Humiliation

Jocelyn Thibault returns to blank the Canadiens at the Bell Centre, mqaking 24 saves as the Buffalo Sabres win the two-game, two-night, too-depressing total-goal series 7-2.

"It was a bad effort all around," said Christopher Higgins, reflecting on the 3-0 loss in a subdued Canadiens dressing room. "We made bad decisions, a lot of turnovers, not working the puck deep.

"We were losing a lot of battles."

And the war. Buffalo is still six points behind Canadiens in the Eastern Conference standings, but the Sabres have two games in hand and are showing signs of regaining their 2006-’07 form.

The scary thing is the Canadiens are starting to evoke disquieting memories of last season.

No flu bug, no serious injuries like the one that sidelined Higggins. But there are troubling signs – an impotent power play, futile line juggling – that the team has systemic problems.

"We don’t have a 50-goal scorer," Higgins said. "We don’t have a Hart or Norris Trophy winner. For us to win we all have to work hard."

Higggins’ Long Island pal Mike Komisarek said the Canadiens "can’t continue playing like this."

"We have to do something about it. It’s the responsibility of each and every one of us – forwards, D, young guys, older guys.

"We have to play smart," Komisarek added. "We have to play with passion and show pride when we go out there."

Canadiens have Sunday off and will return to the practice ice on Monday, preparing for a rare Tuesday date with the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

 

 

190 Comments

  1. teamplayer says:

    thanks for letting me know, was disappointed when p2p was showing tsn channel with no game

  2. JasonM says:

    Of course. HNIToronto loves those Leafs! They are after all, Canada’s team! *rolls eyes*

    I gave on HNIC long ago.

  3. DYCSoccer17 says:

    It’s nice to see that HNIC took the crew all the way down to Phoenix, just to show the Laffs against another bottom-feeder like the Coyotes. It’s a shame they neglect Ottawa and Montreal.

  4. JasonM says:

    Lots of problems on the Habs getting the puck out with the Buffalo forecheck, specifically the case when Streit/Gorges is out there.

  5. The Ian Cobb says:

    Toronto 1 Phenix 4

  6. DYCSoccer17 says:

    Komisarek is a BEAST. God, I love that guy.

  7. BigHabsFan says:

    ohhh mama it working, thank god

  8. Ed says:

    Didn’t Kostopoulos also draw the first penalty last night, and Buffalo scored their first goal? It was also in the 1st period.

  9. BigHabsFan says:

    anyone have a sopcast channel with the game??? i cant get it to work for some reason. cjad again…..yikes

  10. the_vipah says:

    Sigh like usual, these 4-5th string French goalies totally own the Habs.

  11. yathehabsrule says:

    Two fast Leaf goals, they pull Raycroft, and the Coyotes beat Toskala on the first shot…Then Doan pounds on Tucker and Gretzky is laughing behind the bench…. Too funny… OK I was pissed CBC covered this game…but now it’s kinda worth it…

  12. Norman says:

    Decent amount of shots from us!

  13. Ed says:

    Gorges and Streit was interesting on that long stretch in the Canadiens’ zone. How many checks were thrown? It’s lucky that Buffalo never scored.

  14. teamplayer says:

    anybody know where i can watch the game online? cbc doesnt show it and my p2p nhl doesnt have it either (it says it does but it shows you tsn instead of rds)

  15. Ed says:

    Mike, in your comments about last night’s game, you made a good point about the Sabres being one of the few teams in the NHL that are less physically imposing than the Canadiens, and the guys in red sweaters must lay a bit of smack-down on the visitors tonight to take them off their skating, slick-passing game. I always wonder why some players don’t hit, while others do. A look at the stats show a big discrepancy from top to bottom, with Komisarek at 77, and Plekanec with only 8.

    http://www.nhl.com/nhlstats/app?fetchKey=20082MONSASAll&page=Stats&servi

    It is obvious that our defense is not very intimidating, when you look at Begin, Ryder, Kostopoulos, and Latendresse being 2nd to 5th on the team. Why don’t defensemen hit any more? Three of our regular defence are averaging less than a hit per game. Look at the 1977-78 Canadiens, and you had Robinson, Lapointe, Savard, Bouchard, Chartraw, Nyrob, Lupien. In addition to offense, some of those guys could hit. Thus the forwards did not need to hit as much, but they still had Risebrough, Lambert, Gainey, Tremblay, to keep the opposition honest. Those guys also contributed offensively.

    Some of the present day forwards could step it up too. Kovalev is not known as a hitter, but he can do it. Ask Darcy Tucker. He has 27 in 22 games, while Higgins, who is known for his strength and hustle, has only 22 in 22 games. Ryder, who receives a lot of criticism for his lack of offense, is hitting, and at 186 pounds, is the smallest regular on the team.

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/team/app?page=TeamPlayers&service=page&srt=wt&t

    In the game last night, the Canadiens outhit the Sabres 19 to 13, but they have had games where they had many more hits than 19. Maybe they were resting for tonight, and that is something you should never do. Also, you can only hit when the other team has the puck, and the Sabres had the puck a lot more than the Canadiens did. Markov and Ryder led with 3 hits each, and they are not the ones you expect to lead your team in hits. Five players had no hits at all, and I can’t understand how that is possible in a hockey game. In hockey, everybody should throw at least 1 check a game. What has happened to this physical game?

    While searching for a site which shows all 24 HABS Stanley Cup banners (I have a sheet showing all 24), I found that the site seems to no longer exist. I printed it on March 3, 1996. However, I did find an interesting article from the New York Times dated March 1989. It is mainly about Robinson and Gainey, and some people might find it an interesting read.

    http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:ichAH2rl_YAJ:query.nytimes.com/gst/f

  16. nightmare_49 says:

    On my Bell Expressvu menu it shows everybody but CBC Ottawa showing the lafs game , that’s what i was going by. t.o vs phoenix can you imagine, i’ll rather watch AHL any day. Enjoy.

  17. J.T. says:

    I can’t see Bouillon sitting just for poor play. Carbo loves him. He must be hurting.

  18. Mike Boone says:

    Pierre has had the flu. He says he’s past the worst of it.

