About last night …

I listened to CKAC on the drive home last night and Martin Lemay reeled off some adjectives to describe the Canadiens performances.

In translated form: Disgusting, pathetic, ignoble, stomach-turning, disillusioning, shabby …

I’ve probably missed a few. But Lemay captured the mood in Montreal after yet another home-ice embarrassment. And he was bang-on in talking about the particularly painful impact of a Saturday night loss.

Patients in children’s hospitals, Lemay said, wake up smiling on Saturday mornings. They spend the day in joyful anticipation of watching their beloved Montreal Canadiens on TV.

That enthusiasm is shared by hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Montrealers. The importance of the Canadiens transcends sports. Passionate attachment to the team is something that unites this demographically diverse and frequently fractious city.

Seconds before the Canadiens take to the ice at home games, Bell Centre PA announcer Michel Lacroix, booms out "Accueillons NOS Canadiens!"

Lacroix emphasizes the possessive pronoun because while George Gillet signs the paycheques and Bob Gainey decides who’ll get them, the team skating out to rapturous applause in the NHL’s biggest arena is OUR  Canadiens.

The CH symbol is everywhere in Montreal (including my right bicep). To a greater degree than any other NHL city, including Toronto, Montreal lives and dies with its hockey team.

And we’re dying.

Martin Lemay is dying.

I’m dying.

One would hope the kids in the hospitals, God bless ’em, won’t die. But on six Saturday nights this season, the Montreal Canadiens have broken their little hearts.

It  can only happen once more this year.  The Leafs are here next Saturday. Then the next Saturday game at the Bell Centre is  Jan. 5.

By then, maybe the Canadiens will have figured out what ails them and taken certain steps to correct it.

To be honest, I’m not optimistic. As the bartender said to Diva Dion, "Hey, Céline, why the long face?"

• Goaltending, which was supposed to  be the team’s strength, is a mess.

• Team speed, another alleged forte, is a myth. Sure the Canadiens look fast against Toronto and Boston. But they’ve been outskated by Buffalo, Nashville, Detroit and Carolina. 

• Canadiens can’t score. Their 30-goal man has three this season and is being booed out of town. Their captain hasn’t scored since 2:40 of the first period in a 7-4 win over the Boston whipping boys on Nov. 17. And they’re the only team in the league that has two defencemen playing forward.

• System? What system? The aforementioned slick-skating teams easily break up Canadiens’ rushes, effortlessly clear their zones and consistently gain the Canadiens’ blueline without breaking a sweat. The other team is first on the puck and wins most of the one-on-one battles. Opponents routinely rack up at least 30 shots on goal; and unlike Canadiens’ total of 36 last night, the other guys get quality chances.

• Canadiens against teams that aren’t from Boston: Won 10, lost 11, lost another four in OT/SO. 

• And finally, show of hands please: Everybody who thinks Guy Carbonneau is the coach who can turn this mess around. 



  1. Bouleau noir says:

    First and foremost select UFA dont sign with teams having a losing record.

    They will specially run away from an organization renowned to sabotage offensive talents and use a system stifling offensive opportunitys.

    Gainey knows that our team will never be at the top without the addition of a select UFA and he has not acheived the ground work necessary to attrac those needed players to sign here….. that is his failling…. his anti-hochey philosophy and hiring of Carbo are killing our chances to move forward,… until that change no scoring UFA will ever come here and shoot themselves in the foot.

  2. ebk says:

    thanks, Ian. Hope you are right about the two year party thing. I doubt it but will buy you a beer if it comes true.

  3. Yeats says:

    When the fans suit up and suck, you can bitch about the fans. The fans have showed up to support this team at every home game and from afar when the team is on the road. The Habs’ performance is no way in hell the fans’ fault. Nobody pays us seven-figure salaries to play a kid’s game and wear a jersey that most of us would don for free if God had blessed us with the talent to make it to the show. Maybe if they gave an honest effort for sixty minutes, something they have admitted several times failing to do in the press, they wouldn’t be booed.

  4. Will Longlade says:

    Ryder’s problem is that he has been trying to do too many things with the puck. The Ryder of old used to have a quick release. Now he always drags the puck before shooting. Goalies are getting tipped off that a shot is coming. He should look at tapes of how he scored in the past and simplify his game and his shot.

  5. CHasman says:

    If the losing continues we will see Gainey do something. The first thing that always happens is remove the coach. Personally I’m all right with that. Before we get to that though we’ll have to suffer some more losses. And I can live with losses, when the team is playing hard. We have tallent on this team but not all twenty guys are on board. Watching the games you can see the players that are still playing their heart out but those numbers are getting smaller. The team has crossed to the dark side and we are having less and less players giving 100%. Carbo must go! But when?

  6. Uwey says:

    That is the best assessment I have seen about this team this season.

    I would like to add about the goaltending situation. I have witnessed this teams goaltending start great the past several season, only to continually slide down hill as the season progress’. IMO, the man responsable for that is Roland Melanson & he should be the first to be shown to the door!!!

    Watch Huet, watch Price, watch Halak, Abby was the same thing, they are all down into the butterfly way to early & that is a trademark of Melanson’s coaching.

  7. Norm0770 says:

    Exactly. They earned their shot, and two of them were probably excused too soon, or unjustly (can you guess which one wasn’t?). And they have gone on to great success elsewhere, where as no one is going to hire Carbo unless he does some time at Jr or in the minors. He is the mirror of Mario Tremblay, but somewhat less bombastic.

