About last night …

When will the bleeding stop?

As is my habit, I listened to phone-in radio on the drive home after the game.

I have to change my habits. Stop listening to radio. Stop going to Bell Centre games. Find something less stressful than being a Canadiens fan – like yoga or peacekeeping duty in Afghanistan.

If the phone lines are a valid indicator, the faithful are rapidly losing faith are not happy – which is understandable, because the team looks like it should schedule its next home game at Lourdes.

What’s really dispiriting is the fatalism I heard on the airwaves. 
Fans think the team sucks and they do not see the situation improving. The points they were making:


Alex Kovalev can still stickhandle in a phone booth, but he’s lost a
step or two and is on the downslope of his career. That said, why
wasn’t he used in the shootout? Guy Carbonneau said Kovalev would be
his fourth shooter, but when Tampa Bay is using Vincent Lecavalier,
Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis, there’s a good chance it will  be
over in three rounds.

• Canadiens are the only  team in the league using a defenceman
on their top line. And their first-line centre would make a very good
second-line centre on a Cup  contender.

• Carey Price is being hung out to dry,  facing a barrage of quality shots every time he plays.

• Vets should be dealt for prospects and draft picks and the team should commit fully to a youth movement.


Bob Gainey should have signed Mike Komisarek and Chris Higgins for more
than two years, because at the end of their current deals they’ll go
back to the U.S. as attractive UFAs.

• Carbo is learning on the
job and is being outcoached in every game. Richards played 30 minutes
and change last night, St. Louis 28 and Lecavalier 25. Kovalev played
18 minutes – three more than Tom Kostopoulos and Maxim Lapierre.

• 27 giveaways to five for Tampa Bay? Are you kidding? Carbonneau offered no explanation beyond possible "nervousness" among his players. I’d be nervous too if I were playing a team that features three superstar forwards, skates all night long, forechecks like demons, makes pinpoint passes to players who are constantly in motion without the puck and plays a system that consistently produces high-percentage scoring chances. There is no explanation, however, for why André Roy made Ryan O’Byrne nervous or why Mathieu Darche pressured the Canadiens’ D into turnovers or why a team that got smoked 6-1 in Toronto the night before had fresher legs and more energy and intensity for the first 55 minutes at the Bell Centre.

So on to Philadelphia. At least I get to watch the game at home and not listen to my car radio. 

 

 

 

94 Comments

  1. Dan23 says:

    Someone tell me how Marleau and Bernier help the Habs. If we’re doing this just for the sake of doing something or being seen to “shake things up,” then we’ll pay for it over the long run.

    Marleau’s contract isn’t exactly cheap. $12.6 million over two years? That could be a very expensive mistake, especially with his no-trade clause (which makes the likelihood of this deal happening even smaller). For anyone who thinks Marleau will be the francophone captain this team needs, remember that he’s a good old Saskatchewan boy who doesn’t speak a lick of the language of Molière.

    Bernier got sent down to the minors last season, which maybe helps Hamilton but I’m not sure he becomes anything more than another sub-par 3rd-4th liner with Les Canadiens. We already have enough of those.

    I’m looking forward to the stoical Gainey doing nothing until the deadline. The guys we’ve got will just have to work and skate harder and make sure their sticks don’t have puck-sized holes in the blade (as they seemed to have last night).

  2. MikeL says:

    I was skeptical the other day when Boone said Bob McKenzie discussed a San Jose- Montreal trade rumor involving Marleau, Bernier, Koivu, and Ryder. Well, it looks like it was all fabrication.

    http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/mckenzie/?id=225013

  3. saskhab says:

    Nerves, I’d guess. This team might just need a Marc Bergevin type to keep the locker room loosened up.

  4. Chuck says:

    Technically, the Habs had at least one point regardless of what happened in the shootout; they were attempting to get a second. A more accurate headline would be:

    “Habs Lose Point In Shootout”

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  5. Chuck says:

    … and hope the you you get an “X” or two.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  6. ebk says:

    so just to play the devil’s advocate, what does the Home Record say

  7. saskhab says:

    You don’t name a coach because he’s doing what his boss tells him to do, either.

    If we were to make a coaching change, why would you want another inexperienced greenhorn?

    Anyways, it’s the personnel he’s been given that’s the problem, not the system he’s employed or tactics. It’s Koivu and Ryder not producing. It’s Markov underpreforming. It’s the lack of a checking line that he can match up with the opposition’s top lines. And the lack of a dominant player the team can lean on in tough times.

    One of the main signs of a well coached, well disciplined team is a good road record. Carbo has that. It shows he has a good gameplan and his players listen to him.

  8. krob1000 says:

    Short of winning a cup Guy will never be good enough to many Hab fans and that is unfortunate. I will not back down on my opinion that the lines are a mess and a completely preventable complication on his part though. He is in the unfortunate position of having hundreds of thousands of us know it alls constantly looking over his shoulder and perhaps he is just not able to work like this. He will probably win Jack Adams trophy a few years from now in another market.

