About last night …

A win, two valuable points to move within one of the Senators … but it was oddly unsatisfying.

You like to see your team at its best in the late stages of a game. Example: Eli Manning driving the Giants down the feld with the clock ticking down.

Your Montreal Canadiens: Four shots in the third period. The tying goal was inches from the line when Francis Bouillon swept it away. Saku Koivu (more about the captain later) lost a late faceoff in the Canadiens’ end, and were it not for a heroic zone-clearing effort by Steve Bégin, that one could have headed for OT.

Playing without Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley – both of whom will be back for the rematch at Scotiabank Place on Saturday – the Senators fired 12 shots at Cristobal Huet in the third period. They buzzed his net, harassed him, forced the Frenchman, he admitted later, to lose his habitual cool.

What is it with Canadiens’ three-goal leads? Nashville, the Rangers … and Ottawa darn near. I’m not enough of an Xs-and-Os guy to analyze the way Canadiens protect leads. But whatever the system is, it’s not working.

But a win is a win. Cristobal Huet was excellent … again. The defence played well without one of its stalwarts, Roman Hamrlik. And the Canadiens’ indisputable number one line – Tomas Plekanec centring Alex Kovalev and Andrei Kostitsyn – is treating Montreal fans to thrills we haven’t had since Jacques Lemaire was centring Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt.

Gotta love those European skill levels. And the magic seems to extend as far west as Switzerland. Mark Streit scored his ninth goal last night. That’s one fewer than Koivu – and he’s matched the captain’s 29 assists.

With his ability to play on defence and up front plus QBing the power play, Streit is one of the most valuable players on the team.

He’s certainly Canadiens’ best bargain at $600,000. Unlike Michael Ryder, Streit is setting himself up for a very nice UFA contract.

Sign him, Bob.

The Canadiens GM might also think about re-signing his other bargain-basement defenceman. Josh Gorges, who played almost 23 minutes last night, makes $495,000 and is an impending RFA.

Streit and Gorges together are making a shade under $1.1 million. Mathieu Dandenault makes $1.75 million. Life is not fair.

• The Captain is making $4.75 million. And you hate to say it, but Saku Koivu is not earning the money. Yet another offensive-zone hook put Ottawa back in the game –  just as Koivu’s penalty had done against the Rangers.

Is it fatigue at this stage of the season? Koivu is an older player, and we all know his heroic medical history.

Is it instability on his line? Ryder has had a nightmare season and Christopher Higgins has blown hot and cold. Sergei Kostitsyn was better off on the Kid Line.

Koivu was benched for most of the third period last night. That shouldn’t be happening to a team’s captain and leader … although the leadership role is starting to migrate one dressing room stall over to number 27. 

• Chris Neil gave Andrei Markov a shot at the final siren. We’re going to see a lot of that down the stretch and into the playoffs. I’m not overly concerned, although I sometimes wish Tom Kostopoulos were three inches taller and 20 pounds heavier. It’s great to  have a Chris Neil, but Brian McGrattan played three minutes last night.  Tom the Bomb played 11:41. Guy Carbonneau’s insistence on rolling four lines all season may help explain the extraordinary good luck Canadiens have had with injuries.

• Speaking of pests, Maxim Lapierre has to  step it up. His line, with Dandenault and Guillaume Latendresse, did nothing last night, and they barely played in the third period. 

• With the Senators screening him and slapping him around, Huet made 26 saves –  many of them difficult. He’s a very good goalie.

 • Carbo wouldn’t tip his hand, but we’ll probably see Carey Price against Toronto tomorrow. The Leafs lost 8-0 to Florida at the ACC last night. How sad is that?

• After the game Kovy said Canadiens need 35 more points to make the playoffs. Canadiens have 67. François Gagnon thinks 94 should do it, so Canadiens need 27 points in their last 28 games.




  1. The Teacher says:

    Put Ryder in against T.O.

    He DID GET THREE goals in the last game last year.

  2. nn1 says:

    The win last night was not the habs’ strongest 60-minute performance – agreed. But they found a way to win, against Ottawa. True, the Sens were without two of their best, but they’re a very strong, deep, well-coached team, who needed a win badly and we were able to stop them. Were there things to work on? Of course. And there’s no doubt that Saku is not playing his sharpest hockey.
    But hey, there’s 28 games left and we’re winning hockey games. There is time before the playoffs to improve. This team has increasingly showed great character. It seems like they’re learning from every loss now, and that is of tremendous importance.
    Go habs go.

  3. mjames says:

    Makes sense. Ryder should play! The “pluggers” rotate. As nice as Dandy is , he should be on the 4th with Begin, Kost, and Smolinski. I think Smolinski has earned a seat in the press box at least for the next game.


  4. Mike says:

    Exactly my thoughts, that is why i am so surprissed and disappointed that we havent tried it.

  5. Wencz says:

    with respect to those Hossa rumours, they mentioned Higgins in return, I don’t think Bob would do that, Higgy is being groomed to wear the “C”.

    maybe ryder, but nothing too valuable, and I think Waddell might take what he can get to avoid losing Hossa for nothing.

  6. krob1000 says:

    I posted the same thing a while back Mike. Kosty Jr. would be perfect for Ryder as would Plekanec (that one is obviously out of the question). Sergei has great vision and his passes are almost always in a perfect postion for someone to shoot. He also loves to carry the puck across the blueline and hesitiate or slow things down a la Gretzky and hit trailers with perfect passes. With a triggerman like Ryder and a playmaker like Sergei I really think it could work out. I also wonder though if Ryder has seen his last game as a Hab though. I’d like to see that combo tried before we ship him out but I don’t think it will happen.

  7. Ed says:

    There are some people on here who agree with you Mike. Higgins started the year by carrying the puck much more than he did in the past, and he was reluctant to pass. His shots on goal were up significantly, because that appeared to be his new style. We could never fault his work ethic, but his style had changed. He is much better than Ryder at carrying the puck in traffic, and Ryder was there watching Higgins carrying the puck, and eventually shooting rather than passing. Higgins chances were way up, and Ryder’s were down. Ryder seemed to play better when he was put on other lines, but generally those lines did not last long.

  8. Chris says:

    Well, I’ve always thought that Higgins was a two-way player who had the misfortune of having some immediate offensive success in his career, thereby raising his and everybody else’s expectations, much like Brian Savage early in his career.

