About last night … and today’s line juggling

 This just in:

The lines at practice this morning:

First line: Higgins, Koivu, Kostopoulos

Second line: Plekanek, Kovalev, Kostitsyn

Third line: Begin, Smolinski, Ryder

Fourth line: Latendresse, Chipchura, Dandenault 

 •  •  •

Here’s the OT and the future of the two franchises in a nutshell:

Bryan MacCabe’s salary this season: $5.75 million in the second year of a five-year deal.

Mike Komisarek: $1.5 million in the first year of a two-year deal.

Any questions?

• • •

Here’s another one to ponder:

Cristobal Huet/Carey Price

Vesa Toskala/Andrew Raycroft

• • •

Aren’t you happy that Alex Kovalev is happy this season?

That line was by far the Canadiens’ best (some might say only) last night.

• • •


As Kovy pointed ut after the game, the amazing thing about Komisarek’s OT breakaway was the distance between him and his pursuers.

The big guy looked like Pavel Bure … and poor McCabe and Nik Antropov looked like Pierre Bouchard and Moose Vasko.

• • •

What’s Guy Carbonneau going to do with Michael Ryder?

The coach has to find a productive RW for Saku Koivu and Christopher Higgins.

The candidates: Mathieu Dandenault, Tom Kostopoulos, Guillaume Latendresse on his off-wing, Sergei Kostitsyn, Matt D’Agostini.

• • •

What’s Carbo going to do about faceoffs?

Canadiens were 24-38 last night. Kyle Chipchura was 2-8, Pleks 7-12, Koivu 10-10, Bryan Smolinski 5-7.

• • •

Who put a bug up the south end of Andrei Markov last night?

One goal (his sixth, matching last season’s total) and four penalties (he had 56 PIM in 2006-’07)?

Colleague Pat Hickey tells me Darcy Tucker got under Markov’s skin … as has been known to happen with the Leafs’ agitator.

• • •


Carey Price has to come up with some new clichés. As usual, he said his teammates played great in front of him last night.

Which game was he watching?

• • •

More on where the two franchises are headed:

David Shoalts’ story in last Saturday’s Globe and Mail.



  1. Morenz7 says:

    Nice to see the site running again. While I’m in the why-Kostopolous camp, I do get the sense Carbo is loath to disrupt lines while the team is winning. He fiddles them late in games (earlier if they’re losing), but he seems pretty dogmatic on the question of tinkering with a winning formula. The Kostopolous switch is one that creates the smallest ripple through the line-up.

    The problem with this, as JF points out, is that they really haven’t played that wonderfully of late, despite the gift-wrapped win over the Leafs. They’ve been treating one-goal leads like three-goal leads etc and putting in mediocre efforts. I wasn’t as thrilled as others with the last win over Boston, and disagree with those who said they played a good 55 minutes against Ottawa. More like a good 20 minutes, then 35 of good goaltending.

    Anyhoo, I fully expect them to steady themselves tonight. Why? Cuz I’m off to Buffalo for the game, and I know they’d never let me down…

    GO HABS!

  2. FastRonnie says:

    While I had d’Agostini in mind, there are other RWs that could easily come up and play the #1 line (at least on a trial basis): S. Kostitsyn, D. Milroy, and J. Ferland. I think the ones with the most potential at his level are S.Kostitsyn and d’Agostini. If the roster is too full, send down Grabovski.

  3. FastRonnie says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Carbo has in his mind the intention of bringing up d’Agostini sometime soon. I think he’s giving Kostopoulos a shot because of his hard work ethic – the guy makes things happen in the O-zone and plays both ends of the ice. However, I don’t think the Greek Grinder is 1st line material. This is a temporary trial to allow Ryder to “find his game” without pressure. If things don’t improve, expect to see d’Agostini in Mtl. And, after seeing him burn things up in pre-season & camp, he could be the missing link to the Habs #1 line struggles. Time will tell, but this is for sure: no one on the team presently fits the bill of #1 line RW. So, something’s bound to change soon, like before December.

  4. Chuck says:

    I’m intrigued by the new line combos, and I can’t wait to see what havoc Tom the Bomb unleashes on Buffalo with the extra ice time. Hopefully Ryder will plant his butt in the slot to screen Miller and pounce on rebounds.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  5. nyadguy says:

    The way Komisarek scored on the breakaway maybe he should be on the 1st line. 😉

  6. blnieder says:

    Kostopolous is a very hard worker and deserves a chance to play, however, I believe their is a better alternative.

    We have a couple of people that are not playing as well as they can.

    Why not put Georges in the lineup to gain additional experience on defense he is reasonably solid. Move Mark Streit up to the first line giving Saku & Chris more speed and savy to work with. Streit does not mind shooting the puck and did well offensively last year while acquiting himself decently on defense, he would fit in nicely.

    It is time to sit Ryder for two games and let him practice shooting. That is his forte and he has forgotten how to shoot. Also, a quick course on positive thinking would not hurt him. He needs the time off to work on his skills.

    Remember the blow out of Carolina
    Note: All four lines played to their potential.
    Remember the almost blow out of Philadelphia
    Note: Almost everyone played to their potential.
    Remember the first 55 minutes against Ottawa
    Note: Three lines played up to their potential.

    Those games were fun weren’t they?

    Most other games one maybe or two lines show up to play.


    C’mon guys go out there and have fun. You should be destroying some of the opposition not losing, tieing or just winning by one goal.

    You only have to play the laffs five times more this season, then not until October 2008. The only reason the laffs are still in the playoff hunt is that you respect them far to much and give them to much room. They are not in the same class as you. Smarten Up. Use your God-given talent.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.