About last night …

Let’s hope the Sunday brunch menu includes Valium.

It was just one game in a long season, right? But man, did your Montreal Canadiens suck or what?

The Rangers dominated every aspect of the game, most notably desire. They wanted it more.

Home teams usually do – not that it helped the Boston Bruins. But this was different.

The Rangers came out skating, hitting and battling for every loose puck. The Canadiens came out soft, slow (did you ever see so many of them fall for no apparent reason) and tentative.

The power play was 1-for-8 including two lengthy 5-on-3s – and by the time it clicked, the Rangers were up 4-0 and the issue was no longer in doubt. If other teams pick up on the technique of pressuring Alex Kovalev, the PP will need adjustment.

As will the attitude. Canadiens were due for a bad game, but there are bad games and there are no-shows.

This team isn’t good enough to win with anything less than 60 minutes of hard-working, high-energy, ultra-competitive hockey.

Thus endeth the Sunday sermon.

So enjoy your morning OJ and tranquillizers. There’s no need to panic … yet.

The game on Long Island will be very important. Guy Carbonneau would not commit himself as to who will start in goal on Tuesday.

And down on the farm, Carey Price was beaten five times on 13 shots and was yanked halfay through Hamilton’s 7-3 loss to Rochester.

So it was a crap Saturday night all around, unless you’re a New England Patriots fan or a Leafs-hater:  they blew a 2-0 lead in San Jose, and the front office massacre should come tomorrow. 

 

103 Comments

  1. showey47 says:

    just saw the highlight of the sundin push of the linesman and his after game comment that it was “accidental”. Definatley not an accident and i believe its very suspendable.

  2. RetroMikey says:

    Well said Mike! Let’s not push the panic button yet! The boys were in Manhattan and games like yesterday happen with good teams.
    We’ll get a better performance Tuesday night, guaranteed!

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

  3. Moey says:

    I was doing the same thing last night, DD in a room full of people who were sampling endless brands of scotch. I was all goofed up on the Perrier, what fun, then got to drive the hour home. I managed to nip out to my car to catch the score, 4-1 in the third, at that’s how it ended. This morning in the Gazette the caption was “Habs collapse”, so dramatic & typical of Montreal.

    I agree, let’s move on, we were going to lose one, so be it. I would start Halak against the Isles, Huet seems to be off his game and so did Price in his last few. The dynamic duo are both struggling, let Halak show what he’s got.

  4. 24 Cups says:

    Dany Heatley is out 4 to 6 weeks with a separated shoulder. Poolies lament.

    The Original 24 Cups

  5. 24 Cups says:

    That’s the way I see it too ebk. It’s asking too much to have Tommy K or Begin play centre for any extended period of time. If Smolinski keeps faultering in the next few games then consider bringing Chipchura back up. I still think you have to play Smolinski as the 4th centre (and penalty killer) for the next few games. The Habs are eventually going to have to decide whether they want to live with Smolinski (and his inconsistency) or Chipchura (with his job training taking place in the NHL).

    The Original 24 Cups

  6. Yeats says:

    You’re right. I did not intend to diss pond hockey. It’s much more fun to play or watch.

  7. HABZ 24 says:

    That garbage no effort,no show game saturday was just a blip on the screen on the way to a playoff berth.maybe price is dizzy from the bus fumes he’s riding on the farm,shake it off big guy see you soon back in the bigs.go habs go!!

  8. The Teacher says:

    I wouldn’t even classify it in the same genre as pond hockey…There is a lot more passion exhibited in a pond hockey game then the all-star.

  9. ebk says:

    If Chipchura was still up, sitting Smolinski would be easy. As a 4th line center, Smolinski should be more than capable of doing the job. He has been a 2nd/3rd line center his whole career and a good one. Any team with him as your 4th line center, is deep. Not sure what is wrong with him this year.

    Begin can play center, so maybe he can replace Smolinski, if that is what Carbo chooses to do. Kostopoulos as a center scares the crap out of me. I’d still rather see Streit on defense, dress two of Smolinski, Kostopolous or Begin and Brisebois in the press box. Brisebois was not even close to the worst player on the ice last night but I think the team is better when he is not dressed.

  10. The Teacher says:

    Shhh, don’t tell that to Tony Romo. He might decide to become a hockey player.

