About last night …

The Vatican has its way of doing things.

In Montreal, the canonization of Brother Andrei came by fan vote.

AK46 – the Belarusian Bafflement, the riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma under a bad haircut – continued his torrid early season with a goal, an assist and a First Star selection.

With agent Don Meehan in the house, Kostitsyn offered compelling evidence that he understands at least two English words:

Contract year.

Jacques Martin alluded to AK46’s pecuniary motivation during his postgame remarks. But he also praised Kostitsyn’s rare skill set.

“He’s strong,” the coach said. “He goes to the net and he has an intimidating shot.

“Andrei is learning,” Martin added, “and his puck management is improving.”

Martin was not satisfied with Kostitsyn’s conditioning level a year ago. He pointed out that the talented winger took a while to get untracked during the 2009-’10 season but excelled in Games 20 to 40 before being injured and turning into a non-factor.

Well, he’s back, using his are combination of size, speed and strength at both ends of the ice. And while AK46’s inconsistency will have second-guessers analyzing the 2003 draft from now until 3003, Kostitsyn is showing flashes of why he was selected ahead of Mike Richards, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf and …

Let’s not go there.

Instead, let’s celebrate the Canadiens taking five of a possible six points while playing three games in four nights.

 

And playing the second half of a back-to-back against divisional opponents, the Canadiens held the Senators to 19 shots on goal – eight over the game’s last 40 minutes, and only two in the third period.

That’s a pretty thorough butt kicking, against a team that beat the Canaduiens five times in six meetings last season. Moreover, the usual suspects – Daniel F., Mike Fisher and Chris Neil – did not inflict their customary damage on the home team.

The Senators were stifled by a D corps that included old geezers Roman Hamrlik and Jaro Spacek, playing heavy minutes for the second night in a row. There were moments when Spacek caused some anxiety – particularly his SoG against Carey Price – but Hamrlik has been predictably steady.

And as Martin pointed out, the Spatch-Hammer pairing – along with the stalwart Josh Gorges and Hal Gill – is letting P.K. Subban hone his defensive game in a third D role with Alexandre Picard (plus-3, to drive another nail in Ryan O’Byrne’s coffin), where the exuberant rookie is not matched against opponents’ top two lines.

Some bullet points:

• Plekanec pointed out that AK46’s aggressive play is opening the ice for Mike Cammalleri. The latter had eight shots on goal, and the line had 15 total – only four fewer than all 18 Ottawa skaters.

• Benoit Pouliot constinues to skate, hit and play like he cares. The goals will come, and Benny’s industrious was noticed by Martin and merited promotion back to the Scott Gomez line for the latter part of the game.

• Price, who faced 48 shots against Tampa Bay, had 42 against Buffalo and Ottawa. Most encouraging sign: Two quick goals to his glove side sent anxiety rippling through the Bell Centre crowd, but Price was not rattled and continues to display the maturity and confidence of a Number One goaltender.

It’s still early,. but all the Price indicators are muy positive.

• Alex Kovalev, booed lustily by the Bell Centre crowd, looked slow and lost the puck at the Canadiens net to start a sequence that led to Kostitsyn’s winning goal.

• Lars Eller was minus-2 in a bit over four minutes of play and was benched during tghe second pertiod, never to return. Martin described Eller as a “young player of great skill” who’s going through a learning process. Martin said Eller played well in Buffalo, not-so-well against the Senators.

“In this league, we’re in the business of winning hockey games,” Martin added, explaining why he shortened his bench to the exclusion of the rookie.

• The power play continues to sputter: one goal in 17 opportunities, 0-for-5 against the Senators. But Martin, in glass half-full mode, said the Canadiens are scoring goals at even strength – a notable improvement for a team that was one of the league’s worst at 5-on-5 last season.

The Canadiens have played five games, each of which has been decided by a one-goal margin. Mathieu Darche said “you don’t make the playoffs in October”, but the veteran also pointed out that points are precious no matter when you get them.

In a playoff race that will go down to the wire, October points – bagged in tight games – will be crucial.

The Canadiens are off for two days and will return to practice on Tuesday morning.

Next up: Martin F. Brodeur and the Devils on Thursday night.

