About last night …

OK, take a deep breath and remember whom they were playing.

There’s nothing quite like the Boston Bruins to snap your Montreal Canadiens out of their lethargy.

But it wasn’t easy. After a miserable second period reminiscent of their meltdown against Nashville and their no-show against Detroit, Canadiens dominated the final 20 minutes against a Boston team playing its third game in four nights.

Guy Carbonneau said his guys "stopped skating, it was that simple" during the second period. For the final 20 minutes, Carbo used three lines and the Canadiens fired 17 shots at Tuukka Rask to bag a much-needed W.

The coach shortened his bench of necessity: Bryan Smolinski and Steve Bégin were hurt. But maybe more ice time for the big guns is an idea whose time has come. 

So are the Canadiens back on track?

We’ll be able to gauge that better tomorrow night when Carolina is at the Bell Centre. Canadiens, you will recalll, beat the Bruins 7-4 on Nov. 17, lost to Ottawa two nights later and then dropped five of their next seven.

For now, however, there is much to celebrate:

•  Ryan O’Byrne was excellent. He had two assists and two thundering checks on Milan Lucic. O’Byrne is a terrific skater for a guy his size and looked very comfortable with Roman Hamrlik. The Canadiens may finally  have another Top  Four defenceman.

• Maxim Lapierre got toasted on RDS and 110% for not dropping his gloves when challenged by Jeremy Reich. I don’t agree. The Bruins goon was looking to stir things up and got a 10-minute misconduct for his trouble after Francis Bouillon cleaned his clock. Lapierre wears a visor and won’t be the first NHL agitator who’s a non-pugilist. He brought speed, energy and attitude to the fourth line last night, and it was good to see.

• Faceoffs: Captain K won 13 of 18, Tomas Plekanec 14 of 21,  Kyle Chipchura 8 of 13.

• Andrei Markov is back. Reunited with his road trip roomie, Mike Komisarek, Markov  was plus-2 and played like the All-Star that he is. He also keyed a resurgent power play.

• Carey Price gained confidence as the game wore on. His positioning was consistently good, his puckhandling launched transition a few times and Price made big stops when he had to. All part of the learning process.

• Alex Kovalev played 20-plus minutes and had five shots. His line buzzed the Boston end (but their D makes me nervous).

• Bryan Smolinski  may be out for a while with a knee knack. I wonder if Kostitsyn the Younger will get a call-up. Off last night’s effort, I gotta love the Canadiens’ youth movement. 

 

92 Comments

  1. ebk says:

    Who woulda thunk it that Frankie the Bull would be the Habs tough guy/goon.
    Good thing Kostopoulous turned down Reich before Francis took care of him.
    He gave the Habs their first fighting Win of the year.

  2. Habsrule1 says:

    Good day all, especially Plek-Andrew,

    You know, for a while, I was thinking you were just a funny guy, who liked to think he knew something about hockey. Harmless, ya know?

    The more I read what you write, I think the fact that you are a joke really isn’t that funny.

    Lapierre provided the spark we need, so you are wrong there, and visors help. You think Saku put one on to look pretty? You think Berard put one on to look pretty?

    Stick to your horrid predictions, and leave the hockey talk to the rest of us, OK?

    Go Habs Go!!

    Habsrule

  3. Plek-Andrew says:

    LOL
    u can still get a stick under a visor.

    Wear a cage or a half visor-half cage.

    That’ll prevent you from injuring your eye.

    Lapierre is a douche bag. I don’t care what anybody says.
    And hey i might be too. But you still love me. :D

  4. MikeL says:

    Plek, your endless stupidity is overwhelming. People wear visors cause they look good? Are you kidding? That is such an insult to anyone who has ever had some sort of eye injury playing hockey, including myself. I nearly lost my eye not wearing a visor, so I sure as hell wear one now. Do goalies wear neck protectors just for style? How about helmets? Don Cherry actually sounds much smarter during the peak of a crazy rant than you just did during yours. Lapierre has a job..to be a pest. It’s to provide energy and induce other players to take penalties. He wanted Reich to take a penalty there. Why would Lapierre, who is hardly a fighter, fight Reich at that moment up 3-0? He is trying to do his job and provoke Reich to take a penalty. I guess until you can actually understand that, you will continue to surprise people with how stupid you actually can be.

