About last night …

What if the Rangers game, aka the Greatest Comeback in the History of Sports, really was the turning point of the Canadiens’ season?

They haven’t won since. And while the team is still sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference, the upcoming schedule is scary.

After Atlanta plays at the Bell Centre on trade deadline day, Canadiens travel to Buffalo on Friday and play host to New Jersey 24 hours later. Then it’s a four-game road trip to San Jose, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Anaheim before comng home to play the Devils and Ottawa.

Hands up everyone who, on the evidence of last night’s game, thinks this team is primed for a win streak.

The Columbus bench must have had a clearer view of the banner being raised to the Bell Centre rafters. The Blue Jackets played Bob Gainey hockey, while the home team was under the impression that the number 15 was being retired.

Uh no, guys. It wasn’t Sergei Samsonov Night. So what was with all that pussying around on the perimeter like so many great big Cs?

This was Pascal Leclaire’s ninth shutout, and I doubt he’s had an easier one. With  no red jerseys going to the net to obscure his view, Leclaire serenely kicked out 31 shots.

There was no pressure on the Columbus defence. Ron Hainsey skated and moved the puck like Bobby Orr … or at least like the first-round draft choice he was for Canadiens in 2000. Adam Foote, who’s older than Red Fisher, played 29:24.

Mike Komisarek, on the other hand, played a shade over 14 minutes – his lowest ice time of the season. He and partner Andrei Markov were on for the first two Columbus goals.

Francis Bouillon got the second star, but I thought his partner was better. Josh Gorges played like he wanted to impress his general manager.

Alex Kovalev tried hard and had his moments, as did linemate Andrei Kostitsyn. But the emerging book (and it will become a league bestseller) on defencing Canadiens’ big line is pressure Tomas Plekanec, Pleks is looking very jittery; he’s having problems making quick decisions and accurate passes.

Despite his two penalties, Saku Koivu played another strong game. Sergei K. skated and worked hard, but Christopher Higgins is in a deep funk. Gotta believe the trade speculation is getting to him.

On CKAC last night, Martin Lemay said one of the healthy Canadiens scratches in the pressbox was bellowing "Get off the ice!" at Maxim Lapierre at the end of his late-game shift. Max dawdled long enough to be stripped of the puck by Manny Mulhotra, who calmly potted the third goal.

Mental errors – on the night Canadiens honoured a player who didn’t total 23 mistakes in his career.

I’m starting to think Gainey has to deal. The team played very small last night, and that’s not a good harbinger for the playoffs … if they make it that far.

You don’t think it’s become iffy?

Hey, one bad losing streak …

Canadiens need great goaltending to win. They’re not getting it from either Carey Price or Cristobal Huet.

They need a productive power play. Columbus kept everything to the outside and made the PP look predictable and ineffective. If the Blue Jackets could do that, what will happen when Canadiens play New Jersey?

I was as pumped as anyone by that magical, mystical, mythical comeback against the Rangers. Emotional and prone to the same excesses as my fellow Montréalais and Montréalaises, I called the Canadiens a team of destiny.

Five days later I’m asking: Destined for what?

We smell something in Montreal – and it isn’t the Cup. 

140 Comments

  1. New says:

    If you bring Price and Halek along any slower they will be drawing a pension before they see a puck.

  2. sadave says:

    KJ — I take your point about both ways proven to work. Some people believe one way, some the other, as you said. All I said, or meant, is let’s take Price, and Halak for that matter, along slowly. Making them 1-2 right now is an iffy proposition — IMO.

    In my post, I don’t think I acted “like spending years in the minors is the only way,” but it seems that Fleury and DiPietro have had significant time and experience in the minors compared to the NHL.

    Here is some info on the tenders you mentioned, from HockeyDB:

    Luongo, drafted #4 in 1997. No question, he learned in the NHL. He spent 35 games in the AHL. 483 in the NHL. Like Roy, he is an exception.

    Fleury. #1 overall in 2003. 165 games in the NHL (incl playoffs). 92 in the AHL.

    DiPietro. #1 in 2000. 266 games in the NHL. 134 in the AHL and IHL (14 games).