  11. Bill H says:

    I agree with you that we should not trade away our future and I wouldn’t trade AK46 for Marleau either. Those players all look pretty bad in the +/- department, but their stats look a lot better than Dandy’s when you include PP. The comparison by the original poster was between Dandy and those players, not between AK46 and Marleau. I wouldn’t have any problem trading Dandy for Marleau. Unfortunately I don’t think San Jose would go for it. Here are some stats for Marleau – 6’2″ 220lbs Age 28 Centre 55.9% faceoff – best on team. His production the last 2 years 34G 52A 86Pts and 32G 46A 78Pts. But he does have a bit of a problem with +/- so maybe he wouldn’t be a great fit here. He’s also having a bad year and likely won’t come near the past 2 years in production. But I expect he will turn it around.

  12. Yeats says:

    It’s a useless gimicky display of mediocre pond hockey concocted by the NHL to attract the odd NASCAR viewer or two to the sport for two hours. I wouldn’t criticize the guy if he decided to go to Bermuda with his wife.

  13. ebk says:

    you are correct but it does not mean they won’t

  14. JB_15 says:

    I think what makes a GM good is the ability to bite the bullet and say “I signed this guy and its not working out, so he will sit for a while”. I dont understand this need to cut off your nose to spite your face among GMs. Bob, you built a great core of young guys who have really been coming through for you. What is with this incessant need to play guys who are clearly over the hill and always a step behind?

  15. Yeats says:

    If he is not obligated to play by the terms of his contract, the decision should be left up to him. He knows what is best for his family and no one has a right to criticize him.

  16. The Teacher says:

    Yes, i agree, one bad week…but they haven’t had the bad week in a while, so let’s wait until Tuesday before we bring out the knives ;)

  17. 24 Cups says:

    I didn’t see the game last night – my wife and I went out to a party and I was the designated driver. Being in a room with people who are all liquored up when you are cold sober isn’t pretty – I take the Habs game against the Rangers wasn’t pretty either. Well, no team can shine for 82 games so let’s move on to Tuesday and the Isles.

    Please indluge me in a few ‘ifs’. Ottawa plays the Islanders tonight. It’s Ottawa’s second game in a row but there’s a good chance they can beat the Isles, especially seeing that the game is in Ottawa. The Rangers play Pittsburgh on Monday night (TSN) so there’s a decent chance that Crosby & Co. will win at home. So that leaves our game. IF we beat the Islanders, and Pittsburgh and Ottawa also win then we will be 7 points up on 8th place. As I said that’s a lot of ‘ifs’ but it’s also doable. Let’s leave Saturday night behind us and be positive about the week ahead.

    Other posters have stated this already but I feel we have nothing to lose by giving Halak a start. It’s not that he’s a rookie with no NHL experience. It might be interesting to see how the team responses with him in net. Halak starting will also give Huet some time to think, as well as letting him know there is still some competition at his position. Brisebois? He can sit out and Streit can play with Hamrlik. Sitting out Smolinski is a much tougher call. Who ever replaces him is going to have to play centre. Tommy K? Begin (if he’s ready)? How much of an upgrade is it to have these guys play out of position, not to mention take faceoffs? Tough call.

    The Original 24 Cups

  18. The Teacher says:

    Mr. Boone, what is your opinion on Sundin’s push of a linesman last night?

  19. The Teacher says:

    I’m curious to see how the members of our site feel about the brouhaha that is brewing over Luongo’s refusal to play in the All-Star game to be with his wife? (who is 5 months pregnant)? He was voted in by the fans.

    In my opinion, I have a question.

    Is it required in his contract to play?
    Is his wife having undue stress related to this?

    What would I do? I’d probably go the same way he did and stay with her.

    It would be interesting to know if any other members of the all-star team have pregnant wives at this time as well.

  20. showey47 says:

    i don’t buy mr.boone’s comments (no disrespect to mr.boone). If the p.k. is focusing on kovy either by double team or man on man that means there are at least 2 other players open and alot of space in the slot. The key to a powerplay is puck movement which moves the box around which can open up a shooting lane from the point,the slot or in kovy’s case the half boards. Kovy is obviously the most talented person on the ice but the other 4 guys have to know that if he is being doubled team, there is alot of room for the rest of them to capitalize on.

  21. mjames says:

    Good post. Very interesting . What is it they say “the grass is not always greener” or “be careful what you wish for”!

    Here I am complaining about Smolinski. Can you imagine if we had signed Drury. Briere is not great either at -11 although he has 16 goals. As a comparison AK46 is close in scoring, has more upside and seems more responsible 5v5. All these great players do not seem to be worth the money. Your post quite correctly confirms that we should not trade our high potential youngsters for these supposedly great players. For example I would not trade Marleau for AK46 straight up. I am being serious when I say San Jose would have to sweeten the deal significantly.

    mjames

  22. likehoy says:

    kane also gets more responsibility (ice time) than the other 2

  23. nightmare_49 says:

    All three should have a nice future in the NHL.

