About last night …

How would you like your orange juice this fine morning?

The glass is half-full because:

• Carey Price is everything he’s cracked up to be. What a stud … Cool Hand Carey.

• Alex Kovalev scored his 12th goal in the Canadiens’ 24th game – a mark he reached in their 48th game last season.

• The Captain played his heart out. 

• Kyle Chipchura gets better every game. What an intelligent hockey player!

• Guillaume Latendresse looked at home on the first line, where his job is simplified – bang the boards, lean on  defencemen, create traffic in front of the net – and therefore do-able.

• The Canadiens were 31-30 on faceoffs, incuding some very key wins by Bryan Smolinski down the stretch.

• Andrei Markov is earning every nickel of his salary. The pass that set up Kovalev’s first goal was perfect … a typical Markovian tape-to-tape laser. (Why aren’t his shots on goal that accurate?)

• Andrei Kostitsyn skated all night and his shootout goal was a honey. 

• The PK killed four shorthanded situations. 

The glass is half-empty because: 

• The Canadiens gave up 46 shots to a slow, demoralized crap team with one of the worst defence corps in the league.

• It  was the fourth consecutive game in which the Canadiens surrendered 30 or more shots.

• 5-on-5 still sucks. The team is minus-35 to date.

• Andrei Markov, Canadiens’ best and most valuable player, is minus-6 on the season.

• Mark Streit is playing like he yearns to taste pressbox hot dogs.

• Michael Ryder worked hard but still can’t buy a goal.

• That sucker should have been wrapped up and deposited in the ATM long before Mats F. Sundin scored the tying goal that we all knew was coming.

• Christopher Higgins and Tomas Plekanec have had better games.

• Until he finished strong, Roman Hamrlik was playing like Sheldon Souray on a bad night. 

OK, enough negativity.

It’s a female pig, an SOW, and two points in the bank.

On to beautiful Newark …. where Martin F. Brodeur awaits. 

 

41 Comments

  1. likehoy says:

    you know who eats up the laffs?

    Andrei Kostitsyn

    3 out of his 5 career goals are against the laffs, and he scored in the shootout last night.

    If there’s one team that Kostitsyn plays well against, I’m glad it’s the laffs.

  2. Morenz7 says:

    Sundin gets a lot of credit for eating the Habs alive, and no argument here. I’ll throw a party when those sad sacks trade Mats.

    Still, no one seems to notice that Kovalev, the Enigma, has a bit of a thing for the Leafs. He really gets up for those games, which are so important to the Habs faithful. And since so few of his teammates seem to do the same, it wins him a lot of credit in my books. Anyone got Kovy’s stats against the Leafs since he came to Mtl? I’m guessing he’s good for at least a point a game…

  3. TommyB says:

    Hey Mike, at least there is some juice in the glass!

    Sitting here this morning….29 pts. in 24 games, second (point-wise) in the East Conference standings, on a day following a win over the Leafs. Actually, the second win over the Leafs in as many tries. I feel pretty good!

    Sure there are some areas of the Habs play that need to be corrected. The same can be said for any team.

    I wonder…..should this team start playing better hockey and continue to improve….where might we be then?

    Glass is half-full, and rising.

  4. likehoy says:

    you shouldn’t hold grudges, it’ll make your hair fall out.

  5. J.T. says:

    Well, then, I guess it’s lucky for Lafleur that he had his #10 retired *before* he started taking shots at the organization at every opportunity. Or, maybe we should petition to have it taken down from the rafters?

    Roy didn’t quit on his team…his team quit on him. Both in that terrible, humiliating game on the ice, and behind the scenes…where I believe they had him traded in their plans long before he left town. He was the best thing to happen to the Canadiens since 1979, and if not for him, we’d be heading into the team’s centennial saying we haven’t won a Cup in thirty years.

  6. likehoy says:

    I agree with your stab at the defensive side of our team.

    Too many people say scoring is our problem, but it’s not…we just have balanced scoring and goals coming from all our “fourth” lines. Last years stats tell the same idea, that our defensive game is on the average side.

    Although, it’s not our defenceman who are having problems in our own end, bouillon markov komi hamr have all been solid in their own ends (if not great), it’s the forwards who have trouble on the back-check and are lost in our own zone. I think what contributes to this is how carbo likes to have his wingers sit deep inside their own zone almost inside the faceoff circles, I would like it more if they pressure the point-men more and cheat a bit cutting off their distribution while we try to go muscle for muscle deep in the d-zone. If we happen to catch an errant pass, our team is more than fast enough to burn the opposition and it will up our even strength offense just by cheating a bit more. It will make it tough for the opposing team to pinch on us while we’re pinching on them. Fighting fire with fire.