    The shootout….I am going to give the coach the benefit of the doubt there as he may be using practices to determine who his best shooters are or something….although I’d have like to have seem Kovy ahead of any of the three.

  9. Chorske says:

    Hey, I’m all for a youth movement. But if we’re going to go that route, we need to have a coaching staff that nurtures and provides opportunities for development. And here’s wheat I see, in no order:

    - O’Byrne has a rookie panic moment and gets benched for the rest of the game. Yeah, that’s going to boost the kids’ confidence.

    - Hard-working locker-room warriors like Kostopoulos and Begin get benched- for no apparent reason- even though the youngsters are more likely to learn from them than from a guy like Kovalev.

    - Price thrown to the wolves. He’s a rookie being asked to save a coach whose system is deeply flawed, and gets called out for not stealing wins! What happened to patience and player development?

    - This whole shitstorm began with Ryder not scoring. Everything else was fine-ish. Carbo overreacted to that one player’s woes by effing with the lines, making it impossible for any of the kids to get comfortable. Now the team is in disarray.

    I really am willing to lay all this at the feet of the coach. Some recent comments by his players (esp. Higgins: no-one knows what they should be doing… it’s so simple: we chip it in and chase after it… etc) suggest that this team doesn’t have a system. And Bob Gainey’s silence vis-a-vis his coach is beginning to speak volumes for me. Unless Bob comes out with a statement that Guy is his man, I think Carbo is gone come January.

  10. Habsfan39 says:

    if carbo isnt the #1 reason, then what is.

    and you dont pick a coach based on specialty teams

  11. Habsfan39 says:

    nope your right, he had nothing to do with it

  12. fuhgawz says:

    Now that another issue ….. not Price’s emotion which I agree is fairly non existent — but The laffs come out swinging ….. and we come out like we are picking daisies on a Sunday afternoon in Porcupine Plain Saskatchewan (yes it is a town) …. When ever we play them you just know …. I SWEAR TO GOD if I would put money on Toronto tying a game late for every time they do I would have enough money to buy this franchise. We have no finish or killer instinct when playing them I just don’t get it.???

  13. TommyB says:

    One other thing I forgot to mention with regards to the shootout.

    Carbo has no choice but to use Saku…if he doesn’t use him, the press and everyone else will be all over him for ‘dissing’ his captain. A controversy will be manufactured because of it. Sometimes Guy is in a no-win situation.

  14. Ian Cobb says:

    Sorry! Parkinson’s maybe!

  15. TommyB says:

    Pack it in, is not in my vocabulary. I do however, recognize a dire situation when I see it. I can go through the roster and find many positives, especially with the emerging talent…but I can also find stagnation, complacency, and even a ‘who cares’ attitude.

    I don’t really believe the coaching staff is that much to blame, but whether they are to blame, or not, it still rests on their shoulders to find some solutions. I’m starting to wonder if they are capable of that. (Maybe I’ve read too much Habs I/O).

    I still will not miss a game, unless I have to due to other commitments. Was last night’s game better? Sure it was, but I feel they should have won that game. The opportunity was there, especially during the 4 on 3 in OT. Players have to bear down in those situations. They have to be opportunistic. It didn’t happen, and we went to a shootout. We got beat in the shootout because we went with guys who have not had much success lately in that role. Koivu, has one patented move. You had to know he wouldn’t score. The other two guys looked scared sh*tless. On the other side you have Vinny, Marty, and Richards. I don’t care who you have in goal, one of those guys will bury it.

    So, coaching flaws or player flaws, there is sickness here that needs to be attended to. I still have confidence in one guy….Dr. Gainey. I’m sure he has one eye on the standings, and at least one ear to the phone. It’s just a matter of time before he will be forced to act, in one way or another.

  16. Ian Cobb says:

    Kovalev,s pain is a long way from his heart. Ask him if he knows what a little zip means! He does not have to put out very much any more. Multi milion dollars to take back to Russia, he could buy half the country. We need hungry players with tenacity and pride!

  17. krob1000 says:

    If Philly doesn’t do it then the Leafs on Saturday night could be what the doctor ordered. They always play us tough and the games usually have enough energy that even Carey Price may stray from his Vulcan ways and show some emotion. No offense intended….Play long and prosper Carey.

  18. fuhgawz says:

    lol i agree — it is funny like ……. ok lets find a positive (which it is we did come from behind) ….. but still you cant help but feel like they were reaching ……

  19. fuhgawz says:

    So ok …. I couldn’t do it —– today I was going to tear down my hab filled office just to save face from the vast amount of leaf fans that surround me. I could not go through with it ……….. guilt perhaps —– upset still maybe more disappointed …… I don’t know just a sense of bewilderment …….. but I can not give up on this team we had it ….. we had game …… where did it go? …….. absent like Ryder shooting…… OK so I guess we can expect this team to come out of the funk against Philly right???? —–

    I am going to keep my fingers crossed ——

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    Kovalev,s pain is a long way from his heart. Ask him if he knows what a little zip means! He does not have to put out very much any more. Multi milion dollars to take back to Russia, he could buy half the country. We need hungry players with tenacity and pride!

