About last night …

Here’s some advice for 21,273 lucky fans who were at the Bell Centre: Hang on to your ticket stubs.

When Carey Price is closing in on 100 career shutouts, you’ll have palpable, eBay-sellable proof that you saw his first.

Thing about the Kid, when he’s hot he’s cool. Price does not panic. The work with Rollie Melanson and the exile to Hamilton have refined his technique and honed his focus.

Flyers get a 5-on-3 power play with ace penalty-killers Markov and Komisarek off for almost two full minutes? No problem.

Roman Hamrlik breaks his stick, turning it into a 5-on-2? No problem.

Fifteen third-period shots in a one-goal game? No problem.

The only problem is Guy Carbonneau’s. Who is his goaltender tonight in Philadelphia? 

If Carbo is true to his vow that he will ride the hot hand of a winner until there’s a loss, it’s gotta be Price. The problem – and it won’t take long for it to arise – is with impending UFA Cristobal Huet. Price will not go undefeated the rest of the season – heck, it will be tough to get a W tonight in Philly – so we’ll find out pretty soon how Huet reacts to having to win back his job AND play well enough to get a nice contract, in Montreal or somewhere else.

Over the course of the last two games, Price has stopped 69 of 70 shots, He’s beginning to make a strong push for the number one job, and the organization will have to decide whether Canadiens need the insurance policy of Huet for another season or two. 

It’s a nice problem to have.

• The Kids were alright last night. I watched the replay of Andrei Kostitsyn’s goal when I got home. Amazing. I’d managed to miss its subtleties during he game. Falling and reaching back to redirect the puck …. wow! Truly Ovechkinian. Andrei K., who has a sense of humour, later told reporters he’d taught Ovechkin how to score spectacular goals.

• And Dale Hunter taught his brother to never give an inch. How about brother Sergei getting into it with Scottie Upshall? I love the cojones on that kid.  

• Speaking of clanking brass ones: Francis Bouillon, three shots, five hits. If Canadiens had an award for Overachiever of the Year, Frankie the Bull would be a lock.

• Canadiens outhit the Flyers 26-17. Philly goon Riley Cote spent four minutes in the box, 1:36 on the ice. Steve Downie, however, can play hockey … and he’s a royal pain in the ass.

• I thought the third and fourth lines did what  they had to do: skate, hit and drive pucks deep, obliging the Flyers to lug them back 200 feet. Not exciting, but it eats minutes in a close game.

• Max Lapierre  was particularly energetic and understands just how he has to play against the Flyers. He’ll be a marked man tonight in Philadelphia.

• On the mad scramble that nearly tied the game – and François Gagnon, among others, thought it did – Tom Kostopoulos joined the pile and later admitted he did so to obscure the view of the overhead camera that Toronto would use to decide if the puck was in. There was no video consultation, but Tom the Bomb is a smart player.

• Roman Hamrlik played a heroic 22:53 – including most of the 5-on-3. He had three hits and a team-leading three blocked shots. Tremendous player.

• Faceoffs were 35-34 Flyers, but it seemed like they won most of the important ones.

• Mark Streit did not have a great night on the PP –  too many hasty and poor decisions. 

Enough nit-picking.

It was great, playoff-level hockey … and your Montreal Canadiens won the game. They’re two points back of Ottawa, which hasn’t won since that trade.

And who’s got the better goaltending, eh?


  1. Cape Breton says:

    I am quite amazed that I have not observed any realistic assessment of who should be the leader of the 2010 Canadian Olympic team.

    Stevie Y? Why? Or Y Not?

    I guess we could look at Canada’s Team and ask who is in charge? Sundin? Or we could pick Fletcher…?

    Or we can look to a hockey leader, developer, genius, and a human example to win the gold medal.

    When we look at the Canadian who should lead us into the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 we should consider Bob Gainey as our leader.

    He’s a winner, a Canadian, and will lead us to a gold medal in 2010.

  2. MikeMcLaren says:

    I’m certainly going to watch Mr. Price next time there’s a goal mouth scrum to see if he swats for the camera again. If he did indeed do that, I hope folks keep mum about it… never know when you’ll need something like that on a deep playoff run, heh.