    I would be quite happy with Higgins as a 3rd line centre or winger, who could contribute some good offense, be a ferocious defender and not have so much pressure to be something he probably isn’t.

  9. Chris says:

    And to be honest with you, I find that Plekanec is one of the WORST hookers on the team when he’s defending in transition. He’s often behind the guy with a stick in the opposing player’s hands and waist and doesn’t get called for it. Koivu’s got the rep, so I guess we have to deal with it.

  10. JB says:

    I could live with that – but what type of player is Higgins – is he a power forward capable of 40 goals on 1st line or is he a grinder capable of 20 on 3rd. I thought Lats was maybe a power forward in training (if he learns to hit again) and Lapierre the grinder. Would putting Higgins on this line create just another energy line (ie 4th line) or is this a legimate scoring line?

  11. Bouleau noir says:

    The hiring of Gainey as a GM happened but a few weeks, if that, prior to the drafting day on which Kostsytsin was shosen by the CH,… all the draftees that summer were the results of Savard-Timmins’s own picks as a result of their work during the 12 preceding months,… Gainey was there but went along with Savard’s selection from first to last.

    As Gainey stated in last season’s post-mortem speach… “the re-building process was acheived by my predecessors”…. a process that yielded him an incredibily hight number of NHL successfull prospects…. 9 in total,.. Komi, Higgins, Plek, A.Kostsi, Lapierre, Perezhogin, Hossa, Beauchemin and Hainsey.

    In my book, Gainey inheritated a very favorable situation upon which to build,… our team already had some good pieces and youth,… we were stocked with quality prospects as never before and the lock-out gaved him an incredible amount of UFA to chose from to fixe our team for the long run,… never mind the new CBA and newNHL that were both
    highly favorable turn of event for our franchise.

  12. Chris says:

    If you really want to have fun, take a look at the stats of a certain Daniel Briere, our supposed saviour who spurned us early in his career. Giving up on young offensive players is rarely a good idea. Never know when they are going to break out. The fact that Latendresse is ALREADY contributing is pure gravy. From a little stats study I did a few weeks back, I found that power forwards are often hitting their stride around 23 or 24 years old. Not sure if its that they finally learn how to take proper advantage of their strength, but there are only a few power forwards that come in and produce right away at the NHL level, even fewer who do it at 19 or 20 years old.

  13. JB says:

    You may be right – 25 – 30 – 30 last 3 yrs I think – but point is the same.
    Maybe it’s Higgins with a game change – Maybe Ryder trying to play more defense.
    I’m loving the way the team is playin – but as someone else posted – if the Koivu line went gold – we’d be laughin.
    Just very disappointed how quickly everyone dumped over Ryder and have hung him out to dry.
    Think we have the tools to have a good run – but we’ve got to use them – sitting in the press box doesn’t cut it.

  14. Ed says:

    Yes, 3 goals in the last 8 games, thus breaking out of the slump of 1 goal in 31 games.


  15. krob1000 says:

    You should get one free with the $200 or $400 bricks on the link I posted below. Lol I didn’t realize how that sounded. Energetic hookers are called escorts I think.

  16. Mike says:

    Sorry my last post was such a mess. We can’t have Ryder on the third line because that is not how he plays. Truthfully, in order to capitalize on our teams strenghts, this is the onl line that makes sense to me. If you see flaws please explain.
    S kost-koivu-Ryder
    A Kost-pleks-Kovalev

  17. HotHabs says:

    Fair enough – pvr’s for all of us courtesy of HIO??? OK… I didn’t think so – don’t bother responding to that Boone!

    BTW, I love the line “Koivu’s a lazy hooker” – nothing personal on him, but that was hilarious!

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  18. Mike says:

    I’ve said since the begining of the season that I truley believe that the firdt line troubles were due to higgins changing his game and it doesnt suit koivu’s and ryders.

  19. HotHabs says:

    Was Ryder not the leading goal-scorer for 2 seasons, not 3? That’s what I thought…

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  20. krob1000 says:

    Same one I just saw it differently (I could be wrong I only saw it once). I thought Koivu quickly swung around trying to get the puck but was late and made stick on stick contact and at the same time the Sens player decided to accelerate forward but couldn’t because the two sticks were tangled in front of his feet. You may very well be right but I didn’t think it started at the waist. I sure wish I had one of those pvr things or whatever everyone talks about. I know Koivu has earned a rep. as a lazy hooker and that one had no impact on anything and I saw at least two of those late in the third period (one on Sergei K and the other on Andrei K) that looked worse and didn’t get called.

  21. Will Longlade says:

    Bob Mackenzie dispels this rumour in “No Truth to Canadiens-Thrashers Rumours”:


    Trading Higgins and more for Hossa would be a monumental error IMO. I’d be very surprised if B.G. would do this deal which smacks of desperation. I don’t think the Hab’s situation is desperate. B.G. can afford to sit back and make the deal that makes the best long-term sense for the team.

  22. likehoy says:

    actually no…gainey came on board, but let savard finish the job…savard was kept as an assistang GM until he left to pittsburgh.

    Gainey also offered plekanec for kovalev back when balej was shipped out instead, so it’s funny how that turned out.

  23. HotHabs says:

    Possibly, but I think it has more to do with lack of confidence in himself and his line mates. He’s young and strong, but scoring droughts get between the ears and can make even great players forget how to use their skills. The mental game is very important in a player’s and a team’s success. Some of the Habs are brain-cramping for answers right now.

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  24. JB says:

    Looks like from the posts this morning that we’re finally starting to realize that this team is in trouble with Ryder in the pressbox. He’s taken a bad rap and all the blame for off yrs by Koivu, Higgins and himself. (Look at the 3rd period benching last nite)
    Play Ryder for the rest of the yr with Koivu and Higgins. Tell them they’re together for the rest of the yr. Koivu and Higgins are clearly not happy without Ryder and we can’t trade the full line.
    Put Junior on a line with Lats and Lapierre. Rotate the pluggers.
    Have to get these guys going – can’t rely on the 1st line all the time.
    I’ve been posting this on and off for the last couple of months. You just don’t throw away you’re leading goal scorer for the last 3 yrs. Get a grip.