  8. Bill says:

    The schedule indeed has been very tough. Those two Buffalo losses stand out right now, because Buffalo shouldn’t be any better than the Habs. It is worth noting that the Ottawa loss was – I think – Ottawa’s last win before its 7-game swoon.

    It’s not only about the losses, it’s the way they’ve lost: the New Jersey domination; the Nashville collapse; the Detroit raping; the Carolina category-five hurricaning. They’ve looked very, very bad in those losses. The offense has dwindled, the PP has lost its edge, the PK has gone in the tank, and the goaltending has been exposed.

    None of this means the team sucks, necessarily. When a team slumps, it slumps because those things are happening. You astutely point out that the upcoming schedule is easier both in terms of how much hockey they have to play – about three games per week instead of four – and in terms of the ferocity of the opposition.

    The time is indeed ripe for them to turn all of this around. There is no reason why they can’t, IMO. It’s the same team they had at the beginning of the year … better, perhaps, for having O’Byrne and Lapierre. They all need to shake it off and play with the confidence they formerly demonstrated. It’s up to Koivu, Kovalev, Markov, and Price to set the tone: we live and die by those guys.

    As for the coaching, it is asinine for any of us to pretend that we are in a position to judge him. He’s a smart guy, played in the NHL, and understands rudiments and tactics. He’s in the room, and we’re not. I’m not going to sit here and say he’s using the wrong strategy (presumably he is not telling them to LOSE), because WTF do I know? It’s also pretty pointless to speculate – and it’s all speculation – about his relationship with the players, or how that might be affecting their play: when people start talking about how the Habs have “lost faith” in Carbo, and suggest that that’s why they lose, well, it’s getting pretty mystical at that point.

    By Gainey’s stated schedule, we still have another full year of growing pains before he expected the Habs to be competitive again, so we all might as well get used to hiccups like this. I wholeheartedly believe, however, that better things are in store, and coming soon. Looking forward to Tuesday night!

  9. Ian Cobb says:

    Ebk, I agree with you compleatly. The problem is more for Bob to rectify, Carbo and Bob have been friends and have worked together half there life time. The two might have to go together. That would be a disaster melt down. BG knows Carbo better than anybody, so its Bobs team and i’m hopefull he will get us there

  10. Chorske says:

    I dunno, Plek-Andrew. SOmetimes you hate a boss because he makes a lot of bad decisions and makes the entire division look bad.

    I was hopeful when Carbo stuck with four basic lines for the first few games. But since then he’s fallen into his usual juggling and calling out of his best players, being snide, saying incomprehensible things in press conferences.

    I just feel like grabbing the little bugger by the lapels and shouting: OK, we get it, your players are letting you down. Guess what: it’s not about you. OK, we know you wish you could strap on your skates and play a regular shift. It’s not about you. Your system isn’t working. Don’t take it personally: it’s not about you. Watch the tape, talk to your coaching staff, and make the changes. That’s what a pro coach does.

    And did anyone else cringe inside at Higgins’ comment, something along the lines of “when we’re on the road, it’s so simple, we chip it in and chase after it”. Am I the only one dismayed that THIS is the system we’re playing? A fast-break team with a couple of decent playmakers dumping and chasing? So let me get this straight. We continue to suck on the faceoff, handing possesion to the other team every time we lose one. We compound that by giving the other team possession when we DO win the faceoff.

    You’ll forgive me if I continue to be unimpressed. This isn’t a bandwagon thing. I’ve been iffy about Carbo since last year. That iffy is starting to morph into the conviction that nothing will change, and that the Habs will continue to be a .500 team at best under his system. Worse: our much-vaunted kids will learn that hard work gets you benched, and that taking responibility is something the other guy does.

  11. Chorske says:

    I think it’s easy to say this kind of thing with 20/20 hindsight. Dallas did quite well after the Iginla trade, thank you very much. And the point is not who he signed. The point is who he is targeting. I like the kind of guys he is prioritizing, he just needs to actually land one of them. And I honestly think that WE’RE more of a problem to the team than Gainey- fickle fans, Quebec / language politics, high taxes, why would anyone put up with that if they had other options? Gainey is facing an uphill battle anytime he tries to sign one of these guys.

    Gainey is doing ONE thing wrong. He should either publicly support Carbo, or get rid of him. I’m with Boone, tho- I can’t see Carbo working out.

  12. Habs Suck says:

    Maybe.. but Carbo can make sh*t out of straw!!! Doesn’t that make him the horse’s aaaa….

  13. Habs Suck says:

    I beg to differ about the remark that we’re upset because we think we’re better than these teams. The reality is that the Habs are not playing good hockey, even for an average team!!! We are not getting an NHL calibre effort and performance on the ice. That’s what the frustration is about. And, by the way, just because we can b*tch-slap the Bruins doesn’t mean we are a better team than them, especially in recent weeks!!!

    We need a bonafide coach… do I hear Bob Hartley breathing heavy into Gainey’s phone???

  14. doug says:

    agree that this team is good enough and getting better.

    fire the cancerous coach.

  15. doug says:

    thank you; agreed. a good coach gets you through slumps. any fool can look good through a few winning streaks. and the next question is why do we have the streaks? i’d submit because the team is good enough to win quite a bit but not good enough to overcome bad coaching when things turn south.

