About last night …

A good night’s sleep is the best thing to cure a raging case of playoff paranoia.

Too bad I didn’t get one..

IThe tossing and turning was probably triggered by the beer I quaffed before turning in – ill-advised, perhaps, but necessary after watching Canadiens sopil the bed in Tampa.

And I fear it will be Jack Daniels after the Panthers game tonight.

If Canadiens lose to Florida, the team is officially in a crunch-time slump.

Ah, who’m I kidding? They’re slumping already.

Canadiens are still in fourth place. But they’re five points ahead of eighth-place Buffalo, which has a game in hand.

The Sabres, who won in Ottawa last night, are hot. Canadiens are not. They’ve lost three in a row, four of their last five. One of the posters to the live blog last night suggested the season turned when Saku Koivu took a penalty against the Rangers. He/she may have a point.

Canadiens were leading that Super Bowl Sunday afternoon game 3-0. Sergei Kostitsyn had electrified the Bell Centre with a successful penalty shot.

Less than seven minutes into the second period, the Captain went off for one of his patented offensive-zone hooks. Michael Rozsival scored on the ensuing power play, the first of FIVE unaswered goals by the visiting Rangers.

In their next game, Canadiens beat Ottawa, while nearly blowing a lead in the third period. Then they lost to the lowly Leafs, the mighty Senators and the cellar-dwelling Lightning.

But hey, stuff happens in the course of a long season, right? Detroit has lost four in a row.

There are, however, troubling aspects to the Canadiens’ slide. If I’m an engineer, I’m getting a bit concerned about structural problems.

• The goaltendng has become suspect. Cristobal Huet played a Jekyll-and-Hyde game: brilliant at times, but all three TB goals were shots he managed to touch. Tonight it’s probably Carey Price, who hasn’t been the second coming of Patrick Roy.

• Teams have figured out how to pressure the Tomas Plekanec line, and Canadiens are getting no secondary scoring. Michael Ryder is still MIA. Christopher Higgins scored a beaut last night, but he’s struggled. If Sergei K. and Guillaume Latendresse are going to play together, they need a more creative centre than Maxim Lapierre.

• Like every other team in the league, Canadiens are vulnerable to injury. They’ve been lucky so far, but the Roman Hamrlik virus, which has morphed into a body rash, has destabilized the D. Props, however, to Ryan O’Byrne, who was solid last night.

• Physical forwards brutalize the Canadiens. We saw it with Ryan Hollweg, Blair Betts and Colton Orr in the Rangers game. Last night it was Chris Gratton and Nick Tarnasky pounding the snot out of the Koivu line. And with all due respect to the great hockey factory that is my alma mater, why  was McGill grad and career minor leaguer Mathieu Darche allowed free rein to to buzz around the Canadiens’ zone? Bryan Smolinski, Mathieu Dandenault and Mark Streit, by contrast, were softer than a sneaker full of cow flop. I hope Steve Bégin and Tom Kostopoulos are back tonight.

• Canadiens skated in beach sand. Their passing was pathetic. Tampa Bay clogged the slot, effectively cutting off those pretty cross-ice passes the Pleks line and Andrei Markov like to make.

If John Tortorella can stop screaming long enough to devise a strategy that nullifies Canadiens’ strengths, what will Jacques Martin have in store tonight?

59 Comments

  1. J.T. says:

    Does that mean Sid the Kid will be along to help Breezer up when he falls down? Because that would be just so nice of him.

    http://habsloyalist.blogspot.com

  2. ebk says:

    excellent post and Brisebois being happy makes me happy. All is good

  3. ebk says:

    you could be right. For a bit of a cup run, he should be cheap. Signing him as a UFA is another matter.

  4. tony d says:

    So I went on the Mtl. Canadiens site and clicked on the ‘ask Eddy’ box and well I asked Eddy if he could shed some light on the Habs sucking issue. He never responded but I guess Eddy’s got more important issues to deal with. So I turned to a more reliable source, the guy who lives down the street. He wears a hat made out of aluminum foil and smells a bit like chicken soup and Windex. He claims that with all the attacks on Brisebois for sucking, Gainey must’ve called in Dr. Phil to talk to the team. He believes that Dr. Phil explained how Brisebois was feeling alienated and that others saw him as Carbo’s pet. Dr. Phil went on to say that to fix the problem, the rest of the team would have to lower their game and play on Brisebois’ level. In psychology parlance, I believe the term is to “dumb down”. If you look at the play of Lapierre, Higgins, Koivu etc..lately, I can see how the team has followed Dr. Phil’s advice. Brisebois is apparently thrilled with the team’s cooperation and is actually enjoying the game again. When asked if the team will start winning, Dr. Phil said, “It’s not about winning, it’s about having fun”. So now we know.
    Our Habs are a friggin Tim Bits commercial.