 

 

 

83 Comments

  1. SeriousFan09 says:

    JM had a lot of praise for AK in the post-game remarks, that wasn’t his only quote on the reinvented AK46.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  2. bertuzzisucks says:

    A few Habs ramblings:

       Are you kidding me about worried if we lose Hamrlik next year. The guy is so bad. Watch him out there. His              defensive zone coverage is awful. He just skates around with out taking any bodies. He’s consistently pinching offensively and getting caught up the ice. Good riddance and his plain awful cap hit of 5.5 mil. He has completely lost it since last December 2009.  

       Get moen off that line. Its not a long term solution so why bother. Travis is a 3rd liner player at best. Put Benoit back on there or call up somebody offensive. Desharnais. 

     Lets sign Georges now- 5yrs at 17.5 million is totally fair. Dont wait-cant afford too as we will lose the 3 oldies gill, spacek, and Hammerlick at year end.

    Gomez has had a vary dissapointing start to this year.

    Darche is a waste of a roster spot-dumb signing.

     

    Are you going to bark all day little doggy? Or are you going to bite?

  3. Chuck says:

    To be fair, it’s a lot easier to shorten the bench by one forward than it is to do the same with 1/3 of your defense.

  4. TripleX says:

    Lars Eller was benched for being a -2, and judged to be “playing not so well” after four minutes of ice time.  In the same 4-3 win Hammer and Spacek were also a -2.  Mr. Boone was ecstatic about the play of Hammer.  He was on for two goals when the opposition scored three?

    JM can determine that Eller was subpar after a few shifts.  I guess that is an improvement, it takes only one shift for him to bench O’Byrne.   On the other hand it takes him almost a game and a half to realize Moen is a bust on the second line, and that Pouliot is flying.  It took PG not bringing back MAB for JM to realize he is not a NHL caliber player.

    Finally the comment in the press conference that AK was playing well because he was “in a contract year”  was disrespectful.  JM who usually says nothing was more than happy to poke fun at AK’s dedication to the game.  Wonder if he would have said the same thing about a veteran?  A minor thing?  Perhaps, but if I was AK I would be a little peeved off.  Why piss off a player who is playing lights out?

     

    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  5. showey47 says:

    2009-2010 spacek 81 giveaways,obyrne 22. Lowest among all of our dmen last year and led the whole core in hits despite playing less games and getting less icetime. I never claimed obyrne to be an offensive defenceman but he is better and much more physical in his own end. But you would think you would get more out of a guy making close to 4 million a year and 780 games in his career vs obyrnes 900 K cap hit and his 128 games (which is pretty much 1 and a half seasons). If you actually broke down the minutes and games played and considering obyrne gets zero PP time and spacek only got 21 points while getting a boat load due to markov missing half the season. You can see spacek didn’t provide much for what he is being payed to do. He is also on pace for only 16 points this year,not what i would call acceptable.

    I think carbo’s mishandling had alot to do with his infatuation with the breezer,as for JM i have no idea but he does seem to have alot more trust in his vets. He’s the only one back there who will throw a hit (besides subban). Spacek has already made the tsn highlight of the night 4 times this year and all for the wrong reasons. The sad part is,obyrne will probably get his chance on another team with a coach who let him play a regular shift without having to worry about his next shift being his last. Then years down the road we will all be here talking about how we let another solid dman get away.

    Food for thought,before gorges became a hab,he had about 100 games under his belt with the sharks. When he was dealt to the habs he was seen as nothing more then a throw in/7th dman. Look at him now,he was a candidate for being the habs captain. Carle also could have been had for free as he was waiver eligible this year and nobody took a flyer on him. We could also lose as many as 4 defencmen this upcoming summer who are we going to replace those bodies with?

  6. Danno says:

    It was a beatifical goal.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  7. WestHab says:

    That goal of brother Andre’s was saintly.

  8. WestHab says:

    Just enjoy it! Contract year doesn’t always mean a great season, look at Kovy’s last year in Montreal or the season he is having now in a contract year with Ottawa.

  9. SeriousFan09 says:

    I believe in his talent, much like I’ve always defended the ability of Carey Price because I’ve seen what they can do when they’re on their games. I don’t think the team should entertain a long extension for AK if they choose to sign him because if this is his playing because it’s his contract year but it’s been a very difficult two years, his best work keeps getting kind of tossed away or cut short and his brother distracting him. I’m willing to give him some rope if this will be his play all season.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  10. HardHabits says:

    I remember a thing Larry Robinson said after losing a 1 goal game. Something to the effect that people make too little of a deal about losing by 1 goal and that to win those games 2 more goals are needed. So in essence 1 goal is not such a small margin. That being said I hope the Habs are on the better side of the 1 goal differential more often than not this season.

