About last night …

Unsung hero of that ridiculous game: Cristobal Huet.

Don’t laugh. If he doesn’t make a huge save late in the first period, it’s 3-2, Bruins have momentum heading into the second and your fragile Montreal Canadiens are nervous. But Huet made the save, Max Lapierre scored at the other end, it was 4-1 and effectively over.

Equally impressive were some stops Huet made later, once the game had turned into shinny. To stay sharp and focused when your team is romping requires some kind of mental toughness. Chapeau to the man from France.

Other heroes?

How about the whole darn team. As impressive as eight goals were, I was blown away by the passing. I can’t remember more tic-tac-toe plays in a game. The Tomas Plekanec line was magical, of course, but everyone else was into it – to the extent that Michael Ryder made a couple bad passes late in the third period and there were faint boos from spoiled fans.

There were set-ups and open nets my mother could have cashed … and she’d have pounded the snot out of Shane Hnidy.

Some of the posters took me to task for being hard on Mathieu Dandenault in my game blog, accusing me of kicking a guy when he’s down. There’s merit to that criticism. But look, a team that some picked to finish 14th is sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference and playing excellent hockey. It’s not the time to be whining – especially if you’re minus-10, you don’t play physical and you’re not a fighter.

Tom Kostopoulos knows there’s a battle for spots on the fourth line. So Tom the Bomb, making the most of his opportunity, gets the Gordie Howe hat trick – a goal, an assist and a fight, in defence of Steve Bégin, that made "TK", as they call him, a very big hero in the Canadiens’ room.

We’re going to hear more sad music from Patrice Brisebois when he’s ready to play. Josh Gorges has improved steadily since becoming a regular. He blocked four shots last night and made several excellent plays, including a recovery after Milan Lucic steamrollered him.

So does the man from My-my-my-my Kelowna sit in favour of Breeze? I don’t #$%^ing think so. And the situation gets even more complicated when Ryan O’Byrne gets back. Does Mark Streit move to forward, thus ensuring more pressbox nights for Dandenault?

Another big hit in the room was Sergei Kostitsyn’s fight. Brother Andrei said it was the kid’s pugilistic debut. I wouldn’t send him out to take on Georges Laraque, but Sergei did fine, displaying the benefits of playing junior hockey in Ontario under the tutelage of Dale Hunter. And if he’d played for Brent Sutter in the Dub, Sergei would have cleaned Chuck Kobasew’s clock.

I really liked that kid line. Sergei, Lapierre and Gui! could be better in their own end, but they’re a high-energy trio that’s going to tire out a lot of defencemen.

Speaking of exhaustion, how about the poor Bruins who had to watch Alex Kovalev skate around wit the puck last night? After he scored to make it 7-1 seven minutes into the third period, I think Kovy should have celebrated by ragging the puck for the next 13 minutes. Not the least of his talents is a theatrical flair that plays to the Bell Centre crowd.

Also emerging as a fan favourite: Andrei K. A redirect with his back to the net, a one-time laser on a pass from his brother …. the guy is on fire. On CKAC after the game, Dany Dubé said Andrei K proves the virtue of patience. People were ready to write him off as a first-round bust. But as he’s become more comfortable with North America and the Canadiens’ system, the big winger has moved onto the cusp of greatness. Size, speed, hands, shot … Andrei K. has it all. And just wait till he’s on a line with Sergei.

Haven’t mentioned the D. They were superb. Komisarek and Andrei Markov: plus-4. Komisaurus had five hits. Markov on the PP with Kovy and Andrei K. orchestrated the best ballet this side of the Bolshoi.

On to New Jersey, where we’ll find out if last night was a fluke.

132 Comments

  1. Will Longlade says:

    Fisher’s take on the team isn’t consistent with the view of the TSN commentators who covered last night’s contest. They talked about the team’s depth. Anyway, it’s been said before that there’s not a lot separating one team from another in the new NHL. An injury to a key player, a rash of injuries or the retirement of a key player can affect a team’s chances to qualify for the post season. As proof of this, consider Anaheim’s success since the return of Niedermeyer. What Fisher said not only applies to the Habs, but every other team in the league as well. It’s not a brilliant deduction, but I guess it wasn’t necessarily intended as such. Just an observation from an informed and objective observer of the team. We don’t have to agree with his opinion and we can even take offence with it if we like.

    To their credit, the Habs are a young team that is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, the team’s fans can sit back and watch a team that is competitive and enjoyable to watch for years to come.

