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. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. likehoy says:

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 🙂

  13. ebk says:

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!!

  19. 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

  20. NLhabsfan says:

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

  21. 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

  22. J.T. says:

    ‘Tis the season. Carey Pricemas, everyone!

  23. 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.

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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 :).

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. moser17 says:

    CHC = Club de Hockey Canadien
    CHC = Cool Hand Carey

    No equivocation here.

  30. 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.


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