About last night …

Two entries for Bob Gainey’s to-do list:

• Sign Mike Komisarek to a contract extension

• Sign Mark Streit before he becomes an unrestricted free agent

Boston tried to run the Canadiens out of the TD Banknorth Centre last night. Komisarek didn’t let it happen.

You can’t intimidate the big moose Habs I/O posters have begun calling Komisaurus. He leads the NHL in hits, blocked shots and thugs stared down. Komisarek is at his absolute best in tough, physical games.

Is there a better defence pairing in the league than Komisarek and Andrei Markov?

Komisarek is signed through next season and then becomes an unrestricted free agent. In the Ovechkin environment, I don’t know what kind of package it would take to tie up Komisarek, but keeping him in Montreal should be the general manager’s highest priority.

Mark Streit is making $600,000 this season. That’s how much Ovechkin will earn for five games in the richest years of his new deal.

Streit is the most versatile player on the Canadiens’ roster. He contributes solid and occasionally spectacular minutes on D and up front, helps Markov quarterback the power play, plays heady hockey at both ends of the ice.

Don’t wait till July on this guy, Bob. Streit deserves a three-year deal and $2 million per wouldn’t be out of line.

Now that we’ve discussed money issues:

• How about Mathieu Dandenault’s F-you stare at his coach after the fourth goal? Cheeky, with gusts to insolent. But you want a guy who wants to play.

• My man Josh Gorges played 15:32 and was plus-one. He’s still prone to gaffes, but the Kelowna Kid is only 23 and gets better every game.

• Tomas Plekanec is this team’s number one centre. He, the great Alex Kovalev and the rapidly emerging Andrei K. scare the bejeezus out of every defenceman they face.

• Andrei Markov: 28 minutes. He and Kovy are the team’s MVPs, with Komisarek closing fast.

• Maxim Lapierre: a goal, some judicious jabbing at Zdeno Chara, 10-4 on faceoffs.

• 10 names on the scoresheet, three even-strength and two PP goals, a perfect night on the PK.

• Sergei and Gui! were each minus-2 last night. But I’m not worried about them.

• You don’t want to tinker with a winning lineup, but would Christopher Higgins benefit from being reunited with Saku Koivu? And would Gui! like playing with fellow poster boy Lapierre?

• Bryan Smolinski will be tough to displace on the fourth line.

• Which goaltender should make the All-Star team, Cristobal Huet or Tim Thomas? based on last night, none of the above.

• • •

Rock’em, Sock ‘em Russians:

Don Cherry, P.J. Stock and Bobby Clarke call this the feel-good movie of the year.

Habs I/O poster DYCSoccer17 sends along a YouTube clip of a wild brawl in the Russian hockey league. The fun begins when Canadiens prospect Alexei Yemelin, number 74 in white, pulls a Dale Hunter on an oponent who has just scored.

128 Comments

  1. likehoy says:

    TSN reports that we’re interested in jarret stoll and glenn murray.
    Jarret Stoll I’d have on my team…good player, good leader, and good face-offman…i’d sign him long term and he’d give us great depth down the middle and maybe give us the chance to convert maxim lapierre to the right winger gainey envisions him as. He put up 68 points the year after the lockout and had a good year last year before getting injured, this year it seems he’s fallen out of favor

    Glenn Murray…on the other hand…forget him. Over the hill, he’s only an average player with a great shot without Jumbo Joe. It’s like keeping Ryder, whom I’m assuming we might be dangling around.

  2. likehoy says:

    still?? that was like 2 years ago no? they’re still going? wow…time to trade for sean avery (i would love to have that bastard on my team any day)

  3. Will Longlade says:

    I agree. The Habs have drafted a lot of decent prospects at D and at least one (other than O’Byrne) will likely make the team next year. Fitting a high priced D like Campbell into the picture is probably not feasible w/ the cap.

  4. Will Longlade says:

    Wow, a threesome.

  5. Will Longlade says:

    Koivu was off his game last night. SK74 & Lats are talented, but when Koivu elevates his play, he brings everyone around him up a couple of notches. I wouldn’t worry about SK74. If the Habs can put some space between themselves and other teams in the EC vying for a playoff spot, it will give Carbo the luxury of resting Captain K, Kovy and Markov before the playoffs. Then we’ll see the Koivu of old in the playoffs and SK74 and Lats will be the prime beneficiaries.

  6. Mike says:

    she is dating sean avery

  7. Mike says:

    5 mil?? hes great, but id see him more like 6 years 24 million

  8. Will Longlade says:

    I’m not keen on Vanek. IMO he is a daisy. I would rather have a guy in the mold of a Dustin Brown any day.

  9. Will Longlade says:

    Based on what I read in another thread, she’s Komi’s squeeze.

  10. Uwey says:

    You mentioned O’Byrne, but there is another kid in Hamilton who isn’t quite as big, but is said to love to use the body to punish his opponents & that is Valentenko.

  11. 24 Cups says:

    The cap hit extends for the enter length of the contract and is averaged out along with any signing bonus or front end loading. That means Vanek’s cap hit is $7.1 mil every year regardless of that year’s salary. I have no problem with Vanek but if we’re going to spend $7.1 mil a year for 6 years then I feel we should expand the search and consider more candidates besides Vanek. I don’t know about Campbell. I don’t mean him as a player, I just mean that I feel we need a 4th defenseman right now to tide us over for a few years so I’d be happy with someone for two years at 3 mil a year. By then, our young prospects will have arrived and hopefully be ready.