  2. ebk says:

    sorry, hit the damn post button twice. maybe my computer skills are lacking as well.

  3. The Teacher says:

    Booly has one more year on his contract. Although i love him, they won’t be re-signing him after I wouldn’t think. Dandy as well.

  4. Nav says:

    The Habs have to be ready in New Jersey, they cannot forget that Brodeur owns them!!! The Habs have to create a physical & fast-tempo game that breaks up the neutral zone trap. SKATE, SKATE, SKATE! This is a huge game and we will be a measuring stick that shows the organization where they’re at presently. New Jersey is a contender, I believe they can wipe out any team in the Eastern Conference… Let’s hope the Habs blow them out of the swamp lands of Newark!

  5. showey47 says:

    definatly, but then what do we do with streit? Leave him as a forward? Then what about obyrne? Move him down to the third pairing then you have to make a decision with gorges and bouillon. Besides he has less goals and points than streit does and besides we both know we would have to overpay to get him on the ufa market. I do remember him being pretty soft for a big defenceman also, i could be wrong.

  6. ebk says:

    Hainsey would be a great pairing with Hamrlik, no?

    At least for this season

  7. HabsProf says:

    We can dream, but I doubt that is enough. Hainsey probably doesn’t feel like he was well treated here, and I would have trouble arguing with him. Sending him to the AHL that last time was a clear signal that we had given up on him, given that the other option was to send down Streit who was not subject to waivers (and who had indicated that he expected to be sent down to acclimate to the North American game).

    Besides, Hainsey is from Connecticut. If he decides to abandon Columbus (a team that will make a concerted effort to retain his services), I would see him interested in Boston or any of the New York teams before Montreal. And Boston could be interested – they need offense, and he would clearly improve the offense in general and the power play in particular. The Rangers have only two defencemen under contract after this season.

  8. ebk says:

    thanks
    nope, while I’ve been told I lack writing skills, I can handle my own with a computer. :)

  9. HabsProf says:

    I missed that one – what are the details? Was it more than just a ridiculous rumour?

  10. Jay in PA says:

    Great post!

    Just curious… Where did you get your stats? You didn’t calculate them all by hand, did you?

  11. HabFab says:

    I know! I don’t think I’ve ever knocked on as much wood in my life.

  12. showey47 says:

    Since dandy isn’t skilled enough to play above the fourth line, he should learn to either hit and fight like begin and t.k. do or win faceoffs so he can take slowinski’s job. Just being able to skate isn’t going to win him a regular job on the team, especially one that lacks toughness.

  13. showey47 says:

    well said wayne, we are much better with breezby out of the lineup, gorges is improving every game he plays and doesn’t get pushed around like breezby does even though he is bigger than gorges.

  14. showey47 says:

    where would we put him? We are already swamped with defencemen at the point where 2 are playing forward on some nights and another boatload on the way in a few years.

  15. New says:

    I wouldn’t worry about the Dandenault opinion backlash. People are allowed opinions and some will see qualities in Dandy others don’t. He reminds me a bit of Bulis. Get him good and riled up, he looks like a star, then fades away for another 15 games or so.

    Your blog and the the responses are well worth reading. Keep writing it the way you see it. If worse comes to worse maybe Dandenault will show us all how wrong we were.

  16. Wayne says:

    ————– Without Brisebois, they are 13-3-3 —————-

    nuff said,… except for this.

    I don’t take to crapping on people lightly but if Boone’s prediction that Breezer will whine when he wants into the line-up, well, tough sh!t ’cause if he forgets why the Habs signed him, he can go to Borneo for all i care. He’s more trouble for the team when he’s playing bad on those nights than his need for pacification.

    As for last night… No sympathy for the Bruins. We categorically destroyed them with the gusto! What the heck did Charra say to Carbo anyway. Boo hoo … that’s what you get for blindsiding Kovy and pounding on Gui.

  17. sidhu says:

    Hainsey is a UFA at season’s end and is good friends with Komi. Maybe he will come back?? 😉

  18. RH says:

    Yeah, great post. Glad you took the intiative, and went through all that work, to give us all some insight into the Habs season so far. The only thing I would want to know is whether the Habs PK is up because they’re not taking as many penalties,(thereby less penalties to kill, making the work load lighter), or whether they’ve truly found a proven method to keep the other team off the board during there PP.