  3. Blitzen says:

    Not sure what his actual status is but if he could be gotten without losing players, he’s a RW that might be interesting to try.

  4. Chorske says:

    Sorry, poor choice of words. Its a matter of who owns his rights. Either way, I can’t see how he could be got for free.

  5. 1010 says:

    Eight goals in their last five games. Hopefully tonight they can break out and score a few. It would be awfully nice to see someone, besides the usual suspects, score.

    GO HABS.

  6. TommyB says:

    Your comment got me thinking…and yeah, good move but hushhhhhh! I can just see the next “rules” session. “We need to put in a rule to penalize players who obstruct the video camera!” Imagine the fun Buttman’s boys would have with that one.

  7. The Kid says:

    Pens prospect? Morozov is 31 years old and hasn’t played in the NHL since the 03-04 season. I’m sure it wouldn’t cost anything to get him, seeing as though he has been playing in russia for the past 5 years.

  8. likehoy says:

    when i saw that live…i was like wth is kostopoulos doing?? he’s not even close to any flyers and he didn’t even help the situation by knocking the net over and running over his teammates…then i read the post game comment and i’m like wow brilliant!

  9. Ed says:

    I agree that the stats sometimes lie, and there are stats, and damn stats, or something like that. Some of the things you mention are definitely not covered by stats, but some of them are covered by the stat on giveaways and takeaways. This would cover errant passes, and losing possession of the puck. Getting back to my stats for a minute, I feel they might explain why Kostopoulos and Smolenski are not playing tonight. They both had zero shots and zero hits last night, and a total of only 1 hit in the previous game. These are our shut down guys, and they have to hit, and get a few shots. I will see you in the current thread for tonight’s game, and in Boone’s thread for tonight. Go HABS Go!!!

  10. nightmare_49 says:

    Ed – I love checking stats also as a guide but is there a stat for winning the battles on the wall , for getting the puck out of your end (mostly wingers) , erant passes , positioning , losing possesion of the puck (Lats) , not taking the man out, etc. I hope you get my point. A poster , i’m not saying you , could get up in the morning and post stats and not even see the game and probably get away with it if he keep his comments within the parameters of the stats. Stats won’t differ but analysis will. I still like your poats and your opinion also.

  11. NLhabsfan says:

    I guess if he pushed him in it would be interference on the players part.

  12. razor436 says:

    About the almost tying goal, it looked to me like a Philadelphia player was pushing Price’s pad into the net with his skate. Would that have really counted?

  13. The Teacher says:

    Ergo..Tom the bomb taking one for the team yet again?

  14. Wayne says:

    Could be his thumb. But if it wasn’t, I tend to think that while his size could’ve helped, there’s no sub for experience. Boo’s got the grit yes, and the quicker read in those tight situations based on experience. I tend to think Bernie would lose focus at that pace… for now at least.

  15. Wencz says:

    tsn is reporting that Price is in

  16. MikeMcLaren says:

    Very clever move by Tom “The Bomb” last night to obscure the camera by jumping in… however I’m not so certain he was the MVP on that move.

    If you rewatch the replay of that play, watch what Carey Price does:

    He actually SWINGS his blocker up into the air and absolutely *pastes* the goalcam sending it so askew that it was pretty much just broadcasting a fisheye view of 24 Stanley Cup banners from the rafters.

    I still cannot figure out what he was trying to accomplish on that play, but if he had any inkling to obscure that camera?



  17. Ed says:

    nightmare, I accept your criticism as constructive, but I don’t see anything wrong with some stats. After all, hockey is a game of stats. When it comes to negotiating salaries, or in arbitrations, it’s mostly about stats, goals, points, +/-, PP contribution, PK contribution, etc. In arbitrations, the team tries to portray the player in a negative light, while the player & his agent do the opposite.

    The end result of any game, and any season is stats, whether it be wins, losses, standings, etc. Look at all the sports web sites, and they are loaded with stats. I have always liked looking at the stats, and will continue to do so. Most of the posters on here give their analyses, so I like to throw in the stats every now and then.