  21. krob1000 says:

    We didn’t deserve that point though did we?? Again I admit I didn’t see much of the game but reading todays articles,posts and seeing what I saw, it almost was a coup to grab that point. The sun will come up tomorrow and goals have to start coming. Imagine your shame in twenty years if your grandchildren discovered your photo and that was a Maple Leaf towel. See… life in Habsland isn’t that bad.

  22. krob1000 says:

    Sorry about that third paragraph….like I said though… I only learned one thing in college. lol.

  23. Steiner says:

    You know things are getting bad when on the Canadiens official website the headline for last nights game reads:

    Habs Grab Point In Shootout

    Like the one point is a major accomplishment.

    Eh les boys! Lets get going! I’m feeling guilty kicking you when you’re down!

  24. krob1000 says:

    Don’t give up yet Tommy B Carbo does still have the most obvious lineup shuffle left untouched so he still has an ace up his sleeve. Not too mention the timing of these injuries (all at once) may mean Sergei K get a shot or one of the other scorers from Hamilton. Purely out of lack of personnel the team may be forced to implement a more offensive gameplan…..I am all for it. I do not dislike any player wearing a CH on his chest but these injuries all happening at once may be a blessing in disguise as we should be calling someone up or making a deal. At the same time Huet is on his way back and things can still turn around in a hurry.

    I agree that the positives are getting fewer and further between but it seems we have gone down every path except the right one as of late. The only thing of real value I took out of my time at college was a statement made by one of my profs…..”If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there”. I think we have tried every combination except the most obvious as far as forward lines go and now with the rash of injuries we may be very entertained (assuming a call up or trade is made). I think the younger Kostitsyn is going to be the better of the two…..I have nothing but a gut instinct to base that on.

    Our coaching staff is composed of three player who were know for the cerebral game on the ice and their wilingness to sacrifice everything in the name of team. Today it is rare to see players block a shot feet first like Carbo and Jarvis used to. Muller had more heart than any two players right now and to saddle him with the PK woes is not fair as you can bet he would gladly lay down in front of a Lecavelier blast.

    Todays player is more selfish and penalty killers need incredible lateral mobility,smarts and quick feet (sorry Chips and Kosto). This same philosphy applies to all defensive coverage and for the eighth posting day in a row I am going to play my broken record. We need to be more agressive and stop collapsing in our own end. So what if you occasionally get undressed along the boards it is far better than being flat footed and waiting for a chance to result. There can be no transition game without speed and there can be no speed without movement. Are you faster when yu start from a dead stop or have a moving start???Sounds simple doesn’t it. Looks simple doesn’t it. It apparently isn’t that simple because we don’t do it.

    Even after my drop in positivity as well Tommy I think it is safe to assume this funk is temporary. We can’t have any worse production from any position than we have as of late and we are still in the thick of things….so don’t pack it in yet.

  25. Steiner says:

    Definitely third period silence.
    It was eerie.
    And it was very telling of the times.
    I don’t think I’ll ever stop going, but I can tell you as a 21 year old saving all her money to hang on to her season tickets. You have to wonder… Am I crazier than those who still think we have a hope?

    I wonder if Béliveau will stop going.

  26. TommyB says:

    It’s getting harder and harder to find positives. Many here feel Carbo is the problem, some feel the players are the problem, and the reality is…it’s definitely a combination of both.

    Two things may have to happen here.

    One: Rightly or wrongly, Carbonneau’s time has probably come to an end. Whether his system or lack of system is the problem, or whether his attitude and treatment of the players is the problem…it’s becoming clearer that he cannot for whatever reason find solutions to the team’s woes. (yeah, I know, I can just here many of you saying “holy sh*t, look who’s finally taking a run at Carbo!”). Well, I’m not so much as taking a run at him as I am backing away from him…distancing myself from him.

    Two: Even more glaring to me than Carbonneau’s shortcomings, is the weakness of our players. Weak! Weak on the boards, weak in the corners, weak on the faceoffs, weak, weak, weak. Changes in player personnel need to be made. At this point, any veteran on the team should be available. Trouble is, how many of them have any value? I hate to see any of our younger developing players get dealt, but the reality is that in a trade we may lose one of two of them also. In almost every trade, teams look for something for the future along with something for right now.

    I don’t see things changing too quickly for the better.
    So even a fan as patient as myself eventually reaches the point where he has to concede that, yeah, it’s broken….fix it! The Flyers will most likely kill us tomorrow night. They will remember the last game we played against them. And unfortunatley, someone in a red sweater will likely get injured. The Flyers are not playing a timid brand of hockey lately. Then it’s Toronto again….nothing needs to be said there.