  19. ebk says:

    Nice point about Hainsey. I remember being mad when he got sent down and madder still when they lost him. Even Bob Gainey makes a mistake, now and then. He has not made many, though.

    Either on of him or Beauchemin and the Habs would have a top four that rivals all but Anaheim.

  20. MAB the HAB says:

    Did anybody read Red Fisher’s article in the Gazette today? I know Mr Boone et al highly admire Fisher, but his articles are always a jab at the Habs. Today’s pretty much sent a jinx on them (and Kovalev in particular) to get injured and hinting that they would fare badly if it were not for the good health so far this year of their main players. Geez, talk about raining on the habs’ parade.
    Regardless, the whole city is happy today thanks to the 8-2 massacre.
    Here’s to carrying it over into the NJ game!

  21. showey47 says:

    who knows, but i do hope your right though. I just don’t see it for a fourth liner making 1.75 million who is a -10.

  22. Will Longlade says:

    His versatility may translate into a third round pick. I thought I may have been a little too optimistic.

  23. VancouverHab says:

    Thank-you kindly, gentlemen: much appreciated.

  24. krob1000 says:

    Higgins will be fine….I have noticed him still getting his chances and to me that indicates he is fine. 95 out of 100 goalies wouldn’t have got across to make the save Thomas made on him last night. He is just temporarily snakebitten a la Ryder this year and Kovy last year. Eventually these guys get some breaks and if you recall his last slump like this (when he first returned from his injury at the onset of teh season) was snapped by two ugly goals.

  25. likehoy says:

    higgins is wildly inconsistent.

    he started the season on fire…chances galore and was constantly taking it to the other team. Since later november and early decemeber…higgins fell off the board.

    He had a strong second half finish in his first 2 years of his career…here’s hoping for a 3rd?

  26. likehoy says:

    had faith in mr. markov since 98 and 99 when he won the russian leagues best dman 2 years in a row. Then he played a huge playoffs series against the bruins with murray and thornton consistently running him into the boards but markov would get back up and play and that’s when I knew he’d be something.

    funny how a poster in a previous thread posted up an article where we almost traded a bunch of players, including markov, for ilya kovalchuk.

  27. Ed says:

    Thanks for the great stats. They show that this team is definitely headed in the right direction. There are so many positives about this team. Please keep up your great research, and continue to share with us.

  28. likehoy says:

    we had that nice slump in the middle of november

  29. Kingkomi says:

    gotta hope we keep ryder.watching him the past couple of games i like what i see.he doesnt shy away from the corners finishes his checks and works hard.and dont forget his laser beam of a shot.perfect for our 2nd line

  30. habsfan2442 says:

    Dude,
    Do you EVER post anything possitive???

  31. Kingkomi says:

    im in the flatbush area of brooklyn

  32. ebk says:

    oops, thanks. I can guarantee there are probably a few more.

  33. JF says:

    ebk, interesting and telling statistics. The team started the season looking better than last year’s team, and since the low point in early December has improved steadily. Areas that looked problematical – penalty kill, defensive zone coverage, 5-on-5 play – have been addressed so that we now have more strength, toughness and depth than at the beginning of the season. A team that improves over the course of a season is in much better shape than one which starts strong but does not deal with the underlying problems (as was the case last year). The litmus test will be our performance in the games against Jersey and Ottawa, as well as the March western road trip. Also the games against the Rangers, whom we have trouble beating, and Philadelphia now that Gagné is back.

  34. HabsProf says:

    Interesting post, filled with the sort of stats that I like to collect and play with. Most impressed with the improvement in 5 on 5 and PK.

    Anyone thought that Mark Streit, much as we like him, might wind up putting up more points than Chris Higgins this season? Me neither (not a slam against Chris, more a boost for Streit). And who is hard on both their heels, gaining fast? Andrei Kostitsyn, who I suspect will also wind up with more points than Higgins by the time the season is over (again, not a slam against Chris).

    Minor (but good) correction – Kostitsyn has 21 points in his last 21 games, not 20 points.

  35. krob1000 says:

    Stop thanking us as we should be thanking you (and you make me look bad lol). That was a fanatastic and very informative post and should very clearly outline how we are playing pretty damn well as a team (but you already know that to some it won’t).

  36. The Teacher says:

    I agree with you, we need to crash the net in front of Brodeur to obstruct his vision.

    However your second point of getting the puck out of the zone. Don’t the Devils clog the neutral zone?

