To those blaming Hamrlik for that one, all I have to say is any pass to Breezer has a better-than-even chance of being a big mistake in hindsight. Last night, Huet’s mishandling of the puck, after he was told by Komisarek to stay in the net if he couldn’t see the puck, was the Trojan horse. After Nashville’s resulting shorty, Huet was done psychologically and should have been yanked. It would have also helped us in the shootout because he just blows on breakaways. The shame about last night’s game is that had they won, Lats, who I have ragged on constantly, would have been the first star. One of the night’s that guy puts in a good effort and it just gets pissed away. To Carbo: shorten the bench in the third if you’re ahead>.Stop pissing away points or, as God is my witness, that last game of the season against the leafs will matter for at least one of the teams.

  55. tleblanc says:

    Well I went to bed feeling very badly about the game after watching most of it on the TIVO on fast forward. I then re-watched it this morning trying to figure out what the issue is. It did occur to me that this has now happened to us on at least four separate occasions this year. Ottawa, Florida, Toronto and Nashville. There’s probably more. Clearly this team doesn’t know how to play shut down hockey and considering the coaching staff I find that incredible. The one thing that is very evident is that in the last period they start meeting the opposition at the red line and falling back from there and although there may be teams that can do that, it clearly is not this version of the Habs. Coincidentally I watched the Rangers game yesterday afternoon and Shanahan’s comment at the end of their win was that a sign of a champion is being able to play shut down hockey. Perhaps this is part of the learning process but I feel the lesson isn’t being taught very quickly if at all. That responsibility must fall directly on the coaching staffs shoulders. Not only Carbonneau but the entire staff.

    Now every winning team has to go through this type of adversity and just look at Ottawa, and Anaheim for reference but it is how you get out of it. Carbo and his boys have their work cut out for them but this is more their test rather than the players test. After all I think Bonk and Ribero show evidence that players put into different situations can adapt and improve. Even the older players.

  56. mjames says:

    Who instructs the team to back into its end in the last ten minutes of the game. During this time we had no forecheck. We let Nashville come into our zone and set up, hoping for a break out. If this supposed to be a defensive strategy then I do not understand the game. At times I counted four Nashville players around out net.

    I am confused by this strategy. We do this on a regular basis. Someone has to ask why we always seem to give up the the crucial goal in the final two minutes. I do not blame the players. There is something else going on.

    What is more confusing is that no reporter dares to ask Carbo what strategy he employs. I guess everyone is intimidated by him. Everyone talks about the lines. That is not the issue in my opinion. I wish we could get a reporter in there to query the coaching staff on its strategy. The reporting is as useful as Carbo’s strategy.

    Lastly we do not need Simoloski and Kostopoulos on the team. Bring up some other guys. Funny how Bonk scores the winning goal. I can assure you he would never be used by Carbo at that point in a game if he playeed for us. Interesting that Bonk has as many goals as he had with us all last year. I think the majority of our players would have more impressive stats if they played for another team. I wonder why that is??????



  57. Bill says:

    It’s just not realistic to expect any team to go through a season without enduring a slump or two. We were expecting this. At the beginning of the year everyone was talking about the hot start, and the wise among us (not me!) were saying that though the Habs were playing over their heads, they were racking up valuable points that would help them weather just this sort of storm. Everyone is acting like this is completely out of the blue. It’s not.

    When a team goes into a funk they don’t click, stop skating, and blow third period leads. If the Habs are a decent squad, they will come out of this soon. If they don’t come out of it, then they’re probably just exactly as good a team as just about all of us thought they were before the season started.

    Making trades, etc., is not what this season is about. This team is still just coming together. Remember how we’re all being patient as Gainey’s draft picks gradually come through the pipeline? Maybe the big start got some of us thinking the Habs were ready to contend again, but they’re not. If they make the playoffs with this crew, great. If not, we look to next year and the year after, when we may legitimately begin to hope again.

  58. HabsWatcher says:

    4, 4th lines

  59. doug says:

    It’s up to Carbo, plain and simple. Last year he fueled the team’s December downturn by being a sour, whining toddler when the team needed leadership from behind the bench. Last year he also juggled lines within games and across them. Sadly, he’s doing both again now, tainting my fond memories of what had been one of my all-time favorite Habs before he took the job.

    This team is solid in terms of talent. They are young – sure – but they have speed and offense and defense and, notwithstanding last night, are deep in goal both in Montreal and on the farm. Sometimes they play so well they look a year away from being a contender – that was the common posting here about a month ago. But when they go down, they go down hard, and that, my friends, is the coach’s job to correct.

    I said last season post-January that I thought that Carbo was the problem. I repeat that now unless he surprises me with a temperamental shift – and temperaments are pretty much ingrained in us from birth and are immutable thereafter. Good hockey player, hard worker, on-ice leader, bad coach. I’d play the string out and fire him in the off-season; this team is too talented to go undiscovered/be disbanded by a sulking, angry, and bad coach.

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