  5. Habsrule1 says:

    I hope Elliott Price of the Team 990 doesn’t mind me using his quote from his blog. It makes up exactly how I feel about all you Carbo bashers:

    Guy Carbonneau !
    Get off this Guy’s back will ya.
    Especially you people who picked this team to miss the playoffs.
    Right now he’s doing better than you did.
    It’s his ass on the line.
    If you’re wrong, you’ll just predict again until you get it right.
    If he’s wrong, he’ll get fired.
    I don’t think there’s a coach in the NHL who’s moves you would agree with 100% of the time,
    up until this point, I think he’s done pretty well with what he was given.

    Go Habs Go!!

    Habsrule

  6. Chuck V. says:

    I disagree with 100% of what you just said. You, sir, are what i like to call a “douche bag,” not because you serve any hygienic purpose, but rather because not only do you have no idea what you’re talking about, but you’re really arrogant in the way you put it forward

  7. HabsInBlood says:

    Plek-Andrew.

    I disagree with you that Lapierre was not visible. He always works hard, plays hard, and is noticeable … at least from my spot on the couch.

    I totally agree that he should have dropped the gloves. This isn’t the 1st time he’s turtled. The previous game against the Broons, when Latendresse was fed a Chara Knuckle sandwich, he earned a lot more respect with his teammates than if he had given Chara a fake head-butt like Laps did last night.

    He will be a more complete player if he answers the call when challenged.

  8. Gilles Poisson says:

    Hello coach Guy I hope you are watching me again. Now we are on a winning streak and everybody is happy. Thank you. Even the fan who quit the Habs to go cheer for the Blackhawks came back last night. Can’t blame him for leaving though, you were on a two game losing streak then. Mon dieu that’s a superfan who demands the best. I am sorry that Bob is trying to move Ryder but don’t worry he’s not going anywhere. Sometimes I maybe give Bob too much praise but he is very patient when he trades a player. Now Ryder is worthless so lucky for us he will stay. Unless Bob is allowed to trade with a beer league team? Je ne sais pas. Very bad luck last night, coach Guy, with Begin and Shmo, tres mauvaise. But look at it like so. What other team is so deep that they can lose a player off their number one line and be better? None. Just us. You just put Streit back on the first line, put Ryder back wherever, it doesn’t matter, and this allows you to get Patrice back in the game. Ryder will match Begin’s energy and has just as many goals. I was guaranteeing the win before the game last night coach Guy, and I am also guaranteeing the win against whoever you play on Saturday. Now Madame Poisson and I are going to bingo. Thank you.

  9. Plek-Andrew says:

    Guys, you still don’t get it do you…
    Maxim Lapierre is what I like to call a “douche bag”.

    He really is. The moment he didn’t drop the gloves and did that little head pump-fake (thought it was basketball for a minute there), everyone at work was like WTF WHY DIDN’T HE DROP THEM U CAN’T START SOMETHING YOU WON’T FINISH etc etc…

    Which made me laugh for a few reasons. First of all, I work at a hockey store so ALL i work with are hockey players. I’ll give them their credibility. You can’t cross-check someone and skate away. That’s called being a “douche bag”. I didn’t necessarily notice him out there on the ice either… at times, i even felt as though he was just standing around…

    Yes, there might be an unwritten rule stating that fighters don’t wear visors but Boone and others, ask anybody who wears a visor why they wear a visor. It’s really simple: style. Hey, I look damn good in a reebok helmet with a smoke-tinted visor. But contrary to what some people may believe, it really doesn’t offer that much more protection and can actually break. But you don’t need one. I sure as hell don’t…

    Knowing how much Lapierre is a douche (did i mention that?) he wears it cuz he’s convinced he looks good in a visor. That’s just wear it ends.

    Hey, bouillon and o’byrne wear visors…

    for what it’s worth, so does Pleky :D

  10. Barts says:

    One thing’s for sure… Francis Bouillion is the man. Jeremy Reich will look for another dance partner next time.

  11. Habs Suck says:

    Happy to bag the 2 points, but Boston is not a true gauge of our success. I’m not so sure a second win in a row will prove much either, especially against the Canes who have been playing sub-500 hockey in their last 10 games. I believe the Habs need to string together a winning percentage in December, and not just one game over .500. Then we might be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing that the team that showed up in October is back.

    Mike, I also noticed the faceoff circle improvement. I didn’t know the exact numbers, but it was obvious they were winning more than they were losing. Nice to see, but again we must factor in Boston’s fatigue which definitely shows on the draws.