    FIRE carbo

  16. Exit716 says:

    What is Gainey’s vision? Look at the past two free agent seasons.
    He targets Shanahan for leadership gets rejected and overpays a perimeter softie.
    He targets Briere gets rejected and then goes nuts trying to get Ryan Smyth and Rafalski before setting for the Dollarama specials of Smolinski and Kostopolous?
    It’s like when the plan A guy says no, he panics and then starts throwing money around at the wall hoping it sticks.
    He had a number one centre in Dallas when he got there. He traded Iginla instead of Todd Harvey to Calgary for Nieuwendyk.
    If he does make a deal it will likely be a flop.

  17. Gilles Poisson says:

    “Passionate attachment to the team is something that unites this demographically diverse and frequently fractious city.”

    Absolutement. I liked this entry. I think it’s about time people start getting pissed off instead of just whistling past the graveyard. Thank you.

  18. Gilles Poisson says:

    The season is far from lost, but things are unraveling and people are right to be worried. We can look at the standings and say to this point we’ve done ok but I doubt the Habs are doing that. Last years team was in almost every game. When this team is bad, it’s as bad as anything I’ve seen in along time.

    Now to top it off, Carbonneau might have a real problem with the goaltending. He doesn’t need that right now. I don’t think any sane person could draw any conclusions about Price’s future based on a few bad games. And all indications are that the kid is tough mentally. But as far as I know, he has blood in his veins, and if he continues to give up 4 a game it’s going to get to him. He’s deserved better in front of him, but let’s face it, he has been shaky.

    It’s a dumb sports cliche but Carbonneau is a fierce competitor. It will be interesting to see how (or if) he manages the next few months, especially if things get worse. It can be a brutal job, maybe more so for a favourite son, who suddenly faces criticism from people who once revered him. Nous verrons ce que nous verrons.

  19. likehoy says:


    tsn reports the team had a meeting and practiced on a scheduled off-day

    seems like carbo wants to place smo on the IR…so maybe he can make another call-up…

  20. John Doe says:

    Let’s analyze the schedule during which this slump has come about:

    19th Ottawa 4 at Montreal 2
    21st Montreal 4 at NY Islanders 1
    23rd Montreal 2 at Buffalo 4
    24th Buffalo 3 at Montreal 0
    27th Montreal 4 at Toronto 3
    30th Montreal 0 at New Jersey 4
    1st Nashville 5 at Montreal 4
    4th Detroit 4 at Montreal 1
    6th Montreal 4 at Boston 2
    8th Carolina 5 at Montreal 1

    Essentially we have lost to Ottawa, Buffalo (x2), New Jersey, Nashville, Detroit, and Carolina.

    We have won against NYI, Toronto, and Boston.

    Guess what? It looks generally like the better teams are beating us and the worse teams are losing to us. Why is this so surprising?

    I’m not saying that there isn’t reason for concern during this slump. I haven’t been particularly happy with the humiliation involved in some of the losses. But in the grand scheme of things, the only reason for people get so upset is that we believe that we are better than these teams.

    We aren’t…yet. So, be patient. Keep cheering. Encourage the youth movement and look forward to the upcoming schedule which includes basically everyone who’s still beneath us in the standings:

    11th Tampa Bay at Montreal
    13th Montreal at Philadelphia
    15th Toronto at Montreal
    18th Florida at Montreal
    20th Montreal at Washington
    22nd Montreal at Atlanta
    23rd Montreal at Dallas
    27th Montreal at Tampa Bay
    28th Montreal at Florida

  21. JMoney says:

    Carbo’s coaching is brutal. When you’re coaching players to skate right by the puck in the offensive zone to go for a line change, something is wrong, and it’s how the Canes scored their 3rd goal last night. Koivu’s line was on the ice, and had a chance to keep pressure after the puck started drifting off to the corner. Koivu and Ryder both skated right by the puck and to the bench, letting the Canes take the puck, break out, and they scored… All they had to do was look at the puck and they could have had it, sustained pressure, and maybe the score would have been 2-2 instead of 3-1…

    That is a problem with coaching. Watch the team never use it’s speed to win races to the puck. Any time there is even a slightest chance that they won’t win the race to the puck, they back off and let the other team get the puck, as a result, we play most of the game in our own end, and give the other team many scoring chances. This is a problem with coaching… Carbo has us playing a broken system, and this team will have a very good shot at Stamkos as long as he’s coach. Give us a good coach, and we’re challenging for 4th in the east.

  22. Barts says:

    Guy Carboneau may not be the coach to turn things around, but Saku Koivu is not the captain to do it either. Good captains lead by example. For a ‘first line’ center, (and I use that term loosely), no goals since Nov. 17th is reprehensible.

  23. howtathor says:

    I remember that moment entirely, even to the point where I yelled a the TV! Where the #)%# are you going???
    They just backed up into the neutral zone and headed to the bench. I thought it was a legitimate chance to gain puck possesion in the Carolina zone. Carbo’s system sucks because it lets teams like Carolina, Detroit, Buffalo come at us in thru the neutral zone at full speed. Thinking back, how did we ever beat Buffalo?

  24. ebk says:

    Therrein, Vigneault and Julien were all seasoned coaches before they took over the Canadiens. All either coached in the Minors or Junior or both for many years. They had earned their shot at coaching an NHL team.

    Carbonneau never has been a head coach before his job with the Canadiens. On many night is shows. I really find it puzzling that many of the people who continually call for players to be seasoned in the Minors etc, fail to realize a coach should also follow this path.

  25. Moey says:

    Good post Plekster, out of the mouths of babes….

  26. ebk says:

    excellent post.

  27. BigHabsFan says:

    Carbo is the coach of a team that has difficulty building and keeping a lead, winning face-offs, playing a full 60 minutes, getting to the net, and winning two games in a row.