  25. HotHabs says:

    The hook I’m talking about was when he was in the corner, lost his man and quickly swung around and clearly tried to stop the Sens player with his stick which started at the waist and slid down over the stick and to the knees bring him down in the process. Maybe we’re not thinking of the same incident – there are just too many! No matter. Koivu’s got to stop with the “old NHL” hooks and get his legs moving when he’s lost his man.

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  26. Wencz says:

    I wonder if Higgins might be playing injured. He was like a bullet early in the season and seemed a lot stronger; almost impossible to take the puck off of him at the time.

  27. JB says:

    hmmm..basically this line needs to go back to how it played last yr. Higgins digs out the puck – passes to Koivu who dippsy doodles – who passes to Ryder who finishes. Having Higgins try to be a scorer and Ryder be the defensive awareness on this line has killed them. They need to play similair roles to the way the 1st line is set up.
    This all goes back to way too much line shuffling all yr.
    I like the younger too – but I wonder if he’s not better served on the kid line. We don’t want him snakebit like Koivu, Higgins and Ryder.

    Regardless – glad to see this message is finally making it out on this blog. Now if Carbo will keep some lines together for a month – we should be good to go.
    In reality, we are still 2 yrs from being a legimiate yearly contender like we were throughout much on the 80’s.

  28. oc38 says:

    ***posted as direct Reply***

  29. jamesb33 says:

    Boone – i know we all want to see the ENTIRE game dominated by Les Habitants, but hey: They beat the Sens! Let Koivu have a less fruitful season; let Ryder ‘ride’ the bench. If they win- they win!


  30. krob1000 says:

    Really?? I thought he hooked the guys stick and although that slowed the other guy down because his stick was in front of him I didn’t think that was a penalty. I am no referee and maybe it still is a hook but it was stick on stick contact at first and not a slash. I thought that was let go.

  31. HotHabs says:


    Some good points made and I like your enthusiasm. It is the best time to be a Habs fan in a very very long time – not since the playoff run & cup win of ’93.

    I disagree about your assessment of the Koivu penalty. I found it to be grossly obvious and even a ref with coke-bottle glasses would’ve seen it! We agree, however, that it happens a million times too many!

    I like your idea of splitting Koivu and Higgins, and putting Kosti jr. & Lats with Koivu while Higgins plays with the 3rd line boys. Great coaching mind – couldn’t agree more those calls!

    Ultimately, the team needs another solid veteran D-man and a proven powerforward. Hossa would be the cat’s meow, but I’m not holding my breath. RDS mentioned Habs prospect Yemelin would likely figure into any deal for Hossa. With the right trade(s) this team is going deep into the playoffs – no doubt about it.

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  32. The Teacher says:

    That is reasonable to me.

  33. teamplayer says:

    i like kovalevs prediction better, i dont want the team to finish with 500 hockey and barely make the playoffs… when was the last time we had triple digits points? go habs go

    come on koivu i still got you in my pool!

  34. JF says:

    I don’t think I’m downplaying the win, but I don’t like to see the team unable to protect a 3-goal lead. I’ll be very happy if we beat the Senators on Saturday, when both Heatley and Alfredsson are supposed to be back.

  35. ebk says:

    great call and Andre Savard drafting Plekanec. He also drafted Komiserak and Higgins and doesn’t get enough credit for for starting the clean up after the Houle years.

    I do however believe Andrei Kostitsyn was drafted by Gainey in his first draft as the Hab GM.

  36. Hockey11 says:

    3 Cup rings and plenty of playoff experience to boot, very reliable defensively and he changed position for this team, what more can he do? He looked great vs Ottawa, has 3 goals in his last 7-8 games.

  37. 24 Cups says:

    Teach – I agree with you 100%. One step at a time.

    The Original 24 Cups

  38. Bouleau noir says:

    Thanks to Kovalev and the kids we are being treated with some of the best plays the game has to offers while watching the Habs,.. there are many teams on their way to acheive the always elusive cup contendind status but only a few of them can deliver the type of world class plays and executions that is becoming an integral part of what the CH is all about… I couldn’t be more anthousiastic about our team now that the nectar of hochey can be taste at any given time during the season with some awsome plays that are worth being remembered a long time after the fact.

    Andre Savard showed incredible flair when he drafted Plekanec and A.Kostsitsyn and Gainey did a nice follow throught with the aquisition of Kovalev,… the results are startling and our team is moving away from being the dreadfully goaly performance dependant team they have been for so many years.

    Having said all that I still fee Gainey to be a step behind with the building process of this team and that most of the weak points we have today to be the result of that,.. but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the quality brand of hochey being played by our team.

  39. The Teacher says:

    Oh, most def.

  40. krob1000 says:

    I don’t want to get any more involved than i just did but I think you guys should at least consider it.

  41. The Teacher says:

    I don’t have an issue, I’m just flabbergasted sometimes.

  42. krob1000 says:

    Why don’t you guys both agree not to comment on each others posts anymore. You both make several good points and seem to have issues only with each other…simple solution don’t reply to each other or refer to each others posts.

  43. VancouverHab says:

    I couldn’t (repectfully) disagree more! How is beating the Sens — at this time in this place — not unalloyed joy?

    Look, put this in reverse to get perspective. Say we had lost last night, and Carbo had said at the post-game Press conference that “Kovy & Saku were injured, and we outplayed them in the first period, and, you know, the Sens second line is not doing all that well, a and, and and…..”

    It would sound like sour grapes, whining, pathetic. The Sens would look great & us crap. But we won the (*&^(*&ing game!!!. To mangle Donald Rumsfeld’s insightful remark, you win with the players, the stamina, the hot streaks & the breaks you have, not the ones that you wish that you had.

    Stop & smell the flowers, gentlemen!

  44. showey47 says:

    souray was the worst dman in the league last year when it came to plus minus and look what he got. Anyway i hope he resigns with us for a reasonable price.

  45. Hockey11 says:

    I often wonder if what game the Booner is watching,he said

    “Speaking of pests, Maxim Lapierre has to step it up. His line, with Dandenault and Guillaume Latendresse, did nothing last night, and they barely played in the third period.”

    Max played 15 min which was more than Smokes, Begin or your “3 goal Tom the Fuse”. Max’s line drew two penalties that resulted in goals and Smokes line took two penalites.