    In short….I’m not entirely waving the white flag….but it’s come unsheathed, and lies waiting.

  27. krob1000 says:

    lol..You’re right Tommy …Julien was being a tabernacle-tete and Muller let him have it.

  28. Blarneylad says:

    i guess torterella had nothing to do with the lightning winning a cup, or lecavalier becoming the player he is by not babying him and making him realise hard work gets you to the top, not what the media says about you.

    Price needs to learn how to take criticisism after a game. Doing it in the media makes him realise he has to work a bit harder and put more concentration into preparing for a game.

  29. coutNY says:

    Hopefully those changes don’t include ruination of Price’s confidence. Can anyone remember Theodore or Aebischer after experiencing to many a$$-kickings… both now suffering from post A$$-kickin-syndrome. Probably never fully recover.

  30. TommyB says:

    I think he is krob, I saw him swearing pretty good at Julien the last two times we played the B’s.

  31. saskhab says:

    Ever heard of the good cop, bad cop routine?

    Assistants are notoriously more “player friendly” than head coaches.

    Carbo’s not perfect, but he’s not the #1 reason for this team’s performance, either.

    And Muller’s the guy in charge for the team’s woeful PK, too. Jarvis has been in charge of the top PP. If you want to make a change based on performance and experience, you go with Jarvis, not Muller.

  32. krob1000 says:

    Is Muller bilingual???

  33. Norm0770 says:

    Tortarella is the reason Tampa goes through goalies like they are pre-creacked composite sticks. He ruins their confidence by calling them out in public.

    I think Price is mentally stong and will bounce back, but it is uncalled for. He needs proper coaching not blanket statements. If tere is sometinhg specific Carbo should tell him and Melanson about it so they can work on it.

  34. Habsfan39 says:

    Muller has a totally different attitude. I think he would make a much better coach.

    He has been reportedly giving extra encouragement to the players carbo has been publicly ripping on.

    Hes trying to keep the team together. A true leader while carbo is a moron… i dont care who you are, you dont publicly criticize. He is the reason the team is bad… shoulder some of the blame ya moron.

  35. Barts says:

    Brisebois is hurt!!??!?! Can it be true? Is it career threatening? Hockey Gods, thank you for this early Xmas present…

    Sportsnet just talking Kovalev for Marleau straight up.

  36. Habsfan39 says:

    CP31 will keep it close, hes no danny sabourin

  37. ccs says:

    dont worry habsfan39 Carbos days are numbered

  38. ccs says:

    I really hope that the Flyers totally destroy the habs like 10 zip. I think there is a good chance of this happening and hopefully some changes will come of it. For the sake of the future of the once mighty Montreal Canadiens…..GO FLYERS GO.

  39. Habsfan39 says:

    I miss claude julien….

    He was fired for playing huet instead of theodore…. hahahahaha…. he should still be our coach :(

    I miss you claude… we’d be a better team i guaruntee it.

    Carbo is lost on the bench. He spends more time muttering to himself and chirping the refs than he does running the team.

    The players know he has no idea what he’s doing, and thus, they refuse to play for him.

    I know the team is playing bad, but I would have a hard being motivated to play game in and game out if i had a new linemate everygame, risked being sat if I made a mistake, Saw patrice f-ing brisbous playing like a f-ing mule without consequence.

    He’s eve chirping out price in public… screw carbo. Go coach peewee! Stop coaching altogether, go work in a hardware store… he should be making wallets or something.

    I dont care who says he needs more time, he doesnt. Hes not going to change his ways, he’s a friggen joke. Carbo is not going to be able to turn this team around! I promise.

    Wow i just made myself pretty angry

  40. krob1000 says:

    I meant the TSN commentators (there was complete silence during the third period…what I saw). I wish we could have been at the game,atmosphere or not, so don’t stop going (my wife and I usually go when they play in Ottawa but Montreal is not a day trip for us). Time well wasted……as is every second spent on here yacking about the Habs. Could be worse…. you could have been watching Sundin & co. last night.

  41. Elbacky says:

    RDS is reporting that brisbois is hurt so i don’t think they will send down obyrne,

    anyone know of the record of amount of players to be hurt at one time?

    HUET
    BEGIN
    SMOL
    BRISEBOIS
    GRABOVSKI
    and Kovalev is hurt but will play thursday..also RDS

  42. Steiner says:

    There was an atmosphere once we tied the game.
    But it was an atmosphere from those who remained.
    I didnt hear the announcer say anything, but it was so noisy in there as people reacted to a tying goal as if we had won the cup.

    Again, another telling sign.

    But there was a moment that it was so quiet I looked over at my friend and said “I feel like we’re watching the game in Tampa.”

    I feel I will have to personally deliver my failing grades and transcript to the organization and ask them to write me a medical leave notice for this past semester. Because this is getting ridiculous.