    These were issues when he took over, and they are still issues today.

    Everyone on the team and in the organization can take some credit when they win, and everyone has to take responsibilty when they lose. Coaches generally get a little credit when winning and a lot of blame when losing; that is the bussiness of running a professional sports team.

    Carbo may not be expected to make Gold, but this team is surely not pure straw.

  28. Plek-Andrew says:

    for a season and a half, i’ve been listening to everybody talk about how the COACH has to go.

    I will simply put it this way. When we were winning all those games earlier on, scoring over 3 goals practically every game, wasn’t Guy Carbonneau our coach?
    When we had a 23-10-X record last year, wasn’t Guy Carbonneau our coach?

    Look… this year, I’m thankful to God we started off like crap like this. I’ll tell you why.

    The earlier the slump, the earlier you break out of it and the earlier you start collecting points to make the playoffs. If we’re anything like we were last year (which we have greatly improved, btw) and we only missed last year’s playoffs by a single point, imagine what’s gonna happen tonight.
    Abby-Drew will be the first person to tell you we can’t go wrong because we have one of the strongest goaltending duo in the entire league. Aebischer won’t cost us those 10-14 points that we coulda had last year had he made those saves that every goalie is supposed to make.

    Look, we’re sad now but we seriously have to be optimistic. As much as we might be losing now, there’s no reason to start giving up on the team that, when you think about it, was able to bring us all together from all over the continent. Deep down, we all have hope for this team and you guys know it.

    How the hell can an immature, cocky and sometimes outrageously ridiculously-spoken guy like me have hope for this team by thoroughly analyzing what we potentially have yet the greater majority of the folks here have a better head on their shoulders and are giving up? Shouldn’t I be the first to abandon ship? I’m not… I knew we would start off badly and finish strong. I said it would happen. And I’m damn happy it is because honestly, this means that we’re gonna have a huge trade because we’ll learn from last year. And we won’t finish 8th. In my mind, we’re gonna finish 5th or 6th even.

    Watch and see!

    And stay hopeful guys. Carbonneau is a good coach. He’s the asshole coach that everybody loves to hate but ask any player, and they’ll tell you the best coach is the coach you hate. Think about it. You know that manager you hate? The one always pushing you to work and you think he’s a jerk cuz all he cares about is work and never seems to wanna get along with you?

    Yeh… that’s coach Guy Carbonneau. We can talk about Bob Hartley all we want (who i absolutely adore) and Paul Maurice too (2 of my 3 favorites), but I don’t see them pushing their youth to work properly. Think about it. We’re chock full of youth or guys under the age of 27 who are still not very seasoned. Carbonneau’s coaching is BRILLIANT for the long-term! You have to be harsh on the young guys from the start to ensure they do their jobs properly; especially on a team of youth.

    When you hire somebody, u have to be an asshole to establish your credibility first and the fun and games can come later. Get em going from the start so their work ethic is established (the youth or new employees) and then have your fun.

    Plek-Andrew makes sense sometimes, doesn’t he 😀

  29. likehoy says:

    Bring Back Bob

  30. twilighthours says:

    16 out of 30 teams make the playoffs. I believe that we have at least the 16th most talented roster in the league.

    I think if you organized all rosters in order of most talented/valuable to least, there wouldn’t be more than 12-14 teams that you’d swap the Habs for. So I think we’ve got enough of the good stuff.

    And besides, better coaches than Carbo have taken less talented teams than the 07-08 Habs and gotten them into the playoffs.

    This team has holes, no doubt, but a better coach could get this team to the playoffs. Carbo, if he stays the year, will not.

  31. likehoy says:

    i agree that the game can be taken too seriously sometimes…
    but keep in mind that children do live or die often with their favorite cartoon character as they do with their favorite sports team. Illness or not, their hearts may have already been set on the Habs. The little rays of light such as cartoons and their sports teams may be even more important to the children as they do not know any better and live in a little bit of bliss.

    While your casino and bum analogies may be accurate, but because they are responsible for their lives and actions and are responsible of their own well-being, I am not sure how far remove you are from your childhood, but children dream about their heroes and being their heroes and nothing devastates them more than their hero failing. Sick or not, they are still children.

  32. twilighthours says:

    Exactly, which is why we should be primarily concerned with the “lack of emotion, effort, intensity, pride, whatever you want to call it.”

  33. showey47 says:

    Get rid of guy and bob steps behind the bench and we will make the playoffs. This team is better than last years and we just missed the playoffs but we did have more wins than 2 teams that did make it. Carbo is the problem.

  34. Moey says:

    Good job of stirring up the pot this morning Mike, don’t forget the eye of newt.

  35. BigHabsFan says:

    “Ryder I think we can all agree is finished in Montreal cause any player that get’s booed by the home crowd just for touching the puck is done in that city……”

    ummmmm….ever heard of a guy named Patrice Brisebois?

    But in all seriousness I agree, unless Ryder drastically turns it around, then he will be a former-Hab by February 26th.
    Same goes for Huet. Personally I like him and what he brings to the team but he will not want to stay in Mtl to take an eventual back seat to Price; and furthermore I dont think Gainey will want to pay market value for Huet given that he may need that money to deal with some of the teams other shortcomings.

    As far as Koivu goes, I dont think that he clearly wants out. He began the season well, which to me indicates that he still has the desire to play and win. Eventually though, he’s only human, I think he’s tired of carrying the team on his back. He’s getting older and he doesnt want to compete for a playoff spot, he wants to compete for a cup. He wants to win, and I think that he would be happy to win in Montreal. Contrast this to a Chris Pronger situation where the team made it to the cup finals and then he demands a trade…that, im my mind, is wanting out.