  24. The Teacher says:

    HEY, WHERE’S THE SUSPENSION ON SUNDIN??????

  25. sidhu says:

    Thanks for the post. An interesting set of stats I was looking at today, comparing Sergei Kostitsyn with his former linemate, Sam Gagner:

    Gagner: 42 Games, 3 Goals, 13 Assists, 16 Points, -11
    Kostitsyn: 14 Games, 3 Goals, 5 Assists, 8 Points, -1
    (Extrapolating SK’s numbers based on the same number of games that Gagner has played): 42 Games, 9 Goals, 15 Assists, 24 Points, -3

    Not bad at all.

    (Yes, I know, I didn’t compare them to Kane.)

  26. nightmare_49 says:

    Sometimes stats are interesting to check out , like at around mid season (like +/-). The negative posters are not happy with Dandy’s -9 but he’s in good company with Jordan Staal and Briere at -9 while others like Beauchemin -10 , Afinogentov -10 , Hannon -10 , Jared Stoll -11 , Drury -12 , Marleau -13 , Bonk -15 and , of course , Richards at -25. Interesting.

  27. sidhu says:

    It may be helpful to separate two issues – one, the Rangers exerted more pressure on Kovalev when the Habs were on the PP, which hurt our chances for success because he can be so creative and lethal from the right boards with sufficient time and space. Second, if that’s the case, we will need to figure out other ways in which we can neutralize any excessive focus on Kovy. This I think is your point — we have enough tools to adjust the PP and if we don’t utilize them, that’s our own fault. Both points are well taken and I think both are consistent with one another.

    This reminds me of last year when teams would step up on Shelly so he couldn’t release his bomb. A solution then would be to let the player over-commit on Shelly so that there is a mismatch down low.

    Anyway, the hallmark is a good team is to adjust when faced with new obstacles, and I’m confident that the PP will continue to do well even if more attention from the opposing side is fixed on Kovy.

  28. showey47 says:

    smolinski to improve their powerplay?

  29. showey47 says:

    Sundin, maurice and the entire Communist Broadcasting Corporation hockey crew were calling it unintentional but it is more than obvious that it was intentional. But since mats can get away with cross-checking players to the face (komi,markov) and not get called i don’t expect much from this either.

  30. nightmare_49 says:

    So true , i forgot about their pattern or should i say business plan.

  31. Chuck says:

    Who do we trade to them to keep that from happening? Do they need a goalie? :)
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    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  32. showey47 says:

    agreed, the fall would be so short it wouldn’t crack an egg.

  33. showey47 says:

    agreed as much as i hate the laffs i would rather them finish 10th than 15th so they don’t get the high draft picks

  34. Chuck says:

    :) Your reply was certainly good for a chuckle!

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

  35. Exit716 says:

    Great post. It’s concise, precise and has no basis in reality at all.

  36. likehoy says:

    my mistake…but in light of that…if teams are JUST realizing now that kovy is key to our pp…there is something wrong with their management

  37. sidhu says:

    Just to clarify, I said that Kovy is key, not the key — meaning he is important to our PP success, but he isn’t the only player who can make things work with the man advantage.

    That said, I agree that Koivu, Higgins, and Lats can be a dangerous PP unit, especially with Lats in front of the net.

  38. likehoy says:

    that’s an over-statement…the key to our PP is not alex kovalev…he’s the key to the second unit (or first depending the way you look at it) pp…the other wave plays with more movement between koivu and higgins with latendresse parked in the middle…

    Kovalev is our most consistent player so obviously you’d have to overplay him a bit if we’re desperate for a goal that’s why he seemed to be on the ice all PP long last night, but normally he is not…

    to address the toughness issue internally…latendresse and lapierre have to step up in their roles…latendresse has been developing well this season…but i still find lapierre needs to mix it up a bit more…he’s a physical player…but he doesn’t do enough trash…if he could be more trashy and really get under the skin of players…he’d be our sean avery…but a trade for a tougher player would be welcomed…just who??

  39. sidhu says:

    As Mr Boone points out, teams have figured out that Kovalev is key to our PP. Moreover, Boston and New York were fairly physical with the boys, and teams will realize they can take a run at Koivu without receiving any retaliation. Our only real counterbalance is Komisarek, who was a beast against Boston but was quiet last night. Kosto can provide some toughness, but despite his heart he can’t fight.