    The Original 24 Cups

  12. PGHABS says:

    I agree with the streit comment and contract, Komisarek is worth as much as Hamrlik or Markov….he won’t get the points like Markov but he’s the man for the Habs right now. I would like to see Komisarek signed for six years at about 30 million

  13. nightmare_49 says:

    Great post and the shutdown “D” man’s lifespan as an elite player is much shorter than other players , just to much wear & tear. Foote and McKee are good examples and teams got burnt and all the GM’s know that now or should know (JFJr.).

  14. 24 Cups says:

    Andrei K? You’ve got to be kidding. He didn’t make my top seven Habs last night.

    The Original 24 Cups

  15. 24 Cups says:

    Lats disappeared too.

    The Original 24 Cups

  16. Sulemaan says:

    You’re right. That should have been Jay in PA. Thanks for the correction.

  17. The Teacher says:

    Uhmm, Suleman,

    I missed the game last night, as I went to see Mamma Mia. I never made a comment regarding a stare I still have not seen.

  18. Sulemaan says:

    Maybe she was just visiting home and went to a game with her family. Apparently, she is a season-ticket holder for the Los Angeles Kings.

  19. Sulemaan says:

    Anytime the Habs beat the Bruins I’m a happy man. I’ll admit that I didn’t think Dandenault was worth dressing before the game as his previous results were awful but he showed up. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

    I was wondering who he was staring at after the 2nd goal but based on what Mike and Teach are saying, it was Carbonneau. I guess he was slightly pissed for being benched against Chicago. Good for him.

    The question is if Dandenault can continue to perform well (that doesn’t mean 2 goals per game). I hope he does because then we have four solid lines to roll. If not we can insert Begin and Kostopolous where necessary.

    I think Komisarek played one of the toughest games I’ve seen a defenceman play in years for the Habs. The last defenecemen to play that well for Montreal might have been Chelios or Ludwig (from a defensive perspective).

    If we can get O’Byrne back in the lineup playing like Komisarek did last night on a consistent basis, I’ll be a very happy fan.

    With regards to the lines, I’m not sure I’d want to change Latendresse with Higgins because we seem to have a good thing going right now.

    I would like to see Thornton get his come-uppance from Hamrlik in the next game. Granted the linesmen were holding him down but Thornton knew exactly what he was doing. Let’s see how he fares when Hamrlik is not held down.

    Huet did let in some questionable goals but he also made some great saves. I just wish he’d venture out of the net a lot less. His stickhandling and puck control really make me nervous.

  20. krob1000 says:

    Yeah I know but the more guys they can bring up at those salaries the better off they are. I wasn’t aware of Brisebois potential 700,000 bonus this year (maybe I was and forgot but I am going blank). Anyone know what that is about??Games played??Points??

  21. nightmare_49 says:

    Hmmm , Sounds like JT : the salary cap will increase , we won’t sign everybody back , and we have 4 million to play with so their’s enough money.

  22. likehoy says:

    vanek would be a nice player to have…right handed shot and a pure goal scorer. Unfortunately, the sabres will probably be unwilling to unload a potentially franchise player for them. Although, maybe we can steal afinogenov from them…haha…that’d be a party.

  23. likehoy says:

    you have to take into account in your link that the AHL players don’t effect our salary cap.

    what i did notice though is “KASTSITSYN, SIARHEI” that’s a pretty snazzy name :P

  24. krob1000 says:

    As per Vanek it was Nigthmare who9 brought this up and I jsut like the idea of going after a player like a Vanek. I know he isn’t coming to town but there due to the very limited no. of free agents anymore guys in his situation may have to be the next targets. If it works for the team as far as timing (like a major siging would for the Habs) then it makes sense (overpaying for a star player).

  25. likehoy says:

    I think the best part of plekanec being our “#1″ centre is that we can low-ball him and he will more than likely accept. He’s small…a midrounder…and took him several years to reach the NHL. So he’s not hyped up at all and no one has an over-zealous opinion of him. Also, he doesn’t seem like the type to ask for too much.

    Hopefully we can get him down for a 4 year or 5 year, 2.5-3.5 million a year…I mean reflecting on Markov being our best player at 5.75 a year…then those numbers for plekanec seem fair.

    Komi on the other hand, if we can get him to a 6 or 7 year contract at 3million per season, it’d be more than fair. When was the last time you heard of a shut-down dman with all the “intangibles” making more than 4 million a season? Komi would accept the hometown discount and the long-term will make him more willing to stay…he’s a character guy and there is no question about where he wants to be. (scott hannan, quite possibly the NHL’s best shut-down defenseman…at least according to OV, is signed to a 4 year 18 million contract. 4.5 a year and he was UFA so he was slightly overpaid)

    http://salaries.hockeyanalysis.com/teams/montreal.php

    we are about 6.5 million under the cap and we have a lot to work with. If Komi, Plekanec, Higgins, Kostitsyn each get a 2 million average raise…then we have some places to shave off some salaries, namely smokes 2 million a year(4th line centre? overpaid), bouillon’s 1.875 million a year (3rd pairing dman…overpaid)…and dandeneault’s 1.725 (not really useful in any situation except to skate really fast and hard…so 4th liner…overpaid)…and the cap may increase (maybe not by much) giving us a little more room. Mind you…veterans like brisebois may not return…and cristobal and ryder (each almost making 3 million a year) may not return either.

