About last night …

Good to get one point – even if it should have been two.

Canadiens played a superb road game. They outskated the home team and outshot the Thrashers in every period of regulation time (shots were 3-3 in OT). They came back twice from a goal down and would have won easily had anyone batted home a few pucks bouncing around Keri Lehtonen’s crease.

The Canadiens were almost error-free. Only six giveaways; and while the game plan called for defencemen to pinch deep, there were few odd-man rushes by the Thrashers. 

Guy Carbonneau, in an interview on RDS, was pleased with his team’s effort, as well he should be. All four lines worked hard getting pucks deep and forcing Atlanta into laborious zone clearances. The defence was solid, as  was Cristobal Huet until the shootout – which he readily admits is not the strongest part of his game.

The SO is a Carey Price specialty. Maybe next time Carbo will go to his bullpen. 

Glass half full: Canadiens scored both their goals 5-on-5.

half-empty: They went 0-for-2 on the power play … although Alex
Kovalev’s game-tying goal was scored one second after Ilya Kovalchuk
got out of the box.

Eric Perrin had scored on  the power play to give Atlanta its 2-1 lead, but Canadiens’ PK was oustanding in the third period, killing off three penalries – including one that carried over into OT.

The game was another valuable learning experience for the Kiddie Corps, most of whom played well.

• Maxim Lapierre took a bad penalty and was off when  Perrin scored. But Max skated all night, had six shots on goal and was 10-3 on faceoffs, including a crucial PK draw win in the dying seconds of regulation.

•  Guillaume Latendresse worked his ass off again and had six shots. That Québécois line, with Mathieu Dandenault on RW, is turning into something.

• Ryan O’Byrne played 14:40. His three blocked shots led the team, and the big galoot is a great skater: he turned on the afterburners to foil an odd-man rush.

• Sergei K. scored his second goal in as many games. He is meshing beautifully with the Captain and Christopher Higgins (who had an off night). Barring injury, Michael Ryder will never play an even-strength minute on that line again.

• Andrei K. had no shots and played in a fog until coming to life late in the third period. But Kovalev had another superb game, and that’s another line Carbo should leave intact.

• Francis Bouillon has been quietly great. Rock-solid in his own end and very adept at skating the puck out. 

• Another line that’s meshing nicely: Kyle Chipchura, Mark Streit and Tom the Bomb.

• My man Josh Gorges had a jittery moment late in the game but was otherwise solid. Carbo had enough confidence to play him on the PK in  the final regulation seconds of a 2-2 game.



  1. Yeats says:

    Ian: Those are all fair points. I still think it takes a lot less time today than it did in the 70s-80s. The kids are much better athletes and, in the case of NCAA D-1 guys, are considerably older and more mature than Major Junior players.

    (BTW, our last No.1 was the late Doug Wickenheiser in the 1980 draft. God rest his soul.)

  2. Ian Cobb says:

    Brian, don’t for get, i.m not talking about a top 10 or first overall pick. The last 1st overall pick we had was Guy the Flower. 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounders take years of development.

    Your allways going to have your Bobby Orr, Gretsky and Crosby”s and others that can make the jump early and with protection i might add. I,m talking about the player that has to be taught how to develop into a pro. and that is the majority of them. Ryder & Roberio are two such players.

    Also even if we were luckey enough to get a 1st rounder, he might be the 30th player picked. Not like when there was only 6 teams in the league. A 6th pick then was like he might not make it.

  3. Yeats says:

    Man, I’d give my right arm for a sniper. I know we’d have to damn near give him the Bell Center, but man if we could get Ovechkin, we’d be contenders overnight.

  4. Yeats says:

    Yea, I’m in a bit of a mood. I woke up at 5:00am to play pickup. I haven’t skated in two weeks and even my hair is sore. The Breezer is surely the model for how to bring along young players. Gosh, if he retired after the ’93 Finals, we’d all be talking about him today as if he were Orson Welles. Happy Holidays to you and you family as well and a very Happy New Year!

  5. BigHabsFan says:

    Gainey didnt let Chelios, LeClaire, Schneider, et al. go. He was in Minnesota, and then Dallas helping build a Stanley Cup winner.
    As for the present and future: Price made the big team, Latendresse stayed with the big team, S. Kostitsyn only played 20 games with the Bulldogs before getting a shot, Chipchura played only a year with the Bulldogs. In General I agree with you, the Habs have let guys simmer and develop maybe a little longer than other teams would have. But there have been exceptions made, and as for now, it looks like they were all the right call.

  6. mjames says:

    Good post. You raise some valid and compelling points.


  7. nightmare_49 says:

    You are sarcastic today and once again you need patience and let them develope like Brisbois was brought along to become a hard nose “D” with creativity. lol. Season greetings to you and yours in the big apple , Herb.

  8. Yeats says:

    Rivet is a defenseman and you can never dress too many of them you know.

  9. Yeats says:

    I hear what you’re saying Ian. But, not having won a Cup since 1993, the jury is still out as to whether we have a first class organization in place. I’m not a big fan of letting talent marinate down in the AHL for several years before bringing it up. Gosh, if I were a potential top ten pick, I’d much rather go to a team like Chicago where I know they’re going to give me a legitimate shot at making the big team. Our record of nurturing young players, although it may change under Gainey, hasn’t been worth writing about in over a decade. Just think about how many talented young players we let go: Chelios, LeClaire, Schneider, Desjardins, Lemieux, Richer,…… I won’t mention some of the ones we’ve passed on, that would just be putting salt in open wounds.

  10. Ian Cobb says:

    It takes at least 5 years and more for some players to start to play up to there potencial after leaving junior.

    Only top nhl management have the ability and patience to properly develop kids into nhl pros.

    More hockey players have been ruined by management who are into there own trip rather than the slow process of development from boy’s playing a game, to men learning how to be business profesionals.

    It takes 2 to 3 years in the minors and 2to 3 years in the NHL to even start to handle themselves as professionals

    Patience, patience and professional coaches will eventuly win the day. Bringing up 20 years, has to be done with a great deal of care. Giving up on a player to early or useing him incorrectly is a management error, not a players error.

    When you draft a player into your organisation, you are commiting your whole organisation to this young man.

    Ryder and Roberio are two players who for what ever reason, became unsteady , lost confidence in there abilities and looked terrible because of it. So you can do two things, you can dump him because you lost confidence in him, or you can find a way to get him on track again.

    First class orgaisations nurture and develop to the top!!!

  11. likehoy says:

    watch us trade w/ san jose and end up getting rivet back jkjk…

    if ribs scores on us…i’ll cry…i wish this was a home game so we can boooooooooooo him. lapierre should get a hair cut or he risks looking like ribs.

  12. Blitzen says:

    Today is the day they end the curse.

    Mark it down.

    Good things come in threes:

    Smokes and BreezeBy got injured leading to the youth charge

    We’re beating the Laffs

    We’re gonna smoke the Dec 23rd curse.

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