  5. 24 Cups says:

    kRob & ebk – if you guys want to bring in Prospal as a rental in a trade for somebody down in Hamilton then that’s fine. But if we sign him as a UFA for 3 or 4 years AT $3 to 4 mil a year then it will be Samsonov all over again. It will be the kiss of death for our rebuilding program. Prospal runs hot and cold more than any other player in th NHL. This guy has been an enigmatic puzzle his entire career and I’m not sure that all the pieces are there. Let somebody else try and solve the riddle and find the missing parts ot the puzzle.

    The Original 24 Cups

  6. Bouleau noir says:

    Gainey has never brought in the timely pieces that could have made our team significantly better from one edition to the next and until a sequence of favorable trades and UFA signings take place to assist, solidify and enhance our growth we shouldn’t expect our team to go on and compete like if they had the appropriate pieces necessary to do any better than to struggle for the 8th.

    Lets not be overly critical of the players themselves if they fail in meeting innapropriate roles given to them

    A winning identity is the result of having the right pieces and I think that the coaches and players have managed remarquably well without having them again this year.

    They showned dicipline (low penalty counts) and played with enought offensive pressure to create a hight count of PP opportunitys for themselves,… these are improvements that the team as a whole should be credited for and are crucial elements in giving them more chances of qualifying this year over what they acheived last season.

  7. Chris says:

    I caught Tavares here in Guelph earlier this season, and I can’t say I was all that impressed. Its hard to judge him completely off one game, but I felt his skating is definitely NOT a strength. Most NHL calibre players in the OHL have been remarkable because they have a distinct speed advantage and they stand out for the whole game. Tavares does not. However, he is a good stickhandler with great vision and materializes out of the ether to make an outstanding play a couple times a game, so who knows? I have similar reservations for the hype around Steven Stamkos, by the way. He’s never really stood out on the ice when he’s here in Guelph. Drew Doughty, who I get to see all the time, DOES stand out but I’m not sure how his game is going to translate to the NHL. He’s creative, has decent size (he really bulked up this past summer) and is a great skater, but his skating advantage will be nullified a bit by the increased speed of NHL players as compared to OHL players.

  8. New says:

    I think you’re right. This is the same Lapierre we saw last year, a popular liability.

    The team is a couple players short of consistent, but wow, so much potential.

    It’s easy for us fans, we have favorites, but Gainey and team have to factually evaluate players, try and improve the team, and not get lynched.

    Anyway, hockey leagues abound, and unrealized potential comes and goes. Maybe Chips is the answer to some of it but it’s tough for a rookie to start telling seasoned vets to stop looking good and focus on playing good. Same for Price, he needs to play to lead, to get his creds before he can say what he thinks. Playing once a month isn’t going to do that.

    I guess I’m saying the team needs someone to follow. And it needs someone, or 19 someones, to discuss elbows with chaps like Mr. Ranger, on the spot. Some people won’t buy that. That’s fine. They can watch Lapierre in Holland or where ever he lands.

    Boy that Kovalev can play some hockey. I sometimes wish some of the other Habs players would think about the effort guys like Kovy and Hammer and Komo put into every game and maybe help out by taping their sticks or something useful for that 1.9 mil they’re drawing.

  9. the_vipah says:

    Prospal…..

    Lets stop trying to settle for these lame fringe players. Soft, very erratic motivation on the ice and big time attitude problems. We’ve had enough of these types of players.

  10. ebk says:

    not me who brought him up on the site.

    Hossa and Jokenin are going to cost a bundle. Trading Higgins and a #1 for either might get it done but I doubt it. Besides Chris is on his way to being a annually 25+ goal scorer and his work ethic is never in doubt.

    Prospal is a skilled player, should command between 3 to 4 million to resign as UFA in the summer and the cost for him is substantially less than the two others rumored to come to Habsville.