  26. ebk says:

    Team is $3.7 million under the cap
    Add in
    Ryder $2.9m
    Smolinski $2.0m
    Huet $2.8m
    Brisebois $0.7m

    Not including the cap rising(which it will). Gainey will have over 12 million to spend.

    Yemelin, Valentenko and maybe even McDonagh will be kicking the door down and taking jobs from the likes of Dandenault and Bouillon. Both may not make it to next year as Habs.

    Gainey will be active, as he has tried to be in the past two summers. He knows this team is close to taking the next step. The first wave of kids is leading the charge right now, the next wave will put this team even closer. If he can land a game-breaking forward, this team will be a force for years to come.

    Your discussion on Vanek is interesting. He isn’t coming to the Habs but he is a excellent hockey player. Scored 43 in his 2nd year in the league, He is big, fast, sees the ice very well and is no daisy. If he isn’t now, he soon will be an elite player in the NHL. Hard to understand how people can’t see that but to each his own.

  27. krob1000 says:

    No prob. Go to the Red Wings and look at Zetterberg…that’s a deal.

  28. The Teacher says:

    WOW, That fight was SICK!!!!!!

    Don’t Russians have cops in the building? Or is the team run by the Mafia?

  29. krob1000 says:

    We went after two very similar talents in Briere and Smyth in roughly the same salary range. We may have to go after someone like this …not him but I wouldn’t mind him it if we did…..it would mean soemone else would have to go but he (or someone like him) would be worth it. Vanek would only be 5 million next season and 6.4 million per season for the five following seasons http://cappingthegame.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30462. The bulk of his contract was signing bonus. I may be wrong about next year as I don’t know the bonus works.

  30. TommyB says:

    Thanks for posting this…….very useful!

  31. likehoy says:

    hey can anyone answer me this?

    i know elisha cuthbert is an avid hockey fan and went to highschool in brossard…but is there any secret reason to why she attended our last saturday home game? cause i’d like to see more of her rink-side just like the san antonio spurs frontman tony parker has eva longoria court-side.

  32. J.T. says:

    Yeah…we stand pat unless there really is a stud out there for the taking. In my mind, there are very few of that breed in existence. Ovechkin is one. Lecavalier. But Thomas Vanek? If he scored 68 goals in ONE year, sure, I’d say he’s worth ten million bucks this year. But for a 23-year-old guy with a couple of thirty-something goal seasons on average, and a below average one this year…no thanks. If you’re a desperate team willing to take the risk that this is an off year for him and he MIGHT score forty or more in the coming years of his contract, fine…go for it. But the Habs are not a desperate team. They’re doing just fine without a second-tier, overpaid, pseudo-stud right now. I’d rather pay the guys we have and not go looking to throw the balance out of whack on the off chance a gamble like that would pay off.

  33. krob1000 says:

    Please look at this and take note of how many guys are overpaid and won’t be back. Then look at how many young guys are playing and how cheap they are for next year. Some will make more the following year granted. In 09-10 Kovalev and Koivu are UFA’s …we likely won’t sign them both and if we do it will be for less money than they make now as they will be older. Smolinski won’t be back, Brisebois will likely retire. Bouillon and Dandenault will not be Canadiens in 09-10 (not at those salaries). WE are going to have so many young guys taking over jobs from higher priced guys that we are in the ideal situation to make a big signing. You are rigth we need money to sign many of the guys we have but they are not superstars and they are not as popular outsied of Montreal as many may believe.

    They are valuable to us and they have been in our organization their entire careers (the guys I believe you are referring to). These gusy are not going to cost us too much and I am fairly certain most of them want to see through what they have helped build (just a guess but tehy ahave all grown up together as players, people and friends).

  34. The Teacher says:

    Ahhh, Boone, I said earlier in the year that Pleky could be a #1 Center in the future (didn’t know it’d be this soon) and people brushed me off, saying he should be on the third line or at best the second line.

    He is masterful. How are we going to keep all these guys under contract?

  35. krob1000 says:

    Not true. Why do you think we went after Briere, Smyth, etc. We have several depth players (some of whom are overpaid) and would easily get picked up on waivers. We also have several UFA’s at the end of this year. Yes we do need to sign some of yur up and comers but we also have guys that we won’t be siging again in all likelihood who make too much given their role or can be adequately replaced with younger cheaper players. We have tried. WE are trying. We will continue trying. Gainey is no fool.

  36. Mike says:

    Just to clear this up for everyone. WE DON’T HAVE MONEY TO SPEND. we are saving that money so that we can resign people on our team. Almost everyone is getting a raise. so we don’t have that much to spend. We need to resign people to long extentions.

  37. nightmare_49 says:

    Don’t make fun of those laffs , at least they are trying to improve so they can stay away from the cellar.

  38. JF says:

    On RDS he got the first star. The others were Kovalev and Andrei Kostitsyn. I thought Streit should have had a star for those two beautiful passes.

  39. nightmare_49 says:

    Unfortunately with the potential signing of Komi i don’t think that we can afford Campbell , our budget for our “D” would be blown thru the roof. i really like the improvement of Campbell over the years though.

  40. DYCSoccer17 says:

    #30 for Ak-Bars (the white team) is Alexandr Stepanov. He’s 28 years old, 5’9″ and 216 lbs.