    I don’t think Mr. Gainey will call up another forward too quickly (eg., S. Kostitsyn). With Smoke and Begin out, there’s room now for LaPierre and for Ryder (for now anyway). They’ve also got Streit to call on if needed up front (not that I think it’s a great idea), with Gorges and Breezer waiting in the wings.

    What could happen (pure speculation) is that Gainey may make some room on the roster with a deal. He could keep Breezer (who wants him anyway and why would Gainey part with a cheap rent-a-player), but deal Streit, Dandy, Ryder and/or Bouillon. This would give him space to call up another big stay-at-home D, like Cote or Valentenko. And, with Dandy/Ryder gone it gives more opps for another young gun with more playmaking/scoring potential, like A. Kostitsyn or another. Is this going to happen? only Bob knows. Are there teams in need of those aforementioned players? always.

  12. ebk says:

    or Jan Bulis,Radek Bonk, Alexander Perezhogin or Mike Johnson. Bonk and any of the other two would make a nice 3rd line.

  13. johnny boy says:

    Lapierre gives us added defensive/pestering depth up front. He is way more useful to the Habs then Grabovski is at this point in the season.

    forward lines I’d like to see Sat night

    Koivu – Kovalev – Ryder
    Pleks – Higgins – a. Kastitsyn
    Chipchura – Lats – s. kastitsyn
    Lapierre – Dandy – Streit

    injured: begin, smolinski

    You know, writing these lines down, it is frustrating to see we don’t really have an NHL calibre 3rd shut down line. It is exactly what we are missing. Where’s Mike McPhee when you need him… plus we need to up the Habs mustache quotient

  14. JF says:

    We played a great first and third period, but the second had me so frustrated, envisaging another meltdown like Saturday’s game against Nashville, that I temporarily turned off the TV. The win is a huge relief, but I won’t have any confidence that the Habs are back until they’ve played really well for a few games in a row (complete games, not two periods) and strung together a few wins. It would be nice to be able to watch them without fearing every minute that they’re suddenly going to fall apart.

    O’Byrne played a great game. He always seemed to be in the right place, checked well, delivered a couple of thunderous hits, and two of his outlet passes produced goals. The RDS guys all said they thought he shouldn’t have been cut after training camp and, watching the way he played last night, one has to wonder why that decision was made.

    I loved Lapierre’s contribution. Energy, aggravation, some nice passes and puck control. I’m not sure on the dropping-the-gloves issue. If he stays with the team, and I’m guessing he will, he’ll pick his fights.

  15. 24 Cups says:

    Finally we won more faceoffs than we lost. It’s great to see that Plekanec had a good night in the faceoff circle. It will be interesting to see how the boys do on faceoffs against Brind’Amour, Stall, and Cullen, especially seeing that we will probably be miising Smolinski who has been our best man in that regard. Brind’Amour is really the best in the league at faceoffs these days along with Yanic P. Carolina is a real scoring machine this year so puck possession will be vital for the Habs.

  16. likehoy says:

    you know i kinda hope you get a stick in the face…

  17. mjames says:

    Maybe carbo could coach a bingo team.

    mjames

  18. mjames says:

    I have read your comments. I now what dd stands for . Something you and carbo have in common.

    mjames

  19. Wops says:

    I would take Torres for Ryder tomorrow.

    Torres could play on our third line and bring some grit. he can also drop the gloves now and then. also, he is under contract for three years too. and cheaper and 2.2mil. could be tradeable later if he doesnt produce. and we dont loose ryder for nothing.

    He won’t bring the scoring of Ryder, but he will bring something else. Even though we need scoring, I would make the trade.

    and he is still only 25

    underachiever for underachiever.

    you can’t expect to have more for ryder
    _______________________________________
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  20. Will Longlade says:

    Torres in a perennial underachiever, but he played decently in the playoffs a couple of years ago. I agree that packaging Ryder makes more sense for the Habs. The problem that B.G. faces is that trades are difficult to pull off these days. The salary cap, parity and other factors are forcing teams to play w/the devil they already know as opposed to the one they don’t. I doubt we’ll see to much trade action before the trade deadline, although I have a feeling B.G. would like to pull off a deal much earlier than this.

  21. Gilles Poisson says:

    I hope that never happens. It is a good question because they are the same type of player. Players who need their stick held for them. No thank you. Thank you.

  22. Gilles Poisson says:

    I have a friend that is special too like Andrei but he has to wear his helmet all the time. He also wears a mustache. But I really doubt that line is scaring the crap out of anybody. Thank you.