    Smokes line did little last nite.

    You also were lamenting the salary discrepancy of Gorges and Streit. Gorges cost us Rivet and he is 23 so he will earn his money when he prvoes his worthiness after a few seasons as will Streit. BTW, Streit really struggled last nite but his mistakes did not hurt us. Dandy earned his money the hard way and came as a UFA and cost us no picks or players and was one of the few players who WANTED to come here and has done everything asked of him and his 7 goals are more than Begin, Max, Breezer, Kosto, or Smokes, he does not play PP and has only two less goals than Streit who plays PP.

    We are playoff bound and certain players are playoff tested and proven, this is where they earn their mettle. As I fan these are the games I want to watch. This team did not make the playoffs and these players will soon learn that is a very different game and don’t forget Carbo HAS NEVER BEEN A HEAD COACH IN A PLAYOFF GAME AND will soon see that the heart and soul players will carry him as he over reacts to the press and freaks outs on the bench, again. He is improving as a coach but he has a long way to go. Why don’t you pick on the 4 million plus players that are not delivering.

  46. TheCharles says:

    I think you have a valid point, but I’d still like the see the boys on top. This is a good young team which is only gonna get better. Teams are already taking notice of the Canadiens, and I’d really like to see some character victories.

    For years now we’ve been waiting for the scouting and the great draft picks to pay off. We have constantly been waiting for the pieces of the puzzle to come together, and finally it seems to be happening. So I say let’s take first in the East. Let’s show every team in the NHL that the ghosts of the old forum are still around. I hope the boys show the rest of the league that they are the elite team that we all know they are.

  47. HabsProf says:

    Streit is not as strong defensively as Markov. That is a major consideration. Compare the plus/minus numbers: +2 vs. -8. Streit has never been a plus player. The versatility is a plus, but not enough to offset the defensive weakness.

    I see Streit as a better version of Dick Tarnstrom (sp?). An offensive defenseman who is below average defensively (though not as bad as Tarnstrom).

  48. sidhu says:

    You can never have enough cap space moving forward – Higgins, Komisarek, Pleks, Streit, AK46 are all going to get significant pay increases in the next year or two. (See Boone’s next post.)

    Of course we are a contender, but Saku has a NTC – he won’t go to another team unless it also is a contender.

    I don’t hear anyone complaining that Kovy has had the “A” all season long – so why the fuss when his leadership status moves up? Has he been so enigmatic that he deserves the “A” but not the “C”? That makes little sense. And, assuming Saku does leave, who else will you give the “C” too? Higgins? Komisarek? Begin? There is no doubt the Pleks line has been our best all season. There is no doubt Kovy has been a mentor to the younger players like AK46 and SK74.

  49. Hockey11 says:

    Fair comments but remember he was acquired as a UFA so those players always get a little more money because the team did not have to give up anything to get them. I agree he could complement the better players. He was a set up man in Jr as a forward and is very comfortable in that role. Remember too he is very durable, he is versatile and playoff proven. If you look at the minutes played in the Carolina Cup series he was 4-5 D man in minutes played, not minutes per game. He is very strong defensively and I think he has been hampered by the team tactics of not being allowed to play his game. Remember he went to camp and did the whole camp as a D-man and switched to forward for game one. He had played the last 9 years without the puck and I have seen him get more comfortable each time out. His 7 goals is more than Begin, Kosto, Lapierre, Smoke, Hammer, Komi, S Kost,Breezer and he plays less than every player on most nites, he has 2 less goals than Streit and Dandy has not taken a shift on the PP this season.

    As this team heads for the playoffs we need all hands on deck and we are one game away from an injury that causes the deck to be shuffled again. Carbo needs to keep everyone charged up and he has this propensity to demote players. Why not come out and say that we are the enviable position of having everyone healthy and he will rotate guys in and out based on who we are playing, no one minds sitting out once in while in a positive environment.

  50. ebk says:

    I thought so to about two weeks ago but he just keeps playing better and better. If he cracks 50 points, his agent should be shot if he can’t get him at least $2.5m

  51. Hockey11 says:

    Okay, elaborate. Both Gui and Dandy drew penalties that resulted in goals. Dandenault had strong wall play and one on one play. This line played more minutes that the Smokes line except Gui who is a defensive liability on a checking line late in tight games. What more do you want from players playing 8-12 minutes a game? They can only do what is asked of them. The team need more 5 on 5 scoring from their big money, big minutes players. Why does Carbo play head games with the minions? BTW, Ribiero went to the All Star Game and Rivet is flourishing. Think playoffs people, that is where we are headed and it ain’t for the faint of heart either.

    More Carbo head games, Higgins fourth line is idiotic and if you want to sit someone, how about Koivu, he is simply not delivering, seems like there is a double standard with this coach.

  52. HotHabs says:

    BTW, while I’m really pumped about seeing our beloved Habs atop the Eastern Conference, Philly is also eying the summit and has a couple of games in hand.

    The more I think about it, I think it would be better to stay off the conference perch. When you’re #1 everyone wants a piece of ya. But, then again what team wants to stop winning games? So, bring on the competition – I admit Thursday is the exception.

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  53. krob1000 says:

    Might have believed that before Luke Richardson chased him down after a horse length head start. I know Lats went into his glide to make his move but it should have been a clear cut break for sure. I can’t think of many guys that wouldn’t have broke away in that situation. I am not knocking him just saying how much better he could be.

  54. The Teacher says:

    Why do you keep asking me this?

  55. doug says:

    i was thinking the same thing. problem is that he’s more accurately described as a winger/defenseman. if he had all those points on defense we could be in a higher price zone, but as a versatile player I think he’d accept $2M if offered now.