    Halak. #271 in 2003. 61 AHL games. 18 NHL games.

    Price. #5 in 2005. 36 AHL games (counting 22 in last year’s playoffs).

    I also did not say that Gainey doesn’t think Price belongs in the NHL. I support BG’s decisions. And I like Price, big time. And I think he can be a franchise player as do you.

  3. showey47 says:

    “As usual showey your one of the few posters with a brain.”, lmao thanks. I don’t claim to be any kind of a hockey expert, i’m just voicing my opinion.

  4. nightmare_49 says:

    That was a grave mistake and he will learn from it.

  5. sadave says:

    We might get Richards for Huet, Streit, a prospect AND a pick. But then we’d have to pay him $23.4M for the next 3 years. IMO, that’s too much.

    You spoke of Huet “blocking Halak & Price’s growth.” Not sure I agree with that. Goalies do not / cannot learn in the Bigs. They mature over a longer time, most of them (Roy is the exception to the rule!). I worry about Price getting burned out, like Ranford. Price needs to be brought along. I think he and Halak as a 1-2 tandem would be dangerous, in terms of confidence and development. Maybe Halak is more ready of the two; he’s put in his time, for sure.

    As much as I love Price, it seems he still has much to learn and practice — like moving across the net; not dropping to his knees so quickly; earlier this year, he was having trouble with shots high to the blocker side. He’s great with the puck and I love his passes, but he can mess up once in a while. I guess that says he’s human, eh?

    Let’s bring them along slowly, esp. Price.

  6. Will Longlade says:

    Nice post!

  7. Will Longlade says:

    I don’t think you can label Higgins a power forward. He is too small by normal standards. He’s a two-way forward.

  8. Les-Habitants says:

    He hustles, but he also holds onto the puck too long and his defensive zone turnover was a mistake that should not happen, especially to a player whose suppose to be playing a defensive role.

  9. nightmare_49 says:

    I couldn’t agree more and it’s a priority at a low cost , a big veteran stay at home “D” man. Sean Hill (D) wasn’t dressed today for the Wild.

  10. nightmare_49 says:

    IMO Laps was one of the few who put out a decent effort last night and a Halak start may shake things up and tighten up the team defensively which it needs.

  11. Bill says:

    And if I were any other GM in the NHL, I’d say, “No thanks, Jay”. 7.8 million bucks, for a 70 point forward, Jiminy Cricket.

    http://yearofthehab.blogspot.com

  12. ebk says:

    we actually have the horses now to compete. It would be a bad idea to say that Gainey should not try, as he is, to improve this team and see what happens this year. Bird in the hand kinda thing. Never know what next year holds.

    A thoroughbred and a couple of Clydesdales and this team will take a good run at the Senators and anyone else in the East.

    Nice to hear from you again, Ian

  13. RS says:

    If we trade Higgins, will that hurt our chances to sign Komi to a multi-year deal? I worry that it would.

  14. likehoy says:

    If I was Don Waddell, Jay Feaster, Darryl Sutter, Cliff Flecther and Jacques Martin and Paul Holmgren.

    I would be part of a 6 way trade, Jokinen to Calgary for Tanguay, Tanguay to the Laughs for Sundin, Sundin to the Lightning for Richards, Richards to Atlanta for Hossa, and finally Laffs trade for another goalie with the Flyers for Nittymaki.

    therefore it ends with
    Calgary: Jokinen
    Laffs: Nittymaki
    Lightning: Sundin
    Atlanta: Richards
    Florida: Hossa
    Flyers: Tanguay

    is that not what we all wanted?

  15. sadave says:

    If many of us here think that Huet is not so good, surely the GMs of other teams think it too. How, then, can we swap him for a “good shutdown center or a goal scorer”?

    Good thing we didn’t trade Kovalev last year when he had a sub-par year. Let’s hold off on parting with Higgins. Like the team as a whole, he is young and can be inconsistent. Agreed that it is tough to watch the ups and downs, but is giving up Higgins plus another player plus a prospect and/or a first round draft pick for a likely rental going to help, especially in the longer run? It might not help even in the short term (see Forsberg 2007).