    I do think the toughness of the team should be addressed by the trade deadline. This doesn’t mean we trade for a goon, but if this trend continues it may be worth looking into a guy who can meaningfully defend Koivu and our other skill players, like Shelly and Rivet did last year (remember the Colby Armstrong hit on Captain K last year?).

    Our next games are against the Islanders and Atlanta. Halak should definitely get the nod in one of those games.

    Go Habs Go!

  40. 24 Cups says:

    Not a chance 49 – The Lousy Leafs will trade their pick for a 38 year old player who is the ‘last piece of the puzzle’ to winning the Cup!

    The Original 24 Cups

  41. likehoy says:

    it wouldn’t even help them…
    they have a lot of offence as it is (even though they have a few under performers at the moment)

    but with no defence and no goaltending…they’ll still be the same team in the long run.

    for example look at the lightning…the big 3 but they still suck…stamkos will not save them…if i was MLSE…i’d fire ferguson if he drafted stamkos…

    drew doughty will be their pick cause after kaberle…they lack top 3 dmen…mccabe gill and kubina are all number 4 dmen IMHO. Same goes for Colaiacovo…

    Habs on the other hand…are set in defence and goaltending for the future…we need a dynamic offensive player like stamkos…let’s trade yann danis for their top pick cause god knows JFJ overpays for goalies

  42. Bean says:

    Yeah, I was just chatting with a Leaf friend of mine (we somehow have a good friendship despite our intense love of our respective teams) and he was saying the Leafs should just blow up this season and go all-out after Stamkos or Doughty.

    As Habs fans we’ve all been there, forced to sit back and watch what horrible upper management can do to a team; now it’s the Leafs’ turn. It’s almost enough to make me sympathetic. Getting Stamkos or Doughty would be a key rebuilding piece for them. I’m with ya, Habs-Kat, I’d be more than fine with them missing out on that piece.

  43. Chuck says:

    Very true. But even if Huet had that team in front of him, I’m not so sure that he would have the horses to go it alone. Perhaps we should be looking at a different aproach to get us to the next level.
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  44. nightmare_49 says:

    Looks like the laffs are trying to be in the sweepstakes for Stamkos or Doughty – i feel for those kids.

  45. Chuck says:

    If only to keep them from ruining a promising kid’s career. :)
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  46. BigHabsFan says:

    good analysis, but lets not forget that Osgood and Hasek have a very good team in front of them. Put Price and Huet on Detroit and theyd look pretty good too

  47. JF says:

    The one good thing about last night’s game is that there was nothing in it to make anybody remotely complacent. I hope every member of the team takes it to heart and realizes that without 60 minutes of hard work every game, we’re going nowhere. No more stumbling starts, second period tea-breaks, third period meltdowns. Since it seems we can’t come back from even one goal down and can’t protect a one-goal lead, we have to come out flying every time.

  48. Habs-Kat says:

    I’d hate to see the Leafs grab Steve Stamkos.

  49. likehoy says:

    i for one don’t feel bad…so many people picked the leafs to finishing ahead of the habs…28th with half a season to go…anything can happen…they haev to pick up 55 out of a possible 80 points to make the playoffs almost…that’s playing over .700 hockey till the end to make possibly only 8th place…with their goaltending though…that’s a long shot…

    the closeness of the standings make me nervous. Any slip up and we can find ourselves out of the picture so we can’t get complacent at any point of the season in terms of where we’re standing (currently 5th but philly has 2 games in hand)…i predicted at the start of the season we’d finish 6th place and i’m willing to stand still on that prediction…but home ice advantage would be nice…especially since we’re 0-2 in NY and 0-forever in NJ

  50. 24 Cups says:

    Hey Captain – I live outside Toronto so I don’t think I’m qualified to judge the situation. The original issue when he purchased the Habs was that Gillette was an American (sorry Guy) but I don’t think that has really impacted on the team/franchise. I was always under the impression that he was a supportive owner. The Liverpool soccer byline is a totally different story. Maybe people are wondering if Gillette will have to sell the Habs in order to keep the cash flow going on his investment with the soccer team. Personally, I don’t care. Soccer doesn’t even come close to hockey as a sport. They play for 90 minutes and nobody ever scores a goal. And if they do, then the fans go bananas and kill each other:-) I only concern myself with manly sports – hockey in the winter and golf in the summer. (enraged posters busily start hitting the reply button!) Take care my New York friend.

    The Original 24 Cups

  51. Chuck says:

    When he stopped to compose himself, I really felt for him too. I’m sure that there are a number of guys in their room that are feeling the same way. But the clowns that are calling for Paul Maurice’s head are just looking for a scape goat. He’s far from the real problem with that organization.