    I love Carey Price’s stats for the last 2 games, and the 2 wins. Thanks nightmare.

  18. Chorske says:

    Alex Morozov?! Top russian player and pens prospect? I don’t buy it. How would Morozov not cost us players?

  19. Jay in PA says:

    One other interesting note is that we outhit the Flyers 26-17 last night. I think of the Flyers as a pretty physical team that’s willing to play dirty, and I know I’m not alone. If we’re outhitting them and winning games, that’s a good sign.

  20. Chorske says:

    Several weeks back there was some chatter on the boards about whether Rollie the Goalie was ‘ruining’ our goalies by forcing them to adopt a butterfly style. I disagreed with that notion (still do) and I like that Mike gives props to Rollie’s work with our goalie of the future.

    Watching yesterday’s game, what I mostly saw was a) a lot of butterfly, used effectively b) excellent positioning and c) very quick return to standing position from the butterfly. Seems to me that the kid has benefited immensely from his coaching- I mean, the kid brings great reflexes and focus and calm, but the other aspects of his game can only benefit from good coaching.

  21. ZepFan2 says:

    Add to that his (OB’s) ability to block shots.

  22. Blitzen says:

    We dished out a fair number of hits ourselves last night so I’m not too worried about that. Heck Bouillon and SKoz, not exactly two giants, were distributing checks. And if Philly wants to spend the game in the penalty box, our PP will break out at some point and make them pay. They can’t expect to go deep in the playoffs by playing like that.

  23. Blitzen says:

    Not sure if CHfans.com has any credibility but they seem to be saying that Kovalev might be calling someone to convince him of coming to the Habs. Every possible theory has been exposed in a 30-page thread. One guy mentioned who could provide some secondary scoring and not cost us players is Morozov. Getting a guy like that could free up some other guys for a trade. Who knows? Anyway, as I said no idea if that site has any credibility or if it’s another Eklund…

  24. Erik says:

    Great win last night. How about those CBC commentators I watched the begginning of the game on CBC but at first commercial break I went to RDS. I like having Bob Cole announce the game not some guy whos sounds like a figure skating commentator. I speak english but I like the passion for the game by Pierre Houde.

  25. showey47 says:

    Depends how the game is in the third period. I have no doubt that philly will come out throwing the body hard, these guys are in a big slump and are playing for their playoff lives. The biggest part will be to be able to dish it back and staying disciplined while doing it. The flyers tend to take alot of stupid penalties and we can put them away with the powerplay. This is my opinion anyway.

  26. Habs-Kat says:

    Anyone else thinking there’ll be some goonery going on tonight?

  27. J.T. says:

    I think the pressure *was* on the Koivu line until a couple of weeks ago when opposing teams noticibly started turning their attention to the Plekanec line. Not coincidentally, it’s hurting their production. I really want to see a big game from the offence tonight. Until they score four or five in a game again, I won’t really believe the slump is over for good.


  28. Habs-Kat says:

    Every great line goes through a slump now and then. Great lines also break out of slumps. A few weeks ago (well we still are) we were worried that we didn’t have any secondary scoring in case the Pleks line went M.I.A. for any reason in particular. The pressure, in my opinion, isn’t on the top line as much as it is the Koivu line – and they seem to be re-emerging.

  29. J.T. says:

    If it’s not one thing with our Habs, it’s another. Now that the goaltending has drifted between great and spectacular for the last couple of games, the goalscoring has dried up. The Pleks line has been effectively shut down outside the PP for the last several games. Kovy looks like he’s playing hurt and Plekanec is getting shoved around under heavy checking.

    If the boys are to give Philly the seven-loss itch tonight, the goalscorers had better show up and earn their pay.

    Oh…and start Price. Every point counts and he’s in the zone.


  30. Chorske says:

    All of us and Mr Gillette, as well.

  31. ebk says:

    I would imagine Carbo just trusts Bouillon more in PK situations. I think it was because he is a kid but you are right, you never know.

  32. Cable Guy says:

    your exactly right.