    That would seem to suggest that we won’t have as much trouble getting out, the trouble will be in getting it through the neutral zone and get good dump-ins or entry into the zone that will not allow Brodeur to handle the puck as much as he would like to.

  37. showey47 says:

    not even gainey could get a second round pick for dandy, especially now that jfj was fired yesterday lmao. I would say anywhere between a fifth rounder to future considerations.

  38. ebk says:

    December 13, the Canadiens season sat on the brink of disaster. They had just completed a stretch of games that saw them lose 6 0f 8. To make matters worse, they were completely dominated for most of these games and their #1 goalie was out for the next two weeks or so. The franchises’ goalie of the future was now in charge of the team’s immediate future and things were looking bleak.

    In the last 18 games, since December 13, the Habs have gone 11-4-3. Carey Price answered the bell and more importantly, so did the rest of the team. Price played a big part in helping change the fortunes of this team during this period. He only played in the first few but if he would have faltered, the team probably would have been dead. He did not, they are not and they find themselves in the midst of a play-off run.

    Here are some interesting facts, that only maybe interest me
    In the last 18 games…
    The Habs have scored 65 goals and allowed 45
    Their PP remainded solid at 24% but their PK improved greatly up to 88.5%
    The Habs have scored 45 even strength goals, about twice as many per game as earlier in the season
    The Habs have allowed 37 even strength goals, making them a very respectable +8 at even strength
    The Habs have cut their goals against, from 2.9 per game to 2.5
    The Habs have exploded offensively, averaging 3.6 per game, up from 2.8

    Latendresse has a team leading 10 even strength goals
    Without Brisebois, they are 13-3-3

    If there was ever a doubt which line was the #1 line, the question is settled now
    In the last 21 games
    Kovalev has scored 10 goals and has had 22 points.
    Plekanec has scored 8 goals and has had 23 points.
    Andrei Kostitsyn has scored 11 goals and 20 points

    The second line of Ryder,Koivu and Higgins has been more than up to the task of providing the team with a quality 2nd line, despite all the braying about the three.

    Ryder has scored 5 goals in his past 11 games
    Koivu 3 and 10 assists for 13 points
    Higgins 4 goals and 10 assists for 14 points.

    Mark Streit has scored 4 goals and has had 17 points
    Latendresse has 5 goals,Markov has 5 goals
    Smolinski scored his first even strength goal of the season that was not an empty netter

    The team now is deep, fast and dangerous.

    Thanks for reading and I promise that I’m done for the day with the war and peace posts. Gotta get some actual paid work done.

  39. HabsProf says:

    Boone – Your point about patience is well taken. The Habs, of course, have had more than their fair share of first round busts over the last couple of decades, so perhaps we have become a little too quick to write a player off as yet another.

    However, I would think that Andrei K. is not the only reminder. Ron Hainsey is another name that comes to mind, and one that still drives me crazy every time I think of him. I was mad as hell when he was sent down and even madder when he was called up, exposing him to recall waivers (the rest, of course, is Blue Jackets history).

    For that matter, while he wasn’t a first rounder, it wasn’t that long ago that Habs fans thought Andrei Markov was never going to live up to his potential. I remember many calls for him to be traded. (If memory serves, this was around his third season with the team.) Now he is an all-star, and a deserving one at that. He may be our most important offensive player. (I said he may be, not that he is – but what is your opinion on the issue fellow HIOer’s?)

  40. Kingkomi says:

    thanks.i study in ny so i could only go to a few games a year and no more this year so ill take up the offer for next season

  41. moser17 says:

    “pugilistic debut”
    “Chapeau to the man from France”
    “My-my-my-my Kelowna”

    Great Boone-isms.

  42. krob1000 says:

    I think your just fishing for us to all chip in and buy you tickets the rest of the way. …..hmmm I might steal your idea. Gotta go …… I have a scheme to hatch.

  43. krob1000 says:

    I know I for one wish the All Star break wasn’t this weekend given the way we played last night. I am also now thinking back to our last road game before a break…..I think it was in Dallas…..anyone remember that one. Something tells me the gusy learned fromt hat one though and that nobody will be taking this one lightly ( knocking on wood so hard my knuckles are bleeding).

  44. Kingkomi says:

    ill be at the game tomorrow and the habs never lose when im there.i think thats whats missing(my record is 14-0-1 although the loss was prior to the shootout days in ot so it dont count)

  45. Rugger says:

    Projecting 58 points in 48 games over the season equates to 99 points.