  11. twilighthours says:

    O’Byrne makes as many (or more) mistakes than Spacek, has limited offensive potential (top 4 D?  Forget about it), and plays against the opponents’ worst players (where Spacek plays against top 6 forwards).  I was a big believer in O’Byrne too but how long will it take?  If Carbo didn’t handle him properly and now Martin doesn’t handle him well, then maybe O’Byrne just isn’t good enough to be handled.  He’s had several years to show improvement and he is regressing.  I’d like to see him move on and get a fresh start somewhere else.  Certainly Picard has outplayed him and I’d rather see Carle, Weber, or these other D prospects get his icetime in the future.

  12. showey47 says:

    I  have been a supporter of obyrne. He was great on his first callup before breaking his hand in a fight in a game against florida (i think it was florida). He was also great when he started last season on the first pairing before breaking his foot blocking a shot. He has 2nd pairing talent IMO and if developed properly could be an adam foote type player or at worst a 3rd pairing hal gill type. I don’t think he makes any more mistakes then guys like MAB or Hamrlik (who i believe led the league in over-the-glass penalties last year) did last year or spacek this year. I do agree though that he doesn’t use his size enough.

     Ryan may also be playing tenative because he knows that one bad play gets him benched or put in the pressbox. I really don’t like the way he has been handled previously under carbo and now under martin. If all things were equal spacek would be the one in the pressbox because i feel he’s been by far the worst dman since training camp. Spacek was been brought in to help the powerplay which he’s been brutal on and has been undressed  more often then bristol palin.

  13. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    I would love to see that too. But objectively, this team may squeak into the playoffs. Once there, I’d like to see another great run and another Stanley Cup. What habs fan wouldn’t.

    The problem is when we go all leaf-brained. If we look at a workmanlike club as anointed contenders, as many posters do, then we have to crap all over them when they play like the club they are. Either they miraculously develop depth and skill that may not quite be  there yet, or they are a bust to be booed in the minds of too many. There are too many questions. Is Price for real and can he be consistent? I hope so. Can Auld do the job asked of him? I hope so. Can Andrei consistently remember why he is wearing skates and why those people seem happy to see him? I hope so. Will the defence hold and improve? Will the forwards avoid injury? Will Eller and Pouliot find their feet?

    It’s better than recent years when the big question was whether Alain Vigneault could find an uglier suit to stand behind the bench in, but it’s not ‘there’ yet. Let’s be realistic, enjoy the positives and find things to cheer about as they evolve.

  14. Danno says:

    It’s nice the fans can vote for the three stars. Now can Bell please move it on their Pick-a-Pope phone app?

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  15. Arrow77 says:

    I thought that O’Byrne did use his size effectively this year (isn’t he leading the team in bodychecks?) and I don’t remember his 2 penalties being as bad as the ones Cammalleri took.

    As for the mistakes, he’s made some but I don’t know why he’s singled out and why a guy like Spacek is certain of his spot night after night. An offensive defenseman that no longer produces and that never fully adapted playing on the right should at least worry about his job a little.

    It just annoys me that a team that needs a tough right-handed defenseman so badly would loose confidence in the one they have so quickly…

  16. notbigbird says:

    I wonder if it’s possible to enjoy AK’s performance without the cynical, mind reading  of “contract year?”

  17. RetroMikey says:

    Boone, I agree. 

    I’ve said this many times on this site several years ago, O’Byrne is a work in progress even in his days in the Bulldogs.

    Don’t know if he is really NHL calibre or just a fulltime AHLer or ECHLer at best.

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  18. Mike Boone says:

    O’B is not my villain. He’s a good guy and a Pat Hickey favourite (the Celtic old boys’ club), but he’s lost the confidence of his coach – not without reason; he makes mistakes, he takes bad penalties, he doesn’t use his size effectively – and he might be better off in another organization.

  19. tbovs says:

    Transition offence looked great last night and Price looked confident when the chips were down.  The team looked like they never wilted along with Price hence the winning goal.  If they can give that much effort in 70% of the games left we will be in no problems.

     

     

    GO HABS GO

  20. Corporate says:

    Like your post but there is one thing that bothers me. I do not just want to make te playoffs. I want to take it all. I always seem to think that people are happy with jst making the playoffs. I want a deep run that ends with Captain Gionta holding the cup high in victory. 