    Ak-Bars also has a few former NHL’ers including Oleg Petrov #14, Petr Cajanek #16, Maxim Mayorov #61 (highly touted draft prospect this past year), Nikita Alexeev #81, Aleksey Morozov #95, Ray Giroux #2, Mika Noronen #35, and Robert Esche #31

  41. krob1000 says:

    I don’t think anybody signs a player for that money without the intent of keeping him….that doesn’t mean they aren’t open to discussion. This was a completely made up one but I think if we look at the theme and the idea it may almost be necessary to get a big player. The pickings are slim as teams are gobbling up any talent and signing for tehe long term almost like the palyers are real estate. The players get a whopping figure and a long term but over time the rules can change, the cap will grow and the “market” is now more than ever a “market”. It is becoming fantasy hockey in reality. The owners are not stupid and these long term deals will more often than not work in their favour if I had to guess. Ovechkin may cost himself 40 million dollars by the end of this deal. It doesn’t matter to him as 124 million is a ton and he will make more off endorsements.

    It is a strange game anymore and if I had a crystal ball I would say that the next big coups are going to be trades for guys like Vanek who seem inflated but over time may be deals. I could be wrong and it is a gamble but the owners are gambling that and they are not stupid and they dictate what happens in the game ultimately. Some playerxs will win and some players will lose and as far as this aspect of the game goes the GM that can best forecast the market and how players development will progress vs it will flourish over the long haul. I like this idea and it is similar to our Ovechkin talks but we are dropping a tier in talent and in salary so it makes a deal like this (not this one specifically) the next logical step. If Burke has his way (he usually does) then you will be able to absorb part of the salary eventually and trade these guys away when they start to be overvalued.

  42. nightmare_49 says:

    So what your saying is we stand pat. If we pick up a free agent this year i’m sure the contract will be a long one at about that much cuz the table been set with recent signings. I’m talking about a stud not a role player. We will be able to sign our RFA’s and still have room with the salary cap with very little tinkering.

  43. Chuck says:

    I doubt that Vanek would be going anywhere. The whole reason they matched that offer for him was because they felt that they needed the firepower after losing their Big Two to free agency.

    To tell you the truth, if you put Vanek and Campbell side-by-side I’d sure love to have Campbell on my team.
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  44. krob1000 says:

    I agree but if the assumption is that the Cap will grow (which it will) then at somepoint we are going to go after another big scorer. Do I think Vanek is the answer….no. Is he better than coming up empty handed….I think so. His contract is awful but if he becomes a forty goal man again than it is about what it should be. I agree with nightmare that we would have to trade and that way it would help offset some salary complications. Someone is going to get overpaid and I thought Hamrlik was overpaid until he played ofr us too. I understand your point and it is a very valid one with respect to Vanek but it seems the only way to acquire a hired gun anymore is to pay more than you want.

    I still think late this season or during this offseason is the best time given our upward climb to acquire one of these guys. It wuold be stupid if our team was on the decline or even just trying to stay afloat. If we are all right and we are close to something special here than I am all for it(not necessarily Vanek but overpaying for four or five years to acquire a bigtime goalscorer). The other thing to factor in is the unknown. Will there be a cap in seven years???Will you be able to trade and absorb some salary as Brian Burke has been lobbying for. These long term deals cripple teams under the assumption things remain the same. That is not a reason to do it but is a very possible reality that noone ever seems to allude to.

  45. Chuck says:

    Well then, I guess that does it. Sundin’s as good as gone now that they have the centre to replace him.
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  46. nightmare_49 says:

    So true , but i’ve been watching a few games and caught many on radio on nhl.com and he’s been getting his chances but is pressing and been snake biten this year and the radio announcers claim his play hasn’t gone south at all. The 2 previous years he’s had 68 goals so that’s not too shabby for his age. It’s better to make a pitch for somebody when his game is struggling than when he’s on top of his game and considering the Sabres have lost their last 8 games the timing right. Vanek was 5th overall in an excellent draft year (Getzlaf year) and has lived up to his billing. I didn’t mention really what we should offer but in my mind Ryder was involved whose salary may be more affordable to them in the future and fits their transition game.

  47. J.T. says:

    Oh, I’m a supporter of the buy low/sell high philosophy. But this one really isn’t worthy of discussion as far as I’m concerned. I’d be all for it if Vanek were only signed for the next year or two. But he’s got a seven-million dollar cap hit for the next six years after this one. If I had to take a chance, it wouldn’t be for a guy with a contract that could suffocate my team if he doesn’t perform.
    I’d much rather turn my seven million dollars a year into long-term contracts for Komisarek, Plekanec and Higgins.

  48. krob1000 says:

    I guess the Leafs took their recent slump to heart. They just made a blockbuster move to propel them back into the hunt again. http://www.thestar.com/Sports/article/293200

  49. krob1000 says:

    He is just having a bad year. In the games I have seen him play and the highlight reels he is getting a ton of chances and seems to be snakebitten along with Derek Roy this year. They are constantly buzzing around the net and if evert here was a time it would be while he was underperforming…..or at least underdelivering. I think this is a crazy one but it is nice to hypothesize about someone new. Should get a few people yacking.

  50. Blitzen says:

    I agree…we are top five in O right now…why mess with that to get a guy who’s underperforming right now?

  51. krob1000 says:

    That’s an interesting one now that we can’t speculate about Ovechkin anymore. I am not sure abuot Campbell but I like Vanek. He can annoy coaches at times but the kid can score. I think he is overpaid but if we have the room and the money to spend (which we do) it is at least an interesting idea. Vanek eh????Noone has ever mentioned him on here I don’t think but it is interesting. It sems anyone trying to add players will have to overpay so if he meets a need???You got me thinking and I wonder if that is what you are up to….stirring the pot. You now how we take off with any rumour or idea on here…..hell I think we might be responsible for rumours sometimes.