  19. Mike Boone says:

    At this rate, the puck will drop at 7:10 or so.

  20. Keith says:

    Is the glass problem going to delay the game?

  21. Keith says:

    People in the east(my province N.B) are getting the Ottawa Janitors at least instead of the laffs for once but I’m sure HNIT will CONSTANTLY prattle on about the laffs with never ending updates and the like.

  22. Keith says:

    We have to beat the Sabres after what happened last night with the brutal call notwithstanding. Playing better for the whole game would be a start. Taking the body hard on Brian Campbell is important and get in Millers face like Saku did last night, it seems to work against him. Lets get medieval on their asses! GO HABS GO!!!

  23. Rugger says:

    Wait another year, at the rate the US Dollar is dropping, everyone will want to play in Canada.

  24. Naila Jinnah says:

    Ooooh Pierre’s voice is scratchier than ever! Don’t they have ANYONE else who can call the game? Seriously?

  25. nigel-ski says:

    I hope we win this game. For me, at least, losing to Buffalo is almost as bad as losing to Toronto. Almost.

    Habs rule, Leafs drool…

  26. showey47 says:

    All true statements but he also grew up with the “CH” in his heart and with all the endorsements he would get playing in montreal, he would make 10 times the money that anyone could ever offer him. The guy also wants to win and it won’t happen in tampa bay, they are a franchise in decline with ownership that won’t even spend up to the cap to remain competitive. I think it is much more realistic than most people realize and don’t be surprised if there are trade talks next season between tampa and montreal because i doubt tampa would want to lose him for nothing. It may sound crazy but thats what they also said about edmonton before trading gretzky in the late 80’s.

  27. nightmare_49 says:

    CBC GTA Tax – Most of us pay taxes and that money funds the CBC so we are shareholders of the CBC. The Greater Toronto Area seldom miss anything when it comes to sports, and other things on the CBC, but the rest of Canada may get a token sniff once and awhile so it’s only logic that the people outside the GTA should get a tax relief or a refund. Now we all know tax relief in the right pocket means tax increase in the left pocket. So i suggest the Federal Government impose a tax on the people of the GTA (greater toronto area ) totalling a couple of hundred dollars which would only mean less than twenty dollars a month seeing they get all the benefits of the CBC in broadcasting and 80% of the interviews supplement Hogtown residents etc.It’s our company and we are shareholders. Now i can sit down and watch toronto vs Phoenix then again i may go back to my french lessons even though i don’t own part of RDS.

  28. showey47 says:

    no kidding, i am so glad that i have rds to watch the game instead of being held hostage by the Communist Broadcasting Corporation.

  29. Erik says:

    GO HABS WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

  30. Habs-Kat says:

    Out of the big three in Tampa Bay, the Lightning will definitely try their hardest to hold on to Vinny. Somehow, I don’t see him coming to Montreal.

  31. nightmare_49 says:

    HNIT : Toronto vs Phoenix- I quess all hockey fans in Canada had trouble sleeping last night in anticipation of this great matchup that tha CBC has for Canada nationally and they will provide updates of the other boring matches Phil. vs Ott. and Buff. vs Mtl. thats if they feel like it.

  32. Yeats says:

    Well, I do agree that we should go top-shelf if at all possible. Vinny could certainly be the difference between making the playoffs and winning them. Ovechkin would be another forward who I’d take in a heartbeat.

  33. The Teacher says:

    I was thinking along the lines of Vinny Lecavalier. He is a free agent in one of the coming seasons, and have no doubt we will be making a very competitive offer when the time comes. A Francophone star to hog the attention and keep it away from the rest of the team will do wonders. A Stanley Cup winner and someone who has been under pressure to be a great NHL star since he was in his teens.

    I wonder if anyone has thought to ask Kirk Muller if he as a captain (during the days of Patrick Roy, a francophone star) experiences a level of pressure lower, equal to, or higher than that experienced by Saku Koivu )where there is no francophone star to take the focus away).

    Would the answer not be interesting?

  34. Yeats says:

    Ryan Getzlaf?

  35. The Teacher says:

    Hahahahahaha Mike, that made my day.

    I wasn’t around last night but was watching the game with some friends. I have to say that all in all the Habs didn’t play a terrible game.

    I didn’t see a repeat of last week’s game in Buffalo. I saw a team that did skate but were often the second on the puck. After the first period I turned to my friend and said, I think this game is going to end 1-0. I thought both goalies were playing pretty good. The Habs although they had a few chances, seemed to lack in their finish once again. Koivu has been getting hit hard these last few games, noone has gone out and really taken it to the oppostion physically to try and get him some room. I would take it easy on our captain, look at some of the shots he’s taken the last few games, and I don’t just meean the Sillinger hit.

    I think we played well enough to win, but sadly, we didn’t.

    Scary moment with Markov early, hope he isn’t feeling some residual effects.

    Regarding Breezer, I do have to admit I find Hamrlik skating a heck of a lot more and tiring himself out on many shifts. I do see Breezer causing a lot more work from him, but also see ATROCIOUS attempts at clearing the puck out of our zone. That is the biggest problem with our team, and that is something that seems to be a repeat from last year.

    We have made many positive changes, but until we change the fact that we are expending way too much energy trying to clear the zone on many shifts, we won’t get over the ‘hump’ we seem to keep bumping into.

    We need a strong legitimate scorer for our first line, someone who is big and can skate into the corners, but also score. Who fits that bill in the league today?

    The other problem is that we are still realistically 2 years away give or take a year. This is a year to gain experience, make and perhaps surprise a team in the playoffs.

  36. Will Longlade says:

    There may not be an easy way to get around playing some Friday evening games. I think the league prefers Friday night games over Monday night games, so voodoo, or not, the team is probably stuck with them.

    The way Montreal has been playing lately they may need that extra day in February to make the playoffs. Let’s hope it ain’t so.

  37. Dan23 says:

    Agreed, but we can always dream…

  38. Bill says:

    Oh, the comments are going the RIGHT way now. Well done, webmaster!

  39. Angry Almond says:

    Can’t wait….sitting in 326CC…GO HABS GO!!!