  33. Habs-Kat says:

    Go with Price, a starting goaltender is one that can handle back-to-back games. I don’t see Luongo or Brodeur taking these kinds of nights off. If we want Price to be what we expect him to be one day, then start giving him the experience.

  34. Mike says:

    so whats going on trade wise?

  35. showey47 says:

    Brilliant thing to do but probably not the most brilliant thing to say, nonetheless 2 points for us.

  36. nightmare_49 says:

    Usually i’m not to happy with our bench management but last night i applaud them and in O’Bey’s case i see their point. The two games in Florida he played great but last night he didn’t have the same confidence and seemed uncertain and the fact that Hamy and the Cube were on top of their game as well as Gorges for the most part dictated few shifts for O’Bey. In Florida also he started both games with great outlet passes and built from there and it all comes down to developement. A veteran may have a shakey start and play steady for the rest of the game where as a rookie may go south. Confidence is so important in a young defenceman as Gorges can attest to. Using Gorges sparingly in the 3rd was wise due to his bout with the flu lately. Nice post Ed but a little less stats and a little more analysis would be welcome IMO. Constructive criticism.

  37. showey47 says:

    don’t get we wrong, cube is probably pound for pound one of the toughest in the league. I just feel having obyrne’s overall size and strength plus the area he can cover due to his size would of been a benefit on the penalty kill. I just hope his lack of ice time was due to being a rookie and not because he is being punished or injured.

  38. The Teacher says:

    I love those kind of players :) Absolutely awesome when they’re on OUR team!

  39. Steiner says:

    “Tom Kostopoulos joined the pile and later admitted he did so to obscure the view of the overhead camera that Toronto would use to decide if the puck was in.”

    Absolutely brilliant.

  40. RetroMikey says:

    Wow! Anti Huet! You’ been spending to much time in Southern California and being a couch potato watching and observing Price on the dish than coming to see him play in Hamilton where I’m from and watching his development with the rest of the kids. We’re going to win the Stanley Cup not this year but when we do win it, it will be with Carey Price in goal. That’s all I am saying and most will agree with me. Don’t understand why you hate Huet so much kid. Too much sun does the brain damage, I suppose.

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

  41. N.B.habs fan says:

    Hi Kjdavid,
    I too think Price should play tonight,he was the 1st star last night and had a shutout.He is hot and we should keep the same line up tonight.They deserve that much for winning.

  42. Cable Guy says:

    There is no question that Carey Price has to start tonight.

  43. ebk says:

    last night, I’d rather have Bouillon on the ice than O’Byrne. I think he has been playing well for quite awhile.

    I do like O’Byrne though, he skates well for a big man and looks like a keeper.

  44. showey47 says:

    it still really makes no sense, who would you rather have out there when being short handed clearing bodies in front of the net when komi and markov are in the box. I like gorges and the cube but obyrnes size alone gives him leverage over players standing in front of the net. Especially the likes of knuble. I wonder if the thumb is still bothering him?

  45. The Teacher says:

    True, I don’t recall him making a grievous error. You must be right.

  46. howtathor says:

    Mike, thanks for the tip on the ticket stub! Maybe if I put it up on ebay today I can make enough to buy Springsteen tickets!

    Interesting discussion vis a vis Price/Huet. Sounds like a good old fashioned goaltender controversy. Personally I feel that Price has to carry the ball to be effective. He’s not a backup goalie, never has been, never will be.
    He’s always carried the load and as evidenced by last night’s performance, when he’s in the zone he’s unbeatable.
    I envy those people who sit in the corner where he skates over to between plays because I would love to see the fire in his eyes. I think we should ride him all the way like the horses on his mask!
    M. Huet can be used to secure that final piece of the puzzle that we’re missing whether it be a defensive centerman (Peca, Holik) or a bonafide goal scorer (Prospel, Fedorov). Notice that I didn’t say Hossa because I don’t feel we shoud mortgage the future (Higgins, O’byrne) for one player. Soon the UFA’s will be knocking at the door and maybe there won’t be any room at the inn!

    Price tonight (because it’s right)!