  43. Mike Boone says:

    Two good lines from Canadiens’ fans at my office.
    One was at the game last night and while watching the two Zamboni drivers prepare the ice for a shootout turned to his friend and said “These guys have a better system than the Canadiens.”

    Another colleague observes: “Hockey should be like Scrabble. If you don’t like the players you have you get rid of them all and pick up new ones.”

  44. mjames says:

    One of the posters stated that O’Byrne will be sent down. It is very unfortunate if that is true. That is no way to develop players. As various posters have pointed the kid is no worse than Brisebois, Cube or more recently Streit. Based purely on play these guys deserve to be demoted before O’Byrne.

    I am flummoxed how management and the coaches operate this team.

    mjames

  45. NLhabsfan says:

    The players have lost faith in this coach. Above all that because of his inaptitude they have lost faith in themselves.Get RID of him…period.

  46. fun police says:

    why is there no callups yet? locke or kots jr. would be better than streit or dandy on the first line.

  47. doug says:

    … and rookies make mistakes. benching them is just holding up their development by impacting their confidence.

    stupid stupid stupid.

    send him down after the game if you must. o’byrne would have been fine if he’d gone right out there. once benched he had to be sat for the game and now must be sent down.

  48. doug says:

    Agree wholeheartedly

  49. krob1000 says:

    I’d like to see Locke and/or Kostitsyn up there too.

  50. krob1000 says:

    I heard the commentator say something about calling the fans back after we tied it…..did that really happen in a one goal game???? That is terrible if it did. That speaks volumes about our fans. I thought the team looked really charged up after the tying goal (until we sent out the Lapierre line). We almost won it when Kovy fanned in front of the net but I think the guys responded to a little life in the building. I didn’t see much of the game but based on what I heard the commentators say and now yourself it sounds like there was no atmosphere.

  51. Axeman says:

    Thanks for the input, but those were retorical questions.

    I can understand the occasional “brain fart” … every team has them. But when I watch the Habs, compared to other teams, calling them disorganized is a colossal understatement! I know the ebb and flow of the season will result in slumps, but the effort these guys have shown at the beginning of the season, compared to what is on the ice now ….

    Its just frustrating to watch.

  52. Elbacky says:

    I’ve come to realize that the team plays the season like they play their games.

    In the first period (begining of the season as well) they usually come out strong, as the second period comes (christmas time) they lose focus and forget the game they are playing, in the third period (final stretch) they realizse the position they have put themselves in try as hard as they can and just when we think they may pull out the win, they fall short.

    All these rumours flying with marleau bernier ryder and koivu, i really do not want to see koivu go but if that is what it takes to get out of this “tradition” then changes must be made.

  53. Ian Cobb says:

    I still think Cory Locke can play up here. He is a pure scorer and forechecker. Won scoring champ two years in a row, that,s why we drafted him. It is past time to bring up some of Hamilton winners, they cannot do no worse!

  54. J.T. says:

    My best answers to your questions:
    1) I don’t think they necessarily stop playing. There are ups and downs of emotion over the course of a hockey game. A lead, or conversely, being behind by a couple of goals can change a team’s emotion…losing urgency with a lead for example, or getting frustrated when down…over the course of a game. I was actually encouraged to see them pull up their socks and muster up some passion when it mattered last night.

    2) Yes. The players watch what they’re doing most of the time. Brisebois is the exception to the rule because he’s washed up. He was never strong defensively before he lost a step, and now he’s out and out terrible.

    Hope this helps.

  55. J.T. says:

    Only thing is, Carbo would have still kept Dandy on the first line and put Grabs with Lapierre and Kostopoulos. I want scorers on the top lines, and Breezer in the pressbox. Gorges has done nothing (aside from that one giveaway earlier in the year that led to the winning goal against) to warrant sitting over Brisebois, who’s getting more horrible with every game.

  56. Axeman says:

    It is beginning to look a lot like last year ….

    I have two questions:
    1) Why does this team simply stop trying about half way through any given period?
    2) Do they actually watch what they’re doing while on the ice? Last night, Brisbois must have made a half-dozen “passes” to a Tampa Bay player … tape to tape!!! Are they so relient on this “system” that they simply close their eyes and hope for the best?

    Any insight would be appreciated …

  57. krob1000 says:

    I agree …let’s get the Sergei up here and see if he can provide a spark. Too bad about Grabovski as this could have been his chance to see some consistent time.

  58. J.T. says:

    Well, I think I may be the only one who woke up this morning, not feeling terribly bad about last night’s game or the team in general. Maybe it’s because it’s the holiday season, (or the fact that I’ve taken up drinking during Habs games) but I don’t think the Habs’ world is ending. There were good things about last night. The effort was there. The two big mistakes were made by rookies whom you’d expect to make mistakes. Didn’t we all say at the beginning of the year that we’d rather go with our kids and let them learn on the job than patch holes with useless veterans? Well, last night O’Byrne and Price learned something on the job. I thought the forwards did much better job at contesting the neutral zone than they have recently. The play in their own zone was bad only because they failed to clear the puck once they had possession. Weak backhand passes up the boards don’t cut it…but that can be corrected.