  56. likehoy says:

    cap space? we have plenty…we have enough cap space to add both jokinen and hossa if ryder heads in a different direction…(10 million in total)

    contending team? hello? we’re 2nd in the east…last time i checked…that’s pretty good contention…oh wait…saku is our second line centre too…funny…how that fits…

    and with regards with kovy getting the “C”…i understand he’s having a terrific season, but don’t forget that he’s been labeled an enigma since the start of his career, not just his time in montreal but in pittsburgh and new york too…as long as you sincerely think kovy deserves to lead this team into the future knowing he is not the most consistent player per year…then all the power to you…just don’t jump on his bandwagon…

  57. habfan53 says:

    Agreed. On 110% the othernightthey were talking about his speed and Michel Bergeron was saying he is not all that slow but because of his size he appears slower then he really is a lot like both Peter and Frank Mahovlich. The other thing Bergeron said was that at 20 he will get stonger and that will help his speed also

  58. showey47 says:

    I would like to compare him to the likes of glen murray who was a slow skater when he played junior for the sudbury wolves. His skating improved with time and turned out to have a great career as a goal scorer and power forward

  59. JB says:

    Keep Hossa – disappears in playoffs anyway – crazy

    and just saw who wrote the article – c’mon Brucy hasn’t written a word of truth ever..lol

    and read Bobby Mac’s “blog” on TSN – he’s reliable

  60. howtathor says:

    Higgy isn’t half the skill player that Hossa is but has twice the heart. Which one would you take?

  61. krob1000 says:

    I think he will be a great power forward and in no way was I saying anything like giving up on him. I have actaully posted comparitive stats with Vinny, Leclair, Bertuzzi and Thornton on here before to demonstrate that he is actually ahead of the curve for a big man. I just think he should address his skating now while he is young. He makes it harder than it needs to be is my point and with that extra step he would have a few more goals and then even his harshest critics wouldn’t have anything to say. The reason he looks awkward out there is because he does skate awkwardly. It makes him an easy target when things don’t go well….I by no means think anything bad about Lats.

  62. HotHabs says:

    Don’t know if anyone else came across this report from Canoe.ca regarding Habs wanting Hossa:


    Here’s a quote from the article:
    “If the Thrashers do make a deal, the Habs will have to compete with the Bruins, Senators and Wings. The asking price from the Habs is expected to be W Chris Higgins, a prospect and No. 1 pick in 2008.”

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  63. habfan53 says:

    Tiger has changes every 2/3 years he adapts Hopefuuly that’s what Guillaume can do I just looked up his numbers vs Lecavaliers 1st 2 years

    Latendresse 30 goals (so far) 19 assists -26 208 shots 69PIM
    Lecavalier 38 57 -44 291 66

    Not a big difference I would not give up on him either

  64. sidhu says:

    Mr Boone, thank you for your comments, especially your honest critique of our captain’s play. Just because he is the captain doesn’t mean he’s above criticism and some might argue he should be held to a heightened standard because he is the captain and our highest paid forward.

    I’ve advocated trying to see what we can get for him on the open market – I think he’d make a solid second line center on a contending team – but practically speaking it would surprise me if he was separated from this franchise.

    As I said the other night – give Kovy the “C”, make Koivu a Habs ambassador, and use the cap space for a star (Hossa perhaps??).

  65. ebk says:

    seems like a pretty fine hair to split to me

  66. Mr.Hazard says:

    I think Lapierre was alright last night, but his line was a different story…

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  67. likehoy says:

    ahhhh gotcha…lol…just read team in florida and i was like? why would we trade hossa for jokinen? wait…jokinen’s like #39…#4??? lol

    but ya vinny makes sense now

  68. JF says:

    I agree that the win last night was somehow not totally satisfying. I thought the Senators outplayed the Habs for most of the first period and had a really strong third period, helped a lot by the penalties we took. On the other hand, the Habs were outstanding late in the first period and through the second. The first two goals were pure magic to watch. And what to say about Mark Streit, who causes a turnover leading to an unsuccessful 3-on-1, then streaks up the ice and scores seconds later. But all but squandering a 3-goal lead (again) leaves a bad taste and suggests that the team, while much stronger than earlier in the season, is still a bit fragile. It was Huet’s play (with Bouillon’s help at the goal-mouth) that ensured we won it in regulation. However, I thought we played pretty well defensively, and Brisebois for once was quietly effective in Hamrlik’s spot.

    But something has to be done about the Koivu line. I think Koivu is working hard, despite his bad penalties, and I know, as J.T. and others have pointed out, that he picks it up late in the season. But his line as it stands is dysfunctional. I’ve read everyone’s comments and suggestions, so I’ll throw in my two cents. Higgins has looked much better the last three games, but I have to agree that he and Koivu for whatever reasons simply are not effective together any more. Latendresse has been missing chances lately, but he might work well with Koivu if he parks himself at the net. As for Ryder, if Gainey does not plan to deal him at the deadline he should play. He’s been seen as the problem on the Koivu line, but if you remove Higgins instead, Ryder and Koivu might work. Someone, I think it was krob, suggested S. Kostitsyn could get Ryder going. It’s worth a try, although I really like him on the kid line. I’d even try Mark Streit up there. But if something isn’t done to get that line scoring and other teams figure out how to shut down the Plekanec line, the Habs are toast.

    I look forward to seeing how we match up against the real Ottawa team on Saturday. I think we have better goaltending; that is, Huet is better than either Gerber or Emery, and we’ll see how Price does. I’d say our defense is just about as good as theirs, so the result might depend on how each team can handle the other’s top line. In the meantime there’s Toronto, who will probably play a good game after last night’s stinker. I hope Price starts that one with a full dose of confidence!

  69. likehoy says:

    #4 jay bouwmeester??

  70. Barts says:

    In defence of Matt Dandenault, he does have two Cup rings on his finger, and in this league that buys you a big contract.

    RE: Koivu… it was fun while it lasted.

  71. ebk says:

    $2.5m to $3.0m for either three to four years, should get it done. Otherwise you might have to let him walk.

  72. showey47 says:

    Souray also overachieved last season and he is now making more money than markov. If streit puts up 60 points or so thats gonna call for alot more than 1.5 million. You can guarantee some team will offer him rediculous money.

  73. likehoy says:

    wouldn’t assign a captain…3 A’s would be enough granted the situation. many teams don’t have a captain or are rotating captains.

