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. 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

  2. Ali says:

    and his slap shot is Souray-esque!

  3. Bill H says:

    I agree that there is better value to be had than Bouillon ($1.875M) and Dandenault ($1.725M). For example Streit at $0.6M and Gorges at $0.495M. However, both the aforementioned players bring experience to the lineup and Dandenault brings some versatility. A team does need a balance of youth and experience. I think that was what Gainey was going for when he signed those guys. Well, if you think Bouillon and Dandenault are overpaid, take a look at the Leafs defensive corps. LOL

  4. ebk says:

    I kinda mixed my metaphors with the kids. Should have said they will be knocking at the door, not will be kicking it down.

    You might also notice that I said may not make it to next year as Habs. Seems like a fairly reasonable conclusion to me.

    It seems a stretch that Gainey would be willing to pay $1.9m for a 4th line forward and 1.9m for a #6 dman. Not a great use of financial resources in the salary cap era.

  5. Bill H says:

    Hamrlik makes $5.5M and he is 33 years old. I think Komisarek will be worth as much as him. He may not have the same offense but he is much more dominant physically, as we saw against the Bruins. And as the salary cap goes up, so do contracts.

  6. Bill H says:

    I think your projections for the Habs defense next year are a little bit on the optimistic side.

    McDonagh is a great prospect, but he is 18 years old and in his first year at college. Its highly unlikely that he will be playing for the Canadiens next year. I’d go farther and say he is a long shot for the year after. Komisarek, for example, came up through the NCAA as well. He played 2 years in college and then 56 games with Hamilton before he got his first call up at age 20.

    Yemelin, as you know, is in Russia. He has 1 point in 40 games this season, and while its true that his game isn’t scoring goals but rather playing a strong physical game, there is no indication as yet that he even wants to play in the NHL. And if he does come, it seems likely that he will be playing in Hamilton first.

    Valentenko is the best bet to make the big club next year, as he is already in Hamilton. But he is only a fifth round pick and is rated only a 6.5C by Hockey Futures. That’s a potential #5 or 6 defenseman and the C means he has shown some flashes, but may ultimately not have what it takes to reach his potential. He’s got 7 points in 31 games in Hamilton.

    It seems rather unlikely that Brisbois will be back next year as he has a one year contract. But I wouldn’t be waving bye to Bouillon or Dandenault just yet.

  7. 24 Cups says:

    Hey 12 – I think his name was Steve Downie:-)

    The Original 24 Cups

  8. 24 Cups says:

    Thanks Captain. It would be a hug boost if Pacioretty could make the Habs in the next two years and be a solid regular that hits and scores. He just may be our best forward prospect including all the players in Hamilton.

    The Original 24 Cups

  9. 24 Cups says:

    Hey Mr. Boone – Finally got around to watching your video. Yemelin did great but I’d also love to have #30 (in white) on my team. He was the star of the video!

    The Original 24 Cups

  10. likehoy says:

    how does Stoll not suit us?

    Gritty centre with good face-off ability and a point-producer. He is the real version of the Smolinski we wanted.

  11. Higgins21 says:

    Stoll doesn’t suit us. Neither does Murray. No sense talking about either.

  12. likehoy says:

    jarret stoll would be a great move…in my opinion…he would give us much needed long-term depth at centre because I don’t see much after Plekanec, Lapierre, Chipchura, and Koivu. (i’m not going to factor in begin who’s oft-injured and smolinski…who will be gone at years end). You can make an argument for Corey Locke, but wait…can you really make an argument for another undersized centre? Stoll’s 6’1 200 lbs but TSN player profile says he’s a gritty player, he might not be the big centre we long for, but it’s a step up already. He’s only 25 so he has a lot of years left in him.

  13. likehoy says:

    LOL games played would be funny since he’s injury prone and mistake prone lol.

    Probably points…and playoff rounds NOT cost by him.

  14. 24 Cups says:

    I wonder if the agents for Komi and Higgins advised their clients to just take two year contracts with the idea that they could cash in big time once they had made their mark in the NHL. Maybe Gainey didn’t have a choice. Plus the salary market has changed radically in just the past six months. Hell, the past 16 hours!

    The Original 24 Cups

  15. howtathor says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with signing Komisaurus long term along with Higgy and Kosty and Pleks! I like what Bob did in the summer with giving Komi and Higgy identical contracts. That would work for me again. Too bad Bob didn’t have the forsight at the time to sign them long term. With Komi holding up the back end and Higgy as future captain of this team, the future looks bright. Pretty soon UFA’s will be asking to come here instead of the other way around. I love the young core of this team with more on the horizon. Soon we’ll have Pacioretty, Mcdonagh and even Subban and Weber not to mention Carle and Valentenko. The talent pool is boundless for the future. Just need that one more proven sniper or Ryder to get going!

  16. nightmare_49 says:

    I was refering to the Gazette’s three stars at the end of Pat Hickey’s report on the game. I just noticed Andree Kostitsyn was a star , must be for showing up.lol.

  17. howtathor says:

    Stoll has been seeing a little power play time in Edmonton. He’s 6/14, but is a -11.

  18. Will Longlade says:

    He sure seems to be playing that way. He has to play with the same edge as he did last night more often. Beautiful baby.

  19. lennon says:

    why is Huet allowed to touch the puck outside his crease? Nothing good ever seems to come from it.

  20. lennon says:

    IS it just me or is komisaurus the second coming of Scott Stevens?

  21. 24 Cups says:

    Glenn Murray is signed for over $4 mil next year which is about the same salary as Koivu or Kovalev for 2008-09. Enough said.

    The Original 24 Cups

  22. 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.

  23. 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)

  24. 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.

  25. Will Longlade says:

    Wow, a threesome.

  26. 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.

  27. Mike says:

    she is dating sean avery

  28. Mike says:

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

  29. 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.

  30. Will Longlade says:

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


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