    Music is the best. FZ

  40. Bill says:

    Given the difference in taxation rates in Florida vs Quebec, the amount the Habs would have to pay would certainly be too much to make it worthwhile. You’d be looking at 11-12 million, which would destroy the rest of the team.

    Even if the Habs offer more, just pretend you’re Vincent Lecavalier: you’re a rich young man living in Tampa. Are you going to give up sunshine, beach babes, and anonymity for Montreal winters, journalistic harassment of Princess Diana proportions, and b******t politics? He wouldn’t last two years.

  41. The Teacher says:

    I do agree Kat, but his contract is up soon, and he may want to play in his hometown. I’d rather have Sidney, but…, wouldn’t we all.

  42. showey47 says:

    He is an unrestricted free agent in 2 years and will have his choice where he can go. You can guarantee at that point we will already by a top 4 team in our conference and bob will do what it takes to sign him. He will be the guy who will help bring stanley back to his rightful home

  43. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    23 shots. And all of them as easy as that one. why? why?

  44. JasonM says:

    Always 2-3 seconds to pass, Always 2-3 seconds to shoot = Predictable and easy to interrupt plays/shots.

    Habs needs to be assertive in their plays.

  45. showey47 says:

    I hope carbo gets these slackers at the rink at 6 a.m. tomorrow for a good old fashion bag skating. The players should be refunding the fans for having to watch this crap.

  46. JasonM says:

    Time to start working on face-offs at every training possible. Habs after tonight are amongst the worst in the league.

  47. Bill says:

    Lowly Sabres my ass, they’re awesome.

  48. JasonM says:

    Christmas has come early this year.

  49. Keg says:

    Oh well. At least the Leafs are getting spanked.

  50. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    Bottom line, if you can’t beat the teams in your own division… you risk dropping 16 points a team… that’s a tough price to pay.

  51. Moey says:

    They played a lot better than they did last night, or maybe I was watching a different game. Thought you might have taken a hint from Dave’s post today, patience.

  52. Ed says:

    Streit dumped the puck in with a little over 1 minute left, and Higgins in pursuit, backed off hitting the Buffalo player, who had no trouble passing off the puck. He could have checked him, but did not. Why does Higgins not hit? He has the size. Also, he was one of 5 players tonight with no hits.

  53. teamplayer says:

    and now we go to toronto on tuesday to play a team that plays like a first place team against us

  54. Keith says:

    Well that sucked worse than last night. Time to crack the whip before the next game because quite frankly the Habs did not work hard enough to win either one of these games.Looks like a triple loss for the eastern Canadian teams the laffs lose big time(no surprise there)the Janitors are losing and the Habs get shutout.

  55. Y says:

    I think the bubble has burst. Everyone is now onto our power play “secret” and without that we aren’t much of a threat at all. Oh and losing 60-70% of faceoffs every night doesn’t help much at all either.

    It will be interesting to see what transpires against the Loafs. If they drop that game there really needs to be some changes.

  56. Bill says:

    Wow, what if I’d paid $150.00 to watch that shite? The lack of everything … what a suckfest.

  57. teamplayer says:

    6-7-1 vs. our own division
    6-1-2 vs. rest of league, maybe ill only watch those games

  58. J.T. says:

    Notes on the third:

    This was the worst game of the year in terms of execution. I don’t think I saw a decent pass all night. In terms of effort, last Friday’s Buffalo game was probably the worst. I’ll hand out the toll-free number so everyone can vote after the show.

    I don’t know which I’m dreading more…Tuesday’s game against the leafs, or Higgins’ comments in the paper tomorrow about how “We just didn’t work hard enough,” and “We need to play better.” He’s this year’s apologist now that Souray’s gone.

    Brisebois is hindering Hamrlik’s work. It’s like “take your kid to school” day. I’ve been a proponent of keeping O’Byrne in Hamilton because he’s not really playing with a lot of confidence right now. But if Hammer has to babysit someone, it might as well be a real kid.

    Speaking of the ‘Dogs…when a guy the size of Latendresse is getting routinely muscled off the puck by the little Buffalo Sabres, he just might need a stint in the kennel noshing on some Puppy Chow.

    Anyone who had doubts about the importance of faceoffs can learn a thing or two from this game. When you depend on puck possession and speed, you are automatically at a disadvantage when you lose the faceoffs. This is a big problem for the Habs.

    Taking the team’s pulse and checking its reflexes right now, I notice some of the symptoms of last-yearitis setting in. Koivu slumping? Check. Getting shut out for the first time this season? Check. PP stifled and five-on-five nonextistent? Check. Running around their own zone because they can’t complete a simple clearing pass (or any pass)? Check. And now, back to you, Carbo.

    Positive things from tonight: Kovalev hasn’t quit, even if he had no help. Huet was strong. We’re getting the red flag early this year, so our expectations of playoffs and potential glory can be snuffed before they get us believing again.

  59. Mr Wonderful says:

    Is there anyone in Hamilton who wants to play in the NHL? Obviously the big club has numerous guys who don’t want to be in the NHL. Disgraceful lack of hustle again tonight. No heart, no grit, no win. Another 500 season, but boy can they skate fast. :-)

  60. showey47 says:

    Could probably get yanic perreault from the hawks for a draft pick, that would definatley help the face-off situation. The powerplay needs to be simplified with point shots and with some forwards growing some balls and going hard to the net

  61. Chuck says:

    Laffs lose, Ottawa loses… what a chance we had to make a move on both tonight. To bad it was wasted.
    .
    .
    .

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

  62. jimbo82 says:

    wow that really sucked but i don’t know you guys really think thibault played amazing? Habs had like what maybe 3 scoring chances. He made a nice save on kostitsyn and THATS IT….everything else was right on him. I think any goalie would have got a shutout in this one.

  63. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    Hey J.T. I think you may have missed something… when do the flu symptoms settle in?

  64. roadrunner says:

    This slump against the sabres goes way back to the days of the “French Connection”. Anybody remember that line? It’s mind boggling to me.

  65. J.T. says:

    Oh, that’ll come…that’ll come. It’s only a matter of time. I think depression figures into the immune system’s ability to fight off disease. It’s just a theory, but we’ll see.