  46. Will Longlade says:

    Nice overview EBK. You’re right in implying that the Habs have the toughest part of their schedule ahead of them, but it’s how many points they pick up overall that counts at the end of the day. I calculate that they need to play one game over .500 over the last 34 games to attain 94 points. How they do it doesn’t matter to me, but it would be nice if they could demonstrate that they can play w/the elite teams in the league and also achieve the top seed in their division (which could see them playing the Bruins in the 1st round).

  47. The Teacher says:

    I don’t know if you guys remember, the last time we were within 6 points of a playoffs spot, the wheels fell off of our wagon. I just hope we can keep it going.

    I find I am approaching this season more analytically instead of going with blind emotion and passion. however, I must say I do see the potential for us to make the playoffs. I’m still too disappointed in last year’s end to feel secure at the present time.

  48. likehoy says:

    with 34 games remaining…if the minimum points we need is 92 to make the playoffs…we need to play .500 hockey till the end…not too shabby eh? 17 wins.

    to break 100 points we have to play at a solid .617 to obtain 42 points…meaning we need 21 wins (or a combination of extra time losses).

    21 and 17 are not a huge difference in numbers, but a huge difference in making the playoff picture. Now’s the time to string together a big winning streak or 6 or 7 games and then string wins together consistently

  49. likehoy says:

    so who’s hoping we play boston in the playoffs?? easy series to the next round.

  50. Bill H says:

    Nice breakdown of the remaining schedule. That’s an interesting take on it.

  51. OldGrover says:

    It is – last few seconds of their video coverage in the tsn.ca website.

  52. Will Longlade says:

    Lats played a good game last night. People forget that he is young and still learning the game. I’d take Lats over Dandy in the lineup any day. My guess is that Dandy sealed his fate yesterday. He will be dealt for a 2nd round draft pick before the Feb. 26th trade deadline.

  53. Blitzen says:

    I would like to see Komisarek crush a Devil early in the game to get the guys going. Actually, I would like to see several guys hit the Devils like there’s no tomorrow. Stir the pot so the juices get flowing. Guys may not think so much about losing. We may not win but at least get the message across that the games vs us won’t be softies.

  54. J.T. says:

    Check out the highlights on TSN’s broadband coverage. I saw it today on SportsCentre, so I’m guessing it’s there on broadband as well.

  55. OldGrover says:

    I dunno if that’s sarcastic, but it ought to be. I thought Lats had a good game – he was tough along the boards, tough to stop wherever he wanted to go. Didn’t score, no, but he’s looking very promising.

  56. Rugger says:

    My guess is Price back up late Feb/early March

  57. P St. Pierre says:

    The Montreal Canadiens website usually has a fairly extensive highlights package following every game. I haven’t seen it yet, so I’m not sure how much footage of Tom the Bomb it would include. The package can be found under Habs TV or something like that it and it will be titled Game Highlights.

  58. P St. Pierre says:

    “I have not seen a growth spurt like that since baseball discovered the juice and I’m not talking Orange Juice here folks.”

    Hilarious.

  59. ebk says:

    Interesting read.

    He is a little older than Bryzgalov but they are similar enough that Bryzgalov’s signing certainly is a strong indication of what Huet will get this summer. If he is able to help the Habs make a dent in the 2008 play-offs, his value will only go up.

    I think he stays for the rest of the year and leaves during the summer. Hopefully Price and Halak are ready to carry the load. I think it would serve Price better to be up with the big club, see the day to day pressure involved in a play-off run and hopefully get in to 10 of the last 35 games. AHL experience is nothing like the NHL.

  60. Bill H says:

    I agree with the idea of creating a 3rd scoring line. Having 2 checking lines is the wrong way to go. That’s playing to not lose, instead of playing to win. I hope Carbo doesn’t fall into that trap with New Jersey. K2 and Latendresse both deserve linemates that can score. Putting either one of those with Smokes, Dandenault or Tommy K seems like a waste, even if all three of those have shown some scoring flair of late. btw, the Smokes goal last night was great. He didn’t have much time to set up and he lifted that up just under the crossbar at close range. Very nicely done. Well, if the 3rd and 4th lines keep scoring like they did last night, I won’t have anything to complain about. But I don’t know that they will have their way with the Devils on Thursday though.

  61. VancouverHab says:

    e-Beg: can anyone tell me where to get extended highlights of the Hab games? I would love to see last night’s T.K. “first star” skate I’ve read about.