  47. ebk says:

    The game had a ton of penalties and that would be my best guess as to why O’Byrne received so little ice-time

  48. The Teacher says:

    God, I miss the playoffs…

  49. Ed says:

    It’s amazing what a great goal tending performance can do for both a team, and for the fans of a team. It enables a team to win, when they probably should not, and it gives the fans the impression that the team is playing outstanding hockey. This is exactly what Carey Price has done in the last 2 games, both won by the Habs. He has faced 36 and 34 shots, and gave up only 1 goal. The Habs only scored a total of 3 goals in those 2 games, but won both of them. I give full credit to Price. Without his performances, the Habs probably would have lost both of them.

    In the last 5 games, the team has won the last 2, and lost 3 in a row before that. In those 5 games, we have been outscored 14 – 8. That’s right, we have scored only 8 goals in the last 5 games. The offense has fallen off dramatically, but Price has compensated for it in the last 2 games. As for the 3rd and 4th lines, I see in the last 2 games that some of those guys were missing in the hit and/or shot departments.
    Kostopoulos – last night; 0 shots, 0 hits; previous game, 2 and 1
    Smolinski – last night; 0 shots, 0 hits; previous game, 1 and 0
    Dandenault – last night; 2 shots, 0 hits; previous game, 0 and 0
    Latendresse – last night; 0 shots, 2 hits; previous game, 0 and 2

    Lapierre has played well, having 1 shot and 1 hit last night, and 3 shots and 3 hits in the previous game. Streit also had 3 shots and 1 hit last night, and 3 shots and 0 hits the previous game. Most of his shots probably came on the PP where he played 7:00 and 7:15 respectively.

    I can’t see why O’Byrne played only 7:56 last night. He played well, and had 2 hits in the 1st period. On The Score today, they are calling him O’Brien, when they show the hard hit he had last night.

    It’s on to Philadelphia today, and we need another strong goaltending performance if we are to beat them again.

  50. JF says:

    Good points about both Price and Huet. Price really is starting to look faster and make those pure reflex-saves that we didn’t see earlier in the season. As for Huet, he is very good and can often be spectacular, but seems to falter inexplicably at key moments. I’m a great Huet fan and I’m not bashing him, but I don’t think he quite has the grit or the killer instinct or whatever it is that makes a goaltender able to stand on his head to win or steal games. I think this is shown not only by the soft goals he allows at crucial moments, but also by how hard he finds it to hang onto a shutout when he’s got it in his glove, so to speak.

  51. Jay in PA says:

    I agree that Price is excellent positionally. However, even if a goalie is in the right position, he can still be beaten, and he still needs to move to make saves. Until his recent call-up, he looked like he didn’t have the reflexes to make saves where he was otherwise beaten. Now he’s starting to show those reflexes, and I’m having faith that he might really live up to his promise.

    Also, you should probably be a little less absolute with your comment, Huet is always out of position. With Aebischer, no one would disagree, but there’s no way Huet compiles the stats he’s got (2.49GAA, .918 SV%) if he’s out of position all the time. Huet’s a good goalie. He just might not be a great goalie, and that’s what we’ll need for the stretch run.

  52. New says:

    The other thing is that Price needs to play to get better. Huet can get hot for a game or two but always plays himself out of it. So in the long term Price needs to play a lot, have a good backup for breaks or off games (read Halak), and Huet is a UFA at season’s end.

    When Price is confident he is cool, and opposing teams hate that. I never get a sense that Huet is confident, or cool. Huet to me is a Theo type goalie, come to save the day, loved by all, good with the press and fans, but more flash than substance. Don’t take it wrong, Huet is good, but I think both Price and Halek are better, and potential wise are both head and shoulders above Huet.

    Then again people thought Tony Esposito was sixth on the Montreal goalie depth chart at a time.

  53. JF says:

    I’m not sure I understand your comment. Are you suggesting that I’ve been converted from the Huet “faith” to the Price “faith”? I’m a fan of both of them (as well as every other Hab including Patrice Brisebois), but I think that until recently Huet has been the better goaltender this season. Price’s stint in Hamilton really seems to have sharpened his reflexes and restored his confidence, and he’s starting to show why the organization places so much faith (to use your word again) in him.