  7. ClaytonM says:

    What did Mario used to have them practice? Shoot-Ins? I think that’s what it was, and all the players used to laugh at him behind his back

    I guess he’s why no one’s asking tie dummy to coach the laffs :)

  8. ebk says:

    Ian
    a couple of excellent posts today. Stop it your making the rest of us look bad. :)

  9. The Ian Cobb says:

    I was at that game and i was proud of him. Trembly was and still is a fool and could not coach a pee wee team (especialy a pee wee team) I also remember the way he put Brashere off the ice during a practise,Roy did the right thing. I was embarressed to be a hab fan with that jackass behind the bench. Every player on the team hated working for him and the GM also. It was all about ego with management and coaches in those years. Roy was one of the greats for us and we lost him because our club was being run by morons, including the owners of the day!

  10. habfan53 says:

    Hi Mike

    I was at the game last night and agree with the half and half.
    One thing we have to remember though is that at the beginning of the year MOST experts picked us for 13th to 15th in the conference. Here we are almost a third into the season and we sit 4th. There is still a long ways to go but on most nights I like we I see.

    Off topic

    I will probably get a LOT of negative on this and I know it has been debated before but I would really like to get a petition going to stop the 100 year committee from retiring #33 next year.

    I AGREE that Montreal won the 2 cups because of him.
    I AGREE that he is one of the top 5 goalies all-time.
    I AGREE that he made our team better than it was.
    I AGREE that Tremblay embarressed him by leaving him in.

    BUT

    I DON’T agree with embarressing your coach, owner,
    organization and TEAMATES.
    I DON’T agree with taking a shot at the organization at
    every opportunity.

    AND then have that organization honor you by retiring your number

    I am hoping that if enough of us let the committee know BEFORE they announce next years honorees they will change their mind

  11. LesHabsSontLa says:

    It had it’s moments, but I found last nights’ game difficult to watch in stretches, especially during the first period.

    And yes, I too called for the tying goal in the last 30 seconds. But that could have been avoided had Koivu at LEAST shot at the empty net. What do you lose? If you miss and get called for icing, you stop the flow, get a chance to set up for a defensive zone face off (which given the turn of the tide in that department during the later stages of the game, Smolinski actually had a shot at winning or tying up the circle and wasting some time). Or he scores. Either would have been preferable to a neutral zone dump into an oncoming rush. Ouch.

    Price has been excellent. That kid has a bright future. Komisarek continues to sacrifice the body and Latendresse looked impressive on the top line.

    I still think they should have Dandenault and Streit swap positions though. We could use the size on the line, and Streit…well, maybe he just needs those hot dogs.

  12. Erik says:

    For the people who might say stuff about the schedule I like playing the divisional rivals and quite frankly eight games against the maple leafs or bruins or sens can work.
    How many times will we hear Edmonton or Calgary whining I Hate those teams.

  13. The Ian Cobb says:

    A lot of people are complaining that we need more goals or trade someone and bring in a power forward. But i,m here to tell you that is not at all what is holding us back. The stats don,t lie, we are giving up to many goals and its not the goaltending that is the problem. It is our defence that is not up to snuff. They are not strong enough in our own end. They play too soft and cannot compete for the puck effectivly with to many give aways coming out of our end. I don’t know who is on the farm that might be better. If we do not come up with better defence that can take a man out of the play without taking a penalty,and compete with more strength we are doomed for mediocrity.

    Thus sayest The Ian!!

  14. The Ian Cobb says:

    Team stats, in order of importance for any championship club.

    1st is goals against-habs have 65, and are very poorly placed at 15th in a 30 team league.

    2nd is total points–habs have 29 tied for 4th with carolina, behind detroit, ottawa and dallas.

    3rd are goals for—-habs have 73 tied with the flyers behind detroit and carolina

  15. NLhabsfan says:

    toronto ALWAYS play its toughest game against Montreal.Comes from 40+ year of emptiness and hate for us;)

  16. lcpservices says:

    Greetings Mr Boone,

    I like my glass half full.

    If Kovalev keeps scoring right through this season and the playoffs and Mr Price keeps making those saves, we can potentially do some damage in the playoffs.

    But then again, its a long season, slumps will come, and we need all 20+ players to pitch in and work as a team.