    Maybe a player vote to assign a captain would be necessary. Koivu has been captain since 23 or 24…and that was through a player vote where everyone thought shayne corson was going to be captain..i wouldn’t feel comfortable if they JUST gave the C to anyone on the team

    also the A is not a C…

    just because they have an A doesn’t mean they’re in line for a C…

    would you have had souray, rivet, higgins, or begin wear the C?

    just because kovy’s been a mentor to young russians doesn’t mean he can command the room. Hamrlik groomed phaneuf? why wasn’t he offered a C or an A? It’s just natural veteran leadership.

    and out of my own personal opinion…playing on several athletic teams…the captain has to be ready to lay his body on the line at any moment and has to be dedicated to the team and is never bigger than the team at any point. After Kovalev’s turmoil season last year and all his negative publicity…His desire has escaped me. He’s only had half a good season so far…and that’s not enough to convince me he’s the real deal as a true leader for the team. If he keeps it up into next season, then maybe his attitude has changed for good, but for now I feel it’s too premature and as an athlete…you don’t want to enter the dressing room asking your captain “so which game are you bringing tonight?? the one where you score…or the one where you disappear?”

  74. likehoy says:

    dandy is a complementary top sixer as a forward…and a smooth skating 5th or 6th dman. The problem is he’s not gritty enough to play a 3rd or 4th line role, but he has the speed and backchecks, but if he were to play on the first or second lines, he will pick up garbage points from being a good skater and willing to work for his goals. He can be a 30-35 point forward…or a passive defensive forward…or a dman you wish could pass the puck better. Either way he doesn’t exactly fit into our system or depth. When your whole team is amazing like detroits was, it’s hard to be bad cause everyone covers your ass, that’s why they win cups. Dandeneault in no way was the main part of the Detroit cup wins, he rather enjoyed the ride…which is why we thought he was good and offered him 1.75 million a year and was supposed to replace brisebois, but never lived up offensively and we complained his first year here.

    Overall…dandy is overpaid for any of the roles he plays…and he’s a veteran that can help a young team missing depth. Does he fit into our plans? Not so much considering we have 2 players each night rotating with his spot, along with another possible player down in the AHL that goes by the name “Freddy.” and streit is virtually the same player as him in his role for the team, and streit just does it better and at a cheaper rate.

  75. The Teacher says:

    Sorry for the repost, I meant to post it here.

    I really don’t understand the logic of overpaying for a pending UFA, especially when he will be free in 5 months. also especially when it will involve a loss of a an important player, a promising prospect, and 1 or 2 1st round draft picks in a deep draft.

    For Jokinen I might consider it, only because his salary is decent at 5.25 million and is signed for an additional year (never would trade 2 first rounders IMO, in ANY deal).

    Any trade has to be about short AND long term viability of the club. I’m not going to be happy if we go all out this year, don’t win, and then have to suffer through mediocrity for another 15 years.

    I’ll be satisfied with taking a toddler-step this year. I say this only because I believe we are entering the final stage of the rebuilding process and entering into the “yearly contender” stage. The problem with this is that we have to make the playoffs for 2 years in a row to truly be considered a “yearly contender”.

    I am not looking for a flash in the pan here. I’m looking for a strong, log-burning fire that warms and sustains the heart.

  76. oc38 says:

    1st time poster here;

    Cable Guy,
    I like the idea of using Laps as a spark plug to get Ryder going and i think Both of them would benefit from Higgins however i don’t think the 1st line could hold their own.
    Latendresse is a weak skater and would slow Koivu and Junior up. If Higgins style of play is to blame for Koivus under achievements consider this. Is an Under achieving “Power Forward” really going to be the one to turn Koivu around?
    Koivu is a perimeter player and hes damn good at it. Hes your typical playmaker who would benefit from shooting more. (thats a whole other topic)
    and he needs to be on a line with people who can net the puck. and i Agree; Christopher Higgins is not that guy. Junior has a great shot and some baffling moves that can create open space. And, If SOMEONE- ANYONE could get it through Michael Ryders head that his Snap shot is unreal and he need to use it every chance he gets, Ryder and Junior will be the ones to get Koivu back to being Koivu.

    Now the question Remains what happens when O’Byrn comes back?

  77. MICP says:

    Enjoy the ride. Birth of your child, Its the greatest miracle.
    I am taking my son to his first hockey game on March 3, Habs are visiting San Jose.

  78. MICP says:


    Will this be your guys first child?
    Enjoy & congrats!

    I remember my wife at 8 plus months, she loved being pregnant but come month 9 she was ready to deliver.

  79. krob1000 says:

    Mine…not hers. I have a seven year old stepson as well. I wasn’t there for his early years (I arrived when he was 3).

  80. krob1000 says:

    My wife will be on maternity leave shortly or I’d be all over it.

  81. B says:

    My French is poor, but I watched the whole game on RDS. I would rather that than Dean Brown or worse Bob Cole. Note that Koivu now has 8 hooking penalties, not yet 10 or 20, but still too many.

  82. krob1000 says:

    I thought the team looked fantastic through two periods. I didn’t think Koivu played poorly aside from his penalty. The penalty though if you watch the replay probably shouldn’t have been one (that doesn’t excuse him from the ten or twenty other lazy hooks he has taken but is apparent that he has earned himself a reputation). His supposed hook is on the guys stick and only for an instant….it probably doesn’t get called if the ref isn’t positioned behind the incident.

    I think having Ryder in the pressbox and Sergei K on the Koivu line really hurt us though as the game progressed. With Ryder in and Sergei playing with the kid line it gave us THREE aggressive, scoring type lines (they can’t score when we have the puck). By running just two of these lines throughout the night (Kovy and Saku) we eventually tired although I think it was a Series of Unfortunate Events a la Lemony Snickett that really allowed the Sens back into the game. A bad line change, a nice shot by Spezza off teh post, an unlucky delay of game penalty,a seeing eye,pinball goal and voila you have 10 minutes of pyschological torture for players, coaches and fans alike. Huet shut the door when needed and looked pretty darn fantastic to me.

    I liked the way the guys have learned to not retaliate and take stupid penalties as our discipline has been instrumental in our success. We seem to have a real knack for knowing the difference between responding and retaliating and not many teams can boast the same sense of situation. Brisebois made several quietly effective outlet passes that easily made up for the couple of times he appeared to opt out of the battles in the corner (his shoulder has to be bad becasue he did it at least three times I can remember but at least he gets into good position to compensate). I think it was he that made the long outlet pass to create our second goal (it was actually a tic-tic-tac-toe) but he did not earn assist on it on the scoresheet. I saw one of our guys look back and say nice pass ( I am pretty sure it was Brisebois but it was off the camera shot so I am assuming).