  21. Captain aHab says:

    Tampa Bay Francophones get pasted while the big bad Anglophone Canadiens get two back-to-back wins. Réjean Tremblay’s head just esploded.

  22. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    I guess we’ll have to wait for a slump for the usual suspects to post. The only consistent fault to be invented is the myth of the fragile young athlete ruined by being taught a role by Jacques Martin. Price has held the fort well, and played with physical alertness and interest. Pouliot has been trying hard. Gomez has been okay. Brother Andre’s contract year has made him find his heart again. The team hasn’t given up too many shots in the last two games. They’ve won three. They haven’t put Auld in (out next wave of anguish)? This is a decent team with a chance to battle for the play-offs, on which a number of suspect elements are playing well. It’s not the Henri Richard habs, but it’s not the 2010-2011 Leafs, either. The wins aren’t a fluke, they’re just not a given.

    We’ve had so many bad teams here you get the sense that a generation of fans have grown up unable to just  enjoy the moment – there’s a big nasty mother out there teaching Habs fans that “if you don’t have anything bad to say, say nothing at all.”.

  23. G-Man says:

    Isn’t it great to see intensity from Price & AK46?

    Price’s game may have been average to so-so last night, but he was battling. 2 goals would never have happened if the skaters in front of him didn’t have a collective brain fart.

    For the 2nd game of back-to-backs, the energy and willingness to compete were there.

    This is the quickest I have seen AK skate- Pleks and Cammi are a great influence on him.

    Pouliot may get there, too. Just needs to turn up that intensity level a notch.

    Sunday morning and nothing to bitch about. Let’s hope the Habs can keep the mojo going.

  24. Keith says:

    I never thought I’d be saying this…Look out Tarranna, we’re comin for ya!! Great effort against a team that we always have trouble with. If we can do the same thing against Martin F. and Jersey, then I’ll be estatic. But lets just soak in these two wins for now and enjoy the love and happiness that permeates HIO lol! Happy Sunday!!!

     

     

    GO HABS GO!!!

  25. nightmare_49 says:

     

       R -SK24 is short for 24Cups (Steve Kerley)

     

     

     

    … in the entry draft in 2003 if we had drafted a big center instead of AK46 ……….. SK24.

  26. RGM says:

    “SK24 will now come out of hibernation…”

    Who?

    Go Habs Go!

  27. RetroMikey says:

    We are expected to get the big W against a weaker team in Ottawa and others. 

    Can we be consistent game in and out?

    The game in Buffalo which I attended I will bow to the team, they never win in Buffalo when I attend these matches.

    But kudos to the team especially to Pleks and Price!

    Never was critical of Martin ever on this site but the players, so perhaps the players are finally respecting Martin as a coach and playing his system?

    Only time will tell.

    But I can smile to work when I can say the word “domination” back to back.

    It’s been a long time since we have really done this in the regular season.

    I raise my coffee this morning to the Habs and the coaches, “Cheers”  you have earned 5 stars in my books.

     

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  28. nightmare_49 says:

     

       Good points Mr.Boone but why would you bring up the 2003 draft again, SK24 will now come out of hibernation to harp on that to at least Xmas, caning is your sentence.

       OB seems to be Mr.Boone’s villain of the year, a la Ryder a few years back, after playing only three average games. They say patience runs out with advanced age.

  29. JF says:

    That was a far more exciting game than Friday night against Buffalo and, with the exception of a brief lapse in the second period, the Habs were full value.  But, as the RDS guys pointed out, the two quick Ottawa goals were the result of individual errors rather than of poor team play.  For the most part we dominated the Senators, outshooting and outworking them in the second and third periods and, suddenly facing a deficit of two goals, the team showed no quit.  Nor did Price wilt as he certainly would have last year.

    I love what I’m seeing so far from this team.  I think that as a group they learned a great deal from the playoff run.  That experience showed them how to play for each other, how to overcome obstacles, and how to believe in themselves.  They don’t quit, they stand up for each other, and they never stop believing they can win.