    “No single person can win a prize championship all by himself”

    —————————————-
    Books, Softwares, Downloads, Information
    http://tinyurl.com/2zul8m

  17. J.T. says:

    ‘Tis the season. Carey Pricemas, everyone!

  18. Will Longlade says:

    I am v. happy with the result of last night’s entertaining game.

    Mike, you forgot to mention that Smokes arguably played his best game of the year last night. He played with an edge. Streit looked pretty brutal on the Tucker goal. He is really forcing Carbo’s hand to move him to forward. I would still like to see OB get a call up from the Bulldogs or Gorges see more action. OB could be ex. effective against a team w/large forwards like TO. Gorges is a much better player than most are giving him credit for. He needs more quality ice time.

    The Habs will do ok and they are playing more entertaining hockey than last year. H/e,the team remains a bit of a work in process. To do more with what they have, some key players have to show up on a more consistent basis. If Kovy is up to it (and we all know how inconsistent his game can be), the other members of the team should be able to rise to the challenge.

  19. Frank14 says:

    Oh, and BTW [ off-topic ] you never REALLY retire from
    this job. You have a little more insight than 3-4 year
    guys ! That’s all… Posters, let’s get ready for the
    Preds.

    Salute

  20. Frank14 says:

    To put things in perspective for those who still dare
    criticize T.P.I.R….. What were you doing at 20 ? I
    look at the guy’s every move: Unbelievable ! He’s 3
    seconds faster [ in his mind ] than anything that’s
    coming at him. Jason Blake seemed to know [!] he didn’t
    have a chance in hell to score on “The Price is Right”
    last nite. He’s a straight-talker [J.B.], ask him ! He’s
    a very good hockey player but he didn’t have a clue on
    how to approach TPIR in the SO.

    Let’s face it, if Cristo keeps up his part of the deal’
    we have no worries in net for the next 5-7 years ! Build
    around that BG ! And, Lordie, Lordie we need a TTOOUUGGHH
    guy.I have no reproaches vs Kosto but he’s a middleweight
    at best. BG, focus on Danny Carcillo of the Coyotes. Deal
    with the Great One. He’s got 4G and 6A, he’s on the +
    side ,and the last time I looked he had 109 PIM’s. He could certainly help us. 4th line > Begin, Lapierre and Carcillo.
    That would be an eye-opener for any opposing team !!!

    Smolinsky is starting to show his age, Jorges is a very
    smooth skater who definitely HEARS FOOTSTEPS every time
    he heads for the corner ! Sounds like a good trade to me !

    I’m sure the 2 guys with the most savvy in the NHL,
    BG and The Great One [sounds like a new 6-episode show
    on FOX ! ] can hash something out.

    No boast, BUT I’ve been yakking about TPIR for 3 1/2 yrs
    now. In the beginning, when he was in Junior, everybody
    thought I was crazy [ yeah! crazy like a fox ]. Go after
    Carcillo. It’s worth one hell of a good try. Well gotta
    go try and catch some psycopaths. It’s a job !!!

    Salute

  21. likehoy says:

    while mike says that we’ve lost against a demoralized and struggling leafs team.

    on the leafs side

    they’re probably saying they lost to a struggling (2 losses in a row) and weak offensively montreal canadiens, and now they’re panic mode cause they can’t beat our crappy team.

    only reason we haven’t won the cup in the last 14 years is cause we were letting the other teams polish it nice and shiny for us when we win it again cause it wasn’t shiny enough back in ’93 :).

  22. ClaytonM says:

    Time to string a few wins together and distance ourselves from the pack. Now would be a great time to start firing on all cylinders (Pleks, Streit, Ryder, Lats, Smolinski) with upcoming games against some tough competition – Brodeur, Detroit, Carolina, Lecavalier, and a 6 game road trip over the holidays. Here’s hoping the Ghost of Jimmy Hoffa was left at the old building. A win against Brodeur would get another monkey off our backs, and they seem to have decided to play hockey now with 4 wins in a row.

  23. saskhab says:

    Not to heap it on Markov, but Kilger was his man on that play… he got beat and essentially it was a mini 2-on-1 that Komi didn’t realize had unfolded. Andrei’s devensive game, particularily his reads/anticipation of the play, has regressed for sure this year.

    If he could combine this year’s offensive game with the past 2 years’ defensive game he’d be only a shade behind Lidstrom for the Norris. And that’s no exaggeration.