    I, too, feel frustrated, esp. after last night (and other nights!), but an even keel is the best attitude to strive for, IMHO.

  16. Les-Habitants says:

    Ugh, bad game, but man, could we stop the bandwagon jumping everyone…and that means you too Mr. Boone.

    Haven’t won a game since the NY game…that was 2 games ago…calm down ppl.

    But, man, was I pissed that the Habs had one of their worst games in a while on Gainey’s night. Wow. That was terrible, terrible hockey on our part.

    I want to see Lapierre benched, moving Smokes and Begin to center. Lapierre, in recent games especially, hasn’t proved that he still deserves to be in the lineup. If he continues like this, he is giving Chip an open door to come back and claim a roster spot…and once Feb.26 hits, the 23 man limit will no longer be in effect.

    My last bone to pick has been with our goaltending. Both Price and Huet have been putting on games where they are amazing, followed by lackluster performances. What pisses me of quite a bit is how they’ve treated Halak, not even giving him one start this season. Who really thinks that he’ll be with the Habs next season? I hope so, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him be playing in the Russian Super League.

  17. tony d says:

    Hey Ian
    I guess I expect too much having grown up in Mtl and being around for numerous Stanley Cups and waving to the boys in the parade.
    Now that I’m older and in Ontario, I want my son (18) to experience what it feels like. (He’s also a huge Habs fan, it’s in the genes I guess)
    I guess we all have to be patient and let the team mature and develop
    have a good one

  18. N.B.habs fan says:

    I think you really have something there,It was such a boring game to watch.

  19. showey47 says:

    Exactly,and as much as people are dumping on price as of late and think huet is the answer to carry us in the playoffs. In the last 10 games in where price has made an appearance(including partial games with rangers and ottawa), the habs have only scored more than 2 goals for him twice. How many games has huet won where the team doesn’t score more than 2 goals? How many 3 goal leads has price blown? none. How many leads has price blown compared to huet? Not even a comparison. People also need the remember that the playoffs is a new season where a goalie needs to play between 16 to 28 consecutive games in order to win the cup. Huet play that many games in a row? Cup contenders don’t use a 2 goalie system in the playoffs. If people don’t think we are a cup contender then why not give the experience to either price or halak and cash in on huet before tuesday since he won’t be here next season anyway. Thats my opinion.

  20. RS says:

    Most of the trade talk (rumours) around the Habs has focused on the forwards. But I can’t help but think that Bob still has to see weakness among the D. I like O’Bryne as a prospect, but does he belong among the top 6 going into the playoffs? Gorges and Cube are playing well, but we still lack another top 4 defenceman beyond the currently struggling top 3. Personally I’d still love to see Rob Blake in a Habs uniform, but apparently he doesn’t want to leave LA.

  21. JB says:

    LOL – Time for everyone to relax again. Habs just need to get their heads out the clouds a little and concentrate on their own end. All this talk of number 1 in the east and trade rumours have this young team a little off their game.

    Also think a west team that’s not in the playoffs, we have no history with, and plays a trap – was pure boredom for the team. I know it put me to sleep

  22. Sehs says:

    I think management needs to pick a goalie and stick with him barring any major slumps. A bad game or two we’ll have to live with, but this alternating towards the end of the season isn’t going to help. Someone needs to get the nod and stick with it and build some confidence.

  23. likehoy says:

    it’s interesting to see how Gainey has drafted and built his team…

    He started with chippers, Price..then 20 dmen…he definitely built from the backline…is he planning to come up with a gung-ho style where our forwards run wild while our dmen are so solid it doesn’t make a difference?? reminds me of anaheim.

  24. Ian G Cobb says:

    toni d–Response to your post an hour or more ago.

    The question of hot and cold. We are one of the younger teams in the league. I don’t know how old you are, but just think of this. When you were 20,21, or even 23, where were you just starting out for yourself in whatever field of life.

    All any of us wanted was to be good at what we did and be appreciated. But what inner fear we all had. We had days that we said, what am I doing here, I’m quiting, or there must be an easier way. Some of us fell off the train, some of us settled for mediocrity, some of us kept focused on the top of the barrel and just kept climbing. No matter what one chooses to do in life, It’s a struggle.