    In short…if last night’s game had happened in October, we would have just shrugged and agreed they got a bad break on the Roy goal, and the team showed good heart and effort to tie it up. Bad luck on the shootout. But because last night’s game happened at the tail-end (I like to think) of a wicked slump, we see only the negatives. I think they’ll turn it around. With Smolinski out, it opens a spot for Kostitsyn the Younger, whom I think should get a shot on the first two lines. Enough of the converted D-man experiments. A few goals would go a long way toward righting this ship. Hopefully it starts in Philly.

  59. ebk says:

    if you can’t see how Patrick Marleau and Bernier would help the Habs, ain’t nothing I can say that will convince you otherwise.

  60. Thumper says:

    I still believe we need a coaching change, the facts all speak for themselves. And 4 line equal time hockey does not work in the NHL. Carbo said he rolled 4 lines so they would, as a team, have more energy. well guess what, they look knackered each night. Come on give us a bloody good scoring line or make the best of a bad bunch, i.e. Higgins, Koivu, Kovy playing some serious minutes then we can have a fighter on the fourth line like everyone else who does not need to score or play stupid minutes and stop flippin Mats Sundin thinking he can boss us around. I am dreading saturday

  61. John Doe says:

    Another reason not to listen to the radio: they’re wrong!!

    Higgins will still be an RFA at the end of his deal according to all the sources I can find.

    Can’t disagree with the comment on Komi, though. At the same time, hindsight is 20/20. I don’t know if I would have been (or was) clamouring for the long-term deal at the time.

  62. Ian Cobb says:

    Every week or so i like to check the three most important stats that together determine who will win the cup each year.

    In order of importance.

    1st goals against—— 88, we sit 21st, down from 4th place
    2nd total points——- 32, we sit 16th, down from 5th place
    3rd goals for———- 85, we sit 14th, down from 3rd place

    In two weeks, a huge melt down, and no end in sight. Talk about global warming!!!

  63. Steiner says:

    For the first time, in a long time I left the game after the loss and as I was cleaning off my snow ridden car I said to myself “Was this really worth my time? I have a huge final paper due tomorrow, and I opt to take a break from working on it, to come to *this*”
    I looked over at my friend and said “Why do we even bother anymore?”.

    It’s a critical time, and critical moves need to be made. I’d be the last to admit it, but these guys won’t – or dont know how to – play for Carbo anymore. Out-coached indeed. You can absolutely feel the fan frustration in the building, and with a one goal game people were leaving during the final five minutes of the game. If thats not an indication that people have lost faith and hope in their team, I’m not sure what is. Normally there would be excitement, fans backing the team up to get them going when all we needed was one goal to send it into OT. Now people are just plain giving up.

    When the game went into OT last night, I looked over at my buddy and said “I can’t believe everyones just got so happy to send this into overtime. I cant believe this is what satisfies fans us these days.”
    And its true, it was a thrilling moment, because hope lasted a little longer… and then was quickly forgotten as Richards snapped one past the future of the franchise.

    Go figure.

  64. Naila Jinnah says:

    That must be it, Mike! That’s why the Habs are more successful on the road! Because you stay home and watch the game ;)

  65. Dan23 says:

    Totally agree. A couple of weeks ago, the Maple Leafs were on the verge of firing their coach and GM, trading Mats Sundin, and essentially imploding. Now they’re 7 points from first place in the conference.

    Everyone seems concerned because the Habs suddenly have no talent, are playing like an AHL hockey team, and Carbo and Gainey are terrible.

    While I do not disagree that many of the Habs performances of late have stunk up the joint, but the idea that we should deal all the veterans and stock up on draft picks is the clear advice of a lunatic who would cry in terror if offered the job of filling Bob Gainey’s shoes. This is pure media overreaction designed to get ratings. That’s fine for a radio host, but deadly for an actual NHL GM.

    While I’ve never been a big fan of Carbo learning on the job, the idea that Montreal is such a horrible, talentless team is simply not reflected in the stats. They are currently in 7th place in the conference and I’m confident that they’ll turn things around.

    The objective this season is to make the playoffs, plain and simple. We may not contend for the Stanley Cup, but the real rebuilding of this team requires that we start with small victories to convince our young corps of talent and potential UFAs that they won’t always be playing golf come springtime. The diatribes you hear now will grow into an unbelievable torrent if the Habs do not qualify for the playoffs for the third year in a row. Sure, we may lose 4 straight in the first round, but at that point, anything is possible. I prefer that to the certainty of throwing away the season in favour of more rebuilding for the future.

    This is not supposed to be Toronto and we are not supposed to listen to aspiring Bill Watters goofballs.

  66. saskhab says:

    The Habs are lucky the crowd didn’t start cheering for the Lightning last night.