  24. moser17 says:

    CHC = Club de Hockey Canadien
    CHC = Cool Hand Carey

    No equivocation here.

  25. fun police says:

    nice road win, take them any way we can get them. there is NO way huet wins that game last night. he plays terrible against the leafs. I am a Price fan. why hold off the inevitable.

  26. Seaninvan says:

    I was at the game at the ACC on Tuesday. Great to see all the Habs jerseys!

    As poor as Streit may have played, I thought Brisebois stood out for his poor play.

    Price makes goaltending look soooo easy.

  27. howtathor says:

    Just Patrick bieng Patrick as they say….Le Guerrier you know! I think he should wait a bit to be retired though.
    What about Lapointe or Lemaire or Shutty or even Carbo for that matter. When can we start to retire coaches?
    Toe Blake, Dick Irvin sr, William Scott Bowman. In the former case we could hang a fedora from the rafters…just kidding but a photo and a name would suffice. Seriously, the Habs do this better than anyone else and there would have been no cups in 86 and 93 if it weren’t for the sainted one. So what the heyyy….33 up she goes!

  28. ajpursell says:

    I figured the Leafs would get the tying goal at about 5 minutes out, and went to wash dishes because I couldn’t bear to watch it happen yet again.

    Price on the shoot-outs as well was just fantastic, if he was given some consistent defense during the regulation, he’d look even better.

  29. notbigbird says:

    Mike, you call the Leafs slow, and I won’t argue, but I have these recurring visions of Sundin & Co. cavorting around our defensive zone with gleeful and reckless abandon. Our boys looked like the slow team to me.

  30. Cdnman1 says:

    Ryder worked hard? Not from where I was watching! I thought he was terrible! As soon as he has the puck I can feel myself starting to brace for the give away.

    Actually I guess my glass is half empty because outside of the PP and Price, there is not much to be happy about. Montreal has a lot of trouble with bigger physical teams.

    I am glad we managed to beat the Leafs. Ugly win or not!

  31. Bill says:

    Well, I’d be pretty pleased to have the Habs face the Sens in the second round! It’s going to be a tight run to a playoff spot, after all, so I’d be pleased just to see the Habs make the second round against anyone. I don’t usually offer predictions, but I will predict that the Habs will gradually even out their series against the Sens this year. They are looking more and more mortal, and their goaltending can’t compete with ours.

  32. P St. Pierre says:

    Mike, as always your post game comments are appreciated. I agree with all of them, particularly about Latendresse playing so well on the first line. It was a treat to see him up there last night. I think if the Canadiens would have blown the Leafs out 6-2, we would all agree they might be over their bad stretch, because they always struggle against them. However, since they did not, I can simply hope that Montreal is improving and that last night’s step was a step in the right direction.

    Carey Price is awesome. Both goalies have played very well this year and I think that Price has actually been the more dominant goaltender. However, he’s not facing teams as often so he may not be so dominant with a heavier workload. However, if you look at both of his losses and his shootout loss, none of them have been his fault in the least. One against Ottawa, one against Buffalo and the shootout one to the Thrashers. I’m not calling for Huet to be removed from his starting role, I’m simply saying as fans, we are lucky to have Carey Price for the future.

    Finally, Alex Kovalev has been simply insane this season (in a good way). I thought at the beginning of the year that he would simply go on being the butt of many jokes because of his work ethic and lack of trust in his linemates. However, he’s been everything the Habs need this year. He’s playing with pride, playing with passion, and showing the league that he’s still a very dangerous offensive threat. Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn are very good players as well, but Kovalev has been the key to that line’s success.

  33. Bill says:

    To add to Boone’s list, is it half-full because Les Habs have won their last two games against Toronto, evening the season series? Or is it half empty because the Leafs have taken 6 of a possible 8 points against Montreal this year, with a full 25% of their victories coming against the Habs?

    I don’t know. I will say that every Toronto game is a cardiac event for me, and the only way I can get through it is by trying to channel some of Price’s yogic calm. He and Chipchura help me relax. But (if I may dare to offer a qualm) I hate to see any goalie allow a late tying goal. I know Koivu should have cleared it, and I know it was Sundin, and I know he made 43 saves, but that late goal is not a good thing. Before the Price People get upset, I give the rookie full credit for the win: he made some huge saves, was great in the shoot-out, and plays with incredible poise. Would the Habs have won without Price in net? Maybe, but probably not. So was he good? He was GREAT, but if he could find a way to avoid those key goals, he’d be even better.