    I don’t think this team should trade any of Higgins, Kostitsyn I or Kostitsyn II or some of the other youngsters. If they do, it might make this team even more of a one line team than it already is.

  11. HabsInBlood says:

    Nice perspective without the typical 2 line knee-jerk sky is falling comments you very often see here the day after a loss or 2. Unfortunately, you usually have to sift through 10 of those for every 1 post like this one.

    I don’t think you can say for sure that Gainey will do something. He will only do something if it is viewed as a net “longer term” plus for the team. There is no reason to pull a “Commodore + Stillman” type deal this year. Ottawa is clearly gearing up for a long playoff run. This move is not necessarily a “longer term” plus for the Sens. Commodore and Stillman are both UFAs at the end of the year … they can be viewed as rent-a-players.

  12. ebk says:

    sorry, but 5-4 I like Max better than both. 5-3 is a completely different kettle of fish. Koivu certainly does well there. Begin is good too.

    At the moment I like Max a little better than chipper but I would agree long-term there is no doubt who will be the better player.

    Chipchura should be up and playing over many of the fourth line grinders.

  13. RS says:

    Some people may not like to hear this, but the Habs need to recommit themselves to team D. Scoring chances will come off of turnovers and counter-attacks, and hopefully powerplays. It will help when Hammer comes back, but they need everyone including forwards to commit themselves to playing decent defensive hockey.

  14. Hot_Pie says:

    IMO, criticism towards Lapierre is definitely warranted. The guy doesn’t have much offensive skills, doesn’t have great vision, and can even sometimes be a defensive liability in our own zone (which is surprising for someone who’s good on the PK). IMO he’s a 4th line grinder at best. He’s supposed to be an energy guy, but he’s not even the guy bringing the most energy on that line…that honour goes to Sergei.

    Mike brought up a good point…Sergei and Latendresse need to playw ith someone with more creativity. hey, guess what..we have such a guy in the farm, and his name is Kyle Chipchura.

  15. krob1000 says:

    I’d rather catch a bigger fish and I am still undecided but I thought Prospal looked pretty darn good last night (not just because he scored twice). He is more physical than I thought and also a better skater than I thought. He seems to have some attitude issues though and I am still not sure what I think of him……then again Carbo and Gainey got Kovalev to play. Was it you ebk who brought up Prospal a week or so ago…..he is interesting if we can’t reel in a Jokinen or Hossa though.

  16. arcosenate says:

    Hey Mike, your problem is most probably traced to the Jack Daniels. You should take it up a few hundred notches and get yourself a single malt…perhaps a Laphroig or a Lagavulin. Now that would make even Eeyore more optimistic. (And better looking I might add) Higgins has it right, if we skate we win. The common theme amongst all the teams we were beating until last week was that they could not keep up with the Habs speed and skill. If they come out fast tonight, and I think they will, it will be a win by 2 goals!

  17. vic says:

    Every year I get all excited when get that fast start,then we get in a position to challenge and here comes the slump.We supposedly have three defensive coaches but we never change the system to get out of end.up the boards. the other teams know this and just sit at the boards and here comes the puck.Also who is supposed to get this team motivated.Just criticize the players after the game to the media and expect them to go all out.
    If we have great players why are they not producing? Is there a bad apple in the basket?

  18. krob1000 says:

    I think it is noticed when we lose and when we win we say we stood up to it and played hard, answered the bell, etc. It would be nice to be tougher but not at the expense of skill. Hollweg is a moron. I wouldn’t mind a guy like Chris Gratton who can fight and play decent hockey but those guys are hard to get.

    You are right about the physical stuff and it did hurt our defense but I think our forwards hit enough most nights. Tampa didn’t beat us because they were big they were big because we weren’t mentally in it. Big teams are the teams we should skate circles around but it just didn’t happen last night for whatever reason.

  19. ebk says:

    Prospal would be a nice pick up.
    Kovalev line stays the same
    Koivu centers Lats and Ryder
    Prospal centers Higgins and Sergei
    Laps centers Streit and one of smolinski, Dandenault, Begin or Kostopoulos

    Call up Chipchura and the fourth line could be him, Streit and Lapierre

    Let’s face it, the Habs grinders are have a really tough time lately.

  20. jew4jah says:

    regardless of where we expected them to end up, i’m sure everyone expected them to be competitive every game. why else would we watch? you either show up to win or you stay at home.

    i’m sick of the pursuit of mediocrity.