  23. Mike Boone says:

    Then we’ll have a captain who’s Finnish and a forward who’s finished.

  24. Mike Boone says:

    I agree. Kostitsyn is a special player. And I hope that line remains intact. Their combination of speed and skill scares the crap out of opposing defencemen.
    (Of course, their play in the Canadiens’ zone scares the crap out of our defencemen, but that’s another story.)

  25. sidhu says:

    A trade in which the main elements are Ryder for Torres? Thoughts?

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=224606&hubname=nhl

  26. Kevin says:

    Last year the Habs played horrible 1st periods, and picked it up in the 3rd to comeback. This year, we seem to have the opposite problem. If I had to pick a period, I would rather see a letdown in the second rather than the 1st or 3rd.

  27. DD says:

    One trick pony.

  28. Habssince1983 says:

    You throw on the energy line so they can counter the opposition’s need to even the score.

  29. Will Longlade says:

    It’s v. probable that Begin dislocated his shoulder. Although it was pretty obvious to those who saw the game, the team appears to be suppressing the exact nature of his injury like they always do. If Smoke’s injury is as serious as it sounds, they should place him on the IR to make room for Kostitsyn, the Younger. This would allow the Habs to rest Streit.

  30. Elbacky says:

    carbo can’t bring up people from hamilton thats up to gainey, carbo can only decide who to play where but i agree the three lines looked much better

  31. fun police says:

    how is he doing fine? i would say that the team wins in spite of him. does his in game adjustments win us a game that we would otherwise lose? in fact, the contrary usually occurs. his team is easy to match lines with, he simply rolls four lines, almost regardless of the situation. if we are up in the first, his system calls for four players back, then we wonder why we are flat in the second period. he hampers skilled players by pairing them with “energy” players. a good coach places players in spots that they can succeed in. streit as a first line winger benefits neither streit, nor higgins and koivu.
    carbo has zero patience with skilled players (kots, grabs, kovy, samsonov, ryder) yet too much patience with players that are like him (begin, smokes, lats, kosto).
    carbo can coach when things are going well, can even be smug about it. but, as soon as things head south, he has a hard time making adjustments.
    when was the last time we said, “boy, that was a great coaching decision”. rather, we are saying “streit with koivu?”, “smolinski’s playing on the first line?”, “why is breezer getting so much ice time?” “why does carbo throw out the fourth line after everytime we score a goal?” “our fourth played 14 minutes tonight?”
    i was a carbo fan until we didn’t make the playoffs last year. his decision to start huet against the leafs last year was bad, and even worse was sticking with him till the end. how he had bonk and johnson on with 2 minutes left in that game while koivu and kovy were on the bench was bad coaching. if we had paul maurice behind the bench for that game, we would have won. he rides his horses, and has no problem pulling a goalie. the anti-carbo
    finally, dandy may be a natural winger, but first line? he is a fourth liner.

  32. Chorske says:

    I absolutely agree. Actually, this couldn’t have happened at a better time. It allows us to expose Price to number-one-ness without shafting Huet. It’s earlyish in the season. It’s perfect.

  33. Habsrule1 says:

    Hey fun police,

    Dandenault is a natural winger. He was converted into a defenseman.

    Carbo’s doing fine. Why are we so hard on coaches in this city? Let the man work. He’s doing what he can with what he has. If we lose a couple games, and he does nothing you complain. If he switches up the lines, and we win, you complain. Your ideas are just that. His ideas are what decides if he gets fired or not. If Gainey’s ok with what he’s doing, so am I.

    Go Habs Go!!

    Habsrule

  34. krob1000 says:

    I know that part about Leclaire makes it look I meant us but obviously I meant Columbus.

  35. krob1000 says:

    I think it is because we are so deep at the goaltending situation it really doesn’t matter if it is 5 days or two weeks. Now any longer than that and it starts to matter….in a hurry. But for now Price and Halak can handle a few games. They won’t take any chances with a groin as happened in the past with Pascal Leclaire. We will err on the side of caution on this one given our depth between the pipes.

  36. fun police says:

    this means that we have to put up with two defencemen as forwards again. we are the only team to do this. this shows how arrogant carbo is. instead of calling up a kid, which is was normal teams due when players are injured, we plug people into places they were never meant to be in. did anybody else notice how much better we played when we no longer rolled four lines like a peewee houseleague team.

  37. Y says:

    Why is no one inquiring about Huet’s status?

