Canadiens can’t stand pat

The Senators are at the Bell Centre tomorrow, and if Guy Carbonneau had his druthers he’d probably start the lineup that beat Boston 7-4 last night … with maybe Cristobal Huet back in nets.

But the coach may not have his druthers.

Canadiens await word on the severity of Christopher Higgins’ ankle injury.

And because Tom Kostopoulos was flagged with an Instigator penalty  in the last minute of the Bruins game, he gets an automatic one-game suspension.

So we’ll likely see Mikhail Grabovski tomorrow. And if Higgins is out …

Hmmmmm. Mark Streit up front?

Or someone recalled from Hamilton. 

32 Comments

  1. Habby67 says:

    Something has to be done with their 5 on 5 play. Sadly, I am not sure what. Last I read Higgins was good to go…

  2. Grabs says:

    Let me just clarify, when I say it’s the only way, I mean it’s the only way of putting Higgins on the second line.

  3. likehoy says:

    they’re primarily line mates no 5 on 3 power plays

    it was the same last year, our top 5 on 3 power play unit is koivu kovalev ryder markov and this year streit (last year souray).

    I’m not opposed to Koivu and Kovy being on the same line, but I think it’s a question of putting all your eggs in the same basket. We’re too often a one-line team and putting Koivu and Kovy together makes us a one-line team (on paper).

    If I’m not mistaken, Koivu played with Kovalev in the ’03-’04 playoffs and they did well.

  4. Sbah Reverof says:

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but Koivu and Kovalev have been linemates a couple of times this year on the PP, and it did produce a goal or two; but it has only happened very seldomly. Maybe there’s a personality clash going on here, or Carbo just doesn’t want to mess what has been a steady 2nd line that keeps getting better.

  5. The Ian Cobb says:

    Kovalev Grabs has an ego that is not going to change, he is happy on the 2nd and playing well there, I don’t think he can play the same game with Kovy, I,m quite sure we better leave where he is. We have enough quality players both here and on the farm to build and then develop 4 great lines. I’ts starting to come together, a tweek here and there.

  6. Grabs says:

    I think a lot of the hype over Lats is more over what can be in the future, as opposed to what is in the present.

  7. Grabs says:

    It’s the only way Ian, you can’t drop Kovy or Higgins any lower than the 2nd line. Many people, myself included, have wondered why making the Kovy-Higgins switch hasn’t been tried yet. It’s understood that on paper putting Koivu and Kovy together doesn’t add up, but goals aren’t scored on paper, and joining these two hasn’t been given enough of a chance to succeed yet, it’s definitely worth a try.

  8. Grabs says:

    Even a day later, every time I read this headline I chuckle :)

  9. The Ian Cobb says:

    I Don’t beleve Kovalev and Koivu are a good fit at all, they Both need to lead there lines, especialy Kovalev.

    Cory Locke is starting to understand his defensive responsibilities, We have knowen for a long time that he is a pure goal scorer, I WONDER!

  10. CH1909-2009 says:

    I agree totally: Higgins when he played with Kostytsin and Plekanec last year was unbeleivable. I’d like to see them ty to swap Higgins and Kovy on the first two lines, but 1) Kovy has great chemistry with the young kids and 2) the team seems against playing Kovalev with Koivu for some (frustratingly) strange reason.

    GO HABS GO

  11. CH1909-2009 says:

    Acording to someone in the Hamilton organization I heard on 990 a week ago, Lapierre is not ready, Kostytsin isn’t working hard and in his opinion Lahti is the closest to coming up… wish I could remmeber the guy’s name….

    GO HABS GO

  12. The Ian Cobb says:

    Good Morning, Another goose bump evening in store for all of us comming up.
    An observation to be aware of, you know I’m all about the proper meshing of chemistry. Pay a little attention to Ryder’s game tonight if Higgins is out. These two players do not complement each other at all. I love both of them, but they cannot play together on the same line. There styles conflict and handycap both of them. Look how Ryder had his best game of the year when Higgins went down in the first period. Im not quite sure were Higgins fits, but we need him on a high tempo line. But definetly not on the 1st line. Koivu and Ryder has to stay together with who. Maybe Higgins can play on the 2nd or 3rd. I’m going to watch how Carbo plays this out with a great deal of interest.

    How would you people set it up without disturbing the positive chemistry already there???