  21. ebk says:

    He is their best penalty killer as a forward. He reminds me quite a bit of his coach. A huge pain in the ass to play against and always in the middle of everything. Can’t remember his coach ever getting in a fight either. He doesn’t have Carbo’s offensive skills but he is still a puppy.

    There are a slew of unproductive grinding type forwards that I would make watch the game from the press box before him. Max will be fine.

    Any chance Chipchura makes his way back to Montreal, he would should be playing before the aformention slew of unproductive grinders.

  22. krob1000 says:

    Knocking a guy on his ass looks good but getting the puck away is the real objective. That is why I think people underestimate the work that Dandy and Laps both do. Sure Kosto and Begin hit hard but do they end up with the puck as often…if so what do they do with it…..that is what is really important. Don’t get me wrong I’d like to see a great two way center in the 3rd line slot as well but Smolinski is gone at years end and Chips may or may not be that guy. Hamrlik doesn’t flatten guys too often but when he hits someone he usually ends up with the puck, same can be said about Markov. Komi hammers people but it is only this year that he has learned to pick and choose his spots. Carbo has went on record telling him the hits are nice but the game is about the puck.

  23. krob1000 says:

    Not in my opinion and yours obviously differs but…I think he should be the fourth line center and Smolinski is the disappointment and one who shouldn’t be playing but his contract makes it pretty likely he will. I agree that Lapierre can’t play with the offensive guys as well but I don’t think it is his fault he is a checker….nothing more. I would not be opposed to bring Grabs or getting a better two way center and letting Laps play next year but to blame him iis unfair…..he’s a checker.

  24. 24 Cups says:

    oc38 – To be fair, Dandy hasn’t played defense all year in terms of starting in that role. I think that the guys on this site should recognize that he’s basically a forward this year. In this specific case it’s a bum rap against Dandy and Carbo.

    The Original 24 Cups

  25. GPK says:

    I believe the criticism of Lapierre is justified. If he’s “bringing what he can”, then I don’t think it’s enough to stay in the lineup at this point. The Habs are having a terrible time generating secondary and even tertiary offense. I believe having a weak-link as your 3rd line centre is not helping this problem. Perhaps there’s another solution out there. Locke? Grabovski? A trade? Jaret Stoll?

  26. krob1000 says:

    I will gladly do that. I am also curious to see this Brett Maclean guy and Del Zotto as well.

  27. RH says:

    ….I prefer to react to the Habs like a mutual fund, performance over time rather than reacting to every little daily fluctuation……

    Great analogy. And you’re right. The Habs aren’t even supposed to be in the playoff race, according to the pre-season experts. I think that point was lost when most, if not all, of us got caught up in the fight for first place in the Eastern Conference, a week ago. However, I don’t begrudge posters for criticizing the Habs for not showing up to play last night. They have every right to, after watching this team get blown out of the building by ONE line, in Ottawa the other night. Last night’s game was supposed to be a rebound game for the Habs and they were supposed to show, not only us, but themselves, that they could re-group and get back to there game, after a tough loss. Nothing of that sort happened. Now it’s on to Sunrise, where a tight checking team awaits and, with the Habs not having a great amount of success, against the Panthers, in recent memory, things don’t look very good.

  28. krob1000 says:

    Lapierre doesn’t deserve the criticism he is getting either….he brings what he can. He is not offensively gifted and should be a fourth line grinder centre and is being thrust into this role with Smoke and Lats that was supposed to be Smolinski’s. Lapierre will be/is a great fourth line checking centre but we need one more forward and that is no big secret…..and/or Smolinski tos tep up for an extended period.

  29. ClaytonM says:

    Sorry, but Koivu is their best penalty killer. The way I know this is simple. Who is the forward on the ice when we have to kill off a 2 man disadvantage? Koivu.

    2nd best is Begin.

    Lapierre is going to get a lot of hate mail here unless he starts playing with some passion. He needs to realize that he’s no Kovalev and that there are only so many chances he can waste before Gainey sends him down to Hamilton and forgets him for good. I’m not saying he needs to finish with 10+ goals or anything, but he does need to play with intensity and soon. Right now I’d rather have Chipchura back instead. He’ll develop more and can at least score.