    I miss the Crystal Wall :(

  38. Les-Habitants says:

    RDS had a brief report from today’s practise, and they mentioned was the it looked like neither Begin or Smokes will dress for Saturday’s game. Begin’s injury isn’t that bad, but Smolinski’s knee injury appears to be more serious and he may be out for a while.

  39. HabsInBlood says:

    HabsProf, I’m glad you reminded me of Kosty’s play last night. Not only did he do everything you mentioned, but he threw his body around, too. He could be a key part of the offense going into the 2nd half of the season. In fact, the Pleks line looks more like the #1 line out there – they seem more dangerous than the Koivu line. I guess you could say we have 2 top lines.

  40. Will Longlade says:

    I agree, Kostitsyn looked very sharp against the Bruins. He’s made some fantastic passes this year and he’s got a rocket for a shot. Sure would be nice to see his brother playing beside him. IMO, both are keepers.

  41. krob1000 says:

    HMMMM….I wonder if that just means they don’t have any test results because they both looked pretty serious at first glance. It would be nice for both of those guys sake if they were o.k. because both contributed last night and I think the presence of Lapierre helped to prompt that.

  42. Will Longlade says:

    From TSN.ca

    “Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev skipped practice on Friday for a therapy day. Carey Price will start in goal again when Montreal hosts Carolina on Saturday. Forward Bryan Smolinski is day to day with a right knee injury, while winger Steve Begin is day to day with a left shoulder injury. That means Michael Ryder will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch in Boston. Because Smolinski and Begin have not been placed on IR, the Canadiens remain at their 23-man limit and Mark Streit will likely move up to forward again to fill the vacant spot up front. – TSN”

  43. OldGrover says:

    TSN says they are day-to-day, both of them, and that neither are on the IR list…

  44. Wops says:

    Ahah, classic!

    _______________________________________
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  45. Elbacky says:

    Hey Mike,
    Any update on Begin and Smolinki?

  46. OldGrover says:

    That’s funny – especially with Markov on the other pairing – that’d make our defence core (in some perverse way) have three Russians!

  47. HabsProf says:

    I’m surprised that I’ve seen so little discussion of Kostitsyn’s game last night (I haven’t read all the posts, so perhaps I’ve missed some). His assist on Plek’s goal truly was a beauty – a long pass from deep in the zone to a streaking Plek on the far wing. It was the sort of pass that I am accustomed to seeing Markov make.

    Kostitsyn generated good chances with his speed (goodbye Mr. Wideman) and looked smart out there. He made a real nice stick check with 5:19 left in the 3rd to keep the puck in the Boston zone on a power play. He was willing to stand in front of the net and cause a little havoc.

    I think he is gripping his stick a little tight when it comes to scoring (the angle was NOT too sharp when he took the shot after blowing past Wideman in the 3rd – he just muffed it), but I still think more good things are coming.

  48. sidhu says:

    Even Max was 50% on faceoffs.

  49. sidhu says:

    Plus, Koivu is very close friends with Recchi. Perhaps having Recchi on board will help bolster Koivu’s game.

  50. Cable Guy says:

    Our nickname for o’byrne should be sickle. We have Hammer and Sickle protecting the defensive zone.

  51. Cable Guy says:

    At first thought I felt we shouldn’t pick him up but now I’m having second thoughts, he’s making $2 million, if we get him on re-entry we pay half and since the season is a third over already he would cost us between $600-$700K. I think thats pretty cheap for someone that can still score and could really help us in the playoffs.

  52. OldGrover says:

    With what feels like a real right-wing shortage on the Habs and with Ryder’s problems, you gotta think they’re tempted. They have cap room…

  53. OldGrover says:

    Oh, yeah, I loved the face-off improvements. Here’s hoping that keeps up.

  54. johnny boy says:

    What do you think, should the Habs pick up Recchi on re-entry waivers? I’d prefer to see him on the 3rd line right wing over Dandy.

  55. OldGrover says:

    Thoughts about last night :

    * O’Byrne was excellent – looked older then his years. I’m sure he’ll make mistakes, but I hope he stays up. With Markov/Komi on one pair and Hammer/O’Byrne (he needs a nickname) on the other, that’s a solid Top Four that can really give the opposition problems. Coming down the left wing into Habs territory could get scary for the bad guys with Komi and O’Byrne alternating on that side – two big, mean d-men are a good thing
    * Lapierre played the role we want him to – he generated some chances, he hustled, he kept the energy up and he bugged the heck out of the Bruins
    * Higgins rocked. End of story
    * The Cube’s fight was epic – that was amazing
    * I was disappointed in the 2nd, but encouraged by the way they came back in the 3rd – that’s something we haven’t seen for awhile, so that’s awesome
    * A win is a win!

