Homestand ends on a downer

Canadiens made it close: 14 shots in the third period, a shorthanded goal by Alex Kovalev (his 25th). But Darcy F. Tucker scored his second of the game into ann empty net, and the team that lost 8-0 at home against Florida beat the team that defeated Ottawa earlier this week.

On any given night …

Josh Gorges, who played 18 strong minutes, remembered an 8-0 loss when he was a San Jose Shark last season.

"You come out the next game ready to play," Gorges said. "You go all out. Nobody likes to be embarrassed.

"We knew that was going to be the case here tonight. We knew they’d come out and push hard. We didn’t respond.

"We waited until the third period and got some pressure going. But it was too late."

"Overall, I don’t think we created the pressure on the forecheck like we’ve done lately," said Saku Koivu. "They were waiting for us. They had four guys a lot of the time waiting at the blueline. And when we got the puck in we didn’t get the proper forecheck going. We made it a bit too easy for them."

The captain said Vesa Toskalaa saw a llot of the Canadiens’ shots and "if there was aa rebound we didn’t get on it quick enough.

"Their D played well in front of him."

As to his own goaltender:

"I thought (Carey Price) played well," Koivu added. "Some of the shots were tough and came from tough angles. It’s never easy to come back and play your first game after a while."

"I felt good," Price said. "After the first period I felt pretty comfortable. In the second period, you don’t get a couple bounces …" 

634 Comments

  1. likehoy says:

    timmins said fischer is developing right on schedule.

    No worries, timmins does his homework…may be 23 or 24 before he makes an impact, but an impact he will make

  2. Habitant-Kyle says:

    Come on man… When was the last time you ever said, “Man Koivu played awesome tonight.” I said it in my post and I will say it again. there is no such thing as a four year slump.”

  3. 24 Cups says:

    I think the Islanders pretty well have to re-sign Hunter. What else have they got that compares to him in terms of what he brings to the game?

    The Original 24 Cups

  4. Moey says:

    Thanks Likehoy, he is a class act.

  5. Alirio says:

    I got a single ticket to the game and am comfortably in my seat; from which I noticed that BOTH Ryder and Cube were dressed for warm-up. Is Breezer out?


    I’ve made a huge mistake…

  6. Ian G Cobb says:

    Mike Boone—No blog of warm ups or game to-night.

    Who is out and in>??

  7. OldGrover says:

    See my post below on what Koivu’s done and continues to do. Look at the teams that surrounded Saku previous to this year – who could make those teams real contenders? Gretzky couldn’t have done it. Look at Sundin on the Leafs – great hockey player, no question about it, but he can’t drag the bums into the playoffs by himself.

    Hockey is the ultimate team game. You can’t pin a team’s success or failure on one player. Koivu helped build this team to what it is today, he’s helping its success today (3rd in scoring, may I remind you, on the team) and he’ll help a hell of a lot down the stretch. And he controls his own destiny. That means that Gainey would, even if he wanted to trade Saku, which I doubt, have to find a contending team that wants to trade its first or second line centre. Good luck.

    Yes, he has to cut down on the blasted o-zone penalties. Hopefully, the mini-benching he got will help with that.

    On another note, the Habs aren’t supposed to be just another hockey team. They are an institution. They forgot that in the mid-nineties, trading their captain at every opportunity. We’ve regained some of who we were – let’s not toss that away by being just another ‘what have you done for me lately’ team.

    Oh… and what has Koivu done lately? 5 points in 6 games…

  8. VancouverHab says:

    You say that “we’ve failed to get into the playoffs more often than we’ve made the playoffs under Saku’s tenure as Captain.”

    And how is that Saku’s fault?

  9. tony d says:

    man no wonder guys don’t want to play in Mtl.
    all these Koivu trade stories are brutal
    the guy’s in a slump…yes makin mistakes… he’s aware of that but look at his line
    He’s been trying all season to get Ryder to produce and now Higgins is firing blanks (not a comment on his
    sexual ability, I’m sure the French press will be too happy to jump on that soon)
    but he’s been on a pretty invisible line, just under the radar… they shoulda been called the ‘Cellophane Line’
    I’m confident Saku will get his form back and score some key game winning goals…the man’s a fighter who’s just struggling a bit but be patient all
    once Ryder’s gone and we get some new chemistry happenin, he’ll be a new man
    on a lighter note, Leafs web site say McCabe may play tonight (ooooohh scary!!) I love watching him just for entertainment value….he delivers more laughs than the Tim Bit games during intermission, only difference is the skill level is higher with the Tim Bit kids
    Go Habs Go
    let’s bury the Leafs tonight and put them back in the compost pile where they belong

  10. JB_15 says:

    Brutal.