    Now to be in one of the most demanding hockey market in the world where you must be at the top of your game each and every time out, and the speed in which this game is played at this level. Picture yourself as a 20 or 22 year old on the Bell Center ice with nowhere to hide and expected to perform flawlessly. We are a very young club and we are improving every month. Just a few years of seasoning for all the scared to death kids here will be worth the wait.

  25. N.B.habs fan says:

    Hi Tony ,thanks for understanding .I like your post and I do read yours all the time because you say it like it is.I am not to good at typing and it takes me a long time to write someting and I try to keep it short.In the future I will try to explain my self better.I do belive Bob will do someting soon,but the waiting is driving me nuts.LOL

  26. mjames says:

    Mistakes are made when emotion enters into the equation. From reading the various posts we appear to have a lot of emotion. I am hoping Gainey maintains his usual measured approach to improving this team. If he feels he can improve the team without sacrificing core assets then he moves. If not then we go with what we have. If the latter is the case then I might consider playing Chips, Grabs, Locke and Havlak in some fashion.

    This team has some assets. Look at Cincy we have some players there and they are doing well. I saw Pacioretty , McDonough and Fisher play last night. Recognizing that we are watching college hockey both Pacioertty and McDonough seem to have the talent to play in the NHL. McDonough is a difference maker, plays with confidence and leads – not afraid to make a mistake. Fisher is huge. He is passive and seems to lack confidence. He was okay but he plays very conservatively. This guy will be a steady player. He needs confidence.

    The Habs are not as good as they looks when they win and not as bad as when they lose.

    mjames

  27. RS says:

    At some point Beauregard will end up in Hamilton.

    Yep, Ryder did his time in the ECHL. Don’t forget Halak played in the ECHL too.

  28. howtathor says:

    Speaking of young captains, I’ve heard rumour of Chipchura’s name destined for Toronto in a potential deal for Sundin.

  29. howtathor says:

    I remember last year when Lapierre had the job of getting under Sid the Kid’s skin and getting him off his game and he did a pretty good job of it. He hasn’t done that this season. I think he should be more attentive to the other team’s star players. Maybe it was just that he and Sid had a history going back to junior.

  30. howtathor says:

    I’ve always believed in Beauregard. How can you pot 71 goals in the Q and not have a nose for the net. He wasn’t even drafted! Sometimes size and skating aren’t the only measure of a players abilities. I only hope he will get his chance in Hamilton and eventually in Montreal. We all know what happened with the last ECHL hopeful to make the big team…85 goals in three seasons!

  31. tony d says:

    all this talk of Ribeiro, PLEASE!!! leave it alone, it’s history
    he would never put up those numbers if he was still here… he became lazy and was more in love with how he looked as a Hab than playing for the team. He’s one of those guys that checks himself out in the reflection of the glass as he skates around… Latendresse does the same thing…. loves wearing the jersey (maybe it helps to pick up chicks in bars after games, who knows)… but when it comes to effort, it’s not there
    I’m happy Ribeiro is doing well in dallas…good luck to him…I don’t think he’s doing it to spite the Habs…I just think he’s having a good year… let bygones be bygones and move forward

  32. Ian G Cobb says:

    Thank you, but just one thing, you don’t always agree with me,! I find that hard to believe. Hell, I hardly agree with me half the time. Have a great day. –Ian

  33. tony d says:

    i agree with you 100%
    something needs to be done…I truly believe Bob will do what’s right for the team’s future
    It might mean giving up players that we like but hey, whatever it takes huh?
    Go Habs Go

  34. 24 Cups says:

    Uwey – I’ve read somewhere about the philosophy that most players (outside of the Ovechkins and Malkins) need four years to really develop and make an impact. Komi, Pleks, and even Andrei K have needed time both in the minors and on the big team to gain that valuable experience. Even though Higgins can disappoint (like last night), there still is that feeling that he may break through. I contrast his development with that of Lats who never seemed to have to pay his dues and follow the natural progression up the Habs experience ladder. His learning curve is one that is based on trial by fire. It will be interesting to see where he is after four years. The beauty is that all three of our left wingers could break through and be a tower of strength for us for years to come.