    Man, I’m glad that we have Gainey…
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  52. Moey says:

    I saw an interview with Paul Maurice last night after the game and I have to say I really felt for the guy. He was gutted, I thought at one point he might cry. They showed the laffs getting on the bus, they all looked so depressed, as much as I can’t stand them, I don’t enjoy kicking them when they’re that down. It must really suck to be a player on a team that the owner’s don’t give a hoot about success or failure.

    In saying that, I would hate to see Scotty Bowman taking over for obvious reasons.

  53. Chuck says:

    Even though they were playing like crap and were down by three, that fourth goal at the end of the second period was a backbreaker. Having a shot like that from the bottom of the faceoff circle beat you between your body and the post? Inexcuseable. If he stops that one, at least there’s a glimmer of hope going into the third period. As it was I was kind of proud of the Habs that they gave the effort that they did in the final period. Maybe it was just a show of support for Halak, but they skated harder, completed some passes, and showed some inginuity with the puck. Heck, they even scored on a great passing play!

    The potential was there for it to have been 3-1 with half of a period to play. Pot another quick one, and we would have been in for one heck of a ride over the final part of the third. Unfortunately, the last 20 seconds of the second put an end to that.

    Don’t get me wrong… I’m not laying all of the blame on Huet. The Markov giveaway and lack of pursuit that led up to the first goal was the kind of play that you’d expect to see from a pee-wee player, and not an NHL All-Star. Five skaters literally standing around and watching Jagr stickhandle in the middle of them, mezmerized? That might be my low-light of the year. The completely blown defensive assignment that led to the Rangers open net third goal? Give me a break. But even given all of that lack of effort, something simple like fundemental positional play by your goaltender right at the end of the period could have allowed the team to use a goal in the third as a launching point for a comeback. Instead it just allowed tham to say, “Hey, at least we didn’t get shutout.”

    Huet has never played in more than 45 games in an NHL season, and he might not do it this season, either. The most important thing that you can get from your #1 goaltender is consistency. And not just in the quality of play, but quantity, too. Brodeur, Luongo, Kiprusoff… they’re bonafide #1’s. San Jose’s goalie has started 50 straight games for them, dating back to last season.

    Let’s end this charade of pretending that Huet is currently able to carry the load of being a number one goale. Detroit has the best goaltending in the league, and they share the duties between two guys; they don’t pretend that either one has the endurance to play for long stretches, and it works just fine for them.

    Honestly, I hope that Huet proves me wrong from here on in, but given his track record not only this season, but over his entire career, I’m not going to hold out any hope of that happening any time soon.
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  54. Moey says:

    I think “Rangers win by default” would have been much more appropriate, but that doesn’t sell as many newspapers. I was picturing the ice littered with Habs’ bodies and a big bulldozer doing the cleanup.

  55. 24 Cups says:

    Habs-Kat – What others take paragraphs to say, you are able to sum up in one line. Let’s all try and stay positive for Tuesday’s game. Go Habs!

    The Original 24 Cups

  56. P St. Pierre says:

    I know…I took him with my first overall pick.

  57. Bean says:

    I’m pretty sure he isn’t required to play, for my part I’m all for him being with his wife. She’s had reported complications with this pregnancy, and as she apparently hasn’t moved to Vancouver yet, I imagine he’ll take any chance he can get to be by her side.

    Sometimes family’s just gotta come first. I respect his decision.

  58. G-Man says:

    Huet shows he can’t play too many in a row. Start the kid one game.

    Gilbert

  59. P St. Pierre says:

    The Canadiens were flat, no question. I think they will have a much stronger performance in Long Island. They need to review this game, make some adjustments (maybe they should all start drinking Red Bull) and go and play hard Tuesday night. After they’ve reviewed the game, they should burn the tape and forget about it.

    Might we see Halak on Tuesday? I don’t think last night’s game was all Huet’s fault at all, but I’d like to see Halak get a start. I really enjoy watching him play, he’s such a hungry goalie. It’s like he relishes every save he makes.

  60. Ryan says:

    I hate games like that one, no one is skating, everyone is falling, and the puck never seems to bounce their way.

    I know it was one bad game, and here comes the Detroit/Ottawa comparison, but I don’t think I’ve seen, or heard of them, having games like these, and Montreal has had 2 or 3 of them already.