    Koivu is the heart and soul of this team which is on the verge of taking the lead in the entire conference. Pathetic of the media.

    Regarding tonight, it will be a dismantling.
    4 or 5 to 1.

  11. likehoy says:

    for all koivu fans…this is perfect

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=3xAhRgquv_Y

  12. likehoy says:

    arguably lazy…i think he’s trying too hard…see aflredsson.

    dunno if you’ve ever been a central figure on a team…but when your system isn’t working (linemates or whatever)…you’re going to try to do too much and if you’re a natural leader..you care too much…and you’re going to try to carry the whole line…knowing saku…he’s not a bit lazy…he fought back from cancer…he’s just wants it so badly…

    i.e. go see footballers who dive…they just want it more and will do anything to get an edge.

  13. Bean says:

    sidhu, Hunter’s a GREAT choice. I love that kid. I didn’t realise he’ll be a UFA this year . . .

    C’mon Bob. Listen to sidhu.

  14. sidhu says:

    Even if he turns it up a notch in the playoffs, the fact remains that, we’ve failed to get into the playoffs more often than we’ve made the playoffs under Saku’s tenure as Captain. True, we are having a fantastic year this season, but that is due to the tremendous contributions of others. That is why I think some are comfortable with the idea of trading him – if he isn’t that central to our success, let’s find a cog that will be skating harder and not taking inexcusable, lazy offensive-zone penalties.

  15. ZepFan2 says:

    It seems it’s still in the air if Ryder sits or not.

  16. Les-Habitants says:

    He’ll break out, like he always does, and score a couple key points then everyone will shut up.
    I too and disappointed about those dumb penalities, but hopefully that partial 3rd period benching sent the msg and he’ll be more aware of it tonight

  17. HabsProf says:

    I’m sure Carbonneau can share some tips about what it is like to be hustled out of town while wearing the “C”. And, of course, he can comment about how many of those captains have gone on to hoist the Cup with another team.

  18. Les-Habitants says:

    20 players are allowed on the game-time roster, period.

  19. HabsProf says:

    I expect most veterans are smart enough to ignore calls for trades (though they must hurt, they are, in the end, part of life as a professional athlete).

    I remember around 92 when there were calls to trade Patrick Roy “while he is still worth something”. He promptly won us a cup in spring of 93 and then went on to win two more with another team.

    I also remember when people were calling to trade Markov because he wasn’t developing fast enough.

    Many were prepared to give up on Ron Hainsey (and the Habs did), but he promptly proved everyone wrong.

    Is David Fischer a 1st round bust? Maybe, and the odds have certainly increased. But let’s give him a little time to develop.

    The list goes on. Yes, Koivu is not producing as much as we had hoped, but that happens. I am far more upset at the silly hooking penalties then the fact that he will probably only wind up with 55 points instead of 70.

  20. Les-Habitants says:

    Trading Koivu at this point would be really stupid, point-blank, and I doubt Gainey is even considering it. It’s just the media hating on Koivu, for no reason, like it always does. Koivu is an amazing captain, 3rd in team scoring, and has always been a great playoff performer…just to mention a few things. So basically shaddap already about Koivu…geez.

    On tonight’s game, is Cube out/Ryder in?

    Also, I think someone asked about who would man the 2nd PP. At the Ottawa game, both Komi and Gorges got time on the blueline that I noticed. If Ryder’s in, they could also use him on the 2nd PP unit allowing Sergei Kostitsyn to man the point like he has done a few times this season.

  21. Chach says:

    Does anyone know what time before the game does a team have to have their final roster filled out? On the NHL site, the roster says both Ryder and Bouillon are playing. Also, how many players are allowed to be on the game roster?