    Derek Boogaard is not the answer to the Habs problem. There is one Boogaard, one Laraque, one Brasheur, one McGrattan and 30 teams…it doesnt hurt to have one of these guys, but by the same token they wont win you the cup. And as far as Benoit Pouliot goes, isnt he 165lbs? He may be a good player despite his small stature, but I dont know if he is the answer to the Habs problems either.

    I think Gainey has to be looking at what is available in terms of coaches. Carbo has to be on a short leash at this point…the team went into a tailspin last year, and if they do the same thing this year then what can Gainey really do other than take matters into his own hands.

    These next two weeks could really dictate what happens with our season. As many have pointed out, they have been decent on the road, so maybe this year the Christmas road trip won’t be such a bad thing…

  36. Norm0770 says:

    You say we expected the team to FIGHT for the final playoff spot. Right now they are letting teams walk all over them. If they keep playing the way they are rignt now they could prove the expects wrong by finishing 14th or 15th.

  37. twilighthours says:

    People, people, we need to remember one thing:

    In september, this is a team that all the hockey “experts” picked to finish 10th-13th in the conference. And we, the fans, would have probably picked a “fight for the last spot or two” sort of finish.

    That’s exactly what this team is doing. Fighting for the last one or two spots. Don’t let a fast start disguise how good (or mediocre) this team really is.

    The thing we all should be worrying about, though, is the lack of emotion, effort, intensity, pride, whatever you want to call it.

    And this lack of pride, I think, speaks directly to Carbonneau. Near two years ago, I thought Bob was a genius in the way he was phasing Carbo in. Then….. Guy actually took over behind the bench and starting showing us his true coaching colors.

    2 years on, and Guy has lost the respect of the room and has seemingly learning nothing – hasn’t improved at all.

    The first step to long-term success for this organization has to be and must be firing Guy. It’ll be tough, but it is necessary.

    (As for Smolinksi… he’s going to get a free ride this year because if the Habs bench him like they did Samsonov, then no free agent will *ever* sign in Montreal again. Unless a coach with real pedigree – Scotty Bowman – comes to coach here. A fan can dream, can’t he?)

    Folks, let’s keep our expectations realistic. This team is playing like poop right now but we should have expected nothing more than a mediocre team.

    Crappy attitude, maybe, but the truth.

  38. Gilles Poisson says:

    Your first sentence speaks volumes about this team.

  39. showey47 says:

    i don’t think koivu laclustre play says he wants out, but maybe it says get me a right winger who isn’t a defenceman,fourthliner or ryder. He is clearly frustrated by the teams performance, his own performance and his coach. But i do have a theory on ryder and why he isn’t scoring. Most of his goals do come on the powerplay, probably 2/3’s. When souray played on the powerplay he drew alot of attention so he was watched closely by the penalty killer hence opens up a gap between the checking forward and the defenceman on that side hence a shooting spot for ryder. But with no sheldon and no big shot, ryder loses his bread and butter. It’s just a theory

  40. JMoney says:

    Carbo-nono is the problem… This team does have speed, but Carbo doesn’t let them use it… I saw a perfect example of what Carbo preaches to the team during the 2nd period when the score was 2-1. Koivu’s line was on the ice, Higgins was in front of the net, the puck went towards the corner, Ryder and Koivu both could have grabbed the puck instead of skating right past it to let the Carolina player get it. Those 2 skated right to the bench, and Carolina ended up breaking out of the zone and scoring. Had Koivu or Ryder gone for the puck, they would have been first, and been able to continue to pressure in the offensive zone, maybe even tie the game…

    Carbo-nono has us playing a system where if you don’t have the puck, forget about going after it, get back and let the other team carry it into our zone… Sit back and wait for them to make mistakes, don’t force turnovers, don’t win races for the puck, wait for them to give you the puck… Carbo has to go, otherwise this team will end up in the Stamkos lottery.

  41. Gilles Poisson says:

    I am sorry but I agree with Mike Boones. Bob Gainey is killing children. Thank you.

  42. showey47 says:

    i agree, if you can’t get movtivated playing with the loudest building in the league in your corner there are some serious issues.

  43. TheMock780 says:

    Frankly, as much as Mike won’t like it, PJ Stock is bang on. Koivu wants out and is playing like it and this team needs an enforcer drastically. I get stuck watching alot of Oilers games here in Edmonton and I can tell you that the Oilers are not nearly as physical or aggresive since their cup run and you know why? It’s not cause they lost all there hitters and bangers cause in fact they’re all still there, it’s cause Georges Laraque is no longer on the team. A team plays alot more timid when they don’t have that nuclear deterrant on the bench.

    Koivu really looks like he wants out, Ryder I think we can all agree is finished in Montreal cause any player that get’s booed by the home crowd just for touching the puck is done in that city……unless you’re Brian McCabe and no other team would touch you with a 10 foot pole and you have a NTC. It’s only a matter of time before Kovalev starts whining again and wants out and Huet is an asset waiting to be turned into something.

    Realistically, the Habs first chance to get the thing they need the most, a big strong talented first line centre, is with the #1 pick this next draft in Steve Stamkos. The Habs need to tank it and trade alot of the veterans including the guys listed above and go for that pick. It’s the only way. Since Koivu would love to play with his bro, why not trade him to a talented Minnesota team with a shot and try to get Derek Boogard back in a package that also involves a young guy(Benoit Pouliot) and a 1rst rounder.