    This talk of the Rangers and Sens intimidating us is ridiculous and had absolutely no bearing on the goals the Senators scored…..or the Rangers for that matter. The problems again were mental (linechange, delay of game, miscommunication byetween Boillon and Huet). These are things that happen to a young team and one by one Carbo has systematically addressed our deficiencies…I for one am not too concerned. We are getting closer and closer to playing perfect 60 minute games and it appears the plan is to build slowly and peak at playoff time….again sounds good to me.

    Obviously the Sens will be a different team with Heatley and Alfie in the lineup but we were without our no. 2 defenseman as well and had a thirty goal scorer sitting in the pressbox. We have had close matchups with the Sens at full strength and I am hoping they get their big guns back on Saturday so we can get a real gauge on how we match up prior to the deadline. I still say one more offensive weapon and we are a contender. I believed we needed a top four defensman but I think Streit can fill in and solve that problem.

    Now for anyone who watched the English telecast on Sportsnet…..Dean Brown is trying to make a case for the worst broadcaster out there it seemed to me. He was overly critical (I understand a little home team bias but he was over the top). He was whining about Lats and Lapierre and their reputations as dirty players….(hello Niel and Mcgrattan). Every time we hit a guy he commented about our hands being high or something stupid. He tried to blame Dandenault for crashing Gerber when he was cross checked in the back (he did apologize for that one). I watched almost half of the game in French because I couldn’t stand him anymore.

    It’s a damn fine time to be a Habs fan folks.

  83. J.T. says:

    Sorry to rain on Breezer’s parade, but it was Gorges who made that nice outlet pass on the second goal. He was on the ice with Komi at the time.

    But yeah…it’s a very fine time to be a Habs fan. Best time in fifteen years!

  84. howtathor says:

    Great post Krob! I hope we can put our hands on Hossa for the stretch run and even the future maybe. Atlanta scouts were at the game as well as Anaheim which I find puzzling. Could Koivu be headed to Anaheim to join his buddy Selanne? That would open the door to sign Forsberg or a trade for Marleau. I really hope that we get a winger for Saku and he can finish his career here sipping from the cup. Sergei K is very young and will be a force to be reckoned with while Higgy will come around. I don’t see how Ryder can regain his form in the pressbox. Put Ryder back on the top line and SK back with the kids. Sorry Mathieu but you’ll have to rotate in and out of the 4th trio.
    Just a few thoughts, we’re just a piece or two away from where we want to be. I think Bob knows this, the fans know it too.

  85. Rugger says:

    I watched the Sens broadcast on Center Ice also, the announcer kept going on and on about Kovy only showing up for some of the games etc he’s been better this year but still takes too many games of…wonder what year he is watching.

  86. Cable Guy says:

    If the Kovy line goes cold were doomed.

  87. mjames says:

    (1) If the Oveckin goes cold Washington is doomed.
    (2) If the Lecalviler line goes cold TB is doomed.
    (3) If the Illioychuck line goes cold Atlanta is doomed.
    (4) As we have seen if the Aldredson / Heatley line goes cold Ottawa is doomed.
    (5) etc. etc.

    Most teams have the same risk exposure. In our case we rank third in the entire league in goal scoring at 173 GF. What is a little different in our case is that our scoring is spread reasonably throughout the team.

    Yes if Kovy lines line goes cold the team would suffer just as any other team would suffer.


  88. Mike says:

    Completely agree. However on the koivu issue. I think that instead of fatigue, i think koivu is beyond fustrated. He is pissed. He was the leader of this team through the bad and the worse the past years and now that the team is doing well. He no longer is the leader. He is constantly playing with different linemates, and none of them are finishing their gifts that koivu keeps rapping for them. I think that if we gave him 2 steady linemates that his game will increase dramatically. my suggestion, sergei and ryder. Now i know i have said this many times, but please try to understand. When koivi and ryder have played lately, in the offensive zone, they would try and set up passing plays between them and higgins (their other winger) but higgins would always be slow/ not moving his feet and 3 seconds behind the play, this would lead to a turnover and the puck moving the other way. (now im not going to analize higgins but he needs to understand that he should be a power forward and not a defensive forward) I think that sergei truly understandas the game, is able to read the flow of the game and would be a great mix between them.

  89. J.T. says:

    I like Kovalev’s idea of the number of points it would take better than Gagnon’s. They should aim for a hundred points or more, just to make sure. I like everything Kovalev says and everything he’s doing this year. That line is brilliant and if one of them…or one of Komi/Markov…gets hurt, the Habs are toast.

    The reason the team is giving up late leads is because the Smolinski line is NOT a shut-down line. Smolinski was, in his prime, a second-line centre responsible for providing some secondary goal scoring. He’s trying now to fill the place Chipchura will fill next year, but it’s not his style and he’s not good at it. Recall him standing around when Ovechkin scored the OT winner in Washington as one example. A true defensive centre is just as much a specialist as a point man on the PP…and not just anyone can do it well. If Gainey makes one deal at the deadline…and assuming he’s not going to part with the necessary goods to get Jokinen, Hossa or Sundin…it should be to get that defensive specialist. If he can chip in a few goals, great. If not, his value is more in shutting down the other team anyway. I know he was born in the sixties and he’s not the offensive dynamo he used to be…but if the Blue Jackets drop off, I want Sergei Fedorov. He’s won Cups before, he’s fabulous defensively and he can still score a few with some decent linemates. Make him the third line centre with Begin and Kostopoulos and we’re in business.

    As for Koivu…he does this every year. Slows down and disappears for long stretches. Then, with twenty games to go, he picks it up again. I’m not sure Carbonneau’s benching last night served much of a purpose, unless it was to remind Koivu he’s not above the team when it comes to basic rules like playing disciplined hockey. As far as getting the captain going offensively…I’m just not sure he has any more to give right now. His willing spirit and the smell of spring in Montreal will push his body a little harder in a couple of weeks from now. Until then, I don’t know if he can force more out of his play even if he wants to.

    I do think Koivu and Higgins need to be broken up. They both played better when they were split earlier this year. I think Higgins’ game has changed and no longer meshes with Koivu’s. I really like the kid line, but if S.Kost is going to be with Koivu instead of Ryder anyway, I’d put Latendresse on Koivu’s other wing and use Higgins with Lapierre and Ryder/Dandenault. Higgins/Laps/Ryder worked well for a few games before. But, whatever the combinations end up being, Koivu and Higgins are doing nothing together.