  22. likehoy says:

    wrong…2001…alain vigneault…2nd place in our division by allstar break before we went on a tail spin…lol but it was a long time ago nonethelesss…played boston first round and upset those booins

  23. Leonard Zukerman says:

    I can’t remember the last time we where so close to being number one in the conference so late in the season but I’d guess it was long before Saku was made captain. I really hope that the impatience and shortsightedness expressed here and elsewhere stops because it’s a team killer. EVERY PLAYER
    on the Habs has contributed in taking this team a lot further than anyone
    of us ever expected including Saku.

  24. The Big O says:

    The English Media is not much different, we had Mr. Boone himself suggesting that the true capitancy has moved over a stall and there’s enough radio hosts already trading the captain for a draft pick…yeah that’s the way to go into the playoffs, take the guy who turns it up a notch when it counts, for a draft pick, can you say first round exit if they did that…..

  25. the_vipah says:

    Hossa is soft and for our purposes, useless. He is a top flight player (pay wise and skill wise) with zero physical presence. We have plenty of soft skill players on this team. We need a Oli Jokkinen type of guy, skill, size, toughness and work ethic all in one. We get that, we have a good chance to go far.

  26. sidhu says:

    He’s a UFA at year’s end, perhaps Garth Snow will part with him, trying to get something for him rather than let him go for nothing. Make him an offer he can’t refuse, Bob!

  27. Will Longlade says:

    It’s not a no show, but these numbers are not what you would expect from a player making $7.0 million a season. Besides, it’s what’s he’s done lately that counts and is the main driver of his value. In Atlanta’s early exit from the playoffs last year, Hossa recorded 1 point, was -6 and had a meagre 10 shots on goal. Finally, Hossa’s poor playoff performance is just one of several considerations suggesting that this deal is one that the team should stay away from at all cost.

  28. VancouverHab says:

    Yep: spot on! I am not certain but that the La Presse crew would not rather have us lose than win without a Francophone captain (& GM by the bye — they also complain against Gainey (That’s right, they actually complain against Bob Gainey as a GM, They would rather have Pierre Gauthier.)

  29. Hockey11 says:

    I am anxious to see Carbo pairings,

    I would go with

    Komi/Streit
    Markov/Dandy
    Gorges/Breezer

    OMG, who gets PP D time tonite?

  30. 24 Cups says:

    Montreal has not treated their captains that well over the last 15 years or so and that bothers me to no end. Keane, Turgeon, and Damphousse have all given up the ‘C’ under less then honourable circumstance. Why would we do that now with Koivu? I know he’s not a first line centre anymore, and his hooking penalities drive us all crazy. Big deal. Ever heard of the big picture? The intangibles of leadership? Setting an example not by your words but by your actions? You don’t think another team’s captain hasn’t hit a dry spell once in awhile? Yzerman saw his role and icetime shrink year by year but he still kept the captaincy. In fact in his last year or two he was on the checking line. And he’s as good as it gets as far as being a captain is concerned. I’m not saying Saku is Yzerman but this is his 9th year as captain which is the longest run since Beliveau.

    We’re one point out of first and we still have to read garbage like this. Gimme a break.

    The Original 24 Cups

  31. Hockey11 says:

    No that was speculation, they had not heard the CJAD Carbo piece yet.

  32. VancouverHab says:

    The Quebecois media despise Koivu — always have — for the one simple reason that he is not a Francophone and does not speak French.
    If Koivu were French, the same media would be shrieking, not for him to be traded, mais le seulement raison qui ce qu’il n’est pas dans the Pantheon des Sports pas encore est parce que les Anglos avais un complot contre les jouers Francais.

  33. Keith says:

    Some of those guy’s in the French media cater to the lowest common denominator. Not a big surprise. I predict that Saku will have a big game tonight. He usually does after something like a third period benching or a bad o-zone penalty. GO SAKU GO!!! GO HABS GO!!!

  34. HotHabs says:

    Mr. Boone,

    I can’t agree with your assessment that Hossa disappears in the playoffs, barring last year’s Thrashers playoff collapse in which Hossa and sniper Kovalchuk went AWOL. If you look at Hossa’s numbers, he’s a playoff performer: 35 pts. in 55 games – is that a no-show?