  61. Chuck says:

    And the All-Star game doesn’t have “The System” going for it, either. “The System” is not an All-Star, especially after last night. :)
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    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  62. Chuck says:

    The Laffs game was a collapse. A collapse infers that you were at one point in control of the game, an likely to win. That surely wan’t the Habs last night!
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  63. Chuck says:

    Gainey doesn’t decide who’s in the lineup and how they’re used. That’s Carbo’s job.
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  64. Chuck says:

    On a positive note, they wouldn’t have far to fall.
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  65. Chuck says:

    Who called it accidental? Was that the spin that the club put on it, or the broadcaster that showed it? I saw it live, and it looked pretty intentional to me. Kind of like he was saying, “I’m pissed, get the hell away from me!”
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  66. Chuck says:

    He’ll make them pay through the nose though, both in terms of coin and control over the team. Last night he sounded like he was pretty happy with the relationship that he has with Detroit, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he said to the Laffs, “You really want me? Then prove it!”
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  67. MikeL says:

    Whether the team wins or loses, I still feel some of those things you said should be done. I believe Ryder and Huet should be traded if the return value is meaningful. Huet is just too inconsistant and is not that much of an upgrade to Halak or Price. I think Koivu is running out of gas and shows very little emotion anymore. Eventually, but maybe not this season, I would trade him off to a team looking solely at his track record. I just don’t think he has it anymore. I would get rid of Breezer and Smolinski or just not play them. With that being said, I’ve been impressed with basically every other player.

    I know that very little of this, or perhaps none of this could be done…which is why I will stick to my game of Eastside Hockey Manager and let Bob do his business.

  68. Ed says:

    I hope that is your own teehee, and that you are not copying it from cournoyer12. lol :)

  69. Habs-Kat says:

    Just one game, we’ll bounce back. Here’s to looking forward! No such thing as a perfect season in hockey after all.

    Go Pats!

  70. ZepFan2 says:

    That being said, Bowman hasn’t ruled out working with the laughs in the foreseeable future.

    It would be blasphemy, IMO, if Scotty were to go to the laughs.

  71. Sehs says:

    As if they aren’t already teehee

  72. nightmare_49 says:

    Zamboni – I was replying to Guy21 and knew they were reunited and couldn’t believe it.

  73. Ed says:

    You forgot one thing – quick, see who can jump off the bandwagon the fastest.

  74. J.T. says:

    I’m not too bothered by last night’s game. It was all about circumstances. The Canadiens had been on a pretty decent run, with no regulation losses in the last eight…the Rangers had lost five straight. So our guys were a little complacent, and after getting smashed around pretty often in Boston, probably weren’t all that driven about going into the corners and fighting for every puck. The Rangers had something to prove in front of their home fans and came out extremely aggressively. I watched this one without the sound up, so I can only rely on what I saw. And what I saw was the Rangers wanting it more, in terms of sacrificing to win. I also saw the Habs’ pride kick in in the third and they fought back with a lot more effort and better skating. It tells me the real team we’ve been admiring is still there…they just had an off night mentally. I would expect a very strong effort against the Isles on Tuesday, and I would expect Halak to start, since Huet has been showing a disturbing lack of confidence lately.

  75. ebk says:

    sneaking this in before the Colts game.

    Both Tommy K and Smolinski, when they are dressed, have been the main penalty killers at forward this year. The team’s PK has been dreadful this year and those two share a large part of the responsibility for this. It has to improve if this team is going to move up into the upper-tier of the NHL. Both need to improve their play in PK situations if they want to secure their spot in the line-up.

    Offensively both have been been horrible this year. Smolinski has 1 goal in 30 games and Kostopoulos has 1 in 39, in even strength situations. Not good.

    To make a long story short, bring up Chipchura and play him on the 4th line. He is equal to both of these two and certainly will be better in the long run

  76. likehoy says:

    let’s not assume “halak will be back up for price”…Halak and price are relatively the same age, they both have relatively the same experience in the NHL…and they’ve both got a long way to go before being number 1 goalies…if by next season huet is gone, expect a rotation…hell they even managed to have a rotation as huet’s back up

  77. doug says:

    Count me in, Showey and Ed. Just a bump in the road. . . wasn’t elated before last night and am certainly not down following it. One game. That’s all.

  78. JF says:

    I agree with all this. Halak should certainly start on Tuesday; he looked solid last night and Huet hasn’t been great in his last couple of games. Besides, Halak needs to play if he is either going to be traded or be here next season as backup to Price. As for everything else, it’s hard to understand how the whole team, after playing so well, can suddenly be so terrible, but I guess it happens. Carbo juggled his lines during the game in an effort to get something going, but I hope he reverts to the lines which have been scoring lately. One loss doesn’t mean it’s time to panic.