  52. J.T. says:

    Uggghh…WHY would you offer for Vanek right now? He’s got 25 points in 42 games and is making a fortune and half of Grand Bank. So, the Habs give up picks and prospects and a hefty chunk of salary cap for a guy with less points than six of our current Habs (including two defencemen), and as a result Gainey can’t afford to pay Komisarek, Higgins, Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn the raises they’ll be due in the next couple of summers. I don’t see Vanek making the difference in anything except whether the Habs can keep their core players or not. He’s not a stud, and for that money, he at least should be a point-a-game guy. No thanks. I’d rather make an offer for Campbell in the summer.

  53. Jay in PA says:

    It appears that we’re both right. Tuesday’s Gazette reported that Dandy missed practice on Monday because of the death of his grandmother. Hickey’s column in today’s Gazette noted that Komi attended his own grandmother’s funeral on Wednesday.

    As to the rest of your comment, it sounds good to me!

  54. J.T. says:

    Both Komisarek and Dandenault lost grandmothers this week. And I think Carbo’s smart enough to know if someone is motivated, even if it means he thumbs his nose at the coach, it’s a good thing. Play the maddest three guys on the fourth line, Carbo! It should be the only criterion for fourth-line selection on a given night these days.

  55. nightmare_49 says:

    Mr Gainey : I think it’s about time you come out of your hibernation and make a few calls. Your fellow GM Darcy Regear is having trouble finding the coin to sign his star “D” man Bryan Campbell (UFA) and we know why , as he had to sign last year his star forward (RFA) to a big contract and as you know Bob that the owners of the Buffalo Sabres are nickle huggers. Just to help him out and free some money so he can sign Campbell why not inquire if you can help by making an offer for his 23 year old forward Thomas Vanek and his big contract. Bob , you know what you can offer and picks you are willing to part with and you have evaluated your prospects (mostly defencemen) and you know that Regear loves prospects and their salaries so give it a shot. Vanek could be the missing piece of the puzzle and we can afford it and have room with our salary cap.

  56. Jay in PA says:

    I think you’re right. Like Boston, these are all teams we should beat. I hope we can pick up at least four points out of the remaining six on this road trip, though all three teams can beat us. This level of parity in the league is just nuts–only 16 points separate Ottawa from Tampa in our conference (though Ottawa has a game in hand).

  57. krob1000 says:

    Sergei K did not have a great game last night and I thought he looked tenetavie at times but he is still adapting. It took his brother twenty something games to get used to the physicality and speed and now look at him (and he’s older). Sergie will likely find himself out of the lineup for a gmae at some point but I am hping we don’t do that because as you stated we seem to have the perfect balance of offense and defense on the forwarde lines right now. It seems that at least one line will be clicking on any given night because other teams can’t match our depth (the real test will come against other deep teams).

    Last nights game though was so physical at times that I saw several players at various points quickly getting rid of the puck and if not for Komisarek’s dominance that trend may have continued. Guys seemed to build of his hits and they started hitting too.

    Pleks is fine though…..just fine.

  58. krob1000 says:

    Sergei K did not have a great game last night and I thought he looked tenetavie at times but he is still adapting. It took his brother twenty something games to get used to the physicality and speed and now look at him (and he’s older). Sergie will likely find himself out of the lineup for a gmae at some point but I am hping we don’t do that because as you stated we seem to have the perfect balance of offense and defense on the forwarde lines right now. It seems that at least one line will be clicking on any given night because other teams can’t match our depth (the real test will come against other deep teams).

    Last nights game though was so physical at times that I saw several players at various points quickly getting rid of the puck and if not for Komisarek’s dominance that trend may have continued. Guys seemed to build of his hits and they started hitting too.

    Pleks is fine though…..just fine.

  59. krob1000 says:

    Not unless the reports were wrong because it was said on here that it was Dandenault and the commentators said condolences to the Dandenault family. I didn’t see the glare so I am not really in a postion to judge. I just know that if he plays better ticked off than someone pour water on him when he is sleeping before the next game and call him all sorts of names.

  60. likehoy says:

    my only concern is that sergei kostitsyn has been relatively invisible in the last 2 games i’ve watched (i missed tuesdays but i caught the one before). Partly due to koivu i suppose, but the honeymoon’s over, he’s gotta step it up or he’s going to get sent down.

    Plekanec is only as good as his wingers. He’s a smart player and seems to always make the right decisions and is always in the right place, but he doesn’t force the issue as much as kovalev, higgins, or koivu do. I actually think he played better last year during the stretch at the end where he was everywhere on the ice. this year even if he plays like crap, kovalev has a good game and makes plekanec look good.

    What impresses me the most about that line though is the perfect balance between the players offensively. it also impresses me how kostitsyn constantly goes to the net. He’s the perfect compliment to plekanec, a perimeter player, and kovalev, a “wtf how did he do that” player…

  61. Blitzen says:

    My favorite Komisaurus moment of last night’s game: After getting a Chara slapper off the foot, he limps to the corner to get the puck with Lucic trying to board him. Lucic just bounced off and Komi trash talked him all the way to the bench.

    And then he goes home and gets to try some moves on Elisha Cuthbert.

    Major props.

    Anybody notice how everybody was hitting Lucic last night? Even A-Koz got into it. I think this team feeds off of Komi and we NEED to sign him. They were absolutely not playing with this edge early in the year.