  66. showey47 says:

    This team needs a serious wake up call now, especially having to play the laffs next week. Either a call up from hamilton or possibly a trade. Either way something has to be done, last year gainey sat on his hands when we had problems with injuries and the flu bug and it ultimatly cost us at the end of the season. Gainey can’t afford to take that wait and see attitude this season, we are still in a good spot in the standings but he needs to send a message that mediocrity is unacceptable or else we are gonna be in the same scenario as last season.

  67. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    yes, I think it has something to do with stress causing the release of cortisol, which in turn reduces the productivity of… I think it’s leukocytes. And that reduces the bodies ability to… I think I just gave myself a headache.

  68. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    Maybe now’s a good time to bring up Lapierre. How’s he doing down there? Has he earned it yet?

  69. J.T. says:

    Oh…burn! On RDS’post-game show, when they were talking about the Habs’ first line, Guy Lafleur just said it looks as though they have four fourth lines. Ugh. He should know.

  70. MICP says:

    You know its the holiday season when:
    Habs lose 3 times to a last place team in 8 days.
    Not once have we had the lead.
    The Sens are losing a few games, their only win?
    vs the Habs.

    Buffalo came in winning only twice on the road all year, they then trown their backup goalie into his 3rd game and…..
    They pitch a shutout!

    Habs have not won a game when trailing after one or two periods.
    We play the loafs on Tuesday so that should be yet another tough game that goes to ot at best. Look back through last years games and note how many points the loafs picked up in games with the Habs. Look at this years games. More points in the standings for Toronto even when they lose.

    Sorry to say but with the Holidays come alot of Montreal losses. They have started the trend yet again. The only difference so far is the lack of a long term injury to a key player…aka Chris Higgins.
    I hope I am very wrong but it looks like they have started their holiday cold streak. We will go from 2nd place to last and praying just to make the last playoff berth. If we keep giving up points in the standings by either taking Toronto to ot or by blowing games at home to Florida, Atlanta and the neighborhood girl scouts it could become over before we know it.

    Mike Boone said it himself. We have seen this before and its starting to look alot like last year. I pray that I am wrong.

  71. likehoy says:

    bench Mark Streit

    He has been garbage and deserves a wake up call. If not, at least put him on forward so he can regain some confidence in this league. It’s not his defensive play that’s bothering me, it’s his offensive zone plays, he’s making the “safe play” every time instead of using his shot, skating with the puck, or pinching in, and when he does pinch in, he never gets the puck.

    And Patrice Brisebois needs to shoot on net. He always fakes a slap shot and sends a pass that gets to nobody or bounces off a skate, drives me nuts!

  72. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    Remember that phase where we all agreed to be patient and let the lines gel a little. Well, we’ve done that and it paid off for a little while, but now we’re back where we started… no… we’ve dug even deeper, and I don’t think anyone feels like being patient anymore. Work those magic fingers over those phones Gainey… please?

  73. Angry Almond says:

    Please don’t say that name! You might curse us with MapleLeafItis, which is signing ex-good players FAR past their prime and paying them WAY too much. Next thing you know, with the curse, we’ll sign Stephane Richer as our 50-goal scorer for $6.5M per year!

  74. showey47 says:

    Well our line of higgy,ryder and koivu have been a line for 3 years now, so i would say that is plenty of time to gel. This is supposed to be the line that scores most of our goals. This team just has to realize that they don’t have a game breaker and they need to outwork their opponents every night in order to have a chance to win.

  75. showey47 says:

    well i’m watching the hawks and oilers right now and yanic hasn’t lost a draw yet. Its a game of puck possession and its easier to score goals when we have the puck

  76. J.T. says:

    What, and happily skip through Never-Neverland where all is rosy and bright and the Habs win every game? And when they don’t, we all sing Kumbaya and have patience that it’ll all work out? No thanks. Some of us may be content to hang around the barn and chew our cud, but others of us are passionate about the Canadiens and get mad when they crap the bed in their own hotel. And we can say so if we like.

  77. ebk says:

    now way you can call the Plekanec line a 4th line, it is usually the best line on the ice for either team and it was tonight. The other three were simply horrible. Couldn’t generate any pressure or scoring chances.

  78. ebk says:

    come on J.T., you just need to pull your hab goggles on a little tighter and things will be alright. Maybe adjust the tin foil, too

  79. showey47 says:

    Hopefully it was a comment made that wouldn’t fall on deaf ears (gainey) to make a move to improve the team before we have a replay of last season where carbo lost the room and we lost a playoff spot.

  80. The Teacher says:

    J.T.

    1. Worst game of the year in terms of execution- BANG ON, can’t clear the zone for their lives (this wastes SOOOOOO much energy)

    2. My vote for worst effort is definitely last Friday’s game against Buffalo (THAT was pathetic), at least they are skating I find.

    3. I’m not dreading Tuesday’s game against the Leafs….I just have a feeling about that one, but yeah I don’t think their problem was effort, but execution, so let’s see what Higgy says.

    4. BANG ON, last 5-7 games Hamrlik has been getting tired out, he’s not playing bad, but leaving himself out of position covering for Breezer…something’s gotta give..and yup, O’byrne might as well be given experience.

    5. The guy (Lats) can’t skate, but I do have to give him credit for picking up his game last few…but WHAT THE HECK is he doing on a line with Koivu and Kovy..that was horrible….

    6. BANG ON. Chasing the puck all game, need I say more…

    7. I disagree, I see the effort, I saw a lot of hitting going on, I saw a lot off ill-advised shots where the rebounds landed straight on a Buffalo player’s stick. INCREDIBLY dissapointed at the lack of reaction to the INCREDIBLY dirty hit on Chipchura, these refs should be fired…it was a blatant hit from behind, BLATANT, that is worse than the DOWNIE hit in my opinion. Incredibly dissapointed with the lack of someone going after Vanek…at the very least you’ll get him a 5 fot fighting, but he should have already been gone for 5 and a game IMO…ridiculousssssss, I don’t know how many times i can say it…RIDICULOUS!

    ok, enough with that rant

    8. Bang on, was really impressed with Kovy’s effort tonight, looks like Carbo even noticed it as they panned on him after that 3rd period shift where he had not one, but two great hits.