    Two facets of the game that so far look vastly improved from last year: faceoffs and defensive zone play. Last year we were usually under 50% on faceoffs, but the addition of Halpern has pushed us well over that, and I think Plekanec is also doing better on faceoffs this year.  Winning more faceoffs makes quite a difference in terms of puck possession.  Also, we no longer seem to be spending long stretches hemmed in our own zone.  There are still turnovers and mistakes of course, but for the most part we clear the zone more efficiently than last year and move the puck up-ice more purposefully.  I’m seeing less dump-and-chase, more well-constructed attacking.  Jacques Martin said at the beginning of the season that last year he concentrated heavily on defence because it was his first year with the team and he wanted to ensure the players learned the system thoroughly and were able to execute it well.  It took a year, but it might have worked.  Our defence looks quite solid and the team is playing a lot less passively than last year, particularly when protecting a 1-goal lead.  We no longer turn into a shell and let our opponents pound our goaltender.  This should translate into more victories, particularly in close games, than last year.  We started 2009-2010 with two OT wins. then, after the blowout in Vancouver, four 1-goal losses.  I think that over the season we were among the league leaders in 1-goal losses.  Turning some of those into wins will certainly help our playoff hopes.

    AK46’s goal was the highlight of the night but Plekanec’s, which he set up by driving hard to the net, ran it a close second.  We’ve only ever seen glimpses of the Kostitsyn we’re seeing now – strong, intense, physical, going to the net, and shooting the puck.  Not only is he in better shape than last year, but he must have done a lot of work on his defensive game.  He backchecks well and he is not beaten so regularly along the boards.  It was great to see him get the first star and then skate around offering pucks to the fans.

    I’m glad Gionta got a goal, and such a spectacular one, but we need to see more from that line.

  30. dleb84 says:

    About AK………

    I’ve been watching this kid since he was drafted.  Like most of us, I have always compared him to who we “could” have picked, which is unfair.  Sports are unfair.  That’s life. 

    Even when AK was at his best, he was never back checking like he is this season.  Tomas Plekancec is a major reason for this turn around.  I know it’s only 5 games but this is a different player on so many levels.  He is skating, hitting and most importantly…..SHOOTING. 

    I know Gionta is the captain, but certain players are influenced in different ways.  Pleks is AK’s captain.  He is showing AK how to be a complete player.  Pleks does not take shifts off and that’s contagious.        

    Obviously time will tell, but if AK can play like this on a consistent basis, we will have 8-10 more points than last year, which in the Eastern Conference can mean 2-4 spots in the standings. 

    I rarely pick anyone on the Habs in my pools, but here is hoping that AK will finally be called a great draft pick.  Even if it’s in my one little fantasy hockey world. 

    Viva Montreal!!!

    P.S.-  It shouldn’t be Price Vs Halak, it shoud be Halak Vs Plekanec.  Just sayin. 

     

     

     

     

     

  31. Da Hema says:

    I think, Serious, you may be caught up in some of the hype over Kostitsyn. Two good games in a row doesn’t make a career. A sober description of him as a player is “disappointing first-round draft pick.” I will reserve my enthusiasm for him until he shows he can play consistent professional hockey. But I think it would be a big mistake to sign him to anything other than a two-year contract. I would rather he walk to another team than watch him for the next few years go back to his listless play–the one thing that has been consistent in his career.

    ————————

    Nigel Tufnel: It really puts perspective in things, doesn’t it?

    David St. Hubbins: Oh, too much. Too much fu*king perspective.

    –This is Spinal Tap

  32. nightmare_49 says:

     

       MB – I’m looking into the future and not the present. Come trade deadline i see the Habs trying to unload the Hammer due to cap issues for a needed top six winger or at least a depth top six winger. IMO Eller needs a few years of grooming to obtain that spot though he has the resources.

       If OB has confidence issues he should be given playing time to gain what he lacks cuz with his size and defensive style and moderate cap hit fits our future. Possibly a true D coach would help OB. BTW i include Gill in that future for another year.

       i tend to agree with the Arrow and Showey, though i think Spacek is working out of his early slump even with a glaring mistake, while Retro Mikey agrees with Mr.Boone, enough said.

      

      

     

     

  33. Vid says:

    Some bizarro aspects to this game.  Habs outshooting their opponent?  Kostitsyn backchecking and scoring?  Actual lead protection?  Short passes to break out of the d-zone?

    If AK can keep this up all year that Plec-Cammy-AK line will be even better than last season.  Not worried about Gomez-Gio-whoever although I don’t expect much from Gomez.