  30. 24 Cups says:

    kRob – I wonder if you could do us all a favour. The knock against Tavares is that his skaking isn’t up to par. Sometimes it’s difficult to judge certain skills on TV due to the nature of the camera work. Maybe you could give us an update tomorrow on Tarvares skating ability. That seems to be the big difference between him and Stamkos.

    The Original 24 Cups

  31. Sbah Reverof says:

    Bang on, krob. Our mental game is paramount during a long season. When we win, and win splendidly, I think no team can touch us. When we lose, however, we are not only losing to the other team, we’re beating ourselves even more, i.e. we can be our own worst enemy.

  32. ebk says:

    It is a young team, prone to massive bouts of inconsistency. After the highs of last week when they pulled along the Senators, they find themslevs sitting exactly where they have for awhile. Five points out of the #1 seed and Six points out of ninth.

    Tonights game against the Panthers is an absolute must game. They need to snap this slump before it puts their play-off chances on life-support.

    Hopefully Hamrlik is in the line-up and Brisebois is out. The 4th line, whatever the make up has to end the recent trend of getting scored on every game. The Koivu line needs to be left alone but all three need to get their collective butts in gear ASAP. The Kid line needs to play better as well. I like them all alot but a more consistant performance is needed.

    We will find out tonight what this team is made of.

    The team falls to 14-15-5 with Brisebois in the line-up and sits about 27 points out of securing a play-off spot.

    Thanks for Reading

  33. JF says:

    The problem with the kinds of losses we’ve been suffering is that they become contagious. Communication between defense partners falters, the forwards become afraid to go to the net, confidence slips, and the whole thing starts spiraling. We have to play a really solid game tonight and at least put in an honest effort even if we don’t win. With a good performance tonight we’ll be in reasonable shape to face Philly in back-to-back games over the weekend. They’ll likely be without Gagne, which makes our task easier. Winning those two games, or at least getting 3 points, would help put us back on track.

  34. 24 Cups says:

    Addendum to Mr. Boone’s summary:

    * Once again we were beaten on faceoffs on a fairly consistent basis, especially near the end of the game when it counted the most. Pleks was the worst of the four centres in that regard.

    * Kovalev, our best forward this year, was missing in action. I know he had a swollen lip but he basically floated for most of the game.

    * We were badly outshot by Tampa. Not only in terms of total shots, but also for long stretches of play where we would go for minutes on end without getting a scoring chance.

    * And after all of that, we still could have won the game in the third period. That’s what hurts the most. Don’t want to sound melodramatic here Mike, but tonight’s game against Florida is kind of do or die in terms of holding off the impact of a major slump.

    The Original 24 Cups

  35. nick says:

    “If John Tortorella can stop screaming long enough to devise a strategy that nullifies Canadiens’ strengths, what will Jacques Martin have in store tonight?”

    Hopefully Oillie’s contract on a silver plate :)

  36. Scotty90 says:

    good one JT… good one!

  37. B says:

    If the Habs are so fragile that one 2 minute penalty can derail an entire season, then they are a pathetic sham. There are many “Chicken Little” fans that ride the roller coaster game to game going from cocky to suicidal in the space of a couple games. I suppose being so dramatic and sensational does make for good article / blog fodder, but I prefer to react to the Habs like a mutual fund, performance over time rather than reacting to every little daily fluctuation. At the start of the season, where did you expect the Habs to finish? I wonder how they will end up doing compared to that expectation.

    Oh, and while you are going Marinaro on Koivu, why not blame him for giving Hamrlik that virus too…

  38. krob1000 says:

    The loss against the Leafs was predictable as they were rabid givent he turmoil surrounding their club….they are playing for their Toronto lives. The loss against the Sens was a combination of a poor start and the Sens seemingly capitalizing on every chance they got. Last night we lost…no excuses…we just lost. The game is not enough for me to go into panic mode as many appear to have. It is no secret that we need secondary scoring very badly and it is no secret that our defense is vulnerable if both Gorges and Brisebois are playing. What wass extremely bothersome was the breakdowns in communication between the defense partners last night and even the forwards.