  81. Angry Almond says:

    I watched part of that game too…and you’re right. I just fear throwing money at ‘older’ players instead of letting our young guns grow is akin to the Laffs constant problems and no cups in 40+ years. We won in 86 and 93 without many superstars, although we had Patrick between the pipes!

  82. Moey says:

    Show some respect, I’m a prize winning thoroughbred and I never chew cud..yuck!!

  83. showey47 says:

    he is second on the team in points with 14 in 17 games, but its the intangibles that he brings like size, speed and the ability to be a serious thorn in the side of the opponents. I would almost go as far and say bring up sergei kostitsyn who is leading the team in points also and lapierre and send down grabovski and possibly latendresse. I would of kind of like to see lapierre get a shot playing wing on the top line cause at least he is willing to pay the price and go to the net, kind of like a bigger, faster version of ryan smyth. Who knows it may work

  84. Moey says:

    SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  85. piche says:

    I caught a bit of that post game show… what else did Lafleur say?

  86. Ed says:

    You picked a poor night to point out what a wonderful fortune teller you are. Over the last 2 games against Buffalo, Koivu was -4, Higgins -3, and Ryder -1. Ryder had 2 hits tonight, and Koivu and Higgins had none. In last night’s game, Ryder was tied with Markov for the team lead in hits with 3, while Koivu and Higgins again had zero. Over the last 2 games:
    Koivu -4
    Higgins -3
    Ryder -1
    Koivu 0 hits
    Higgins 0 hits
    Ryder 5 hits

    It looks like you get satisfaction, when a player you don’t like, goes into a slump. We have the right to criticize the players, but you go out of your way to says he’s a freaking drag, and has infected other players. You say you are one of the biggest Ryder critics on the site, but I think it goes much deeper than that.

  87. JasonM says:

    I think that Koivu’s line should look at Pleks line from the bench and learn how to be an offensive threat because they have been horrid.

  88. the_vipah says:

    wow yet another lucky goal, imagine that. Atleast the penalty wasn’t bullshit like usual.

  89. Ed says:

    A Kostopoulos penalty results in Buffalo’s first goal for the 2nd night in a row.

  90. the_vipah says:

    Uhhg scored on by a guy who probably wouldn’t even be in the top 6 on any of the other 29 teams. Sigh…

  91. JasonM says:

    Yep, good point pointing that out Ed.

  92. Bill says:

    Thibault is looking good! He might get a shut-out!

  93. FastRonnie says:

    Well, I was not very convinced that we played a strong period overall. They started strong and by the mid-point were scurrying about trying to cover what seemed like 9 Sabres players to their 5!!! Unless they come out strong to start the 2nd, I got a bad feeling about this one.

    Notes:

    -2nd line (really 1st by the way they play) posed a serious threat in the O-zone, but were noticeably weak in the D-zone. Kostitsyn is all over the place and missed a couple of nice chances. Kovy looks like he’s determined to play hard tonight – always a welcome sign. PLeks almost popped one in, too.

    -1st line (not sure what they really deserve to be called) were not looking so hot. Higgins is on fire, but can rarely finish. Koivu is in a funk, and Ryder, well he’s gotta go (boo me if you like, but I can’t see him around long term). That 3-on-1 played out like a bad news bears on ice scene, which only reaffirmed that Ryder is NOT a playmaker. Once again, we need a power forward for our 1st line!!!! Please Mr. Gainey…

    -faceoffs, as Mike pointed out, need work. And we all scratch our heads in wonder at how bad they are under the current coaching staff!!!

    -Thibeault has played solid back in his old stomping ground. I wondered if his nerves would get the best of him early on, but he proved many of us wrong. RDS guys were amazed at his good play considering he’s hardly been used this season.

    -I feel Gorges is having a pretty decent game so far. Hope he can play like that all night.

    -is Lats playing tonight? Oh, yes, but rarely making any waves and hardly noticeable. A guy that size has to make his presence known every night.

    Here’s hoping the play in the 2nd goes the way it started early in the 1st

  94. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    Begin just got speared and nothing!

    _________________________________

    “false.”

  95. Bill says:

    Booh! Habs looked PATHETIC on that goal.

  96. Y says:

    Ugh…

    Something is not right with this team, hasnt been for around 10 days now.

  97. the_vipah says:

    Another goal where 3-4 straight lucky bounces ends up on a buffalo stick again. Vanek again, thats embarassing.

  98. JasonM says:

    Christmas is coming early this year Mike.

  99. Chris1138 says:

    We’re coming up on December right?


    Chris

  100. the_vipah says:

    Yeah we will get shutout by this shitty team and this shitty goalie. It’s one of those nights.

  101. JasonM says:

    Blatant chop to Lats stick, no call. What does it take to buy a penalty?

  102. Alirio says:

    when will the Habs stop watching the game their in and start play???


    I’ve made a huge mistake…

  103. longbow says:

    5 points out of 1st overall and BOOM.
    Deja Vu all over again.
    Get your flu shots.

  104. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    Wait…. so the stick breaks in his hand… and nothing? I thought that was automatic? The evidence is laying on the floor.

  105. teamplayer says:

    how did we not score there? goalies down and we put it low?

  106. Chuck says:

    Someone needs to make Vanek pay for pounding the glass like that at the Habs fans after his goal.
    .
    .
    .

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

  107. Bill says:

    So frustrating, I mean, we KNOW Thibault … the slightest little bit of offensive pressure and he’ll crack like a ten-year-old Easter egg, cough up the lead like a bird feeding its young, and fold like a Chinese laundry. But can the Habs manage to do ANYTHING? Nein, scholar, as my history teacher used to say.

  108. Yeats says:

    Lats couldn’t get lucky with a role of twenties and his pants down to his knees.

  109. Alirio says:

    Briere just scored a beauty off a two-on-one

    4-3 Phlyers


    I’ve made a huge mistake…

  110. habsfan2442 says:

    I for one am fed-up…. why does it take 2 canadiens to take the puck away from 1 4th line player…

    why on both sabers goals are 3+ canadiens standing nice and relaxed in front of the net..