  62. MikeMcLaren says:

    Pleks, If they carried TSN down here, I would have watched that feed. I was happy enough that I finally could see the Habs in high definition though (my cable carrier only offers the Center Ice package in standard def).

    I am glad someone pointed it out. Even during the Versus broadcast, Forslund (Carolina’s annoying play-by-play guy: “Huet says NO!”) was mentioning how Ottawa was so far ahead of other teams… puzzling as they only have a 6 point lead at this point and the wheels are falling off their wagon a little bit.

    Oh well, here’s to hoping it’s four soon and that there’s more than one way for the Habs to get some home ice advantage in the playoffs rather than just scrapping for *4th* place.

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  63. ebk says:

    Today is a good day is a hab fan. They just beat the bruins like a rented mule, quite possibly are playing their best hockey of the season and the Kiddie Corps have gone from diapers to High School in record time. I have not seen a growth spurt like that since baseball discovered the juice and I’m not talking Orange Juice here folks.

    No better time to try to slay the dragon that is Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.

    In the Eastern Conference, Montreal sits six points out of first place overall and six points out of 9th place. Talk about parity.

    They have 34 games left. The last 3 years 93 points gets you in the play-offs. Montreal needs 35 points in its remaining games to hit the 93 point mark. Of those remaining 34 games, 10 loom large as determining the fate of the 2007/2008 Montreal Canadiens.

    The ten games that will determine what we have with this version of the Habs are, 5 games versus Ottawa, 3 games versus New Jersey and road games versus San Jose and Anaheim.

    If the Habs get blown out of the water by these teams, as their history against these teams suggests, Montreal will have its hands full just making the play-offs. Six points or less means the team will have to fight tooth and nail just to end up as a 7th or 8th seed. Anything more than six points and you can probably start printing tickets for the play-offs. They should be able to manage 30 points in the other 24 games. If they can’t they are in trouble regardless of how they do in these 10 games.

    To take a run at the Senators and Devils for the number one seed in the East, The Habs need to win at least 3 games against the Senators, 2 against the Devils and one against either San Jose or Anaheim. That will put them in position to not only break the century mark in points but also challenge for the #1 seed. Due to injuries, Ottawa does now appear to be more vulnerable than earlier in the season.

    Can they do it? I have no idea but it should be enjoyable finding out. Like I said, today is a good day to be a Habs fan. Their fate sits squarely in their hands and that is all you can ask.

    Thanks for reading

  64. von says:

    I’d rather have Gui! Gui! Gui! having the odd pressbox experience, rather than a player like Dandenault….

  65. mjames says:

    I am not a big Tenders fan but I think that kid is improving and more often than not is getting scoring chances.

    mjames

  66. Ed says:

    Maybe others suggested a kid line last night, but I noticed when reviewing Boone’s blog on the game that cournoyer12 suggested it. It turned out to be a good line. Here is cournoyer’s suggestion.

    “Submitted by cournoyer12 on Tue, 01/22/2008 – 14:22.

    Why cant they put the kids together, Latendresse, Kostitsyn Jr, and Lapierre, competition would be interesting there, and if it worked, we would have three scoring lines again. Why put baby K with grinders? Go Habs.”

  67. Plek-Andrew says:

    Mike Mclaren,
    It’s not my intention to take away your glory but you’re right; i don’t think anybody mentioned the Habs being 6 points away from first place and the RDS guys sure as hell wouldn’t mention it.

    But, for a recently converted TSN guy, i have to give them credit because they did indeed point that out. Oh and apparently tsn HD is nicer than RDS hd…

    dunno bout u guys, but i don’t really wanna Jacques Demers’ facial details… I think I have enough chins of my own to worry about

    :O cheap shot… haha

  68. Bill H says:

    Speculating about the future of Huet is becoming one of my favourite past times. I’ve been quick to point out soft goals and weak games when he gets too much work. But he is playing very well lately, keeping mistakes to a minimum, and is handling a heavy workload like a pro.

    I appreciate your thoughts, 24, on possible future salary for Huet as I have never actually tried to do the math. There are so many variables that its almost impossible to comment intelligently on the subject. All the same, I am sure Bob sits in his office and tries as best he can to work it out on paper.

