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.


  1. teamplayer says:

    I would compare the hit and suspension to randy jones.
    and as for steve downie, I think hes looking to break chris simons record for most suspensions, how many times has his play been reviewed this year? and last night he gets in a fight and claws his opponent, did you see how bad the other guy was bleeding? the fight continues and he gets cocky, Its not like he was dummying him, he scratched his face. If i was the other guy i would jsut crosscheck him in the face next game

  2. ebk says:

    Well, to be honest, I did not disagree that the Habs were in for a tough year. I thought the team they broke camp with was in trouble and still do. I think injuries forced Carbo to rely more on the kids than he was going to. We will never know and it does not really matter. The team is playing well and that is what matters.

    Glad to hear you enjoy the posts. I’d hate to think I was boring everyone to death because I enjoy the site and most of all the people.

  3. P St. Pierre says:

    Excellent post as usual. The stats are exciting, especially when you take into account all the predictions of what a lame year it would be for the Canadiens. Hopefully they will continue their strong play, especially tomorrow night versus Brodeur (and his teammates).

  4. HabsProf says:

    All I can say is …. Actually, words fail me. This is truly fascinating.

  5. nightmare_49 says:

    After signing Komi we wouldn’t be able to afford Hainsey and the Blue Jackets are in the mix for that playoff spot and shouldn’t be sellers at the deadline as the franchise really needs that playoff spot desperately.

  6. HabsProf says:

    Perhaps. But they could have simply delayed a decision until after the game, which is this Sunday, isn’t it?

  7. Will Longlade says:

    I’ve suspected that Higgins has been playing through one or two nagging injuries this year. The type of injury that doesn’t keep you from playing, but cramps your style a bit. I don’t have any proof of this aside from seeing him in great difficulty during one or two games earlier in the season. Any insights on this Mike?

    In any case, I’ve found that he’s been very consistent defensively. I think his offensive production is poised to pick-up now that he has been reunited with Captain K and a Michael Ryder who is showing signs of emerging from his prolonged slump.

  8. nightmare_49 says:

    EBK – Super post and a lot of positives and a lot of work on your part i’m sure , thanks for taking the time.

  9. 24 Cups says:

    Captain Cournoyer – I’m a little lost here on the kRob comment. “Thought Habs fans had a little more class”. Did I miss something today?

    The Original 24 Cups

  10. 24 Cups says:

    Showey – good observation. I saw the hit (he kinda left his feet near the end) and thought that he should have received at least 6 games.

    The Original 24 Cups

  11. showey47 says:

    I think the league only gave him one game because a suspended player can’t play in the all-star game and considering the game is in atlanta the league probably catered to ilya and his fans. Its sad but it makes sense.

  12. showey47 says:

    i get you though, but with columbus being in the playoff hunt and hainsey being their top offensive defencman i don’t see it happening. I can see columbus resigning him before the season is over.

  13. howtathor says:

    Breezer and Dandy should understand that there is no ME in TEAM. LOL I don’t know if they have performance bonuses but I heard that Breezer was ready to suit up with two broken bones in his foot. They should understand that if the team is going well their best contribution would be to act professional and be supportive instead of whining to the media. It’s not like they are first liners. If it was Kovy, I would understand. I remember what happened to Rivet last year. Hey Matthieu, do you know the way to San Jose?

  14. showey47 says:

    agreed, the cube and dandy will be gone at the end of their contracts if not sooner. I like the cube but we just have too much talent on the back end coming up in the system.

  15. Will Longlade says:

    IMHO, the whole affair was scripted by MLSE to deflect attention from their sorry track record in overseeing the team.

  16. showey47 says:


  17. Joe Habsfan says:

    Also a little off topic but did anyone see Kovalchuk’s hit last night? He only got suspended for 1 #%@*ing game! The hit was from behind and he left his feet. Not suspended these “superstars” like they suspend a guy like Steve Downie is unbelievable adnd the reason why this stuff still goes on

    GO HABS GO!!!

  18. Chuck says:

    So much for sincerity!

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  19. stephen says:

    Don’t mean to deflect any (well-deserved) attention away from the win last night, but anyone interested in a (baffled) chuckle at the Leafs’ expense might be interested in the following:




    Who needs Hollywood writers when you’ve got MLSE..?

  20. ebk says:

    I think Streit might actually be better as a PP specialist on D and a forward for his regular shifts. Either way he need to play.

    The rest of the stuff you mention, I have no idea. All good points/questions.

    I was mainly think what another top 4 dman would do for the Habs this year. Long-term he quite possibly is already in the system.

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