    Thoughts for the future :
    * Ryder’ll be back on the first line next game. And he may do well…
    * Kosty-Pleks-Kovy will stay together
    * I’m optimistic for the next game – I really liked the way the Habs played in the 3rd

  56. JasonM says:

    2nd period the Habs stunk, why one must ask? There was a significant lack of forechecking and thus in return permitted the other team to play more offensively and leave their zone with little to no effort.

    I wish they’d stop that.

  57. Ron says:

    Plex-Andrew, you may be made of stone but you have pebbles for brains. Take your blow up dolls and amuse yourself.

  58. OldGrover says:

    Dandy’s a natural forward – he was drafted into the NHL as a right-wing. He truly can play either spot. Currently, we’re short of right-wings, it makes sense to play him there – it isn’t so much that we’re short on depth in GENERAL, but we are short of right-wings.

  59. krob1000 says:

    I just played a mens league game last night against the local military team. They are all forced to wear cages and full equipment including mouthpieces,etc. I wear elbow pads the size of a kinder egg, no shoulder pads and no face protection as is the case with the majority of my team. Within five minutes of the game we had one guy highsticked, our goalie run and one of their guys try to kick one of our guys (YES KICK!!) TWICE.

    Needless to say the rest of the game was a gong show and was the roughest game of hockey I have played in years. I have two slash marks about eight inches long, will have a bruise the size of a grapefruit and a cut on my head. I have a sneaky suspicion that if we had had cages on and full armour too this wouldn’t have happened and also if they didn’t have their cages on and full body armour this wouldn’t have happened either.

    The moral of this story is that players should all have to conform to the same rule and personally I believe everyone should wear a half visor (besides the point). The style crap is crap but everyone should wear the same equipment.

  60. mjames says:

    By callinbg out his team as he does Carbo clearly shows he has NO respect for his team. Carbo did not like Kovalev when he spoke out earlier in th season. It is however okay for Carbo to hoist his entire team on their collective petards. I think this lack of respect is reciprocal which is now showing in the team’s play. This has nothing to do with Carbo’s hockey skills. Unless this guy, Guy, becomes more flexible in his playing style and treatment of players he is doomed as a coach and unfortunately so are we as fans as long as he remians coach.

    I challenge you to shows me how Carbo show respect for his team. Given his comments he thinks they are losers. I think they fell same about their coach.

    mjames

  61. Plek-Andrew says:

    Guys,
    just keep em coming. I’m made of stone :D
    And Koivu wears a visor… yet he was clipped in the eye… from underneath the visor that we was wearing… hmm…

    What woulda prevented that? Hmmm… I do recall Plek-Andrew saying a cage or half cage would…

    hmmm…

  62. nightmare_49 says:

    Elliot Price’s blog : That man is so obnoxious that i stopped listening to the morning show cuz of him and i love Denis Cassavant.

  63. johnny boy says:

    starting 2 defensemen as forwards just goes to show how little depth the habs have up front. Dandy is okay as a forward, but Streit has been terrible up front this year. did anyone notice the numerous horrendous give aways vs nashville?

    Smolinski has been trerrible
    Begin hasn’t played very well.
    I haven’t noticed Tom-K during game play for a LONG time

    right now we are a two line team with chipchura and lats contributing at times, but neither really having defined roles.

    our 3-4 lines are a horrible mess.

    rolling 4 lines is just not working Carbo. Build 3 good lines. Play them often, and build a 4th line of scrappers and bangers who are not expected to play more then 5 minutes a game.

  64. Habsrule1 says:

    Dru….

    Classic. Love it.

    Go Habs Go!!

    Habsrule

  65. Dru says:

    Aaaaah! This team is tanking! Trade Koivu! Trade ten first round picks for Ovechkin! Send Ryder to the OHL! Slap Carbonneau silly! We must doooo sommetthinnng!

    Oh wait, that was yesterday. Sorry.

  66. RS says:

    I was also thinking of Kenny ‘the Rat’ Linesman. I think it would be fine for Lapierre to play that role. How often did Esa Tikkanen fight? Or closer to home, how often did Claude Lemieux fight? One of the highlights of my life is seeing Claude waving his fists around like a tough guy, while skating BACKWARDS and behind the referees while all the Bruins on the ice were literally falling over each other to try and get a piece of him. Now that is playing the role of an agitator to perfection!