  44. Gilles Poisson says:

    I dont know why Bob fired Julien but I think always his plan was to have Coach Guy take the helm at some point. He knows Guy is a leader and has the hockey smarts. That doesn’t necessarily make him coaching material. I don’t know enough about hockey to be able to tell if the problems on the ice are the fault of coach Guy. I know he says some stupid things off the ice but, thats Guy, and if the team was winning nobody would care.

    I don’t think, and that’s where I part ways with a lot of you, Bowman would be able to coach this team into the playoffs. Not without outstanding goaltending. This team gets down 1-0 and you feel like it’s insurmountable. The callups were needed, those guys were needed from day one, but they aren’t the guys who are going to right this ship. There is not enough skill at forward, and don’t get me going with team toughness or I’ll puke. I sound like a broken record but to me it is that simple. And that brings me to Bob.

    Would I want to see Bob fired? Absolutely not. I heard P.J. suggesting that he might even hear boos at his jersey ceremony. I will be at that game with my brother, Yvon Poisson, and if anybody around me was to boo him it will probably be a short night for them and for me too. In fact, I’d go as far as saying I wouldn’t want any other GM here in his place. Having said that, I think he has done a poor job as the man ultimately responsible for the personnel. I think in any other city he would be under enormous heat before now, fired in some. I don’t want to hear about great prospects. Every team has them. We usually have more than other teams. Why? Because the other teams prospects are in the goddamn NHL, prospects no more.

    If there is a problem with hiring people in the family, it is that things usually get very ugly before you sever ties. How do you think Boivin would feel about firing Gainey? Or Gainey firing Guy? I will be sad if either of those things happen but The Montreal Canadiens will not be allowed to flounder indefinitely. There is a lot of space between panicking and doing nothing. It’s well past time for Gainey to get proactive. Yeah he took a shot at a couple of free agents. Tough luck. But there is still work to do.
    Thank you.

  45. Yeats says:

    I think the lack of leadership goes far beyond the coaching staff. I think that Koivu’s lack of production has neutered him in the room as well. You play the game. It’s hard for someone to shoot you the look when they haven’t accomplished jack. I agree with your observation that the emotional attachment to the colours probably isn’t as strong as it once was. But, even if money is the overriding factor, these guy are not earning their pay. Quite frankly, you can put an equivalent product on the ice for a lot less scratch. What does frost me is that I find it really hard to understand how any hockey player could hit the ice in Montreal with everone behind you and the building shaking and just plain suck. For God’s sake, are you men?

  46. showey47 says:

    I think i would start by getting gainey back behind the bench at least for the rest of this season then he can hire a replacement during the summer. But as for the on ice product, i’m not sure where to start but we have proven that when they work hard and skate hard they can compete with any team in the league. But what we lack is the will to do it every night, i stated a couple of weeks ago that carbo has lost the room and i feel its coming more apparent with the continuous weak efforts, especially at home. For your statement on motivation, i don’t think the “ch” has the motivational powers that it once had. Especially when the mighty dollar has a bigger impact on where a player signs instead of tradition or history.

  47. Norm0770 says:

    Our last 5 coaches (except Gainey) had no NHL experience, and the last 3 before Carbo have gone on to do well with other teams. Perhaps Carbo shouldn’t have been hired, as he had NO coaching experience, not even Jr B.

    With the young roster, they need an experienced coach who is going to recognize the strengths of his line-up, clearly define a system that the players can execute and want to play with. Carbo rather has defined a system to fit the way he played 20 years ago is the clutch and grab style as a shut down forward.

  48. RH says:

    Let’s see, where do I start. Oh yeah! THE CHILDREN! WHY WON’T ANYONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN???? These millionaires are cold, heartless monsters for letting the poor ill, and terminally ill, children down on yet another Saturday night. Heads should roll. Everyone from the CEO, down to the waterboy should be drawn and quartered right in front of the Bell center for their lack of respect for all Habs fans in Montreal and around the world. PLease, IT’S JUST A GAME!!!

    I don’t think the homeless guy, with a possible psychological disorder and dependency to drugs, who just survived another night on the streets in freezing temperatures, cares that the Habs lost last night.

    I don’t think the guy at the government sponsored casino, who just lost his life savings and won’t be able to go home and face his family, cares that the Habs lost last night.

    Finally, I don’t think the poor kid, with cancer, or leukemia or other illness, who will, as Neil Young said ” Never get to fall in love, Never get to be cool”, because he doesn’t have long to live, cares that the Habs lost last night.

    The Habs are a part of Montreal because of athletes who dedicate there time to voluteering and helping local charities when they could easily just hide away from the public eye. Home grown talent that played for the bleu, blanc et rouge, and continued to be a part of the community they grew up in. Foreign players settling down and deciding to make Montreal there home for the rest of their lives. These are the people who made the Habs a part of the fabric of Montreal. Not all the championships they’ve won. This CKAC guy is an ASS for trying to make grown men, playing a kids game, guilty for losing just to justify his own immature emotional state. SHAME ON HIM and frankly, SHAME ON YOU BOONE if you echo his sentiments. What a load of garbage. I guess the coroners office is going to busy today, in Montreal.

  49. Yeats says:

    These guys are killing me. My response to every post-game comment from the players or coaching staff is always the same. OK, why? Gosh, it’s not like the people in the Bell Center or the rest of us watching from afar are pissing on them from the get go. They bring the booing on themselves. Erik Cole, a guy from upstate New York who played for Clarkson University, is booing along with the fans. Man, is that a new low, or what?