    Here’s hoping the coaching staff figures out how to run a PP without Markov.  Despite what everyone thinks I really don’t see a Markov-Subban tandem being used on the PP.  Mainly because Markov is most effective at the left point and that would prevent him from setting up a pass for the one timer to Subban on the right point unless they switched positions.  I remember the habs experimenting with Markov on the right point and it never really clicked.  I see a Markov-Spacek and Subban-Gorges PP1/PP2 defence pairings most likely being used.

    Halpern and Boyd, 3rd/4th liner acquistions are looking good so far and Picard & Eller show promise.

    I wouldn’t write off OByrne too soon because he’ll be needed in the next couple of seasons considering that Markov, Hamrlik & Gill’s contracts expire after this season with only Markov likely to be resigned.  Although overpaid I do worry about how the D will be next year without Hamrlik.

    People complain the habs don’t have enough size but I hope the team makes the effort to help guys like OB and Pouliot develop.  Habs might have some ok forward prospects but what promising D prospects do the habs have?

  34. ooder says:

    also having a younger brother like SK can distract a player, not to mention the garbage allegations that he was tied in with the mafia or something like that.

    personal stress like that can deffinately take a toll on a person

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  35. DLHABSNUT65 says:

    DLHABSNUT65

    I would pair him with Markov!! It’ll make it easier to keep them together on the PP!! I also think Subban can learn from Markov!! I know Subban is still a little raw but remember how great he was during the playoffs!! What 21 year old defenseman comes into the league and makes no mistakes? I think he’ll be fine and by the time the playoffs roll around, well I expect big things!! I really believe this team is coming together, I mean who thought they would outshoot the Sabres and Sens like that!! The scores were closer than they should have been!! But it’s still early!! GO HABS GO!!!

  36. DLHABSNUT65 says:

    DLHABSNUT65 

    I agree with that!!!

  37. SeriousFan09 says:

    I doubt NSH wants to acquire AK to reunite the brothers, considering how AK is seemingly doing a lot better without little brother around.

    I think Andrei needs to enjoy success to establish himself permanently in the NHL. Most of his best work in the last 2 years was cut short or met bad luck, Lang’s tendon injury in 08-09 killed a marvelous production line between the two Ks and the old #20 and then Andrei’s knee injury after he went on a torrid scoring pace last season. He nails a hat trick in Game 2 against WSH, but all for naught. I think both of his 2-goal games last season became losses as well. He could just feel when he did well, the team lost and it discouraged him.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  38. Kaptain K says:

    I know there are no haters on tonight… but when they do come out.. just wanted to point out that

    against the leafs: if Cammalleri wasnt suspended, looking at how close it was without him, we could of squeaked a win….

    against Tampa: if the refs didnt blow the game in the last 2 mins …

    we would be 5-0, and everyone would be planning the parade.. so Guys! Realize we haave a good team this year and when Markov comes back (and with no big injuries) we could make it far!

    Go Habs Go!

  39. Da Hema says:

    That is a curious comment by Martin about Kostitsyn’s contract status. I can only assume someone asked him about it. What concerns me is precisely that he is playing for a contract. Kostitsyn is, I think, human, so naturally he will want to leverage his negotiations by having a good season. But then what? Will he go back into a coma for the duration of the next contract?

    If he has a good to great year as the season progresses, perhaps the team should shop him around. I hope Gauthier at least contacts other teams–especially if Kostitsyn returns to his comatose state. Maybe Nashville will pay a premium to have a brother combination.

    ————————

    Nigel Tufnel: It really puts perspective in things, doesn’t it?

    David St. Hubbins: Oh, too much. Too much fu*king perspective.

    –This is Spinal Tap

  40. WarHero says:

    Great come back win tonight!

    Notes:

    AK46 was a machine! Hope he keeps it up!

    Pleks & Cammy were fantastic!

    Gomer and Gio are starting to click again!

    Picard looked great!

    Overall, good team game, except for the PP, but it did look dangerious at times :)

    GO HABS GO!!

    ————————————————————————

    Never judge another man’s decision poor until you actually have proof of it failing!

  41. SeriousFan09 says:

    Bad haircuts can lead to great things, Jagr set the NHL on fire with a mullet.

     

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  42. Da Hema says:

    Sorry Boone: the only thing “steady” about Hamrlik’s play to this point is that he has steadily sucked.

    Otherwise, another fine ALN.