  79. showey47 says:

    At the begining of the month there was only 2 games i was dreading , last nights game and the one against the devils on the 24th.

  80. Guy21 says:

    Hard to understand how everyone can be so bad all at once.Maybe all the emotion is still on the ice in Boston.Komi was a monster(Even Pierre Maguire said so) and last night he and all his mates were invisible.Wonder how Tom K feels sitting and watching his team mates suck so bad..As much as I like Saku,I’m not sure he has what it takes to lead a team to the playoffs anymore….He seems slower and less involved than he should be.Also Higgins seems lost lately too,maybe its time to reunite him and Koivu and see what happens.Lets hope the Long Island boys wake up in time for the next game….GO HABS GO

  81. nightmare_49 says:

    The Saku – Higgins reunion is the last thing we need , don’t you remember that the unbeaten streak was started when we FINALLY separated the two , there’s only one puck.

  82. JB_15 says:

    Brian smolinski andpatricebrisebois literally drain the life out of this team. tom k, kyle c, we miss you.

  83. Lafrich says:

    Man, I couldn’t agree more. I hate those two guys. Why Kyle CHipchura was sent down, I will never understand, and why Tom K is not playing instead of that lunkhead Smolinsky is also a mystery.

    Games like last night’s drive me crazy. I couldn’t watch after the 7th minute of the second period. There were plays that the Rangers would send 3 guys on the puck vs. our 1 guy, and we were on the powerplay!!!

    They employed an aggressive forechecking and backchecking style which KILLS the Habs all the time. How Carbonneau can’t come up with a response, and gameplan is beyond me.

    Anyway, hopefully the expression “you live you learn” applies to them after that debacle, because I can’ aford another TV, and only a begging wife saved mine from being thrown out the window last night.

    GO HABS GO!!!

  84. madhabsfan says:

    Absolutely!

    I dreaded the day those two guys came back from injury. I typed up a post begging Carbo to nail their asses to the press box in sickness or in health, until death did them part.

    Two spots for exciting young players taken away. For what?

  85. nightmare_49 says:

    Today we should use our brain cells in an effort to help our beloved laffs fans in their misery by suggesting ( a la Dave Letterman) THE 10 BEST WAYS TO KEEP THE laffs OUT OF THE CELLAR. All suggestions could be judged , selected and coordinated by the HI/O staff and Mike Boone can also contribute Once the 10 best are selected they can be posted and we can E mail them to our favorite laffs fan to show our understanding.

  86. zamboni says:

    Did you guys watch the game?
    They were united to no avail.

    I had been enjoying our recent success, but I knew we’d eventually lose, after all every team loses.
    Let’s see how we bounce back from it.

    The way lost, is concerning, we have a hard time playing when we are down, we also have hard time adjusting to the opposition’s strategy (Panic line shuffling is NOT a strategy)
    I can’t remember when was the last time our goaltender stole a game (either one of them, and I’m a fan of both Huet and Price).

    Mike, our PP will bounce back, even if the opposition starts pressing Kovalev, others will be left open, Kovy is skilled enough to make a good pass even while he is pressed. I think we had quite few good scoring chances on PP, but Lunqvist was great so was shot blocking by the Rangers team.

    I don’t know what is it about this team, but we have to stop second period “Tea Break”s (yeah I know, yesterday it started before even the puck was dropped)

  87. showey47 says:

    Just a bad game all around its our first regulation loss in 8 games, it had to happen sooner or later. It wasn’t all huets fault but he did look shaky from the beginning as did alot of the people in front of him, we failed to capitalize on alot of powerplay chances. Slowinski on the 5 on 3? How about next time we decline the penalty instead. Carbo should learn to leave his lines alone, we finally had a winning formula that worked and as soon as we struggle he reverts to pulling names out of a hat again.

    Halak should start against the islanders, i know all the huet supports won’t like that comment because we owe it to huet to play him because he is our #1, but its not about whats best for huet its about whats best for the team and when is the last time huet stole a game for us?

  88. Ed says:

    Showey, I have to agree with all your comments. A lot of people forget that this was our first regulation loss since Dallas. Also, the PP had to have an off game at some point, but Carbonneau has to go with his top guns, & Smolinski is not one of them. Why change the lines that have been working so well? We lost only 2 points out of a possible 14 with those lines. I think that he will go with Halak in the next game.