    I don’t quite agree that we are dead without Huet, as we haven’t seen what Halak can do this year. He certainly proved he can do the job last year, and the only reason he hasn’t been given the chance this year is completely beyond his control. He is a victim of numbers. And with Huet playing so well, I’m not sure when he will get his chance.

    I still feel Halak and and Price are our future due to Huet’s alleged salary demands, his desire for undisputed #1 status, and his need for a long term deal. Even so, I would be happy to see a deal with Huet that allows him to stay in Montreal. It will be tough for Bob to trade him this year, given his play of late. But that all depends on what we get in return. I agree with 24’s observation that the salary crunch will come in 09 – 10 season. That is the year that we have UFAs Komi, Saku and Kovy. RFAs are Pleks, Latendresse, Higgins, and Chipchura.

  69. Plek-Andrew says:

    You left out how Guillaume Latendresse was the weakest link last night and absolutely useless…

  70. Chris says:

    Others have noticed it as well, but the big highlight that stuck out for me was how happy Koivu was for Ryder’s goal. I think Saku genuinely likes Ryder and loves playing with him, so I think Carbonneau needs to give that line another chance to get back on track.

  71. Will Longlade says:

    I forgot to mention. About 21% of the Hab’s points this season have come at the expense of the Bruins. If the teams split these games, their respective positions in the standings would be reversed. The Habs need to duplicate that success against other teams.

  72. corson27 says:

    The Habs had a great game last night and if we continue with streaks such as our unbeaten streak against Boston, the Habs have not lost a game played on a Thursday night since October 18th against the Sens. So there is hope yet that they can end the curse against the Devils

  73. MikeMcLaren says:

    I don’t think we can judge whether last night was a fluke or not based on playing the Devils tomorrow. At least if the Habs lose, that is.

    I mean, really, at this point? The Bruins are to the Habs as the Habs are to the Devils.

    They own us.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s Martin F. Brodeur, Zach F. Parise or even David J. F. Oduya – someone will likely have their number on Thursday.

    Eventually “the streak” will be over (“Is this the year?”) but who knows when?

    On paper it’s doable. If they play 60 minutes like they played the first 19 or so the last time they were in Jersey then they have a shot. The Canadiens can skate with just about anyone unless you’ve got a wheel with a wing on the front of your jersey.

    REAL interesting thing that no one seems to notice btw…

    The Canadiens are now 6 points out of 1st place in the division/conference with a game in hand on the Senators and I believe 5 games left to play against said Senators.

    A Canadiens win and Ottawa loss puts them within four points and they would still have that game in hand…

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  74. Will Longlade says:

    A few observations about last night’s game:

    1. The Serguimax line played w/tons of energy. Carbo should keep this line intact and let it develop an identity.
    2. Koivu was much more involved and on his game. Higgins played well defensively. Ryder was OK, but needs to continue to work on simplifying his game.
    3. Begin played his best game of the year, or perhaps, the best game of his career. The message was clear. No PB for him.
    4. Smokes elevated his play and played perhaps his best game of the year.
    5. Streit played an excellent game from D. He’s playing w/more confidence and seems to have totally shrugged off his November slump.
    6. Like Boone, I’m a big Gorges fan. He makes up for his lack of size w/ his smarts smart and he brings it every night. He also brings intangibles that are hard to replace. B.G., please don’t trade this guy!
    7. It’s a pleasure to watch Sergei set up his brother’s wicked shot. It’s poetry in motion.

    In conclusion, a v. enjoyable game to watch. Let’s bottle that energy and take it to Jersey.

  75. 24 Cups says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see what happens to Huet this summer. Unless a great deal comes along I can’t really see him getting traded at the deadline – not with Price apprenticing back in the minors. Bryzgalov’s new contract probably means that Huet might get $4.5 mil a year for say 3 years. The question is, who would sign him? Tampa and LA will certainly need to look for new goaltenders. LA doesn’t want to rush Bernier just like we don’t want to rush Price. Colorado and Washington are other teams that might show some interest. Regardless, Huet will have some competion as Kolzig, Theodore, and Emery/Gerber will be on the open market. What happens if he doesn’t sign right away with another team? Maybe we could pick him up for two years at $4 mil a year. That would be a perfect fit for Price’s development timeline. We certainly can afford it next year although it would be tight the year after (Price gets 2.2 mil when he plays in the NHL). Anyway, I’ve certainly come full circle on this whole issue – I no longer see Huet having to be traded at the deadline. Right now, we’re basically dead in the water without him in the nets.

    The Original 24 Cups


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