    WHY CANT WE HIT SOMETHING ….just a few so far but the sabers are all over us..

    Sorry all just really fed up.. YES we can skate.. you will never win anything in hockey ONLY skateing…

    Shots….. go to the net hard.. Like the sabers.. I just dont get it..

  111. DYCSoccer17 says:

    We need more than 1 line that is a threat to score.

    Ryder is such a freaking drag. He has infected Koivu. Higgins is ok, but he will be next.

    I’ve been one of the biggest Ryder critics on the site for a while. I took a lot of crap from most of the other members on here for my criticism of this guy this summer. Where are all of you now standing up for your home boy?

  112. Bill says:

    Wow, the irony … the one time I’d actually rather watch the Leafs game, and I CAN’T … never want a drink of water ’til the well runs dry, I guess.

  113. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    Kovalev is Pissed! I like.

  114. grrrreg says:

    we look pretty harmless. Buffalo is a nice team, they are fast, always fighting for the puck.

  115. the_vipah says:

    The reason is our team is soft and doesn’t quite have the hands, speed or skill to make up for it like the equally soft Sabres do. While this team is full of players who prefer to play on the outside we are doomed.

    That and we can’t seem to get a lucky bounce ever. When was the last time we had a goal go in off one their players and come right to us for an easy one, or just plain go in off a guy? It never happens. Meanwhile both Sabre goals tonight went of crap and ended up as easy goals for guys who have or normally do struggle to score.

    Not to mention all the missed calls.

  116. J.T. says:

    Congratulations. Your pre-season criticism of a Hab has borne fruit. I assume this makes you happy or feel justified in some way?

    Anyway, Ryder is trying to do what the team has asked of him…which was improve his +/-. He’s done that, and sacrificed his offensive numbers in the process. In doing what the team wanted him to do, he’s changed his game and is in the process of screwing himself out of a career contract. They should have left him alone. At least he had the confidence to shoot before they messed with his game.

  117. showey47 says:

    koivu, higgy and ryder combined for 2 shots on goal tonight, while kovy and kostitsyn had 3 and 4 respectivley. Kovy looked like he was pissed off all night which is good because it shows that he cares.

  118. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    I just don’t see the strong core we’re supposed to be building this team around. You can’t build a team around players that fade in and out of action. I’m not saying that our superstars have to be brilliant every single game (although that would be nice), but they have to show up at least more then half the time. Every game is a surprise, you just don’t know what to expect from one game to the next. It’s tough on the heart.

  119. Will Longlade says:

    I’m beginning to think that both Koivu and Higgins are playing through injuries. This may partially explain their uninspired play of late. Although Koivu has been in a mild funk lately, the hit that Sillinger laid on him during the Isles game seemed to suck all the intensity out of his game. Higgins was clearly favouring one of his hands during the same game.

    I hope the Habs can turn it around soon. It’s too darn early in the season to have to cancel my RDS subscription.

  120. Thumper says:

    Yesterday I had some optimism left, today I’m miserable, what is going on, have they all lost the will to try, do we need a big trade now as clearly our first line is not up to the name.

    Time to change it up a bit, get Lapierre back, I know we need a scorer but we also need a chippy little battler who knows what effort is and how about a young D man who will give his all to get his NHL career off to a good start.

    Now about a trade, it needs to be looked at if we are to do anything serious this season.

  121. nightmare_49 says:

    Trades arn’t happening anywhere in the New NHL, at least big trades,right now and why would you want Lapierre when you can have Sergie Kostitsyn (LW) brought up and it may be time for O’Bryne (D) if he’s healthy.

  122. Alexander29 says:

    We can’t repeat last year. Must act now ! Need a trade … Olli Jokinen … what’s the price ?? We need to change, this team will not go far. Ryder must go . Let’s package a few players and make a huge splash out there !!

  123. showey47 says:

    There is a very good core of young players to build around but are not good enough to win on talent alone and when 20 guys are not pulling in the same direction to achieve a common goal, this is the result.

  124. nightmare_49 says:

    When was the last time Higgins set anybody up , he’s playing for Christopher not the team.

  125. Yeats says:

    And, we have the leafs next Tuesday night? That’s gonna end happy. Glad it’s pickup hockey night!

  126. nightmare_49 says:

    Go down to 3 lines and sit Tommy K. , Smols , and Higgy and give Higgy his own puck to play with on the bench. No way should they play no matter what.

  127. ebk says:

    A HORRENDOUS Kovalev giveaway nearly produces the game’s first goal. He’s showing troubling signs of regressing. Good night for the third and fourth-line pluggers.

    your kidding right.

  128. Ed says:

    The Habs are outhitting Buffalo 32 to 17 after 2 periods, with Begin (6), Kovalev (5), and Komisarek (5), accounting for 16 of them. However we are only 31% on faceoffs. It’s going to be a difficult task as Montreal has difficulty lately getting more than 2 goals per game.

  129. ebk says:

    have always liked Smolinski but he does not seem to be the player he used to be. Don’t think you sit Higgins, though.

  130. the_vipah says:

    Yet again blatant penalty, no call.

  131. the_vipah says:

    Boone sometimes has trouble remembering which game hes watching I think ;)

  132. Bill says:

    This is just sad. The last two years, it’s like every player on the team is Brian Savage. Let the looong part of the year begin.

  133. Yeats says:

    No jump whatsoever!

  134. The Ian Cobb says:

    I’ve had enough of this, I’m going to watch the Belleville Bulls game, There playing Owen Sound. These kids at least play there hearts out!

  135. J.T. says:

    Ian…
    Give us a report on Subban if you get a chance?

  136. the_vipah says:

    Heh you know its not your night when you can’t score on Thibault. Embarassing.

  137. Chuck says:

    Hey… at least we’re not the laffs!
    .
    .
    .

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

  138. JasonM says:

    I hope Thibs gets a shutout because if that’s what it takes to break our first line, bench Ryder and break this crap I’m seeing then it should be done. My patience is running out.