    When we click we are an elite team in every possible way….when we play out of sync and/or have mental lapses and allow ourselves to be beat mentally we HAVE SERIOUS PROBLEMS. We need to be near perfect. Komi and Markov seemed to have no idea what each other was going to do on at least three occasions (one leading to Prospal’s winning goal). Brisebois did get victimized several times byt he big Tampa forwards (as did Gorges)but I still think it is unfair for him to take any more blame then anyone else. I saw a game of indecision and poor decisions (when we made them)as opposed to a team that got beat by a better club. We dumped pucks we should have chipped, we chipped when we should have passed (in our own end) and we looked disorganized for the first time in a while. Guys were straying from their positions and not trusting each other…that worries me. There was zero puck support aside from Andrei Kostitsyn who is ALWAYS the first guy to support a one on one battle….and low and behold he nearly always ends up with the puck….please guys watch the damn tapes. There was a sense of panic in our end and instead of passing and/or controlling the puck and leaving out our zone we either gave the puck back to them or made our players get the puck in compromising and unthreatening positions….not good……no wonder the forwards never got any chances…we need the puck first. We missed Hamrlik big time…he NEVER PANICS…he screws up now and then but NEVER PANICS.

    I was also worried about the Rdyer thing….he looked good early on and then disappeared again…coincidentally it was right after Higging took a weak 30 foot shot on a three on two when he should have dropped it and drove the net to Ryder. I am not saying that is why Ryder disappeared as I obviously don’t know but he looked frustrated after it and they never had chemistry again. I thought Dandenault was one of our best forwards despite the criticisms I am reading everywhere….at no point did he ever stop hustling and working. Streit was invisible aside from his highlight reel pass to Pleks.

    We need a big bounce back effort because that game needs to be put behind us quickly. Too much fun in the sun ….I don’t know…. but that was as much a mental loss as a physical one. I won’t be seeing tonights game as I am taking my little guy to see John Tavares pulverize my hometown Frontenacs but I sure as hell hope that when I read about the game that we at least gave an honest and smart effort. Losing is acceptable (it happens)…..losing because of a complete lack of focus is not. I want my mentally sharp, team tough, slick group of overachievers back…….TONIGHT or else…….I’ll type bad things about them???? Oh well I still want them back or else….just …or else.

  39. MikeMcLaren says:

    I’m scared to do this because I was burned by last year and my constant bouts of unbridled optimism in the face of impending doom, but I’ll do it anyway:

    The Canadiens are in a slump.

    It happens.

    Although I’m slightly concerned about this, and concerned about the coach’s ability to turn this ship around there are other reasons NOT to be concerned:

    + Over on Redwings Inside/Out they’re all worried about a mid-to-late season collapse because the Wings have just dropped four games in a row. Their slide started with the Kings, the only team worse than Tampa in the standings.

    + We have lots and lots of talented youth. This was never THE YEAR to win it all (that’s next year, for the centennial!) Bob Gainey is building a perennial contender here and he’s got some good pieces to work with and more to come.

    + The Habs were so close to first place we could taste it and so could everyone else who picked this team to finish in 14th place in the conference. When the “rest” of the hockey world could no longer ignore a team that had been at the top of the standings so long everyone got a bit of puffed up pride and false sense of confidence. That makes “the slide” even more bitter tasting.

    + During “the slide” we haven’t really seen the Canadiens drop position in the standings. They’re still fourth. Luckily Philadelphia has also been in a slide. The Flyers games on Saturday and Sunday could be two of the more important ones this season in terms of seeding.

    + Next week is the trading deadline. Bob will make some sort of blockbuster (my 2nd rounder for your 4th line grinder) trade that shakes things up enough to give folks’ heads a shake on the team, light a spark, etc. etc. Interesting with all the scouting that Don Waddell has been doing that the Thrashers play the Canadiens the night of the trade deadline. If a deal is done between those two teams, the players will play against each other for their new teams.

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  40. Wencz says:

    Too many times I’ve read one of the Habs telling a reporter that “… we just didn’t skate tonight.” Well, why the hell not? It’s a lot to do with heart and effort and not necessarily who your linemate is. This team has some ways to go before we can say they are for real. They don’t consistently compete like winners and until they do, they will always be vulnerable to defeats (and slumps) like these.

  41. oc38 says:

    Why did we dress 8 dmen?? Carbo didn’t even use them as a shutdown line. No the habs didn’t play good but once again bad coaching isn’t helping.

  42. B says:

    The reality is that no team shows up big time for all 82 regular season games. All teams lay a stinker now and then, some more than others. Overall, the Habs are doing better than last season. Despite all the gloom and doom, they are on pace for 105 points (compared to last season’s 90 points). That to me is progress, not mediocrity. To each their own.