    ————————

    Nigel Tufnel: It really puts perspective in things, doesn’t it?

    David St. Hubbins: Oh, too much. Too much fu*king perspective.

    –This is Spinal Tap

  43. Curtis O Habs says:

      Hey Boone was AK`s bad haircut on fire tonight?

  44. Da Hema says:

    Yes, one of those Komisarekian Klassic rushes up the ice. He is so fleet of skate, that Komisarek.

    ————————

    Nigel Tufnel: It really puts perspective in things, doesn’t it?

    David St. Hubbins: Oh, too much. Too much fu*king perspective.

    –This is Spinal Tap

  45. Ayan_SB says:

    I bet Souray and Streit also send him a check every month.

  46. habs001 says:

    is there room on the team for pouliot if he just becomes a checker who produces at the same level as pyatt,moen,lapps …he would have to be on th 3rd or 4th lines…

  47. Bill says:

    To stay above the playoff bubble, the Habs need much more production from their ostensible first line (at least in terms of salary) of Gomez, Gionta, and Pouliot/Moen. Two goals in five games from that line is the reason that each game has been decided by a single goal.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  48. New says:

    One reason perhaps that M. Darche has not here-to-fore carved out a position within the league might be his insightful quotes reflecting a complex mindset. In fact the team has won three games in regulation, lost one, and lost one in overtime.  Of the six points they took in regulation they allowed their opponent none, while they took one making the OT loss a one point win for Tampa. The Montreal Canadiens have been full value for their wins, and yes October can pay off in March.

  49. light_n_tasty says:

    But Markov didn’t have to stay behind while Komisarek rushed up the ice with the puck…

  50. light_n_tasty says:

    That makes sense.  Actually, that could really work well in situations where the Habs were behind and needed to gamble a bit to get the offence going.

    But definitely, in the long having Markov run the first pairing while Subban runs the second pairing (5 on 5) would be ideal.  Of course, they’ll be paired together on the PP.

  51. Da Hema says:

    Markov damn near won a Norris with Komisarek dragging down his play. Markov, when he wants, can be an elite defenceman with the biggest of albatrosses around his neck.

    ————————

    Nigel Tufnel: It really puts perspective in things, doesn’t it?

    David St. Hubbins: Oh, too much. Too much fu*king perspective.

    –This is Spinal Tap

  52. SeriousFan09 says:

    Next up: Martin F. Brodeur and the Devils on Thursday night.

    It’s more the NJ fans who are thinking of Martin F. moniker these days rather than the opposition.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  53. habs001 says:

    i am sure they will try different combos …martin does like hammer and spacek together..could try pk with gill and markov with gorges on nights we need offense ..

  54. SeriousFan09 says:

    I don’t think it should be permanent, but I think this season, PK could greatly benefit from the mentoring of Markov if they played together each night for a while it could accelerate his development and let the pair split up and more effectively control play later on after Markov gives him a few tips about picking spots and when to keep things simple.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  55. light_n_tasty says:

    Question for you all…

    When Markov returns, would you pair him with Subban at even strength?

    I wouldn’t.  I don’t like the idea of Markov, our best puck mover and smoothest skater, being forced to ease up to cover for Subban.  Don’t get me wrong, Subban is great.  But he and Markov have the same strengths, and are best paired with a stay-at-home guy.  That would allow both Markov and Subban to do what they do best.

    Markov-Spacek

    Hamr-Subban.

  56. SeriousFan09 says:

    If Andrei keeps this up, that AK-Pleks-Cammy line could be huge, a trio of 30+ goal scorers dare I say?

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  57. joeybarrie says:

    CANNOT TELL ME THAT IF YOU ASKED ANYONE BEFORE THE FIRST GAME, WOULD YOU TAKE 3-1-1 IN THE FIRST 5 GAMES WITHOUT MARKOV YOU WOULDN’T JUMP ALL OVER IT???????????

    We are doing well, and will only get better. Go Habs Go…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  58. Bill says:

    I would take it for sure, especially if you told me that the Habs easilly outshot their opponents in two of the games.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  59. Rudy says:

    AK46 – the Belarusian Bafflement, the riddle wrappewd in a mystery inside an enigma under a bad haircut –

    -one of Boone’s best EVER

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  60. Ian Cobb says:

    Boy, it takes forever to load this page tonight, what is up with that. Might be the reason no one is on here but a couple of you.