  50. tleblanc says:

    Sadly, and I do mean this, the head coach is responsible for the outlook and attitude of the team. This team at the beginning of the year was up to beating or playing even with almost all of the teams and even their losses were close. Now the team is clearly not showing up. People forget that Carbonneau like his team is extremely young in terms of experience. The question is can the fans be patient or should the fans be patient while he gains experience. This teams talent is not that bad but their psyche is now in a place which may require a shock treatment and unfortunately you can’t replace all the player so your choice of moves are limited.

    a)Make a huge deal where you trade the likes of a Koivu, Kovalev or Higgins or all of the above.
    b)Send the likes of Ryder to the minors for a short stint to let him get his head straight and away from Carbo
    c) Can carbo
    d) all of the above.

    Now that is shock treatment!!!!

  51. P St. Pierre says:

    Haha…I enjoyed the barber line.

  52. P St. Pierre says:

    I would have to agree with almost everyone on here that Guy Carbonneau is no longer the man for the job behind the Canadiens’ bench. This was never more evident to me than after the game against Boston when he said he was trying to get three lines to play defense, which is why he put Dandenault on the first line. Yes, Dandenault scored, but the coach wanted them to protect a lead of one goal? That idea does not coincide with what the “new” NHL is trying to establish. You can’t protect one goal leads anymore (unless you are NJ) because there are too many powerplay opportunities to be had. You no longer can tie guys up in the slot or interfere with them at all. You’ll get a penalty.

    It would seem to me that none of the players on the team really know what Carbonneau’s system really is. They just go out there and throw the puck at the net from weird angles, which hardly ever translates into a goal. They don’t really know what he wants them to do and they are confused and worried that if they don’t do whatever it is he wants, they’ll get moved to a different line or end up in the pressbox.

    When you have a young team, you need an experienced coach who has a proven system that will win games. Guy Carbonneau is not an experienced coach. I have always admired his abilities as a player, but as a coach, I am really starting to question his tactics. He calls out Andrei Markov and Carey Price to the media, but never mentions the countless giveaways by Patrice Brisebois or Bryan Smolinski’s inabiltiy to win faceoffs or play solid defensive hockey (which is what he should be doing, not playing on the top offensive line). I want to see a change.

    Finally, changes probably do need to be made to the Canadiens’ roster. I’m not sure what needs to happen but I know that they need at least one forward who can finish around the net. I still have full confidence in Bob Gainey and the system he has in place, but I hope he doesn’t let his friendship with Carbonneau erode this team any further.

  53. ebk says:

    quite possibly.

  54. Yeats says:

    To be honest, I just don’t know where to start when you look at this team. Carbo has a bunch of problems, not the least of which is the worst haircut amongst coaches in the League. (I find it hard to believe that there are no competant barbers in Montreal.) The Habs draft all these guys with speed, who presumably can get back quickly when they lose possession in the offensive zone, but don’t employ two men on the forecheck. Why? With a few exceptions, the forewards are afraid to go to the front of the other teams net with any regularity. As a result, we don’t get those BS, donkey goals that often decide the outcome of games. (Streit got one last night, but alas it was called back.) Also, with all their speed, why do they deke as the get over the other teams blue line. Dammit, use your wheels and fly by them. I cut him some slack, however, on the motivational issue. If someone has to get you into a lather to play well wearing a Montreal Canadiens’ uniform, you have the f______g problem. The jersey should be motivation enough. Crap, I’d rather see a bunch of local kids drafted by the club who cared. They might not win, but at least you could count on an honest effort. Right now, there are only two things that separate the Habs from the Leafs; they play in different cities and the former have one more colour in their uniforms.

  55. Gilles Poisson says:

    Look on the bright side………never mind. Thank you.

  56. ebk says:

    Boone last night you were saying that the Steelers were going to get kicked by the Patriots today. Care to make a small wager on that and I do mean small.

  57. B says:

    Killing poor, sick and broken hearted orphans in the childrens hospital? Do they also have a supply of puppies they kick around the dressing room? Step away from the ledge and take a deep breath.

  58. ebk says:

    In their last 10 games the Canadiens have gotten 7 out of a possible 20 points. Many of the more faithful are calling for patience and pointing out that even Ottawa goes through slumps and that the Habs are still in the thick of things. Both valid points and while they are true, a closer look at the Habs recent skid to Ottawa’s reveals a startling difference.

    Ottawa lost seven in a row but only one was by more than 1 goal and 3 were Shoot-Out losses. Most of the games could have gone either way.

    The Canadien’s recent skid is a completely different animal. In losses versus Detroit, Ottawa,Carolina and Buffalo twice, they were toyed with. Against New Jersey, the had a great first period but fell apart after that and were dominated by the Devils. The game against Nashville was close on the score board but they were dominated for most of it. The 4-1 lead they would later blow, was not indicative of the Habs performance during the game. It is not that they are losing, it is that they are getting their butts handed to them during this streak.

    Their is plenty of blame to go around. Carbonneau has made the team very uptight with his constant tweaking of the lines. Right now this team is scared to lose and it plays like it. Playing two defenseman as forwards is another dubious Carbonneau habit.

    In all fairness to Carbonneau, a coach is only as good as his players. When your best players are playing well, a coach will look good, when they are not, the coach will look bad. Many of the Canadiens better players need to pick it up and pick it up soon or the season will be lost.