  13. JF says:

    I hope they bring Lapierre up. His grittiness would be good on the fourth line. And if Higgins can’t play, I think I’d go with Streit on the first line. There were times last year when he looked better as a forward than as a Dman. Grabovski is small, and hasn’t yet learned to play physically tough. I really think he needs more time in Hamilton to develop this aspect of his game.

  14. Geoff F says:

    I haven’t heard boo about Higgins at all. Not even any preliminary stuff as you usually find makes it’s way into the news. Does anyone have any updates on the status of Higgy?

    After hearing about his toughness i’d rather not speculate because from what i hear he’d play on a broken ankle if he could fit his foot in his skates. Although when he went to the trainers room during the game i can only assume they had assessed it to be safe enough for him to continue. I’m guessing they froze it up and he might have a slight sprain or something minor. Keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that he’s ok.

    With that said i wouldn’t mind him sitting out a game though. He’s been snakebit as of late. Maybe a day watching from the pressbox might give him that little erueka moment or that little additional incentive to get out there and break out. It seem like the 1st line has been sputtering a little bit and maybe a little one game break might reignite them.

    Whatever the case, i hope the Robinson ceremony gives the Habs the spark they need to put the Sens away tonight.

    GO HABS GO!

  15. yehaken says:

    I don’t think we’ll want streit up front–that means Josh Georges, who is the new Brisebois (sorry Mr. Boone). I think Lapierre and Sergei Kostitsyn should come up for the evening if Higgins is hurt.

    Oh and in case you’re wondering, the current Brisebois is the new Dandenault, and Dandenault is the new Streit.

    Higgins plays a lot like (a less skilled) Forsberg. He’s always throwing his body around along the boards and taking punishment. Win The Battles At Any Cost. It’s inspiring to watch, but I hope that medical science advances to the point where he doesn’t develop chronic ankle or knee problems as a result. Rather have a healthy Higgins than today’s “100% cartiledge-free” Forsberg.

  16. Chorske says:

    Likehoy: I don’t mean to pick on the kid. I wish him all the success in the world. My problem isn’t with him. I just disagree with the zealots who think this guy is the second coming of Todd Bertuzzi, and that this kid is our next “power forward”, whatever THAT means.

    Here is an excerpt from the scouting report on Bertuzzi:
    “Very good skater with powerful stride. Smart around the net. Will take a hit. Finishes his check. Utilizes his size and strength in all facets. Stands up to a challenge.” Which makes me think two things. One, the key ingredient here seems to be skating ability- “power” is a function of mass AND speed, and Lats lacks the latter. Two, that year, we picked Koivu AHEAD of Bertuzzi. No-one would ever call Saku a “power forward”, but I’d say drafting him was a good decision.

  17. nightmare_49 says:

    He may have found a line that he can play on without hurting the team. Lats has a lot to learn about basic hockey and seems to be going south rather than learning the foundamentals. With Chips and Tommy K. supporting him he seems more at ease on that line. It’s not entirely his fault as Carbo has really pampered him when he should have been kicked or sat, instead last year Carbo would promote him to a top line and you think the players didn’t realise this and was one of the big reasons Carbo lost his ship last year. Lats was a head case when he was a junior remember, pulling a Kovy when he wanted, you never knew if he would work or float. He does have some upside but must learn the little things first, like everybody else, then worry about the rest. If not Hamilton is for developement and may fit. We’ll know more after the next 4 games but one things for sure, he shouldn’t be getting a free ride as he has in the past.

  18. Andrea says:

    i really hope higgins isnt hurt. butif he was I would want Sergei Kotstysyn to be called up. latendresse doesnt deserve to play on the first line, i would give graboski a chance first.

  19. yathehabsrule says:

    LOL Al Micheals on the Pats game mentions the success of all the Boston franchises (Sox Celtics MLS Patriots)…After a long pause maybe out of guilt “even the Bruins have a winning record albeit they are 4th in their division”

  20. Chorske says:

    I think the only way we’ll call someone up is if Higgy is out for longer than two or three games. I have this recurring nightmare where Latendresse is reinserted onto the first line. Streit shoots left, he could fill in nicely- plus that line is usually responsible for shutting down Ottawa’s HUGE first line when we play them. Having a Dman like Streit up there would make sense.

    Man, this is going to be a tough, tough game.