    It was an embarrasment. They lost to a team that:
    a) couldn’t win on the road;
    b) got spanked the night before;
    c) playing it’s 3rd game in 4 nights;
    d) started a goalie without a win, and a 4.52 GAA and .857 SV%;
    e) gave the Habs the tying goal (before that the Habs were dead)
    f) gave the Habs what should’ve been an easy PP to ice the game in OT

    It’s more embarassing that they’re proud of that effort.

  67. OK says:

    It’s Montreal, if a player sneezes the wrong way it’s major news and an indication that he wants out! People need to realize it’s an 82 season, you have highs, you have lows.

    The difference right now between 1st overall in the eastern conference and 14th is 12 points!

    So stop listening to these Montreal radio hosts who flip flop with the team and want every guy signed long term and once you give them those long term contracts then it’ll be why did they give them long term deals for…of course they’re never wrong!!!

  68. howtathor says:

    Ditto on Locke…he’s payed his dues at Hamilton and deserves a shot! He may lack size which on a small team would be the biggest drawback but he makes up for it with a nose to the net. Look at Latendresse. All the size in the world doesn’t make you a good player.

  69. The Teacher says:

    Wow, Gainey knows he needs to get the fans excited about SOMETHING! Even if it IS a supposedly very talented 2 way player with offensive skills who has also been known to take a night or two off in Hamilton.

    I’ll wait to see what this brings, but I am surprised they called him up….REALLY surprised.

  70. howtathor says:

    I hope he gets to play and is put in a position to succeed. No third or fourth line like they did with Grabovski. Either play him with Koivu or ideally with his brother on the second line. It’ll be a farsight better than having Dandenault on the first line. And I hope he isn’t benched if he makes one mistake. I’m so negative about Carbo and his punishment regime…On the bright side, Brisbois is out! Woohooo!!! Go Gorges!

  71. Steiner says:

    TSN is reporting that Sergei Kostitsyn has been recalled from Hamilton and will join his older brother on the road in Philly.

    Mike, you might have your chance to finally see the brothers at work together.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=225021&hubname=nhl

  72. Barts says:

    Amen to all of that. Now off with their heads.

  73. yehaken says:

    No one wants to play in Montreal, and so no one does. Habs will need to sign guys for 10 years if they expect to not lose them to free agency. Markov and Komisarek should have both been much longer deals.

    Go Habs Go!

  74. ColRouléBleu says:

    These days everyone seems to be wanting to play in Montreal….except just not with a Habs jersey on ;)

  75. Wops says:

    I guess the sens lost 7 in a row….
    _______________________________________
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  76. fun police says:

    before we clean house, lets change coaches. i think this team would compete much better when natural balance is restored. none of this defensemen as wingers crap. no more fourth line plays two, to three minutes less than our first line. no more scrambled egg lines. no more fourth line out after every goal we score to kill momentum. we are hard on the skilled players, but for crying out loud, what would you do playing with a defensemen as a winger on your line, and only given shifts every four minutes. why do i get the feeling that if torterella was coaching this team, we’d be better off.

  77. coutNY says:

    I believe if Montreal had Lecavier, St. Louis, and Richards to depend on for 30 mins we might be better… I don’t see our undersized or aging forwards who have to fight much harder than normal teams for each oppotunity, playing 30 mins…

  78. joeybarrie says:

    CLEARLY we can only do our best with our fans supporting us 100%. So let’s start supporting fully. Frustrations aside, we have the best crown in the NHL. REMEMBER 10 overtime wins in 1993???????? This happened cause of the team mentality and our screaming fans is what drives us…… SO COMMIT PEOPLE. BE A FAN, NOT A CRITIC. There are enough critics, and you know what they say about opinions and #@#holes… Remember Carbo when he was on the ICE… And what in Gaineys history as a HERO in our town tells you he would let his personal life feelings affect his Hockey sense????????? Does no one remember him playing??? BE PART OF FANDOM, PART OF A TEAM. WE ALL WEAR THE SAME CH… Part of the solution, not part of the problem….. Apparently common sense doesnt dictate.

  79. Gilles Poisson says:

    These people calling your radio are not the true fans. These “people” crawl out of the woodwork and carp when things are going bad. They never complain like this when things are great. I don’t understand it. They must just want attention. The true fan he will pay $133 per ticket and only $20 to park his car a half mile away. Don’t forget to leave early. No problem. $10 a beer, there goes another $200. Water’s only $4.50, hey, we all gotta make a buck. Pizza and hotdogs are for millionaires. Where do these ingrates get off complaining about what they are paying for? You wouldn’t walk out of a movie and complain about that, would you? What kind of manic depressive would complain about a meal at a restaurant? I think they all should just shut up. Or better yet, put a stunned grin on their face, grow a mustache, and walk around mumbling about “Bob’s plan”. Thank you.