    Gainey has received a free ride so far. Not to many people are pointing the finger at him. I would not want him replaced but he is as responsible for this mess as the coach and the players are. This team is sorely lacking in talent on forward. Playing two D-men up front proves this. Their Defense has 3 legitimate NHL players on it and a bunch of players who are either smurfs or soft or both. I didn’t include O’Bryne in this assessment because he has played only two games.

    The only are were this team is above average is goaltending. I simple do not agree that the goaltenders have been the problem lately or even a small part of it. Price last night played better than the other 18 players on his team and pointing the finger at him is/was a mistake.

    To make a long story short, this team is in major trouble and I’m not sure the players are in place to pull them out. I’m not sure the coaching is place either.

    Thanks for reading

  59. Blarneylad says:

    agree with you completly, i think carbs might be able to turn things around if gainey gave him the tools to do it, i mean, this is the worst team montreal has iced in 3 years

  60. Axeman says:

    Let me be cautiouly optimistic ….
    Mike, our goaltending isn’t quite a “mess”. Every goaltender … Hasak, Cujo, Brodeur, and even Roy has been pulled at least once in there careers. I’ve heard it said that Price drops to his knees too quickly. He has a style, and that style won a Calder cup. Now, I know that’s a far cry from the NHL, but he will adjust. Besides, his style makes more sense that Hasak’s swimming all over the ice, but whatever works for you …..
    Ryder is a waste of ice-time. He has shown time and again that he’s no longer interested in playing for this team. How can your top line be any good with only 2 players who want to play? The sooner we trade him, the better.
    I’m on the fence with Carbo, but leaning toward the side that says we need someone else. His line juggling (even from last season) is getting really old, really fast. I’m sure the players are pissed at him, and even regular joes are guilty of not doing there job very well when they don’t like their boss. This team, at the beginning of the season, could skate, pass, shoot, and score with the rest of the NHL. The players have not changed over the last 10 or so games, so why have the results? Carbo needs to let the players PLAY, and keep lines together. He also needs to learn to chose his after-game comments a little more carefully. Perhaps Gainey needs to get back behind the bench.
    We still have a good team. There are only a few elements which are dragging us down. Replace those elements, and we’ll find a way to win again.

  61. Norm0770 says:

    I think Bob will give Carbo the option to resign rather than fire him outright. I think 2 or 3 more poor efforts.

  62. Norm0770 says:

    Ask the Indianapolis Colts haow they feel about Tony Dungy. He is not the coach anybody loves to hate, he is a coach his players love.

    Coaches you love to hate you sometimes have respect for because even though ho can be hard on you his plan or system will get the team to win. This is not happening with Carbo. He has no previous coaching experience, by no fault of his own, but an unproven coach that seems to not recognize the talents that his team posesses. He has not been ensuring that his young player or experienced players are doing their job properly.

  63. longtimehabsfan says:

    That’s sugar coating. It’s not that they are losing to good teams, they are not showing much effort, and more importantly, we are not seeing any progress. Try and catch a Blackhawks game some night. That’s a young team, which comes to play every night and seems excited about playing. And as far as all those comments by the coach that the Habs are not good at home because maybe they’re trying to put on a show for the fans, well, the best show would be to win the game, any way, any how….

  64. Norm0770 says:

    As few as 6 years ago fans here in Indianapolis were booing Peyton Manning and the Colts off the field on a regular basis. As few as 2 weeks ago they were booing Adam Vinatiari off the field as he missed his second kick of the game and 4th miss in 2 weeks.

    Fans who pay a lot of money to see their team perform get upset with sub-par efforts. If every player on the Habs played every shift the way Steve Being does no one would boo the team, win or loose. It is more about effort than results.

  65. Norm0770 says:

    I agree that we can’t speculate about the relationship between the coach and the team or specific players. The problem I have is that Carbo had ZERO coaching experience and is not really instilling much confidence in the fans that he can coach.

    A couple of observations about the teams play in general. I don’t think the single forechecker scheme is the players idea. I also don’t think that the players have decided to stop skating and pack centre ice when they have a one goal lead. Allowing team to attack with speed to centre leads to bad things even if the other team just dump it in. You have to turn and chase the puck, hope you don’t get smoked in the corner if you even get to the puck first.

    Those are coaching decisions and Carbo hasn’t done anything to change it. He easily gets out coached when trying to match lines too.

  66. Norm0770 says:

    Or at least look like they are trying. That would be an improvment at this point.

  67. Norm0770 says:

    Just because a team is supposed to be better than you doesn’t mean you put in little effort and save yourself for the next game against a team you should beat. It is not like they are putting in great efforts and barely falling short.

    They looked listless against Buffalo on a Friday and got smoked, then followed that up with a worse effort the next night AT HOME against the same team…result: LOSS.

    Carey Price steals two points in Toronto as the team gives up 40+ shots again.

    They go into NJ and show little other than an early game flury. Then NJ implements Carbo’s shut down system to a T over the final half of the game…Habs rack up 16 shots against the best goalie in the world, talk about not giving yourself an chance to win!

    They lost two, 3 goal leads to Nashville allowing 3 goals in the last 10 minutes, while allowing 44 shots.

    Got steamrolled the the Wings nothing else to say.

    Look like they have found their game in Boston with a 3 goal 1st period. Then they try to play Carbo’s shut down system and let the Bruins back into a game that should not have been close, but play a good 3rd period. So they have turned it around right?

    Wrong! Another no show at home vs the Canes, a team they have beaten 2 times this year. Even failed to score on a 1:30 5-on-3.

    By the way in the up coming games they have lost to Toronto, Florida and Atlanta already this year, teams they are “better” than.

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