    The Original 24 Cups

  35. Richard says:

    DAMMIT, BOB! PLEASE TRADE ALREADY!!!

    I have to study but keep feeling compelled to check all the hockey web sites every 4 minutes. This is very distracting.

  36. Ian G Cobb says:

    Mike L- Being on your knees praying won’t help. A classy guy like Gainey would never dump his young captains like some of the fools we had in management here in years gone by.

  37. RS says:

    You’re right, you have to give the guy some credit for what he’s doing this year. The jury is still awaiting his playoff performance before passing judgement.

  38. Proudones says:

    Ian, I don’t always agree with everything you say but I must tell you that I do love your attitude.
    We need more of the-glass-is-half-full kind of fans like you.
    My hat is off to you.

  39. wild flower says:

    Basically, I agree with both of you. But I have to admit the guy is making a mockery of us the best way possible..with his stick.

  40. RS says:

    But would Ribeiro have put up these numbers in Montreal? I don’t think so. It took the trade to shake the guy up, smarten him up and make him grow up.

    There was never any question about his talent.

  41. Richard says:

    Ribeiro needed to mature and couldn’t do it in Montreal. Now he’s matured and he’s great. It wouldn’t have happened here. He had to go for us and for him.

    The other players we bring in will be okay because they don’t have the specific problem that made hockey difficult in Montreal for Ribeiro.

    Also, no star will ever get the same numbers here as elsewhere because we divide the load. No star player will be on the ice for 30 minutes a game here like they may be pushed to do on a team with one working line.

    Oh, and FYI, Ribeiro is Portugese-Canadian.

  42. Ian G Cobb says:

    BINGO UWEY or should it be uwit now?. anyway I agree with you.

  43. N.B.habs fan says:

    Hi tony,I am not trying to scold anyone,mabe I should have expained it better that there is alot we need,but they are a young team and if we dont do someting soon we are going to be in trouble.

  44. tony d says:

    you’re the voice of reason Ian
    I think we all know the team’s headed in the right direction under Bob’s gifted hand…
    I guess it’s just frustrating to see so much inconsistency from game to game… some days they play hard for a full 60 …then back to weak starts with a little spark in the final minutes of a game…(too little too late)
    we go hot and cold from game to game…. is it distracted youth? are some more enamored with the illusion of wearing the habs jersey than actually being a hard core, true grit Blue Blanc et Rouge?
    It’s mind baffling but I guess it gives us something to talk about huh?
    Hopefully after Tues, we can get back to the task at hand…. I don’t really care about standings and fighting for 1st spot…. I just want to see a 100% effort every game, where win or lose, we can say they gave it their all…. I want passion and determination…. a little fire in their eyes… they’ve shown glimpses of it before, so I know they can do it again

  45. MikeL says:

    Every player has career years at some point and overachieves. The difference between a Richards/Hossa and Ribeiro is that they offer much more than Riberio. They are good two way players. I’d be very surprised if Ribeiro repeats this production next season. That being said, I don’t agree with how he was run out of town.

  46. 24 Cups says:

    WF – Ribs is now officially in the top ten scorers for the NHL. Ouch indeed. But we have all been through that before on this site and it’s time to move on. Lamenting names like Ribeiro, Hainsey, Getzlaf etc. is just counter productive to where we are headed as a franchise.

    The lesson to be learned from the Ribeiro trade is to make sure we don’t make the same mistake with Grabovski. This guy might be ready to hit his stride in a similar manner. I think we should give him another try next fall. Grabovski might look great on a kid line with Sergei and Lats next year. Perfect third line. Then Lapierre could move to right wing and play with guys like Chipchura and Begin. Who knows, if Grabovski becomes an offensive machine then even Koivu could be moved to the wing. Lots of other centres have done that as they get older.

    Anyway, my main point is let’s hold onto Grabs for one more year so he doesn’t turn into another Ribeiro.

    The Original 24 Cups

  47. RS says:

    How about those Cincinnati Cyclones? The Habs’ (and Predators’) ECHL affiliate won their league record 15th game in a row last night. They’ve won 40 of 51 games.