  54. Jay in PA says:

    JF and Kjdavid, I think we’re on the same page with respect to Huet. I want a goalie who will thrive on pressure and can put the team on his back and turn the game around on his own if he has to. Roy did it. Hasek did it. Brodeur used to do it, but might not have it in him anymore. Huet showed flashes of it in his first full season with the Habs, but not since. The thing is, all of those goalies are/were focused, fierce competitors, and that’s what makes the difference between playoff goalies and regular season goalies, between goalies who get shutouts and those who don’t.

    It’s hard to gauge that competitive spirit with the cool, easygoing characters that Huet and Price present. It’s fine if a goalie can shrug off a goal and not get rattled by it, but there’s a certain level of passion and competitiveness that I just don’t pick up in Huet. I don’t pick it up in Price, either, but I’ve got a hunch that he’s got it in him.

  55. The Teacher says:

    Great post!

    Huet did show the ability to carry us on his back in his first season. I haven’t seen that ability since though. My argument is that with cap dollars being at a premium combined with Huet’s probable search for a long-term nest egg contract will not allow us to resign him after this year for the good of the future of the franchise.

  56. JF says:

    We all agree, and you used the right phrase – “mental toughness”. Also passion and fierce competitiveness, which I don’t really see in Huet, great guy and team player though he is.

  57. JF says:

    The Habs played a great game. They skated well, checked hard, and for the most part cleared their zone effectively. Price certainly had his best game of the season. He didn’t have to make spectacular saves, but his positioning was perfect, he read the play well, and he was very cool.

    I thought in the first period we were missing too many chances, but in the end all it took was one highlight-reel goal. In the scramble in front of the Canadiens’ net late in the third, it’s possible the puck was in the net along with Price and a bunch of Flyers, but he was pushed in, and no video camera could have shown anything.

    What a difference it makes having Hamrlik back in the line-up. Watching him you couldn’t tell that he’d missed five games with a virus that left him unable to eat for a couple of days. All those fans who routinely booed Briere should stop and think; if he had signed with Montreal we wouldn’t have Hamrlik and our defense would be soft and porous. Bouillon probably had his best game of the season – five hits against a team who pride themselves on their tough physical play. The Habs have out-hit the Flyers in all of the three games this season.

    What concerns me going into tonight’s game is that we’re not scoring enough – six goals in the last four games. We have to start burying some of those close chances. One goal tonight will not win us the game, whoever is in nets. Actually I don’t really expect us to win, but one point would be good.

  58. New says:

    Kind of interesting when the players are involved isn’t it. Streit, and a couple others I think, showed that by rushing those plays.

    It will be really interesting to see how the Habs play tonight. Did they leave it on the ice Saturday? Philly too played a solid, fast, and rough game. They kept the Habs out of the slot most of the way, and maybe contributed to the rushed plays :-).

    Two evenly matched teams with bright futures. A pleasure to watch.

  59. Exit716 says:

    Yeah I thought it was interesting during that scrum that Kostopolous just came flying in at the last second right dead centre where the overhead camera would be.

  60. 24 Cups says:

    Great game last night that stopped any notion that we were heading into a slump and also strengthened our position in the standings while some other teams were slipping back.

    The only point of concern is the inability to win important faceoffs. The totals at the end of the game may be close but that doesn’t always tell the tale. Pleks pretty well lost every faceoff he took during the 5 on 3 which helped give Philly all those shots on the powerplay. And we really seemed to get beaten in the faceoff circle during the third period. I wonder if we should be looking for a third line UFA centre this summer who can win faceoffs and handout some big hits. Lapierre could move to the right wing and take Ryder’s vacant spot. Or we could even do that after Feb 26th with a recall of Chipchura – assuming he has learned to win faceoffs in pressure situations.

    The Original 24 Cups

  61. The Teacher says:

    Josef Vasicek anyone?

    Won’t break the bank and is a good face-off man with size who can play both the wing and at center. He wouldn’t cost us too much in return. I’m thinking a mid-to-low level draft pick.