  67. ebk says:

    two excellent comparisons. Now if Madd Max can only become the player these two were.

  68. J.T. says:

    He fights. He’s just picking his spot.

  69. ebk says:

    Brunet was a very under-rated hab but I don’t recall him dropping his gloves.
    Max doesn’t need to fight, he just needs to keep being a pain in the arse. His coach, I seem to recall was also a huge pain in the arse.

  70. HabsInBlood says:

    People keep referring to Lapierre as a pest. C’mon, Ken Linseman was a pest and was 170ish pounds with soaking wet equipment. Laps is 6’2″ and ~ 200lbs – he needs to start playing like it in all aspects of his game.

  71. DD says:

    Go back, Jack, do it again.

  72. JF says:

    As far as Atlanta goes, we won three of four against them last year and have only played them once this year – a game we were not in from the start. Also, we played well against Buffalo last year. The fact we lost three in a row to them this year may not be conclusive, since the problems that have plagued us recently had already started. When we play well, we can beat them. But I agree, we need to “own” more teams. In particular, we have to find a way to beat New Jersey, Florida, Ottawa, and Toronto in regulation time.

  73. DD says:

    “I have been made redundant before and it is a terrible blow; redundant is a rotten word because it makes you think you are useless.” Billy Connolly

  74. mjames says:

    Carbo quotes leave me stunned. What a flippant answer. He is just an arrogant —-. He never takes responsibility. What I saw in the second period was a Boston team that started to skate, hit and press the forecheck. I saw Carbo’s team, as per his instructions, waiting at their blue line for Boston. Who tells them to do that? If you listen to Carbo I guess the players take upon themselves to just decide to stand at their blue line. If they do that against Carolina, and we will, we will be chasing the puck all night.

    If the team had a coach, someone like Savard in Chicago, we would be skating a lot of teams into the ground. We need coach who will not only inspire his team to win but let his team play to its strengths. As per the quotes it appears Carbo does not respect his team. He thinks they are losers. Guess what coach if you don’t respect your team they will not respect you. They will play to your expectations. This team has the potential to be so much better.

    If there are any more of those guys down in Hamilton who is not ready bring them up.

    mjames

  75. Exit716 says:

    Maybe the next promotion from Hamilton should be Mr. Lever?

  76. BataviaHabsFan says:

    Mike,

    I agree with you on O’Byrne. He looked very good. I like the size and the skating skills. He looked very comfortable out there. I was surprised by the hits! It’s what we need more of from the D.

    I disagree about Lapierre. I think he needed to make an impression on his coach and teammates by dropping his gloves, at least early on in his career. Even if he got his behind whipped, at least he is showing everyone in the dressing room that he will do what it takes. (Now dropping them with Chara would be just plain stupid, so we at least know he is not that). I’m not saying he has to drop them every time, just at least once to get the respect of your teamates (I think he should take some tips from Bouillon who did well for himself).

  77. Mike Boone says:

    You may be right. It’s what Benoit Brunet was saying, and all the guys on 110% agreed. Maybe he’s waiting to take on a middleweight, rather than a big goon like Reich.

  78. HabsInBlood says:

    Well said BataviaHabsFan.

  79. habsfan2442 says:

    I agree with you mike… Lapierre is like the old ken linsman of the bruins..

    He used to poke, jab, and talk trash. get under someones skin bad enough that they would take a penalty.

    I love it…I dont care if he ever drops the gloves.. Just keep pissing people off and get them off there game. that is what he is clearly good at, and to me a welcome add to the canadiens team.

  80. Cable Guy says:

    Smo’s injury is a blessing in disguise. I hope little tits gets called up.

  81. Exit716 says:

    The Bruins commentators on NESN were suggesting that Chara should and I paraphrase “bash Lapierre’s teeth in”.
    It’s a win, but nothing to get really excited about. If we play a solid game against Carolina Saturday then there might be reason for some optimism.
    Boston is an irrelevant franchise.
    Anyone else glad that “Didn’t you used to be Glen Murray” didn’t consider signing with Montreal as a free agent. Put a fork in him…

  82. HabsInBlood says:

    Exit716, I watched NESN, too – the only NHL CenterIce choice. The Bruins commentators are laughable. Reich’s fight with Bouillon was a unanimous decision in favor of Reich. When the Habs were cruising for victory I could hear the NESN analysts somewhere in the background say “You know hoss’, I don’t think the Bruins have lost any of their fights so far this year”. All I could do was chuckle.