    And FINALLY Smokes showed up for a game. I’m thinking he understands how many guys want to get into the line-up…

  62. Jay in PA says:

    Wasn’t it Komisarek’s grandmother that passed away? I thought they sat Dandy to give Locke some ice time. I may be getting the story mixed, though.

    The fourth line contributes energy, and whatever motivation it takes for them to do it, more’s the better. That said, we have lots of players slated for the fourth line, and giving your coach the f-you glare isn’t likely to earn you more ice time, especially when you’ll be lucky to top out north of 20 points.

  63. krob1000 says:

    I left for my own hockey right after Dandy score the first insurance goal so I did not see this glare everyone refers to. I took it based on what I read not to be anymore than an I told you so response to being scratched (although I thougth his Grandmothers passing was the reason for it). This is exactly the type of Response the coaches would want and the reaction they would want their players to have. This is not a problem (I didn’t see it) Jay but I personally think the fourth liners and grinders are the ones you want playing angry….I say great motivation and een better response on the part of Dandy.

  64. Jay in PA says:

    A couple of additional thoughts:

    1. I believe it was J.T. who coined the term Komisaurus last year. Might as well give attribution where it’s due.

    2. I agree with the other posters who applauded his breaking up that 2-on-1 after Markov lost his footing. That was truly a big-time play. Though I’m as pleased with the blossoming of his defensive play as everyone else, I also want to recognize that he’s not taking stupid, momentum-killing penalties like he did last year. Now if only we could get Koivu to stop, too.

    3. The Bruins are in the same sort of slump that hit the Habs in early December, the kind where the other team seems to score on every little mistake. That said, the last Canadiens goal on that tic-tac-toe passing play must have had Julien thinking, “Maybe I should have let them practice with pucks.”

    4. Good on Dandy for showing some pride, but fourth-liners aren’t in a position to glare at the coach.

  65. krob1000 says:

    Another huge road trip coming up against both New York teams and the Thrashers. These teams are 8,9 and 10 in teh Eastern Conference standings. I know every game is important and that a three game winning streak or losing streak right now doesn’t mean as much as it used to (pre three point game). This one seems like it could really help us get a little breathing room that could be very important next time we have a mini slide.

  66. Morenz7 says:

    Scampy is pretty much the definitive greybeard, and in general I’d defer to him. But they better not let things devolve a situation where the linesmen are expected to overpower fighting players. It ain’t going to work, and eventually a linesman is going to be the one taking a black eye. There has to be some onus—backed by serious consequences—on the players.

  67. krob1000 says:

    He got about thirty stars on here anyways. Best game by a Montreal defenseman that I can remember physically. I have only seen Scott Stevens, Chris Pronger and Mark Tinordi (weird but that one year in the playoffs he was incredible )dominate games physically like that. Incredible is an understatement.

  68. krob1000 says:

    I saw a segment on The Score’s Spin show with Ray Scapinello (long, long, long time official) and his take on the Downie thing was pretty clear and I in essence agreed with him and stole what he said and repeated it here. He was referring specifically to the Downie incident but he blamed it on the linesman. He said yes it is cheap but said that it shouldn’t have been allowed to happen. I have said this on here before with regards to fighting but I think if two guys really want to fight they should take their helmets off. I have seen guys do it in junior for years and it ensures there is no sucker punching (at least before) a fight starts. If 16-19 year old kids can do it why can’t the pros.

    Hamrlik got suckered and it is unfortunate because he dropped his gloves. He actually thought about it and decided he wanted to go Thornton. Good or bad decision….I dunno but he still took a big punch and never got to throw one back. Good for Hammer for dropping his mitts with a guy like Thornton. He didn’t do it in a scrum they were staring right at each other and looked ready to go and then the linesmen came in and messed things up. I guess that is one reason they can’t square off as officials may not let them go but I would prefer them squaring off properly to this scrum crap and trying to get the first or last punch in before you get tackled by a linesman.

  69. gfunkdoc says:

    I guess we all have…

  70. Ali says:

    and his slap shot is Souray-esque!

  71. nightmare_49 says:

    What bugs me was Komi didn’t get a star last night.

  72. Morenz7 says:

    Punching after the linesmen come in should be an automatic ejection from the game. Yes, I know it has been going on for some time, but within a couple of seconds of the linesmen—even one linesman—arriving, that should be it. Fight over. Swear all you like, but no more punching.

    I remember some grey, balding linesmen with names like D’Amico, Stickle and Finn from days of yore. They weren’t six and a-half foot, 230-pound monsters like today’s linesmen. They were greybeards and uncles and friends of the players, and the general reaction if you threw punches after they came in was: ‘Shame on you, son. Don’t ever do that.’ The league needs to get that ethic back.

  73. ebk says:

    Last nights game went along way to prove Gainey and Carbo right. This team does not need an enforcer. The Habs answered every bell that rang last night and rang a few of their own. The Bruins are a very physical team and the Habs more than matched the Bruins hit for hit.

    The major area of the team that concerns me right now is the defense. As much as I like Frankie the Bull and Josh Gorges, combined with Brisebois, the three of them really have trouble handling a team that can forecheck and is physical. Getting O’Bryne back will help but I’m still of the opinion that to be a major factor in the play-offs, this team needs one more top four defenseman.

    Madd Max was very good last night. Since his call up has changed the dynamic of the team completely. He works his butt of every night, is physical, has some offense to his game and more importantly is a major pain in the ass. It still amazes me that he didn’t break camp with the team but at least he is here now.