    David Desharnais set a record with an assist in his 18th straight game. Thomas Beauregard is hot and Olivier Latendresse has been putting up points too.

  48. Richard says:

    Maybe they’re waiting to finalize their new roster?

  49. wild flower says:

    All of this talk about trading for a top six goal scorer. More and more, I thinking we had him but we gave him away:

    C Evgeni Malkin PIT 62 35 47 82 11 13 0 3 0 58 209 16.7
    LW Alexander Ovechkin WAS 62 48 33 81 8 17 0 8 2 24 336 14.3
    C Vincent Lecavalier TAM 62 32 46 78 3 8 1 6 0 65 244 13.1
    RW Daniel Alfredsson OTT 55 35 40 75 18 9 6 5 1 24 186 18.8
    RW Jarome Iginla CAL 62 38 36 74 23 12 0 8 2 57 255 14.9
    C Jason Spezza OTT 56 24 50 74 25 5 0 4 0 32 156 15.4
    C Pavel Datsyuk DET 64 22 51 73 32 9 0 5 0 14 211 10.4
    LW Henrik Zetterberg DET 57 35 38 73 24 12 1 4 0 32 279 12.5
    C Mike Ribeiro DAL 63 26 45 71 19 7 0 5 1 26 91 28.6

    I know you will all say he won’t amount to much in the current Montreal environment. I don’t buy it because how is that going to be any diffent for any player from Hossa to Richards. I think with out the previous history, if we were talking about trading for Hossa or Ribeiro, given the currnet stats, most of you would say we should trade for the French Canadien Ribeiro. Maybe we should be more careful before we run the next guy out of town.

  50. MikeL says:

    I don’t agree. Although maybe Hossa plays the “euro” game, Jokinen does not. Jokinen plays the “Canadian” style of game. But in all honesty, he actually plays the Finnish type of game. I have absolutely no problem with Finnish players. They are hard nosed and are good two way players.

  51. Uwey says:

    I have been reading on many sites now that the habs fans are more than willing to move Chris Higgins out of Montreal!!

    I’m not sure why, because IMO, it would be an even worse move than that of trading John LeCalir from the Habs.

    Plus here we have a guy who bleeds, pisses & breathes everything Canadien. IMO, we are looking at another case of moving a guy who wants to dedicate his career to this organization. To see the mirror imagine of such a man, look no futher than behind the bench. The guy who #11 in ’93 almost reitred from game when he was traded from Montreal to the Island because he wanted to the rest of his NHL in a Habs uniform.

    Higgins is only three seasons into his NHL career & already wears the A very proudly on his #21 jersey, yet the expectations are once again exceding a young ability before his has truly matured as an NHL player.

    Gainey has compared this kid to Jere Lethenin, the most complete player he says he had in Dallas.

    Lets cool our jets a bit gang, what this team is doing I believe even far excedes any expectations that any of us had going into this season. maybe we should sit back & relish the fact that this kids inproved as much as they did & see this for what it really is, the next chapter in the story that Gainey & co. is writing for this organization, city & fans. IMO, we are not at the final chapter yet, but it does seem that the climax of this story maybe not too many more chapters away!!!

  52. Samantha says:

    I never understood what the big deal about Lapierre was. Some people say he’s a pest, a pain in the ass….really? Avery is a pest, Neil is a pest, Lapierre is NOT. To me, a pest is someone who will piss off the opposing team and then piss them off even more by scoring on them. The only person Laps pisses off is me. Send him down and Price along with him.
    ———————————————————–
    HALAK should be our number 1 goaltender!

  53. RS says:

    Jo Jo in the House! Actually, because they are both decent, not great, NHL goalies. Their main problem is inconsistency, but neither is consistently bad! We can’t afford to give up our one veteran goalie.

  54. Ian G Cobb says:

    We have the ponies to get us there ebk, we just have to be patient until they grow into horses.

    Takes some time to gain experience like a Foote And a Peca.

  55. wild flower says:

    Mike Ribeiro had two goals and two assists and the Dallas Stars beat the Nashville Predators 6-3 on Saturday night (Gainey night – ouch!).