  80. mjames says:

    I always enjoy your posts. By the way how is the the Madame today. Do you have bowling or bingo tonight?

    mjames

  81. Topham says:

    Despite all the doom and gloom, the Canadiens are in 7th place. They are ahead of the Leafs and are 2 points from the second-most points in the East. Even their losing streak has featured wins and points.

    As lows go, this has been easy.

    I don’t think you could find a team in the East or the league (apart from Detroit) who hasn’t suffered over a ten-game stretch at some point. Sure our losing has been recent and so has the feeling of inevitability, but that is only due to perspective. A coupleof weeks ago the Leafs were 14th and calling for their entire staff to be cleared. Now they’ve won a few they are back on a high.

    Winning games will come eventually, I’m sure. My only gripe would be the lack of creativity in finding a quicker way out of the losing. I mean, Dandenault on the top line is just comical in its naivete.

    But Mike, it may be worth ditching the radio as you said. Can’t hurt right?

  82. Norm0770 says:

    Even when the Leafs are loosing they bring an effort. The Habs seem unable or unwilling to play for 60 minutes. Last night they had a decent effort, but it still wasn’t enough. Too many games lately they haven’t showed up at all, no forechecking, no backchecking.

    7 or 8 years ago when the team was getting less than 30 wins a year I was happier watching the games, because those teams played hard every night.

  83. fuhgawz says:

    this is my first post in a couple weeks …….. for good reason —- this team is falling apart…….co-workers are killing me with the fact that the laffs are now a wayyyyyyyyyy better team or so it seems. To the Montreal Canadien Management —— Make a move do something NOW not when its to late ……… this is becoming a disgusting display game in game out with VERY FEW bright spots. This is Bull Shit pardon my language. I have lost my patience with every aspect of this team from management, coaching, and players —– no more excuses —— the buck stops here and now do something or lose fan support ……… how much crap do we have to take? …….. Starting today my beloved habs attire in my office is coming down ….. i can not respect them until they start respecting us and playing like a god damned winning franchise …. we should be a team like the yankees for christ sake.!!

    i am out

  84. Dan23 says:

    No team is immune to failure. Even the Yankees went through those horrible years in the 80s and 90s.

    We need to think longer term, especially in the new CBA environment. There will be bumps along the way, but the future of this team I believe will be bright.

  85. JB_15 says:

    I think the fans make excellent points. The one that I would add is the following:

    Guy Carbonneau is quite obviously scared. You can see it from his overreactions on the bench, his constant line shifting, and his press conferences. He is getting known around the league by the referees as someone who loses his temper far too frequently, and it is hurting the team in the locker room too I am sure. Our leaders don’t have answers either. In all of the interviews where the players are asked what is going on they mention bad breaks, hit posts, bad bounces, etc. No one flat out admits that the team needs to skate harder, take better and harder shots, and throw their bodies around. There are a lot of excuses being made, and a team being lead by an inexperienced, frightened, assistant-coach turned head-coach despite being drastically underqualified.

  86. howtathor says:

    I agree with you. Montreal can be a tough place to break in a rookie coach so why bother? Look at Mario Tremblay, he is still an assistant and fortunate to be that. Either Gainey should step in or hire a bona fide coach such as Bob Hartley, Pat Burns or Larry Robinson that come to mind. Ideally, George Gillette should step in, fire the both of them and hire Scotty Bowman as Supreme Hockey Being. Only 25 years too late but better late than never. But what does Gillette care, Liverpool won!

  87. Steiner says:

    that really intrigues me….

  88. The Teacher says:

    It intrigues me also, but I’m worried how bad the plus-minuses will be on the koivu line….ouch

  89. Gilles Poisson says:

    Too bad the Habs cant score goals like Liverpool.

  90. howtathor says:

    Show’s you where all the Gillette money is going!

  91. NLhabsfan says:

    Carbonneau and Gainey are searching for answers.Carbonneau is in over his head.Gainey doesn’t want to fire his friend.Sergei Kostitsyn called up from AHL.What do they do with the forwards they have now.You know they can always give Ryder less then 8 min.Like last game.One min on the tail end of a power play.Less shifts for the impatient Carbonneau who wants him to score on the first shift.He still managed two shots.”Disgusting” You know we have two guys up front to take care for a spot for Brisebois.

  92. joeybarrie says:

    Yeah your right Carbo is TERRIBLE……. What is wrong with your guys?????? Bob Gainey didn’t make the playoffs last season with this team, And we are doing just as well this season as last around this time. Gainey did pretty good at Dallas and won himself a Stanley Cup no??? Give him maybe a bit more than a couple of months. He didnt do too badly in Dallas with Gainey. HEY WAIT IVE GOT AN IDEA, LETS CALL BOWMAN AND GET HIM. YEAH. HOW COME NO ONE EVER THOUGHT OF THAT???????
    Lastly. We are 4 pts behind where we were last year at this time, and that was our best start in how long????? Right you are. Lets fire the whole staff and start new. 4 points HOW DARE THEY…….? Wake up. BE HAPPY. We are competing for playoffs……..


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