  139. Bill says:

    Total domination by the Sabres. This isn’t even close. They are working super-hard, and the Habs quit in the second. Embarrassment.

  140. yathehabsrule says:

    our chances are sinking like an Antartic cruise ship…

  141. Y says:

    Where are my Canadiens?!

    I’m sick of watching these imposters, the Crapadiens!

  142. Chuck says:

    Has enyone else noticed that this recent stretch of mediocrety coincides with our sucking in the faceoff circle?
    .
    .
    .

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

  143. showey47 says:

    Nice derek roy imitation on that dive by paille

  144. the_vipah says:

    I’m at a loss. Out of all the hooking, all the holding and all the crap that Sabres have gotten away with tonight…you call that?

  145. Bill says:

    JHC, Plecanek, you don’t pass THAT way on a short-handed rush! Or if you must, try to do it when your man isn’t being draped by an opposing player.

  146. showey47 says:

    i guess these refs saw carbo mock clap the officials after last nights game so now we are paying for it.

  147. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    so yes… a player must be lying unconscious on the floor for the refs to make a call.

  148. Bill says:

    And no-one stands up for Chipchura? Maybe we DO need a goon.

  149. the_vipah says:

    That should be a 5 minute major. But the chicken shit refs call a 2 min penalty.

  150. the_vipah says:

    Now they start calling this shit? Give me a break. Refs are a joke.

  151. Bill says:

    Wow, the refs let the Sabres do anything all night, and then try to even it up at the end. Clowns.

  152. Y says:

    And thus the downfall has begun…

  153. nightmare_49 says:

    Have you seen the Western Conference standings , the 2nd place team is 4 points ahead of the 13th place team but the 13th place team has a game in hand, Now that’s parity but makes trades difficult.

  154. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    Our smaller players might also feel more confident on the puck if they knew that there was a much bigger, stronger, meaner player that was keeping an eye on them. I never was a fan of the enforcer, but I’m beginning to think this might encourage some more inspired hockey. Teams have just been walking into our building and throwing everything they want at us, and why not, nobody is going punish them for it.

  155. kevin m says:

    I would just like to say that November has been a very tough month & that all Of the Northeast Division is feeling the effects of it. The only team that has made any headway as of late is Buffalo.

    Rest… and bring on December.

  156. von says:

    “I shouldn’t have smoked that joint after breakfast.”

    Tis true. A wake and bake is much better. :D MMM speaking of breakfast I wish I was sitting down to a happy face special at the view st. laurent… *drools*

  157. Yeats says:

    Come on Mike. At least, the leafs lost again. I’d say last night was at least a half pointer. And they get to lose to a different squad tonight.

  158. grrrreg says:

    it seems so: 5-1 coyotes early into the second period…

  159. Thumper says:

    At least we get to see the Habs whoever they play. But yes last night I felt gutted. I was working at the fire house/station on a night shift so had to listen via NHL.com and was gutted to have the game stolen from us by dodgy refereeing, but lets take solace that we are not getting blown away when we lose, Buffalo have every right to get a win at home when they are on form and we are still one of the better teams in the East and the leafs one of the worst so the glass is still half full.

    As for those anti Huet, Price is christ followers, last night showed we need both goaltenders as neither is super human (YET) and perhaps at this stage in the ‘Futures’ career Huet is more prone to standing on his head while Price is nurtured to perfection.

    Anyway on with tonight, the pressure is back on to get the win so we don’t get into a losing streak (oh the days when you could play under .500 and get into the playoffs, aka Leafs late 80’s). I’m thinking a good performance is on the cards and a happy more chirpy and back to his more normal humorous Mike Boone is just around the corner.

    Go Habs Go

  160. Naila Jinnah says:

    LOL!!!!

    The true voodoo is all these Friday games… 4 more before the Sabres, I believe. And next week against the Devils. It’s gonna become the most hated day for Habs and Habs fans alike!

  161. Naila Jinnah says:

    Woah! reverse comments?! :S

    Cooooooooooooooooooooooooooool

  162. Les-Habitants says:

    Last night’s game was really wierd in that I felt only the third period had any sort of intensity. The Sabers played better, but neither team played as well as I’ve seen them. Last year’s matchups were intense, hard-hitting affairs for two teams with speed and skill. I’m hoping tonight’s game, in the ever loud Bell Centre, will be that.

    Wasn’t too sure what Carbo was doing late in the game putting grinders like Kostopolus out on the ice. Unless he was sending a message to the players, If you are going to bench Ryder, put someone with some offensive flair on Koivu’s wing (Smokes, maybe even Dandy).

    Tender again had a medicore game, and while Grabo lacks his size, I don’t think Tender has done anything to earn a roster spot over him. Grabo has the skill and speed that Tender lacks. Tender has the size. Against a skating team like the Sabers, I think Grabo would be a more useful player.

    What’s been wrong with Streit lately?? Ugh. And Breezer…one night he plays fine, the next he’s Breezer again. If only Gorges was good enough to secure that roster spot…but he’s not.
    Can you imagine how improved the Habs would be with a real 1st line RW next to Koivu, and a legit 4th d-man playing next to Hammer????

  163. Ed says:

    Mike, you refer to half time extertainment at the Grey Cup, so I had to look it up, since I did not know what you were talking about.

    http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:U4sMYqvvNzkJ:www.wellbridge.com/wellbridge/cambridge/pulse.php%3FID%3D41+extertainment&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1

    I am not sure if this is the true meaning. Are you into this fitness thing on a full time basis? If so, should you be smoking, even if it is a joint, and not a regular cigarette?

  164. nightmare_49 says:

    Price to Hamilton : Here’s something to ponder. Carey price is young and use to a heavy workload in his junior days and the Hamilton Bulldogs play 6 games from Dec-07 to Dec-15 and if Price can play the bulk of those games it would provide him a great week of game time experience and also give Halak another smell of the show to keep him sharp and a possible start as the Habs play 4 games during that span ending on Dec-15 also. This has nothing to do with Carey’s play but only a temperary stint in the name of developement. Huet’s history of injuries and contract issues and the fact that Halak is the call up and future back up down the road sort of makes sense seeing Halak’s been improving in the AHL and had a good training camp. They both do not have to pass waivers. After the game on Dec-15 price will be called up and resume his position with the Habs.