  56. tony d says:

    not sure what you’re trying to say N.B.
    are you scolding us for being too critical?
    do you see something that we’re missing?
    I’ve always said I’m a huge Habs fan and I will give praise where praise is due but I won’t hold back when i see a poor effort.
    i call a spade a spade, like many of us on this blog and i don’t sugar coat my comments
    we all support the team but are frustrated by their effort of late and the pattern they seem to fall into

  57. RS says:

    If I was Don Waddell, I would keep Hossa and try again to sign him in the summer.

    If I was Cliff Fletcher, I would keep Sundin.

    If I was Darryl Sutter, I would keep Tanguay.

    However, if I was Jay Feaster, I would try to trade Brad Richards and his big contract.

  58. MikeL says:

    Gainey has said he is waiting for responses from 3 different teams. If I was a betting man, I’d say Chris Higgins is the centerpiece to at least one of the offers. I would be extremely happy if we could land and sign one of the big fish, giving up Higgins, draft picks and one prospect. I dream of Jokinen in a Habs uni.

  59. port elgin says:

    Okay, it’s 10 43 am and I’ve finally stopped puking after last nights game. Do ya think somebody could be a little inspired on B.G night? I guess not. But you know what, most of our “euro” players don’t even remember seeing Bob play.Probably never even seen a highlight. If it wasn’t for the fact that he signs their paycheques they wouldn’t even know who he is. Growing up do you think they ever heard his name, doubt it. This is what I say……we need a trade (obviously) but not for another “euro”. The teams that go all the way have as a core of their team “canadians”! That’s just the way it is and will always be. So trade for Jokinen…no! Hossa …bigger no! All these supposed impact euro player only impact one thing….your salary cap.

  60. Xtrahabsfan says:

    How do you know that for sure ,got JO JO IN YOUR HOUSE. EITHER TRADE HUET OR SEND HIM TO THDE POUND!!!

  61. Ian G Cobb says:

    24 your right, sad that the CBC English group and the 3rd world of hockey area of T.O. control this hockey market across Canada.

  62. RS says:

    Halak is not the answer. You don’t go to your third string guy just because of a few bad games. What do want? Price back down to Hamilton? Huet traded? Neither option is a good one. One of our top two will get going again soon.

  63. frank81 says:

    From TSN: “The team has a day off and will practice on Monday.”

    I don’t get it.

  64. 24 Cups says:

    I don’t like to point fingers at one individual player but Higgins was no great shakes last night. No points, no hits and hardly any shots on goal. Power forwards are supposed to create havoc around the net but that doesn’t seem to happen on a consistent basis with Higgins. He’s playing OK but not up to the standard that you might expect for a guy who is in his third year and is wearing the “A”. They say a guy usually breaks through in his fourth year so there’s still hope.

    Speaking of hope, even though we have lost our past two games at home we are still 8 points up on Philly and Islanders for the final playoff spot. Except for Boston, all of our playoff rivals lost last night so there is some good news in that regard. Philly plays Buffalo on Monday which should be a great game to watch. Of course if Hossa is traded to Montreal then the Tuesday night game should be off the scale.

    Great time of the year to be a hockey fan.

    The Original 24 Cups

  65. ebk says:

    The million dollar question is, was the last two games just the growing pains of a young talented team or was it an indication that the Habs were playing over their heads and are going to have to battle tooth and nail just to make the playoffs? Stay tuned folks, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel, because I don’t have the answer

    The Goaltending needs to be better. Each is letting in to many soft goals. Price started horribly again last night, as he did against the Rangers. Huet has not played a good game since they recalled Price. Is Halak the answer?

    The team’s defense was also horrible again to start the game. It has been my opinion that the Goaltending has made the defense look better than it is. The last two nights, The Goaltending may be making the defense look worse than it is. No question both the goalies and the defenseman need to play better than they have lately, otherwise it is time to polish up the golf clubs, because either a playoff miss or an early playoff departure is in the offing.

    Get Adam Foote off of the Blue Jackets and Michael Peca and I think the Habs will be competitive. Get those two and an impact player as Bob Gainey wants and this team will be tough to beat. Foote was outstanding last night. A Foote/Hamrlik pairing would be a nice compliment to the Markov/Komisarek duo.