  62. ebk says:

    I agree they could use a 3rd-line center, who can win an important face-off and is good defensively. Right now, of our supposed defensive forwards, none of them are actually that good defensively. I think Max could grow into that role but he isn’t quite there yet.

  63. Blitzen says:

    If that play had gone to Toronto for review, the goal would have counted. You can take it to the bank.

    4-1 Habs tonight. Home crowd will boo Brière. That’ll put more pressure on the Sens. That trade has worked real well for them so far.

  64. Chuck says:

    It couldn’t have counted; there was no video proof that it was in the goal.


    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  65. doug says:

    I’m not prone to getting too high or getting too low, but last night’s game was the final proof that this team is for real. And when I mean this team, I really mean this franchise. We have arrived and we’re going to be the perpetual contender we were in every NHL season before ~1995. The Yankees (who I hate) restored their legend in 1996 when they won it all and have been the FRANCHISE ever since. That year is coming for us – perpetual Ottawa like relevancy. We just don’t choke like we have in the past. I’m not saying we’re a lock for this year’s playoffs, but I’m saying we’re going to be in every preseason pundits playoff picture from here on out. We have arrived.

    I’ve always had my favorites but here are the guys that I’ve changed my perception of:

    a. Max Lapierre is a legitimate NHL player, a hard worker, and a pest. He was one of the best players on the ice last night. I used to complain about his hands but he skates hard, hits hard, and loves the Habs. He’s a much better player than I expected.
    b. Carey Price, who I was against calling up this season, in favor of getting sent down, and against calling up again, showed me why he’s so coveted yesterday. Exactly as Boone said, he’s cool when he’s hot. You can’t teach that. I have loved Huet and feel that he’s gotten a tough deal. Let him walk, though – we need the cap space for our future.
    c. At the beginning of the season, Komisarek was a top four defensemen on the team. I’m beginning to think he’s a perpetual all-star in the league. He has arrived. Sign him long-term now. He’s incredible and Markov, Komi, and Price will be enough to go all New Jersey on the league if it turns out we can’t score.

    The team is almost too deep. Add D’Agostini (102 mph slap shot?), Grabovsky, Valentenko (101 mph slap shot?), Chipchura (remember his poise in Oct/Nov?), Locke. . . it’s unbelievable. Two NHL caliber goalies in the AHL, one of whom might have made the playoffs for us last year if he played in Toronto instead of the recovering from injury Huet? We all must resign ourselves to knowing that we’ll be facing and watching a lot of ex-Habs on other teams who become stars in their own right. Ribeiro? He’s got nothing on what we’ll be giving up in the future out of sheer necessity. J.T. pointed out a month ago that young talent is critical in the era of the salary cap where you need to draft well for cheaper talent, let it mature, sign the stars, refertilize the system. I couldn’t agree more. In that vein, I don’t see how we’ll be able to afford Koivu (my favorite player) when his current contract ends. Too much talent. Too much on the job traiing going on. The only question will be what to do with Kovalev, our best player right now but always a scary proposition to sign for too much or too long.

    Given all of the above, I say:

    a. say goodbye to kostopoulos, begin, smolinski – not enough room and we’ve got the talent to replace them with younger legs that are fast becoming trained.
    b. don’t trade for ANYbody at the deadline besides a role player (e.g., defensive center to replace smolinski?; skating tough forward with size?); our future is too bright.
    c. never dress brisebois again; let him retire a hab, which is classy enough
    d. think about moving latendresse – some trade value and in my opinion not as strong as what we have on the farm

    Only need: more size upfront. A skater whose big. Latendresse with a nastier streak and better wheels rather than the hands he has.

    Sorry so long, but I feel like I’ve awoken 20 years younger – my Habs are back.

  66. Blitzen says:

    When Laps is on his game, he’s a pest but before yesterday’s game, he had kinda become invisible for a couple of weeks. That won’t cut it in the NHL if he wants to stay.

    Kosto is already signed for next year. Don’t mind having him around anyway.

  67. The Teacher says:

    Hee hee, you look like you’re on a real high right now. But I like it.

    Still not sold on Lappy, he is up and down and needs to play like this EVERY game. I’m sure that is why he was not with the team to start the year.