  83. J.T. says:

    I think an underestimated stat when it comes to a team’s ability to make the playoffs is an unofficial one…an intangible one, if you will. It’s “owning.” If the number of teams you own is greater than the number of teams that own you, you will make the playoffs. Habs own the Bruins. New Jersey owns the Habs. So does Ottawa. Often, Toronto. And recently, Buffalo. Saturday will tell us if the Habs might own Carolina this year. We’ll see how things balance out, but right now, the Habs need to own more teams.

  84. mjames says:

    Owning – Boston , Islanders, Pittsburg

    Owned – Devils, Florida, Carolina, Ottawa, Atlanta, Toronto, Buffalo,

    TBD – Tampa Bay , Washington, Rangers , Philly

    Interesting that most of the teams that “own” us are skating , puck possession teams.

    We could alter the outlook if we had someone to coach. I do not blame the team for its current state I think we have a decent playoff caliber team.

    mjames

  85. HabsChick says:

    Mike, I’m with you on Lapierre as well. He did exactly what we needed from him. With time, he will be the guy every team despises (a la Tucker) and we’ll be grateful that he plays for les Habitants.

    If I remember correctly, his call up last year really sparked the team. I was thrilled to hear the good news yesterday. I predict he’ll draw at least two penalties on goaltenders in the coming weeks if he sticks around (and I’m guessing he will). :)

  86. HabsInBlood says:

    We could only hope that he becomes “our Tucker” on the ice. That will never happen until he answers the call.

  87. mjames says:

    I would love to get Denis Savard. We didn’t draft him as player and we let him escape as coach. Maybe we will get it right and get him eventually.

    mjames

  88. NLhabsfan says:

    I would be sorry to see Ryder traded as well.If he is he probably would be better treated with another team.To his character he keeps his mouth shut.Difficult to get you confidence when you are moved around like a piece on a checker board.How do you learn your other teams mates moves.Does it always click just like that.He is in a slump and can score.Montreal hockey is a funny game.You are a hero one moment and a bum the next.Very understanding fans here.I have seen a lot of brain farts out here on the ice not all just Ryder.More than a few giveaways.This team does suffer under pressure.I believe Carolina will be the true test tonight.

  89. Rossy says:

    Carbo should extend the same patience to his players as Gainey is extending to him.

    If I were Michael Ryder, I’d be too busy looking over my shoulder to see what decisions are coming from the bench to ever play the kind of game I’m capable of. Okay, so my goal this year is to improve on my plus/minus stats, but in the meantime, let me get out there and get some shots on goal and, presumably, some goals. Give me a chance to do what I do best.

    It’s time to set at least the top two lines and let them play. All the benching and line juggling only adds to self-doubt. Confident players, on the other hand, excel and contribute.

  90. 24 Cups says:

    It would appear that either Begin or Smolinski may not be able to suit up on Saturday so this would be the perfect opportunity to re-insert Ryder back into the lineup. Sitting out one game is enough for Carbo to prove his point. Ryder has always been a streaky player and he can’t get a hot streak going if he’s in the pressbox. No need for a Hamilton callup when we’ve got a $3 mil player ready to go. Put him on a line AND leave him there for the entire game. Time to build some chemistry and confidence.

  91. HabsInBlood says:

    I’m confused here. Everyone is upset Ryder is not scoring … me included.

    What does Carbo do – put him on a checking line?? How is that going to allow him to rediscover his scoring touch?? As I recall, he was working hard the entire time he wasn’t scoring on the top line. He was mucking it up … and he was playing a better defensive game than he was last year. Carbonneau says that it’s starts with hard work and then the results come. Well, that’s what Ryder was doing … working hard. Samsonov wasn’t scoring either last year, but he was dysfunctional. In my opinion, Ryder was doing everything asked of him at the start of year except lighting the lamp. Who knows, he might well have finally exploded out of his slump 4-5 games ago when we needed it … we’ll never know.

    People have been making comments about the coaching. When you look at our lineup, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be making the playoffs. If we tail off like we did last year, then we need to seriously start looking at Carbo’s ability as a coach. Sure, it’s the players job to do it on the ice, but it’s also the coaches job to get the most out of the players.

  92. kevin m says:

    Agree Cups 24

    I think that Ryder, after seeing the game from a different perspective, may just come back and really tear it up.

    Go Habs Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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