    But yeah, Mike…it would have been much more satisfying to see our guys make an unequivocal statement by thoroughly thumping the Sens last night. The two points were great, but they still haven’t proven they should be at the top of the conference just yet.

  90. krob1000 says:

    Federov hmmm….I’d rather see him with guys who can put puck in the net…if that was Gainey’s acquisition. He is expereinced and Bowman always said he was one of the smartest guys in the game…he is olsd though. I don’t se enough of Columbus to know how much his speed as deteriorated but he could definitely help any club based on his experience alone. I’d want him playing with Higgins and that could prove to be a great two way combo I think if that were to happen. Interesting because if he still skates at 80 percent he is fast enough to shut down anyone and I am sure Hitchcock would have him in the best sape possible given his age.

  91. Ian G Cobb says:

    As usual you have covered all points well.

    I have not jumped around in my chair as much in very many years. That line treated us to a hockey symphony last night

  92. ebk says:

    I’d take Federov but I’d rather have Bobby Holik

  93. Ian G Cobb says:

    SULEMAAN____ Please call me pertaining to Hamilton Summit and HABS FAN TRAIN VIA from Mtl, to Hamilton. Anyone else interested in jumping on our own fan coach with a couple of our hab Legends April 11. CALL Ian at (613) 968-9807

  94. krob1000 says:

    My wife will be eight and a half months pregnant at that time or I’d be all over it Ian. Hope you guys all have a blast.

  95. Mike says:

    So, i know that im very persistent. But If anyone could come up with a better 4 lines please tell me.


  96. Cable Guy says:


    having tenderness on with sergei and koivu might also work.

  97. krob1000 says:

    Gorges was on the ice at the time of the goal but I think Breezer went off after passing it. I am 90 percent sure but they never showed the goal from far enough back but I am almost positive Breexzer passed it up and then went off because it was Gorges who turned and mouthed and pointed to someone.

  98. HabsInBlood says:

    Thanks to TIVO I can help you guys out here. Much to my surprise after many times watching him protect himself before the puck, it was in fact Breezer that took a hit and chipped the puck off the boards to Kostitsyn who had the secondary assist on that beautiful second goal.

    That goal was beautiful.

  99. Ed says:

    krob, I did not see the play, but from what I can see from nhl.com’s play by play, it is difficult to determine which one of you is right. Brisebois was hit by Neill in the Montreal zone just 9 seconds before the goal. At the time of the hit, both Brisebois and Gorges were on the ice. At the time of the goal, Brisebois had been replaced by Komisarek. Here is the play by play just before the goal, and the goal.

    4:18 HIT OTT #22 KELLY HIT MTL #71 BRISEBOIS, Off. Zone

    4:09 GOAL MTL #14 PLEKANEC(18), Wrist, Off. Zone, 13 ft.
    Assists: #46 KASTSITSYN(17); #27 KOVALEV(27)”

    This play by play shows who is on the ice for both teams at different times in the game.

  100. Morenz7 says:

    Well, congrats to Breezer for doing the least he could do. That seems to be his specialty.

    I know he has his supporters on this site. And, yes, it was a helluva goal. But that alone can’t offset the countless howlers this guy has offered up every time they gave him his umpteenth chance. So when Hammer and O’Byrne come back, let him be a useful spare part for the rest of the season—contract be damned.

    After that: enough is enough. It’s time for him to call it a day.

  101. Mike says:

    I know this has no relevance but shaq was traded to the suns?

  102. krob1000 says:

    For Shawn Marion….a perennial all star who was not at the original Woodstock……I don’t get that one either.

  103. RH says:

    You mean the guy from the movie Kazaam? The guy of r-r-rapping fame? Was he in Space Jam? I can’t remember.

  104. RH says:

    Regarding the Markov v. Neil skirmish, Markov was a thorn in Neil’s side last night. He smacked him good, on a couple of occasions and, didn’t stoop to Neil’s level when Neil was trying to bully him into a penalty.

  105. krob1000 says:

    Is this not the coolest thing ever! http://bricks.bellcentre.ca/

  106. RH says:

    Not for what they’re asking for ONE of those bricks.

  107. Revolution No. 9 says:

    It’s just proof that there’s probably enough money out there to support a second NHL team in this town. Of course, it would be a Mets vs Yankees thing but I’m sure Toronto and Montreal could support one extra team each.

    I guess when you sell out the building every night, you have to dream up nice new ways to part more fans from their money.

  108. Chris says:

    Add (6) If Datsyuk and Zetterberg go cold…look out below!

    But I think the more relevant thing is:

    If the Koivu line goes gold, we’re laughing.

  109. mjames says:



  110. howtathor says:

    He’s currently out because of a concussion. Whether that will have any long term effect remains to be seen. He would certainly fit well with the style of our team (finesse). Wonder what Kovy would think? Moscow on the St.Lawrence!

  111. HabsInBlood says:

    Couldn’t agree more. I have a 2-story family room and still almost hit the ceiling after that 2nd goal. That goal sent more chills down my spine than watching the Habs come on the ice before a game or listening to C.P. Linton sing our national anthem.

  112. Ian G Cobb says:

    She does not have to skate, so bring her and our new fan along, if there is a problem, I can deliver.!

    Good post this morning krob.!

  113. krob1000 says:

    SDhe has a bad back to begin with and she works in a daycare so by the time she gets home even now she jsut needs to lay flat. I wish it would work but no way she’d go unfortunately. She usually goes with me twice a year to see the Habs take on the Sens in Ottawa but this year we went early on and won’t be making another trip this season (I might take the wrath and buy tickets if we play the Sens in the playoffs though maternity leave or not).

  114. krob1000 says:

    I have been secretly wondering if Holik would be part of a package deal if one happened for Hossa. He is a well liked, big strong two way center. Long on the tooth but very smart as well. If we can’t get a deal to Bob’s liking for a top six guy those two guys Federov and Holik are probably very good guesses at who else is on Gainey’s radar. Their cost would be minimal and both are well respected,veteran, leader type guys with high hockey IQ’s.

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