  68. nightmare_49 says:

    Good post once again and i think Dandy would love it and IMO Kovy has found a home and could play into his forties barring major injury and i think he’ll settle for a reasonable salary as Saku would if we decide to keep him. Yvon Pedinault on RDS wouldn’t like your views on Lats but i do and i would put on your list a veteran Ken Daneyko type “D” man for the short term. No matter how great your farm system is , it’s value is to fill in where there’s a void and the future. Some teams have great prospects (EDM,CHIC.) but their skills are the same as the prospects already on the team so tinkering has to be done. The Habs don’t need a major deal , unless too good to refuse , just tinkering and it’s a good position to be in. In Bob we Trust.

  69. RetroMikey says:

    Nice to see Carey Price get his first shutout but we all have to stop and say “Which goalie has led us so far at where we are today”? Cristobal Huet of course. I do not want us to put Carey Price in tonight and if we lose, the sirens will be heard all night and fans will say why Huet did not start. One game does not make Price a saviour on our team. If we start losing again with Price in the nets, we’re back to square one again. Huet makes the start tonight, no question.

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

  70. doug says:

    i tend to agree with you, notwithstanding my newfound love affair with price (in a purely platonic sense!)

  71. frank81 says:

    On the other hand, if Huet gets the start and loses, the Huet-bashers will have a field day posting about how he should be traded.

    I think the win and stay in approach is probably the better approach.

  72. Wencz says:

    I say go with Cristobal tonight, give him the call. You can’t leave him too long and this is a good opportunity to get him into a game away from Montreal where the expectations aren’t too high. I think it’s a better move than throwing him in against NY (a team that scored 5 straight on him recently) at the Bell Centre. That being said, I don’t doubt that Price would play well. I am also a bit worried that after such a big win, and having less pressure to win tonight, the rest of the team might not be as focussed with Price in net (i.e. lean on him, we tend to do that with hot goalies).

  73. Les-Habitants says:

    Yah, but to be perfectly honest, those people’s opinion’s don’t really matter, and the moment either goalie comes up with another big win, they’ll jump on the bandwagon again

    The Bobby Holik campaign:
    “He may not be Hossa, but he won’t cost us Higgins”

  74. RetroMikey says:

    Wow! Carey Price stars in 2 games and we should totally forget about Huet who led us this far. At the present, Huet is better, will he be better come playoff time? Will Price be? Who knows. All I am saying is that yes, Price needs to play and so does Huet. Price should have stayed in Hamilton and played more often and be called up before the playoffs. Hey, KJdavid, come fly from the Sunny Skies of Southern California to brrr, freezing cold Hamilton on February 29…it’s Carey Price Bobblehead Night. Perhaps that’s the only time you’ll ever see Price in a Bulldogs’ uniform. :)

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

  75. RetroMikey says:

    oops! I am not smarter than a 5th “Northern California” grader but I do know how to spell “contradict”.

    Why can’t we all get along?

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

  76. Chorske says:

    Right about this point in the discussion would be when my dad would slam on the brakes, turn his head slightly and say, “kids, don’t make me come back there.”

  77. showey47 says:

    ok guys this is getting a little ridiculous. We are all supposed to be on the same team here. While we all have the same common goal, i guess there are different opinions on how we should get there. But anyway enough already

  78. RetroMikey says:


    Saying something to me like “I do not like you” is a personal attack and for you posting about my wife was totally uncalled for as well!
    Thank you Mr. Stubbs for removing his trash comment he had before everyone had a chance to read it.
    As a Habs fan, I thought you had more class, dignity and respect with other Habs fans’ opinions when posting on this site and not berating them when they don’t agree with you.

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

  79. RetroMikey says:

    Apology accepted my friend, and If I have offended you, I apologize as well. Let’s look forward to tonight against Philadelphia. Can’t wait! GO HABS GO!

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

  80. Bill says:

    Actually, I don’t recall disagreeing with you earlier, I’m sure it was not a big deal though.


  81. Chorske says:

    Man-crushes are perfectly OK here at HI/O.

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