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  35. HotHabs says:

    From another post on the other blog: Bouillon is in and Ryder is out… apparently heard on CJAD.

    Don’t be surprised to see Ryder packing his bags soon…

    As for the article in La Presse: a couple good points like the fact that Koivu is a #2 center and is being paid too much ($4.7 mil.)- absolutely spot on. The rest of the column reads like Hollywood confidential trash! Talk about an agenda in print…

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  36. likehoy says:

    lol definitely…but they call higgins and plekanec 3-year veterans…so why not 😛

  37. Mike Boone says:

    Trent Hunter is a stud. I’d love to see him here. But I doubt the Islanders would trade him.

  38. Chorske says:

    Something made me smile about the concept of a 3-year veteran. I know what you mean, its still sounds funny to me. Reminds me of a buddy who called Corey Locke a veteran rookie.

  39. nick says:

    I think Jokinen would make a nice addition to the team – at a reasonable cost. Not too sure where we’d put him – guess it would depend on who leaves. To be honest though, i haven’t heard much Montreal / Florida talk. I have on the other hand heard alot about Toronto / Florida talking. Any one have any news or rumours or anything?

  40. Lee_D says:

    HUGE GAME FOR OUR CAPTAIN TONIGHT!

    Saaaaaakuuuuuuu!!!

  41. likehoy says:

    interesting koivu tidbit…
    first time in his career he has played over 200 games in a span of any 3 seasons. Fatigue?

  42. sidhu says:

    As I noted in another thread – I think Trent Hunter would be a solid addition to our squad. As for the others mentioned:

    Jokinen and Hossa (would cost us too much), Marleau (horrible +/-), Stoll (not the same since his concussion, but good on faceoffs), Holik (can’t keep up with our forwards), Prospal (would be decent, though we’re already stacked on the left side), Ian Laperrière (we already have Begin), Armstrong and Gratton (might as well call up Chipper if we want a checking center), Scott Nichol (small, can’t score)

  43. likehoy says:

    don’t listen to the french media…they were waiting for koivu to crack to jump at this occasion. They’ve wanted him out since he couldn’t speak french like uhh…10 years ago…now they have a little bit of backing in their calling. Look no further to kovalev about getting passed trade rumours

    Here’s a move that probably none of us have thought about…Jeff Carter. Picked just behind Andrei Kostitsyn (11th overall 2003). 3 year veteran, great hands, 6’3 200 lbs. No longer figures in philly since the emergence of mike richards. He’s a potential 40 goal scorer, FROM the CENTRE position, which is tough to find in this day and age. Anyone can name the last centre who scored 40 goals? I’m going with Mario Lemieux, but I could be wrong…sindey had 39 one year and sakic is normally around there.

  44. Chorske says:

    Forgive my english, but what a bunch of petty provincial ARSES. Picking on a guy whose crime is not equalling his career best output from last season. This is a guy who has stuck with us through season after season of losers, playing alonside increasingly awful teams until Bob turned things around. Koivu has put up with a xenophobic french press. Has battled cancer and turned lemons to lemonade by funding a major cancer ward. Has never been afraid to face the music and take personal responsibility, and has always behaved with class. Who fought through a potentially career-ending injury. Who has led this team with pride- and he HAS led, no matter what some ungrateful folks might say: recall our collapse after his eye injury in the playoffs two years ago.

    The man wants to stay here, he’s in a funk and he will play out of it. Trading him when he’s down would be shortsighted and just BAD business.

  45. DYCSoccer17 says:

    Saku’s not the same player he was last year or even earlier in the year. I am guessing that he is playing hurt, although his style of play could finally be starting to take a toll on his career.

    He’s always taken cheap, lazy hooking penalties.

  46. HabFab says:

    Nothing ruins my day at work more than hearing about La Press’s most recent public hanging…actually I take that back…Team 990 (the Negators of all Negators) is more likely to ruin my day.
    That being said..give the guy a break. I agree with many of you here…he’s playing well, he is who he is, and nothing would be sadder than winning a Cup in the next few years without Captain K at the helm. He’s given us his career, let’s not put him on the chopping block just yet.

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