  43. grimmreaper says:

    Don Waddell was again seen at the game last night. Is a trade close behind?

  44. mjames says:

    I have question. Why do we persist on giving up on our players so quickly? If you you read the various posts, on any given day, we want to get rid of players such as Higgins, Lapierre, Tenders, Streit, Price, Huet, Halak, Grabowski, Ryder, SK74, Kovalev, AK46, etc. All these players, given the time, will prove to be good players.

    There is one thing consistent above Habs fans – we have no patience.

    mjames

  45. Exit716 says:

    Put Koivu with the Kostitsyns tonight.
    Higgins with Kovalev and Plekanec.
    The rest of the lines. Throw numbers into a hat and draw them out.
    Either the ice is atrocious in Tampa, the boys were still hung over or somethng, but I didn’t see any pace to the game last night at all.

  46. jew4jah says:

    are you carbo??
    familiar coaching style

  47. Cable Guy says:

    We need a goalie to win a game for us. If they can’t do it then bring up Halak, he proved last year around this time he could win critical games for us.

  48. MPWRD42 says:

    I completely agree – we need either of the goalies to steal a game for us to help turn this around. Neither of done that this year…

  49. fun police says:

    i agree with the comment about laps. i just don’t know what anyone sees in him. he’s good on the pk, but surprisingly bad in our own end 5 on 5. he’s an absolute playkiller, and has no hands. we have begin, tom the bomb, dandy, smolinski, and laps. too many similar type players. i’d rather see corey locke centering the third line over laps anyday. drop laps to the fourth line.
    concerning goaltending. i don’t care how well huet played in the third. tampa got life injected into their game after huet let two soft ones in. it would have been a different game altogether had huet made those saves.
    the brothers have to start playing together.

  50. Mike says:

    Put Sergei with koivu and ryder and higgins with lapierre and latendresse!

  51. Cable Guy says:

    they tried those lines and nothing good came of it.

  52. JB says:

    I’d say everyone take a deep breath and relax – all the top teams have been losing over the last week. It’s just the nature of the season. Huet will turn it around – just last month he was the 3rd star for the full league – Hammer will come back from the flu. Keep the lines as they are – agreed Begin or Tom the bomb should be in every game. Agreed most of the team was probably still feelin the effects of their little party. Rather than dwelling on some penalty in NY – people should be thinking about that win in NJ. Relax people

  53. coutNY says:

    The Rumblings on the street is that NYR siged Lundqvist to a six-year contract extension believed worth around $6.5 million per season…

  54. The Teacher says:

    Wow, that’s a bit too much IMO lol. Bye-bye Jagr?

  55. howtathor says:

    I hate to harp on the Brisbois subject, but I sure hope that the Hammer is back soon. The loss of Hamerlik has really destabilized our D. Did you how TB ran around our zone at will last night? I remember one time when I think Tarnasky just kept pounding Breezer into submission. Frankie Boolion and Josh Gorges form a tough (if somewhat undersized), speedy duo and HAVE to work together to be effective. I felt sorry for Gorges last night as he was often fending for himself. Frankie Boo was fine with the Big Purse Snatcher! I hope we can find some help in Hamilton (Valentenko, Carle) or make a deal for a 4th D man. Heck if Ottawa can snag Mike Commodore there must be more deals like that out there.
    I don’t have a lot of optimism for tonight. I’m still waiting for Carey Price to flash the brilliance of last year. I agree that we need a playmaking centre for Lats and SergeiK. Maybe it’s time to give Grabs another shot or Locke who knows how to find the net. The kid line would be a great fit of these guys.
    In any case the East is so close any prolonged slump can find you out of the top 8 in no time.

  56. GPK says:

    I couldn’t agree more about Laps. He seems to be skating in quick sand out there. Unfortunately, he’s not making up for it with bruising body-checks or sustained forechecking. He’s just coasting. As a result, S. Kos and Gui are not as effective. Laps isn’t even getting under the skin of anybody.

    On another note, anybody wonder what it would take to get Ian Laperriere out of Colorado? The guy is fearless, and would add a little bit of sandpaper to our forward lines.

  57. krob1000 says:

    They have not ever tried Koivu with Sergei and Ryder. They should though.

  58. ClaytonM says:

    I said as much in another post today, the Price story. Glad to know I’m not alone.


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