    Komisarek simply played the best game of his career last night in my opinion. I have seen the vast majority and can not remember him being so physically dominate. For all you wondering how relevant Plus/Minus is, Mike was a -1 last night. That pretty much says it all as far as that stat is concerned. Komisarek was simply the best player on the ice for either team. Komisarek moves the puck well, makes excellent outlet passes and is the heart and soul of this team.

    I’ve been harping all year long that the 4th line needed to be upgraded. Well if the three of them continue to play the way they did last night, looks like I won’t be harping anymore. Keep those three in the line up until they play a bad game. I still think they play a little to much but last night they certainly earned the ice-time they received

    Thanks for reading

    ps
    I’ve given Mr. Boone a shot now and then when I disagree with his posts, so I’d be a huge hypocrite if I did not give him credit when he makes some excellent observations. Nice post, sir.

  74. Morenz7 says:

    Weird thing, eh: their mid-point record is about the same (or slightly worse) than last year, yet you just sense they’re a more balanced, stable team. I’ll be very surprised if they go into a swoon deep enough to kill their playoff chances now. They’re really developing some character, bouncing back from losses with back-to-back wins, digging deep on the road trips. Who knows, maybe they’ll even stop blowing leads.

    Great observation about Dandenault’s stare, Mike, and it can only be a good thing. Dandy’s ability to use his size is a huge asset for a team that in past years was way too soft up front. But he’s got to play up tempo to be effective. Carbo got him mad, and good coaches use all sorts of means to motivate their players. I’m sure two goals took the sting out of being a healthy scratch.

  75. RetroMikey says:

    Sorry Mike, but let’s not talk about sigining anyone until after the season. Just a major distraction if you sign someone during the season as they did with that ludicrous contract to Ovechkin. Do you honestly think Washington players are going to play their butts off when they found out Ovechkin signed that big fat contract? I don’t think so. Let’s make a deal in the summer, I’m with Bob Gainey who negotiates in the summer.

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  76. 24 Cups says:

    I agree RM. I kind of feel the same way about trades to a degree.

    The Original 24 Cups

  77. Exit716 says:

    Mr. Boone, taking any bets on whether Komisarek’s performance against the Bruins is featured prominently on Xenophobe’s Corner on Saturday night?
    Komisarek did everything Cherry loves, but since he plays for the Habs and did that to the Bruins, it will probably be ignored. Oh yeah, Cherry said Souray was the priority to sign too.
    I’d like to see those guys signed before the end of the season, it’s not like Gainey’s going to be able to entice anyone of significance to sign in Montreal anyway. Might as well promote from within

  78. Bill H says:

    Good point. I don’t usually watch him, but it might be worth a few minutes of exposure to idiocy to see if he does mention it. Now that I think if it, it’ll never happen. He has 3 strikes against him, two of which you correctly identified:
    1.) he’s with the Canadiens
    2.) he pulverized the Bruins
    3.) he’s not a good ol’ Canadian boy

  79. 24 Cups says:

    NM49 – Not meaning to quibble, but that play was Gorges fault – I remember it clearly. You can check Mike Boone’s game notes for verification. As for Gorges in general, I really don’t have a firm opinion on him at this point in time.

    The Original 24 Cups

  80. Ian G Cobb says:

    Can anyone else smell that cup now !!! Two years friends and all the interchangeable players will make a lot of more sence to all!

  81. nick says:

    Whoa… regarding that YouTube clip… anyone have any idea why the boys in Green / White were so pissed off? Can’t be for that one goal… talk about a rumble… geez.

  82. cfposi says:

    WOW….that was one hell of a fight….I want that guy on the team!! :-D

  83. 24 Cups says:

    Mike – I agree with most of your comments. Komisarek played his best game as a Hab. As for Gorges, he did not have his best game as a Hab. His brutal giveaway early in the first period could have totally changed the direction of the game. Huet saved the day on that one, big time.

    As for Dandy, not only was that stare for Carbo but maybe it was also directed at all his doubters here on HabsInside/Out. Role players are role players – nothing more, nothing less. We have to adjust our expectations accordingly.

    The Original 24 Cups

  84. nightmare_49 says:

    True that was a giveaway as he slapped it around the boards and the smart Bruin player stopped it with his mid section and set the other player alone in front of Huey , great save. Funny you don’t ask where the other defenceman was when this all happened? Otherwise Gorges played a very good game and should build on that outing.

  85. gfunkdoc says:

    I like your comment about judging players based on their role/ability… If Brisebois wasn’t thrown into the role of #1 defenceman during his first stay in Montreal would he have been booed out of town? You can’t blame a player for being placed in a role that’s over his head. He’s not a bad player to have as a 7th d-man…

  86. J.T. says:

    Komisaurus Rex. Long live the King. I’d give him seven years (the traditional length of indentured servitude) for 3.5 to 4 million per. A similar deal to Plekanec should come a year later.

    Streit certainly deserves two to three years at 1.8 to 2 million a year.

    The sheer inevitability of the powerplay awes me. The only reason they don’t score is because they sometimes have difficulty setting up in the offensive zone, or they get too cute and muff a pass or two. Rarely a goalie anticipates and stones them. But, as a rule, when they go with the bread-and-butter Markov cross-ice pass to Kovalev on the diagonal, cross-crease to Plekanec or Kostitsyn or Koivu, it’s money in the bank. The opponent KNOWS it’s coming and still can’t stop it. The Habs PP must be in other teams’ heads what the Devils are in the Canadiens’.