  21. J.T. says:

    If Higgins can’t play, I think I’d go with Lapierre to replace Kostopoulos and give Grabs a shot on the first line. His speed will be helpful, and give the Sens two dangerous lines to worry about. Also, he’s not had the chance to play with a passer like Koivu who can hit him on the tape at top speed. He might surprise in that situation.

    Anyway, I hope this is all moot and Higgins is good to go. As much as he’s been struggling to finish, he still creates havoc, and you can’t have too much havoc.

  22. HabsProf says:

    What have they got against Pat? I think Hickey is a nice guy!!!

  23. likehoy says:

    we should lay off Latendresse for a while

    when was the last time a power-forward entered the league and dominated right away??

    even Todd Bertuzzi took a few seasons before he shined in Vancouver so lets show some patience for him.

    If he produces another 30-35 point season, then he’s fine.

  24. likehoy says:

    we should lay off Latendresse for a while

    when was the last time a power-forward entered the league and dominated right away??

    even Todd Bertuzzi took a few seasons before he shined in Vancouver so lets show some patience for him.

    If he produces another 30-35 point season, then he’s fine

  25. Steiner says:

    If they are going to be calling someone up I hope that Lapierre gets the chance to prove himself as worthy to stay with the big club.

  26. Naila Jinnah says:

    Wow. How did I totally forget Lapierre exists?!

  27. likehoy says:

    we should recall Laps.
    His grittiness will make our team tougher.
    I love how we don’t back down from any challenge, and having a gritty player like Lapierre in a game like last night’s where there were non-stop confrontations would have added to the spice.

    Laps would be a good one-game replacement for Kostopoulous at any rate.

  28. RetroMikey says:

    One more comment, I loved Kirk Muller sticking up for the guys behind the bench. Wow! I loved his facial expression You just knew what he was saying to Claude Julien verbally which was shown on RDS. Bravo!
    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  29. Sports1131 says:

    If there is any doubt whatsoever about Higgins being able to play tomorrow then we need to call someone up to Hamilton. We’re not going to beat the most powerful team in the league with two defensemen dressed as forwards.

    I’ll be happy to see Grabovski finally get another game, though my expectations will be very low if he’s on the fourth line. I’d love to see Sergei Kostitsyn get a chance tomorrow, but I think the most likely guy to be recalled would be Lapierre.

  30. xeonus says:

    I’m praying that Higgins’ injury isn’t too serious, because we need all the help we can get against an Ottawa team that hasn’t lost two straight for as long as I can remember. He finished the game, albeit a bit slower than his normal self, but he is still major component on the Koivu line. But in the worst case scenario, Streit up front sounds good to me. He’s been struggling a little bit on D, and might make a bigger contribution up front. Ottawa’s going to come out really strong after that embarrassing 3-0 loss to Toronto, and we’re going to need to match that intensity and more. We cannot play the same wide open game we did against Boston, because this Ottawa team is quite a bit more talented offensively. Hopefully, the retirement ceremony will get some guys fired up, and this’ll end up finishing like the post-Dryden retirement game as a home team W.

  31. Naila Jinnah says:

    Let’s hope is okay. I wouldn’t mind him having a night off though, just to be sure. In that case, Grabs will definitely be in, and maybe D’Agostini will be called up… After all, he had a pretty good night yesterday in Hamilton.

    But most likely, as Mike mentioned, Carbo will work with the guys he’s got now. Morning skate is bound to be interesting.

  32. RetroMikey says:

    I’d like to see Mikhail Grabovski put on the first line…he’ll compliment Koivu and Higgins nicely, although that depends if Higgins cannot play, replace him with Ryder who is starting to shoot more but we all know that won’t last long. Keep the second line of Kovalev-Plekanec-Kostitsyn intact, I’ve always said this line was going to surprise alot of people and don’t be surprised if they get relegated to our first line.
    Being from Hamilton, I believe Duncan Milroy deserves the call up not Sergei Kostitsyn, his time will come but not yet.
    Will be a fast pace game tomorrow night and I sure hope Latendresse and Ryder are ready. In my opinion, Dandeneault has not played up to Carbo’s expectations the past 3 or 4 games, he’ll have to step it up or he’ll be seeing the press box.
    Cristobal Huet, in my opinion is still our starting goaltender. I honestly felt Carey Price still has alot to learn in the NHL. He was not sharp against Boston and he’ll have many games like last night so don’t expect miracles from the kid this year, he’s still learning.
    Good luck boys tommorrow night, play hard!

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”


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