    Also, the forwards were not so great last night either!

    Team falls to 18-6-4 without Breezer and sits roughly 18 points away from a playoff spot.

  66. Ian G Cobb says:

    Good morning all, Was that an entrance or was that an entrance for a very humble and classy fellow. We are so fortunate to have him in town rebuilding our organization that had been run right into the ground for decades.

    He and 3 other former captains behind the bench who had the opportunity to play here when true quality hockey men ran this franchise, have now brought back to our club a program of development and a deep understanding about what it takes to have a long term winning philosophy .

    Gainey has been GM 3 short years, and just look how much we have progressed. Starting with the kids in both junior and collage and then to the pro ranks. Each step built with a view towards a solid foundation for the big club.

    We are now seeing some of the fruits of this labor. Young talent is filtering up to the Canadiens one player at a time. And once they get there they find out that they still need time and experience to be able to handle playing at this elite level.

    We as fans want to be at the top now, it has been a very long time since we have enjoyed a parade. Many of us want the club to buy a player or two to put us over the top. That is a pitfall that many loosing teams have fallen into. We need to be patient and enjoy the way this team is headed.

    Instead of jumping up and down with each win or loss, we watch this team and individual players improve with each shift and after each blunder, we will most certainly apreciate better the long and hard road to the cup that
    I know will be where it rightfully belongs soon.

    The day I heard of Bob coming back, that was the day I knew quality of product would be returning to the worlds most famous franchise. The years of trying to make gold out of copper are over.

  67. N.B.habs fan says:

    THIS WHAT I GET FROM THE FANS IN HERE…..

  68. 24 Cups says:

    I’m still a little peeved that the Montreal game was not the main game broadcast by the CBC. I thought that it would be a logical choice and certainly there was plenty of advance knowledge to do so. I’m not saying this because of how I feel about Gainey or that I’m a Habs fan. If it was a player from another Canadian team then the same treatment should apply – even if that means there is no Habs game broadcast that night. I understand the concept of regional coverage but we only retire a player’s number once in a blue moon. I always thought it was the mandate of the CBC to spotlight and recognize the people and events of all of Canada. When it comes to hockey, it still seems that Toronto is at the centre of the Canadian universe.

    The Original 24 Cups

  69. Will Longlade says:

    Have to agree with most of your sentiments Mike. Even though the Monte Carlo simulation posted on one of the threads on Friday showed that the Habs were a lock to make the playoffs, there’s no gimmes at this time of the season and the team can ill afford to have it’s best players playing sub-par hockey.

    I’m not convinced the Habs will make a big splash at the trade deadline. It’s looking more and more like Halak may be called upon to backstop the team’s efforts. The outcome of the next few games will probably determine this.

  70. sadave says:

    I think we agree more than disagree . . . BTW, I did write “cannot” learn. Poor choice of word there. Just don’t want our young goalies to get burned out.

  71. obrien says:

    If we can’t sign Huet (which is very likely), halak will play around 25-30 games minimum in the NHL.

    I don’t think he is going anywhere.

  72. Will Longlade says:

    I think this is precisely what the doctor ordered. Carbo knows what he’s doing and makes good decisions most of the time.

  73. 24 Cups says:

    Timo – The answer to your question in your first paragraph would probably be no. (I assume you are only talking about centres) Our best two centres are Grabovski (5’11”), who is your typical small, creative, crafty type player. He still has the potential to be an offensive dynamo. The other centre is Chipchura (6’2″) who has good potential but more as a two way type of guy on a third line. Don’t really see him being a major scoring threat. We also have Locke (5’9″) but I really don’t think he will be getting much of a shot with the Habs. Our best kid outside of Hamilton is probably Ben Maxwell(6’1″) who is in the WHL. He’s a decent prospect.

    The Original 24 Cups

  74. N.B.habs fan says:

    What do you guys think that other teams are not going to score on are goaldies,when the defence are weak .
    We have to score on the PP.
    We have to go to the net to score.
    We do not have a #1 goaldie.
    We do not have a #1coach.
    We need a giant foward that can score,fight,lead the team and speak french.

    Other than that we have a great team.


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