  165. J.T. says:

    No one knows how it will strike. Could it be the Powerplay? Or will it sneak in the back door and get you on the Odd Man Rush? Will the goaltender cover the net like a Shooter Tutor? And will the good guys fight for justice or turn tail and run for cover? Find out when it hits the ice in a maelstrom of truth versus bad reffing, forechecking versus disorganization and red versus white. Coming soon to a hockey rink near Boone.

    It’s Sabres V: The Return of the Buffalo.

  166. Yeats says:

    Bold prediction of the evening: The Breezer will be first star!

  167. Y says:

    I agree, we need some sort of trade or personnel shake-up (coaches are fine, players only) to wake these guys up!

  168. Naila Jinnah says:

    Well sounds like loads of fun. I’m glad I missed this one because I have real issues turning off the TV when the Habs are playing.

  169. The Ian Cobb says:

    That,s different, but great. last post is first OK,but we still have to scroll all the way to the bottom to post OK!!

    Just got in , how do we look?

  170. JasonM says:

    1st line looks lost and isn’t producing much out there.
    2nd line looking dangerous
    3rd line has been solid
    4th line has been impressive

    Odd pairing of Streit/Georges and they have had a lot of problems out there.

    Huet very strong first.

    Dave Jackson is reffing, Habs beware.

  171. nightmare_49 says:

    Having Lats on in the last minute of a period in a tight game?????

  172. J.T. says:

    Notes on the first:

    It amazes me how the pucks always seems to bounce directly onto a Sabre stick. Is it ecause they’re moving better, or in better position? Then again, the average card trick amazes me, so it might be just dumb luck.

    I’ve definitely seen this show before, but I think the opening act is also a re-run. It’s a little feature called “French Goalie Plays the Game of His Year in Montreal.”

    Michael Ryder: Confidence Free since October, 2007

    And speaking of Ryder, if anyone has a bit of plastique or a spare stick of TNT lying around, please send it to Carbo with instructions to blow up the first line. It ain’t working, Guy. It hasn’t been working for most of the season.

    Dandeault…the poster boy for the International Worker’s Party.

    Breezer is not good. He’s making Hammer babysit him far too often. And this is not a team that can afford to have two defence pairs chasing the puck in their own zone.

    Huet is so even-tempered, I wonder if anyone has checked him for batteries.

    Better zone clearing and more traffic in front of Thibeault is needed in the next twenty. I’d like to have fingernails when this is over.

  173. Y says:

    I really hope they can get their act together and take out this team. We can’t even get some by a guy who hasn’t played in like forever :(
    For some reason whenever I see Lindy Ruff’s face, I feel like going into a murderous rampage
    There isn’t a team I hate more than the Sabres…Yes I hate them more than the Loafs

  174. JasonM says:

    Ouch, is Koivu really 0% on the faceoffs?

  175. yathehabsrule says:

    5-1 Coyotes now…

  176. the_vipah says:

    Looks like every bounce goes the Sabres way and no matter how much hooking they do (they do it on nearly every play) they do not get called.

  177. Norman says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA sucks to be toronto

  178. yathehabsrule says:

    Yeah and Weller literally stripped that big Leaf acquisition Bell of his jersey… What a mismatch that was

  179. JasonM says:

    Refs are leaving a lot to be desired right now.

  180. Bill says:

    Wow, Kovalev is pissed.

  181. Chuck says:

    Kovy’s getting angry. He gets the two best hits of the game in one shift.
    .
    .
    .

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

  182. JasonM says:

    So WHY are we hitting them now that we’re down 2-0? Habs should hit them EVERY time they have a chance, they cannot match us and we’re trying to play THEIR game and not doing well at it.

  183. Ed says:

    Great shift at the end of the period by Kovalev, with a couple of solid body checks.

  184. Rick Chartraw says:

    I don’t know if I agree with Mike Boone’s Game Blog, Kovalev is clearly not regressing. He is skating better than last year, and I have never seen him throw his considerable size around as much. Unfortuantely, everyone else is invisible and a step slow.

  185. Yeats says:

    Of course Kovalev is pissed. The only thing worse than watching these guys is having to play with them. Thibault is going to shut them out tonight. Trade Youppi and he’ll come back to the Bell and shut them out. Lats should be in the A plain and simple. He has A written all over him. No hands, no speed and he didn’t even finish that last check. He needs some time down on the pound.

  186. J.T. says:

    Notes on the second:

    The clock is striking midnight and the Habs’ coach to the playoffs is turning into a pumpkin right before our eyes. I wish I was one of those people who saw the pumpkin all along.

    It’s not a good sign that when faced with an aggressive forecheck the Habs fold like an origami pussycat.

    An angry Kovy is a good Kovy. If the Habs score in the third, it will be him, and it will be a wrister high to the glove side that can only be seen with infared technology.

    I’m glad he’s mad, because he’s been doing a lot of stickhandling in phonebooth plays lately. Which is fine, if you’re in a phonebooth by yourself. Unfortunately, the ice is occupied by determined people who want to steal your puck.

    Good on Carbo for trying to shake up the “first” line, but someone should impress upon him that Kostopoulos is NOT the answer.

    It’s awfully hard to exploit the backup goalie’s weaknesses when you’re gently lofting the puck at him and asking nicely for a rebound.

    I’d just subdued the flashbacks from last year, but my PTSD is coming back.

  187. Keith says:

    Kovy’s going out on his shield. I like it, send a message to them. This game is a carbon copy of last night I fear. Power plays are killing us, Thibaut is playing well. Hard to handle two losses against these guys on back to back nights.

  188. ebk says:

    It was a horrible give away but Kovalev has been the Candiens best player once again tonight, by far. So far this game, it has been a one-line team.
    The other three lines need to start generating something, anything soon.

  189. showey47 says:

    what a brutal powerplay, and higgys skates past a juicy rebound instead of stoping in front of the net

  190. Bill says:

    Is this the worst game of the year? Yes for me.


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