  61. Wops says:

    Can’t wait for the Markov – Subban Combo

  62. Ayan_SB says:

    If anything, I’d want those two to be on seperate pairs.

    Markov – Hamrlik/O’Byrne (hopefully the latter could gain some confidence playing alongside Markov, and play a physical game a la Komisarek)

    Gorges – Subban

     

  63. Rudy says:

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  64. habs001 says:

    the gazette IT techs must be grade 8 students gaining work experience lol

  65. Da Hema says:

    Or graduates of McGill University….

    ;-)

    ————————

    Nigel Tufnel: It really puts perspective in things, doesn’t it?

    David St. Hubbins: Oh, too much. Too much fu*king perspective.

    –This is Spinal Tap

  66. habs001 says:

    maybe obyrne can provide physical play but to mey he is below average in many hockey skills that a nhl d should have (skating,turning,shooting,eye hand coordination etc)…

  67. Mike Boone says:

    Sorry. Tech problems with the craptastic server. I was going nuts trying to post from the Bell Centre.

     

  68. HardHabits says:

    Will the real ALN please stand up!

  69. Chuck says:

    Use your bonuses to buy a few more hamsters!  :)

  70. Mike Boone says:

    Spent most of my bonus on booze and loose women. The rest I just wasted.

  71. WarHero says:

    Comment of the thread so far :) Tip of the hat to you Mr. Boone!

    ————————————————————————

    Never judge another man’s decision poor until you actually have proof of it failing!

  72. Nina76 says:

    Mike Boone…………….Do you really spend your bonuses on booze [that I believe] but on loose WOMEN?????????????????COME ON!!!!!! I do enjoy your comments you make me smile. I don’t knoow what we would do without you……….Keep up the good work. Don’t wear yourself out on loose women you are getting on in years.

  73. Mike Boone says:

    Hey! Mike Boone, BA ’70 says “Bite me!”

  74. Da Hema says:

    I couldn’t resist!

    I stand admonished.

    ————————

    Nigel Tufnel: It really puts perspective in things, doesn’t it?

    David St. Hubbins: Oh, too much. Too much fu*king perspective.

    –This is Spinal Tap

  75. nova scotia vees says:

    I realize that this has nothing to do with last night’s game, but….Hockey Night in Toronto bugs me SO MUCH!  They didn’t even pick Andrei as a star.  He was by far, the best Hab all night.  Then today CBC is televising a Marlies game!  What next, a Leafs practice??? Sick!

    Boy, when the Nova Scotia Vees had a powerhouse of a team…Temblay, Mondou, Robinson, Carbonneau, Gainey, etc., etc.  I didn’t see any cameras in the rink. 

    As for the Habs…nice work boys.  But, I think Subban is too tentative on the point on the P.P….thanks to Martin.

  76. Komihater says:

    People are really dumping on hammer, yes he sucked so far…but doesnt he always have a slow start? Although he did nail a crossbar last night. In any case you gotta have a longer memory than 3 games, if you all remember his pairing with spacek in the playoffs last year was undeniably a powerhouse of a defensive duo. and one of the main contributing factors to our post season success. I agree he is playing like his age is kicking in, but your all too quick to throw bone to the dogs.

     AK is playing better than ever, so exciting to watch. I want to see a compilation of guys trying to check him and instead getting a brick wall.  Wow that sounded bad…i had to change drill to check lol.

  77. Vid says:

    Gorges is a good Dman defensively and resilient but for all the praise Mr. Boone gives him, it should be noted that two seasons ago Gorges got 23 points while last season he only registered 10 points.  It would be nice if Gorges could match that total from two seasons ago and it’d be great if he could get 30 points especially with his new found time on the pp this season.

  78. SeriousFan09 says:

    Gorges also spent a lot of time skating with Markov in 08-09 which does tend to boost one’s production.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  79. badbalance says:

    Georges is so good. Would love it if he stays in Montreal all his career.

  80. SUMO says:

    Good point. Sheldon Souray, Mike Komisarek & Mark Streit all received hefy UFA contracts after playing with Markov. Even MA Bergeron looked like a viable defenseman playing with him. 

  81. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Gorges job is defence, and he is one of the best on the habs. Points are just a bonus thing. His job is to prevent points, and as he has improved as a defenceman, his point totals do seem to have gone down. You may not win pools with Gorges, but the habs win games.

  82. Keith says:

    Well which one is it?


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