  89. tony d says:

    I agree Showey
    last night a plague ripped through the whole team, leaving no survivors…they all looked lost and unfocussed and as soon as I said to my wife “They can’t stand up on their skates”, the RDS announcer said the same thing…what was that? guys falling left and right…a pathetic display…. with Brisebois and Smostinky on the PP, I knew we were doomed… don’t understand carbo’s match ups sometimes
    I’d love to see Tom K back,,, anyway…let’s bury this one quick now that we’ve done the post mortem
    I just hope that frightening pattern won’t rear it’s ugly head again…
    at least the Laffs lost again….. but then again I hate to compare our guys against the bottom of the barrel

  90. wild flower says:

    Dogs highlights:

    http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com/index.php

    We might see Locke again before Price starts another game with the Habs

  91. Sulemaan says:

    Tuesday is a new game and we go from there. Smolinski should be pulled and the position should be replaced with Kostopolous. The Islanders are a physical team we need the Spartan’s grit. If Begin is healthy, we should play him too. If it means removing Brisebois from the lineup and putting Streit on defence so be it.

  92. ebk says:

    Going into last night the Habs had grabbed 20 of a possible 28 points. So last nights debacle should be tempered with that reality a little. They absolutely stunk but you have to move on and get ready for the next one. Maybe the boys had their minds on the clubbing they were going to do on a saturday night in the big apple.

    Defense is not a strength with the Habs, giving up a whopping 32 shots a game. People are complaining about the goaltending but with the quantity and quality of shots the goalie face, I think there doing as well as can be expected. Folks, If the goaltending is as bad as is being suggested on this site, the Habs are big,big trouble. I don’t think it is.

    Clearly the most dangerous Hab last night was Kostitsyn I. He is just a joy to watch play hockey. Reminds me of Marion Hossa. Strong on the puck, bullet for a shot, blazing fast and with the ability to make great passes. He has the potential to be better than any player on this team not named Kovalev. He could develop into the game-breaking forward this team needs. The last 15 games or so, he has been. Gotta get this kid signed before he bolts back to Russia.

    Thanks for reading

  93. Yeats says:

    I realize the offense didn’t show up last night and the power play was dreadful, but what scares me most going forward is our goaltending. It is mediocre at best. You can tell very early on whether your going to get a decent game out of Huet and last night he was pretty weak. The only time he seems to stop a puck these days is when he is in the correct technical position to make the save and it literally hits him. Beyond that, it’s a fair bet at best. Halak deserves the start Tuesday night against the Isles. He didn’t play badly last night. Moreover, given what he did for the team last year he deserves a legitimate shot bewteen the pipes. And, if he wins, he gets the next start. We can’t piss away point hoping to get a game out of our kickers.

  94. Bill H says:

    I missed the game last night, and from the sounds of it, I am glad I did. But reading the comments of all the nega-maniacs is brutal. Thanks for your comment about K1. He’s been on a tear and is getting better all the time. Great that he assisted on the K2 goal too. Sergei hasn’t been as strong as he was before Xmas, so he needed the goal. I’d hate to see him sent back down (although I’d love to watch him when the Bulldogs play the Marlies on Feb 9).

    Every team loses, as someone already pointed out. The best teams show some character and bounce back with a strong game. Bring on NYI. We’ll make them look like chopped liver and serve them up on a cracker. 2 goals for hometown boy Higgins. Halak will dominate in goal. And someone with a last name that starts with a K will have a 2 point night, guaranteed! How’s that for a prediction! ;-0

  95. ebk says:

    I just don’t see it the way you do. I think if you fix the defensive problems the teams goaltending would look a whole lot better. Not a huge fan of save % but the Habs rank 6th in it but are 27 or 28 in shots against. Stats can be twisted to say anything but those two reflect what I see when I watch the Habs.

    I have no problem with the team playing Halak, though. It is a nice situation to be in, when you have three goalies capable of winning a hockey game.

  96. Yeats says:

    I agree with you that stats such as save percentage can indeed be bogus. I am judging Huet on the quality of the goals he let’s in. Quite frankly, they are often very soft. Most of us are in agreement that he can’t stop a breakaway for love or money. That leaves your run-of-the-mill shot on net. If Huet is not in the correct technical position to make the save, he will often whiff on it. He goes down way too early and sometimes for no apparent reason. The short side ones that get by him drive me absolutely nuts. Also, I have noticed that there are times when he literally has no idea where the puck is on the ice and his communication with his defensemen is often poor.

  97. ebk says:

    enjoyed the discussion as always. Gotta go and attend to my life away from my obsession. Have a nice day, brian.

    Earl

  98. Yeats says:

    Take care.

    Brian

  99. showey47 says:

    yes gainey did sign them but its up to carbo to know how and when to use them or not to use them at all. The later is probably the best decision of all


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