    Kovalev was a huge factor. Koivu had a great game. I saw a lot of panic at times from the D, but maybe you have to credit Toronto’s forecheck for that. All in all, I’m breathing a sigh of relief this morning.

  34. ClaytonM says:

    I wouldn’t be overly concerned with the laffs earning 6 of 8 points, Bill. After all, we’ve won 5 of 8 and have the momentum on our side now that Price faces them. They won’t be in the playoffs, so if we’re going to give up points to a team, why not a cellar dweller? I am more concerned with our record against the sans. The way things are looking now, we’ll be in 4th place, and barring an underdog win would face them in the 2nd round. The only silver lining I can see to that is the Habs seem to be the only team capable of giving ottawa a challenge in a best of 7.

  35. Angry Almond says:

    HA! You know Mike, you’re right on, in so many ways. I think that we hold such a high standard here, even a night where some of the team plays great, and the other doesn’t, we’re expecting Lafleur, Lemaire, Dryden et al to show up and play the New Year’s Eve ’75 game. Winning ugly is sometimes embarrassing, like riding a moped (is the new moped a Vespa? I digress…), not the coolest way to get there, but it gets the job done.

    This year’s team is only 4 points behind the increasingly normal Senators (although they have 2 games in hand), and for the first time in years we don’t have a goaltending situation. Let’s assess at the 30 game mark and see what’s up. We all know that Toronto gets up for our games…we sure didn’t look like we were up for it for the first period or so…

    This is the NEW NHL…we can’t be fickle bandwagon-jumpers like so many other teams…at least our team is winning. It would SUCK to wake up a part of Leaf Nation this morning….

  36. Habsfan39 says:

    Mike F. Boone

    lol, the F. reference is funny, even though you use it 10 times daily.

  37. Mike Boone says:

    It’s because I’m a Red Sox fan and have spent a lot of time in the great city of Boston, where Bucky F. Dent and Bill F. Buckner are never far from the public consciousness.

  38. Norm0770 says:

    Maybe it is because Price makes it look so easy that it didn’t seem like the team gave up 43 shots. Because I’m in the Excited States and watch the games on NHL Center Ice, we got the TSN feed last night. The entire broadcast was reminicent of HNIC on that last game of the year when all the concern was about what the Leafs had to do to win. TSN and the CBC are not supposed to be partisan broadcasts are they?

  39. Cable Guy says:

    Whats the chances we face Kevin Weekes instead of Broduer on Friday night?? lol

  40. tony d says:

    well put Mike, your glass half empty was a very sobering comment on what’s wrong and no matter what, continues to plague our team. Yes the 2 points are nice but I hope our boys aren’t kidding themselves. Once again they came out shaky and tentative (almost letting Matts F. score in the early seconds) I’ll never get why it takes them a period or 2 to get in the groove. (They showed some nice hussle in the O.T., but must we always wait for the dying seconds to wake up) As always, with minutes left in the 3rd…everyone in my TV room said “ok here comes the tieing goal (I wish I were as bang on with lottery numbers)… I guess everyone’s got the Habs number and it’s mind boggling that they are so predictable.
    I hope instead of champagne this morning, they’re drinking espressos, so they can wake up and realize that Carey stole one for them. A lot of guys still have to step up their game and don’t get me started on that disaster called “Ryder”
    oh yeah and I’d hate to be J.F.jr. this morn…. I don’t think his hair can stand up any straighter

  41. JF says:

    The two things that concern me most are our 5-on-5 play and our inability to protect a 1-goal lead. If the powerplay scores, we have a chance to win; if it doesn’t, we lose. The RDS commentators pointed out before the game that our 5-on-5 record is the worst in the league. Unless we improve in this aspect of the game, we will not make the playoffs.

    Our inability to protect a 1-goal lead shows that we are a fragile team. We had a chance on the powerplay to score a fourth goal and put the game away, and we did not even manage to set up in the Leafs’ zone. Somehow we have to find the confidence and drive to finish things off, let the other team know they’re not getting back in it. Otherwise we will lose many games we should win.

    So for the moment I’m going with the half-empty view of things. If we do well against the Devils and Predators maybe I’ll conclude that the glass is half-full. But the race is so tight that if we falter, just about any team could pass us (and I’m willing to bet that Buffalo will). I would like to see us win a few games with authority, thus building confidence and team-chemistry.

    I agree that Latendresse filled his role well. As long as he continues to do so, he should stay with Koivu and Higgins, even if Ryder starts scoring.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.