    Listening to the audio of Latendresse describing Lapierre the other day was enlightening. Laps took Gainey’s criticism of the centres’ record on faceoffs very personally, it seems. And then he went out and did something about it. I like this guy more and more.

    Gorges is a revelation. He had that one rotten gaffe that Huet bailed him out on early in the game. But after that, I saw two occasions where he just stood up the Bruin puck carrier one-on-one. He had a couple of nice shots and generally smart clearing passes under pressure. When he’s Komisarek’s age, he’s going to be a very, very reliable and competent defenceman.

    Koivu seems to be off a bit…maybe it’s mid-season fatigue, but he looks behind the play sometimes, which might account for some of his dumb penalties.

    Huet hasn’t been stellar in the last couple of games, allowing softies in both, and exhibiting a general lack of confidence. It’s great the team is scoring four and five goals a game right now, but Huet needs to pick up his game for the nights when that doesn’t happen.

    For the first time since Kovalev joined the Canadiens, I wish he was ten years younger. And he’s earning every penny of that salary.

    If the Habs meet the Bruins in the playoffs, the fur will fly!

  87. krob1000 says:

    Which goal was a softy…..the crazy bounce of the boards or the unfortunate bounce of the post and then his backside. Huet played a great game last night and any puck that was actually shot at the net he stopped. As someone else pointed out his huge stop on the Gorges giveaway was pivotal given our teams still young and therefore fragile psyche. I think your figures are pretty good but I wouldn’t sign Komisarek for seven years….maybe four or five but he is not a seven year guy yet.

  88. RS says:

    The Habs do need to sign Komisarek to a big contract. Of course, from Komisarek’s viewpoint, he would be better off to wait until next season to negotiate. His value is only going to grow and grow, based on performance but also as he gets more and more attention around the league.

  89. 24 Cups says:

    I’m not sure but I don’t think that we can give either Komi, Pleks, or Higgins a contract extension right now under the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement. I believe you can only give an extension in the last year of the contract (which would be next year for all three players). I stand corrected on this point. That’s why we have to be careful with any free agent signings because in this rapidly changing cap era these guys are going to cost some major coin. Streit will be a UFA in July and we can give him an extension at any time.

    The Original 24 Cups

  90. JB says:

    Just leave the first 3 lines as they are – it is so fustrating with all the juggling. Just kills the chemistry.
    I’m sure Lats can live without lapierre on his line – and it helps Kiovu to have that big body.
    Plus hopefully Higgins and Ryder will get some energy from lapierre. Everyone has been all over Ryder all yr – but Higgins has been just as challenged (granted he has a few more goals) – they like eachother – leave it alone already.
    Lets see how the next couple of games go as well before we get too excited. They NY teams will offer more of a challenge (especially mentally)
    On another note – you got to love those Leafs getting bombed again last nite – their losses are almost as good as a Habs win – especially when you have to listen to the Toronto Sports Network giving the blow by blow..lol

  91. nightmare_49 says:

    IMO – I have to go along with JT and I’m also very nervous at the way Huet has played in the last two games , he seems like he’s fighting it and lacks confidence and looks out of it at times. Normally i’m at ease with him in nets and only worry in the third period where he’s having problems to close the deal when we have a lead.

  92. krob1000 says:

    The only time I worry is when he drops to one knee when the puck goes off to the side of the net or back to the point with a group of players in front (obviously shootouts but that’s another story). Floaters from the point and bad angle shots upstairs scare me but those goals last night were fluky. They were both pinballs that didn’t go in the net on the way to it. He made the big saves when we needed them and got the win. One thing I will say I have noticed is that he is somewhat rattled with the whole free agency, trade him/keep him, Price situation because he used to be the calmest guy around. Now he seems to be getting frustrated and hanging his head after goals. Last year all anyone talked about was his cool demeanour and that nothing fazed him. He needs to pull a Kovalev and watch some old tape and listen to some positive comments about his play when he is really rolling. He is unfazed and only looks forward when he is going best.

  93. nightmare_49 says:

    Hamilton Dawgs 5 Crunch 2. Price stopped 29 of 31 for the win. Scorers : 1)Locke 2)Milroy 3)Lahti 4)D’Agostini 5)Corso. The three stars 1)Locke 2)Velentenko 3)Carle. Valentenko had a fight and did well and Greg Stewart dropped his opponent with a mean left so we may have a lightweight after all.

  94. Bill H says:

    Good to see Lahti get a goal. I was hoping he would be called up this year as he has good size. But with only 14 points in 33 games, he is not exactly burning up the AHL. He’s 25 years old now, and a RFA at the end of the season. I wonder if he will be resigned.

  95. Sulemaan says:

    It appears that Dandenault was not staring down Carbonneau after he scored his second goal against Boston to ice the game. He said he was actually looking at Kirk Muller on the bench acknowledging him. Apparently before the game Muller was telling Dandy that he would score two goals and Dandenault didn’t believe him. So there wasn’t anything negative at all. This was reported on RDS and Dandenault said himself it was sad that people were reading into his reaction and there was nothing negative intended by it at all. Go figure.

  96. ebk says:

    so what you are saying is people shouldn’t quit their day jobs to start a physic hotline. :)

  97. Bill H says:

    It was all the Carbo haters that imagined he was glaring at Carbo. Nothing so dramatic, fortunately. It seems that the players are adjusting to press box duty and the occasional demotion to Hamilton just fine. Its only the fans that have it in for Gainey and Carbo that have trouble with the role that these players are being asked to play. Good thing these fans don’t bring that attitude to the dressing room.


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